I thought I’d write up a Madeline Moves review since a new Tighter Together challenge will be heating up soon. You have to sign up before the challenge begins so she has time to calculate everyone’s macros. It starts until mid-January and sign-ups start December 30th.
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Questions About the Madeline Moves Programs
I’ve seen a ton of questions floating around out there about the Madeline Moves programs, so I thought I would answer a few (okay, a lot).
Is this good for beginners?
Yes. If you have time, I’d recommend starting with the Weekly Moves Workout program instead of jumping right into Tighter Together. That way, you’ll have the workouts down before the nutrition part (usually the most confusing part of the challenge at first) kicks in.
You can experiment with meals from Madeline’s recommended sources for recipes without being worried about hitting certain numbers. The workouts get a little longer and more intense during Tighter Together, too.
Is Tighter Together worth it?
I think so. It’s a short-term challenge that sets the stage for healthier habits. Because you’re working out and working on your nutrition at the same time, you’ll also see some results a little faster.
Potential for Change with Madeline Moves Workouts
Will you have a six-pack, defined triceps and delts, and a big, lifted booty by the end? Probably not, but you will feel stronger, more confident, and more capable of doing the workouts and managing your food by the end.
Is there a potential for physical change that other people will notice and maybe be astounded by? Absolutely. The macros really make a huge difference. You’re also likely to feel better mentally and emotionally, too.
I took before and after pics that I don’t want to share here because so much skin was showing, but my stomach got flatter, my upper arms got slimmer, my face got slimmer, and my legs and arms toned up a good bit.
I think I only lost like three pounds, but the differences were so noticeable, my husband even commented on my flatter belly (my trouble area) and I had a lot more fun shopping for clothes.
The community aspect of the challenge (and the app itself) is also nice. You can find women doing the same workouts in the Facebook group and on Instagram. This is true for Weekly Moves Workouts and Tighter Together.
There are so many supportive women helping each other with meal suggestions and tips, answering questions, and encouraging each other. You’ll probably leave with some new friends.
If you like the chance of winning a prize, you’ll like it too. She does a ton of giveaways over the course of the Tighter Together challenge and there are some bigger prizes at the end for people with the most amazing transformations (not just physical transformations).
What happens if you cancel the app?
If you’ve paid for Tighter Together, you’ll get to keep that whole program. If you’ve paid for more than one round of it, you’ll have all of those.
From my experience, if you cancel the app, you can keep any of the Tighter Together programs as well as any logged workouts you have from Weekly Moves. You just won’t be able to log your weights, view the videos, make notes, or use the timers in the Weekly Moves section.
I could still use it this way but the experience wouldn’t be the same and I’d have to switch between apps for timed sections. For what it’s worth, I really like the SmartWOD app for timed exercises.
Based on what I’ve seen in the Facebook group, though, things may be changing. Some people have said they no longer have access to anything beyond Tighter Together after canceling.
Even if that’s true and I’m just an update away from losing the logged workouts from before, this isn’t unusual. Most apps will cut off access to the workouts once you’ve canceled. I thought it was very generous of Madeline to let people keep the workouts when I first heard that they kind of stay on the app.
What’s the difference between Weekly Moves and Tighter Together?
Weekly Moves Workouts happen five times per week and are typically a little shorter and less intense than Tighter Together workouts. Tighter Together workouts happen six days per week and that program comes with a macro calculation Madeline does for you. Both are challenging, but Tighter Together really steps it up.
Weekly Moves Workout comes with a separate plan called Move Sweat Shred that’s more focused on cardio and endurance than strength-training. I can’t comment on its effectiveness because I’ve never tried it.
Will this make me bulky?
Nope. This is one of the most common myths about weight-lifting for women. If you’re eating in a deficit (which you probably will be for this program), you’ll lean out.
Could you gain weight and look bulkier from doing this program or any other workout program? Sure, if you’re building muscle and also eating so much food you’re in a surplus.
I found it difficult to cram all the food in that my macros required, so I really doubt you’re in danger of getting bulky here. Let’s just say I didn’t want Greek yogurt or egg whites for at least a month by the time the challenge ended (protein’s a little higher for this challenge than what your “usual” macros would be; she’ll walk you through how to adjust them at the end, too).
What kind of workouts does Madeline Moves offer?
This is mostly a weight-lifting routine for women. The moves aren’t terribly complex. Sometimes you’ll walk or jog (or the equivalent, depending on how you prefer to do your cardio). Sometimes you’ll do high-intensity interval training where you run or jump rope for, say, 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds, and repeat that for 10-15 minutes.
Sometimes you’ll lift pretty heavy. Other days, you’ll do more reps. You get a mix of upper, lower, and full-body days. Some days are lighter weight or bodyweight for the sake of cardio and conditioning.
