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So you want a fit, lean and muscular body?

It’s a worthy and completely attainable goal.

Guys who are lean, fit and muscular command more attention from their peers and get more interest from women.

New Video: 4 Minute “Hyper Growth” Trick Adds 6 – 10lbs. of Muscle Every 40 Days. Watch it now.

But… maybe you’ve been sitting on the couch a bit too much or are stuck behind your computer working 60 hour weeks and things have gotten a bit mushy around the middle?

If that’s the case, you should know that it happens to the best of us. But that it’s completely possible to do something about it. You just have to start from where you are and start working toward your goals.

Fitness programs can help you do that. The BIG question is with all the fitness programs on the market, which one is the best?

I know, that’s not the easiest question to answer because there are a lot of fitness plans out there. Some of them are solid and some of them are just gimmicky. It’s important to be able to tell the difference before you plop down your hard earned cash.

Today, I’m going to help you do that. I’ll go in-depth into the 11 different Athlean X programs, including looking at what they cover, what kind of fitness level you need for each, and what people are saying about them.

I hope to present the information in a way that makes it easy to decide if Athlean X is right for you and which program you should start with or do next.

Athlean X – The Jeff Cavaliere Program

Jeff Cavaliere is the owner and originator of the Athlean X program. His road to fitness training super-stardom continues to evolve as he develops new programs and supplements. And the entire Athlean X system is far more robust than it was just a few short years ago.

This New York and Connecticut-based physical therapist and strength coach has created the ATHLEAN-X Training System (“ATHLEAN-X”), the core of which is a 90-day program largely based on his “behind the scenes” experience with the New York Mets of Major League Baseball.

It’s easy to accuse Mr. Cavaliere of jumping on the “Build lean muscle, burn excess fat at the same time” bandwagon, now occupied by fitness and nutrition heavyweights like Tom Venuto (“Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle”), Craig Ballantyne (“Turbulence Training“), and Tony Horton of P90X fame.

After all, we all know how lucrative the fitness and nutrition industry is. There are millions upon millions of dollars to be made.

However, before criticizing Jeff’s motives for bringing ATHLEAN-X to the general public, let’s investigate his take on physical fitness and nutrition and see if it lives up to the hype.

Athlean X Review – The Methodology

In this review I’ll go over each of the programs that Cavalier offers – there are currently 11 different programs – as well as show you the fitness level needed for each and investigate what the chatter is about these programs on the web.

By the end of this review you should be able to determine if one of the Athlean X programs is right for you and which one will work the best.

First, let’s take a look at the basic premise behind the Athlean X program.

Does ATHLEAN-X Have Anything NEW to Offer?

If nothing else, credit Jeff Cavaliere for choosing a catchy name for his program.  “ATHLEAN-X” highlights the two (2) main reasons why the program might be for you:

  • To become a better Athlete: Regardless of what sport you are involved in and your current level of success, a systematic training program’s bottom line should be to help you perform better.
  • To give you that ripped, LEAN, muscular body that will keep turning heads.

I’m not sure about the “X’ thing – seems to be popular in fitness marketing circles these days LOL!

One of the things I like the most about the Athlean X workout programs is that they’re rated for your fitness level. This is more unusual than you’d think. And it helps you stay motivated.

There is nothing worse than starting a workout program that is too hard and then quitting in frustration. It’s way better to get a fitness program that suits the level your fitness is at now and then building from there.

With the fitness level indicators included in each program, you can pick a program that will meet the needs of where you’re at right now, which makes it easier to stay motivated.

Athlean X programs are also detailed and easy to follow. Which is a huge plus if you’re investing money into a fitness regimen.

But the big thing that’s NEW is that Jeff Cavaliere is really honest with what works and what doesn’t. This is a breath of fresh air. Especially in the fitness space.

You can see this very honest approach in the video below, where he tells you exactly what DOESN’T work with supplements.

The Athlean X Programs – A Comprehensive Breakdown

As I mentioned before the Athlean X suite is now up to 11 different programs all targeting a slightly different need.

To determine which program is right for you, you’ll need to know two things:

1. Your fitness level. It’s a good idea to be 100% honest with yourself here. It’s perfectly fine to be a beginner, but if you are then make sure you start with a beginners program so you can see quick progress.

2. What you want to achieve. There are three basic categories within the Athlean X programs: lose fat, gain muscle and lose fat, or just gain muscle. If you know which of these you want to achieve then it’s far easier to pick the correct program.

Once you’ve determined these two things, it’s time to start looking at the different programs and what they offer.

You can review the information on all the different programs below and you can also use the program selector tool here.

Section 1: Athlean X Programs to Gain Muscle and Burn Fat

In this section I’ll go over the 7 Athlean X programs that are geared toward both muscle building and fat burning.

The first three programs – AX-1, AX-2, AX-NXT are meant to be taken in order. Most of the other programs focus on specific goals or specific areas of the body (like arms). Athlean XX is geared specifically for women. XERO is a bodyweight program that requires no equipment.

Program 1. AX-1 Training Camp

The AX-1 training camp is also known as the Athlean X training system. You can find more information about it here.

What level of fitness is this program right for?

This is a balanced approach to both build muscle and burn fat and is PERFECT for both beginner and intermediate levels of fitness and experience.

It’s also the core of Jeff Cavaliere’s system. If you’re unsure of what to get, then this is the program to purchase.

 NOTE: If you’re a beginner at working out and in decent shape you may benefit from going through this 90 day program twice or three times before you move onto the next program. 

If you haven’t worked out in a long time or have never worked out then starting with Max/Shred works well for many people. Max/Shred starts out with more body weight exercises and comes with 4 levels, so it’s a great program to introduce you to the Athlean X family.

