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REVIEW: 6 Weeks of The Work

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6 Weeks of The Work

Trainer - 95%
Production Values - 75%
Strength - 79%
Cardio - 90%

85%

The experienced fitness enthusiast will find '6 Weeks of the Work' challenging. Beginners should look at '4 Weeks of the Prep' before pursuing.

User Rating: 3.48 ( 110 votes)

After a few weeks of house arrest and using the opportunity to start up the Dysfunctional Parrot YouTube Channel, it was high time to get back to another review.  If tyrannical quarantine, ineffectual laws, and pointless arrows on the grocery store floor have taught me one thing these last few weeks, it’s a new appreciation for the fine art of cussing.  Therefore, reviewing 6 Weeks of the Work by Beachbody is rather time appropriate.  The main reason is that for the first time, Beachbody has seen fit to give their workouts an “Explicit” label.

boldcotton
That's a bold strategy Cotton. Let's see if it pays off.

What You’ll Need

A set of light, medium and heavy weights.  Think P90X-level heavy, not necessarily Body Beast.  A resistance loop is also used, but can be modified for use without.  They also make use of the sliders from 80 Day Obsession, but unless you’ve got deep pockets I’d modify or find a couple Frisbee’s at the recycle store.

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For the truly budget conscious, they also double as diner plates.

It Begins…

We meet our trainer, Amoila Cesar.  A straight talking, charismatic chap who better stay clear my mother if he wants to avoid eating soap.  He has the casual banter of Tony Horton in a subdued way, and the street talk of Shaun T minus the constant references to himself in the third person.  It’s an ironic mix since the series is very much cardio/resistance in nature.

Each workout has a series of rounds whereby work is done for generally 60 seconds, and going down in time as each round progresses.  For example, in WEEK 1 – PUSH,  4 rounds of 60 seconds of work kick it off, then down to 50, 40, and finally 30.   What will become apparent very quickly is that this series is NOT for the uninitiated beginner.  Moves like Slider clap-push ups are not of this world.  So if you’re patting yourself on the back for finishing YouV2, sit your ass down and shut up until you have something intelligent to say.

Oh, and you’re probably wondering just how prevalent the swearing is.  I’m not going to count every workout as that will get tedious, but here is the cuss tally for your introductory class of Week 1 – Push:

swearjar
At one point my wife asked me what the heck I was watching in the gym.

Progressing

Each day will have a different focus.  Push looks at presses and push ups.  Legs with plyometrics and squats.  Pull is chin/pull ups and rows.  Other workouts like Endurance and Agility are speed/cardio routines.  As each week progresses, things generally add a slightly higher level of difficulty.  Occasional death-rituals like The Crucible will push you to the limits.  With that one, the f-bombs begin dropping only seconds in, which I suppose is a sure sign we’re in trouble.  It’s death by reps.  I lost count due to passing out in a pile of tears.

mindful
Due to complexity, it is vital to be mindful of form to avoid injury.

A piece of equipment that gets increasing usage as weeks roll by is the resistance loop.  While I initially felt this was another optional gimmick, there are enough places it is used that owning one might not be a bad idea.

By the time you hit Week 3, the names of the workouts might sound the same but the moves become increasingly compound or are different entirely.  They build on each other by adding bands or additional motions.  Expect your co-ordination to have some level of improvement by this time.  Or at least it better if you hope to survive the next three weeks.  That also brings up an important point: don’t feel you need to do the whole 6 weeks uninterrupted.  I found that on several occasions my body ( legs in particular ) was telling me to go straight to Hell because things were just being fatigued too much.  On those days I did a simple weight training or recovery routine.  Much of this was my own fault, as in order to get the review done I often doubled up ( being forced to work from home has its advantages ), or skipped the occasional recovery workout.  If you can back off when necessary, you stand a much greater chance of going the distance.

Week Six

I think by the time I hit Week 6: Crucible ( 100 reps.  Deal with it. ) my body was absolutely faster than it had been in months.  Well, most of it.  When week six rolls around, you should have experienced one of two things:

  1. Extreme growth in muscle speed and strength.
  2. Extreme fatigue and potential injury.

Much of this will depend on what condition you were in at the beginning.  While Six Weeks of the Work is hard as any workout I have ever engaged in, it also does so by jamming a lot in in a short amount of time.  Doing more in less time has benefits…but it also has consequences.

100burp
If you can pull off 100 burpees, you are undeniably kicking butt.

As such, if you have made it to week six injury free, you’re probably not a fitness blogger approaching 50 who is prone to glitches if he rolls out of bed wrong.  I suspect many will likewise hit a few roadblocks.  I pulled a bicep in Week 4 and have been nursing it since.  In many cases there just isn’t enough time given to priming the engine.

CONCLUSION

Well, if you like working out with the kids, might I suggest using the edited version?   If not, re-evaluate your parenting skills.  This of course means I need to first address the first question: the profanity.

