ChaLEAN Extreme Workout Review
For those who are tired of toiling for hours at cardio machines, but are beginners in the area of resistance training, this is the workout for you!
ChaLEAN Extreme Workout Overview
This program is produced by the company Beachbody, makers of P90x and Insanity. This program is geared specifically towards women who have the goal of burning fat, but may not know much about resistance training and how it can help.
Before even starting the program, Chalene takes time to teach all of the weight lifting moves that you will be using throughout the next three months. This is especially valuable for beginners or those looking for a refresher course on resistance training.
The program has three phases. The “burn phase” involves lighter weights at higher repetitions. Expect upper body and lower body exercises in the range of 10-12 repetitions per set. The “push phase” increases weight and decreases repetitions. So, the exercises are a little harder, but only expect to move the weights 6-8 times. Finally, the “lean phase” involves circuit training of upper and lower body. There is also an optional fourth phase, the “lean for life phase” that can optionally be completed after 90 days.
Throughout the phases, rest days are on Monday and Saturday. So expect to be doing one of the 15 different workouts 5 days out of the week. Workouts vary, but usually last for around 45 minutes.
For those still clinging to cardio, the workout program does contain a decent amount of it. Most of the circuit training involves aerobic conditioning, so you will certainly feel like you worked out after these programs.
Throughout the workouts, Chalene is energetic, motivational, and most importantly, successful at pushing you to use heavier weights than you thought possible, which is a key aspect to the program.
Equipment and Cost
The ChaLEAN Extreme program comes with 6 DVDs containing 15 different workouts, a guidebook and a workout calendar. Beachbody.com also throws in an ab burner, which supposedly “helps you shrink, tighten and tone your tummy;” “extreme abs,” an additional abs routine; a nutritional guide that highlights foods to eat to maximize your fatloss; one pro-grade resistance band; and a thigh toner band that “adds some extra ‘oomph’ to your lower-body resistance training.
The set also comes with body fat callipers, as well as a guide on how to use them to measure your progress.
Although you could do the workouts with resistance bands, a set of dumbbells might be better, as you will see better results from using free weights as opposed to bands. While you need not purchase a full set that goes up to 50+ lbs, getting a few different weights within the range of 10-25 lbs would be best. Remember, progression is the key to success in resistance training!
The Bottom Line
ChaLEAN Extreme is perfect for those who are looking for a path to fitness that does not involve excessive cardio exercise. While some kinds of cardio do have their place in your path to fitness, the most efficient way to burn fat is to build muscle.
Chalene Johnson knows this well, and this is why her program will deliver results. More than the results, her instruction is great for beginners, and this overall serves as a great introduction to resistance training.
The key to making gains in resistance training is called “progressive overload.”In a nutshell, progressive overload involves increasing weight over time in order to keep your muscles adapting and growing. While programs like P90x try to stimulate muscle growth through “muscle confusion” created by changing exercises, ChaLEAN Extreme stimulates muscle growth by changing weights and repetitions. This is the proven method to fitness.
The light weights and high repetitions in the beginning phase allow you to practice exercise technique and develop the neurological pathways that make you good at an exercise. Think of each exercise as a skill that Chalene helps your develop.
Then, just when your brain is getting used to the motion and your muscles are getting used to the weight, Chalene increases the weight, giving your muscles more resistance. But, she also decreases the repetitions so you can still focus on proper form. In the end, your muscles need to grow to be able to move the greater weight. And as muscles grow, fat dissipates in rapid fashion.
Chalene provides a great introduction to resistance training for those without access to knowledgeable trainer or a decent gym. Learn from ChaLEAN Extreme, but then continue to cultivate your skill at resistance training and you WILL remain “lean for life!”
Check out these testimonials to help you decide whether or not ChaLEAN Extreme is right for you!
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