Focus T25, shortened to just “T25,” is a 2013 Beachbody program that creator Shaun T swears will get you ripped in ten weeks with just 25 minutes of daily training.
The program’s natural progression follows three distinct training phases: Alpha (foundation), Beta (core), and Gamma (strength).
The five-week Alpha phase will leave you winded, sore, and questioning your life choices if your excuse for not hitting the gym for the last three years has been “I’ll start next Monday.”
But just how tough is Focus T25’s Beta phase? Let’s find out.
About the Creator – Shaun T
But the high-intensity in-your-face trainer wasn’t always ripped head to toe. He actually discovered his true calling in college after packing on 50 pounds and facing himself in the mirror.
Shaun T turned to hip-hop dance to get lean and switched to a health & exercise science major. He even served as a backup dancer for legendary “We Belong Together” crooner Mariah Carey.
Then, after what we consider every star in the universe aligning in his favor, a Beachbody executive noticed Shaun T leading a dance class, giving life to his record-setting fitness career.
Shaun T is now one of the most recognizable, motivating trainers on the BOD platform.
What Is the Focus T25 Beta Workout?
(Check out our entire Focus T25 workout review to get the full details.)
Basically, T25 promises an hour’s worth of benefits in just 25 minutes a day for an excuse-free training program. Shaun T hypes it up as a fat-shredding, six-pack sculpting phenomenon.
Alpha delivered a nauseating five weeks of five weekly workouts, stuffing the entire 25 minutes with cardio, speed, full-body circuit, ab interval, and lower body exercises.
The Beta phase picks up where Alpha left off, this time taking on a more core-inspired twist.
The next five weeks feature heart-pounding, sweat-pumping 25-minute workouts like:
- Core Cardio
- Speed 2.0
- Rip’t Circuit
- Dynamic Core
- Upper Focus
- Core Speed
(We’ll talk more about each of these later.)
The Beta cycle is high-intensity and splits exercises into all-out 30-second sets before jumping into another exercise. It’s like high-intensity interval training without the breaks between rounds.
T25 Beta Details & Features
T25 Beta is not a standalone program. If you’re coming up empty-handed after searching for it on Beachbody On Demand, the details are scattered about the “Focus T25” program.
Because it can be a little difficult to piece together, we’ll simplify Beta below:
Focus T25: Beta Workouts
Week six of Focus T25 is when you’ll first encounter the mysterious “Beta” cycle. During the next five weeks, Shaun T will lead you through seven brand new workouts:
The Core Cardio workout is a full-blown, equipment-free cardio session that progressively increases in intensity as the 25 minutes drag on.
Shaun T borrows a ton of exercises from the Alpha phase for this one. Expect a new core focus with exercises like squat walks, rotating T-twists, speed kicks, and fast-paced burnout sets.
Beta’s Speed 2.0 builds upon the Speed 1.0 you first encountered in Alpha. This workout features two rounds, three cycles, and an ever-increasing intensity with each repetition.
On top of “jog recoveries” instead of traditional rest breaks, Speed 2.0’s low switch kicks, hop hop squats, and zig-zag squats will keep your heart rate up and excitement high.
Rip’t Circuit is somewhat of a combination of cardio and strength, infusing dumbbells and focusing on the upper body muscles.
This AMRAP, timed dumbbell routine includes exercises like hip-up and V-holds, half-tuck jumps, Arnold presses, and squat push-ups.
The Dynamic Core session is a high-intensity blend of ab and cardio training. This workout steals quite a few exercises from Ab Intervals while targeting your entire core (literally).
Don’t be surprised when you see twisting T-abs, crisscross and half-kicks, and superman holds.
Upper Focus shifts the focus to the upper body, though it doesn’t neglect the cardio and full-body training of the rest of Focus T25.
This cardio and resistance-heavy routine include basic planks, chest openers, dual arm flies, basic push-ups, and sumo double rows.
Beta’s Stretch routine is full of slow, controlled stretches like knee hold, calf stretches, hip flexor holds, and lateral lunges.
