Earlier this year, we covered fitness powerhouse Beachbody‘s “YouTube test group,” where a set of top online video creators – including Jack Douglass, Bart Baker, Olga Kay, and Shira Lazar – collectively dropped over 100 pounds and 85 inches by way of Tony Horton‘s P90 program. The before and after photos seemed too good to be true—commenters cried ‘air brush’ and ‘spray tan.’ So when we caught wind of a new class of YouTubers for Beachbody’s 21 Day Fix Extreme program with trainer Autumn Calabrese, we had to get an inside look at the process to make sure it was legit.

The new group underwent back-to-back twenty-one day programs and featured Jennifer Veal, SourceFed stars Lee Newton and Steve Zaragoza, Timothy DeLaGhetto, Rick Carter, Shane Dawson, and yours truly. Now the last time I covered a story as an embedded journalist, I did a ridealong with the Good Cops, and things went horribly wrong. I can’t say I didn’t get hurt on this assignment, but this time it was a good hurt.

As soon as we completed our first workout, I realized this was real, and committing to this program was a terrible, terrible mistake. It was only 30 minutes, but it was brutal. Here’s how my fellow workout-mates described day one:

  • Lee Newton: “Awful”
  • Steve Zaragoza: “F@#$”
  • Jennifer Veal: “Devastating”
  • Timothy DeLaGhetto: “Existential”
  • Shane Dawson: “Holdinginmyfartastic”

Over the next six weeks, however things got much better. We laughed, we cried, we bonded. We grew stronger—and we grew smaller! Although we never set a weight loss goal—the program’s focus was on regular exercise and smart eating habits, not stats—I personally dropped 20.5 pounds, lost 9.75 inches off my chest, waist, hips, arms, and legs combined, and cut body fat from 22%  to 14%.

Here are my teammates’ results:

  • Rick Carter: 27 lbs, 16.25″
  • Shane Dawson: 20 lbs, 11.5″
  • Steve Zaragoza: 23 lbs, 13″
  • Timothy DeLaGhetto: 20 lbs, 15″
  • Lee Newton: 14 lbs, 11.75″
  • Jenny Veal: 4 lbs, 4″

“We had such a blast working with all of the YouTube creators during 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme,” said Chelsea McFarland, Senior Director, YouTube, at Beachbody. “It was an intense 42 days straight of working out 1/2 hr each day and eating clean, but these guys had us laughing the entire way through. We are very proud of each of them committing to the programs and achieving such great results!

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