30 Day Shred: The Definitive Review

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Pop Quiz.

Jillian Michaels is:

(A) A trainer from a show I’ve never watched, nor do I ever care to.

(B) Someone I don’t care to hear or see every morning, albeit virtually

(C) Someone who, when all is said and done, has made me slightly less weak

(D) All of the above.

If you answered D, you are correct.  If you answered any of the other ones, you still get credit.  Don’t you hate it on a test when many answers could be true, but if you pick one it’s somehow deemed ENTIRELY wrong?  That’s bullshit.  And that’s not how I roll.  Too bad this quiz doesn’t count for anything.

Anywho, I was really supposed to write about the 30 Day Shred back when it was up on youtube, and FREE, but youtube took it down and I bought the DVD.  On the bright side, it was only like $10 or so on Amazon.  But who knows, you can probably find it on the internets somewhere for free.

Ok, so what’s the deal with this “shred” (or “thrash”, as Ashley‘s boyfriend calls it), anyway?  What’s in it for you?  Well, it works like this:

* The 30-day shred consists of 3 levels

* You do one level for each set of 10 days (3 sets to make 30 days)

* You have to do it EVERY DAY for 30 days.  I chose to supplement these with my normal workout routine, though, on the off-days, this is all I did.

* Each workout/level session is only 30 minutes long

* All you need is a yoga mat and handweights.  I use 5lbs, but if you’re not pathetically un-strong, then you should probably go for something more normal like 8-10 lbs.

* It’s all circuit training, so it’s pretty holistic in terms of a “total body” workout, and you don’t have to learn choreography or get bored with super repetitive shit, especially because there’s 3 levels.

* You can adjust the program to your fitness level as you get stronger (or weaker as the levels get harder!), as there is a modified version and an advanced version of each workout move.

First Impressions: When I started this for the very first time, I really didn’t know if I could hang because: (a) the strength training portions seemed like something I couldn’t handle, being, essentially, of sub-normal human strength in my upper body, (b) this is EVERY DAY.  It does help to have friends do it with you, though independently in their own homes.  I got started in the first place because a friend just had a baby and was trying to get back in to working out more regularly.  I stuck with the workout, however, because I figured if a person who was, essentially, still recovering from fitting something the size of a watermelon through her vagina could do it, then I had no excuse.

Middle Impressions: I noticed (as soon as day 5) a very striking difference in my arm strength and endurance level.  It totally helps to do yoga concurrently, because it feels good to stretch it all out, and it totally takes a toll on your joints…especially the knees.  Always wear sneakers, kids!  Admittedly, I wasn’t “thrilled” about having to work out every day especially with Jillian’s convoluted and grating bits of “wisdom” about “false messages of lethargy”, etc.  All in all, though, the program SO does not take up that much of your time, and it feels good to have gotten the bulk of your workout out of the way in the morning, without having to drag your ass to the gym and shower in those gross and crowded gym showers before work.

Final Thought: Overall, I only had to skip 2 days due to a ridiculous injury (skateboarding drunk and in heels is a BAD idea!), and I went from having the strength of a physically disabled toddler to that of a very weak 16 year old girl.  Did my body dramatically change?  Not really.  Though, my roommate said my love handles were somewhat less pronounced, which is cool, I guess.  Do I feel better physically?  Yes.  Would I be worse off if I didn’t do it?  Probably.  So, I decided to incorporate it into a workout plan I designed myself.  I heard from my friend who regularly trains for triathalons that it’s best to switch your workout routine as much as you can.  So, that’s essentially what how I use it.  Instead of every day, I do it for at least 4 days a week (making sure each level is a total of 10 days), making sure to at least do yoga, play street hockey, get on the elliptical, or go for a run on the off days…if I’m not too hungover.  Though, sometimes, it feels good to do this hungover so you can sweat out all the gross alcohol in your system, and don’t have to leave the comfort of your own home in case you get a case of the “ralphs”.

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Anna G - Caliburg Contributor

Anna G - Caliburg Contributor

Anna G. is a Southern California native living in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn since 2005. Anna is constantly trying to unite her love of CA sunshine and the excitement of the New York urban jungle, all the while trying to keep her unwieldy credit card debt under control, and look fabulous at brunch, no matter how un-showered and hungover.

1 Comment

  1. P
    August 14, 2009 at 8:03 am

    Besides getting harassed by the 30 Day Shred girl, how bout that P90X guy? He’s over the top! I get harassed on the regular by that bald guy. 90 days of intense muscle burn and your gonna be ripped?! I think thats a no brainer…