If T25 Alpha is a gateway to Insanity, its next phase, Beta, is your ticket to Insanity: The Asylum. It not just that intensity ramps up in the Beta phase, but that the style of training becomes more diverse, which physiologically translates into it targeting more areas of fitness, a-la what happens when you enter the Asylum.
There are two primary reasons, dedicated weight training and an upper body focused workout. Of course, it also builds on Alpha, which Shaun goes into here, focusing primarily on how everything radiates from the core (kind of a given from the guy who made Hip Hop Abs, but a lesson in functionality nonetheless).
But the secret sauce is more subtle, requiring a little more definition. The Beta progression adds an upper body workout, which gives your legs an additional day of rest, and thus allowing the lower body work to take things up an additional notch. Those of you familiar with Muscle Confusion understand why this is the case. Basically the training has become more systematic.
The dedicated “weight training” requires further explanation because it’s unlikely you’ve ever done anything like it. In fact, unless you’ve done Vol 2 of Asylum it’s almost assured that you haven’t, because Shaun made it up.
The story goes something like this:
Shaun visits our Scientific Advisory Board head, Dr. Marcus Elliott, at his P3 training facility—which you’ve heard of if you’ve seen P90X2, which worked extensively here. P3 is arguably the most advance training facility in the country and caters exclusively to athletes. While P90X2 used P3’s techniques verbatim (though tailored for a general audience), Shaun went a different direction.
Back in New York, Shaun went to work hybrid-ing what he learned at P3 with his experience as a dancer and track athlete and came up with something unique. Since it was his own creation, basically, we need to test and tweak it for a while until the resulting mash-up was creating massive results in test groups.
The resulting technique, dubbed Focus Interval Training (which you’ll hear on TV but not the vids as it hadn’t been named yet), debuted in Asylum, Vol 2. It was deemed appropriate for T25 as well, in the Beta phase once you’d built a solid foundation with Alpha (and just might ramp up a little more in Gamma). Without going into too much boring detail of why it works (because I hear you guys tend to tune out when I do this), it’s circuit training where you do motor skill or plyometric movements during your “down time”, essentially meaning that over the course of a workout your breaks simple shift the forces loads to different systems of your body. Some of what you’re training are proprioception, engram building, post-activation potentiation at an introducary level and good old muscular endurance–whew.
While less brutal in T25 than Asylum, it likely won’t feel that way when you first do it. Probably more like, “What? This is our rest break?!” And, as discussed in how the Alpha phase preps you for Insanity, these workouts are building a massive foundation and preparing you for some of the hardest workouts ever put on video. The best part about it that the foundation you’re building will serve you well in life, helping you move and age better, whether you take that next step or not.