Chloe Ting 2020 Summer Shred RESULTS | Tips & Should you do it?
Updated: Jan 4
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Let's kick things off with why you're really here -- to see if this program works!
I did Chloe Ting's recent 2020 Summer Shred program, which was four weeks long and included full body, core, upper body, and lower body focus days. Each day was 22-45 minutes long, excluding the optional videos.
If you're not familiar, Chloe Ting posts workouts, healthy food recipes, and more fun videos on her YouTube channel. She regularly releases programs that generally range from 2-5 weeks long, with her first ever program being an exception at 8 weeks long. Some focus on a specific body area (legs, butt, abs) and some are full body programs, like the one I tried.
Since I don't believe weight is a good progress indicator for me (and I don't own a scale), I instead measured the narrowest part of my waist and the widest part of my hips before and after. These were the results:
Waist - 26.5 inches
Hips - 38.0 inches
Waist - 25.5 inches
Hips - 37.5 inches
Not a huge difference in measurements, but not bad for four weeks. Now let's take a look at my before and after photos side by side!
Excuse the phone camera quality and lighting differences -- I wanted to leave each photo completely unedited (except cropping) so the comparison would be more fair. Although the angles are slightly off, I think there's a pretty clear difference there!
I toned up and noticeably lost fat, especially around my mid-section. I also feel stronger and leaner, and my endurance has improved. I've never been consistent with my cardio in the past and I've noticed my resting heart rate has also dropped recently!
What do you think?
Here's another after photo straight from the front. Say "hi" to my pup in the lower corner :)
Before starting this challenge, I had already been going to the gym consistently 5-7 times per week for just over a year -- a pretty serious exercise addict. Because of this, I didn't expect to see the results I did. I think for me it was the addition of more cardio and simply switching up my routine that helped me lose some fat, especially around my stomach area.
I'd say this definitely worked well for me and I would consider doing another one of her programs in the future!
Should you try one of Chloe Ting's workout challenges?
Maybe you've done one of Chloe Ting's workout videos here or there, but you've never followed one of her workout programs before and are wondering if you should. I know I watched countless "results" videos before taking the plunge and committing to completing one for myself.
Now that I've officially finished Chloe Ting's 2020 Summer Shred program, here are the pros and cons I discovered along the way. This will help you decide if these programs would be right for you.
She takes the guesswork out of your exercise routine. No more wondering if you're doing "enough" exercise each day, what order to do the videos, or when to take rest days. This also makes you try videos you might not have otherwise clicked. Your new favorite workout could be waiting!
Doing the challenge right when it came out provided extra motivation to stay on track and resist skipping days. There's something about knowing you're following along "live" with the rest of the community that helps you push through when you might not want to exercise that day. This is especially true if you participate in the community on any of her socials. If you can't follow live, invite a friend to do it with you so can stay on track with each other :)
No equipment is required. This is great for those of us that don't have the money or space to invest in exercise equipment at home. The only items you will want to have on hand are any kind of water bottle and a workout mat. You can always use a towel if you don't have a mat!
Modifications are always available. I love that Chloe makes an effort to always include low impact (no jumping) versions of exercises and modifications for those that are working their way up to the full exercise.
It will increase your mental toughness. This was a big one for me! Before doing the challenge, I would often swap out my least favorite exercises (plank jacks and mountain climbers) for other exercises that worked the same muscle groups. During this challenge, I stayed as true to the program as possible, which meant pushing through those exercises that I always dread. This really helped me persevere and come up with strategies for motivating myself to overcome them! See what I came up with in the Tips section below :)
They're free and accessible! Anyone with access to YouTube can follow along and complete Chloe's workouts. It's pretty amazing that she's offering her programs for free, so it's worthwhile to check them out before handing over cash for a similar routine.
Each individual exercise time is short. At first I thought it was great that most exercises only lasted 30 seconds. Later I realized that the reason it was great is that it was easy. Any exercise feels doable for just 30 seconds! For beginners and people that are just getting into a workout routine, this is a good way to get familiar with many moves and not feel intimidated by longer times. For intermediate and advanced athletes, these videos may be too easy for you. You'll want to perform more reps of the same move to really feel the burn.
Videos can get familiar/repetitive. This may be good or bad depending on how you like your workouts. For me, I enjoyed doing the same handful of videos over and over throughout these 4 weeks because I was able to get familiar with the routines and could easily see improvement over time. However, I know others may get annoyed by doing the same exercises day after day.
Can plateau easily without planning. I'm not saying these programs are easy, but in my opinion they are beginner-level and you will need to think of ways to make your workouts more challenging to progress. It helps to continue switching up the videos you use to prevent your body from getting accustomed to the exercises and plateauing. For reference, a 20 minute lower body workout I did after completing Chloe Ting's challenge was more difficult for me than any single day in this program.
