Posts Tagged ‘chalean extreme’

Back On The Workout Train!

Man, it feels so good to be back in the swing of things!

Anyone who knows me that 2014 wasn’t a good year for me, in terms of personal development. My father passed away just days before his 65th birthday and I remained in a fog for the rest of that calendar year. I tried, a couple of times, to get back to working out, but it only lasted a couple of weeks or so. I thought I’d found something with P90X3, but even that couldn’t hook me like I expected it to.

And, come May, I usually run 3x per week until late October. Want to know how many times I ran last year? SEVEN TIMES, TOTAL! I told y’all I was in a funk, y’all!

I didn’t even hit the workouts hard before going to Hawaii. I was just stuck.

This year, after returning from Hawaii, I decided to finally shake off this stank, and get back after it. I started with shorter workouts for 2-3 times per week. From there, I upped the cardio to 5 times a week for about a month. And then I dove back into ChaLean Extreme. That’s been a workout I’ve relied on for many years now. The length of workouts, combined with my love of all things Chalene Johnson, was the winning combo I needed!

I just finished the 90-day program and I feel great! Not only do my clothes all fit wonderfully again, my self esteem has normalized. I’m a few weeks into my Couch to 5k podcasts and am back to looking forward to my post-workout high too.

The biggest decisions I have these days is which program to do next. I might do another round of ChaLEAN Extreme, or I might reunite with Les Mills Pump again.

Ahh, it’s good to be back!

Have you ever fallen into a huge workout funk? How did you shake off the dust? Would love to hear from y’all!

Smoothly Transitioning Into Les Mills Pump

Les Mills Pump

A few days ago, I noted that I was going to start Les Mills Pump since I had just finished ChaLEAN Extreme. While both are strength/weight-lifting programs, they have very different approaches.

ChaLEAN Extreme focuses on a small number of reps, but with heavy weights. By contrast, Les Mills Pump uses lighter weights, and a ton of reps, using different counts. I’ve blogged before that my body seems to respond a little better to the high-rep programs, but both make we feel strong.

Five days into another round of Les Mills Pump, I can already feel the difference! For example, I was doing squats before (they’re a staple), but the switch in approach (using the barbell, and varied rep counts), really works the muscle in a different way. I can feel other muscles being worked down there, too! The same goes for some other exercises. I’m sore all over again!

But that’s what the body needs. Once it gets used to something, you need to shake things up! I like that I can switch to something else in my collection and start to feel immediate change. It’s also kicked my metabolism up another gear! I’ll take it!

Finished ChaLEAN Extreme; Ready For Another Round of Les Mills Pump!

Les Mills Pump

I’ve made a strong effort to not have an end of summer fitness slump. In years past, I’ve seriously slacked off when the calendar turned to August. But since my first post on that issue, it’s not been a problem! And again, my key, is committing to a long program, with the workouts planned out for me. I tend to stick with those a lot more consistently than I do on an a la carte workout plan.

I feel really good about finishing yet another round of ChaLEAN Extreme. So much so that I decided to keep going with a strength training program to start the fall. I really liked Les Mills Pump after I finished it last year, so I’m going back for more! I still haven’t been able to talk myself into doing P90x. Maybe it’ll happen some day, but that day is not today.

On the program’s “walking” days, I’ll run (weather permitting) or do a TurboFire workout. And, of course, I’ll alter my schedule so that I don’t necessarily need to do a workout on the weekends. Because my weekends are for football, and it’ll be extremely hard to get me away from a TV, or parking lot, and get me to push play on any DVD. You gotta know your lifestyle and plan your workouts around it!

Knocked The Dust Off My ChaLEAN Extreme DVDs

ChaLEAN Extreme

It’s been a couple of years, but I thought it was high time I busted out my ChaLEAN Extreme DVDs. I typically do the program once per year, beginning in late Spring, but last year, I decided to do Les Mills Pump instead. I loved LMP, but missed my annual 3-4 month run with CLX. So, this Spring, I decided to do it again. And man, oh man, how I’ve missed it!

ChaLEAN Extreme, and my workout-by-workout review of the first time I did the program, remains some of the most popular posts on my site (behind the running podcasts).

In the 2+ weeks I’ve been back at it, I can tell I’ve already gotten stronger! My improvement with push-ups is how I typically measure strength in the Burn Phase. I increase the amount of unmodified reps I do with each workout. Score!

But I’m also doing things a little differently. I usually do some type of TurboFire/ChaLEAN Extreme Hybrid, and that’s not change, to a point. For the Burn Phase, I’m adding 20-30 minutes of some TurboFire workout onto the end of my ChaLEAN Extreme strength workout. And in between those days, I’m doing my Couch to 5k running program. In the past I’ve noticed that CLX sometimes bulks my thighs up, and the only way to stop that, is to add more cardio! So, I’m doing a bit of cardio every day.

When I move on to the Push Phase, I’ll switch things up by doing the c25k running plan on the lifting days, and a full TurboFire cardio workout on the non-lifting days. I think I’ll need more intense cardio during that month because there aren’t any compound, cardio-inducing moves in ChaLEAN Extreme during that phase.

I haven’t thought about what I’m going to do during the Lean Phase. I’ll probably go back to doing Couch to 5k on cardio days, and just CLX on designated strength training days. But I’ll cross that bridge when I get there!

I just wanted to post an accountability updated on what I’m up to these days with my fitness routine. It feels really good to be settled into a schedule, and I’ll definitely stick with it!

Hope everyone else’s Spring fitness plans are working out well! If you need any help or suggestions, just let me know!

Fighting the Late Summer Slump: 2011 Edition


This time, last year, I was talking about my plans to fight my annual “Late Summer Slump”, which is generally the time of year where I finish a big workout rotation, then slack off almost completely until my New Year’s commitment starts.

