Has it already been six weeks?
It’s hard to believe that I just finished two brand new Beachbody On Demand (BOD) fitness programs back-to-back and completed my 220th Beachbody workout of the year. I’m making progress toward my goal of completing 300 workouts this year and it feels great.
The two programs I finished are #mbf + #mbfa — both created by Super Trainer Megan Davies. After winning the Beachbody fitness reality show, THE 20s, Megan created Clean Week, a program that helps you create healthy fitness and nutrition habits in just 7 days.
This post is a review of both fitness programs based on my experience completing them!
What is #mbf + #mbfa?
Let’s get one quick thing out of the way:
- #mbf stands for Muscle Burns Fat.
It’s a 3-week, beginner fitness program with simple, easy-to-follow moves and 25 to 35-minute workouts that will ignite your metabolism to incinerate fat.
- #mbfa stands for Muscle Burns Fat Advanced.
It’s a 3-week, intermediate/advanced fitness program with 25 to 40-minute workouts that build on the moves from #mbf and add “Megan Minutes,” which are 1-minute challenges using heavy weights and low-rep burnouts.
#mbf + #mbfa Program Structure
#mbf + #mbfa are designed to be done back-to-back — very similar to how 21 Day Fix Real Time and 21 Day Fix Extreme Real Time are designed to go together. (Check out my 21 Day Fix review here.) In fact, both programs include 7 workouts per week (one each day), totaling 42 different workouts altogether.
- Monday, Wednesday, and Friday are weight training workouts.
These workouts include both asymmetrical and symmetrical moves. Asymmetrical moves use only one weight at a time, which, according to trainer Megan Davies, forces your body to compensate for the imbalance, which further engages your core. This helps you burn more calories and get the most out of each workout.
- Tuesday and Thursday are core and cardio workouts.
The cardio exercises incorporate the new BOD Rope — a cordless indoor jump rope with weighted handles — and the core exercises have you on the floor working your abs and entire core until you’re drenched in sweat. These workouts end with AMRAPs where you’ll combine cardio moves from the workout and do as many rounds as possible in a set amount of time.
- Saturday workouts are EMOMs (Every Minute On The Minute).
These 25 minute workouts will have you working through sets of moves every minute on the minute. You may think this workout is easier because it’s shorter but that is far from the truth!
- Sunday is a recovery day.
This workout features active stretching to ease tension, boost mobility, revitalize your muscles so you’re rested and ready for another week.
What’s cool about the Muscle Burns Fat and Muscle Burns Fat Advanced fitness programs is that they are set to music, which means you can let the tempo of the music set your pace and keep you on track!
“I created both programs to be done back-to-back. Ideally, you’ll start #mbf on a Monday, and commit to finishing 21 workouts. Crush the first three weeks, and you can move on to #mbfa, where I dial-up the intensity and push your results to the next level — plus there’s a new challenge called Megan Minutes. Your goal is to do a set number of reps in 1-minute using your heavy weights.”
— Megan Davies
There isn’t much equipment required to complete these programs. The Beachbody site states that you only need dumbbells and a BOD Rope (their cordless indoor jump rope with weighted handles). But from my experience, you can take these recommendations with a grain of salt.
When I officially started this fitness journey with Beachbody On Demand, I was pretty out of shape and didn’t worry too much about not having dumbbells. Most of the time my body weight was plenty and when I did need a weight, I either strapped my daughter’s leg weights around my wrists or held canned food, water bottles, and even jugs of olive oil and laundry detergent! I used what I had and got it done until my husband snagged a set of 2lb, 5lb, 8lb, and 10lb dumbbells for me.
I also didn’t get my BOD Ropes until week two of #mbf and made due the first week by putting rocks inside tube socks. Again, if you want to do it, you’ll find a way to make it work with what you have. With that said, OMG. I love the BOD Ropes. I think they’re my all time favorite piece of equipment because I can get my heart rate up fast and I don’t have to worry about tripping or hitting something in the house!
One thing I think everyone needs that isn’t on the Beachbody equipment list is a thick fitness mat — I love this one available on Amazon. It definitely helps provide some extra comfort when you’re on a knee or both knees, and extra cushion for all the jumping you’ll be doing. I also fold mine in half when doing pushups and planks to provide even greater cushioning under my hands.
A Unique Filming Approach
Typically when Beachbody programs are filmed, a small cast of super fit people do the workouts together in a studio but just before #mbf + #mbfa filming was set to begin, COVID-19 struck the United States and the pandemic sent everyone home. Beachbody could have put off filming these new fitness programs, but instead, they adapted and filmed it with a remote cast through Zoom!
The #mbf + #mbfa cast is way bigger and includes cast members of all shapes and sizes so it’s way more relatable!
There are more than 15 cast members, including Super Trainer Megan Davies. Megan is in the studio alone and the cast members are piped in via Zoom — which really makes it feel like you’re in a live Zoom workout session with friends! Cast members are working out in their kitchens, living rooms, and entryways just like you might be. I actually think I prefer this filming method better than the super polished programs filmed in studio because it’s more realistic.
My Take On #mbf + #mbfa
Not going to lie… I was a little intimidated by the promo video for these programs! Yes, I’ve been making a lot of progress, but I still have a long way to go.
Thankfully, #mbf + #mbfa are shot in real time, which means they start off easier and as the program progresses, get harder.
This gives you a chance to get used to some of the moves and helps prevent injury. I mentioned it in my 21 Day Fix Real-Time review, but #mbf really drove home how awesome it is to see the cast progress through the program alongside you.
- When you’re on Day 2, they’re on Day 2.
