Master's Hammer and Chisel - Month One Recap

Thursday, January 28, 2016

4 weeks of The Master's Hammer and Chisel are now complete! I have officially finished month 1!


So much quality time with Autumn Calabrese and Sagi Kalev. Watch the video for a full recap, including my best tips for anyone getting started with Hammer and Chisel.

I am feeling happy, proud, sore - but most of all STRONGER! I've been having a lot of fun staying accountable through blogging my experience with this program and the meal plan.

You can read about my first 3 weeks here:

The Master's Hammer and Chisel Week One
The Master's Hammer and Chisel Week Two
The Master's Hammer and Chisel Week Three

Here's to heavier weights, lots of sweat and many more delicious and nourishing meals!

If you're interested in learning more about this program, I would love to connect! Send me a message and let's talk about your goals and how I could support you as your coach!

Hammer and Chisel - Week 3

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Master's Hammer and Chisel week 3

Another week of Hammer and Chisel is in the books - I can hardly believe it!

This week I saw the return of a bunch of workouts (Total Body Hammer, Chisel Agility, Max Hammer Strength, Hammer Plyometrics and Iso Strength Chisel) plus one new-to-me workout (Total Body Chisel) I realized once I started doing the workout, it was actually the one that I tried when the sneak preview opened up in October and was MUCH harder with a bench and heavier weights. I love the variety in this workout - you never really know what to expect and some workouts you don't see again for more than 2 weeks so it feels totally fresh!

With the support of our January accountability group, I was practicing the positive mantra 'I am strong' all week, which was incredibly positive. I had this posted on my mirror for the week as a reminder when I was lifting heavier weights and really pushing myself. 

The Master's Hammer and Chisel

During Max Hammer Strength this week, I busted out the 25 lbs weight for the sumo squats and deadlifts - it felt awesome!

I was up early on Saturday for some plyo with Sagi, and was reminded of the craziness of the in and out jumps

A video posted by ashley gibson (@ashleydtl) on

That is one move that didn't get particularly easier -- maybe my breathing wasn't AS heavy as the first time!?

Annnnd I stuck with the containers once again - I loved my flexible meal plan!

Master's Hammer and Chisel meal plan

Master's Hammer and Chisel meal plan

Master's Hammer and Chisel meal plan

Master's Hammer and Chisel meal plan

Master's Hammer and Chisel meal plan

Pictured above: midnight granola baking adventures, chicken salad, tempeh stir fry with rice noodles and bok choy, baked turkey meatballs over zucchini noodles and oatmeal with pears, peanut butter and pecans.

Shakeology in the snow

Thankful for superfoods on the go. I just ran out of my Shakeology earlier this week and was asking Corbin to borrow a couple of scoops from him until my next shipment arrives!

Beachbody Coach Ashley Gibson on week 3 of The Master's Hammer and Chisel

My meal plan this week includes: apple banana muffins, taco salad, minestrone soup and stuffed bell peppers - yum! I've been enjoying making my way through the Fixate cookbook and trying out a bunch of new stuff alongside old favourites. I've been saving lots of money by packing almost all of my meals and the meal plan has been encouraging me to really fuel my body with 3-4 solid meals plus 2-3 snacks each day.

Week 4 - let's go!!

How is January shaping up for you? Are you interested in learning more about the Master's Hammer and Chisel or another workout you can do at home? This is the last call for my February Challenge Group beginning Monday, February 1st - RSVP to save your spot! 

Hammer and Chisel - Week 2

Monday, January 11, 2016

The Master's Hammer and Chisel Week 2 recap

I made it through week 2! I know that I love this workout by the fact that it makes me want to get out of bed in the morning -- which is still weird for me!

As of this week, I've seen 11 of the 12 workouts that make up the full calendar and I'm still really enjoying all the variety. This week I did Hammer Power for the first time (which is power lifting) and was very proud when I used 5, 7, 10 and 15 lbs weights for the exercises -- back when I was doing 21 Day Fix Extreme I was only using 3 and 5 lbs weights for upper body, so this was a cool accomplishment! It was also very cool to do Chisel Balance for the second time and up my weights on 4/6 exercises. I am excited to see more of that as I progress through the program - I love having tangible ways to measure my progress and that is certainly one of them.

