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REVIEW: The Master’s Hammer and Chisel



Here we are again and this time the Parrot has been drafted to review The Master’s Hammer and Chisel.  No, it’s not the cover of a steamy erotic novel, but rather a fitness series by Beachbody as hosted by Sagi Kalev ( aka. Hammer ) and Autumn Calabrese ( aka. Chisel ).

Fabio not included.


12 workouts on 6 DVD’s and a shaker cup rigged to explode if you taint it with anything other than Shakeology.  Also included is a meal plan, calendar and instructional guide.

The portion control containers should be handy for the kids storing their Lego.

What you’ll need:

I would recommend a decent bench as the $20 WalMart special probably isn’t going to cut it here.  It has to be solid and secure and will be used often in this program.  Skip the stability ball alternative. Using weights with stability balls are for people who have lost the will to live.  Also, sell your house and buy all the Shakeology you can afford.  Sorry, just kidding.  Just wanted to be sure you were paying attention.


Chisel Balance
Time: 40 minutes

All “Chisel” workouts will be done by Autumn so this is Day One.  The focus is working the core balance muscles so that means 8 rounds done on one side twice, then repeated on the other side twice.  Squats, jumps, push ups…and oh yeah, the Bulgarian jump squats.  Those hurt.

Hammer Plyometrics
Time: 25 minutes

For those familiar with Body Beast, say hello again to Sagi.  If Autumn counts every calorie in those plastic containers, Sagi looks like he eats trains for breakfast.    The man is solid muscle.

I was hesitant how someone of Sagi’s size would perform in a primarily cardiovascular workout.  Exceptionally well it seems.  This is very different from what you might expect from Shaun T so don’t expect your Max 30 to save you here.  Once again, you will need a good bench for some jumping around.  There are 9 moves which are repeated after the halfway point.

Sagi is the kind of guy I like to have as my trainer as I tend to prefer those who would kick my ass with a frozen boot should I decide to be a slacker.  My wife however, thinks he’s a bit corny and I can see why.  He’s got very “Schwarzenegger-ish” one liners such as “Ready to get hammered?”

Born ready.

Don’t ever change Sagi!

Iso Strength Chisel
Time: 34 minutes

Back to Autumn for what will prove to be an astonishingly painful half hour.

Ten resistance reps, then hold the position for ten seconds.  Repeat this for three cycles with no rest before moving on to the next move.  This was agonizing only three moves in as those iso holds hurt like hell, only to go right back into contracting the muscles again.  This is mostly a total body workout with emphasis on the legs.  The arms for the most part remain left alone.

Iso Speed Hammer
Time: 23 minutes

Ten moves.  You go down for a count of three then snap up.  Then you follow with 10 fast reps.  Push ups, squats, curls and rows are on the menu.

Might as well pause to say that I’m not a huge fan of the music track.  It’s not Turbofire awful, but I prefer to have few more guitar power chords in my workouts.  Instead it’s rather “tinny” techno crap.  I blame you kids out there.

10 Minute Minute Ab Chisel
Time: 10 minutes. Obviously.

Ten moves at 1 minute each.  This doesn’t exactly have a quick pace but it is nonetheless effective.  It’s all bench work but a modifier is on the floor if that’s what you need.

10 Minute Ab Hammer

So how does Sagi’s ab routine compare?  I was expecting some weights to be involved but alas, you’re down doing crunches with the same format of 1 minute moves.  It’s a good addition to my increasing collection of abdominal workouts, but neither is terribly unique in their approach.

Hammer Conditioning
Time: 30 minutes

Think of this as medium intensity resistance training.  Four rounds with 2 moves per round done twice.  It is mostly total body with rows, squats, push ups and presses and each move is 12 reps, which falls between building size or stamina.

Chisel Endurance
Time: 36 minutes

Seven moves repeated for 2 rounds.  Again, it’s mostly total body with a heavier emphasis on the legs.  There are some push ups, presses and rows but the arms still feel left out.  Thus far in this series there has been little in the way of bicep/triceps engagement.  The intended focus here is endurance and stamina but I’m not sure how that goal is met.  Stamina is being able to do consistent sets at the same rep/weight count.  I don’t see how this workout does that.

Master’s Cardio
Time: 17 minutes

Out of the whole works, this one is by far my least favorite.  It suffers from having too many cooks it kitchen and the mix of Sagi and Autumn’s individual ego’s really doesn’t gel.  Another problem is that should you be experienced with T25 or Max 30 cardio, this will be tragically easy.  For me I can’t see doing this twice.

Master's Cardio lacks the spark each trainer gives when tending to their own field.

Hammer Total Body
Time: 42 minutes

I have high expectations, so this is Sagi’s big opportunity to deliver.  And deliver he dopes with old school weightlifting in the format of 10/8/6 reps.  Three moves per round with 3 rounds.  Push ups, squats, delts, rows and blast it…biceps and tri’s get ignored again.

Chisel Total Body
Time: 35 minutes

Finally, the biceps and triceps get decent attention.  3 round with three moves ( 10 reps each ) per round.  Squats, rows, curls, dips, lunges…this is indeed a total body workout.

Chisel Agility
Time 38 minutes

This is best defined as cardio you have to think about.  1 minute moves of speed in motion.

Hammer Power
Time: 38 minutes

Ok, this one is pretty sweet.  The “power” stands for power lifting and hot momma if Sagi doesn’t deliver.  You will slowly move from basic moves such as squats and presses to full press and jerk presses.  If you have lower back issues, please go easy here or this will kill you.  However, it will also strengthen that weak sucker if you keep at it.

Chisel Cardio
Time: 38 minutes

Very little rapid movement, but rather cardio brought about by resistance.  Weights, push ups, pulls ups and various squats are in 7 moves per round repeated for 2 rounds.

Max Hammer Strength
Time: 35 minutes

You expect a lot with a name like this.  And were it 5 minutes longer with better arm focus, it would be almost perfect.  The format is doing one minute of low/no weight.  Then you grab the steel and go max for 8 reps.  For example, one minute of push ups moves right into 8 bench presses.

Beast Total Body
Time: 45 minutes

This is a pleasant little treat.  It’s Sagi redoing the exact same workout in his Body Beast series with a fresh cast. You can tell he’s a bit more at home in his world.  Like its Body Beast twin, BTB is the kitchen sink in 4 circuits of 4 moves done twice.

A foretaste of Body Beast 2 perhaps?


I was skeptical about what would happen if you put Sagi and Autumn together.  It can go either way: it can appeal to people who like both instructors or it can alienate because people dislike one or both.  Instead, Hammer and Chisel finds a way to appeal to fans of either trainer and insure the other is not such a radical change like a good cop/bad cop situation.  As amazed as I am to say it, Sagi and Autumn have a winner on their hands.

