REVIEW: 10 ROUNDS with Joel Freeman
Trainer - 85%
Production Values - 84%
Cardio - 79%
Strength - 78%
Joel Freeman returns in 10 Rounds, a boxing themed workout series.
So what happens when you forget to cancel your Beachbody on Demand membership? In my case, you get no excuse to not check over their recent offerings. So by popular demand, 10 Rounds with Joel Freeman won the People’s Choice Award.
10 Rounds is a six week boxing inspired workout series. This may be a tough slog for me as I’m really hesitant to do fighting style workouts just given my martial arts background that has made me an elitist snob. But the people have spoken.
Those familiar with Beachbody are also no doubt aware of Joel’s recent program, LIIFT 4, which was an admirable series and one I recommend. My main concern is that this is a retreat to Core de Force which was fine enough, but not exactly something I’m desperate for more of.
WHAT YOU NEED
I want to give Joel a big bear hug for making this refreshingly minimalist. True, you’ll find a resistance loop handy, but aside from weights you don’t need jack. No pull-up bars, steppers or those ridiculous sliding Frisbees. Just bring your attitude and an insatiable desire to punch your fellow man.
WEEK 1 – Los Angeles
It’s great to see LA before it lit itself on fire, proving that stupidity is among many things, also flammable. With any luck, Snake Plisskin is going to take over as governor, but during this taping it appears the California birds were still singing in the needle infested parks. Ah, early 2020. You were a simpler time.
The recording is inside Beachbody Headquarters, which still is not inside an island volcano. Outside awaits the bus. Yes, Beachbody will be touring 10 Rounds through five additional cities. Or at least the bus will. I have a hunch Joel and the crew had to pay their own discount airfare rather than slum it cross-county in a repainted Greyhound.
If you are experienced with boxing or similar workouts, this week may be one to skip over. I get it, the constant exposition is necessary for beginners but after a while it was getting to me. That’s just my general complaint with boxing cardio. The resistance training is another story entirely. It is basic, and beautifully old school. It took 3 days for my legs to get over the Lower Body workout.
WEEK 2 – Las Vegas
Las Vegas is appropriate given her history with the boxing community. No longer is that city just about gambling and not being able to throw a rock without hitting a hooker. Now you can add fitness to that mix! For atmosphere, Joel and crew are doing the workout on what appears to be the roof of a hotel.
As expected, the complexity begins to increase. A little more shuffling and perhaps an additional jab here and there. But what really is grabbing me are the leg and upper body workouts. They provide a nice break from the “boxing” and remind us that this is a serious program.
WEEK 3 – Dallas
I’ll bet my dad’s Stetson this is going to be cowboy themed. I just freaking know it.
Filmed at Stockyards Station in Dallas/Fort Worth, the location adds a nice touch. I am glad there are no plyometics for the sake of the cast who are working out on brick pavement.
Week 3 is where more emphasis is placed on footwork as all three non-resistance workouts have this as the primary goal. If you’re an uncoordinated lummox with two left feet, this might beat some needed skill into you.
WEEK 4 – Miami
Filmed on a condo rooftop which was a good call. Trying to film this on a Florida beach would have been a logistical nightmare.
The leg band makes a greater appearance this week. They were always around before, but now its being used more frequently. While I am often hesitant to recommend add-ons, they do add a muscle-training aspect that would otherwise be missed. You don’t need them, but don’t discount their benefits entirely either.
WEEK 5 – Brooklyn
Filmed at what I think is a boxing training center in Brooklyn. It’s a little cramped for space, but it gets the job done.
So what’s new this week? Combinations, and lots of them.
WEEK 6 – Philadelphia
It has to be Philly. You, know…because of that really popular movie. What was it again?
This is where it all comes together as all elements you have learned are put into your last week. The format remains the same; punches/footwork for 3 days and strength training for 2. If you’ve made it this far, I’m guessing you’ve developed some impressive reflexes.
Your last day is Final Fight, a 40 minute blast filmed on location at the top of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I seem to recall that was the same stairs run up by that guy in that same movie.
I’m a hard sell with these kinds of programs. When I knew I had to do 10 Rounds to review it, I can’t say I was bursting with excitement. After having gone through it, I’m of two minds on how I feel about it.
On side is impressed with the great resistance training. It is delightfully old school and I have no doubt results will be impressive. Especially with the legs. To many workouts look at legs and hit them hard with cardio and plyo. 10 Rounds goes that extra mile.
The other half of me just tolerates the boxing. But for your sakes, I try to walk a mile in the other mans Birkenstocks ( YouV2, Brazil Butt Lift and Country Heat should have proven that by now ). So if you like fighting-style workouts, you’re probably going to love this one. You’ll also like Core de Force, Tapout XT or exhume TaeBo from its lonely grave. There’s just not a lot of ways to mix up punch-kick combos and make it exciting or even all that different. But Joel does manage to give it a fun essence with his easy-going training style.
As a trainer, Joel Freeman is clearly now part of Beachbody’s core team, even as Tony Horton and his Power-stands have been cast into the heart of Mount Doom. I’m sure their rationale is that Joel’s the younger face and in all fairness, he’s a good choice. I do want to see more of him, but I’d like it to be in the resistance training capacity, sans gimmickry . This extends into a complaint, but it is not against Mr. Freeman. Rather, towards his omniscient overlords.