Everyone will have a different comfort level when it comes to colorful vocabulary, so my tastes won’t necessarily reflect yours.  I don’t mind it, to a point.  I understand being told to ‘move your ass’ like a Drill Sergeant breathing down my neck, so that comes with the territory.  There is also a pattern to the profanity…the first half usually remains benign.  Then it slips in some tamer “damn” or “ass”.  The second half is where the heavy-hitters come in, so that allows you enough time to wheel grandma out of the room and sit her in front of Wheel of FortunePersonally, I found the f-bombs entirely unnecessary and made it seem trashy.  The program gained nothing by it.  But good news, a beeped-out version is available to watch.

6weekspp
Having someone yell F--K during a pull-up can take a lot of us out of the moment.

Production values do take a score hit.  There is no music track, but that can also free you to work out to Engelbert Humperdinck’s greatest hits.  They do provide a Spotify list, but for me it was more a pain than it was worth, especially if you’re using Airplay and expecting the workout to randomly quit due to a buggy app.

There is also no status bar and that is something I really missed.  I honestly don’t know why Beachbody is cutting this corner lately as it removes a truly handy feature.  The set looks like it was recycled from “Week of Hard Labor” but still has a pleasant, cross-fit feel.  It’s all fine enough, just not extra-mile.

The trainer?  I think BB might have struck gold with Cesar.  At least once my mom washes his mouth out with Irish Spring.

irishspring
40 years later and I can STILL taste it

For those who have long tried to create a hybrid P90X/Insanity ( weight/cardio ) workout, this might be as close as you get in one package.  Be advised, your potential for injury is high with this program.  So suffice to say, 6 Weeks of the Work is not a good choice for a beginner.  For example, while you do indeed save time by doing barbel curls and side squats, it also means there are multiple points of failure that can happen if you’re not up to speed on good form.  There is an intro program called 4 Weeks of the Prep, so give it a look if you’re new to this stuff.

John Paul Parrot ( aka. The Dysfunctional Parrot ) is a disgruntled Systems Analyst who wanders the Canadian wastelands saving small villages with the power of Kung Fu.  His chair is also a little too close to the twenty year old microwave.  As you can well imagine, this has had certain side effects.

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Tony Malone

    July 25, 2020 at

    I am currently doing my second round of The Work and I am do 10 rounds immediately afterwards and wow I have seen a huge difference in my stamina and strength, mot muscle growth but strength. One thing I do though is I do range and repair three times a week instead of once a week and I think that has helped a lot. I do both gym and catch people trying look at my phone ha ha ha because the moves look so different. This is an awesome program and I am 53. Doing both programs (The Work and 10 Rounds) back to back in same workout period has been tough but awesome

  2. Ken Ken

    July 10, 2020 at

    This program seems to work the shoulders a lot. Nearly every workout you do some form of shoulder press.

    I also did not like the scheduling of the Legs and Endurance & Agility workouts. When I got to the E&A workout I found that my legs have not recovered and the Endurance part of the workout is particularly leg heavy. What I did was swap the Endurance & Agility and Pull workouts around.

    • Jenny

      July 16, 2020 at

      The weird thing is that the program schedule specifically instructs you to follow the order of the workouts, but there’s no way I could’ve done Endurance & Agility two days after Legs, either during the Work or the Prep. I swapped them around too, I had no choice.

      • KEN KEN

        July 22, 2020 at

        Switching those 2 workouts around also has the added benefit of not doing pull-ups 2 days in a row, with Pull and Full Body Tempo being next to each other on the Calendar.

  3. elchupinazo

    June 30, 2020 at

    I didn’t care for this one. It’s kind of like “21 Day Fix for men,” a workout that’s hard for the sake of being hard but with no goal in mind. I had enough after week 4 when I was asked to do 75 consecutive burpees. Hard as hell, no doubt, but it wasn’t clear how it was advancing my fitness goals. Explosiveness and athleticism, I suppose, but I’d argue Asylum and P90X2 are much better for those, respectively. I’ll always have a hard time defending any program that features combo moves like row/curls.

    As far as the cussing, I don’t find it trashy as much as I find it forced. He comes off as such a warm and corny guy in the beginning, so I don’t really believe him when he starts dropping f-bombs. Also, I get that there’s probably demand for a harder-assed trainer, but it feels like adding swears in place of actual motivation is kind of low-effort.

    I do like Amoila overall, and hope to see him on a better workout in the future.

    • Mouse Cop

      July 3, 2020 at

      It’s definitely marketed to look like it has more strength training involved than it does. If your goal is to lose fat and tone up (if you don’t have a lot of muscle to begin with) then I think the program would work great. Being that It’s 40-45 min usually it’s great for people who think 60 minutes is too much and 30 minutes is too short. I have no doubt that you’ll be more athletic and have much greater endurance after finishing the program. If only Liift4 was 45 minutes long, used a pullup bar, and was 5 or 6 days a week

  4. Bonnie Worrick

    June 25, 2020 at

    What bod workout has the best leg routines.

    • John Paul Parrot

      June 26, 2020 at

      The toughest for legs? I’m going to go with Shaun T’s Asylum. That series is a killer.

    • elchupinazo

      June 30, 2020 at

      Body Beast or 80 Day Obsession.

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