Top positive review
44 people found this helpful
Excellent diet plan and exercise DVDs
on August 26, 2013
Man, the reviews for this program are all over the place with half the people totally demonizing it and the other half loving it. The outrageous price that Amazon has this listed at is not helping either. Getting lost in all of this hype and overcharging is one of the best "clean food" diet plans I have found along with a series of dvds that can toe to toe with anything put out by Beachbody.
I will talk about the DVDs first. You get four DVDs: one for each of the three levels and one for the bonus workouts. Each dvd has three work outs on it. Level one - all three work outs are 18 - 20 minutes each. The workouts are Kardio, Strength Pull and Strength Push. Level two - each program is 25 - 28 minutes. The workouts are Kardio, strength lower body and strength upper body. Level three - each program is 35 - 40 minutes. The workouts are Kardio, Strength Pull and Strength Push. The bonus dvd is not really a "bonus" but instead are part of the primary program and you do one of them EVERY time you exercise. Each program is 15 minutes. The workouts are Athletic Abs, Mat lower body (pilates style for lower body and core) and Yoga Core. Each level is taught be a single instructor and they each do one of the bonus routines. The instructors are all very knowledgeable and motivating. The instructors cue very well and remind me of classic FIRM dvd instructors.
For thirty days you do one of the three programs on Level 1 plus the add-on workout for six days with one day for rest. You are exercising little over 30 minutes for the first level. The Kardio is a toughie and not "beginner" in that it is purposely designed to to condition you so that your fitness ablitiy increases to point you are able to handle longer exercise periods. The key to making this program work for you is to keep telling yourself it is just 18 minutes. The idea is to really push for those 18 minutes so your conditioning goes up and you will be amazed at how good it makes you feel if you have never really pushed yourself in an exercise program before. The push and pull are pretty standard cardio and weight training routines very similar in style and level to Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. (Note: for more advanced exercisers you can do all three dvds for an excellent full body and cardio workout in about 55 minutes.)
The Next 30 days is level two and for the first two weeks you again do one of the Level 2 exercises and one of the bonus for total of approximately 40 minutes. The intensity is little higher and the workouts ten minutes longer. Again you have one cardio routine which uses light weights to keep heart rate up. The big difference is the toning programs are broken down into lower body and upper body. The third week in this level you start moving from the regular formula and the length of time of exercising starts to vary. One day you might do 2 of the level 2 programs for approximately 55 minutes and the next all three of the bonus dvds for 45 minutes. The intensity level here is around Jillian Micheal's harder 45 minute dvds, the Pink Firm dvds or Shaun T's T25.
The last level takes the biggest time crunch and the workouts are tough but at this point you should be well conditioned and your body more adjusted to the diet so a bigger push will be needed to continue to see results. These workouts really vary the times and are between 30 - 80 minutes and are designed to "confuse" your body with different lengths of training times and intensity. The cardio is mix of kickboxing and plyometrics. The Push and Pull are the dreaded Tabata training that is all the rage now. (Tabata means you perform an activity at max intensity for 20 seconds and recover for ten and rinse and repeat.) Inanity and Cathe exercisers will feel challenged on this level.
As good as the dvds are, for me the real worth of this program is the plan food diet. This is an easy to prepare diet plan that uses real simple food and it is great for a single busy person like myself and could be easily done by a working mom who has to prepare separate/different food for her family. You can follow the plan exactly and use the 82 day menu religiously or you can wing it with the "blueprint" guide and list of allowed foods. And speaking of foods, there is nothing expensive or so fancy you have to be a chef. Sample day: Breakfast: 1/2 oatmeal, cup raspberries and cup green tea. Lunch: 4 oz chicken breast, steamed or grilled zucchini and 1/2 cup brown rice. Dinner: 4 oz. beef tenderloin, green beans and medium sweet potato. If you have a rice cooker, vegetable steamer and George Forman type grill then you are all set. You will also need a good blender to make the smoothies which you will be having for breakfast and post workout snacks a lot. Most "exotic" foods on diet are couscous, quinoa, kale, arugula and few times tofu pops up but you can substitute that. The spices and seasonings one review moaned over being exotic and expensive are basil, dill, garlic, ginger, oregano and rosemary! The diet does list "Bragg's liquid Amino's" which is healthy soy sauce and is carried by Walmart and Amazon and even that is not necessary. Most stores now carry a "store-brand" Stevia that is almost the same price as the artificial sweeteners. Yes, you will have to cook your own meals and take your lunches with you to work. Yes, you might have to actually chop your veges. If times is real big issue then on either Saturday or Sunday chop everything up and prepare your grains for the week. When steaming my veges, I will place four or five servings of meat on top (like three chicken breasts and two pieces of fish) so I get the flavors of the meats on my veges and have several meals ready in case I get home late at night or do not have time in morning to cook my lunch.
The last thing I want to talk about is the much criticized Pink Reset portion of the diet. Yes, if you break this down to calories you probably are talking about around 800. This low calorie part or VLCD is meant to RESET your body and is supposed to be a shock and act as a cleanse. The idea is to jump start your weight loss so you get excited about the program. Also, the idea is to "shrink" your stomach so you get used to the smaller portions and to detox off all the bad stuff you were eating. If you eat a lot of processed and fast foods then this will be a shocker. YOU DO NOT EXERCISE DURING THIS PERIOD. You are eating whole food with UNLIMITED vegetables but no fruit except in smoothies and no grains. Yes, it is slow calories but it is high nutrients and you will not starve to death. The number of days you stay on the reset diet depends on your starting weight and height and varies from 3 - 14 and you stop sooner after you lose between 5 - 10 pounds. You will go back on the Reset for four days before you start levels 2 and 3. There is also the 7-Day Shred for when you are 5 - 10 pounds from your goal or hit a plateau. IF A VLCD IS TOO MUCH FOR YOU THEN JUST DO THE REGULAR DIET INSTEAD or add more veges.