As of today I have been doing Hammer and Chisel for one week. And today I went out and bought heavier weights and a stronger resistance band.
Guys. This is huge!
I am amazed that just one week into this program I am ready and able to increase my weights! I realized that my 3 and 5 pound weights just weren't challenging me as much as I needed, so I went all-in and invested in some new equipment. And I'm so excited!!
The workouts I've done in the last week have been really challenging, but at the same time it feels so good when I complete one and I'm so proud of myself for stepping it up and making it happen. So what I'd like to do today is do a quick comparison between 21 Day Fix and Hammer and Chisel so that you can see what the differences are between the two programs. Here we go...
I would say that 21 Day Fix is for people with beginner to intermediate fitness levels. It's definitely a customizable program where you can follow the modifier if you need to go a little easier or if some moves are too hard for you at first. With that being said, I think you can still get a good workout if you're at an intermediate level. It's really all about pushing yourself to your limit.
For Hammer and Chisel, Beachbody says that this program is for intermediate to advanced fitness levels. Even after just a week of workouts I can see why. There are plenty of moves that are really challenging and you also need a good level of endurance to keep up with the routines.
Overall, I am really glad that I started my fitness journey with 21 Day Fix because it gave me a good place to begin. I modified a lot of the workouts at the beginning and slowly worked my way up to following the full moves. I also did the same thing with my weights and started with 3 lb. weights before eventually moving up to 5 lb. weights. I honestly don't think I could have started right off the bat with Hammer and Chisel because it would have been so hard that I would have given up. By starting with 21 Day Fix I was able to ease my way into fitness and also gain some confidence in my abilities along the way.
With 21 Day Fix most of the routines (5 out of 7) are based on one minute intervals. So you do a move for 60 seconds and then move on to the next move. The only exceptions are the Pilates Fix and the Yoga Fix. I liked this format because, as Autumn the trainer says, "You can do anything for 60 seconds". It's a great way to ease into the moves because you only have to do them for a minute at a time. And the workouts are all 30 minutes, so you know exactly how long you'll be spending on your workout every day.
So far with the Hammer and Chisel routines I've noticed that they are all pretty different. Sometimes you will have 60 second intervals, but other times you do a set number of reps and repeat. Other times you do reps in a specific sequence, where you start with 10, go down to 8, and then go down to 6 reps, all on the same move before moving on to the next exercise. And the workouts are all different lengths. So some days you might only workout for 20 minutes and the next day you might have a 45 minutes routine.
Personally I really like all of the variety that Hammer and Chisel offers. Not only do you get two different trainers, but you also get a wide variety of routines and routine structure. There really isn't any time to get bored! I did find that by the end of the third round of 21 Day Fix (so 9 weeks in), I was starting to get tired of doing the same routine on the same day of the week every single week. So in my opinion you definitely get more variety with Hammer and Chisel.
I'm pretty sure all the equipment I needed with 21 Day Fix was weights and a yoga mat. Like I mentioned before, I started with 3 lb. weights and moved up to 5 lb. weights by the end.
With Hammer and Chisel, however, you do need quite a bit more equipment. In addition to weights (probably three different sizes) you will also need a workout bench or a stability ball. You'll also need a pull-up bar or a resistance band with a door attachment. That's all I've needed so far, but like I said before I did just go out and buy a heavier set of weights plus a stronger resistance band.
Overall, I have loved both 21 Day Fix and Hammer and Chisel. I feel like 21 Day Fix was my first love because it was a great introduction into fitness and really gave me the confidence to try something even harder. But I do feel like Hammer and Chisel has already pushed me way past where I was with 21 Day Fix, even just one week in. So Hammer and Chisel is my new favorite and I am really excited to see what kind of results I can get in these 60 days.
If you have any questions about either program, feel free to leave comments below. Also, if you know anyone who might find this interesting, please share the link with them. And, as always, if you're ready to start your own fitness journey and you'd like to talk to me about your goals, go ahead and email me at email@example.com.
Looking Back & Moving Forward
Wow, it feels like this year is going by way too fast, doesn't it? I can't believe we're a week into March already! Today I was thinking back on the year and I felt really good about what I've done so far this year. I'd say my biggest accomplishment since January is completing two more rounds of 21 Day Fix. My third overall round ended almost a week ago, so last week I was in an in-between stage.
I knew I needed a break from 21 Day Fix, but also wanted to keep up the momentum I had built the week before by doing two workouts a day. So last week I did a mixture of different workouts and also tried to take an evening walk most nights to watch the sunset. Overall I was able to get in 250 active minutes from Monday until Friday, which I thought was really good!
