9 Week Control Freak is by far one of my favorite Beachbody programs EVER! I have been doing 9 Week Control Freak and running 5 days a week and it’s also an incredibly balanced program for runners! Just after finishing the 3 weeks in Phase 1, I’m seeing results including an increase in strength, weight loss, muscle definition and inches lost.
Why I Went All In With 9 Week Control Freak & Running
After gaining 7 pounds and losing muscle during my fall marathon training (despite running up to 45 miles per week – it was all nutrition!) and the holidays, I was more than ready to go all in with 9 Week Control Freak and gain back some strength and get my nutrition in line. I hired a running coach for the full year of 2021, and we agreed upon 5 days a week of running. I knew that it would be a challenge to do 5 runs per week along with the 9 Week Control Freak workouts, but I have to say I’m really happy with how challenging, yet manageable it has been.
Before I started the program I created two 9 Week Control freak and running hybrid calendars. But now that I am actually doing the program, I thought it would be useful for you to see how exactly I’m planning my weeks! I also want to answer some commonly asked questions about 9 week control freak and explain more about how the workouts are set up. You can download my 2 9 Week Control Freak and running schedules and get details on the program itself by reading this blog post.
9 Week Control Freak Phase 1 Review
9 Week Control Freak is broken into 3 phases. Each phase has 3 weeks and 5 workouts. There are 3 DCT-T workouts each week 1 full body strength workout and 1 tabata workout.
What is DCT-T and why is it so amazing?
DCT-T in 9 Week Control Freak stands for Density, Complex, Tabata Training. The DCT-T workouts start with a 12 minute circuit called a Density round. Autumn shows you the 5 moves ahead of time and then the clock starts. It’s your job to move through each of the 5 moves, without rest, for a full 12 minutes. You should track the number of times you get through the circuit (I absolutely NEVER can keep up with Autumn, and that’s ok! She usually does a full circuit more than I do). Each week, the number of reps goes down and your weights should increase in heaviness and/or the moves just get harder (Week 1 12 reps, week 2 10 reps, week 3 8 reps).
After Density is Complex. Complex starts with 2 back to back moves working the same muscle group. For example, Day 4 Phase 1 is called DCT-T Shoulders. During the Complex move in week 1, you do 2 back to back shoulder moves. Then in week 3, she adds ANOTHER move to it. Then in week 3, a 4th move. Your arms will completely burned out by the end (in a good way!!!). After Complex is Tabata – you’ll simply do one move all out 8 times for either 10, 15 or 20 seconds with shorter rest intervals each week.
The DCT-T format is SUPER efficient and effective. It ensure incredible results in a small amount of time. By working the entire body in every workout, you don’t need as much rest and you can get more reps in. As a runner, I like that the DCT-T format is giving me great results and I’m gaining muscle, but it doesn’t leave my legs super sore all the time. I am strengthening my legs without overly working them and impacting my most important runs. There was only 1 day in phase 1 where my legs & glutei were really, really sore.
Why 9 Week Control Freak May Feel Easy at First
As always, Autumn “eases” you into the workouts. As she explained many times leading up to the program release, week 1 felt a little slower and easier than expected. 9 Week Control Freak uses some new equipment – particularly the control track and the core ball – and Autumn goes a little slower to help you actually learn to use these tools properly. My first thought when using the control track was “holy core!” The track challenges your core in every single move. Rushing through these moves is just going to sacrifice your results. So while your heart rate may not get AS high in week 1, trust me, you’re working hard!
Don’t worry, even though she takes it a little easy on you in week 1, by week 2 she increases the intensity. The tabata intervals in each phase start with 10 seconds of work, 20 seconds of rest (there is a tabata move at the end of the 3 DCTT workouts and there is 1 full tabata workout per week). By week 3, you’re doing 20 seconds of work with only 10 seconds of rest. The rest goes FAST so by phase 3 you are working really hard during those tabatas! And just WAIT for phase 2!!! She really kicks it up then.
How long does it take to install the control track?
I installed my control track over the door leading from my garage into my house. The door you install the track on should open away from you (if it opened inward you could be hurt if someone opened it while you were using the control track) It took about 5 minutes for me to read the instructions, loop the strap through the bezel, attach it to my door and install the bands. The challenge pack comes with 2 options for bands – a magenta, lighter resistance band and a burgundy, heavier resistance band. After the first move I switched to the heavier band and have used it throughout.
What if I don’t have anywhere to install the control track? Can I still do 9 Week Control Freak?
If you do not have a door that you can use for the control track, you can install it on the wall. If you absolutely have NO where to install the control track, Autumn recently announced that they are releasing special workouts that do not include the track or ball so that you can still do this program. (If you have an option you should always do the original program). These workouts are called “9 Week Control Freak Off the Wall.” Get more info here or reach out to me or your coach.
