I discovered this workout when perusing fitness forums. I vaguely remember some contest run by both Men’s Health and Women’s Health about choosing the next “top trainer.” The winner got to create a workout series. That’s the last I heard of it. Well, as it turns out, The Anarchy Workout was created by the male winner of this contest, Andy Speer. I did some research, watched some clips and it looked pretty cool to me. It is a little system that contains 8 workouts: six 30 minute workouts and 2 fifteen minute workouts. These are broken down into phases. In Phase 1 you do the first three 30 minute workouts and in Phase 2 you do the second three 30 minute workouts. You do the two 15 minute workouts in both phases. Each phase is done for 3 weeks–so it is a 6 week program. The 30 minute workouts for each phase consist of Strength, Cardio and Endurance. The Strength workouts are the only ones that require dumbbells but dumbbells are optional in Phase 2 Endurance. The bonus 15 minute workouts are titled Anarchy Abs and Free Flow.
The first DVD has a little 1:30 minute intro to the program that breaks down how to use it. Obviously this isn’t a high dollar program–no rotation calendar, fitness guide or nutrition plan. Just the basics. You start with Phase 1 and do each of the three 30 minute workouts once a week starting with Cardio #1 (so probably Monday), mid-week you do Strength #1 (probably Wednesday), and the final workout is Endurance #1 (so probably on Friday or Saturday). You can rest on the off days or do one of the 15 minute bonus workouts. Since you get FOUR rest days, it’s probably a good idea to do them on two of the rest days and just take 2 rest days. But that’s just my opinion.
I expected to like these workouts otherwise I wouldn’t have purchased them, however I am surprised by how much I enjoyed them. They are all excellent workouts. Their 30 minute length makes them perfect for doubles workouts for me but if I want a longer workout, they fit together very nicely; for instance, do one of the Strength workouts followed by an Endurance workout to give you an hour long total body strength workout. Or a Strength workout followed by a Cardio workout for cardio + strength. And any of the workouts followed by one of the bonus workouts will give you a nice workout, too. They are all challenging workouts, they are sequenced nicely and I actually like Andy. He is a very good trainer who created an impressive program that is pretty well rounded. I didn’t follow the plan as laid out, but I did do Phase 1 before I did Phase 2. Both Phases were challenging but I actually liked Phase 1 workouts better. To me, they felt like they flowed better and were more well rounded. Though some of the exercises were more advanced in Phase 2, I’m not sure you actually got a better workout.
Cardio is 27 minutes long with a 3 minute warm up and barely a 1 minute stretch in which you stretch each leg once. Cardio is set up in 3 rounds; each round has similar exercises but they increase in intensity and you do them for longer. So, in Round 1 you do each exercise for 30 seconds and get a 10 seconds rest, in Round 2 you do each exercise for 40 seconds and get a 20 seconds rest and in Round 3 you do each exercise for 45 seconds and get a 15 second rest. No equipment is needed. There are two back ground exercisers and one of them (the female) will show modifications for many of the exercises.
Now, before I break this down I have some comments/observations to make. First, this is the first workout of the program I did so this is my first impression. This workout is progressive. It starts out seeming too easy and by the final round it really pushed me. Not Insanity level push me–I can make it through the entire workout w/out stopping or taking personal breaks–but by the end I felt like I was getting a very good workout. Some of the moves were burning my legs out. Also, Andy got a little weird during this workout. First, early on, when the workout wasn’t very challenging, he was acting like it was. Also, he gave the male crew member a lot of attention. A lot. Frequently, while doing the exercise, Andy would do the exercise while staring at the man (who was also doing the exercise) the entire time, never taking his eyes off of him. It was pretty awkward and I am surprised it wasn’t edited out by focusing on the woman. But throughout the workout the female was little more than an afterthought. It was kind of weird! ** Now that I’ve done all of the workouts, I have to mention that this was not a pattern; I never really noticed him doing that in the other workouts.
