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Focus T25: Alpha Review

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Each June Beachbody, a health and fitness company from Santa Monica, CA, holds their annual summit meeting in Las Vegas, NV.  This is a HUGE event where many new workouts and supplements are announced.  Two of the biggest announcements this year were the introduction of a new Shakeology flavor, vanilla and a new Shuan T workout, Focus: T25.  I’ve already posted about Vanilla shakeology, so I won’t get into that, but I’ve just finished the first phase of Focus: T25 called the ALPHA phase and I wanted to give you a comprehensive review.

The name Focus: T25 comes from several sources.  The word “Focus” refers to Shaun T wanting you to completely focus on your workout for the entire 25 minute and block everything out.  If you squatting focus on technique, form and squeezing your butt.  If you’re doing plank work, focus on keeping your elbows locked, your butt/back flat and your hips tucked.  You get the picture.  Doing a 25 minute workout, with no rest can really wreak havoc on your form if you’re not careful.  According to Shaun T the “T” stands for time and the 25, of course represents the length of all the workouts, just 25 minutes.

First, what do you get with Focus: T25?  In the Base Package (BUY HERE) you get 11, 25 minute workouts broken down into an ALPHA phase and a BETA phase (I’ll review the BETA phase separately).  You also, get a nutrition guide designed just for Focus: T25, including a 5-day fast track meal plan and a ALPHA/BETA wall calendar.  Focus: T25 also comes with a GAMMA PHASE and CHALLENGE PACK (discounted $90.00 for the month of July 13)

Why only 25 minutes and can you get fit with just a 25 minute workout?  Shaun T and Beachbody created a short, intense workout like Focus: T25 because the number one excuse that most people use for not working is the “time” excuse.  Focus: T 25 is limited to only 25 minutes so you can get the best results in the shortest amount of time possible, oh and did I mention that there are NO BREAKS!!  That’s right, each workout is 25 minutes of high intensity training with no breaks.

But does it work?  Checkout these results:  I’ll let them speak for themselves.

The Alpha Phase Workouts – Equipment needed, NADA!

Cardio There is no mystery here, this is a straight up, sweat inducing, fat burning, cardio workout.  Throughout this workout there are several squat/lunge variations, quick feet exercises (similar to Asylum) and you are always focusing on your core.  I have to be honest, this was the first T:25 workout I tried and after only 5 minutes or so my thighs were on FIRE!!  You don’t realize it until you’re about halfway through how significant those 30 second breaks were during Insanity or Asylum, working for 25 minutes with no rest is a new sensation. I found myself several times looking for a rest or mid-set break, didn’t find it (LOL). Your only “break” is when Shaun T uses a progression with the moves, starting less intense and then quickly building to the more intense versions.  There are some moves that he calls active rest, but that’s pretty much it.    There are burnout sets that last anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes where you are challenged to up your intensity and push to your limit. I was really impressed with the level of workout I could get in 25 minutes from the Alpha Phase Cardio.  I burned 400 calories in just 25 minutes.

Speed 1.0  From the beginning Shaun T cranks it up a notch and tells you that today will be a little more intense.  Speed 1.0 incorporates more squat/lunge variations, punches, burpees, a lot of side to side, front to back movements and mixes in quite a bit of stretching.   The workout routine follows a pattern of 2 to 3 cardio moves with 1 active stretch move.  This workout will require more coordination and possibly a little more practice because of the complexity of those moves compared to the first Cardio workout. One of the great things about Focus: T25 is this time Shaun T incorporates modifications with every single move. You might not be able to work at someone else’s level of intensity, but as long as you’re able to give YOUR 100%, you will get results.  If your wanting more intensity, then you don’t have to keep up with the people on the video, GO FOR IT!  Oh, I forgot to mention there is another intense burn out session at the end, OUCH!  Calories burned in 25 minutes, 400.

Total Body Circuit – The title says it all.  This is a total body circuit workout that mixes in some great bodyweight strength moves. There is no equipment needed — just you and your body weight.  If you’ve done Insanity or Asylum before you will notice some classic moves.  Shoulder taps, walking push ups, tons of plank variations, punching, 180 degree squats, spider lunges, in-and-outs, etc.  When you don’t stop for 25 minutes it is really amazing how many moves you can fit in a workout.  This workout is similar to Pure Cardio from Insanity, but longer and you usually will complete at least 2 moves every minute, instead of 1 like Pure Cardio.  The workout ends with a great Burn Out routine. The Burn Out is basically using the same moves as you did earlier in the workout, but upping the intensity, so if you struggled in the beginning you might want to checkout the modifications. Remember to focus and push as hard as you can because you’re nearing the end of the workout when you get to the burnout.  It’s a great balance of power and cardio.

Ab Intervals – This workout starts with a progression of downward dog and plank exercises.  There are various holds and moving exercises from the plank position. The first 5 minutes is almost all abs from planks and side holds. There are cardio intervals thrown in the mix again but you are always coming back to ab work. The cardio sets are sprints, squats, shuffles, and mountain climbers. One of the final sets is a in-and-out ab pyramid with wide legs. If you’ve stayed focused on the moves and have kept your core tight your abs will be “ROCK” hard when you’re finished.

Lower Focus  – T25 describes this workout as a “lower-body burnout.”  Like the other workouts, this one starts with a progression to more difficult and intense moves.  Since this workout focuses on the lower body get ready for more lunge and squat progressions, that will take you through regular stance, wide and YES, pulses.  I promise your legs will be on fire and that’s just the beginning.  You’ll think you’re getting a break when he mentions calf work . . . NOT, you perform a calve progression from single raises to a calve hop on a single leg with your arms up. Then it’s into lunges and more lunges. This is a BURNOUT! And wait, you thought your were done with squats. No there’s more! You will have no problem getting your HR up and drenching your cloths with sweat with this one.  A couple of the progressions really build and you may not be perfect your first time through the workout. You’ll find yourself staring at the clock near the end of this one, but stay FOCUSED . . . I know it’s hard.

Before I forget, there is a cool down for every workout. The workouts are all 25 minutes but Shaun T gives you a focused 2-3 minute cool down to maintenance your body after each T25 workout.

Stretch (used in all phases) – Stretch is used on Sundays for T25. This workout, like most stretching/yoga/mobility workouts, is used to recover and take care of your body. The large majority of the workout takes care of your lower body and legs.  Why you ask?  Because Focus: T25 works your lower body throughout the week with almost every move and every workout, so this makes since.  This workout contains many yoga moves that you might be familiar with if you’ve completed other Beachbody workouts.


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