Focus On: 21dayfix

Another Beachbody workout down!

21dayfix review

A group of lovely ladies and myself just wrapped up 21dayfix this past weekend. Since some of us were doing the original workout, others were doing the Extreme, some were doing the meal plan, and others (including myself) were not, the group was really focused on clean eating and group motivation. It’s always helpful to have a group working towards similar goals, and cheering for each other along the way. This is one of the many reasons why I love the Shape Up series so much! (PS Anne and I are already cranking away on Winter Shape Up, which will begin in late January.)

Here are some of my thoughts on 21dayfix:

Workout breakdown:

Total Body Cardio Fix: This workout begins with a warmup (jog in place, jumping jacks, windmills, side stretches, toe touches), and then you move into four rounds of exercises. For the three exercises in each round, you’ll work for 1 minute and rest for 20 seconds. The exercises were a mix of strength (like surrenders, squat wood chops), but mostly cardio and core work. The workout went by quickly, and I really liked this one. I could see myself coming back to it when I want something to do here at home. 

Upper Fix: This one was probably my least favorite. It consists of a similar warmup, and classic upper body movements: bent-over row, push-ups, planks, hammer curl to shoulder press, etc. This workout has two rounds (performing the exercises within the round for about 30 seconds) and you complete the rounds twice through. While the exercises were good, I feel like it was something I could do on my own at the gym; nothing “wow” about it.

Lower Fix: This workout emphasizes your entire lower body and is an awesome balance of strength work. You’ll do the same warmup as the previous workouts, then move into 4 rounds. Each exercise is performed for about a minute with short rest in between. Some of the exercises: lateral to reverse lunge, squat to knee raise, curtsy lunges, calf raises, sumo squats, seat leg lifts, and fire hydrants. I especially loved the static holds, which REALLY fatigue the muscles at the end of each set. 

Pilates Fix: I skipped this workout, since I’m working on the reverse 6-pack right now. I did watch a bit of it (classic Pilates moves, which will really challenge your core), and can’t wait to try it out later this fall.

Cardio Fix: This workout is more challenging than the other cardio workout, and I loved it. You’ll do 4 rounds of bodyweight exercises following the warmup, and they’re completed interval style: work as hard as you can within the time block before taking a short rest.

Dirty Thirty: this is a total-body strength workout with very little cardio. It’s a warm up, 4 rounds of 2 exercises (twice through), and cool down. I liked this one and thought it was a nice mix of strength training moves (side lunge, renegade row, sumo row, chest fly with hip raise, triceps kickbacks, etc.).

Yoga Fix: this one is a basic yoga flow designed to stretch the muscles as an active recovery workout. Since I haven’t been doing much yoga lately -it’s been too uncomfortable with my hip pain and making room for the belly)- I really enjoyed the stretch and it was pretty easy to modify. 

Equipment needed:

A yoga mat and a set of dumbbells. That’s it!

So what is this about the meal plan?

The 21 day fix comes with a meal plan, and pre-portioned colored containers for various food groups:

Green – Vegetable container: 1 & ¼ Cups

Purple – Fruit container: 1 & ¼ Cups

Red – Protein container: ¾ Cups

Yellow – Starches & Carbohydrates container: ½ Cup

Blue – Healthy Fats container: ¼ Cup

Orange  – Seeds, Dressings and Oils container: 2 Tablespoons (Each)

I find the meal plan to be very Weight Watchers-esque, as you’re given a certain calorie allotment (based on weight) and how many servings of each container to consume within a day. It doesn’t matter how the containers are divided between meals. 

While I think that this can be a great way to focus on eating whole, clean foods, and to get a handle on portion control, I don’t think that the eating plan has long-term staying power. (At the same time, I don’t think it’s intended to be a “lifestyle” but rather a 21-day kick in the pants or reset.) If I were to follow the meal plan, I would do it for the 21 days and then use approximations. I don’t love that it takes away the intuitive aspect of eating, and can’t imagine going out to eat with containers in tow. From what I’ve heard, many people do well with the container system and enjoy it, so it’s really a matter of what works for you. 



-Like all of the Beachbody workouts, you can do these at home with minimal equipment. They’re short (30 minutes or so), efficient, and include an effective mix of strength, cardio and flexibility.