With the exception of one workout, the two are never on the screen together which is just as well.  It allows a nice break and gives the program a longer shelf life. Let’s face it, it’s easy to get trainer overload.  Shaun T with excessive double negatives in his speech, or Tony Horton’s impersonations day after day can be a little much.

The pterodactyl slays me every time.

So how are Sagi and Autumn to train with?  Let’s put it right out there folks: women have it hard when it comes to being trainers because they walk a fine line.  Become too much of a cheerleader and they risk becoming annoying beyond measure.  This is my personal gripe against Chalene.  Jillian Michael’s is what might come out the other end of a clone vat if mad scientists tried to create a female Tony Horton, proving that just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.

Ok, please stop.

So it is with much delight that I can say Autumn rides the fine line and maintains her professional trainer persona without accidentally turning her workouts “girlish”.  If my twelve year old son can watch me doing a workout with her on the big screen and not think Dad has gone soft, that’s a good sign.

Sagi likewise has the inverse problem to contend with.  Some guys can be so “alpha” that women and even men might be put off.  One thing I noticed about Body Beast is how Sagi can sometimes be a bit of a prick to his cast.  Fortunately he’s more supportive here and his biggest critic, my wife, found him much more pleasant.  Mrs. Parrot ( who affectionately calls him “Butthead” ) commented that his wife must have had a talk with him.  Still, I live for his catch phrases such as “Need to puke? Get a bucket.”

Never leave home without it Sagi.

Hammer and Chisel is without a doubt, an impressive total body fitness package that does not merely imitate what has gone before. It does have some shortcomings though.  There feels to be not enough time between working major body parts for recovery and my legs had no problem reminding me of this.  A recovery workout would have been an ideal thing to add given the redundancy of some workouts such as Master’s Cardio which probably should have been shelved.

Beachbody production values are generally first rate, but I do wish some more attention was put towards a better music track.  I don’t necessarily want AC/DC corrupting my virgin neurons, but perhaps something with a bit more “oomph”.  Then again, it’s easy to be spoiled by Shaun T who has consistently exceptional backtracks.

To conclude, this is a package with unisex appeal and will absolutely work you hard.  It follows it’s own philosophy by going after complete fitness and not just cardio or bulk.  If you like Body Beast or 21 Day Fix, this is a natural next step for both programs.

4 FEATHERS out of 5

The Master's Hammer and Chisel

Trainer Ability - 9
Cardio - 8
Strength - 8
Music - 7
Price/Value - 8
Production/Set - 8.5


Great intermediate to advanced total body fitness program with unisex appeal. A natural addition to those who own Body Beast or 21 Day Fix.

User Rating: 3.11 ( 195 votes)

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. Aaron

    December 8, 2020 at

    Personally I consider the Hammer & Chisel to be the best programmed in the Beachbody catalog. Science says novices and casuals (pretty much Beachbody’s entire audience) benefit most from:

    – full body workouts
    – employing a handful of basic compound lifts (squat, deadlift, bench, press, row) and little else
    – for multiple sets (2-5 per workout, 6-15 per week)
    – within reasonable rep ranges (5-15)
    – two to three times a week

    That’s pretty much what H&C does. That calendar is a jumble though, and they could really have given more instruction about how to navigate the program as a whole. If you’re training full body 5-6 days a week, it’s important to not train to failure. If you work so hard on Monday that you can’t give it your all on Tuesday, that’s a net loss.

    The workouts themselves are solid, so now I just use them to build a more conventional weekly schedule:

    – 2-3 strength training (Power, Strength, Total Body)
    – 2-3 cardio/athleticism (Agility, Conditioning, Plyo)
    – 1+ recovery (yoga, Dynamix, Tai Cheng)

  2. Nate

    July 27, 2017 at

    First , I’m surprised by the complaining of too much legs. After going through Insanity in 2011 my lower half was fried but I had obtained results. And if you know anything about strength or losing weight. It’s much more taxing on your body to perform more compound movements I.e. Squats, presses, rows, lunges. So to involve the lower body more gives you much more of a metabolic response compared to a arm routine. There is enough movement for arms to provide definition. If you are looking to sculpt you arms more then look for a separate routine, like Horton one on one, body beast arms or a p90x arms and shoulder. You will majorly sculpt your arms with Sagi workouts.

    I found this program worth every penny with the involvement of Sagi but you also get more workouts from another trainer. And some bonus workouts . Now, I don’t go by any calendar and I mix this into my own body building routine. The more total body routines just means sculpting your body optimally. You use more muscles , getting the whole body involved while cutting inches and getting stronger.

    What I liked
    Most Sagi workouts – I’ve been a fan of Sagi since body beast. I don’t know one damn thing about Autumn but her style is a mix of Tony Horton and Pilates. I was surprised how much I liked her training methods. My favorite workouts are hammer power and total body hammer from sagi. Hammer Power is one of my fav all time beach body workouts. I disagree with someone spewing a barbell would be more safe. I’m fine with the Dumbbells . You don’t need super heavy Dumbbells for this to be effective and the Dumbbells give you more control. Now, I did not expect to care for Autumns workouts but I was pleasantly surprised with hers. Her style is a mix of Horton and Pilates. More controlled. I was a absolute fan of the chisel cardio.

    I don’t want to keep jabbering on but this program is up there on my list of fav beach body workouts. But I think you need to structure it for yourself based on your goals. I have it up there with P90X, Body Beast , Insanity Aslyum, Insanity , Horton 1on1

    My least favorite are Asylum volume 2, P90X3, 10 min trainer , turbo fire

    Programs that are meh- x2, 22 min hardcore, insanity max30

    But even the program’s I disliked the most I have found value

  3. Hector Roman

    March 29, 2017 at

    I’d like to chime in and opinions from other DP forum fans welcome.
    Hammer/Chisel is a pretty good program.
    Where it shines is Sagi and the Hammer workouts.
    Down to business and you workout.
    If you compare Tony H. in the X3 incinerator he’s yapping a bit much and in the challenge he’s showing off doing his pullups and chinups instead of keeping the workouts going.
    If I spent years doing pushups and pullups dollars to donuts I would keep up or outdo Tony.
    Yes he’s a great trainer and the face of Beach Body, but he spends way too much time chit chatting.
    When you have 30-45 minutes to train you don’t waste time.
    You could spend a good two years cycling through the Hammer full body workouts, X3 challenge and incinerator and never get bored or burned out.
    As for DP….well, we really owe him a great deal of gratitude for his site and insight.
    Hands down the best on the net!

  4. Elchupinazo

    January 10, 2017 at

    Has anyone else noticed that Master’s Cardio is just… gone? I purchased this through a family friend who sold their soul to the church of BeachBody, and it wasn’t included in the base kit DVDs. But I actually do the workout through the BOD app on my AppleTV, where the deluxe workouts are included — and it’s not there either. Maybe the near-universal criticism of the video prompted BeachBody to quietly shelve it? I feel like, with this being practically the ONLY unaffiliated site that reviews BeachBody programs with any kind of SEO ranking, someone at HQ has to read these reviews, right?

