I thought I would give you a "quick" (I always say quick, then ramble on ages - I apologise in advance if this is one of those!) update on how i'm getting on with the Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred DVD, which I started 4 weeks past on Monday.
Apologies for the lack of update last week (**slaps wrist**), but i've now progressed to Level 2 of the DVD, and I can officially say i'm a fully fledged addicted "shred head"! (I slept in last friday and didn't manage to do the DVD and was actually annoyed/distraught with myself!)
I'm loving it because it's so quick, (fairly) simple to follow/do, and already I am seeing results at week 4, doing the DVD 5 times a week.
Level 2, as you would expect, is a bit more advanced and intense, with more emphasis on resistance training (involving planks in particular), "working small muscles with big ones", and I think i'll probably stay on this level for as long as I need to, as opposed to moving on after 2 weeks as I did with Level 1.
To give you an idea of what is involved, Level 2 can be broken down as follows:
(Brief 2 minute warm-up, involving arm crossovers, reverse arm windmills, star jumps, high kicks and neck rolls)
- 3 mins of strength: walk-out push-ups and static squats with arm rows using light weights
- 2 mins cardio: high knees and squat thrusts
- 1 mins of abs: stomach crunch with single leg raise, both sides
- 3 mins of strength: static lunge with a bicep curl, pendulum lunges with bicep curls, both using light weights
- 2 mins of cardio: oblique twists and "skaters"
- 1 min of abs: hands held above chest (holding weights) whilst lifting/lowering legs, and double crunches (basic and reverse crunch together)
- 3 mins of strength: military press with leg extension on either side, and chair squats with V-presses holding weights
- 2 mins of cardio: plank jacks and double jump rope
- 1 min of abs: Plank with oblique twists
As per Level 1, it's advised you equip yourself with some sturdy trainers, a mat and weights (or in my case, 2 tins of chopped tomatoes!). I also thoroughly recommend a good sports bra to hold you securely in place!
People have complained about the (quite dull) music in the background, but to be honest I don't mind it, and if it really bothers you, you could always put in your ipod or turn down the TV sound and play your own music. The only thing that does really bug me is that fact that you can't skip the intro part at the beginning before the selection menu, which adds another 5 mins to the workout, but really it's not that big a deal, you can always be putting your trainers on at this point or getting some water!
Jillian herself seems to be someone that people either love or hate, but personally I quite like her - she's very drill-sergeant whilst still being encouraging (and some of the thing she says are quite funny). The only person who bugs me is Natalie - the advanced "helper" in the background, who has a permasmile and cheats at quite a few of the exercises!
I wouldn't recommend this particular level (or possibly the DVD as a whole) for anyone with ankle/wrist problems, and there is a lot of emphasis/stain put on these areas. However you do have the opportunity to do modifications of moves to make it a bit "easier" (!) on yourself.
So - what results am I seeing? Well first off, I wasn't as sore as I was when I started Level 1, so I guess my body must be getting back into the swing of exercising! I'm still sweating like nothing else, but I'm not as out of breath as I previously was doing the DVD, and can feel myself more able to do things like the walking push-ups.
As I said with the Level 1 update/review, one area where I can definitely see myself toning up is my arms. However from doing Level 2 my legs (calves in particualar) have started to tone up, and i've also noticed a significant reduction in my "muffin top" which I love!
I'm definitely going to stick with this one for the near future - more updates to come soon!