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Does Core De Force Work? Workout Reviews (Complete List)

 

 

Core De Force Review

 

 

Core De Force Review… Does it work?

 

I was very excited to hear about the launch of the new mixed martial arts (MMA), kickboxing-based program CORE DE FORCE created by Beachbody Supertrainers Joel Freeman and Jericho McMatthews… Explosive total body workouts and focused nutrition plan to accelerate performance/results while having a lot of fun. This new fitness and nutrition program features MMA moves and techniques from Muay Thai, kickboxing and boxing that work your core from every angle. Core rotational speed and force will be primary to drive the movements in each round.

 

 

 

So, the best way to find out if something is going to work for you is to try it, right? The second best way is to do your own research based on the first-hand experience of others. My goal with this detailed Core De Force Review is to both try the program AND create perspective for you to make a decision on Core De Force for your health and fitness goals. I am also interested to see differences in Core De Force relative to the Beachbody – Les Mills workouts of Combat and Pump. Joel and Jericho are very familiar with those programs and the success helped solidify them as official Beachbody Supertrainers!

 

Again, given that I am a Science guy,  I will leverage heart rate analysis for each workout to draw conclusions and comparisons including the data in my perspective. This approach is similar to my popular reviews for P90X3Insanity Max:30Hammer & Chisel22 Minute Hard CorpsBody Beast and Country Heat. I have a Polar H7 Bluetooth enabled heart rate monitor (chest strap) synced to my iPhone using the free Polar Beat Mobile App and Polar Flow (used “group exercise” setting as default). Warmup and cooldown time is included in the heart rate analysis. The warmups and cooldowns are in the 2-3 minute range so it is recommended to add additional time to stretch if needed. [Side note: WEIGHTED GLOVES ARE NOT RECOMMENDED TO AVOID INJURY, ALTHOUGH I DO HAVE COMBAT GLOVES I USE THAT ARE NOT WEIGHTED.] Nutrition is CRITICAL for getting the results you want with this program and the targets are aligned with the portion control container system based on your stats and goals (see Core De Force nutrition guide for calculation). My supplements include Beachbody Performance Ultimate Stack of ENERGIZE pre-workoutHYDRATE during workoutRECOVER post-workoutCREATINERECHARGE casein protein before bed and Shakeology snack. I hope you enjoy my Core De Force Review!!

 

 

Core De Force Review

 

The Workouts

MMA Speed
MMA Shred
Core Kinetics
Active Recovery
MMA Power
Power Sculpt
Core De Force Relief
MMA Mashup (exclusive bonus from ordering with coach)
5 Minute Core on the Floor
Dynamic Strength
MMA Plyo
Agility Strength (extra Deluxe Workouts)
Agility Power (extra Deluxe Workouts)
MMA Kick Butt (extra Deluxe Workouts)

 

 

The Data Analysis Summary

What a FUN program. This is perhaps the most fun I have had in all of my detailed Beachbody program reviews. Seriously. I feel like I learned a lot about MMA discipline and certainly developed my agility and speed from performing this Core De Force Review. Core De Force has elements familiar with several Beachbody programs, but aligns them with a new focus on “fighting for it” in 3 minute rounds designed to simulate a fight. For me/you, this fight is actually for our own health and fitness. This program is much different than the previously available Beachbody Les Mills Combat from my perspective, but, if you enjoyed Combat or any other MMA workouts you will definitely love Core De Force. For example, Combat leveraged dumbbell weights and MMA movements to music at a set tempo whereas Core De Force in set to beats that allow you to go at your own pace (similar to Max:30 in that sense). As you learn the moves in Core De Force you can increase your speed and therefore challenge. Some say that Core De Force trains you to look and perform like a fighter. Agreed. In addition, Core De Force has some similarity to Shaun T’s Insanity Asylum to get the best out of you, in particular the agility ladder work in the CDF Deluxe workouts. Good stuff. Now, let’s see what the data says about Core De Force based on my analysis, especially compared to other Beachbody programs for health and fitness…

 

The table below demonstrates the VERY detailed results from comprehensive heart rate analysis for all 14 workouts for Core De Force including the bonus workout MMA MashUp and Deluxe workouts Agility Strength, Agility Power and MMA Kick Butt (click to expand for easier reading).  The data includes calories burned, average heart rate, max heart rate, time in each of 5 workout zones plus the percentage of time in max zones 4 and 5. Normalized calories are also shown (calories/workout time). The data is sorted with the highest calorie burn workouts at the top ranked toward lowest calorie burn at the bottom (not surprising, shorter recovery and core type routines). The graph also summarizes the workouts with regard to heart rate analysis (calories burned, average heart rate).

 

Core De Force Review Heart Rate Analysis Summary Table

CLICK TO EXPAND.

 

Core De Force Review Heart Rate Analysis Summary Graph

CLICK TO EXPAND.

 

I feel really good about the data set and the regression analysis below indicates a very strong correlation to the data set for normalized calories and heart rates, which is a good sign (very close to perfect correlation R2 = 1). Although not shown in graphical format, max heart rates vs. average heart rates for all 14 workouts also provides a good fit at y = 0.9927x + 32.005 (R2 = 0.87525).

