Even though I’ve been putting it on my workout schedule each week, I’ve been neglecting my weights a lot lately. I may pick them up and do a few half hearted sets of some upper body work, but for most of the fall, it hasn’t been a big part of my workouts (at least until my TRX classes recently). This happened for two reasons. First, I’ve been busy with my teaching schedule, and I’ve been afraid to go to two a day workouts again since my overtraining experience last spring. Second, I’ve been wanting to try a new program, and I haven’t found one that seems like the right fit (and I’ve been too
lazy busy to create one myself).
This week, I decided to stop waiting around and making excuses. Until I come up with something new to do, I’m going back to the original program that got me into lifting in the first place: ChaLEAN Extreme. I first started the CE DVDs over a year ago and completed the three month program along with a couple months of the “maintenance” schedule and absolutely loved it. I only stopped because I needed a new challenge because I felt like I had plateaued, which is the same reason I’ve resisted going back to it. At this point, however, it’s been about six months since I’ve done those specific workouts, so my body isn’t used to them anymore and I think it will be effective until I find something else.
Why I love ChaLEAN EXTREME
I should clarify. I’m not affiliated with this program in any way, I wasn’t asked to write a review, and I bought it myself long before I started blogging. Other than teaching PiYo, I’m not even affiliated with Beachbody (and all teaching PiYo means is that I pay them money each month for the choreography! ha). It’s just a fitness program that I had a great experience with and wanted to share with you all.
As I mentioned, this is the program that caused me to fall in love with weighs. After I finished it, I moved on to more traditional lifting in the gym with a barbell and plates and all that jazz, something I never would have tried before. CE changed my entire mindset about the role of strength training in your fitness regimen. Here are some of the reasons I love it:
- I’m a total Chalene Johnson fan girl. My obsession with her started when I bought TurboFire, and continued through this program. She’s also the mastermind behind PiYo Strength. I just find her super motivating, plus she seems to share all my fitness loves: kickboxing, lifting, dance, and yoga.
- It convinced me that weights wouldn’t make me “bulky.” Yes, I was one of the millions of women who believed in that myth.
- The workouts change frequently throughout the program so I didn’t get bored.
- It taught me the basics of effective weight lifting: how to choose a heavy enough weight, the importance of lifting to true fatigue/muscle failure, etc.
- I saw results quickly. You track what weight you use for each exercise in each workout, and Chalene is constantly reminding you to make sure your weight is heavy enough. I was really surprised by how quickly I was able to increase weight on all of my exercises.
- When I lift heavy weights, I feel empowered. This isn’t specific to the CE program, but it was the first time I felt it, and it’s addicting.
The main lifting workouts are 30-40 minutes each, which is pretty reasonable in my opinion. I also found that lifting works really well for me for a morning workout. It’s quiet, so it doesn’t bother John, and there’s no jumping around, so I don’t have to worry about downstairs neighbors.
Even though I’d like to be doing something new, I’m excited to get back into this program in the mean time. I’m off to do the first workout right now!
Questions: What got you to start lifting? If you don’t lift, what’s stopping you? Have you tried this program or another home program? Do you have a fitness icon you’re obsessed with?