If you’re at all active on the internet, and particularly on YouTube, Instagram or TikTok, it’s likely that you’ve at least heard the name Chloe Ting. Perhaps you’ve also heard about her grueling YouTube workouts, seen others’ results from doing them or even wracked up the nerve to try one of them yourself. This past summer I stumbled upon a video from a YouTuber I subscribe to, in which she documented herself following Chloe’s 2 Weeks Shred Challenge. As its name implies, the program is meant to last two weeks and it focuses primarily on gaining core strength and losing weight. I was intrigued (if a bit intimidated) by the workouts and I decided to spend the next two weeks putting my quarantine to a slightly more productive use than watching my way through all 15 seasons of Criminal Minds. I wasn’t necessarily looking to shed weight, but I was hopeful that I’d at least see an increase in my core strength.
The next day I clicked on Chloe’s video entitled “Do This Everyday to Lose Weight,” the first in each day’s sequence of workouts, with the expectation that I would probably struggle a little, but essentially be fine. I was SO wrong. Within minutes, I was dripping sweat and cursing whoever invented the up-and-down plank. The video is split into three sets, with a 15-second break in between each set, but I was so out of breath after each one that I ended up taking both of my breaks for one minute. It didn’t help that I had foolishly begun the workout sans warm-up, so my muscles wanted me to abort mission almost immediately after starting. I moved on to “Get Abs in 2 Weeks,” the second and final video for the day, wondering how on earth I was going to survive two weeks of this cardio hell.
Each day after that, I began and ended my workout with Chloe’s warm-up and cool-down videos. Although these are not technically included in the docket of videos for the 2 Weeks Shred, I would highly recommend them to anyone looking to embark on the program. The warm-up effectively prepares your muscles for the more difficult workouts to come, and the cool-down promotes flexibility while your muscles are still warm, making the extra time spent doing them more than worth it.
As I progressed through each day of the program, I was amazed to find that my strength was actually improving! What was once nearly impossible for my notoriously stick-like arms, such as the dreaded up-and-down plank, became more and more doable. For the first time in my life, I felt strong and I liked the feeling. I started actively looking forward to working out each day, something which had happened before at various times in my life, but which I never could have imagined would happen with Chloe’s videos, especially after that brutal first day. By midway through the program, I could get through “Do This Everyday to Lose Weight” with just one-minute-long break, and by the program’s final day, I could do it with the two 15-second breaks alone. I also learned how to engage my core so that I wasn’t constantly pulling on my neck during Chloe’s ab workouts; this was a game-changer that really made me feel like I was getting the most out of working my core.
While I *did* complete Chloe’s program, I admittedly didn't do it in two weeks. Try as I might to follow the schedule she had outlined, there were just too many days when I either didn’t have the time to exercise, or decided I needed an extra rest day or two (or three). Regardless of the time I took to complete the Shred, which was more like four and a half weeks, I still noticed the previously mentioned improvements to my strength, and I began to feel more confident in my body than I had in a long time.
This brings me to the most surprising benefit of all, which I didn’t realize until I decided to go for a jog a few days after completing the program. I hadn’t jogged at all in the past four or five weeks, and I tended to end up gasping and out of breath even WHEN I attempted to jog consistently, so I wasn’t expecting to have a very pleasant workout. Much to my surprise, I was able to breathe deeply and at a regulated rate for the entirety of the jog! This was unheard of for me, and I couldn’t think of anything to attribute it to except for Chloe’s videos, and particularly the “Do This Everyday to Lose Weight” workout. Every jog I’ve done since then has gone just as well — I can’t express enough how bizarrely wonderful it is, because I struggled with my breathing while running for my entire life before now.
With all that being said, I would wholeheartedly recommend Chloe’s 2 Weeks Shred to anyone thinking of trying it. While it may be intense and difficult at first, if you stick with it (even for longer than two weeks), it just might be the fitness breakthrough you’ve been looking for!