Hammer and Chisel is the latest fitness offering from Beachboy and is the collaborative effort of Autumn Calabrese and Sagi Kalev. The program was released December 2015 and includes a 12 DVD set of exercises that promise to deliver within 60 days a body that is not only aesthetically pleasing but functional and fit. The plan also includes an eating program with size and color specific containers corresponding to the major food groups.
Autumn Calabrese is a renowned celebrity trainer who is no stranger to the Beachbody community. She is known for the “21 Day Fix” and “21 Day Fix Extreme” exercise and meal programs. Some of her other successes include magazine feature stories highlighting a number of her exercise programs and philosophies. She also holds several health and fitness certifications.
Sagi Kalev is a professional bodybuilder who holds a degree from the University of Central Florida. He has nearly 30 years of experience in the health and fitness industry and has also been featured in many magazines throughout the world. He too has a long history of success with Beachbody.
The 12 DVD set is divided evenly between Autumn and Sagi with each exercise DVD being approximately 30-40 minutes long. While Autumns training program focuses on definition and sculpting; Sagi focuses on strength, power and hypertrophy (muscle growth). Specifically, Autumn addresses important issues of balance, isometrics, endurance, cardiovascular fitness, agility and total body training.
- The Balance DVD is designed for core strength and stabilization. Exercises include a variety of movements from a single leg standing position and single leg bridge position while lying on the floor. Dumbbells can be used for an added challenge. These exercises improve overall performance by strengthening the glutes and core muscles. They also have a cardiovascular component.
- The Isometric DVD develops muscular strength and endurance without changing the joint angle while exercising. These exercises are very beneficial as they train specific body parts to maintain stability while other body parts execute movement.
- The Cardiovascular DVD develops heart health as it improves circulation and burns calories. Specific exercises include a variety of non-traditional floor and standing movements done in 1 minute intervals. The program is different in that it does not incorporate tongue dragging, high-intensity movements that leave participants gasping for air. Training is steady and lowers and raises heart rate appropriately.
- Time Under Tension or the Endurance DVD tests muscular endurance with exercises that are completed under cadence. These slow, controlled movements are a break from the norm and can be a significant shock for traditional weightlifters. Exercises focus on control throughout the entire range of motion and set. Traditionally, it is easier to lose form and technique as sets and repetitions become more difficult. Time Under Tension must be done with resistance that will enable perfect form from beginning to end.
- The Agility DVD addresses movement and the ability to function in a coordinated manner. Exercises are primarily done in space using only bodyweight. Movements help improve or develop coordination as they incorporate starting, stopping, twists, turns or a variety of movement combinations. By default, the DVD maintains a plyometric and cardiovascular component.
- The final DVD in the Chisel exercise set trains the entire body. Unlike isolated exercise training, total body exercise places greater demand on the body and results in higher caloric consumption. Compound movements are used throughout the DVD and are meant to improve strength, stability, balance and coordination. Equipment used includes dumbbells, stability balls, flat/incline bench and bodyweight.
The 6 Hammer DVD exercise system utilizes plyometric, speed, pyramid, max lift, power and conditioning energy systems. Strength and power are completely different entities. However, Sagi’s program is designed to develop both to ensure performance is well-balanced.
- Plyometric training increases the muscles ability to generate overall power and is generally accomplished through quick bursts of speed. The DVD uses a variety of single and double leg jumps to accomplish this purpose. Light weights are used for variety along with pull-ups in between intervals. The program is very challenging.
- The ISO Speed program consists of 11 different exercises that concentrate on eccentric and speed development. Participants complete 10 reps of both types of exercise. The program moves quickly with short rest breaks ultimately producing a cardiovascular effect.
- The Total Body Pyramid DVD focuses on the large muscle groups (chest, back, legs, glutes, shoulders)of the body. Training is done in a circuit fashion and includes squats, bench press, pulls ups and lunges to name a few. The pyramid system involves increased resistance as the program progresses. However, incremental changes should not diminish the ability to complete reps and sets with good form.
- The Powerlifting DVD incorporates compound movements such as the squat overhead press and stiff-leg deadlift to upright row. The DVD is progressive and recommends increased weight through the program. As with the other programs, participants start with a warm up and move at a challenging pace. The “power” of the DVD focuses on the complexity of movement more than total weight lifted.
- The Max Lift program utilizes body and external weight resistance. Movements are performed for 1 minute without weight and for 1 minute with weight. An example would be a push up followed by a bench press or a bodyweight squat followed by a weighted squat. Participants are encouraged to handle the heaviest weight they can use with good form and technique.
- The Conditioning program maintains a variety of functional fitness elements as the body is challenged through numerous planes of movement from squat, lunge and floor positions. Rest breaks are short thereby producing a cardiovascular element. It is very challenging despite only using bodyweight and light dumbbells.
There is an initial investment for those who may not have equipment at home. All of the equipment can be ordered through Beachbody and may be a considerable price for some. However, it ultimately pays for itself when compared to years of gym memberships. The equipment is simple and includes resistance bands, dumbbells, pull-up bars and benches that can be neatly stored and require very little space.
The Diet Program
While the exercise DVD’s are the highlight of the Hammer and Chisel program, great nutrition is stressed as an equally important component for immediate and longterm success. Food group and portion size are marked by color coded containers that designate the amount to be consumed during meal and snack times. The nutrition program is balanced and does not rely on crazy, fad diets or carbohydrate restriction to achieve results. The nutrition plan can also be adjusted to achieve specified results whether they be to gain muscle or lose fat.
The Cost and Guarantee
The program is approximately $90 dollars and can be paid in a lump sum or installments. In addition to the 60 day results guarantee, Hammer and Chisel also offers a 60 day refund policy and 24/7 online support to address questions and concerns related to its program. Two, 10 minute ab videos are also included as part of the complete system.