Been a while since this workout came under the spotlight, and though we initially decided not to give it a try, writing this Cize review is where we arrived after months of requests from our readers.
Gaining notoriety very fast, we now think that Cize deserves a comprehensive and thorough LifestyleUpdated-type of review.
A two-member band with enough interest in fitness, we somehow managed to sustain a love/hate relationship with Beachbody by reviewing a number of their workouts over the course of many years. Some we gave the thumbs up, and others we doomed by systematically exposing numerous flaws. Our reviews, we’d like to think, though stretching longer than others, are worth scrolling.
The same process is reserved for Cize – at the end of which you will confidently decide whether or not to spend time, money and energy on yet another fitness pursuit.
Not to make this longer than necessary though, I’m now leaving you with my fiancée Meri, who made friends with Cize for a month, and is here to tell you everything you need to know about it.
Meri, any minute now.
The Cize Review
I’ve been told not to make an introduction after an introduction. Which you probably agree with anyway. So where to begin…
It’s been fun to take part in a workout review. Let’s start there. Four weeks of doing the day in and day out, followed by taking notes, analyzing moves, taking measurements… An interesting distraction from staring at boring literature and stats, while preparing my thesis.
But let’s do this proper.
Cize is a workout program that claims to be the end of workout. It is supposed to resemble a modern version of Zumba, blending together contemporary hip music with fitness moves that will have you sweating buckets.
The description says 4 weeks of beats that are low impact and easy to learn, and eventually a 20-ish drop in pounds, followed by a better overall body tone.
So who’s word I’m about to take?
Shaun T – creator of the Cize workout
My fiancé says that anyone who’s yet to hear about Shaun T must live under a rock. But I disagree. While he commands attention in the fitness world, I know about the name only because I was forced to listen to his voice every time my stubborn half decided to sweat in the living room. Out of the blue.
So yes, he is the creator of some of the most popular fitness programs out there and seems to know his craft.
And if you know what his programs are, you are familiar with the Insanity workout, The Asylum series, and Focus T25. None of them easy to do; none of them fun enough for me (I’ve tried to follow a single video form Insanity Max 30, and decided, after nearly passing out, that I don’t like this man).
But it turns out that Shaun T has a degree from Rowan University in dance and choreography, and long career as a dancer.
During my one month of friendship with Cize, I learned that he is the type of mentor that instills in you so much confidence, making you certain that you are progressing with each and every step. That’s what being with Shaun T feels like all of the time. He is radiant beyond words.
Why you should try the Cize workout?
So here is the deal. The format of this Cize review is to tell you why I think Cize is a good thing, and then why I think it sucks. First things first.
- During my entire commitment with Cize, there is one thing that instantly became clear – it wasn’t a commitment at all. Unlike other programs that were destined to end short, Cize kept me on schedule without so much effort in the way of showing up. Where other programs felt like torture in the past, the Cize workout actually became something I was looking forward to.
- In places where other workouts take you down, Cize is your good-mood pill. Describing it to someone who hasn’t seen the infomercial, I wouldn’t go for the word workout – but instead opt-out for a dancing routine.
- But saying it is a dancing routine, it would be selling it short. Unlike other dancing routines that include Zumba, and Hip Hop Abs from Shaun T – you can look at this as the advanced level of dance workouts. It takes you there much faster, burning more calories, and not a single move out of the choreography.
- Other dancing routines still feel like working out. With few elements incorporated here and there, you will still be doing something similar to jumping jacks and the likes. No more of that with Cize workout.
- It is low impact training, which means that I never felt any type of pain in my knees and joints. Within this context there is no need to modify the moves, and you won’t feel like missing all the party by doing something other than what Shaun T is doing.
- Cize takes only 4 weeks. And this is another reason why I love it. Whereas workouts like P90X go up to 3 months, this makes it easier for you to keep your motivation and attitude right where they’re supposed to be. Cize offers two choices- two calendars to follow- and below I’ll explain how you go about deciding which one to follow and how they work respectively.