If you are already at a moderate fitness level than going through the 90 days once should be enough.

What’s included?

AX-1 Training Camp is an easy to follow and step by step system.

It includes:

  • More than 120 exercises in step-by-step workouts that help you build muscle and burn fat at the same time.
  • Step by step meal plans that are easy to follow – don’t starve yourself. Know how to eat right and eat MORE.
  • An unlimited ab workout generator – so you never get bored with your ab workouts. I personally love this feature.
  • Instant access online

What do I need?

To do this program you will 4 pieces of basic gym equipment or you can go to your local gym, which will normally be stocked with all of these things.

#1. A workout bench or an exercise ball.

What you get here depends on how much you want to spend. You can get a good workout bench for a little over $100 or a solid workout ball to do the same exercises will usually cost under $20.

The best bet here is to decide on your budget and space (workout benches are more stable while balls are easier to store) and buy accordingly.

#2. Pair of dumbbells

You can spend a little bit of money on dumbells or quite a lot depending on what you want. I personally like dumbbell sets – because they let you vary the weight and work up to a weight level that works for you.

You can get two types of dumbbell sets. Ones that come in individual units and others that are adjustable, so one dumbbell gives you many weight variations.

Many of you will already have dumbbells at home, but if you don’t then for the adjustable dumbbells these are very affordable. The price is excellent and they function well.

If you have a budget and want to go all out, I personally love and use the Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Adjustable Dumbbell set.

If you’re getting individual dumbbells in a set your best bet is usually to visit a local store because the price of shipping on these heavy items is baked in on Amazon and other online retailers and they can get really pricey really fast. Just keep in mind that a nonadjustable dumbbell set can take up a huge amount of space.

#3. Chin up bar

To me, a chin-up bar is one of the best pieces of home gym equipment. There is almost nothing that can make your upper body stronger fast than doing chin ups.

You can’t go wrong with Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar, which is a best seller on Amazon.

#4. Resistance band tubing

This stuff isn’t sexy, but it is versatile and it will get your results when paired with the AX-2 program. I love this set because it comes with graduated bands along with all the attachments you need to make it work for you.

How fast will it work?

Like most muscle building programs the results are cumulative from persistent effort over time. Here’s a testimonial (unpaid) from a Reddit user who has used this version of Athlean X twice:

First time I did this about 5 yrs ago I lost roughly 4 inches on my waist and was much more muscular looking, stronger. After a very long hiatus from exercise and getting a bit chubby again, I just finished AX1 again recently and lost 3 inches on my waist, again looking more sporty. Just started another round of AX1 with TNTs added.

Both instances I did not start seeing the results in the mirror until part way through month 2 and beyond.”

-Reddit user Ricosuave79

So it’s important if you’re going to take on one of these programs that you set your expectations correctly and understand that it’s going to take consistent effort over a couple of months before you see results.

How much is it?

I love that the Althean X Fitness programs are a one time fee and there aren’t monthly fees you have to pay all the time. You can get the entire AX-1 Training Camp for $77 for 120 days access or $97 for lifetime access.

AX-1 also has a companion program called TNT that will help you gain muscle mass in “slow growing” muscle groups. Not everyone ends up with muscle groups that won’t budge, but it’s a pretty common problem and TNT solves it.

Program 2: AX-2 Extreme

If you’ve gotten through the AX-1 Training camp and you want to take it to the next level, then AX-2 Extreme is the next logical choice. You can find examples of how intense AX-2 Extreme is here.

What level of fitness is this program right for?

This program is rated intermediate to advanced, but even if you’ve worked out before or are currently quite fit I HIGHLY recommend that you start with AX-1 Training Camp so that you can get used to Jeff’s methodologies and intensities before moving onto this workout.

This workout will allow you to up your game and develop even bigger muscles with more fat loss. It’s intense.

What’s included?

AX-2 Extreme includes:

  • 12 completely new and different training phases from AX-1 training camp -“Six Pack Shuffle” to keep your ab workouts interesting
  • An easy to follow 90-day training system
  • A 90 Day meal plan

What do I need?

AX-2 takes the same basic equipment as AX-1 – a good workout bench or exercise ball, a pair adjustable dumbbells (or Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells), a chin-up bar, and some resistance bands.

What are people saying about AX-2 Extreme?

The people that use AX-2 Extreme and are ready for it really like it and say it’s very challenging. Here are a few unsolicited remarks about the program.

Hard, but effective

It is hard, but if you’re looking at addressing muscle imbalances, this is a great program to do it with. AX-2 will find many ways to challenge you and your muscles. However, it will address imbalances since it hits about everything. This is especially true if you use the program the way its intended (IE, each week isn’t a week, its a phase. If you don’t pass the challenge at the end of the week, you have to repeat that week again until you pass the challenge). I found that the most effective part of AX-2 is pushing yourself past your limits to pass the challenges.

Deadeye37

Challenged at Every Rep

Just finishing up with AX2 Protraxion phase week and I must say it’s been crazy difficult !

Before I started with this phase I thought this wouldn’t be as difficult as I needed to get just 5-6 reps in every set with the slow 8 tempo.

But I was so wrong ! I have never trained at such a slow tempo and I felt challenged at every rep. Time just seemed to slow down so much that 8 seconds felt like 8 minutes. By the end of the workouts, my muscles were so done despite training at such a slow pace.

Jeff keeps saying that the Xtinction phase is the most difficult phase of AX2, but I realized the Protraxion phase is even more difficult.

Side note, this phase also kind of made me appreciate every second of life !

ancientnucleus

Written and Video Instruction

I’ve bought and completed four different programs and here is what I can tell you:

No app, no music.

