you have maybe seen previews/sneak peeks of this program popping up on your social media sites as all the rage right now - The program that came out in December is the newest Beachbody workout program. So what makes this program different than the rest? What is it about? How long does it last? What equipment do you need and do you HAVE to do the workouts from home? I've been getting tons of questions about it so I thought I would do a full review!
Hammer & Chisel Complete! - what did I think?
I have done other programs in the past, but at heart I'm a runner! I have always wanted to learn more about weight lifting and I figured THIS was my opportunity to challenge myself in a new way. It has been hard for me in the past to step away from cardio - runner's high much? ha! but as a nurse I understand the importance of strength training and I know that it will only make me a stronger runner.
What makes this lifting program unique? - this is the first Beachbody program that uses TWO trainers. Sagi (from the heavy lifting program Body Beast) and Autumn (well known from the shredding program 21 day fix) came together to combine their experiences into this program. Hammer: focusing on lifting heavy. Chisel: to get your shredded by incorporating cardio into strength training.
The workouts - I love that all the workouts are between 30-40 minutes (which includes a warm up and cool down) and that the ab workouts are just 10 minutes. Honestly, time flies by when you focus on each rep and pushing through each move. there is a big variety of workouts that are included in this program: 15 to be exact. They include agility, power lifting, total body, isometric exercise, conditioning, cardio, plyo, max strength and ab work...just to name a few! Most of the workouts DO require weights and a resistance band. (all except for like 2 of them) I really liked that there were so many workouts because I never feel like I was doing too much of one workout and it always felt like something new! Many of the moves in the workout strength train multiple muscle groups - so I felt like I was challenged and getting the "best bang for my buck" in that 30 minutes. Many of the workouts are circuit style also - which I think makes the time go even faster.
What equipment is required? - in the workouts they use a variety of weights, a resistance band, a chin up bar or over the door resistance band and a bench or stability ball. I myself did NOT use all of these things. I used my power blocks (which range in weight from 3-24 pound dumbbells), a resistance band, a chin up bar with an assist band - I did not buy a bench (yet) so I did these exercises on the floor or used my couch/ottoman as a step - all about getting creative right!?
Is there a nutrition/meal plan to go with it? Yes! The nutritional portion of this workout program is based on the fix system. Portion containers that are color coded as to the food group (ex: red for protein, green for veggies, yellow for carbs, blue for fats..etc) - You calculate how many containers that are needed based not only on your current weight and gender - but also your goals! The nutrition is modified based on whether your goal is to lose weight, maintain or gain muscle. My goal was NOT to lose weight during this program and I would say that my nutrition is the 80/20 rule..probably even 90/10 most of the time. My personal opinion is that moderation is key and I have found what works for me.
Did you use any supplements at all? I maintained my daily use of Shakeology EVERY single day like always. I also added in Beachbody performance chocolate recovery for the days when I was super sore. seriously....that stuff is magic (and it tastes like nesquik chocolate milk! haha
ok..what RESULTS did you notice?!?! The beauty of this program that I have noticed...is that it is suitable for everyone: someone who is looking to lose quite a bit of weight, someone who wants to GAIN muscle, someone who wants to maintain and learn more about lifting - all shapes, sizes and genders - and a perfect couples workout in my opinion.
As for me: I went into this program knowing it would be a challenge for me because I'm so used to RUNNING as my main workout and I was afraid I wasn't going to get the same "burn" from lifting. I'm happy to say I finished each workout and felt satisfied! The first week was the hardest - I literally couldn't walk "normal" because my legs were so sore!
I did not measure or take "proper" before pictures because I didn't want to put too much stress on myself - I just wanted to enjoy the process..which I can happily say I did. I snapped some pictures throughout the program and I can DEFINITELY tell a different in my upper body (shoulders and biceps) - which has ALWAYS been a difficult area for me to see any muscle. My weight always fluctuate between a few pounds and that has stayed about the same over the 60 days. I went up in dumbbell weights in my legs TWICE over the course of the program and upper body once. I also felt like my assisted pull-ups got MUCH easier! (don't get me wrong..they are still hard)
Biggest change? THE MENTALITY that I can get through a program that is SIXTY days. I can maintain my fitness through mostly lifting and only running about two days a week. I can STILL get on the treadmill and pound out 5 miles fairly easy and I'm SURE my legs are stronger due to the weights.
I'm thinking ROUND TWO of Hammer and Chisel will be happening again early March! If you are interested in joining me and have further questions please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org - would love to have you do it with me!
Runner. Lifter. Girlboss. Entrepreneur. Nurse. Coach.