24 days ago, Tommy and I embarked upon a new journey, and it is that of the 21 Day Fix Countdown to competition program.
Have you heard of it?
I wrote a blog a while ago about the 21 Day Fix. Some time after that was created (and wildly successful), Beachbody upped the ante and came out with an extreme version of the program, with significantly harder workouts, and a more intense nutrition program (actually, a choice of two nutrition programs).
Here is a video from Beachbody about the program:
One thing that people are fearful of when I tell them about the 21 Day Fix or 21 Day Fix Extreme is that they will be hungry. I ASSURE you that is not the case!
Like I mentioned above, there were two different options as far as the nutritional programs are concerned – the “Extreme” plan (which is the normal way to do 21 Day Fix Extreme) and the “Countdown to Competition” plan, which is the more extreme version, which is modeled after the diet of someone who is preparing to compete in a bikini competition.
Because we wanted to push ourselves to the limit, we did the Countdown to Competition plan, which was a carb cycling/carb depletion plan. It consisted of two days of a lower carb diet followed by one “extreme” day, which basically had less fat, but more carbs and fruit.
Here is what I ate/drank over the course of one “extreme” day:
What you’re seeing: mashed sweet potatoes with cinnamon on them, a pint of organic blackberries, organic (purple!) cauliflower from the Palo Alto farmer’s market, a can of tuna, a peach, some slivered almonds, and some 99% lean turkey breast with hot sauce on it. Next picture has a bag of greens on it! And in the bottom picture, a serving of Shakeology with half an avocado! Not pictured – a teaspoon of coconut oil, and TONS of water and tea (you are welcome to drink coffee, I just choose not to because I don’t like the taste)!
As I mentioned, that is one of the “extreme” days, which could be your every day if you did the program. It is also important to note that I am eating the least possible on the plan because I am already small. Tommy ate WAY MORE than me, because he outweighs me by about 40-50lbs!
I will try to get a photo of my food on a “countdown to competition” day and update this, and see if I can get each of the days’ food photos for Tommy. =)
It is important to note that you don’t have to eat exactly what I ate. We switched up our veggies, fruits, carbs, and meats all the time throughout the 21 days. There are lots of options!
While the main component that stands out for this program is the nutrition guide, the workouts are pretty amazing and really hard! Each workout is 30 minutes long, with the exception of the 10-minute hardcore (which is self-explanatory)!
Here’s the schedule:
Day one: Plyos
Day two: Upper Fix (upper body strength training + 10 Min Hardcore (abs/core)
Day three: Pilates (with resistance bands!)
Day four: Lower Fix (leg day!) + 10 Min Hardcore
Day five: Cardio (with weights & resistance band)
Day six: Dirty 30 (strength interval workout)
Day seven: YOGA (Ahhhhhhhhhh. YAY!)
Now onto the results! Tommy’s were way more amazing than mine:
Here are his measurements:
185.5lbs to 174.5lbs
Chest: 38″ to 40″
R arm: 13.5″ to 13.75″
L arm: 13.75″ to 14″
Waist: 33″ to 32.5″
Hips: 36″ to 38.5″
R thigh: 21″ to 22.5″
L thigh: 21″ to 22.5″
Here are my results:
And my measurements:
132.5 to 125.5
Chest: 35.5 to 34″
R arm: 10.5 to 11.25″
L arm: 10.75 to 11.25″
Waist: 29 to 27.5″
Hips: 36.25 to 36.5″
R thigh: 19 to 21″
L thigh: 19 to 21″
As you can see, with the exception of my breasts (haha – dang it!) we grew and shrunk in all the right places!
Since we are accustomed to a high fat diet, we were concerned that eating low fat (albeit natural low fat) and being at a constant caloric deficit (although we are not counting calories, just using the containers) that we would shrink everywhere, including in our muscle mass, but our measurements seem to prove otherwise, most likely thanks to all the lean protein we were eating!
Just prior to this program, we moved from Milwaukee to Mountain View, and our fitness levels had declined significantly – we weren’t working out as much, and we were trying LOTS of new restaurants the Bay Area has to offer! I feel like this program quickly got us back to where we were before we left (although Tommy may even be in better shape than that!). We are doing the program again to push our bodies even further – today is day one! We took two days off to make sure that our metabolism didn’t slow down from being at a caloric deficit (which we don’t believe is the healthiest answer) and to eat foods we missed while following the strict plan! In fact, Beachbody does not recommend that you do this program over and over without taking breaks, and I agree – it just wouldn’t be healthy. It’s all about moderation, not extremes!
I am eager to see what will happen with round two. After, we are going to experiment with making this a little more primal (i.e. fattier meat choices), and to see what wiggle room we will have to keep our six packs AND our social lives (wine, eating out, having food with salt, etc). We are going to work to make a plan that uses portion control ideas (similar to the original 21 Day Fix) but with a healthier overall approach. =)
Some things – I wouldn’t recommend this to everyone. It is intense (hence the word “extreme”), and I believe it would be hard for a lot of people to follow. I would recommend the original program to anyone – and if someone likes that and wants to kick it up a notch, then I would recommend this! Or, if someone wanted to do a bikini competition or photoshoot and needed extreme visual results, this is a great choice (or the 3-Day Refresh as an option if the person doesn’t have three weeks)!
Additionally, without a DEXA scan before and after (which we didn’t have the luxury of doing), it is not 100% clear what was lost and gained as far as fat/water weight/muscle. But I will say that I FELT very fit most of the time on this program!
Also – it is EXTREMELY important that you get enough sleep while doing this – you are putting your body through a lot of stress!
I’d also highly recommend preparing large batches of food in advance, or you will be constantly cooking!
This month (June 2015), both the 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme challenge packs (and as a kickstart) are on sale! Here’s a video about that!
And here are the links to purchase each program alone, or its challenge pack!
21 Day Fix
21 Day Fix Challenge Pack (program + shakeology + access to Beachbody on Demand)
21 Day Fix Kickstart Challenge Pack (see “challenge pack”, then throw in a 3-Day Refresh!)
21 Day Fix Extreme
21 Day Fix Extreme Challenge Pack (program + shakeology + access to Beachbody on Demand)
21 Day Fix Extreme Kickstart Challenge Pack (see “challenge pack”, then throw in a 3-Day Refresh!)
It would be irresponsible (since you are a fitness-minded person reading this) to also not mention that Beachbody is having a HUGE Summer sale right now.
Click here to check it out! You can get programs, apparel, and fitness accessories up to 70% off, so please share with a friend!
If you have any questions about the 21 Day Fix, 21 Day Fix Extreme, or really anything health/fitness/nutrition/beauty/sustainability-related, please don’t hesitate to message me, and I will do my best to help you out!