My friend Rachel is an awesome and AMAZING yogi, as you can see from this picture of her. But she also has used Beachbody programs including Insanity, Insanity Max:30, and 21 Day Fix Extreme to improve her stamina (rock climbing is another passion of hers) and to build strength.
In April, she joined my 21 Day Fix and Fix Extreme challenge group. I have followed the Fix Extreme workout schedule, but I have not followed the eating plan yet myself, as I enjoy the additional variety that the original Fix eating plan allows. But I asked Rachel to share her experience so you can understand more about the Fix Extreme nutrition plan and what it's like to follow it if you are considering it for yourself.
What are your overall thoughts about the 21 Day Fix Extreme?
Overall, I really enjoyed this program. The workouts were challenging but not impossible, and the whole diet aspect was really helpful.
Just how hard was it?
Not at all. It takes a bit of discipline and certain things you might feel like you need to "give up," like going out, but it was not terribly difficult. It took a bit of extra time in the morning to prepare my food for the day, but that is to be expected.
How was the nutrition plan different from the way you had previously been eating?
In general I am a pretty clean eater, but I realized that my portions were pretty off! Before the Fix Extreme, I was eating way too much fruit, some days not enough fats, other days too many carbs, etc. The plan was great because I made sure to fit in all food groups and proper amounts. I did have to add protein, vegetables, and fruit on most days because I am pretty active. I teach yoga full time and rock climb three days a week, and I also try to take three to four yoga classes a week in addition to my own yoga practice... this is all in addition to the Fix Extreme workouts!
What effects did you notice from following the nutrition plan?
My energy was great! I never felt bloated, which has been an issue in the past for me, and my digestion really improved compared to before the program. I am pretty much vegan so my options were more limited, but I was able to make do with tofu, tempeh, and protein powder for protein.
Can you give us an overview of what the workouts are like?
Each day is different. The first day is a plyometric workout, basically jumps but not crazy jumps like in Insanity. Very doable. The second day is called "Upper Fix Extreme," which is an upper body workout with weights. The third day is Pilates Fix Extreme, which is considered to be an "active recovery" day. I enjoyed this workout, although my resistance band was too short for some of the exercises in table-top position so I had to improvise my own thing using light dumbbells. The fourth day is called "Lower Fix Extreme," which is one of my favorites because you work mostly the lower body while holding weights, so the core and arms do in fact work quite a bit. Cardio is day five and this one is also fantastic. You do some work with weights but also some exercises without weights (like plank position with butt kicks and also burpees) so your heart rate jumps around a bit. "Dirty 30" is a bit of a weird name, and honestly I don't quite understand it, but it's basically a combination of all of the other workouts. It's a great mix of different exercises that are featured in the other workouts. The only day I skipped was yoga day because I previewed it and it was not up to my speed... plus Autumn is most definitely not a yoga teacher and I'd rather do my own yoga and/or take a trusted teacher's class. :) But overall, these workouts are great.
How did you like them? What was challenging for you? How did they compare to what you were expecting?
I liked pretty much every workout! The only one besides yoga that I'm not a huge fan of is plyo because I think the breaks are just a bit too long. Nothing was too challenging. Sometimes I would ignore Autumn's cue to grab the light weights and just go for heavy, so if you want even more of a challenge I would not be shy about picking up heavier weights! I used mostly 15 pound weights for everything, a few exercises I used 10s and maybe one I used 8. To be honest, I am probably going to by 17 and/or 20 pound weights and continue doing the workouts!
What effects did you see as a result of doing the workouts?
Much more definition in my arms! Also my legs have gotten a lot stronger... I noticed that when I walk up long flights of stairs, I'm not as tired at the top. Also, the lower body workout has really helped with my rock climbing, which is cool. You have to use your legs a LOT when you climb, and sometimes you have to do a one-legged squat type movement to stand up on a little foot-chip... and in Lower Fix Extreme, Autumn has you do a lot of isolated leg exercises that were perfect for helping with moves like this.
What have you done/what do you plan to do since completing the program? Are there elements of the nutrition plan or the workouts that you will incorporate into your routine going forward?
Since I have completed the program, I have continued to do the workouts 3-4 days a week. I also started a workout program with parallettes through a different company and they seem to work well together. As far as the meal plan goes, I have tried to stick pretty close to what I was doing on the Fix Extreme. I have had some dark chocolate and tortilla chips (and try not to feel guilty after! that's the difficult part) but I'm much more aware of portions and what I need in general. I write down my food choices for the day still, which helps me stay on track.
Like what you read here? I'll be leading my next group through the 21 Day Fix and Fix Extreme starting on June 8! Register by May 31.