30 Day Shred

I have a pretty big collection of workout DVDs, as you can see. I love walking and swimming when the weather is good, but in the winter, it’s just me and my DVD player (and my elliptical). From time to time, I’m going to share with you my thoughts on the workouts in my collection. Let’s go!

I love working out with Jillian Michaels. She kicks butt every time. The first non-Biggest Loser Jillian DVD I bought was 30 Day Shred, considered by many to be her toughest workout. This DVD was released in 2008, but just because it’s four years old, that doesn’t mean it’s dated or not worth your time.

What’s to love about the 30 Day Shred? For me, it’s how challenging it is. I found some of the earlier Biggest Loser DVD workouts to be too easy. Jillian doesn’t make anything easy! I also love the combination of upper and lower body movements. Repetition is good, too – I can get used to the move the first time through, concentrating on form, and then power through the second set.

What’s not to love about 30 Day Shred? Well, you have to get used to the cheesy music, and sometimes it’s hard for me to be motivated when I’m watching fitness professionals with very little body fat glide through the moves (that’s one plus of the Biggest Loser DVDs). My only other quibble with this DVD is that, especially in Level 3, there’s a lot of jumping. If you’re dealing with any kind of lower body restriction or injury, plyometrics are a no-no. That said, back when I could jump without pain, I loved it.

Here’s the key to working out to a DVD: adaptation. I can’t do everything that Jillian asks me to do. For example, I have a bum knee. I fell on it while running several years ago, and now I’ve got a nasty bit of arthritis that makes squats and lunges quite painful. Also, I can’t for the life of me do a side plank. I’ve tried, believe me. I think I have a mental block about letting the side of my foot and one arm hold all my body weight. There are also some upper body movements, with small hand weights, that just kick my butt (well, my arms) every time. But I try, and I do every movement to the best of my ability.

Did I become shredded after thirty days? Did I, as the DVD promises, “Lose up to 20 pounds in 30 days?” I did not. I carry weight in my tummy and hips, and it would take a lot more than thirty days to see ripped abs. As I’ll talk about more, my  body seems to be pretty content at the weight it’s at, and this shred didn’t really do anything to change that – although I did get stronger and have more stamina. I went from panting through the jumping jacks to (almost) looking forward to them. My heart and lungs got stronger. That’s shredded in my book.

I recommend 30 Day Shred as an excellent workout for someone looking for a challenge. It’s definitely not for beginners.