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FITNESS ZONE

REVIEW: Double Time

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These days it seems family fitness is all but a forgotten enterprise.  Sure, we dad’s often fall back on such time honored traditions as chasing the kids with power tools, but even that is being eclipsed by Nintendo, X-Box or whatever thumb-trainer is sucking the life-force from the youngsters.  Honestly, I haven’t a clue.

Enter once again Tony Horton of P90X fame to bring a week long program, DOUBLE TIME to get little Jimmy and Jane off their obese rears and transform their junior-fat-rolls into lean muscular power.  Barring that at least you can tire the little brats out for an early bedtime so you and the spouse have more time to get freaky.

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Lucky for me she's into scruffy looking nerf herders.

This isn’t Tony’s first foray into family fitness.  There was the less known “Tony and the Kids” and the even more less known “Tony and the Folks” which from the looks of things, wasn’t Mr. Horton’s best work.  But everyone deserves another swing at the ball, so let’s see if Double Time can deliver.

To share in my review I have drafted my 4 kids…who under threat of no supper for a week and giving all their possessions away to Goodwill, will give their insights.  Rather than use their real names, they will be referred to by their call-signs.  Allow me to introduce my crew:

Codename: CAPTAIN CRUNCH

Description:  15 year old boy

Catchphrase: “If I watch this, can we go shooting coyotes this weekend?”

Codename: SPECIAL K

12 Year old girl

Catchphrase: “Let me get this straight, people actually want to read your opinions?”

Codename: TRIX ( hey, she’s a kid and liked the rabbit )

9 Year old girl

Catchphrase: “I’ll do this if I get a second cookie.”

Codename: SUGARBEAR

7 Year old boy

Catchphrase: “Do I get to ‘Beast up’?”

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

A couple soft yoga mats would be required for ground work.  The main equipment though is just a regular ball.  Soccer or basketball would be perfect.  Avoid medicine balls unless the kid has been an insufferable twit all day and needs to be reminded who the alpha-buck is.

ballface
Oops. My bad.

GAME ON!

Time: 18 minutes

Partner:  SPECIAL K

The workout almost exclusively uses a ball as a means of trading off the work.  For example, one will so sit ups with the ball while another mountain climbers.   Shuffles, passes and low impact jumping make this a primarily cardio workout.  It’s an easy introduction into the program.  Agent Special K felt the pace was just right and thought Tony was a funny guy to train with.

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Tracey Morrow makes a Beachbody alumni appearance.

DYNAMIC DOUBLES

Time: 19 minutes

Partner: TRIX

There’s more of a strength workout at play here with planks, squats and crunches.  The ball is there of course to keep engagement between workout partners.  Agent TRIX felt the moves were just hard enough to be challenging without causing frustration.  It helps that Dad is a bit of a nut too.

DOUBLE UP

Time: 30 minutes

Partner: CAPTAIN CRUNCH

Cardio by means of passing the ball.  Jump passes, lunge passes, twist passes…you get the idea.  It’s definitely low impact and low intensity, so don’t expect a Max 30-level but kicking.  Captain Crunch liked the cardio, but probably would have preferred a workout that used resistance more.

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The cast demonstrates across a wide age range.

BOD SQUAD

Time: 27 minutes

Partner: CAPTAIN CRUNCH

Lunge, squat and crawls.  I re-enlisted Captain Crunch for a second round as this one looked to have more resistance.  I think he liked it a lot more, especially when partners push against each other with ball lunges.  Seeing as this kid is already 6’1″, we were pretty well matched for strength which means either I have to train more or cut his feed ration.

doublet_3
Careful kid. Mom's hold in a lot of rage.

FUNAPALOOZA

Time: 30 minutes

Partner: TRIX

Agent Trix signed up for this one based on the name.  I had some concerns that the speed and complexity might be too much for a 9 year-old girl but you’d be surprised how much a kid can enhance their performance after a bowl of Frosted Coated Sugar Bombs.

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Just kidding. You'd be better off licking doorknobs than ingesting this filth.

Lots of fancy footwork will keep you both on your toes.  I was surprised how much this one was making me work so hats of to Tony for finding a way to make it challenging across the board.  Side skips, planks, running, jumps…I think Agent Trix was having more fun watching Dad try to keep up.

POWER PARTNERS

Time: 32 minutes

Partner: SPECIAL K

This is another routine focused on resistance and this time Agent Special K is back to show just how much internal rage a 12 year-old girl can possess.  Here’s a hint: it’s quite a lot.

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Working against each others strength always seems to be a favorite.

While there is some arm work, it really focuses more on legs and core.  The parts where you push against each other using a ball is always fun, especially when your kid knows they have to give it their all.

RECESS

Time: 11 minutes

Partner: SUGARBEAR

This one had Agent Sugarbear written all over it.  It’s recess after all!  While this is primarily stretching, there is a little core work to keep it interesting by throwing in moves like Superman/Side Bananas and some balance postures.

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The short running time makes this workout an easy sell.

ABRACADABRA

Time: 10 minutes

Partner: SUGARBEAR

Gut-buster time.  I enlisted Agent Sugarbear due to the short running time, and because 8 years old is not too early to shoot for a steel core.  This is an easily adaptable ab workout that is all spent on the back.  The last move, Tour de Floor makes each partner push against the others feet.  Thus, gauge your push-back accordingly.

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Tempting as it may be, resist the urge to catapult your kid across the room.

CONCLUSION

Tony Horton is probably the only natural choice for a program like this.  I’m trying to think of any other Beachbody trainer that would work but am coming up with limited candidates.  Thus far I’m having comical visions of Sagi yelling “beast up!” at a ten-year-old pinned under a bench-press or a frazzle-haired Autumn surrounded by kids running amok.

Double Time is a great way to introduce kids to the concept of putting fitness into a regular schedule, and doing so in a fun way.  It also has the added benefit of requiring pretty much just a ball to get going.  So what do the kids say?  A post-workout briefing decided on a 4 Feathers out of 5.  The younger ones liked it more while Captain Crunch wanted to have some weights involved, yet still thought highly of it.   This is a grade based on how it appeals to kids so don’t think the number reflects overall difficulty.

REVIEW: Double Time
7.8 SCORE
Summary
A great way to spend a week getting the kids to do something besides work out the thumbs. Based on my own test group, the program scored well with the 6 to 15 year old range.
Production Values
Agent Captain Crunch
Agent Special K
Agent Trix
Agent Sugarbear

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.

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