Shift Shop Speed :25 Review!

Sorry I’ve been MIA during this program!

I’m actually in my final week of Shift Shop!  My intention to write daily has failed, but I’m going to bring you my reviews anyway!  NO SPOILERS… I promise!  🙂

Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are cardio/speed days!  And the very first workout that you do during Shift Shop is this little 25-minute cardio workout, known as Speed :25.  Speed :25 is described as a way to “jumpstart your cardio with 1-minute intervals designed to work your entire body and make you break a sweat.”

Equipment:  Two agility markers.  The agility markers are a unique way to challenge yourself in the Shift Shop. They help you develop agility and coordination as you navigate around them, reacting to color “callouts” from trainer Chris Downing. As you improve throughout the program, the markers can be spaced farther apart to add new levels of intensity—meaning that anyone can be appropriately challenged regardless of fitness level.

Length:  30 minutes.  It’s a little deceptive because it’s called “Speed :25” so the “25” makes you think it’s only going to be 25 minutes.  But it’s really only 25 minutes of WORK, with a 3-minute cooldown, and some set-up discussion in between.

Music:  Meh.  I don’t need the music.  Honestly, I’d rather play my own playlist.  However, I stream my Shift Shop workouts on Beachbody on Demand, and there’s no music-free option for these workouts yet.  If you’re not familiar with Beachbody on Demand, you need to GET familiar with it.  It’s like the Netflix of fitness.  I pay $99.95 for a full YEAR of access to every single Beachbody program ever created and that WILL be released within the year I’m a member, so it’s a pretty insane deal.  I mean, you could buy the Shift Shop DVDs for $60 PLUS shipping PLUS tax…. OR you could get EVERYTHING for only around $40 more.  Pretty easy choice if you ask me!  Anyway…

Format of Speed :25:  NO WARM-UP.  Umm… yeah.  So, you might want to do a little warm-up on your own before you get started.  I was a little surprised there was no formal warm-up; however, you progress easily through the movements, so you’re not really shocking your body right out of the gate.   After Chris explains how to set up your agility markers (easy… you have two, they’re 2-3 paces apart), you jump right on into the agility drills.   Then you move into the 15 speed drills, each performed for one minute.  Finally, you end with a short (3 minute) cool down.  Here are the 15 moves, followed by a short video of each performed for a couple of seconds, time-lapsed and with NO music and fun transitions!

  1. Jump rope – kind of like a warm-up!
  2. Skip combo
  3. Ali shuffle
  4. Quick jack taps
  5. High knee run
  6. Bear crawl
  7. Lateral slide
  8. Mountain climbers
  9. Butt kicks
  10. Shop hops – My FAVORITE move from this workout!
  11. Fence jumps
  12. Burpees
  13. Swing jumps
  14. Catcher’s crawl – LEG BURNER!!!
  15. Crab creeper

Here’s a short video of this broken down:

The verdict?!

Honestly, for a cardio junkie like me, this workout was a little easy.  BUT that’s why it’s your Day 1 workout!  The moves are all pretty simple and straightforward, so they’re great for people of all fitness levels.  Chris showed modifications for every move, so you can take out some of the impact for your joints or decrease the range of motion.

I am a big fan of agility drills, so I’m looking forward to seeing how these moves evolve, as we add more agility markers.  My favorite moves in this workout were the reaction drills, like the fast jack taps and OMG the shop hops were so fun!  While the moves are simple, they are effective, as I could definitely feel the burn in my legs in many of these moves (catcher’s crawl, anyone?!).

Interested in Shift Shop? You have a couple of options to buy it. You can get a discounted bundle that comes with Shakeology and the Shift Shop DVDs, or you can get it as part of Beachbody on Demand, so you can access not just Shift Shop but hundreds of other workouts too! You can also check out the base kit or deluxe kit.

Need support? It just so happens that I coach people through at-home fitness programs, like Shift Shop! So, if you order the program through one of the links on this site, I’ll be happy to work with you to help you stay on track and plug you into one of my online accountability groups!

Have questions? Comment below or send me an email at distilledjill@gmail.com!

