Busted Wallet Review of The Master’s Hammer and Chisel by Ande Scherf
Two of Beachbody’s most recognizable stars, Autumn Calabrese and Sagi Kalev, team up to bring you The Master’s Hammer and Chisel. The Master’s Hammer and Chisel incorporates all three phases of SSP Training—Stabilization, Strength, and Power—into a comprehensive rotation of hardcore strength training that is designed to rapidly build, sculpt, and refine your body. Using these techniques, Autumn and Sagi believe you’ll chip away fat and carve every muscle for a body that’s strong, chiseled, and defined. If you are a Beachbody veteran, you will know Sagi from the Body Beast program and you will know Autumn from the 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme sets. If you have completed any of those workouts before, then you are ready for Hammer and Chisel. If you are just getting back into working out, then you should consider doing a 21 Day fix from Autumn to jump start your fitness and get your body ready for this program.
Hammer and Chisel is a total strength program that is designed to chisel your body over the course of 60 days. In addition, you get a meal plan that is similar to the 21 Day Fix programs. You can customize your meal plan depending on what looking you are going for; weight loss, tone, or muscle growth. Coming off a 21 Day Fix Extreme, I was eager to see what Hammer and Chisel was all about and if I was even ready for it. Read on for the full breakdown!
What’s in the Box:
12 resistance training workouts on 6 DVDs
7 Color-coded food containers
Comprehensive program and nutrition guide- easy to make recipe and expert tips on maximizing your workouts
Quick-Start guide to get a jump on the workouts
Nutrition plan, cheat sheet, and food list
60-Day workout calendar- The order of your workouts matters so pay close attention to the schedule.
2 bonus workouts: 10-minute ab hammer and 10-minute ab chisel
The Master’s Hammer and Chisel Review Breakdown
For all of the diet plans that are out there, I believe this meal plan is one of the easier to follow. Since I recently finished a 21-Day Fix Extreme plan I was well acquainted with the routine. One of the biggest complaints with meal plans is finding recipes that are easy and simple to make. Thanks to the popularity of the fix programs, there are tons of recipes online and especially on Pinterest. I do encourage everyone to use the meal sheets and to meal plan ahead of time. It will help you stick to your routine but also give your diet the structure it needs. This meal plan really sets the tone for the whole series and is the most important step in getting into better shape. Without the meal plan, you will increase some muscle tone and see gains, but you won’t maximize your results.
While you can make modifications to the equipment needed it is recommended that you have a bench that can go from flat to incline. You can substitute a stability ball if you don’t have a bench. You will also need some resistance bands with varying degrees of resistance. You definitely need is a variety of dumbbells as you will want the ability to push yourself with your heavier weights and you will need lighter weights for the workouts. You will quickly learn that when Sagi says heavy, he means heavy! Finally a pull-up bar is recommended but you can substitute with resistance bands and a door attachment.
For my workouts, I did not use a bench or have a pull-up bar. As I will discuss later in the workout reviews I do feel this made the workouts a lot easier. No matter what the resistance is on a band it does not equal what you would do on a pull-up or a chin-up. Also, some of the exercises done without the recommended bench seemed to be a lot easier than what I was watching on my television. While the workouts are still challenging, I would have liked to have liked to have tried them with all of the proper equipment to maximize my results.
Coming off the 21-Day fix extreme workouts I initially was not fan of Hammer and Chisel. Since the 21 Day program is a fast-paced 30 minutes, you move very quickly and the workouts are very fast. With Hammer and Chisel I found the first week to be a little slow and I didn’t feel I was working hard. The workouts also vary in time so you will need to make sure you know the time of each one if you are in a time crunch. Going from a constant 30 minute workout to all over the board took some getting used to. By the time I got into the second week and eventually started repeating the workouts, I really started to see the value and found them more challenging. On the Chisel side, Autumn is very calculated in her workouts and if you follow her you will almost always have a great workout. On the Hammer side, Sagi can be kind of annoying to listen to but the weight lifting and power workouts are definitely winners. Overall, I enjoyed the workouts and while I may not do all of them in the future, I definitely have added about eight that I will keep in the rotation. One flaw in the workouts is if you are using a modifier or don’t have the proper equipment they don’t spend a lot of time setting it up for you. Be prepared to have to play catch up and learn on the fly. For a full breakdown, I have included summaries for all the workouts below.
Chisel Balance (40 mins) : The first workout that you will do in the program and if you are like me, it was a slow start. These are core balance workouts that feature eight rounds that are done on both sides. You will see some squats, jumps, push ups, and some jump squats. There are some good modifiers in case your fitness level is not up to par but overall the workout felt flat the first time through. I enjoyed it more as it went on as I found this to be one of the easier workouts but you definitely work your core and total body.
Hammer Plymoetrics (26 mins): Your first introduction to Sagi in the routine and be prepared for some extremely corny jokes. This is one of those workouts that will really benefit you if you have all of the equipment. I didn’t use a bench and didn’t feel as though I got the most out of the workout. This is mostly a cardio workout with some good jumping. You heart will get flowing as there are nine workouts which are repeated at the halfway point. The burpee pull-up will be your new nemesis.
