Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Beachbody Chronicles®:
ChaLEAN Extreme® is a treat for the body

“This is a treat!” says Chalene Johnson on one of her ChaLEAN Extreme® DVDs as she and her crew get ready for a challenging new move.
   A treat – it’s an excellent description about how I feel about ChaLEAN Extreme, Johnson’s fitness program on DVD from Beachbody that aims to burn fat and build muscle with the slow lifting of heavy weights.
   I start my workout week on Monday with a ChaLEAN Extreme DVD. It’s a great way to ease into exercise after a couple days of rest, which I often take on the weekend.
   I feel as if the muscles in my body are being slowly massaged, and the joints are being oiled up.
   Don’t get me wrong – there’s no free ride with this workout program. ChaLEAN Extreme is tough.
   I’m currently doing the Push phase, the second of three phases in ChaLEAN Extreme (the first is Burn, the third is Lean), and you are challenged to reach muscle failure by eight repetitions.
   That means you need to choose weights that cause the targeted muscles to feel absolutely fatigued by six to eight reps. With many of the exercises, a breakdown set of three more reps is done after the initial six to eight.
   Momentum is not allowed – just the slow, concentrated lifting of the weights.
   My husband and I use Bowflex SelectTech weights, but the entire program can be done with resistance bands.
   My heart rate rises, sweat pours down my face and I breathe heavily.
   And if you keep proper form and use heavy weights as Johnson advises, you will definitely feel it deep in the muscles.
   Something about that feeling causes my body to sing and my muscles to thank me for taking the time to challenge them.
   And this feeling lasts. I feel relaxed and focused for the rest of the day, and I sleep like a baby at night.
   I think ChaLEAN Extreme is a program that’s suitable for fitness beginners, particularly those who are looking to work out but are hesitant to be jumping or moving around too quickly right away.
   Although a beginner would eventually need to add a cardio component to his or her fitness regimen, ChaLEAN Extreme can provide a basis of muscle building that will not only shape the body but also a focused mindset about exercise and how to take on its challenges.
   For fitness veterans, ChaLEAN Extreme provides a wicked at-home weight training program to add to their repertoire.
   For both groups of exercisers, it’s a real treat.

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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