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Shift Shop Strength :25 Review

So far, so good!

I’m on Day 2 of 21 of Shift Shop!  Day 1 was a 25-minute cardio workout, which I’ll review later in this week.  Today was Strength :25, which was an easy-to-learn workout with 1-minute intervals of 15 resistance movements.

Equipment:  Weights.  It’s recommended that women use 5-10 lb. weights, and men use 10-20 lb. weights.  I used 12 lbs. for all exercise but the bicep curls because, let’s face it, one minute of bicep curbs with 12 lbs. is still pretty rough for me!  Next time I do this workout, I’ll probably increase the weights for most moves.

Length:  29 minutes.  It’s a little deceptive because it’s called “Strength :25” so the “25” makes you think it’s only going to be 25 minutes.  But it’s really 25 minutes of WORK, and it ends with a 4-minute cooldown.  The workout FLIES BY though!

Music:  Meh.  I don’t need the music.  Honestly, I’d rather play my own playlist.  However, I stream my Shift Shop workouts on Beachbody on Demand, and there’s no music-free option for these workouts yet.  If you’re not familiar with Beachbody on Demand, you need to GET familiar with it.  It’s like the Netflix of fitness.  I pay $99.95 for a full YEAR of access to every single Beachbody program ever created and that WILL be released within the year I’m a member, so it’s a pretty insane deal.  I mean, you could buy the Shift Shop DVDs for $60 PLUS shipping PLUS tax…. OR you could get EVERYTHING for only around $40 more.  Pretty easy choice if you ask me!  Anyway…

Format of Strength :25:  The workout starts with a short warm-up, as all workouts should!  Then you move into 15 resistance moves, each performed for one minute.  The warm-up + 15 moves = 25 minutes.  Finally, you end with a short (4 minute) cool down.  Here are the 15 moves, followed by a short video of each performed for a couple of seconds, time-lapsed and with NO music and fun transitions!

  1. Squat
  2. Shoulder press
  3. Reverse lunge
  4. Plank walk
  5. Bicep curls
  6. Side lunges (alternating sides)
  7. Push-up
  8. Shift lunge – for some reason, I always lose my balance on these a little!
  9. Renegade row
  10. Bridge – with a weight resting on your hips, you can REALLY feel this one!
  11. Upright row raise
  12. Piston plank
  13. Kickbacks (alternating sides)
  14. Bear kicks
  15. Sumo squat

Here’s a short video of this broken down:

The verdict?!

Well, the moves are all simple and easy to learn.  So, that’s a plus because it’s great for beginners.  Chris also showed modifications for every move, so you can take out some of the impact for your joints or decrease the range of motion.  You can also use lighter, or even no, weights to modify the moves.

I will need to increase the weights next time I do this.  At 12 lbs., I could have done heavier, especially for the legs moves.  I appreciated the no-nonsense approach – no complicated, difficult moves, just tried-and-true, effective resistance training.  I was worried that I’d get bored, as one minute seems like a long time to do some of these moves, but Chris keeps it interesting by utilizing isometric holds and playing with the tempo and range of motion.

Interested in Shift Shop? You have a couple of options to buy it. You can get a discounted bundle that comes with Shakeology and the Shift Shop DVDs, or you can get it as part of Beachbody on Demand, so you can access not just Shift Shop but hundreds of other workouts too! You can also check out the base kit or deluxe kit.

Need support? It just so happens that I coach people through at-home fitness programs, like Shift Shop! So, if you order the program through one of the links on this site, I’ll be happy to work with you to help you stay on track and plug you into one of my online accountability groups!

Have questions? Comment below or send me an email at distilledjill@gmail.com!

Core De Force MMA Plyo Review

Day 19 of Core De Force introduces a new workout… MMA Plyo!  This is the mother of all Core De Force workouts!  It’s one of the longest and THE most bad ass, in my opinion!  Here’s my review of MMA Plyo –

MMA Plyo

  • Length:  47 minutes.
  • Number of Rounds: 12.
  • Equipment:  None.
  • Description:  What happens when you combine Boxing, Muay Thai, and plyometrics into one workout? You get a total-body shred designed to knock out hundreds of calories and spike your far burn into overdrive.

