In the world of at-home workout programs, Beachbody reigns supreme. Its various workouts range from 21 Day Fix, P90X, 3 Week Yoga Retreat, Country Heat…the list goes on. Beachbody programs allow you to kick your own butt into stellar shape from the comfort and anonymity of your living room, so it’s no surprise the programs are so popular—or that the company is constantly adding to their fitness catalog.
Which brings us to 80 Day Obsession, created by Beachbody super trainer Autumn Calabrese. Her newest program promises big wins in a short period of time (a 9-pound weight loss in as little as 14 days, along with major shredding down the line) by laying out an ultra-specific plan comprised of 30- to 60-minute workouts and well-timed macronutrient meals.
But is 80 Day the right fitness and diet plan for you? Well, that depends. WH asked personal trainers and a registered dietitian what they think about the plan. Plus, Calabrese herself weighed in how she designed the plan, who she had in mind, and what she really thought about that word “obsession” the first time she heard it.
What does 80 Day Obsession involve, exactly?
80 Day Obsession is a weight-loss program designed primarily for people who have a basic foundation of fitness. In other words, if you’re stalling out on your current exercise routine and want to kick your results up a notch, 80 Day Obsession could be just what you need to really take charge of your weight and overall health.
There are two components to the program: the fitness regime and the “timed nutrition” meal plan. Some basic equipment is required, like weights and resistance bands, and there are different package options ranging in price from $39 to $160 (sometimes there are discounts available).
What are the 80 Day Obsession workouts like?
The exercise program lasts for 13 weeks and is split up into three different phases, each one four weeks long. At first, you work on building basic strength and balance, explains Calabrese; as you move through the phases, you start to work up to more complex movements—to work up to building more muscle mass—and then finally start tackling power movements for optimal “shredding.”
“We decided to throw in that final thirteenth week as a peak week, which is something we do in the competitive world,” explains Calabrese. “That’s the week you get your best results.”
If that all sounds fairly straightforward for a three-month fitness plan, it basically is. The big thing to know up front is that these workouts are intense right from the start. Each one lasts anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes, and you work out for six days before taking a rest day. What’s more, each workout is designed to tackle a different area of fitness (like butt, legs, core, and cardio), and every week your workout gets changed up to really challenge you from one phase to the next.
“I don’t want people to plateau or get bored, so you never really do the same workout twice,” says Calabrese. “Every week you’re getting something different, pushing faster and harder.”
As long as you’re not pushing yourself beyond your actual physical limitations, taking on a program like 80 Day Obsession can be a great way to see quick progress and to really push yourself.
“The structure of the program works because you rest different muscle groups by varying your exercises daily and then getting a day of full rest,” says Lynell Ross, a certified personal trainer and health and wellness coach, who adds that the six days of super varied exercise routines allows you to easily achieve new levels of fitness.
What does the 80 Day Obsession meal plan involve?
Calabrese says she always has a nutrition component included in all of her Beachbody programs, and 80 Day Obsession is no exception. And if you’ve ever done one of her other programs before (like 21 Day Fix), a lot here will be familiar to you.
Even if you haven’t done any of Calabrese’s programs, the nutrition piece is pretty simple: It utilizes color-coded containers (that you can buy on the Beachbody website) for different macronutrients—such as carbs, protein, and fats—and you’re generally allowed to eat what you want from your day’s containers at any meal.
80 Day Obsession also incorporates something called “timed nutrition,” where you’re instructed to eat specific foods, or combinations of foods, at specific times of the day. You’re also encouraged to eat every three hours or so to avoid getting too hungry and overeating.
Basically, Calabrese’s focus is on filling your diet with:
- 40 percent carbs
- 30 percent protein
- 30 percent fat
“40/30/30 is a well-balanced ratio of nutrients, particularly for active people,” says Danielle Schaub, RD, culinary and nutrition manager for Territory Foods. “The average American diet consists of 50 percent carbs, 15 percent protein, and 35 percent fat, which is a little low on protein for most people who exercise regularly and need additional protein to repair and build muscle.”
As far as the timed nutrition side of things, Schaub says that, depending on your personal goals, it can have a powerful impact on your health—but it’s important to remember that weight loss can only be achieved when total calories consumed are less than the energy you expend. (In other words, when combined with a healthy diet, timed nutrition can help you control your hunger, avoid overeating, and maximize your workout efforts…but it won’t make you lose weight all on its own.)
Let’s recap: What are the benefits of 80 Day Obsession?
According to our experts, 80 Day Obsession features some strong qualities on both the fitness and nutrition sides.
What are the cons to consider?
There are a couple of potential downsides or challenges to keep in mind about the plan.
On that last note, Calabrese herself would have loved to see the program named something else, too. “I had the exact same feeling about the negative association with that word,” she admits. Ultimately, though, Calabrese realized that it’s just a word—and she could make it a positive one, if she tried.
After all, it does require a certain amount of “obsession” to maintain a healthy level of fitness in your life. “We hear that word and want it to be negative, but we get obsessed with things like TV shows all the time…why can’t we be obsessed with being happiest, healthiest version of ourselves?”
Okay…but should I try 80 Day Obsession?
If you are: injury-free and in good health, do not have a history of disordered eating, understand the basic principles of warming up, cooling down, and using proper form—you should be good to go.
When Calabrese first designed the program, she didn’t intend for it to be used by people who had zero experience with working out or who wanted to lose a significant amount of weight. Though some people have had success jumping into 80 Day Obsession with little to no experience—and crushing their goals in the process—it’s generally recommended that you have a baseline level of workout experience before getting started.
The reason for that really comes down to safety. “A good candidate for the 80 Day Obsession Plan is a person looking for a challenging work out, but definitely not for beginners,” says Ross. “People can get hurt easily when they go beyond their level of fitness too quickly.”
Roser agrees. “This program is perfect if you’ve been working out consecutively for about three months, doing [strength and cardio a few times per week],” she advises. “It requires explosive movements and is a high intensity workout geared for people who have been conditioned to handle fast-paced movements with little recovery time.”
Ultimately, if you’ve tried and liked Beachbody programs in the past, you’ll probably be a fan of the 80 Day Obsession Plan—and you’ll crush it! But if it sounds too restrictive for you and unsustainable, pass on this particular plan for something that better fits your lifestyle.
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