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Towards the end of 2019, I'd got into the habit of eating whatever I wanted and hardly exercising and I found that I'd somehow adopted this really lazy lifestyle. I was in a career in which I drove to work, sat at a computer majority of the day then came home after working 9-5 to sit on the couch stuff my face with chocolate and watch TV. I'd put on a wee bit of weight (probably about a stone and a half), but to me, it was very noticeable - even more so after the festive period. So, in 2020, I made a commitment to exercise more and this worked relatively well for the first 6 months of 2020 when we were in lockdown. However, when things started to open back up and I went back to travelling to and from work, that commitment to exercise slowly went out the window. By the end of 2020, I was heading back towards the point I was at in 2019. So, there I was writing my 2021 New Year's resolutions and I made exercising 3x a week, one of them but this time I changed my mindset towards exercise. Instead of treating it like it was optional, I treated it as a chore, something I had to do whether I liked in or not. It turns out, this was very effective for me and I worked out 3 times a week for the majority of 2021 including completing Heather Robertson's 1.0 12-week workout programme, not once but twice! And I'm not just saying this, but I've grown to love exercise and it's something which doesn't just make me feel physically better but also, mentally.

So, without further ado, here's my review and progress measurements and photos after following the Heather Robertson 12-week workout programme. If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact me via the contact form.

Disclaimer: I'm under no circumstances a fitness professional (infact, far from it!). This blog post is just my review and progress by following the Heather Robertson 12 week workout programme.

This blog post covers...

What is the Heather Robertson 1.0 12-week workout programme?

Heather Robertson is a certified personal trainer, nutrition coach, author and she's also designed a 12-week workout programme, which is completely free and readily available on YouTube. The fact it's free is seriously amazing and a major aspect of what drew me to it as exercise programmes can be really expensive.

Over the 12-week programme, you will have to complete 5 workout videos each week and each video is about 30-45 minutes and includes a warm-up and cool down. For this programme, you will need dumbbells, an exercise mat and she does recommend you have a stability ball. I actually didn't have a stability ball as I didn't have the space for one so I adapted the workout.

The HR 12-week workout plan is split into three phases:

  • Phase 1 - The workouts in this phase focus on full body to increase strength, mobility, flexibility and endurance.
  • Phase 2 - This phase focuses on building lean, toned muscle by incorporating strength training.
  • Phase 3 - This phase ramps up with more intense workouts to improve athletic performance, burn fat and deliver amazing results. Don't let this scare you, it isn't as bad as it sounds!

I would say the programme is mainly High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) with exercises to build strength and endurance. The exercises gets progressively more difficult as you progress through the programme.

If you're wanting to follow along with this 12-week workout plan, here's a link to get involved! You've got this!

My review of HR's 12-week workout programme

Let me tell you... I absolutely love HR's 1.0 12-week programme and would seriously recommend it to everyone!! So much so, that I, not only completed this program once, but twice!

Firstly, I love that it's completely free and on YouTube. I love that you can do it in the comfort of your home and I love the variety of the workout programme. Some days focused on full body, others on upper body or lower body and then, there were no-repeat days (my favourite!). The programme has a lot of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) exercises incorporated and I find these to be super effective when it comes to burning fat and improving fitness.

When I started this program, I wasn't the fittest and I found it quite challenging. I couldn't even do a single push-up without my body collapsing to the floor - I had zero strength. However, as I stuck with the program, I found my strength massively build, which was a huge boost for me, to the point I could manage to do about 10 push-ups. However, that didn't mean the exercises got any easier. In fact by the final week, I still found the programme really challenging but this is probably because the programme gets more difficult as you progress through.

If you are looking for a talkactive fitness instructor to guide you through the exercises, Heather Robertson is not the instructor you're looking for. She introduces the videos but doesn't talk you past this point, instead opting to demonstrate the exercise. After previously watching HIIT workouts with very loud and chatty instructors, it was actually a really nice change to just listen to the music and enjoy the workout in HR's programme.

