hammer & chisel recap

I started The Master's Hammer & Chisel in early January and I just completed it this week. I am so excited to tell you about the program and my experience! I also have a few before and after pictures to share (because we all know people love to see transformation photos.) I am wearing the same sports bra, shirt, and leggings in both sets of photos. The only difference is that for the photos with my shirt on, Rich took the first set and I took the second set with a timer. 

Hammer & Chisel is an eight week-long program with twelve workouts. It is built on the three phases of SSP Training - Stabilization, Strength, and Power. It is also the first time that there has been a program with two seasoned trainers - Autumn Calabrese and Sagi Kalev. 

THE WORKOUTS

The program consists of workouts six days a week with one rest day. Most of the workouts are 30-40 minutes long but, on some days, they add in an ab workout which means you may be working out for 50-55 minutes. This was the only downside of the program for me - it is hard to fit in 50 minute workouts when I work full-time and have a toddler. I usually would end up doing the first workout earlier in the day and doing the ab workout after Olivia went to bed. 

I loved the variety that this program provided. With twelve workouts and two trainers, I never felt like I was doing the same thing over and over again. This was definitely a plus of the program - I could have easily gotten bored before the eight weeks were up if it weren't for this. 

I originally purchased this program because I really love Autumn's training style. However, I ended up LOVING Sagi's workouts because of all the lifting. Hammer Power was my favorite workout. It involves a lot of push presses, squats, thrusters, cleans, and jerks. I was always very sweaty afterwards but felt so strong!

I would not recommend this program for beginners. You could do it with modifications but I think it is something you should work up to in order to reduce the risk of injury. 

THE NUTRITION PLAN

The nutrition plan uses the color-coded portion control containers. I didn't have a lot of trouble with these because I had done the 21 Day Fix but using them for this program really emphasized how easy they are to use!

It also reminded me that abs are definitely made in the kitchen! I really do believe that I got the results that I did mostly from dialing in my nutrition. And the best part? I almost never felt hungry. The only time I felt a little hungry was the first week when I was adjusting to the intensity of the program and, on those days, I just ate a little more. 

I also was realistic. I did not use the color-coded containers all day, every day. I didn't want to drive myself crazy for eight weeks. During the week, I kept my nutrition on point. On the weekends, I made the healthiest decisions possible but didn't stress if my husband and I had wine during a date night here or there. 

MY RESULTS

I really hate the scale. I think it can mess with your head and it isn't a good measure of progress - especially if you are gaining muscle weight. BUT I know some people are really into numbers so I am certainly willing to share. I lost eight pounds but I dropped almost two pant sizes. (I fit into some of my pre-pregnancy pants but not all of them yet.) I also lost 9.5 inches overall - the majority of those were around my thighs. 

It feels really good to fit into some of my old clothes again but the best results are the ones you can't see in the pictures above. Since I dialed in my nutrition, I no longer feel sluggish and I have so much more energy. I attribute a lot this to drinking Shakeology regularly (which also helped me reduce my cravings.)

I am also so much happier and my anxiety has disappeared. Because of this, my relationships have improved. I am a better wife and mother. The relationship that has benefited the most, though, is the one I have with myself - I am starting to love myself again. This has rolled into all other aspects of my life. They say that exercise is the best medicine and, not too get too sappy on you all, this program has been life changing. 

Part of the reason I was successful with this program was the accountability groups that I ran and participated in while I did it. I would love to be that accountability partner for you! If you are interested in starting Hammer & Chisel or starting your fitness journey with a different program, please contact me! My next accountability group starts on Monday March 14th!

If you have any questions about my experience or with the Hammer & Chisel program in general, please contact me or comment below!