[Recap: Our hero, mom of two and lapsed exerciser, had lost 20 pounds in about five months working out at home to Chalene Johnson’s intense TurboFire. Read more. She was only halfway to her goal.]
When I heard about T25, like many people, I thought, results in 25 minutes? Don’t we need long steady cardio to lost weight? But because it was led by Shaun T of Insanity fame, which I was honestly scared to try, I went for it. A big draw for me was Googling T25 results and seeing Tania, T25’s low-impact modifer , who started it right after her first pregnancy and lost her baby weight. Funny that I saw baby weight as my issue even though for me it was 13 years later!!!
I mean check out those abs! Her husband Derek is also in the workouts and had impressive results.
So here’s my review. It is six workouts a week (Friday is a double day; weekends are off, and the workouts are 25 minutes. The cool down is an extra two-three minutes, so it’s really T27.3. The workouts are more drill-like than the party atmosphere of Turbo Fire, but also easier to foillow, with very basic moves. Weights are gradually incorporated a few times a week.
It’s set up in three phases, Alpha, Beta and Gamma. Alpha is about building your cardiovascular endurance, and then Beta kicks up the speed, planks and weight work, and Gamma (which is an optional “advanced” phase), is largely weight-training. Shaun T. is friendly and upbeat, and the crew are neither crazy nor fake-enthusiastic. I wished they would show Tania modifying every exercise at least at the beginning or shown in a second-camera bubble throughout. Sometimes I had to hunt for a shot of Tania to figure out the modifying move.
I have to agree with a couple of Amazon reviewers that by the third week, Alpha was getting pretty monotonous. Many of the moves show up in several workouts, and especially in Alpha round, you are repeating the exact workout several times a week. However, I found Beta much more fun, and Gamma even more so. I was sorry to see Gamma go after four weeks (it’s a shorter one; the first rounds are five weeks each).
So when I ordered T25 from Beachbody, they assigned me a free coach whom I bombarded with questions about workouts, diet, and weight loss. She invited me to join her Challenge Group on Facebook. It’s basically a support group where you are asked to do your best exercising and eating well, and check in daily on how it went, either way. If you crushed the day, or it crushed you, the group members support you. My favorite was (and still is) “That’s OK. Punch tomorrow in the face!”
I like that being in a group adds a layer of accountability. A sad but true fact is It’s easy to bail on yourself, but much harder when others are in it with you. If you have a running partner meeting you at 6:00 am, you are getting your butt out of bed, right?
It’s easy to lose momentum, especially when you feel better about the way you look. The part of your brain that let you get overweight, the one that whines 3/4 through the workout, says “You’re OK. You deserve some chillax time – and maybe a donut!”
It took some mental squinting to see this, but I eventually saw that:
1. I DO deserve some chillax.
2. I CAN deserve a donut.
But here’s the kicker:
3. I DO deserve to honor my body by moving around and eating real food every day.
Every day. Not just 3,7,21, or 70 days, but all the days. For as long as I can keep this body going. If you were given a new car, would you say I’ll feed it premium gas for 3 weeks and then put lighter fluid in the rest of the year?
One part of being in the challenge group is that is encourages you to be public about your journey, and do scary things like this. Here’s an example of my results during Beta round:
I lost only five pounds on T25, but I was not following the meal plan, and I was still eating chips, cheese and crackers, and drinking wine regularly. (The holidays and the Superbowl were in there too, just saying.) But I’m happy I rediscovered forgotten body contours, and met some new lines like in my upper abs and deltoids. So if you’re paying attention you can guess what the next step is going to be. It’s the hardest of all: fixing the food!