The Focus T25 workout created quite a stir in many fitness circles. If you’ve heard about Beachbody and their products you are already familiar with what it is – a dvd workout program designed to give you a great looking body.
If, on the other hand, you’ve done some of their workouts over the last couple of years, as I did with the Insanity Workout and the Insanity Asylum, it is justifiable to have big expectations for this one as well.
We decided to make this Focus T25 workout review as to give you the most detailed information about the Focus T25 workout and set your expectations straight. Hence this review is slightly different from other Focus T25 review out there.
Namely, I’ve finished the Insanity workout, went for an on and off relationship with it for a while, then completed the Insanity Asylum.
So writing the Focus T25 review from my perspective would have been wrong for couple of reasons. First, any results I would have witnessed could have been easily contributed to my previous investment in fitness, and second I will never get to know the full scope of what the Focus T25 workout is capable of.
And here steps Bojan, the co-editor of this site, who decided to took the challenge and write about it in this Focus t25 workout review. He was out of shape for couple of years back, not overweight per say, but lacking muscle definition and wanting to burn some fat tissue, not familiar with any of the Beachbody exercises no matter how hard I tried to persuade him. Long story short, being the perfect lab rat for this Focus T25 review, he stepped in.
And as to add more weight to this Focus T25 review, he will write about his whole experience, and me, being the fitness addict and having tried all of the exercises in the Focus t25 workout, will just add my occasional comment as to compare the Focus T25 workout with the rest I’ve completed.
How and why I started with the Focus T25 workout
The Focus T25 workout… So where do we start? If you’ve read the introduction by Slavko, you might guess how fun this trial was. After a while of going back and forth, he convinced me to try it out. Not that I was skeptical or anything of the like (seeing the results he got from Insanity and Insanity Asylum), but knowing how hard those workouts were I never really seemed to harness the will power.
That and not having time were my go-to excuses whenever he would bring the subject of fitness up. Now that I’ve never tried Insanity is not entirely true. He probably don’t even know this, but I’ve once put one DVD and did the warm up after which I decided to abandon exercise altogether. To say it was hard would be a huge understatement.
He tried convincing me on a couple of occasions, reassuring me that I would reach my fitness goals – achieving less body fat percentage by losing weight, adding some muscle mass and definition, and overall an improved physical condition – but weighting that on one side of the scale against how hard the process was going to be, I somehow never seemed convinced enough.
And when the Focus T25 workout came out, he couldn’t say it better, I was the perfect lab rat for this Focus T25 review.
If you already bought the Focus T25, you can stream it with the new Beachbody On Demand streaming service, which allows for streaming of workouts anytime, anywhere. You can read more in this Beachbody on Demand review.
What does the media say about the Focus T25 workout
By the way they Focus t25 workout marketed you can tell that it distinctly differs from the other ones in the line. Whereas Insanity was introduced in the lines of working out hard, this is more about working out smart.
The biggest asset, and something Slavko was very skeptical about at the very beginning, was the time needed for each workout – only 25 minutes. And this was the biggest leverage for making people buy it when you think about it. It also was something that made more experienced fitness guys like Slavko disregard the Focus T25 workout altogether at the very beginning, not anymore though.
Another thing that makes the Focus T25 workout different is how many days per week you are about to invest. While both Insanity and even more so Insanity Asylum Require 6 days per week, here you will work out only for 5. That is, if you don’t count stretching on Sunday – which cannot be really thought of as a workout. The Insanity Max 30 workout with 30 minute workouts emerges as a competitor for Focus T25. The Max 30 workout is thoroughly explained in this Insanity Max 30 review.
If you’re looking for something easier, check out the Cize workout, read more in this Cize review.
What else caught my eye was the fact that the Focus t25 workout was divided into phases, which were said to provide progress as you go along. Unlike Insanity, here you start slow and build up from there.
Slavko bought the Focus T25 workout and decided to set a date.
