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Does 21 Day Fix Extreme Work? Workout Reviews (Complete List)


21 Day Fix Extreme Review

By: Julia Nowak – TEAM RAGE Contributing Author (and my wife!)



21 Day Fix Extreme Review


About a year ago I completed the 21 Day Fix Extreme (21DFX) program for the first time. (You can read my program review and see my before/after photos from my first round here.) At that time I was rebounding from several months of inactivity due to a back injury and looking to tone up and gain some muscle. Fast forward to one year later—I have continued working towards my fitness goals and have completed both Hammer & Chisel and Body Beast. At the end of these programs I felt I had gained muscle, but wasn’t as lean as I would like to be. Despite having 6-pack abs I was feeling thicker in my clothes than I wanted! So… bring on Round Two of 21DFX! My before photos (see below) are actually my after photos from Body Beast. I did the programs back to back. I mention this because I want to be clear that I am full-on flexing and posing in my 21DFX before photos—my results are real and not exaggerated by “not really flexing in the before pic”.


So, what did I do differently this time?


— I didn’t modify the workouts. During my first round I modified many of the workouts to make sure I didn’t reinjure my back. This round I felt ready to give it 100%.


—  Adding on to the comment on modification, I also went up with the weights. This round my “lights” were usually 8 lbs; my “heavys” were usually 12 lbs.


— I followed the Countdown to Competition (C2C) plan for the full 21 days. This plan is one day of the standard “Extreme” nutrition followed by two days of the low-carb/high-protein “Countdown to Competition” nutrition. I also followed Autumn’s guidance to limit dairy, which can cause bloating.


During this round I also decided to keep track of each workout, via heart rate monitor, so I could share this analysis with anyone interested seeing how the workouts compare both with each other and/or with other programs. I do not recommend comparing the heart rate analysis data with Mike’s previous detailed reviews of P90X3, Insanity Max:30, Hammer & Chisel, 22 Minute Hard Corps and Body Beast since it will not be an apples-to-apples comparison. Most of our data (and others on our team) indicate that heart rate values for men are significantly higher than women, on average. Regardless, the data here WILL be an excellent relative comparison of the challenge of the 21 Day Fix Extreme workouts. Enjoy my 21 Day Fix Extreme Review!!




The Data Analysis Summary


Check out the summary below of the heart rate analysis for all 11 workouts for 21 Day Fix Extreme, which includes the two deluxe workouts (ABC Extreme and Power Strength Extreme) plus the 10 Minute Core workout. Data shown includes average and max heart rates, calories burned, normalized calories per workout time and workout zones. The data was acquired with the Polar H7 Bluetooth enabled heart rate monitor (chest strap) synced to my iPhone using the free Polar Beat Mobile App and Polar Flow.


21 Day Fix Extreme Review Heart Rate Analysis Summary Table


21 Day Fix Extreme Review Heart Rate Analysis Graph


21 Day Fix Extreme Review Heart Rate Analysis Regression


The data set looks relatively strong for comparison and conclusions. All workouts demonstrate less than 350 calories burned, however, average and max heart rates show a range of values. Plyo Fix Extreme is clearly the most challenging workout from a heart rate analysis perspective based on the these results, which is not surprising given the interval test of Plyo workouts. Mike has been using percentage of workout in max zones 4/5 as an indicator of difficulty of workouts, but most 21 Day Fix Extreme workouts here do not register much in the elevated heart rate zones. With that said, these workouts are not easy and heart rate analysis is just one way to measure efficiency-effectiveness of workouts.


My Results


Overall on this round of 21DFX I lost 7.5 lbs, which is significant on my petite frame. I am 5’0” and went from 119 lbs to 111.5 lbs—definitely lost the “bulk” I was hoping to shred! I notice it most around my midsection and upper thighs, where, not surprisingly, I also lost the most inches. While the difference in my before and after photos isn’t as striking this round as it was for my first, I was starting at very different points each time. I feel much leaner and more comfortable in my clothes. I definitely feel that I met the goal I set for myself!!


Julia Nowak 21 Day Fix Extreme Round 2 Results



Final Thoughts


I have been blown away by my results with this program both times I’ve done it. I’ve started “soft” after a long break and “hard” after completing two other workout programs, and have been very happy with my results both times. It’s a proven system and if you follow it, it works. It’s impossible to eat this clean and workout this hard for 21 days and not see a change in your body—no matter where your starting point is.

Bottom line? I have done this program twice and I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again (including the CTC calendar) any time I have a big event coming up. The results are real and the program is tried and true!!



The Workouts


Plyo Fix Extreme

As the name implies, this 30-minute workout is one jump move after the next: squat jumps, skaters, split squats, burpees, etc. Of course, in true 21DFX-style, nearly every move is weighted. The workout is comprised of 5 rounds. Each round consists of two moves—each is done for 30 seconds and there is a 30-second rest in between, then the two moves are repeated. For this workout I used 8-lb “light” weights and 12-lb “heavy” weights. Of course, Autumn throws in her signature “bonus round” at the end—a one-minute, all-out lunge/squat combo. Killer!



Cardio Fix Extreme

This cardio routine includes 4 rounds. Each round has three moves. The first two moves are each done for a minute, then there is a 30-second cardio interval move (jumping jacks, running in place, high knees, etc), and then round is repeated. Most of the moves are weighted, using light and medium weights (I used 5s and 8s), though it also includes a handful of unweighted moves like shuffle burpees and fast feet. Autumn does a good job of pairing the moves so that your heart doesn’t explode, but your heart rate does stay up the whole time. In many programs the cardio day is a lighter day…not in this one!



