I’ve been a very poor guinea pig for Chalean Extreme so far, electing to just go outside and skate or firing up my familiar Yourself Fitness on the Xbox instead of sticking to the CLX workout calendar. I fully admit this and promise to do a better job going forward. That is why you see “W2D5” in my post title instead of the week 4 or 5 that should be there. Counting up the total sessions of the program I have completed so far in my workout log book, that is about how far I’m into the program.
I have maintained at around 140-141 for the past month with minimal effort and only cursory attention to diet except to make sure that I’m eating primarily healthy choices and getting in enough vegetables and water, but it is time to re-focus and really give this program the effort it deserves.
There is only one catch: I also promised to go to the gym with Chris three times a week to get him back in the workout saddle, and he is starting LL Cool J’s Platinum Workout
this week. In truth, he would probably be content doing the 30 minute machine express circuit at Planet Fitness that he has tried a few times in the past, but I just got the LLCJ book a week ago, and I steered my husband into giving it a try since the first three weeks also use a full body machine circuit before transitioning to free weights in week 4 and beyond. So far I have been doing the same workouts with him to show my support on my non-lifting CLX days, but I know this is not optimal for either program since my body won’t be resting fully between strength training sessions. I’ve tried to mitigate some of this by going lighter on the machine circuits and keeping the pace fast to make the workout more like a cardio session with some resistance than a true strength training workout.
The CLX Burn Circuit 3 is my favorite workout so far with its emphasis on shoulder work. This is a difficult area for me to improve, so I am glad that the program addresses it with so many exercise variations. I’m not as crazy about the number of calf raise combos in the same workout, but hey, I already HAVE huge, muscular calves and don’t need to work them as much. CLX Burn Circuit 2 focuses more on back/triceps/biceps in addition to the usual lunge, squat, and deadlift variations in all of the workouts. I really like the slow lifting tempo on the arm exercises as I feel that I am getting a lot more adaptation and hypertrophy out of it than I do when lifting on my own, where I have a tendency to use a little momentum to curl my weights up.
Speaking of weights, I am already using the same weights Chalene selects on 75% of the exercises and just one step down on the rest. I don’t doubt that I could go heavier on the leg exercises, but I think I will keep those loads no heavier than Chalene uses and limit my weight progression to the upper body exercises to try to balance out my body a bit. I can maintain my leg muscles with little more than bodyweight exercises; it’s my arms, back, and shoulders that need the heavy work to bring on change.
I still roll my eyes a bit every time she performs her 3-4 (out of 12) reps of each exercise, then puts her weights down and admonishes the rest of us to “continue, continue!” while she walks around and hangs out with each of her four CLX crew members, pointing out proper and improper form, LOL. (For the exercises where I am still lagging behind her in load selection, I console myself with the knowledge that I, too, could probably use 27.5 pounds on that exercise if I only had to complete THREE reps.)
The only other gripe I have with the series so far is that the four other people in the videos performing the exercises look like they are suffering a little too much during the exercises given how little some of them are lifting. Seriously, one woman is using medium resistance tubing (red), and the “newbie” girl rarely breaks 10 lbs with her dumbbells. I know the producers are trying to emphasize that these weights are supposed to be very challenging, but I come from an Army PT, “suck it up and drive on” exercise background and don’t think anything more than a silent grimace of effort and some gritting of teeth is necessary unless you are seriously under physical stress. The moans and groans are a bit too much when you are only curling 12 pounds, don’t you agree?
I would rather see a quartet of total badasses lifting as much as Chalene does and pumping out push-ups like machines so I actually have something to shoot for.
– LL Cool J Bronze Body Workout Week 2 (machine circuits)
– 10 minute interval run
– CLX Burn Intervals and Ab Burner
M1: 3 egg white/1 whole egg spinach omelette, 1/2 T. ketchup, 60g oats and raisins
M2: 3 oz. Korean BBQ sirloin burger patty, 1/2 WW pita, 1/2 slice pepper jack cheese, 1 T. ketchup, 1 c. green beans
M3: 2 chocolate peanut butter protein fudgsicles
M4: 14g almonds, 1 Pink Lady apple
M5: 4 oz. chicken breast and 2 c. veggie stir fry, 3/4 c. cooked brown rice
M6: Something made from 1.5-2 oz. silken tofu, veggies, and spices