There are a lot of circuits, supersets, and LISS sections. Sometimes she’ll throw in some HIIT, an EMOM, or a pyramid set. She keeps your body guessing and your mind engaged.
You get a brand new workout every weekday with Weekly Moves. You don’t get brand new workouts for every single day of Tighter Together (unless something changes this time), but she explains why some days repeat. They’re still far enough apart not to get boring and if I remember correctly, you get two weeks of non-repeats, then you do those two weeks’ worth again to see how much you can improve.
Tighter Together is also a six-workouts-per-week challenge, so there’s an extra workout each week.
Madeline Moves vs BBG: How do they compare?
If you’re talking BBG itself and not the SWEAT app, they’re worlds different. I couldn’t do BBG because it was too hard on my joints, too repetitive, and a little on the boring side for what I was used to.
BBG is high-intensity. Madeline Moves doesn’t require the same amount of jumping or push-ups. Not that there’s never any of those, but it’s more balanced. There are rarely core-specific days with Madeline Moves because all the other moves require core stability anyway. If I remember correctly, BBG did have core days.
If you’re comparing to the SWEAT app, I’d say Madeline Moves is more like PWR or Fierce than BBG, but still pretty different because it mixes things up more. All of them are excellent programs.
Madeline Moves vs Alexia Clark: How do they compare?
These are really similar to me and I can’t decide which one I like more. They’re pretty equal in my mind. They both utilize circuit training with weights, can be done at home or in the gym, and encourage you to push yourself on the weights sometimes and back off on the weights for higher reps at other times.
I can think of two major differences: Madeline Moves sometimes includes straight low-intensity interval training (LISS) and high-intensity interval training (HIIT), but I don’t remember ever seeing that with Alexia Clark’s program. I kind of like that type of cardio because I can listen to podcasts, but sometimes it’s just boring. Depends on my mood.
The other difference is how straightforward the movements are. Alexia Clark’s workout moves often use the whole body and they’re creative, a little complicated at times, and can be hard to mentally grasp when you’re getting used to the program.
Madeline’s program uses compound movements, too, and she does get creative to keep it from being boring, but the moves are easier to understand and copy right off the bat. Neither one is necessarily better than the other. It just depends on your preferences.
Again, which one I’d prefer is based on my mood, but I’m not a beginner. Beginners could do either program but may find Madeline Moves’ weight-lifting routines a little easier for their level.
Alexia Clark’s workouts come with a meal plan. At its base, it’s vegetarian and is about 1500-1800 calories per day, but it’s easy to add meat if you’d like to or tweak it to fit your specific goals.
Madeline’s does not have a meal plan but if you watch her stories, you’ll learn a lot about macro-counting and eating for your fitness goals. If you’re part of Tighter Together, you’ll learn just about everything you need to know about how to create your own meal plans to fit your goals.
Again, it really boils down to your preferences. Do you like a meal plan or the freedom to create your own?
Is there a Madeline Moves coupon?
Usually, there’s a coupon offered at the beginning and end of Tighter Together. Current app subscribers will need a code to purchase Tighter Together at a fair price (so they’re not paying for it twice, basically).
People who want to sign up for the app early and those who want to continue with the app post-challenge also get coupon codes, I believe.
When I first signed up after a challenge was first announced, I think I basically ended up with 2 weeks free of the app to use until the challenge started. It may not always be the same, though.
How long are the workouts?
She encourages you to make them as short as 30-40 minutes by cutting down on the number of circuits for each round if you need to. Sometimes cardio is optional. If you do each workout as it’s written, I’d expect to spend 50-60 minutes on it. Maybe a little longer when you’re just starting out, but you’ll get better and faster.
With Tighter Together, it’s a little more intense. I recommend setting aside 60-75 minutes for the challenge.
Can you do Madeline Moves workouts at home?
Yep! Use bands, dumbbells, a bench if you have one…. She’s all about improvising with what’s available.
What equipment do you need to complete Weekly Moves or Tighter Together at home?
You can get by with dumbbells and/or bands. Nice to haves: kettlebell, bench, wide variety of dumbbell weights, barbell, and maybe a jump rope for HIIT. If you have a treadmill or bike, you’ll probably be using that a lot for cardio, but you could do LISS or even HIIT outside (as long as it’s not icy) for free.
Here are some of my favorite home gym items that could be used with this program:
- Dumbbells (I love using individual ones like this, but I like adjustable dumbbells for times I need heavier weights. It saved money and space to buy those. If you have the room and budget, I’d get separate sets of dumbbells and put them on a nice rack, personally.
- Jump rope
- Barbell (You don’t need a big Olympic set or anything; I have this one.)
- Resistance bands (These are my favorites and have been for years.)
- Booty bands (Cloth bands like these won’t roll up the way other styles do. These are smaller and seem to provide more resistance than the traditional bands I’ve had.)
- Spin bike (Definitely not necessary, but if you’re in the market for one, this is the one I just bought and I love it so far.)
