21 Day Fix BarreAutumn Calabrese
Year Released: 2014
Categories: Ballet/Barre, Lower Body Strength
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The 21 Day Fix system is a series of seven workouts (plus several optional routines) plus a nutrition plan designed to change your body when followed as specified for 21 days. The workouts are led by Autumn Calabrese, who teaches each routine live with a group of approximately six background exercisers. In general, Calabrese sets up each move and then walks around the room, offering words of encouragement and pushing the class members to perform.
Barre Legs is one of the add-on workouts for 21 Day Fix, and the theme (each workout has a theme) is "You may not be there yet, but you're closer than you were yesterday." When doing the rotation, I used this workout back-to-back after Lower Fix, which I found worked for a one-hour lower body routine. Unlike the other Fix workouts, Barre Legs is not done in rounds. Rather, each exercise is performed for 20 repetitions, pulsed 20 times, and then held for 30 seconds. There isn't as much for Cat to modify here--i.e., no weights are used, and there is no impact--but she does modify a few moves. I actually made some of the exercises more difficult by holding a light weight against the working leg.
The Warm-Up is EXACTLY the same on ALL 21 Day Fix workouts: Calabrese starts with a light jog and then moves through jumping jacks, side reaches, "windmills" (large alternating arm circles front and back), overhead reaches to either side, and alternating toe touches (about 3 minutes total). The exercises in the workout are listed below.
Standing Front Leg Lift
Split (static) Lunge
Standing Attitude (rear leg lift)
All Fours Heel Press
Standing Calf Raise
Side Lying Leg Lift
All of the cool-downs for the 21 Day Fix are basically the same. This one is about 3 1/2 minutes and starts on the floor in child's pose (L-R), seated forward bend, butterfly forward bend, wide-leg forward bend/revolved, seated side stretch, and finish standing for a quad stretch.
I find Autumn's instructor to be just okay. She does mirror cue, which is nice, and she offers decent form pointers at times. But I'm not a fan of the walk around the room style of instructing, which comes across more like a drill sergeant to me; I find it much more motivating when the instructor does the workout right along with me the entire time. Also, I don't like the ways in which Autumn says things that could unnecessarily lead you to push yourself to injury, such as "you can do anything for 60 seconds!" (no, sometimes you can't) and suggesting that you should be getting "all the way down to the ground" when stretching.
This is a review of 21 Day Fix, the Barre Fix workout.
This workout is led by Autumn Calabrese. She is a personal trainer and bikini competitor. With Beachbody, she created a system utilizing color coded containers to use for portion control and workouts to be done in conjunction. The review is for the workout only.
Barre Fix is on the same disc as Plyo Fix. This disc is an add-on purchase to the basic 21 Day Fix package.
Autumn is instructing a crew of 6 background exercisers, one man and 5 women. One woman, Kat, shows modifications to make the moves less intense or to help with balance. Autumn is wearing a sports bra type top and workout shorts and the other backgrounders are also wearing athletic clothing. Thereís more chatter from the background exercisers in this workout than in others. I didnít find it distracting as most of the talk was commenting on how the exercises made the muscles burn, which was exactly my experience. I was glad to know I wasnít the only one suffering.
Set and Music: The set is brightly lit and is meant to resemble a gym. The music is typical of Beachbody and is pretty non-descript and is not noticeably good or bad.
Equipment: No equipment is needed as these are all bodyweight exercises. You will want to have a towel and water nearby. A couple of the exercises are done lying on the floor so you may want a mat if your floor is uncomfortable. The modifier uses a chair on some exercises to help with balance.
The workout starts with a warm up, then goes into the meat of the workout, and ends with a brief cool down/stretch. There is a consistent pattern to each exercise which is 20 single count reps, 20 pulsing reps, and a 30 second hold.
Warm up: jogging in place, jumping jacks, windmill arms (both forward and back), side reaches (both right and left), and alternating toe touches. The moves in the warm up are repeated again.
Exercises: sumo squat, squat, standing front leg lift (right, then left), static lunge (right, then left), standing attitude lift (right, then left), on all fours leg lift and press, standing calf raises, and side leg lifts.
The cool down/stretch is about 3 minutes long and consists of childís pose (forward, right, then left) forward fold, straddle stretch (center, right, then left), straddle side stretch (right, then left)butterfly stretch, and standing quad stretch (right, then left).
As demonstrated by Autumn this workout is a solid intermediate level. I would be hard pressed how to make this more advanced as this is a bodyweight routine with limited reps. That being said, the reps do add up and my muscles would be burning at the end of the exercise pattern. The modifier doesnít really need to modify much as the exercises are pretty basic. Mostly she doesnít go down as low or uses a chair to aid balance. She doesnít show alternate moves for squats and lunges which may prove challenging for those with knee or hip issues. Overall this is a good, solid lower body bodyweight workout. It does cover all the bases and includes the calves which are often overlooked in a lower body workout.
Autumn is a pleasant instructor. Maybe itís because this was a barre inspired workout and/or the amount of female exercisers, but Autumn came off as more relaxed and personable than she has in other workouts in this series.