The Chelsea Set Review

The Chelsea Set Review: Solid Workout, Perfect Soundtrack

So y’all know that I adore Dr. Chelsea Jackson Roberts- she’s the one who brought me to yoga after 40-some years of saying I didn’t have the inner peace necessary for the practice. I wrote about that, and why I was looking forward to The Chelsea Set, here a little over a month ago, with the full intention of doing her four workouts in four weeks and writing a review. Well, a little over a month later, here I am- though I didn’t quite get them done as planned. Life (kids, work, and carpal tunnel syndrome) got in the way, but I managed to finish these workouts, mostly, along with a bonus- a plug for my favorite Peloton workout ever. How much do I love sitting down and breaking into some body rolls after a long day? A lot. But first, The Chelsea Set.

Week 1, “Step by Step”– November 10

Favorite song on the playlist: GoldLink- Crew (feat. Brent Faiyaz & Shy Glizzy)

Step by Step

Step by Step

I went in super hyped. For the first round, I made verbal notes on the Alexa as I went, and I give them to you word for word, with slight edits for understandability reasons:

My calves are tight

I’ve never done a frog before (Looking back when I type this up… really? I guess not. Maybe I’m confusing it with what Matty Maggiacomo calls “frogger”.)

My dog’s trying to make a nest in my yoga blanket (So I do yoga before bed, in my bedroom, on a mat on the rug so everything is nice and soft. I also do it in my pajamas, with a nice galaxy light swirling overhead. I like a good ambiance- and that’s not even the half of my light show, but I’ll leave it at that for now.)

Oh crap, my standing forward fold is already pretty low today

6 minutes? What, what, now this is a thing?

Wow my arms are strong right now- must be well rested

I miss my earbuds (They’d been missing for a few days at this point. A few days later, I found them in a drawer they had absolutely no business in.)

I like this song. Before the Elton John one.

Oh, this is a plank thing. I see what this is…

It’s my wrists that hurt more than anything else (Yeah, this was foreshadowing a nasty flare-up of long-dormant carpal tunnel syndrome that hit a couple weeks later, but it wasn’t Chelsea’s fault.)

OK. I just have to stand up out of that for a SECOND

I can’t do the second set of jump switches at all

I’m feeling good about these boat poses, actually

So, verdict? I liked it! Not a super complex yoga class, but fun, and also basically a bodyweight strength class. Also, every time Chelsea says “get down on the earth” I feel excited because I think I’ve done (as she says in my favorite class, “we made it, y’all!”)…. but then I find out “down on the earth” isn’t always a good thing. This time, it meant a lot of core.


Week 3, “Own Your Power”– November 22

Favorite song on the playlist: Beyonce- Partition

Own Your Power

Own Your Power

Yes, that says week 3. I confidently rolled out my yoga mat and picked The Chelsea Set, only to realize I was starting the wrong week’s workout. Decided to just go with it, because it seems like a whole lot of work to stop, find the right workout, do it, and then backtrack to find this one in my history and delete it. (Not to mention decision fatigue- delete this one first, or after doing the correct workout? Best answer is to avoid the question.)

However, just a couple moments in, and I realize I’m not feeling it tonight. Chelsea says to “honor your body,” and right now, my body wants to not be doing this. So… I vaguely sort of followed part of it, and did a lot of gentle stretching otherwise. I may or may not have fallen asleep during savasana. Life’s been, like, really really busy. I’m someone who’s lucky enough to love my job, and I have pretty decent work-life balance, but I also have four kids, a boatload of animals, a husband who travels for work, and a house that (perhaps because of the four kids and boatload of animals) needs quite a bit of maintenance, and lately this has all had me falling off my workout routine.

Note here that Black Friday happened right after I did this workout, and I did quite a bit of shopping, including ordering myself a Bissell Big Green Machine carpet cleaner to try to get on top of keeping said house a little cleaner. I promise this is relevant information to this story. After it came, I started deep cleaning every inch of carpet and upholstery in my house, since it had been a while and this thing is so satisfying to use.