-It’s only 21 days, which is based on the concept that it takes 21 days to create a habit. If you’re consistently following the workouts and notice the benefits of increased energy, stamina, fitness gains, and possible weight/fat loss accomplishments, this can be excellent motivation to KEEP GOING. Consistency is the key to long-term success. Even if some days aren’t as great as others, work, and do the best you can. <3

-Modifier. Many of the Beachbody workouts, including this one, provide a modifier for low-impact variations. I love that they provide this benefit, which makes the workouts attainable for true beginners to follow and build up to the full progressions over time.


-Redundant. This can also be a pro, because many people like to do the same moves and workouts to see how much stronger they’ve become. While I did like the mix of many of the workouts, some of them were too redundant for me. 

Pro/Con: Autumn’s personality. I LOVE that she isn’t over-the-top bubbly and feigning cheeriness the whole time. She seems very authentic and is a great coach. Even so, I felt like it was lacking the fitness magic that you’ll see in Shaun T or Chalene’s videos. I’m sure that will change as she continues to produce workouts, and I really like her(!), but thought some of the workouts felt low energy to me. 

Overall grade:

-B. It’s not my favorite BB workout, but I do like the workouts and the mix of exercises. I can definitely see myself going back to some of the workouts as staples later on! 

Have you tried 21dayfix or anything similar?? I think for our next challenge we’re going to do Shaun T’s Cize. If anyone is interested in joining in the fun, and I’ll email the details.



More Focus On posts:




Barre workouts




Full transparency: I am a Beachbody coach. While I initially went into it with the intention of getting a discount on my beloved Shakeoloy, I realized that it’s another mode to share a love of health and fitness with others. I also realized that there’s a way to do it without being in-your-face or spammy about it (because let’s be real, some of those Facebook posts make me smh, too). I’ve been a huge fan of the workouts long before I was a coach (since 2009!), and Shakeo is the best protein powder I’ve tried. I purchased the Beachbody workouts with my own $$, and I’ll continue to post honest, good or bad, reviews on the blog. If you have questions about any of the BB workouts, please let me know! xoxo

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  1. Krystal on September 29, 2015 at 4:20 am

    I really liked your honest review! I just can’t get into the meal plan. I think Autumn improves in the Extreme workouts. I feel sore in all the right places after a Turbofire workout though. Nothing compares to Chalene.

    • Fitnessista on September 29, 2015 at 10:30 pm

      chalene is the queen

  2. Liz on September 29, 2015 at 4:45 am

    I’d say this is spot on. I lost around 20lbs with the 21DF. Did it around 8 times. Got the best results when I piggy backed 30 minutes of cardio to each 30 minute workout. Did not do the meal plan. Wasn’t into the container thing.

    • Fitnessista on September 29, 2015 at 10:29 pm

      that’s a great way to do it. i like combining cardio with a lot of the plans, too

  3. Liz S. on September 29, 2015 at 4:52 am

    I always appreciate your 100% honest reviews, Gina! Thank you for reviewing this program.

    • Fitnessista on September 29, 2015 at 10:29 pm


  4. Allison on September 29, 2015 at 5:14 am

    I really love the 21 day fix programs, because I feel its the best mix of strength training and cardio. It’s probably a personal thing, but I like having legs on one day, arms on another day, cardio without weights on one day, HIIT on one day, etc. I like the 21 Day Fix Extreme better than the original as it is more challenging, but I still come back to the original once in a while. I also think the eating program isn’t sustainable. As someone who has a tendency to obsess over food and a past of restrictive eating, I do think the containers foster this type of thinking, so for that reason I did not use the containers.

    • Fitnessista on September 29, 2015 at 10:28 pm

      i agree <3 happy to hear you like it too 🙂

  5. Sana Waheed on September 29, 2015 at 5:20 am

    I pay full price for shakeology ( spelling typo in the post :)) and the 21 day fix, it works for me and my current lifestyle! Also it tastes soo good!!

    • Fitnessista on September 29, 2015 at 10:28 pm

      yay, happy you love it too 🙂

  6. erin on September 29, 2015 at 5:29 am

    Hi Gina, thanks for the review, I’m curious what’s your favorite BB workout?

