Conbody Workout: Final Wrap Up Review & Day 6 – Prison Yoga

I’m going to call this a one-week and done program for me. I just don’t see a ton of benefit in doing this for multiple weeks. I know I’d end up losing back strength unless I supplemented the workout with separate strength pulling sessions. I’m not adverse to supplementing a program with extra work. I actually recommend that with a program like Insanity since there is zero back strength work. But, I didn’t want to supplement with this program. I wanted it to be all inclusive.

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Continue reading Conbody Workout: Final Wrap Up Review & Day 6 – Prison Yoga

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Conbody Workout: Day 5 – Full Body Friday

  • Day 5: Full Body Friday
  • Approximate workout time: 20 minutes
  • Estimated energy expenditure: 160 C
  • Max HR: 147 bpm (measured by Garmin Vivosport)
  • Pre-workout nutrition: none (fasted)
  • Post workout nutrition:
    • Protein shake
      • NutriBio unflavored whey
      • Coconut water (Kirkland brand from Costco)
        • Over 600mg potassium per serving – making this the new base of my post-workout drink – nice hit of carbs as well
      • 1 cup frozen blueberries

 

Day 5 in the books. Not a bad cardio session. Recurring moves included:

  • jumping jacks
  • high knees
  • butt kicks
  • squat jacks

Each “round” seemed to come back to those moves at the beginning. This was 20 minutes of continuous cardio w/o programmed rest. When the exercises aren’t “strength” moves, I don’t mind a circuit w/o programmed rest. The only beef I have with yesterday’s programming (and lack of rest) is that those were strength movements, so you should program some rest to allow muscle recovery.

After completing the recurring 4 exercises listed at the top, he peppered in some squat thrusts, burpees, push ups, planks, mountain climbers, and of course, some CORE WORK (#corebody). I must say that mountain climbers for 60 seconds, and then high plank for 60 seconds is a nice pairing. The core sequence at the end was also taxing (flutter kicks, scissors, leg raises as a superset). I’ll give Coss’ team credit – they know how to hit your core.

Some of the exercises went for 30 seconds, some of them went for 60 seconds. It was pretty much dealer’s choice. I did like the fact that the trainer told you what to do if you couldn’t stay engaged for the full 30 (or 60) seconds. Rather than stop the move, he’d tell you to “pull your knees in” or go into the downward dog position. Seemed like he was interested in keeping you under tension even if you couldn’t complete the move. Time under tension is important – even if you aren’t doing an actual movement. More cues like that would have improved the other workouts.

Putting aside my frustration with the lack of back strength training in this program, I kind of liked today’s workout. It is one of those workouts that I’d put on my iPad, and take on the road with me for a quick hotel workout. I broke a nice sweat, my heart rate went up and down, and it doesn’t require equipment.

There is not a programmed cooldown, so I did the usual two minutes of dynamic movement to bring my heart rate down.

Unless we do pull ups during “Prison Yoga” we will have gone the entire program without a single pull up (with a pull up bar in the gym). Big missed opportunity by the ConBody team.

 

Any experience with the Conbody program? Have you done one of his live courses in NYC? If so, please let us know your experience. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” and share. Thank you!

Conbody Workout: Day 4 – Hardcore Thursday

  • Day 4: Hardcore Thursday
  • Approximate workout time: 21 minutes
  • Estimated energy expenditure: 111 C
  • Max HR: 135 bpm (measured by Garmin Vivosport)
  • Pre-workout nutrition: none (fasted)
  • Post workout nutrition:
    • Protein shake
      • NutriBio unflavored whey
      • RealReds supplement
      • Coconut water (Kirkland brand from Costco)
        • Over 600mg potassium per serving – making this the new base of my post-workout drink – nice hit of carbs as well
      • 1 TBSP almond butter
      • 1 TBSP heavy cream

 

Day 4 – not happy. We finally did some back work in this blitz on the upper body. But, EVEN WITH A FREAKING PULL UP BAR IN THE GYM, we still don’t do a single pull up. Rather, for the back portion of the supersets, we did variations on the standing bodyweight row (wrap a towel around a pole, fall back, and pull yourself up). I understand that maybe the workout is scaled down to cater to those that can’t do a pull up, BUT, atleast give an “advanced” programming option with pull ups for those that can do pull ups and want them in their workout.

