Increase muscular endurance and strength in this time-under-tension workout
Building a strong, sculpted body doesn’t require hours spent working out—just an expert approach. And with The Master’s Hammer and Chisel, seasoned trainers Sagi Kalev and Autumn Calabrese have compiled their best, most efficient techniques into 30- to 40-minute resistance-training workouts to help you craft a powerful, perfectly defined physique in just 60 days.
Throughout the entire 60 days, you’ll focus on Stabilization, Strength, and Power to rapidly build, sculpt, and refine your physique. Combine this training with proven portion-control nutrition-the way Sagi and Autumn do in The Master’s Hammer and Chisel-and you’ll build a body that’s strong, chiseled, and defined.
As I embark on my own 60-Day Journey with The Master’s Hammer and Chisel, I will be reviewing each workout as they present themselves in the program calendar. I will add my own insights and observations about the workouts; the comments I make are my own as an Independent Certified Personal Trainer and do not necessarily represent the Celebrity Trainers or Beachbody. Full disclosure, I am also an Independent Team Beachbody Coach and a distributor of this program and all other Beachbody products. I hope the information I provide is beneficial in your personal fitness journey.
Chisel Endurance is designed to increase strength and muscle endurance by keeping your muscles engaged and under tension for 60 seconds at a time. You experience Time Under Tension in Iso Speed Hammer however unlike that workout, you will be focusing your energy primarily on Type I muscle fibers or your slow twitch muscles – there’s no speed work in this one!
The format is two rounds each consisting of 10, 60-Second sets. There is minimal rest between each set in the round and only one minute rest between rounds. You can see the individual movements below and you’ll note as with other workouts, major body parts are alternated to allow recovery and prevent over-fatiguing the muscle. The big picture view has you hitting the following primary movers in this sequence: legs – back – legs – chest – back – chest – core.
As you concentrate on the primary muscle engaged in the movement, also be conscious of the stabilizing muscles, you will maximize the benefit of the workout by learning to keep your core engaged throughout all movements, drawing the belly button in towards your spine, contracting and tucking your glutes in, pulling your hips into alignment beneath you, squeezing at the top of contractions. Initially some of these actions may seem exaggerated or forced because you’re unaccustomed to adding them in, however you will find your gains can increase dramatically by engaging your full body in the movement.
Breathe. That’s right, just breathe – it sounds simple enough, but there’s often the tendency to hold your breath when you get tired. Exhale as you’re exerting and inhale through your nose on the recovery, you need to keep the oxygen flowing.
Safety is paramount and as with all moves that involve stepping up and down from your bench, you want to be sure your bench is stable, the surface is dry and you have good footing. As you get tired, you may experience difficulty clearing the edge of the bench with your foot and that could become a tripping or falling hazard. Move with purpose and pay attention to what you’re doing.
The modification if you don’t have a bench is to do “Surrenders”. The move is begins by kneeling down with your right knee, then bring your left knee down, step up with your right leg, then step up with your left, it’s a simple down-down-up-up count. The first round you start with the left knee down first, the second round you begin with the right knee down first.
If you don’t have a pull-up bar you can use a resistance band secured to a door or other attachment (preferably at least 12″ overhead to achieve an optimal angle) Grasp the handles with your palms facing down and simulate a wide grip by keeping your hands further than shoulder width apart, ideally when you have the band pulled in towards you (full pull-up) your elbows should form a 90 degree angle. The eccentric move is to slowly release your arms back to full extension while maintaining the relative position of your hands.
Another alternative (not shown) is to use a bench, step or chair to begin in a full pull-up position, then step off the bench and perform the negative portion of the pull-up. Starting in a flexed arm hang position allows you to feel your body weight while focusing primarily on the eccentric component of the exercise.
This is a continuous move and you’ll want to perform as many repetitions you can in 60 seconds. To get the most out of this move, contract your glutes at the top of the move as you’re crossing your foot over behind you. Land your foot softly with a slight bend in your knee to help protect your knee joint. Complete 60 seconds with your left foot on the bench and repeat for 60 seconds with your right foot on the bench.
You want to focus on bringing your leg up high as you perform the Step-Up Cross Over, imagine that your leg has to clear an obstacle as you step up and over.
Decline push-ups may also be performed using a stability ball. Start by putting your chest on the ball and roll forward over the top and place hands on floor with arms extended down supporting your upper body. Walk your hands away from ball until either your thighs or shins are positioned on top of ball and hands are slightly wider than shoulder width. If you stop with your thighs on the ball, bend knees so feet are up above knees otherwise catch the ball between the top of your foot and your shins. Decline push-ups on a stability ball provide the additional challenge of maintaining lateral stability and activate your abdominals and other muscles of your core.