If you are looking for a good work-out program/video series, here are my thoughts on Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred:
The DVD contains three 20-minute workouts (that are actually over 25 minutes long because of the transition time between exercises). Each workout follows an interval system that includes 3 circuits of 3 minutes of strength training, 2 minutes of cardio exercise, and then 1 minute of ab work…plus a warm up and cool down. It was a very good workout program to sort of ease into exercising while also really pushing yourself. Yes, I know that sort of seems contradictory…but if you try it I think you’ll know what I mean: Jillian Michael’s provides low impact modifications for several of the exercises so that you don’t over-exert yourself or your joints…but she keeps you moving your whole body until you are exhausted.
Each of the three workouts on the DVD gets progressively more difficult. Jillian Michael’s suggests that you start with workout 1, progress to workout 2 when you feel you are ready, and then on to workout 3. Accordingly, I started out with the level 1 video and did it for 6 days the first week and then about 3 days the second week before I felt ready to progress to level 2. Level 2 was difficult enough that I can’t say I ever really felt “ready” to progress to level 3 throughout my 30 days…On the other hand, I CAN say I got very sick of doing the same exact workout every single day. Soooooo…I started changing things up: First, I went back and did level 1 a few days (although easier, it was still a tough workout and I felt that it was good to incorporate some other exercises and use some different muscle groups in different ways). But then I also got bored alternating between the first two levels. (I do not use bored to mean the workouts were easy…just that I was sick of doing the same thing every day…I had those workouts memorized.) So I started challenging myself every few days with the level 3 workout…and then going back to the first 2 levels in the days in between. I found that doing the low impact modifications of level 3 was a bit easier than doing level 2 at high impact…and that I could also make level 1 more challenging by continuing the exercises during the 20-30 seconds of “transition” that Jillian Michael’s allows between exercises and circuits. Based on everything I know about exercising, I would say my mixing it up technique is a better way to use this workout program than simply progressing from level to level, and it also helped me not to give up due to boredom.
Long Story Short…This is how I recommend using Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred Workout Program (where not specified, whether or not to use modifications is up to you):
Day 1 – Workout 1, low impact modifications
Day 2 – Workout 1, low impact modifications
Day 3 – Workout 1, ease out of modifications where you can
Day 4 – Workout 1
Day 5 – Workout 1
Day 6 – Workout 1, push yourself to avoid low impact modifications
Day 7 – Workout 1
Day 8 – Workout 2, low impact modifications
Day 9 – Workout 1
Day 10 – Workout 2
Day 11 – Workout 1
Day 12 – Workout 2
Day 13 – Workout 2
Day 14 – Workout 2
Day 15 – Workout 1
Day 16 – Workout 2
Day 17 – Workout 2
Day 18 – Workout 1
Day 19 – Workout 3, low impact modifications
Day 20 – Workout 2
Day 21 – Workout 1
Day 22 – Workout 3, low impact modifications
Day 23 – Workout 2
Day 24 – Workout 1
Day 25 – Workout 3
Day 26 – Workout 2
Day 27 – Workout 2
Day 28 – Workout 1, push yourself to work out even during transition times
Day 29 – Workout 2
Day 30 – Workout 3: last day…give it all you’ve got.
A few additional notes:
-There were a few exercises (esp. on level 2) that I always chose the low impact modifications for or substituted jumping jacks. The plymetric moves that are in plank position really hurt my knees and I hate the rubbing noise the cartilage in my joints makes when I try to do them. Don’t let yourself fall into thinking that low impact means “easier” or “the wussy way”…while the modifications usually are a bit easier, “low impact” really does mean “less impact” on your joints…and it may be wise to use these modifications even if you are in peak performance condition.
-As far as I could tell, Jillian Michael’s does not incorporate a rest day into her program…but I did. Done as I laid out above, it will actually take 34 Days to get through the 30 Days due to the inclusion of rest days.
-The DVD box suggests that you could lose up to 20 pounds in 30 Days. I might have lost a pound or two, but certainly not 20. But I do feel that I whipped myself into better workout condition…and might be able to survive 60 Days of Insanity next
I’m linking up: