Fit Healthy Momma Rating: 8.5/10
There are 2 workouts that I wanted to clarify and review after trying them for a few months - 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme. I'll show you if it actually works.
If you’re looking for an honest 21 Day Fix review, we’ve got you covered. This review is a little more personal than some of the other reviews you’ll find here at Fit Healthy Momma, but don’t worry, you’ll get all the facts and everything you need to know.
First, I am NOT a Beachbody coach. I never have been. I am, however, someone who has tried the this program (multiple times) and can provide an honest, unbiased 21 Day Fix workouts review.
As a personal trainer, I've tried a lot of home workouts, such as obé fitness for studio-style workouts, pvolve (read my review of p.volve workouts) and fitbod for weightlifting, plus many more.
So, if you’re looking for an easy to use, at-home workout program and the 21 Day Fix is something you’ve considered, listen up because I’m going to tell you everything you need to know—the good and the bad-- to decide if this is a good program for you.
What's The 21 Day Fix Program by Beachbody All About?
The 21 Day Fix is a workout program from Beachbody that’s…you guessed it, 21 days long. There are 7 total workouts, one for each day of the week, for 3 weeks. Before you start to freak out that you don’t get a day off, keep this in mind:
- There are 2 very light workout days: yoga and Pilates
- This is a 3-week program that’s intended to help you kick off your healthy lifestyle—there’s nothing to say you have to work out 7 days a week after this if you don’t want to.
The equipment you need for most of the workouts is a set of light and medium weights, or you can use resistance bands. You’ll also want to have a mat or some kind of padding on the floor. If you don’t have this equipment or are looking for a less intense workout, you can definitely just use your body weight, it will still be a good workout! This is especially true if you’re a beginner or new to working out.
The program comes with a complete meal plan, too. But for the purpose of this post, we’re doing a 21 Day Fix workout review only. We’ll do a deep dive into the meal plan, Portion Fix, at another time.
Who's the Trainer Behind the Workouts?
Anyone who is familiar with Beachbody is likely familiar with one of their most famed trainers, Autumn Calabrese.
Autumn is a mom, trainer and fitness competitor with an impressive track record (and an awesome body to back it up!) Here’s what I love about Autumn and her training style:
- She’s calm and clear in her direction-she’s not as intense as some other instructors
- She very clearly knows what she’s talking about when it comes to fitness
- She’s incredibly motivational without being too intense
Autumn demonstrates each exercise before the timer starts so you can get your form right and know the move. There is also always someone in the video who is modifying the routine, which is great if you’re looking to scale your workout back.
She has a knack for encouraging you to keep going right at the perfect time—you know that time when you feel like giving up? She’ll keep you going.
Who is this Workout Program For?
The 21 Day Fix workout program is perfect for anyone who wants to kickstart their workout routine. Whether you’re a beginner, you’ve fallen into a rut, or you need to step your game up for an upcoming event of summer vacation—these 21 days will give you the foundation and consistency to make working out part of your lifestyle.
The program claims that you can lose up to 15 pounds within the 21 days, while strictly following both the diet and exercise programs, I can’t personally speak to this, but I would say that this claim would apply only to beginners who have a lot of weight to lose.
This is a great workout program for moms. As a mom myself, I can tell you firsthand that one of the main things that attracted me to this program was the fact that these workouts are short and easy to squeeze in the cracks of my day between taking care of kids.
That said, literally, anyone can complete this program and will benefit from it. Whether you need to lose a few pounds, gain a few pounds, tone up, or just start a healthy exercise regime—this workout program will help you to achieve those goals.
Breakdown of 21 day fix's Workouts
There are 7 total workouts, one for each day of the week. The workouts are all just 30 minutes in length. You do each workout one time per week for 3 weeks straight. Here’s a look at what each of the workouts looks like:
Day 1: Total Body Cardio Fix
This workout has 4 rounds with 2 exercises in each round, each lasting a minute with a 20-second break in between exercises. You only need one set of weights for this workout. I did it with 5-pound weights but also did it once without any weights and still had a great workout.
The moves are a nice mix of cardio and strength for the first three rounds and the fourth round is ab exercises on the floor. You’ll find exercises like side shuffles, weighted jog, surrenders, and squats. All of which will get your heart rate up while also toning and strengthening your muscles.
I love that the workout ends with abs, it offers a nice change of pace to finish the workout out.
I was sweating and feeling great every time I did this workout.
Day 2: Upper fix
This workout has 2 rounds with 5 exercises in each round, each exercise lasting for one minute with a 15-second break in between each exercise. It is recommended that you have a set of light weights and a set of heavy weights for this workout.
There is also someone in the class who is using a resistance band in place of the weights-I tried this but I found it hard to follow along because they do not focus on the person who is using the band as much and I tended to get confused and fall behind while trying to position my band correctly.
I am not super experienced with resistance bands so that may have been my issue. If you are accustomed to using resistance bands, I am sure you will have no trouble.
You can expect to work all angles of your upper body in this workout, everything from a push-up to a weighted transverse twist. Most of the moves are classics that most of us are probably familiar with and know to be effective. Upper body is my least favorite body part to work but I actually enjoyed this because quite a few of the moves also work the core a lot and I love core work.
Day 3: Lower Fix
This workout has 4 rounds with 2 exercises each round, each lasting for a minute with a 15 second in between. Again, you will want 2 sets of weights, a light, and a heavy set. You can also substitute a band here. The moves here are also very basic but effective. By the time the 60 seconds is up, your muscles will definitely be fatigued and burning. This is one of my favorites!
