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An Honest Review of The Work (a home workout program by Beachbody)

June 3, 2020

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I'm Mickie. I run One Strong Southern Girl from Small Town, TN. I love what I do. I want you to remember me because I helped changed your life. 

Hello!

The Work is one of the latest home fitness programs by Beachbody. It’s created around a 6-week calendar of workouts lead by Amoila Cesar (whose style is a mix of Shaun T and Jillian Michaels). I love this program but it’s not for a beginner. Let me tell you what equipment you’ll need, what that ‘explicit’ rating is all about, how many calories I burned doing the routines, where you can go to get your hands on this program and everything else you need to know before you get started.

I’ve done every workout in this new series and am excited to explain all the nuts and bolts of The Work. There’s a lot you need to know before you try it.

This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission. You can get more information about that here.

Let’s get started…

What’s The Work program by Beachbody?

“The Work is 6 weeks of relentless functional training…like you’ve never experienced…less body fat, more muscle, and improvements in your mobility and flexibility.”

Beachbody

Here’s a peek at the promo trailer:

Even if you’ve been a member of Beachbody on Demand for years, the trainer of The Work will be new to you. 

Amoila Cesar is full of energy and in-your-face motivation that I like to say feels like a beautiful cross between Shaun T’s motivational style and Jillian Michaels’ boot-camp military style. (And the routines are a cross between P90X3 and Shift Shop.)

a photo of Amoila Cesar
Amoila Cesar

And here’s one more video (it’s short but good) that’ll help you get to know the trainer of The Work.

Now, before we dive any deeper into the details of this program let me tell you that you can’t buy The Work by itself.

Beachbody has stopped selling any of their new programs as stand-alone videos.  To get access to The Work you’ll have to sign up for a membership to Beachbody on Demand (BOD).

My goal for this post is to help you decide if it’s worth signing up for the free trial period of BOD just to try out The Work.

PRO TIP: It’s worth it. Beachbody has mastered the art of exercise on demand and your membership gives you access to an entire library of incredible workout programs (in addition to The Work).

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT BEACHBODY ON DEMAND.

Let’s move on…

Facts (and some opinions) about The Work

There are 11 different workout titles in this program:

Push (workouts using push exercises that target your quads, chest and tris)

Legs (these routines focus on strength and agility exercises for the lower body)

Endurance & Agility (these routines focus on exercises that hit strength, cardio, balance and agility)

Pull (workouts using pull exercises that target the back, biceps and hamstrings)

Full Body Tempo (slow and controlled exercises that hit every major muscle group)

Isometrics (these workouts are low-impact with a focus on static holds, time under tension and maximum muscle recruitment)

Total Body Push/Pull (in these routines you’ll do a combination of pushing and pulling exercises)

Strength & Power (these workouts have strength training and plyometrics)

Cardio & Core (in these workouts you’ll do agility, plyometrics and core exercises)

The Crucible (you’ll focus on muscle endurance as you attempt to get in every single rep in these routines)

Range & Repair (these workouts are designed to increase your range and mobility by targeting specific areas of the body to stretch)

Over 6 weeks you’ll repeat each title 3 times.*
*But don’t worry, each workout is slightly different. Over time you’ll build up intensity and difficulty with each workout. The only thing that stays the same with each title is the warm-up and cool down.

Here’s a look at the workout calendar that comes with the program.

the workout rotation calendar from The Work by Beachbody
6 Weeks of The Work (workout calendar)

You’re encouraged to start each week on whatever day you want but to keep the workouts in this order.

Every workout (with the exception of Range & Repair) is 40 to 50 minutes long.

So, if you follow the calendar, you’ll do 5 days a week of intense 40-50 minute workouts, one day a week you’ll focus on flexibility and range of motion with a 25 minute routine (Range & Repair) and then you get one rest day a week.

I LOVE the goal of this program–

“…to help you get stronger and leaner while preparing you for real-life activities–whether that’s hauling ass down a basketball court or chasing your kids around the yard…goal is to show you what your body is truly capable of.”