He said that he will go over each of the workouts once and see how they compare to the other programs, and judging on the experience he had with those programs as well as being a fitness coach for a while, he would guess on what kind of results I should expect.
Shaun T – the person behind the Focus T25 workout
If infomercials haven’t drilled this information into you yet, let me do that in a second. Shaun T is the person behind the Insanity workout as well as The Insanity Asylum Vol.1 and Vol.2, Hip hop abs, etc… He has a degree in sports science and a minor in theatre and dance. Choreographer, dancer and a fitness trainer for quite a long time, it is fair to say that he is up to the task.
It is said that Shaun T made the Focus T25 workout for Carl Daikeler, the CEO of Beachbody, creating a program which will allow for staying in great shape while coping with busy schedule.
He also invited over Tania, from the Insanity workout program, who was post pregnancy, having given birth to her son couple of months prior to the workouts with the test groups started taking place. Her transformation with the Focus T25 workout is something that created quite a buzz in the fitness community.
Over the years I learned to appreciate Shaun T quite a lot, having done both Insanity and Insanity Asylum. He is an incredible motivator, being able to push me through hell when I did the Asylum.
Having said that, I will try every workout of his that comes out in the future, and this makes me slightly biased towards his products, but I will try to hold my enthusiasm in check and not make this Focus T25 review look like a sales letter. Instead I will try giving you the most informed opinion on why the focus t25 workout either suits you or not. I hope Bojan will do the same.
Focus T25 review – what should you expect?
Before continuing with Bojan’s thoughts about his experience, let me share with you what I’ve told him after going over the exercises myself.
First of all it was apparent that the Focus T25 workout was fairly easier in comparison with Insanity. Not to mention Insanity Asylum. If not trying to race against the clock and go all out on every set, I was somewhere in my comfort zone.
This meant that business wise, Beachbody decided to target a slightly different demographic – people who wanted results, but were afraid of punishing themselves with insane amount of exercise day after day.
It is really interesting to know that all you have to do today is only 25 minutes of working out. With Insanity, especially the second month videos, it was a constant struggle, knowing that I will be in agony for a whole hour. I learned to love it though, but some people seemed less pleased with that and ended up feeling frustrated, eventually giving up.
Here, in the Focus T25 workout, you have only 25 minutes, and unlike Insanity or Asylum you can do modifications.
Another great thing about the Focus T25 workout is that it can satisfy a larger demographic as well – fitness beginners can easily progress to a rather formidable level, while fitness veterans can also get what they want if they simply push themselves as hard as possible (these exercises are, the majority of them, bodyweight exercises meaning that you use your own body as to supply the resistance. And instead of counting reps, you do as many as you can in 30 seconds or one minute. Here is where those who want a challenge can push themselves- just try to do one more rep every time).
Having this said, the Focus T25 workout is not for everybody. If you decide to do handful of repetitions of one exercise in 30 seconds and expect results I hate to break it to you but it won’t happen.
This requires mental power and willingness to break a sweat. As long as you are sweating and giving your best you are golden.
Another thing that is great is that here you also have Tania from the Insanity workouts (little do people know that she helped Shaun create some of his workouts), and she does modifications to almost every exercise. While this wasn’t that much important to Bojan since he tried to keep up with the rest of the crew, it might be for someone who is quite overweight or have struggled with an injury in the past.
Which brings me to another point – while advocating the Insanity workout, many people complained about the level of intensity thus fearing injuries. Here this problem is addressed very nicely. Not only that the warm-ups start slower and then build up in progression, but Tania is modifying each exercise, so the chance of injury is almost non-existent.
You will find her modifications very useful, especially with the one arm planks.
What is in the box?