Day 4: Pilates Fix
The only equipment you need for this workout is a yoga mat. The workout starts with a bit of a longer warm-up then progresses through a plank series, c-series (leaned back, c-curve in the spine), side-lying series and finally a superman series. I personally love Pilates so this is one of my favorite workouts in the program. It is definitely less intense than most of the other workouts in 21 Day Fix but it is great for an active recovery day and to get lean muscle tone.
Day 5: Cardio Fix
This workout has 4 rounds with 2 exercises each round, each lasting a minute with a 20-second break in between. There is no equipment necessary for this workout. This class incorporates a lot of classic cardio moves like high knees and crisscross jacks which are super-efficient at getting your heart rate up and will definitely exhaust you by the end of 60 seconds.
There are also a couple of moves in there that are done at a slower pace to assist in letting you catch your breath and lower your heart rate before jumping back into a more intense move. Similar to the total body cardio fix, this workout always left me sweating.
Day 6: Dirty 30
This workout has 4 rounds with 2 exercises each round, each lasting a minute with a 15-second break in between. This workout recommends 2 sets of weights, a light and a heavy or a resistance band. This is a full-body strength workout. You will go through several exercises that work multiple muscle groups at once so although this is a strength training workout, your heart rate will still go up. This was another one of my favorites for the program.
Day 7: Yoga Fix
This workout is purposely placed as your last workout of the week to stretch all of your muscles out-and trust me it will be a welcomed break! This workout includes common yoga moves that emphasize posture and form. It’s the perfect way to end an intense week of workouts.
What Equipment is Needed?
The recommended equipment for this program is free weights, a yoga mat, and an optional resistance band. When I did the program, I used free weights that ranged from 5-15 pounds. Ideally, you’ll have weights that match your fitness level.
For example, if you’re a total beginner, you’ll want to start low with your weights—3-5 pounds will suffice. Conversely, if you’re an experienced athlete, be sure to choose a weight that will challenge your strength and be conducive to building more.
Lastly, you should invest in a good pair of cross-training sneakers to protect your feet and body during the workouts. We love this pair and this pair.
21 Day Fix Original Vs. Real-Time
The original workout program debuted back in 2014 and was a mega success. While the original 21 Day Fix is still as relevant and effective as ever, Autumn and the Beachbody team decided to re-release the 21 Day Fix, this time in a real-time format.
The new, 21 Day Fix Real-Time features some of the same cast members of the original version, along with some favorites from Autumn’s other mega-hit program 80-Day Obsession. This time, the workouts are all different—so you’re repeating the same schedule of workouts each week, but the cast shot them in real-time so each workout, each week is a little different.
The thing that I personally enjoyed about the new format is that the workouts get progressively a bit harder as you progress through the three weeks of the program. For example, you’ll always do leg day, but week two might include a tougher variation of the same moves to ramp up the exertion and maximize your results.
How to Stream it: Can I Stream it On My Smart TV?
Streaming the the workouts is easy, all you need is a Beachbody on-demand membership and then you can download the Beachbody app on your phone, computer, smart TV, or other devices.
You can start your Beachbody membership for free and have a 14-day trial—this is awesome because you can complete over half of the program before you ever have to pay…and trust me, by the time you’re two weeks in, you’re going to want to finish it out.
The 21 Day Fix Extreme Workout Program Review
You may have also heard of 21 Day Fix Extreme; this is essentially a more advanced version of the 21 Day Fix. It’s a great program to do immediately following the original program as the format is the same, but the workouts are taken to the next level.
If you’re an intermediate to advanced athlete, you can skip the orginal program and go right for the Extreme version, it just depends on your personal goals and capabilities. However, if you’re a beginner, I definitely advise beginning with the original program first.
What I Like About The Program
- Short, 30-minute workouts
- Autumn is a fantastic trainer
- The workouts are engaging
- There are always modifications shown, with a dedicated modifier each workout
- Included meal plan and meal containers
- Workout whenever, wherever you want
- Minimal equipment required
What I Don't Like
- Your repeat the same workout three times throughout the program
- Advanced level exercisers may find some of the workouts to be too easy
Final Verdict: Does 21 day fix actually work?
Overall, I loved the workouts in this program. In my opinion, it has the perfect mix of cardio and strength training to keep your body guessing throughout the week. My muscles were always sore after each workout, so I knew I was challenging myself.
Like anything in life, you will get out of these workouts that you put into them. If you are looking for a program that has a variety of workouts and focuses on all areas of your body without being too intense, this is your program.
From the perspective of a busy mom, the length of the workout is perfect, I think we can all find 30 minutes in our day somewhere to fit it in (even if you have to press pause a time or two)!
Keep in mind that this is a 21 day fix workouts only review, we didn’t review the meal plan, therefore we aren’t going to comment on any weight-loss claims.
I hope this review helped you as you decide whether or not Beach Body’s 21 Day Fix program is right for you. The good news is that if you sign up for the Beach Body On Demand 14-Day Free Trial, you can choose from their entire library of workouts.
Speaking of variery, if you're someone who likes to mix things up with their workouts (like me!), HIIT on day, pilates the next, you may want to check out Obe Fitness. This platform features hundreds of live and prerecorded workouts and has actually been my go-to place to workout for months now. The classes are just 28 minutes long, they leave me feeling so strong and sweaty, and you can get your first month at 50% when you use my code TAMI50.