No joke, but last week I ate four pieces of pecan pie on Thanksgiving. FOUR PIECES!
What’s that, like 18 million calories!?
Curse you holiday temptation! It’s constant and everywhere I turn, like these blasted Trader Joe’s dark chocolate stars. I think they follow me, nom nom nom…
Throw in cold rain and shortened days — what’s a girl to do?
Yes, Virgina, you can still work out over the holidays
I thank my dark chocolate stars for fitness expert Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred ($10).
The DVD’s from 2007 (the one I have), so it’s a few years old, but the balanced workout really makes me sweat.
So, what’s this shredding business?
JM (the same one from TV’s The Biggest Loser) calls it the 3-2-1 Interval System, a 20-minute mixed workout emphasizing strength training, cardio and abs.
The idea is to work your way through the three levels of difficulty over the course of 30 days, at the end emerging leaner and “shredded” to the max.
Can you say sweat?
To say these workouts are challenging for me would be an understatement. No workout DVD has ever kicked my booty like this one has, but it’s still fun, doable, and I think the exercises themselves are interesting — things like skaters (a motion like speed skating), plank jacks (plank position/jumping jack hybrid on the floor), squat thrusts and high-knee kicks.
By the end of level two, which is as far as I’ve gotten so far, I’m dripping in sweat. I even feel sore the next day (in a good way). I can’t even imagine level three, yikes!
And I like that each workout takes just 20 minutes to complete, particularly this time of year.
- The different levels keep the workouts fresh. One of the things about fitness DVDs is how quickly they get repetitive, but Shred’s different levels give me options and something to work toward.
- Jillian seems like a real cool chick. She’s supportive, but in a no-frills kinda way (as opposed to an exceedingly gushy cheerleader). At the same time, she doesn’t come off like a scary drill instructor — just a friend who’s trying to motivate you to do your best
- No expensive do-dads required. JM recommends a workout mat and hand-weights, but both are optional. I’ve done the workouts on a carpeted floor without either accoutrement and still felt the burn.
- Great for travel! If you’re hitting the road this month, let Shred tag along. Play it in a laptop with a DVD player for a quickie workout almost anywhere.
The only caution I can make about 30 Day Shred has to do with the weights sections (which I’ll often do without weights in my hands). They move fast, and even at level one, the exercises may prove difficult (but not impossible) for absolute beginners.
I took up moderate weightlifting a few years ago and remember how awkward many of the exercises felt. It took me a few workouts to get the techniques and my breathing and posture right, but JM provides explanation along the way. I think she does, however, assume you have a little bit of weight training under your belt.
As far as winter workout DVDs go, 30 Day Shred has been a great way to get my sweat on during one of the most challenging times of the year to stay fit. Love you, Jillian! Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A+
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,