  7. Jen on September 29, 2015 at 5:38 am

    Thanks for running the group…it was my third round of 21 DFX. I love the ability to get in a solid workout in 30ish minutes at my house bc I have many other things going on that getting to a gym just isn’t happening. Pushing play for 30 minutes is doable even on the busiest day, even if I don’t always want to admit it. I have not done the basic 21 day fix, but based on your review I think post baby you’d really enjoy the Extreme version. As for the containers I used them pretty strictly with round 1 of DFX, but have since used what I learned during round 1 to be better able to get a good handle on portions and eating across all food groups for balance- so they definitely have been helpful for someone who was in denial about eating balanced diet. 😉 Thanks again!

    • Fitnessista on September 29, 2015 at 10:27 pm

      thank you for joining in the group!! i will definitely check out the extreme version for later 🙂
      and you’re totally right about the containers being a good reset when portions get larger over time 😉 sometimes i’m like “that’s totally a tablespoon” and it ends up being like 3 haha

  8. Katie on September 29, 2015 at 6:16 am

    You mentioned in this post and a few other times about taking it easy on core work while pregnant. You have talked about doing a full post on that. Do you still plan on doing that? I’m about 4 months pregnant and a bit confounded on how I should approach core work (if at all) for the remainder of pregnancy. I do Dailey Method about once a week, and I’m wondering if I should start modifying.

    • Fitnessista on September 29, 2015 at 10:21 pm

      i have a post almost finished but am waiting to post it until it’s totally done! (my friend jess, a physical therapist is going to look over it and be another expert to chime in)
      i would definitely skip exercises that isolate the obliques (your abs are already separating, you don’t want to strengthen the muscles that are pulling them apart), and skip any type of crunching motion. in general, planks are good all the way through.

      • Katie on September 30, 2015 at 5:15 am

        Thank you!! Looking forward to the full post and really appreciate how thorough you are with your research on topics like this!

  9. Laura T. on September 29, 2015 at 6:22 am

    Hi Gina,
    I would be interested in doing the Cize workouts with you! I bought the videos, but haven’t tried any of them yet. Can you email me the details I am pretty sure you won’t be doing this one for a little while since your little one is due soon!! thanks!

    • Fitnessista on September 29, 2015 at 10:19 pm

      yep i will send you the details!!

  10. Ashley @ A Lady Goes West on September 29, 2015 at 6:35 am

    I had a chance to try the cardio fix video and did enjoy the fact that the moves were simple and straightforward. Seems like the program overall makes a lot of sense, so props to Beachbody for that. 🙂

  11. Liz on September 29, 2015 at 6:49 am

    I’ve been hearing so much about Beachbody and 21 day fix, mostly thanks to people’s FB posts but also on a couple other blogs. People who do it seem to love it! I haven’t tried it yet, but I really like the idea that it’s something you can do at home and that the workouts are only 30 mins. I think it would be the perfect thing for me to try once I get cleared to workout after the baby comes and I can move freely again. Maybe if you have a group at that time I will join!

    • Fitnessista on September 29, 2015 at 10:19 pm

      sounds perfect! yes, i think beachbody is awesome for new mamas because the workouts are short and you can’t take baby to childcare for a while

  12. Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries on September 29, 2015 at 7:43 am

    Great review! I like your idea of reviewing various fitness programs on the blog… I may have to consider doing that post pregnancy. I think it’d encourage me to try new classes and programs too!

    I agree with most of what you said regarding the 21 Day Fix. I do think the idea of the containers is to help those that struggle with portion control, and the hope is that eventually you won’t need the containers because you’ll have a better idea of what proper portions are like. While intuitive eating is ideal, those people that have developed unhealthy habits and portion sizes could really benefit from the portion containers, I think. I like that the workouts are simple, short, and effective…but like you said, can get a little redundant and slightly boring after awhile. However, that could be said of any workout DVD that you’re doing over and over again. 😉 Overall, I think the 21 DF appeals to so many people because it fits well into a busy lifestyle.

  13. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on September 29, 2015 at 7:56 am

    I’m a fan of these type of eating plans. I think a lot of people don’t know how to eat intuitively, what the right portions or what they should be eating are hence the huge obesity problem. I wish there were a magic wand to change that.

