I like to mix and match my workouts. Try something new. But when I randomly decide to go on holiday in two weeks; time, there’s really only one answer: 21 Day Fix. Well, technically, it’s going to need to be 14 Day Fix this time around, that’s how disorganised I am!
I’ve done it a good few times in the past, and there’s something comforting about returning to a familiar old favourite. Some programmes might be a bit better on strength, others a bit better on cardio, but if you want a solid all-rounder, you don’t have hours a day to work out, and you want results fast, it’s pretty hard to beat. Apart from with 21 Day Fix Extreme of course, if you’re a bit fitter/more experienced with your home workouts. I might upgrade to that one next week…
The format is pretty straightforward. There are seven workouts (traditionally, anyway – Beachbody on Demand now has some substitutions), each of which lasts 30 minutes and which has a different theme. You do one a day every day for three weeks.
Anyway, today, Day One, was Total Body Cardio. I used to not be a big fan of this one, because, as regular readers of this blog might know, I’ve sometimes tended to struggle with the cardio side of things. But after plenty of cardio in 80 Day Obsession then a solid blast of the really intense variety on T25, while I don’t think it’ll ever by my absolute favourite type of exercise, I’m both better at it and more positive about it than I used to be. And as a result, today, I loved this.
The thing to remember with this workout is that the “Total Body” bit is as relevant as the “Cardio” bit. It’s not just the sort of jumping around you might expect from cardio – weights are heavily involved. As a result, I really felt like I was shaping my body while burning calories, which is always nice, particularly when you only have 30 minutes to play with.
After a brief warm-up, there are 4 round. Each involves one move, a twenty second break, a second move, another twenty second break, then repeat. The first three rounds were quite similar: a mixture of strength exercises that get the heartrate up, and more traditional cardio moves, like butt kicks or cross country skiers, but with weights that you have to thrust up over your head or out from your chest while you move. The fourth round has the same pattern, but focuses on core moves on the mat – which I’m torn between regarding as a relief or a bit of a cop out. Though the first time I did this workout, a few years ago, it was definitely relief – I didn’t think I could make it through another energetic round! Today, though I was out of breath by the end of the rather challenging round 3, I’d quite have liked to push through for another five minutes.
It should do a good job of getting most people’s heartrates up. Even if you’re fairly comfortable with cardio, the weights add an interesting extra dimension and make fairly standard exercises have a little bit more oomph. That said, the regular 20 second breaks make it a bit more doable than some videos – but you could always up the weights if you find it too easy. I used 5ilbs throughout, which was about right, thought I could have gone a little higher if I was really pushing myself.
Highly recommend this one both as a great opener to a great programme and as one to throw into the mix on a semi-regular basis.
- Surrenders (weights on shoulders, kneel down then stand up. again and again. harder than it sounds if you’ve never tried it before)
- Side to side shuffle with squat
- weighted wood chop (holding one weight, squat down and lower weight towards foots, twist sideways and raise weight up in the air at a diagonal angle – the good news is you only do one side per set)
- weighted skiers (jump legs forward and back, passing each other, while simultaneously raising a weight up and down. ouch!)
- weighted butt kicks (kick legs up behind you while thrusting the weights in and out at chest level)
- weighted knee pulls (lunge back with weight over your head, lift knee, pull weight down to meet it)
- frog crunches (crunches with legs in the air at a turned out angle – knees come in as you go up)
- oblique crunches