Posted by Coach Sean
on Jun 29th, 2011 in ChaLean Extreme
When my Fiance wanted to change things up from her regular routine I suggested she try ChaLEAN Extreme. I had heard many great things from those who had done it but never tried it myself. Having been a fan of P90X but not wanting to do so many pull ups, I figured this would be more geared toward her main interests. ChaLEAN Extreme is a program devoloped by beachbody trainer and motivator Chalene Johnson. Chalene is best known for her TurboFire workouts that is featured in every 24 hour fitness in America as well as Beachbody.
Here are Kate’s impressions and review of ChaLEAN Extreme. Ladies, pay close attention.
MY CHALEAN EXTREME REVIEW
About 9 months ago, I found myself tired of my regular fitness routine. I was working out six days a week doing cardio and strength training and found myself quickly slipping back into the “cardio-junkie” I had become in college. I had started focusing less on my strength routine and spending more mindless hours doing steady state cardio. After all, almost every female on the planet is a firm believer that ”cardio burns fat” and “heavy weights build bulky muscle.” I wanted to get a little more toned, and a little more lean, so after discussing these goals with my fiance’ he suggested that I try Chalene Johnson’s program, ChaLEAN Extreme. He had heard great things about it from one of his coaches and thought she might offer the right challenge that I needed.
Boy was he right! I started the program the day it came in the mail and fell in love with it “almost” instantly. The only struggle I had in the beginning was letting go of my cardio-obsession. The workout calendar only had cardio scheduled two days a week and strength training on the other three! I decided to jump right into the first strength workout, and let me tell you by the end of those thirty-seven minutes I was dripping in sweat and exhausted! So really, it took me less than 40 minutes to see that this program was NO JOKE and that the cardio I had been spending so much time one just might be over-rated.
The whole philosophy of this program focuses on “Lean Phasing,” which emphasizes three phases of building muscle to rev up your metabolism and burn fat.
PHASE 1 – The “Burn Phase” is focused on building muscle by combining upper and lower body exercises that lead you to muscle failure in 10-12 reps. Expect to be sore as you begin challenging your muscles in a whole new way. PHASE 2 – The “Push Phase” is designed to get you out of your comfort zone by using much heavier weights than you have probably ever used… The goal is to reach muscle failure in 6-8 reps. I experienced MAJOR STRENGTH GAINS during this phase…but no bulky muscles. My arms actually started looking better than they ever had! Sweet! Before this phase, I had considered 12 pounds a challenge for bicep curls and was now using 20 pounds for the same exercises. Awesome! PHASE 3 – The “Lean Phase” is a dynamic circuit of strength moves that combine upper body/lower body/ and core moves. You burn major calories in this workout and get even more obvious results! (I could actually do 2 pull ups after completing this phase – which is not even a part of the program!) Chalene is a seriously awesome personal trainer throughout the videos- She is funny, enthusiastic, and filled with tips on correct technique. She makes you feel like she is actually in your living room!
The calendar is set up so that you complete a strength training circuit every other day in all three phases. In the days in between, you complete either the “Burn Intervals” dvd and “Ab Burner/Extreme Abs” workouts or the “Burn It Off” & “Recharge” workout. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE the “Burn Intervals” workout as it combines short bursts of cardio with high rep/low weight resistance movements. That workout burns a ton of calories and builds muscle endurance, which is great for creating that lean/toned look! The ab workouts are also great as they combine a variety of core strengthening exercises with weights to give you an extra challenge.
I have to say that one of the BEST parts of this program is the DELUXE upgrade that you can order. It comes with seven incredible workouts that have actually become some of my absolute favorites! Two of my favorites are “Get Lean Intervals” and “Extreme Intervals.” These are set up just like the “Burn Intervals” workout with alternating cardio/strength moves, and they are just as fun and challenging! I work these into my calendar on a regular basis and love them all like children – equally!
I also really love the “Extreme Core Circuit” and “I’ve Got Abs” workouts. They absolutely “Kick my abs” by using weights, push-ups, and a wide variety of core moves that cause you to reach muscle failure from every angle. The “Dynamic Flow Yoga” is officially the FIRST yoga workout I have ever really enjoyed. I have tried over and over to like yoga, but could not convince myself of its benefits until I did Chalene’s workout. I love how she combines yoga, pilates, and more strength training to get your muscles long, lean, and toned. She uses the hand weights that come with the set to add extra resistance to the dynamic 38 minute workout! I really could go on about all of the other that come in the set…but hopefully you have read enough to be convinced that it is worth the order!
As for the other features of the program, I again have nothing but positive remarks! The guidebook is super helpful in providing the initial workout calendar and also the “Lean for Life” calendar that allows you to continue the program after the first 90 days. I have been doing this program for months and am still seeing results! The guidebook also has a breakdown of all 12 strength training workouts by exercise, complete with pictures and guided instructions. You could essentially take this anywhere and complete your workout without a dvd player! The food guide is broken down into the three phases of the program, and provides lots of simple-yet appetizing recipes. Protein is an emphasized component of all snack and meals as having enough of it will allow you to repair/build muscle and burn fat for maximum results.
While some programs out there require a certain level of fitness to begin, I firmly believe that ANYONE can make this program work for them! You are guaranteed to burn fat, build muscle, and spend much less time doing ineffective exercise. Chalene really disproves the two major myths that only cardio burns fat, and that muscle builds bulk in women.
I highly encourage you to get started soon on perhaps the best workout system you will ever fall in love with!!! Chalean Extreme works.
Want to try Chalene Extreme? Click HERE
What do you think of ChaLEAN Extreme? Does it sounds like it is something you would like to try? Are you a cadio-junkie who is afraid to add weight training to your routine?