Well, since Angelena (a fellow SweatPink Ambassador) was last featured on this here bloggity blog, she’s been one busy chica! She recently came out with a 4 Week Shape Up Plan, an awesome workout and nutrition guide meant to help boost your metabolism, boost your energy levels, burn fat, and increase your lean muscle mass. Uh… sounds amazing!
Well this lucky girl got a sneak peek into that amazing-sounding plan! I had already committed to a 12-week plan (more on that soon), so I couldn’t do the whole 4-week program. However, I had a week between getting Angelena’s plan and the 12-week plan to give it a little test run!
The plan kicks things off by talking about the importance of nutrition. I didn’t follow the nutrition plan because I wanted to get in a few of my favs before starting the 12-week program, but her guidance is sound. She doesn’t want you to count calories or measure out your food (sounds great already!) but rather keep your focus on eating whole, real food. The basis of the plan is Paleo, but the main goal is to keep overly processed foods out of your diet, including alcohol. Gasp! What about Wine Wednsday, Thirsty Thursdays, and pretty much every day of the weekend? It’s just 4 weeks, people! You can do it!
What I really love is that she gives you an example of what a daily meal plan can look like, so you can get the ball rolling on all that healthy goodness.
Like I said, I can’t really comment on the nutrition plan and how it made me feel for the week because I didn’t follow it – but I do like the premise of it. What I can comment on are some of the workouts.
The program consists of 3 days of strength training followed by a short cardio workout and 2 days of longer cardio sessions for a total of 5 days. In my trial week, I did two of the strength training workouts and one of the longer cardio workouts. Let’s break down my thoughts into likes and opportunities for improvements (because “dislike” isn’t a very fun category), shall we?
What I Liked
- Angelena provided photos of each of the exercises so it took the guess work out if I wasn’t sure how to do, say, a Dumbbell Chest Press in Lying Bridge or on Stability Ball. I just brought this to the gym with me and used it as a little reference guide to make sure I was doing the move correctly. This is how you do a Dumbbell Chest Press in Lying Bridge or on Stability Ball, be-tee-dubs:
- There are beginner and more advanced options. Always good to have!
- The workouts I did were challenging yet do-able. I felt like I got a good burn on without getting that OMG-I’m-not-going-to-be-able-to-move-for-a-week-so-much-for-that-plan-where’s-the-icecream feeling.
- As much as I love strength training, I still LOVE me so cardio, especially running, so I really enjoy that this plan works in short cardio sessions (either Tabata style workouts or running workouts) on strength days. You can not keep me from running! You cannot! <– I say dramatically as I burst out the door onto the street. (I should have been an actress, I know.)
- The strength training sessions took me about 40 minutes to complete and the cardio to follow was 20 minutes for a perfect hour long session.
- The workouts require minimal equipment, so if you have dumbbells, resistance bands and a stability ball at home, you should be good to go. If not, you’ll take up minimal space at the gym.
- Angelena herself is super awesome and approachable, so if you have any questions, you shouldn’t worry about asking! I mean, look at that face! (Angelena is the adult, in case you weren’t sure.)
Room for Improvement
- Before you get into the workouts, the plan says that Beginners should choose a weight that is challenging but manageable for 15-20 reps. Intermediate/Advanced should choose a weight that is challenging but manageable for 10-12 reps. It also states that you should stick to the workouts the way they are written. Well, on strength days, most of the moves say to do 15 or 20 reps, but if I’m Intermediate, aren’t I only supposed to do 10-12 or do I stick to the plan the way it is written? A little confusing.
- If I were to do this for the whole 4 weeks, I would love for there to be little worksheets so that I can write down my weights and reps for strength and better track my progress.
Overall, it’s a great program, and I’m looking forward to doing the whole 4-weeks, including the nutrition plan, after my 12-week program finishes! And I didn’t even mention the best part. The 4-Week Shape Up Plan only costs $10!! Uh… can’t beat that! No sir-ee! That includes the weekly weight training and cardio workouts and the whole real food guide and meal guidelines. Or you could shell out a whooping $40 (that’s still less than half of what a typical NYC gym costs every month!) for that same plan PLUS one-on-one coaching, weekly check-ins, and feedback and suggestions from Angelena as you go along. Pop on over to Angelena’s blog to check it all out! And don’t forget to follow her blog and social media outlets for even more awesome inspiration!
Have you ever tried a fitness and nutrition program?
Do you think this sounds like a plan you would enjoy?