Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Beachbody Chronicles®:
PUSHing my body to the next strength level with ChaLEAN Extreme®

As I write this, my arms are aching.
   I did a ChaLEAN Extreme® Push phase workout for the first time yesterday, and my poor upper appendages, particularly my biceps, definitely know they did something. My core muscles are sore, too.
   ChaLEAN Extreme from Beachbody is a home workout system on DVD designed and hosted by Chalene Johnson, creator of Turbo Jam.
   After doing several sessions of the three Burn phase workouts, the first phase of ChaLEAN Extreme, I felt it was time to move on to the Push phase workouts.
   In the Burn phase workouts, the slow lifting of heavy weights until the targeted muscle reaches complete fatigue or “failure” at 12 repetitions is the goal.
   In the Push phase workouts, the goal is muscle failure after eight repetitions – meaning an exerciser should use heavier weights than the Burn phase workouts.
   I upped the weight load for Push Circuit 1 as encouraged, and surprised myself at my ability to do eight reps with a significant amount of weight. I used two 22.5 pound weights for a squat set, for example. (My husband and I use Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells, but the entire ChaLEAN Extreme system can be done using a resistance band.)
   Following Chalene’s cues and advice on weight loads and proper form are key to get the most out of the workouts. I listen to what she is using for each arm and usually go about seven pounds lighter.
   The exercises in Push Phase 1 are simple enough, which makes sense considering the challenge they represent with heavy weights. Bicep curls, tricep curls, overhead tricep extensions, weighted squats and push-ups are examples of a few of the exercises.
   I’m looking forward to taking on the other two Push phase workouts for the next month or so.
   Then it will be time to move on to the Lean phase, the final phase of ChaLEAN Extreme.

Stay tuned to Fantastic Fitness DVDs for The Beachbody® Chronicles - a series of articles about the adventures my husband and I have using ChaLEAN Extreme®, TurboFire®, P90X® and Insanity®.
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