Round 1 (30 seconds of work w/ 10 seconds of rest) : 1. 1-2 Punch (punch w/ fast feet), 2. Starter Drill Right (start position when running track; then bring back leg up into knee up), 3. Starter Drill Left, 4. Plank Fly (get into plank and alternate raising one arm out to side), 5. Quick Toes (fast feet), 6. T Plank Hold Left (hold in side plank), 7. T Plank Hold Right, 8. Rotational Slam (pretend like you are holding and slamming a ball on the ground to the side, coming down into a lunge as you slam down–alternate sides), 9. burpee.
40 second rest
Round 2 (40 seconds of work w/ 20 seconds of rest): 1. 1-2 Punch w/ Hop, 2. Starter Drill Right (same as in Round 1–just done faster), 3. Starter Drill Left, 4. Push Plank Fly (same as in Round 1, except before raising the arms to side, come down to elbow plank the back up to high plank, first on the right then on the left, then do the flys), 5. Pogo Split (4 wide hops alternated w/ 2 wide scissors), 6. T Plank Rotation (alternating side planks–he adds the option of adding a push up in between if you want), 7. Rotational Slam Split Squat (same as Round 1, except when you slam it down in the lunge, you come up and slam it again on same side (so a static lunge) before changing to other side), 8. Donkey Switch (get down on all 4s but raise knees so you are hands and toes; alternate kicking feet up to ceiling while in this position).
20 second rest
Round 3 (45 seconds of work w/ 15 seconds of rest): 1. 1-2 Upper cut (4 punches, 2 upper cuts), 2. Starter Drill Jump Right (same as Rounds 1 & 2, except add a jump), 3. Starter Drill Jump Left, 4. Push Plank Spider Fly (same as Round 2 except at the of the combo, while in high plank, bring knee to elbow on outside of body), 5. Pogo Hop Sprawl (hop with wide feet until he tells you to sprawl, then you go back into quick burpee), 6. T Plank Rotation Knee Drive (same as Round 2 but while in side plank bring knee to elbow), 7. Rotational Slam w/ Split Squat (same as Round 2 except jump lunge when doing 2nd lunge/slam), 8. Donkey Switch Kick to Burpee (same as Round 2 except when he tells you to, you jump up into one-leg burpee).
Strength is 27 minutes long with a 3 minute warm up and 1:30 minute stretch. This is actually a great little strength workout. It moves fast, so it is metabolic, too. Now, keep in mind, there is no way to get a comprehensive strength workout in less than 30 minutes; nevertheless, this workout does a good job hitting all of the major muscle groups. I followed it up by Phase 1 Endurance (see review below) which functions as a bodyweight strength workout and I really feel like I got an excellent metabolic total body strength workout by combining the two. But if you are short on time and can only do 30 minutes, this workout does do a very nice job. In order to get the best all around results from this workout you need to go heavy. Andy and crew each only had one set of dumbbells but I used more than that. I used 25, 20 and 15 pounds dumbbells. Primarily the 25s and 15s, but in the final round I had to drop from 25 to 20 for some of the exercises. The basic structure of each round is a little different. For Round 1, you do each exercise for 30 seconds then get a 15 second rest before moving on to the next exercise; the final exercise is a cardio move that you do for 60 seconds. After you finish Round 1 you get 20 seconds before moving on to Round 2. For Round 2 you do each exercise for 40 seconds and get 20 seconds of rest before moving on to the next exercise; the final exercise is a cardio move that is again done for 60 seconds. After you finish Round 2 you get a 30 second rest before moving on to Round 3. Round 3 is a little different from the first two rounds. It is 3 minutes long and you do each exercise for 30 seconds with no break between moves. If you are like me and you use more than one set of dumbbells, you need them close by since you will not get that rest period to change weights. You get 20 seconds of rest before moving on to the very brief (too brief IMHO) stretch.