For this week I was planning on starting another round of 21 Day Fix, but I decided that I was ready for some variety and for something even more challenging. So I decided to order the Master's Hammer & Chisel program. It's been out for a couple of months but I've been too scared to order it. I knew that it would be a challenging program and for some reason I convinced myself that I wouldn't be able to do it. But I think the double workouts for the last two weeks really boosted my confidence, because this morning I ordered it and now I'm really excited to get started!
I think another big confidence boost was that last week I hit the milestone of having lost 20 pounds so far! I had been close for a while, but I had no idea how good it would feel until it actually happened. I am so proud of myself for making such a huge change in my life and in my health. I have a doctor appointment next week, so I'm excited for my doctor to see how much has changed since I saw him last October. It will be great to see how my overall health has changed now that there's less strain on my body from all that extra weight.
I still have a long ways to go until I hit my goal weight, but I am confident that I can keep up the good work and see more and more milestones completed as I get closer to my goal weight.
So that's a quick overview of where I've been and where I'm going. Next Monday I'll have my initial impressions of Hammer & Chisel that I will share with you. Until then I hope to keep writing some other posts. If you have any requests, feel free to share in the comments below.
And as always, if you like this post please share it with anyone who might also enjoy it. Also, if you'd like to see more of my life you can follow me on Instagram @besidebeth
Keepin' It Real: Body Issues
Lately I've been spending a few minutes every day doing some free writing. For me it's a great way to get thoughts out of my head and organized them on a page. Today I sat down and wrote something that I immediately knew I wanted to share on my blog. It's about body issues, which is something that I think a lot of people can relate to and maybe even learn from, so I decided that I would share it here. I hope it's something that is helpful to anyone else who has issues or has had issues with their body.
Today I did a really challenging workout. I felt like quitting and I wasn’t sure if I could do it, but I did finish it. You’d think that I’d be super proud of myself for pushing myself and making it happen, but just now even when I was looking in the mirror I was thinking to myself, “It’s not enough”. Basically, I was telling myself that even though I’ve been working out twice a day for pretty much the last week and a half, I still don’t think it’s good enough. And the main reason is because I haven’t seen a huge change in my body. I’m literally letting how I look on the outside determine how I feel on the inside.
And then I realized...I’ve got it all backward. Instead of worrying about the changes I’m seeing (or not seeing) on the outside, I should be focusing on how I’m changing on the inside. First of all, how I feel is something that I can control, while how I look on the outside is not something I can control (as much as I'd like to). Also, I’d like to think that the changes on the inside count even more than ones on the outside.
What I realized today is that I’m literally a different person than I used to be. I never would have thought six months ago that I’d be working out twice a day and be following a 7 day slimdown from Tone It Up without any major slip-ups or without quitting. Six months ago I had given up on my body and given up on myself. Now I am proving day after day that I believe in myself. I’m showing up and taking charge of my life, which is something that wasn’t happening even a couple of months ago.
I’ve also changed how I think. I won’t say that I’m one of those people who necessarily looks forward to their workout, but I am getting closer to being that person every day. I don’t dread my workout anymore and I definitely don’t make excuses to try and get out of it. Working out is something that I know I need to do in order to be a happier, healthier version of myself, so I’m willing to do it in order to make my life better.
So instead of getting down on myself for not seeing huge improvements on the outside, I’m going to focus on what I can control, which is how I feel on the inside. I am going to remind myself that every time I workout I am proving to myself that I deserve to be happy and healthy.
And that's exactly what I wrote in my free writing today. It's not easy to admit that I am still so critical of myself even when I'm working so hard to get healthier, but at the same time I know that I'm not the only one who has had these thoughts, so I wanted to share them in case even one person out there can relate and hopefully know they're not alone.
If you would like to start your own health & fitness journey and would like to work with me (a real, genuine person, just like you) then please comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to work with you!!
Today I'm starting my third week of my third round of 21 Day Fix. An optional part of this week is to do double workouts, so that would be days 15 through 21. Even though this is my third round of 21 Day Fix, I wasn't quite ready to take on double workouts in my first two rounds. But this time, I've decided to push myself and make the commitment to do two workouts a day for every day this week!
I know that working out 14 times in one week is not going to be easy, but at the same time I'm actually excited for this challenge to see how hard I can push myself. I'm ready to step outside of my comfort zone and make this happen.
