Fit Mom

MBF/MBFA versus 9 Week Control Freak

In full disclosure I am not a Beachbody coach (But, I know an amazing one if you are looking. Check out Kristi if you are looking for a coach). I am a runner who loves Beachbody. Any runner worth their salt knows that cross and strength training are critical. Prior to Covid I was working with a trainer twice a week for 30 minutes and running 3-4 days a week. Why do I mention this?? Well, because now I’m strength training anywhere from 4-5 days a week and running every day. We all cope with a pandemic in different ways, right??

Once Covid meant that all my workouts were happening at home I was doing a combination of this and that in regards to strength training with no real consistency. Translation, every couple of weeks I would go “oh yeah, I should really be strength training instead of running all of the time.” I noticed that a friend who I “met” in an online networking group was killing it with her Beachbody workouts and seeing serious results. I say “met” because I’ve never met her in “real life” but I know she’s “my people.” Her positive personality was contagious and I totally felt like I was missing out by not trying something new. I’m telling you check out Kristi Allen!! She shares consistently and helps people see results. But more importantly she creates a community where regardless of where you are on your fitness journey that you feel welcome and encouraged. Kristi did a sample week where we could try a variety of programs.

After my sample week I was hooked!! More importantly I was super eager to start MBF. Muscle Burns Fat. I wanted to add consistent weight training to my running routine. During the sample week I saw the trainer Megan Davies in action. Her quick pace, not a lot of extra talking was just my style. If I was going to combine at least a three mile run and a workout before leaving the house for school at 7:30 AM it needed to be quick and worth my while. While MBF and MBFA (Muscle Burns Fat Advanced) are related programs they are broken down into two three week blocks. When you are trying something new it would be overwhelming to think about committing to much more than three weeks. While I have been able to routinely follow a training schedule, it always had a great deal of flexibility, which was helpful with a busy mom/sub schedule. This was the first time I was going to commit to a you need to spend x amount of time on this day to finish the program. MBF is a seven day a week program. Five days a week are strength training, two days a week are Core/Cardio days and the last day is a recovery/active stretch kind of day.

From the beginning I was challenged by MBF but continually got stronger and could feel changes based upon the weights I was using for my workouts. Two days a week there are As Many Rounds as Possible (AMRAP) incorporated into the workout. My seven year old became my cheerleader and each week pushed me harder and harder to beat my score. In case you haven’t noticed I LOVED MBF. Without hesitation I moved directly from MBF when it concluded to MBFA. Holy cow, I thought I was ready and I was able to do it, but it kicked my butt!! Each and every day I was pushing myself to the max to crush the workouts. I woke up every morning energized to see what Megan had in store. In regards to equipment MBF/MBFA were easy. The only thing beyond dumbbells that you need are Bod Ropes. That’s a fancy way to say cordless jumprope. While I went with the Bod Ropes directly from Beachbody, you can pick up a pair inexpensively from Amazon.

As I was preparing to finish MBFA, so six weeks of continuous program, I was already thinking about what was next. In my mind I was simply going to go back and start MBF all over again. But, Kristi started talking about a new program that was coming out 9 Week Control Freak. It’s with one of the top Beachbody trainers Autumn Calabrese. I went back and forth as to whether or not I was going to do it. I liked MBF so much and I wasn’t sure how I would feel about switching trainers. But I’m not going to lie I had serious fear of missing out! Here’s the thing with 9 Week Control Freak though, it requires a good deal of extra equipment. I’m not going to lie the extra equipment made me nervous and was part of the reason I hesitated to sign up. The door mounted control track really had me worried. But guess what, as long as you have a standard door that opens away from you it’s super easy to mount and the workout you get from the track is well worth it!! (And there’s now an off the track version of the program) Next you need a core ball and a step. Don’t forget you also need a variety of dumbbells. So as I type this it doesn’t seem overwhelming, but before I started it seemed like a lot of stuff. I’m not going to lie the control track is no one of my most favorite things and will likely stay on our basement door forever.

So how did the workouts compare?? The style and set up of 9 Week Control Freak was incredibly different from MBF. First there was no actual music. Granted there was a Spotify playlist that I could have listened to but it seemed weird to me that there was no actual music in the workout. The workouts were broken down in a warm up, 12 minute as many reps as possible, 4 minute lifting in time with the trainer and then 4 minutes of Tabata. One day a week there was an entire session of Tabata. A lot of fit for a program has to do with trainer personality. 9 Week Control Freak definitely had a lot more talking and seemed to be at a slower pace. I’m a less talking more moving kind of person so this was an adjustment for me. But there were also lots of golden nuggets shared about fitness journeys that were worth the talking.

I found that I was quickly replacing the Tabata days with longer runs in order to maintain my running schedule. Unlike, MBF/MBFA 9 Week Control Freak was five days a week. The nine weeks are broken down into three three week chunks so to speak. Truth be told the first block was not overly challenging. Clearly, I had gotten much stronger during my MBF/MBFA programs. It wasn’t until about half way through the second phase that I really felt the intensity pick up a bit. If I’m being honest, I had to push myself to keep going and not go back to MBF. Even my boys asked “What happened to Megan?” That said, I still finished the 9 weeks. I wanted to see the program through so that I could get a real sense of it from beginning to end. I cried the last day with a sense of accomplishment for completing a 9 week program. But, I didn’t for a moment think let’s do that again.

Wha am I doing now?? I’m back to MBF and then I’ll continue onto MBFA. Last time I did the program I literally did every single workout. I’m a little crazy like that. I didn’t think I could miss one and still fully appreciate the program. What have I learned? You can take a little bit from here and a little bit from there to make a program that works best for you. My plan is to replace the Core Cardio days on Tuesday and Thursday with longer runs. But I’ll also add 10 minute core from 9 Week Control Freak on those days so I’m still getting a core workout. There are five days of lifting with MBF/MBFA and I will certainly do all of the lifting days. I’ll take some flexibility with the other days to allow time to get all my miles done too.

Needless to say I feel blessed to have Kristi as a coach. I know she’s always cheering me on to do my very best! I’m inspired to follow her journey and energy! I also feel fortunate to have the flexibility to work out every day from home. Beachbody has truly changed the way I exercise and has made me a stronger and better runner!

Have an inspired and active day!