 

Core De Force Review Heart Rate Analysis Regression

 

 

You can see from the data set that Core De Force provides a range of workouts that challenge in different ways. MMA Power topped the list burning almost 600 calories with most of the workout (~80%) in the elevated heart rate zones. (By the way, I know that you are not actually “burning” calories, ha, it is just a term.) MMA Power was a TOUGH workout and even caused me to tear my sock! You then have workouts like MMA Plyo, which burns significant calories even though most of the workout is found in moderate heart rate zones (length of the workout makes a difference). The DELUXE workouts certainly ranked high in this analysis while the shorter, core and recovery-focused workouts in Core De Force ranked lower, as expected. Core Kinetics, Active Recovery, 5 Min Core on the Floor and Core De Force Relief are less intense workouts, but will help define, balance and promote core/lower back development. These are a must for getting the most results from the program.

 

Check out the comparison below to some key performance indicators relative to other top Beachbody programs P90X3, Insanity Max:30, Hammer & Chisel, 22 Minute Hard Corps, Body Beast and Country Heat (click to expand for easier reading). Numbers shown are averages of all 16 Insanity Max:30 workouts, all 20 P90X3 workouts, all 19 Hammer and Chisel, all 13 22 Minute Hard Corps workouts, all 15 Body Beast workouts and all 11 Country Heat workouts relative to all 14 Core De Force workouts. Workout times generally average in the 30 minute range for most of the programs (Core De Force workouts are on the longer end for some of the workouts at 47 minutes)…

 

Core De Force Review Heart Rate Beachbody Programs

CLICK TO EXPAND.

 

The data confirms my general assessment of Core De Force. This program has a heavy cardio component with MMA and kickboxing as the discipline of focus, but the technical nature of the MMA combinations provides some time for your heart rate to recover while learning/executing the movements. As such, this program did not push me as hard OVERALL as Insanity Max:30, for example, which pushes you to “max out” to failure (body weight only), although some of the CDF workouts given Max:30 a run for the money. I also generally see more of a challenge from the workout programs that involve resistance with actual weights. With that said, the “conditioning spikes” found in most Core De Force workouts do indeed ramp/spike heart rate and push you as hard as you want to push yourself, especially challenging push-up variations and plyo exercises. If you remove the shorter core and recovery-type routines in the Core De Force program (Core Kinetics, Active Recovery, 5 Minute Core on the Floor, Core De Force Relief), the normalized calories burned/min  = 10.65 cal/min, which is close to P90X3/Body Beast while a little less intense than 22MHC (sandbag resistance) and Hammer & Chisel in this analysis. This makes perfect sense and is not surprising given that there are many technical MMA combinations in Core De Force with no weights (as mentioned, extra resistance with weights vs. body weight is known to elevate heart rate for sustained periods).

 

So, Does Core De Force Work?

 

YES! I am not going to lie, most if not all of these programs will work if you follow them, especially the nutrition guide and discipline. I know this from my personal experience as well as the experience of thousands on my Team across the World over almost 8 years already. Core De Force is ANOTHER tool in the toolbox for achieving your health and fitness goals. If learning MMA and self-defense with some cardio and body weight resistance interests you, get Core De Force! My personal opinion is that it is one of the programs that I find the most entertaining (fun) while getting an amazing workout and learning more on self-defense. It is very practical. Joel and Jericho are great trainers with strong chemistry to push you in the workouts and teach you how to be successful with your goals with the program. I have met them both in person several times and have been most impressed by how caring and interested they are in helping you with your goals. Joel and Jericho try to push you to YOUR limits to the extent I have not seen since Shaun T. I definitely recommend this program “as is” while adding the Deluxe workouts to expand your experience and results. For me, I still gravitate toward Body Beast for my mass gain goals at the present time, but I have created a Body Beast Force Hybrid that incorporates my favorite Core De Force workouts to enhance my overall core, cardio and performance development. Core Kinetics is a game-changer for hybrids, for example. May the force be with you!!

 

Favorite Workouts: Power Sculpt, Dynamic Strength, Core Kinetics, Agility Strength (Deluxe), Agility Power (Deluxe), 5 Minute Core on the Floor

Least Favorite Workouts: MMA Plyo, Core De Force Relief

Hardest Workouts (for me): MMA Power, Power Sculpt, Agility Strength (Deluxe)

Easiest Workouts (for me): MMA Speed, MMA MashUp (coach bonus), MMA Kick Butt (Deluxe), Core De Force Relief, Active Recovery

 

Core De Force Review

 

 

The Reviews

MMA Speed

Similar to other recent launches of new programs by Beachbody, there was a Sneak Peek of Core De Force on Beachbody on Demand streaming fitness channel! MMA Speed was unlocked for the preview and I was pumped to try it. By the way, I recommend you take advantage of the free 30-day trial on Beachbody on Demand for access to $4,000+ workouts, nutrition plans and exclusives!

Described as,

“MMA Speed is broken into six 3-minute “rounds” that alternate between authentic MMA combinations, bodyweight training, and explosive cardio to help you attack belly fat and carve total-body definition — all without any equipment. It sounds intense, but don’t worry. You can follow the modifier to help you get familiar with the moves! Upper body and core-focused, this boxing influenced workout is short-but packs a serious punch.”

Sounds like fun, actually. So how did I do in approx. 25 minutes of MMA Speed?