So today, for example, I did a 30 minute full-body workout that includes a mixture of cardio and strength training. I've been doing this routine weekly ever since I started 21 Day Fix and it's still tough to get through. I'm always red-faced and drenched in sweat by the time I get it done. But I'm always proud of myself for starting another week on a strong note, so that feels good.
Then later today I'll be doing an ab workout. It should take about 20 minutes, so all together I'll have worked out for about 50 minutes today. That's not even very extreme, but the tough part is that they want you to do the workouts at different times so that you're getting your metabolism revved up twice in a day. It's actually really smart and it's supposed to help get you even better results.
Speaking of results, I weighed myself this morning and have lost 18.2 pounds so far. Just last week I lost 2.2 pounds, which puts me right on track to hit my goal weight before my cruise at the end of April. All I need to do is keep up the hard work and I should be looking and feeling pretty darn good by the time I go on my trip. I can't wait!
Another exciting thing happening this week is that my team is hosting a coaching sneak peak event on Facebook, so if you've ever wondered what I do as a Beachbody coach, now is a great time to jump in and learn what it's all about.
And, on top of everything else, I announced today that there will be an accountability group starting on March 7. This group is a great way to give yourself a kickstart and really dive into a program. The last day to sign up is next Monday, so don't delay if this is something you're interested in.
Okay, so I just dumped a lot of information on you at once. So if you're interested in the coaching sneak peak or in joining the accountability group, either comment below or email me at email@example.com. And don't forget to bookmark this blog if you like it and share it with any friends who might also enjoy reading it!
My Journey Hasn't Been Perfect
As of today, I have been a Beachbody coach for exactly four months. In some ways it's gone incredibly fast and in other ways it's been the longest four months of my life (for both good and bad reasons). I feel like I've already shared all of my good experiences over the last four months, to the point where I almost feel fake by not talking about the hard things I've gone through. So today I'm going to be completely open and transparent about how hard the last four months have been. I'm not sharing this to be a downer or to get you to feel sorry for me. I simply want to show you that behind all of the upbeat posts and shiny pictures is someone who is just as real and broken as anyone else.
Let's start at the beginning. Four months ago when I signed up as a coach I was in one of the darkest periods in my life. I had basically hit rock bottom. When I looked in the mirror I didn't recognize myself, both physically and emotionally. Physically, I was the heaviest I had ever been in my entire life, literally 100 pounds overweight. And emotionally, I felt empty inside, which showed in my eyes when I looked in the mirror. I was desperate for a change and had thought of many ways that I could start over, from starting a new job to moving across the country. I was in dire need of a fresh start.
When I heard about the Beachbody coaching opportunity I knew immediately that it was what I had been waiting for. This was the change that would give me the opportunity to start new and find the old me. My plan was to follow 21 Day Fix and get back to a healthy weight while also building my own business, which would give me both purpose and passion back into my life. At first I felt euphoric and I was amazed at how much better I felt almost immediately. I was excited to get out of bed each day and I had pages of lists on everything that I wanted to accomplish. And I was making it happen. I quickly started to lose weight and was getting positive feedback about my choice to start my own business. I felt unstoppable.
But then reality started to set in. Not every day was a great day and I started to lose those feelings of euphoria. There were days when I just couldn't make myself work out, even though I knew that was one of the main tasks of being a coach and even though losing weight and getting healthier was something that I wanted more than anything else. Sometimes that just wasn't even enough to get me moving. And so I started to doubt myself and wonder if I was really cut out to be a coach. I was determined to share my story and hoped I was still inspiring people to change their lives, but at the same time I was starting to lose momentum in changing my own life.
Around the holidays I basically gave up on trying to be productive and stopped trying to stay on track. I told myself that once the new year hit I would get back to it and start fresh...again. Six weeks have gone by since the new year started and honestly, things still aren't where I would like them to be.
This past week I was in Texas for work and I had every intention of working out in my hotel room each night and of making healthy food choices despite the fact that I would be eating out every meal for four days. While I did give myself some leeway on food choices, I was able to start each day with a healthy breakfast and also accomplish my goal of not eating any dessert while I was gone. But…I did zero workouts. So that makes me feel like crap. I told myself I would do something and I didn't do it. Period.
Today's a new day and another fresh start, so to speak. I've got plans for getting back on track (again) and am hopeful that I can stick to it this time. Truthfully I was almost too afraid to weigh myself this morning because I didn't want to see how much progress I've lost. When I did weigh myself I realized that I haven't lost any weight for a month. Sigh. I am hopeful that I will have a good week and can eat healthy and work out and basically treat my body the way it deserves to be treated, which is with respect and love.
