chiseledChiseled is a tough cardio + strength/metabolic strength training workout from Toby Massenburg. It is advanced, but very doable for all fitness levels. This is my second workout by Toby and what I like is how in both of his workouts that I’ve done, he incorporates just the right amount of recovery so you can come at your next round strong. He is also an impressive trainer. He does the majority of the workout with his crew and viewers, and yet he is still able to give excellent instructions and form pointers not only during the exercises, but in that short recovery time between them–and he never sounds rushed! He does get tired by his exercises because they are challenging, but he is still able to convey whatever the exerciser needs to know.

The DVD contains a short intro by Toby, explaining the structure of Chiseled, the actual workout both with and w/out music, and a 15 minute core bonus. The main workout is set up in ten approx 5 minute rounds. Each round consists of 1 minute of strength work and 1 minute of cardio–you do each move twice, and you get 30 seconds between each exercise. Now, if you were going full blast (level 3) the full minute of each exercise, this workout would be brutal and, for me at least, probably undoable. He does say that once you are advanced and learn the moves, you can do level 3 for the full 60 seconds of every exercise, but I honestly don’t know if I will ever be at that level! However, that isn’t how it is structured or how Toby and his crew do it. Each one minute exercise is broken down into levels and each level lasts 20 seconds. Level 1 is the easiest version of the move, level 2 is harder and level 3 is the most advanced level of the move. As you learn each level he tells you that if you are comfortable in that level then stay there. I did the workout as laid out. I did level 1 for the first 20 seconds, level 2 for the next 20 seconds and level 3 for the final 20 seconds. And that wore me out. In addition, if you are going all out during level 3, during the cardio (and even some of the strength) moves, you are getting HIITs–which would be very hard to maintain at such a high intensity for 60 seconds anyway. But if it’s only for 20 seconds at the highest level, I can push through. So I really feel like you are getting it all in this workout. And I sure felt it afterward. Very drained.

Most of the strength moves in this workout are fast-paced compound moves, so you can’t go super heavy and there is a cardio component to them. You also use a step at 10 inches. Because of all of this, the legs are hit hard. Now, I have already been hitting my lower body hard with other workouts this week, so this workout really wore my already sore legs out. If you are not already doing a lot of leg work then it may not have the same effect on you. Toby also uses two sets of weights–heavy and light. I suggest having more than that. Sometimes he combines a heavy and a light dumbbell in one hand for really heavy. IMHO it’s just easier to use one heavier dumbbell. So I used a lot more than two sets of dumbbells for this.

There are two female crew members behind Toby. There is also a timer in the bottom left of the screen that counts down each 20 seconds of a level and in the right hand corner of the screen it tells you what exercise you are doing and which block you are in.

Before we get to the breakdown, I want to touch on Chiseled Abs. It is 15 minutes and I really liked it. It had a wide variety of core moves and worked your entire core, front to back. I also like that he didn’t give you so many reps of any single exercise that you were dying. He kept it moving and changing and I really enjoyed it. You start laying on your back doing basic crunch variations that increase in difficulty, then move into oblique work. Next is plank work, supermans and you end with bird dogs.

Chiseled is 71:30 minutes long; 5 minute warm up 62 minute training time and 4:30 minute stretch. You need a 10 inch step and at least two sets of dumbbells, light and heavy. Remember, you get 30 seconds of recovery between each move.

Block 1: Strength (grab heavy dumbbells): level 1 side to side squats; level 2 side to side squat with overhead press; level 3 power press (jump squat with overhead press). Cardio: level 1 air squat; level 2 skier squat (just an air squat in which you raise your heels at the top of the move); level 3 jump squat. Repeat.

Block 2: Strength (grab heavy dumbbells): level 1 dumbbell swings (kettlebell swing but with dumbbells); level 2 dumbbell high swing (same as level 1 but bring dumbbells overhead w/ straight arms); level 3 same as level 2 but step forward and back. Cardio: level 1 tap back (off step), alternate legs; level 2 turn it into a plyo lunge off the step; level 3 driver lunge (same as level 2 but touch step with fingertips). Repeat.

