Athlean-X Review – Is Jeff’s program really worth it?

Jeff Cavaliere, the creator of Athlean-X fitness program is no stranger to giving pro fitness tips absolutely for free through his numerous fitness videos on Youtube. 

So, what makes Athlean-X so special and something you wouldn't get from Jeff's free pro fitness tips? Let's find out from this in-depth Athlean-X review.

There's probably just a tiny fraction of people interested in fitness who don't know who Jeff Cavaliere is.

And he spends a lot of time making those YouTube videos with his trusty colleague Jesse, just to bring his Athlean-X program to people's attention.

Athlean-X program is not so new to the scene, but it is the youngest among the similar premium programs developed and offered by different fitness coaches.

Some of these are "Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle," "P90x", and "Turbulence Training."

So, should you opt out for Athlean-X instead of these? Let's dig a bit deeper, and review the Athlean-X workout plan.

30 seconds Summary Review of Athlean-X

In a hurry? Here's the 30 seconds summary review of Athlean X program if you wish to skip the details.

In his videos, Jeff himself says that you could make a workout and diet plan off of his free videos and it would be just the same as the Athlean X programs he sells.

So, he just organizes it for you, and that's Athlean X program.

If your goal is to build as much muscle as you can (without pharmacological support), any real strength program from the wiki will be objectively better for that purpose.

If your goal is to do 100 push ups, 100 sit ups, 100 air squats and 100 inverted rows in as little time as possible, buy the Athlean X program.

A lot of members enjoyed the motivational aspects of checking in with the app, filling in his workouts etc and you can quickly see how lots of people could benefit from the accountability sort of built-in.

It is however not suitable for people who suffered from some serious injury, or for people who are not ready for high-intensity workouts.

Lastly, there is no programmed progressive overload for Athlean X program. The progression scheme relies on monthly challenges.

The performance in these challenges determines whether you graduate to the next phase or repeat the current phase for one more month.

The challenges require you to do body weight exercises for a high amount of reps for time. This basically tests your work density, but increasing work density does not induce muscle growth by itself.

During the 2-3 'strength training' workouts per week, you do lots lots of gimmicky muscle confusion exercises (alternating dumbbell bench press etc.)

So that's pretty much the summary, if you wish to know in-depth and all you need to know about Athlean X program to make your decision, continue to read on below.

How long are the Athlean X workouts?

The average time that it will take you to complete an ATHLEAN-X workout will be between 15 to 40 minutes in length and 4 to 5 days per week.

The longer workouts will encompass the strength training, whereas the shorter workouts will encompass the burst training.

The Athlean-X's goal is to get you into and out of the gym in as little time as possible — allowing you to get an incredibly intense workout in without killing the rest of your day or interfering with the other commitments of your job, other hobbies, and family time.

The workouts may be short but the effort needed to complete the workouts is HUGE.

Who is the creator of Athlean-X program?

Jeff Cavaliere from the Athlean X program

Jeff is a physical therapist, personal trainer and a social media star.

In his own words, his fascination for bodybuilding started when he saw Arnold Schwarzenegger's movies as a child.

As a result of his fascination for athletic physique, he chose to study physical therapy and physioneurobiology at college.

He stayed determined to make a good career in the fitness industry.

After his position as a Head Physical Therapist and Assistant Strength Coach for New York Mets, he developed his Athlean-X program and started a YouTube channel.

Quickly he became an online sensation for his tips that were unconventional for the gym goers.

As he says, he put the science in training, and the audience saw that as something completely different from the average fitness guru.

He stood out with his knowledge as a physical therapist and strength coach, and his appearance, due to his shirtless shows.

He possesses several certifications:

  • Strength & Conditioning Specialist
  • Physical Therapy Masters Degree
  • BA Physioneurobiology

After 3 years of working for Mets, Jeff decided that all that traveling with the club doesn't fit him that well.

So he decided to become an entrepreneur and spend more time at home.

After he resigned from the baseball club, he has written numerous books for workouts and developed Athlean-X program.

And soon Athlean-X became one of the most popular fitness programs to date.

Gym goers and fitness enthusiasts admire Jeff's physique; he managed to get 195lbs of lean muscle mass with extremely low body fat percentage.

If you think that's not a lot, remember that Jeff is 5'8".

What is Athlean-X?

Athlean X 90 day review

Athlean-X is Jeff's fitness 90-day program that promises to build lean muscle mass and burning fat at the same time.

