Beachbody Step Workouts: Transform: 20 vs 9 Week Control Freak

Beachbody Step Workouts Transform 20 vs 9 Week Control Freak

Transform: 20 and 9 Week Control Freak are two Beachbody Step Workouts that are highly popular with fitness enthusiasts. While they both comprise almost similar workouts that help deliver a total body workout, there’s a lot that differentiates them too.

Transform: 20 is a non-stop, full-body home workout featuring step aerobics and resistance training. It uses bodyweight to help you cut weight, tone, and strengthen your body. In contrast, 9 Week Control Freak uses special equipment and innovative moves to help you take control of your fitness.

In this article, you’ll find detailed information regarding the main differences between Transform: 20 and 9 Week Control Freak. You’ll also discover information such as what each program entails, the workout schedules, FAQs on the programs, and recommendations on which workout to go for.

The Differences Between Transform: 20 and 9 Week Control Freak

Transform: 20 is a fast-paced extreme workout program developed by Shaun T that helps you achieve total body transformation. On the other hand, 9 Week Control Freak is an innovative but extremely intensive workout program, the brainchild of Beachbody Super Trainer Autumn Calabrese.

Below is a table that summarizes the primary differences between the two programs:

Transform: 20 9 Week Control Freak
Program Duration 6 weeks 9 weeks
Workout Duration 20 minutes 30 minutes
Rest Days 1 2
Key Workouts
  • Step aerobics
  • Resistance training
  • Tabata
  • Cardio
  • HIIT
  • Strength training
  • Balance and flexibility
Equipment Needed
  • No weights
  • A step (optional)
  • Control track
  • 2 resistance bands
  • Exercise step
  • Core ball
  • Exercise mat (optional)
  • Multiple weights in varying sizes (dumbbells)
  • 2 bonus workouts per phase
  • 6 bonus weight workouts
  • 10-minute bonus workouts Recovery and warm-up Stretching videos
  • 9WCF Off the Wall — for those without the control track
Ideal For Beginners Intermediate level



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Let’s now take a deeper look at the differences between Transform:20 and 9 Week Control Freak.

What the Programs Entail

Transform: 20 offers a quick and effective way to develop a leaner physique. Unlike traditional step aerobics, this program involves less dancing and is a lot more functional. But while it’s pretty challenging, it’ll help you chisel your abs, tone your upper body, sculpt your glutes, and burn excess fat.

The program runs for 6 weeks, with every single workout taking only 20-minutes. Each day ushers in a new activity that’s completely different from the one you did the previous day.

This means you don’t repeat a routine. In addition, Shaun T provides you with 3 x 1-minute challenges designed to push your body and mind a step further.

On its part, the innovative 9 Week Total Control Freak Program takes 8 weeks and features intense 30-minute workouts with 2 rest days per week. The workouts are a combination of different types of workouts, including HIIT, cardio, weightlifting, and flexibility workouts.

But unlike Transform: 20 where you require no equipment, with 9 Week Total Control Freak, you need a special piece of equipment called a Control Track. This is a resistance band cable set-up that you attach to a door or wall. It comes with a metal attachment, and you can adjust the Track to a height that’s most comfortable for you.

The Workouts

Let’s explore the workouts contained in each of the programs next.

Transform: 20 Workout Schedule

transform 20 review workout

To achieve total body transformation with Transform: 20, the 6-week program splits into three 2-week phases: Commit, Climb, and Conquer. You work out 6 days a week for 20 minutes,

performing aerobic step and strength workouts with no break in-between. The exercises aren’t repetitive, so you won’t get bored.

There are also two extra workouts per chapter and an additional 6 that feature weights for individuals who like incorporating weights while they step.

There are 6 different types of step workouts that include cardio, aerobics, plyometrics, strength training, HIIT, and flexibility. The exercises focus on your legs, core, glutes, and upper body.

The exercises entail lots of jumping and endurance-based moves that leave you drenched in sweat. While the moves are pretty straightforward, they’re incredibly fast-paced, which makes them highly intense. However, they also come with a modifier so you can adjust them to suit your fitness level.

Throughout the sessions, Shaun T motivates you to keep pushing. What’s more, as soon as you begin to settle into your pace, he introduces a transformer, a single move that takes an entire minute. For instance, he can have you perform Ab crunches on your step. The good thing with this move is that, although challenging, it produces speedy results.


9 Week Control Freak Workout Schedule

9 week control freak workout review

In contrast, the unique 9 Week Control Freak Program combines HIIT, Tabata, cardio, weightlifting, balance, and flexibility workouts. The moves here are innovative, varied, and somewhat complex, but they all target specific muscles to deliver a total workout with hardly any repetition. You also get to achieve a greater range of motion when making some particular moves.

The program is divided into 3 phases, each spanning 3 weeks (21 days) and covering 5 workouts per week. Phase 1 is somewhat easy, but phases 2 and 3 feature more complex movements, and the focus also changes to different body parts.

The phasing makes it easier to complete the entire program since, by the time the first week is over, you are already accustomed to the regimen. Again, after every 3 weeks, the workout schedule alters; hence, you could have your rest days falling on different days than they did previously.