Round 1 (30 seconds work/15 seconds rest):
Split Stance Overhead Press
Narrow Chest Press
Cardio: Split Switch Reverse Fly
Round 2 (40 seconds work/20 seconds rest):
Goblet Squat Crush Curl
Lawnmower Row Iso Hold
Split Stance Push Press Right
Kickstand Deadlift (one-leg deadlift) Right
Split Stance Push Press Left
Kickstand Deadlift Left
Hollow Skull Crushers (legs raised)
Chest Press Iso Hold
Cardio: Single Leg Skip
Round 3 (3 minutes long/30 seconds each move/no rests):
Split Stance Push Press
Goblet Squat Hold with Curl
Cardio: Jump Squat
Endurance is 30 minutes long with a 6 minute warm up and 1:30 minute stretch. I didn’t know what to expect from Endurance before I did it and was very pleasantly surprised. It is bodyweight strength primarily, with some moves similar to those found in PiYo and BodyFit 360. In fact, paired with Strength, this can give you a more thorough total body strength workout. I really liked it a lot. It has a longer warm up, too. I feel the warm up, due to the exercises utilized, are as important to the content of the workout as the workout itself, so I will break those down, too. For the warm up, you do each exercise 45-60 seconds. For the workout you do each exercises for 45 seconds w/ 15 seconds of rest. You go through a long series of exercises, then you get a 35 second recovery and end the workout with a “Finisher” which is 3 minutes of non-stop exercises, no breaks. You get another 20 second rest before ending with the very short stretch.
Reach and Roll (do a hip bridge but hold at the top and reach with arm over and above the opposite shoulder)
Hip March (while in bridge, raise and lower each knee)
Spider T Rotation (alternate legs in runners lunge, raising same side arm as front leg toward ceiling)
Hip Drop Stretch (bend at the waist and grab ankles then bend knees and squat deep; never stand up, alternate bending at waist stretch w/ deep squat)
The final warm up exercise he didn’t give a name to, however you start doing the Hip Drop Squat, but while in squat, raise your arms overhead then jump to standing, keeping arms overhead, then bend at the waist, grabbing ankles and deep squat.
Main Workout Exercises:
Sprint Balance Hold (hold one knee up until he tells you to switch, then jump to other foot, holding other knee up)
Sprint Build Up (start w/ fast feet and progress, bringing knees up higher on Andy’s command until you are doing a high knee run)
Sprint and Hold (sprint until Andy tells you to hold, then you stand on one leg with the other knee up until he tells you to sprint again)
Pull Down to Push Up (lay on stomach and raise arms in front of you and chest as if doing superman; pull arms back as if doing a lat pull, then do a push up)
Downward Dog Push Up
Rockstar Sweep (start in high plank, twist into side plank raising top arm overhead and kicking bottom leg out; alternate sides with a push up in the middle)
Lateral Lunge w/ Balance (side lunge and when you come back to standing, raise the knee so you are balancing on one leg)
Plyo Lunge (get into a deep side lunge then bounce/plyo hop foot off ground, never really coming out of side lunge)
Crawl (get on hand and knees then raise knees off floor so you are on hands and toes; crawl forward two steps and backward two steps)
Bird Dog Reach (do Crawl but for each two steps, stop and raise arm and opposite leg)
Sweep (basically the Rockstar Sweep but faster and with no push up and your starting position is the Crawl position rather than a plank)
Hollow Knee Kicks (get into hollow man position (on back with straight arms raised, head/shoulders raised and straight legs raised at a 45 degree angle) and bring knees in and out, pausing briefly in straight leg position)
Hollow Hold (hold Hollow Man)
Hollow Rocks (get into Hollow Man and hold your position while rocking)
Punch Jack (jack the legs in and out in a sequence while punching fits forward)
Bunny Jack (squat jacks)
Squat Jacks (air jacks that start/end in squat)
35 second rest
Finisher (do each exercise for 30 seconds w/ no break between each exercise)
Lateral Plyo Lunges (30 seconds each leg)
Squat Jacks (air jacks)
Cardio is 27 minutes long with a 2:30 minute warm up and a 1 minute stretch. Cardio wasn’t what I as expecting. In some ways it was more intense than Phase 1 Cardio but in other ways it wasn’t. Andy mixed core moves in, bringing my heart rate down, and by the end I didn’t feel like I had worked as hard as I did in Phase 1 Cardio. But he did have some very challenging plank based moves which made this seem more like an Endurance workout. Nevertheless, it was a good workout. It got my heart rate up, I sweat, it challenged me. Overall, I like it!
