Ugh. Phew. ZZzzzzz. That Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred is one tough, exhausting DVD. But, you know what? It works. Just in ten days – the number of days I devoted to level one, figuring that three levels divided by four weeks would be ten days a level – me so smart! – I can feel my endurance has improved tremendously. The first two days that I did the exercises, I was huffing and puffing, stopping here and there for a breather. Last night, I breezed right through it. That’s how I – gulp! – know I’m ready for level two.
Let’s see, what do I like about this DVD? It kept me on my toes. The three circuits seem to flip by fairly quickly, and as soon as I think I’m about to die, it’s time to change to another set. The formula seems to work – three minutes of strength, two minutes of cardio, and one minute abs. Three circuits and you are done. Use your choice of hand weights – I used 5s and 8s.
Circuit number one begins with squats and overhead dumbbell presses, and the cardio involves jumping jacks – probably my least favorite exercise. Combined with crunches, it’s an effective first level – but nothing too severe.
Circuit two – back rows, lunges with bicep curls, punching and butt kicks – this is the level that killed me. Thirty seconds of non-stop lunges doesn’t SOUND too awful – but try it and you’ll see. (insert maniacal laughter here…) One great feature is that Jillian gives pointers throughout the circuits with tips and hints – on the butt kicks, actually KICK your own butt. It’s nice to have that reminder to keep my chin off my chest during ab work and press my throat to the ceiling. When it feels like it’s getting easy, she always tosses in a reminder of what you COULD be doing – abs in, butt back – and boom! It suddenly gets more difficult.
Circuit three featured chest flys, side lunges (again with the lunges!) with front raises, a repeat of the first four cariod choices, and more ab work. I have to say, the abs on Anita – one of the demonstrators – made me a believer. You don’t get those abs for free, and any time I wanted to quit, I looked her way.
Level one was great. Level two awaits – I hope I’m up for the challenge! Anyone want to join me?