I stuck with the meal plan and ate all sorts of great food!

Taco Salad - 21 Day Fix Approved

Greek Chicken salad - Hammer and Chisel meal plan

This Chicken Greek Salad was super easy to make:

Romaine lettuce, chopped (1.5 green)
Cherry tomatoes, sliced in half (0.5 green)
Cucumbers, diced (0.5 green)
Mediterranean dressing from Hammer & Chisel nutrition guide or your favourite dressing (1 orange)
Grilled / baked chicken, sliced (1 red)
Goat feta, crumbled (1 blue)
  • Assemble vegetables in a bowl. 
  • Toss with dressing. 
  • Top with sliced chicken and crumbled goat cheese & enjoy! 

Garlicky kale with chicken and spaghetti squash

Hammer and Chisel meal plan

Hammer and Chisel meal plan approved

Hammer and Chisel meal plan

Corbin has been super helpful and supportive of me following the meal plan and helped cook dinner a few times this week including some delicious taco salad and pork tenderloin. I made a couple small changes based on available of produce & meat when we went to the grocery store (Brussels Sprouts were nowhere to be found!) I was reminded of how much I love spaghetti squash (and roasting it this way to make it easy peasy!)

I also enjoyed lots of delicious snacks including homemade granola, hard boiled eggs and my fave: peanut butter with celery.

Hammer and Chisel Snacks - so important

Hammer and Chisel snacks

I've found snacks to be integral on this plan! They help me to ensure I get all of my containers in, but it also helps because I'm hungry on a fairly regular basis.

Hammer and Chisel meal plan

I was back into my regular routine this week after the holidays, which meant that I needed to pack my lunch and snacks to go. I've found that packing up my lunch while putting away dinner leftovers was supremely helpful and just meant that I could grab everything and go really easily in the morning!

Beachbody Coach Ashley Gibson in week 2 of Hammer and Chisel

This week I am looking forward to more morning workouts and awesome inspiration from our January support & accountability group! There are nearly 50 of us in the group and everyone is doing such an incredible job with their workouts, meals and staying accountable to one another. It's because of these groups that I've been able to stay consistent with my own workouts - and feel inspired to get them done early in the day! They also understand me when I'm commiserating about having arms that I feel like spaghetti after an intense round of lifting with Sagi. 

Hammer and Chisel Meal Plan - Plan B

This week I decided to do my meal plan a little bit differently because I found that while I was following the plan I set out for myself, I wasn't following it exactly to a T based on time, what was leftover and availability of everything once we did our grocery shopping. This week I decided to make a list of breakfasts, meals and snacks and make a list off that. Then I'll know that this week I have all of the ingredients to make these choices, but don't have to feel constricted by the specific plan. I'm looking forward to some more great Fixate recipes, as well as more spaghetti squash (along with delicious meatballs!) and working on perfecting my soft boiled egg technique with this salad.

Now that I've been following the containers consistently for a couple of weeks, I've fallen into a groove of really understanding how I like to break things up during the day to ensure that I feel satisfied and eat all the containers. Usually it ends up looking something like:

Breakfast - 1 red, 1 purple
Snack - 1 purple, 1 red, 1 yellow
Lunch - 1 red, 1-2 green, 1 yellow, 1 blue, 1 tsp
Snack - 1 purple, 1 orange
Dinner - 1 red, 1 yellow, 1-2 green, 1 tsp
Snack - 1 green, 2 tsp

Off I go on another week - I am looking forward to seeing more progress this week as I get to repeat some more of the workouts. I've been tracking my weights through this whole process, so it's easy to see where change is happening!

What were some of your favourite meals this week? Are you interested in learning more about the Master's Hammer and Chisel or another workout you can do at home? There is still room in my February Challenge Group beginning Monday, February 1st - RSVP to save your spot! 

Hammer and Chisel - Week One

Monday, January 4, 2016

Happy New Year, friends!

I made it through week one! And I've got to say that I'm in LOVE with this program! So funny to think that last summer I wasn't sure that this program was for me, but a week in and I'm feeling like this program is my spirit animal. So good!

