Beachbody’s 21 Day Fix – The Complete Review


It’s time to bring you the only review on the Internet that matters for Beachbody’s 21 Day Fix program.  Where have I been? Fishing.  But instead of merely catching fish like so many of you common peasants do, I can honestly say I officially punched a ten pound Northern Pike in its smug, slimy fish face.  I’m not even kidding when I say that.


But enough about my crimes against nature, what makes 21 Day Fix so special?  Kids, you know you’ve once again come to the right place where yours truly is untainted by the Beachbody Coach epidemic that is infecting so many reviews like the Andromeda Strain.  So hop in my boat and ride with me.  Together we will see what this program is like and if we’re lucky, punch many fish.

Your Trainer

Up until I got this program I did not know who Autumn Calabrese was.  I was just concerned she spent too much time on a medieval stretcher because the Beachbody full page spread looks a bit out of proportion at first glance.

It would seem she is a professional bikini model ( well of course she is silly! ) which means you women need to understand this is not the sole means by which she gets into competition shape.

What you get:

21-Day-Fix_kitSeven workouts on two DVD’s ( the image on the site implies many DVD’s.  Not so. ), nutrition guide, workout calendar.  There’s also a bonus 3-day Quick Fix workout, “Dirty 30” that Autumn uses before photoshoots.

The main difference between this and a typical workout series is the inclusion of a whole lotta BPA Free imitation tupperware.  The containers are color coded to be used as follows:

  • Green—Vegetables
  • Purple—Fruit
  • Red—Protein
  • Yellow—Carbohydrates
  • Blue—Healthy Fats and Cheese
  • 2 Orange—Seeds and Oils

Last but not least, also included is a special shaker cup that is rigged to explode if used for anything but Shakeology.


What you need:

Some weights and a yoga mat should do it.  The program is designed for the beginner in mind.


It’s the first look at the set and cast.  We have the requisite team of demonstrators which also include one brave lady who is a bit overweight to serve as the modifier and two guys in the back to fill the testosterone quota.

We kick the workout off with a fairly easy warm-up.  So much so I was kind of laughing.  Believe me, I wasn’t laughing long.  Autumn has you grabbing some weight which can take any simple move and amplify the intensity accordingly.  As such, this was as hard as a T25 workout if not more so.

The format is three rounds with each round done twice before moving on.  There is a fourth round but it is devoted to abs.

First impressions?  I like Autumn as a trainer for one basic reason: she comes off as authentic.  I’ll admit, that was my main worry before starting this program.  Why?  Ok, there’s no way for me to say this without sounding like a chauvinist so I’m just going to come out with it…many female trainers in workout videos come off as a bit hyper-cheerleaderish and constantly smiling like a mannequin.   Thankfully Autumn avoids that pitfall.



I’ve done practically every yoga workout that Beachbody has thrown out there so this one easily fits into any other program where a yoga component is required.  It is the usual fare: sun salutations, warrior postures, balance, and some ground-work stretching. The music is nice and the atmosphere good for a nice day of taking care of the muscles.

Again, there’s nothing really revolutionary here in terms of the moves themselves.  But even in its simplicity it works great.


I would say this is an excellent workout for most women’s physical goals because it is high reps/low weight.  Men…not so much.   If you have a Body Beast need to lift big this will not fulfil that desire.   Yes, the average dude will get a good burn but not the gamma-irradiated results they are longing for.  So ladies, this one’s all yours!



4 rounds, 2 exercises each round.  Each exercise lasts one minute with a 15 second break in between.  Much like Upper Fix, you’ll be asked to use a light and a heavy weight but again keep in mind that the reps are high so you’ll have to put those 50 pounders aside for now!

The workout is comprised of squats, lunges, calf raises and some glute work.  It’s a very effective workout that goes after all the parts of the waist on down and I highly doubt anyone would find this easy.  I would maybe emphasize that this would appeal to women far more as it will be more prone to make one lean than gain any discernible mass.

Also, is it just me or does Autumn say “Yah” a lot?  Not “yeah”…I mean “Yah.”  Reminds me of the old days back home in Manitoba talking to the local farmers about the price of pork.



This is a very concise abdominal/core workout, but I’m uncertain about what makes it classify as “pilates”.  In terms of moves there is very little that would be different from a standard ab-blaster, although I suppose the moves are held longer.  If you use this in that way you will be quite satisfied.  The only other pilates routine I have done is from P90X3 and the two are very different.


Everybody jump!

Six rounds, 2 exercises each round that go for thirty seconds.  If you’ve seen plyo before you know what to expect;  standing jumps, squat jumps, tuck jumps, frog jumps, burpee jumps…jumping everywhere I say!

This one is easily customizable to be as easy or as difficult as you need it to be.  The modifier never leaves the floor but the more experienced of the crew go for the ceiling.  Take it all the way to Asylum levels if you have springs in your legs…that’s the beauty of plyometric training.



So what’s the difference between this and Total Body Cardio Fix?  For starters you will not be using weights as you did with TBCF nor will you technically be going after multiple muscle groups.  This is more along the lines of old school moving the booty.

