WARNING: LONG POST AHEAD AND IT IS WORKOUT RELATED. I understand if you want to skip. I’ll have some more food coming up next week!
On April 21 I started at Beachbody program called T25. This is instructed by Shaun T who also does the Insanity workouts. Here is my review of the first phase, called Alpha which was 5 weeks. The initial program you purchase includes 5 weeks at Alpha and 5 weeks at Beta for a total of 10 weeks. I just completed the Alpha phase and wanted to give a review of my thoughts so far.
First off – I do have to say I DO NOT think you have to purchase or even do a Beachbody program to lose weight or see changes in your body. I do not believe you have to drink or purchase protein shakes (or Shakeology) to lose weight or get healthy. HOWEVER, I will say that depending on where you are in your fitness journey, you might want to consider a Beachbody program.
Why I Choose T25 / Beachbody products
- Insanity – this is also a Beachbody program BUT I luckily was able to borrow it from a friend. I didn’t follow the program as prescribed, but used the workouts on my days I didn’t drive to the Fit Club (the gym I belong to in Beulah, about 10 miles away). In addition to this, the Fit Club offered a 30 minute class in the mornings on M-W-F. I went pretty regularly every Friday. I loved the instructor, Chandra, and her modifications/enthusiasm. It definitely rubbed off on me. I also liked that the classes were 30 minutes, versus the DVD’s being up to 1 hour in length.
- Coach – my coach is a person I “know” through social media. Her name is Amy and she is pretty awesome. She had great results with the 21 Day Fix (another Beachbody program) and was moving to T25. She invited others to join her and that was all the push I needed. I had been considering T25 or P90X3 for short, intense workouts. She isn’t pushy in selling products and is very timely on getting back to me with any answers.
- Cost – not too bad. I think I paid about $190 total for the Alpha & Beta phase DVDs but this also includes one month of Shakeology (their brand of protein shakes) and all the promotional material including a resistance band. The investment lasts for 10 weeks, you get the protein powder and you can repeat and reuse the DVD’s. The cost was enough where I knew if I was going to spend the money, I was going to commit to the program as prescribed. The Shakeology on its own is super spendy. If you don’t want to do the shake, just get the program and it’ll be even more feasible.
- Stalemate/plateau – after my 1 year health anniversary, I was feeling really good about myself and I was honestly slipping too much – eating too many bites here and there, not tracking what I ate very well and I had gained back a few pounds. I am tall, so it wasn’t really noticeable to others, but it certainly was to me. I didn’t want to get on the slippery slope of gaining back any weight I worked so hard to lose. I needed to switch up my daily cardio and ignite my metabolism.
- Progression – I have been consistently working out for years. In particular, I have really been focusing on my workouts since April, 2014. It has been a progression for me. I wish I could have kept my first few workouts I did. I was certain they were the hardest things ever. Looking back, I bet I could do them as a warm up now. I have been increasing what I do slowly to make slow changes my body can healthily adapt to. I had been doing a LOT of cardio and it was making me tired, hungry, cranky, skinny-fat (I was thinner but lacked muscle definition), and I had knee pain. I knew I needed to step back and focus on building muscle. This seemed like a great fit I could do at home without purchasing equipment.
- Dedication – I like working out at home and have no trouble (generally) motivating myself to get my workout in at home. I know that isn’t for everyone.
The home calendar so you can mark if you Nailed It or Barely Made It. I marked barely made it if I had to take a break or use modifications. I’m still working on nailing all of them!
Doing lower focus workout in my basement gym, aka living room.
- Time. I don’t care. Anyone can commit to 30 minutes a day. I know, I don’t have kids but I have a life, a job, a husband, pets, etc. If it is important to you, you will make time. If it isn’t you will make excuses. It is that simple. In my challenge group, many of the girls shared videos doing their workout WITH their kids. How cool! And trust me – one half hour is plenty of time to work up a sweat.
- Challenge group. With my purchase, I joined 2 different challenge groups on Facebook open only to those participating in getting fit. Their photos, ideas, videos, pictures and everything they shared were motivators. I don’t know any of these people personally, but we were all going towards the same goal of getting fit.