Learn It:  Like the other MMA workouts,the first thing I notice about this workout is that you are given the option to select either to do the workout or something called “Learn It & Work It,” which is only 3 minutes long.  I opted not to learn it and work it because I’ve done both Tae Bo, Les Mills Combat, and some self defense in the past, so I had a feeling I could catch on quickly.  Plus, I’m short on time in the mornings, so the less I have to do, the better!  For the less coordinated, or people who are unfamiliar with basic MMA moves (like uppercuts and hooks), then I’d recommend starting with Learn It & Work It before jumping into MMA Plyo.

Music:  Second thing I notice is that I am given the option to play the music that comes with the program or turn it off.  I normally listen to the music that comes with the program the first time I do it, and then if it’s generic music, I’ll opt to play my own workout playlist in the future.

Length:  Next thing I notice… 47 minutes.  My mind immediately goes “wow, that’s almost an hour.” Some of the other MMA workouts have been a bit shorter (27 and 37 minutes), so the extra 10 minutes was a little shocking to me.  But MMA Power was also 47 minutes, and that workout FLEW BY, so I had high hopes that this one would as well.

Format:  There are 12 rounds.  A “round” is 3 minutes long, like a boxing round.  A round includes a one-minute MMA combination, then a 30-second cardio spike, repeat both the one-minute and the 30-second moves, then a 30-second break, during which the next move is explained.  There are six unique cardio spikes in this workout; which are repeated.  Here is the format of the workout:

    • Warm Up:  A short warm-up of the following moves:  jog in place, pulse side-to-side with a chest opener, pulse side-to-side with shoulder rolls, alternating toe taps to warm up the hamstrings, hip openers, and a torso rotation.
    • Round 1:  Switch roundhouse kick for 1 minute, with a 30-second cardio spike of up/down jab, cross; repeat.
    • Round 2:  Jab, cross, Superman punch for 1 minute, with a 30-second cardio spike of up/down hooks; repeat.  Superman punch?!  WTF was that?!  These took some time for me to learn, and honestly, I did not totally figure them out the first time that I did the workout, but they are very rewarding once you learn them because they make you feel like a total bad-ass ninja fighter! Here’s a short video demonstrating the MMA move:

    • Round 3: Jab, cross, rear knee, front flying knee for 1 minute, with a 30-second cardio spike of guarded squat, squat jump; repeat.  First Superman punches… now FLYING knees?!  Flying knees were also a move that I didn’t totally get at first either, but once I learned how to jump while kneeing, I felt fierce and more confident that I could really punch more power into my knees. Here’s a short video of the MMA move for this round:

    • Round 4:  Cross, switch knee, rear flying knee for 1 minute, with a 30-second cardio spike of triple jump with ginja; repeat.  Another flying knee move in the MMA move! Here’s a short video of this round’s MMA move!

      • Round 5:  Front leg check, cross, hook for 1 minute, with a 30-second cardio spike of lateral jump, vertical jump; repeat. Here’s a video demonstrating the MMA move for this circuit:

        • Round 6:  Rear leg check, cross, switch roundhouse kick for 1 minute, with a 30-second cardio spike of alternating clinch knees; repeat. Here’s a short video of the MMA move:

          • Round 7:  Rear slashing elbow, rear knee, Superman punch for 1 minute, with a 30-second cardio spike of up/down jap cross; repeat. Here’s a video that I took on my last day of Core De Force, after I have “perfected” this Superman punch thing!

