Looking for a fitness program that will take control away from your already nose-diving life? 9 Week Control Freak, created by fitness trainer Autumn Calabrese, is just what you need. With a mix of strength training, cardio, and mobility work, you’ll have no choice but to follow the strict guidelines set forth by your fitness overlords. But is it everything you need to become a ripped specimen? That’s where I once again come into play. As I may not have mentioned in some time, I AM NOT a Beachbody Coach, and this is not a paid “adver-torial”. Kind of a shame really, because I could use the extra cash.
If you’re worried about having to invest in a bunch of fancy equipment for 9 Week Control Freak, fear not. All you’ll need are a set of dumbbells, resistance bands, sliders, and a foam roller. You can get a door attachment for the bands, but I’m sure with some ingenuity you can find a workaround. Oh, and if money doesn’t matter to you, you can throw in an optional step platform. The rest of us plebeians will just use stairs.
There’s also the option of using those damnable food containers from 21 Day Fix. Look, if you feel the need to use them to stop from becoming a walking McFatass then by all means do what you need to do. But I’m a man, and I have needs.
There are 3 Phases, each lasting 3 weeks. Autumn takes the lead and Beachbody alumni Tanya from Insanity is there. We also have a…shall we say…new to fitness participant. I get it…folks with some extra are the market for these videos anyway. Oh, and there’s a white guy hidden in the back. He better be gayer than pink champagne or the DEI police are gonna be pissed.
Oh, there’s no music track? Sigh, fine. Inflation has priced DJ Jazzy Jeff and his mixer-board out of affordability. But I guess I should shut up and be happy that there is at least a clock, albeit one that looks like it was made on a Pentium 3.
Phase 1 is a swift introduction to resistance training, cardio, and mobility work. Resistance uses generally lighter weights, or some wonky door attachment for a resistance band. The first week kicks off with a full-body assessment to see how much damage you can handle, followed by workouts that target specific muscle groups and increase in intensity. Assuming that you’ve been skipping cardio days for a while, you’ll be a sweating, trembling mess. There might even be a little cursing of Autumn’s name as she challenges you with heavy weights, high-intensity cardio, and some seriously challenging lower-body work. For the first few days my legs responded like Joe Biden trying to walk up a flight of stairs. Never skip leg day, kids.
But don’t worry, it’s all part of the plan. Just keep reminding yourself that pain is weakness leaving the body…or is it just your soul slowly slipping away?
This is where you’ll be cranking up the intensity with heavier weights, faster-paced cardio, and some seriously challenging new moves. Week four starts by incorporating more dynamic movements to work on balance and core stability, thus challenging yourself with full-body workouts that leave no muscle group unscathed. All while wondering if Autumn hired an airbrush artist to put her pants on. Look, I’m a dude…and it stands to reason that if I wore pants that tight, you could tell what religion I was.
Of course, there are some things that are a little new. Which brings me to mention one thing I hate: the jumbo-tron TV with “participants across America”. Am I competing with these people? WAIT…Is my TV watching me??
This is the phase where Autumn really turns up the heat because when you name something Phase 3, you’re obligated to. You’ll be challenged with advanced resistance training techniques and cardio intervals. But don’t worry, it’s all for a good cause – core stability and mobility, or so they say.
The limitations of this program also become obvious from a resistance training standpoint. For example, using a resistance band to do cross body cable rows or tricep pulldowns does work…but only to a point. For most women this will be good enough. But uber-masculine, testosterone laden hunks of raw sex appeal such as myself are going to demand a proper cable machine to get anything of real satisfaction.
So there you have it – 9 Week Control Freak in all its sweat-soaked, muscle-quivering glory. Whether you’re a seasoned gym-goer or a fitness newbie, this program will push you to your limits. You’ll gain strength, endurance, and a newfound appreciation for burpees (or maybe not). But more importantly, you’ll gain control – control over your body, your mind, and maybe even over your pathetic excuse for a life. And if all else fails, you can always use Autumn’s motto as your personal mantra: “Suck it up, Buttercup”…although I do wish she would stop saying it.
So, did I like 9 Week Control Freak? Well, yes…it will produce results. But I’m not sure its particularity inspired. Beachbody has become the Marvel Studios of workout video creators. Their early stuff is good, but recent productions are very much formulaic. Even, dare I say…cheap looking. I just don’t understand how with advances in technology, things look CHEAPER than P90X which was created back in 2004. Like Marvel, it seems all about creating CONTENT.
But it is worth doing? Well, it beats a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. For those who already have a BoD subscription, it is absolutely worth giving serious consideration. And the bonus is you get to break things up, as 9 solid weeks of Autumn and the gang may be a bit much.