- Cize is easing you into dancing. Funny to reflect upon the previous month in this way, but the first time I pushed the play button, my feet decided not to cooperate. And here is the thing- watching the videos before getting in your shoes will make you think that there is no way that you will be as coordinated as the bunch on screen, yet alone in less than a month. But before a week goes by you will be more coordinated than ever- that’s why I think Shaun T is a great instructor. He makes it seemingly naïve looking and easy. Which in turn means that Cize is excellent for beginners and people who never danced before.
- No need to go to the gym, no need for equipment, at which I say- Ok, where do I sign?
- Cocky people like myself would appreciate another trick in their arsenal when showing off – and this gives you another arsenal in whole.
When people ask on this site whether some program works, they forget to provide context. The same is true with the Cize dance workout. Many of my friends have asked me whether Cize works. Works with what – I usually ask back.
See, Cize will do some things for you, but not others. When it comes to losing weight, yes, Cize works if you follow the schedule. I personally went down 12 pounds despite being thin to begin with. All in 4 weeks of having fun.
It works for toning your entire body, especially your thighs, butt, calves, and abs… My hamstrings look chiseled now, as if I was going to the gym. Same with my abdomen – never this flat, never this strong.
I don’t do bikini pics, but here is how my legs look now (see that rainbow? that’s just me being happy about my legs)
It works for burning calories, is the thing. On an average session you say goodbye to 400 of them (there is a tip below on how to reach 700).
It works with coordination, agility, and flexibility. Also extended range of motion and a lot of control over your body. Talking with some people who know what is what in fitness, I came to learn that this is due to dynamic versus non-dynamic movements in sequence, all kept within rhythm. That is also what keeps you moving without experiencing fatigue along the way.
That is also why I find running to be way too boring for me now.
Why not Cize workout?
Here is what I’ve been instructed before writing this review – no matter how this workout appeals to me, there is always something inside that can be done better. My job was to find, equally as much as I’m looking for the shiny apple, the rotten one as well. Easy.
The Cize workout, unlike other more intense workouts, has a flaw.
It is not created for everybody, and caters only to a handful of fitness goals.
So for example, you can do Cize until the cows come home, and you won’t pack any muscle. For better or for worse, the Cize workout cannot bulk you even a bit. No muscle gain.
And this is due to several factors.
First, the workouts tilt towards cardio, while not using any resistance. The length of the program is 4 weeks which prohibits muscle growth given the intensity. Fine for me anyway, but others might disagree.
What the Cize workout will give you though is weight loss, muscle tone and definition.
Every review that’s been published on this site puts a heavy focus on intensity, and to what degree a workout will take you closer to meeting your ancestors. I for one completely adopt the mantra – the comfort zone is my favorite zone.
Here is the problem… If you feel unproductive after a workout session that still allows you to stand on your feet, forget the Cize workout. Yes, you will sweat a lot and experience some struggle, but nothing close to what other workouts are putting you through.
Cize, thanks to the rhythm and carefully selected moves, will make you lose a lot of fat tissue, but without squeezing your energy to the last drop. It will, in fact, leave you refreshed.
When people ask when to do their workouts, whether that be morning or night, there is usually a single answer – after your main work of the day, for otherwise you will be unable to keep your head up; or- not before going to bed for you will struggle to sleep several hours ahead.
Cize doesn’t share this problem – you can work out with Cize whenever you like because it doesn’t leave you drained of energy, but in fact makes you more relaxed and focused. Again, rhythm is to blame, as well as coordination boosting moves that enhance cognitive capacity. My fiancé meditates – I do Cize.
One feature that might actually annoy you is length of workouts. If you are the type of person who wants to get it done in less than half an hour, the extra minutes on the clock won’t make you happy.
The workouts, all six of them, differ in length. However though, the shortest one is 30 minutes and the longest 51 minutes.
The deal with extra time on the clock is that you rarely notice when it flies. The rhythm, the dynamic moves, the music, Shaun T giving instructions without a stop… All this combines into a flow that makes you forget what time it is, and ultimately lose yourself in the fun of the moment.
Cize review – the workouts
Now let’s look at the core of this program. There are six workouts, two on each CD, and an extra one targeted specifically on abs. Seven altogether.
What is initially good about them, at least from a learning perspective, is that they share a similar structure.
