Core De Force Dynamic Strength Review

How many different ways can you do a push-up?  This workout answers that question!

Dynamic Strength

  • Length:  47 minutes.
  • Number of Rounds: 12.
  • Equipment:  None.
  • Description:  Low on impact but high on intensity, this no-equipment, bodyweight throwdown is designed to carve impressive definition.

Format:  There are 12 rounds.  With all Core De Force workouts, a “round” is 3 minutes long, like a boxing round.  However, unlike the workouts that start with “MMA,” the format for a round is a little different for Dynamic Strength.  There are three moves in each round, each performed for around one minute.  You will typically see one variation of a push-up, one leg move, and one move that focuses on the core and/or balance.  There are two parts to this workout – during the first half, you are learning the moves, then in the second half, Joe and Jericho introduce a way to make the move more difficult by adding a progression.  Here is the format of the workout:

Warm Up:  A short warm-up of the following moves:  pulse side-to-side with a chest opener, pulse side-to-side with shoulder rolls, jumping jacks, alternating windmills to warm up the hamstrings, hip rolls, and a torso rotation.

Round 1 and 7:

1.  Inchworm Push-ups.  Here’s a short video of this move from the progression in Round 7, where you add a leg lift on each push-up.  During Round 1, there is no leg lift.

2.  Bridge Reachover.  This move is inspired by Brazilian jiu-jitsu.  Here’s a short video of the Round 7 move with a progression where you lift your heels off of the ground.  During Round 1, your heels stay on the ground.

3.  Single Leg Balance with a Kick (right side).  Another short video to show you this move.  There’s not really a progression in Round 7, though you can focus on kicking higher.

Round 2 and 8:

1.  Scissor Push-ups.  This move is rough!  It’s also in Insanity Max: 30, which is my favorite at-home fitness program by the way.  Starting in push-up position, bring one leg under your body so that your foot is on the opposite side.  The progression is Round 8 is actually floating your leg off of the ground, rather than having it rest on the floor.

2.  Sumo Squat with a Leg Check.  Squat, then at the top of the squat alternate raising one leg for an oblique crunch.  There’s no progression on Round 8; just try to get deeper into the squat.

3.  Single Leg Balance with a Kick (left side).  Same move as Round 1, just on the opposite leg.

Round 3 and 9:

1.  Walking Split Push-up.  I’m weird.  This is my favorite move from this workout.  Here’s a short video to show you this one, which include the Round 9 progression, where you raise a leg.  During Round 3, both feet stay on the floor.

2.  Circle Sit Uppercut.  Starting your back, do a sit-up with an uppercut at the top.  For the Round 9 progression, you add a hook.

3.  Balance Repeating Side Kick, Tap Down (right side).  This is a fairly slow side kick that gives you the chance to focus on your form and engage your core.  In the Round 9 progression, don’t tap your foot on the floor.  It’s a real balance challenge!

Round 4 and 10:

1.  Push-up to Knee Escape.  A push-up with an alternating knee tap.  In the Round 10 progression, as shown in the video, you instead tap your toe.

2. Floating Starfish.  Lay on your belly with your arms in front of you.  Raise your arms and legs off of the floor and alternate raising your right arm with your left leg and vice versa.  In the Round 10 progression, keep all limbs off the floor, while raising and lowering them all at the same time.

3.  Balanced Repeating Side Kick, Tap Down (left side).  Same as Round 6 move, but on the other leg.

Round 5 and 11:

1.  Triple Wide Push-ups.  There are three brutal push-ups in this move:  a tricep push, them walk your hands out to a regular push-up, then walk them out to a wide push-up.  There’s no Round 11 progression, but the challenge is to stay on your toes in both rounds!

2.  Left Reverse Lunge with a Twist.  Start in a lunge, then at the top of the lunge, raise your leg and twist through your core.  There’s no Round 11 progression.

3.  Alternating Side Plank.  Start in a forearm plank, rotate into a side plank, and punch your arm into the sky.  For the Round 11 progression, in addition to raising one arm, you raise your leg as well.

Round 6 and 12:

1.  Sphinx Blasters.  This is the hardest move in this workout… and maybe even the entire Core De Force program!  Here’s a short video of me doing this on my knees.  In Round 12, try to do a couple on your toes!

2.  Right Reverse Lunge with a Twist.  Same move as Round 5, but on the opposite leg.

3.  Sit-up Escape.  Great ground fighting move!  Start on your back with your front leg straight and your back leg bent with your knee to the sky.  With your hands in guard, do a sit-up, then transition into a bear stance, then switch sides for the sit-up.  There’s no Round 12 progression, but I like to try to do a hop in between sides.

Cooldown:  Staying on the floor, drop your knees to one side for a torso twist, followed by a hamstring stretch on your back with ankle rotations.  Roll up into a seated position.  The cooldown ends with a shoulder stretch, tricep stretch, and a chest opener stretch.

The verdict?  Other than the Active Recovery workout, this is probably the easiest of the Core De Force workouts, despite the numerous push-ups, though several of the moves are still pretty challenging!  It’s low-impact, but I definitely worked up a sweat!

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!

Day 1 of Core De Force!

It’s here!  It’s here!

I am an at-home fitness junkie.  I lost 60 pounds without EVER stepping foot in a gym thanks to a variety of at-home fitness programs that I can do in the small living room of my condo in the city, practicing clean eating, and drinking Shakeology.  But before Insanity, the 21-Day Fix, and PiYo, I was doing Tae Bo.  I begged my mom to buy it for me in high school, and it was my very FIRST at-home fitness program that got me hooked on exercising at home.

So, when I heard that Beachbody – the creators of things like P90X, Body Beast, and Focus T25 – were coming out with a mixed martial arts program, I was ecstatic!  It’s called Core De Force, which it is so named because it is actually designed to work my #1 trouble area – the core.

