Hello! Before we start here is the breakdown of this article for your reference/convenience 🙂
Also, if you’re interested in the YouTube video version of this article that can be found through the main links under “Videos!” or just click here!
- What is #MBF?
- Equipment needed/recommended
- Calories Burned
- My #MBF Thoughts
- My #MBF Thoughts
- My #MBF Results
- My Nutrition
- It’s Always About More Than The Number On The Scale
What is #MBF?
#MBF (Muscle Burns Fat) is a new Beachbody program which is now available to everyone through the Beachbody on Demand library. #MBF is brought to us through Beachbody and created/instructed by trainer Megan Davies. It is touted as a 3 week or 21 day exercise program with the primary use of strength training and cardio for muscle building and fat burning. Once one is completed with the #MBF program it is suggested to start #MBFA (Muscle Burns Fat Advanced), which is essentially a more advanced continuation of #MBF.
The equipment you will need for #MBF are dumbbells (light, medium, and heavy), whatever the weight that is suitable for you. It is also recommended to use the BOD Rope, the cordless indoor jump rope for the cardio segments, although any other rope less jump rope will be acceptable, or as in my case I just mimicked the use of a jump rope through the workouts.
The #MBF workouts themselves are 7 days a week for 21 days (there is one stretch/recovery day). Each workout is about 25-35 minutes long and consists of 3 or 4 “Blocks”, in which each block consists of 2-6 exercises that are to be completed in 2 or 3 sets. Did you get that? Let’s look at a visual:
|Block 1||Set 1 Set 2|
|Block 2||Set 1 Set 2 Set 3|
|Reverse Lunge (R)|
|Side Lunge (R)|
|Reverse Lunge (L)|
|Side Lunge (L)|
*example; not from #mbf
Overall, #MBF uses a lot of one sided or unilateral and offset exercises, in a compound movement to burn more calories.
#MBF uses compound movements to burn more calories so let’s get right to it. All Calories listed are my 3-week calorie burn averages.
Lower Body Burn- 347 Calories Burned
Core Circuit (1)- 269 Calories Burned
Upper Body Burn- 180 Calories Burned
Core Circuit (2)- 290 Calories Burned
Full Body Burn- 316 Calories Burned
Power Ignite- 281 Calories Burned
Dynamic Recovery- 63 Calories Burned
Below is graph showing the average calories burned from their corresponding workouts for additional reference:
As you can see, lower body burn was the highest calorie burn with dynamic recovery being the lowest- not really any surprises there since lower body workout usually really get the heart pumping. Overall, the calorie burn throughout #MBF stays pretty consistent as there aren’t really any “chill” workout days since it is only a 3 week program. Remember, these are the calories results as recorded my My Fitbit so your results may differ depending on height, weight, and fitness level.
- Form is important. There are a lot of compound movements, make sure your form doesn’t get sloppy. Slow it down and modify the movement if you’re not entirely sure if you’re doing the exercise correctly.
- There are a lot of compound movements. If you are not comfortable with weight-lifting or strength-training err on the side of caution and go light or do not use weights at all for first run through of each workout.
- Joint health and support is important. If you are feeling any pain or discomfort from the numerous jumping activities (jumping rope is the primary cardio exercise and variations of such) remember to take joint supplements, modify, and to use knee braces or some kind of additional joint support if needed.
My #MBF Workout Thoughts
The workouts themselves are not super strenuous and you will definitely feel that you are working through out, but depending on how comfortable you are with weight lifting and strength-training there is a learning curve. The difficulty for me was primarily that I am not the most coordinated and #MBF has A LOT of compound movements- there’s a lot of compound movements to increase your calorie burn, but as the weeks went on I found myself getting exasperated at some of the over complications of the movements.
As with a lot of Beachbody’s new program there is an emphasis on using their products e.g. energize, shakeology, and the nutrition programs 2B Mindset and Portion Fix Containers. Their 2B mindset program emphasizes mindful eating and at least 3 proper meals a day. In which, you will not be counting calories, but eating intuitively and making healthier choices. The Portion Fix containers are more structured, in that you will be given your calorie range and how many of which containers you are allotted for the day. Overall, for #MBF nutrition is key and a priority should be made to make healthier eating choices for better results.
- I highly recommend a good protein powder. If you’re starting any type of workout routine you’re going to need more protein particularly if you’re not getting an adequate amount already and if you would like to increase your muscle. Personally I have yet to find a protein shake that also has enough vitamins/nutrition factors so I usually use two. The protein powder I use is hyperlinked above but I will also show them here: I use one scoop of protein powder and two scoops of the vitamin/nutrition powder with 10oz of almond milk after every workout.
- Learn your macronutrients. Macronutrients are the breakdown of carbohydrates, fats, and protein, that your body needs for the day to fit your goals. It’s very helpful in customizing your nutrition to actually fit your body better and it’ll give you an idea of what you should eat if you’re having a craving e.g. something with more protein, healthy fats, or carbs depending on what you’ve already eaten for that day.
- You don’t have to get ridiculously strict with your diet. This is about sustainability and long term goals even if #MBF is only 3 weeks long-try to stay around your calorie range, make better choices, and forgive yourself if you falter. You just have to remember to get back on the wagon (so to speak) and to keep doing your best.
