My Experience with the 30 Day Shred

In September, on a whim, my coworker and I decided to do the 30 Day Shred. We started the next day.

What is the 30 Day Shred? It’s an exercise program from Jillian Michaels (of The Biggest Loser fame) that claims that you can lose up to 20 pounds in 30 days. It’s a high intensity interval training workout that, with a warm-up and cool down, runs for approximately 30 minutes. There are three levels, so the plan is to do one level for 10 days before moving on tot eh next. Each level has three circuits and each circuit has three minutes of strength, two minutes of cardio and one minute of abs.

The workout involves a lot of jumping, squats and lunges, which is important to know if you have joint issues. Jillian Michaels provides modifications for most of the exercises if they are too hard for you. I have issues with my right foot and that makes a lot of high intensity workouts painful. Sometimes the jumping in the cardio was a little too hard on my foot, but in those instances I substituted a different cardio move from the workout. I was incredibly sore for the first five days, but after that I could feel the burn while working out but wasn’t in pain the following day. JM tells you during level one that you’ll feel better day five, so I was impressed with that. While doing the workouts, whenever I felt like I couldn’t keep doing the move, we moved onto the next thing so I thought the timing of the DVD was well done.

I’m someone who has always liked variety in a workout because I get bored easily and I have the workout DVD collection to prove it! So the biggest complaint that I had was that it was so boring to do the same thing every day. However, I was able to combat boredom by playing music (Rock of Ages & Mamma Mia!) and watching TV (Hart of Dixie & Revenge). Obviously if this had interfered with the workout I would have stopped, but I actually found that I worked out harder because I wasn’t counting down the seconds until it was done.

What were my results? I don’t have any before/after weights or measurements to share because I didn’t take them. I can tell you that I didn’t lose 20 pounds, nor did I expect to, but I have some clothes that fit better and my mom told me that she has seen a difference in how I look. What’s most important to me is that I feel better. I feel stronger and more fit and I noticed my fitness level increasing throughout the month. I had fallen out of a regular exercise routine and working out every day created a habit for me again. I decided to rest the day after the final day of the Shred and it was really strange not to plan my evening around a workout.

Would I do the 30 Day Shred again? I’d probably do one of her other 30 day workouts before I pulled this one out, but I might do the entire program again in the future. I’ll probably incorporate the third level into my workout schedule from time to time because that was my favorite level and I really enjoyed it. (Level 2 was my least favorite.)

If you’re interested in trying out the program I do have some advice:

1. Put it in your calendar. Record your workout for the 30 days when you decide to do it. I did and it was incredibly motivating for me because it was already in my calendar for the entire month. If I backed out, I would have had an entire month of workouts recorded that I wasn’t actually doing. I labeled them by day so I could easily check what day I was on. And even though I knew that I needed to do a level for 10 days and then switch, I wrote that in just to make sure that I didn’t overlook it.

2. Plan. It took a lot of planning to make sure that I didn’t miss a day. I’d look ahead at the week and what else I had going on to start planning the time of day that I would work out ahead of time. I also knew that sometimes I would work out at less than ideal times. I’m not an early riser and early morning workouts are not for me. One day I had to, because I was heading out of town for the night for a funeral. (I also considered bringing the workout and weights with me.) And there were nights that I worked out really late.

3. Be kind to yourself. If you have an off day, take it for what it was and give it your all the next day. I think that when you’re working out every single day you’re bound to have a few off days.

Have you ever done the 30 Day Shred? What was your experience?

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  • Reply
    Optimistic Existentialist
    October 31, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Feeling better is important. And it's awesome that people saw a difference. I began working out in 2008 and it completely changed my life. The key is persistence. I go 3-4 times every week regardless of how busy I am. Go you!! I'm proud 🙂

    • Reply
      November 1, 2013 at 12:19 am

      Thanks, Keith! That's what the 30 Day Shred taught me. No matter how busy you are, you can still make time to workout. You just need to make it a priority.

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