With the dawn of COVID-19 and the shutdown of gyms nationwide, the online fitness industry has quite literally exploded.
I personally haven’t been a gym-goer since before my children were born, which means I’ve been working out at home for about four years now. Do I miss the gym? Yes, sometimes. Do I have time for it? Not right now.
So when I was approached by Caliber Fitness to trial their brand new personal training app, I immediately said yes! I am always open to seeing what’s out there for home workouts.
As I write this, I am about 3 weeks into my experience. Here is my honest review of the Caliber Fitness App and platform so far.
What is Caliber Fitness?
Although I used to go to the gym quite frequently in my pre-baby days, admittedly, I was also super intimidated by all the weights and machines. I had never been trained properly on anything and therefore clung to the cardio machines like it was my job.
Since working from home, I’ve discovered platforms like Beachbody On Demand which has led me to introduce strength training into my life. The Caliber method is grounded in weight training.
Although it’s an at-home strength workout application, it’s completely different than anything I have ever used before. Their approach is not one of group teaching as is the case with just about any other platform I’ve tried (and I’ve tried a lot, such as obé fitness, which is awesome and you'll want to check out!). Instead, this is online personal training.
Who hasn’t dreamt of having a personal trainer to help you reach your goals and keep you accountable? I know I sure did but was never in a position to have one.
With Caliber, you get your very own personal trainer assigned to you for a fraction of what it would cost you to have one in real life.
This program is designed to give you the same experience of having a personal trainer, but without ever needing to leave your home. They match you with a trainer who not only designs a fitness plan for you but will also help you every step of the way with check-ins and accountability.
My Experience So Far
When I first got invited to use the application, I was greeted by a question that asked me what my goal was. There are three options:
- Build Muscle
- Get Leaner
- Gain Strength
Then, I was asked a series of questions about myself, my goals, lifestyle, equipment available, etc. Once I answered all the questions, I was given an assessment and plan for achieving my goals with Caliber Fitness.
As I write this, I am only about 3 weeks into my experience with Caliber, so I will definitely be coming back in to provide some updates, but here’s what I think so far.
Initial Thoughts and Reviews
After I completed the assessment, I was given access to the app and was immediately greeted by a series of lessons and introductions to go through. My initial thought on the platform was that it was really easy to use and looked really good, too!
It was immediately clear to me that the creators put a lot of thought into the functionality of the app and worked to make it as easy-to-use and comprehensive as possible.
Within a day or two of getting set up on the app, I received a message from my personal trainer, Alicia. She introduced herself warmly, asked me some questions, and gave me an idea of what my training program would look like.
I really liked that there was a picture of her on the app so that I could get an idea of who I was working with. It feels very legitimate and like we have a real connection.
The messaging with my trainer was simple, and I got alerts on my phone just as I would with a text message when Alicia sends me a message, which I love.
Within a couple of days of introductions, Alicia put together a fitness program for me that includes four days of strength training targeted muscle groups and three days of cardio of my choice mixed in.
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I wasn’t surprised when I saw that the four strength training workouts were very targeted and strictly strength-based. With many other programs out there that I’ve tried, there always seems to be a mix of cardio, HIIT, strength, and plyometrics - this is different and I was honestly excited to try it out.
I know the importance and value of strength training but still have a “the more you sweat, the more you’re working” mindset sometimes. It’s taken me some work to slow down and enjoy the slow, less-sweaty burn that I get with strength-based training.
Each workout is easy to access and simple to log your reps and weights. There is a preview video clip showing the proper form of the movement for you to reference so you can know you’re performing the move correctly. There is also a recommended rep range to strive for.
For the first segment of my program, I was given the following workouts:
- Legs & Abs
- Chest & Triceps
- Back & Biceps
- Shoulders & Traps
Lower body and core are my favorite areas to work, so I was a bit disappointed to see only one day designated for those areas, but I am trusting the process and I know that each muscle group is important, so I’m sticking with it.
Each workout takes me between 30-45 minutes and I mix them up through the week with cardio, which allows me to get a good sweat on. Each week, the goal is to improve from the week before.
I have been doing the same four strength workouts for all three weeks so far and each week I am progressing by upping my weights and/or reps. I love that the app will show you how many reps and at what weight you used the week before so you can progress accordingly.
What Equipment Do You Need?
Obviously my home gym isn’t stocked with the same equipment that you can access at the gym, so I was a little nervous that I might not have enough equipment to effectively do the workouts. However, before my training plan was given to me, my trainer asked me what equipment I had access to at home, and then she built my program around what I have access to.
I have several pairs of dumbbells ranging from 5-20 pounds, some bands, a bench, and a kettlebell.
Once I got my plan, I found that I could easily work with everything I already had and that there was plenty of room for me to grow.
Should You Give It a Try?
If you’re looking for a personalized approach to fitness that’s custom-designed to meet your unique goals, then absolutely you should give Caliber a try. The cost is $99 per month, which comes out to like $3 per day for personal training which is unheard of.
Yes, it’s true that you never meet your trainer in person, however, the app is setup in a way that allows you to send pictures, videos, and messages to your trainer where they can provide feedback, advice, and tips for you.
If you’re looking to get stronger, build lean muscle, and shed some weight, but feel intimidated by the gym or have no idea what you’re doing at home, you’re going to love this program. You literally get your very own personal trainer with whom you can consult with any time you want and who custom-designs a workout plan for you.
As gyms are closing, with many that will never re-open, working out from home is the future. The good news is, you don’t have to do it alone. With Caliber and your trainer, you literally get walked through the whole process and you learn a lot along the way!
I love reading through their weekly lessons, tips, and information. I find it to be extremely helpful as I navigate the program and understand what kinds of changes I can expect.
I plan to continue with this platform for at least the next nine weeks, so I will be coming back in and updating as I go along.
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