30 Day Shred: DVD review
I’ve been doing the 30 Day Shred workout off and on for over three months now, and I am here to tell you this DVD is the best investment I have ever made in my fitness, bar none. Why is it so awesome? Let me tell you:
• It is short. Each level is only 20 minutes long, not including a few extra minutes for warmup and cooldown. Each level is broken down into three sets of different areas of focus, so there are three segments that go like this: strength interval, cardio interval, abs interval. Each interval is only a few minutes long. That means no matter what god-awful routine you are in the middle of (jumping jacks with HAND WEIGHTS, for instance, or squats combined with overhead presses), you only have to do it for a short period of time.
• Some moves can be modified, but not all. This pushes me beyond what I think I can do, while still giving me some options to make it through the hardest segments.
• The instructor, Jillian Michaels, offers a tough love approach. I have always sort of hated/enjoyed how the instructor of Turbo Jam tries to make the whole thing enjoyable, and chirpily reminds you how she bets you don’t even feel like you’re exercising because you’re having so much fun, but Jillian pulls no punches. “This SUCKS, I KNOW,” she says. “You can get THROUGH this, but I want you to be GARGLING YOUR HEART. You want a 20 minute workout, you have to work HARD the WHOLE TIME.” It makes me whimper, but I like it. I can’t go back to the Chirpy, now that I’ve experienced the Badass.
• You will see results. I call B.S. on the way she wraps up each level by reminding you that by the end of 30 days, you’ll be totally shredded (come on), but I cannot imagine anyone doing this workout for even a couple weeks without seeing some improvements. I have more definition in my shoulders, my arms, my legs, and my belly. I have visible obliques, you guys. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE.
• Did I mention that it’s short? This is so, so great for people trying to fit exercise into their busy lives — between my kids and work and freelance and everything else, this routine is working really well for me right now. Lately my husband and I have been doing the workout together after the baby goes to sleep, while our 3-year-old either pretends to do it with us (which is awesome, BTW), or sits nearby and watches a short video on a portable DVD player. (Note: you don’t need a lot of floor space to do this, if you can take a big step forward and back, you’re good.)
It is HARD, I won’t lie. You will hurt the first time you do it. If you’re like me, you’ll be so sore afterwards it will be challenging to do such activities as walking, and sitting on the toilet without issuing a little shriek of pain. But: it gets easier. You will get stronger. And pretty soon you’ll be doing actual, no-shit pushups like some kind of JOCK.
I guess the idea is that you’re supposed to do the workouts every day for 30 days, working your way up through the levels. I didn’t do that, I just cycle through the different levels so I don’t get too bored of any one segment — your mileage may vary on that approach. Also, I know it’s good to get longer amounts of exercise when possible, so my feeling is that this workout is extra awesome when mixed in with other activities. I take a kickboxing class a couple days a week, and that combo seems perfect.
If you’re looking for something that will really challenge you without eating up all of your free time, I can’t recommend it enough. And, as of this writing, the DVD is $7.50 on Amazon. SEVEN DOLLARS AND FIFTY CENTS. I’m telling you: best investment ever.
(Original article posted at Balanced Living.)