21 Day Fix is another of the bestselling home fitness programs from Beachbody, with 30-minute workouts and a nutrition plan for fast weight loss and body toning. It’s suitable for both men and women, and was created by Autumn Calabrese, a NASM certified celebrity personal trainer.
In addition to the main home exercise program, you also get 7 color-coded food containers, as part of the easy-to-follow, 21-day portion control system.
But does 21 Day Fix really work, and is it worth the money?
In this review, we’ll walk you through each of the 7 30-minute workouts, as well as what to expect from the 21 Day Fix meal planning book. We’ll also compare this program with other Beachbody workout systems, such as Cize and PiYo, to help you decide if this is the best home workout for your personal fitness goals.
What’s Included with the 21 Day Fix Program?
- 21 Day Fix Editable Tally Sheets: As with other Beachbody fitness programs, such as Body Beast and PiYo, 21 Day Fix includes tally sheets where you can record your progress.
In this case, you can record the number of portions from each food group you consume during each meal of the day. These can also be used with the 21 Day Fix Extreme program, and are available as printed and online versions.
- Workout Calendar: As you’ll discover later in our review, 21 Day Fix has a wide variety of workouts. The calendar makes it much easier to keep track of your routine, where you’ll be following a different 30-minute workout each day of the week.
- 3 Day Quick Fix: A high-intensity workout designed to help you lose weight fast, over a short period of time. Autumn Calabrese, creator of 21 Day Fix, doesn’t recommend following this routine for longer than 3 days, due to how challenging the workouts and diet are.
The plan contains different meal plans for men and women, but both require 6 meals per day. Each plan requires a high amount of protein and steamed veggies, but only eating carbs with the first 2 meals of the day.
- Food List: An incredibly useful cheat sheet that lists over 200 foods and tells you which of the food groups they’re associated with. It also contains a list of all the ‘Free Foods’ from the Eating Plan, which includes various seasonings, juices, and flavor extracts.
- Exclusive Online Toolkit: Includes a Quick-Start Container Chart, Meal Planner, and Grocery List.
- Eating Plan: Two different eating plans are provided to assist with portion control, one of which is suitable for vegans. We take a closer look at the Eating Plan later in our review.
What Exercise Equipment Do You Need?
Some Beachbody programs require a small amount of basic fitness equipment to get the best results from the workouts.
For the 21 Day Fix workouts, a set of dumbbells is required, resistance bands are optional, and a Beachbody miniMAT or Yoga mat is recommended for additional comfort. A chair is also recommended for the Barre Legs workout, if you signed up for the 21 Day Fix Ultimate Upgrade.
21 Day Fix Workout Program – Features Summary
- Lose up to 15 pounds in 21 days
- Easy-to-follow 21-day portion control system
- Includes 7 color-coded food containers
- 7 total 30-minute workouts on 2 DVDs
- Includes helpful resources, such as the 21 Day Fix Eating Plan and 3 Day Quick Fix
21 Day Fix Workout Guide
Each of the 21 Day Fix workouts has been designed to improve your fitness and burn fat quickly, while remaining injury-free. The main program is based on 7 key workouts, but two additional workouts can also be rotated in from the Ultimate Package, for added variation.
Each workout session is repeated 3 times over the course of the 21 days, and focuses on a different type of exercise or muscle group. Beachbody also created an advanced routine for days 15-21 that helps you burn more calories and boost your metabolism.
If you’re streaming the online workouts from Beachbody On Demand, each program has two versions: one with music, and one without. The music has a tempo that helps you stay motivated and boosts your energy. But if you prefer your own workout music, the version with no background noise might be best.
If you would like to try 21 Day Fix, but aren’t sure if the workouts are right for you, here’s a quick reference guide.
Strengthens and tones the muscles in your shoulders, back, arms, chest, and abs. Workout equipment required includes weights or a resistance band, and an exercise mat.
Strengthens and tones the muscles in your legs (quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, glutes). Workout equipment required includes weights or a resistance band, and an exercise mat.
Total Body Cardio Fix
A 30-minute total body workout that requires a set of dumbbells, water, and a towel. A Beachbody miniMAT is also recommended.
Each exercise lasts 60 seconds, followed by 20 seconds of rest. Exercises include x-country skiers, weighted jog, knee pulls, and oblique crunches, to target every major muscle group.
As with the standard Cardio Fix routine, a ‘modifier’ version of the workout is available, which limits the impact on your joints and doesn’t require dumbbells.
Starts off with a gentle warm-up that focuses on stretching out your muscles and raising your heart rate. The main cardio workout is certainly challenging, with constant body movement for 30 minutes, except for the 20 seconds rest and recovery you get between sets.