You will get the 10 workouts from the calendars (alpha and beta phase) as well as a bonus one from phase beta. Also you will be given the Focus T25 nutrition guide and the Focus T25 calendar. Along with these you will also find a resistance band (a 15 pounds one) which can nicely substitute the dumbbells. Though I prefer dumbbells over a band. There is also the quick start review which is there as a formality. Anyway…
Focus T25 calendar
The schedule in the Focus T25 workout is really simple. You have this calendar for month one (the alpha phase) telling you which workout you do each day. Every Saturday is rest, Sunday for stretching (though this is so easy it is really a treat to your body and not an exercise at all).
Fridays are, as I mentioned earlier, intended for double takes – two videos back to back. This is of course if you feel you can make it, and while it adds quite a lot to overall results, you can really decide to follow up on them maybe every other week (kinda what I did). Then for the beta phase you simply put the beta calendar and that’s pretty much it.
You will also notice that the Focus T25 calendar for the schedule has two boxes under every workout. The one is for “nailed it” and the other for “barely made it”. Checking them without subjective excuses will allow for better understanding of your progress. In retrospect it pays out quite a lot.
Focus T25 review – the Alpha phase
The Focus T25 workout is divided into three phases. And I can easily see Beachbody turning this into longer series. They did so with the Insanity when Asylum and Asylum Vol.2 followed. This on the other hand, building more of a foundation for fitness novices, can stretch for much further.
There are three phases, each building onto the previous one.
Phase alpha is consisted of five workouts, and over the course of the first month it serves as a preparation and building a solid foundation for your fitness progress. The workouts are still pretty hard, but it never leaves you wasted like Slavko complained when he first started Insanity.
I used to go to the gym way back, and it always seemed like a huge waste of time, going back and forth, deciding what to wear each day etc. The relief here was that the Focus T25 workouts took exactly 25 minutes, and that was it. No additional sets, no “do this additional video for better results” nothing. Just 25 minutes. Except of course the optional double take every Friday, where it is advised to complete two videos back to back.
Sometimes I followed through on this and other times not (mostly at the beginning) but it worked out great at the end. Besides, you are doing this in the comfort of your own home. Which brings me to another important point- you do not need so much space as it is required for Insanity, and definitely far less space than you need for the Asylum. This was a BIG plus for me.
And the workouts kinda flew really fast.
What I suspect helps in this time perception is the music. And it should, considering the fact that they’ve spend quarter of a million dollars just for the music alone (Don’t take my word for it though; it might only be a rumor). It slowly builds up, in a way dictating the dynamic and tempo of the exercises, helping you push more and more providing additional focus. And then all of the sudden it is all over.
What I especially liked here was the cast size – handful of people, great camera angles, allowing you to pay better attention to form.
What I didn’t like was the fact that there is no rest. This actually makes the Focus T25 workout really hard considering the 25 minutes it takes to do it.
Granted, you have exercises designed to lower your heart rate here and there, but overall it is all intensity all the time. You will be surprised how much sweat will come out of you in only 25 minutes.
What is interesting in this phase is that you are faced with a huge lifestyle change (working out and eating healthy by following the nutrition plan), and yet you are not overwhelmed whatsoever.
I guess this is due to the fact that Focus T25 has you working out 25 minutes per day, not making you fatigue, not creating any major food cravings, leaving room for more stress and energy to be put into healthy choices and habits. Not to mention that your schedule will not take any hit at all. Another thing I liked a lot.
Focus T25 Alpha phase review – The workouts
I will jump in here for a second and try to comment on the videos from a somewhat more experienced point of view. Here is what I think each of them does:
It is interesting how the cardio starts slow here and then gradually builds up. It mainly focuses on the lower part of the body, preparing your calves and quads for what is about to come.
What is interesting is that it targets the lower abs as well, which probably provides for the biggest weight loss around the abdomen area that is to come. The moves are not that much complex but it will wear you down nonetheless.
This is a great ab workout and it will probably leave you sore in your abdomen for days the first time you try it and even afterwards.
