Core de Force REVIEW – Day 13 – Power Sculpt

I did today’s workout barefoot.

It was kind of a value judgement in my head. I’d have to go all the way upstairs to get my workout shoes, and then go all the way down into the basement. I was already halfway to the basement by being on the main floor, so I said screw it. Besides, there is a huge risk that I’d wake up Baby Breaking and Mrs. Breaking, so…barefoot it is.

I’m serious – that is how my brain works.

You might think that is nuts (and yes, it is), but I actually believe in minimalist footwear and no-rise soles to begin with (note – those are two different things). It started with a pair of New Balance Minimus shoes a couple of years ago. I did both P90X2 and some Insanity Max 30 work in those shoes and loved it. After that, I started getting into no-rise soles in my shoes and really digging the minimalist approach to footwear. I’m a huge fan of Vans now. I work out in Vans, I brew beer in Vans, and wear Vans to work. They slip on and are both simple and stylish. What isn’t too love?

So, back to the topic of am I an idiot for workout out barefoot? There is some yes, but probably a little more no.  In my own experience, and this is corroborated by some research I did, while barefoot running or exercising hasn’t been PROVEN (most of the successes have been anecdotal) to offer long term benefits or performance gains, it has been shown to improve form in the short term. In the case of running or jumping, the lack of foot protection lends itself to the person making biomechanical adaptations to make the move less uncomfortable. In the case of running, that will lend to more of a midfoot or front foot strike, and in the case of jumping, you’ll strive to land softer.

Now, this argument isn’t science based – its more kind of a loose logical construct…think of it this way, our caveman ancestors didn’t have a slick pair of Air Jordans – they just went about their day chasing wild game and climbing trees with their good ol’ minimalist FEET. You can argue that we are designed (to a certain extent) to be barefoot at least sometimes. There seems to be a lot of information out there pointing to improved foot strength and overall better foot health when you spend some time barefoot (if you do it right).

Heck, Dr. Josh Axe in his book, “Eat Dirt,” posits that we should spend more time walking around barefoot outside to expose our gut biome to necessary bacteria. It is also suggests that being barefoot outside is good for us due to the benefits of “grounding.” 

So, as far as my workout today sans shoes – it wasn’t any harder. I did feel a better connection to the ground on the jumping moves. I will say that the friction between the soles of my feet and the rubber horse stall mats I workout on was a bit annoying towards the end, but that just forced me to improve my form to reduce the amount of strike and friction.

Aside from the quick 24 minute workout, this one is probably my favorite workout. The 9 rounds is just right to get a sweat going, and there is just enough power work with the push ups to make you feel like you were productive. I still think the 1 minute of push ups in round 9 is awful, and I’ll keep saying that until Day 30.

Move of the day: switch roundhouse kicks – because they are awesome!

Check out the rest of the Core de Force workouts HERE.

Day 13 – Core de Force, Power Sculpt

  • Time – 36 minutes
  • Structure – warmup, 9 rounds work, cool down
    • Each round is 3 minutes
      • 3 moves – 60 seconds, 45 seconds, 35 seconds, the moves get progressively harder as the duration lessens

  • Warmup – 2 min
    • Boxer bounce, arm swinging, rolling, and wide leg windmill toe touches
  • Round 1
    • Hip drive through
    • Jumping firefly
    • Half-monkey circle jump to guard
  • Round 2
    • Switch roundhouse kick
    • Ground to fighter stance
    • Low stance switch
  • Round 3
    • Ginga hop
    • Alternating clinch knees
    • Triple alligator push up
  • Round 4
    • Roll jumps
    • Plank skaters
    • Half superman push up
  • Rounds 5-8 are an exact repeat of rounds 1-4 w/o any modifications
  • Round 9 – full 3 minutes, no rest but for transitions
    • Left reverse lunge + clinch knee (30 sec)
    • Right reverse lunge + clinch knee (30 sec)
    • Push up + leg check
    • Guarded squat + squat jump
  • Cool down – 2 minutes (don’t skip this – it feels good and you need this)

Next on deck for week 2 is Active Recovery, then on to WEEK 3! I’m not even going to look ahead to see how many times I’ll have to suffer through Core Kinetics.

What is Core de Force?

CdF is a mixed-martial arts inspired workout that combines dynamic boxing, kickboxing, muay thai, and basic bodyweight moves into a cardio-focused workout. There are a total of 10 workouts in the basic kit.

How long is Core de Force?

The basic calendar is 30 days, but there are hybrid calendars that can extend the experience. Workouts range between 26 and 47 minutes long.

Where can I get Core de Force?

You can access with a Beachbody On Demand subscription, or check out this link.

Is there any equipment required?

No – this is 100% a bodyweight workout.

Is there a nutrition plan?

Yes. The program offers a full nutrition plan and recipes to support your workout. The portions/calories center around the containers featured in the 21-Day Fix program. There are four meal plans that should cover the majority of calorie needs. The overall macro breakdown for the plan is approximately 40% carbs, 30% protein, and 30% fat. If you are at a point where you feel like you have your nutrition dialed in, and understand how to manipulate macro nutrients to get your own best results, there is probably no reason to follow this nutrition plan. In general, nutrition plans that supplement workout programs are geared towards people that are just starting to learn about proper nutrition habits, so this type of regiment provides a framework. As always, you should consult with your physician before making any radical changes to your diet and/or nutrition habits, especially if you are currently managing any type of heath issues or metabolic conditions.


Have you ever tried or completed the Core de Force published by Beachbody? If so, let us know about your experience and what you think in the comments. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” and share. Thanks!


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