Tuesday Tidbits – Focus T25 Beta Review

Hello everyone! Well, I’ve finished Focus T25 Beta phase, so I thought I’d write a review of it since that’s what I did with Alpha phase.

A little disclaimer to start: My diet was pretty much the same as it was in Alpha phase, though I didn’t focus as much on hitting my 20% fat/ 30% protein/ 50% carbs for my diet. Instead, I just tried to eat around 450 cal for all of my major meals, and I ate about 100 calories (generally of fresh fruit – yum!) for my snacks. I also tried to eat a lean protein every meal, and I tried to get a fibrous carb in at dinner time 🙂

Right after week 4 of Beta phase, I had spring break, and my workout buddy and I were separated for a week. We didn’t think it was fitting to finish T25 while separated, so we worked out on our own that week and then did another round of T25 the following week to finish up. Also, starting at week 4, we started incorporating running into our regimen, running a mile on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and running as far as we can on Sundays.

Okay, now for the review!

First thing’s first, Beta takes the intensity of Alpha phase and cranks it up to eleventy million (not really, but you get the picture). After my first couple of Beta workouts, my workout buddy, Sylvia, and I were dying, and we were so tired that we almost forgot to high five each other!

That being said, even though the intensity was increased radically, both Sylvia and I were really impressed by how well Alpha phase prepares you for Beta phase. Alpha phase is appropriately named ‘the Foundation phase’ because it strengthens your legs, your arms, and (most importantly) your core. We weren’t able to keep up with everyone completely, but we were able to make it completely through the workouts the first time, and often doing the full impact moves instead of the modified ones!

Speaking of, the modified moves are still here in Beta phase, but they are often much more difficult than they were in Alpha phase. This makes sense, because even the modifier has to have the intensity taken up a notch, but I often found that doing the modified move was harder than the real thing, and I mostly did modified moves when I was too tired to jump and spin around 100 times in a minute.

Overall, I absolutely loved Beta phase. Right around the end of Alpha phase, I was beginning to hunger for workouts with the same kind of fire that I was feeling as I was getting stronger. Beta met those needs perfectly. I thrive on being challenged by workouts, and looking back after I’ve completed them and reveling in what I’ve accomplished. Trust me; there was much reveling during this month!

Similar to Alpha phase, Beta phase is 5 weeks long, with the schedules getting tougher and tougher as the phase progresses. There are still doubles on Friday, and doubles are often brutal. They were hard during Alpha phase, but they were nearly impossible during Beta phase. I think that might be due to the fact that I was starting to lose my energy toward the end of the week though, since I would generally up my calories a bit on Saturday and Sunday to help my body recover. Since I push myself so hard in the workouts, it makes sense that I would be really burned out on Fridays.

Now, I’m going to talk about each work out individually!

Core Cardio is the first workout of Beta phase, and it really starts the month off with the ball rolling! Like Alpha Cardio, the workout is broken into two phases with two burnouts. After a warm up, Shaun T takes you to Lunge and Squat Land, where he forces you to stay for about 10 minutes. If your legs are not on fire by the end of this segment, you’re doing it wrong. He starts off with Twisting X lunges (jumping 45 degree lunges designed to work your legs and your obliques as you twist). Those suck. Even at the end of Beta, these suck. Then he makes you do squats, and finally, he combines them into the Rotating T Twist, in which you slowly rotate from lunge to squat to lunge on the other side, and back. Oh, and then he makes you repeat it all in the burnout. The second portion of the workout is Shaun T’s attempt to make sure you don’t forget to sweat. With air plank jumps, high jumps, shuffle + burpees (you read that right), and a grueling plank segment, you’ll feel like a human waterfall. This workout is tough, but so rewarding!

When I first was doing some research on Speed 2.0, I got really excited, and it still is one of my favorite cardio workouts to date. That being said, this one will flat out murder your heart into shape. The first time I did this workout, my average heart rate was 168 (it’s normally 148)! Shaun T takes you back to his dance roots by coordinating the moves to match the beat. There are three sets, each with three rounds. In the first and second sets, Shaun T teaches you 8 different exercises, then repeats them in round 2 with less time for each exercise, and then repeats them again in round 3 with even less time for each exercise. Then, he puts set 1 and set 2 together to make set 3 and has you take it from the top twice. He then gives you a jog recovery break, and makes you take it from the top again. Repeat one more time for only 8 beats per move, and you’re done! Man oh man, this workout is sweat-tastic, but Shaun T does an amazing job of keeping you motivated throughout the 25 minutes. Also, the music is great and easy to follow with the moves!

Rip’t Circuit is next, and is freshest in my mind, since I had to do it THREE times last week! This is the first workout that incorporates weights, so Sylvia and I were excited about that! The schedule for Rip’t Circuit is also really great. In general, each move lasts about a minute, and he rotates between strength, lower focus, cardio, and abs. This workout is tough, and features Marlene who was in Insanity as well, and she often says that she’s fighting through! But the pacing of this workout is very doable, and Shaun T does a great job of motivating you through. Also, I love the 5 count power abs ending; I really push myself every time, and it really shows you how much stronger your abs have gotten! Beware of those single leg burpees though. They get me every time!

