What’s the difference?
The 21 Day Fix and the 21 Day Fix Extreme are two separate programs. However, they have several similarities. Let’s start out with listing what’s the same to get that out of the way:
– Containers: You can use the same set of color-coded containers that you used on the 21 Day Fix.
– Eating Plan: The number of containers of each category that you eat per day does not HAVE to change. You will have some more ‘extreme’ options if you wish to push it to the max, but it’s not a requirement. I’ll explain the options later.
– Time: It still follows the 30 minutes per day plan. Again, you have some options about doubling up workouts to push yourself, but it’s not required. If you’re pressed for time, the Extreme is still a good choice for you.
– Trainer: You still get Autumn. She developed both programs and leads both.
– Workout Structure: I loved the rounds that Autumn uses in the original Fix, so I was pleased that the concept of rounds follows through in the Extreme. Maybe it’s just me, but rounds seem to break up the workout into manageable chunks so I don’t get too frustrated or overwhelmed if I’m struggling.
– Modifier: There is still a modifier available for the Extreme, BUT… (I’ll elaborate in differences).
So, if you liked the workouts and the diet for 21 Day Fix, you’ll be pleased that the Extreme is not terribly different. BUT, it IS a different program…
– Food Lists: The food lists are more restrictive. Autumn wants you to eat super clean on the Extreme version. Wine, chocolate, and some healthy ‘treats’ were allowed on the regular Fix. NOT on the Extreme.
– Countdown to Competition: There is an OPTIONAL alternative meal plan included in the Extreme. It is basically the carb-depletion, bikini-ready plan that Autumn herself will use to prep in the immediate lead up to a competition or photo shoot. It is NOT a sustainable diet. Let me say that again. It is NOT a sustainable diet like the regular Fix and even the Extreme plans. Autumn has a sample calendar to show you how to cycle the diet with the Extreme plan. It’s not meant to be used every single day for all 21 days. Most importantly, though, you do NOT have to use it at all if you don’t want to.
Time Out: I want to give you my personal take on the C2C plan. It isn’t for everyone. I became a raging carb-craving witch by the end of my first day on it. Not good for the stability of the Osborne household. While I’m glad I have the plan and have the option of using it if I’m prepping for some sort of event, I ultimately decided to stick to the Extreme plan. I want extreme results, but the regular balance of containers has been working beautifully for me for weeks now. Why mess with success? To give myself the push I wanted, I opted instead to drop down a calorie level but keeping the same general balance of containers. Everyone should TRY the C2C, if you’re interested, but don’t feel obligated to keep going with it if it hinders your performance (or your personality, like me).
– Workouts: The intensity level of the Extreme has been dialed up MAJORLY. There are almost NO moves that are focused on one muscle group. Everything is meant to engage multiple muscles groups. There’s a plyo workout that is a regular part of the rotation (instead of just a bonus workout like the Fix). It’s a lot of jumping. If you are looking for a low impact variation, you may have to swap it out for another one of the workouts. There are actually ‘jumps’ in several of the workouts, but the modifier often accounts for that.
– Modifier: There is still a modifier available, BUT even the modification moves are a significant raise in intensity level. For example, when doing something in a plank position, the regular Fix modifier is often on her knees. In the Extreme, I don’t think she’s EVER on her knees. She may just not be doing the move in the fullest range of motion, but she’s still doing it. With weights.
To sum up with a handy little chart:
Which one should you choose?
You do not have to do the regular 21 Day Fix before doing the Extreme. It is highly advised that you have a base level of fitness before attempting the Extreme. If you’ve done another one of the Beachbody programs recently, or go to regular fitness classes, you can probably handle the Extreme straight away. But you may not want to. It’s a personal choice.
I want to make VERY clear that this does NOT mean the regular 21 Day Fix is for beginners. Or that it won’t be a good, challenging workout for people who are more athletic or have already been working out. Unless you’re a professional athlete or bodybuilder, you can benefit from this program. Before I started my first 21 Day Fix, I was running half marathons on a monthly basis, running other races almost every week, doing jiu jitsu at least 2 times per week, and playing around with some yoga. Even with all of that base activity level, I got amazing results from the regular Fix and never felt like any of it was “easy.” I tried the Extreme version from there, and it is really challenging. In fact, I’m not sure that I was really ready for some of it. It’s intense.
If you’ve got a few pounds weighing you down and are looking for a quick way so see some results and launch a sustainable workout/eating lifestyle, I would suggest the original Fix. It’s flexible, sustainable, fun, and a GREAT way to drop up to 15 lbs in 21 days without starving yourself, injuring yourself, or destroying your metabolism.
If you’re looking for an intense workout challenge after having completed the regular program a time or two, or are just an intense kind of person who already has a higher base level of fitness, you might try the Extreme. The eating plan, while stricter, is still sustainable, but the workouts will push you to new limits that you may not have known you had in you.
The good news is no matter which one you choose (or if you choose both), you’re going to have great results!