            • Round 8:  Rear push kick, jump hook, cross for 1 minute with a 30-second cardio spike of up/down hooks; repeat. Here’s a short video demonstrating the MMA move:

            • Round 9:  Front uppercut, rear uppercut, hook, side kick for 1 minute with a 30-second cardio spike of guarded squat, squat jump; repeat, switching your fight stance. Here is a short video of the MMA move:

            • Round 10:  Body jab, cross, switch roundhouse for 1 minute with a 30-second cardio spike of triple lunge with ginja; repeat. Here’s a short video of the MMA move for this circuit:

            • Round 11:  Rear leg check, hook, rear knee, front push kick for 1 minute with a 30-second cardio spike of lateral jump, vertical jump; repeat. Here’s a short video demonstrating the MMA move:

            • Round 12:  Jab, cross, front leg check, Superman punch for 1 minute with a 30-second cardio spike of alternating clinch knees; repeat.  Here’s a short video showing the finale MMA move!

            • Cooldown:  A short cooldown of the following moves:  hip flexor stretch, calf stretch with a shoulder stretch, quad stretch, hamstring stretch, upper back stretch, and a chest opener stretch.

The verdict?  LOVE!  Okay, I know I say that about ALL of the workouts, but this one might be my favorite yet.  I loved the introduction of plyometric moves, like the Superman punches and flying knees, which made me feel like a fighter!

I love that the MMA workouts not only works the body, but the mind too.  It doesn’t feel like it’s choreographed, like Cize or Les Mills Combat does, but, similarly, you are learning some combinations, which requires some muscle memory, coordination, and agility.  I workout first thing in the morning, when my brain isn’t totally awake yet, so I feel like this workout helps me wake up my brain in addition to my body.

The workout also includes one person who is modifying the workout, so if you need to decrease the range of motion or take out some of the high impact for your joints, you can follow the modifier and still get a great workout.

Interested in Core De Force?  You have a couple of options to buy it.  You can get a challenge pack that comes with Shakeology, or a performance pack that comes with two of my favorite performance supplements – Energize and Recover.  You can also check out the base kit or deluxe kit.

Need support?  It just so happens that I coach people through at-home fitness programs, like Core De Force!  So, if you order the program through one of the links on this site, I’ll be happy to work with you to help you stay on track and plug you into one of my online accountability groups!

Have questions?  Comment below or send me an email at distilledjill@gmail.com!

Core De Force 5 Min. Core on the Floor Review

5 Min. Core on the Floor is introduced in week 3 of Core De Force– the mixed martial arts program developed by Beachbody. It’s a brutal short abs and core workout that you perform after the strength and sculpting workouts to help further refine your core.

It is 5 minutes spent entirely in some variation of a plank! Yes, you read that right… 5 minutes in PLANK. I dare you to finish the whole thing on your toes!

Core Kinetics

Length: 5 minutes.
Number of Rounds: N/A.
Equipment: None.
Description: The ultimate core finisher – 5 challenging plank movements to help bring your abs out of hiding.
Format:  Five plank exercises, performed for 1 minute each.

Forearm plank – forward and back (1 minute)
Side plank hip lift (30 seconds on each side)
Forearm plank heel lift (1 minute)
Side plank reach (30 seconds on each side)
Forearm plank toe tap (1 minute)

Here’s a time-lapsed video showing the moves from this workout:

The verdict? This is a great, short abs workout! The first time that I did it, I could not stay on my toes the whole 5 minutes. It’s okay to drop to your knees and modify if you need to. The goal is to spend more time on your toes the next time that you do the workout. Eventually, I was able to stay on my toes the entire 5 minutes, though! Just make sure to watch your form because sometimes I wanted to lift my butt up, which breaks form and makes the move easier. You want to have a straight line from your head to your feet while in plank. Also, after doing this workout so many times, my elbows did start getting cracked and irritated from all of the forearm plank work, so I do recommend some type of elbow cushion.

Interested in Core De Force? You have a couple of options to buy it. You can get a challenge pack that comes with Shakeology, or a performance pack that comes with two of my favorite performance supplements – Energize and Recover. You can also check out the base kit or deluxe kit.

Need support? It just so happens that I coach people through at-home fitness programs, like Core De Force! So, if you order the program through one of the links on this site, I’ll be happy to work with you to help you stay on track and plug you into one of my online accountability groups!

Have questions? Comment below or send me an email at distilledjill@gmail.com!