Round 1 (40 seconds of work/20 seconds of rest): 1. Hallow Hop (arms over head, feet together, hop fast); 2. Squat Jumps; 3. Plank Walk Fly Spider (while in plank walk 3 to the side, lift outside arm in a fly and lower, then bring outside knee to elbow; repeat going the other way); 4. Single Leg Start Drill (same as in Phase 1 cardio except you are balancing on one leg the whole time); 5. Bird Dog (done in plank; raise one arm and opposite leg, bring them both under body, touching elbow to knee, then immediately raise them again; alternate sides); 6. Upper Cut Squat; 7. Suitcase Squeeze Abs (lay on back and bring elbows to knees; push and hold); 8. Single Arm Burpee.
40 second rest
Round 2 (50 seconds of work/10 seconds or rest): 1. Hollow Hop; 2. Squat Jump (pattern–jump to side and back, then 90 degree turn jump and 90 degree turn jump back to start); 3. Plank Walk Push Up Fly Spider (same as in Round 1, but every plank step is now a push up); 4. Single Leg Starter Drill (same as in Round 1 but add a jump); 5. Plank Bird Dog Push Up (same as in Round 1 but add a push up before you do the other side); 6. Double Upper Cut (same as in Round 1, but do two single arm upper cuts then one double arm upper cut); 7. Ab Runners (bicycles while in Hollow Man (Hollow Man position:lay on back with straight arms raised, head/shoulders raised and straight legs raised at a 45 degree angle)); 8. Single Arm Burpee w/ Fly (do a single arm burpee but hold at the bottom and fly each arm out to side before jumping back up and changing arms).
40 second rest
Round 3 (3 minutes, 30 seconds each exercise, no rest): 1. Hallow Hops; 2.Plan Walk Push Up Side-to-Side; 3.Singe Leg Starter Drill; 4. Single Leg Start Drill (other leg); 5. Single Arm Burpee; 6. Squat Jumps.
25 second rest
Strength is 28 minutes long with a 2:30 minute warm up and a 1:30 minute stretch. Another great short, but effective, total body strength workout. Even tho it is Phase 2, I didn’t think it was a better workout than Phase 1 Strength. They are both very good, but overall I think Phase 1 is more comprehensive. This is still a very good workout, very metabolic with some more advanced level moves, but it didn’t hit every muscle group. Just like in Phase 1, to get the best possible workout, you need to go pretty heavy. I used 25, 20 and 15 pound dumbbells. Just like in Phase 1 Strength there are 3 rounds; for the first round you will do each exercise for 40 seconds with 20 seconds of rest. In Round 2 you will do each exercise for 45 seconds with 15 seconds of rest. And for the final round there are no rests–just 4 minutes straight; you change exercise every 20 seconds.
The first series is a modified Turkish Get Up progression (use an optional dumbbell to hold overhead throughout this series/progression): 30 seconds of Forearm Half Get up, 30 seconds of Straight Arm Half Get Up, 30 seconds of Half Get Up to Bridge. Do 20 seconds of Hip Bridges before repeating the Turkish Get Up series on the other side of the body.
Shuffle Reach for 60 seconds
Static Split Squats for 40 seconds (the first half you just lunge up and down, the second half you do isometric holds with a jump; use an optional dumbbell), Split Squat Plyo for 40 seconds. Stretch your quad.