Amoila Cesar–The goal of The Work

The Work routines use a LOT of compound exercises. This is when you work more than one muscle group at a time. It’s a very efficient and effective way of exercising and you’ll quickly discover that your heart rate will be pounding even though you’re not doing a ‘cardio’ workout.

The exercises in the program are unique (I’d never done many of them) and not forced together into an awkward sandwich that forces you to contort your body in ways that clearly won’t work. 

Make sure you have a nice clear space to do The Work routines. A lot of the workouts require you to move in different directions. If you have the space to do two leaps in any direction of your workout space then you’ll be good to go.

There’s no music in The Work.  That may or may not matter to you but there you have it.

If you have a teenage athlete at home, The Work is a great program for them to use to work on their endurance, coordination, agility and balance. I had my 14-year-old daughter and 17-year-old son do some of the workouts (they both play basketball).

There are 4 exercisers (including Amoila) in each routine of The Work. There’s a rotation of 8 (maybe less) athletes that appear over the course of the 6 weeks. Amoila walks around for most of the routine. That’s kind of a pet peeve of mine. I like to try and keep up with the instructor but that’s just me. It’s not a dealbreaker. Every workout has at least one female in group.

My favorite workouts were Cardio & Core followed by Endurance & Agility and The Crucible.

So, what’s the deal with the ‘explicit’ rating? 

Well, in case you were worried about scantily-clad athletes doing the workouts, let me ease your mind.

The rating is because the ‘f-bomb’ is used generously during every workout.

If that bothers you (or if you have kids around when you workout) you can play the ‘clean version’ of every routine.

I honestly, can’t decide if the rating was a publicity thing or if Amoila Cesar was like, “I’m me. I cuss like a Sailor. If you want me Beachbody then deal with it.” And they did.

Either way. Don’t let that rating keep you from trying the program.

What equipment will you need to do The Work?

There’s more equipment used in this program than I expected.  You’ll see all of the following used in various routines:

Dumbbells (light, medium and heavy)

Exercise loops

Fitness gliders/sliders

Chin-Up bar

Chin-Up assistance band (aka Chin-Up Max)

A mat (unless you exercise on carpet)

So, do you really need all this equipment?

You could easily do every workout without a Chin-up bar. You’re given an alternative exercise to do in each routine (in case you don’t have one). But I recommend you invest in the other equipment if you want to do this series.

You can use the links out to Amazon to buy each individual piece that you need or you can click here and buy the equipment from the Teach Beachbody shop (the Beachbody set doesn’t include dumbbells, or a chin-up max (assist) band).

Is there a nutrition plan that goes with The Work?

There’s not a nutrition plan that was made just for The Work

The program materials recommend that you follow the Beachbody Guide to Nutrition*, which is a 100+ page pdf guide you can download to help you prepare low-calorie meals. You’ll also find tips and meal prep recommendations.
*There are a lot of pages in the guide dedicated to promoting Beachbody supplements and products. You’ll have to wade through all that to get to the useful information. It’s still worth taking a look at if you’re looking for help with a diet plan.

How many calories will you burn doing The Work?

The following are the average calories I burned doing the workouts (I didn’t include Range & Repair in this list since but focused on the workouts that are 40-50 minutes):

Push (45 minutes)-322 calories
Legs (45-50 minutes)-345 calorie
Endurance & Agility (45 minutes)-384 calories
Pull (40 minutes)-290 calories
Full Body Tempo (40-45 minutes)-317 calories
Total Body Push/Pull (40 minutes)-265 calories
Strength & Power (45 minutes)-358 calories
Cardio & Core (50 minutes)-415 calories
Isometrics (45-50 minutes)-266 calories
The Crucible (40-45 minutes)-287 calories

Is The Work hard? Is it for men AND women?

So, I won’t lie. My first impression of the first week of The Work was that the program was fun but not as challenging as I thought it’d be.

My opinion changed completely by week 2 and by the end of the entire series I can confidently tell you that this program is ADVANCED. 

It’s not for the beginner but I recommend it for any intermediate or advanced exerciser. Male or female.

I absolutely loved it. And will use these workouts regularly for my Program Stacking workout rotation calendar.