What is great here is that Shaun T combines specific abdominal exercises with cardio centered ones. This burns quite a lot of fat in that specific area, and builds even stronger and denser muscle. Your lower abs are targeted a lot again.
As the name implies, this focuses on your lower part of the body, mainly your thighs, making this exercise slightly harder than the previous two. It is to blame for the drop in pants size you will be quick to notice. A lot of specific and almost static exercises which are centered around your thighs and butt.
You will notice that this Focus T25 workout review hardly touched the subject of performance. Bojan doesn’t pay that much attention to that probably. I however, being obsessed with fitness, do. And speed 1.0 is probably the first video in this phase that is centered more towards athleticism than specific body sculpting exercises.
The lot of leg work causes you to be light on your feet, improving your speed, jumping power, agility, balance… This also provides for a lot of cardio and even better results in the lower part of your body.
Total body circuit
This Focus t25 workout is unlike the others since it introduces you to the exercises and then they repeat themselves adding more intensity. It is a circuit progression type of training, similar to the Insanity Asylum.
It also introduces some more complex movements, like the shoulder tap push-up, the plank walk followed by a jump into a squat position, as well as the spider lunge which will target your oblique abs.
We can say that this workout is centered more upon the upper body when compared to the others and it is a perfect introduction to the beta phase.
Focus T25 Alpha phase review – the results
By the end of this phase the Focus T25 workout started working as I hoped, yet without the frustration of feeling exhausted and fatigue as I expected.
The first week was hard mostly in the sense of trying to catch breath, taking breaks more than I expected, and getting used to some soreness due to years of inactivity. Then I guess my body adapted, and I felt like a different person.
What strike me the most was that almost every part of my body felt tighter, and I felt my energy levels to be greatly increased. Also, my conditioning improved quite a lot and I felt like I can do things I wasn’t able for quite a while.
By the second week I was sleeping like a baby (not that I had any problems before though) and was quite alert throughout the day. I guess that’s what exercise does to you.
Following the nutrition guide for the most part and having completed the first two weeks, I decided to check on my progress.
Measurements showed positive reassurance – Almost 8 pounds lost, and judging on muscle definition, I guess it was all fat tissue. The most noticeable results showed around the waist area, and thighs. Though the chest felt more flat, and arms quite more defined.
By the end of the first month, alpha phase, I’ve lost 5 additional pounds and seemed to have even more of a muscle definition. What I noticed the most was my physical conditioning which was by now greatly improved. I guess I could have done some of the Insanity videos with ease now.
Focus T25 review – The Beta phase
By now it showed very clearly that alpha phase was not only a foundation and preparation for improved overall shape, but also a lifestyle redesign. I was eating healthier, having more energy, feeling stronger and more confident. I kinda started loving fitness and waiting for those 25 minutes in the day where I will now push myself harder.
And beta phase is exactly that – pushing harder.
Focus T25 Beta phase review – the workouts
First of all the workouts shift gear, centering quite more upon core strength. One of the videos – dynamic core- requires so many ab contractions that you feel the switch in intensity from the alpha phase right away.
The speed video requires way more leg work and ups the ante quite a bit too.
But what made this phase even more interesting was adding the resistance. I used 12 pound dumbbells, and these two workouts – Rip’t circuit and upper focus – have increased my upper body strength by quite a lot. I also started to notice more muscle definition, especially in the shoulders and arms.
Slavko mentioned that he recognized more exercises from the asylum workouts in some form, so I guess that added to the aspect of strength. Even the cardio video – core cardio – tackles strength quite noticeably.
As for speed, I noticed being even lighter on my feet and my coordination, balance in space, and control over the whole body as a whole have increased exponentially.
The warm-ups are also getting noticeably harder, making you able to jump right into the hard part more easily. Needless to say, every move becomes more dynamic while lot of new ones are being introduced.