    At this point I know it’s a crap workout, but now I kinda wanna see it just to say I’ve done it, like drinking FourLoko before they got rid of the caffeinated versions.

  5. John

    January 9, 2017 at

    Thanks DP…your the best!

  6. Johnny

    January 4, 2017 at

    Which 2 to 3 Hammer routines would be best to do 3 full body workouts weekly?
    My off days would be 20 minutes of light cardio and 10 of stretching and yoga moves.
    Thanks for your suggestion!

    • Elchupinazo

      January 5, 2017 at

      You really can’t go wrong, because they’re all kind of total body workouts. But both the Chisel and Hammer workouts with “total body” in the name are the most comprehensive as they do a better job of hitting the upper body (all of the workouts are tough on the legs).

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      January 6, 2017 at

      It’s been a while, but I think Total Body Hammer, Beast Total Body ( a redo of the same from Body Beast ) and Hammer Power ( a power-lifting theme ) would be my top choices.

  7. Kaitlin Grims

    December 28, 2016 at

    H&C is forcing me to do circuits I wouldn’t have the heart to do on my own. I would be interested to know if there are any similar circuit-training programs out there; especially ones that incorporate a bench.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      December 30, 2016 at

      At the moment, Body Beast seems to be alone with the bench but isn’t what I would call a classical circuit program. Tony Horton’s One on One series might qualify as he uses a bench often.

  8. Constanza Álvarez Espinoza

    December 22, 2016 at

    I almost finished a round of this back in September/October but I couldn’t as I reached the day where my holidays started and I traveled abroad for 3 weeks.
    I started again the program but I might not finish ir. Why? 6 total body workout a week is too much. My whole body hurts after 2 days in a row a I have to take a day off.
    It’s well done and I like Sagi and Autumn (just looking at her it’s a fantastic motivation to keep going). The workout are great to have them on rotation as they are, individually, great for a full body torture but way too much for antes everyday basis.

  9. Patrick Quesnel

    December 16, 2016 at

    Hi , I just finish gsp insanity max30 and I think start master hammer 30 day hybrid with insanity max 30 whats you think for this ? and I training 5 days continu monday to friday
    Whats thé logic for star dvd
    * sorry for my english and thank you

  10. Keith James

    October 6, 2016 at

    I didn’t like h/c, I found the workouts were just okay, I would also agree that with beach body I am now getting fed up of products being mentioned on almost every DVD. Science has proven that it doesn’t go by the name on the product but how your diet is and how, when you take the product.

  11. MrDarkside

    September 30, 2016 at

    I wonder if it would be worth your while to review the new online membership portal?

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      October 3, 2016 at

      I think my review of it would be “frustrating”. I tried to get a trial of it going and was not comfortable giving BB my credit information. Also, the additional costs for “premium” content was way, way too much. That combined with being restricted to video streaming, I fail to see why anyone would be drawn to this method of obtaining content from BB.

      • MrDarkside

        October 6, 2016 at

        Actually you CAN download, just have to use an extension. I can see that, they need to open it up more make it cheaper for premium content.

    • Elchupinazo

      January 5, 2017 at

      I do it through my apple TV, so streaming isn’t an issue and/or limiting factor for me. You can purchase premium content at a discount, but I agree that it’s still too much for something that depends on reliable wifi (or as you mentioned, an extension) to be truly portable.

      The other issue with the premium content? It doesn’t stay premium for very long. I purchased H&C and Max:30, and within a month they’d both found their way into the normal “member library” (i.e., free). As of right now, literally every BB product is included. It could be a New Year’s promotion and maybe some of them will go back to being purchase-only, but as of now I’d think twice before buying any programs if you’re not in a hurry.

      On the other hand, there are a lot of bonuses that come with it. I like the “Challenge Du Jour” function, which mixes and matches workouts from their flagship programs (and some online exclusives) to create a week-long workout plan from scratch. Autumn also has a little cooking show, which doesn’t tell you much but is kind of fun.

      All in all, well worth the money I’d say. A year of it at the standard price is about as much as one of their tentpole programs, but instead of one you get a bunch. I think it’s the same price as DailyBurn ($12/month), and for the money there’s really no comparison between the two.

  12. Bonnie

    September 24, 2016 at

    Recently found your reviews. .. Fabulous you say it how it is….in your opinion…what program would you recommend to someone who is interm/advanced and wants to see some results sooner rather then later??

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      September 27, 2016 at

      For full body fitness and reasonably fast results, I’m a fan of P90X2. If you just want HIIT training then Max 30. But pretty much all these workouts have short term goals in mind.

  13. UOFT

    August 17, 2016 at

    Recently found your site…I own a lot of DVD programs and 1 offs as well. H&C did 1 round of it as in Bbody terms. Tired of the product placement of their performance line and ShakeO. It used to be product placement before their workouts or during cool down but with H&C it is within the WO itself. I never use Bbody music as it doesn’t do anything for me. In fact, I am a no music option on everything except Max 30 and T25 along with Cathe workouts.

    I have to say that the Deluxe Package is really good. I am like you and really try to determine if it is worth mortgaging the house to buy the deluxe package which makes NO sense why they are soo expensive.

    Power Chisel (Autumn Trains Sagi) Hammer Build Up (Sagi trains Autumn) 15 min glute Chisel I use this as an add on a lot and 15 min Leg Hammer is solid as well.

    Sagi is a great trainer and very informative BUT I find him conceited :)

    Master’s Cardio is a joke. Complete waste of time. Chisel Agility did nothing for me (I have completed Insanity, Max 30, T25, ASYLUM vol 1 and 2 – Asylum are my fav or Shaun T) and the second time I put on a weighted vest to get anything out of it and Iso Speed Hammer I pause and repeat the whole cycle as it is too short. Total Body Chisel if you want to lift heavy the pace doesn’t allow you to so I did it at my own pace.

    Actually may not seem so but I enjoyed Chisel more and add a lot of those workouts in my own rotations (Balance, Endurance, Power Chisel, Iso Strength, 15 min Glute,

    I doubled H&C with Ruthless and then Cathe, Edge Booty Extreme 2 workouts (thats a tough program) and some JM BodyShred.

    Great reviews still chuckle when I think of your TurboFire review…try and try to like it but it sits on my shelf…I think the 15 minute on that you say seems like an hour b/c of the music is hilarious. Good old Canadian Humour :)

  14. Corey

    July 27, 2016 at

    I really like the workouts. But the schedule is not good. Way more potential for injury because they just hammer the same crap-ever-single-day. If you’re like me and you like to really push every workout. It just doesn’t work. There’s just no rest time for any body part….which would be fine if it was more about endurance and such. But with them asking you to lift heavy, and do powerlifting, etc……it just doesn’t work.

