About a year ago, I discovered a workout DVD that changed my level of fitness in all the right ways. I had become relatively complacent about fitness. I did Pilates every once in a while, often chose to walk instead of driving, and managed my calorie intake in a way that kept my weight from fluctuating much. People considered me thin, and I was, but I also knew that I got winded easily, had little muscle definition, and never really pushed myself to become stronger or more in shape.
That’s why my interest was piqued when a fit friend described the workout DVD she had been using – Jillian Michaels’ 30-Day Shred. This workout DVD consists of three levels of 20-minute total body workouts. Jillian Michaels intends a participant in the 30-Day Shred to complete one 20-minute workout each day for thirty days. She suggests a participant use the Level One workout until she feels ready to move on to Level Two, and then use Level Two until she feels ready to move on to Level Three, but each level is a standalone workout as well. Jillian Michaels promises noticeable results if a participant completes the 30-Day Shred and maintains a healthy diet.
When I found that the Level One workout of the 30-Day Shred was available on my Time Warner Exercise On Demand channel, I figured I would give it a try and see if I wanted to invest in the DVD. Sure enough, the first level was so challenging I was nearly cursing at the TV, but when I had finished, I felt as though it was the best twenty minutes of fitness I had ever spent. I received the 30-Day Shred DVD for Christmas, invested in some small hand weights, and have yet to find a workout a routine that is better for me.
Here are five reasons that you should try the 30-Day Shred as well, and see if it can help get you the results that you are looking for.
1. The 30-Day Shred really is a total body workout.
Each level of Jillian Michaels’ 30-Day Shred involves a combination of strength training, cardio, and abdominal moves. Jillian Michaels crafted each workout to get several muscle groups working at the same time, increase your heart rate, and make you work hard and long enough at each move that it gets results. She created moves that tone muscles I didn’t even know I had, while melting fat off in all the right places and increasing my cardiovascular stamina. Her incorporation of plyometrics (jump training) is especially effective at burning fat and toning muscle in a short period of time.
2. The 30-Day Shred is a reasonable time length.
Each workout in the 30-Day Shred is twenty minutes long – perhaps a little longer if you count warm-up and cool-down time. I can’t believe how much Jillian Michaels was able to pack into such a short workout. She often encourages participants to give every move everything they have, because it is only twenty minutes long, but because of its intensity, she promises it will take the place of “hours of phoning it in at the gym.”
3. The variety of the 30-Day Shred prevents boredom.
Both during the workout, and from day to day, the 30-Day Shred includes enough variety that I don’t get bored with the workout. Jillian Michaels has structured each workout to include three circuits composed of: three minutes of strength, two minutes of cardio, and one minute of abs. Jillian Michaels calls this her patented “3-2-1 Technique.” The longest you are ever doing one move is only 60 seconds, so it’s easy to stay focused. Additionally, each workout includes enough variation in moves that it has its own feel to it. I now know each workout well enough that I can tell which one I either need to do or feel like doing on any given day.
4. The 30-Day Shred is challenging, but manageable.
If I were to tell you the sorts of moves the 30-Day Shred includes, you might think it sounds like a piece of cake. Each level involves variations on classic moves like jumping jacks, push-ups, crunches, and running in place. However, Jillian Michaels crafts each move and expertly places it in a sequence so that it becomes challenging. Jumping jacks might be simple enough – but doing them with weights in hand for thirty-second intervals at full intensity near the end of a total body workout is no picnic. Additionally, with Jillian Michaels’ no-nonsense coaching, I am less likely to stop a move halfway through a circuit or keep from giving it my all.
5. The 30-Day Shred gets results.
I am not kidding – as I progressed through this workout program, my body began to look more like Jillian Michaels’! In fact, I experienced the results as I completed the 30-Day Shred. I went from not being able to complete Level One to making it the entire way through Level Three. I can see definition in my thighs, arms, shoulders, and back that I had never had before. Not only that, but if I spend some time away from the workout and I come back to Level One, I can tell that I have grown weaker and need to re-tone my muscles and rebuild my stamina.
If you are feeling complacent with your body and looking for a workout to kick your fitness up a notch, I definitely recommend the 30-Day Shred to you. Depending on your needs and time frame, you could complete the program as Jillian Michaels recommends – thirty days straight, gradually making your way to Level Three – or mix up the levels and do one of the workouts several times a week. As long as you are eating a healthy diet and completing one level of the 30-Day Shred several days a week, you really will see results.
Although Jillian Michaels claims that anyone could do the 30-Day Shred, I think people who have a very low level of fitness to start with would struggle quite a bit. However, Jillian includes modifications for beginners, so everyone should at least give it a try. Don’t get discouraged! You will get out of this DVD program what you put into it, and with dedication and perseverance, you will change your body in ways you never knew you could!