What you get is a nice portal (website, looks great on mobile) with a calendar. Each day is a different workout. Click on the day and it will have detailed instructions on the format of the workout. This is usually both in written text and a short video.

Each exercise has a nice thumbnail and even a short 15-30sec video with a demonstration. I would recommend previewing the day’s workout at home just to familiarize yourself with the exercises and not waste time (and bandwidth) at the gym. After a few weeks, you’ll recognize the workouts more and previewing will be less necessary.

You can track your progress/times on the website, if desired. Additionally, you get access to meal plans and whatnot but I think it’s widely accepted that Jeff’s ideas of meal plans are far inferior to traditional meal plan programs. But it’s a place to start.

What else? I think there are forums where you can discuss the workouts with others or at least post times to compare but I skip that.

I believe with the purchase of any program, you get access to A6X, a six minute ab/core program which I absolutely love. You can set it by difficulty and available equipment and you get a challenging workout that is different every day.

Good luck! If this is your first program, you will have an amazing time. I’ve recommended Athlean X to a few friends and they’ve all purchased various programs but loved it.

Train hard, eat right and you’ll be where you want to be in no time.

Dreston F1

How much is it?

AX-2 Extreme is priced at $77 for 120-day access or $99 for lifetime access. Both are an excellent value for the amount of detailed information and quality of workouts provided. For me personally, I like the lifetime package because I like to revisit old workouts after a period of time.

Program 3: Athlean NXT

This program is a little different than AX-1 and AX-2 in the way it’s formatted.  NXT is a monthly program with new cycles released every month. It gives you a “first look” at what Cavaliere is doing while training his elite athletes.

You can see Jeff explain in a video here.

What level of fitness is this program right for?

Athlean NXT is an elite and challenging program rated for moderate to advanced levels of fitness and workout ability.

Athlean NXT is best for people who have completed both AX-1 and AX-2 successfully. If you train seriously you can try it without completing these two programs, but it works best if you do them in order.

What’s included?

Athlean NXT has multiple one-month “cycles” to move through. And new workouts are being added on a regular basis to keep the program fresh and you moving forward.

The 28-day workouts currently include:

  • Anabolix – 8 new “burst training” type workouts designed to get you more muscular.
  • Hurricane Hypertrophy– Build more new muscle with NXT lab approved training.
  • Half Life – “Burst training” that’s not for the weak-willed. This workout will always match your ability and give you big gains.
  • Breaking Point– This training regimen is DESIGNED to get you to break. You’ll compete for points in a choose your own adventure program like nothing else.
  • Shockwave Training – Stand just on the right side of overtraining with this carefully designed program and the super-intense “SHOCK WEEK”.
  • Wolverine Beastmode – Get a new spin on the original Wolverine Workout with Animal Strength, Stalking, and Ruthless Aggression training.
  • 3-D HD training – This super intense 28 days includes weekly “3rd Degree Burn” workouts that will fuel your metabolism.
  • IN10sity Training – This month is designed to be slacker proof with a specific protocol P.R.O. reps to push you to your limit.
  • Pull Up or Shut Up – Whether you can do 3 pull-ups or 25 to start, this training regimen will challenge you to your best pull up game.
  • Lady Luck – Test the gains you’ve made so far with NXT using the surprises in Lady Luck. The final challenge of this cycle surprises everyone.
  • Coremax-EST – This 28 days focuses on energy system training (EST) and gives you all new ways to enhance your performance.
  • The 4 Horseman – Cavaliere’s four most powerful exercise in 4 incredibly intense workouts each week.

These are the 12 programs that are available to purchase separately or as part of the program. There are an additional 6 programs that are only available if you stay enrolled for an additional 6 months after you get the first 12 programs in the subscription.

With the monthly program, you’ll get access to one new program each month – which always keeps things fresh and interesting.

What do I need?

NXT takes the same basic equipment as AX-1 or AX-2 – a workout bench or exercise ball, a pair adjustable dumbbells (or Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells), a chin-up bar, and some resistance bands.

They don’t really say this on the website, but you also need heavier dumbbells of at least 90 lbs each or a barbell and a weight vest or dip belt + plates.

Some people find going to the gym to do the workouts is easier and more cost effective than buying the extra equipment.

All the workouts also have alternatives if you don’t have the equipment, but they are pretty hard to complete without it.

What are people saying about Athlean NX-T?

The overwhelming consensus of people who are doing Athlean NX-T is that the program is very intense and creates amazing results along with soreness because of the intensity.

Keep Shocking the Muscles

I just started month 2, I was planning on writing a review a few months in. So far I like it, I’m definitely sore quite a bit, he has you doing some interesting things that keep shocking the muscles.

My goal is size gain so I did max size before this and nxt (so far) is more similar to that than what I’ve seen of ax1 and ax2. You’d benefit from a gym membership on nxt and max size as opposed to ax1 and 2 which could be more easily done at home.

jf70chevelle

It is Effective, No Doubt

I just finished the Athlean NXT Anabolix phase, and will be starting the Hurricane Hypertrophy Phase tomorrow.

Here are my thoughts about the Anabolix phase:

First of all, it is effective, no doubt about it. It has you lifting 90% of your 1 repetition max on a regular basis, with only 20 seconds or so of rest between sets, those workouts are a killer.

However one thing I liked about Athlean X is that it can be done with minimum equipment. For Anabolix this is not the case, you will either need heavy dumbbells (over 90 lbs each), or a barbell.

There are a lot of barbell exercises on the Anabolix phase, there is always a dumbbell option if you don’t have a barbell available, however I always felt like a “second class citizen” when not doing the barbell option. I felt strongly enough about this that I ended up buying a barbell and squat stands so that I could do the program as designed.

