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!

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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.  🙂

 

The Final Days: A Review of Cardio 3 + Core 2

Today was my LAST DAY of 22-Minute Hard Corps! “Woohoo!!!” doesn’t even come close to expressing how happy I am to be done with this one!

I will do a post soon with my thoughts on the program as a whole, but I just realized that I never reviewed Cardio 3 or Core 2! So, here’s what you need to know…

Cardio 3 is the same format as the other cardio workouts with different moves. There are seven moves that comprise a circuit. The circuit is completed three times. There’s a very short cooldown at the end. The seven moves of Cardio 3 include the following:

  1. Spider Crawls – These are similar to bear crawls from Cardio 1, but the goal is touch your knee to your elbow and you’re walking forward and backward on your hands and feet.
  2. Skip Flies – These are similar to jumping jacks, but your feet are moving vertically, rather than horizontally like a jump jack. Your arms start with your hands in at your chest, then punching out to the sides.
  3. Cross Climbers – These are similar to mountain climbers from Cardio 2. However, rather than running in place in plank, you are twisting in your core, striving for your right knee to touch your left elbow, and for the your left knee to touch your right elbow, as you run.
  4. Fast Feet, Up/Down – This is a reaction drill. You start by standing with your feet apart, running with your feet like they’re on hot coals. When Tony yells, “Drop!” you hit the floor and hold a low plank on your elbows until Tony tells you to get back up again. This move can be quite hard on your elbows, so be careful when you hit the floor! Here’s a short video:
  5. Sphinx Kickers – Also in low plank on your elbows, run in place you’re kicking your butt. Another move than can get a little rough on the elbows.
  6. Knee Drop Lunges – Starting from a standing position, drop down to your knees one at a time, then come back to standing. These are also known as “Surrenders” from 21-Day Fix. Try not to slam your knees down and be sure to use a mat or some other cushioning so you don’t hurt your knees. Here’s a short video:
  7. Spin Burpees – My favorite! Do a burpee, but when you jump to do a 180-degree spin, then repeat. Here’s what these look like:

A note on Core 2 – All cardio days also include a short (~10 minute), optional core workout. Core 2 includes exactly all of the same moves as Cardio 1. There are two main differences: (1) Tony is not demonstrating the moves for you, so there is less rest time. (2) The most appreciable difference – rather than doing 11 reps of each move, you’re doing a whopping 22 reps. Honestly, when I did Core 1 the first time, I was a little confused why we were doing 11 reps of each move when 22 seems to be a prominent theme of the program. Well, here’s the answer… it’s Core 2. The 22 reps DEFINITELY increases the intensity for these moves.

Interested in trying 22-Minute Hard Corps? Send me an email at distilledjill@gmail.com or find me on Facebook so I can answer your questions. If you’re ready to order, here’s where you go.

Day 8 of 22-Minute Hard Corps

I completed my first full week of 22-Minute Hard Corps, and today marked the beginning of week 2 of 8!

Week 2 starts with a new workout:  Resistance 2.  There are basically three types of workouts included in the 22-Minute Hard Corps program:  (1) cardio, (2) resistance (or strength/weight exercises), and (3) core (ab/core routine).

I liked Resistance 2 a LOT more than Resistance 1, which was heavy on two of my least favorite moves – push-ups and pull-ups.  The format for Resistance 2 is similar to Resistance 1.  A VERY short warm-up, three rounds of five exercises, and then a very short cooldown.  The five moves that we do are the following:

1.  A burpee press – with your dumbbells in hand, shoot out into a plank, then come back to a standing position, doing a shoulder press as you come to standing.  It’s essentially a burpee with a shoulder press at the top rather than a jump.  Just be careful with the dumbbells you use.  I use Power Blocks on carpet, so they’re not going to roll on me, but some other rounded dumbbells could make this move dangerous.  Be careful!  This move is challenging, especially at the pace that its done in the video, and with the weights, your shoulders will BURN at the end!

2.  Squat jump – with a weight!  This is a plyometric move that really got my heart rate up.  It’s simple – with one weight in hand (or a sandbag), you do a squat and jump at the top, then drop back into the squat.

3.  Chip-Up L-Crunch – a chin-up with a leg raise at the bottom.  Honestly, I am so lazy and my pull-up bar is STILL not set up, so I could not to this move.  I did not notice a modifier either, which was unusual and not cool.  So, instead, I did a bent-over dumbbell row with alternating kicks.  I really got to get my pull-up bar set up this week!

