Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred

“No resting”. “I want you gargling your heart”. “I want you to feel like you’re going to die” are not typical phrases people would traditionally pay to listen to. However, if you decide to take on Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred Workout DVD this is exactly the sort of message you can expect to hear.

I’m now on day 8 of the plan – I skipped a day on Saturday since my calves were so tight and I knew I was horse riding the next day for the first time in about 17 years so I thought I better give myself a fair chance to actually get on the horse!

Whether you should take a break or not seems to be a bit of a debate online between fellow fitness followers with some arguing you should do 3 days on, 2 days of cardio and repeat, whilst others have stuck to it for a whole trail of days in a row. Me, I am going to try and follow a pattern of 5 days on and 1 day rest, unless I feel fine on the sixth day and then I’ll carry on.

The way the plan works is based over three levels and each level has Jillian and her two ‘helpers’ - one who is for beginners and the other for more advanced/fitter participants. At around 20 minute per workout you are probably thinking I’m a bit of a wuss finding this tough. Believe me these are a hard and long 20 minutes.

Jillian works on the 3-2-1 plan (she created this I believe), whereby you do 3 minutes strength, 2 minutes cardio, 1 minute abs. In addition, she likes you to work big muscles along with smaller ones to allow for the greatest fat burn possible. The types of exercises include jumping jacks, jump rope, bicycle crunches, butt kicks and strength moves which work combinations of chest and abs, biceps and calves, thighs and shoulders and so on. Oh and you get a brief cool down at the end.

When I last started this workout when I first bought it back in January I used soup tins for weights but I’ve since bought small light weights and for comfort I’d recommend using a mat for the floor work. I find in each workout I don’t have a chance to stop for water as no breaks are allowed (only 5 seconds if you’re really struggling) and I am dripping with sweat by the end.

At the moment I’m still on Level One – the idea being you move up a level as and when you feel ready. My logic is 10 days on each level. In the past when I’ve done the workouts just as part of exercise I’ve been on level one for a bit and then mostly followed level two, with one go at level three! Now as I reached sessions 7 and 8 I found my body has pretty much adapted to the first level and I’m thinking it may be time to move on. However, I’m going to try and follow my planned structure and do 2 more sessions on this first level just in case.

I’ve tried a few workout DVDs over the years – like most females I’d imagine – and I have to say I really like the style of this one. Things like the 10 Minute Solution workouts I find the trainers too ‘American’ and ‘cheesy’ in their approach. I really enjoy the Pump It Up Ministry of Sound DVD I’ve had for years, but don’t find it has major results.

However, Biggest Loser USA’s trainer Michaels has a good style, of course the odd cheesy line creeps in there “You strong. You can do anything”. In the main though this trainer has a good approach I think and her tough ways do push me on despite the fact it’s just a voice on a DVD at the end of the day.

I’ll keep you updated as I progress with the sessions and when I move up a level. Funnily enough when I do the workout my aches and pains from horse riding (I can only now just about sit down comfortably) fade somewhat.

The problem I’m having now is when I sit down and rest and then get back up again, I feel like I have a heavy medicine ball between my legs stopping them moving properly or meeting together! The result is me waddling a tad duck-like along the road until the pain eases. Not a great look.

As the week progresses I hope the pain will subside and I’ve decided to carry on with the 30 Day Shred regardless for now. Only issue is just as the pain goes, I’ve got my next riding lesson on Sunday so it’s probably going to come right on back again…

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