- Exercises at home. You can do this at home. You don’t have to leave. The moves for me were doable and there was a person on the video doing modifications if needed.I am still using modifications on some of the exercises but hopefully if I repeat this again I’ll get there one day! Too cold, hot, windy, humid outside? Take it inside for a quick workout!
- Nutrition plan. They give you ideas of things to eat and include a 5-day quick start guide. I followed the nutrition plan very strictly the first 5 weeks including no alcohol and no sweets. I never went over the calorie allotment. I rarely ate out and packed food and snacks when I could. When I signed up to do the 5-week plan (it was my idea to go alcohol-free), I asked my Mom if she thought I could do. Without a hesitation, she said “Sarah, I think you can do anything you put your mind to.” That was such a huge motivator for me and kept me going when things were tough and it would have been easy to crack a beer or eat 12 brownies. I mean that is cool she has that much faith in me! I should have that much faith in myself! It meant a lot!
Above is my fridge all packed with MEASURED and/or WEIGHED out food for meals and snacks. I also bought a Ninja blender for my smoothies. I love it. I spend a considerable amount of time prepping food but I am busy during the week and think it is time well spent.
Negatives (you will see these are also the positives – it depends on how you look at the program.)
- Time. In the beginning, I really felt like 25 minutes a day wasn’t enough. I was used to exercising at least 45 minutes a day and up to 2 hours. I was a cardio queen! I did alter the program to include things I love like biking and a boot camp that was held in Hazen during this time.
- Exercises at home. I know not everyone has the motivation to do this. So you have to WANT it. You have to get up and move.
- Nutrition plan. You have to know how to eat. You have to plan in advance to have the correct food in your house. Weigh and/or measure your food. Don’t eyeball. You are only hurting (fooling) yourself. I have found myself having a few more pops (especially while I am the designated driver) and chewing gum for a sweet bite. I don’t think this is BAD at the moment but areas I need to watch and probably cut back on. I’m not perfect and sometimes I just want a dang Dt. 7-Up! My food, like my exercise, has been a progression. I didn’t go from junk food to health food overnight. I have slowly incorporated more REAL foods and lean proteins in my food. This program was a way to kick it up a notch to cut out even more processed junk.
Am I getting some muscle definition or is the way I am posed? LOL! Hard to tell!
Should I do T25?
- If you are very overweight or haven’t exercised in a long time, this might not be the best (first) DVD to try. The moves are simple enough to be performed at home, but there is a lot of jumping and other moves that you might find to be high-impact. There is a modifier in the DVD but you might want to try to conquer something else before you make this investment.You can find tons of options on Amazon – read the reviews.
- Form – you should have a basic understanding of how to do moves such as lunges and squats. Seems simple, right? Well, it might be better to take some classes to know the form so you don’t injure yourself and so you get the most out of the workout.
- Committed – you have to follow through and be committed to your food and exercise.
My pets love when I exercise. My dog always likes to be in photos too.
What’s the catch?
- This is simply MOVING & EATING. But it is moving the right way every day and expending more calories than you are taking in while eating nutritious calories. This isn’t a new idea, but it is a way for me to get back on track and stay interested. The nutrition was the biggest piece of the puzzle for me. I played with upping my protein and carbs and then just my protein. It’s truly amazing how fast your body responds to a healthy diet. Many women (myself included) think they will never get rid of their belly pouch. Guess what? You can do all the crunches you want – but your belly will only go down if your nutrition is on point. I haven’t seen my stomach this flat since high school. I am fitting into sizes I never thought I’d be able to.
- Do you need to buy a Beachbody program to get these results? No! Of course not. But for me, it put me on the right path to eating and gave me some great new workouts. I can easily see myself using these workout DVDs in addition to other cardio or fitness plans I do in the future.
- They want to bill you every month for Shakeology. You can unsubscribe but be diligent in doing so. I loved the taste of Shakeology and used it as a supplement usually at breakfast. I don’t care for fruit all that much so it was easy for me to blend up a smoothie with fruit and it always tasted great. I am going to try other protein powder and see how it compares.
Would I do it again?
