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Asylum Volume 2 Review: X Trainer

X Trainer, Asylum Volume 2’s first official workout,  kicks things off with a bang. Described by Shaun T. as “The epitome of the Athletic Matrix”, X-Trainer (Because “X Trainer” sounds way cooler than “Cross Trainer”)  is the next-step successor to Asylum Volume 1’s “Speed and Agility”. Only this round, X Trainer is a little more grown up, comprehensive and really comes of its own with the added benefit of less repetition (as was seen in Volume 1’s In and Out Ab Progression sequences)… which is definitely appreciated.

So what to expect? How does it all shake out, break down and righteously strive to give you a butt-whoopin’ to remember? That’s what we’re here to get into. 123… Go.

X Trainer REVIEW

Overview

As mentioned, X Trainer is the big brother to Asylum Volume 1’s Speed & Agility. This time around, however, you’re looking at more upper body work, infinitely more complex footwork (The Agility Tutorial is a must if you want to keep up without hopping around and making your Momma cry because of your potty mouth… or both) and even a resistance–aka- weights–sequence (“lifting” gets a a lot more face time in Volume 2- something I consider a plus). Asylum Volume 2: X Trainer keeps things generally varied, progressing and exciting. X Trainer is a test of skill and coordination which creates a fun mindset of improvement and mastery.

As a note, a lot of X Trainer goes into “mental acuity/toughness” territory. You’ve got to both move AND move right- form is critical. Where Volume 1 made running through a ladder relatively easy with basic moves you pushed to exhaustion, Volume 2 makes you THINK about where to put your feet and nowhere is this more apparent than X Trainer. But good news… X Trainer offers breaks… something Speed and Agility was pretty scarce on.

Time

X Trainer is a 49 minute workout (sub-60:00… nice!) broken out into a 13 minute “warm-up” (aka- getting right into it) and a 34 minute workout followed by a minute and a half cool-down to send you on your way. That said, you’re still going to feel every one of those 49 minutes.

Warm-Up/Cool Down

At 13 minutes, the warm-up consists of  7 moves total that begin to feel as if they’re the actual workout… they’re not. These seven warm-up moves are designed to get you “in it” and get things moving with the specific body parts you’ll be working (IE- pretty much everything). You’re creating blood flow to the muscles– this isn’t the time to throw yourself into it with everything you’ve got. This is the time to focus on form and getting that heart rate up. The warm-up begins with a 3:30 second round of  the footwork drill X-Trainer. A 3 minute ladder drill!? Yes… use this time to get the X-Trainer agility/footwork move down as you’ll be using it A LOT in this workout.

The “Workout”

Asylum-Volume-2-Review-Resistance-Pyramid

Let the 34 minutes of fun begin. Remember that X Trainer move you kicked the warm-up off with? You’ll kick the workout off with that one as well. It’s a move that acts as a benchmark and unofficially divides the workout into four parts. As mentioned in the agility tutorial review, the X-Trainer sequence builds on itself (pyramid!) each time you do it. IE-  Part one has you using footwork in the agility ladder- in and out. The second round adds lateral hops to the sequence. Third round brings a a scissor kick to the party and fourth round makes you think the others were easy by adding a burpee to X-Jump… repeated two times.

But here we are getting ahead of ourselves. After kicking off with X Trainer, Segment One throws you into a a few agility ladder moves and then goes straight to the floor with a four minute– FOUR MINUTE– pushups series comprised of triceps, basic and wide push ups followed with a plank hold. If your chest isn’t pumped and screaming by the end of this 60 pushups/planks love-fest… you’re Elite, no question.

Segment Two throws you into a resistance sequence similar to the resistance sequence in Speed & Agility with rows, burpees, MORE pushups and curls. Shaun T. tells you to go six times here but changes it to eight as punishment for one of the crew members (Jam) not listening to him (Jam… C’mon!!). After that punishing sequence, the following ladder work  feels like a nice rest. (See X Trainer Tips below).

Segment Three puts you back into pushup land with a few stops for abs along the way.

Segment Four is X-Trainer’s unleashed (the full pyramid of moves) followed by a twist on Agility Ladder jumps (lateral jumps) you’ll recognize from Vertical Plyo as you go for 2:00 minutes expaning your ladder from one square to four. Lateral jumps can be tough with the lateral shear you’ll get when landing. Watch your feet and jump smart.

Move Highlights:

In addition to the few mentioned above, here’s a few of the toughest:

  • Mountain Climber Abs: You’ll feel this. Sitting in a V position, you raise one leg while lowering the other. At the same time, you raise the opposite arm and touch the raised foot. Think Mountain Climbers while sitting. Slow and deliberate, this move pummels the core and hip flexors. Focus on that form and locking that core to keep the strain off your back.
  • Leaping Push Ups: It’s like lateral jumps and pushups had a baby. A hyperactive, mean-spirited bastard baby. Similar to plyo pushups except your pushing out a jump laterally across two boxes instead of just up and down. Want a challenge? Watch the Dude named “Andy”. He SPRINGS through the air with ridiculous vertical. Match him and you’re on your way.
  • X Trainer 4: X Trainer gets a lot of lip service in this review simply because it’s the move you’re going to have to master to progress in your fit test. Pay attention, focus on form and this sequence will train you for the  Overtime round which requires you to punch out as many of these as you can in two minutes. With Volume 2, this is where your progress is measured.

X Trainer Tips

— Don’t quit. No doubt you’re going to burn out in the four minute push up sequence. Drop to your knees if you must bot don’t quit. Each week you’ll get better and be able to push harder– and that’s what Asylum Volume 2 is all about.

— Pick your wight wisely. In the resistance sequence at the beginning of X Trainer, I tend to go a little heavier in my weight with these moves but DO keep your ego in check. The sequence exhausts you and you’ll slow down and lose pace/form if you choose weights that are too heavy.

— Love the rest opportunities. There’s some taxing moves in here. Use the four :30 second breaks to hydrate and take deep slow breaths. It’s amazing what a little focus on this will do to give you a little gas back in the tank.

— Shaun T. hypes up Beachbody’s E & E (Energy & Endurance) pre-workout supplement quite a bit in this workout… and actually uses it. You can read my review here but E & E does work and can help out quite a bit if you’re tackling X Trainer in the early morning or even lacking the desire (gasp!!) to get started. One shot and you’re ready for action.

Asylum 2 X Trainer Review: The Verdict

X-Trainer is a workout with a cherry on top: Fun, challenging and varied, it’s a step up from the Speed & Agility Workout from Asylum Volume 1. The moves change so often, it’s a workout that flies- and with the challenges thrown your way, it’s one that’s got the magic combination of both fun AND punishment… but in the best way.

X Trainer is probably one of my favorite workouts in this Volume 2 series– after you tun in and get your footwork down, I’m betting it will be yours as well.

Asylum-volume-2-Buy

Beginning your Asylum journey? Questions? Feel free to email me here or at coachdan74@gmail.com. Better yet, let’s get you the support you need to line up your goals right now while getting you plugged into a support team. Make me your (free) Beachbody Coach right here and we’ll get crackin’! 

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