Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Afterburn II Review

I am a crazy fan of Alwyn Cosgrove. So much so, if I saw him in person I would probably not be able to say one thing that sounded intelligent. He puts together some mean, fat-blasting programs. The most recent one I have tackled is Afterburn II. I'm going to give you a review and suggestions so you can determine if it's right for you (it probably is).

Afterburn II is a sequel of sorts to the original Afterburn program. No-nonsense and no hype, just hard work and focus. It's a 12 week program and really not for beginners, due to the exercises chosen and the intensity of the program design. The nutrition is very straight-forward and not fancy. The first section of the program involves a very strict plan with a clear list of food choices and advances to specific guidelines that make sense. The training is planned in 3 stages, each lasting a month. For each stage you either get 2 or 3 full days off a week. You will need them! Resistance training and interval training protocols are mapped out in full detail, so there is no question about what to do and when. Periodization is incorporated, so if you're concerned about strength, hypertrophy and endurance you are covered. The program includes barbell complexes and strength training circuits and of course a true-to-style Alwyn surprise, which I won't tell you. Overall the program is pretty amazing and I had comments in the gym from men and women alike regarding the workouts. In my opinion it's not really conducive for home as you will need access to barbells, dumbbells, some cable equipment and a way to do inverted rows.

Beware, you must go into this with determination and commitment. It will highlight any issues you have with nutrition compliance or short attention span. It doesn't let up and if you've been stuck in a rut with the same number of reps/sets you will immediately realize it.

I learned to love barbell complexes and hate bulgarian split squats. I mastered T-push-ups and figured out how hard plank can really be. I discovered the inverted row is one of my new favorites. It confirmed my love of workout intensity. I advanced my skills, increased my endurance, gained strength, blasted some fat and figured out some of my personal challenges. Overall, this is an absolutely solid training program that incorporates everything I believe to be true right now about training for fat loss. I will be doing this program again in the future.

So what do you suggest for those contemplating the purchase of, or just beginning this program?

Do it! Get your mind around it, ratchet down, take a day at a time and just do it! Post the workouts and food list on your fridge, and put a big red X through each day. Make sure you are ready to commit and work hard. It will pay off!

What do you suggest for those that are new to Alwyn Cosgrove programs?

Plan of attack:

  • Go to Alwyn's website and read every article available, read through his blog archives and sign up for his newsletter. You will learn and appreciate his style and knowledge.
  • Buy the book(s) by Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove, New Rules of Lifting and/or New Rules of Lifting for Women (hint: if you're a woman, get both).
  • Do Afterburn I. You'll be ready for it.
  • Do Afterburn II. It will be a challenging, natural progression.
  • Do WarpSpeedFatLoss by Alwyn Cosgrove and Mike Roussell as a top off to seal the deal on that last bit of fat.

Of course if you are in a hurry for swimsuit season you could always start off with WarpSpeedFatLoss and then continue progressing with Afterburn. Hmmm...that would be quite an adventure, if you try either I'd love to hear about it.

This post contains affiliate links for Warp Speed Fat Loss. The New Rules of Lifting and The New Rules of Lifting for Women can be found in my Amazon Store. Please see my disclosure statement.


Anonymous said...

Nice review, Kelley!

I thought about getting Afterburn about a year ago, but never acted on it.

New Rules of Lifting is my favorite 'go to' source for training, hands down.

I'm curious, is there much overlap between "Afterburn" and "New Rules..."?

Thanks for the post!


Kelley Moore said...

Agree about NROL! Main difference you would see with ABII is barbell complexes (every single strength w/o, 3x/wk for 12 wks) and full undulating periodization (sets, reps, rest) from the beginning, although it is similar to like Hypertrophy II from NROL. You still get the major NROl moves, the A/B alternating style workouts. Only 2 comprehensive bb complexes are used the whole 12 wks with sets and reps changing every 4 wks. BB complexes are always followed by circuits (about 4 exercises covering upper and lower body). These circuit exercises are also w/o A/B type format, but sets and reps change every workout. One day you might do 4 sets of 6, the next 2 sets of 20 and so on. So you have to think about it and adjust your wt accordingly to get the most out of it. Direct ab work is minimal and you will see Tabatas in ABII. Sometimes you do interval work day of strength and sometimes day after. At Stage II, lower body and upper body "finishers" are introduced. It has a constant metabolic feel to it, which left me with a desire to lift heavy. You won't feel like you're gaining strength, but you are. The eating is super strict the first 3 weeks of ABII, literally protein and veggies. Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

Wow Kelley, thank you so much for that description! Very helpful!

I think I'll stick with moving on to TT HCFL for the next 4 weeks (starting Sunday) and then maybe back to Fat Loss II or Strength programs from NROL. Now that I'm being more disciplined and logging my loads/reps/sets, going back to one of the NROL phases will probably pay off better than before. (Don't laugh but I've always 'winged-it' like a flying I'm planning everything out in advance and logging actual loads, etc. Much more effective, I know...)

Thanks again, Kelley! I really appreciate it.


Kelley Moore said...

No way would I laugh! I have done the same thing and I am really liking the charts that come with the TT workouts, makes it easy to record. It's so easy to reach for the same dumbbells but I'm doing the same thing; more planning, recording and increasing my weight even though I'm just on wk 2 of HCFL. Go Fred Go!