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Autumn Calabrese is back with 21 Day Fix Extreme, a follow up to the original program which is known for stuffing food in plastic containers and having the appearance of a Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.  That means I once again enter my advanced research facility in the Canadian wilderness and prepare for the Speedo competition you’d better pray never comes to your city.

What you get:

21DayFixX– 7 workouts on 2 DVD’s.
– Food Guide
– Shakeology cup. Doubles as a cocktail shaker…or so I hear.
– Color coded plastic containers which I will probably use to keep spare drywall screws in.

Oh, and don’t forget that awkward “Countdown to Competition” schedule. For you married guys out there, I would probably advise not hanging a picture on your wall of Autumn strutting around in a string bikini.


Plyo Fix Extreme

Time: 30 minutes

Gone through Focus T25?  Just had Insanity: Max 30 for desert?  Well shut up, grab some weights and prepare to feel some pain.

Plyo Fix Extreme is not the same kind of workout as a typical Shaun T or Tony Horton session. Autumn instead goes for broke and adds weights to the plyo-mix. I used only 10lb weights and it got difficult real fast.

The format is 5 rounds plus a bonus with 2 exercises done each round. Each move last 30 seconds. For most this is enough time to get the job done. Lots of squats, hops, burpees and tuck jumps that seems to attack the whole leg and glutes. If you like Insanity style workouts, this one will make you stronger for it.

Initial impressions: Music is good. Not Shaun T-Level good, but certainly not Chalene-Level bad. The set is also a little easier to look at than the original 21 Day Fix due to less bright colors that punch you in the retinas.  The guys on the set are also..shall we say…a bit “manlier” than the predecessor.  Maybe it’s just Noah’s beard that has enough facial hair for the average Sasquatch.


Upper Fix Extreme

Time: 33 minutes

3 rounds done twice.  Round 1 is chest/back.  Round 2 is Shoulders/abs.  Round 3 is Biceps/Triceps.  Most moves will require a light and heavy weight for the purpose of drop sets.

If P90X3 and Body Beast had a baby, it would look a lot like Upper Fix.  Round one push ups alone are a brutal way to kick this off and if you pick your weight right, even tough dudes will be pleasantly surprised.


10 Minute Hardcore Abs

Time: 10 minutes.  Obviously.

Pick a medium level weight ( generally no more than 10lbs ) and hit the deck.  As with most ab workouts, it’s crunches but it also boasts a series of postures that are original in the Beachbody lineup.  An excellent compliment to your growing hoard of abdominal videos.

Pilates Fix Extreme

Time: 32 minutes

Lots of stretching and pulse movements which will also double as a pretty decent abdominal assault.  If you don’t have a light/medium weight resistance band, you pretty much need one for this.  It will greatly enhance your results.


Lower Fix Extreme

Time: 34 minutes

4 rounds, 2 exercises per round done twice.  The first move is generally with weights such as squats and lunges.  The second is a plyometric move using the same muscles.  And sweet momma, that combo is going to get some results.  Especially round 4 which uses the resistance band for kickback and lateral walks.  Ouch.

Cardio Fix Extreme

Time: 31 minutes

4 rounds 2 exercises per round with a cardio interval.  This is not what you might expect, as the cardio comes more from using weights than it does from jumping around.  The muscle work makes you breathe hard to keep up which makes it feel like a round of Max 30.  This is absolutely extreme.  I do have one vice however…the music.  It is just not conducive to hardcore cardio.  If only the soundtrack kept up its part this would be a 10.

Yoga Fix Extreme

Time: 30 minutes

Sun salutations, warrior poses, vinyasas and balance postures.  I’d say this is about 85% verbatim P90X3 Yoga.  That’s not a bad thing though, as the older I get the more convinced I am just how vital yoga is.  However, that 15% of unique content can be a little tricky, so watch it with the advanced moves that can…


Dirty 30 Extreme

Time: 31 minutes

3 rounds, 2 exercises per round.  Each move lasts a minute.  This is intended to be a total body workover.

To get the most from your time, each move is a combo.  Lunges will simultaneously do shoulder presses.  Push ups will do rows.  Squats will pair with shoulder rows, and lunges with curls.

