Truth be told: I am not very big on exercising, and have never been. All I have been into is slow and centering yoga poses since I was what, like 8, and the hyperactive person that I am, I think yoga really stabilizes my nervous energies too. Blessed by a great genetic makeup where I do not actually require to workout, I have never even tried to.
Now the question is why am I reviewing a workout program? Because, my curiosities took me to finally try one out.
Why Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred?
I got it for free, actually.
My friend used it to get toned before her wedding, and then passed it on to me, so, may be I could get a taste of what she had to go through. That’s what she told me. She is one of those friends of mine who constantly prayed during our college years, ‘God, if you can’t make me thin, please make my friend fat.’
Anyway, her transformation through Jillian Michaels – 30 Day Shred was really good, considering she was very happy about the way she now looked. However, to me, she was never on the ‘fat’ side. She was voluptuous. And as her good friend I never quite saw a problem with that. But, she wanted to get leaner and had tried a lot of stuff to achieve that.
Jillian, you finally made her happy. I’m so thankful to you!
She is happily married off leaving me a set of workout DVDs to try out.
So, what about the hit and miss reviews I have been reading on the internet? Who cares, I’m gonna try it out, I thought. It’s not a gym crazy workout after all and I’m a yoga girl, I can pull this off.
I was wrong.
First, let me tell you how the workout video is being designed.
What the Box includes
Jillian Michaels works around the concept of 3-2-1, implying 3 mins strength, 2 min cardio, 1 min ab exercise.
So, you get the right mix of everything. Honestly, the mix is just not right for a beginner. Yes, even if you have been into yoga from years, this intensity will kill you. Your legs will refuse to carry your weight.
It most certainly can jump start any weight loss program, but do I need one? Not really. Thinking that, I skipped most of the jumping jacks and lunges. The real reason though, was that I found them too difficult and taxing.
How did the workout help me?
Its been a well established fact that exercise can help in early diagnosis of many medical ailments, and it did point out that my ankle is still not healed. So, after four days of yelling and cursing my laptop, I gave up and got back to relaxing with yoga. With all those sore muscles, it was tough getting in the pose, but I felt really energized, and decided to give this program another try.
To say the least, things were easier now. My shoes were finally being put to good use, but I suggest using barefoot shoes. My friend told me they help with the grip.
The workout is divided into three levels – level 1, 2, and 3 – 10 day each, though there was no schedule or calendar provided with it. I really wish there was one. I don’t think it is supposed to be followed continuously for 30 days. One must take a few days off, if not looking for instant results. Our muscles do need sufficient time to recover. Plus, there’s no point in exerting yourself.
All through my level 1, I was moving and jumping in awe of my friend’s strength as how she did all this. It really does take a lot of mental and physical strength to bring about extreme transformations they show on The Biggest Loser. I solemnly bow to them!
The moves in the videos are basic but effective, because of the zero rest minutes. In spite of skipping a few moves every day, I could see more definition in my muscles. The results are pretty quick!
However, I really wish there was some level zero DVD too, where Jillian could teach us how to do the basic moves. Because while trying to imitate her form, I was losing in speed and so, had to pause every now and then. Also, this frustration was further aggravated by her constant pep talk, which seemingly had no influence on me. May be because I was doing it just for the heck of it, and had no fitness goals to achieve as such. You see, I mostly preferred my playlist over her voice.
During level 3, I had to tape my knee to be able to keep up with the intensity. At this stage, my willingness to give up was as strong as my determination to see the program through the end. It was my first time with external weights, as I was used to plyometric poses yoga has to offer. I toggled between following Natalie and Anita (the advanced and beginner modification girls respectively), as and when what felt better.
I did see it through and it got stretched to more than 30 days. Initially, I was left exhausted but, things got better with time. The experience was good all over, filled with sour and not-so-sour moments.
Will I recommend it?
Totally! Not to a beginner though. And it would most definitely help, if you use it for toning your muscles rather than shedding fat, because its only 30 day, and seriously how much can you lose or maintain in such small bracket. And one does tend to get bored doing all the same moves everyday for weeks. Not to mention hitting the dreaded fitness plateau.
What about the results?
It delivered what it promised, not in pounds though. Think about definition.
How do I rate it?
Three and half stars.
You can figure out why I did not enjoy the program as much as my friend did, who was all raving about it. Mainly because, we did not share the same fitness goals. And I think that’s the reason behind the mixed reviews for this product.
Who is it for?
Not beginners certainly. You want a quick “fat loss”, you can go for it, but watch out for the injuries.
For people like me, and others too, I’d advice keeping the following points in mind if you try this out:
- Listen to Jillian when she asks you to start with level 1, how ever fit you are.
- Tape you knee and ankle for support to avoid straining them.
- Use a mat if you are working on a hard surface.
- 3 lbs weights work just fine, you don’t really need 5 lbs.
- Go for yoga to stretch and relax your sore muscles on weekends. They’ll thank you for this.
- Begin with 3 days a week. Then 4 days a week and so on.
- Hydrate all day to maintain your water-electrolyte balance.
- I have heard Chalene Johnson in her workout program ChaLEAN Extreme teaches basic moves first. So, try that out may be if you have never been to gym or have never sought professional help.
So, this is it then. Let me know how your experience with this product go.
References  Haffner J, Roos J, Goldstein N, Parzer P, Resch F. The effectiveness of body-oriented methods of therapy in the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): results of a controlled pilot study. doi: 10.1024/1422-49184.108.40.206. PMCID: PMC3555015^Back to Top^  Stacoff A, Kälin X, Stüssi E. The effects of shoes on the torsion and rearfoot motion in running. Biomechanic Laboratory, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. PMID: 1676133^Back to Top^