Core De Force – Core Kinetics Review

Core Kinetics is introduced in week 2 of Core De Force– the mixed martial arts program developed by Beachbody.  It’s a brutal little abs and core workout that you perform after some of the MMA workouts to help further refine your core.

Core Kinetics

  • Length:  16 minutes.
  • Number of Rounds: N/A.
  • Equipment:  None.
  • Description:  A unique core workout inspired by mixed martial arts movements to shape sleeker, stronger abs.

Format:  There are seven primary exercises that you perform once, then repeat.  Each move is done about 50 seconds each.  After you have completed each exercise twice, you perform a one-minute plank.

  1. Double leg extension
  2. Horizontal leg check
  3. Alternating triangle lift
  4. Hip dips
  5. Left leg repeating push kick, right leg repeating push kick
  6. Hip escape toe tap
  7. Guarded square up
  8. Repeat 1-7
  9. One-minute forearm plank
  10. Cobra (cooldown)

Here’s a time-lapsed video showing the moves from this workout:


The verdict?  This is a great, short abs workout!  The move that I struggled with the most was #5 above – the single-leg push kicks.  It’s really difficult to suspend one of your legs while performing the push kick.  Also, after doing this workout so many times, my elbows did start getting cracked and irritated from all of the forearm plank work, so I do recommend some type of elbow cushion.

Interested in Core De Force?  You have a couple of options to buy it.  You can get a challenge pack that comes with Shakeology, or a performance pack that comes with two of my favorite performance supplements – Energize and Recover.  You can also check out the base kit or deluxe kit.

Need support?  It just so happens that I coach people through at-home fitness programs, like Core De Force!  So, if you order the program through one of the links on this site, I’ll be happy to work with you to help you stay on track and plug you into one of my online accountability groups!

Have questions?  Comment below or send me an email at distilledjill@gmail.com!

My Review: 22-Minute Hard Corps

Well… I did it!  I completed 22-Minute Hard Corps!  While I’ve been posting in here somewhat regularly regarding my progress and the workouts, I also wanted to do a final summary of thoughts on the program as a whole.

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A happy girl finished with 22-Minute Hard Corps!

The Basics:  For those who are just now reading my blog, 22-Minute Hard Corps is an eight-week military-style bootcamp at-home fitness program developed by celebrity trainer Tony Horton.  Workouts are only 22 minutes, and they’re a mix of cardio and resistance training DVDs.

What did I love about this program?  I loved that it was only 22 minutes long.  This is one of the shortest workouts out there produced by Beachbody (with 10-Minute Trainer and Focus T25 being similarly short).  Having done many at-home fitness programs, I believe that 22-Minute Hard Corps is easily the most efficient workouts you can get for the time you’re spending exercising.  I also love Tony Horton.  He’s an awesome trainer.  I loved that the moves were not normally complicated.  The branding is also awesome.  It honors veterans and the military by using real military veterans in the workouts, it’s filmed in all sorts of military-themed locations, and the bootcamp-style seems pretty authentic.

What did I not like about the program?  The workouts can get repetitive.  With only three cardio and three resistance workouts over the course of eight weeks (nine weeks if you do the optional Hell Week), I was starting to get bored near the end of the 2 months.  Plus, many of the moves are similar.  For example, there is some variation of a burpee in every cardio workout AND some of the resistance ones as well.  Going into this program, I LOVED burpees, really I did.  But Hard Corps made me never want to see one again.  😛 There are also two core/abs workouts, but you do the same moves in both workouts, you’re just increasing the number of repetitions.  You also do the core workout every other day, with your cardio workouts, so the core workouts got a little repetitive too.

