Is it me or do the weekends go by way too fast? Not just the weekends anymore, but months even fly by. I can’t believe I just completed my ChaLean Extreme month 1 already. I have 2 more months to go – and I am so happy with my results so far!
First, let me dip into what month 1 consists of. The first month of this workout program is called the Burn Phase. Which basically means you are burning fat and gaining a nice muscle base. For myself, I had 0 muscle. My whole family would make fun of me because I even struggled with carrying heavy grocery bags into the house. Yes, grocery bags. I was never a girl to lift weights because I was always told “when you lift weights, you get big.” Well, hello! I am a girl – I don’t want to gain a ton of muscle! But Chalene Johnson helps you understand this process more. MUSCLE BURNS FAT! It’s a giant myth that women get huge when lifting heavy weights. Why is this a myth and why do guys get big then? Because men have testosterone, much more than women. So when they lift, they get big and lean. When women lift, you get lean and small. Make sense? It took me a while too to catch on, but now it all makes sense to me.
Burn Circuit 1 – This is the first workout you will be doing. It’s an intense, but easier workout in the phase that breaks down techniques while getting a great burn. For this workout, if you don’t have a variety of different sized weights to use, then you can use the resistance band that is provided. This workout is only 35 minutes – but it’s an intense one. I promise, you will be dripping in sweat by the time you finish. There’s a modifier to follow as well in case you don’t have a muscle base (ahem, like me). You learn to lift heavier weights and do fewer reps. Sounds easy, but your arms will be shaking!
Burn Circuit 2 – You get a little bit more intense with this workout. You get into more lower body lifting as well, which is nice for people who really want to tone up their booty. You’ll also be targeting certain muscle groups – such as the triceps more than you did in the first circuit.
Burn Circuit 3 – Again, this gets a bit more intense than the first two – but still doable since you don’t add any cardio. All you do is weight training here. You might not get out of breath, but your body will be burning. Chalene also says that with weight training, you tend to burn higher calories throughout the day. Get it? Burn circuit = burning more calories.
Personal suggestion: When doing the burn circuit workouts, I suggest adding a cardio workout before or after. The workouts are super short, about 35 minutes each, If you have a lot of fat to burn off, up your cardio workout. Something that I learned & wish I would have done when following this calendar. Try doing some TurboFire HIIT classes.
Also, when doing the burn circuits, never do them back to back. What do I mean by this? Let’s say Monday you do Burn Circuit 1, on Tuesday you don’t want to do Burn Circuit 2. It’s important to space these workouts out so you give your muscles a break. You don’t want to overdo them and it’s important to always work your muscles every other day. By doing them every day, you take a risk of inflammation, straining muscles, soreness, etc…
The circuit reps only go up to 12 reps – doesn’t seem like a lot but this is the perfect amount of reps, especially if you want that “lean” body. Also, this workout has a worksheet for each phase. It’s a great way to keep track of the weights you’re using and the reps you could do. Obviously, I couldn’t do all 12 reps when I started out, but by my third week, I could do them all! This is also a great tool for you to see what you have done in the past and to up the weight. Go heavy or go home!
Burn Intervals – Talk about a killer workout! You use light weights in this workout. Example like 5 lbs. You do as many reps as you possibly can within the time limit – and believe me, you will be burning! Since this is an interval workout, you will lift for about 1 minute, cardio for 1 minute, then back to lifting weights etc… This method helps to burn calories throughout the day. Sounds easy, right? Because after an intense cardio workout you can relax and catch your breath. Yes and no. Chalene makes this a tough workout and you push yourself to your limit. Her method of training is to FAIL. No, not in the bad way. You push yourself until you literally can’t do another rep. That’s when you fail and that’s when you know you gave it your best!
Recharge – This is a nice stretch class to help you “recharge” after a week of intense workouts. I did this on Saturday mornings – you don’t have to, but I like to keep it light on the weekends since I don’t have a lot of time. It’s important to stretch out your muscles and give them a break since you worked them so hard – this also helps your flexibility and endurance.
Burn It Off – This is a high intensity workout. You will definitely be scorching away calories once you finish this! You still use some weights in this but not a whole lot. I always did this after finishing Burn Circuit 1.
Ab Burner – If you did the TurboFire Abs 10, this isn’t the same. This is a lot harder than the Abs 10. I could barely finish this workout and it took me two weeks to finally finish. Your abs will be sore after this!
