Sunday, November 29, 2009

Foster Fitness Feature: 30 Day Shred with Jillian Michaels

In Jillian Michaels' world, there are no excuses. There are no reasons why you cannot be fit, you cannot workout, you cannot break through your mental barriers to find a stronger you. Alas, most of us will never get to be on The Biggest Loser ranch. There is a solution, however, for the need to have Jillian yell at you and inspire you to your fullest potential: The 30 Day Shred DVD.

The 30 Day Shred (Collage Video, $14.95) is a collection of three 20-minute workouts that range from "easy" to "hard", although none of the workouts are truly novice. If you are familiar with Jillian and her boot camp style, you know that she expects great things from those she trains, and you at home are no exception. She is followed by two women who do the easier and more difficult modifications, so there is always someone doing the level you are working on.

The workout itself is 20 minutes, but there is a brief warm up and cool down attached, making the workout really about 25-30 minutes in length. Each level follows Jillian's "3-2-1 Interval System": 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio, and 1 minute of abs. Lather, rinse, and repeat. The plan is to do 10 days of each level, but of course, you can customize to your own preferences. All you need for equipment is light hand weights and a mat.

Level 1 introduces you to the way Jillian teaches, and the moves are fairly basic but not unchallenging. She jumps right into the strength session with push ups on the toes, and some of the shoulder concentrated strength work is very tough. The cardio is also a challenge, mixing in jumping jacks, butt kicks, and jump rope to get your heart rate up.

Level 2 ads on to Level 1, but ups the intensity with more plank work and more complicated ab work. The plyometric factor also goes up in the cardio bursts.

Level 3 (my personal favorite) takes everything you have learned from Levels 1 and 2 and adds weights to the cardio activities, side planks for ab work, and lots of plank work and Super Mans in the strength sessions.

The workouts are really great stand alone, but you can also layer the workouts on top of each other for super calorie blasting. With such a customizable program with such great results (read my blogs of my own 30 Day journey in my 30 Day Shred Challenge posts), there is no reason not to put this DVD into your workout rotation.

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