30 seconds of Defensive Bound Reaches (cardio Move)
Spider Walks for 40 seconds (walking on hands and toes, but trying to keep tabletop position)
Spider Walk Push Up for 40 seconds (add a push up)
Double Spider Walk Push Up for 1 minute
Seal Jacks for 40 seconds
Repeat the Static Split Squats and Split Squat Plyo on other side of body
Shuffle Bound for 40 seconds
Crab Bridge for 40 seconds
Swipers for 40 seconds (from crab, bring one foot under and behind you while pushing opposite arm out in the opposite direction)
Crab Swiper Burpee for 40 seconds (complicated move–do the crab swiper, but then keep turning until your in “quadruped” (on hands and feet but in table top rather than plank), jump in and up (burpee) then back down and twist back to crab)
Finisher: ladder up with push ups and jump squats, so 1 push up, 1 jump squat, 2 push ups, 2 jump squats; continue until you are doing 10 of each.
BONUS 15 Minute Workouts
Anarchy Abs is 15 minutes long. It is a tough little core workout and it hits your entire core: front, sides and back. Each move is done for one minute.
1. Cardio Skip
2. Resisted Knee Drive (standing on one leg, raise the other and, while balancing on one foot, press your hand into your knee as if trying to push it down)
3. Ab Tucks (lay on back with legs straight and fits pressed into your chin; sit up, bringing knees in and grabbing ankles; return to start position)
4. Hollow Hold (lay on back, legs straight and arms straight overhead; raise arms/shoulders, bend both knees and bring them in to body, push them out straight to a 45 degree angle then lower back to start)
5. Hop Switch (get into plank, bring one foot to outside of hand on same side, and jump/switch feet–so a wide (or spider) mountain climber)
6. Side Plank (get into side elbow plank; do 30 seconds of raising and lower hips; then raise one arm overhead and bring it down, pushing it under hips–do this for the remaining 30 seconds)
7. Single Leg Hollow Runner (bicycles while in Hollow Man (Hollow Man position:lay on back with straight arms raised, head/shoulders raised and straight legs raised at a 45 degree angle))
8. Push Plank (high plank to low plank)
9. Superman (you will change arm positions throughout the minute)
10. Russian Twist Tap (2 Russian Twists then bringing feet in and tap feet with hands)
11. 3 Way Climbers (get into plank; bring knee to elbow on outside of body, bring knee to elbow underneath body and bring knee to opposite elbow underneath body; alternate legs)
12. Hollow Rock To Superman (you do this in pyramid count–10 Hollow Rocks, 10 Supermans, 8 Hollow Rocks, 8 Supermans–continue down to 2 of each)
13. Feet to Hands (lay on back and raise straight arms and legs to ceiling; slowly lower hands and feet to about 6 inches off ground then bring back to start)
Free Flow is 15 minutes. Free Flow is not a stretch or yoga workout as I expected. It does have some yoga/stretching in it, but it is a mix of yoga, joint mobility, dynamic flexibility and even some bodyweight strength work. I really liked it and it makes a very nice add on to finish off and enhance whatever other workout you did that day.
1. Leg Cross Over (lay on back, legs straight and arms stretch to sides of body in a T; bringing leg over body and try to touch toe to opposite hand.
2. Thoracic Windmill (do leg crossover then bring arm (same side as leg that is crossed over) overhead to other hand then back.
3. Spider Lunge Series/Hip Hike with T Rotation (get into deep spider lunge (runners lunge), raise hips/round back, come back down and raise arm (same side as forward leg) toward ceiling while twisting spine; alternate sides).
4. High Lunge with Reach (get into lunge and hold arms over head, round back forward and touch fingertips to ground beside front foot).
5. Lateral Lunge to Drop Lunge (side lunge to curtsey lunge w/ twist)
6. Windmill Progression (the progression is just changing hand position)
7. Quad Stretch
8. Plank Walk Out into Plank Kick Over (get into plank and raise one leg, bring it behind you until it touches the ground and you are in a sort of tabletop w/ one leg bent, one leg straight, one arm reaching behind you and one arm underneath you/supporting you)
9. Crab Bridge
10. Crab Bridge with Single Arm Reach
11. Pigeon Sequence (Downdog to pigeon)
12. Child’s Pose