Year Released: 2014
Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights) , Total Body Workouts
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I've had this set for a while, but only recently gotten around to doing most of the workouts. My husband has been doing the rotation, though. He has gotten off track a few times, since he is easily waylaid by traveling, illness or just being really busy. But he's back to it, and starting Phase 3 over again.
My husband is an intermediate exerciser, who lacks the conditioning of someone (like me) who exercises consistently for years. He is finding these workouts very challenging. I often hear him grunting and panting and find him at the end of a workout, lying on the ground spent.
Like most Men's Health workouts, they are geared to men. The set, the male instructor and mostly male background exercisers. The exercises are simple and drill style- no choreography or confusing moves to master. There is a timer on the screen, as well as a bar that tells you what the next exercise is going to be. David Jack also consistently uses the rest periods to demonstrate the next move before you start. David Jack doesn't really work out with you, he goes around giving form pointers, motivational talk, and interacting with the backgrounders. A slight negative is that he tells the background exercisers to go ahead and lead a specific segment, and then talks over them while they're trying to do so. However, they all seem friendly with each other, so they all agreed to do it that way. (I found it annoying)
I think David Jack is a pleasant instructor. He just doesn't have a lot of personality.
The workouts are about 30 minutes each. Each has its own built-in warmup, and each phase has a separate 10 minute cool-down to add at the end. There are 3 background exercisers and they are usually all showing different exercise variations, modifications, or options like adding impact or dumbbells.
You are meant to do Phase 1 for 2 weeks, with a day off between each workout. My husband does some cardio or yoga on his off days. Phases 2 and 3 are 3 weeks.
The exercises are straight forward compound weight exercises and cardio moves. They are all metabolic in nature. Some of them have tempo changes and alternate between isometric and dynamic. I think they are pretty well put together. I tend to nitpick because I think it is more important to work the posterior chain, and most instructors go too heavy on the front body. I think these workouts put more emphasis on the front body. Crush and Burn Complexes (my favorite workout) is the exception- it is basically 5 moves: Romanian Deadlifts, Bent Over Rows, High Pulls, Push Presses, and Front Squats. They change it from holding both dumbbells, to working just one side at a time, and from 8 reps to 5 reps, and keep you moving quickly through the exercises. You go up the list of exercises on one side, then start back down the list of exercises on the other side. Then you're back to holding both dumbbells and going through the exercises again.
For the intensity, I would say the Phase 1 workouts suitable for a beginner, or someone easing back into exercise after a layoff (or just wanting a lighter day). Phases 2 and 3 are solidly intermediate. I did them with heavier weights, and was able to get panting and sweaty and feel like I did some metabolic work. As an advanced exerciser, I like to do two of them back to back, or pair one with something else. All in all, there was only one workout I particularly liked and will probably continue to use because I felt it was unique and filled a need: Crush and Burn Complexes. I also liked the Bonus Disc workout: Free Flow Fitness, which is suitable for a recovery day. It is light movement and stretching with a little bit of lunges and plank work.
Fat Frying Fury, 30 minutes
Total Body Typhoon, 30 minutes
Cool Down 1, 9 minutes
Crush and Burn Complexes, 27 minutes
50/10 Mayhem, 30 minutes
Insane Isometrics, 28 minutes
Cool Down 2, 8 minutes
Diabolical Duos, 28 minutes
Cyclone Circuits, 34 minutes
60-Second Scorchers, 32 minutes
Cool Down 3, 8 minutes
Bonus Disc: Free Flow Fitness, 20 minutes
David Jack is pleasant, knowledgeable, and shows good form.