Yoga Fix Extreme

There are two active rest days in the 21DFX program—Yoga Fix Extreme is one of them. It’s a fast-paced flow yoga routine that incorporates a series of moves to work on strength, balance, and flexibility. There are modifiers to follow for both easier and more advanced moves, depending on your level of fitness. You might feel like skipping yoga because you want a rest day (and it’s “just” yoga, right?)—don’t! It’s a great stretch and recovery after a week of more intense workouts.



Dirty 30 Extreme

If you’re familiar with 21 Day Fix, you’ll recognize the style of this workout. Dirty 30 Extreme is a total-body workout with three Rounds—there are two one-minute exercises in each round, and each round repeats. All of the moves are designed to hit more than one muscle group: squats with a shoulder press, side lunge with a sword pull, front lunge with a row/curl, etc. Many of the moves are done for one minute on each side, so even with only three rounds the workout is half an hour…especially when you add in Autumn’s signature Bonus Round—a weighted plank crunch that hits your arms and core.



Lower Fix Extreme

Autumn loooves leg days. This workout is a mix of weighted moves, plyo moves, and band work. Have your heavy and light weights handy (though the lights are optional—only if you need to lighten the load to finish), plus your resistance band. It’s four rounds, two exercises each round, and the two moves are repeated. In the first three rounds each move is a 30-second weighted move followed by a 30-second plyo move, both targeting the same muscle group—weighted squats followed by squat jumps, weighted front lunges followed by a front kick, etc. The last round uses the resistance band for heel presses and lateral band walks, really targeting the glutes and outer thighs.



Pilates Fix Extreme

If you’re familiar with Pilates workouts, you’ll recognize many of the moves in this workout: the hundred, teasers, scissors, roll-downs, etc. The difference between traditional Pilates workouts and Pilates Fix Extreme is the addition of a resistance band. It takes the workout to a different level. There are no “rounds” in this one—each move is done for a minute and then you move on to the next move. The workout is broken up into sequences that target the core, the lower body, and the upper body, though your abs will be feeling it the entire time!



Upper Fix Extreme

This workout consists of three rounds, four moves in each round, and those four moves repeat. You’ll need a set of light and heavy weights, a resistance band, and a mat (if your workout surface is hard). Round One works chest and back with pushups, wide-grip rows, chest flyes, and lat pull-downs. Round Two works shoulders and abs with military presses, twisted oblique crunches, post delt flyes, and dolphins. Round Three hits biceps and triceps with hammer curls, tricep dips, concentration curls, and tricep extensions. The workout is based on a drop set, so most of the moves are done for 30 seconds with heavy weights then 30 seconds with lighter weights. The other moves are done for a full minute. With very little rest between each move, your arms and shoulders will be burning by the end.



10 Minute Hardcore

This is the 10-minute ab workout that falls into the schedule a few times/week. It uses a moderate weight (I used an 8-lb dumbell) to up the intensity—classic moves like crunches, hip-drops and c-curve passes are taken up a notch by adding a little extra weight. Autumn makes sure to target upper abs, lower abs, and especially the obliques. Each move is done for a minute. With only 6 different moves (two of which are repeated on each side), you’d think it’d be an easy and quick workout, but it’s definitely an ab burner.



Power Strength Extreme

This workout is one of the two extra workouts that comes with the Ultimate Package. The workout consists of nine exercises, done in two rounds—they are done through once and then repeated. The workout is designed to be a total body workout. Moves like V-Ups, Extended Crunches, and Flip Crunches target the core, while moves like Frog Hops and Quad crawl get the legs burning. Each exercise is done for a minute with very little rest in between. None of the moves require weights and a mat is optional, so this is a great workout to consider if you’re away from home. No equipment required!



ABC Extreme

Anyone familiar with Autumn Calabrese’s workouts knows that her favorite areas to work are core and legs—so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that she developed an Extreme workout to target these areas. A, B, and C stand for Abs, Butt, and Cardio. This workout, which comes with the Ultimate Package, consists of two identical rounds with 11 moves in each round. The moves alternate between lower-body/plyo exercises (like Squat Taps, Squat Jumps, Lunge Arabesques, etc) and ab moves (Accordions, Side Plank Drops, C-curve twists, etc). This workout requires a mat, and light and heavy weights. Most of the moves, including the ab moves, are weighted.



The Fix Challenge

This body-weight pyramid-style workout is actually a bonus workout that you’ll receive for free if you order 21DFX through your Coach. It can be used in place of Cardio Extreme, and after trying both workouts, I definitely prefer the Challenge. It’s a great full-body workout and I personally love the psychological challenge! The workout consists of 13 rounds. The first round has one move—Surrenders. The second round has two moves—Surrenders + Inchworms. The third round has three moves—Surrenders + Inchworms + DownDownUpUps. You get the idea. By the 13th round you’re doing 13 moves and definitely sweating…and then there’s a bonus 14th round. I loved it!





21 Day Fix Extreme Review

21 Day Fix Extreme Review

I hope you enjoyed my 21 Day Fix Extreme Review



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Premiere 5 Star Diamond Independent Beachbody Coach, CEO and Founder of TEAM RAGE, Mike Nowak Fitness, and How Do I Get Ripped, LLC. You are about to learn how I went from out-of-shape busy dad with significant travel, 2 kids and a wife to losing 20 pounds, 16% body fat and 7" off my waist while getting paid more income from home than my Ph.D. in Science & Engineering. Retired my Ph.D. career to focus on FAMILY & FITNESS!


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