Block 3: Strength (grab heavy dumbbells): level 1 side squat clean forward lunge (squat to the side, bringing weights down to heels and lunge forward bringing weights to shoulder); level 2 side lunge clean twist lunge (same as level 1 but during the lunge, twist body to side); level 3 side lunge curl chop lunge (same as level 2 but when twisting do woodchop with dumbbells). Cardio: level 1 shuffle jog; level 2 shuffle lunge (2 shuffles and one jump lunge); level 3 jump lunge. Repeat.

Block 4: Strength (grab light dumbbells): level 1 split lunge off side of step; level 2 split lunge with lateral raise; level 3 split lunge with iron cross. Cardio: level 1 wide lateral tap downs off step; level 2 same as level 1 but reach across with arms; level 3 same as level 1 & 2 but do pull down movement with arms. Repeat.

Block 5: Strength (no weights but hands will be on step): level 1 cannonball plank with shoulder tap; level 2 cannon ball push up; level 3 cannonball spider push up (one leg push up). Cardio: level 1 double side hop driving knee (lateral jump with two hops while raising the knee); level 2 single side hop (same as level 1 but no double hop); level 3 ice skater with reach (touch corner of step when reaching). Repeat.

Block 6: Strength (grab one heavy and one light dumbbell; hold both in one hand): level 1 rebound lunge power clean (squat to side bringing weights nearly to floor then do a reverse lunge bringing weights to shoulder); level 2 rebound lunge high clean (same as level 1 but do overhead press); level 3 same as level 2 but hop from lunge to squat and squat to lunge. Cardio: level 1 8 front cross punches and 4 side punches to each side; level 2 same as level 1 but during the side punches jack your feet; level 3 same as level 2 but do 2 side punches to each side. Repeat.

Block 7: Strength (grab one heavy and one light dumbbell; hold both in one hand): level 1 renegade rows; level 2 renegade row and a plank twist; level 3 renegade row and punch (punch means twisting to one side and raising dumbbell straight up into air). Cardio: level 1 straddle plunge off step (jump off step then step back up); level 2 straddle plunge jump (jump on and off step); level 3 straddle jack (same as level 2 but double time it). Repeat.

Block 8: Strength (grab one heavy and one light dumbbell; hold both in one hand): level 1 turn lunge and strike (turn and lunge deep, bringing dumbbells down nearly to floor, then stand, raising dumbbells to shoulder and twist to touch elbow to opposite knee); level 2 turn lunge and push press (turn and lunge deep, bringing dumbbells down nearly to floor, then stand, raising dumbbells to shoulder then squat and overhead press); level 3 turn lunge and combo press (same as level 3 but during the overhead press, raise opposite knee and twist body toward it). Cardio: level 1 step out jack; level 2 jumping jack; level 3 star jack plyo jumps. Repeat.

Block 9: Strength (grab one heavy and one light dumbbell; hold both in one hand): level 1 side step up (stepping up onto side of step); level 2 side step up with high pull (upright row); level 3 side step up with high pull balance (same as level two but raise leg to side when doing upright row). Cardio: level 1 high step back knee drive (stand on your step, step back with one left then do a knee raise with other leg at the top); level 2 high touch down knee drive (same as level 1 but touch the step with finger tips when stepping back); level 3 high touch down front kick (same as level 2 but instead of knee raise do front kick). Repeat.

Block 10: Strength (grab 2 heavy weights and get rid of step risers; change topper to vertical position): level 1 crossover deadlift w/ reverse fly; level 2 uneven crossover deadlift w/ reverse fly (same as level 1 but place foot closest to step topper on step); level 3 single leg cross deadlift w/ reverse fly (same as level 2 raising leg that was on the step so you are doing move on one leg). Cardio: level 1 bear crawl onto platform and back and double squat; level 2 bear crawl onto platform and back w/ power squat thrust and then jump at top; level 3 same as level 2 but tuck jump at top.


5 thoughts on “Chiseled

  1. Very, very much enjoying your blog. : ) You really describe accurately how it is!
    Can you tell me if this DVD has anyone in the background performing at more low impact like Cathe sometimes shows?


    1. I’m glad my reviews are useful! For this workout, no Toby does not have a modifier. However, because each exercise is done at 3 levels, you could just stay at level 1 or 2, which is a low (or lower) impact move, than the all out level 3 version of the move. It is a great workout.


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