It’s About Time! My review of Focus T25

“No time to workout? I just found some for you”  is the header on the Shaun T FocusT25 promotion available from Beachbody, and this is exactly why I was interested in giving Focus T25 a try.  Sure, you may be running through your head the 7 minute abs scene from There’s Something About Mary, but I was looking for something that was challenging, fun, and quick – and from my experience with Insanity, I knew that Focus T25 would be exactly that.

BeachbodyFocusT25(2)The Scoop:

Focus T25 is a full-body workout in 25 minutes, with zero rest, for 5 days a week. You literally sweat from one move to the next for the entire 25 minutes (I added a few pauses for hydration and to wipe my sweaty brow). The workouts are formatted using Focus Interval Training which works every muscle group in your body consecutively, targeting on one muscle group at a time, before switching it up and working it again.

Focus T25 is 11 nonstop workouts on 9 DVDs, which are separated into two “cycles,” the first set (5 weeks long) being the Alpha which gives you the foundation for the series, and then the Beta cycle (another 5 weeks) which focuses on the core. You can also purchase an additional Gamma series (another 4 weeks) which is a purely strength series of workouts ( I didn’t try the Gamma series). The Alpha/Beta series also contains many of the usual BeachBody essentials including  a quick-start guide, nutrition plan, workout calendars, a B-LINES resistance band (15 lb.), and a 5-Day Fast Track Guide which includes nutrition and workout details you can add to the first five days “to get a head start on getting ripped.”

The Glows:

Here’s what I loved…

1. The Time! Shaun T did exactly what he intended on doing by giving a massively sweat inducing heart pumping workout in just 25 minutes.

2. The Motivation. It’s an at home workout, chances are you’re completing it alone, but Shaun T will inspire and motivate you to move as if hes was in your living room shouting at you as he does the fitness pros in the video.

3. The Fitness Pros. These people in the video are experts, if their abs don’t inspire you to push harder their realness (or excellent acting skills) will. You see them pushing to the max and it makes you want to do the same!

4. The Visuals. The video screen has many added features to help communicate with the user. You are shown the count down for the duration of the interval, the remaining time in the entire workout, as well as the name of the move and what’s coming next.

The Grows: 

…and what I didn’t:

1. The Cool Down. It  isn’t included in the 25 minutes. Once The video ended with an intense push – I thought how can that be it – huge mistake as an educated fitness source. But nope, there IS a cool-down it’s just in addition to the 25 minutes.

2. Sports Training. For many people this DVD series will be amazing. If you are into obstacle races, sport conditioning, or functional training you will love this workout. Personally I didn’t looove it. And it’s not because the content wasn’t awesome, it is, it’s just that personally it’s not my style. My time is valuable, and if I’m going to commit to something, I need to enjoy it and look forward to it – and although I was working hard and sweating up a storm – I just wasn’t in love.


Shaun T does exactly what he promises, providing a seriously sweat inducing workout (in the comfort of your own home) –  in only 25 minutes! If you are looking for something to motivate you to move and then quickly move on with your day, this is it! For more information click here!

7 Holiday Gift Ideas For Your FitFriend

Everyone has a friend that runs marathons or obstacle races, or a family member who wants to get fit on their holiday shopping list. To help shoppers buy for fitness-enthusiasts here are my top seven get fit gift ideas – and the best news, they can all be bought online!

1. The Asylum

Okay, this first gift doesn’t sound very happy holidays and it’s not, this is a butt kicking extreme at home workout that will make you regret even smelling the beautiful combination of egg nog and gingerbread! I started The Asylum leading up to the Hamilton Road 2 Hope Marathon and it is killer. I was intrigued in the program because of the recent surge in functional fitness style workouts and local programs like Game Changer, so thought giving it a try at home would save me some embarrassment in the park. Insanity: The Asylum is  Beachbody’s latest home fitness programs with celebrity trainer Shaun T. It’s a 30 day elite sports training program, which would be a great gift for athletes of all levels including those just getting started and those training for marathons, triathlons, and especially obstacle races. It includes the 6 DVDs, a workout tracking calendar, a nutrition plan, as well as both a jump rope and agility ladder for the many die hard drills. It does require some floor space (my Toronto condo was tight), but with some creativity you can make it work and it’s well worth it! Asylum is available at Best Buy, Sears, TV Showcase, Walmart, and for $119.99.


2. Oakley Extreme Tight Capris

I love the look and feel of these tights, and every time I wear them I feel like I am in a scene from Tron (the new one) come to life. Created for “zoned support and mobility,” the Extreme Tight Capris are a high–performance compression fit capris. They have stretch panels which cover key alignment areas of the body, and a nearly seamless construction which “reduces chafing and increases durability.” The capris also have articulated knees and mesh panels which “provide a natural feel and optimize airflow.” These capris would be a great gift for any active gal who likes putting her clothes through demanding multi–sport workouts, run, yoga, or cross-fit, these capris will have you covered. Available in store and online at for $100.

oakley pants

3. Nike+ SportWatch GPS

After my Nike+ SportBand died I needed something new and knew many runners rocking the Nike + SportWatch so decided it give it a try. The reason Why I am so happy with this watch is best described on their sight “Think Less, Run Better Put on your Nike+ SportWatch GPS, go outside and run.” The SportWatch allows you to personalize the scrolling data that you want to see during your run which includes the ability  to track your pace, distance, calories and heart rate and more. It contains a built in USB into the watch strap, so post run you just plug the watch directly into a USB port on your computer to upload run data and recharge the battery. You can also combine this watch with the Nike+ shoe sensor which acts as an optional backup if the GPS signal gets interrupted or for indoor use on the treadmill. The SportWatch also allows you to connect with which allows you to connect with friends through Challenges and sharing your run activity on Facebook and Twitter, and also allows you to see your mapped route with pace data, and elevation changes. Available in your local Nike store, at or for $169.