You also need a weight vest or a dip belt+plates to do weighted bodyweight exercises, which were not part of Athlean X or AX2.

The issue with this phase is that a lot of the workouts are long. A lot of the workouts took about an hour and 15 minutes to an hour and a half to finish. Jeff likes to promote Athlean X as quick workouts, but this is definitely not the case for the Anabolix phase of NXT.

I already received the Hurricane Hypertrophy phase. It also doesn’t look very “Athlean X”, it consists of working a single body part to death on a single day (i.e. day 1: biceps, day 2 chest, etc). It also has no cardio/conditioning “burst” workouts, it looks pretty much like a bodybuilding split.

eraserman

Do AX1 and AX2 First

NXT while the one of the goals is yes to build muscles and be aesthetic, many days you will wish that you had the foundation from AX programs.

I was on the same boat as you, skipped AX and went directly to Size and thought about getting into NXT because you know “I can beat it ez” but no, it was a humbling experience realizing WTF my body cant handle some exercises…

But you can give it a go and if you feel that is good on you then keep going if not then go back to AX1 and push your self.

One misconception with NXT or Maxs program is that is has created the stigma that AX1 is a step back which is not the case and you say your goal is cosmetic and athletic so yeah AX seems good, its only a 6 month program between AX 1 and AX2 then NXT 18 months!

VillaGave

How much is it?

Athlean NXT is a monthly program that runs for 18 months. For one program it’s $49.50. If you commit to two then you get the third free, and if you subscribe to the monthly program you get it for $29.50 a month.

You can cancel at any time and you get to keep all the months you’ve paid for except for the last month (not sure why, that’s just the policy).

Program 4: Ultimate Arms

This is a six-week program to achieve the perfect balance between mass and definition. Like all of Jeff Cavaliere’s programs, this one isn’t about getting huge, but getting a lean and powerful build.

What level of fitness is this program right for?

This program is rated intermediate to advanced. You can do Ultimate Arms as a stand-alone training, but I recommend at least going through AX-1 first so that you have a good foundation in Cavaliere’s techniques.

What’s included?

The Athlean X Ultimate Arms program comes with 6 progressive modules – one for each week of the program.

Here’s an overview of each one.

  • Firing Range: This training “wakes up” your arm muscles to make the rest of the trainings more effective
  • Fiber Opt-X: You’ll learn the methodologies that create stronger contractions in your arm muscles for max gains.
  • CXC: Get more out of each rep with this unique training.
  • Jeff’s Ladder: Learn how to increase your work threshold so that you don’t stall out on results.
  • Triple Contraxion: This module gets into super intensity and teaches you how to prevent plateaus.
  • Arm-Ageddon: Can you get past the ultimate arm challenge?
  • Bonus: Apex Leg Training: This bonus module will give you everything you need to make leg day a success while not taking away from your arm workouts.

Jeff’s arm program also includes his X-Factor Meal Plan and the Vascularity Road Map to get arms with veins and arteries that pop.

Overall, this is a complete program that does what it’s intended to do – give you all the resources you need to start developing (or continue developing) great arms.

What do I need?

You’ll need the same equipment as you do for AX-1. A workout bench or exercise ball, a pair adjustable dumbbells (or Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells), a chin-up bar, and some resistance bands.

But many people do this program at the gym where they can use standard gym equipment.

What are people saying about Ultimate Arms?

When reading what people are saying about this program it’s clear that it’s effective, but not as intense as AX-2 or NXT, so if you are looking for a break and want to work on your arms, this is a good program to pick.

Adds Vascularity

Yes I’ve completed it. It’s worth it. However, the Ultimate Arms program focuses more on vascularity more than size. My arms appeared more veiny after completing that program. You’ll be doing burst training and forearm work on Tuesdays, too.

Platinum247365

Full Body with Arm Emphasis

UA is awesome. I’ve done it over 6 times, it’s a six week program. Full body, with an emphasis on arms. As the weeks progress movements are tweaked to emphasize arms (ie a lat pull-up becomes a bicep pull-up).

littlefoot30

Best Program for Sheer Arm Size

UA is probably the best program for sheer arm size. I used it and my arms grew significantly even though I’ve been doing AX for a few years. Highly recommend

HalfSleeveTeeShirt

How much is it?

The Ultimate Arms training package is a flat fee of $79.50 for lifetime access.

Program 5: Wolverine: Beastmode

The Wolverine: Beastmode program is meant to develop full body strength and muscle definition over a 30-day program.

What level of fitness is this program right for?

This program is for intermediate to advanced users. I highly recommend taking AX-1 first to get accustomed to Jeff’s style of training before diving into this training.

If you want to start here, you should be already working out with weights on a consistent basis.

What’s included?

Wolverine: Beastmode includes 3 cycles over a 30 day period.

Here are the three trainings:

  • Animal Strength 2.0: gain size and strength as cycle one sets you up for great gains.
  • Ruthless Aggression 2.0: Train explosively in this cycle and keep the momentum going.
  • Stalking 2.0: Make sure you can control the weight you’re moving and overcome any obstacle.

What do I need?

Most people can do this workout with the same equipment needed for AX-1 (a workout bench or exercise ball, a pair adjustable dumbbells (or Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells), a chin-up bar, and some resistance bands)… but because of the focus on massive lifts, many people find that going to the gym to do the workout is easier in terms of equipment.

How much is it?

The 30-day Wolverine program is $49.99 for lifetime access.

Program 6: Athlean XX for Women

This article is clearly written mostly for men because the Athlean X programs are mostly male physique focused, but Athlean X also offers a program for women (Athlean XX)  that addresses their different physiology and typically different goals.

