Prior to October I was doing the same exercise regime I had been for the past couple of years. That was running, cycling, and Jillian Michaels’ workout DVDs. And it was working great, so I don’t have any impressive weight loss story to accompany this post. But I was a little bored. I wrote it off as being tired (because what parent working out at 6 am isn’t exhausted?!), but in hindsight, I think I just needed a change up.
Cardio is my favorite, so if I could just run and cycle every day, that would be my preference. I do it 3-4 times a week, pending Kyle’s work schedule and the weather. But to be healthier and have a more balanced approach to my fitness, I know strength training (with light and heavy weights) and core work are important. So that’s why I did Jillian’s program. I got Body Revolution for Christmas in 2014, and have been doing 2-3 workouts a week ever since. The 3rd cd is HARD. Kyle likes the workouts too.
Anyway, like I mentioned, I was feeling a little lackluster about working out and needed something new to inspire me. Around then, Jenna posted on IG asking people to join her November fitness group and I emailed her about the various workouts. Full disclosure: Beachbody kinda made me roll my eyes before. I think it was because of the whole 21 day fix thing that took over the internet last year. I definitely have no interest in measuring types of food out in tupperware or anything with imposed portion control. It may be great for others, but it’s not my thing. So I had a pretty biased opinion of the Beachbody workouts going in. But I wanted to be open minded. After I learned about a few different programs I chose T25. It was a birthday present to myself (I have to justify spending money because of #momguilt).
Pros: it was cardio based with minimal equipment needed (basically nothing is needed) and it was done in 25 minutes. I am all about getting it done as quick as possible!
Concerns: there wouldn’t be enough weight work and since I would already be doing running or cycling for my cardio I wanted something that didn’t overlap too much.
As it turns out, I LOVE LOVE LOVE T25 and there is definitely plenty of strength work! It is NOT easy and your heart rate gets through the roof.
More reasons I love it:
- The countdown! There’s a clock in the lower corner of the screen and it starts at 25:00 and counts down the entire time until you are done. No guessing how much longer, you know the whole time where you are in the workout. And since it’s only 25 minutes, there’ never a time that you look at it that’s super discouraging.
- They give you the play by play. Also in the corner (above the countdown) is a progress bar that restarts with each exercise move. That way you know how long you had to do each move. I find this particularly helpful for moves that put you in a tough position to see the tv screen, so you can look once, see the progress bar and see how fast (or slow) it is moving and thus know how much longer to put your head down and work before it’s reasonable to look up again. Of course there’s talking too, so you will know when he tells you, but if you mute it and listen to podcasts then this is a helpful feature. it also tell you the name of the move you are doing and then just before the progress bar is complete and the exercise is done, it switches to say the next exercise. That way you know what is coming up next. By the 2nd or 3rd time through I knew what the moves names were so that was nice to have a clue what was following.
- You don’t need to be able to follow choreography. I would say this was another one of my main worries when I bought the DVD. I am not good at picking up choreography right away, so I didn’t know if that would matter. Happy to share that it doesn’t. This isn’t a dance based thing, so you don’t need to memorize moves or anything.
- It is FAST. You literally never stop. One of the “cons” to Jillian’s DVDs is there is a lot of time between moves that she jokes around with the extras and talks. I don’t have time for that! I just want to get in and get out, so I can go back to my kids and deal with getting them dressed and fed and yadda yadda. T25 has no down time. You go from one move to the next immediately so your heart rate is up from the second you start.
You can do plenty of research about the details on their website, but I am one very pleased customer. I can’t speak for any of the other workouts, but this one is definitely what I would choose over any other DVD at the moment. And it’s a good thing too, since I will probably do it for another few years before I buy anything else!
I still do Jillian’s Body Revolution a couple times a month, but they are so slowwwww now by comparison. They do make me sore though, so there’s something to be said for diversifying your routine! Now if only this gross winter weather would go away so I could get back on the bike. There’s nothing fun about dark 30 degree rides, that’s for sure. Another perk to it warming up is bringing the kids with me on runs or rides. Then Kyle’s work schedule doesn’t even matter! Man am I eager for Spring to arrive…until then Kyle and I will continue to coordinate our workouts in the wee early hours and let the kids stay nice and warm and dry inside, while we train in the brrr.
For the “gym at home” readers out there – what are your favorites at the moment? Our garage set up is pretty minimalist, and includes 5, 10, and 15 lb weights, resistance cables, and an exercise ball. We have a TV and DVD player from the ’90s (seriously) and but it gets the job done….along with these mats with a rug gripper under it to provide some cushion. Luckily we have a big garage, so it works out nicely, otherwise I suspect our guest room would be the backup option. I haven’t belonged to a gym since living in New York and while I miss some things (spin class!), it doesn’t make sense financially. Especially if all I want to do is run or cycle and 9-10 months out of the year that’s free!