ChaLEAN Extreme Review

Review of: ChaLEAN Extreme
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On December 4, 2013
Last modified:December 4, 2013


ChaLEAN Extreme is a great weight training program for beginners/intermediate level exercisers. It will help you to burn fat, lose weight and fire up your metabolism.

chalean extreme review

I purchased ChaLEAN Extreme in July 2009 to get ready for my wedding in 2010. Since I had enjoyed Chalenes previous workout program Turbo Jam so much, I just knew I had to have this one. ChaLEAN Extreme is a 12 week weight training program that will help you burn fat, boost your metabolism, and get lean.

Beachbody trainer Chalene Johnson uses cardio and resistance training in a brand-new way to get you better results in less time. Now you can burn up to 60% of your body fat in just 3 months and see visible results every 30 days. The secret is Lean Phasing. Chalene Johnson’s technique shifts your fat-burning focus from cardio to resistance training. By adding resistance training in 3 steps, you’ll build lean muscle, and that’s what supercharges your metabolism so you burn fat long after your workout—even while you sleep.

ChaLEAN Extreme comes with 15 workouts on 6 DVDs (5 days per week with the longest workout lasting 45 minutes), Extreme Motivation CD, Pro-Grade Resistance Band, Thigh Toner Band, Body Fat Tester, Muscle Burns Fat Guidebook and Fat Burning Food Guide.

chalean extreme review

The Workouts

DVD 1: Burn Basics/Healthy Eats & Kitchen Makeover (1 workout): Before you start, Chalene teaches you the proper form and technique for the resistance moves you’ll be doing in the program, whether you’re using weights or bands
DVD 2: Burn Circuit 1, Burn Circuit 2, Burn Circuit 3 (3 workouts): This is Step 1 of ChaLEAN Extreme. You start lifting weights to jump-start your metabolism and break down those “extra” reserves of fat. In these moderate training workouts, you’ll use a rep range of 10-12  while working your upper body then lower body.  She will then mix it up every third or fourth exercise by adding in an “extreme set” where she will give you a ten second rest, and then have you do three more extremely slow repetitions of the exercise you just completed to help break down the muscle tissue.
DVD 3: Push Circuit 1, Push Circuit 2, Push Circuit 3 (3 workouts): This is Step 2 of ChaLEAN Extreme. Chalene shows you how to lift heavy—beyond your comfort zone—so you build the muscle you need to burn fat. Here you focus on either upper body or lower body for each exercise with a rep range of  8-10 reps. Chalene makes it easier than it sounds with incredibly fast results.
DVD 4: Lean Circuit 1, Lean Circuit 2, Lean Circuit 3 (3 workouts): This is Step 3 of ChaLEAN Extreme. Here is where you really bring it home with new routines and dynamic moves that literally melt the fat off your body. You will be blown away with jaw-dropping results and rewarded with a brand-new body. The lean phase is back to using a rep range of 10-12 while using your upper body, lower body and core in each move.  The challenge this month is that she adds an “extreme set” after every move.
DVD 5: Burn Intervals, Burn it off!, Recharge (3 workouts): Burn Intervals and Burn it Off DVDs consist of 1-2 minutes of high intensity cardiovascular training, followed by 1-2 minutes of muscle endurance work.  Here she will have you lift very light weights for many repetitions. Recharge is a 20 minute yoga/stretch focused workout.
DVD 6: Ab burner, Extreme Abs (2 workouts) : These two BONUS workouts help you shrink, tighen, and tone your core for rock hard abs.

Helpful Tools

BONUS: Pro-Grade Resistance Band: Helps you burn fat and tone muscle faster.
BONUS: Thigh Toner Band: Adds some extra oomph to your lower-body resistance training.
BONUS: Fat-Burning Food Guide: Shows you what to eat in each step to maximize fat burning.
Muscle Burns Fat Guidebook: Includes workout calendars to show you which workout to do each day and how much weight to lift.
Body Fat Tester: Measures your body fat at each stage and help you see how much you’ll lose month-to-month.

You can view the ChaLEAN Extreme workout schedule/calendar here.

This workout can be done with either resistance bands or dumbbells. The adjustable dumbbells used in the workouts are called Bowflex SelectTech Adjustable Dumbbells. These are adjustable Dumbells that range from 5-52lbs each which can be adjusted by just turning the dial on the end. I purchased some of these dumbbells in 2009 and still use them for every strength training workout. I purchased mine off Ebay (dumbbells with stand) but they can also be purchased here (for those of you in Australia). If you are located in America, they can easily be found on Amazonor through the Bowflex website. Keep in mind that they are expensive and are not absolutely necessary. As long as you have resistance bands or a few different weighted dumbbells you will be good to go.

I had good results with this workout program which helped me lose weight for my wedding (33lbs/15kg) and I lost inches all over. Chalene Johnson is great as always, motivating you and pushing you to your max. I however, didn’t enjoy Chalean Extreme as much as I thought I would. I felt like the weight training workouts were a bit too slow paced, and lacked the upbeat music that Turbo Jam had (which of course you can combat by using your own music). Because of this I found I didn’t enjoy it as much as I would have hoped. I did two rounds of this workout program a few months apart, but the second time I skipped the Burn Phase. I found the burn phase too easy and somewhat unnecessary, especially for those of you who are used to lifting weights. I also found the results lacking in the burn phase compared to the other two phases. I did find I enjoyed it more the second time through, having skipped the Burn Phase. I did however enjoy the cardio endurance workouts as they were a bit different from her usual style cardio workouts. I should also mention that in order to see great results, you need to clean up your diet. What you eat plays a major role in this workout program.

Check out the video of ChaLEAN Extreme below:


If you are someone who is new to weight training and upbeat music isn’t an issue for you, then Chalean Extreme is a great place to start. If you have been lifting weights for a while and are looking for more of a challenge, then I would recommend a program such as P90X.


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