Yes, this is a review of the Chloe Ting 2 Week Shred challenge, but in true Shirsha-fashion, you will have to listen to me ramble on with the backstory for a bit.
My weight has been a touchy topic for me for many, many years now. Let’s just say that as the scale has kept inching up and up and up, my sensitivity has increased in pretty much the same proportion.
Sensitive topic or not, I’ve always known that this kind of weight gain was not doing my health any wonders. I didn’t need doctors or anyone else to tell me that (which they did, by the way), I already knew. It’s not like I’ve never tried to do shit about it but like with so many other things in my life, consistently maintaining good eating habits and an exercise routine (which I last talked about here) was something that I’ve failed miserably with.
PROJECT “QUARANTINE GLOW UP”
When lock down season rolled around in mid-March here in India, I was at my heaviest ever. And it was not a good feeling. Not physically, not mentally, not emotionally. I desperately wanted to change my mindset, my body, and suddenly blessed with a few extra hours a day, I decided to give my body the attention and care that it deserves.
This is NOT the part where I tell you that I’ve miraculously lost 20 pounds over the last few months, because I haven’t. I started out with doing some home workouts, and I tried going for an evening walk as much as possible, but looking back now, I know I wasn’t really applying myself. I was mostly going through the motions.
I am also a constant grazer. Being at home all the time, with ready access to the kitchen, I found myself grazing almost constantly. Even if it was on mostly healthy stuff. I tried intermittent fasting as well.
The overall result of my half-hearted efforts was that I would lose a couple of kilos and gain them back again. And so it went for quite some time. It was mentally exhausting, and frankly, I felt like what was even the point of making any effort.
Then in mid-June, I came to my parents’ home in Calcutta. After spending an aimless few days, I decided to give this whole let’s-try-to-lose-some-weight thing (or “quarantine glow up”, as the YouTube commenters seem to call it) yet another try. I continued with the HIIT workouts that I’d been doing, but became way more diligent with my eating habits. And I started sticking to intermittent fasting for nearly 16 hours everyday.
So yes, the weight started to come off, and yes, it was starting to stay off. Somewhere along the way, I discovered Chloe Ting on YouTube, and I could not believe the kind of results people were getting from doing her program. And I was motivated enough to give it a try myself.
WHAT IS THIS CHLOE TING 2 WEEK SHRED CHALLENGE?
Now, if for whatever reason, you haven’t heard about Chloe Ting – here’s the deal. She’s an Australia-based YouTuber with a super popular fitness channel (at the time of writing this post, she has over 11 million subscribers) and she hosts a bunch of free fitness programs with a specified schedule of videos to follow and she (sort of) advises clean eating along with exercise to achieve results.
Since I was at a point where I was willing to try just about anything, I decided to give her shortest program – the Chloe Ting 2 Week Shred – a try. This specific program is focused on abs, and over the course of 14 days, you’re expected to follow the specified schedule of workouts (ranging between 23 minutes to 47 minutes a day) with 2 rest days thrown in between.
Going in, I knew one thing with absolute certainty: I was not going to get a six-pack, or even a flat tummy, from merely two weeks of exercise. No one can reverse years of weight gain in two weeks. That’s not how fitness/fat loss/weight loss works. So yes, I was absolutely clear that I will not be ending the two week program with a flat tummy.
My expectation was to lose a couple of inches (and it would be awesome if it could come from my waist and tummy), and continue on my weight loss journey. Also hopefully, just hopefully, get impressed enough with the results to continue making exercise a part of my daily routine. And finish stronger than I started. So three things, really.
SO HOW DID I FARE?
Well, I just finished the program this past weekend, having taken two more days than the prescribed 14. They actually weren’t rest days, but I didn’t feel like doing the Chloe Ting workouts on those days, so chose some other exercise instead.
I am super pleased to say that in the last two weeks (okay, 16 days), I’ve lost 2.5 inches from my upper body (chest, waist), and 2.5 inches from my lower body (hips, thighs). And my weight has gone down by almost 3 kgs / 6.6 pounds. And no, there will be no pics of this, because the Internet cannot handle all of me just yet. :P
These results may not be super dramatic like so many of the Before/Afters that you see on YouTube, but this is positive progress in my books, and I am mighty kicked about having finished a workout challenge, even if it was only two weeks long. For a chronic non-finisher like me, this is a big deal.
