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Workout Review: Muscle Burns Fat and MBFA

This program does what it promises, and you'll have a lot of fun along the way!! I would actually love to go back through and do another six weeks because Megan has so many creative moves and combos that only appear in one workout and don't come up again later in the program. I want to go back and give them another try so I can work on getting better at them! But after three programs back to back that beat my body up a bit (MBF/A and before that Morning Meltdown 100 and 10 Rounds), I am feeling that my body needs something gentler. I'm starting eight weeks of Barre Blend and will see how I'm feeling after that, but I can say for sure that I'll be returning to this program at some point!

This is a six-week program from trainer Megan Davies, broken into two segments of three weeks each. The first three weeks, Muscle Burns Fat (MBF) is supposedly beginner-level, but honestly the only way this program is suitable for a true beginner is if they are following the modifier. I say this not to discourage anybody, but rather so that if you try this as a beginner, you know you're not crazy and you're not alone if it feels really hard!!

The second three-week segment, Muscle Burns Fat Advanced (MBFA) does add some complexity, but it doesn't add a whole lot in terms of intensity. That is to say, if you've completed MBF and you're not sure if you're ready for MBFA, I would say you should go ahead because it won't be that different. You can still follow the modifier when needed, and the intensity level is honestly about the same. Once you've learned the basic combos and formats Megan likes to use in her sessions by going through MBF, you're ready for MBFA since it takes those same combos and formats and builds on them.

Both programs use a combination of strength training with compound movements (building functional fitness by taking the weight through a range of movements similar to the way you'd lift and carry objects in everyday life rather than working just a single muscle at once) and body weight sculpting work (with a strong focus on core work) with high-intensity cardio intervals using the jumprope. In MBFA, simpler strength training movements (such as a simple sumo squat) are added so you can lift heavy and max out knowing that you won't have to lift the weight over your head for the next move.

One note on form and safety: Megan does a great job of balancing the various movements, and the dynamic recovery sessions for this program are among the best Beachbody has put out in my opinion, but I still found that due to all the jumping I had a lot of tightness in my legs. Most of us are quad dominant and have tight hip flexors, and by the end of the program this had gotten so pronounced that I felt I was flirting on the edge of a knee injury. My advice would be to add in extra stretching and strength exercises that balance the quad dominance of this program (and honestly most exercise programs... I really felt it with this one but it was also the result of imbalances that have been building up over a period of years).

This program is excellent at building muscle and therefore boosting your metabolism. It can be combined with one of Beachbody's nutrition plans to make sure that you are eating to support adding muscle mass, and also to support healthy weight loss if that is a goal for you. I recommend working with a Team Beachbody coach (like me!) to help you sort through the nutrition plans that are available and choose the right one for you and your lifestyle and goals.

One more note about the intensity level: Be aware that Megan front loads the intensity at the beginning of the week. She starts with leg day on Monday and then core circuit on Tuesday. These are the two most intense workouts of the week. If you keep going, it does get easier. In my very first week of the program, I did two days and felt that I needed a break. I know now that I could have gotten through the week if I'd just kept going. (It also happened to be Coach Summit week so I had other workouts to choose from and mix in, so that was a factor for me as well.) You may be extremely sore after the first two days. Know that it's a trial by fire and then it levels off, and you even get a rest/stretch day so you'll be ready to bring the intensity again the following Monday :-)

Program length: 6 weeks

Workout length: 30 to 45 minutes a day, 6 days per week (with a stretch session on the 7th day)

What equipment is needed? Weights, cordless jumpropes (which come with your MBF enrollment package)

How is it structured? The program has three strength-focused workouts each week (although these still have their fair share of cardio with the jumprope intervals) and two workouts that combine cardio and core circuits. The sixth day is an EMOM (every minute, on the minute) high-intensity interval format that takes some of the "greatest hits" from the previous week's workouts for a session that combines cardio, core, and strength work. A dynamic recovery stretch workout is provided for the seventh day. Remember that you'll also have access to the entire Beachbody on Demand workout library so you can choose from dozens of other stretch and yoga sessions if you're looking for extra practice with flexibility.

What kinds of moves are involved? Cardio jumprope (can be made low-impact by following the modifier); all sorts of core moves (crunch variations, reverse crunch variations, plank variations, side plank variations and more); traditional strength moves and more creative moves and combinations, including both momentum work where the weights swing and traditional controlled lifting movements.

Low-impact? There is A LOT of jumping in this program. That being said, the modifications are wonderful—thoughtfully designed and highly visible, so the program is easy to follow if you're modifying and you can still get amazing results. In addition, if there are specific moves that cause pain or aren't accessible for you, I'm here as your coach to help you figure out an alternative that works for your body.

Appropriate for beginners? This will work best for beginners if you follow the modifier. Following the full "mainstream" track of the workout is more of an advanced level, but could certainly be done even by a beginner if you follow the modifier for your first round and then move into the unmodified program for a second round!

Interested in learning more? Watch my video review or check out the details to enroll. You can also email me at the address in the footer to discuss! Before you go, check out these transformations from the pilot test group!

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