Heart rate analysis data…

Core De Force MMA Speed ReviewCore De Force MMA Speed Review

 

MMA Speed was a lot of fun. This one may draw some comparisons to MMX from P90X3, but there are quite a few differences with MMA Speed as the workout really focuses more on the range and follow-through of MMA/Bodybuilding/Boxing movements during the workout. I had a good sweat going by the end of the workout. I enjoyed the way MMA Speed is broken into “rounds” just like a boxing match or MMA fight. Good stuff. You can see from the heart rate analysis that I “burned” 271 calories in around 26 minutes (several minutes of warmup/stretch included) with average and max heart rates of 144 bpm and 175 bpm, respectively. The workout was mostly in workout zone 3 “Moderate” at 70-80% target heart rate max. This wasn’t the hardest workout for me. For comparison, my P90X3 review had MMX at higher calories burned (normalized per workout time), average heart rate, max heart rate and more time in more challenging workout zones. I found Core De Force MMA Speed to have similar heart rate data to Les Mills Combat, Combat LIVE. That is not a bad thing! Overall, MMA Speed was awesome. The video near the top of this review blog is actually from MMA Speed showing my favorite “round” of moves in the workout. Looking forward to trying the next workout in my Core De Force Review. FIGHT FOR IT!!

 

 

MMA Shred

So I was able to get my advance, autographed copy of Core De Force from Joel and Jericho at the Beachbody Leadership Retreat in Coronado, CA this past week, so, I am back to my Core De Force Review!

 

Autographed Core De Force

 

MMA Shred is the second workout I chose to press play for this program and I am excited to see the difference from MMA Speed.

Described as,

“Kick things up a notch with Muay-Thai-inspired elbows and kicks for a total-body shred that’ll lean you out fast.”

Sounds good, let’s do this!

So how did I do in 37 minutes MMA Shred?

Heart rate analysis data…

MMA Shred ReviewMMA Shred Review

 

Since I am not an expert in MMA discipline (by ANY means), I find that most of these types of workouts have a lot of similarities to me. I felt that way with Les Mills Combat as well. I am certain that there are subtle differences in the range of MMA and kickboxing discipline. They sure are fun though. What I do know is MMA Shred was a killer workout. I had a good sweat flowing by the end and found it much more challenging than MMA Speed. MMA Shred has 9 circuits of 3 minute rounds, where each round has one Muay Thai sequence of moves and one “conditioning spike” move. These moves are then repeated twice for each round (Muay Thai move is 1 minute each time and conditioning move is 30 seconds each time). There are 30 second breaks between the 9 rounds. The Muay Thai circuits involve a lot of elbow movements and rotations, punches and numerous series of kicks while the conditioning spike includes plyo, sprint, lunge and lateral movements designed to spike heart rate and enhance the challenge to burnout. The plyo jumps were tough late in the workout and the switch jumps were my favorite conditioning move. On the other hand, the slashing elbow, knee and push kick variations were my favorite Muay Thai exercises. There is a 2 min 30 sec warmup at the beginning and approx. 3 min cooldown at the end. I recommend stretching very well before you begin. I do have to say too, you need to be very careful not to overextend with the punches or kicks. It would be easy to do if you are not paying attention. That is why weighted gloves or ankle weights are NOT recommended. With that said, I have bad knees and history of lower back disc herniation issues and this workout did not cause any discomfort today. You can see from the heart rate analysis data a strong performance with 457 calories burned in 37 minutes with average and max heart rates of 161 and 183 bpm, respectively. Workout zone was primarily Zone 4 “Hard” at 80-90% target heart rate max. What is cool is that you can see the 9 “conditioning spikes” in the real-time heart rate data captured associated with pushing heart rate higher. Good stuff. I also feel like I will have sore shoulders after this workout. Anyway, this is fun and I am looking forward to improving over time with my form!

 

 

Core Kinetics

Core Kinetics can be found on the Core De Force workout calendar as a double so I decided to take on Core Kinetics after MMA Shred. I figured it would be a challenge.

Described as,

“A unique core workout inspired by Mixed Martial Arts movements to target every part of your core.”

Sounds cool. I have done so many different core workouts I am interested to see how this will be different.

So how did I do with approx. 16 minutes of Core Kinetics?

Heart rate analysis data…

Core Kinetics Review Core Kinetics Review

 

DEFINITELY a different way to work the core. I really, REALLY like Core Kinetics. It was pretty tough, actually, and the focus is on core isolation with slow, controlled motions. This involves 7 MMA-inspired movements including double leg extension, horizontal leg check, alternating triangle lift, hip dips, leg repeating push kick (Right and Left), hip escape toe tap and guarded square up. After all 7 moves they are repeated a second round from the top and then there is a 1 minute plank burnout at the end (surprise!). The workout alternates between core work on your back and plank move. Jericho leads the back moves in the first round and Joel leads the plank moves first round. They switch for round two. Modifications are shown for each exercise like all Core De Force workouts. The hip escape toe tap and guarded square up were awesome, I thought, and several of the other moves pushed me hard to failure second round (double leg extension, hip dips, leg repeating push kick). After doing several of the Core De Force workouts as well as live Core de Force with Joel and Jericho at events, Core Kinetics does a great job of engaging the core and lower back consistent with the MMA-style moves in the program. Well done. This is a very unique core workout and I can’t wait to press play again. I did well (no breaks round 1), but had to take a few short breaks round 2 as my core was on fire. I will get better. The heart rate data is impressive with 144 calories burned in only 17 minutes total workout time. Average heart rate was 133 beats per minute with max of 161 bpm. Workout zone was mostly Zone 2 “Light” at 60-70% target heart rate max. Does not seem challenging from that data point, but reviewing the real-time heart rate curve you can see several moves push into Zone 4. Not bad for a core workout! Again, this was a unique way to work the core, which reminded me of Insanity Max:30 workouts Max Out Abs and 360 Abs from the deluxe series. Comparing the data, Core Kinetics would fall in between the two in terms of difficulty from my data. Anything that pushes me like Max:30 is a winner to me. Fight for it!!