The workout has zero warmup. The trainer (different guy than first three days) just starts you off with 20 reps of diamond push ups. Okay – no pull ups, but fire out 20 diamond push ups. Hmmm.

The structure is pretty basic. Three rounds of 3 sets of exercises…

  • Push up exercise (diamond, normal, wide)
  • Standing row exercise (overhand, underhand, wide)
  • Dip exercise (close, normal, wide)
  • Ab exercise (toe touch, crunch, leg raise)

He wants you to do 20 of each exercise. I’ll admit, my chest endurance couldn’t keep up – I was cranking out only 11-13 reps on the last few sets. BUT, on some of the other exercises, his cadence is just too fast. I have good strength/endurance on back and core moves (especially leg raises), but he was going at pretty much a 1-1 cadence (1 second concentric, 1 second eccentric, little to no pause at the top or bottom of the move). I can’t say that I agree with that method. I found it hard to try and keep pace with him w/o sacrificing form.

Oh, and give more than 20 seconds rest after completing a tri-superset. You can’t expect a person to recover with 20 seconds of rest after they just finished 240 reps over the course of 3 sets with no programmed rest.

The workout did give me a pump, but I think it’s flawed in its programming. And, if this workout is supposed to be for people that aren’t advanced, you should really consider offering some modifications on the moves (diamond push ups, dips, etc) so that beginners can still try to follow along and build up to the maximum progression. This workout just threw you off the deep end w/o much coaching. He demos the move, but doesn’t talk much about form or cuing. This is stuff you need to do when putting out a workout program for the masses.

There is not a programmed cooldown, so I did the usual two minutes of dynamic movement to bring my heart rate down.

We have one workout let to make me do a pull up. If there aren’t any pull ups, I’m closing the book on this program.

 

Any experience with the Conbody program? Have you done one of his live courses in NYC? If so, please let us know your experience. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” and share. Thank you!

Conbody Workout: Day 3 – Lock Down Wednesday

  • Day 3: Lock Down Wednesday
  • Approximate workout time: 18 minutes
  • Estimated energy expenditure: 118 C
  • Max HR: 150 bpm (measured by Garmin Vivosport)
  • Pre-workout nutrition: none (fasted)
  • Post workout nutrition:
    • Protein shake

 

Day 3 = complete. I knew there was no back work today when I peeked at the description last night. This was going to be solely a leg workout. I quietly cursed to myself and moved on.

The trainer from day 1 was back, and I finally figured out his counting cadence. He uses the military style (1-2-3- ONE, 1-2-3- TWO, etc). I remember that from 22 Minute Hard Corp (Tony Horton), so it quickly clicked in my brain when I realized what it was. And, this time I heard the music again, so I’ll update my comment on production values to say, “yes, there is some faint music.”

A few notes so far…

  1. They work out in their socks. Okay – no big deal. I work out in my old black Vans (I like zero-rise footwear).
  2. The trainers say “beast-mode” a lot. I hope Marshawn Lynch is okay with that.
  3. The program should be called Corebody. They hit your core in every workout. I wish they put that much effort into the back muscles. So far, this program is underwhelming except for the core work.
  4. I think jump ropes should be sold in the prison commissary. These guys need to learn about the world of warm ups beyond jumping jacks.

I did some yoga last night to see how my glute was doing (still can’t sprint 100%). Range of motion is there, so that is a step in the right direction. I decided to go hard on this leg day and see how it felt. It felt pretty good. I think I’m probably ready to run in some capacity again.