A DEEP-DIVE INTO THE CHLOE TING 2 WEEK SHRED PROGRAM
Now that you know that I did get some positive results from the program, let’s break it down in a bit more detail.
1| DIFFICULTY LEVEL
Even before I started with the program, I had been exercising on and off for a couple of months before that, and yet, I found it difficult to get through the exercises without stopping. In fact, even on the last day, I still had to take breaks, but I was able to do more reps than what I’d started with.
So I would that the routines are rather hard if you’re a beginner, or somewhat at an intermediate level. The routines will definitely make you break a sweat, and it gets tough soon enough.
Chloe does include a low impact version for a lot of exercises, so you can always go with that option too (I sure did, a bunch of times!).
Also, no equipment is needed throughout the program.
2| FOCUS ON ABS
Well, she sets it out crystal clear that the focus of this program is on the abs. Through the program, there are two exercises you have to do daily, one which a full-body workout, and the second, which is an abs workout. The rest of the workouts are a combination of lower body, arms, and yes, some more ab workouts.
We all know that spot reduction is a myth, so I was glad that there was a healthy mix of full body workouts, even if the focus is on abs.
3| Lots and lots of planks
You’ve been warned – over the course of the various workouts, there are a lot of plank variations that you will be doing.
This is something I really struggled with. I have an ongoing condition with my right elbow and right wrist, which makes it difficult for me to put a lot of pressure on them. To avoid making the situation even worse, I had to modify or reduce the intensity of a lot of the movements which put undue pressure on my wrists. But I did not give up completely, and I found that by the last day, I was able to do the plank exercises with a little more ease than the first day, without my wrist or elbow crying out in sheer agony.
If you suffer from arm/wrist injuries, I would suggest that you actually check out all the videos thoroughly before you start off.
I’ll be honest – after doing the exercises for a few days, there is a bit of repetitiveness that sets in, because at the end of the day, it’s the same 5 exercises that you’re working through in some variation. But then, given the fact that this was only a two week long program, I didn’t mind this all that much.
5| No warm up/cool down sequence
I was surprised that for a program which is planned in a holistic manner, there were no warm up or cool down sequences included. I mean, sure it’s not a big deal, you can always do that without being told, but there is no mention of it either in any of her workouts, which I found odd. And we all know that warm ups and cool downs are essential to not hurting yourself and for proper recovery.
The Chloe Ting 2 Week Shred challenge is essentially just a workout program. So there is no specific diet that you have to follow. Of course, at the beginning of a couple of her videos, Chloe talks about following a clean diet to get the best results, but she’s not really focused on the diet part as such.
Personally for me, I will say that I was not following any crazy restrictive diet over the course of the challenge. A few things I was mindful of: avoiding overeating, having grains only a couple of times a week, and eating lots of protein and veggies. Also, I was fasting for nearly 16 hours a day, almost everyday.
I have to say this – Chloe comes across as a really chirpy cheerleader on your fitness journey, and I don’t mean this in any annoying way. She’s cute, funny and she definitely makes you work hard through her program.
On the whole, I was happy with my experience of the two week program. It’s not an easy one, and it definitely takes a lot of dedication to get through this, which is why I am glad that I saw this through to the finish line.
Did I mention that this program (and many of her other programs) is absolutely free? For that reason alone, I think this is serious bang for your buck and time.
The biggest win for me from this program, over and above the inches/weight loss, has been the mindset shift. And that too in two ways. Firstly, I have definitely gotten my exercise mojo back. I am looking forward to my next round of home workouts, and I seriously could not be more excited.
Secondly, I found myself definitely having much more positive attitude towards exercise and fitness in general. Where I used to in the initial days, give up completely if I found something too hard (ahem, up and down planks), I pushed myself to do a modified version, because really, something is definitely better than nothing.
So there you have it. All of my thoughts and my review of the Chloe Ting 2 week shred challenge. If you’re looking to challenge yourself to a workout program, this would be a good one to try out but please be careful if you have any existing injuries or sensitive joints.
Do you struggle with maintaining a regular exercise schedule? Have you tried this workout program yet? How have been getting in your exercise during this lock down season? Let me know in the comments below – I’d love to hear from you all!
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