 

 

 

Active Recovery

The Core De Force workout I decided to try next was Active Recovery. It will be interesting to see if this routine involves stretch, Yoga, light cardio or something else. It is a shorter workout around 21 minutes in length.

Described as,

“Recharge for the week ahead with this rest day workout that focuses on form and technique to fight muscle stiffness and soreness.”

Sounds good, I could use a recharge.

So how did I do in 21 minutes of Active Recovery?

Heart rate analysis data…

Active Recovery Review

The max heart rate listed here is 178 bpm, however, this is due to a connection issue as noted in the text below. True max heart rate = 162 bpm.

Active Recovery Review

 

Interesting workout here. The workout is divided into two parts including half of the workout with light exercise as you practice many of the popular punch/kick combinations in the Core De Force program, while the other half of the workout is light stretch. You can clearly see this behavior reflected in the real-time heart rate curve that shows elevated heart rates the first 10 minutes with heart rate recovery the last 10 minutes. Cool concept. Although the max heart rate listed in the summary is 178 bpm, it is actually 162 bpm. The abnormal spike was caused by a monitor connection issue. Otherwise the data is accurate. 128 calories burned in 21 minutes with average and max heart rates of 115 and 162 bpm, respectively. Workout zone was not surprisingly measured mostly in Zone 2 “Light” at 60-70% target heart rate max. I did enjoy this workout and it allowed me to practice the MMA movements. The reps were slowed down to ensure proper form. The stretch sequence focused on the upper and lower body from all angles. It was very effective for a short period of time. As such, I will be incorporating this workout moving forward in hybrids or otherwise.

 

 

MMA Power

Not sure what to expect with MMA Power as the term “Power” often suggests a combination of strength AND speed over time. Training for power typically involves exercise movements where the speed of the move is relatively high with a load using explosive intent. For example, the Hammer Power workout from Hammer & Chisel is a great example of this approach and discipline. Given the lack of resistance equipment used or even recommended for Core De Force, I was curious to see how this workout would evolve to develop my power.

Described as,

“Using explosive and defensive style movements in this fast-paced cardio conditioning workout will help you carve a tight lean body.”

So how did I do in 47 minutes MMA Power?

Heart rate analysis data…

MMA Power ReviewMMA Power Review

 

Wow. This was a rocker, I even tore my sock doing roundhouse kicks, lol. No joke.

 

MMA Power Core De Force Review

 

47 minutes of MMA circuits with conditioning spikes each round was definitely a challenge. I was sweating a lot in this one, definitely the toughest Core De Force workout I have tried thus far. Loved it though. Most of the conditioning spikes were plyo-type burnouts so that certainly raised the difficulty. As already mentioned, there are modifiers so this program will be suitable for a range of fitness levels. Also, you can increase or decrease the challenge based on how hard you push yourself, with good form of course to stay safe. MMA Power consists of 12 rounds at 3 minutes per round. Warmup and cooldown were a few minutes each, but I highly recommend some extra stretch before this workout. Especially legs. There are a lot of kicks. Similar to MMA Shred each round involves a MMA combination followed by conditioning spike, both repeated twice (1 minute for each MMA series and 30 seconds for each conditioning spike). There are 30 second breaks between rounds, but much like Shaun T Insanity Max:30 it is very short given the intervals and your heart rate does not fully recover. The MMA movements focused on generating power via core rotation and engagement, which is the name of the game with Core De Force (hence the name). There are 12 different MMA combos and 6 unique conditioning spikes (done for 2 rounds each in order). I did a fairly good job with good form on the moves with the exception of some of the kick combinations. My legs just do not do what Joel and Jericho’s legs do, ha. I am sure that is related to my flexibility and mobility. Anyway, I will get better! I was happy to see some chest work in this one during the conditioning spikes where you do a burpee pushup to fight stance and repeat. You can see this workout challenged me big time based on the heart rate data with 582 calories burned in 47 minutes with average and max heart rates of 160 and 181 bpm, respectively. Most of the workout was pinned in Zone 4 “Hard” at 80-90% target heart rate max. Solid. Time to go buy some new socks!

 

Core De Force Review

 

 

Power Sculpt

After pressing play on MMA Power I am very interested to see how Power Sculpt will be different from that workout. Also, how it will be different from many of the other Core De Force workouts that consistently involve rounds of MMA combinations and conditioning spikes to drive toward burnout.

Described as,

“A total-body burner that uses explosive power and interval training to sculpt lean muscle and build next-level endurance.”

I have a sense that this will be tough and I am looking forward to the intervals.

So how did I do in 37 minutes of Power Sculpt?

Heart rate analysis data…

Power Sculpt ReviewPower Sculpt Review

 

One word. RELENTLESS.