The Challenge ( bonus disk )

Time: 29 minutes

13 moves.  Oh…but there’s more!  This is a pyramid workout, which means you do one move, then two…then three…until you finally do a complete sequence of 13 moves.  That means you’ll be doing a lot of squats, push ups, abs and other postures that use your own body weight.


ABC Extreme ( Ultimate Package )

Time: 32 minutes

Legs and abs.  Choose a light and a medium weight and prepare for pain.  The moves alternate between legs and and abs, giving you rest time in one muscle area before going after it again.

Power Strength Extreme ( Ultimate Package )

Time: 31 minutes

Kind of expected more from this.  The name implies a total body workout, but in reality this is pretty much all legs and abs.  It’s like ABC Extreme, only utilizing plyo instead of weights.


I can easily say that 21 Day Extreme is an amplified version of the original.  So much so that it can be classed as an Intermediate/Advanced level of difficulty whereas the first most assuredly fell into a beginner category.

The price of the regular package is very attractive at $60.  I’d be wary of purchasing the Ultimate Package however.  If you look at the fine print, it is $60 more dollars for two workouts, and extra set of containers (honestly, how many drywall screws do I really need to store?) and a resistance band.  That’s a hard purchase to justify when for a few bucks more you could purchase an entire other workout program.  Better make sure the kids have decent shoes first.

Music also plays an important role, and it thankfully succeeds more often than not.  If I could compare, Shaun T and Tony Horton have music which generally has a “bassier” feel.  21 Day Fix Extreme feels more “treble” and lacks the boom that I prefer.  But still, that is a subjective opinion and many will have no problems here.

21 Day Fix Extreme is a big win for Beachbody which is no doubt trying to avoid becoming a two-man show with Tony and Shaun.  Autumn herself is easily likeable and thankfully doesn’t come off as what some might be prone to expect from the cover.  She carries herself with class, communicates well and exhibits the traits of a professional trainer.  The original 21 Day Fix was an excellent introduction to Autumn.  After 21 Day Fix Extreme, it is safe to say that Beachbody can add another quality trainer to their roster.

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.



  1. Samantha D. Gordon

    November 30, 2020 at

    Hi – Great Blog!

    I was wondering if you know any quality routines for busy mommys trying to lose weight?

    It appears like V Shred might be a good option but after reading I’m having second thoughts

    I understand a lot of women have gained weight during quarantine, so I figure some mothers out there may have identified good workouts to do at home.

    Much appreciated


  2. Matt

    February 21, 2020 at

    Just jumping here to say I’ve done Insanity Max 30 with little break for about two straight years (I love it obviously) but was badly in need of something new – going to T25 and Shaun Week were both feeling like breaks.

    About 15 minutes into plyo extreme I knew I found a new trainer to love and curse under my breath at the same time – this workout is no joke. I could complete all the Max 30’s without an extra break, and this left me a soggy puddle on the floor.

  3. Adélaïde FV

    August 20, 2017 at

    Absolutely brilliant reviews! I always enjoy visiting your site before I try a workout; excellent content! You’ve inspired me, Paul. I think I may write a review or two about the workouts I’ve completed on my blog! All the best :)

  4. jmc

    July 10, 2017 at

    This is a great review – thank you! I just finished 21DF and then added a week of the doubles (rather than doing another round). I’ll be finished with that in 2 days, and was planning to move to 21DFE, but have read some reviews from others that say it’s good for toning but not weight loss, while 21DF would be better for weight loss. This seems odd to me, since it’s tougher and the eating is more restrictive – I would think it would be better for both toning AND weight loss. Any thoughts on this one?

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      July 13, 2017 at

      A lot of times the weight loss promised by these programs is pretty much a modified diet. I find that following a good diet in general does wonders regardless of what the books all say. What really works for me is drastically reducing or outright removing wheat ( breads, pastas ). Despite what food guides say, that stuff is insulin spiking garbage. Combined with reasonable portions and lots of veggies, you’re set. But again, just my philosophy.

