Thursday, February 25, 2010

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Shred Reviewed

Goal accomplished.

30 days of Jillian Michael's 30-Day Shred later I'm reporting results.
For the record, I did not follow any sort of diet or dieting rules and didn't go to her website. If I wanted something I pretty much ate or nibbled or shared it, including a small Blizzard and some boneless buffalo wings. Of course, on the flip side I often ate low-fat yogurt, oatmeal or Cheerios for supper or lunch. But that was because that's what I wanted at the time. Also, I didn't follow any other exercise program or add additional workouts to Shred. Any "success" is likely from doing Shred alone.

Shred kicked my booty on several different levels. An exercise buddy and I committed to doing it all 30 days with each of the three levels lasting ten days. We just methodically did them and when it was time to move on, we did, whether we were afraid or ready or whatever.

My buddy didn't do all the days so I'm just going to report my results. I lost 2 inches off my hips, 2 inches off my waist and an inch from my chest. Not only did the tape measure report that, I feel it in my clothes. Now. As I've discussed this with others and we laughed about Jillian's level 3 comment "You should be seeing that six-pack right about now." we've decided that under the "bubble wrap" I've got hanging around, that there is definite change and toning in those abdominal muscles. I can feel them move. My core is much stronger and the moves have gotten easier to do.

Definition and strength clearly happened in my arms, legs and behind as well.
Overall I lost 3.3 pounds. Not significant, but not awful either. I'm not trying to break weight loss speed records, just get in better shape and working on becoming healthier. So I'm very pleased with that for 30 days of 20 minute work-outs. Now.

Here's the nitty gritty.
I hated listening to Jillian's explanation every day. You can't cut to the chase, you have to go through her 2-3 minute intro. Annoying. Sometimes the comments got a little annoying as well. The visual was nice because the camera hit mostly full body and traveled from the high-intensity model to the lower-intensity model during each move while Jillian explained what was going on and why. I loved that Jillian explained why some exercises were Level 3 and how they worked the muscles, and what was being accomplished etc. The music was a little annoying, too, but I was able to ignore it most of the time. I would've liked to see some different cool-downs because the warm-ups were different for each level.

Many of the exercises are high intensity and I felt a lot of them in my knees both during and after. Level 3 is really high intensity with plyometrics (explosive movements, i.e. jumping) like jump squats, rock stars, sumo squats, jumping jacks with weights, mountain climbers, jumping lunges. In the 10 days we did this level I was not able to do the entire session at the higher level intensity. My body got used to it and my knees aren't barking anymore but be warned. I had a shoulder that yelled at me the first few days I did Level 1 but it hasn't bothered me since. I really felt the squats and other intense moves in my rear-end. So much so that the only relief I got in Day 3 of Level 3 was to do Shred for the day. The ab workouts were mostly painful and did their job, covering every stinking muscle (according to my complaining abs anyway).

I loved, loved, loved that this is an intense 20 minute workout and it's a keeper. I can always put in 20 minutes. No excuses. I am going to give Jillian's Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism DVD a shot. It's 40 minutes and I'd like to see the difference in results.