Friday, June 4, 2010

Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred Review

Today we are going to talk about Jillian Michaels. Jillian is considered television's "toughest trainer." I think she's gotten this reputation because she has no problems getting in people's faces and showing them the reality they need to confront. I happen to find this an endearing quality.

The 30 Day Shred is kind of an introduction to Jillian's 3-2-1 training program. 3 minutes of strength training, 2 minutes of cardio, and 1 minute of abs.

The DVD includes 3 levels. Each level is supposed to get progressively more difficult. Each level starts with a short warm up, takes you through 3 circuits, then provides a short cool down stretch. The warm up sessions on each level are different but the cool down always stays the same. Each level also has two examples of how to do the moves; the beginner and the advanced.

For me, level 1 was mostly about the cardio and getting used to the type of program Jillian created. I advanced quickly in this level. The first day I thought I could do the whole circuit with 5 pound weights but ended up shifting back and forth with 5 and 3 pound weights. Around day 6 I went back to using the 5 pound weights through the entire program.

Level 2 is said to be the toughest level. This level focuses a lot on abs and arms. You are in a plank hold probably more than half of the time the DVD is running. It is difficult until you build up your core and arm strength. I didn't conquer this level until day 9!

Level 3 focuses more on the lower body. There are more leg and inner thigh moves in this level. Some people have said this level is easier than level 2 but I think it's more about where your strength lies. I believe women are more likely to do fitness DVDs. Women do not have a ton of arm strength, they usually carry most of their strength in their legs. So being asked to remain in plank position so much during the second level it feels harder than when you move into level 3.

I did this DVD for 30 consecutive days (though it doesn't have to be used that way). I did 10 days at each level. Here are my results:

Weight: No change
Waist: 3/4 inch lost
Hips: 3/4 inch lost
Left Thigh: 1/2 inch lost
Right Thigh: 1/2 inch lost
Left Arm: 1/2 inch lost
Right Arm: 1/2 inch lost

I know my results seem minuscule but here are the issues with the way I executed this 30 day challenge: I did not watch what I ate. I was not conscious of any type of 'diet' at all. I pretty much ate what I wanted when I wanted. Also, this is the only exercise I was doing. For someone at my level (working out regularly for more than a year) this workout alone did not provide enough of a challenge.

HOWEVER, I am not sorry I did this program. I feel tighter in all areas of my body. My clothes fit better. I now have muscle definition in my arms. If I had the program to do over again (and who knows, maybe one day I will do it over again) I would try to watch my food choices better and add some extra cardio into the workout.

All in all, I'm happy that I stood up and conquered the challenge. And...if you watch closely on this DVD...Jillian gets winded herself, and she only does half the moves because she's "showing us" how the other girls are doing the moves. So don't feel bad if you can't breathe and you feel like you are going to die...even television's toughest trainer had trouble with this workout!

What fitness challenges have you faced and or overcome lately?

What kinds of healthy accomplishments have you made recently?

Do you have any new fitness goals or challenges coming up?
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