Trigger warning – this post mentions exercise and fat loss that could be triggering for anyone who is recovering from disordered eating: Last time I spoke to you about Chris Hemsworth’s fitness and lifestyle app Centr, I had been ‘doing’ the app for a month (read my one month Centr review here). It’s now been 8 months of working out ‘like Chris Hemsworth’ every day so I’ve thought it was time for a Centr app review update!
I’m still loving the Centr app. It’s really changed my life to be frank. Exercise every day is now an ingrained habit for me and its easy because they stop me from getting bored by keeping the workouts diverse. I love the food, I love the workouts and I love the whole vibe. Most of all, I love the Centr Community on facebook who I can turn to and ask questions and for support.
Changes to my body in 8 months of using the Centr app
Strength and fitness
Since my last Centr review, I have moved up a level from beginner to intermediate and will move up to advanced soon but I want to work on my full press-ups and pull-ups first. Those are the two exercises I really struggle with for some reason. I also need to get better at skipping – double-unders and crossovers are still my nemeses.
My core strength has really improved now. One of my worries about Centr was that after 2 kids and weak core strength it could cause a diastasis recti, especially as there are a fair amount of more conventional sit-ups. However, I went to see my postnatal physio a couple of months back and she confirmed the small gap I did have is pretty much non-existent now. I feel stronger in my core too, planks are easier. I credit a lot of this to the weekly pilates which I just adore.
Another big change for my body during this time is I stopped breastfeeding my 4 year old. I haven’t felt this have any real impact on my body though, probably because I had been doing it for so long and my milk supply had dropped a long time ago. It’s nice that my body is solely mine now again though after being continuously pregnant or breastfeeding since early 2011.
I already had a healthy BMI (for what that measurement is worth) when I started Centr and was going to the gym twice a week and walking about 6 miles a day 3-5 times a week so I’ve found the changes to my body from Centr have been subtle (though not insignificant).
I feel more muscular and toned. I’m more confident about my body and what it can do. I’ve always been able to see my outer quads but I’ve started to notice some definition on my inner quads. My obliques are visible again. My arms are probably in their best ever shape with some shoulder definition.
Doing Centr was never about weight loss for me so I’m loath to mention it but I know some of you are interested in that so I will! In the 8 months I’ve lost about 6lbs in weight, nothing huge but still significant when you are 5ft 3.5 inches. My visceral fat has gone from 6 to 5. According to my scales my muscle mass is up 0.5% and my body fat is down 1%. I’m not sure the scales are right though as I feel more of a difference in the amount of muscle I’ve gained and fat I’ve lost. I think these kind of scales are to be taken with a pinch of salt tbh.
I do loosen up my diet a little on the weekend though where we tend to eat out a bit more or get a takeaway so that will likely reduce some of the changes to my body though. I know I’d see better results if I stayed consistent 7 days a week. I’m not in this to be a swimwear model though, I want to be fit, strong, healthy and happy so I’m comfortable with having the odd treat.
I think an 80/20 healthy to treat ratio is perfectly reasonable. The key for me is not depriving myself on a day to day basis so that treats become a binge and leads to unhealthy eating patterns. I like to eat nutritious food and feed my body the fuel it needs to stay healthy and strong. I’ve definitely started eating more carbs since doing Centr and eating less processed food. I’d like to say I’m getting sick less frequently but we are going into cold and flu season so I’m going to hold that thought!
Something else I have noticed though, as someone with PCOS, my periods have become a lot more regular since working out daily and eating healthier. My cycles have shortened to around 32 days now. Still longer than a regular 28-day cycle, but considering before it would range from 29 to 64 its fantastic for me. They also don’t seem to be as debilitating as a result of this.
Equipment I’ve invested in
People often ask me what equipment you need to do Centr and the answer is as much or as little as you want. There are lots of workouts on the app that don’t require equipment and if you don’t want to buy any you can simply keep swapping out to those. I have made some purchases though and you can see exactly what I’ve bought and use in the health and fitness section of my Amazon Store (affiliate links).