The weights I use are the Pro-Form Fusion Space Saver 25. I keep these right beside my entertainment stand – they don’t take up a lot of room and they’re great when doing this workout. This is the perfect set of weights for someone starting out in weight training. You simply select how heavy you want to go by slighting the knob in the middle of each weight. These aren’t the same weights Chalene uses in the video, but these are perfect for me. I could barely lift 5 and now I’m up to 20 lbs – just after 1 month. Imagine the results I’m going to get after I finish the next phase? This can be you!
My typical workout schedule:
Monday – Burn Circuit 1
Tuesday – Burn It Off+Ab Burner
Wednesday – Burn Circuit 2
Thursday – Burn Intervals + Ab Burner
Friday – Burn Circuit 3
Saturday – Rest Day or Recharge
Sunday – Rest Day
How would I have changed this? I would have added cardio on the days I did the burn circuits – Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
I’ve lost 1 1/2″ from each arm, 1″ from both thighs, 1/2″ from my chest, 1″ from my waist, 1″ from my hips, and about 5 lbs so far.
How could I have got better results?
By adding cardio on the days I was doing burn circuits, eating lean protein, upping my vegetable intake, and cutting back on the carbs. I’ve learned a great lesson in weight training that I wish I had known from the beginning. When you lift, your body is burning through carbs first before burning fat. So, if you filled up on carbs all day, your body will burn that first. So by the time you finish your workout, you just burn the carbs and don’t even touch the fat.
Eat lean protein, lots of vegetables, avoid breads & pasta, and stay away from sugar. It’s really important to fill up on protein to also help replenish your muscles. Lesson learned! But I love the results I got, I feel so much stronger – I mean, I’m lifting 20 lbs now! I feel tighter all over and lighter. I started the Push Phase tonight and oh man, it’s going to be killer! AND I LOVE IT!
Thoughts So Far: I love the workout, I love the energy, and I love that Chalene actually teaches you what you’re doing and how to get better results. I actually look forward to doing this workout and I don’t get bored with it. It switches up a lot and like I said, the first month flew by and now I’m on a complete different set of workouts. YOU WILL NOT GET BORED WITH THIS WORKOUT.
Bring on Phase 2!
I won’t get into too much details about this weekend, but I wanted to just give a small update. Friday I didn’t do much of anything, as usual, since I am so tired by the time I get home from work. Did my last burn circuit workout and then watched movies for the rest of the night. I know, I’m lame!
Saturday morning I woke up to a few packages at my door. I ordered the new red TurboFire jacket from http://www.turbokick.com – I love it. Plus it matches the new workout pants I just got from Nike.
After I ripped open my packages like a little kid on Christmas, I dragged my adult butt up to the kitchen and made some breakfast. I added some olive oil to a pan, sauteed 2 handfuls of spinach, and then added 1 whole egg with 3 egg whites. I stirred this all around until it was fully cooked. Then, I added some pepper (no salt) and salsa on top. For some extra calories, I added 1 piece of the Nickle’s wheat bread (only 35 calories a slice). It was amazing and only 176 calories. It paired nicely with some coffee.
After breakfast, I did the Recharge workout and then showered. I caught up on some Glee and then got ready to meet my friends for lunch. I met up with my friends Roman and Shana along with her two friends Misty, and McKayla (spelling). We met at the Knickerbocker where I got the Pittsburgh Specialty sandwich. I know I know, but it was so good! Plus it was my one meal for the weekend to splurge on. Totally worth it.
After lunch, we went out for a few drinks for the night. This was the first time I’ve been out in such a long time. By 1:00 I was ready for bed, which is what I did. Sunday, nothing too exciting. I went to my mom’s for lunch with my whole family. Afterwards I came home, played some Xbox, and then went to church. After church, my sister and I went to Walmart and I did some serious grocery shopping. I read the nutrition book that comes with ChaLean Extreme and got a few ideas on what to get. I can’t wait to try out some new recipes! Then to bed I went.
This was my lunch for today at work. It was… too amazing. I simply used the Flatout Rosemary & Olive Oil flat bread, Oscar Myer’s BBQ seasoned deli chicken slices, organic romaine lettuce, fat free Greek feta cheese, miracle whip, and that’s it. So filling and so yummy. Easy to make!
Dinner tonight was a small Greek salad with a 6 oz steak. I was craving steak and this hit the spot. Plus it gave me the energy I needed to power through my workout tonight. Since I am now finished with this post, I am going to watch The Carrie Diaries before I go to sleep. Sweet dreams!
Have questions about ChaLean Extreme? Comment here or send me an email!