What is also noticeable at first is that the music is slightly more dynamic, and the speed 2.0 video will have you dancing like you wouldn’t believe. I was also surprised when I heard flute during the core cardio video – I guess that rumor about Beachbody having spent all that money on music was not out of nowhere.
I especially liked the upper focus video exercises, and this video actually challenges your strength by introducing as complex exercises as the chest fly with your legs raised.
What I didn’t like were the modifications. If they made sense a lot during alpha phase, here they seemed very easy and rather funny. Anyway…
Focus T25 Beta phase review – the results
By the time week two was under way the abs were showing quite a lot, and if I flexed them I could already see nice blocks separating and even see the line where the lower ones are going to appear separated too. I noticed that there was no fat around my thighs any more, and both the hamstrings and quats were lot more defined.
At this moment I felt not only encouraged, but even had great results to show. I went for a weekend away with a group of friends (I think it was right after the second week) and they all were amazed by my transformation. Little did they know that I was only half way from the real results.
This brings me to another point – in a conversation I once had with Slavko, he complained about not being able to go over the Asylum workout videos while he was away on a vacation. With the Focus T25 workout though this is not that big of a deal, since you don’t need a lot of space and they all last for 25 minutes.
12 pound dumbbells are not that big of equipment if you think about it. And we are talking beta phase here. Alpha doesn’t even need any additional equipement. Besides, instead of dumbbells you can take the band with you and still have an equally challenging workout.
Let me jump in here for a second and say that the beta phase adds quite more strength work from what I’ve noticed. And like Bojan have said it also introduces a lot of complex movements that tackle others aspects of your overall fitness, such as flexibility, agility, explosiveness and power above all. Speed and coordination are also addressed quite a lot too.
I find this phase to be perfect for those who are already in great shape and would like to spend the minimum time on maintaining it or even improving some aspects of it.
It provides muscle contractions, especially in the abs (the dynamic core video is somewhat derived from the Asylum Vol.2 program – a lot of burn in a short period of time without doing any traditional ab workouts) every time you do it. This translates into breaking plateaus and constantly seeing progress.
Focus T25 review – the final results
The focus t25 workout is indeed divided into three phases. However, having in mind that the third one – the gamma phase – is purchased separately and is optional in case you want to go even further, it is concluded that the Focus T25 workout is really just the alpha and beta phases. Therefore, this Focus T25 review covers the results I got from two months out of which one was the alpha phase, and the other beta.
The gamma phase is really – as Slavko says – a ticket to the Insanity Asylum and elite training, so I will leave it to him to go over the workouts in another review. I will try it myself too, but since I finished the beta phase I was doing videos here and there as to keep in shape, so I might give it a week or two as to prepare to step into gamma.
Here are the results after two months with Focus T25:
Lost over 22 pounds.
Now I really have to buy some new pants. Many of the people I know noticed this and some have even said that I look different not only in my body, but my face as well.
I have a six-pack and I still lift up my shirt just to make sure it is there – this is awesome.
My legs are all muscle.
I guess this is where I notice the biggest change, and probably why pants refuse to fit, but are loose instead.
Increased muscle definition in the arms.
I never imagined having such muscle definition in my arms, especially shoulders, and chest too. And albeit my back is not that muscular it is 100 percent different from what it was before.
I look like an athlete, I feel like an athlete.
I can do almost anything with my body. Two days back I went playing basketball with some high school friends of mine, and to say that I was physically superior would be an understatement. Writing this down brings such a smile on my face even now.
I started loving fitness.
Being a competitive swimmer when I was young was very fun. All these years have passed and I really forgot how fun physical exercise can be. I had a love and hate relationship with fitness for quite a while, but now it has become a part of who I am.
I eat better, I sleep better, have tons of energy.
There is no way I’m skipping exercise for two days in a row . Now I usually do beta videos (mostly upper focus, dynamic core and core cardio here and there), but mix in some alpha here and there just for the fun.
Focus T25 nutrition guide
As with all Beachbody programs, what they try to sell is not a set of exercises, but rather a complete approach towards being healthy and looking and performing great.