Power Sculpt is seriously relentless. I loved every minute of this workout and it is my clear favorite at the moment for Core De Force. The moves are fun and challenging with a lot of plyometric training. Power Sculpt is also near the top of my list for favorite workouts of all time. What a workout. Power Sculpt consists of 9 rounds of work at 3 minutes per round with each round having 3 moves each performed at progressively shorter intervals. So, move 1 in each round is 60 seconds, move 2 is 45 seconds and move 3 is 35 seconds. There are 4 unique rounds that are performed in succession and then repeated once again. There are VERY short breaks between rounds. The final round #9 is a burnout series with no breaks. This was a monster workout and my upper body got worked as much as my lower body in this one. There are quite a few power movements in plank, pushup and plyo combinations for ground fighting discipline using body weight resistance to generate power. Those were especially challenging and most were the 3rd move of each round so fatigue sets in. Some of my favorite moves were jumping firefly, triple alligator pushup (man, rocker), and half monkey circle to guard, which is similar to the killer gorilla crawls in 22 Minute Hard Corps. Hip drive through is an intriguing move, but I need to practice as I had to use my arm to support the drive through process to protect my lower back. Several exercises reminded me of the functional and agility training in P90X3 and Insanity. The burnout series at the end was tough and it took all I had to complete the push-up leg check set. The heart rate data indicates a cardio challenge for sure at 427 calories burned in approx. 37 minutes with average and max heart rates of 156 and 190 bpm, respectively. The max HR of 190 bpm is no joke and right around the alligator push-up series, for example. Workout zone was primarily in Zone 4 “Hard” at 80-90% target heart rate max. Many of these workouts appear to dial me into Zone 4. Again, awesome workout and I can’t wait for you to try it!!

 

 

Core De Force Relief

Not surprisingly I have developed some soreness from the Core De Force workouts this week, in a good way. In particular, my legs, shoulders and abs are sore. I feel some tenderness in my ribcage as well, I assume from all of the punching and twisting (not sure if the tenderness is good or not). Therefore, Core De Force Relief seemed like a great routine to press play on next.

Described as,

“Prepare for the next day’s workout with this quick 5-minute, before-bed stretch session.”

Sounds like just what the Dr. ordered.

So how did I do in 5 minutes of Core De Force Relief?

Heart rate analysis data…

Core De Force Relief ReviewCore De Force Relief Review

 

This one definitely left me wanting more. I feel like this workout could have been longer, perhaps not as long as the hour X Stretch from P90X, but I felt my body could have benefited tremendously from a longer stretch. With that, I full understand that this is meant to be a quick stretch before bed. I actually pressed play on Core De Force Relief before MMA Mashup in the morning and feel that it is a good way to get some extra stretch before working out (similar to Cold Start for P90X3 and 22 Minute Hard Corps). Anyway, it was a quick stretch for the upper and lower body hitting all major muscle groups. Nothing exciting to report, the moves are basic stretches you have seen a million times. Beachbody Performance RECHARGE shakes are sitting literally a foot from both Joel and Jericho in this workout hence the hint via product placement to focus on your nutrition pre-bed as well to help with muscle growth and recovery. I am actually a big fan of RECHARGE and take it before bed. Anyway, virtually no calories were burned in this workout and heart rates not very elevated (my heart rate is a little high to start just from being active and getting set-up for the workout). Again, I will be recommending this Relief workout as a warmup stretch for other workouts.

 

 

MMA Mashup

MMA Mashup is an exclusive workout bonus from ordering from your Team Beachbody Coach as a thank you. So, THANK YOU! Enjoy. This one looks like fun and a combination of favorite moves from the various Core De Force workouts. It is a little shorter so it may be a good one to press play when busy at home or on the road (no equipment required other than body weight!)

Described as,

“All the best CORE DE FORCE moves in one killer workout! From addictive boxing and Muay Thai combos to strength and plyo burners, this challenging workout will leave you drenched-and wanting more.”

Heart rate analysis data…

MMA Mashup ReviewMMA Mashup Review

 

MMA Mashup was fun. Nothing you haven’t seen from the other Core De Force workouts, but a broad range of upper and lower body challenges were pulled together in a coherent workout design to get your blood pumping. It worked. I found the second half of the workout more challenging as the moves were pulled from Power Sculpt and Dynamic Strength (my favorite Core De Force workouts!). There are 6 rounds at the typical 3 minutes per round like a prize fight. Most rounds have two moves where the first move is 60 seconds and the second conditioning spike move is 30 seconds, both moves are repeated twice in the round. Round 6 from Power Sculpt has 3 moves at 60 seconds each. The standard warmup and cooldown exercises are leveraged with 30 second breaks between rounds. This workout is all about focusing on full body rotation and isolation to get results where you can increase speed to increase the challenge (as long as you use proper form for safety). MMA Mashup consists of body weight, plyo, MMA combinations (punches and kicks) and conditioning spikes. My favorite rounds were the bridge reachover/scissor-pushup round and the last round with plyo roll jumps, jumping firefly pushup and half monkey circles to finish up. Heart rate analysis data supports my initial thoughts that the second half of the workout was more challenging for me with the power moves. 259 calories burned in less than 27 minutes with average and max heart rates of 141 and 174 bpm, respectively, with most of the workout in Zone 2 (from MMA combinations) and  Zone 4 (power moves). This will be a go-to workout for me on the road, no doubt, or when short on time. So far I am a big fan of Core De Force. Onward and upward!!

