Tag Archives: At home fitness

ChaLean Week 1 Complete!

5 Aug

Happy Monday!  I’m excited to start my second week of ChaLean Extreme.  And when I say excited, no sarcasm here.  I am truly excited to keep at it.  Perhaps I’m still in the honeymoon stage, but I am seriously loving ChaLean (and Chalene :)).  Since I already gave you all the reasons I like it so far, I thought I’d share a bit of the schedule and type of workouts I completed this first week.

The first 30 days (of 90) is the Burn phase.  Each phase is 30 days and has a different focus (Burn, Push, Lean). I’m only assuming that each of the workouts reflect this focus.  I’ve definitely been feeling the burn with this first week!  There has been a big focus on lifting (heavy weight) and combination strength training.  Another nice thing about this program: 2 rest days a week!  This is perfect if you’re like me and enjoy variety.  I plan to do stretching or yoga on my days off to mix it up.

ChaLean Extreme Schedule:

Monday: Burn Circuit 1

  • This workout is about 35 minutes long (awesome!) and starts off with a nice warm-up.  I used 5, 8, 10, and 15 lbs. throughout the video doing squats, curls, and presses.  I probably could’ve gotten by with less variety in weight, but I have them so might as well use them! I was sweating by the end of it and really liked each of the exercises.  Throughout the video there was always a low-impact option (which I always took).

Tuesday: Rest Day!

Wednesday: Burn Circuit 2

  • Similar to Burn Circuit 1, this one is about 35 minutes long and focuses on lifting.  Many exercises had similar moves to circuit 1 and a similar lay-out – but it didn’t feel repetitive to me.  Again – another thoroughly enjoyable workout!

Thursday: Burn Intervals and Ab Burner

  • What a fun little change!  The heavy weights were gone in this workout, instead focusing on reps.  I used much lighter weights (I don’t think I went over 5lbs), but we did about a billion reps.  I sweat a lot and loved the upbeat feel of this one.  This day is a bit longer with Ab Burner (10 minutes).  I think I was working out for about 50 minutes total?

Friday: Burn Circuit 3

  • Back to heavy weights for this one!  More squats, push-ups, and curls.  A similar style to circuit 1 and 2, but again a nice new variety.  Loved it.  Around 30 minutes?  (Clearly I should’ve paid more attention!)

Saturday: Burn it Off and Recharge!

  • Made up of two different segments, this workout was more about cardio.  We did some classic plyo moves and a few with some light weights.  Again, there was always an option for low-impact with I always took.  Fun and energetic, I enjoyed the variety.  The recharge element consisted of yoga-like stretching.  This was the longest day or tied with Intervals, at maybe 45-50 minutes.

Sunday: Rest Day

Progress So Far:

Call me crazy, but I feel like I’m already getting results!  Yes, they are very minor…but I am feeling stronger and healthier.  I’m watching my diet more closely and even attempting to cook!  It’s amazing what really clean eating can do.  I feel more toned and can’t wait to see actual results.  I think my results of this week are more a mental thing – I’m just feeling great!

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This is real life. I actually made this. BY MYSELF! Egg whites, peppers, soy sausage on a whole wheat tortilla. I’m fancy.

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This week I’m taking it to the next level with pre-chopped bags of veggies to add to my egg whites. Extreme fancy.

After upping my calories to around 1500-1600 calories I’m in a much happier place.  It seems to be a more doable amount of calories for my size and activity level.  I’m not quite as angry :)  I’ve decided to continue to use the MFP app to track my food during the week.  With this program I’m giving myself the weekends off – at least from strict tracking.  Honestly tracking your food is hard work, and allowing myself a bit of a break will hopefully allow me to return each Monday refreshed to track again.  I’m still planning to eat well on the weekends, just not quite as intensely! This weekend I attended a bridal shower and enjoyed some of the tasty yumminess as a treat. :)  During P90X I allowed myself treats around once a week and this strategy seemed to work well.  Everything in moderation!

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Working on drinking more water. I even added these fancy cut limes to the water. Are you noticing a fancy trend?

I feel like I’m just gushing about this program, sorry for the annoying enthusiasm about it – but I have just been so happy with it.  It could also be a rainbow of happiness just to have a program I can follow again that I enjoy, and that my knees will allow!  My heart is just happy to be working out again!

Kelly

Beginning ChaLean Extreme: First Impressions

31 Jul

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With Day 1 officially behind me, I can happily say: I am loving ChaLean Extreme!  Like in-an-excited-mood-all-morning love it.  Now… I’ve only done the fitness test and one workout, so I may not be the best judge yet… but I thought I’d give a few first impressions of the program.  I can’t wait to continue and see what the next few weeks will bring.