Every workout begins with Shaun T explaining the first move, and then you slowly repeat along. Then, after a number of repetitions, you accelerate the tempo. Then comes the next move, following the same pace. When you manage to follow the second move in tempo, it all starts again from the top- first move, second move… Then he adds another. So before learning a new move, you are repeating the sequence of the moves that have already been introduced.
What is good about this structure is how it makes you keep correct form by carefully introducing each new move. It also serves as a low cardio sequence in between all the dancing- you are still keeping your heart rate up, moving and burning calories, but in fact having a small rest. This is also where your coordination is being improved. Call these the practice segments if you will.
After each new move, the sequence of dancing is building up in length which means that the more you move towards the end of the workout, the harder it becomes, and the more calories you burn.
This structure makes Cize kind of revolutionary, and gives it a circuit training spin. Now I see why dancers are always fit and lean.
At the end of each workout, you are dancing with the sequence of moves, while the entire song is playing. I wish the song was longer, but you can use the option on the CD where you repeat the song, and have only that part playing so you can dance from the top all over again. Sometimes I press repeat three times in a row.
There is also a cool down after each workout, and the option to choose a backwards angle so you can see how the crew looks from the back while doing the moves.
The “8 count abs” CD contains in it a workout that is the most fun you’ll ever have doing abs. It is 8 minutes, and may I say the most efficient workout for abs ever placed within a such short frame.
Tips for getting the most out of Cize
Each review published at Lifestyle Updated aims not only at covering the workout, but giving additional advice as well. That’s what I’ve been told. So, to complete this circle, I have to stop the review and share with you few nuggets that make Cize better at what it does.
Here they are in no particular order whatsoever:
- The first thing you need to focus on when doing Cize is mastering each move while Shaun T practices in slow motion. This is not that hard to begin with, but here is a tip that will make it far easier in case you struggle- always focus on the movement of the feet first. Learn the sequence there, which is easier than I can describe, and then just focus on the whole movement. This will cut your learning time in half. If not more.
- Remember how I mentioned that you can burn around 700 calories per session? Here is the blueprint, explained by Slavko, somebody who actually understands what he is talking about…
When doing the moves try to tighten your core and the rest of the body as well. Don’t just move your arms through the air but flex them also.
The next thing to pay attention to is range of motion. Which basically means that you are moving your arms and legs all the way from point A to point B. Watch the starting position of a move, and then the final one. Extend as much as you can, and never make your movements shorter, regardless of the tempo.
Then, as you progress with each move, just add dynamic motion. This is the third thing that you need to do. So first is tighten, then extend and retract fully, and finally make it a dynamic move – which means accelerating the movements making them look more powerful.
This trick will add more resistance, and burn much more calories, taking this training to the next level. We are talking 700 and beyond – which is equally as much as an average calisthenics workout, or a gym session. However, do this only when you’ve mastered the moves, otherwise it will mess up with your coordination.
- Don’t get nervous about the fact that both of your feet decided to be left. Remember that while you are stumbling your feet and trying to catch up, you are actually working out and burning calories.
- After the initial month you will know the moves by heart, and won’t need Shaun T any more (sorry pal). This opens a whole bunch of options. First, you can skip the DVD-bring-your-laptop-along thing which is kind of annoying. But more importantly, you can make a compilation of songs, your own playlist, and just dance for 30 minutes straight. You won’t have to learn the moves each time, and that means more calories burned in less minutes. Sometimes I still play the DVDs for exercising correct form, but most of the times when I want to have a fun workout nowadays, I’m simply playing one of my two playlists, and dancing the whole sequences from top to bottom.
Cize review – the nutritional aspect of the Cize workout
The guide titled Eat-UP! is the diet part of Cize. All Beachbody workouts come together with a nutrition blueprint, and while some are terribly confusing (like the one in 21 Day Fix), Cize is a straight up list of Dos and Don’ts along with ingredients and some recipes.
And it doesn’t have to be more complicated than that.
The deluxe kit includes the portion control system from 21 Day Fix (another Beachbody workout), and if you are ready to try a new approach to diet, this will probably suit you well. If not though, and you want to keep it simple, stick with the original guide.