      • jmc

        July 16, 2017 at

        Yeah, I’m already grain, dairy, nut, alcohol, and sugar free (I know – a veritable barrel of monkeys over here), so the diets don’t really change much for me other than timing and portions. I still don’t eat most of the carbs. I was just surprised that people felt the other workout would work better for weight loss. Thanks for your thoughts!

  5. Bonnie

    June 19, 2017 at

    t25 vs 21 day – which would you chose

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      June 20, 2017 at

      T25. Nobody conditions the cardio like Shaun T.

      • Bonnie Worrick

        July 21, 2017 at

        AWESOME….I go on vacation in 3 weeks and wanted to go hardcore before I go…Little cut couldn’t hurt… I am thinking I needed me some Shaun T…. What would the almighty and knowing dysfunctional parrot do?????? No seriously, I wan to know:):)

  6. C.Daoud

    May 16, 2017 at

    Do you think that 21DFX is a bit lower body centered, since it only has one day of Upper, or is it a good all around body program if you follow the schedule?

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      May 18, 2017 at

      21DFX as I recall was indeed fairly lopsided towards legs. If you desire to develop a powerful upper body, you will absolutely need to hybrid in some other workout like Body Beast or certain P90X-ish routines.

  7. Ron Monsour

    January 18, 2017 at

    FYI- Definitely have to say the food containers are not water tight and leak. So parrot has it right… Drywall screws OK! Dressing or any liquids… um, no.

  8. Mikkel Julin

    July 12, 2016 at

    I know this is hard to give a straight answer to, but what weights should I use? I have a set of 9 lb dumbbells which i used for 22 minute hard corps, but for this I need light and heavies too. Should I opt for 5lb for light and 13 for heavy?

    Thank you so much for your awesome revies!

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      July 12, 2016 at

      I use a set of 5, 10 and 15 lbs weights for programs like these. That’s generally enough to get the job done.

      • Garrett

        June 26, 2017 at

        The great thing about this program is that it can scale continuously if a person has access to heavier weights. I’m testing it out with 12.5 lb as light, 15 med, 20 heavy for a second week in a row (these numbers stay static across all 7 days of workouts so that my body stays even in growth). Will probably bump that up to 15, 20, 25 next week.

        It hurts, but it does show the near infinite level of scaling that this program has.

  9. Ashleigh Brown

    July 11, 2016 at

    As a fellow Canadian Prairie survivor, I appreciate your reviews as much as your Kung Fu. Seriously…you are hilarious and bang on with your analysis. Your detailed breakdowns and opinions are refreshing. I can only read so many ‘reviews’ from coaches who sound like parrots…more like Chalene parrots than Shaun T parrots. Shaun T parrots would be cool. I have to go turn off my microwave and head off into the mosquitoes now, when/if I return I will order 21 Day Fix Extreme. Keep up the great work! Your are adding value to peoples’ fitness experiences!

    • Garrett

      June 26, 2017 at

      Shaun T parrots are the best types of parrots. :)

  10. KDeMille81

    June 3, 2016 at

    Hello Mr. Parrott,

    I have several beach body programs – I’ve neglected doing strictly my core and always say that most of these moves hit the core so I’m ok. Well, I saw a 1 year photo and was NOT happy with that particular area. Do you have a top 5 for core workouts from the bb programs that you’ve done? I’m currently in the middle of my 4th or 5th round of body beast, about to start my 3rd week, round 3 of max 30 and I’m about 5 or 6 weeks in to 22 min hard corps. I typically do body beast and max 30 every day (or 6 days a week) and add in 22 min hard corps at least 3 – 4 of those days. I have asylum 1, 21dfx, cize (although I’ve never done it) regular insanity, hip hop abs (never done it) t-25, Piyo, and combat also. I have access to BOD also.
    OR do you have a review where you compare them?

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      June 4, 2016 at

      Top 5 core workouts…hmmm. Off the top of my head I would say:

      1) P90X+ Abs Core Plus is among my favorites.
      2) T25 Core Speed
      3) Body Beast Total Body
      4) Max 30 – Max Strength
      5) 22 Minute Hard Corps Special Ops Core

      This is not a written in stone opinion, but these ones have left a lasting impression on my memory.