One of my favourite things about the Centr app is the trainers. Their workouts are fun and modern and they keep me on my toes. Most of all they are so supportive and involved in the community and on social media. Especially Michael Olajide Jr who never fails to respond if you tag him on Instagram or in the group and is so positive and encouraging. Also, Da Rulk is a ray of sunshine (which is surprising as his workouts seem to try to kill you) and when I was struggling with my form on some of his exercises he encouraged me to send him a video so he could critique for me. The trainers are like celebrities in the Centr Community and its so encouraging when they take the time to praise your hard work. Big shout out to the Centr app Team too who are super responsive in the Centr Community and always seek to take on board suggestions for improvements to the app. I think that’s a big part of what makes the app so great. A new trainer has been introduced this week so everyone is very excited about that.
Centr challenge series
One of the ways Centr keeps you from getting bored is by having new trainers come in to do a challenge. There was a month of Gunnar Peterson workouts for women. I only did the occasional workout of that though as one of the things I love about Centr is it’s sustainable and fun and the Gunnar challenge seemed to be neither to me!
There have also been bonus workouts from Chris Hemsworth and Elsa Pataky. These are in addition to the regularly daily workouts and just keep it new and interesting. I’ve been enjoying the recent series of bonus weights workouts from Chris Hemsworth and Luke Zocchi which ran for 6 weeks every Thursday.
Sometimes the trainers team up together and do a series of workouts. For example, for a number of weeks, Tiff Hall and Jorge Blanco teamed up for a series of mixed martial arts workouts called ‘Power Sculpt’ which were fun.
They also often have little challenges from the trainers, like this Da Rulk ‘hostages’ one I did below:
New workouts from existing trainers
In addition to the challenge/bonus type workouts that keep the app interesting. The core trainers shake up their routines regularly too. So a trainer might have about 10 workouts that you cycle through when it’s their day in the app. When you’ve been doing a trainers workouts for a number of weeks/months it’s pretty exciting to try some new ones.
Apple watch functionality with Centr
I love that the Centr app has Apple Watch (affiliate link) functionality. My workouts automatically track with my Apple Watch so it’s effortless for me. It can be a little glitchy/inaccurate on occasion but for the most part its great functionality.
I like to go into the app after a workout and review my heartrates to see how I’ve done. I’d love to see the recordings actually download into my Centr daily planner too but they haven’t got that functionality yet.
If you use Centr and you don’t have an Apple Watch (affiliate link) then I’d highly recommend you get one (hell if you don’t use Centr get one, they are a GAME CHANGER).
Negatives about the Centr app/areas it could improve
You can’t favourite workouts and recipes (or mark that you don’t like them for future reference). You also can’t make notes in the app, for example, what weights you used. These would be welcome additions to the app.
I love that the app has Foundation Training on a Sunday but it’s the only session that hasn’t altered since the launch of the app which means I’m kinda bored to tears of it. It’s also broken down into 3 mini-workouts and isn’t tracked by my apple watch. I’d like it to be like the other trainer’s workouts – with several different shorter routines that change week to week and is tracked by my apple watch.
I’d love to see more meals that my kids will eat, as at the moment they refuse most of them and I have to cook separate meals. I’d also like to see some easy crockpot meals for busy mams and some simpler snack options.
Centr app review summary
Right now, I can’t imagine ever not doing Centr. I’m a busy mam of 2 with 2 jobs and the Centr app just saves me loads of time by planning exciting and effective workouts for me and suggesting nutritiously balanced meals.
It’s like a little self-care companion that helps me make sure I’m looking after my health properly, which let’s be honest, when you are a mam is the first thing to slide.
I’m currently moving towards having an entirely plant-based diet and Centr is allowing me to do that gradually as I move from the regular recipes, to pescatarian, then vegetarian and then finally vegan with relative ease.
I seriously can’t praise Centr and the community enough and I’m so grateful and proud to be a part of it.
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