9 Week Control Freak is NOT for Beginners or Pregnant Women
Despite Autumn easing you into the workouts and the fact that there is a modifier for every move, I would NOT recommend this for people who are brand new to working out. The main reason I wouldn’t recommend it is that you have to have some sense of how to do traditional weight lifting moves. If you’re new to working out or have been out of it for a while, I’d recommend starting with 21 Day Fix first before doing 9 Week Control Freak. I also wouldn’t recommend it for pregnant women (and Autumn does not) due to the heavy core emphasis and twisting motions.
9 Week Control Freak And Running Schedule – Phase 1
As I said, you can download my 2 9 Week Control Freak and running hybrid schedules on my last blog post. But here is exactly how I worked 9 Week Control Freak into my half marathon training schedule, running 5 days a week. I am a big believer in ONE complete rest day, so I really tried to incorporate that into my schedule. I think its better to do 2 workouts in a day than it is to skip the rest day.
9 Week Control Freak and Running Schedule Phase 1
- Monday: AM – DCT-T Back & Biceps PM – Run 5 miles with strides
- Tuesday: AM – Running Speed Work , PM – DCT-T Chest and Triceps
- Wednesday: AM – Total Body Tone, PM – Run 5-6 miles
- Thursday: AM Run 5 miles
- Friday: AM – DCT-T Shoulders + Tabata (skip warm-up, total workout is only 18 min)
- Saturday: Long Run
- Sunday: Rest
During week 3 I did not do my long run, as I was on vacation in the mountains with my family. I took the full weekend off.
I found that adding the tabata cardio on to the DCT-T workout on Fridays was the best way for me to get it in. Now in Phase 2 as my running has picked up and the intensity as picked up, I actually skipped Tabata all together. Teh reason I switched the Total Body Tone day (it’s meant to be the last workout of the week) is because I wanted to save my legs for my long run and I assumed Total Body Tone would have more heavy leg strengthening (which it does, but you can adjust the heaviness of your weights if you’re worried about this).
My 9 Week Control Freak & Ultimate Portion Fix Phase 1 Results
On my day 1 weigh in, I weighed 7 pounds more than I did last summer when I was in peak shape during 80 Day obsession. My measurements were also higher than they had been since my weight loss after having my twins. I knew that this was a result of letting my nutrition slip and using my marathon training, the holidays and some emotional stress due to Covid to eat way more treats than usual. I didn’t beat myself up about it – I knew that when I went back to more strength and got back on my nutrition it would come off. I am only human!
In the first phase of 9 week control freak I lost 4 pounds and 2.5 inches without feeling deprived and while also enjoying treats, but less frequently than before. I noticed that I was lifting heavier weights by the end, my core is much stronger, and I’ve lost both bloat and fat.
I started 9 Week Control Freak before New Years and didn’t follow the nutrition plan during week 1 but I did significantly cut back on sweets and alcohol. During week 2, I committed to Ultimate Portion Fix. Because of my running, I put myself in Plan C (I did this by using the calculated in UPF for someone who is very active but has weight loss goals which put me in B. I then added 1 bracket because I know that in Plan B with my mileage I would be very hungry and not fueled properly to perform). I meal planned really well and stocked my fridge. I followed my plan, tracked my nutrition in the Nutrition + app and felt great! During week 3 I didn’t plans a well and also went on a 3 day trip to Big Bear. But, while on my trip I ate healthy breakfasts, lunches and snacks and then indulged at dinner. I didn’t workout or run while I was there and was happy to come back to see that the scale had moved down even while on vacation!
Challenger Results and Feedback
It’s not just me who is having great result and loving 9 Week Control Freak! Here’s what some of the women in our virtual accountability group are saying about 9 Week Control Freak:
“I finished phase 1 and I am down 7.5 lbs and 6.25 inches. Super motivated by that!” – Jennifer H.
“Today I did an update on my measurements and I’ve lost 4.8 lbs and 5 inches overall.” – Holly B.
“I like the DCT rounds it’s nice to just get lost in the work. I also like the use of the step as it really pushes me.” – Karen B.
“Loving 9 Week Control Freak! I lost 5.8 lbs in phase 1! We’ve been sticking to the meal plan and it’s working!” – Erin O.
“I like the variety in everything! Moves, equipment, and workouts. It makes (most) workouts go by really quickly.” – Emily W.
“I love the variety and how Autumn puts so much emphasis on the power of your mind and thoughts versus giving up when your body tells you to. This is huge for me. I’m already wondering what program I’ll do next that has this kind of motivation and variety…maybe another round of 9WCF! 😄” – Brooke S.
“My clothes are fitting differently!” – Ashley H.
“I love the format and moves. It goes by so fast and I always look forward to it. I am kinda sad on rest days.” – Katrina M.
Join Our 9 Week Control Freak Accountability Group Of Runners!
Our 9 Week Control Freak BOD group is open for enrollment! We have new women starting each Monday all through Winter/Spring 2021 and you’ll always have a supportive group of people doing this program with you! If you aren’t currently working with a coach and want to work with a coach who specializes in runners and be part of a community of runners and/or moms doing this program together, please fill out this form and I will send over info!