21 Day Fix DVD Review / Total Body Cardio / Upper Body Fix / Barre Legs

If you haven't seen a million Facebook posts about the 21 Day Fix, you might be living under a rock.

And everyone seems to have amazing results.

But everyone is also a coach, knows a coach or is being given products by a coach, so I wasn't able to find any reviews that I felt were 100% unbiased. 

I found a set of the DVDs on Amazon for super cheap (the exact listing doesn't seem to be available anymore) and thought what the heck. If nothing else, there will be a completely unbiased review of the 21 Day Fix program out there in case anyone else wants to know what it's all about.

So far, I've tried three of the seven-ish DVDs I bought, and I plan on reviewing them all for you.

Total Body Cardio Fix Review

Cardio is my weak point, so I started out with this one. This is also the DVD that the booklet suggests starting with, so that gave me a kick in the rear for it. I was expecting this to hit the cardio pretty hard, and I was dreading it. 

Although this workout left me a sweaty mess, there wasn't too much traditional cardio. Instead, it's a bunch of compound strength moves that work both upper and lower body at the same time, which keeps your heart rate up. For example: squat with a twist, then lift your weight overhead in the opposite direction while you raise out of the squat. 

There is a timer at the bottom of the screen that tells you how long you have until the video is over, as well as how long you have remaining during each individual exercise. I think that is the part that saved me and kept me going. Every other video trainer seems to want to trick me into more and more reps, and I end up getting irritated and hating them. Autumn also gives very good cues, lots of tips on form, and demonstrates each exercise first.

I did the workout with no weights, since I wasn't sure how difficult it would be. I think a complete beginner could do it with 2-3 lb. weights and still keep up. I also modified a lot of the moves since I haven't been working out - and if I'm honest, I'm pretty out of shape.

I like this DVD and I will definitely do it again without dreading it. It's easy enough that I could add it onto a treadmill cardio day, or do another easier video on the same day.

Barre Legs Fix Review

Speaking of doing two videos in one day...since Total Body Cardio didn't kill me, later that evening I decided to do Barre Legs. I did barre class regularly for a few months and I recently took an instructional class, so I wanted to try out the tips I learned and to see how this workout compared.

The workout used most of the basic barre moves for legs and by the end of it my entire lower body was jello. For the rest of the day and all of the next, I couldn't really bend down or walk without making a loud caveman-like sound.

I really like the progression of each exercise: 30 seconds of full movement, 30 seconds of pulse, then holding position for 30 seconds. It's the last 30 seconds that really get'cha!

I do have one tip from my instructional class that I believe makes a huge difference in how much of a workout you get. Pulses should really only move your leg (or whatever you're working) by an inch or so. Two inches is too much. You want to focus on contracting the muscle internally rather than actually making a movement. I used this technique and wowza!

I am really happy with this workout and I will return to it again and again. It's one that I'll be able to do without working up a sweat, but I'll finish knowing that I've done some serious toning.

Upper Body Fix Review

This is a basic weighted upper body workout that combines standing and floor work, plus quite a bit of ab work considering there are other DVDs devoted to abs. I was sweaty afterwards, but I didn't feel like I'd done a hard workout - but that's usually the case after I finish upper body in the gym, too. I do think this is another workout that I can combine with a second on days when I have time.

I used five pound weights for two reasons: I wanted to make sure I could do the workout with good form and finish strong, and I didn't want to be sore the next day. I just finished it so jury is still out on whether I'll be sore tomorrow.

When I increase my weights to 8 or 10 lbs I know it will be pretty difficult to finish, and the little timer on the screen will again save me. 

So far I'm pretty happy with my purchase and I can't wait to try the rest of the workouts.

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