After setting up my meal plan last week, Corbin and I made a big trip to the grocery store to fill our fridge with all sorts of good things!

I also picked up some heavier weights so that I would be ready to really challenge myself during the workout. I picked up a set of adjustable weights with 2.5, 5 and 7.5 lbs plates to take me all the way up to 25 lbs (ah!) and give me lots of variety. Corbin helped me to set up my bench that I got on Boxing Day and then I was all set to begin!!

One thing that I really like about this program is the variety in the workouts. There are 12 different workouts over the course of the program and they're not structured in the way that many Beachbody programs are where there is a lot of repetition. For this program, you may not see the same workout for 2 weeks!

Something that has been helpful already has been keeping a notebook with notes of the weights I'm using for each exercise. Autumn and Sagi don't always give guidance on how heavy a weight to start with for each exercise, so I think it will be great to have my notes to count on when I get back to each workout in the future! The workouts range between 25-45 minutes and they go by pretty quickly! I gave myself a little bit of extra time with each workout, because there were moments where I needed to rewind the workout just to ensure that I knew what I was doing. The workouts are tough, fast-paced and intense. They vary in how long you do each exercise, the reps and how many times each set is repeated.

I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about Sagi, but he knows his stuff! He's a little ridiculous at times, but I think he's growing on me. And I knew I loved Autumn after 21 Day Fix Extreme, so it's great to be training with her again! Both are very motivating and really encourage me to give it my all and truly make every rep count.

I'm proud of with how I did with my eating plan - I pretty much stuck to what I set out to do! I stayed within my containers each day, though sometimes I changed things around. Now that I'm more familiar with the containers it's a lot easier to be a bit more flexible, but having that set plan to start was incredibly helpful.

I enjoyed lots of the recipes that I made from the various meal guides, including the almond crusted chicken from the Hammer and Chisel guide.

I visited with my sweet friend Lindsay during the week and she was awesome and made us these delicious turkey tacos. She's always been incredibly accommodating with my eating, and these tacos fit into both of our meal plans quite nicely and were a perfect way for her to use leftover turkey!

I'm thankful that I had the containers to use as a guide, because I was simply ravenous this week. These new workouts are definitely getting my metabolism rolling and I was grateful for every single thing I had fit into my plan. Snacks were key!!

For New Year's Eve I ended up finally making the almond milk panna cotta from the Fixate cookbook. They had been in my plan earlier in the week, but wasn't able to make them and let them set long enough! I whipped everything up in the morning and in the evening we enjoyed a sweet dessert (whilst getting hooked on Making a Murderer --- who else is obsessed with this show?!) This made a really nice treat - I will definitely make these again! The panna cotta is like a custard and then you top it with berries / jam and an Italian meringue. Really great use of a yellow container.

I also made a batch of granola (also from the Fixate cookbook) on Friday morning. Granola just makes the house smell so good and is such a delicious food to eat. Loved it with berries and goat yogurt - truly the perfect combination!

I am all set with my plan for week 2 and I'm looking forward to making some really yummy meals including this spaghetti squash dish and trying out this tempeh stir fry.

I left Sunday a bit more flexible, and will adjust my plan based on what we have left in the house. We did our grocery shopping yesterday and now I'm all set! I did my final workout for the week which was Total Body Hammer + 10 minute Ab Hammer.

Holy jeez, it was tough!! By the time you read this, I may not be able to lift my arms above my head. #truestory #trexarmsforever

Even though it's tough. 
Even though I'm sore. 
Even though this meal plan is kicking my ass. 

I'm really and truly loving this workout and actually look forward to doing it each day! I can't wait to continue this week.

Today marks the first day of our January 'This Will Be My Year' Challenge Group and we've got close to 40 challengers and coaches who are ready to make changes in their fitness, eating and overall health this January and into 2016. I am already SO motivated by them and I know they're going to do an awesome job to keep me on track throughout this journey.

Anyone else getting started with The Master's Hammer and Chisel this week? I'd love to hear what you think!! And if you're interested in this program, I would love to save a spot for you in our February Challenge Group. 
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