In similar fashion it is 4 rounds, 2 exercises per round that last a minute.  You run, you jump, you get the knees up.  The beauty of this is that it is not a solid non-stop workout, but rather it asks you to go hard, rest…then go hard again.  Good solid interval training concept that usually gets better results and also makes the workout attainable for beginners.


Think P90X AB Ripper is king?  Let’s just say that 10 Minute Ab Fix might not be far behind.

Autumn has each move timed instead of merely doing a certain number of reps.  And it’s crunches baby.  Now you might ask what’s the difference between this and any other workout…a crunch is a crunch right?  Let’s take P90X Ab Ripper as an example.  Many moves are somewhat complex and hard for a complete nube. X2 is even worse for complexity and X3 I found to be not that difficult.  This workout manages to make the moves attainable by someone of below average fitness and yet it can still pulverize someone who does Asylum on a regular basis.

My take?  I liked this better than P90X2/3 abs by a long shot.  It never gets dull, is very doable by most anyone yet goes right after what you came for.  No complaints!


This is a bonus disk that still came in the standard package.  It is intended to be a the workout Autumn uses before a photo shoot.  And I’m sure she does…in addition to many other things I’m sure.  But will it help the DP fit into his Speedo’s that he saved from 1988?  We can only pray it doesn’t.


This comprised of 4 rounds with 2 exercises per round.  As expected it is a top to bottom total body routine that uses light and heavy weight, although in all fairness “heavy” is relative.  The fourth round it devoted entirely to abdominal work.

In truth, I doubt anyone will see results in 3 days unless it is simply water retention.  If you want to fit into that outfit 2 sizes down for your class reunion and waited this long then allow me to say you’re screwed.  Next time plan ahead you dummy.



The Good:

Everyone needs to start somewhere.  For most, Beachbody sent them in the direction of the original Power 90.  Friends, Romans, Countrymen…I implore you to not take them up on that advice!  Power 90 had Commodore 64 level production values back when it was created and thankfully Tony Horton is creating a revamped remake which is coming in the Fall of 2014 ( oh…I’ll be there baby! ).  Until then options are mainly limited to modifying more difficult programs which is fine, but can scare first timers.

21 Day Fix fills a very particular need: kick start physical fitness and get ones eating under control.  99% of the success for any workout program is dependent on what you eat so the idea of using containers is something that will help many people who just don’t know when to stop stuffing gummy bears down in their face like they’ve got a hole in their neck.

So what is 21 Day Fix like to watch?  As with any modern Beachbody workout, the production values are over the top awesome.  The music is naturally canned but the volume is a bit softer so it shouldn’t vibrate in your head.  Autumn is a trainer that won’t grate on your nerves and despite the intellectual stereotypes that may come with a bikini model, she is intelligent, well spoken and very knowledgeable about her craft.  Beachbody would do well to have her continue to make more videos in the future.

The Not So Good:

One thing to consider is that I wouldn’t suggest the philosophy of 21 Day Fix longterm for anyone who already has a handle on their eating habits.  Living your life eating out of a coloured container seems terribly restricting unless you’re Autumn and need to in order to well…wear bikini’s for the camera.  If you know how to eat well and understand that bacon is NOT real food, you will graduate from 21 Day Fix very quickly.  If this is you, yet you still need a program that lasts only 30 minutes a day then I suggest starting with a more advanced program like P90X3 or one of my favorites, Focus T25.

Just remember, living life by a “container diet” to have the perfect figure 24/7 is not glamorous.  It is actually a very special kind of Hell so be sure to keep your life in balance and not go into depression if you had a few extra calories that day.  Use this system to get back in check but I’d find a way to live without it as soon as possible.

Also, this program may not appeal to most men as is evident from the often one lone male in the back of the cast.  This is a matter of personal taste and your mileage may vary.

The Ugly:

Have all the Beachbody Coaches left the room?  Is it safe to talk now?  Alright then, I have a bit of an issue with how 21 Day Fix is advertised.  Allow me to elaborate.

If you go to the website you will notice a lot of before and after shots.  Among them is Carl Daikeler who is the CEO of Beachbody and I would assume is in relatively good shape from what I have seen in the past.  Looks like he let himself have second dibs on the pie for a month and then took a bad selfie in a truck-stop mirror with an old iPhone 3.  Then he has a well lit after shot next to it that could easily have been taken ten minutes later by merely sucking in the gut.  Stunts like this I do not appreciate.

Also, I can see Autumn in the video plain as day, but I swear the woman on the site has been put in a medieval stretcher.  Something smells of Photoshop on that image.  I truly believe women have a hard enough time without being constantly told they have to compete with imaginary concepts every second of their lives.  Maybe my eyes are deceiving me and I’m simply flat out wrong here.  You be the judge.

In all, I do recommend 21 Day Fix for anyone who is trying to get their diet and fitness life in order.  Four weeks seem a reasonable amount of time to develop new habits but then I would recommend moving on to something more advanced.  The price of the package is very reasonable at $60 so it’s hard to go wrong.