Let’s revisit the question: Is it worth signing up for a membership to Beachbody on Demand to try out The Work*?

Absolutely!

Use the free trial period of your Beachbody on Demand membership to try out these routines. (And if you don’t like them then you’ll have plenty of other options).

*And if you think The Work might be too advanced you can use your trial membership to try 4 Weeks of The Prep. It’s an intermediate version of The Work program with the same instructor and style of workouts.

Other articles for you…

Kira Stokes Fit (for advanced home exercisers)

#Mbf and #Mbfa (inside the BOD library)

80-Day Obsesssion

Core De Force

MM100

Insanity Max:30 (one of my favorite Beachbody programs of all time)

Transform 20

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  1. Joe Smo says:

    How was the crucible your second to lowest calorie burn?! 100 push up burpees alone is over a 100. Those calorie burn seem low in general as well if you’re pushing yourself to complete each day. Im pretty fit and I found it hard to complete the whole 45 min on multiple occasions

    • Hi Joe! As you probably know, calorie-burn is one of those things that you can’t compare between people. My husband will burn over 350 calories doing yoga for 30 minutes while I’ll burn maybe 75 calories. Whenever I share my calories burned during a routine it’s an average after tracking my calories burned using a heart rate monitor paired to a chest strap over 2-3 times of doing the same workout. So, yes, those were my numbers but they will definitely be different for you and every other person. I share them because I like to keep track of data when I exercise and it helps other people see what they might be able to expect as far as cardio intensity during a routine. But what raises one persons heartrate (and burns more calories) might not be the same thing that raises someone else’s (like the yoga example above) so my hope is that people take that into account and use the data to get a snapshot of the cardiovascular experience that they might have in the routines and nothing more. Thanks for reading and taking the time to give your feedback!

  2. Heather says:

    I wish they had a weight tracker to go with Amolia’s programs. I end up making an excel and that is just not as easy. I like to have something that shows the progress of reps and dumbbell weight through the program

  3. Ann says:

    hi! I love the Work. I’ve done is several times but I’m looking for a new full body, INTENSE program that involves weight training but also cardio for fat loss. Can you advise of similar programs? Thanks!

    • Hi Ann, that’s a great question! Since you already belong to Beachbody on Demand my favorite blend of workouts to get exactly what you’re asking for is good ‘ol Insanity Max:30 paired with P90X3. They aren’t new but they’ll always be challenging and INTENSE! If you’re willing to go outside of Beachbody on Demand then I’d check out what Cathe Friedrich sells. You can buy her individual videos on Amazon (or her website) and she has a LOT of options that combine weight training with cardio. She’s a beast! If you like her workouts then I’d recommend you sign up for her streaming workout service so you can access all of them (there are 100’s). I hope that helps! Have a great day! Mickie

  4. Tracy says:

    I love the work! It is tough and sometimes I have to modify but it is a great workout! I am a big fan of Lift 4 and needed a change for a bit and the work definitely is an awesome workout!

    • Hi Tracy! I’m so glad to hear from another fan of The Work! I really think it’s a hidden gem inside the Beachbody on Demand library. Thank you for taking the time to leave us your feedback! Have a great day! Mickie

  5. This is a terrific and insightful description of everything about this program. My wife and I just started week 5 and have never liked a program better. You are so right that it has those elements of Shaun T which got me into Beachbody in the first place almost a decade ago. Not only does he bring his physical stature to the work which is inspiring in itself, but he has a deep understanding of what is going on in your body as you do these workouts. They must have put together a team of sports scientists to really plan this series out and then take the effort to explain those details – how the muscles are working to protect, say, your knee, etc. And to his credit, his motivation and spirit gets you through these undeniably challenging workouts. Thank you for taking the time to break it down even further even with your calorie burn counter. Somewhat sad this program ends in 2 weeks I may just go back to Week 1 after we finish!

    • Hi Robert, this is awesome! Thank you for taking the time to give your feedback. Hearing what other people think of the programs we review is priceless for us as well as other people who’re looking at programs like The Work to decide if they want to try them out! Thanks again for reading and leaving your insight. Have a great day! Mickie

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