4. Saje Natural Wellness Pain Release Natures Remedy Roll On

While in Vancouver for the SeaWheeze Half Marathon last August I was introduced to Saje and fell in love with this store. The air at the start of the race was filled with the scent of their Pain Release Remedy Roll as their army of volunteers filtered through the start line massaging this oil onto the necks of the eager runners. The Pain Release Remedy Roll On is an all natural pain release remedy which is a safe, gentle topical recovery tool for all skin types. The easy-to-use roll on format is ideal for muscular pain, joint stiffness, external bruising and arthritis, and is perfect for your FitFriend who may need some extra recovery help after those long runs or tough strength workouts.  Available at for $26.95.


5. Tiny Devotions Stack

For many years I have been in love with Tiny Devotions and their mala beads and gorgeous stacks. Perfect for yogis, yoginis, or mindful athletes, every piece of jewelry is connected to an intention such as love, joy, patience, focus, adventure, freedom, and strength to name a few. Below is the Bardot Stack, named after Bridget Bardot (a piece I have been coveting for a while). This yellow and cherry quartz, lotus and sky blue fire agate stack has the intention of being a beautiful person on the inside and out. I suggest purchasing a stack over a mala necklace because personally I love to mix my stacks with each other as well as other pieces of jewellery for the ultimate arm party – I’ve even mixed my Gangster stack with my Goddess stack, my RoadID and Nike SportWatch for what I refer to as Endurance Boho or Mindful Athlete style. Available online at stacks are made in Canada and range in price depending on the stones. The Bardot stack is available for $127.


6. RoadID, Wrist ID Slim

If you are shopping for a runner, cyclists, or anyone who likes to get fit outdoors, the RoadID should be a must on you list.  Their website puts it best stating that “in the event of an accident, if you can’t speak for yourself, your Road ID will.” RoadID is a silicon bracelet with the emergency contact information of the wearer. After deciding to no longer race with my cell phone, Road ID for me was a must, because “it’s not just a piece of gear – it’s piece of mind.” I purchased a black  Wrist ID Slim which is the slimmest (or smallest) ID in their lineup – also suitable for kids. The website states “with its stylish and comfortable silicone band, you will be tempted to make a lifestyle statement and wear it 24/7” and to be honest I have considered that – especially when off to functions with other fit peeps (read above re. arm party). Like all their ID products, The Wrist ID Slim can be laser engraved with  three emergency contacts and is available in ten different colors. Side note – be sure to double check your phone numbers – I wrote my sisters down wrong 😦 Available at for $17.99. (Shoppers hint: there are often sales and promo codes flying around the internet so do a quick Google search to save on shipping.)


7. A Gift Card to Your Local Fitness Studio or Race Registration

I love sweating in new ways and January is always a great (although crowded) time to start. Consider purchasing an entry fee to an upcoming race event or a month long membership (or at least a 5 class pass) for your FitFriend at their favourite gym or a new studio within the community. Better yet, make a purchase for the two of you and start 2014 off sweating together!

What’s on your fitness holiday wish list? Share it in the comments!

Confession: I LOVE at Home Fitness Videos

It’s the truth, I do. I love the convenience, I love that most videos are a comprehensive workout program, I love how fun and sometimes over the top they are, and I love how much of a great value they are (of course that’s when you stick with it for more than a week!).

garnfondo 027This is some of my collection (Confession 2: When I was taking this photo I removed some – sorry Richard).

Most of the videos that I’ve purchased over the past 8 years come from Beachbody which means they are more than just a workout video. The Beachbody programs i’ve experienced include a food plan with healthy recipes, a complete workout schedule, and often equipment like a resistance band.

When I used to think of at home videos I typically thought of programs geared at women, but over the years this has changed, and I know of at least a dozen guys who started working out at home thanks to Beachbody fitness guru and creator of P90X, Tony Horton.

P90X_3D 2012

P90X is an “extreme” fitness system which uses muscle confusion to challenge the body with strength training, cardio, core, yoga, and flexibility.

Tony himself admits to wishing he had access to the videos he later created early on in his life. Horton admits that in University he knew nothing about fitness and diet and if he had, his college experience would’ve been completely different “I probably would have had a greater attention span in school which would have led to higher performance on my tests. I certainly would have looked better which would have given me greater confidence.”

For me, at home fitness programs like P90X, provide a comprehensive workout I don’t need to think about, and total convenience. These programs can easily be done in the comfort of your own home, with limited space and equipment, and can be done at a time that is convenient for you. For me? I sneak in my strength the second I get home from work before I head out for a run or yoga. (Confession 3: I hate mornings, but wish so much that I could get up in the am and sneak in my strength then).

Do you have a fitness workout video that you just love? How do you sneak in fitness at home with limited time or space? Let me know in the comments!