  15. Elchupinazo

    June 28, 2016 at

    I’m not totally sure what everyone’s beef is with the lack of arm workouts on this one. I mean, no, there’s not much in the way of FOCUSED arm work, but in almost every workout you’re doing moves for the chest, back and shoulders — if you can do pushups, pullups and presses without using your arms, you know something I don’t. I just don’t see the value in spending time and energy on my biceps when I can get the same benefit (and then some) by doing rows and pullups.

    I also have to disagree re: Hammer Power. I think olympic-style lifts are awesome and was a fan of them back when I had a gym membership, but I think trying to replicate them with dumbbells is a fool’s errand. It’s not the same, and if anything it feels like there’s a greater risk of injury. If I had room to stow an olympic bar, though, this would be a pretty innovative workout by Beachbody standards.

    Everyone’s right about it being leg-heavy, though. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as the legs are your biggest calorie burners and the easiest (and most functionally useful) place to add muscle. But with limited equipment, there are only so many ways to work the legs without it becoming repetitive. Again, leg-heavy is ok, but it wouldn’t have killed them to fiddle with the splits a little.

    • Elizabeth

      June 28, 2016 at

      I agree about Hammer Power, I’d have love they used a barbell, instead of dumbbells; it just make more sense; I’ll probably use mine.

      I wonder what you think about the rotation calendar, do you think there is a risk of over-training? There aren’t recovery workouts, and even the cardio, use weights.

      • Elchupinazo

        June 30, 2016 at

        I guess there’s always a danger of overtraining for any program, and maybe this one more so for beginners because of the constant impact on the legs. But while the cardio uses weights, they aren’t heavy, and I feel like the mix of workouts is such that someone at a decent fitness level should be able to negotiate it if they know their weights. What Sagi considers a heavy weight isn’t the same as what Autumn calls for, for instance. That said, it’s incumbent upon everyone to know their own bodies. I have no qualms following the modifier in a workout whenever my legs are feeling taxed.

        I’ve started to notice what some Amazon reviewers meant when they said that the workouts themselves were good, but the program overall was weird. I think they maybe tried a little too hard to make it “new” when they could have stuck to both trainers’ strengths and created a good program. For instance…

        Sagi could have had: Chest, Back, Shoulders/Arms, Legs, Plyo and Total body.
        Autumn could have had: Upper body, Lower body, Total body, Agility, Cardio and Pilates.

        That’s the same number of workouts you get now, but without the overlap. If they wanted to focus on the “strength” aspects with Sagi, they could have dropped his sets from 15/12/8 to 10/8/5 (or something similar). It’s almost like the people designing the two halves of the program (and this falls little if at all on Autumn and Sagi, let’s be serious) weren’t communicating.

        That said, I’m going to keep with it, as I like that it combines heavy weights with Autumn’s high rep/low weight stuff. P90X3 (maybe) does this as well or better, but I need a break from that.

        • Elizabeth

          July 11, 2016 at

          Hi Chupinazo, thanks so much for your reply, I couldn’t reply before as I was getting an error page. I agree with you, I also follow the modifier when needed, or take an extra rest if my body is asking for it, I also agree that Sagi heavy weight vs Autumn’s is totally different, I’m more on the line of Autumn weights :) although I sometimes lift heavier than her, specially for legs. I also like the workouts, I think they are fun and solid, but as you, I think they didn’t communicate that much or at all, I think it could have been more balanced for sure, I would have much appreciated an stretch routine added to the package as well. Btw, I like your suggested workouts, I think they would have worked great that way, and now you got me interested on P90X3, I haven’t try that one yet. Have a great day!

  16. Angie Calix

    May 25, 2016 at

    I just read your review on 22 Minute Hard Corps and this one. If you had to choose between the 2, which would it be? I am currently on Week 3 of Insanity but would like more strength training after I am done to build some muscle. Which would be best for that? I have both Body Beast and 21DFX at home as well, but looking for something new.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      May 25, 2016 at

      If you want more strength training, Hammer and Chisel might be the better way to go as Sagi has some pretty sweet muscle workouts. 22 MHC is closer to circuit training which will give more stamina.

  17. Ron

    May 20, 2016 at

    I just want to cycle ryu though the hammer workouts for 3 full body workouts per week.
    Any suggestions on how to map this out?
    Should I do one hammer workout x3 for a month then change for another hammer workout or do a different one each of the 3 weekly days?

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      May 24, 2016 at

      Not sure if I have any special way to map it out other than trying to mix it up as best one can. My workouts are pretty random and I rarely use a written schedule anymore. The calendars these companies give you are nice, but they are not the only way to get the job done by a long shot.

  18. Brent Gath

    April 26, 2016 at

    I like this program but I think 60 days of ignoring arms almost entirely is too much. This is okay to change things up for a month and then head back and start pushing the iron with Body Beast or whatever. What I do, since ignoring the arms really bothered me, is do an arm routine on the “off day”. This program would have been fantastic if they had just let Sagi do what he does best, lift weights! They should have let him have a Chest, shoulders, and Arms day and in between have Autumn’s workouts. Then it would have gotten 5 stars from me. Instead it earns 3.5 stars. Come on Body Beast 2!!!!!!

  19. Jaime

    April 8, 2016 at

    Things I can’t handle well:
    ~ Sagi and Autumn are night and day, which is fine until they combine efforts into a program. It just seems forced since she’s all about dropping weight as fast as possible and he’s all about building up. The fact that a Body Beast fanatic friend actually LOST muscle during MHC says it all.
    ~ I have to add in a few sets working biceps and triceps since they are almost completely ignored.
    ~ Why does Autumn spend so much time telling you that if you are lifting heavier for upper body and lighter on legs, you aren’t doing something right…yet in that workout, she keeps using her 25 lb weights THE ENTIRE TIME.

    One thing I CAN handle… In just a month, my ass has finally started to take on a shape other than ‘pancake’. First time in my life I’m actually seeing lift. All the constant leg and balance work is working.

    • Jaime

      April 8, 2016 at

      That should have said Autumn is lifting her 15 lb weights, not 25.

  20. Marg78

    March 29, 2016 at

    Thanks for your review! I feel like the majority of people in the challenging groups I was participating in, didn’t get close to the results that BB promises at the end of the H&C program. I find BB workouts effective in terms of loosing weight, but I feel like I will never look like any of the trainers unless I really hit the Gym hard for a few hours and lift heavy… is kind of misleading… :-/

    • wahday

      April 5, 2016 at

      you have to do doubles and eat 100% perfect to get the best results.

  21. Miloš Lazić

    March 26, 2016 at

    Mr. Parrot your reviews are entertaining as they are informative and I have enjoyed them very much. For that reason I got P90X2 and Insanity max 30 and those really deliver. I would like to request if possible a review of 21-day metashred as it seems to be an excellent program. Hope to see it soon on your page. Keep up the good work! Cheers.