His program taps into the science of muscle confusion, and at its core, Athlean-X is a MCR (muscle confusing routine).

While we're already used to claims like these in the past, Athlean-X is supposedly special.

But, having in mind tough competition at the time the program came out, it should offer something different and better to come on top.

Everyone was skeptical until Jeff started making videos on YouTube displaying his approach to training routines and explaining the disadvantages of traditional workout routines, and why aren't we getting the results we wanted.

Jeff took his YouTube videos to a whole new level with his scientific approach, making him stand out high from the competition. 

Check out the intro to Athlean-X channel intro video below (a bit corny for my taste, but props for putting it to the tune of X gonna give it to ya! ).

Athlean X videos playlist

If you just look at the comments on each of his videos, you will notice experienced gym goers that tried his advice and teachings and testify of their success.

You may also notice that Jeff keeps it real, keeping his Youtube channel focused to workouts, unlike some other workout gurus we've reviewed.

Not saying there's anything wrong with having a camera drone follow you around the bay area all day.

While many just follow his tips on YouTube, a lot of them bought the complete Athlean-X program, which was the point of the social media interaction in the first place.

A lot of people were overwhelmed with the success they had with the program, while others weren't that satisfied.

Why was that the case, you will find out in the rest of this Athlean-X review.

Is the Athlean-X program for you?

Athlean-X is a demanding fitness program, and it's not for the people who lack pure dedication for their fitness goal.

This might be one of the reasons some people fail to meet their goals with this program.

As Jeff's motto for the program says, it's meant that you train like an athlete, so you can look like one.

If you're not planning to dedicate yourself completely to the goal of Athlean-X, and you consider yourself a person who is not that interested into getting shredded and this is going to be the first program of this kind for you, then you probably should involve yourself into something lighter.

You should give Athlean-X a try if you're:

  • Senior high school or older athlete who needs a program to improve sport performance
  • Casual gym-goer that doesn't seem to get the results wanted
  • A regular gym rat who tried other programs and wasn't happy with the results, or if you're looking for something less time consuming

If you're looking for the program that will get you on higher levels of strength, muscle mass, and shredded look without spending too much time working out, then you probably should give Athlean-X a go.

What makes Athlean-X so special?

Athlean X Program Reviews

Athlean-X stands out from the rest mainly because it's based on the training routines of athletes.

Regardless of your type of sport and your level, Athlean-X should bring you to a higher level and improve your performance.

Professional athletes still come to Jeff to work with him, and this fact alone means a lot.

Is it a lot different than the other fitness programs out there? Not so much.

It stands out only because it’s aimed for athletes and to give the non-athletes the type of training the athlete’s experience.

The package includes more than 140 exercises completely illustrated and explained by Jeff.

You will be able to pick from Athlean Burst training, which is an alternative to classic cardio workouts, Athlean-X Home Training System, which is an alternative for workouts at home and Athlean-X Challenges.

These challenges are a good idea. You can test your progress with interesting challenges and see in real-time have you made any actual noticeable progress.

You will also get an interview with Jeff, where he talks about how eating and nutrition are important for the best results.

It’s noticeable that Athlean-X is heavily influenced by Jeff’s baseball training past.

But, does that mean that his program is only for baseball players and similar athletes?

Absolutely not.

Athlean-X is not a sports-specific program, even though it has some good elements of strength and performance training for athletes.

The program aims to help you improve lean muscle mass, reduce your body fat and improve the flexibility of your joints.

The goals you can reach with Athlean-X

Professional athletes have specific training programs and schedules. Athlean-X is based on this type of programs.

It aims to give you a short and intense 30-minute strength workout, 3 times per week. You will be using the same program his professional clients use.

Paired with 2 conditioning workouts per week, you will sacrifice only 2.5-3h of your time per week.

That’s not a lot of time invested for possible significant changes in the body.

Jeff implements something Arnold talked a lot about, and that is muscle confusion.

Not letting the muscle get used on your training circuit, and using different types of exercises for the same body part from time to time.

Workouts of Athlean-X are variable and innovative, they are very focused on injury prevention and joint flexibility, and this is something that other programs do not have.

But, when it comes to bodybuilding and gaining as much size as possible, this is where Athlean-X comes short.

It is not meant for competitive bodybuilders; it’s mainly for athletes and people who want to get the athlete type of condition and body.

You absolutely won’t reach that Mr. Olympia type of body by using Athlean-X, probably because it doesn’t encourage the use of steroids, but you will get leaner and will be able to run a lot more than you used to.

