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.

IMG_20160611_150345
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:

IMG_20160613_070602654
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.  🙂

 

Day 2 of 22-Minute Hard Corps

Today, I completed Day 2 of the new 22-Minute Hard Corps program. Day 2 includes only one workout – Resistance 1.

The format of Resistance 1: A short warm-up, followed by three rounds of the following five moves: Push-Ups, Squat Thrusts, Pull-ups, Chopper Lunges, Sit-up Punches. The workout ends with a Bonus Round of Sprint-Burpee-Push-ups, where you do a football run in place, then drop to the ground for push-ups, and then pop back up and repeat.

The moves are pretty self-explanatory. Push-ups are push-ups, plain and simple. Squat thrusts are demonstrated in my video below. They’re basically a squat with a shoulder press. Pull-ups… self-explanatory. Chopper lunges are alternating lunges with an oblique twist with a dumbbell or sandbag. Sit-up punches are sit-ups with two alternating punches at the top.

You will need a pair of dumbbells at a minimum. I used a pair of 9-pound weights for my first time doing this workout, though I may do heavier weights for some of the moves in the future. You also need a pull-up bar, but if you don’t have a pull-up bar, you can use a resistance band with a door attachment. I have a pull-up bar, but it wasn’t set up for the workout, and I don’t have a door attachment for my resistance band, so instead, I did bent-over rows with the band. So, you can get creative if you don’t have the necessary equipment.

I haven’t done weight training in awhile, but I do consider myself to be a pretty fit person. Having done Body Beast and P90X in the past, I wasn’t expecting this to challenge me too much. I also do not normally bust out into a sweat from weight training. Well, I SWEAT doing Resistance 1. My cardio was up, even though I was just doing strength training. Sticking with Tony’s bootcamp cadence was definitely challenging for some of the moves (like the Sit-Up Punches especially), and I needed to slow it down a little bit and fall behind his pace. My goal is to keep pace with Tony for all moves as I progress through the program.

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.

image
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.

944894_10100839229020462_8852617529754170962_n
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:

img_20160418_080203647_hdr.jpg
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.