- Bench (There are adjustable benches out there, but you really only need a flat one. Get one you think will stand up to wear and tear of being stepped up on while you’re wearing sneakers. I like this one.)
- If you’re counting macros, you’ll want a food scale. This is the one I’ve used for about a year.
Is there a meal plan?
No, Madeline Moves doesn’t come with a meal plan. Neither does Tighter Together, although you do get your macros calculated with that. She’s just big on eating what you want as long as it fits (or mostly fits) your macros. She recommends a few Instagram accounts and blogs to follow for meal ideas.
Lillie Eats and Tells is one of the best I’ve seen for meal prep and making things easy; I was introduced to her account through Madeline. I highly recommend her cookbooks, but don’t jump right in. Try the recipes on the blog and wait to see if there’s a challenge-related code to get a discount on one or both cookbooks.
I recommend getting My Fitness Pal to track everything, at least for the duration of the challenge since things can feel overwhelming and Lillie already has all of her meals entered. That means you don’t have to do too many calculations. Just search for the recipe you made and add it. It saved me so many times.
I hate measuring all the ingredients and trying to do math–I just want to eat! But I like the effect macro-counting has/had (I’m currently being lazy about my diet) on my body.
Madeline Moves Review
Well, I think I just about covered my whole Madeline Moves review by adding bits of info in the Q&A section, but let’s just say that I love the program.
What Is the App Like?
I know I always like to get a feel for what an app is like before I commit. I want to know what it looks like on the inside because its look and functionality can inspire me or turn me away.
This one is done well. It’s nothing flashy, but it’s not boring to use, either. I will be honest, it felt a little clunky when I first started, but it’s pretty easy to use once you learn your way around it. It still has little glitches here and there (like when I scrolled back to look at past workouts, it labeled the month at the top wrong after I clicked into a workout and back out to the calendar).
You can choose between your Weekly Moves, Move Sweat Shred (included), or Tighter Together (if you’ve purchased that one) when you get started. Then you’ll see the workout you should do each day when you log in.
You can choose from a daily, weekly, or monthly view (it’s pretty rewarding to see a streak of green dots for the week or month, meaning you’ve logged most or all of the workouts).
The sections are marked Warmup, Superset, Circuit, etc. Each set gets its own block of color (white, green, or blue) so it’s easy to keep your place and see which moves are paired together to be done a certain number of rounds before moving on.
For each exercise, you can record reps, sets, and view a video. You can add workout notes in the app and make note of how you were feeling, whether you needed to change your weight mid-round, or anything else. In the photo above, I hadn’t logged anything. That’s why it says 0 lb on everything.
There’s even a workout history section so you can see how you’ve progressed in weight/reps/time over the course of your commitment to the app.
Logging Your Workouts
You can log as you go or just log all your weights at the end. Sometimes I don’t even log anything; I just click on all the moves to make the app register that I did them just so I can log the workout and have it for later.
From what I understand (based on chats in the Facebook group), if you don’t log a workout, it disappears after two weeks. I was able to find an old workout I didn’t log, though, so I’m just putting that out there so you can be on the safe side and log them.
What I Love
- It’s only $19.99/month
- Tons of variety
- You can get serious results, especially from Tighter Together
- It’s easy to do at home
- You can create your own workouts in the app
- It’s five days per week (or six, for Tighter Together) so there are built-in rest days and no guilt for “slacking off”
- I can access it from my phone or the website
- If you have to cancel, you don’t lose everything you’ve already paid for and logged
- Includes some (usually optional) regular ol’ cardio, which I sometimes crave and sometimes can’t stand the thought of. Lol At least it’s optional so I don’t have to feel bad if I decide to skip it.
What I Wish Were Different
- Some girls have had trouble getting workouts to log but I only had this problem once, then realized it was because one of the exercises needed me to enter the number of reps I did
- No meal plan, which can be freeing or overwhelming, depending on who you are and what your headspace is like…I think using Lillie’s recipes is a good middle ground
- The app can be a little glitchy at times (but it’s still not a dealbreaker or workout-ruiner)
- I don’t think there’s a free trial (but you can get sneak peeks daily on her Instagram Stories)
- I wish a stretching section was listed at the end of each workout because it’s so tempting just to say, “Well, I’m done!” and turn it off, then go on with life without stretching. Not recommended. You’ll be sore no matter what, but going without stretching? Ouch.
Should You Try the Madeline Moves App?
Well, I can’t decide for you, but if you’re looking for a strength-training app with a ton fo variety, I think you should try it out. It’s a good app for weightlifting beginners and women (or men) and it’s reasonably priced.
You can’t go wrong with Tighter Together (the challenges she does a few times per year that are a little more intense and come with macros) or the regular Weekly Moves Workouts (no macros, slightly less intense than Tighter Together, available all year).