So that's it, that's my whole story. Thankfully it doesn't end here and there's plenty of time to turn things around and build the life I've imagined. I'm determined not to give up and I am grateful to know that I'm not alone. I truly appreciate all of the love and support I've been given by the people in my life. I do realize I am my own biggest critic and am going to start focusing on how I can make each day count.
I hope this was helpful for you to hear. We all know that no one's life is perfect and that everyone publicly shares the good stuff and tends to gloss over the not-so-good stuff. My main goal is to be open and honest with you throughout my journey so that you know you're not the only one who has bad days. If I can help just one person get through a hard day they are having then I have accomplished my goal.
I love this saying that I found in my Erin Condren planner: "Keep your head up, keep your heart strong". This is exactly how I want to approach the month of February! I am hoping to work hard and not give up regardless of how many challenges come my way.
The biggest example of me following this saying is by starting another round of 21 Day Fix today. This will be my third full round and I am excited to see what kind of results I can get. When I weighed myself this morning I was still down 17 pounds from my starting weight, so not a lot has changed over the last few weeks. I'm hoping to lose 8-10 pounds over the next 21 days so that I'm well on my way to my goal.
I will have the added challenge of being out of town on a work trip for four days next week. But I'm already planning on bringing my Shakeology packets with me so I can maintain healthy nutrition and I will also plan on doing my workouts in my hotel room. The hardest part will be choosing healthy foods to eat while eating out for all four days, but I'll just have to do my best!
For this round, I am planning on doing things a little differently than how I've done this program in the past. The biggest change is that I will be trying to follow the double-workout schedule for the third and final week. This is optional and I've never done it before, but I've heard it's a great way to fast-track your results.
This means that for my third week I will be doing two 30-minute workouts instead of just one workout each day. The plan explains that you need to do the workouts at different times to keep your metabolism revved up, so I'm hoping I can commit to such a challenging schedule. I'm going to give it my best, which is the most I can ask of myself!
I'll keep you posted each Monday on my progress and give you any tips & tricks I learn along the way.
Another goal I have for February is to bring more variety to my blog posts. I'm planning on posting about my upcoming cruise as well as sharing my 2016 reading list, so keep an eye out for those!
What Is a Rest Week?
I am taking this week as a rest week between rounds of 21 Day Fix. Yesterday, I finished day #21 of my second full round, so I have decided that instead of jumping back into another 21 days I will take a week off between them. This works out pretty well for me because it means I can do one round of 21 Day Fix each month without getting burnt out or feeling like it's never going to end.
So here's a look at how this week will be different from a typical week on 21 Day Fix:
My overall plan for this rest week is to use common sense in choosing which foods to eat but also giving myself a break from writing down everything I eat. I will also experiment with new workouts so that I can try different programs I haven't tried yet. I'll keep some notes from this week and let you know how it goes and if I plan to do anything differently after my next round of 21 Day Fix.
If you have any questions on how 21 Day Fix works or would like some information on how you can sign up, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don't forget to bookmark this page or share it with a friend if you think they would be interested!
As much as I try to be consistent and really stick to my fitness goals, there are definitely ups and downs along the way.
For example, last week I was so excited to increase my hand weights from 3 pounds to 5 pounds. I felt so strong at the end of my upper body workout and was really proud of myself for pushing my limits. Yesterday, however, I started having some serious pain in my ribs which turns out to be a consequence of that upper body workout where I really pushed myself. So now I have to be smart and give my body a break so it can heal itself. See what I mean about ups and downs?
Another great moment this past week was when I weighed myself and saw that I had lost a total of 17 pounds from my heaviest weight. It's so amazing to see proof that my hard work and dedication are paying off. And now I have a cruise to go on at the end of April, so I've got even more motivation to really buckle down and work hard!
A few weeks ago I shared some of my tips & tricks for staying motivated and losing weight. It seemed like you guys really enjoyed hearing the tips I had to offer, so now I'd like to open up a discussion and ask you if you have any questions I can try to answer. Maybe you're not sure of how much water you should be drinking or whether you should focus on cardio or weight training. Those are things that I can try to help you with! So if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below or send me a direct message so we can have a private discussion. I've learned a lot in my journey, so I would love to pass along some of my knowledge and try to help you see some great results!
I have decided that my word for this year is going to be "fearless". Not because I plan on living without fear, but because I want to embrace my fear and let it push me out of my comfort zone. I want to do things I never thought possible and that usually only happens when you've got some level of fear. Hopefully you will see a theme in my posts for the next year where I talk about doing things I never thought I would do or overcoming a certain fear by facing it head-on. So stay tuned to see where this takes me!
