So if you've followed me for a while, you know I started my fitness journey with Insanity (at 210 pounds, I might add!). Since pushing through that program with the support of an amazing challenge group, I have been OBSESSED with high intensity cardiovascular workouts. I love feeling like I've just worked my body to the max, as my lungs heave and I'm covered in sweat. So last July at Beachbody's annual Summit when they announced a weight lifting program from Autumn Calabrese and Sagi Kalev, called Hammer and Chisel, I wasn't totally enthused. The program came and went when it launched in December. I saw amazing results from my friends who had tried it, but I just kept telling myself that it "wasn't for me". I battled through tendonitis and severe seasonal depression in February. It totally crushed my vibe and lead me off track. I started to get lazy, and I took more and more "rest days", even after I was healed. After my FREE TRIP to Miami in April with a shitload of inspiring, fearless women, I started to get the feeling I needed a change. Something started rising inside of me, and I knew it was time to get back to being FABULOUS. I needed to do something DIFFERENT to bust me out of this funk. Enter Hammer and Chisel. I started to think about how I could make the program happen, considering I don't own anything but a set of 5 pound dumbbells after years as a cardio addict. I did some research and found that as a spouse of someone who works at a college campus, I was eligible to join the campus Rec center. Before I could talk myself out of it, I invested in myself and bought it!
I got my rec center pass and started the program on June 1st. I was IN LOVE from the get go. It was hard. My heart was pumping. I was weaker than I thought. BUT, it re-awakened something inside of me. Prior to getting in the best shape of my life, I always had gym memberships, and I enjoyed going to them. I just had ZILCH when it came to a solid plan. Personal trainers never did it for me. No shade here, but all of the ones that I was assigned to for my free hour of training when I signed at the gym just seemed like a bunch of assholes. I even had one tell me I was "pre-diabetic" JUST based on my weight (which at the time was not absurdly out of control...I'm talking like 20 pounds overweight). I may have been chunky and clueless in the gym, but I was also a professional person who knew that it's not only stupid, but dangerous to dish out medical advice when you're not a medical professional...So no, dude, I'm not investing in a training package with you no matter how much you shame me (end rant).
So I'm sure the first thing you're asking is "Beachbody...wait, that's home workouts...do you take your videos with you to the gym?" Well, no, I chose not to, but you can! Beachbody has a streaming on-demand service, where you can take all of your purchased programs with you wherever you have wifi. Being super protective of my fancy laptop and new phone, I opted for the super handy tracking sheets. You can print them off and they allow you to take the workouts with you! So for the first few weeks, every time I'd have a new workout, I'd pop the dvd in and fast forward through the moves to make sure I knew what I was doing, then I'd head off to the gym. Yes, it added 10 minutes or so to my day, but for me, it was totes worth it.
I'm not going to give you the breakdown of each workout, but basically every day, you'll have a routine to follow that's usually less than about 40 minutes to complete. Moves range from squats to bench press and pull ups, but each workout will have you working at a different tempo with different amounts of reps. There are Hammer days, hosted by Sagi, which are a bit more on the heavy, powerlifting side; and Chisel days, hosted by Autumn, that are geared towards balance and toning. Your heart will be pounding. It will be challenging. But it is SO fucking worth it. I found that my strength increased so quickly, and I was moving up in weights by the second week (if you have a home gym, you WILL need varied amounts of weights).
The one thing I WILL for sure tell you is that as much as this program is incredible, for women, it's a mindfuck. I gained 3 pounds within the first 2 weeks of the program and haven't seen the scale go back down since. There's several reasons for that. One is that I want to eat ALL THE THINGS and I'm having a hard time not eating like an asshole when I get hungry (like an asshole = zero portion control and snacking like a mutherfucker). Of course, I drink my Shakeology to keep the sugar cravings at bay, but controlling portions when your metabolism is revving isn't the easiest...at least not for a food addict/binge eater like myself. The other is that I'm building SERIOUS muscle. I feel like even if I were perfect food-wise, I'd still be up a pound or two. You likely WILL NOT lose weight on this program. You have to come to terms with that and do the mental work to separate your emotions from the scale. But what you WILL do is gain strength, tons of confidence, and tighten up every area of your body. I'm down an inch in my waist and my arms look AMAZING. I gotta tell you, I seriously could not give two fucks about the scale, because when I look at the day 30 pictures, I feel like a badass B. I am LOVING my new body, and I can't wait to see what my final, 60 day results will be.
Hi! I'm Andrea Cummings. I am passionate about living a healthy lifestyle that I can MAINTAIN and that still lets me feel like I'm not being deprived. I like to exercise, but I also love to eat (nachos!). My main focus is to be healthy, not skinny, and to help others do the same! I love Jesus, but I also say fuck a lot, so if you're offended, I may not be the gal for you.