My blogging got a bit lazy towards the end, but I’m here… I made it… on the other side of 10 weeks of exercise. Well, actually a bit more than that because I had one week out due to injury, and another week of just upper body workouts before getting back into things.
I’ll post my results soon, but thought I’d post my conclusions on the programme (or program for you Americans) first.
25 minutes is a good duration. It really is tough to come up with a good excuse not to exercise when it’s only going to take 25 minutes. That’s less than an episode of the Simpsons. If you can watch TV, you can workout, and that’s clearly the biggest selling point of T25.
Exercising is only half the story. I knew from the outset that by not following the food plan I limited what results I would get, but I’ve actually been really disappointed by how little visible progress I made.
Bands are great, but you really need weights. I was excited that T25 included resistance bands, but you don’t use them at all in the Alpha round, and only for two of the Beta round workouts. Plus, the DVDs don’t do a great job of showing how you should use the bands. Some of the moves clearly work better with weights, and Shaun T even talks about increasing the weights for bigger biceps. So if you want to bulk up, I’m not sure T25 is the solution unless you add some dumbbells at the very least.
Dramatic results are weight loss, not muscle. I started the workout with a relatively low body fat. It’s improved, but there wasn’t a huge way to go. I saw the T25 infomercial this morning and saw that the most dramatic results are with those who lost weight. I feel more toned and in better shape, but my results aren’t dramatic.
So where now? Well, I’ve definitely got ankle tendon problems after T25 so I’m going to take a break from it for a few weeks. Plus, I got a bit lazy with stretch and my hamstrings tightened up and now my back is sore.
I’m off to Los Angeles for a week at the start of April, so I think I’ll focus on Pilates and stretching between now and when I get back to make sure my back is in good shape for the 11 hour (!) flights.
Would I recommend T25? Definitely. The negatives are outweighed by the fact that it’s undeniably 25 minutes of great exercise which it’s tough to skip. But if you want really dramatic results, I’d suggest Insanity or something like P90X.
This is the week for Rip’T Circuit. Monday, Wednesday and 1/2 of Double Day feature it. I’ve now done Upper Focus and Core Cardio for the last time. We’re on the final leg…
Today’s workout was tough as always but I made it through – the most telling improvement in my form is that I can make it through the whole “five count power abs” move right at the end of the workout.
Oh yeah, and I found out today that I got the job. Happy day.
Didn’t do too badly today, but I’m bothered that my ankles are starting to get bad again. So close to the end, it seems insane that injury may stop me! Three more days to go. JUST THREE MORE DAYS!
The final week is here, and we kick off with Rip’T Circuit.
The last few days I’ve been on a bit of downer with exercise, but I managed to give it my all today and I’d almost say today was a clear “nailed it” except for the fact that the burpees killed me.
I was a bit critical in the last few posts of my progress, so I think I should rephrase things. My measurements have barely changed through these workouts, but I do feel much healthier and fitter than when I started. My body fat has reduced, and whilst the measurements don’t show it I believe I can see that I’m more toned.
It’s tricky for an ectomorph – with a low body fat to begin with, it’s inevitable that I won’t see the dramatic gains of someone who drops tens of <insert unit of weight of choice>.
I have a couple of options once T25 is over. One is to switch to a lower fat, higher protein diet. I’m not overly keen on that option, but it’s the truth that my diet isn’t brilliant from a workout perspective. Don’t get me wrong – it’s far from bad; I never eat fast food and I cook all my meals from scratch. But they’re designed around taste, flavour and variety… not scientific nutritional balance. The other option is to swap bands for dumbbells: body weight exercises are great but they do have their limits; Shaun T himself says that you need to increase the weight of your dumbbells to build your biceps. Perhaps the fact that T25 is really built for weights, not resistance bands, is the most disappointing thing, rather than my progress.
In a nutshell, I didn’t.
My passion for T25 is waning as the end approaches. My results haven’t been great, and I’m finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with the speed of some of the moves. I know skipping stretch won’t help this, but that’s how I felt.
Day 61 was a bit of a flop. It was supposed to be a double day, but I had a 5am start to travel across the country for an interview. I got back home mid afternoon and had a late lunch, and struggled to workout because I got a stitch exercising too soon after eating. So in the end I did about 35 minutes of exercise in total from two different workouts.
I didn’t measure anything on Staturday. Measurements have been disappointing throughout, so I’m saving up for a bumper (or not) set of changes for the end of the programme.
Oh yeah, and I ate like a pig at Café 21 for a belated birthday lunch so didn’t feel like measuring the impact of that…
The following are my current measurements, and the numbers in brackets detail the change since I started the programme, not since last Staturday.
Still nothing dramatic or to write home about. After gaining some weight, I’ve pretty much lost it again… but my body fat percentage is lower now than it was which is a good thing.
I spent most of today preparing excuses for why I wouldn’t do two workouts today. My final agreement with myself was that if, after Dynamic Core, my partner hadn’t set off from work (according to the Find My Friends app!) then I’d do Speed 2.0. And as luck would have it, he was still at work so I ended up doing both workouts.
Like yesterday, I found them decidedly more exhausting than normal. Maybe I’m a bit run down, I don’t know… I’m going for a job interview tomorrow so maybe that’s been preying on my mind. But anyway, I struggled through… I really find that Speed 2.0 is tougher than I remember. In particular the “hop hop squat” seems to go at such a ridiculously fast pace and I can’t keep up! The other move I really struggle with is in Dynamic Core and that’s the pike ups – my hamstrings are so tight I just can’t really get very high.
Overall, exhausting and sweaty. But there are only 2 more weeks to go. Job interview tomorrow, birthday next week, and then another interview the week after. Busy times!
Not sure what was going on today but I found today’s workout really exhausting. I’m going to blame a general malaise which I’ve been experiencing due to some unexpected sensitivity on one of my teeth. Yes, another random ailment. It came on all of a sudden, and even a sharp intake of cold air can make me wince right now. I’ve done a sudden switch to sensitive toothpaste so thing should get better, but I’ve spent a lot of today in a low level state of discomfort.
Whinge? Me? Never!
I did a daring thing today – I tried Speed 2.0 with my new measures of ankle strap and high top shoes… and just about managed it too! I’m still a little wary, but overall it went much better than I expected. It’s been a big shock to me how avoiding cardio workouts for a few weeks – even though I was still working out – has reduced my cardio capacity: Speed 2.0 was much tougher than I remembered, and as a consequence not as much fun. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it, because I did and I feel better for getting some cardio done.
And that back injury from yesterday? Seems to have vanished now, thankfully!