The 21 Day Fix Workout Review
What is the 21 Day Fix workout?
The 21 Day Fix workout is seven day-a-week, three-week home DVD workout program from Beachbody. The 21 Day Fix is created by Autumn Calabrese and the idea of this program is that you only need about 30 minutes per day and only 21 days to get in shape.
Beachbody is marketing their 21 Day Fix workout as an opposite of a diet, since it’s portion control and lets you eat what you want and still see results. Within the 21 days you should be able to lose up to 15lbs by burning fat.
The program combines many methods of training. The program includes yoga, Pilates, compound exercises, resistance training and of course cardio. The nutrition guide is all about portion control and the guide is quite practical and simple.
For whom and what should you expect from the 21 Day Fix workout?
Like the Focus T25 program that I have reviewed, this program is designed for those who don’t want to workout couple of hours each day and spend money on expensive equipment. It’s designed for those who want to look their best as possible in 21 days and want to workout at home.
The 21 Day Fix workout is NOT for people who are trying to build bigger and stronger muscles. If you are looking for losing weight the 21 Day Fix workout might be for you.
With the 21 Fix, you really can lose 10-15 lbs in 21 days. This of course depends on what your starting weight is and what kind of training background you have. But don’t except it to be easy, you will have to do work for it.
I would recommend the 21 Fix for those who are beginner to intermediate. But, this is a program that is as hard as you make it. Meaning that if the workouts are too easy for you just take bigger weights or do the exercises with higher intensity.
The nutrition plan might look confusing when you first lay eyes on it, but I will try to explain it in this review. The guide will teach you how control your portions without counting calories.
What’s included in the 21 Day Fix Base Kit Workout Program?
Beachbody’s 21 Day Fix Base Kit Workout Program includes:
- Start Here Guide
- Eating Plan
- 7 Color-Coded Portion Control Containers plus a 25-oz Shakeology Shaker Cup
- 7 easy-to-follow workouts on 2 DVDs
- 3 Day Quick Fix
If you go with the more expensive 21 Day Fix Ultimate Kit you will be getting the base kit as well:
- Extra set of portion control containers
- 1 Pro-Grade Resistance Band (Pink=15lbs)
- Extra-large On-The-Go container to store all your containers
- Insulated Tote Bag
- Flat Abs Workout
- Barre Legs Workout
In this 21 Day Fix review, I will be reviewing also those two extra workouts.
Start Here Guide with Workout Calendar
Start Here Guide is a more like a mandatory basic guide, that gives you an overall description on how to make the most the program. At the end of the guide it tells you what to read and do next.
The workout calendar is simple schedule for what exercises should be done on what day during the 21 days. There’s also an option for doing doubles per day if you are looking for even more dramatic results.
The most important thing in losing weight is what you are eating. Not only how much you are eating but what you are eating. The eating plan features roughly 40% carbohydrates, 30% proteins, and 30% fat, which is a nice balance for weight loss and you still have energy for your workouts. This ratio is not only for the 21 days’. You can use this ratio after the 21 days or after you have reached your goals, just increase your caloric intake.
The main idea of this plan is that you don’t need count calories with the 21 Day Fix meal plan. Just use the containers and your portions will in control. The eating plan has 5 simple steps that will get you started:
1. Figure out your calorie level
The caloric intake in this plan might be insufficient for some of the people. To lose weight you need to have a calorie deficit. Meaning that you must burn more calories than you are consuming. To figure out your calorie level, there’s a simple guide how to calculate it.
So, if your weight is 150lbs, this is how you should calculate your calorie target, according to the eating plan:
A: 150lbs X 11 = 1650 your caloric baseline
B: 1650 + 400 = 2050 your caloric needs
C: 2050 – 750 = 1300 your calorie target
I see many problems with this calculation. I understand that they have tried to make this as simple as they can, but factors like age, height and your normal activity have been left out. The internet is full of better TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) calculators than this, just google.
In the example, you should lower your calories from 2050 to 1300 which is 36.6%. To me that is a too large of a deficit in a long run and I would recommend more like 10%-20% deficit, when you are trying to lose weight.
The minimum and the maximum caloric baselines are 1200 and 2300 of this guide. Meaning this calculation is made for people that weight from 140lbs to 240lbs. So, if person who weighs 140 and wants to lose 15lbs in 21 days, she/he should have a 1940-calorie target which is 38.7% calorie deficit. And for a person who weighs 240, the calorie target is 2290 calories, which is 24.7% deficit.
The 24.7% deficit is still acceptable, but 38.7% is too much of a deficit in the long run. The meal plan is working for people, because the deficit is so large that you are bound to lose weight, but after 21 days you are getting those back. I don’t recommend crash diets in a long run, but if you are trying to lose weight for a special occasion like wedding or something similar this might be for you.
To read more about nutrition and caloric deficit: Nutrition made simple
2. Find the calorie chart that corresponds with your calorie level
So, if we use the same example as before, our caloric target is 1300 calories per day. From the chart that is provided by the meal plan, we can see that how many times per day we are allowed to fill each container. For 1300 calories, we can refill the green container three times per day.
