Full disclosure: I'm not good at working out, even though it looks like I am. I’m one of those people with a fast metabolism, meaning I get to eat what I want, I have very little body fat, and my muscles typically define themselves. People often ask me what I do at the gym, and it’s super awkward telling them that, well, I actually don’t go to the gym. But before you give me the virtual middle finger and search for a more relatable review, note that my body is a lie and I’m actually weak as hell — or at least, I was before I had the chance to review BodyBoss.
When I first got my hands on the book, I felt surprisingly unintimidated, especially considering I’d just spent the holidays bingeing on carbs and Netflix. It’s well laid out, with an optional four week pre-training program, dedicated pages for warm-up and cool-down stretches, and thorough exercise instructions, all divided by pastel-colored pages of girls that look like Insta-famous models. Feeling inspired, I packed it with me for my trip from Vancouver to Palm Springs — I had a ‘new year, new me’ fitness resolution to fill, after all.
Over the course of a week, I learnt how BodyBoss combines bodyweight resistance exercises, plyometric exercises (jump training), cardio, and unilateral exercises to build the ultimate HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workout. The entire program takes just 12 weeks, guiding you through 7-8 exercises on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a total of 24 minutes per day. Considering I was traveling for seven days straight, I loved the idea of a workout I could actually stick to, especially one that didn't require a gym and promised to continue burning calories even after I stopped.
The week went a little something like this:
Workout: Legs and Booty
As early as day one, I felt grateful for the twelve stretches that each day of BodyBoss begins with. As I moved into my first circuit, I started to become acutely aware of the fact that pastel pages aside, this was actually a pretty intense program. While the sumo squats, walking lunges, and side jacks were simple and straightforward enough on their own, the combination was surprisingly exhausting — especially after repeating it three times. Luckily I had the cold as motivation, and particularly enjoyed how I could feel the glute kickbacks targeting both the butt and back of the thigh where cellulite tends to form. Yes, even skinny girls get cellulite.
Tip: Even if you feel confident in your fitness level, I highly recommend doing the four week pre-training program. Since I was tight on time for my trip I skipped it, but trust me, it’s in there for a reason.
Glute Kickbacks: Starting on all fours with your palms flat on the floor and knees shoulder-width apart, kick your right leg up and back as if you're pushing the ceiling away with the bottom of your foot. I did 20 reps on each side.
Rolling out of my Portland hotel bed surprisingly sore, the memories of glute bridges and lunges came rushing back. Tuesday, though, is recovery day, and I wanted to celebrate my previous day's accomplishment. After all, I could tell the program was already working, and was proud of myself for following through on my resolution. The book calls for some light exercise today, so a celebratory hotel room dance party seemed necessary.
Tip: As light exercise, the book suggests going for a walk, a swim, a light bike ride or a yoga class. I highly recommend switching it up between these each week, so you can keep your mind engaged and the program doesn’t become too routine. Also feel free to steal my dance party variation!
Workout: Arms, Abs, and Core
I'll be honest — I peeked at this day ahead of the game and had been dreading it since I started. My arms actually suck. Attempting the 25 incline push ups on a bench had my feeling of accomplishment fading fast, but my quaking arms somehow found a way to work through it. Luckily, my biceps got a break with the ankle taps and supermans before resuming their work in the plank position. Switching between abs, arms, and core definitely helps... it’s tough, but doable.
Tip: The shoulder flies call for 1-2 lb weights, which considering I was traveling, I subbed for water bottles. You can also use small bags of rice, soup cans, or shampoo bottles — just make sure the weight is even on both sides.
Side Shuffles: Start off standing and then take a step to your right with your right foot. Quickly bring your left foot over and raise your left knee up towards your chest and hold for one second. I did 20 reps on each side.
By Thursday I'd survived arm day and successfully made it to Los Angeles. Since the day calls for a little cardio and I had new sights to explore, I decided to plug in my headphones and go for a jog through the Hollywood Hills. The area was a little confusing and I got lost once or twice, but I was already noticing how my endurance level had increased from even the past week, and didn’t mind running for longer than I had in the past.
Tip: If you’re not a runner, the book also suggests brisk walking, swimming, cycling, or using the treadmill or cross trainer. If you’re not typically into cardio as a whole, take a zumba or spin class with a friend and turn it into a fun social outing.
Workout: Full Body
After just a few days of working out, it was already time to cap off my first week of BodyBoss. Friday focuses on your full body, and combines four repetitive exercises you already mastered over the previous days (like jump lunges and V sit ups). While the circuit is only six minutes long, it requires more explosiveness from you and pushes you to continue rotating through the exercises without rest periods until time is up.
Tip: Set up your stations before you start so that you can easily switch between them without wasting time. The point of this circuit is to get your blood pumping and your heart rate up, and you can't do that if you're wasting time looking for your yoga mat.
Jump Lunges: Start standing and then take a large step forward with your right foot into a lunge position. Jump to switch your left foot in front of your right and assume another lunge position. I did 12.
Considering I didn't have much body fat to begin with, this clearly isn't a weight loss success story. I did get way more toned after just one week, though, and I would imagine that the program could totally tear through fat (without losing muscle) if that's what you want. Also my endurance level, energy, and incentive to work out went up, and in all honesty, I found myself looking forward to BodyBoss each day. The program literally works for everyone — whether you're a beginner or a longtime member of #fitfam, you can adjust the intensity of each exercise to whatever works for you, and wherever works. While I took the book on the road, you can also easily do it at home, at the airport, or even at the gym if that's your thing. And if you don't feel like packing extra weight in your carry-on, the online version is a great alternative to the print book, or you can just take pictures of the pages you'll need while you're away.
With such specific routines laid out in an easy-to-navigate program, you won't waste time thinking about which muscles to work on or exercises to do. You don't even need equipment, which saves you money and space. All in all, you get really noticeable results in a really short period of time. If you don't have 24 minutes three days a week for just three months, then well, you're probably just making excuses. And trust me, you don't want to miss out on this. Get it here.