I've never been on any kind of work out program. I don't typically like to commit to a particular work out but The 30 Day Shred seemed very doable for me. It's an effective total body work out that includes toning AND cardio. The best thing about it is that it's all packed into 22-25 minutes. You really can't beat that. There are 3 levels and you do 10 days of every level. Each work out has 3 circuits that include 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio and 1 minutes of abs. I used mostly 2 1/2 lb weights but also had 5 lbs available for certain exercises that felt too easy to make it more challenging. I didn't specify how many days a week I would do it. The only rule I set for myself was that I couldn't let more then 2 days pass between work outs. The most days I did it in a row was 8 and it took me a span of 40 calendar days to complete the 30 work outs. According to my handy dandy Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor that I got for my Birthday I burned between 140 and 220 calories each time. I've been working on my splits so I did my own stretching at the end of every work out and went a little bit longer then she did so I spent a full 30 minutes from warm up to cool down.
Level 1 wasn't that difficult for me. I didn't even get sore right away. By the 3rd work out I started to feel it mostly in my upper body but not nearly as bad as I expected it to be. It wasn't total body soreness. It started with just my chest, then spread to my arms and then my calves by day four. I was kind of excited that maybe I wasn't in as bad a shape as I thought I was. The push ups were the hardest. Being a former gymnast I have always done "man" push ups. We weren't allowed to do it any other way so I could do them but I found that I had to modify towards the end when I got tired. I was so proud to be able to do them all by the end of level 1.
Level 2 was definitely more challenging. I was enjoying the workouts but by the 14th one I started to get really tired of the whole thing. I was barely half way through level 2, it was harder and it just felt like forever until I'd be done.
Level 3 was even more challenging. My upper inner thighs got a little sore after Day 1. I can't do the jump lunges because of my bad knees so I did the modified version on that. The level 3 work out always seemed to go by really fast for me. I think it's because it was harder to tell the difference between the strength, cardio and toning. They all seemed to blend together so before I know what I'm doing the work out is over. I was so ready to be done that I woke up early on a Wednesday morning to get a work out in because I knew I couldn't do it after work. Turns out it's a pretty nice before work video. It's so short and without a commute to the gym I didn't have to wake up that much earlier but still got my work out over with for the day.
Each level builds upon the next so well that by the 8th work out on every level I really started to feel like I was mastering it. I didn't need any stops or modifications and I felt ready to move onto the next one. I loved it that even though it's short I didn't feel like I was wasting my time. She packs a lot in and my body feels really fatigued afterwards even if it's not making me sore. I think it made me work even harder to know that it was ONLY 20 minutes and I just had to keep pushing myself for that short amount of time. Some people said that Jillian's commentary got on their nerves but it didn't bother me. She kept saying that if you want to work out for 20 minutes you have to earn it. Sometimes it was the extra kick in the pants I needed to keep pushing.
|BEFORE // AFTER|
|BEFORE // AFTER|
My before and after results are not very dramatic. I hesitated to even post them at all but hey, my body is what it is. I'm really critical of myself and sadly I will probably never be completely satisfied, but I'm proud of finishing the video and what I accomplished. The pictures may not show it but I can definitely see more definition in my abs, arms and thighs. The best part is that I FEEL stronger. My husband loves the results too. It makes me feel really good when he tells me that he can see a difference and that I look good. The only downside (for him anyway) is that he can't manhandle me any more like he used to and he knows it. He better watch out!!
If you couldn't figure it out already, I highly recommend Jillian Michaels - 30 Day Shred. I sent it to my little sister to try. I like it so much that I'm still doing it. I went back and did level 2 and I could feel the difference. I'm much stronger now then I was when I started. It's going to be a go to work out for me especially during the work week when time is limited, but I'll be mixing it in with other videos and trips to the gym.