Sweaty Notes: FIERCE by Chontel Duncan (Sweat App)

After discovering that the Sweat app has improved its user interface and functioning, I was sold on the app and motivated to use it for my 2019 fitness routine. With the latest update, I was delighted to discover two new trainers with new plans on the app.

After doing some reading on the SWEAT Support forum, I saw that the FIERCE program by Chontel Duncan is right down my alley. A combination of functional traininig, HIIT and Strength training is what this girl’s fitness dreams are made of.

About Chontel Duncan

Chontel Duncan is yet another powerhouse of a personal trainer to join the SWEAT team from Australia. The tall, tanned brunette is an inspiring mother of 2, the owner of HIIT Australia and encourages her followers to follow their dreams and not let anyone tell them that it is impossible.


Quick Facts About the Guide

Gym-based resistance workouts to help you gain strength and muscle. Targeted hypertrophy workouts using weights, gym equipment and resistance band.

  • Social Media: https://www.instagram.com/chontelduncan/
  • Guide Link: https://www.chontelduncan.com/
  • Home/Gym: Gym (maybe home if you have a well equipped one!)
  • Focus/Style: Functional Training
  • Format: Sweat App
  • Weeks: 12
  • Duration of Workouts: 20 to 45min (average); 7 days per week
  • Cost: $20 per month
  • Value added features: In-app mini instructional videos and meal plan, weekly challenges, options to try different programs
  • Adaptability: Combining this program with any other activity was a challenge for me especially from week 8 onward as it kept my heart rate high during the workouts. But I persisted with my 3 runs a week, working out during lunch times and ensuring I get enough rest days.
  • Modifications/Progressions: Modifications are given for each exercise in the app. .
  • Value for money: Yes, especially if your gym fees are low, or if you have home gym like me where can substitute equipment for similar movements. With the latest update of the Sweat App and additional workout options, it’s definitely a great bang for your buck.
  • Fitness Level: All fitness levels as the program gets harder as the weeks go on.

Weeks 1 to 4

To be honest, the first 4 weeks was fairly easy for me and I added weights in order for it to be more challenging. Coupled with my usual 3 runs every week, it was more than enough to keep me on my toes and to make me feel fitter and stronger.

I also started a new job and joined the gym in our office building to be able to have the opportunity to move during lunch time. As mentioned before, sitting whole day is never a good thing so having light exercise easily at my disposable during lunch is a must-have for my health journey. So I added two light intensity, weight lifting sessions per week from BUILD by Stephanie Sanzo (also in the SWEAT app) and I started swimming in the pool at the gym once a week – a total new and next level challenge for my fitness journey.

The structure of the workouts was pretty easy to adapt for our home gym as not much gym equipment was needed in the first 4 weeks. We invested in battle ropes over the festive season last year and it was such a great edition for our home gym. The general layout during these first 4 weeks included 3 Full Body Session of different types:

  • Strength
  • Circuit

and an optional challenge which is always fun if you are keen to push yourself. The workouts were a variety of plyometric movements and strength exercises which guaranteed an elevated heart rate and good sweat.

I ran for the 3 recommended LISS sessions and added in an additional BUILD challenge for my 1 HiiT session per week.

Week 5 to 8

From this point onwards, shit got serious especial with those double arm slam burpees! An extra Lower Body Focused resistance session was added and I started to schedule my workouts in such a way that I could take 1 full rest day a week and one active recovery day to either have a long walk or hike or stretch session. I still included my 3 running sessions per week with a 100km per month goal.

To be honest, my running pace started to suffer a bit as I wasn’t getting close anymore to that 5:00/km goal but I was determined to push through. Even if it meant running a little slower at times. This is definitely an indicator of the main difference between FIERCE and program like PWR for example.

FIERCE is FUNCTIONAL. This means that your are using your body in ways to make your general day-to-day activities easier, while getting fitter and working up a good sweat. This also meant that my body in general will be a bit more tired especially while running.

The recommended workouts for these 4 weeks per week were:

  • Full Body AMRAP
  • Full Body Tabata
  • Full Body Strength
  • Lower Body Strength
  • Challenge (Optional)
  • 2 x LISS
  • 1 x HIIT (Optional)
  • Active Recovery/Full Rest Day

I also continued with 2 BUILD workouts and 1 swim during lunch time each week, and stuck to my 1 active recovery and 1 rest day per week.

What makes FIERCE different to BBG?

This was also the time period where I felt the fundamental difference between FIERCE and BBG. I read many posts, comments and complaints that FIERCE is too similar to BBG due to the type of movements used but as the weeks progress, movements that are challenging and more fun (imho) are added. The structure of FIERCE allows for more rest and quality of movement. It feels less rushed and offers way more variety than BBG does. This is the type of workouts that keep me motivated as i get bored very easily.

Week 9 to 12

The last 4 weeks just confirmed the fact that FIERCE is my favourite SWEAT app program attempted so far. The combination of functional, strength and plyometrics is what my body reacts to the best. The one thing to note in the last 4 weeks is the absence of the battle ropes we learnt to love during the first 8 weeks. I missed them slightly to be honest although they were the source of many sweaty selfies earlier in the program. It was however replaced by a new exercise that featured frequently in the weekly workouts – PLANK SLAMS!

I also made peace with the fact that I am not going to smash personal bests with my running pace and it’s just testament to the point that any health and fitness journey will not be linear. It literally is up and down like burpess, jump squats or a hill-infused run!

During this week the workouts were structured was as follows:

  • Full Body Circuit
  • Full Body Tabata
  • Full Body Strength
  • Lower Body Strength
  • Upper Body Strength
  • Challenge (Optional)
  • 2 x LISS
  • 1 x HIIT (Optional)
  • Active Recovery/Full Rest Day

I combined the Circuit and Challenge into one session, and the Full Body Tabata and Strength to make up sessions that were about 60min each. Upper Body and Lower Body Strength sessions were done respectively during lunch time session in the week with 1 20min swim. I kept to running 3 times a week, at distances varying from 6km to 12km. The one week I even ran a half marathon distance! But needless to say, recovery that week was a two full rest days. Another fact to prove that FIERCE has made me fitter and stronger.


Final Thoughts

FIERCE is definitely a great choice for those fitness junkies that are a bit bored of BBG and would like to explore the beauty of functional fitness with an oomph of strength.

Challenging, rewarding and empowering is the ultimate description of this program. Expect to step out of your comfort zone to improve your general fitness and amplify your love for exercise.

PS check out the video review on my IGTV and my journey throughout the 12 weeks on my highlight reel!





3 Comments Add yours

  1. Sounds like a tough one!

    Liked by 1 person

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