ChaLEAN Extreme Review
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
The Preface: my results do not represent the effectiveness of the program. My weight yo-yo'ed the entire time but in the end, my net weight loss is zero pounds. I lost a total of 3.70 inches with 1.56 coming off of my hips! I did gain a half inch in my chest. That's one area that did not need to get bigger.
Onto the review!
The Basics: 90 day program divided into 3 Phases - Burn, Push and Lean. Each phase includes three weight circuits, one intense cardio session and one mixed weight and cardio session. A new weight circuit is introduced with each phase. The cardio sessions remain the same unless you purchase the Deluxe Program which introduces two new cardio workouts in the Lean Phase.
My Thoughts: I loved it! Chalene Johnson is a motivational and fun instructor. The cuing is great and for the most part, the music good. Some of the music in the cardio workouts was annoying and after a month, I muted the sound and played my own songs.
I thought I would get bored doing the same workouts for the month but as you get stronger the moves become more challenging. Before you know, it the month is over and you're onto a new set of workouts.
Chalene focuses on form throughout the entire program. She also encourages you to "go heavy or go home!" but takes time to define what "heavy" means. In addition, one person demonstrates modified moves and another demonstrates how to use exercise bands if you do not own or do not want to use weights.
She pushes you to get the results you want to see while reminding you to keep it safe. If you follow her directives, injury is very unlikely. Soreness, however, should to be expected!
The Burn Phase introduces weight lifting techniques and principles. The goal in this month is to fail between 10 and 12 reps.
The Push Phase is focused on muscle building.
*stepping onto the soapbox* Don't let that statement scare you! As Chalene says: "muscle is unisex; it's sexy on both men and women." Women, you will NOT bulk up!!! If you're in doubt, check out Chalene's body. *stepping off the soapbox*
Now back to our regularly scheduled program. The goal in the Push month is to reach failure between 8 and 10 reps. Yes, that's less reps so that means more weight. Again, there are two people demonstrating alternatives. At the end of the the first circuit in the Push Phase Chalene ends by stating "Thank you for trusting me. Thank you for trusting me with your body." That touched me (weird, I know). She's understands that moving into building muscle is a scary prospect for some people.
The Lean Phase. People usually report the most weight loss in this month. The goal is to reach failure between 10 and 12 reps but now you're lifting heavier than you did in the Burn Phase. Also, there are more combination moves.
I loved the Push and Lean Phases. While I may not have lost weight, I lost inches. This program emphasizes lower body: lots of squats and deadlifts! My quads and butt did change in appearance and that's a beautiful thing.
Would I do this program again? Definitely! My goal is to be healthier and this program helped move me closer to that goal. Of course, I am still working on losing weight. My next program is P90X. ChaLEAN Extreme helped prepare me for that challenge. Bring it!!!
If you have any questions, drop me a line.
- Kareen, RD