Beachbody just released two workouts from the upcoming Master’s Hammer & Chisel program and this is my “super busy mom who is not an experienced weight-lifter” review of the first, Iso Speed Hammer. Read on for:
- equipment list
- my overall impression
- what I liked about Iso Speed Hammer
- what I didn’t like about Iso Speed Hammer
- and a video snippet (and bad knee modification) for what is my own most challenging move.
The skinny on the workout…
Trainer: The Hammer – Sagi Kalev
Crew: Sagi plus two women and one man.
Equipment Needed: Resistance band (or towel), pull up bar (or band), weight bench (or ball), dumbbells.
Summary: Iso Speed Hammer uses tempo training with speed and isometric holds to build strength and grow muscle.
The workout consists of a dynamic warm-up using the resistance band. Strength training component was 11 exercises (10 reps at a slow, 3 part pace; then 10 reps at a fast pace), then cool down.
My overall impression: I enjoyed this workout quite a bit. It’s quick, got my heart pumping, and I enjoyed the moves (with two exceptions). Read all the details below…
The Exercises from Iso Speed Hammer:
I’ve listed the weights I used the first time I did this workout in case it helps to have a reference. Sagi did not state the amount of weight he was lifting, not that I could come close! For perspective, I am not a beginner, but I’m not Super Woman strong either.
- Push up.
- Reverse static lunge with weights. I used 5 pound dumbbells, but could increase the weight.
- Chin ups (can be modified by using a resistance band). I used a pull up bar with a chair assist. Killer segment, not gonna lie.
- Deadlift. I only used 8 pounds, yes I’m a wimp with a weak core/back. No matter how hard I try to maintain perfect form, I almost always have back pain doing deadlifts. Today was no exception. I’m sure I lost form in the speed round.
- Side lateral raise. I used an impressive 3 pounds.
- Sumo squat. I used a 15 pound kettlebell. Could go heavier.
- Rear cross delt fly. This move is shown using bands. As a modification you can use weights. I’ll do that next time.
- Pistol squat with weights (OMG!). I have knee issues so I did pistol squats without weights. See my “bad knee modification” below.
- Curl face down (on bench or ball). I used 8 pounds; could go heavier.
- Calf raises (with option to add weight). Apparently I have strong calves, I used two 8 pound weights but could go heavier.
- Triceps kickbacks with weights. Weak triceps! I rocked 5 pound dumbbells.
You can try this workout right now (and Total Body Chisel led by Autumn Calabrese) with your Beachbody on Demand subscription. Don’t have B.O.D.? Get a free trial.
Jacqui’s bad knee modification for Pistol Squats:
Note, this is not expert advice, only what I did. When doing pistol squats, instead of raising one leg, put it out in front of you but put very little weight on that leg. The bulk of the weight should be on the working (bending) leg. The leg in front is just for stability and balance if you can’t manage to bend your knee while raising the other leg. I did the pistol squats with this modification and without adding weights.
Here’s a sneak peek of the dreaded pistol squats!
My thoughts on Iso Speed Hammer
This is a great, quick, total body workout. At only 23 minutes there are literally no excuses for not squeezing in a workout. Everyone has 23 minutes.
The fast-paced 10 reps really raises your heart rate. It almost felt like a HIIT workout.
Sagi is a stickler for form. He explains proper form very thoroughly, and points out any errors that the crew are making.
Sagi recommends the Beachbody Performance Hydrate during the workout because “you’ll sweat.” Hydrate is a sports drink that replaces electrolytes during intense exercise. Yes, you will sweat, but I’m not sure you need Hydrate, especially since the workout is so short.
What I liked about Iso Speed Hammer…
- The workout was fast paced and got my heart rate up.
- I enjoy Sagi Kalev. I’m starting week 7 of Body Beast and, while at first I didn’t feel a part of his gym bro gang, Sagi has really grown on me. (I’m sure my family loves when I quote him, “I’m getting huuuuuge,” all the time.)
- There are (ripped) women in this video vs. all dudes in Body Beast. I appreciate male eye candy, but it’s nice to see strong women rocking a workout.
- These are good old-fashioned strength training moves.
- Super quick workout for those days you want to do something active, but don’t have time for a long session.
- I prefer total body routines, like this.
- There is a “limited equipment” person who shows you how to modify if you don’t have a weight bench and, for this workout, a resistance band.
What I didn’t like about Iso Speed Hammer…
- Pistol squats and pull-ups! Just kidding, but obviously these are my weaknesses and I need to master these moves.
- I would have preferred the workout to be a bit longer. I like to exercise for at least 30 minutes because other than my workouts, I’m pretty sedentary during the day. I’d probably do 2 rounds or combine this with a walk/run or short cardio session.
- There was no modifier. I personally don’t need one because I know what I am and am not capable of, but a newbie might need some guidance.
Overall, a fast, enjoyable, effective workout for those days you don’t have an hour to spend in the gym. You can try it now for free on Beachbody on Demand. Click here for a free 30 day trial.
Here are some other Master’s Hammer & Chisel Resources:
- Printable worksheet to track the weights used during Iso Speed Hammer.
- What equipment do I need for Hammer & Chisel? Plus 4 ways to get weights cheap (or free).
- 10 Fitness Mistakes that Sabotage Your Results (according to Sagi Kalev)
- 7 ways to get ready for Hammer & Chisel right now.
And here’s Beachbody’s official sneak peek of The Master’s Hammer & Chisel…