Next up is Dynamic Core, and this is definitely the spiritual successor to Ab Intervals. You know you’re going to work when all three guys in the DVD are shirtless! I like Dynamic Core a lot better due to its structure. After a warm up, Shaun T takes you through 7 cardio abs moves to bring up your heart rate and heat up your core. These moves are pretty fun, and they keep you on your toes. Then it’s time to get down on the floor and work those abs from the mat. I like the power of all of the moves in this segment, but the bicycles + v-hold kill me. I do my first bicycle, and then go to lift my legs, and they just won’t lift! I know I’ll get there eventually! The last segment is a total core segment, with side planks, pike ups, Supermans, and Rocketmans. Sometimes, I wish this segment would come first, since by this point, I’m breathing like crazy, and I can’t breathe very well when I’m on my stomach while working my back. After the segment is completed for the left and right sides, Shaun T makes you do side plank up + overs followed up by a plank walk + squat pyramid. If your abs aren’t screaming by the end of this one, make sure they don’t have duct tape over their mouths! The one bonus: no Burnout! Then again, the whole workout is a burnout!

The last major workout of Beta cycle is Upper Focus, which is the second workout of Beta that requires weights. If you’ve never worked your arms with weights before, you might want to do it without weights or with only 1 or 2 lbs dumbbells your first time, because it is tough! In general, Shaun T warms you up, then takes you through a few circuits of 3 weight moves working a single muscle group followed by one or two minutes of cardio. For all of my fellow strong women that use 8 lbs dumbbells in each arm, you might have difficultly using your arms for the rest of the day. The pacing of this workout is less rough on your heart, though, and Shaun T does an amazing job of motivating you to keep those weights in your hands and pushing yourself.

As a bonus, I’ll do a quick review of Core Speed, which is a bonus DVD that came with our Focus T25 set since we ordered it through Beachbody. Out of all of the workouts I’ve done in Focus T25, this one is hands down the hardest, but also my absolute favorite. You can substitute Core Speed for any Speed 2.0 slot in the workout calendar, and we substituted Core Speed for pretty much all of them. Core Speed took all of my favorite moves from Alpha and Beta cardio workouts and put them to music, all while adding some new challenging ones (one arm burpees anyone??). It has the exact same set up as Speed 2.0, in that there are 2 sets of 3 rounds, and then you take it from the top several times until you die from exhaustion. There are lots of punching moves, and I love punching the air to keep up my intensity and power. The order that the moves are done in is also brilliant, since there are often two really tough moves followed by a move that lets your heart rate come down a bit. Overall, an amazing workout that I will come back to in years to come!

As for the price of Focus T25 Alpha and Beta, they are a little bit pricey. For the set, you will spend about $120, but you get 11 workout DVDs, a resistance band, 5 day Fast Track plan (just do it! You won’t regret it!), Meal guide, and workout calendar. But these are workouts that are quick enough that you’ll find yourself going back to them over and over again. Not to mention, it’s hard to put a price on getting your life in order. These workouts are short enough that you can ALWAYS find time to do them. And after ten weeks of diligent Focus T25, you’ll have turned health into habit 🙂

I have to admit, I was a little skeptical about getting it at first, since I’d already spend money to purchase P90X and Insanity. All I can say about that is that I have no regrets. P90X is great for strength, but not great for losing weight, and Insanity is awesome and fun, but too intense unless you’re already an athlete. Focus T25 is just the right speed for pretty much everyone!

Here’s where things get a little real: Alpha and Beta, combined with the diet, changed my life. A lot of reviews focus on the workouts, but don’t focus on the results. Yeah, I lost weight, gained some muscle, etc. But my entire brain has changed. I view food differently. I view working out differently. I’m so in tune with my body now and what it’s trying to tell me. That’s the major benefit that I got from Focus T25: it started my health journey!

I hope everyone found this review helpful 🙂 Have a super awesome day, and stay healthy, friends!

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2 thoughts on “Tuesday Tidbits – Focus T25 Beta Review

  1. What a fantastic, detailed review of Beta. Beachbody should be paying you for that review! 🙂

    So now I’m kinda bummed that I didn’t pay for Core Speed. Oh, well. Maybe I’ll add it to my collection eventually.

    Two questions for you: Have you found that as you get into better shape, you start to sweat more or quicker? I’m not sure whether I’m sweating more now because I’m working harder or whether it’s because my body knows it’s going to work so it just cranks up the sweat glands.

    And, secondly, what pound weights did you use for Upper Focus? I’ve done it only once and used 5 lb. weights, which was fine for most of the exercises but too heavy for shoulders and too light for biceps. Did you go up in weights as you progressed through the weeks? (Oops, guess I had three questions instead of two.)

    I feel like something has clicked for me in the exercise and health department too. Not sure whether I was mentally already there, but even so, Focus T25 has helped keep me there and done nothing but positive things for me too.

    1. Thanks! I’m glad you liked the review, but I’m not really in it for the money 🙂 I definitely recommend getting Core Speed if you can afford it! It’s about as expensive as most workout DVDs at about $20, and it’s SO MUCH FUN. I just did it again yesterday, and I loved it!

      To answer your questions, I don’t know if I sweat more or quicker, but I often find that I don’t sweat much during the first 10-15 minutes, then I start sweating a regular amount, and then when I’m done, I sweat buckets when my heart rate is coming down. I’d view it as a good thing though! You’re body is getting better at cooling itself down, and you’re sweating out more toxins!

      I generally use 8 lbs weights for all of them, but I’ve always been really muscular for a girl. I might consider upping the weights to 10 lbs for some of the moves, like biceps, this time for beta phase. But 5 lbs is still nothing to sneeze at! Shoulder moves are really difficult for women. I would stick with 5 lbs weights for the tough moves and try to do as many reps as you can (you WILL get better :)), and maybe invest in some 8 lbs weights for when those are too light! Also, I stuck with 8lbs weights the whole time, but found I could do the moves better and had better form throughout the phase, so I was still improving 🙂

      I’m so glad something clicked! It’s kind of like having your eyes opened, isn’t it?

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