Throughout the Cardio Fix program you also have the option to follow a ‘modifier’ version of the workout. This is designed to limit the impact on your joints, by switching out the jumping for stepping.
If you want to keep your pulse within a specific heart rate zone, you might find a heart rate monitor watch useful. Water is also recommended to keep your body hydrated and maintain peak performance throughout your workout.
Designed to improve your strength, balance, and flexibility. These health benefits will carry over into the other 21 Day Fix workouts, enabling a wider range of motion in exercises and greater muscle stimulation. The only fitness equipment you need is a yoga mat.
The 21 Day Fix calendar has Pilates Fix quite close to the Lower Fix workout day, which can be a challenge for your legs. Pilates Fix is designed to strengthen your core and tone your hips and thighs. No fitness equipment required, these are all body weight exercises.
A 30-minute fat-burning workout, which requires weights or a resistance band.
Barre Legs (Ultimate Package)
If you’ve always wanted to try a barre class, this is the workout for you. Barre Legs is a 30-minute session designed to sculpt and define your hips, thighs, and glutes.
Barre is a type of exercise that combines elements of Pilates, dance, yoga and functional training. This means you don’t need any exercise equipment, although small hand weights can be useful.
Flat Abs Fix (Ultimate Package)
A 30-minute workout that tones your core, including your abdominals, obliques, and intercostal muscles. For many of the ab exercises, all you need is a single dumbbell, while a yoga mat can improve the comfort level of the ab crunches, planks, and sit ups.
As with the other 21 Day Fix workouts, exercises are rotated every minute, with a few seconds rest in between. A ‘modifier’ option is also available, which requires no dumbbell or added weight.
21 Day Fix Eating Plan
The 21 Day Fix is one of the Beachbody programs that focuses on weight loss, rather than weight gain. This is in contrast to programs such as Body Beast and P90X, which are designed to help you gain lean muscle and strength, in addition to boosting your overall fitness level.
As well as the workout program, 21 Day Fix also provides you with a detailed Eating Plan, based on the macronutrient balance of 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 30% fat.
Although this is the shortest of the Beachbody workout programs, it’s designed to be repeatable. So, if you don’t reach your target weight after the first cycle, you can repeat fro another 21 days until you reach your goal.
To assist with meal planning and preparation, the 21 Day Fix includes 6 color-coded containers and a Shakeology shaker cup. The colors are referred to throughout the Eating Plan, and correspond to one of the main food groups.
Calculate Your Daily Calorie Target
Each of the Beachbody nutrition programs has a slightly different calculation for figuring out your daily calorie level.
The formula for 21 Day Fix is similar to that used in the PiYo program, and requires three basic calculations:
- Multiply your current body weight in pounds by 11 to determine your caloric baseline
- Add 400 calories to compensate for natural calorie burn
- Subtract 750 calories from the new total, to create a calorie deficit large enough to promote weight loss
Of course, you could always combine the final two steps, and just subtract 350 calories from your caloric baseline.
So, for someone weighing 140 lbs, your target daily calorie level on the 21 Day Fix program would be 1,190.
However, if your calorie level is less than 1,200, the nutrition plan recommends rounding up to 1,200 to maintain a healthy level. Likewise, if it’s more than 2,300, the recommendation is to round down to 2,300.
Selecting Your Calorie Chart
We mentioned that the 21 Day Fix supplies you with different colored food containers, but it’s also important to point out their sizes.
Each container has a different size, which is designed to help with portion sizes. For example, if your calorie chart requires 3 servings of vegetables each day, the green container would need to be filled three times a day.
The calorie chart itself is a simple list, showing the number of servings required for each food group, based on your daily calorie target.
It’s a similar system to the one found in the Beast Body program, but far simpler!
Instead of the 19 different meal plans and target calorie levels, you have just 4 to choose from:
- 1,200 – 14,99 calories
- 1,500 – 1,799 calories
- 1,800 – 2,099 calories
- 2,100 – 2,300 calories
Meal Timing and Preparation
The 21 Day Fix doesn’t force you to follow any strict routine when it comes to meal timing. As long as your daily food intake matches the number of servings on your calorie chart, you’re free to distribute your meals on a schedule that suits you.
However, as with most of the Beachbody nutrition programs, they do provide you with a couple of suggestions.
- 1. Have 3 main meals and two snacks, roughly 2-3 hours apart
- 2. Spread your eating across six meals, 2 hours apart
The strategy of 5-6 meals per day has proven popular with bodybuilders and professional athletes, as it supplies your body with a constant stream of energy. It also increases your resting metabolic rate (RMR), so you burn more fat throughout the day.
