Hammer & Chisel Review and Results
The Master’s Hammer and Chisel is the latest home workout DVD series from the BeachBody stable. The people who gave us Tony Horton, P90X and Shaun T with Insanity now present Sagi Kalev and Autumn Calabrese. Hammer and Chisel is a 60-day program designed to pack on lean muscle while getting you shredded.
In this article we take an indepth look at the Master’s Hammer and Chisel program so you can decide if it’s a program that deserves your time and money.
What Is Hammer & Chisel?
The Master’s Hammer and Chisel is a 60-day workout program that comes in the form of 12 DVD workouts and a comprehensive nutrition plan. The workouts are built around the concept of SSP Training. This stands for:
Built on this foundation the workouts incorporate a rotation of strength training exercises designed to build each of these 3 aspects. The 12 workouts in the series are:
- Hammer Plyometrics - jump training
- Iso Speed Hammer - tempo training
- Chisel Balance - total body workout
- Iso Strength Chisel - isometric and flexibility workout
- Total Body Hammer - muscle mass workout
- Max Hammer Strength - strength and power workout
- Chisel Endurance - Muscular endurance workout
- Chisel Cardio - cardio workout
- Hammer Power - powerlifting workout
- Hammer Conditioning - compound workout
- Chisel Agility - cardio stabilization workout
- Total Body Chisel - full body workout
The Nutritional program provides you with 7 color coded containers that come in the precise sizes you need for the following different food types:
- Green - veggies
- Purple - fruits
- Red - protein
- Yellow - carbs
- Blue - healthy fats
- 2 x Orange - seeds and dressings
You also get a Shakeology shaker bottle.
In addition to the above, the Master’s Hammer and Chisel program also provides you with a comprehensive program and nutrition guide, which includes an eating plan, recipes and tips on how to maximize your training and nutrition.There is also a quick start guide and a 60-day workout calendar.
The program also comes with the 3 bonus gifts. You get two additional DVD workouts ( a 10-minute Ab Hammer workout and a 10-minute Ab Chisel workout) along with 24/7 online support from the BeachBody team of fitness experts and coaches.
The program comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee.
How Good is It?
The two trainers who front this program, Sagi Kalev and Autumn Calabrese, are both well known celebrity trainers who have had success with previous BeachBody workout videos.Whereas previous programs, such as BodyBeast, focus on working individual body-parts, Hammer and Chisel is more focused on total body workouts. This is in harmony with recent trends within the fitness industry, due to the ability to get a greater calorie burn and be more effective with your training time. You also get a very good powerlifting workout in this program, in which Sagi does an effective job of coaching you through some of the more technical powerlifting moves.
A big part of the success of a DVD workout program comes down to the personality of the trainer. Most beachbody fads are used to the ‘in your face’ styles of Tony Horton and Shaun T, so the less intense style of Sagi my take a bit of getting used to.
All of the workouts in the series are total body workouts. This is a good thing if your main concern is calorie burning. However, it does feature a lot of lower body work. Iso Strength Chisel is an especially tough workout with a major lower body focus. Doing total body workout back-to-back is very tough going.
During the first 10 days of the program you may feel as if there is no pattern to the workouts and they have been haphazardly thrown together. However, as you progress further into the workouts, you will feel more on top of the flow of the workouts and the day to day combinations.
This program is designed for a wider audience than the BodyBeast series, which was also hosted by Sagi Kalev. If you are expecting bodybuilding type workouts you may be disappointed here. Do not expect this to be BodyBeast 2. Rather than just focusing on adding mass to your body, the Hammer and Chisel program is all about increasing strength, power and athleticism with the goal of creating all round athletic physique rather than someone with big muscles. With that being said, there is a mass plan built into the program, but it is not the main focus.
The Hammer and Chisel program does not feature a great deal of pure cardio. There is a plyometric workout which is a very tough routine that will definitely strip off the body fat. However, because the workouts are pretty much all full body ones, you will have an enhanced calorie burn as opposed to doing the individual muscle type workouts that you find in BodyBeast.
