When I started my fitness journey, Comcast Ondemand videos and Couch potato to 5k were my go to work outs. I started with Couch to 5K, and then would follow it up with a Pilates or Yoga video for stretching. Then it got cold... and well running while cold, is not fun, plus it would be dark when I could go and I did not need to run alone in the dark, That would not be my smartest idea. So then I found more videos, Specifically High Intensity Interval Training and Kickboxing videos. I lost so much weight that a friend of mine bought me Insanity, because he thought I would love it. OMG That was the start to my Beachbody addiction. Yes it is an addiction. I love love love trying out new video programs and seeing what results I get with them. So, if you ask me what my favorite program is, that is hard and really if you are asking what you should try, it would probably be a very different list. So I am going to run down some of my fave programs, and list out the pros and cons for them. You can also do searches up in the search button for any of these specifically. A few I have done a very detailed review of each video. I need to go back and do the same for the others, so I will work on that for you in the future. For now, I will do my best to explain each without going into wayy too many details that I have in past blog posts.
Let me start with the one that started it all......
Insanity: Insanity is well, Insane. Insanity fools you the first month into thinking it is a piece of cake, well not a piece of cake, but not INSANE, but any stretch of the imagination. Don't get me wrong, even the people on the video are dying and drenched in sweat. You will sweat, and you will not be able to walk or pee (if you are a girl) without feeling every muscle in your body for about the first 2 weeks. I can remember moaning getting out of bed, and my husband laughing at me. Insanity is broken up into two months.
Month 1- is around 45 mins each day. So not too bad on time. You get a really good warm up that feels like a work out, out of breath dying for around 10 mins, then you do a delicious stretch, then you go through 2 intervals that go 3 rounds each, and usually includes a "bonus" round at the end of the intervals, then you get to cool down and stretch! Stretching is amazing. You also have a mini break in the week with one day being basically a fast paced yoga for really good stretching. You have a "fit test" every two weeks so you can see how much you have improved, and you have 1 day a week to actually rest.
Then you have a week of the same work out every day which feels like a break compared to the first month. It is a great little break before you jump into an insane month.
Month 2 starts off with a BANG. You take your fit test, Then you do your work out, which is an hour so by the end of the day, its an hour and 30 minute work out. I think I was crying by the end of it. Literally tears, pouring next to the sweat. I was crying due to exhaustion, pain and just being pretty darn proud that I finished it. It was not pretty, but I did it. I finished. Most days are 50 - 60 mins. You have a warm up that is more intense than the first months warm up, then stretch then 3 intervals of 3 rounds each, and you have your fun little bonus rounds, then cool down and stretch.
I won't lie, most people quit before the end of Month 2, it is that INSANE, but you see the most results during Month 2, My core, arms and legs were so muscular, I was the smallest I had been since high school when I played varsity volleyball. It was AMAZING! Month 2 shows you how much self motivation that you have and pushes you to limits that you never ever thought you would go past in your life!
Then if you have your bonus dvd:
Fast and the Furious is a great 20 min smaller version of Insanity video to have on hand, in those "I am in a hurry but still want to work out days" You get a quick warm up, quick stretch a very intense do not stop for the next 15 mins or so and then you get a quick cool down stretch.. A LOT is packed into those 20 minutes and you end dripping in sweat!!
Overall, I love this program. I love Shaun T, I love the work outs and I LOVE the results I see with this program. However, this program is not for the faint of heart, or anyone who quits when the going gets tough. You have to be really honest with yourself before buying this work out. It is hard, it works your entire body with only your body, it is a no pain no gain work out for the advanced person who wants to finish toning,
Les Mills Combat is another one of my fave programs. It is martial arts based, High Intensity Interval Training program. Some days includes weights and 60 minutes or under depending on the day. Most days are 30 minutes. There is a modifier for you to follow if needed. It is fun, so much fun. For an added punch, if you are more advanced, you can add weighted gloves to your work out. I did this one the weekend I went into labor. It was one of my favorite work outs towards the end when I was so big, as it got my heart rate up, and enabled me to work out my arms and legs! It is a great work out for someone beginning, or someone advanced.