- Yes. 100 times yes. I don’t know if it is the no-drinking, the exercises I am doing, less time in the gym, my eating or what but I feel amazing. I feel so clear. That is the best way I can describe it. I feel strong and confident. I feel like I can challenge myself to do anything. I want to feel this way always!! I know FOR ME, going alcohol free 24/7 isn’t a long-term option. I LOVE beer. I was DREAMING of beer the first few weeks I quit. But I have a different outlook now. I can’t wait to have some drinks on my upcoming brewery tour with my sister and some other upcoming celebrations. But I think I will probably cut back from as much as I used to drink, which was probably too much anyway. I really want to keep up the nutrition. I feel this has made the biggest difference in how I feel and look.
- I do think my next 5 weeks on the Beta phase will be a bit more relaxed as I will probably go out a few times for drinks or to eat, but I plan to keep it in check at all other times. I have found I am usually not hungry, but I am bored. Go figure! Clean your house, go for a walk, find something to do.
What’s the deal with Shakeology?
- Does a “regular” person really need protein shakes? I don’t think so. Unless you are a higher level or training athlete you might need more protein in this form. If you are a regular meat-eating person, you probably get enough protein in your diet. That said, I plan to keep having protein shakes. I like them and as I said above, they help me get in some fruit I normally wouldn’t eat. I eat A LOT of food and it takes a lot of prepping and planning. This shake takes out some of the work for me and that is a huge benefit for me. There is also the conversation about pre and post workout food. I don’t subscribe to that notion at this time since I’m not an endurance athlete, but never say never. My nutrition is constantly evolving, I just don’t have an opinion on it right now. I also never thought I’d measure my food or count calories or buy a workout DVD. Never say never!
An example of one meal (I eat 3 meals and 2-3 snacks every day): Grilled chicken breast, sweet potato, broccoli (all smothered with hot sauce and mustard) and a half a cantaloupe. Lots of water – don’t skimp on your water.
Is this a scam?
- Just like Mary Kay or Tupperware is I suppose. There is only one way to lose weight. Create a calorie deficit. You can do this in many ways. I think exercising and eating well is the best way and I think Beachbody does a good job of teaching this. So does Weight Watchers, Tae Bo and hundreds of other programs. You have to find what works for you and what will work for you long term. If you can’t stick it out, you will gain back the weight. It is simple.
Keep moving. I love to sweat.
- If you are looking to lose weight and don’t have the cash or don’t care to do Beachbody I think that is OK. My advice to you (after going through this program) is to watch what you put in your face hole. If you are tracking calories, you must be diligent in tracking everything that goes in your mouth. Don’t forget about the spoonful (or 3) of peanut butter you ate. That could be up to 300 calories – practically a whole meal worth of food. Again, weigh or measure your food. If you can’t exercise, you can control what goes in your mouth. 400 calories worth of healthy food is a whole lot more (in volume) compared to 400 calories of fast food.
- I truly wish I could help people who are starting to lose weight. I think I have learned so much! I know everyone is different and we all have different starting points. But tough love is needed and honesty with yourself is needed.
- Ongoing. I am nervous to see if I can keep up my healthy eating. I love the way it makes me feel. I love the taste of pizza though too. I hope to strike a healthy balance and I think that will truly be the biggest challenge for me.
Time for a smaller size.
- Oh – I almost forgot! As for my results, I don’t have a tape measure but I know I lost inches as my clothes fit very differently and I had to buy some new sizes. I am down 11 pounds. Again, I think for me this is mostly to diet. I like to think I gained some muscle definition. I can see myself keeping with these workouts and repeating them in the future. I took some photos in a sports bra and shorts and can see differences but I am not going to post them here. I’m not that crazy, y’all!
- If you don’t commit to the program, you won’t get results. The program is a way of showing you (via your $$) how to reach your goals with nutrition and exercises. It worked for me, but it did because I was dedicated. Don’t half-ass it if you do this or any other program. Once it ends, you have to keep things up on your own.
Just a few recent photos of what I look like right now. Still working on muscle definition and endurance. I can’t wait to complete the Beta phase. I’ve done a few workouts and they are great!