Here’s what Jeff Cavaliere has to say about this program:

Scientifically speaking, you may have heard of the male chromosome and the female chromosomes that differentiate men and women. Women are normally XX and men are normally XY.

Don’t let the slight change in one letter fool you though, as it accounts for the major differences in the way women and men store fat and develop lean muscle. So, when it comes to weight loss and fitness, there need to be different strategies to get each to their goals the fastest.

ATHLEAN-XX addresses this and gives you a program made especially for women! Suddenly, looking great in your “genes” has an entirely new meaning!

Jeff Cavaliere

Where this program shines is it’s balanced focus on fitness and strength. To get a lean toned look, building muscle is key.  But building it in a way that creates leanness and definition, rather than bulk is what most women are looking for.

And that’s exactly what this program provides.

What level of fitness is this program right for?

This program is for beginner to intermediate fitness levels. It’s also designed to be used multiple times as a lifelong fitness regimen.

What’s included?

Athlean XX for Women includes a series of 9 daily workouts that are 33 minutes or less each and a group of “quickie” workouts for when you’re pressed for time. It also a meal plan that promises you’ll “never measure or count calories” again.

Here are the details of what’s in the daily workouts:

  • Fabulous Abs: A complete core workout to eliminate muffin top and get sexy abs.
  • Amazing Arms: Lean, sexy and sculpted arms! This routine uses dumbbells to help create that look and get rid of granny wave forever.
  • Glam Gams: This covers inner thighs, outer thighs, and creates dress-worthy legs.
  • Fast Track to Goddess: You can do this circuit workout indoors or outdoors (there are two options). This cycle boosts metabolism and produces results.
  • Booty-ful Butt: Get a firm, lifted bottom with new and exciting exercises.
  • Tready… Set… Burn: Ignite your fat burning furnace with this super quick cardio blast on the treadmill.
  • XX-Hale: Recovery day! Use this unique yoga/pilates/stretch to keep your muscles supple and your body limber
  • Sexy Back and Gorgeous Girls: This is a workout that is designed to give your “girls” a lift and protect your spine and back.
  • Quickies: If you are short on time on a particular day then you can use one of these 5 or 10-minute workouts to keep on track.
  • Seductive Shoulders: Look great in sleeveless dresses as you develop sleek and sexy shoulders with this routine.

What do I need?

You’ll need a step, a stability (or exercise ball), exercise tubing, and a pair of light (5 to 10 lb) dumbbells and a pair of heavy (12 to 20 lb) dumbbells.

This is basically the same set up as for Althean X-1 (a workout bench or exercise ball, a pair adjustable dumbbells (or Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells), a chin-up bar, and some resistance bands, but with the addition of the step.

For the step, I love this one by Amazon Basics. It’s a great price and has adjustable risers so that it can become more challenging as your ready for a greater challenge.

How much is it?

The Althean XX women’s program is 3 payments of $29.99 or a single payment of $79.99 for lifetime access.

Program 7: Xero

Xero is unique within the Althean X portfolio because it is a 100% body weight based program that requires absolutely no equipment at all.

What level of fitness is this program right for?

Xero requires some pretty intense body weight exercises and it’s a good idea to be moderately fit before you start. I recommend being able to complete AX-1 before starting on Xero.

What’s included?

Xero includes:

  • 150 bodyweight exercises
  • 30 completely unique workouts that put those exercises together
  • Brand new challenges
  • Videos for each workout

It also includes the Althean X-Factor meal plan to help you build muscle and shed fat quickly.

What do I need?

All you need for this program is a moderate level of fitness and you.

What are people saying about XERO?

A lot of people use XERO to stay in shape when they’re on the road. It’s also common for people to have trouble when they start with completing some of the exercises in some of the challenges. The key is to keep going until you can do it, using modifications if necessary.

Great if You Don’t Have Access to Weights

I would recommend Xero if you don’t have access to weights. Weights aren’t going to bulk you up anymore than Xero. Your weight gain is tied more to your diet.

I use Xero when I’m travelling. The workouts can run a bit long, since every strength exercise is to failure. But, you will definitely make gains.

Belly 84

AX-1 vs XERO

Xero was my first program. Since then I’ve completed AX1 and AX2. Currently I’m finishing my 2nd run through of Xero with the modification of wearing a weight vest this time as well as some substitution on the pull exercises.

Whether the program is harder or easier than the others is hard to say, because in my opinion any of the programs are as hard as you want them to be. it is challenging in a different way and that there is no targeted reps for the majority of the exercises. Due to the nature of bodyweight exercises they’re almost exclusively done to failure. Not 12 reps Max failure, but absolute total failure, even if it takes 40 or more reps.

Due to the way the program is set up, the workouts can take a bit longer than the average ax1 workout, since getting to failure using body weight for something like legs can take some time. That’s the main reason I started incorporating a weight vest.

There are benefits to bodyweight training, learning to move your body through space is always a good thing.

kearvek22

How much is it?

Lifetime access to XERO is a $79.95 flat fee.

Section 2: Athlean X Programs to Build Muscle

In this section I’ll be going over the three Athlean X programs that are designed specifically to build muscle. If you are already at your body fat percentage goals and have already taken AX-1 then these are a good next step to gain mass and definition.

Program 1: Max Size

Max Size is built around old school lifting, but with new modern twists based on the science of building muscle FAST.

What level of fitness is this program right for?

This is for intermediate to advanced users and I highly recommend starting with AX-1 before you move to this program, because you’ll need the preparation as Max Size is super intense.

What’s included?