Initial Good Impressions:

  • The workouts have a time countdown clock on the screen (in usual beachbody fashion), so I knew exactly how long I’d be sweating this morning.  Very convenient for planning purposes.
  • The workouts are different everyday!  There is a calendar telling me exactly which workout to do when.  I love the structure, but variety.  I really hate doing the same workout each day.
  • Chalene is awesome.  She is motivational, but also sincerely sweet.  I feel like she’s just training me and not putting on a show or making a video.  I’m really looking forward to working out with her.
  • I love lifting, and that was pretty much all we did for the first workout.  LOVE.  The first workout was 35 minutes and consisted of a warm-up, several exercises (squats, shoulder presses, chest presses) in sets of 12, and a cool-down.   Perfection.
  • Holy injury prevention.  Not only can all moves be modified, but they are done slowly and correctly.  I was massively impressed with Chalene’s ability to fully explain how to do a move.  I’ve completed P90X, so I’ve done a workout or two .  Chalene explained things in a way that was straight forward without either talking down (if you’ve worked out before), or talking up (if this was your first day picking up a weight).  I’m thrilled I chose this program and if the next few workouts are similar, I think it will truly help strengthen my runner’s knee issues.
  • I’m actually excited to see what tomorrow’s workout brings.  I’ve been feeling on the burnt out side for awhile now – it’s awesome feeling jazzed about fitness.

Negative First Impression:

My biggest beef is the nutrition plan.  1300 calories is the recommended amount based on my weight.  And let me tell you folks, that’s just not very many (for me).  I did pretty well yesterday, but when I came home from work I was grumpy, irritable, and starving.  I just about bit Adam’s face off – it wasn’t pretty folks.  He did make the comment “well it’s definitely extreme.”  Hah.  Good point.

I ended up scarfing almost a whole bag of baby carrots on top of my dinner (that already put me at 1300).  I was still dying so I went with some cheese, grapes, and a whole wheat tortilla.  I ended up going over my calorie allotment yesterday.  It was an important lesson that I’d rather eat a bit more throughout the day than get to a crash/crazy lady person point.  Essentially if eating 200-400 calories more in oatmeal or fruit prevents me from eating 800 calories in cheese and crackers – that’s completely worth it!  I want to focus on whole, fresh foods – not numbers.

Additionally my goals with this program are not truly weight loss.  Sure, I’d love to lose 3 or 4 pounds (who doesn’t?).  But my main goals are fitness, muscle definition, and a trim body.  Of course I need a low enough caloric intake to make this happen, but I am not looking for any extreme weight loss (remember, that wedding dress still needs to fit, I don’t want to get it taken in!).  I’ve decided to up my calories to 1500 for today.  I’ll give it a whirl and push it up to 1600 or 1700 if that’s killing me.

I would prefer if the nutrition guide gave ratios of protein/fat/carbs and a range of calories.  I don’t do well with strict allotments.  But I’m just going to modify the best I can and keep moving forward.  I learned a lot from the P90X nutrition plan even though it was hard in the beginning, so I’m going to do my best to glean info from Chalene as well.

The good news?  At this point – no other negative thoughts.  :)

Tips to Begin

  • Print out the workout sheets!  I forgot about this one and was bummed this morning when I didn’t have them.  They are available online.
  • If you’re doing your measurements and pictures on your own, plan a little extra time.  I was surprised how long it took me to measure and photograph myself without someone around to help (and it was also hilarious/frustrating).  A little bit late to work because of it…oops. :)  But – also make sure you do take measurements and pictures…they are so inspiring at the end!
  • Watch the beginner DVD.  I actually didn’t get around to watching it until I was making breakfast this morning and it was very motivational.  I enjoyed it and should’ve started it before I began the program to get all pumped up.
  • Do your best.  I was a little disappointed that I didn’t stick to the nutrition plan entirely, but today is a new day!  Time to just press play again and use every day to get a little bit better.  It’s easy to get frustrated with a new program either by not being able to do all the exercises or following the guide.  Don’t let the frustration get in the way of keep pressing play!

So far I’m very pleased with the program, and I’m excited to keep moving forward.  I love the set-up of a 3 month program.  I will do a different workout every day, but each of the four weeks within a month will be the same.  Then the following 4 weeks will be new DVDs.  And so on.  It progressively builds and changes.  The variety is there, but consistency as well.  Perfection.

Happy Wednesday!

-Kelly

ChaLean Extreme Prep

29 Jul

Happy Monday!  I’m coming back from the most wonderful weekend out in Seattle with my little sister.  She moved there this winter and it was my first chance to get a peek at her new life out there.  We did a little of this…

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Checking out the AMAZING views Seattle in the summer has to offer. We did lots of exploring!

 

And then we did a little of this…

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Took lots of selfies to show Mom we were still alive.

