I bought the 30 Day Shred workout DVD way back in the summer of 2010. And it sat on my shelf. It sat through me being sidelined with a broken foot from August through October 2010. Then it sat for 9 months until June 2011 while I was pregnant with my youngest child. It sat again while I completed the 60 Day Slimdown last summer and while I started Firm Express and then ultimately stopped all exercising and eating right.
When I finished up Firm Express last month I knew I wanted to do this program since I had heard such good things out of it. I knew it was hard, because people who I know to be in good shape told me it was killer. Plus I’ve done some of Jillian’s other workouts before and they are b.r.u.t.a.l. In fact, that broken foot I spoke of….. yep, happened during a Jillian workout.
But broken bones aside, I knew I wanted to do it.
So what is it? A simple google search told me that the program lasts for 30 days (well duh) and you do each level on the DVD for 10 days. So Level 1 on days 1 through 10, level 2 on days 11-20, and level 3 on days 21-30. Each level has 3 circuits. Each circuit starts with 3 minutes of strength (2 separate moves), 2 minutes of cardio, and 1 minute of abs. On the program you do need a mat if you are working out on hard floors and you will need a set of handweights. I used 3 pound weights for almost all days of the program, but a few times I did bump up to 5 pound weights.
And as you couldn’t tell already, since you do each level for 10 days and the program is 30 days long it means that for 30 days you will exercise every single day. That was surprising to me, since I had always heard that you need to let your muscles rest 48 hours between strength training. But, I decided for one month I’d set aside conventional wisdom, listen to my body, and modify if I felt I needed to.
Now it did end up taking me 32 days to complete the 30 Day Shred. Since I live with my in-laws I am limited as to when I can exercise in the living room. Unless my mother-in-law has an afternoon appointment, I have to wait until after she goes to bed in the evenings. But I can’t wait too long or my father-in-law will need to have the living room for his own resting purposes. So basically I have a window between 8pm and 10pm from which to get both kids to bed and workout. Usually this works fine. I get the boys asleep by 9 or so and then workout. But on the evening that should have been Day 23, my youngest son just would not go to sleep. Well, let me rephrase, he’d go to sleep, but the moment I went to actually place him in bed, he’d wake up and start screaming. So, Mommy duty prevailed and I ended up delaying Day 23 for 24 hours. I also ended up delaying Day 28 for 24 hours since my husband was in town for the first time in 2 weeks so I decided a day to spend 100% with family was in order.
So enough talk, here are my stats.
Measurement Start End Change
Weight 201.2 186.3 -14.9 pounds
Arm 14″ 13.5″ -1/2 inch
Chest 35.5″ 34″ -1 1/2 inches
Waist 44.5″ 42″ -2 1/2 inches
1″ below belly button 50″ 46 1/2 -3 1/2 inches
Thigh 25.75″ 26″ +1/4 inch (more muscle?)
Calf 17.5″ 16.75″ -3/4 inch
So I lost nearly 15 pounds and 8 inches total. And I’ll just say that I earned each and every one. 30 Day Shred is literally a butt kicker. Every time I started a new level I was physically spent at the end of it. But it was also nice to see the fitness gains I made during each level, because by the time the 10 days were up, I knew I was still working out hard, but I wasn’t to the point where I was necessarily going to collapse.
These workouts are definitely challenging and I would caution anyone who is a beginner to exercise in any way to wait until they have a little higher level of fitness before undertaking this challenge. Especially Level 3 which incorporates a lot of plyometrics. If you have joint issues at all I’d either modify modify modify, or wait to do this workout until you have some better joint health. I personally, wouldn’t want anyone injured, and if you have concerns at all about this workout, definitely discuss it with your physician first.
The biggest positives I see to this workout DVD is the fact that the workouts are short. They say each one is only 20 minutes, but my DVD timer was more like 25 or so once the warm-up and cool down are added. They will definitely get you a great workout and allow you to get back to your busy lives. I also like how she structures the circuits. The 3-2-1 system gives your body time to rest the muscles from working hard during strength while you do cardio, and when you’re breathing hard after pushing yourself while doing the cardio, you get a minute of ab work (most of the time involving some sort of floor work).
I didn’t personally see a lot of negatives. I suppose if you’re a stickler for doing all the exercises at the same speed as the people on the screen and not modifying them at all then you could easily get injured using these DVDs. In fact a lot of the one star reviews on Amazon.com were from people who got badly injured. I personally noticed some knee pain after the first day of doing Level 2, but I kept at it (just lowered the intensity and modified on key moves) and it went away. I finished sans injury.
The only other things that bugged me were the intro the DVD. It was 2 minutes of Jillian introducing the system, which is great on day 1. But after that I really didn’t need to spend 2 minutes watching the.same.darn.thing. And the last negative that I see was just the boredom factor. By the time I got to day 7,8,9, and 10 I’d been doing the same workout every day for a week or more. I knew what was coming next and wanted something new. But overall I’d say that is a very minor complaint because if you follow this system, after 10 days you move on anyway.
Overall, I am extremely happy with the results and would recommend this DVD to someone wanting to kick it up a notch.
Thanks Jillian for a hard fought 15 pounds.
Next up ….. honestly, I’m not sure. I know that Lindsay Brin has a new series coming out this Fall called Pretty Fierce. I definitely want to do that since I loved her 60 day slimdown. I’ll probably just keep a good mix of workout DVDs mixed in with Couch to 5K while I wait for that to come out and then start that program.