- When you’re sore from Leg Day, they’re sore from Leg Day.
- When you’re dropping you’re weight to focus on form, some of the cast is doing the same thing!
The real, doable approach was something I really appreciated about every #mbf and #mbfa workout.
Throughout the programs, Megan Davies encourages you to put your form first. She preaches, “No garbage reps,” and repeatedly reminds you that it’s better to choose a lighter weight and have great form than it is to lift heavy with poor form. She also reminds you that it’s okay if you need to stop for a minute and take a breather as long as you jump back into it as soon as you can.
I also really appreciate that one of the cast members modifies EVERY move.
If you need to modify a move, you know exactly who to watch. Now in other workout programs, the camera isn’t always on the modifier, which can be really frustrating. In #mbf + #mbfa, however, the modifier is always visible. What’s even better, is that at various times throughout the programs, you can see other cast members choose the modified versions of some of the moves too.
A Few Surprises & My Results
First, I was surprised to see that the sledgehammers I was a little nervous about weren’t as hard as they look! They didn’t even use weights in week one of #mbf! Sledgehammers are easier than they look — even with weights added, and if I’m honest, I was really disappointed that #mbfa didn’t have any sledgehammers.
Second, I was surprised by my own progress over the six weeks of #mbf + #mbfa. At the beginning of #mbf, I couldn’t hold a catcher’s stretch, pushups were a challenge, I was using 5lb weights, and my AMRAPs weren’t very impressive. By the end, however, I achieved some big milestones:
- I’ve got a killer catcher’s stretch now and greater flexibility and mobility.
- I can do pushups and more than just a few! Not only that, on the last Core Circuit Day, I did 30 narrow pushups!
- There’s a move called “inchworms” that I could barely do when it was first introduced, but by the end of #mbfa, I could do them with no modifications!
- I used to dread Leg Day, but there is something about knocking it out on Mondays that make it feel like you can take on the whole week.
- The first time I saw a side sit-through, I thought, “There’s no way I can do that!” But I tried it and was shocked that I have developed enough upper body strength to do it!
- After finally finding some dumbbells, I upped my weights to 8lb and 10lb weights, and at times, even the 10lb weights weren’t enough. Now I need to find heavier weights!
- I beat my AMRAPs every week of both programs!
I also noticed a few other improvements:
- The scale hasn’t changed a ton but size-wise, my clothes are fitting even better and I’m wearing tank tops that haven’t fit since 2017 — and they’re much looser than they were in 2017!
- When I started this journey in January, I couldn’t even do a v-sit, yet today, my abs and core are so much stronger that I can complete the entire Core Circuit workout without stopping!
- During the 21 Day Fix programs I wasn’t able to do renegade rows (rows with weights from the pushup position) but by the time they were introduced in #mbfa, I was able to do them with 8lb weights! So awesome!
A couple of other thoughts:
- I got started without BOD ropes and dumbbells — and I still sweat my butt off and saw results. While not having BOD Ropes wasn’t a huge deal (just a bummer), I do wonder just how much more I would have gotten out of the program if I had heavier weights available. 10lb Dumbbells are the heaviest I’ve been able to find during COVID-19.
- Sometimes when the modifier is small — in a tiny window at the bottom of the screen — it’s a little hard to see the proper form for the modification.
- I do wish there was a little more stretching in the workouts, especially since there are no rest days in #mbf or #mbfa.
Overall, I really loved #mbf + #mbfa. I’ve liked most of the programs I’ve tried, some better than others, and these two are definitely near the top of list. Breaking up the weight training or core blocks with cardio using the BOD Ropes helps the workouts go by fast, which is really nice. And, I like the pairing of two separate 3-week programs as that structure makes it feel less daunting and more achievable — it’s easier to commit to three weeks at a time, than commit to six weeks.
“Progress isn’t always pretty, so get ready to be drenched in sweat and working hard to give me everything, every move. If at the end of three weeks you don’t feel ready to step up to #mbfa, do #mbf again all the way through, and then take on #mbfa.”
— Megan Davies
Try #mbf + #mbfa For Yourself
Some of the moves in these programs were brand new to me — I’d never done any exercises where you’re swinging weights — and it was interesting to see how my body responded and adapted. The mix of weight lifting, core exercises, and cardio really breaks up the work, the music makes it way more fun, and the Dynamic Recovery Day feels amazing for your tired muscles. Plus, there’s a modifier for every move if you need it, and you can always drop to body weight too.
While I moved on to #mbfa directly after #mbf, several people in my Beachbody fitness community chose to do #mbf twice before moving onto #mbfa. That’s the beauty of Beachbody workouts: YOU get to choose your path and do what works best for you.
Really, I can’t recommend this program enough!
Right now it’s only available for VIP Early Access, which means you need to pay extra for access. I bought an #mbf Challenge Pack that came with the BOD Ropes, access to the Beachbody nutrition plans: 2B Mindset and Ultimate Portion Fix, Shakeology (OMG… So Good!), and more — and those BOD ropes alone are worth every penny!
Sometime around December 2020, both #mbf + #mbfa will be released into the Beachbody On Demand (BOD) library and become available to anyone with a BOD subscription.
The Bottom Line
Do your homework and do what works best for you, your goals, and your budget.
You can get started and see results with nothing more than the Beachbody On Demand (BOD) subscription that gets you access to a huge variety of Beachbody programs for far less than a gym membership. If you’re curious about the Challenge Packs or anything else offered through Beachbody, however, I’m happy to answer any of your questions and help you pick the right program with zero pressure and no obligation to buy anything.