If you are one who resorts with the idea that having a great looking body is not only possible, but easy to achieve once you have the tools, then the list of workouts that follows will reassure you even more.
In an essence, these workouts are designed to bring you to your goal without the usually associated pain and lack of comfort. Kidding, you will faint some. However, they are built so that you can progress regardless of your current fitness level. And my general idea is that if you do them in succession you can not only have an incredibly great looking body, but become a fitness machine as well.
The order I present them to you is probably the best in terms of which one you should try first and then, as your fitness level progresses, move on to the next one.
These are programs that usually have a certain time frame serving as a goal in which you are supposed to notice an improve in fitness and especially in weight loss (main target with all of them is weight loss above anything else, but this is so mainly because of marketing psychology- they in fact contain a lot more than what the average weight loss obsessed housewife would assume at first.)
I’ve done some of these workouts (most of them actually), but never in the same order I’m about to advise you now. And for shame. The results would have been that more fascinating and the journey that more fun. But alas, it is what it is.
The workouts are products from Beachbody, a company advocating fitness and healthy living I don’t have anything with (though I’d loved to), and as you will see in a moment I mixed couple of activities in the list as to provide for a better guide on how to take the most out of this process.
In a year from now you can become have the body of a supermodel (if that gives you the thrills), as well as have the fitness readiness of only very small percentage of people worldwide.
Here is the pawed road that will unmistakably lead you there. Note- it’s not an easy one at all. If you are one that is likely to wussy out at the first sign of discomfort just close this tab and we can still be friends.
If your current fitness level matches that of a couch potato, then trying these programs head on might be as fun as hitting your head against the curb. As profitable too.
But even if you are the type of person who proudly likes to display his fitness attributes, it is still advisable to follow the list below, regardless how naïve it might sound at the beginning.
And not running, mind you. Even those who are already knees deep in the fitness world might struggle with running if they haven’t done it for a while. Despite what you might think cardio endurance is not what it is all about.
Sometimes, even couple of months’ worth of neglect on ankle and joints mobility can prove to be a losing proposition once you start running. And I know how inchoate of an argument this may sound for some, but even he might struggle with running if he is to start with full intensity.
Running is great as to jump start your cardio conditioning, as well as improve your posture and some aspects of strength and power. Couple of weeks are great if you can stick with it.
Some basic boot camp like exercises
Fitness becoming the new black nowadays inspired many people to go to the gym and try all kinds of fancy equipment. And we have our average Joe and Jane almost completely forgetting the basics.
I mean what happened with basic pushups? Someone convinced you that they don’t work anymore? Well, try doing a hundredth. I’m willing to wager all my gym equipment on it.
Despite common assumptions, you can still be both strong and good looking even with leveraging earths gravity and using nothing but a towel as to not enrage your significant other when drops of sweat start staining the floor after a while.
Squats are a great all-round exercise, in part targeting many abdominal muscles as well while obviously working your quats, hamstrings, butt.
Your gym teacher probably drilled the mantra on how effective pushups are into your brain already, so I guess I have nothing to add there; and sit-ups despite making you dread life at the beginning will turn out to be very effective at strengthening your core.
As you see, nothing fancy here. So add everything that makes you break a sweat and invites the burn. This concept of training will ensure basic muscular preparedness, and getting used to controlling your own body weight- something that even experienced gym rats struggle with.
Skepticism surrounds a bigger part of these programs so let me save you the suspense – they work if you do. And at this stage of your fitness progression, starting with Tony Horton’s program is probably the best.
What this program incorporates is various types of training, and instead of making you perform better and better in single aspect of fitness, say cardio, it aims at overall fitness preparedness.
The program itself lasts for three months, and as to justify their concept of muscle confusion they tried designing the workouts so that the focus changes every next phase (monthly changes).
Having incorporated weight training, cardio, balance and flexibility work into the equation this is in general a great way to enter the fitness world. If you, in addition, follow the nutrition plan they provide (not to the T but rather closely follow the principles), you will notice even better results. Not to mention looks.
This is a relatively new program on the market, and it owns it popularity mainly because of the time one needs in order to complete a workout- 25 minutes. That, and of course the reputation that Shaun T, the guy behind this workout holds- he invented the Insanity workout (which you are already familiar with, except you never watch TV, or live under a rock).
One might assume that this program- which lasts for two months, and requires from to work out you five days out of seven- is easier than P90X and should be thus done first if you are already convinced on the idea of doing them in a row.