Same deal here. In the package you will receive a nutrition guide featuring principles of healthy diet tuned to meet your goals, as well as meal recipes which will help you make better food choices.
The recipes are exactly 25, made with 5 ingredients and in a very short time.
The carbs and protein and fat ratio is similar as with the Insanity program, meaning that roughly 40 percent of your meals are consisted of carbs, the other 40 of protein and the rest are fats.
You are also given the calorie quiz, which helps you determine how many calories per day you should eat. Note that I never counted calories, but simply followed the principles outlined into this book.
What is also great about the Focus T25 nutrition guide is that it lists 25 healthy foods that you should have at home at any time.
There also are three common questions which they address into this nutrition guide, such as: What if I notice food cravings, what if it is really late and I feel like I’m hungry, and what if I want to do a double charged workout in terms of intensity.
Co-editing this site I’ve learned a lot about nutrition myself, but it was still interesting to flip through the nutrition guide.
Focus T25 workout vs The Insanity
Many people are trying to compare these two workouts, so I feel it’s important to give my two cents on the matter. Shaun T himself has said that these workouts should be seen as two completely different entities.
You see, The Insanity workout is for someone who has the mental readiness to do whatever it takes to get to great results. It is for someone ready to “die” during each workout, and it is understandably harder.
However, the Focus T25 workout, albeit not wearing you down that much can still provide for similar (will tell you to what extent different) results. Here are the points where they differ:
- The Focus T25 workout lasts only 25 minutes while The Insanity workout can go up to an hour.
- The Focus T25 workout builds up every workout down from zero, while Insanity starts with high intensity right away.
- The Focus T25 workout guides you slowly through fitness, allowing for modifications, while with Insanity it is drooling over the floor every single time.
- The Insanity workout is harder, but due to the length of the workouts can cause catabolic effects (too much stress to the body) which in turn allow for only small amount of muscle gain (that’s why it will burn every ounce of body fat you have on you), while The Focus T25 workout can add some bulk too.
- In the Focus T25 workout there is more leg work and interesting dance moves, as well as more strength based exercises. The Insanity though is the king of cardio.
- In the Focus T25 workout there is weight or resistance added into the equation, while the Insanity workout is only about using your own body weight.
- Both last for two months, and both cost pretty much the same, though with the Focus T25 workout you get a band as a bonus included into the package.
Where can you buy the Focus T25 workout from?
There are couple of places from where you can purchase the focus t25 workout, and here is what I think about it:
The official Beachbody page (USA & Canada) or (UK) is where I got my copy from. You have the option to pay via three monthly payments of only $39, which is quite convenient. Buying from there you also get a 30 day money back guarantee.
You can also consider buying it from Amazon where you can choose between new or used packages. Some of the Focus T25 reviews over there mentioned package arriving was not complete, but knowing Amazon it is probably not big of a deal, they usually take care of things like that.
There is no money back guarantee though, or 3 monthly payments.
No matter where you decide to buy Focus T25 from, it is up to you to make it work.
Final words from this Focus T25 review
Even though fitness addicts like Slavko say that this is not that hard, I struggled quite a lot at the beginning. Beta phase was also painful at the start. So the Focus T25 workout is not for everybody. It requires quite a lot of will power despite the fact that you have only 25 minutes per day.
The lack of frustration and mental struggle associated with workout programs like the Insanity workout made it easier to enjoy the ride and focus more on nutrition and leading an overall healthy lifestyle. I look way better, I feel a lot better and my physical readiness is off the charts.
I will definitely continue doing the Focus T25 workout since I’m hooked now, and it seems that the results continue to improve. I owe it to Slavko for convincing me to take the challenge.
If I have to describe Focus T25 using a sentence I will probably say that it is a gradual progression that gives you ripped looks and pro level of athleticism for only 25 minutes per day.