 

 

5 Minute Core on the Floor

This workout can be found on the Core De Force schedules as a double with other workouts. It seems I will spending some time on the floor based on the name. Ha. My guess is planks or otherwise.

Described as,

“The ultimate core finisher-5 challenging plank movements to bring your abs out of hiding.”

And it is true, more planks! Planks work a lot more than just core so this should be fun. Let’s go!

So how did I do in 5 Minute Core on the Floor?

Heart rate analysis data…

5 Minute Core on the Floor Review5 Minute Core on the Floor Review

 

Nice. This is a great, short workout. Very effective. As the name indicates, the entire workout is on the floor in plank position with different variations to challenge core and lower back. You are essentially in plank position for the full 5 minutes with slight break to shift plank position to/from side plank. You have done well if you can perform the planks on your toes. I enjoyed the side plank and ended up taking a short break near the end during standard plank where legs are moved out to the side one at a time. By then my core was full-on fatigue and arms/shoulders on fire. Loved it! You can see from the heart rate analysis that my heart rate was actually elevated, but this is no surprise for those familiar with the challenge of plank and iso- movements that provide constant time under tension for muscle groups. Calories burned was 35 with average and max heart rates of 117 and 152 bpm, respectively. I had to really focus on my breathing since it can be tough when in plank position. Workouts zones were found in Zones 1  (very light) and 2 (light) at 50-70% target heart rate max. Good stuff, I will be working this one into my weekly schedules to help define and carve my abs/core while strengthening lower back and arms/shoulders. I will make it through without breaks eventually. Fight for it!

 

 

 

Dynamic Strength

I was very much looking forward to this workout for my Core De Force Review given the focus on strength training. Of course I did not expect a Body Beast type workout with free weights resistance, but I was hopeful that the upper and lower body challenges actually pushed my limits to help stimulate muscle growth. As mentioned, I am a big fan of Core De Force Power Sculpt with expectations that Dynamic Strength is also a solid strength workout to leverage for years to come.

Described as,

“Low on impact, but high on intensity, you’ll carve impressive definition with this no-equipment, bodyweight throw down.”

Will be interesting to see what they mean by “low impact” for this workout.

So how did I do in 47 minutes Dynamic Strength?

Heart rate analysis data…

Dynamic Strength Review Dynamic Strength Review

 

 

Simply stated, loved it. Not as much as Power Sculpt, but a VERY CLOSE second favorite Core De Force workout for me. Overall fitness is challenged throughout this longer workout. I feel like I did a million pushups, which I am a big fan, and the new variations presented in Dynamic Strength were tough (more on that below). What I liked best about this workout is the compilation in series of power strength moves with balance exercises and iso-focus for core. Really a great workout that helps develop strength in multiple ways for the total body. There are 12, 3 minute rounds with 3 moves per round (times mostly at 60 sec per move). 30 second breaks between rounds and the standard warmup/cooldown (add Core De Force Relief for extra warmup/stretch as needed). Push-up variations forced core isolation and chest/shoulder/arm strength development including inch worm push-up, scissor push-up, walking split push-up, push-up to knee hip escape, triple wide push-up and sphinx blasters. Those 6 moves are then repeated in rounds 7-12 with an extra challenge to the move (usually a leg lift or toe touch, for example). I did not have to take a break on push-ups or modify, and seemed to average around 10-20 reps per set. If I take an average of 15 reps per set times 12 sets = 180 push-ups for this workout! Balance moves were similar to P90X2 (on one leg, without weights of course), P90X3 and Chisel workouts from Hammer and Chisel. The balance and iso- exercises are unique with form that simulates MMA-style moves. My favorite exercises besides all of the push-up combos were circular sit upper cut/hook, bridge reacher with heel lift, alternating forearm side plank with leg lift, and sit-up escape, which is a tough move to master the first time. Awesome workout. Burned 434 calories in 47 min with average and max heart rates of 136 and 178 bpm, respectively. Most of the workout was in Zones 2 and 3, mostly due to having a lot of balance moves to bring down the heart rate. However, max heart rate is fairly high given the resistance strength push-up moves that tend to elevate heart rate when pushing hard. Can’t wait to press play on Dynamic Strength again!

 

 

MMA Plyo

I left MMA Plyo as the last Core De Force workout reviewed from the base DVDs for a reason… this one looks like a monster and I know from experience plyometric workouts are no joke. I needed to be ready. I am ready.

Described as,

“What happens when you combine boxing, Muay Thai and plyometrics into one workout? You’ll knockout hundreds of calories and spike your fat burn into overdrive.”

Oh man. This should be fun. Will definitely be mentally comparing to some of the top Beachbody plyo workouts I have done (e.g., Insanity series, P90X series, Hammer and Chisel, etc.).

So how did I do in 47 minutes MMA Plyo?