Week 2, “Find Your Groove”– December 10

Favorite song on the playlist: Nina Sky- Move Ya Body (feat. Jabba)

Find Your Groove

Find Your Groove

After a few weeks of crazy busy days at work, coming home and cleaning and cleaning and cleaning, producing some vaguely dinner-ish food for my family, and managing appointments and pets and mail and holiday shopping and kids’ school and sort of trying to parent, the first thing I want to do is go to bed, and the last thing I want to do is work out. Which really isn’t good- I know. Working out would help my energy level. But y’all, these days when I get home at 545 pm it feels like about 11 pm. Pitch black. So, bedtime, yes? By this time, the carpal tunnel flare-up had also kicked in, and I was waking up every morning at 4 am with my right hand, wrist, and arm burning like the fire of a thousand suns. Yoga doesn’t seem to aggravate it- in fact, sort of feels good to move it around- but it does limit how long I can hold weight involving my wrists. I’ve had it a bit in the past but this was a sudden resurgence that hit out of nowhere, worse than I’d ever had.

I rocked this one, though. Found my groove. It’s a solid and not-too-complex flow with some extended holds. And once again, I was only able to do the first set of jump switches. (This time, I’m blaming that on the carpal tunnel syndrome.)

So, what’s next? What do we think, folks? Will our heroine make it through two sets of jump switches in Week 4? And how are the planks going to go, after doing three 60-second planks earlier the same day while helping a 10th grader make an exercise video for gym class?


Week 4, “Go Off!”– December 13

Favorite song on the playlist: Sofi Tukker/John Summit- Sun Came Up

Go Off!

Go Off!

Our heroine did not make it through both sets of jump switches. Maybe someday. There are just so many of them!

Aside from that- this time through was fun and felt really solid. Something I haven’t mentioned is really my only complaint- the class throws in a wheel at the end as an alternative to bridge post. While I can do a wheel if properly warmed up, this class wasn’t really the right lead-up to it, and I feel like it was sort of a throwaway, more advanced variation, rather than the way a Peloton yoga class will usually warm you up and instruct in detail for a pose on that level. So no wheel for me, and I was sad, because I’m proud of my wheel ability and would have loved to do it if I was ready and if my wrists (especially the right one) weren’t hurting so badly. It had been a couple of weeks that the carpal tunnel had been with me at this point, and I’ve moved to the point of wearing a brace at night and massaging in Voltaren cream before bed.

Aside from that, I loved this workout, and I loved the Chelsea Set. It felt familiar to me, and I mean that in the best way possible as someone who loves Chelsea a whole lot- it was kind of her greatest hits as far as yoga moves. I’d definitely do another season.

But wait, there’s more…

30 min New Jack Swing Yoga Flow– December 15

Favorite song on the playlist: ALL OF THEM. 

New Jack Swing Flow

New Jack Swing Flow

I’m not going to end an extended Chelsea program review without using the excuse to talk about my favorite Peloton workout ever, which of course I had to do before writing this (a) because I haven’t done it in a few weeks and (b) because I heard “Poison,” by Bell Biv DeVoe, on YouTube Music this morning, and it made me need more New Jack Swing in my life. I’m very fond of this specific genre.

I had the day off work, which I badly needed to try and get my hands around Christmas prep and finish the first deep clean of my house with my new carpet cleaner. As I was cleaning every inch of the (large) sectional couch with the attachment, I stopped and thought, wow, my hands are tired. This carpet cleaner takes a good bit of grip strength to hold the trigger that dispenses the cleaning solution, and a good bit more to use the hose attachment, especially if you’re doing something like cleaning couch cushions that require being pulled sort of flat. And the carpal tunnel pain wasn’t helping. What a rotten coincidence that the carpal tunnel flared up just at the same time that I got seriously into carpet cleaning, which requires so much wrist and hand work….

Oh. Wait a second.

To celebrate figuring out the reason for my carpal tunnel issues, I handed the carpet cleaner off to one of my teenagers, called it a day, and turned on my galaxy light and broke out my yoga mat before bed to do this workout, which I’ve done about a zillion times before. It fits great with The Chelsea Set, using a lot of the same moves- the body rolls, the self-love hugs, a zillion lunges, and yes, jump switches. Also like The Chelsea Set, it has a longish Warrior 2 section and a whole lot of vinyasas. Chelsea is super warm and clearly having fun (she wishes someone named Morlinda happy birthday twice!) and when she says “y’all, we made it!” at the end, I’m like, “YEAH WE DID, Y’ALL!” It’s just one of my favorite ways to end a long week, and in this case, a yoga program that, due to life, was also longer than it needed to be.

But that’s okay. Something about Chelsea tells me she’d be proud anyway. Go do some body rolls and enjoy the journey, Peloton. I’m going to try and repair my hands and wrists (no more carpet cleaning for a while for me!) so I can get that wheel done next time it comes up.