 

We threw in some of this…

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Wedding fun! Trip to Ikea for some cheapo wedding decorations.

 

And we can’t forget, some of this…

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Ahh, relaxing at the pool.

 

All in all – a completely awesome trip.  I wish I were still there!

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And of course silly pictures to send our family. Love ya Jules!

 

Unfortunately I had a bit of a flight snafu and instead of my nice early flight (with time to prepare for ChaLean!), I had to take the red eye.  Yeah.  So I flew home last night, landed in Indy, hopped in my car and went to work.  A day running on just a few hours of sleep.  Absolute madness.

I had my fingers crossed I would have a certain package waiting for me.  And sure enough: ChaLean Extreme had arrived!  This evening after getting home from work I skimmed the program manuals and got familiar with the program.  I plan to officially start the program in the morning, and I wanted to be prepared.  My flight situation threw off my plan, but I decided to do the prep work tonight and start tomorrow.

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Hooray! Look what arrived :)

So, how do you prep?

The most important thing for me – remove all barriers.  Essentially, I wanted to set myself up so that tomorrow I don’t have any excuses not to begin.  It’s easy to push things off, “Oh I’ll do it next week” or “I’m too tired and I can’t start now.”  I want to start strong and motivated, and that requires effort.

Step 1: Read and Plan

It’s crucial to understand more about the program.  Tonight I didn’t do my deep dive of planning, but I got familiar enough to begin tomorrow.  This week I’ll spend more time specifically mapping out recipes and workouts (once I’m running on more than 2 hours of sleep).  Tonight I skimmed the books and made a plan for the morning.  Because there is a fitness test prior to working out, I needed to plan for it… I can’t just start workout 1 tomorrow.  I’ve decided to do my fitness test in the morning as my day 1.

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Doing some light leisure reading.

Step 2:  FOOD!

Diet is 80% of results and I knew I needed to get some fresh food to start strong.  I cleaned out my fridge, made a list, and tackled Target.  I broke my cardinal rule of always throw a chopping party immediately – but with my restful-sleep-on-a-plane night, I cut myself some slack.  The chopping party will be tomorrow evening.  :)

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1. I threw out all old/expired food and made a list of what I needed.

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2. I gave the old fridge a nice cleaning.

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3. Weeeee! Fresh food purchased and ready to go!

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4. Voila! Instant full fridge of yumminess.

It looks like the ChaLean program follows a high protein diet, limited by calories.  This isn’t typically my favorite style – I really loathe calorie counting.  I’m planning to give it a solid go though, as I want to follow the program as closely as prescribed as possible.  I was pretty disappointed that my calorie intake is set to 1300 calories.  Yikes.  I miss the P90X diet of 1800.  But I know what I’m up against now, and filled my fridge accordingly.

Step 3: Equipment

Because I have a lot of equipment from P90X, I was pretty much set and ready to go.  Tonight I picked up a cheap scale, as I know that’s one of the metrics used in the before/after.  It was a little annoying not having a scale with P90X, so I splurged on a $7.99 dial scale at Target.  It doesn’t show half-pound increments, but that might be a good thing.  I really don’t like to obsess over numbers.  General trends is what I’m looking for.  Other equipment like resistance bands and a fat caliper came with the program.

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The newest piece of equipment.

Step 4: Bring it!

My alarm clock is set and I’m ready to start my day with photos (this will present an interesting challenge alone), measurements, and a fit test.  I’m excited to give myself a baseline, though I know “Day 1” can often be a somewhat depressing place to start (I think most people can agree!).  I know I’ve lost a bit of fitness in the last 2 months.  But the good news?  There’s no where to go but up!  I’m already looking forward to day 30, 60, and 90!

I feel as ready as I can be to start, and that’s so crucial.  My foundation is set and there’s nothing left to do but press play!  Wish me luck on my first day!

-Kelly

How do you start a new workout program?  

Workout Program Showdown: ChaLean Extreme vs. T25

16 Jul

The showdown begins!  What showdown?  The big decision: now that I can’t do Insanity, which program will I do?  The opponents?  ChaLean Extreme and T25.  Both of these programs are by Beachbody (the makers of P90X and Insanity), which is a company I really like, and have found success with lately.  Why do I like their programs so much?  Well, frankly, I am kind of lazy.  I enjoy the pre-packaged style of these programs.  They normally are for a set length of time (2 or 3 months) and include a diet plan as well.  Essentially all I have to do is follow the recipe to success!  I don’t have to reinvent the wheel.  For me, this system works great as I really enjoy structure.  I like making and meeting milestones, and seeing progress.  Both of these programs will allow for structure, direction, and motivation.  Personally, without a set plan I tend not have quite as much success with fitness.  I will definitely remain active on my own, but having the structure is the little oomph I need (especially with all the weddings coming up – no pressure or anything :)).

