It’s been a long long time, but I’m back! I know you’re probably wondering where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to- I’m saving that for another post 😉 For now, I’m hitting you with a BRAND new review of The Master’s Hammer & Chisel 60-day workout program. Okay, here we go!
I decided to try H&C because I wanted a break from my cardio workouts. After taking on the NYC Marathon in 2014 and the Brooklyn Half Marathon in 2015 (yeah, I know, I need to blog about those experiences) and then conquering Insanity Max:30 (yeah, need to blog about that too! Lots of catching up to do!), I felt like I needed a workout challenge that was both new and totally different. H&C, which is an intermediate/advanced weight-lifting program, delivers on that both counts!
Structure of the Program & Week 1 Workouts:
Here’s the deal: H&C is a 60-day weight-lifting, toning and muscle building program. I would definitely describe it as an intermediate/advanced workout that is not for beginners (more on that opinion below). The structure of the program is 6 workouts per week (1 rest day on Thursday), with each day’s workout being 30-45mins. The unique part of this workout is that there are TWO trainers- Autumn Calabrese (the “Chisel”) and Sagi Kalev (the “Hammer”).
Thus far, I’ve completed the workouts from Week 1, which are: (1) Chisel Balance, (2) Hammer Plyometrics, (3) Iso Strength Chisel, (4) Iso Speed Hammer, (5) Chisel Endurance, (6) Total Body Hammer & (7) 10-Minute Ab Hammer. (Each of the “Chisel” workouts are led by Autumn and each of the “Hammer” workouts are lead by Sagi.)
My Goals for this Program:
I try to always start a new workout program with clear and specific goals. My main goal in trying out this program is to change my measurements all around (specifically decrease my waist and increase my arms, hips and thighs) and to lose 5-8lbs. I’m really just trying to get lean, build more muscle and get stronger. I’m also hoping to change the shape of my body by building muscle (which is something I haven’t been able to do with cardio exercises). Here are my beginning stats:
Right Arm: 11
Left Arm: 11
Low Waist: 33.5
Right Thigh: 22.5
Left Thigh: 22.5
Thoughts on the program thus far:
- It’s challenging! If you have hit a plateau with your workouts, I think this program will push you past it. I say that because I’ve gotten to a point where shorter/high cardio programs aren’t getting the job done; my body now needs much more of a challenge to change. Because this program incorporates lifting heavier weights and more complex movements I am MUCH more fatigued during it than I’ve been in awhile. So that’s a bonus!
- Two trainers. I like the fact that the program alternates between two trainers. I’m still getting used to Sagi (the male trainer); he reminds me of a younger Arnold Schwarzenegger (which can be a little weird sometimes, especially when he tries to be funny or says weird phrases like “This workout will be your obsession! Obsession!” lol). But I want to build more muscle mass, so I know I need Sagi, just not 100% of the time. I liked working out with Autumn from my 21 Day Fix experience, so I knew she’d be the perfect balance. This also makes the program one you might be able to do with your significant other; the pair aspect is nice. 😉
- Beachbody OnDemand! Another great thing I will add is that H&C has given me the chance to explore Beachbody’s newest feature – Beachbody OnDemand (“BBOD”). Finally, no more DVDs! BBOD is an online library of BB workouts; once you’ve purchased a BB workout it will appear in your library (along with some other FREE programs). With BBOD (and some wireless headphones), I’m able to use my laptop at the gym to watch each of the videos and follow along. I may even graduate to using just my cell phone to watch the vids, once I’ve done all of the workouts. If you’re interested in trying out BBOD, click here.
- Targeted training. This is more a general comment about lifting, but I love the fact that with weight training you can target certain areas of your body. I’ve always wanted a stronger upper body (who doesn’t like toned shoulders?) and to keep my lower body toned (ahem, ladies you know what I’m talking about 😉 ). I feel like with weights you can work specific muscles to target increased firmness and strength (in a way that you can’t with cardio). Working out with Sagi, I can already tell that I’m hammering at muscles that haven’t been activated in a long time. Excited to see how my body gets shaped!
- This is NOT a beginner program. If you are super out of shape or are not very familiar with weight training, I gotta be real with you, this might not be the program for you. Having done Bodybuilding.com’s Jaime Eason LiveFit Workout, I know my way around weights, but the exercises in H&C are no joke (one-armed weighted jump lunges, burpees into pull ups- oh my!). This is the workout to get lean and in BETTER shape, so if you’re a beginner beware.
- You will need more time, equipment & space. Most of my reviews have been of Shaun-T programs where you need little to no equipment. Not the case with H&C- you need free weights, a pull up bar (or bands with a door attachment), and a workout bench (or a stability ball). I have a free gym in my building that is bare bones but has these items, so I’m able to pull off the workouts. You may also need time (at least at the beginning) to learn each of the moves, which means this workout may take you longer. Be prepared to carve out at least 40mins, buy the gear and find space if you want to try H&C out.
- Lots of logistics. Especially at the beginning, you’re not going to know how much weight is too much/too little until you try out a specific H&C move a few times. You also need to get to know the workouts so that you can easily move through sets and rounds. For example, in Total Body Hammer, you move from weighted squats, to military presses on a bench to the pull up bar, all in one round. This can be a lot, depending on how much space you have (moving weights out of the way, getting equipment (re)set, etc.) So you’ll need to be patient with yourself when doing this program and build in some time for pausing the vids to get situated.
- Diet. I think the biggest challenge with this workout will be sticking to the diet. H&C uses portion control containers to help you stay in track with the amount of carbs/protein/veggies/healthy fats/fruits you should be eating. I know from my LiveFit experience that weight training causes my appetite to spike, so I will be working on eating MORE but making sure they are the right things. The program comes with a great eating plan and the containers so I feel like it will just be up to me to stay strong! ::fingers crossed::
Well that’s all for now! Stay tuned for my week 2 review!