ChaLean Extreme: Push Circuit

Chalene Johnson
Year Released: 2008

Categories: Total Body Workouts

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You really need HEAVY weights to get the most out of this workout. I would consider myself high intermediate for strength (I can meet and in some cases exceed Cathe's weights in PUB for example) for reference. Ionly have db's up to 25 and I really needed 30's to really PUSH. There were some exercises I don't think I could have made it to 6 with the 30's though, 5 lbs is quite a big jump so plate mates would be ideal for this type of workout as well to help you gain smaller strength gains. I liked that these were quick and to the point though. I usually paired one of these with a TF HiiT workout.

Instructor Comments:
Chalene talks quite a bit about "creating your own resistance" and I don't know that I agree with that concept. You can't THINK your way strong - the weight really has to be there to have the impact on your muscles. Pretending that you're working harder than you are is not going to do anything for you. Chalene and crew are very relaxed with each other here. Donna, a bg exerciser who is 60, is such an inspiration. I hope to have her body and attitude when I "grow up"!



Chalean Extreme Push Circuit

These three circuits make up the second phase of the CLX strength program. As with all three phases, there are three workouts (all on one DVD, a separate DVD for each phase) and they are about 30 minutes each, making them the shortest of the three phases (yay!). Exactly like the other phases, they all have the same warm up and cool down and they are all synchronized carefully to music. Interestingly, the tunes for the warm up and cool down changed from the Burn workouts, so although the moves are exactly the same, it has a new and refreshed feel to it. There is a different tune for the warm up, each exercise, and the cool down. I found the music to be very encouraging and refreshing, with an appropriate tempo for each move. As with the Burn workouts, Chalene works out with four other individuals, in an open gym (again with the “sexy” men and women on the TV screens in the back wall). The timer bar is exactly the same as is the somewhat hard to decipher font. If you follow the rotation as recommended, you will complete the Push workouts 1, 2, and 3 once each per week for a total of four weeks and 12 workouts, before moving on to the next and final phase. Again I felt like this gave me time to master the exercises but not get overly bored, once the boredom started to set in it is on to the next circuit.

As in the Burn Circuit workouts, there are four background exercisers, one of which demonstrates the exercises with bands, one demonstrates beginner modifications, and one (along with Chalene) demonstrates using SelectTech weights. The production quality of course is the same throughout the series (high quality), as are the Beach Body commercials, which again can be skipped through (four skips to the workout!)

As a high intermediate exerciser (particularly with strength workouts), I found that I could match Chalene’s poundage on most of the workouts and exceed her on some. She chooses a higher poundage for the Push Circuits (as I did) because this phase does NOT use combination moves, making each move more carefully focused. Also there should have been some strength gains from the Burn phase (there was for me) to use a higher poundage anyway. As others have stated on the VF forum, I found it fun and rewarding to use really heavy poundage, the heaviest I have used before (and since) this phase. It is really an ego booster! :-) Once again the exercises were all very doable and exceptionally well cued, and are easily modifiable both up and down depending on the poundage used.

I felt like the Push Phase was the second most challenging of the three phases, and a logical second phase of the program. This phase uses isolated moves (only working upper or lower at once), which I thought might become mundane but actually I found it really invigorating because of the high poundage used. During the Push Phase, Chalene wants you to fail between 8-10 reps. After the 20 minute mark, if I recall correctly, there is a “Get Extreme” set with an additional three, super slow, exercises. I felt like there was a better variety of exercises in Push than in Burn, and I did enjoy this phase better (although I did enjoy Burn as well, I felt like this was a pleasing improvement). Overall I give the CLX Push Circuit phase an A for good music, production values, excellent instruction, and the invigorating feel of lifting REALLY heavy, which you can do because you only need to do 8-10 reps.

Lean Circuit #1
The first circuit is made up of the following exercises:
1. Warm up
2. Standard Bicep Curl
3. Standard Squat
4. Single Arm Tricep Extension
5. V-Press Biceps (lift in front, rotate to side, lift into a “W” with arms extended to side, lower)
6. Single Leg Squat
7. Overhead Tricep Extension (French press)
8. Hammer Biceps
9. Heel Squat (narrow stance squat)
10. Pushups (standard pushups)
11. Cool down

Push Circuit #2
The second circuit is made up of the following exercises:
1. Warm up
2. Standard Overhead Press (military press)
3. Single Leg Lunge
4. Standing Reverse Fly
5. Standing “Arnold Press” (military press with supinated lift, palms facing you as you lift, palms facing your ears mid way up, palms facing front at the top)
6. Single Leg Dead Lifts (beginner modifier keep leg on floor)
7. Bent over Lat Raise
8. Frontal Shoulder Press (narrow military press)
9. Single Leg Tap Lunges (dip back with leg, drag leg forward, then stand with weight on working leg)
10. Lateral Delt Raise
11. Cool down

Push Circuit #3
The third circuit is made up of the following exercises:
1. Warm up
2. Sumo Squat (plie)
3. Single Arm Row
4. Chest Fly (on floor)
5. Bowler Lunge (curtsey dip)
6. Double Arm Bent Row
7. Bench Press (on floor)
8. Single Leg Sumo Squat (I thought this was awkward as executed, with both legs flat on floor, I raised one heel to better isolate one leg)
9. Reverse Grip Bent Row
10. Long Arm Pullover (skull crushers)
11. Cool down

Instructor Comments:
Chalene is motivational, encouraging, and is an excellent cuer. She does however only do a few reps with you (the first couple and the last couple) and the rest of the time she walks around the room critiquing others’ form, pointing out modifications, and having the camera person zoom in on somebody’s particularly well cut muscle. So in that sense she doesn’t really “do” the workout with you, which seems to be a common Beach Body occurrence (and I can see the positives of doing it this way) although I tend to prefer when the instructor works out with you. This was my first experience with Chalene (after her Burn circuit) and I feel like she is a very good instructor. She is cheerful and chatty but not annoyingly so.

Emily B.