  11. Edward Sheehy

    May 26, 2016 at

    Hello Parrott,
    I just finish 5 months of 21 day fix and lost 30lbs and 3 pants size. I am 50 with some arthritis I am alittle tired of seeing the same people and was going to switch it up. Which program would you recommend next.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      May 31, 2016 at

      Try STRONGER with Nicky Hollender for free, then maybe go for P90X3. That would mix up the people so you don’t have to gawk at the same mugs every day!

  12. Trey

    May 18, 2016 at

    Hello Parrot, How would you compare this program with T25 or Max 30 difficulty wise?

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      May 18, 2016 at

      I’d say it easily sits in the middle. Not as hard as Max 30 but more advanced than T25.

      • Kristen Schmorr

        June 1, 2016 at

        What would you say would be one step above max 30. I have done that and insanity a few times and looking for a change but increase the intensity.

        • Dysfunctional Parrot

          June 4, 2016 at

          Asylum 1 or 2. That program adds a level of resistance training that exceeds Max 30. Highly recommend it.

      • Heather

        July 26, 2016 at

        post 21DFX, would you recommend T25 prior to Max 30?

        • Dysfunctional Parrot

          July 26, 2016 at

          If you managed to complete 21DFX, then going straight to Max 30 would probably be best. Just ease into it for the first little bit.

  13. Yvie26

    April 2, 2016 at

    Hi parrot, I really enjoy your well crafted, thoughtful reviews. I just finished 21DF and I LOVE it. I did three rounds and lost some weight. And, I know 21DFE would be the next step (and I like the idea of keeping a similar schedule/eating plan). Do you think 21DFE would help with building a bit of muscle/toning up? I’m really happy with the weight I’ve lost, but I don’t want to get too “skinny.” Most of the weight lost was from my hips and boobs… haha. I want to build some muscle, too. Should I stick with 21DFE or try something more like Hard Corps, P90X3, Hammer&Chisel, etc. I was a newbie to working out before 21DF btw. Thanks!

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      April 6, 2016 at

      Yes, 21DFE would do more than its predecessor in adding muscle tone. It’s not Body Beast by any means, but you should certainly get some gains nonetheless. Nor is it pure cardio like Insanity style workouts that focus too much on lower body.

      • Yvie26

        April 8, 2016 at

        Thanks, Parrot! Looking forward to it, then. :)

  14. denis

    January 20, 2016 at

    Why can’t there be some different reviews on these products? All the reviews say the same things. I tried the 21 day fit extreme workout and think it is geared towards younger people trying to showcase at the beach.

    • Garrett

      September 11, 2016 at

      What are you hoping to achieve with your fitness? Did you do all of 21 Day Fix Extreme, INCLUDING the yoga days? I found that Fix Extreme was wonderful for my overall fitness. It and X3 are exceptionally great at building up one’s body for general fitness health.

      The strutting is a choice byproduct.

      So again, what is the outcome you want from your fitness program?

  15. Christine

    December 31, 2015 at

    Thanks for the review! I’m a huge Shaun T fan and have done Insanity and Max 30. I’m looking for a new workout with some weights and variety but still want it to be intense. I tried P90X3 but couldn’t get into Tony. After reading this review, I think I’ll give this one a try. Any other recommendations?

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      January 4, 2016 at

      I’m also in the process of reviewing Hammer and Chisel, which looks promising at this point. Should have review out in a couple weeks,

      • Christine

        January 4, 2016 at

        I’m looking forward to your review. I’ve been wondering how that program is.

  16. Melissa

    October 26, 2015 at

    I am just finishing up a year of T25 (three rounds of alpha, beta, gamma1/2). I was going to repeat gamma again (still trying to lose a little weight and maintain muscle for the holidays) and then I saw this. I know you are a big fan of T25 as am I – how does this compare? Would you recommend it as a next step??

    • Melissa

      October 26, 2015 at

      Great reviews btw!

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      October 27, 2015 at

      Max 30 is sort of intended to be the next step, but I think 21 DFX would be even better in some ways. Max 30 is heavy cardio while 21 DFX is broader in its reach with more “functional fitness” and weights. Another good choice would be P90X3.