The LSS usually makes me incredibly lazy, since I’m basically idle, and along with that comes a little weight gain. It’s never that big an issue, because my body frame/bone structure allows me to carry up to 30 extra pounds without others noticing. Thing is, though, I know I’ve gained weight, and my clothes don’t fit as well. I also don’t feel nearly as good as when I’m working out. Lethargic. Working out regulates my mood and makes me feel good!

So, last year, I successfully fought the LSS with the help of TurboFire. I lost the weight I infamously put on during college; which no other program had ever chipped away at! And I’ve since completed another round of TurboFire (combined with ChaLEAN Extreme), with just as good results! (more…)

My 2010 Fitness Journey: Part 4, TurboFire

I’ve told you all about the beginning steps of 2010 fitness journey: setting a routing, phase 1 with Turbo Jam, and phase 2 with ChaLEAN Extreme. The final step in this 9 month journey has been TurboFire, Chalene Johnson’s latest cardio and kick-boxing inspired workout.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m a Turbo Jam addict. When I first ordered TJ from QVC back in the day, after watching a special informercial, I was sooooo excited! As I’ve said before, I had been doing Firm workouts. And while I was happy to be doing something, I wasn’t exactly getting results. Turbo Jam changed that, plus it was so much more fun! It didn’t, and still doesn’t, feel like work.

TurboFire is the same way! I think of it as Turbo Jam on steroids! It is intense and definitely not a beginner’s workout, although there is a modifier to help you out. I would recommend tackling Turbo Jam before TurboFire, so you can familiarize yourself with the choreography, unless you just can’t wait and want the challenge right away! Can’t fault you for that! As much as I love Turbo Jam, I love TurboFire all that much more! (more…)

My 2010 Fitness Journey: Part 3, ChaLEAN Extreme + Extra Cardio

After jump starting my aerobic fitness with 6 or so weeks of Turbo Jam, I was ready for the next challenge. Last year, I did a round of ChaLEAN Extreme and absolutely loved it. I learned a lot about strength training and what my body responds to during it and thought that it should be part of my journey once more.

One concern I had about my first round of ChaLEAN Extreme was that it bulked up my thighs a little. Yes, it was muscle, but added bulk wasn’t going to help me fit back into my pants this time around, so I asked the creator of the program, Chalene Johnson, what I should do to minimize this action. She suggested lowering the weight load for lower body moves and increasing my cardio beyond what was part of the program. Sounds good! (more…)

Doing Another Round of ChaLEAN Extreme

'Time to get extreme, baby!'

'Time to get extreme, baby!'

I’ve been contemplating this for a while and decided — within the past hour — that I’m ready for another round of ChaLEAN Extreme.

If you’re relatively new to my blog, then you probably don’t know that I did my first round from February through May of this year with great results! I also documented every step right here. At the end of every week of the 90-day program, I wrote a post about my experiences, how I was feeling, and any changes in my appearance/fitness.

My one minor gripe about ChaLEAN Extreme was that it really bulked up my thighs. Yes, it was muscle, but my jeans were very tight and I did not enjoy that! I messaged Chalene on Twitter (follow her, she’s great!) to get some tips on how to minimize the bulking up of my thighs and she suggested more cardio and decreasing the weight load I use on lower body exercises. Sounds like a good idea! After I finished, I noted that I didn’t think the program, in its most basic rotation calendar, gave me enough cardio work. I went directly into Couch to 5k training and felt extremely out of shape. I will be sure to work more cardio (Turbo Jam!) in this time around!

What I love most about ChaLEAN Extreme is that I have my workout schedule set for the next 3-4 months and it’ll force me to keep working out through the holidays! I know exactly what I’ll be doing and can plan for it every day. So, here I go…again! “Time to get extreme, baby!”

Setting Fall Fitness Goals

'Time to get extreme, baby!'

'Time to get extreme, baby!'

‘Tis the time of the year where I start to refocus on my workouts and get back into a fitness routine. I’m a little more loose and casual in the summer, but that’s mostly because I concentrate on running and training for a 5k. I’m still in the couch to 5k mindset right now, but after I run that race, in a few weeks, I’ll begin to look ahead and try to figure out what to do for the remainder of the fall.

I’m thinking I want to get a plan together that I can continue through to February, when the entire family goes to Hawaii. So, this ought to take some planning.

Back, at the end of spring, I said I’d probably repeat ChaLEAN Extream or do P90x this fall. I’m not so sure that’s the plan anymore. If I do either of those programs, I’ll need to modify them slightly. And let me explain why. (more…)

How ChaLEAN Extreme Works with C25K Training

Last year I did Cool Running’s Couch to 5k running plan for the first time. I went right through without any struggles. I didn’t need to do any of the weeks twice in a row before being able to move on, and while doing runs I never felt like I was going to die.

This year is a different story. I couldn’t figure out why, until I started dissecting my workout routine from both years.

In 2008, I was doing a lot of Turbo Jam cardio coupled with The Firm’s combo workouts. At the time, I was more into cardio than I was strength training. When it came time to start running, I was really ready and picked it right up!

This year, I started c25k running right after completing 4 months of ChaLEAN Extreme. The first couple of weeks was great, but after the runs extended to 2+ minutes, I found myself struggling and I couldn’t understand why.

I thought about the kind of training I was doing in ChaLEAN Extreme, and the focus was not on cardio. The slogan of the program is “Muscle Burns Fat”, so that’s what you concentrate on. There are calorie blasting workouts like the Burn/Lean Intervals DVDs, as well as Burn It Off and Fat Burn Challenge. However, those intense cardio spurts for those tapes are 1 minute max. That explains why everything was great for the 1st two weeks where you run for 60 and 90 seconds before recovering with a walk. No wonder that was so easy! (more…)

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