The workout was very leg centric (with some core) as the DVD package promised. Lots of squat moves, lunges, and hip moves. I do like the modified “get up” that he makes you do (he did this in the first workout also). Basically, from a standing position, sit down (use your right arm first), put your legs out, pull your legs back in, and stand back up using the same arm you used on the way down. Do that 10 times on the right and 10 times on the left. Not a bad little move.

I will give Coss some credit – the sequence he put together with leg raises, butterfly raises, and then combo raises (butterfly to kick) is a nice hip burner. I’ll definitely be sharing that sequence with my Wednesday morning friends next time we have a session.

Finally, he brings back an old school Jane Fonda move where you widen your feet, squat down, grab the outside of your ankles, and pump your butt up and down for high reps. Believe it or not, you do feel this move. It’s not just stupid looking. It has a function.

Note – I tried to find a photo on google by searching butt pump, glute pump, etc, but couldn’t find anything without my search history getting super weird. 

The last core sequence goes for 3 rounds and BURNS. Again – Corebody – not Conbody.

There is not a programmed cooldown, so I did the usual two minutes of dynamic movement to bring my heart rate down.

There better be some back work tomorrow!

 

Any experience with the Conbody program? Have you done one of his live courses in NYC? If so, please let us know your experience. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” and share. Thank you!

Conbody Workout: Day 2 – Tough Love Tuesday

  • Day 2: Tough Love Tuesday
  • Approximate workout time: 22 minutes
  • Estimated energy expenditure: 234 C
    • I didn’t see that coming – workout felt pretty pedestrian
  • Max HR: 154 bpm (measured by Garmin Vivosport)
  • Pre-workout nutrition: none (fasted)
  • Post workout nutrition:
    • Protein shake
      • NutriBio unflavored whey
      • RealReds supplement
      • Coconut water (Kirkland brand from Costco)
        • Over 600mg potassium per serving – making this the new base of my post-workout drink – nice hit of carbs as well
      • 1/2 avocado (more potassium)

 

Day 2 of Conbody is done! I felt like this trainer was a little easier to follow (looks like they will have a different trainer each time). And, I did hear some music in the background this time, albeit faintly. Maybe I missed it yesterday??? Anyway – back to the trainer. I felt like he was a little more interactive, and his counts were loud enough and made sense where I didn’t have to look at the screen every 5 seconds to see if we moved to a different sequence. Believe it or not – that matters – when you are in the midst of a set, you don’t want to unfocus and look at the screen to see what is going on. You want verbal CUES to guide you, and the screen should supplement. So, thumbs up on day 2 cuing.

The workout started with a brief warmup (thank you), and then drifted into the work segments. We did leg work, chest work, and ab work. The biggest omission was back work. We did zero back work. I’ll argue that the “reverse plank” we did does hit the posterior chain, but I’m talking about latissimus dorsi work. You know – the big back muscles. The pull up muscles.

Not these pull ups (although Lightning McQueen is pretty kick ass)…

not these pullups

These pull ups…

these pullups

I’d say the highlight of the workout was the unloaded shoulder presses we did directly following our plank work. I actually felt a little burn in my shoulders. As a side note, if you ever want to set your shoulders on FIRE, try this move for 60 seconds after doing either planks or push ups…these are called shoulder diamonds, and they will get you.

shoulder diamonds

Other than that, the chest work was underwhelming, but the leg work gets your legs burning. The clear winner of the leg work is the iron mikes. You can never go wrong with plyometric lunges. Having your hands on your head forces your torso upright which makes it just a touch harder than regular plyo lunges where you articulate your arms in a running motion.

 

There is not a programmed cooldown, so I did the usual two minutes of dynamic movement to bring my heart rate down.

Two days in and no back work – I’m getting ANTSY.

FEED ME BACK WORK!

 

Any experience with the Conbody program? Have you done one of his live courses in NYC? If so, please let us know your experience. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” and share. Thank you!