Thanks to Beachbody’s satisfaction guarantee,  I actually was able to return Insanity and will now buy a lower impact program due to my knees.  What a win!  I’m so excited to select my next program and get going.  I have not done either ChaLean Extreme or T25 before, so they will be a completely new experience to me.

Wedding Fitness Goals

With 90 days until my brother’s wedding and 186 until my own, let’s just say my desire for fitness might be taking on a slightly more vain approach than usual.  Well, to be perfectly honest, I just don’t want to have to pay to get either dress altered (haha just call me el cheapo).  My bridesmaid dress for my brother’s wedding barely zips.  I’m talking barely.

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It zipped…thank goodness!

My own wedding dress fits snugly, but I don’t want any anxiety about either fitting.  I’m looking for a program that will help me tone and lose just a few pounds.  I also don’t want to lose too much weight – that means alterations as well!  Thanks to P90X I’m pretty close to where I’d like to be, so I’m also not looking for anything crazy extreme.

Detailed Personal Fitness Goals:
  • Trim and tone – looking for a lean look (think of all the pictures!!)
  • Working out up to 1 hour per day.  Ideally 5 days a week. (I like making fitness a priority, but want to also have a life :))
  • Low impact.  I can’t do anything that would mess up my knees.  My doctor said any exercises with heavy squats or angles on my knees are a no-go.
  • Enjoyable.  I tend to work out in the morning and I hate the morning (it’s a problem).  I want something I can look forward to.
  • Variety!  I love programs that have different workouts every day and give a lot of variety in the type of workout.
  • Easy to follow – make it simple for me.  I don’t want to think (remember, I’m lazy).
  • Lifting component.  I feel like I’m losing my strength from P90X – okay I’m definitely losing my strength.  I miss weight training.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these programs.  First up… ChaLean Extreme.

ChaLean Extreme

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From Beachbody’s website:

Get ready to burn fat, boost your metabolism, and get lean with ChaLEAN Extreme®. Trainer Chalene Johnson will help you build toned muscles so you can lose up to 60 percent of your body fat in just 3 months. ChaLEAN Extreme is designed to give you visible results in only 30 days.

Chalene’s Lean Phasing® technique shifts your body’s fat-burning focus from cardio to resistance training. By using weights or resistance bands, you’ll build lean muscle and ramp up your metabolism. When you have more muscle, you’ll burn fat long after your workout.

The details:

  • 90 day program
  • All days are under an hour, with the shortest around 35 minutes.
  • 6 days a week.
  • Nutrition guide included (Recipes though, which I stink at)
  • 15 workouts included
  • Variety of strength-training, cardio, and abs
  • Focus on lifting – similar to P90X in this sense.
  • Very positive reviews on Team Beachbody
  • Low impact and modifications shown in the DVDs

And on the other side of the ring, Focus T25, the brand new program from Beachbody.

 Focus T25

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From Beachbody’s website:

25 MINUTES. 5 DAYS A WEEK. 100% RESULTS.

The only thing standing between you and the results you want is TIME.

Shaun T experimented for the last year to design a program that delivers the same kind of results you’d expect from an hour-long program, in under 30 minutes. He’s pulled out the rest to give you everything you need, nothing you don’t.

The result is FOCUS T25—and the name implies the intent: If you focus your intensity for 25 minutes, and you do it 5 days a week, you WILL get results.

The details:

  • 25 minutes a day
  • 5 days a week
  • Nutrition plan included
  • No reviews yet on Team Beachbody – it’s too new!
  • A little concerned it could be too high impact, though I’ve been told it’s not. Also seems that there are low impact modifications.
  • 10 week program
  • No equipment needed
  • 11 workouts
  • Variety of workouts
  • Simple movements and straight-forward instruction.

The Decision

Such a tough choice!  It seems like I’ll be in great shape (no pun intended, though it is a clever one ;)) with either option.  I may eventually do both of them, it’s just a matter of which one first!  I’m leaning toward ChaLean Extreme first to give my knees more time to recover…but I like the idea of T25 first because it might be more cardio focused and requires less time…remember the tiny Bridesmaid dress, yeah I need that to fit.  Will all the lifting in ChaLean Extreme cause me and my ginormous muscles to be busting out of the dress?  I’ve been thinking over the decision a lot lately and still can’t quite make up my mind.  Any ideas from those of you that have done either of these programs?

Until the decision is made… Happy Tuesday!

-Kelly

Have you done ChaLean Extreme or T-25?  What do you think is better? 

(Note: I do not work for Beachbody, coach, or have family/close friends that do, additionally I will be purchasing either program using my own money).