I am now eight days into a home workout “programme” called the 30 Day Shred. You may have heard of it before – you might have even heard it from me – but I thought I’d tell you a little bit about what it is and run through some pros and cons. The 30 Day Shred is a 20-minute workout that combines cardio with strength training and moves through three different levels of difficulty. I’m still on level one, which combines things like jumping jacks and “butt kicks” with strength moves including squats, lunges and press-ups. All quite straightforward, but surprisingly knackering and effective! I was going to leave my initial post about the Shred until after the full 30 days, but a number of things have occurred to me that I don’t want to forget about, so here’s my initial set of thoughts.
The 30 Day Shred is a DVD (I paid around £4 on Amazon) and all you need to do the exercises is a set of weights (you could use heavy objects, if push came to shove!) and a mat if your floor is very hard. You don’t need any specialist equipment, and there doesn’t seem to be any crazy diet that goes with it, though the lovely lady (Jillian Michaels) does seem to refer to a diet in her commentary.. I’ll look into that. You’d think that twenty minutes of exercise done in your living room would be a total waste of time, and I’m one of the most sceptical people I know, but I can tell you that in this case it really isn’t. I decided to do seven days of the Shred before a filming session in which I knew I’d have to wear a bathing suit and I felt a hundred times better about myself in just that week.
Of course, it’s not some kind of magical exercise “answer” – there are some pretty hefty downsides to this programme – but for a cheap quick-fix, I think it’s absolutely brilliant. Read on for my considered pros and cons so far!
Hardly any financial outlay whatsoever. I think you can actually watch this programme on Youtube now, which is free, but I like having the DVD so that I can watch it on the big telly in the living room. I don’t want to have to be flicking my eyes to focus on an iPad or laptop!
It is REALLY hard work, so you know that you’re actually making changes.
I really like the lovely lady (Jillian!) who instructs – she’s very watchable and personable.
I don’t have to leave the house to get my exercise fix. When I’m studying at home or doing computer work for the day I don’t want to have to take a three hour chunk of time to pop to the gym in Central London, so this fits in really well.
It only takes twenty minutes, but you feel like death at the end of it, so it definitely feels like a proper session.
You don’t have to leave the house, so it’s not sociable at all. For some people, exercise is one of the only times they get some space for themselves outside of their homes, so for them, probably not so appealing!
There’s no actual real-life instructor, so if you’re doing moves wrong, it could be potentially damaging to joints and muscles. To be fair, if you’ve done exercise classes before – things like Body Conditioning or Body Pump – then you should be pretty au fait with form and posture when you’re lifting weights; but if you’re a total beginner then you need to listen really carefully to the commentary to make sure that you’re doing things correctly. It’s important to watch how the models are demonstrating the moves and to listen when Jillian describes how your back should be positioned or how you do squats properly. It’s really important to get your form right when you do weight-bearing exercise.
It’s quite repetitive. Once you’ve done four or five days of the same level, you know the commentary off by heart! I quite like this, because I talk along with Jillian like some kind of nut, but others may find it too much. Also, the music doesn’t change because you’re watching the same level over and over again (ten times per level) so you start to hear it in your dreams.
What do you reckon? Worth a try? I’ll update you again when I’ve done the whole 30 days, but let me know in the comments if you’ve tried the Shred and had success! I definitely dropped a couple of pounds of wine-flab in the week I’ve just done and I can actually feel the muscles in my legs and bottom again. Hurrah!
You can find the programme on Youtube, or the DVD is here on Amazon: http://goo.gl/jLMbT