Also, I wanted to give you an update on my 21 Day Fix progress. I weighed myself this morning and have lost exactly 16 pounds since the middle of October. I am really happy with these results and am proud that I got through the holidays without gaining it all back!
Out of curiosity I looked to see how long it had been since I weighed this much and it turns out it was almost exactly a year ago. Part of me was actually kind of frustrated because in a way it feels like I wasted a whole year. If only I had stayed on track this time last year then maybe I'd weigh much less instead of the same. But, with the helpful advice of an amazing friend, I realized that I need to look at this as an inner growth and know that I have learned a lot about myself in the past year to get me where I am today.
I almost lost that motivation this afternoon when I realized the day had mostly gone by and I hadn't worked out yet. The "old me" would have told myself that I could just workout tomorrow, but the "new me" knew that I'd be frustrated with myself for not doing something I told myself I would do. So I turned on my DVD player and a short 30 minutes later I was done with my full body cardio workout and proud of myself for finishing it.
It's nice to see that with the right attitude and the right support system, we really can accomplish anything we set our minds to!
That's it for tonight, but stay tuned for more!
21 Day Fix: Starting Over
Today I am starting another round of 21 Day Fix, but because I'm doing things so differently I feel like I'm actually starting over. I was really successful with my first round and ended up losing 11 pounds in 3 weeks, so I was very happy with those results. I posted the picture from above after finishing my first round and was surprised to see how much change I could see in my face. The biggest difference I noticed was how much happier I look in the picture on the right. It's amazing how much can change in such a short amount of time, both physically and mentally!
The second round I completed was in December and I didn't do quite as well. I basically stopped trying mid-month and didn't even finish out the 21 days. At first I was really disappointed in myself, but then I remembered that I'm trying to not be so hard on myself, so I gave myself a break until after the holidays were over.
The round that I am starting today will technically be considered my second round "do-over" since the last time didn't go so well. I plan on doing things differently this time around, so I'm going to go over some of those changes to give you some tips & tricks that might work for you if you're trying to get healthier.
When I first started 21 Day Fix I decided that I wanted to create meal plans for myself ahead of time so that I would know exactly what I would be eating every day for the whole week. I color coded the plan and printed it so I could see it on the fridge every time I went to get something to eat. I probably followed the plan for about a day and a half, until I realized that I might not want to eat oatmeal for breakfast or that a salad might not sound good for lunch.
So, this time around I am going to do things differently. I still made a grocery list based on the approved foods from 21 Day Fix, but I won't be planning out exactly when I'm going to eat each food. I'll still use the containers to track my portions, but I'll be counting them as I go instead of planning them out ahead of time. This time I will be using the 21 Day Fix app on my phone to keep track of my containers, which will make things much easier for me and make sure I stay on track.
Letters to Myself:
Before the Tone It Up Bikini Series last year I decided I wanted to write myself encouraging letters to read each week along the way. That's what you see in this picture. I'm going to do the same thing for this round of 21 Day Fix so that I can give myself pep talks before I start each week. They're basically all going to say things like "you can do this" or "don't give up", but I'm hoping that reading them each week will remind me why I'm doing this and help me to stick to it.
This is an idea I got from Pinterest. Basically you use page flags to write down the number of days you want to workout and then stick them somewhere so that you can peel them off each day you complete a workout. In my example above I did five days a week and each week is a different color.
I've found this to be highly motivating because it makes me feel good to peel a flag off every time I workout. It's also a nice visual reminder because it gives you an idea of how much further you have to go. I'll be doing this for the next 16 weeks before my next cruise, so I'll have 5 flags a week for 16 weeks. I'll probably do them separately for each round of 21 Day Fix so that it doesn't feel so overwhelming!
Cheat Meals vs. Treat Meals:
When I first started 21 Day Fix I decided that I would have one cheat meal every week where I could eat whatever I wanted. It actually worked out pretty well because it allowed me the freedom to dream about eating something unhealthy all week and then enjoy it on Friday night. The only thing I'm changing about this is that instead of thinking of it as a cheat meal I'm going to start referring to it as a treat meal. Because technically I'm not cheating by eating something outside the plan, I'm actually making a logical decision to eat something I've been craving all week and therefore "treating" myself.
And so those are some of the ways I'll be changing my approach to following 21 Day Fix. Let me know if any of these ideas were helpful or if you have any tips or tricks of your own that you would like to share!
My name is Beth and I live in Denver. I am a single lady in my 30's and wanted to start sharing my awesome and amazing life through a blog.