You will also notice a significant increase in strength.

Is it worth the money?

Athlean-x worth the money

To be honest, Jeff doesn’t claim that Athlean-X is the best program for fat loss and muscle gain, instead of it provides you with athletic benefits first, and the muscle gain and fat loss second.

Athlean-X program used to be around $80, but now there are a lot of other specific programs that focus on certain aspects of the training only, burning fat for example.

You can choose a specific program if you like, but since this is Athlean-X review, let’s stick to it.

It’s safe to say that the value delivered for this amount of money is pretty good.

But, remember, there is no universal formula, some people with getting better results faster, some will have to repeat the cycle.

But still, if you follow through all the advice, you will achieve the results you wanted.

Giving how detailed and illustrated the program is, it’s definitely not a waste of money, especially because you will learn a lot of new things, science-wise, even if you have been going to the gym for most of your life.

What did the users say?

While observing the experience and comments of users, you can split them into two groups:

  • Very Positive
  • Extremely Negative

It’s interesting that there are just a few comments that are in between and completely honest.

This seems to be a very polarizing program!

And the problem is probably because the positive comments are made by average people who just started working out, or just want to get an overall better shape, and the negative ones are made by the bodybuilders.

You can find a lot of negative comments by “Brofessors” in various fitness forums; they mainly talk about how Athlean-X doesn’t deliver enough muscle mass.

But their people probably didn’t get the details of what Athlean-X is really about.

It never was meant for bodybuilders, but now there are some other programs made by Jeff that focus solely on adding muscle mass — probably because he saw those comments.

Overall comments are positive, although some people were left unsatisfied with lower body workouts.

Everyone loved the injury prevention approach and versatility.

There’s a noticeable number of comments that people chose Athlean-X after they tried P90x program and quit.

They state that P90x workouts last too long, without giving the results to justify those long and exhausting workouts.

They found that Athlean-X is better because the workouts are intensive but short, so they can go on with their lives and recover quickly.

Pros and Cons of Athlean-X program

To put it in the simplest way possible, Athlean-X can be described with a list of pros and cons.


  • The workouts are short and intensive. Making each second count and not wasted. 30 minutes is plenty if the workout is effective, especially if you have a busy schedule and you want to squeeze in a few workouts a week.
  • You can build muscle and burn fat at the same time. Considering the small number of workouts in the program, it is pretty capable of burning the excess fat and adding lean muscle mass in a short period of time working out.
  • You get two versions of the same program. The program is very versatile, and it’s created so everyone can benefit from it. The first version is meant for people that go regularly to the gym, and the second one is made for people who want to work out at home.
  • Along with the training routine, you will get a complete diet plan. Everyone who is serious about fitness life knows that the body is stimulated by workouts, but it’s made in the kitchen (my favorite example is this post on diet by Stanimir Mihov, sorry but you may need to turn on google translate if you don't speak Bulgarian). You will get a meal plan for all 90-days, and you will get a detailed explanation of why it’s made that way.
  • You will get a meal plan for all 90-days, and you will get a detailed explanation of why it’s made that way.
  • All workouts are illustrated, and the videos are high quality, so every workout is easy to follow.
  • If you’re not satisfied with the program, you can ask for a refund. It comes with a 60-day money back guarantee.


  • Although you won’t need expensive equipment to complete the program, you will need some essentials if you’re planning to do it at home. You will need a jump rope, chin-up bar, dumbbells, and a few other things. 
  • It’s not suitable for people who suffered from some serious injury, or for people who are not ready for high-intensity workouts
  • The program seems to be more male-oriented; if you’re a female who just wants to get a toned body, this program is not for you. But, if you want to be as athletic as you can be, then go for it.

What I'd Buy Instead...

Although I do feel that the Athlean X progams are worth while , I honestly think that the programs from Carly Donovan offers better value for money. There will be an in depth review on the available programs soon, but in the meantime you can take a look at what's on offer and use this discount promo link. Just navigate to the workout plans sections. 
Leg day workout.



Having all the good and the bad things in mind, Athlean-X is a great workout program for anyone that wants to achieve that athletic body and to burn the fat as fast as possible.

There is some hype still going on around the Athlean-X program, but have in mind that the hype was created by the people who watched Jeff’s free videos and they gave his advice a go.

If you want to have a body of an athlete instead of a bodybuilder, then probably give it a go.

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