Shaun T considers Core Speed a “bonus” workout in the Beta phase. The workout repeats the same two rounds of core and speed exercises three times, ramping up speed with each cycle.
Exercises include quick jabs, up and overs, and 1-2-3 claps.
What Equipment Do You Need?
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T25 Foundation Calendar
The official Beta calendar is in T25’s “Program Materials” tab and on page two of the PDF in orange. (Shaun T organizes Alpha and Beta into one calendar and leaves Gamma on its own.)
Hot off the heels of an exhausting and jam-packed Alpha cycle, Beta carries on a few trends — Monday thru Thursday single workouts, Double Days on Friday, and Sunday stretches.
Here’s a look at what week one on Beta brings:
|Day of the Week||Workout|
|Friday||Upper Focus and Core Cardio|
Each square on the calendar also includes two boxes that you can check off: “Nailed It” and “Barely Made It.” (Shaun T clearly wasn’t kidding when he said there are zero excuses…)
The Double Days on Fridays were optional in Alpha (just do the second one on Saturday if two 25-minute workouts a day was too much). But now you’re in the “big leagues” of Focus T25.
Whether you start and end your Fridays with a workout or squeeze in workout #2 during your lunch break, get ready for five straight Fridays with 50 minutes’ worth of HIIT.
(If you really want to punish yourself, crank out those Friday workouts back-to-back.)
After four consecutive days of training and a double workout, seeing the word “STATurday” on your calendar will make you cringe and smile at the same time.
Use your Saturday recovery day to log these measurements in the calendar:
By the end of the Beta phase (or Gamma, if you have balls of steel), you should see progress in these numbers.
It appears that — for whatever reason — T25 is on European time, ending the week on Sunday with a 25-minute-long stretch session (unique to each of T25’s phases).
The Option to Start Gamma Early
The Gamma phase dials up the pressure and turns your full attention to building strength and getting absolutely ripped in 25 minutes a day.
But if you’re growing impatient and are ready for Pure Gamma or Gamma’s Pure Strength Hybrid, Shaun T offers an alternative: starting Gamma two weeks early while still running Beta.
During Beta’s weeks four and five, you can replace:
- Upper Focus with Rip’t Up
- Rip’t Circuit with Extreme Circuit
- Speed 2.0 with Speed 3.0
It’s not entirely clear why you’d want to start Gamma earlier, but it’s an option if you feel like the transition between Alpha and Beta was too tame.
Focus T25 Daily Journal
Throughout T25, Shaun T encourages you to record your thoughts in the Daily Journal.
Each entry begins with a quote, like “Ready for week seven?” which is arguably not as catchy as Shaun T seems to think. (Dare: use each quote casually in your walking life for the hell of it.)
The PDF is editable. Simply type in the day’s workout, jot any notes about how you’re feeling or the day’s training session, and check either “Nailed It” or “Barely Made It.”
(Aside from the random daily quotes and option to write notes, the information you log in to your journal is 99.9% the same as the calendar.)
T25 Meal Plan & Diet
The complete T25 “Get It Done Nutrition” guide is somewhere in the abyss of the Beachbody On Demand platform. Just search T25 in the search bar, scroll down, and it should be there.
We won’t get too deep here, only because we talk about it more in-depth in our full review of T25. But here’s the gist of the T25 meal plan, whether you’re in Alpha, Beta, or Gamma:
- A 1,200 or 1,600-calorie-per-day diet divided into three meals and two snacks
- Shaun T’s 25 favorite “keep it real” foods for a nutritious meal
- 25 recipes that you can prepare in just five minutes with five ingredients or fewer
- Shakeology ads and a subtle nudge to become a Beachbody trainer
- Customization options if you need meals higher in carbohydrates or protein
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We can’t possibly ignore the two elephants in the room. One, Shaun T loves to quote himself, and two, he’s really doubled down on the number 25 here.
Is T25 Beta Harder Than Alpha?
T25 Beta isn’t much harder than Alpha.
Some argue that Beta is slower-paced and less tiresome, although it’s possible your increased stamina and weight loss make the moves feel easier.
Others insist that Core Cardio and Speed 2.0 are tough, but Beta feels easier if you select too light of weight.