    • Elizabeth

      June 28, 2016 at

      I’d love a review of 21-Day Metashred as well!

  22. Christina

    March 9, 2016 at

    What is the best thing to do when you finish Hammer and Chisel? I have great muscle tone and want to keep going with that but I still need to lose body fat. Any suggestions

  23. Estabon mendez

    February 29, 2016 at

    Its a great program but i suggest u hybrid it with t25 or max 30 every other day….i feel when each develped thier part they didnt confide with each other….cause u will do alot of same muscles and same mucles every workout…..i felt overtrained and not enough recoup time for each muscle workout to workout… due to an elbow had to modify alot….i only lost 5 lbs…its a great workout but the cardio needs to be added….so i recommend to hybrid then is a perfect workout and u wont have to hear sagi so many times quote the Rock lol

    • Christina

      March 9, 2016 at

      I agree, I actually did the Cize workout along with this one. Love Sagi, once I got passed his gym talk, and love Shawn T!

  24. Anonymous

    February 28, 2016 at


    I have a question about Hammer Power. Am I doing the workout right, because in the end I feel that I trained my core and lower back like a lot? Should I try to focus and lift with the legs? From other reviews I noticed that this workout focuses on legs and shoulders, but not for me.

  25. Shy

    February 25, 2016 at

    Oh dear God. So I tried the programme out of interest and I HAVE NO IDEA HOW PEOPLE CAN STAND SAGI. Caps in case you couldn’t read my passion there. What a chauvinist. Butthead indeed.

    • Kristy

      March 3, 2016 at

      I kind of agree with you. I don’t outright hate the guy but for all the griping I see about Autumn, I like her a heck of a lot better than him. I don’t get why people love him so much. I’m just neutral I guess.

      • Elizabeth

        June 28, 2016 at

        I like Autumn, and I actually don’t get why some people hate her. And, for Sagi… I love him, he just makes me laugh!

    • Brent Gath

      April 26, 2016 at

      I guess I’m on the other end of the spectrum here, I thoroughly enjoy workouts with Sagi. Body Beast is my favorite BB program!

  26. KD

    February 24, 2016 at

    Hi DP – I am struggling on this one. I’ve done rounds of 21dfx (I HATE Autumn) I’ve done a few rounds of body beast (I LOVE Sagi.) On top of it all I run and box, I’ve done several rounds of Insanity and I own max 30 – I’ve done a few weeks of that but nothing compares to the original insanity (IMO.) I bought a month of CSATT Fitness and was given a few months from a few of the girls in the group, although a good program – not comparable to beach body programs. I’ve lost 40 lbs in about 14 months. I am at my last 5 and I’m looking for some tone.
    What do you suggest?

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      February 24, 2016 at

      Try Asylum. It mixes athletic endurance with some resistance. If Shaun T is your trainer of choice then it might be what you’re looking for.

      • KD

        February 24, 2016 at

        I have tried asylum 1 – this was a few years ago. I tried to do one of the asylum 2 workouts today (through BOD) and wasn’t super impressed. My friend gave me her login to BOD so I tried one of the workouts today. There’s something about Autumn that I really dislike. I know everyone is different, but not my fave. My brother suggested I try doing body beast in reverse (so for chest and tris, start with tris and end with chest) he said it is much more challenging.
        Thanks for your help – and keep reviewing :)

        • Jeremy Tanner

          February 25, 2016 at

          When you work chest, it also calls on your triceps as part of that process. If you first fatigue your tris, you will have a hard time working your chest. The weight required to lift to work your chest will not be able to be supported and stabilized by your arms.

          Asylum 1, Strength is an amazing workout, IMO. Maybe try revisiting that? Also, have you tried any of the P90X series of workouts?

          A lot of times, dropping that last 5 pounds comes down to what you’re putting in your body rather than what you’re doing with your body. Give those nutritional habits a review to see if you can tighten that up.

          Good Luck!

    • Matt

      February 26, 2016 at

      CSATT Fitness by Cody Sattler? If that’s him, he’s a great guy, I’ve known him for years, worked out with when he first moved to IL

      • KD

        February 27, 2016 at

        Hi Matt. That’s him. Great guy, very positive, but program has gone down hill the bigger he’s gotten. The success has gone to hid head (just check out his snap chat)
        There are a lot of mistakes with the plans that he sends out (wrong video for the workout etc)
        My friend in the group also worked out with him when he was training people and she said he has changed for the worse. I feel bad saying that, but some people can’t handle success.

  27. StinaR

    February 7, 2016 at

    Okay, I love your reviews, and frequently refer friends to them when they’re considering new programs. I’m currently halfway through MHC after dropping 35lbs in 4 rounds of 21DF, and I’m loving the muscle gains I’m getting and the shrinking measurements. That being said, I’m starting to consider what I’m going to do next. I love the lifting in MHC, but I do feel like my weight loss and sanity would potentially benefit from a bit more cardio. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a girl who loves strength training and understand that I can get smaller without the number on the scale shrinking, but I still have at least 80lbs to lose I’m pretty sure. How would you recommend incorporating more cardio into MHC? I’ve considered doing a second round but spacing the workouts more to allow 2-3 days a week for running and a good thorough stretching/recovery workout, but am also curious about the idea of incorporating one of the more cardio-centric BB programs into a hybrid with MHC. My knees and ankles don’t love a whole lot of jumping and high impact cardio (outside of running…my knees are weird), so I’m concerned about things like T25 or Insanity. What would you recommend, DP?

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      February 8, 2016 at

      If you’re going after a lot of weight, start with incorporating a T25 hybrid. The jumping in it is very low intensity and nothing like Insanity. They even show a modifier so you can ease into it.

    • Jeremy Tanner

      February 25, 2016 at

      As the program goes on, the intensity increases. The order and frequency of the different workouts plays a big part. If you’re 1/2 way, I’d give it a chance sticking to the schedule. I thought the same thing for the first month. The 2nd month picks it up. At least, that’s my opinion. Congrats so far, and good luck the rest of the way!

    • Nikki

      February 26, 2016 at

      I am just three days away from finishing Mhc. I’ve lost about ten pounds in two months. I know I have gained quite a few pounds of muscle mass. I have lost by incorporating jogging for at least a mile or three after every workout to continue to get my heart rate up. Also a round of sprints with 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off for seven minutes really helps burn the calories. Even walking for an extended period of time will help you cut those extra calories.

  28. Shy

    February 4, 2016 at

    I never start a programme without your guru seal of approval DP!

    Umming and aahing about this one though…having done the whole Shaun T set (minus the dancey ones which I won’t EVER be doing), I always worry programmes like this wont give me the solid sweatfest workout I want. 21DF and 21DFX were challenging in their own way, but I don’t think I’ll ever do such a programme end to end without hybriding up with some more solid cardio.

