Strong 45 review

What is Strong 45 by HIITBURN?  Well it is a 45 day programme that consists of daily strength training coupled with a high intensity interval training (HIIT) finisher workout.  The combination of this workout is intended to build muscle and strength whilst also burning fat.

Strong 45
Strong 45 exercise

I was looking to get back into a routine following my knee injury and whilst not all workouts may seem appropriate I knew there were modifications and so I was soon signed up and had all the material emailed to me.

You are sent the links to download material which included:

  • Access to a private Facebook group
  • Training guide manual
  • Nutrition guide
  • Hiitburn recipes
  • Workout calendar
  • Intuitive eating guide

I was also doing the ab finisher workouts and was sent the download for that too.

From before the 45 days started the facebook group was very active with people sharing before photos, recipe suggestions, videos of modifications and more.  I knew that having a forum for accountability and help would be super valuable!

The plan starts with progressive resistance training to aimed to improve muscle strength.  One thing that appealed to many, I found from the facebook group, was how this plan really only needed some dumbbells so it really took it back to basics.  The HIIT element is designed to have short bursts of intense exercise followed by short rest periods – don’t be fooled, like me, by thinking 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off that sounds easy – it is not!

Glute Bridge
Glute bridge exercise

There is an app from HIIT Max that you can subscribe to with a whole host of resources and as part of the Strong 45 challenge you are given access for the duration for free and can choose to continue should you wish.  The cost for this is $19.99 per month though there is a huge amount of resource and plans available included within this.

  • Day 1 was a leg day and I will admit I looked at the exercises and thought yeah that’s fine but my god where my legs on fire by the end of it!  I even left a sweaty angel on the gym floor – nice I know!
  • Day 2 was back/biceps/triceps and again I really felt it!
  • Day 3 was legs and glutes and by this point I was walking awkwardly and had no idea how I would do legs again!
  • Day 4 was chest and shoulders and I mean you can survive without the use of your arms right?
  • Day 5 was full body so everything was aching by this point and I was ready to make my final goodbyes to family members and I had to workout everything.

But did I die?  Well no but I spoke to my friend who is a PT and said to her how I was worried as I’d done 5 days and have 40 left and I could not fathom in my head how I would get through this.

This was hard! Really hard!  The workout was tough but it was the way I felt after and having leg day Monday and again on Wednesday was not feeling like enough time for my muscles to repair.  Most of the exercises were using either body weight or a dumbbell – how could a dumbbell be ruining me so much?!


Week 2 and I will admit I was slightly disappointed that each week was a repeat of the same daily workouts although the finisher sometimes differed.  For some reason I had assumed it would be different as it progressed but 45 different workouts is a lot!  It did mean I could look back and see what weights I had previously used and if I could maintain that.  This was also queried in the facebook group and an admin explained that the reasoning behind this structure is that the programme is designed to be progressive so you can see the difference in strength and muscle tone at the end of the challenge.  It was also explained that the workouts include a balance of consistency and basics to make meaningful progress coupled with unique exercises to keep it interesting and help work towards a specific goal.

Week 3 and was seriously wondering if I can get through another 35 days.  I workout a lot but I ended up asking a friend of mine who is a PT to work out with me to figure out if I was just being a wimp or it was as hard as I was finding it.

There were times where the app did not match the workouts from the PDF that were sent but I assumed it was ok and not ashamed to admit I would often opt for the easier of the two especially if I was feeling particularly tired from the workouts.  Now this is a simple to follow app but on day 2 on week 3 I realised I had been making a massive error!  You select the program you are following, the week, the day – couldn’t be simpler right?  I managed to get this wrong!  I selected everything right and as I said above I was confused why the PDF didn’t always match – here was my error!  I was following the videos – easy to follow providing technique tips and showing you exactly how to do each movement.  So where did I go wrong?  Well the videos include all modifications too so I was doing way too much!  No wonder I felt so ruined.  I actually put a post in the facebook group and titled it idiot alert and explained my error.  A couple of people commented saying ‘you beast’ more like idiot and I am not sure how I made such a mistake that was glaringly obvious once I noticed.  Then I started following it correctly and yes still tough but way more manageable!

Week 4 and now I had the workouts correctly it was better but I still continued to feel bloated and exhausted.  I was getting disheartened by the progress pics and videos from others in the facebook group as I wasn’t seeing that myself but continued regardless.


Week 5, 6 and 7 unfortunately for me ended up being a countdown to the finish.

I actually really enjoyed the strength and weights elements and really liked that all you needed was some dumbells but the HIIT element was just not something I came to enjoy and in fact I began to dislike it more as the weeks went on.  Towards the end I added a post on my insta noting that I was on count down.  I wanted my routine back, was bored of feeling tired all the time and missed working out with my friend who is a PT and missed my bike a lot!  I had also intended to return to CrossFit for some sessions during this challenge but there was no way I had energy for that too.

I drank so much too – I was getting up every night to use the loo, which I never do and for the first 4 weeks I felt bloated and like my clothes felt tighter.  I was reassured by the support in the fb group but I was worried about what results I would see at the end of this.

There are different variations of packages you can sign up to for example some with nutrition guides, car-cycling guides, coaching and the prices varies accordingly.

So in the end how did I get on?  Well I put on 6lbs!  I am aware that muscle mass weighs more BUT I am still feeling bloated and uncomfortable so I am thinking it is more weight gain.  I did lose 5.5 inches overall but  the feeling of being uncomfortable is overshadowing that also.  I was able to increase my weights on all exercises on the last two weeks, which is progress and I managed to get the technique of a sit through pretty good, however, I am still useless at lunging!

There were many people in the facebook group who shared videos of crazy physical progress and also some who couldn’t do a single pull up at the start and now were banging out several – again not anything I could report myself.

As I said many in the group were extremely positive and saw huge results but this was just not something for me and I need to enjoy what I do so sadly I will not be continuing.


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