Got 25 minutes? Focus T25 will get you in shape in no time
By Lesley Kennedy
Like many women, I have a love-hate relationship with exercise. I love the results and the sense of accomplishment that comes after completing a hard workout. I hate when it gets monotonous and the idea of getting out of bed before the sun rises to fit it in.
And, yes, I’ve tried it all: Boot camps, Pilates, treadmills, ellipticals, jogging, classes … you name it. If I didn’t have two kids, a full-time job and all sorts of soccer games, dance recitals and meetings to get to, I have no doubt I would just pick a workout each day and go with it. But getting up at 5 a.m.? Not. Gonna. Happen.
The routines come from Shaun T of Insanity fame, and, after completing a round of Insanity last summer, let me tell you: It truly was insane, with nearly an hour of relentless, crazy cardio that has you jumping, bouncing, lunging and doing push-ups until you’re a heaving, sweating mess.
T25 is still intense — sometimes even bordering on insane — but each workout is just 25 minutes (with an added two to three minute cool-down), making it 100 percent doable any day of the week. In the beginning, there were moments I had to move along with Tania (you’ll remember her from Insanity and Hip Hop Abs), who demos lower impact moves, but after a week or two, I could (usually) keep up with the rest of the crew.
The best part, however, is that while you may not be able to find an hour to work out each day, snaging 25 minutes five days a week is no sweat. (OK, it’s a lot of sweat, but it’s over before you have a chance to even worry about the clock.)
So, what’s it all about? The plan includes two five-week segments built on interval training (no resting — it’s only 25 minutes), with the focus moving from straight cardio to arms to shoulders to legs to abs, sometimes all at once. The first round, called Alpha, contains cardio, ab intervals, speed, lower focus and total body circuit routines. You do one workout a day, following the included calendar (two workouts are recommended on Fridays, but I just do an extra one on Saturday). There’s also a stretch routine included that you will grow to crave. My kids love to do it with me on Sundays.
The second five-week round, called Beta, ups the ante, with some routines adding light dumbells or resistance bands and you’ll be happy to have a yoga mat handy (hello, planks and push-ups!).
Shaun T is motivating, never annoying and there are enough routines to keep you from getting bored. Actually, I have to say, I look forward to my daily T25 workout. I will admit I haven’t exactly followed the included nutrition guide and five-day fast track meal plan (I did, however, read through both several times with the best intentions), but I still lost five pounds.
In fact, after completing 10 weeks, I just started the program over again. Sorry, Tania, you’re going to be on your own this time around.
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