    I’m looking for a something that will work me hard, without it being too high impact or similar to the Shaun T stuff (I have reached a plateau), and something that will help me shed these 2kg I can’t seem to shake off!

    So…do you think this fits the bill? And if I can’t invest in a bench/ medicine ball/ stability ball am I better of sticking with another programme? Is this more about building? I’m quite toned and defined and while more lean definition is good, getting big and bulky is a no-no!


    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      February 4, 2016 at

      It can yes, although the cardio here is not going to compare to Max 30 by any means. It’s more of a muscle/circuit style of cardio.

      Many moves are modifiable without a bench, but some not so much. Wouldn’t bother with any stability balls for this one and medicine balls are not used at all. If you feel like going the extra mile, P90X2 is one of my favorites as long as you hybrid in a good cardio like Max 30.

      If busting your butt with these programs plateaus, the next facet that might warrant a look is diet. Often eliminating wheat is a strong factor in that success. I’m not really an advocate of calories counting but it might be worth experimenting with for a week to try and spot any trends.

      • Shy

        February 6, 2016 at

        Ooooh, P90x2, blimey, might have to check out your review for that again! Thanks for replying and for all your fab work

      • Shy

        February 6, 2016 at

        Ps. Totally hear you on the diet/ wheat front. Guess I’ll have to give that a shot. Thanks again

      • Garrett

        March 2, 2016 at

        That’s the point of the containers – no calorie counting. In the container food fits, then into the mouth it gits. :p

        And not a calorie was counted.

      • Elizabeth

        June 28, 2016 at

        Mr. Parrot, the medicine balls are used on the Deluxe workouts.

  29. Benjamin Mac Austnes

    January 23, 2016 at

    Which ab routine is the best one out of all the beachbody workouts you’ve done?

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      January 24, 2016 at

      The original P90X Ab Ripper is hard to beat. AB Core+ in P90X+ is probably the best, but only in my opinion.

  30. Jett Batmanonfilm

    January 22, 2016 at

    What equipment do you need? Also, would love to see you review some of the stuff put out by Men’s Health of late. For example, this new program. >>>

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      January 22, 2016 at

      A solid bench and some weights in the 5-20lb range would be a good start.

      Coincidentally, I’m looking at some free online fitness videos from Livestrong. Very impressive. I will look at the link you mentioned as well.

    • Jason Iannone

      March 2, 2016 at

      I highly suggest 21-Day Metashred, I picked it up to supplement insanity, insanity max, and p90x3. The workouts are challenging (with the right weights and pushing through) and he provides a beginner, intermediate, and advanced moves. Its definitely metabolic training due to the compound movements, and the variety in the movements and tempo is perfect. Not repeating the videos for 21 days is nice too, makes multiple rotations easier. I got it from rodalestore as you can find a 25% off coupon via google, they seem to ship mid week out of NY.

      • Jett Batmanonfilm

        March 2, 2016 at

        Agreed. Doing it now and it’s very good. Now, I do a workout in the “off” days as Metashred suggests. but BJ Gaddour is one of my favorite trainers. In fact, most of the Men’s Health stuff is very good!

  31. John

    January 22, 2016 at

    Tony and Beach Body have gotten out of hand DP!
    40 bucks for their new military fitness workout is 35 bucks too much.
    Come on, how many ways are there to workout?
    It’s probably 22 fast paced minutes of calisthenics with some sandbag tossing.
    I can do the 9 week Navy Seal workout add some sandbag stuff and push the pace to finish it in under 25 minutes.
    I mean what will Tony and BB come up with next, a 15 minute workout or 20 minutes version called P90X4?
    Enough already.
    They can’t improve on the tried, true, and tested classic P90X.
    Just my penny’s worth of venting.

    • Kristy

      January 22, 2016 at

      YES! I always wonder just how short are they really willing to take these workouts? I know it comes down to people wanting a fast and easy fix but seriously you need to be willing to put in the time for results.

      Other than any kind of Shaun T cardio vid (where it’s easy to transition from one move to the next in the routine), anything that has been marketed as 30 mins or less has been too rushed for me for the most part. There’s either not enough time explaining how to perform an upcoming move or just not enough time to transition over to from what you were doing previously. I always end up rewinding here and there, making it more than the marketed 25 or 30 mins!

      That being said I really like this program for the most part. I stick to the calendar but I have been adding in some P90X arm videos due to the obvious lack of attention H&C gives them where I can. I also make sure I get in yoga somewhere once a week. I have to say I think Chisel Agility is a joke. It’s what I imagine 6th grade gym class would have been like in 1965. I sub in Max Sweat or Friday Fight 2 whenever it comes up in the calendar. I think this program is going to be fantastic to hybrid with and it’s what I plan to do when I officially finish it next month.

    • Benjamin Mac Austnes

      January 23, 2016 at

      Well, you don’t HAVE to buy it, you know. You could always stick with P90x/2/3, or make your own routines based on the plethora of information available on the internet. :)

    • .45

      January 28, 2016 at

      I tend to agree with this. I thought most of the 1/2 hour workouts in P90X3 were pretty worthless and had to do Body Beast workouts afterwards to feel like I accomplished something. This makes me have even less interest in 22 minute workouts from Horton, except maybe as an add-on to a more adequate workout. Perhaps they recognize this and that’s why they’re only charging $40 for it. At that price point, I would probably buy it solely for that purpose. In that regard, the add-on workouts from the Hammer & Chisel Deluxe upgrade make for a decent workout block when adding an additional 15 mins to what are otherwise pretty short workouts; it’s just a shame that the bonus disc costs half of what the entire program costs.

      • KB

        March 3, 2016 at

        I’m getting hardcore and considering it as a doubles workout. That should do the trick.

    • Garrett

      March 2, 2016 at

      Not all of us want to give up 1 hr to 90 minutes of our day just for working out. That’s 30 minutes to 60 minutes too long. 22 minutes to 30 minutes is perfect. And BB has found that shorter workouts are often more effective than longer ones. Hence T25, 21 Day Fix/Extreme, Max 30.

      Longer is not always better. Ask women.

  32. c1vision

    January 22, 2016 at

    I love this program but I seem to be in the minority!!

    I don’t understand why this program gets such a bad rap, (comparatively speaking that is). I refer to amazon for reviews often, I just find it’s a good place to get unbiased reviews from real consumers. And this program only scores 3.5 out of 5 stars, which isn’t really impressive for a workout program considering that virtually all of the workouts in both the Insanity and P90X series score nearly 5 out of 5 stars.

    First a little about myself, I’m an early forties male that’s completed Insanity, P90X3, T25, and 21 Day Fix. I try to eat mostly healthy but I do love a cold beer every now and then. I genuinely push myself in my workouts and have seen results to prove it, however I’ve never managed to get six-pack abs. I’m about 5’11” 183lbs, I can do 10 consecutive solid pull-ups with good form, 50 push-ups without stopping, and can run 3 consecutive 8 minute mile pretty easily (not sure how much faster I could go, I never really try). Realizing there are a lot of people more or less fit, I say all of this as to give you an idea of my fitness level so you can gauge where my perspective is coming from.