  17. Elizabeth

    October 10, 2015 at

    Hi Parrot!
    Awesome review as usual! I did try the first 21DF and I didn’t find it too challenging, so it is good to know that this one is more advanced.

    I was also wondering if you’ve tried JNL Fusion? I’m doing the rotation right now, and I’m finding it pretty challenging, yet doable. The Showcase store ( have it at a bargain price right now as well, $4.99 CAD plus shipping, if interested. If you ever get to try it, I’d love to read your awesome review on it!


  18. Garrett

    July 5, 2015 at

    Interesting note: there are a few Max 30 music tracks that are also in 21 Day Fix Extreme.

    Can you find em? ;-)

  19. ktern

    May 31, 2015 at

    hey parrot, what’s your thought about beachbody on demand? the price structure is $39 per 90 days. gives access to insanity, asylum 1+2, p90x, p90x2, p90x3, tai cheng, some other stuff (i can post a complete list if it helps)

    i don’t own any tony horton stuff and i’m wondering if it’s a better value than buying it. (i do own all the shaun t non-dance programs, though)

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      May 31, 2015 at

      I think it’s probably good for someone who wants to see all the programs before committing to purchase. Not sure I would go beyond 90 days though as that would really bite into the budget.

      It depends how much of a video-fitness buff one is!

      • ktern

        June 1, 2015 at

        after biting the bullet, some thoughts

        + there’s a ridiculous amount of stuff available. pretty much every beachbody program people care about is either here in full or has one or two workouts available (the latter for most newer stuff. think t25 and later. but p90x3 is complete)

        + full programs also include deluxe set material(!!) probably the best way to see if they’re worthwhile and cheapest way to access those workouts

        – holy crap the site is slow and takes bizarre amounts of time to load. it’s so slow it’s actually kind of surreal

        + but the videos themselves load quickly once you navigate to them. plus, they don’t have the shakeology ads, long warning thing, and other junk

        + there’s already one full workout from cize on there. seems that they’ll be putting up previews of upcoming programs

        – based on that i’m pretty sure you’re going to hate cize. i’m not feeling it, at least. then again that isn’t a problem with beachbody on demand

        – video framerate and quality is lower than on dvd

        – no music volume option

        + all the documents that normally come with a program (food guide, calendar, etc.) are available as pdf files

        – you gotta call to cancel your subscription, which is pretty lame if you ask me

        • Dysfunctional Parrot

          June 2, 2015 at

          Thank you for the feedback on this! I sort of wondered in my mind if Beachbody truly had the technical resources to pull this off without running into some issues.

          What might have worked better is a custom channel for Roku or AppleTV ( once Apple opens up their AppleTv store mind you ).

          Not too surprised about CIZE. Still, I have to do it!

          • Joe

            November 17, 2015 at

            There is now an app for Roku. Works really well. They keep adding new “previews” for upcoming programs and have a rotating schedule called Challenge Du Jour that mixes up workouts from programs along the lines of a P90x schedule. strength, cardio, strength, stretch, etc. On roku it works great and seems as HD as the DVDs. Thumbs up.

          • .45

            January 18, 2016 at

            There are no DVDs that are HD, by definition. The only optical media Beachbody has ever released in HD is P90X2 on Blu-Ray, which they said they will never do again (presumably the Blu-Rays didn’t fly off the shelf.) The streams on BOD, however, are HD. They are much more sharp than the upscaled DVDs on my HDTV; whether anyone cares where workout videos are concerned is a matter of preference. Personally, I don’t care so much, but thought I would clarify…DVDs are standard definition, Blu-Rays are high definition.

        • Steve MacKenzie

          November 16, 2015 at

          My Coach mentioned playback issues on some devices. I myself would not be interested as there is no way to download for later play. Could be a temp file so one is not dependent on servers for streaming.

          This will be their future as it will get the non shakeo set on a steady pay system. Kind of like a gym membership so even when some people do not workout they will still be subsidizing the company.