So happy when Core De Force arrived in the mail!

According to Beachbody, each move, whether it’s a jab, a kick, or an uppercut, works your core from every angle.  The trainers and co-creators of Core De Force – Joel Freeman and Jericho McMatthews – call this 360-Degree Core Training, and I hear it’s more effective than traditional abdominal training to help you tighten up your entire midsection and carve a more defined waist.  Sounds like exactly like what I need!

Core de Force is a 30-day program, and it came with 8 different workouts on 3 DVDs that alternate Boxing, Kickboxing, and Muay Thai combinations, cardio spikes, and bodyweight training.  These’s also an Active Recovery workout for your rest day and a 5-minute relief workout full of stretches to help you prepare for the following day.  You don’t need any equipment for the program either, which is also appealing.  Perfect if you have to travel for the holidays or life in general.  The program also comes with a nutrition plan that uses the portion fix containers of the 21-Day Fix program, but I opted not to follow the nutrition plan.  I found my groove drinking Shakeology and being a clean-eating vegan Mondays through Fridays with decadent cheat meals on the weekends.  So, right now, I’m generally happy with where I am, and I’m in maintenance mode.

Anyway, enough background.  Let’s talk about my experience with Day 1.  Day 1 includes one workout – MMA Speed.

MMA Speed

  • Length:  27 minutes.
  • Number of Rounds: 6.
  • Equipment:  None.
  • Description:  Upper body- and core-focused, this Boxing-influenced workout is short – but packs a serious punch.

Learn It:  The first things 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 7 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 Speed.

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.

Format:  There are six 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.  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:  Jab, cross, roll back, roll front for 1 minute, with a 30-second cardio spike of high-knee jump rope; repeat.  Here’s a video of the MMA conditioning move for this round:

  • Round 2:  Rear knee, switch knee for 1 minute, with a 30-second cardio spike of up/down jab cross; repeat.
  • Round 3:  Cross, hook, rear knee, switch knee for 1 minute, with a 30-second cardio spike of up/down hooks; repeat.
  • Round 4:  Front uppercut, rear uppercut, hook, roll front, roll back for 1 minute, with a 30-second cardio spike of rotating uppercuts; repeat.
  • Round 5:  Cross, hook, rear knee, double jab, cross for 1 minute, with a 30-second cardio spike of roll jumps.  Roll jumps always manage to get my heart rate up!

  • Round 6:  Rear uppercut, hook, cross, switch knee for 1 minute, with a 30-second cardio spike of ground-to-fighter stance.  Ground-to-fighter stance is one of my favorite cardio spikes!  You get knocked down? Get yourself up!

  • 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?  Day 1 has me HOOKED (no pun intended).  I love that this workout 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!

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.

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:

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

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 22/Week 4 of 22-Minute/Hard Corps!

I started week four of 22-Minute Hard Corps today!  For those of you who haven’t been following me, I am doing the new exercise program from celebrity trainer Tony Horton.  It’s an 8-week military bootcamp-style workout.  Workouts are only 22 minutes long (hence the name of the program) and range from cardio to resistance to core.

Week 4 introduces a new workout into the mix – Resistance 3.  Up to this point, the workout calendar alternated between Cardio 1 and 2, Resistance 1 and 2, and Core 1.  Resistance 3 is the third of three strength-training workouts in the program.
Here’s the format.  You do a very short warm up.  Then you jump into the workout.  There are five moves in the circuit:
1.  Pump Jumpers – These are plyometric push ups!  They’re crazy!  I could not do the full number of repetitions.  You start in a plank with your hands in a tricep push up position, legs spread apart.  You do a push up, then jump your hands into a wide push-up position and your legs jump together… at the same time!  Then you do another push up with your hands in the wide position.  You’re alternating tricep push ups and traditional push ups with a plyometrical switch in between.  I can do these, but NOT nearly as many repetitions as what Tony was counting out in the video.  Neverthless, I’m proud I can do them and will try to record them for you so you can see what I’m talking about!  This is the only move that I could not complete in full for Resistance 3.
2.  Split Lunge Thrusts – Another plyometric move.  With dumbbells or a sandbag in hand, start in a lunge position… say, for example, left in front.  Jump to switch your stance, so now your right foot is in front.  As you jump, do a shoulder press.  This move happens fast, and it really gets your heart rate up and sweaty.  This move definitely works your legs and shoulders, but it also works your heart for cardio.  This move makes the workout.  Here’s a clip of me doing these Split Lunge Thrusts.  Be nice… this was my first time doing them!
3.  Arm Balance Rows – Holding your dumbbells in hand, start in a plank position with legs wide.  Twist through your core and lift one arm in the air in the direction you twist.  Bring your arms that’s in the air back to the ground and switch sides.
4.  Mountain Squats – These are rough!  Grab one dumbbell or your sandbag, holding it in one hand.  Start in a standing position, dumbbell close to your chest.  Sit down, then lay onto your back, then stand up, using your legs to push you up into standing through a squat.  It’s hard to describe, so I’ll do a video once I master it.  But you’re basically going from standing to sitting, to laying to standing.
5.  Scissor Clappers – This is your abdominal move.  In a sitting position, scissor your legs, clapping under the raised legs.  Here’s a clip:
You end with a cool down, which is actually the longest of any of the cool downs that I’ve done in 22-Minute Hard Corps yet.  I think it was around 3 minutes long.
I’m actually really enjoying these resistance workouts!  And I loved that there were no pull-ups in this one!  😉
Need some motivation, support, and accountability to reach your health, fitness, and wellness goals?  Email me at or send me a message on Facebook!  I’m always running an online challenge group, and participation in the group is free with your purchase of one of our awesome challenge packs!

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.

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.

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:

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.