    I find these workouts plenty challenging. I don’t find any need to double them up or swap them out. Yes a couple of Segei’s workouts are shorter but I actually appreciate those days because the run time on many of the workouts is around 40 minutes. I also enjoy not hearing the same voice on consecutive days. I began this program immediately on the heels of completing a round of T25. 3 weeks in and the result is visibly noticeable. I suspect the change in pace and style of workout sparks change. I do think some of the moves could be challenging for people that don’t workout regularly. I also think this program really requires a bench and dumbbells. Sure you could follow the modifier, which may be necessary for some moves due to complexity or impact, but you’d miss out on some of the nuance that makes certain moves effective. I would even go so far to say if you didn’t have a bench that you really wouldn’t be doing ‘Hammer and Chisel.’ Just a few thought I thought I’d share.

    • Cristiano

      May 19, 2016 at

      Agree 100%

    • Elizabeth

      June 28, 2016 at

      I agree for the most part, but the bench, I don’t have one. I have and use a full club step with extra risers, I can even set it on incline, and I actually think it would be safer for certain exercises, just my 2 cents.

  33. Aaron

    January 19, 2016 at

    Great review, as always, DP!

    Question: did you feel like Sagi was
    awkwardly acting and out of place at times? To me, it’s almost as if he
    was forced to do certain moves/sequences for the sake of what Beachbody
    wanted and he just wasn’t 100% comfortable. In one of the deluxe
    workouts that Autumn leads, he stops to sing “let’s go chisel” in the
    middle of the workout and I can’t help but think it’s because he can’t
    really keep up with that style of workout.

    Anyways, overall I
    think it’s pretty good, but as a devout Body Beast fan, it just didn’t
    live up to expectations 100%. I like the weighs in it, but most of the
    works are more just “conditioning” focused and the schedule for the
    series seems completely random other than to alternate a bunch of
    workouts all doing the total body in different ways. I’m still hoping
    for BB2 to bring it, so we’ll see!

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      January 19, 2016 at

      Yes, there were times I thought both of them were coached in their lines. Sagi’s eyes seemed to sparkle more when he did a redo of BB Total Body. And the chemistry was flat as matzo bread when the two did Cardio together. Still, a good program despite my nitpicking!

      • Aaron

        January 19, 2016 at

        So true about both of them. Like there was a weird requirement that Autumn say “This is how you get chiseled” at least 3 times per workout. But definitely agree that for home weightlifting this is head and shoulders above most other programs and lots of interesting new stuff.

        Also, really appreciate you sharing about Total Body. Until your review I hadn’t paid attention to it being a remade version. Excited to check it out.

  34. enno108

    January 17, 2016 at

    Always enjoy your reviews and was looking forward to hearing your opinion about Hammer & Chisel. I’ve used your BB and P90X3 reviews to decide which workout to buy (I ended up starting with X3). Then I’ve used your P90X1,2,3 & Insanity reviews to build an uber-hybrid. This sounds like a great option to sprinkle some fresh workouts into the P90X routine. Good stuff. Thank you.

  35. .45

    January 17, 2016 at

    I’ve done this program for a couple weeks now and I have to say that I think the total body workouts every day are really hard on the body. I do really like some of them individually, but not the way it’s programmed. 8 workout days in a row with pull-ups is hardly my idea of a good time. My wife and I both find Autumn a little annoying, but I’m not thinking about it so much while my legs are on fire. Overall, I do like the program more than P90X3, which didn’t have nearly enough strength training in it for me, though I did enjoy the elite block in the 4th month. Speaking of deluxe workouts, it seems Beachbody holds the best back for this…kinda. Hammer Build Up is my second favorite workout in the program (after Hammer Power). There’s tons of arm work in it and the banter between them isn’t nearly as bad as it is in Master’s Cardio; it’s much more down to business. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for Power Chisel; the banter is so thick in this one that it doesn’t seem like they take the workout seriously. Sagi is goofing the whole time. Leg Hammer and Glute Chisel are both solid, but short add-ons.

  36. Sharon Doe

    January 16, 2016 at

    Thanks for the review! I am still trying to lose weight and am wondering if you would recommend this for weight loss. I have lost some weight on 21 day fix. I get the impression that this program is more for toning. What do you think? I’m almost 45 and have working out since April, but don’t want to hurt myself. Thanks!

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      January 16, 2016 at

      I feel this is a great next step for anyone who has done 21 Day Fix. Another option would be 21 Day Fix Extreme if Autumn clicks with you. While this program is indeed more toning, it is very do-able by anyone who has completed 21DF. If you modify where you need to, I doubt you would get injured. I’m 44 and have a lower back made of wet paper, and if I’m careful I’m still able to do the power lifting in this program.

  37. Christine Snyder

    January 16, 2016 at

    What a great review and i agree with you on every point. I now turn off the music for the Hammer workouts and use my own which makes it so much better. I am also adding Cathe Friedrich’s biceps and triceps routines from her Ripped with HiiT program due to the lack of these muscle groups . I have the bonus DVD and although its not spectacular it gives you another 2 workouts . I also think many of the workouts are too short so i either combine two of them or add one of my other shorter routines . Hammer power is great with kettlebells which is how i use it . And i combine a short 30 min lauren brooks routine kettlebell routine with it. I also look forward Tony’s new one . I have 4 DVRT sandbags so was so excited to see the sandbag used!!!

  38. Jerrod

    January 16, 2016 at

    While I’m liking this program so far – albeit I’m doing a hybrid program which entails doing both the 30-day programs at the same time – I agree with you that it’s lacking in certain areas. For those of us who do external cardio, that’s not a problem. The almost complete exclusion of arms is a bit disappointing. But my greatest criticism is that every routine seems to be a whole body routine. This means you end up working every body part, every day. The end result is that you’re both fatiguing the same groups every day and never truly maxing out anything. I’m using this program as a 30-day break from the others and more of a sport or total body block. I really, really like the work Autumn does on the bench. Some of the moves are completely unique to this program. Overall, I’d say this isn’t a complete workout system like a P90X3 or even Insanity Max: 30.

    • Garrett

      March 2, 2016 at

      How would you compare it to 21DFX? I’ve found that program to be quite excellent, though it’s different than X3 and Max 30.

  39. anthors

    January 15, 2016 at

    Thanks for your review. Now, I am doing P90X (I have changed the cardio training since I completed Insanity (twice) and Asylum (once), the last year). Since I am at the end of phase two, I am thinking about next program which I will do. On the basis of reviews and of my desiderata (I want to work on strength), I had to choose between Masters Hammer and Chisel. and Body Beast. What do you suggest?