Heart rate analysis data…

MMA Plyo Review MMA Plyo Review

 

 

MMA Plyo was a good workout, but not what I expected… at all. It is my least favorite workout I have tried thus far (11 total at the time of this writing). Why? Well, it was quite technical with many, many MMA combinations and numerous circuits with kicks. Not my favorite given my history of knee and back injuries, although there is a modifier as needed. Don’t get me wrong, many people will LOVE this workout given all of the MMA combinations. I do recommend watching the “Learn it & Work it” preview that demonstrates the proper and safe execution of the combinations to reduce the learning curve during the actual workout. This is found as a bonus option available for most Core De Force workouts. I was expecting a lot of explosive, plyometric movements in the traditional sense (e.g., P90X Plyo and Insanity), but only found a few of those in some of the conditioning spikes within each round (mostly plyo jumps and lateral jumps). There were MMA moves with “explosive” core rotation. So anyway, the title was a little misleading to me, but ultimately makes sense. The workout consisted of 12 rounds at 3 minutes per round with 2 moves per round (MMA combination at 60 sec / conditioning spike 30 sec and repeat). 30 second breaks between rounds and the typical warmup and cooldown at a few minutes each. I tell you, my hips/legs cannot do what they do in these workouts for the roundhouse and side kicks. I don’t know how I can get my foot to point down in a side kick without risking injury. I feel my flexibility and mobility in the core and lower back is definitely in need of work, likely attributed to my recent back injury. Need to work on loosening up my hips as well. Work in progress! Nothing especially new in MMA Plyo as the conditioning spikes are the same as those found in other Core De Force workouts while the MMA combos are slight tweaks to similar moves. A few more challenging MMA combinations though. Heart rate analysis shows a good 441 calories in 47 minutes with average and max heart rates of 137 and 168 bpm, respectively, and most of workout in Zone 3 “Hard” at 80-90% target heart rate max. I did not find this one as challenging from a cardio or muscle fatigue perspective, but the technical nature of the MMA moves will help develop strength and stability no doubt! Next up will be the 3 extra Deluxe Core De Force workouts once released 11/1/2016 (agility ladder here I come)!

 

 

 

Agility Strength

I was SOOOOOO looking forward to the extra Core De Force DELUXE workouts now AVAILABLE HERE!! When I first learned that the Deluxe workouts leveraged the agility ladder, I was surprised. My initial reaction was that Beachbody had a surplus of agility ladders so they instructed Joel and Jericho to create MMA-inspired workouts with the ladder. Ha. However, after further thought with my experience with Insanity Asylum agility ladder workouts I think it could be a GREAT fit since the MMA/kickboxing discipline requires speed and agility for max performance and results. So, I can’t wait to see how Agility Strength goes!!

Described as,

“Combine fast footwork drills with bodyweight to improve coordination and blast major calories.”

Perfect. Let’s see what happens.

So how did I do in 37 minutes of Agility Strength?

Heart rate analysis data…

Agility Strength Review Agility Strength Review

 

Awesome workout, the agility ladder works for Core De Force. It really does. I like it. Intensity is nowhere near Insanity Asylum intense, but I did not expect it to be as tough. What I really like is Agility Strength brings some technical MMA work into the agility ladder tool plus other strength moves that may be familiar from other workouts (e.g., Asylum and 22 Minute Hard Corps). For this workout Joel is the only trainer, I guess they gave Jericho the day off during the video shoot. I am sure she will be the sole trainer on one of the other deluxe workouts, but we will see. Agility Strength consisted of 9 rounds with the standard warmup and cooldown (several minutes each). There is a lot of focus on form when first doing the moves in this workout and then adding speed later when you master the moves. Each round is 3 minutes per usual, with 2 moves per round repeated twice. Each round has a MMA-based agility ladder move (60 sec) and then a strength move on the ground using the ladder (30 sec). There are 4 unique rounds of moves that make up rounds 1-4 and then rounds 5-8 repeat the same sequence from 1-4. Round 9 is a burnout round of 3 moves at 60 seconds each. Those are tough by the end of the workout! Some of the MMA moves with the ladder are technical and you have to really think about what you are doing with your arms while watching to avoid getting your feet caught up in the ladder. There are shuffles and other exercises that move you up, down and around the agility ladder. The strength moves on the ground involve a lot of walking pushups and bear crawls (totally reminds me of Asylum). Core is also worked in this one. The burnout series includes high knee sprints for 60 sec forward and back on ladder, walking plank with leg check at 60 sec and low stance switch at 60 sec. That is where my heart rate peaked, which is the goal. Good stuff. Heart rate analysis indicates 386 calories in 37 min with average and max heart rates at 147 and 181 bpm, respectively. Most of the workout was in Zones 3 and 4 with a short span in Zone 5. Overall, there are challenging segments of this workout, but not the most difficult otherwise. It does bring in movements that will help develop strength and speed overall and I highly recommend incorporating it into the program using the Deluxe and hybrid calendar options for Core De Force. I am pumped for the other DELUXE WORKOUTS for my Core De Force Review!

 

 

 

Agility Power

This is the second extra Core De Force DELUXE workout (AVAILABLE HERE)!! I really liked Agility Strength and curious how this one is different. I assume that there will be more focus on power-type moves.

Described as,

“Grab your agility ladder and rip through multi-functional training that ignites every muscle and shreds fat for serious definition.”

Multi-functional training is always a good thing. I see that this workout is shorter than Agility Power at 27 minutes vs. 37 minutes for Agility Strength.

So how did I do in 27 minutes of Agility Power?