3. Have a look at the container food groups that correspond with each color
These are the foods you will fill the containers with. We can refill the green container for three times per day with the vegetables that are in the picture below. As you can see that there is a large variety of different vegetables and each color container has a variety of different foods to pick. You can read more about the containers from here and more about the recipes from here.
4. Spread your containers across your day
The meal plan recommends, that you should spread your eating across three meals and two snacks roughly 2-3 hours apart for energy balance. For fat burning you should eat six meals, 2 hours apart, and eat your purple(fruits) and yellow(carbohydrates) before 6PM.
In my opinion you don’t need to eat every 2 hours for total of 6 meals a day to speed up your metabolism. If you want, you can eat just 1 or 2 giant meal a day that make up your total calorie requirements. Meal timing and meal frequency is more of a personal preference. You can read more about the meal plan from here.
5. Combine this delicious, nutritious diet with the 21 day fix workouts
Now we know all that there is to know about nutrition in this program and it’s time to workout. Keep in mind that working out will increase your activity, which will increase your caloric deficit even more.
7 easy-to-follow workouts on 2 DVDs
There are 7 different workouts in the 21 Day Fix Base Kit Workout Program and two extra ones in the 21 Day Fix Ultimate Kit. All the equipment you need is a 5 to 15-pound weight or a resistance band. Maybe a yoga mat since a lot of movements are done on the floor. The workout program itself comes with a 15-pound resistance band, if you go for the Ultimate Kit. If you are totally new to exercising or just haven’t done any exercising for a while, you might get away with just using your own bodyweight as a resistance.
Most of the exercises are dynamic, engaging and even fun. They all last 30 minutes and the time flies when you exercising. Each of the exercises are designed that you will get a massive calorie burn in a 30 minutes’ session and I think the workouts are nicely planned. I like the fact, that the program includes Pilates, yoga, cardio and compound exercises.
During all of the workouts there is the modifier, who can make the workout easier, depending on your fitness level, or if you have an injury. Of course, if you go too easy you won’t lose any weight. It takes effort to lose weight or build muscle.
The calendar is quite simple also. First two weeks you are doing one workout per day, different workout every day. On the last week of the program you have the possibility of doing two workouts per day (one in the morning and one in the evening).
Description of the workouts:
- Total Body Cardio Fix – Keep your heart rate up and your metabolism revved high long after the workout is over.
- Upper Fix – A lot of resistance movements targeting your chest, back, shoulders, arms, and abs. You can use dumbbells or a resistance band.
- Lower Fix – Firm and tone your thighs, butt, hamstrings and entire lower body while you blast fat and burn calories.
- Pilates Fix – Strengthen and tone your core, elongate your muscles, and firm your hips and thighs. Nearly all exercises target the core in this workout.
- Cardio Fix – A nicely designed and paced routine that will make you sweat. Gets your heart pumping and makes you burn calories.
- Yoga Fix – Yoga is done on Sundays. After a week’s training, the workout routine allows you to relax and stretch your muscles, and the Yoda fix improves your flexibility and balance.
- Dirty 30 – 4 rounds of fat-burning exercises help carve out a leaner, stronger physique.
Ultimate Package Exclusives Workouts:
- Flat Abs Fix. Burn off the fat and get tight, flat abs with this 30-minute workout that helps tone your core and lose the muffin top.
- Barre Legs. Tone your lower body fast with this 30-minute workout designed to sculpt and define your hips, thighs, and glutes.
3 Day Quick Fix
The 3 Day Quick Fix is a diet that Autumn uses for photo shoots and when she is getting ready for bikini competitions. It’s designed just for the last three days of whole workout program and not any longer. Basically it’s a diet of carbohydrates, protein, vegetables and coconut oil for three days.
- The 21 Day Fix workout is suitable for all ages, genders, and from beginners to more experience trainers.
- It’s very short period of time. 30 minutes per day and only 21 days.
- It’s simple. No need to count calories and great for planning meals.
- No need to go to a gym.
- If you follow the program, you will lose weight in the 21 days.
- Variety of exercises and workouts.
- With Beachbody On Demand you can stream it anytime, anywhere.
- The calorie deficit, that the program tells you to use, is too big.
- I wouldn’t follow the program more than the 21 days. The program is suitable for people who need to get in shape fast for a special occasion like a wedding. This program is just a quick fix.
- This is not for building muscle so don’t expect to bulk up.
If you want to lose weight fast this program might be for you. The program will get you to lose weight and maybe in the habit of eating healthier and smaller portions. But, bear in mind that this 21 days program is only a quick fix. To maintain a healthy lifestyle and for a long-term solution you usually need to make a lifestyle change, not just for 21 days.
The eating plan’s calorie levels are wrong in my opinion. There is a too large of calorie deficit which I wouldn’t recommend. The eating plan is simple, versatile, family-friendly and is focus on clean whole foods.
The 30 minutes’ cardio exercises are efficient and there are several studies that support the idea that short intense workouts might be better than long ones. The exercises weren’t that exciting or special in my opinion, but they are effective.
Beachbody’s 21 Days Fix is workout program that does work, but you still have to do the hard work. If you are looking a program that would help you to lose weight in a short period of time, then the 21 Days Fix program is something to be consider.
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