This program is definitely living up to its name! Vertical Plyo is a bear and I loved every minute of it (well maybe not EVERY minute - LOL). I have to admit that I was having second thoughts during the "warm-up" because let me tell you it's NO warm-up. It's just plain hard all by itself! It consisted of a lot of bent leg exercises (lunge type position; squatting positions where you are jumping up and down or twisting side to side; squat hops with the ladder where you just don't come up and on and on). Your quads and hamstrings are just on fire before the workout even starts! At one point Shaun T says some thing like: "If you're tired now you should just throw in the towel now because it isn't getting any easier." I was a bit worried at that point because I was tired! It sure did feel good when the stretching started!
This workout is different in that you don't do circuits and then go back and repeat them. You pretty much just keep moving for the entire 40ish minutes. There are only a couple of breaks in the whole workout. Instead of water breaks, Shaun uses active recovery. These exercises are definitely easier but they aren't easy. The other thing I found very difficult with this workout was the fact that I was getting dizzy with some of the jump/twist exercises. You use the ladder and jump with a twist in and out of the boxes (different variations are performed throughout the workout). Usually you would do 1 direction for 30 seconds and then do the other direction for the last 30 seconds. I could not go in the same direction for a full 30 seconds so I changed the exercise just a touch. I ended up altnernating the way I turned and just kept doing that for the full minute. It allowed me to keep moving for the full time without falling down and breaking my nose or some such thing as that.
Speaking of that dreaded, oh I mean wonderful, ladder - this workout incorporated long jumps both forward and laterally. Shaun recommends shortening the ladder until you work up to the point where you can make the entire distance. So I did that! I shortened up the ladder 1 spot for the forward jumps but had to shorten it 2 spots for the lateral jumps. I'm not sure if the lateral jumps were harder because of my lack of strength or because they were at the end of the session (or a combination of the 2).
The session ends with some very high intensity jumping. There are 2 legged tuck jumps and a couple of different 1 legged jumps. Shaun also adds the ladder to these to make it that much more challenging. You would do part of the time out of the ladder and then move it into the ladder, obviously trying not to touch the ladder each time. It is absolutely amazing how much difficulty that ladder adds. Not only are the exercises hard but there is an added focus that you need to incorporate whenever you use the ladder.
In the end, the workout took a touch under 40 minutes and I burned 569 calories. It was an awesome workout - can't say I'm looking forward to doing it again (seriously though I am looking forward to being able to progress this workout). I have found, with all of these workouts, areas that I need improvements in - speed and agility being one of them and that is tomorrow's workout!
I'm also continuing my running both with my running group and with my kids. Yesterday (can't remember if I posted this yesterday) I went out with the kids and I ran 4 miles. The kids combined some running and some bike riding - we do two 2 mile loops and they run/walk the first one and ride the second one. Then this morning I ran with my group. We ran 3 miles and stopped with that because it was VERY hot and humid. I'm thinking about just riding tomorrow with the kids because they really struggled with the heat yesterday and because I want to keep it fun for them.
Last but not least - nutrition is still going really well. I need to start logging my food on MyFitnessPal though because I want to make sure I'm not shorting myself on calories. It can be a very fine line between reducing calorie intake for fat loss and getting too low and causing muscle breakdown. I also find that when I exercise intensely and reduce my calories too much I get sick. So far I've been doing well and I certainly want to keep that going!