Is T25 Gamma Harder Than Beta?
T25 Gamma is harder than Beta.
While Alpha and Beta focused on building a foundation through 25-minute cardio sessions, Gamma is more strength-oriented.
These circuit training dumbbell workouts will leave your muscles ridiculously sore by adding speed, intensity, and resistance to your training.
4 Excellent Benefits of the T25 Beta Workout
It’s Hard Not to Lose Weight With Beta
With the Alpha, workouts cranked up a notch, a 1,200 or 1,600-calorie meal plan, and six 25-minute high-intensity cardio workouts per week, weight loss is basically inevitable.
Two and a half hours of circuit training can burn 1,542 calories/week if you weigh 180 pounds. Add that to the fact you’re likely consuming at least 250–500 fewer calories than your TDEE.
In the five-week Beta phase alone, 0.94–1.44 pounds of weight loss is a real possibility.
T25 Targets Multiple Areas of Fitness
One of the key benefits of Beta is that, even though it’s more core-heavy, that doesn’t mean it’s a straight-up core program like Abel Albonetti’s 30 Day Abs program.
The Beta cycle is more a combination of:
- Strengthening and defining your abs
- Burning fat through endurance-focused training
- Enhancing full-body strength
- Improving speed, power, and agility
Even if Beta isn’t any harder than Alpha, or you choose to skip Gamma and faceplant right into Insanity, this phase will leave you more in shape and a more well-rounded athlete.
Limited Time & Equipment Needs
In 2019, 42% of people surveyed blamed a lack of time for not training, while another 21% chalked it up to not having equipment at home. T25 Beta leaves no room for excuses.
As for time, just 25 minutes a day Monday through Thursday and a spare 50 minutes a day on Friday (preferably split into two sessions) is enough to tackle T25.
Why splurge on expensive gym gear or train for 60 minutes a day when you can see the same results with almost zero equipment and 25 minutes per day?
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Variety Is Always a Top Focus
The biggest letdown we see with fitness programs is trainers phoning it in, repeating the same 15 or 20 exercises in each workout with only slight variations between each.
By the Beta phase, variety is the name of the game. Boredom isn’t an option with exercises like jack uppercuts, deep lunge pulses, dual arm flies, hammer kicks, and rocketman holds.
Fortunately for Shaun T, research from 2019 shows that exercise variety can improve internal motivation, even indecently trained athletes. The longer you last, the greater your results.
2 Negatives of T25 Beta
It Doesn’t Really Compare to Alpha
The six Alpha workouts are absolutely challenging as you master the moves and push your muscles and lungs in brand new ways. However, Beta seems somewhat “meh” following Alpha.
The strength-building push and core focus — as compared to Alpha’s cardio emphasis — keep things fresh for the next five weeks, but the workouts aren’t necessarily harder or more intense.
There’s a Risk You’re Doing Too Much
Training every day — or five straight days like in the Beta cycle — isn’t a problem on its own, especially when following a split routine. Then again, much of T25 is full-body exercises.
If you’re a complete newbie, the near-daily high-intensity workouts (plus Friday’s double workouts) could be too much to handle.
In fact, in a study of high-intensity exercise with increasing weekly training, the greater stress on the body sunk mitochondrial function by some 40%, which can decrease energy stores.
We suggest easing into T25 Alpha and Beta, taking breaks as needed, or even waiting until you reach an intermediate level of fitness.
Wrapping Up This T25 Beta Workout Review
Although the Beta cycle doesn’t maintain the momentum from Alpha, it’s still a decent workout if you’re low on time & equipment, wants to get in shape, and can commit to five weeks of training.
Weight loss is almost guaranteed, it’s not just a resistance training or cardio routine, it’s doable in 25 minutes a day, and there’s always a new exercise around the corner.
Unfortunately, it falls somewhat flat after Alpha, and it can feel too intense for newbies.
If you’re an intermediate athlete, we’d recommend carrying T25’s Alpha routine into its Beta phase. But on its own, there’s really no sense in trying the Beta cycle.
Rating: 8.6 out of 10