Jillian Michaels: #30DayShred

Ok, so a little while back I told you all I wanted to lose some weight, but what I also wanted to do was tone up – big time. Aside from being a little bigger than I’d like I was 100% wobblier and I think having been a lot more toned this time last year after 6 months of BMF, I missed it all the more. You can certainly carry a lot more weight when it’s in a solid package!

Anyway, I digress. My motivation is Jess’s wedding at the end of August – I’m going to be a bridesmaid and who wants to look bad in those photo’s for all of eternity? As my arms are the only bit of me that will be on show I thought I would get some weights, then remembered this DVD being recommended by some of you before and thought I’d have a go. A few of you have been doing the 30 Day Shred along with me on Twitter and so I thought I’d do a little mid-point review (and maybe get some more of you on board!?) before discussing the real results when it’s over. My short term aim was to get slimmer and more toned for the hen do which is in 3 days time and I’m pleased with the results so far.

So what is it?
Basically it’s circuits of resistance, strength and cardio work that lasts about 25 minutes. The DVD follows a basic pattern of 3 levels, each with 3 sets of circuits that comprise 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio and 1 minute of abs with a brief warm up and cool down. I had never watched The Biggest Loser, which is Jillian’s most well known project, but I knew it was going to be tough as she seems pretty no-nonsense. The video doesn’t actually make it clear but as there are three levels and 30 days I’d assume you do 10 days of each, although you might want to move up sooner if you’re bored or even mix them up for a more balanced work out.

Do I need anything?
Jillian uses a mat and some hand weights. For some reason my mat has disappeared into the ether so I’ve been doing without, and I didn’t want to invest in weights until I was sure I liked it so I started off on my carpeted floor with 2 tins of tomatoes. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this method as you really won’t get the most out of the exercises, but if you have never worked with weights before it might be a good start and easier on those arms.

Is it hard?
This is a hard question! The type of strength and resistance exercises Jillian demonstrates are the kind I used leading up to my wedding in the gym then again at BMF and I think there was still some muscle memory there for me so I didn’t find Level 1 that bad. That said, when I stared using 1.5kg weights (In the gym I would normally use 2-3kg) it killed me!

Is it fun?
Actually yes. I’m enjoying it. For me the biggest bonus is that even as busy as I am, it’s unlikely that I can’t make time for 25 minutes of exercise. Most nights I have done it late at night straight before bed, after simply running out of time in the day but not wanting to miss one. So far 14 days in I have done it 12 times, taking one Saturday off that was just too busy and choosing a brisk dog walk on another glorious evening that was too sunny to spend bouncing around in the living room. I like Jillians attitude – ‘If you want to work out for 20 minutes a day, you have to WORK OUT.’ and the exercises and whole thing are done before you can think twice. I did get a little bored with level one but there’s no time for that with Level 2. The music is better, Jillian and her girls look like they are working as hard as you (and loving it,) and she seems a little more fun and personable. And I’m happy to report 3 days in to Level 2 after panting non-stop through the first time, I’m already finding it easier.

In another 2 weeks when I have completed the shred I’ll get back to you with a diary of how I found it and my results – I’ve measured myself and weighed myself. No holds barred.

I’d love to hear if I can tempt you to join us or if you are already doing it (or have done) and what results you got. Every bit of motivation is required to keep me away from those Cronuts!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Burning off the Bundt

Well, it’s time to check in on January health and fitness plans with you all and update you on my efforts. This week I thought I would focus on the exercise aspect of what I’ve been doing after we talked weight loss methods and food last week.

I’m a bit militant when it comes to exercise once I start doing it and I also think that dieting alone is a really counter-productive way to lose weight. It can also ruin your metabolism by starving your body and encouraging it to store fat as soon as it gets its hands on excess calories again, because it’s in feast or famine mode.

You might remember me saying that I love food and I love both eating and drinking socially – its just not practical for me to say that I will forever be careful, not have that extra drink, or refuse the cake on offer with coffee. It’s never going to happen. Although I’d like to make my healthier diet a long term change, moderation, not denial is key.

With that in mind I needed to find a new method of exercise. Pete and I cancelled our gym membership with a three month notice period and it finished on the 31st of Dec. We must have been the only people cancelling at this time of year! The membership had gone up and up and up and we weren’t going anymore as It wasn’t as convenient for my new job.


BritMilFit.com

Thinking back, my favourite exercise ever was a circuits class I attended there, loosely based on military fitness by the instructor and a mix of cardio and weights or strength work for toning. I was physically exhausted after every session but saw fast results and it was addictive. I wanted to replicate that and was also aware that exercise doesn’t have to be expensive. I’m fortunate in that despite living in Manchester, I live ten minutes from a vast stretch of waterpark with miles of running tracks through woodland, around lakes and fresh air that feels miles from the city. So I wanted to get back to outdoor exercising too.


BritMilFit.com

All that lead me to British Military Fitness. I’d known of the classes for a while but never been and I won’t deny being nervous. The classes are based upon the kind of training the military use and particularly rely on when they’re out on tours of duty. They have to maintain their fitness without equipment and sometimes in limited space so the exercises are an intense combination of cardio (sprints and short runs) interspersed with all manner of total body exercises ranging from star jumps and air boxing to the dreaded burpees and more traditional sit ups, push ups, tricep dips and squats. They do all this in parks or open spaces all over the country and for a bargain price. it’s £35 to join and the class I attend is £28 for 1 class a week or £36 for as many as you like, at any location in the country. (I know that it’s higher in the South East and London – Gemma C-S has confirmed she paid £50 per month for unlimited classes in Hyde Park, but she agrees it’s worth it even at that price)


BritMilFit.com

I admit I couldn’t face it in the dark during the first week of January when the gales were blowing and rain lashing, but I got to my first on on Saturday the 7th, anticipating a gruelling session due to my miserably diminished fitness levels.

Was it hard? Yes. Definitely.

Will I be going back? Without a shadow of a doubt. (I’ve done three sessions since writing this and am now wandering round under a black cloud as due to work commitments I can’t attend until Thursday, it’s that good!)

It was great fun, the instructors were unfailingly supportive and encouraging and the sense of achievement at the end was fabulous. Even better, you can expect to burn around 500 cals an hour and I immediately recognised that it was going to make a massive difference to both my cardiovascular fitness and general strength and tone. I joined at Sale Water park and you can try your first class free by downloading a voucher on the BMF site.

Get Fit with Florence!
I have a had a thought for those of you who are more goal orientated and looking for a fitness aim for 2012 to motivate you. There are still a few places for the Manchester 10K which I have done a couple of times before and will be doing again. It’s a fantastic atmosphere on the day and I can highly recommend the sense of achievement you gain from completing it. I could even be persuaded to arrange a mini-meet up for lunch after the race if anyone is interested?

Just drop a comment in the box below 🙂

So, have you done BMF? Will you be giving it a go now? Do share what your exercise goals are and how you’re going to get there, team sports or head clearing runs, I’d love to hear more.

Love,
Rebecca
xo

*Credit to Glitter Guide for the title phrase, a rather affectionate way I thought, of referring to the extra pounds we’re all working on shifting post-Christmas!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...