Max Size is a multi-pronged program that is 12 weeks long. It has three phases, 3 “finishers” to get you to maximum gains, and 3 intense challenges.

Max Size also comes with the X-Factor Extreme Meal Plan that helps turn your body into a muscle building machine even if you don’t have a lot of muscle to begin with or if you have a hard time gaining muscle.

The phases are as follows:

  • Phase 1 – weeks 1 to 4 – Ignition: Start gaining and get your body ready for even more gains. There is a ton of hard work in this phase.
  • Phase 2 – weeks 5-8 – Growth: Put the finishers to action and amp up the muscle growth.
  • Phase 3 – weeks 9-12 – Development: Mix things up with brand new techniques for more muscle growth.

All in all this is a super intense program that requires massive commitment. The workouts are often long with some in Phase 2 clocking in at 1.5 hours and most workouts being in the 45 min to 1- hour range.

What do I need?

You can use the same equipment that’s used in AX-1 (a workout bench or exercise ball, a pair adjustable dumbbells (or Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells), a chin-up bar, and some resistance bands), but for Max Gains you will also need a full barbell set for effective use of the program.

I like this barbell set for the price and the amount of weights you get with it.

If you have the right set up, you can do this workout at home. But many people prefer to do this workout at the gym where there is often more robust barbell and dumbbell options.

What are people saying about Max Gains?

Guys who are dedicated to gaining muscle mass LOVE max gains. Here is what some of them are saying.

Makes you feel like a beast

I’ve only got the last challenge left, and I must say that I will probably restart it and have another go at it soon as I do the challenge and finish the xero program. It makes you feel like a beast while doing compound, old school lifts that build the muscle necessary to not only feel like a beast but also look like one.

It starts off pretty challenging the first month, and gets progressively more difficult as you get on with the program in the next months. The first month consists of german volume training with a finisher for each workout. Month two is focused around more isometric holds and isolation.

The third and final month is push/pull where you do two days of push and one day rest, then two days of pull with another day of rest before repeating the cycle. It focuses on tempo, in which you do the first of each type focusing on the concentric portion of the lift, while the day after is eccentric. Both have a 5/1/1 or 1/1/5 tempo, and each workout includes legs of some sort.

Plebbimob

It’s Intense

Im currently on it and one thing it certainly is, is its intense. If you do it exactly as told and focus on making every rep count you will have a very tough workout. Im generally finished each workout in an hour so its not super time consuming either. I dont actually use the meal plan because i use my fitnesspal but I have made some of the suggested meals to try new stuff.

I am a month in so cant comment on any long term benefits except the 10×10 leg day has definitely improved my ability to run distance without me actually running very regularly. My 3 mile time went down about 3 minutes having not ran since I started it when I went for a run last week. The intensity definitely helps with stamina, that looking ahead to month 2 and 3,you will need.

Every day of the program has video guides on how to do it all so for me as a fairly new lifter, that was really helpful. It also includes the ab shuffle thing hes showcased before in his 7 minute ab workout video which makes doing abs more interesting than doing the same routine every time. Im personally enjoying it and it seems to be a well rounded routine that doesnt double up on anything and showed me some different exercises to hit different areas.

Kerrigar

Looking forward to doing it again

I loved Max Size. I look forward to doing it again. Time wise, the workouts for Max Size take a little bit longer. Nothing crazy, but when you are doing the big compound lifts it just takes a little more time to get a squat rack and set up and break down the weights, than just grabbing a pair of dumbbells. I guess it also depends on how busy your gym is, but you’re still looking at the 45min-1hr range for both.

thebeeve22

One of the things that’s really interesting about this program is that so many people say they’re going to do it again. To me, that’s the mark of a great routine.

How much is it?

Max Size is one payment of $77.00 for 120 days of access or lifetime access for $97.00.

Program 2: Breakout

Breakout is designed for EXPERIENCED lifters who’ve hit a plateau in gains and want to break through a training plateau.

What level of fitness is this program right for?

This is an advanced program.

If you are an experienced lifter you can dive right into this program, but I highly recommend taking AX-1 and Max Gains first as they will prepare you for the intensity of Breakout.

If you aren’t an experienced lifter than my recommendation is to go through the progression of AX-1, AX-2, AX-NXT, and Max Gains before tackling this very intense program.

What’s included?

This program includes three different methods of hypertrophy: eccentric damage, metabolic stress, and progressive overload.

These three methods are designed to break you out of any plateau.

This 12-week program also includes three phases: breakdown, burnout, and break loose.

Finally, you get the X-Factor meal plan specifically designed to help get you better results from your lifts.

What do I need?

To do breakout you need all of the equipment recommended in AX-1 (a workout bench or exercise ball, a pair adjustable dumbbells (or Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells), a chin-up bar, and some resistance bands)plus a good barbell set like the one I recommended in Max Size.

This program is intense and requires tons of heavy lifting, so many men find it’s easier to complete in a well-equipped gym.

How much is it?

Breakout is one payment of $77.50 for 120 days access or $97.50 for lifetime access.

Program 3: Total Beast (BEAXST)

Total Beast, also known as BEAXST, is a total body split program that is designed not just to gain muscle size, but also to increase levels of athleticism, power, and explosiveness.

What level of fitness is this program right for?

This program is interesting. It has three different paths designed for different levels of fitness.  The three paths include Base Mode, Beast Mode, and Total Beast Mode.

The only real prerequisite is that you have some experience with the weight room – either at home or at the gym.

If you’re a beginner I do recommend starting with AX-1 and then moving onto Total Beast.

What’s included?

Total Beast includes 12 weeks of training. And because it has three levels, if you are a beginner with weight experience then you can actually get a full 36 weeks out of this program as you level up.