      • Erin

        April 13, 2016 at

        I use on demand with my Roku TV. I’m pressed for time in the mornings & it’s worth the time saved switching dvd’s & listening to previews. Also my hubby & I do different programs so it makes the switch easy. Sean T’s Hip Hop abs is on there for free as well which makes a great fun indoor activity for my 4 year old when it’s too cold outside. He gets a kick out of booty time mostly because of the name lol

  20. Alex Canyock

    May 29, 2015 at

    Do you feel like this would be a good less intense, recovery-like program to utilize between rounds Asylum, Max: 30, and other programs like X3?

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      May 29, 2015 at

      Probably not. 21DFE can be pretty hard at times and might not be much of a recovery program. Something like P90 would be more suited to that.

  21. Jessica

    May 3, 2015 at

    I am new to your site and love reading all your workout reviews!!! I’m doing 21 Day Fix Extreme right now and loving it! I’m looking at what to do when I inevitably get bored after a few rounds. My preferences are weights and 30 minutes. I have read your P90x3 review… Do you think that would be a next step? Or would my results be much better if I did p90x2? I realize it’s a longer time commitment but if it really gets me results, I might be willing to do it

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      May 5, 2015 at

      X3 would be a great next step if you want to keep it around 30 minutes. I’m a big fan of X2 but it is also a longer time commitment.

      Body Beast might also be another option, but I find that program works best as a hybrid mixed with something like T25 or Max 30.

  22. Steve MacKenzie

    May 1, 2015 at

    Thanks for this. I am doing Gamma and IMax 30 as a hybrid and my woman is kind of on a downturn. Based on this review I may consider this program as I can get a challenge while working out with her and she can try out the containers and the diet side.

  23. Ann

    April 30, 2015 at

    Great review as always! Those food containers are really stupid and sad.
    Would you recommend this for muscle building and toning up? I do like ClX, but after 2 rounds I have had enough Chalean for now. P90x is a huge time commitment which I can’t stick to. And after one month of P90x3, I just didn’t feel it. I just recently got a pull up bar though.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      May 1, 2015 at

      I would say it is an excellent muscle building/toning program for women. Men would get more toning and flexibility.

      If 30 minutes is your thing, Focus T25 or Max 30 would be other options. I know what you mean about Chalene. I was only too happy to get her reviews over with.

      • Steve MacKenzie

        May 1, 2015 at

        The Parrot will love Turbofire! The smiles alone will make it legendary! I am expecting the best review since the shake weight!

        • Dysfunctional Parrot

          May 1, 2015 at

          I have access to Turbofire…but after watching one video I just can’t bring myself to do it. The whole happy-stage routine looks intolerable!

          • Ann

            May 6, 2015 at

            So yesterday was Lower Fix and jesus, I can’t even walk straight. Also I cant lift my arms up or laugh. It’s been months since I lifted a weight, and every single muscle is feeling it. And I’m actually liking Autumn far more than I exepted.
            Also, since you mentioned Body Beast in the comments, would you say that’s a good choice for getting leaner? I know women don’t get bulky that easy, but I thought getting big is the purpose of BB.

          • Dysfunctional Parrot

            May 6, 2015 at

            Body Beast is sold that way, but realistically, to get truly massive muscle growth takes more work than what a DVD series will provide. Although BB is excellent at muscle development, I wouldn’t worry about turning into Arnold anytime soon!

          • Steve MacKenzie

            July 18, 2015 at

            Remember your solemn oath. You sweated through some Turkeys but we look to you for the wit and the one liners.

          • Dysfunctional Parrot

            July 19, 2015 at

            Looks like I may have to suck it up and do Turbofire after all!

          • Steve MacKenzie

            November 16, 2015 at

            Thank you for the Turbofire review! You loved the smiles!

    • Garrett

      May 30, 2015 at

      Why do you feel that the food containers are stupid and sad? It’s designed as a way to help people understand how much a proper portion of food is. Lots of people are eating far more than they need to be, and calling it a ‘portion’. After using the containers for awhile, it becomes an intuitive feel, and the containers aren’t needed.

      Proper nutrition and portion control is more valuable than exercise. You can’t out-exercise bad nutrition (or eating too much food)

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