If you're looking for some encouragement to do the exercises, there is a facebook group called "Heather Robertson's Health + Fitness Forum", which you can join. I joined this and found it really motivating.

My progress including measurements and before and after photos

The progress you will see below is from one round of the Heather Robertson's 12 week programme and also, going 3km runs about 2-3 times per week. I did not change my diet. I don't have the healthiest diet, I still had takeaways, chocolate and pasta etc throughout. But I am not a big believer in cutting out the stuff you enjoy, I just think it's about eating less and everything in moderation. This year, I've started watching what I'm eating as I was finding it hard to make any further progress just by exercising. I use James Smith macro calculator to work out how many calories I should be eating each day. Here's a link to the calculator (it's free and you don't have to put in any details):

JSA | Online Personal Training
Receive personalised programs, coaching support, access +400 fitness videos, track your workouts and more! Unlimited free trial, no credit card required.
  • Physically - Let me just start by saying I don't base my progress on weighing myself using scales. I just don't find it that accurate as when you build muscle, you are naturally going to weigh more as muscle is heavier than fat. So, instead I did a combination of taking measurements, using a measuring tape and progress photos and I've included all of this information below.


  • Mentally - I found this programme really helped me not only physically but, mentally too. I started this workout as the UK was entering another COVID lockdown in 2021 and this programme allowed me to focus on something other than the pandemic and it gave me something that I had to complete every day. Before this programme, I was not big into exercise. However, after sticking with it for 12 weeks and running 2-3 times a week, I had a new found love for exercise and almost felt like I needed it in my daily life to make me feel better. I have found dramatically impacts from exercise including feeling happier, more content, less stressed and more mentally strong. It's one of the main reasons I've managed to make exercise a habit and an integral part of my lifestyle.

How I managed to stick to the HR workout plan

As mentioned above, I made exercising 3x times a week, one of my 2021 New Year's resolutions. 2021 was the first year that I've managed to stick relatively well to my resolutions and achieve my goals. I believe it was because I changed my mindset and was very determined. To the point that exercise has now became an integral part of my lifestyle.

If you're looking to gain more insight into how I managed to remain consistent with my 2021 New Year's resolutions and goals, then follow the link below where I outline the 5 tips I used to allow me to achieve them.

5 tips to help you achieve your 2022 New Year’s resolutions
Here’s 5 tips to achieve your 2022 New Year’s resolution, I used them to achieve my very own NY resolutions and I swear by them!

Workout Equipment I used

Hardcastle 30Kg Adjustable Dumbbell Barbell Weight Set

This set is really inexpensive. The only downside is it takes so long to change the weights between exercises, which means you'll need to pause the workout multiple times. 

Click Here To Buy On Amazon

KG Physio Exercise Mat

I use this mat and it's brilliant. It's very padded and comfortable. Perfect for yoga too!

Click Here To Buy On Amazon

Trideer Extra Thick Yoga Ball Exercise Ball

HR recommends you use a stability ball and I do think it would make the programme much smoother.

The stability ball is a staple in the programme. I ended up not getting one as I just didn't have the space in my flat and instead, altered the exercises or used things which I thought could replace the stability ball (it wasn't very successful).

If you've got the room, I would suggest getting one! This one from Amazon gets great reviews!

Click Here To Buy On Amazon

What I did after finishing this programme?

I actually went onto do the HR 1.0 12-week programme for a second time. I also continued running 2-3 times a week and took up Yoga with Adrienne's 30 day 'home' programme.

Now that sports facilities have opened back up, I exercise 3+ times a week by doing yoga workouts at home, going to the pool or doing an upper body and abs or lower body and abs workout at the gym. I've also signed up to run my first half marathon in May 2022 - wish me luck!

Other HR workout programmes you can follow

  • Heather Robertson 2.0 12-week workout programme - newly released for 2022!
  • Fierce 14 - 14-day at home strength programme
  • 7 day glow-up challenge
  • 6 week low impact workout programme