21 day fix - I bought this one post par-tum and LOVED IT, 30 mins or less, which is exactly what I needed, incorporates hand weights into almost every work out, which makes me happy happy happy, High Intensity Interval Training (see a theme) and a day of Yoga and Pilates which is really really nice. It has a modifier which is awesome for beginners, and you can make this as intense as you want it, so it is great for advanced as well! Plus Autumn is super energetic and motivational! This work out even comes with little cups to help you with portion control!
T25 - I bought this one while pregnant and did Alpha, Beta and Gamma phases. I LOVE this work out as well. Gamma round was perfect for the last trimester of pregnancy, because I was able to do the low impact version, yet almost every work out I had hand weights with, so I got a really good work out.
This one is broken up into 3 phases (Alpha, Beta, Gamma).
Alpha - starts off slow, and really to me focuses on your lower body and cardio. There is Tania doing modifications, which is great for those not in shape or who haven't worked out in awhile. I did find Alpha a little boring compared to the other phases, but I think it is just the nature as it really is getting you ready for Beta. You learn the moves, you build up to them and you really work your lower body, with all the lunges and squats and well core work. The Speed video is my fave in this series! This schedule is a Sunday - Thurs 25 min work out, Fridays 2- 25 min work outs, Saturday, free day, measure yourself.
Beta - steps things up a notch. I feel this one, kept lower body and cardio but increased core and added upper body, including weights! LOVED this phase! It was fast, I rarely watched the clock, I gained muscle, felt strong. Speed 2.0 and Core Speed are my two faves in this phase. This schedule is a Sunday - Thurs 25 min work out, Fridays 2- 25 min work outs, Saturday, free day, measure yourself.
Gamma - YOWZERS! This notch was stepped up a few. Speed 3.0 is no joke and probably the toughest of the work outs even though all the rest are weights. I love that this is upper body focused. All but one video has weights, which are used pretty much the entire work outs. My arms are a little sore after this first week, but not so bad as they were when I did Insanity the first time. I definitely have noticed definition coming back in my arms, which I lost while doing TurboFire (which I love for cardio but there is no weights/body weight element, so I lost muscle). Extreme Circuit is my fave in this phase. Definitely check out my review on this one. This schedule is Sunday - Friday 25 mins, Saturday is your free day, measure yourself.
This is an overall great total body work out, for those needing 30 mins or less in a day to work out. It is great for beginners, or those wanting something like Insanity but less insane and shorter amount of time.
Piyo - I LOVEEEEEEEEEEE PIYO I cannot say enough good things about it. I do miss my every day high intensity interval training work outs from time to time, and when I do, I pick up one of my fave videos from one of the above and do it. This one is all Pilates and Yoga based moves are is just amazing. I am stronger, I feel leaner, I have more flexibility.. this is a great over all work out. There is a modifier, though I still feel this is a little more advanced. Definitely a fun, challenging, low impact work out.
TurboFire - This one is fun, energetic, very very fast paced. If you love to dance and love kickboxing, this is the video for you. Doesn't matter if you have no rhythm (I look like a flailing idiot) you can still do this work out. It is long, 90 days, most videos are 45ish mins. I would say this is more of a girl work out than boy, but I am sure there are some boys that will love it. Chalene is awesome and makes you want to press play the next day. I need to go back and do reviews for each videos with this one.
ChaLEAN Extreme (CLX) - is all weights and I like to do a hybrid of this one with Turbofire, so I get cardio and weights. I need to go back and do reviews for each videos with this one also
So those are my favorite ones. Yoga Booty Ballet videos are fun too. I did the pregnancy one, which was awesome in the 3rd trimester.
If you have questions about any others, let me know and I will be happy to tell you about those as well.