Iso Strength Chisel (35 mins): This reminded me more of Autumn’s 21-Day fix extreme workout in that it was fast-paced and challenging. You will do ten resistance reps and then hold the position for ten seconds. This will repeat for three cycles. This workout keeps the heart rate high and you will work up a good sweat. This was another one that it took a few times of getting through before I started enjoying it. Once you can successfully complete all the moves in the proper form you really maximize this workout.
Iso Speed Hammer (23 mins): The workout utilizes tempo training to build strength and grow muscle. It incorporates speed and isometric holds and features ten moves. You will go down for a count of three and then follow with ten fast reps. For the most part an enjoyable workout but after warm-up and cool down you only get about 18 minutes of work in, which left me wanting more. Great workout if you are in a time crunch but I really wanted about 10 more minutes.
Hammer Conditioning (30 mins): This ended up being one of my favorites as it flows nicely and moves at a quick pace. You have four rounds of exercises with two moves that are repeated at 12 repetitions each. You will do some total body working the form of push ups, squats, rows, push ups, and presses. The workout leverages compound movements that give you a total body challenge on each exercise and should leave you with a good sweat when it is all said and done.
Chisel Endurance (36 mins): If you are like me, Autumn is slightly scary- in a good way. She is a great trainer and knows how to get the most out of her workouts. So when I saw chisel endurance for 36 minutes I was a little worried about was ahead. The workout consisted of seven moves that repeated for two rounds. Mostly a total body workout but I felt the arms were a bit neglected. You move fast for the workout and while I am not sure it was a true endurance workout, you do work hard and quickly. You will sweat and probably be sore the first time through. Overall, a fun and challenging workout.
Hammer Total Body (42 mins): A workout that will appeal to anyone who enjoys classic weightlifting routines in a slightly tweaked format using dumbbells instead of a traditional bar. If you are Body Beast alum then this will be right up your alley. There are three rounds with three movements per round and the round is repeated. You will do sets of 10/8/6 while doing push ups, squats, delts, rows, etc. This is a true total body workout and a very fun and challenging workout.
Chisel Total Body (35 mins): Focused on strength, but also focuses on crafting lean, mean muscles. The first workout I felt that attacked the biceps and triceps. Variety of position are done and you do three rounds with three moves per round at ten reps each. Autumn did a good job with modifiers on this one so if you need some help, it is available. This is truly a total body workout and felt like all the main areas were addressed. Whether you are following the program or just looking for extra workouts, this one is a keeper.
Chisel Agility (38 mins): No weights needed on this one! There are ten movements for 60 seconds that are repeated for a total of two rounds. The workout is designed to develop speed and coordination. You will need a little extra room to do the shuffle/grapevines in your house. Your legs should be burning by the middle which makes round 2, even more fun. A good cardio workout that should help you lean out.
Hammer Power (38 mins): A classic power lifting workout. Lots of squats, presses, and jerk presses. Round one will be a rotation from light and medium weights and round two switches to light and heavy. Note- When Sagi says heavy, he means heavy! If Olympic style lifting is new to you some of these can be awkward but this is a very challenging workout that introduces some great lifting poses and techniques. If you are looking to bulk up or lean out, this is a great video.
Chisel Cardio (38 mins): A classic Autumn video that gets your heart rate up and your body moving. Featuring two rounds with eight moves that are 60 seconds each. Stretches to almost 40 minutes of workout time but it moves quick and you work hard. If you are a 21 Day Fix Extreme alum, you will recognize some of the movements and this will be a natural workout for you.
Max Hammer Strength (35 mins): Sagi brings some hammer on this one, which was a unique workout for myself. You start with light weights doing as many reps as you can in 60 seconds. Then, you do a weighted move for eight reps which targets the same muscle to fatigue. If you don’t have a pull-up bar you get out of not having to do a 60-second pull-up, so congratulations! Overall, I liked this one but wish it was a bit longer since I didn’t work as hard without the pull-up bar.
Coming off the 21 Day Fix Extreme where I dropped 15 pounds, I was not looking for more weight loss going to the Master’s Hammer and Chisel. Since I had just finished the same diet, I just did the workouts but didn’t focus on my nutrition as much. Nutrition is the biggest key to maximizing the results but I was okay with skipping the diet after completing the fix. I started the workout at 163 pounds and wanted to get leaner and start to get better definition. On the last day of the workout, I weighed in at 157 pounds with more strength and definition. I lost weight without really trying and added a lot more muscle. This workout program will sneak up on you as you will notice by the 3rd or 4th week getting stronger and feeling more cut. If you take the nutrition and the program seriously, you will see results!
Priced at $89.85, I think The Master’s Hammer and Chisel offers great value. In addition to the 12 workouts that are explained above, you get two 10-minute ab workouts and two workouts from previous Sagi and Autumn workouts. While I can nit pick some of the program and obviously you are not going to love every workout but this program gets results. If you follow the 60-day guide and the nutrition plan, you will lose weight and you will see better definition. If you just do the workouts and aren’t strict on the diet, you will still see results. This is a great addition for anyone looking to add more workouts and looking for the next challenge in their fitness life.