You will a need a sturdy bench to do the Hammer and Chisel program. They do suggest a stability ball as an alternative to the bench, but you will be far better off investing in a decent workout bench. You will also need barbells and dumbbells.
The Individual Workouts
The Chisel Balance workout is the first off the block and is hosted by Autumn, who handles all of the Chisel workouts in the series. This is a core balance workout. It involves doing 8 rounds of such exercises as squat jumps, push ups and other calisthenic moves. This workout takes 40 minutes.
This is a 25 minute workout hosted by Sagi. He takes your through 9 exercises which are done twice through.
This is a 34 minute session that involves doing ten reps of an exercise for ten reps, followed by a ten second iso hold. This is a leg centric workout, although it is a total body session. There is not, however, much arm involvement on this one.
Iso Speed Hammer
This Sagi workout involves ten exercises done in the following manner . . .
Do the positive half of the first rep to a count of three then snap back to complete the rep. Now do ten fast reps.
You’ll be doing exercises such as push ups, curls, rows and squats.
10 Minute Ab Chisel
This one involves ten moves which are all done with the aid of a bench for one minute each. You can also do the exercises on the floor. Your coach is Autumn.
10 Minute Ab Hammer
Sagi’s version of the 10 minute ab workout is very similar to that offered by Autumn, with lots of crunches and one minute holds. Not much originality here.
This is a medium intensity full body workout which involves doing four rounds of two exercises which are done twice. You’ll be doing exercises like squats, rows and presses with Sagi as your coach. The workout takes 30 minutes.
This is another leg centric workout. It involves seven exercises which are repeated for two rounds. Not a lot here for the upper body and nothing for the arms. And, despite the name, this not really and endurance workout. This is a 36 minute workout.
This workout is unique in that it puts Sagi and Autmon together in one workout. It is a 17 minute workout that seems to be all over the place and isn’t especially difficult. This is the most disappointing of all the workouts.
Hammer Total Body
This workout is the closest you will get to a classic bodybuilding routine with a basic 10/8/6 rep scheme on exercises such as push ups, squats, rows and presses. The workout lasts for 42 minutes.
Chisel Total Body
This is the first workout to give any serious attention to the biceps and triceps, though it is a full body workout with all the usual moves such as squats, rows and curls. The length of this workout is 35 minutes.
This is a 38 minute workout which involves a series of one-minute moves that focus on speed and agility.
This is a hard out powerlifting workout coached by Sagi. Over 38 minutes you will be well coached to perform such moves as squats, full presses and jerk presses.
This one involves 7 exercises repeated for 2 rounds. You will be doing such moves as push ups, pull ups and a range of squat variations. The length is 35 minutes.
Max Hammer Strength
This is a hard out combination of no weight followed by resistance training. As an example you do push ups for 60 seconds and then go directly into the bench press. The workout lasts for 35 minutes.
Beast Total Body
If you are a BodyBeast veteran, you will love this one. It is a revamping of the original BodyBeast workout. It involves doing four circuits of four exercises, twice through.
What Results Can you Expect?
The BeachBody website features some impressive before and after images of graduates of the Hammer and Chisel program, with weight losses of up to 37 pounds and waist measurement reductions of around 14.5 inches over the period of 60 days. Of course results will vary, but so long as you are combining all of the nutritional guidelines with the training programs, you can expect to lose 10-15 pounds and dramatically improve your strength levels over the course of the program.
The Master’s Hammer and Chisel program provides you with a very complete holistic whole body regimen. The trainer’s complement each other nicely. Because you are working the whole body most days, you have limited recovery time between workouts. Also, you should not expect a hardcore bodybuilding workout every workout, although one or two of the sessions will cater to that need.
As always with BeachBody, the production value is excellent here. Overall this is a quality series that features highly able trainers, and has a good mix of cardio, strength and fat burning capability.