Muscle groups may be neglected. This is especially true of her programs that target a specific area, such as her Lean Arms Challenge. It's better not to spend several weeks focusing only on one muscle group. While the Summer Shred was a full body program, it primarily focused on abs, then upper body (arms and back), and least on lower body (legs and glutes). Personally, I enjoy working my legs and glutes much more than this program provided.
Favorite workout from the challenge: Intense Lower Abs Workout
Hardest workout in the challenge: Intense Fat Burning Full Body Workout
Tips for doing a Workout Challenge (Chloe Ting or otherwise)
If you do choose to try one of Chloe Ting's or any other workout programs, here are some tips for getting the most out of them. I've included and starred (*) some tips for motivating yourself through those extra difficult moves -- looking at you, Up & Down Planks.
Warm up. You can use one of Chloe's warm-up videos if you'd like. I did this video on days I wasn't feeling inspired. Most days, however, I'd throw on some music and dance, do dynamic stretches, do jumping jacks, or whatever felt good that day. Just make sure you're not going into the workout cold.
* Focus on form. This goes for any exercise, but form is everything. If possible, exercise in front of a mirror so you can watch your form. This helps prevent injury and ensures you're getting the most out of your workout. During difficult exercises, I like to really think about my form and complete to make each rep with better form than the previous one. Before I know it, the set is over!
Stretch afterward. Not only does it feel great, but stretching helps your muscles heal, prevents injury, and prevents soreness. After you workout, you can do static stretches. Try Chloe's cool down here.
* Switch up your music. If you're highly influenced by the music you're listening to, you will want to play your own music after getting accustomed to the workouts in the routine. This helps keeps things interesting and much more enjoyable. Focusing on your jams and doing reps to the beat of your favorite songs is a great way to distract yourself and keep pushing.
Start with a full body program. If this is your first time doing a workout program, I highly recommend starting with a full body schedule. This gives the areas of your body time to rest between days. Working out each muscle group also helps you understand which areas may need more work later and keeps your routine well-balanced.
Invite a friend. Stay on track with the schedule and motivate each other. It's a lot more fun with a workout/accountability buddy. Try doing the videos together over Zoom or sent #sweatyselfie's as proof that you completed that day's sweat fest.
Use your rest days intuitively, but stay active. The program has 1-2 active rest days per week, but you should listen to your body and rest when you need. You should push yourself to workout even when you don't want to, but that doesn't mean you need to force a workout when your body is in a lot of pain and needs recovery. Do keep in mind that these are active rest days. Try to do at least one activity that gets your body moving still.
Increase the difficulty. At home workouts can be tricky since most of us don't have a full weight set or machines in our living rooms. When the workouts get easier (and they will get easier!), remember to keep increasing the difficulty. This can mean adding resistance bands, light weights, adding pulses at the hard part of the exercise, or modifying the exercise. I'll write another blog post with ways to add difficulty to your at-home workouts with little or no equipment. Keep an eye out for that!
* Count your reps. This is a little trick that has gotten me through countless (and counted) reps of mountain climbers. Similar to focusing on form, I use this to distract my mind and focus on counting my reps without any intention of increasing my count or hitting a specific number. I just zone out and count in my head or out loud and the set is over before I know it.
Alternate your starting side. I noticed that Chloe's workouts always start with the left side, then move on to the right for the next set. For me, some exercises are harder on the second side, so I started alternating which side I would start with each day. One day I would do each video starting with my left side for every exercise. The next day, I'd switch and start each exercise with my right -- so flip every L or R that Chloe has on the video. This helps you get a balanced workout on each side.
* Keep a gritty mindset. This is a practice I developed in the gym that carried over super well for Chloe Ting's program. Anytime I feel like there's no way I can finish an exercise, I'll tell myself "it's only 30 seconds and you can do anything for 30 seconds." What's nice about Chloe's workout videos is that each exercise is generally only held for 30 seconds, sometimes 40, and rarely 1 minute. I know I'm strong enough to do any exercise for 30 seconds and telling myself that helps me push through! Yes, you'll likely have another (and another) 30 second exercise after the current one, but just keep telling yourself the same thing over and over until you're done ;)
Workout programs, free or paid, are a great way to get into a groove with your workout routine, especially if you're a beginner or trying a new type of exercise. With these tips and modifications, you'll be able to make any program work for you.
If there's another workout challenge you'd like me to test out, leave it in the comments below.
Have you ever tried a workout challenge before? Would you try Chloe Ting's workout programs? Let me know!