4 Feathers out of 5.

© 2014 – 2015, Dysfunctional Parrot. All rights reserved. No reproduction of written material is permitted.

About Author

John Paul Parrot ( aka. The Dysfunctional Parrot ) is a disgruntled Systems Analyst who wanders the Canadian wastelands saving small villages with the power of Kung Fu.  His chair is also a little too close to the twenty year old microwave.  As you can well imagine, this has had certain side effects.

  • Seanymac81

    Great and honest review as always DP, totally agree it’s a great programme for beginners. My wife used to get wedding dress ready. I combined the 21 day fix meal plan with the last 3 weeks of P90X3 and got unbelievable results. You mentioned alternatives to Shakeology, perhaps you could do a review on these? Cheers, Sean

  • Wes

    Any plans on reviewing PiYo? You must have some money burning a hole in your pocket. :)

    • I have looked at PiYO but I hate to say it…I don’t feel a compulsion to review it. My reasons might seem a bit old fashioned as I think it looks a bit trashy with lots of hooters flying fast and furious.

      I also have a hard time getting into Chalene’s workouts. Personal taste. Maybe if I can borrow a copy from an acquaintance I can get Mrs. Parrot to do a review of it.

      • Wes

        Ha, hooters. Interesting. Never did a Chalene workout as always seems geared for women. This just seemed interesting as it combines Pilates and Yoga.

        • Kristen Gutierrez

          I have done one PiYo workout and hated it. I love pilates. I love yoga. This was choreographed and hard to follow.

  • Dawnmarie Oyler

    Thanks for the review. This is the first I’ve read that didn’t sound like unicorns and rainbows and a sales pitch. At 5’4″ and just over 200 lbs I obviously have a problem with portion control. I’ve been trying to decide between this and weight watchers. I think you make some great points and I might just try this for the 21 days to get in the habit of smaller portions and healthier choices then move on to weight watchers for continuing weight loss. I know I’m joining a gym because I have to have a beginner workout that accounts for the joint issues I’m having but still strengthens my core as recommended by my doc. Anyway. Thanks for a more real review that isn’t unicorns and rainbows.

    • Edith Spencer

      Hi DawnMarie!

      First off, let me say I am not a Beachbody Coach at all- I like BB products but I also had a serious philosophical problem with this one. Second, if you go through Weight Watchers, may I suggest portion control containers that you can just buy without the workout? I found these containers called portionware, and they cost around $30:

      (I do not work for portionware)

      • Dawnmarie Oyler

        Thanks. I’ll check that out. I am going to go with weight watchers as it seems to fit my life a little better. I’ll check out those containers to see if they might help. Right now I’ve just been measuring my portions to make sure that I’m not eating too much.

        • Edith Spencer

          Good for you, DM I eat a plant based diet BUT i do find I can overdo it from time to time, so portioning out meals really helps. IN time you will know how to eye ball portions.

  • holyguy7

    DP, Seems there is a new 21 Day Fix out now called 21 Day Fix Extreme. Looks like it is same as old one, just more advanced. I am glad it is out there as I am getting tired of Shawn/Tony being the only ones with decent workouts from Beachbody.

    • It is indeed going to be reviewed. I’m glad Beachbody is taking another chance with Autumn.

  • Canadian 74

    Looking for info on if everyone gets the same? Ie – if my whole family did it, we’d be looking at slightly overweight 45 year old male, 40 year old obese female and a ten year old male who is leaning more towards his mothers side…would we eat and work out the same? Thanks

    • Jessie

      According to this review older persons can follower a modifier in the screen who does a low intensity version of each workout.

      • User008

        I love this program, i have read a review of it at and then decided to buy it but I was just wondering if there are specific proteins or vegetables or proteins or carbs that I’m supposed to eat. Thanks.

  • Guest

    I respectfully disagree, I do not think that 21DFE is for beginners. I did it just after IM30, and it was still a challenge.I do find your review fair to the product, but surprised that you didn’t take aim at the use of band in Pilates Fix, I find that workout very useless, and I rather do P90X3 Pilates. Overall, I enjoy your reviews and looking forward to your next one. CIZE maybe?

    • This review was for 21 Day Fix original. I’m currently in the process of going through 21 Fix Extreme and hope to get that review online within a week or two. Thus far it is quite good.

      Yes…I will be doing CIZE eventually! I did Hip Hop abs and Rockin’ Body, so I’m not sure I can avoid it. It will be interesting to see how that goes.

  • Johnny

    Holding my breath Parrott.
    When is the exact review date for Masters Hammer and Chisel?
    Anyway to review one dvd now?
    I won’t consider buying until I find out what you think.
    A belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours!

    • I wish I could say an exact date, but I have to wait until I recover from Christmas spending to pick the package up. I hope to get it done in January.

  • David

    Umm…..Mankind has been eating bacon for thousands of years, how is it not real food? Pretty sure powdered food (like shakeology) has only been around the last 70 years or so. So if I were to pick something that wasn’t a food I’d pick shakeology