An important part of any health and fitness routine is hydration. Not only does it help improve your mental focus, but it also plays a vital role in flushing toxins out of your system, and promoting healthy eyes and skin.
The 21 Day Fix Eating Plan recommends dividing your body weight in two, and taking this as your daily intake of water in ounces. So, if you weigh 140 lbs, that’s 70 ounces of water each day, as a minimum.
If you’re not a fan of plain water, the plan also contains some simple water recipes to improve the taste. This includes ice water with fresh mint leaves, 2 to 3 cucumber slices, or orange, kiwi, and strawberry slices.
We should point out that Beachbody actually owns Shakeology, which is why you’ll see adverts and recommendations throughout the meal plans of each Beachbody program.
The 21 Day Fix is no different, but in addition to Shakeology shakes and bars, it also recommends taking the Activit multivitamin.
Activit contains 100% of your daily nutritional requirements, together with an amino acid complex that supports fat burning. The ingredients also list an antioxidant blend, which they claim boosts muscle recovery after a workout.
Eating 5-6 solid meals each day can be a challenge. Not only do you have to think about transporting and storing the meals when you’re travelling, but also allocate time each day to food preparation.
Shakeology shakes are designed to supply your body with the protein, antioxidants, phytonutrients, prebiotics, and enzymes that your body needs to experience maximum weight-loss results.
They’re convenient enough to make in less than a minute, and are available in 6 flavors:
- Tropical Strawberry Vegan
- Chocolate Vegan
How Much Does 21 Day Fix Cost?
If you were wondering about the price of 21 Day Fix, expect to pay around $73 for the base kit. This includes the DVDs, portion control system, and 7 color-coded food containers.
You can also buy Autumn Calabrese’s FIXATE cookbook, which is packed with healthy 21 Day Fix recipes.
A more popular option is buying the 21 day portion control containers, then streaming the accessing the workout and nutrition program online, via Beachbody On Demand.
On Demand is a subscription service, whereby you sign up to a membership option that gives you access to:
- Over 600 Beachbody workout programs
- All-access to every beachbody workout
- Fitness guides & workout calendars
- Meal plans & recipes
- Free personal coach
- Access to fitness & nutrition experts
The most affordable membership level is $39 for 3 months, which also includes a FREE 14-day trial. The 6-month plan is $59, and the cheapest 12-month plan costs $99, saving $57 over the quarterly billing.
There’s also an option to subscribe to the 12-month membership, which includes the food container system and a 30-day supply of Shakeology supplements. This is in addition to the all-access subscription you get to the online workout material and nutrition guides.
Customer Reviews – Does 21 Day Fix Work?
An important part of any 21 Day Fix review is to consider the feedback from other people who have used the program.
Did they find it good value for money? Is the pace of the workouts easy to keep up with? How quickly did they see results? These are all important questions, and can help you decide if 21 Day Fix is the best home workout program for your fitness goals.
But reading through dozens of customer reviews can be time consuming, which is why we’ve created a quick reference guide to the pros and cons. These are taken from more than 100 of the 21 Day Fix reviews currently available on Amazon.
- 21 Day Fix exercise schedule and nutrition guide is easy to follow
- Wide range of healthy foods available in each of the categories: proteins, oils, fruits, carbohydrates, healthy fats, and vegetables
- No need for calorie counting
- 30-minute workouts make them easy to fit into a busy schedule, yet effective enough to get results
- Nutrition guide is healthy and balanced, and the workouts are easy to modify according to ability
- Sample weight loss reports taken from real customer reviews include losing 15 pounds in 3 weeks, and losing 20 pounds over 4 weeks
- Portion control containers make it much easier to stick to the meal plan
- Positive reports on the taste of Shakeology shakes. Although they’re not mandatory for the 21 Day Fix, they can help control cravings and help you stick to the diet.
- Autumn is an inspirational and encouraging trainer, who motivates you to push yourself during the workouts
- Shorter program duration (21 days) means it’s easier to stick to for a single cycle than the 90-day Beachbody workout programs
- Minimal fitness equipment required. A yoga mat and towel are all you need to complete the 21 Day Fix exercises, which helps keep the cost low.
- Half the price of programs like P90X
- Some people found the eating guide restrictive, and difficult to maintain over a longer period of time
- A few of the body weight exercises, even the modifiers, are tough to perform with any kind of pre-existing knee or back pain
- The workout pace may not be suitable for complete beginners, as your muscles will initially take longer to repair after training
- As with a few of the other Beachbody workouts we’ve reviewed, a small number of customers reported problems with the DVDs. This included skipping or freezing due to scratches. An alternative is to stream the home workout videos online, via Beachbody On Demand.
- No free trial available with this fitness program