4.  Punch pull – I LOVED this one!  With a dumbbell in hand, punch downward in a lunge, then pivot on your feet to do an elbow up top.  Here’s a short video of this move, which is very MMX-inspired and makes me feel like a total bad ass!

5.  Corkscrew twist – Put the wine bottle away… it’s not THAT type of corkscrew move!  This is your abdominal move.  Laying on your back, raise both legs together straight, then twist your hips as they raise off the floor in a crunch.

Repeat 1-5 three times!

I actually really loved Resistance 2, but I will be singing a different tune when I’m doing the pull-ups, which I always find challenging.

Can you believe if you had started 22-Minute Hard Corps with me you’d already be into your second week?! Time flies when you’re getting some!  😉  If you’d like to learn more about 22-Minute Hard Corps or join me for my next online accountability group, send me an email at distilledjill@gmail.com or message me on Facebook.  Click here to get your copy of 22-Minute Hard Corps!

Day 1 of 22-Minute Hard Corps

In case you’ve been wondering, yes, I’m still here.  I lost 10 pounds on a second round of the Beachbody Ultimate Reset in February-March 2016!  I’ve been plugging along, doing my at-home fitness workouts everyday, drinking my Shakeology, and serving others as a coach.  I’ve lost 60 pounds since I started my journey with Beachbody after graduating from law school in 2010.  I even wore a bikini for the first time in my life last month!  I never had the confidence to do that before, and it’s all thanks to these programs and products.

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Wearing a bikini for the first time!

What’s next?  Today, I started Tony Horton’s new program called 22-Minute Hard Corps.  It’s an eight-week bootcamp/military-style workout program that’s super short!  Only 22 minutes a day!  I’ve actually been lucky to do 22-Minute Hard Corps LIVE with Tony 3 times in the past month.  We worked out together on a cruise that I went on through Beachbody (the one where I wore that bikini for the first time!) and when he came to DC earlier this month.

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Hanging out with Tony Horton in DC earlier this month!

Today, I pushed play on Cardio 1 and Core 1.  I’ve done Cardio 1 a couple of times now.  It was the sneak peek of the workout available on Beachbody On Demand.  I love the simplicity of the moves.  The format for Cardio 1 is three rounds of seven moves (T- Jacks, Bear Crawls, Lateral Shuffle, Forward Lunge Twist, Basic Burpee, A-Skips, and Run Lunge Squats) with 22-second breaks in between each round, and a Bonus Round of 22 Bear Crawls and 22 Burpees.  No equipment needed for Cardio 1.  Day 1 also involves an optional Core 1 workout, which was a lot of fun!  (Yes, I’m crazy and find some workouts FUN.)  And it’s seriously SHORT.  Like, 9 minutes short!  For Core 1, Tony has you rolling around on the floor for a couple of moves, which makes you feel a little silly and smile, which helps push the workout along.  There were some new abs/core moves introduced that I had never done before, even after having completed most Beachbody programs.

The verdict?  I definitely got sweaty and fatigued during the 22 minutes!  See:

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Sweaty selfie from 22-Minute Hard Corps!

Nutrition-wise, I probably won’t be following the 22-Minute Hard Corps nutrition plan precisely.  I’ve really gotten into a groove with my nutrition and know what works for my body at this point.  I’m a weekday vegan, and give myself some latitude over the weekend to enjoy some top-notch treat (or cheat) meals.  it works for me.  My meals today included Vegan Chocolate Shakeology for breakfast, a spinach salad for lunch (with quinoa, beans, sunflower seeds, tofu, peppers, carrots, and a little olive oil and vinegar).  I had an apple as a mid-afternoon snack (I eat an apple a day like a big DORK).  Dinner is TBD!

Day 1 of 22-Minute Hard Corps is history!

PS – Over the past year, I’ve converted this from a blog to more of a website.  However, I’d like to keep content in the blog fresh and regular, so I’m going to try to post regularly.

PPS – Need some coaching? Motivation to start or continue your health, fitness, or wellness journey?  Send me at email at distilledjill@gmail or find me on Facebook!  My services are FREE when you buy Shakeology, a workout program, or BOTH through me.