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      January 16, 2016 at

      If you want more of a total body package that has roughly the same workouts the Hammer and Chisel would do. If you want specific muscle work the Body Beast comes out on top. Hard to beast BB in the strength department.

      • anthors

        January 26, 2016 at

        Thanks for your considerations, now I am thinking that the next workout will be Body Beast

  40. Andrew Brown

    January 15, 2016 at

    Long time Fitness Review reader 1st time commentator. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed each review. Gives me something to focus on each workout I do. I’ve done Hammer and Chisel for 3 weeks now and I’ve really grown to like Sagi even moreso than Tony and Shaun T. The hair jokes, when he warms up, cracks me up. He has a sense of humor underneath that brickful of muscle. There’s a few Autumn workouts that had me cussin this side of Shaun T. She can get a little annoying at times (YA?) but not enough to get frustrated and quit. Chisel workouts are far and away the toughest (especially Balance). Quick question for you? Have you seen Tony Horton’s 22 minute hard corps preview video yet? It’s set to be released in March. Basically nonstop basic Army training. What’s your take?

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      January 15, 2016 at

      Just saw the trailer for it yesterday. I’m very interested as I’m a big fan of military style workouts. It will be interesting to see how Tony takes his experience with the Forces and puts this all together. I did notice they had some kind of sandbag in the video so does this mean new equipment to purchase? Time will tell!

      Another thing I like is the price. The base package is apparently only $40. That makes life a lot easier for guys like me!

      • Andrew Brown

        February 18, 2016 at

        The sandbag is optional from what I just read. It basically doubles the price. I could probably get a 24 pack of water for $3 and use that as a sandbag instead. It feels the same to me. I still plan to get the base kit next month but I’d like to keep Hammering up all March. The 30 Day Hammer Schedule is clutch. I’m so done with Autumn after next week. She gets more annoying by the day (no offense to her).

  41. John

    January 13, 2016 at

    Great review, but I gotta put you on the spot.
    P90X3 vs. Masters Hammer and Chisel.
    If a person had to choose between these two which would give them the “most bang for their buck”?
    If, Master’s had a yoga or stretching day for recovering how would it stack up against X3?
    Thanks for your input!

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      January 14, 2016 at

      That’s a tough call to make, but I’m going to lean on P90X3. The reason is that X3 has more functional fitness like core/yoga and better arm routines.

      It’s also a matter of taste for trainers. Autumn and Sagi are less comical, so if Tony’s antics grate on your nerves then I’d take Hammer and Chisel any day.

      As awesome as X3 is, there are some Hammer-Chisel workouts that are hard to beat such as Hammer Power. I think one could make a pretty sweet hybrid of the two. But if money was a concern and you could only buy one program, I would opt for X3. Just my opinion mind you.

  42. e_mortal

    January 13, 2016 at

    Thank you Mr DP for another engaging summary. I’ve always enjoyed your writing and look forward to your write-ups for new fitness videos.
    I’ve just done week 1 and have glimpsed through all the videos, and I reiterate your mention about the lack of bi/tri work. I feel that all the results I have achieved recently in those areas will now waste away …
    But regardless of that, I’m feeling damn good at this stage with the lower body especially getting one heck of a beating! I’m going to incorporate a yoga session in there once a week as well to help with recovery, which as you have pointed out is perhaps a another shortcoming of the program.

  43. Jess

    January 12, 2016 at

    Would there be anything of benefit from this program to incorporate into a hybrid p90x3/insanity max 30 routine?

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      January 12, 2016 at

      If your cardio is particularly good, swaping out for Max 30 would be best. Also, some workouts in X3 such as Complex Upper are better at working the arms than a lot of workouts in this series, not to mention that the addition of a yoga workout is nice to mix in.

  44. okolo clarke

    January 12, 2016 at

    Thanks for this review. Have been curious about what this was like.

  45. darnoc

    January 11, 2016 at

    Hi Parrot, love all your reviews and have been waiting for this one. I’ve been looking for a strength and cardio workout and been trying a hybrid of Body Beast and Max 30. Would the Hammer and Chisel be similar to this? Also, is there a summary page that shows your reviews sorted by rank? Thank you.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      January 12, 2016 at

      The cardio in Max 30 is much more intense. I would say the cardio here is about on par with P90X3 or 21 Day Fix Extreme. It’s good, but few things ever get your heart up to Shaun T levels!

      As for the summary page, that’s actually a good idea. I’ll see if I can work on that so it is a little easier to find stuff.

      • Jeff

        January 28, 2016 at

        I did p90x a few years back but felt it lacked in building muscle i was thinning to much so added weight lifting. Now I have just done basic gym style lifting like benches curl etc. I need to lose about 10-15 pound of fat but gain muscle in key areas like arms . What would you recommend Hammer and Chisel or Body Beast> Tia!

        • Dysfunctional Parrot

          January 28, 2016 at

          Probably not H&C because it actually has little arm work besides push ups. It’s more of a circuit training workout whereas Body Beast is more focused on muscle development. And while H&C has a few real gems in it such as Hammer Power, it might not suit your needs as a whole. Might want to do BB and mix in some cardio from elsewhere.

  46. SEM

    January 11, 2016 at

    Another great write up. Makes me want it even more now.

  47. freereel

    January 11, 2016 at

    Another great review! You are the man!
    I am a long-time fan, and I have based my collection in large part on your relative rankings of various programs, to my great satisfaction. Thank you for the insights!
    Last year I made a request….for a review of Bodyshred by Jillian Michaels. And you delivered a great and very helpful review!
    I have one more suggestion for a possible review. I just saw some interesting online stuff about a program called 21-day Metashred by a trainer named B.J. Gaddour. It looks like something new and different. But I’m curious to know how it would survive your review gauntlet and how it would stand up to some of the programs that you have given strong reviews.
    What do you think?

    • okolo clarke

      January 12, 2016 at

      Funny you mentioned Metashred. I’ve been wondering about it too. Have been following the trainers’ personal account along with the Metashred account on Instagram, and the workouts sure seem intense. In his personal workouts B.J does more than the most reps ever imagined possible.

      • manueldelreal

        January 15, 2016 at

        I saw some of the videos on the instagram account and the exercises seem intense, no questions there. What I didn’t like was the speed that he puts on some (if not most) of them, it felt “crossfit-y” for lack of a better word, I don’t know how much emphasis he puts on safety and good form.

  48. Nick Wood

    January 11, 2016 at

    Parrot, will we ever get another awesome video review like P90X2? Oh btw great review.. I’m on day 7 now!

    • Yisrael

      January 11, 2016 at

      I agree. More videos, perhaps this time with a little of the force awakens sprinkled in..

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      January 12, 2016 at

      I made that video during a time when I had a night job as a systems analyst and could devote many hours to making it. I would like to make another one someday, so who knows!

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