Was it hard?  Sometimes, yes.  I’m a graduate of many of Beachbody’s toughest programs, like Insanity and P90X, and Hard Corps kicked my ass at times.  Cardio 2 is one of THE hardest workouts out there, primarily due to the gorilla crawls and the way they’re incorporated into the larger workout.  Your legs are toast at the end.  I found all of the workouts doable, but challenging, and I got ridiculously sweaty in the mere 22 minutes.  Here’s a peek at each of the moves from Cardio 2, which I contend is one of the hardest workouts Beachbody has made:

Can anyone do this program?  I’m going to go out on a limb here and say no.  I know that Beachbody probably likes for all of their programs to be workable for people of all fitness levels and there IS a modifier for all of the moves, but without totally modifying some of the moves into completely different moves, I don’t think Hard Corps is for everyone.  Some of these moves are VERY hard on your joints.  I consider myself to be a pretty fit person, and I woke up one day after Resistance 3 and my knees were in severe pain from mountain squats.  There are many moves in this program that put a lot of strain on your knees, elbows, and joints.  It is very important that you’re doing these moves on a comfortable, cushioned surface.  Get a mat.  So, if you have issues with those types of moves, there is something else out there for you.  Let’s chat if you need some recommendations.  Here are the mountain squats that messed with my knees:

I will also note that I experienced a bit of lower back pain during this program, which is NOT normal for me.  I would randomly pull a lower back muscle and need to modify for a day or two until it improved.  That had never happened to me during another workout program before.  I think it was because I wasn’t warmed up enough before jumping into the workouts, as the warm-ups are very short.  I found that the pain happened more during the resistance workouts, so I started warming up before all of the resistance workouts with the Cold Start (10-minute warm-up) and I never had back issues again.  So, I would definitely recommend incorporating the Cold Start warm-up as much as possible.  It’ll make your workouts 10 minutes longer, but it’s worth it.

What is Hell Week?  Did you do it?  Yes, I did.  I didn’t come so far to crap out at the end!  If you haven’t had enough after eight weeks of 22-Minute Hard Corps, you can choose to complete the optional Hell Week at the end.  The Hell Week includes 2-3 workouts a day, so 44-54 minutes of workouts a day, rather than just 22 minutes.  It is very hard, and you’re wasted at the end of each day, but it’s amazing.  I felt very challenged during Hell Week.  Here’s the Hell Week calendar:

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Hell Week Challenge

Did you follow the nutrition plan?  No.  I’m generally pretty healthy with my diet.  I drink Shakeology everyday.  I’m also a weekday clean-eating vegan.  On the weekends, I’ll do some calorie splurges and enjoy some cocktails, but no, I did not really change my diet at all for this program.

Did you use any supplements?  Yes.  I used Energize, which is a preworkout energy drink.  It’s all natural – no artificial colors, sweeteners, or preservatives, and NO FILLERS.  It’s vastly superior to every other preworkout drink on the market, including my old preworkout drink – Energy and Endurance.  My cardiovascular endurance really improved during the program and I could push a lot harder and longer through my workouts, and I attribute some of that to Energize.

What kind of results did you get?  Honestly, being in pretty decent shape already, I didn’t lose a ton of weight.  I wasn’t really trying to lose weight, though, just trying to push my body to do something new and outside my comfort zone.  I lost around 5 pounds, but I did improve drastically with my muscular endurance on some of the moves, like the gorilla crawls.  The first time that I did Cardio 2, I could maybe do half of the gorilla crawls.  By Hell Week, I could do all of them.  I also could barely do pump jumpers (from Resistance 3) when I started, but could perform them no problem by the end.

Would you do it again?  I’m a Team Beachbody coach, so I hate saying this,  but I’m going to be honest here… No, probably not.  I might do some of the workouts here and there, but I’m not really interested in doing the program start to finish again.  It was a little too repetitive to me.  BUT I’m very glad that I did it, as I feel like I did get a lot out of it, and that it did wonders for my muscular endurance and really helped chisel my abs, but there are other programs out there that I’d rather do first.  Sorry, Tony!  I still love you!

I’m interested in this or maybe some other program, but I need some support and accountability.  Where can I get that?  It just so happens that I am online health and fitness coach!  I’d love to help hold you accountable with 22-Minute Hard Corps or some other program!  I can plug you into one of my accountability groups, which are free when you purchase a program through me!

Where can I reach you?  You can message me on Facebook or email me at distilledjill@gmail.com.

What comes next for you?  I’m on day 2 of the Master’s Hammer and Chisel!  So far, it’s awesome!  Check back here for more on that.  🙂