  14. Jessie on September 29, 2015 at 8:06 am

    Thanks for the honest review! I was thinking of trying this, but only for the workout DVDs. I already eat very clean. Which BB workout do you like the best so far?? Thanks!

    • Fitnessista on September 29, 2015 at 10:17 pm

      it’s probably a tie between turbofire and insanity 🙂

  15. Jenn on September 29, 2015 at 8:19 am

    I’m interested in the cize group. Can you email me details? (

    • Fitnessista on September 29, 2015 at 10:17 pm

      i definitely will! xoxo

  16. Emily on September 29, 2015 at 8:57 am

    “I don’t love that it takes away the intuitive aspect of eating, and can’t imagine going out to eat with containers in tow.” YES. I agree with you 1000%. Not a lifestyle – it’s just food, and it’s only eating. I appreciate your transparency and unapologetic authenticity always. TY! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on September 29, 2015 at 10:17 pm

      thank you, friend <3

  17. Erin @ Erin's Inside Job on September 29, 2015 at 9:18 am

    Thanks for the review. I think you’re one of the few people that I don’t want to run away screaming from when they tell me they are a Beachbody coach. I’ve been advertised and solicited to so many times and in such poor ways that it’s left a bad taste in my mouth. Thanks for doing it in a tasteful way!

    • Kelli on September 29, 2015 at 10:41 am

      I agree wholeheartedly with this!!??

      • Fitnessista on September 29, 2015 at 10:15 pm


    • Fitnessista on September 29, 2015 at 10:17 pm

      haha thank you! that means a lot 🙂 it’s also a huge reason why i was apprehensive about becoming a coach because i didn’t want to be associated with the spamminess haha

  18. Mona on September 29, 2015 at 9:41 am

    I would really like to join the next challenge! Could you email me the details? Thanks!

    • Fitnessista on September 29, 2015 at 10:16 pm

      i definitely will! xoxo

  19. Crystal on September 29, 2015 at 9:44 am

    Great post Gina!

    I’ve always appreciated your stance on eating plans vs intuitive eating. It’s one of the reasons I continue to read your blog. The diet plan sounds like something I’d recommend to someone who may need guidance on “cleaning up” their diet, but I agree that it’s probably not realistic for long term. I suppose the title of it implies that though

    • Fitnessista on September 29, 2015 at 10:16 pm

      thank you, crystal!

  20. Aubrey on September 29, 2015 at 9:57 am

    I liked the workouts but the diet was a little strict for my taste:)

  21. Becky on September 29, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    I like your approach to being a BB Coach. I’ve often been told I should be a coach since I mention BB workouts regularly on my blog, but that in-your-face spammy feel of most coaches I see online just isn’t for me – and I was told unless I do that or buy shakeo (I don’t), it’s not worth it to be a coach.

    In regards to the meal plan – I think it can be a long term plan if you don’t rely on the containers. I would measure things out and then dump it on my plate so then you get a feel for how big your portions are and can continue eyeing your portions as you go.

    That said. I think the 21 day fix would be good to do every couple months as a reset to stat on track with good exercise and clean eating. I thought it was a great program. Thanks for hosting the group!!

    • Fitnessista on September 29, 2015 at 10:15 pm

      thank you <3 i think it's definitely more worth it if you buy shakeo. have you tried it? if not, i'd be happy to send you some.

  22. SHARI M on September 29, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    I was in your fb group. The 21 day fix meal plan was helpful for me to be mindful of what I was actually eating. I lost 12 lbs. The workouts for me were not enough. I worked harder at the gym by myself. I wondered if they were made that way because of the small amount of calories that were allowed. I have to say the first week I was starving and tired until unadjusted to the calories. Maybe that is a reflection as to how poorly I was eating prior. it may also be due to fact that I was unable to do shakeology due to food allergies.
    Regardless I really enjoy fb groups where all are working with similar goals!
    Thanks for hosting the group!

    • Fitnessista on September 29, 2015 at 10:10 pm

      thank you again for joining in and for your awesome check-ins!! happy you still had success with it even though the workouts weren’t challenging enough for you. good point about working at a lower intensity to accommodate the lower calories- it makes sense

  23. queenoffitness on September 29, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    I would LOVE, love, love to be in the cize group with you! i love shaun t with all of my fitness heart and soul. as always, your ability to present both the pros and the cons is always great to read. email me the deets too!

