It seemed like everywhere I turned on the internet, people were talking about some kind of hardcore workout and loving it. Or at least having a love-hate relationship with it. It seemed everyone was talking about the “30 Day Shred” with Jillian Michaels.
At first I paid no mind to it because I’m not an exercise fan. Fitness, sure, but if you can actually call it exercise I lose interest. About ten years ago I was in the best shape of my life. Every muscle in my body was rock hard, I had excellent balance and flexibility, and I was super fit. I was doing Kung Fu back then, going at least 5 days out of 7, and usually it was 6 days. On most of the days I was doing two back-to-back hour-long sessions. I was seriously into my martial arts. But it worked for me because it was fun. It made me strong and I felt like I could kick someone’s ass (though I was never stupid enough to put myself in dangerous situations to test that!), so to me it wasn’t exercise. It was just something I loved that happened to have the added benefit of turning me into a well-toned machine.
Now the gym, on the other hand, was one of the lamest ways I have ever wasted money because I signed up for a year, went about five or six times, and then decided I hated it, never to return. I’m just not a gym person. MAYBE if I worked in an office building with a gym downstairs, it might work. But I just hated the whole commitment of having to go TO the gym, work out for an hour or so, and then come BACK from the gym. I didn’t feel engaged or motivated.
On top of that, I have several workout videos that have been collecting dust for YEARS. I have both Cindy Crawford workouts, one that (god is this embarrassing) Jennie Garth put out in the height of the original 90210 years (that girl had great legs!), and two yoga videos. Yeah, like I said, collecting dust.
And yet something compelled me to try the 30 Day Shred. People were so enthused about it. Everyone said that they hated Jillian with a passion and yet they loved her too because it was working. So I got it and tried it out.
Today was day 3 of 30 so I’m being cautiously optimistic – I know myself and my boredom levels (plus laziness) well enough to realize I may just shrug and say “ehh” in a few days. Working out every damn day is not necessarily appealing.
However! The workout is only 20 minutes (a bit longer with the warm-up and cool-down). Even I can’t find a good reason to be unable to find 20 minutes during the day. I can easily spend 20 minutes poking around Flickr or watching bad TV, why not this?
The good thing is that even though I woke up today with incredible muscle pain in my calves, I was actually eager to do my workout. I could barely wait for Breanna’s nap time so I could get busy shredding, pain and all. And then when I came out to find George watching a movie, I simply shrugged, grabbed my laptop, put the DVD in, and did my workout in the other room. That’s motivation.
I like the way she circuits through the 3-minute strength, 2-minute cardio, and 1-minute abs workouts through the 20 minutes. It keeps me hopping enough that I’m not bored yet, and after ten days you jump up to the next level (there are three). Right now I’m doing the modified version because damn, I am not able to keep up with the advanced moves yet, but that means that after my 30 days, I can start over and try those.
I have already uttered threats against Jillian at times when I feel like I just might want to keel over and die – they don’t “allow” breaks at all, she even says that if you must, you can stop to catch your breath for “no more than five seconds” but that’s it. It’s HARD. It’s so hard it’s unbelievable.
It’s possibly killing me, but let me tell you something – after three days I can already see results. Not massively huge results, but *I* can see them. That’s something impressive after a short time frame.
I’m not doing it to lose weight. I know that some people who know me or who have seen pictures will tell me I don’t need to lose weight but that’s not my motivation. For one thing, I have an extremely sedentary job, sitting here at my desk. I always have, but working from home means that my daily commute is, you know, down the hall. It’s easy to not move for a long time every day, unless using your fingers to type counts (it doesn’t do much for my heart rate, so I’m guessing no). Doing this workout gets me doing something fitness-oriented for 20 minutes every day. It’s also making me alert. Sure, I’m EXHAUSTED when I’m done, but my brain wakes right up.
Also, while I may have good numbers on the scale, I just want to, er, *tone* some stuff up. I told George that I am challenging myself to buy a bikini this summer. Last year I bought a two-piece suit but it’s a tankini so not much is visible in the middle. I want to buy and wear an honest-to-God bikini (maybe this is my mid-life crisis?) and the only way I will do that is if I have some ab definition. Considering the fact that after today’s workout I saw that there was a faint line at the top and sides of my abs, I can tell you right now that this works. It will kick your ass and when you do the punching routine you just might aim towards the TV so that you can pretend you’re punching Jillian RIGHT IN THE FACE, but it works.
Here’s hoping I can keep it up for the full 30 days. I have shopping to do.