Conbody Workout: Day 1 – Maniac Monday

  • Day 1: Maniac Monday
  • Approximate workout time: 20 minutes
  • Estimated energy expenditure: 130 C
  • Max HR: 159 bpm (measured by Garmin Vivosport)
    • My biggest spike was at the end with the burpees
  • Pre-workout nutrition: none (fasted)
  • Post workout nutrition:
    • Protein shake
      • NutriBio unflavored whey
      • RealReds supplement
      • Coconut water (Kirkland brand from Costco)
        • Over 600mg potassium per serving – making this the new base of my post-workout drink – nice hit of carbs as well
      • 1/2 avocado (more potassium)

 

Day 1 of Conbody is in the books. The focus of this workout is supposed to be fat-burning and cardio. As I’m getting wiser in my old age, I’m learning that those terms are nebulous at best. You can really make any activity “cardio” by upping the intensity, lengthening the duration, and manipulating rest. Livestrong.com defines cardio as, “…any activity that increases heart rate and respiration while using large muscle groups repetitively and rhythmically.” In that sense, yes, this was a cardio workout. As far as fat burning…well, as we are learning more and more, the ability to burn fat is as much a function of your exercise as it is your nutrition. I’d argue more nutrition than anything, so when a workout says its fat-burning, I take it with a big ol’ grain of Himalayan sea salt. After doing this workout, I’d call it more of a core workout than anything. It hit my core the hardest.

From a production values standpoint, this is a very basic presentation. The trainer is in a room with a very simple backdrop, I don’t think there was any music really going, and the timer was a numberless bar on the right side of the screen. I’m not saying that production values are critically important to me personally – if the workout is well programmed and challenges me, then I don’t care if the instructor is doing it in a cardboard box. I’m here for the work! But, since there is a very large universe of exercise programs out there, it’s worth comparing production values if that is something the consumer views as important, and helps inform a purchasing decision. At the very least, I’d say the production values shouldn’t NEGATIVELY impact the experience. If there is no timer or visual progress cue, or if the sound mixing is bad to the point where you can’t hear the instructor, then I’d certainly care about production values. I will note that I think exercise programs with a “class” or “group” of people doing the workout tend to keep my interest more than just a single dude or dudette in front of the camera. As odd as it sounds, you feel a sense of camaraderie with the group even though you aren’t there. It’s reassuring to see people doing the same work you are, and going through the same struggles (or triumphs) that you are.

The actual workout was a mixture of basic bodyweight moves (jumping jacks, planks, push ups, high knees, butt kicks, burpees, etc). It starts off with jumping jacks, so call that your warm up. Note – if you need more time to get your blood pumping or joints going, try doing a light warm up before you press play. I’ll always recommend light jump roping as a great warmup.

It takes a few exercises to get used to his counting. I’m still not sure what the exact cadence is (maybe its 2-4 reps per his 1 count), but I’m sure I’ll figure it out. Each exercise seemed to last for about 1 minute (I think). There wasn’t any real programmed “rest” – just brief pauses as he transitioned from one move to the next. That is when you need to grab your water if you are going to drink it.

Overall, it wasn’t a crazy-hard workout. It gets your blood pumping and gets your heart rate up. Probably the best part of the workout is the array of core moves and their programming. You can really feel a core burn towards the end. About halfway through, he programs high/low planks pretty close to each other, so you can feel the deep muscle burn towards the end of the low planks. Later, near the end, he pairs together static straight leg holds, flutter kicks, and traditional crunches. That sequence puts your core into overdrive. I guess I’ll know I’m progressing if I can get through that tri-set w/o putting my legs down for a breather.

There is not a programmed cooldown, so take about 2 minutes to dynamically move back and forth, and let your heart rate come down.

I’m looking forward to the upcoming strength workouts with the push/pull moves. I’m really hoping that those catch my interest. This workout alone wouldn’t have me clamoring to keep coming back.

 

Any experience with the Conbody program? Have you done one of his live courses in NYC? If so, please let us know your experience. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” and share. Thank you!