Heart rate analysis data…

Agility Power Review Agility Power Review

 

Joel is the lead trainer with this workout again. Jericho has been MIA in the Deluxe workouts thus far with the last one, MMA Kick Butt, up next. We will see if she makes an appearance. This workout was a rocker for 27 minutes. Honestly, felt pretty similar to Agility Strength, however, there were some more power plyo movements. There are 6 rounds total at 2 moves per round. Each round has an agility/speed move using the ladder for 60 seconds and then a power/strength move on the ground for 30 seconds. Both are repeated twice for each 3-minute round. This workout moved fast and I had a good sweat going by the end. I found the frog jumps forward/back, spiderman walk forward/bear crawl back and lateral plyo push-ups the most challenging. The plyo push-ups in the agility ladder are just cruel. Good stuff. Heart rate analysis shows 285 calories burned at average and max heart rates of 149 and 178 bpm, respectively, with most of workout in Zone 4 “Hard” at 80-90% target heart rate max. Another strong Deluxe workout that adds another dimension to the Core De Force program with additional functional speed and power training! #PositiveForce

 

 

 

MMA Kick Butt

Last one, best one? Last of 14 workouts for my Core De Force Review here at HowDoIGetRipped.com… MMA Kick Butt from the extra DELUXE workouts. Thus far I have been impressed by the Deluxe workouts as Agility Strength and Agility Power taught by Joel bring an entirely new dimension to the Core De Force program with the agility ladder. I already recommend adding these workouts to the schedule, but let’s see what the last Deluxe workout, MMA Kick Butt, brings to the table.

Described as,

“Carve lean legs and sculpted glutes with a non-stop mix of powerful kicks and calorie-scorching conditioning spikes.”

Well kicks are not my favorite, but everyone has areas to improve and I am willing to do what it takes.

So how did I do in 37 minutes MMA Kick Butt?

Heart rate analysis data…

MMA Kick Butt Review

The max heart rate listed here is 221 bpm, however, this is due to a connection issue as noted in the text below. True max heart rate = 173 bpm.

MMA Kick Butt Review

 

And she is back… Jericho is the lead trainer for MMA Kick Butt. This was a fun workout, although there were a lot of MMA kick combinations, as advertised. The conditioning spike moves were mostly push-ups and plyo exercises. Overall, this workout started rather slow for me with more technical work and less challenging conditioning spike moves each round, but picked up quite a bit with tougher push-ups and plyometrics. As such, my heart rate stayed elevated second half of the workout. Similar to the other Core De Force workouts there are 9 rounds at 3 minutes per round. There are warmup and cooldown sequences (several minutes each). Each round consists of 2 moves as usual with one MMA combination (60 sec) and one conditioning spike to elevate heart rate (30 sec). Both moves in each round are repeated twice and then there are 30-sec breaks between rounds. The first 8 rounds include 8 unique MMA combinations and 4 unique conditioning spike movements (essentially repeated in 2 separate rounds each). Then, Round 9 is a burnout series of 3 moves at 60 sec each that actually provide the most difficult part of the workout with squats, punches and dynamic floor sprawls (feels a lot like Insanity Max:30 with Shaun T!). I liked the roundhouse knee moves and jab/cross/sprawl/jump in the workout as well as the spider and leg check lateral plyo push-up series, which were killer. Interesting workout for sure and highly recommended as an addition to the base workouts from Core De Force! Heart rate monitoring experienced a connection issue around some of the plyo floor work when contacting the floor. The max heart rate was pulled from the in-situ data at flow.polar.com giving an actual max value of 173 bpm and not 221 bpm that shows up in the summary data (that would be dangerously high!). Otherwise, average heart rate was 143 beats per minute with most of the workout in Zones 2 and 4. Total calories burned was 371 cal in 37 minutes. MMA Kick Butt (sorry, the name makes me laugh) is a fun workout and I am looking forward to doing this one again from the DELUXE workouts leveraging the Deluxe calendar or hybrids thereof. Fight for it!!

 

 

*****

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Premiere 5 Star Diamond Independent Beachbody Coach, CEO and Founder of TEAM RAGE, Mike Nowak Fitness, HowDoIGetRipped.com and How Do I Get Ripped, LLC. You are about to learn how I went from out-of-shape busy dad with significant travel, 2 kids and a wife to losing 20 pounds, 16% body fat and 7" off my waist while getting paid more income from home than my Ph.D. in Science & Engineering. Retired my Ph.D. career to focus on FAMILY & FITNESS!

Comments

4 Comments

  1. Really good post! i have a question when do you do the MMA mashup , what day do you add it??
    kisses

    • Thanks Sofie! I typically sub MMA Mashup in for MMA Speed, but depends on the workout calendar you are following and goals. What are your goals and what workout calendar are you following? How do you like Core De Force?

  2. I have LM Combat and really like that it uses weights in some of the strength exercises. Is there space to add weights to some of the workouts in Core de Force?

    • Hi Abdiel, thanks for the question! I also enjoy LM Combat. So, there are two primary ways to add weights to your CDF schedule. One, we can work on a hybrid schedule that works for your interests and goals. I have created a Body Beast Core De Force hybrid that has worked very well for myself and others (best of both worlds). Second, you could add weights to CDF workouts, although wrist weights not recommended in order to avoid injury. However, I can logically see some workouts where resistance could be added with free weights, keeping in mind though that the program/workouts are best to be followed as designed by Joel & Jerricho. As such, I typically lean toward a hybrid schedule myself. Message me and let’s chat some more at MikeNowakFitness@gmail.com. Hope you are enjoying CDF and talk soon!!

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