The end of the May is only a couple of days away, which means it is time for another part in our series about free printable workout routines! Today, I will be talking about my experience with Darebee.com’s free fitness program called XPRESS Tone!
Seeing as this is the sixth installment in this series, you can very well guess that I have been using Darebee for my workout routines for the past several months. If you wish to check out the other programs I’ve done, click on any of the links provided below:
As I have said many times before, not all fitness requires money. Darebee is a great resource for those who want a great workout, but don’t necessarily have a big budget. Not everyone can afford a gym membership. Not everyone can afford expensive equipment (I’ll provide links later on to some great, budget-friendly options).
Personal trainers can also be very expensive (Though, if you have a passion for fitness, it is a great career to get into and can be done from the comfort of your own home! Find out more by CLICKING HERE!)
The great thing about Darebee is that most of their workouts can be completed with just bodyweight exercise and all of them are available completely free of charge!
I have a tight budget since I have a young family, so I can definitely appreciate a quality product at a free price. I know I’m not the only one out there who has that mindset.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not telling you to get rid of your gym membership. However, in times like these, it is a really great idea to give yourselves some alternatives so that if you can’t make it to the gym, you can still continue your fitness journey.
With that being said, let’s take a look at this month’s free workout program! Is it one that I would recommend? Keep reading to find out!
XPRESS Tone – What Is It And What Does It Entail?
XPRESS (Or Express) Tone is a workout program that has been designed for the purpose of increasing your muscle tone and definition. The program lasts for 30 days and the only equipment it requires is some free weights (they suggest dumbbells, but we’ll get more into that later).
In this program, you will find exercises for your shoulders, back, arms, core, and legs. Each day of the workout alternates between upper body exercises and lower body exercises. Unlike IRONBORN, you won’t find days targeting specific muscle groups like back and shoulders, arms, and the like. Each day gets a mix of those muscle groups.
For upper body days, you can expect the following types of exercises:
- Various bicep curls
- Hammer curls
- Various triceps extensions
- Core twists
- Side bends
- Upright rows
- Bent over rows
- Various shoulder presses
- Lateral shoulder raises
- Bent over flys
On lower body days, you will see familiar leg exercises such as:
- Various lunges
- Various squats
- Various dead lifts
- Various leg extensions
- Various Leg raises
The unique feature of this program is that while there are defined number of sets to do (whether you are a beginner or a vet, you do 5 sets), the amount of reps is not listed for most exercises.
The reason for this is because each day, you have a few exercises that you are to perform until “fatigue” for each of the five sets while other exercises require you to do 10 reps. While you may not be familiar with that term, you more than likely are familiar with the phrase “Training to failure.”
According to Bodybuilding.com, training to failure (or fatigue) is basically performing repetitions until you simply can’t perform another one with correct form.
Now, there is definitely debate over whether this is the best form of training and studies have shown mixed results.
Bodybuilding.com notes that if not done properly (mostly if every exercise and every set is performed until fatigue), it could have adverse effects on muscle growth.
However, if it is done sparingly (for example, only on the last set of exercises), it then can have muscle growing effects! Like everything in exercise, proper use and form are critical to using it correctly.
Additionally, certain leg days only require bodyweight exercise that carry increasing amounts of repetitions as you progress through the program.
As for the details for the rest of XPRESS Tone, it is rated as a 3 out of 5 in difficulty, yet perfectly fine for beginners since you choose the amount of weight you are using and fatigue sets in differently for everyone.
Like the other programs, there is a suggested meal plan. In this case, you are offered the Modern Hero Meal Plan to help with your results.
Troubleshooting – Dealing With Problems And Modifications
Each of the workouts in XPRESS Tone are illustrated and easy to follow. 99% of the moves are illustrated in a way that is easy to understand. The only one that I had trouble with is one called “Leg Swings”, as the picture doesn’t do a great job of describing the movement. Unfortunately, they don’t have a video version to help out like they do with most exercises.
As always, you can consult Darebee’s full Instruction Manual to explain each of the various moves found on their website. If you are having trouble figuring out what a picture is asking you to do, I would recommend starting there.
However, if you still find yourself unsure of how to perform an exercise, remember that the site also provides a huge video library of their exercises. These various videos can also be found on their YouTube channel. I will post a few video examples of moves from XPRESS Tone at the end of this section.
Additionally, feel free to visit their Get Started page to learn more about how to navigate their site.
There isn’t much in the way of modifications for the dumbbell exercises in this program. The reason for this is because the weight and amount of repetitions is up to you.
With the body weight exercises, since there is generally only one set of a number of repetitions, you could conceivably break those up to make it a little easier.
The only required piece of equipment is dumbbells. If you are looking for some reliable pieces of dumbbell equipment that will easily let you switch weights on the fly without having to purchase a whole set of them, here are my picks of what you can use.
- Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells
- Bowflex SelectTech 840 Adjustable Kettlebells
- PowerBlock Sport 24 Adjustable Dumbbells
However, if you want to use something other than dumbbells, it is possible. I personally used resistance bands for the exercises in this program. You aren’t limited to those, though.
Here is list of possible alternatives to dumbbells that could definitely work with and enhance the exercises in this program:
- Bodylastics Resistance Bands
- TRIBE Resistance Bands
- Sportneer Adjustable Ankle/Wrist Weights
- ihuan Padded Weight Lifting Gloves
- The Top 8 Balance Trainers
- The Gorilla Bow
- The BodyBoss Home Gym 2.0
- The OYO Personal Gym
Check out those reviews if you get the chance as you might find something that best suits you for this program.
Now that you know what you can use, take a look at some of the exercises you can expect to find.
Alternating Bicep Curl:
Standing Shoulder Press:
What I Liked About The Program
I will admit right from the start here that this was not my favorite program. In fact, I stopped doing it about halfway through for several reasons that I will get into later. However, to give it a fair look, I will talk about what I did like first.
Most notably, it was different and interesting to perform the exercises until fatigue. I hadn’t experienced that in any of my previous Darebee workout programs, so it was a nice change of pace.
I also liked how each day had a mix of exercises. With IRONBORN, one of my biggest complaints was that splitting the days up into muscle groups became very difficult very quickly. This was especially true of the core workout days that felt like an absolute chore to get through.
You get a more well-rounded approach here with a mix of muscle groups for upper and lower body days. That was appreciated.
Additionally, going until fatigue can really be felt. My muscles were definitely sore by the end of the workout. However, this is unfortunately where the positives end for me.
What I Didn’t Like About The Program
Like I said above, I stopped XPRESS Tone about halfway through for several reasons. One of the main ones was that while it looked to be a total body program from the outset, I began to notice one glaring omission: there were no chest exercises!
Why on earth would you have a toning program that has exercises for every major muscle group except for the chest? It didn’t make much sense to me to neglect a hugely important part of my body for an entire month!
Additionally, I was not a huge fan of the “until fatigue” concept being an everyday thing. As noted in the Bodybuilding.com article above, going until fatigue for every set can actually be detrimental to your gains, but that is exactly what you are asked to do here!
Another reason why “until fatigue” on every set was bothersome is that it takes a lot longer to finish your workout. Unless you are zipping through the moves (and thus losing proper form and effectiveness), you have five sets to complete! Even if the exercises are done in a circuit training format, it takes a while to get through them all!
I have talked about this before, but as a husband and father, I don’t have a huge amount of time every day to work out. My max amount of time is usually 30-40 minutes. I found myself rushing through and not taking the proper amount of rest between sets just to get it done.
I was also disappointed in the variety of moves available. Inevitably, I found myself repeating the same exercises over and over. Now this is fine in some ways as you are building upon that specific move, but I need a little more variety to keep me interested. XPRESS Tone didn’t have that, and so I got bored.
The Verdict – Not My Favorite
Darebee’s workout programs have had a pretty good run with me. However, I feel that XPRESS Tone really dropped the ball. For a supposed full-body program, I think it is inexcusable to not incorporate the chest with it. I don’t know whether it was an oversight or on purpose, but I would think people want a toned chest too.
You might think differently, but this just wasn’t for me.
Now, it’s your turn! What do you think of XPRESS Tone after reading my review? Is it something you would try out? Do you find it strange that their was no chest component to the program? Are there any free workout programs online that you think I should check out for a future review? Let me know in the comments below!
Should you have any questions, feel free to ask them as well and I will do my best to give you a helpful answer!
Before I go, I should mention that this time of quarantine (though hopefully coming to an end soon) is not only a good time to explore new ways of working out at home, but it is also an opportunity to explore new ways of making money!
Whether you are looking to just make a little extra cash with you free time or to start you very own business, staying at home is the perfect opportunity to do so! Check out these resources to investigate a few of my recommended ways to make money:
If You Want To Make A Little Extra Cash: It’s easy to do in your spare time and free to sign up! In fact, I’ve already made money from this!
If You Want To Become A Personal Trainer: A lot of people will be coming out of quarantine looking to get in shape again. You could be there to meet them!
If You Want To Start An Online Business: This is the best platform I have found that has helped me to create this website and start making money online! The best training, community, and experience I have seen!
Be sure to check out these links and any others that might interest you.
If you enjoyed what you read, you can help this website in two very important ways. The first of these is to put your email address in the “Subscribe” box at the top right of the page. This will qualify you to get an alert every time I post new content so you never have to miss another article!
Secondly, if you wouldn’t mind hitting the share buttons that have been following you down the page, I would greatly appreciate it! Spreading the word about quality, budget-friendly fitness is a wonderful thing!
That’s all for now! As always, God Bless and Happy Workouts!