Looks like Beachbody has a few new workouts in the mix, and Morning Meltdown 100 with ginger-ninja-trainer, Jericho McMatthews is next in the queue. This of course, meant I had to renew my BOD subscription. Like Frodo on his sad, hopeless journey to Mount Doom, I had to suffer the Möbius loop that is Beachbody’s website in order to renew. I swear that company hates me.
What you Get
As what seems to be the consistent offering from BB these days, Morning Meltdown 100 is high intensity cardio combined with moderate resistance training. We also get a DJ so I can feel like it’s 1990 again with the Fresh Prince. From a personal point of view, that year sucked…so the music better be good.
The series is 5 Phases with roughly 20 workouts per phase. That’s a freaking jack-ton of workouts to go through so this review is going to have to narrow the scope in order to be shorter than War and Peace. The 100 in the name implies there are a total of 100 workouts. I don’t have that many fingers and toes to confirm, so I’m going to take Jericho’s word on this.
There’s not a whole lot of increase in intensity as the phases progress, just variety and skill level. Right away, I can see the workouts are just about all cardio/resistance combos. The names also make them self explanatory. I’ll try and cover the basics to get you started.
Cardio Meltdown – Burpees, fast motions and jumps while trying to stick to the beat. Right out of the box, some of these moves are surprisingly complex.
Upbeat Strength– Chest, back, shoulder and arms. Ok, I had some concerns over this as doing weight training to the beat rather than to reps seems a bad idea. Thankfully, the reps go slow, allowing for the muscle to take advantage of “negatives”, which is where real growth takes place.
Core Inferno – Little over 20 minutes of abs. Keep in mind, there’s only so many ways to skin a cat when it comes to doing crunches. It’s good to have, but the results are no different than any other abdominal routine.
Total Body Badass – Light weight is combined with plyometrics. It’s a good concept, just be confident you have enough space and nobody else is in the room lest they get an unexpected 10lb metal sandwich right in the kisser. As the name implies, this is certain to develop a solid backside.
Freestyle Flow – Yoga, or at least the Beachbody version of it. Balancing postures, stretching, upward/downward dogs are the tried and true moves today. Given that I’m an old, cranky bastard, this type of sports stretching is crucial.
I also am starting to wonder, how many pairs of skin-tight lycra pants does Jericho own? I mean, she wears them well and I’m not complaining, but she must need a sea-can to store them. I don’t even own that many socks.
LIT Cardio – I thought this might be low impact. Not even close. There will be times you’re trying to jump across the room. For those familiar with Insanity Asylum, this will have a similar feel. Be prepared to move fast.
Downbeat Strength – Leg day. But instead of reps, you’re working the quads, hamstrings, and glutes using time under tension. So grab some light/medium weights and try to keep up to the beat.
Fight Club – A little throwback to the old days of Core De Force. It’s more of the same punch-kick combos you’ve seen before. Judging by the stances and proper punches, Jericho obviously has had real martial arts training. But despite being called MMA moves, don’t kid yourself. Use this in combat and you’ll be deader than a chicken fried alligator.
Meltcon – This seems to be a mix of Upbeat and Downbeat Strength in an effort to give a total body resistance workout.
Re-Vibe – Yoga inspired recovery workout. Less balancing and more good old fashioned stretching. Of the two recovery workouts, I liked this one more.
The Good, The Bad, and the App
I understand the business model for streaming media, I really do. But if this is the rudder that will steer the mighty S.S. Beachbody, make sure the app isn’t dealing with menopause. The BOD app has a history ( for me anyway ) of cycling from very stable to AAARGH!!
Repeatedly, I had to contend with the iOS app crashing, and thus interrupting my groove until I reloaded it. For a workout 100% dependent on sticking to the beat, this soon became intolerable after the fourth crash. I eventually found creative ways to download the media beforehand to avoid the frustration. Your mileage may vary as my setup was Airplay to an AppleTV from my iPhone.
What Makes MM100 Different?
I’m not sure a live DJ is necessary, but DJ Jesse has to eat too. Therefore I shall cut him some slack. The idea is harmless and the tunes are decent enough to follow along with. In the end it sounds about the same as any Shaun T mix.
Another plus is the sheer number of workouts. Beachbody’s latest strategy seems to be focused on keeping each day fresh and minimizing repeats. Gone are the days when we could recite every one of Tony’s jokes by heart.
What make MM100 the Same?
For better or worse, Beachbody is pumping out “Jack-of-all-trades” type workouts these days. That means they’re good at everything but truly great at none.
Morning Meltdown 100 workouts are all cardio-resistance, which means you will never grab 70lb monsters to do bench presses or perform pull-ups until you puke. It’s low-weight/high rep…a style the BB catalog is getting very top-heavy with. Thus, MM100 is great for endurance athletes or people looking to shed a little chub. But those wanting real muscle gains won’t find much to satisfy them here.
The cast also feels a bit manufactured, like they came from a discount acting school. They’re going to appeal to women more, as the men are a little on the dainty side. Let’s just say I don’t think they’re the kind of dudes that would survive long on a winter white-tail hunt. Makes me long for the good ol’ days of “Bronx is Burning” Bobby Stevenson and psycho-Phil.
I guess we need to talk about the trainer. Jericho McMatthews is thankfully a very likable young lady who rarely, if ever, goes into cheerleader mode. And for that, I thank her. That was a thing with Chalene that made me want to throw a shoe at the screen. As a man, we hate undeserved cheering. Participation trophies and false praise offend us. No, we thirst to be taken to our limits by merciless drill sergeants who want to rip our heads off, because only then do we feel we have accomplished something. We want damn respect. If I need a cheerleader I’ll buy my wife an outfit on Amazon and offer to cook dinner that night.
And that’s the real trick for a truly universal appeal in a trainer. Men don’t mind women trainers, far from it. We just want someone who will kick our asses and be honest about it. Jericho gets closer to this ideal than most of what Beachbody has come out with. I’d say Autumn is doing an alright job when she isn’t pressing a boob against the camera, but holy crap…I’m still bitter about Country Heat.
I’m going to give Morning Meltdown 100 a high recommend and would encourage anyone who is aiming to become a better runner or endurance athlete to look at it. If that’s your goal, it will absolutely fit the bill and I’m eager to see what comes next from Jericho.