So I finally completed the 30 days shred! I’m so pleased with myself because I actually stuck with it and didn’t give up half way through. Even when I missed a couple of workout days my resolve didn’t falter which surprised me! There were a few days in level 2 where I had zero enthusiasm for the workout but forced myself through it.
For those who don’t know the shred, the DVD is by Jillian Michaels (celebrity trainer you may have seen on ‘The biggest loser’) and has three 20 minute workouts – Levels 1, 2 and 3. Each workout is made up of a warm up session, cool down session and three circuits which comprise of 3 minutes of weights, 2 minutes of cardio and 1 minute of ab work. I chose to workout every morning before starting my day or early evening if I was unable to in the morning. I prefer mornings because I have less excuses to give at that time, it’s not like I’m going to do anything else once I’m awake. However, in the evenings I can feign exhaustion or convince myself there’s something else more deserving of my time. What I love most is that it was 20 minutes, most of us spend more than that amount of time on Facebook/Twitter anyway so it’s not a lot to ask.
Worst parts of the workouts: has to be the cardio, hated every second of it-especially in level 3 because Jillian added resistance to it. But then again, I only did a total of 6 minutes of cardio per day. Some of the exercises did strain my knees a little but I’m sure it’s nothing a good pair of trainers can’t fix. Plus Jillian recommends that you don’t do the advanced versions of the exercises that stress your knees if you are having trouble.
Best parts of the workout: the strength and abs circuits were fun for me because they made me feel like I was doing something super serious, haha! Jillian’s voice also keeps you motivated and it she’s gentle enough to not be irritating after hearing her voice 10 times on each level. She talks you through each exercise, calmly encourages you not to “phone it in” and before you know it, the circuit is over! Her sidekicks are also pretty bad ass and I love that they don’t slack, even when she’s not watching them. If I had looked up at the screen during an exercise and seen them slacking I would be tempted to do the same. Another great thing is the level system. Between days 7 and 9 the routine does become a bit boring but the new level comes just in time to maintain your interest. Any longer than 10 days a level and I would have quit at some point.
I kept my weights light and used 1kg dumbbells. It was also my first time working with weights regularly in my fitness routine so I wanted to start off low because my arm strength is pretty non existent.
Results: My body did not drastically change however that’s not to say there was zero improvement. My mid section has toned up a little and my overall fitness has improved (I can now do a full push up and jog 2 miles/3kms without wanting to cough up a lung, yay me!). Generally though, I think for my body to really get shredded I have to up the intensity, simple as that. And that’s exactly what I plan to do!
I have already added level 1 of Jillian’s yoga meltdown to my routine. I am doing it in place of the warm up which makes my total workout time 40 minutes. I will write a separate post about my yoga experience but in short, its also about 20 minutes long and focuses on building upper body strength. It’s similar to power yoga so it’s not the slow calm version of yoga most of us newbies are familiar with. Because it’s so tough for my weakling self I’m currently only doing it 3 times a week till my muscles catch up. I’m also jogging on the days that I don’t do yoga for 30-40 mins.
Beginning Friday I’m diving into Jillian’s Ripped in 30 DVD, yes I’m quite the Jillian fanatic. I’ve perused through it and it definitely promises to give me more of a challenge than the 30 day shred. It has 4 levels and each is done in 7 days. Level 1 looks similar to level 3 of the shred! Eek! I have also upped my weights to 2kgs to increase the challenge. Despite being scared, I’m also excited and ready to get the party started!
Would I recommend the 30 day shred to others? Only if this is your first time getting into some kind of regular workout routine. It’s great for beginners and if you follow the rules, you wont be disappointed. This DVD worked wonders for my sister, see below.
It’s hard enough to push you without it being impossible. The levels allow you to build up your strength as you go along and by the time you’re done, you will feel stronger and you will be shredded! If you don’t get the results you want, it may be time to up the ante. Either way, in Jillian’s words: keep going!