This morning I did the ChaLEAN Extreme Burn Circuit 1 workout for the second time. I had originally started the program mid-week a few weeks ago, then discovered that it totally throws me off to lift weights on Tues/Thurs/Sat instead of Mon/Wed/Fri, so I’m resetting my weekly start day to Monday this week.
Hey, I know it’s a small, stupid thing, but I’m apparently an incurable Monday starter.
Burn Circuit 1 is set up as a giant circuit of exercises that are performed for 1 set each of 12 very slow, heavy reps. The workout, including warm up and cool down, lasts just 35 minutes and leaves me feeling strong and energized, but not dripping sweat. The reason that the workout can be so short is that each individual exercise is actually a unique compound move that usually combines a lower body exercise and an upper body exercise into the same rep. For example, Chalene might have you deadlift a pair of dumbbells, pause when your back is at a 45 degree angle, then perform a posterior deltoid raise from that position before continuing to stand up, or squat and then perform a leg lift on each side that hits the obliques in a single rep. This way of smooshing two exercises together into a novel new compound move allows you to get twice as much work done in the same amount of time. The exercises in Burn Circuit 1 target the chest, quads, glutes, hamstrings, obliques, and posterior deltoids.
A lot of the exercises still feel very awkward to me even though I have been lifting regularly (and heavily!) for the past 5 years. I’m just used to doing one exercise at a time or supersetting two different ones, not putting them both into a single move. I’m sure this will get better with familiarity.
I also notice that while I don’t find Chalene overly perky as I do in her Turbo Jam workouts, she does have a tendency to call out a pretty heavy weight for herself (compared to most chicas I know) for each exercise…and then perform just 3-4 reps before putting said weight down, telling us all to “Continue, continue!” and walking around to point out the correct and incorrect form being used by her four-member workout posse. (Her posse–my word, not hers–consists of one fit-looking male in the back who uses pretty decent poundage, Chalene’s younger sister, who usually goes about 5-10 lbs lighter than Chalene, a tall, thin gal who rarely cracks the 10 lb dumbbell barrier and is used to show off modified moves, and a 60-year-old woman in awesome condition who looks about 35 and demonstrates the proper form for those using resistance bands instead of dumbbells.) I am just starting out with these workouts, but I’m not exactly a newbie, so I generally go one step down from Chalene’s selected weight as allowed by my Powerblock adjustable dumbbells, mostly because I do ALL TWELVE REPS and want to make sure I have the proper exercise form down pat. So when Chalene says she is using 25 lbs, I go with 20 lbs, and when she is doing 20 lbs, I go 17.5 lbs, and so on.
After my first Burn Circuit 1 day, I did feel some DOMS soreness in my hamstrings and glutes, but otherwise didn’t feel any lingering effects. Overall, I like the variety of exercises in this workout and REALLY like the brevity of it.
I’m also trying to find a balance between work, exercise, eating more vegetarian-style meals (at least during the work week–I had a delicious run-in with some Smokey Bones pulled pork and BBQ chicken this weekend), posting in my blog, and keeping up with the demand for custom dolls. In my typical uni-tasking, OCD way, I have been doing a terrible job of it so far, with the workouts, blog updates, and food prep losing out to the awesomely fun, new challenge of crafting toys. The positive side of things is that I am eating less overall and not really noticing it since both of my hands are occupied holding yarn and a crochet hook, but the negative side is that I’m not making as much progress as I COULD because workouts have been haphazard and inconsistent. It *is* nice to finally have an activity that I can do at home that is so engrossing that I don’t just give into boredom in the evenings and weekends and start digging around the pantry, but I really do need to start my day off with a workout each morning to get the full benefits of consistent exercise on top of the automatic caloric restriction.
– CLX Burn Circuit 1