My #MBF Nutrition Thoughts
Overall, my thoughts concerning nutrition are that it’s “simply” about calories in vs. calories out e.g. creating a calorie deficit to lose weight. I say “simply” because this is a part that a lot of people (including myself) have trouble with. You can choose the portion fix containers or the 2b mindset method, both of which have their pros and cons, particularly if you’re new to fitness and don’t really know what to do I would recommend whichever one seems more do-able for you. Would you prefer to count your calories and have a very clear food allotment (Portion fix) or would you prefer to listen to your body and have a more suggestion based food guideline (2B mindset)? Either way just remember that you can do this, to take it one day at a time, and make better/healthier choices.
My #MBF Results
Week 1 Vs. Week 3 Measurements
*All measurements are from the right-side where applicable
Rib Cage- 36.92in—>37in(+0.03in)
Body Fat%- 46.6—>46.4(-0.2%)
I lost 1.2lbs (most of which appeared to be muscle) and 1/4 of an inch overall. In general I found my results to be satisfactory, considering that #MBF is only a 3-week program (and that I was having some knee and coordination issues). I didn’t lose a lot of weight but I was definitely able to see and feel some recompositioning and increased strength within my body.
Throughout the 3 weeks of #MBF my weekly calorie average was between 1800-2000 calories. During week 1 I was averaging 2036 calories, during week 2, 1876, and during week 3 I was averaging 1967 calories a day. My primary goals were just making better/healthier choices, sticking to my general nutrition guidelines as much as possible, and working on not going overboard on my “cheat” meals. If you are unaware, I had recently finished Beachbody’s Transform 20 before starting #MBF and that helped me process a lot of my emotions and feelings concerning my eating habits (the why e.g. the emotional release that food provides for me), this process is still ongoing but at the end of the day it is all about balance and finding other healthy ways to comfort myself.
I’m a very firm believer in you do you, if you know you can’t stick to a strict diet long-term and you will most likely gain the weight back after, stick to the little things you can do and slowly but surely do better- make healthier choices. The small changes you make one day at a time slowly form into long term successes and good habits that you will carry with you. During #MBF I always kept in mind that the program was only 3 weeks, it is very doable!
It’s Always about More Than the Number on the Scale
Previously in my Transform 20 article I expounded quite a bit on the physical internal transformation that occurred within my body during the process of Transform 20 in which I discussed improved Ab/Core strength, Urinary Incontinence, and improved cardiovascular fitness. As I progressed through #MBF, issues of Urinary Incontinence rose again (mind you they did improve during Transform 20, but obviously core strength and pelvic floor improvement will be a continuous process). After child birth and still continuing I have dealt with differing levels of Urinary Incontinence-
Personally, I seem to have the most issues with stress incontinence– where my urethra is too weak to hold in my urine when there is too much internal abdominal pressure on my bladder. This internal pressure can occur through sneezing, coughing, laughing, and yep through exercise.
In #MBF there are workouts titled AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible) and they occur about twice a week on the 3 week calendar. These workout are high impact and have a lot jumping, twisting, all around general motions that definitely work/use the core muscles, pelvic floor, and create intraabdominal pressure. In so, during Week 1 I totally peed myself (not extremely but I was lucky that I was also on my period so I already had a pad in place). In which, I actually peed twice during that first AMRAP workout- with all the movement even with slowing everything down and waaay down by the end of the last round my body “noped” out.
This is my being completely honest and no, I’m not blaming #MBF in anyway, but for post-partum moms there is a lot of jumping. You have been warned/given a heads up 🙂 It wasn’t all bad though, by the end of the 3 weeks I was able to do the AMRAP without any “accidents” not even a dribble so improvement did occur.
- No weights is always an option! If you’re uncomfortable or new to weight training it’s completely okay to not use any weights for the first week of or through your first round of #MBF- you do you. Take care of your body and don’t hurt yourself!
- Knee Braces if you need them! This is a high impact workout, mind you there are always ways to modify high impact movements if you need to, but if you still feel up to it but are having slight aches knee braces are a great option. I ended up having to wrap my knees halfway through the program as I unknowingly needed a break after Transform 20.
- Listen to your body! Don’t let slight aches and pains become bigger problems. Sometimes you may have to stop a program entirely to give your body time to recoup and that’s okay. I sadly, did not follow my own advice here and kept doing #MBF despite my knees feeling a little bit worse every day. Don’t worry they’re feeling much better now, but it has actually been about 3 weeks since I officially finished #MBF. I took time off from working out in that I only did walks, yoga, and now I’ve just started doing a more a serious workout routine but I am still doing low impact modifications.
Overall I would love to say I loved this workout and yes, the results were pretty good for being only 3 weeks and with my nutrition, but alas this workout just wasn’t for me. I was definitely disappointed, as I was really excited about a new Beachbody program with such an emphasis on muscle burning fat! My lack of coordination compounded with the extreme emphasis on compound movements just made me more frustrated as the weeks went on, but hey don’t let that discourage you- it is only 3 weeks and if you’re coordination isn’t too bad, you’re a fan of compound movements, or you’re just really interested in the program, give it a try 🙂