    • Fitnessista on September 29, 2015 at 10:08 pm

      wahoo! i will definitely send the details along 🙂 so excited you’re joining in the fun

  24. Jennifer on September 29, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    Looking forward to Cize! Love our group!

    • Fitnessista on September 29, 2015 at 10:07 pm

      so excited too 🙂

  25. Mary Ann on September 29, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    I jumped on the 21 Day Fix plan after some friends had success with it, but it’s not for me. I was in the highest eating bracket and it is just a ridiculous amount of food to eat. Way too much. Like, it was a full time job just cooking and eating all day long. I also didn’t care for the workouts, and they were a bit too intense for my RA. I’d much rather count calories and go on walks a few times a week when my body can handle them (some days my joints are too swollen for mere walking, let alone the other workouts). And I want to eat multiple servings of cheese in a day if it fits into my calories, ya know?! 😀 And to top it all off I really hate Shakeology and just couldn’t get into it.

  26. Jenn@Mark My Miles! on September 30, 2015 at 4:34 am

    I’m interested in the group as well! Can you email me at : )

  27. Alexandria @Al2getherFIT on September 30, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    I did the 21dayfix last July with a little group and really enjoyed it. I also added on a couple runs each week to the workouts because I thought some of the workouts were kind of dull. It’s def something I would consider doing after babies and after the holidays to jump start things! 🙂

  28. Jenny on September 30, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    I really like 21DX. I have a 10 week old and 3 year old and new to exercising. I have had gym memberships in the past, but could never find the time to go with a toddler and work. The at home workouts are nice because I can do with the hubby.

    • Fitnessista on September 30, 2015 at 10:20 pm

      yes! they are perfect when you have kiddos at home!

  29. Ali on September 30, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    Hey lady, awesome post. I have to say hands down this is one of the things I love most about your blog! You are super chill when it comes to Beach Body and I don’t feel the typical facebook pressure of “become a coach and earn 6 figures in a year” when you talk abou tit. It’s a relief to hear you be so down to earth about it.

    That said, did I misunderstand and you simply do it for the cheaper protein powder prices and you don’t coach people? Or do you? Because I would LOVE a post on how you coach people even if you aren’t 100% on board with all part of the programs (ie nutrition, etc). I’ve had 2 friends inundate me with becoming a beach body coach with my wellness background, but I just don’t see eye to eye with ALL of what they stand for and for that reason, something just doesn’t feel right about me being a full on coach. The programs are great, Chalene is amazeballs, but I’m about intuitive eating as well, and while I think it serves a great purpose for those who don’t know anything about eating healthy, I also find those people feel like they now “can’t live without weighing things on a scale and using tupperware” so they are essentially back where they started, which is trying to learn how to manage on their own.

    • Fitnessista on September 30, 2015 at 10:04 pm

      hi ali!
      that means so much to me. yes, i initially did it for the discount and now i am coaching, but on a limited basis. it’s not my bread and butter but i enjoy it a lot
      i’ll send you an email 🙂

  30. Stephanie on October 1, 2015 at 6:30 am

    I am a fan of the BeachBody products also – I am doing the Insanity now. I also have the 21 day fix but have only used it for the 3 day quick fix, which I like for the occasional reset. I wasn’t a big fan of the workouts. In the past have focused on P90X, P90X3 and the Insanity. I have considered becoming a BeachBody coach…maybe in the future.

    Your review was a great read. Thanks so much for sharing!

  31. Anna on October 4, 2015 at 5:02 am

    Did you mostly follow the modifier for these workouts? I have the 21 Day Fix and did the workouts over the summer, but I’m pregnant and haven’t done them since finding out. Just wondering how much modifying you did. Thanks!

    • Fitnessista on October 4, 2015 at 2:37 pm

      for most of the workouts, yes. for some of the core work, i did my own thing.
      congratulations on your pregnancy!

  32. Chrissa - Physical Kitchness on October 5, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    Couldn’t agree with your review more!! I like this workout system, but it really didn’t WOW me. Sometimes when I feel like I want a really GREAT challenge, I don’t turn to these DVD’s. But it is nice to mix it up a bit from my usual Shaun T craziness 🙂

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