In all of the reviews published on this site, there are literally hundreds of comments asking whether the diet should be followed to the letter. Of course not- it is just there to serve as a list of healthy diet principles that you can incorporate. Yes, you can follow it religiously if you are better of that way (enjoy guidance), but you can simply take a look and continue on your own. Both options work.
The two Cize calendars and how they work
There is something in the customization of a program that I completely love. Cize is not customizable per se, but you can end up with a couple of options on your plate.
The first option is to follow the first calendar. The beginner one.
The second, obviously, is to go with the advanced.
And here is how these two are different from one another, and how you go about chose one.
When you start Cize, the first workout session is titled Crazy 8s. Depending on how well you manage to complete this session, you will chose either the beginner or the advanced calendar. Don’t overthink though. It goes like this – stumble quite a lot – yup? Then go with the beginner. Manage to pull it together and make it look decent? You baby are advanced.
The only way in which the calendars differ is how the workouts are placed throughout the following 4 weeks.
The next way in which you can customize, like I said before, is making a compilation of your own songs once you learn the routines by heart. This is usually better after the program is done.
Talking about customization, the reason why I’m doing this review is because my fiance is busy working on a fitness workout that is to be released few months from now. I’m in there as well. (yeeey)
And while he is losing his wits trying to put together a huge variety of sequences, his partner in crime is equally busy trying to come up with an algorithm that is going to let you know what calendar to follow based on a series on questions.
And unlike Cize, we are not talking about two calendars here, but rather dozens of outcomes. The way I see it, this will be revolutionary. Yeah customization!
What’s included in the Cize workout package?
While I presume other workouts to arrive in packages that are all fine and dandy, I love the Cize workout because it has a neat case. And here is what you have inside:
- 3 CDs with the main workouts – two workouts per CD
- The 8 count abs CD
- The nutrition guide Eat-UP!
- The Get started guide
- A weekend survival guide (I’m not a party animal, and rarely mix alcohol and going out, but for those of you who do, this really comes handy)
- 7 Day cize down guide (which is basically taking you by the hand all the way from shopping lists, recipes, and a number of tips for sizing down fast)
- Two calendars – beginner and advanced
Other more exclusive packs come with two added workouts, as well as a pair of weighted wristbands.
The challenge pack also includes online streaming of the workouts, so you can do them anywhere, as well as a 30 day supply of Shakeology. This is available only by purchasing through a Beachbody coach.
This option is not for me though, because I eat healthy and don’t need Shakeology, though the deluxe package with the added workouts and weighted wristbands is a nice addition. When you consider the price though, the original package is more than double times cheaper.
Where to buy the Cize workout?
The official site is probably the best place to consider. Buying from the official site gets you:
- 6 hot dance workouts
- 4 free bonuses (Get started guide, meal plan, workout calendars, 8 count abs workout)
- 2 free gifts (Weekend survival guide, 7 day cize down – low calorie menu)
- 30 days money back guarantee
- 24/7 online support on the Beachbody forums
- Free pair of cool socks if you send them the before and after pictures (there is a short list of tips on how to take and send these within the material you receive)
The price is just $19.95 per month via 3 monthly payments, plus $12.95 for shipping. Or you can select a single payment option.
Conclusion of this Cize review
Writing this review was more fun than I though. And I can say the same for doing the Cize workout. It was uplifting, and affected my mood in a way I cannot start to describe.
What’s more important though is that I’m very satisfied with the results, after losing 12 pounds and seeing my body transform. My abs are slightly showing, and my stomach is more flat than ever. Losing my love handles I definitely think that Cize can melt anything away. What I also love is how it tightened my legs, especially thighs and upper hamstrings. My arms and shoulders look slightly more defined as well.
I’ve continued to dance, around two times every week, and it is now officially my chill pill. The best way to keep in shape if you ask me.
Cizing this up I’ll just say for those of you reading this far, I hope this review answered all of your questions, and made you more confident in your decision to buy or ignore Cize (also I love you – this is my first long form article ever). If my word means anything I would definitely encourage you to take this program and have more fun than you’ve ever had while working out and burning calories. This is the workout that you won’t have to do – but want to do. That’s a huge difference.