That makes it a uniquely good value within the Althean X programs.

This program has 3 levels of training including:

  • Beast Size and Strength: These are hypertrophy focused stages that are meant to increase mass and strength.
  • Beast Power: Specific power days within the program to develop explosive movement.
  • Beast Regeneration: Serious recovery days that contain correctives to help speed up recovery.

This program also contains 4 specific challenges to keep you motivated and on track as well as a day by day meal plan.

What do I need?

For this program a gym membership is highly recommended, although you can do the workouts at home with the right equipment.

You’ll need all the equipment listed in AX-1 (a workout bench or exercise ball, a pair adjustable dumbbells (or Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells), a chin-up bar, and some resistance bands) plus a high-quality barbell set up and a good quality jump rope.

For a good quality jump rope you don’t need to spend a ton of money. But you do need one with adjustable length and one that can withstand heavy-duty use.

I like this one. It’s under $15 and has all the features you need to get a great cardio workout.

What are people saying about BEAXST?

This program was launched in November 2018 and got off to a bit of a rocky start. But it’s more complete now and people who are getting it currently really like it.

Feeling Sore in a Good Way

Am a week into Beaxst. Already I can tell you that it’s going to be an effective program. I’m feeling sore over my body (in a good way). I also like the fact that there is a lot more emphasis on corrective exercises than on his previous programs. I feel like the regeneration days also gives you a little more freedom to listen to your body and recover how you need to.

The best part is that the program is scalable so you can push yourself as hard as you need.

Deadeye37

Heart Pumping

I really missed the fast pace and heart pump of AX-1. Beaxst really really scratched that itch. I just completed week 1 and I love it even though it’s kicking my ass. There are heavy-ass lifts as well so I’m sure I’ll build muscles but it’s also not making me bored which I really like. Hope that helped, even if just a little bit.

ksskarthik628

Stuff Missing at Beginning – Now There

Did anyone else buy the program and feel like stuff is missing? I noticed there’s no introduction video for any of the workouts or explanation of the phases (like in all other Athlean X programs), just a quick 1 minute video with a run through of each lift. I also noticed the instructions button is blank when you press it, unlike the other programs……

They have added more stuff since I originally posted – like the phase videos and conditioning for Tuesdays and Thursdays (at least for week 1). Hopefully they will add instruxions and fill out the rest of the weeks by the time I reach week 2…

Jhayes4655

How much is it?

BEAXST is $97.75 for lifetime access.

Section 3: The Athlean X Program to Burn Fat

There is one program in the Athlean X catalog that is geared toward burning fat over building muscle. It’s called Max/Shred.

Program 1: Max/Shred

Max/Shred is designed specifically to accelerate fat loss for both men and women. It uses a lot of body weight exercises to do this, so you will gain strength. But with this program the strength usually comes in the way of definition rather than bulk.

What level of fitness is this program right for?

Max/Shred is perfect for any level of fitness. And it’s a great workout to start on if AX-1 feels too demanding at first.

That’s because Max/Shred has 4 different tracks that you can move through that are designed in stages – all the way from beginner to advanced fitness levels.

What’s included?

Max/Shred is a 12-week program that includes three phases:

  • Phase 1: Mobilization Phase – in this phase you’ll train your body to start mobilizing stored fat.
  • Phase 2: Incineration Phase – Get lean muscle gains and accelerate the fat loss.
  • Phase 3. Total Inferno – This is where the first 8 weeks start really paying off and your body becomes a fat burning machine.

Max/Shred also includes three challenges unique to this program to keep you motivated as well as the X-Factor Meal plan.

What do I need?

While a lot of Max/Shred is based on bodyweight exercises, you will need some equipment including all of the equipment listed for AX-1 (a workout bench or exercise ball, a pair adjustable dumbbells (or Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells), a chin-up bar, and some resistance bands) and a barbell.

What are people saying about Max/Shred?

It’s common to see people say that Max/Shred is their favorite Athlean X program. It’s fast paced and can be adjusted up or down depending on your fitness level.

Shred was my favorite

I’ve done it, along with a few other AX programs. Shred was my favorite and as coincidence would have it, I’m starting it again tomorrow.

Keep in mind that your scale weights tell very little of the story. Don’t be focused on that number and instead focus on your goals of increased cardio, muscle gains, shredding – whatever it may be. I am convinced that if ANY person would do ANY AthleanX program at 100% intensity, there will always be vast improvement.

Now is Shred best for you? If you want to have cardio-intensive but still weight-based training workouts, then yes. I find it to be the sweet spot between boring LISS and heavy lifting. It fun, it’s quick and it’s athletic. Most of all (at the top alarm level) it’s f******g difficult.

DrestonF1

Can be scaled up or down

Max Shred is unlike all the other programs I’ve tried. Its a combination of body weight and weighted exercises, but the goal of each workout is really to keep your heart rate up to maximize the burn. Lots of timed circuits that can be scaled up or down by changing the number of reps and the rest time. Really a great program.

ManofZimmer

Keeps me interested

I’m just finishing month 1 of Max Shred. So far, it’s mostly like 20-40 minute HIIT workouts for calorie/fat burn I believe. Mild weight training is incorporated, but it seems to be mostly to work conditioning, and I really do enjoy it :). The workouts are good and full body, and vary enough each week to keep me interested anyway.

Barricore

How much is it?

Max/Shred is $77.00 for 120 Day access or $97.00 for lifetime access.

Section 4: Specialty Programs

In addition to the programs above, Jeff Cavaliere offers two specialty programs.

TNT works with AX-1 to help you grow slow growing muscle groups and Special Tactix is designed specifically to get you ready for physical exams that you might have to take for the military or to become a firefighter or police officer.

