Week 2 Done: My Thoughts on Chalean Extreme

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As of yesterday, I have officially completed the first 2 weeks of Chalean Extreme!

I gotta be honest here. My very first thought that comes to mind? I miss Pump! I think I really miss the music the most. I loved the songs and how each move went along with the music. With that said, I think Chalean Extreme is an awesome program and I’m excited to see what the next 76 days bring.

Before I get into the likes and dislikes, here are just a couple video stills from Chalean Extreme Burn Circuit 3:

chalean extreme burn circuit 3

Ready for the next one?





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chalean extreme burn circuit 3 squats

LOL!!! If a workout makes you make faces like that, it’s probably a good one.


  • The moves. Each of the Burn Circuit workouts features compound movements using dumbbells (or a resistance band if you choose), which I love. I have experienced DOMS with every single strength workout so far.
  • The Burn Intervals Workout. I love this workout. I mean, LOVE. Combining intervals of strength and cardio is incredible – it reminds me a little of 30 Day Shred because of the compound movements mentioned above and the strength/cardio intervals. There’s a ton of stuff packed in those 40+ minutes. The first time I did the workout, I nearly puked after the burpees but all was well in Week 2 during the same workout. Still tough, but I got through it without needing a couple minutes after the burpee part!
  • Short workout times. Each strength training workout is right around 35 minutes. That is a perfect time window for me. Long enough to get some serious work in and have shaky muscles and DOMS, but not so long that the kids feel they need to run around the house like crazy little gremlins.
  • Chalene Johnson. Chalene’s the trainer in this program and she is incredibly motivating. I love when she says, “You’re not tired!” Sometimes you just need to be reminded of that. Sometimes I feel like she’s wrong.
  • Calf work! There are actually some calf moves. I like that.
  • Perfect program for beginners. Chalene breaks down the moves, emphasizes the importance of form during movements, explains how to do movements, helps to ensure that you’re using the right amount of resistance and tells you how to create more resistance for yourself if your equipment is limited (or just not very heavy).


  • Music. There is music in this program and it isn’t bad at all, however, there is a lot more talking than I experienced in Les Mills Pump. With Les Mills Pump you have the option to make the music louder than the trainers – helpful once you know what you’re doing.  I’m just coming off of doing Pump so it’s hard not to compare the music aspect, especially since the music was one of my favorite parts about Pump and the key to what sets it apart from other programs. What helps though is that Chalene is very motivating and I love her positive energy and how helpful she is. Her talking has not bothered me, I just prefer music to words – especially once I get to know the routine of things.

Here’s Burn Circuit 2 (Day 3):

Who is Chalean Extreme For?

Just like every other exercise program out there, Chalean Extreme isn’t for everybody. But it’s definitely for somebody.

Let me explain.

Chalean Extreme is for people who…

A. Are looking for a strength training program.

B. Don’t mind following a DVD.

C. Enjoy working out at home.

D. Are committed to their workouts. (CE consists of 5 workouts per week; 2 rest days)

E. Are wanting to build muscle.

F. Can make time for 35-40 minute workouts.

G. Like scheduled workout programs.

Interested in checking out my progress?

Click here to see my Chalean Extreme Google Docs spreadsheet!

I hope this has helped you know what to expect in the first phase of Chalean Extreme. If you’d like to order your own copy you can click here!

Please let me know if you have any questions. My next Chalean Extreme program update will be when I’m two weeks into the “Push” phase. So in about 4 weeks! :)

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My name is Mindi and I'm an office manager and blogger living in Minnesota with my husband and our blended family of four children. Thank you for visiting Lifting Makes Me Happy! I fight depression and anxiety with healthy living and writing. I hope you are encouraged and motivated by the things I share here. I appreciate you stopping by!

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  1. You know more women should have your attitude towards resistance training. It makes promoting lean muscel development really difficult. Keep the good work up

  2. HOLY COW! That looks so tough! You can really see your legs shaking! Great job girl! You are always an inspiration!

  3. Allison says:

    I saw through your blog that you’ve done Les Mills Pump and are doing Chalean Extreme. I’ve ordered both, but am curious which you would recommend I’d do first? I’m 23, 5’3″ and 130 pounds looking to lose the last 10 pounds and tone up. I’m wondering whether one of the programs might be better for weight loss, and another more for toning?
    I know it’s almost impossible for women to bulk up, but it seems to be ingrained in my mind that if I lift heavy or often, my thighs will get huge. Any advice and reassurance would be greatly appreciated!

    • Hey Allison,

      You could easily combine the two if you wanted. You could do 2 CE workouts per week and 1 Pump workout. So far CE has made me sore after every single workout, which I love. I’ll definitely be building some good muscle with this program but I do think that Pump has that extra fun factor to it. I do like that CE has cardio though – Burn Intervals is a GREAT workout! You could even do that on Pump’s walking days. Making sure to get the strength training AND cardio in is key to getting results quickly. Along with a good diet of course! I made the mistake of not doing much cardio during Pump. Had I done that, I would’ve seen even better results but cardio is my struggle. Does that help? :)

  4. Allison says:

    Absolutely! Thank you so much for your insight, and I’ll be interested to see how you like the rest of Chalean extreme. :)

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