However, the fact that during those 25 minutes there is no rest at all, as well as taking the nature of the exercises (predominantly cardio centered and utilizing bodyweight as to supply the resistance), it is logical that it should serve as a link between more resistance based workouts as those in P90X and more cardio oriented ones like those in Insanity and the Insanity Max 30 (find out more by reading the Insanity Max 30 review).
I recently convinced a friend of mine to start with this workout by reading this Focus T25 workout review and it was fun to observe the results from a fitness progression aspect.
What I failed to mention though is that it is best to give yourself one week of moderate physical activities such as jogging, hiking, participating in a certain sport maybe, before switching from one program to the next. If you feel the need, lengthening this time frame is also OK.
The Insanity workout
Subscribers to Asceticism rejoice. When this workout came out they marketed it so loud their mouths turned dry. And what is interesting to observe is the shift in marketing psychology- not only that this promised weight loss that is hard to match, but it in fact went over and over how this is “NOT for everybody”.
A certain demographic has found this to be surprisingly appealing, and people actually spend money on trying to be miserable for roughly one hour per day.
Insanity is hard, but over time, when your body adapts to the freakishly increase demand, it gets easier and more fun to do. People actually end up loving it.
The workout program itself lasts for two months, and it is based totally upon exercises done with your own bodyweight, using nothing but earth’s gravity. Improving looks and weight loss is a given, but what you will probably appreciate more is that performance wise this workout routine changes people. No matter your current level, you WILL become a fitness powerhouse.
Entering the Asylum before you obtain at least an average level of fitness you should probably write a suicide note. Just in case. This is so intense yet so appealing that makes you question your sanity. Or mine for that matter, having written statements as the previous one.
The Insanity Asylum workout is designed to introduce sports training to average guys like you and me. And even beyond. It takes what every sport has to offer, combining it into one program. Hence every workout requires a lot of concentration, in a way making the whole pain part easier to suppress.
The exercises are targeting every muscle group in your body by making you perform complex athletic movements. The method is the same use in Insanity – you are given 30 seconds or one minute and the goal is to do as many repetitions of a given exercise as you can. There is also weight training involved, so this workout is very close to the concept of cross-fit.
In its entirety, it lasts for 30 days, with the average length of one workout of about 45 minutes.
From whatever experience I had with fitness and nutrition by turning myself into a human guinea pig for the last couple of years, I find Asylum to be the most effective if your goal is to lose fat tissue and body fat percentage. Seeing how low your body fat percentage will go with this program is both fascinating as well as terrifying at the same time.
But looks come only as a side effect. The premise here is that if you would want to look like an athlete you should train exactly like one. Every workout is tackling performance improvements, making your fitness level more important than say, development specific muscle groups only for the sake of aesthetics. Not that you don’t get that too.
As a performance marker, this workout helped me shave two minutes off of my personal 5K record. And while this is a lousy indicator if we are talking twenty six or seven minutes as to start with, it is a great reassurance having in mind that my previous time was twenty two minutes flat. And to get from there to almost flat twenty without running even once during the workout says quite a lot if you ask me.
Insanity: Asylum Vol.2
Whether this is the logical progression for me still stirs an internal debate. Out of my own personal experience Asylum Vol.1 did way more for me in terms of decreasing body fat percentage and improving my cardio endurance than Vol.2 ever could.
However, Vol.2 utilizes weight training in almost all of the workouts, thus improving other aspects such as explosiveness and strength. Not to mention the improvement in agility and coordination due to the increased leg work with the agility ladder.
If you never heard about any of these programs, reading the article now might seem like overhearing a debate on some TV show you never even caught a single episode of; Nonetheless, if you someday decide to give these programs a chance, this would probably be the best chronological order for you to take.
The combined length of these programs is nine months, but taking into consideration the time for jogging and doing some basic boot camp like exercises, as well as the rest and moderate exercise between workout programs (which by the way should increase progressively from one week to maybe three) you can very well make it a year. Call it the year of transformation from a couch potato to a fitness machine – I wouldn’t mind.
For the ladies, if you need something easier, yet effective, read this 21 Day Fix review.
As to wrap this up, in a nutshell, this is an attempt to provide some insight on how to combine these programs. If your question is “why” in the first place, let me say that there are some of us out there who prefer the comfort these programs provide in terms of convenience (working from home, little or no equipment required, having someone to guide you through the workouts); as well as enjoy neat and scheduled fitness endeavors and an approach like this one only adds to the overall satisfaction.
Not to mention better results due to the logical progression as well keeping your knees and other parts of your body immensely grateful.