Archive for April, 2015

Men’s Health Anarchy Workout System Review

Posted in Health/Fitness, Motivation/Inspiration, Review of Product, Workout DVDs, Workout review on April 21, 2015 by mistransformation


Anarchy is one of the latest offerings from Men’s Health.  I have reviewed a few other Men’s Health workouts on MisTransformation notably the workouts with BJ Gaddour.  The Anarchy workouts were created by Andy Speer.  He was the winner of Men’s Health Next Top Trainer competition in which BJ Gaddour was a judge.  Some people may remember Andy from one of the Insanity offerings as well.

Anarchy is a 6 week program split into two 3 week phases. You get 3 discs with the system.  Disc one is your Phase One workouts – Cardio – Strength and Endurance.  You are meant to do these workouts once a week for 3 days a week for three weeks and then move on to the Phase Two workouts on Disc two.  This phase is also set up with the Cardio/Strength/Endurance workouts that you do each workout once for 3 days a week.  On your off days you may use the workouts on Disc three which are Anarchy Abs and Free Flow.  The Anarchy workouts are 30 minutes in length except for the Abs and Free Flow workouts (about 15 minutes).  You don’t need a lot of equipment for Anarchy; a set of moderate dumbbells will suffice.

The Anarchy system is all about progression.  Progression in the workouts themselves from round to round and progression within the system from Phase One to Phase Two.

Phase One:

Cardio:  No equipment needed in this one.  After a thorough warmup you will do three rounds of dynamic movements that get your heart rate up.  Each round offers different amount of time for the work to rest ratio.  In each round you do a set of movements and in the next round the movements progress to a higher level of difficulty.

Strength:  A set of moderate dumbbells is needed.  I think this was my favorite out of all of the workouts.  I liked the combination of movements.  Goblet Squats – Lawnmower rows – Split Stance lunge with a shoulder press – RDL – Skull Crushers and Chest presses.  These moves progress in round two the goblet squat adds a curl – the split stance lunch add a push press –  the deadlift becomes a one-legged deadlift – during your skull crusher you lift your legs and the chest press is harder with an iso hold.  The work to rest ratio also changes from round to round.

Most notably in this workout is the Burnout Round:  6 exercises 30 seconds each with no break between moves.  These are moves you will be familiar with – most having been done in this workout.  This Burnout round is really what makes this workout special.  When I was done I wished the whole workout had been this tough.

Endurance:  No equipment necessary.  This is a bodyweight challenged workout.  This workout has a 6 minute warmup which is the longest warmup of all 6 workouts on Anarchy.  The moves you will be doing challenge your balance and some challenge your core. Some of the moves you will be doing are:  Sprint balance hold – Sprint buildup run – Pulldown to pushup – Downward dog to pushup (or do a divebomber if you can) – Rockstar sweep (which is like a breakdance move) – bodyweight crawls and bird dogs. The work to rest ratio is primarily 45 seconds of work to 15 seconds of rest.

Round Three of this workout has some dynamic movements like the hollow rock (hollow man while rocking) – punch jacks – bunny jacks and a squat jack.  These are done 45 seconds with 15 seconds of rest.

This workout also has a Burnout Round of 6 moves done for 30 seconds each with no rest between.

PHASE TWO has the same setup as Phase One.  The moves are very similar but they harder in difficulty level and there is more work time and less rest times.  Again my favorite was the Strength routine.  Most notably is the sumo high pull that progresses from round one to a dumbbell snatch in round two.  Also deserving of a mention is the fact that the finisher in Strength Two is 4 minutes in length.

In addition, I also liked the finisher round in Endurance Two – this is a three minute thirty second long round in which you do a pyramid of two movements – the pushup and the squat jump.  First you do one of each; then two of each; then three of each, etc., trying to make your way up the pyramid to ten reps.

Anarchy Abs and the Free Flow workouts on Disc 3 are about 15 minutes in length each.  Anarchy abs is a true testament to why Andy has developed the midsection that he has (which is pretty sexy I must say).  The Free Flow workout are some mobility and stretching movements that are a nice add-on to any of these other workouts and you even get a tad bit of strength added in here on some of the movements.

Overall I would give Anarchy 4 out of 5.  I would have given it 5 stars if it just had a little something extra like Black Fire (read my earlier review of the Black Fire program). The burnout rounds are really what I was hoping for in the entire system.  In fact I loved the burnout rounds so much in this workout that I strung all of them together one day for an entire workout of burnouts and I have to say that this was PURE ANARCHY.  What I did was used the warmup for the first burnout round that I was going to complete then forwarded to the burnout round (watch the clock so you can stop promptly).  After completing the burnout round of course you have to stop and start and go to the next burnout round on the next workout which might seem like a pain but if you are prepared and do it fast enough it’s a welcome break and not too long either – just be quick about it.  You can then use the cool down on the last burnout round you complete.  This was what I was really hoping for out of a workout entitled Anarchy.