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Train like a Champion! *no not really*
on February 19, 2012
GSP's tag line on the cover says "if you want to be a champion, you have to train like one." While this is surly motivating as hell sounding. I'm not 100% sure these are the actual workouts GSP does when he's training. But I'm 37 and out of shape so I'm 100% sure even if I finish this program, my chances of ever being a champion at anything are slim to none. None to be exact, well unless it's something like chili fry eating champion. But I digress, I'm really puzzled this has no reviews on here, the individual disc does but not the entire program. So I thought a solid review of the whole package would be nice. 1st, as I already state I'm 37, and have been doing 3 or so miles 3x a week on the treadmill at my gym for the last 9 or so months. I haven't been doing anything in the way of weights, except for some push ups here and there. So it's just jogging and some running. There are no shortage of DVD workout programs you can buy, but I decided to go with this for the following reasons:
1. Much cheaper than either p90x or Insanity
2. Workouts are much shorter, but don't misunderstand short doesn't make them easy, this programs still very taxing. It just takes a lot less time out of my day, which is a good thing.
Now I'm writing this review slightly over a week into the 8 week beginner program, but I've done all the workouts with the exception of 1. So I have a pretty good grasp of the program and how it works. The basic flow goes like this - 11 minute warm up, 25 minute workout consisting of 5 5 minute sets with a very small breather in between each. And a 7 minute cool down. The exception's the bonus DVD where you're pitted against GSP himself in a fitness test to see how you improve. You do this 6 times during the 8 weeks, at least in the beginner circuit. More on it in a bit. Now if you're as out of shape as me, you'll find even though it's called the "warm up" it's still fairly taxing. Now for the advanced track you have less rest days, and days where you do 1 workout in the morning and a different one that night.
Honestly this isn't a program for the dude who wants to look like Ronnie from Jersey Shore, while I'm sure you will get some muscles from it. The program's for overall fitness. As far as straight strength, disc 1 has 3 rounds where you use dumbbells, and outside of a a bit on disc 5 everything else uses just body weight. I would say this program's sort of a lite version combo of p90x + Insanity. And I don't mean lite in a bad way, this is actually a very solid program, and if you put your all into it you will see results. The main dude here is GSP's real life trainer, and ex MMA fighter himself. So he lends some credibility. He's very serious and to the point, so if you like a more light hearted fun approach, look elsewhere. But, GSP does chime in from time to time with his funny Frenchie accent. While GSP's in every workout, he's not really there for much else than he's GSP and the workout has his name on it. He does toss in bits of wisdom here and there, and reminds you you need to push harder if you want to be a champion. Maybe by the end of week 8 I'll try out for the UFC and live out my arm chair fantasy! Or maybe not :(
The disc's are set up so you're never doing the same types of work outs 2 days in a row. I'm very unflexable (not a word I know...) so it was a complete epic fail the 1st time I did the "Stretch For Flexibility" workout. And I didn't fare any better at the "Balance & Agility" one either. Hopefully by the end of week 8 I'll actually be flexible and not fall on my a** when I'm trying to do one of the many balance exercises on the latter workout. Thanks to GSP for constantly saying "if you can't do it, don't 'orry keep trying!" I wonder if all people in Canada are this positive. And thankfully the head trainer says the same thing, and for every exercise will show an alternate, or as I like to call them "girly way" to do them for the people who just can't pull them off the way they're being done in the video. And no, I'm not the least bit ashamed that 1 week in I've had to do the "alternate version" of quite a few of the exercise, SO WHAT! But I shouldn't have said girly version, as there's a woman in the videos and she's doing the exercises the right way :( Oh and there's a disc called "The Fight Conditioning" which has you doing fight moves (of sorts) I lack coordination, and some of the exercises here involve 5 of 6 moves. I cannot dance to save my life, and these really did feel like I was trying to dance. Even after watching, re-watching, and re-re watching the intros on how to do them. I was still horrible at them. I was waiting for GSP to look directly at me and say "I am not impressed with your performance!" thankfully the technology to make that possible doesn't yet exist.
Here are the pros:
workouts are much shorter than p90x or Insanity, but when you finish one you'll still feel you had a great workout, you don't need to work out for 1.5 hours to get results. I was POURING sweat today after the Strength & Endurance workout.
GSP is generally cheery and does his best to motivate you. And it helps me when Eric (main guy) asks GSP how he feels and Georges says "ohhhh! I feel 'errible, I really 'ate this exercise!" Maybe he's lying but he comes across as human. So him saying he's struggling makes me feel not so bad that I'm struggling. Even though I know even if he's telling the truth about struggling, GSP struggling doesn't = my struggling lulz. (oh well)
The program can be re-done on intermediate and advanced. Where you're doing the same workouts just more frequently. And honestly since you're suppose to push to your max intensity, there's really no reason you couldn't go back and do this program a dozen times and still see results. It's just a good set of basic workouts.
It costs a whole lot less than p90x or Insanity, while I'm sure both could be better, this one's still very good. And if you push yourself while doing it I don't see how it wouldn't be comparable to them.
All you need's 2 dumbbells, and nothing heavy.
This is just a personal thing, in fact for some people it might actually be a plus. But, after the Balance & Agility workout you do a fit test where they have you do 4 exercises for 1 minute each. You record your numbers each time and can see your progress. This is great by itself, but while you're doing it, GSP's on the screen doing the same things. And he moves like a damn robot that's powered by Crack. It's really disheartening when I'm doing my best but barely chugging out 41 squats in a minute. While his a** is on the TV and did 70 WTH Georges, we know you're a super athletic, cut me some slack! For some I could see this bringing out the competitive nature in them. But even after 8 weeks my numbers for these 4 exercises will pale in comparison to his. It's really unreal what kind of shape this dude's in. I find it harder for me to push myself when I feel like I'm in a competition I know I'm going to lose from the start.
only other con sort of pertains to the last 1. They're not clear in the workout guide if you're suppose to do the fit test directly after the Balance & Agility workout, or wait until later. Hummmm the 1st time I did it, I did it right after the workout. It's probably suppose to be done hours later. And that would explain why I was only able to do 41 air squats and GSP did 75.
GSP also did 22 Burpees in a minute. Mind you this was after a minute of squats, minute of push ups & minute of sit ups. If you don't know what Burpees are, Google them, all I have to say about them is they're pure evil.
Oh yeah before I end this and forget, after the cool down segment, Eric & GSP go over the exercises and explain them in pretty good detail. So you can get a better understanding of what you're doing, and how to really do it properly.
UPDATE TIME! Have a little over a week left, I'll only be doing the Fit Test 1 more time on the very last day.
air squats - 44
Push ups 22
Sit ups - 22
Burpees - 1 *LOL* I didn't try, I just sort of gave up.
Air Squats - 51
Push ups - 31
Sit ups 22
Burpees - 10
Air Squats - 69
Push ups - 43
Sit ups - 26
Burpees - 16
Air Squats - 77
Push ups - 48
Sit ups - 30
Burpees - 17
Air Squats - 84
Push ups - 56
Sit ups - 23
Burpees - 20
My form isn't 100% for the entire 60 seconds, but outside of my Sit ups I'm seeing much better numbers each fit assesment, still gotta do the fit test 3 more times so I'll update this with results after each.