Personally, I wish Beachbody would get back to solid workouts and loose the gimmicks. If they make a cardio workout, then go balls-in like Max: 30. Or pure, unadulterated resistance like Body Beast. Maybe it’s because I’m turning 50 next year and just wish people would get to the damn point instead of trying to dazzle me with flash.
Still, there’s no denying this is a solid cardio/resistance workout series and Joel pulls it off like a master. For that I give it high marks.
Hey Mr Parrot, love your reviews! Was wondering if you’ve ever heard of Caroline Girvan and her YouTube workouts? Was wondering what you’d think of her workout programme.
I find Beachbody to be missing the mark lately, but coming frustratingly close to making something great – and then just getting in their own way with gimmicks or unnecessary 30-min time limits. I had high hopes for Joel’s other program, LIIFT4, because who wouldn’t see results from classic weight training and HIIT 4 days a week? But the pace was too fast in the lifting to do any real work, and the HIIT was almost too light. I find Joel himself to be rather intolerable as well. A little too “gym bro” mentality, or at least trying to act like it.
I hope you check out the recent program from Megan Davies called MBF. I am doing it now and find it (once again) to be JUST under the promised expectations set by Beachbody, but it’s engaging and fun even if not the most powerful program they’ve done.
The lifting portion was good but Joel ruins it was his childish comments, gutter noises, screams, moans, all of which are non-stop. I find his style beyond annoying. In that sense, he is the worst trainer BB has. Joel, STFU. He obviously has a very low IQ or he thinks he’s funnier than he is. It’s horribly distracting when you are trying to focus on the moves. The boxing was lame and a waste of time as is the case with all of these stupid air boxing routines.
BB has gone down the toilet and I’m tired of them trying to jam that overpriced Shakeo garbage down my throat.
I am doing Power Nation, mmm…P90X4, and we have had the first fase and it is awesome! In 4 weeks I lost 6 kilo of weight, rest heart rate from 77 to 66. Fase 2 has now started, and it is even harder. Not 6 but 7 work-outs this week, and the exercises are familiar but in a new kind of way done. I love it! After the beta, he will create the definite version of it, thanks to comments of the people responding to the work-outs. It will be the best you ever written about in the last 6 years. I promise you that. Hope you do so. It is worth the 30 dollars a month,I can tell you that.
I did Tony Horton’s Power Nation, and the first fase is over. 4 weeks of great exercises. Lost 6 kilo, rest heart rate dropped down from 77 to 66 and fase two is even harder. And it is P90X4…like we all hoped. 30 dollars a month isn’t that much if you know it is done after 6 months, you get all kinds of extra’s and the whole programme when it is done and filmed for real. I love this Beta group and I hope you will do a review of that too. Because it beats every programme you wrote about, the last 5 years.
I don’t get the hate for this. If you don’t like combat style cardio, that’s one thing. But it was never billed as anything beyond a beginner-intermediate program. And for what it’s worth, I appreciate having an option that’s more steady-state than balls-out HIIT. It’s nice to finish a workout drenched and spent but not on the verge of collapse.
As someone with some kickboxing background myself, I was a little surprised at how straightforward and genuine this was in terms of boxing instruction. Of course pad and bag work would be part of the real thing, but go to any “boxing” gym and this is what you’ll get. You’re in no position to use them yet, but this is in fact how people are initially taught punches, combos and footwork. I expected it to be more like Core de Force (cardio with a pretense of MMA), but I was glad to see it was the opposite.
Mr. Parrot, I do consistently appreciate your reviews. On this review, as with Core de Force, one thing that I see missing is ideas on how you can modify the workout. I find, having a prior history of MMA / BJJ and Judo, that air boxing isn’t extraordinarily satisfying. So I took both programs mentioned above and added a heavy bag to them. It really took minimal modification of the routine to fit it into a heavy bag routine – but the results are 10 fold higher from a cardio and power standpoint. Plus – the joy of punching a heavy bag is so much more satisfying than punching air. Just a thought…
How about Morning Meltdown 100?
Hey Parrot, thank you for the review. I’m considering doing this program once Covid calms down and it seems safe to use my building’s gym.
I have feedback about the website. I noticed that there’s no easy way to find reviews for certain programs. I have to search Google with ‘parrot + X program’ to link to the page. Have you considered adding a Search Bar to your site so that a person can quickly find older programs (say Asylum, P90X2, etc)? It would make navigation much easier.
Thanks again for the fantastic reviews.
Have to say probably the worst BB program I have done, so boring. Can’t believe they didn’t do more agility or skipping/cardio endurance work. Yeah the lifting was decent but the boxing I felt was woeful. Far too slow during Wk1. It peaks at week 5 and week 6 is just glory, a 3 min burnout on the Rocky steps, come on week 5 day 5 should have been done like that. Also Round 1 is always a warm up yet they didn’t integrate a cooldown until the coach launch group complained and they shot 2 poverty generic cooldowns at Casa De Freeman. The instructional video is shown mirrored but they didn’t bother mirroring the workouts until much later, talk about confusing people.
Parrot, I seem to recall you mentioning that you had THREE months left on you BOD subscription. Surely that leaves you with enough time to survey Barre Blend for us little people — and just in time for the holidays, too!
Sigh…yup. Looks like I’m going to do that one too!
Sounds like this might be one for me to turn into a hybrid: use the resistance workouts and cull the rest for some more effective/challenging cardio. I just have a hard time with spending 30-45 minutes punching air. Might as well just use a bag, sweat more, get out some aggression, and make it worthwhile.