The thrice-weekly DCT-T (Density Complex Training—Tabata) workouts are also broken down into three 12-minute sections. Each session flies past quickly, allowing you to move to a different exercise. DCT-T workouts are categorized into Density Training, Strength Complexes, and Tabata Training.

Density Training involves multiple rounds of 5 moves combined into a strength and endurance challenge, whereas Strength Complexes entails strength training. Tabata Training comprises full-out cardio in 4-minute bursts. Incorporating the step helps kick your endurance levels up a notch.

Each daily workout includes lower body exercises focusing on the legs and glutes. You’ll also experience a greater strengthening of the back and core muscles, with the Control Track coming in super handy when targeting hard-to-reach back muscles.

There are 45 individual workouts in total, with shorter intense workouts spanning 18-35 minutes. As a result, even busy participants can still reach their goals.

The instructor pays special attention to proper form and correct body positioning to ensure you’re able to follow and perform the complex moves correctly. This is because poor form can result in injuries, preventing you from continuing any further with the program.

Finally, there’s a Stretch workout after every session. This entails restorative stretching and breathing to combat muscle soreness, boost blood flow, and lower tension to help you get a restful night. The stretch workouts also get your mind and body well-prepared to face the following day’s workout.


Nutrition Program

To get the most from the 2 workout programs, it’s essential to incorporate a good nutrition program alongside the workouts. Fortunately, both provide a Beachbody Nutrition Guide to start you off.

The recommended nutritional supplements are 2B Mindset for Transform: 20 and Ultimate Portion Fix for 9 Week Control Freak.

Also recommended are Shakeology, Energize, and Recover, performance supplements from Beachbody that help you fuel up with wholesome and delicious food, enabling you to attain healthier results.

Energize is a pre-workout supplement that gives you the boost to get through each workout, while Recover helps alleviate the muscle soreness that follows a challenging workout.

Ultimately, you need to choose a nutrition plan that’s sustainable even beyond the step workouts. Therefore, go for what works best for your body.

Equipment and Space Requirements

To do Transform: 20 exercises, you don’t need any weights (you use body weight). Using a workout step is advisable, but it’s also optional. The step comes with risers, but you can start without them. The trainer recommends the step riser for those who wish to engage in more intense workouts. Additionally, there’s a tracking calendar and booklet that enables you to keep track of progress.

But the 9 Week Control Freak equipment requirements are a little more complex. Apart from the Control Track, you also need an exercise mat, exercise step, core ball, differently sized dumbbells, and ample workout space. Your door frame or wall should also fit the requirements for the Track’s installation.

The Control Track has a steep learning curve too, so it might take a while before you can put the equipment to effective use — including adjusting it up and down in the middle of a workout.

You might also need a good pair of workout shoes for either program and compression socks if you require calf support.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the commonly asked questions regarding these workouts and their answers.

  • Are Transform: 20 workouts considered low impact? While Beachbody doesn’t list them as low-impact, you can modify each of the workouts into low-impact exercises as every workout features modifications for each move.
  • How do I access Transform: 20 workouts? Transform 20 workouts are available on Beachbody on Demand. Once you subscribe, you can stream the workouts on your TV. Unfortunately, the workouts are not available on DVD.
  • Can I do Transform: 20 workouts without using a step? You can perform Transform: 20 exercises without the step, and Shaun T mentions this as well. What’s more, some of the moves are more challenging without it.
  • What is 9 Week Control Freak Off the Wall? 9WCF Off the Wall is a version of 9 Week Control Freak in which you don’t have to use the Control Track. It’s a viable alternative for participants with limited space. The program offers a workout schedule that’s identical to the original, but instead of the Control Track, core ball, and resistance bands, you use your body weight or dumbbells.
  • How do I install the Control Track? The equipment comes with an installation kit to guide you through the simple process and includes a door and wall mount option. You can set up the Control Track on your door in about 3 minutes; you can mount it on the kitchen door, bedroom door, or even closet door. Learn more about the Control Track and other needed equipment here
  • Does 9 Week Control Freak come with music? Unfortunately, 9WCF has no accompanying music. You might therefore need to have your favorite playlist running in the background.

Who Should Perform These Workouts and Which One Should You Go For?

Transform: 20 is the perfect workout for anyone looking for a quick but intense workout that can help tone up the body. It’s ideal for all fitness levels, including beginners. If you’re new to this, start by performing the modifier in each workout before progressing to the more advanced moves.

On the other hand, 9 Week Control Freak is suitable for individuals looking for full-body results in the shortest time possible. It’s also ideal if you’re extremely busy, short on time, and enjoy short but intense workouts with more rest days in between. Here you get 2 whole days to rest and allow your body a chance to recover from the effective mix of HIIT, cardio, strength, and flexibility exercises.

Having said that, it’s not advisable for you to start the 9 Week Control Freak as your initial Beachbody workout program. Neither is it a good fit if you’re seriously out of shape. The thing is, even though it’s recommended for the intermediate level, the moves are somewhat complicated despite the dedicated modifier.

Also, the program requires complex equipment and the logistics to juggle workout space plus equipment. For instance, the door on which you mount the Control Track might be a distance from where you make the other moves. And, if you have limited space, you might not be able to perform the moves while using the equipment.


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