Program 1: TNT

Some guys have a “slow to grow” muscle group. This is an area of the body, like chest or arms that just won’t seem to budge no matter how hard the workout.

TNT is designed to be used with AX-1 as a supplement or can be used as a stand-alone program.

What level of fitness is this program right for?

This program is intense. If you’ve successfully been through AX-1 once and want a “boost” then it’s a great fit. Or if you’ve worked out for a while and are doing AX-1, but want to make sure a slow-growing muscle group starts gaining it’s also a good fit.

What’s included?

TNT includes specific targeting for chest, biceps, triceps, shoulders, and back.  You can also buy the program for 1 target, all 5 or any number in between.

It also includes an integration plan for AX-1 so that the two programs work together seamlessly.

What do I need?

You’ll need the same equipment that’s needed for AX-1 (a workout bench or exercise ball, a pair adjustable dumbbells (or Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells), a chin-up bar, and some resistance bands) plus a good quality barbell.

You can to all the TNTs at home, but many people find that doing them at a well-equipped gym works better.

What are people saying about TNT?

You’ll see people say that you should go through AX-1 once first before you add TNT, but that TNT can really help grow stubborn areas.

Helped a lot

I would first do Athleanx 1 without TNT’s. This way if you do repeat you will know which muscle group is weaker then the rest. Also if you do add TNT’s you your workout schedule will be 6 days or you can do them on bust training days. I got back and shoulders TNT’s and they helped a lot. I have see people use finishers (from the YouTube channel) instead of the TNT’s. I hope this helps you.

firehazzarrd

Works Best When…

TNTs work best if you choose two per month. You can only do a max of two at a time. They are usually done on burst workout days in addition to the burst workout.

In the portal when you buy them you can download integration maps that will tell you when to do them depending on which ones you want to do. Jeff arranges them based on the ones your doing so you won’t overtrain.

The TNTs provide exercises that are home equipment based along with gym equivalent ones. Kind of like how gym swaps are used in the AX1.

Edit: forgot to add, when I did them I did chest & back one month, biceps and triceps another , and then shoulders & back another month. But if you wanted you certainly could do just two all three months.

ricosuave79

How much is it?

TNT is priced depending on how many TNT targeted workouts you buy. The more you buy the cheaper they are per workout.

  • 1 = $38
  • 2 = $66
  • 3 = $88
  • 4 = $99
  • 5 = $111

Note: While many people really like the TNT modules, there is some feedback that you can get similar results with AX-1 plus the free YouTube videos.

Program 2: Special Tactix

This program is quite a bit different from the other Athlean X programs. It focuses specifically on training for physical exams like those that you take for the military, police or fire academies.

What level of fitness is this program right for?

This program is for intermediate to advanced levels of fitness and can be used as a completely stand-alone program or after AX-1.

What’s included?

Special Tactix is a 4-week program that focuses more on running, jogging, and sprinting than Jeff’s other programs.

It includes 5 units:

  • H.I.I.T. Andn Run 1 & 2 – improve your endurance
  • Swarm Tactix 1 & 2 – massive reps and sheer volume to get real results
  • Guerrilla Warfare 1 & 2 – Improve your physical and mental toughness
  • Core War 1-4 – All about working your core
  • Air Raid 1 & 2 – 20-minute burst training

This program also includes an exclusive challenge to measure your progress.

What do I need?

Just like TNT, you’ll need the same equipment as AX-1 (a workout bench or exercise ball, a pair adjustable dumbbells (or Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells), a chin-up bar, and some resistance bands) and a good quality barbell.

What are people saying about Special Tactix?

If you’re preparing for a physical readiness exam this is THE program to get.

Gets You Ready

It’s his only program where conditioning primarily focuses on running/jogging/sprinting. It’s all geared towards getting you both physically and mentally ready for intense military physical training or testing.

tilapiah6

Had to dig deep

Today’s burst conditioning workout brought us back to the style used in AX1’s “Bumps & Jumps”. Perform a certain number of reps of a given exercise every minute on the minute for a set number of rounds. For this workout, odd minutes were 10 hanging leg raises, and even minutes were 7 triple skyfalls (split squat jump into tuck jump into burpee). Unfortunately, I was training in my parent’s basement without a pull-up bar to hang from, so I substituted the hanging leg raises for an ab exercise called “jackknifes” (basically a crunch with perpendicular straight legs off ground, switch legs each rep) and did 12 reps on each side. Killer workout, to say the least. I managed to last 30 total minutes. These types of workouts always seem to make me dig down deep and use every last little bit of energy and grit that I have left in me.

triple_skyfall2

Passed LEO exam with flying colors

I have taken several LEO exams. Personally, the best method is to drop as much body fast as possible (i.e., losing 1-1.5lbs/week) and remain on a strength-training program. Take a look at the Special Tactix program (https://athleanx.com/special-tactix). I have used this in the past to prepare for several LEO physicals and passed with flying colors.

How much is it?

Special Tactix is $49.95 for lifetime access.

The bottom line on Athlean X

All of Jeff Cavaliere’s programs are excellent. If you follow them they will give you a lean and sculpted body.

I recommend starting with AX-1 even if you are experienced at working out. This will let you familiarize yourself with Jeff’s style.

Whatever you do, don’t jump into one of the advanced programs like Total Beaxst without doing AX-1 and AX-2 first. You’ll most likely get your butt kicked.


Chris Cannon
Chris Cannon

Hey Chris Cannon here, founder of Free Muscle Building Tips. I hope you enjoyed this post. If you haven't done so already be sure to subscribe to our newsletter and get your free Six Pack Abs Secret Weapon Workout!