When it works, it works.

January 13, 2014

Hello lovelies!

It seems to be a common occurrence that when the season changes, so does my interest in whatever exercise regime I’m up to at the time. This fall was tough, temperatures have been super low and work has been very insane. Finding the time to exercise is always a priority in my life but when it’s hard, it’s hard.

About a month ago a friend introduced me to Jillian Michaels. OK, so I knew who she was…but I had never explored any of her work. I was skeptical at first but let me tell you, her programs pack a punch! Long story short, the program I decided to try out was her 30 Day Shred and it consisted of three difficulty levels (you’re meant to do each level for ten days spread out over a month).

Each level is just under half an hour and it works you hard. Jillian has a great sense of humor when it comes to fitness (no fake smiles or gloating) and she knows just what to say to keep up the motivation. It’s only half an hour, so I can sneak these in daily with no problem. She also offers different intensity options for each exercise in case you’re a beginner or injured.
You might be thinking “hey, half an hour isn’t long enough!” In certain circumstance, you’re right…but the aim of this program is to gradually get you up to a decent fitness level and it’s been a great maintenance routine for me. Each level includes strength, cardio, AND core work. Nuff said.

Without getting into too much detail, I can say the program does focus on high reps/low weight, which is associated with being strong and slim. I definitely noticed areas of my body that were strong and bulky gradually become more defined without losing the strength. In fact I feel stronger and quite agile and I’m totally cool with that!

Here’s a great pro/con article written about the program:

http://www.amodelrecommends.com/2013/06/26/30-day-shred-the-pros-and-cons/

I recently finished the 30 days and wowsa, I feel great. Now I’m continuing the workouts (starting over) but I’m also doing my own, self-built strength routines here and there to keep things interesting and to make sure I don’t become complacent with the same thing over and over. My self-built routines tend to be more low rep/high weight, so alternating the two gives my body plenty of challenges.

spocksaysyes

aw yisssss

“I know you feel that little knot in your stomach, that is your body getting stronger. That is fear leaving the body right there.” – Jillian Micheals (during a core exercise)

SO GROOD. MUCH QUOTE. VERY INSPIRE.

If you’re looking for a follow along exercise program that is time-efficient and a little different, I highly suggest this one. And stick to it! So many people give up after 5 days but trust me: keep going! If you’re struggling at first don’t be afraid to alternate a day on and a day off (I did this for level three because it was intense). Even if it takes you more than 30 days to do all of the levels, it’s better than not doing anything at all!

Here’s a link to level one. Take a look! If this is your style, the 30 Day Shred dvd is something crazy cheap like $10.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Pc-NizMgg8

tl;dr: I really recommend Jillian’s 30 Day Shred if you’re looking for something cost/time efficient but still works you hard for amazing results. Although it focuses on slimming down, the strength exercises in the program won’t disappoint when it comes to building muscle.
Just remember: Stick with it, work hard but within the limit of your abilities, and have fun. Fun is the most important part IMO…which is why I change things up all the time!

Till next time!

P.S. This program does seem quite female oriented, but I need to say that I have a few male friends who loved and got great results from it. Like I said, this isn’t a regime you’d follow to pack on the Kenshiro muscles…but for cutting weight efficiently and building muscle? Bang on.

To Be Continued

Advertisements

Spartacus 2.0 Review

July 30, 2012

First of all I just wanted to say, have you been working out? Because you look amazing!

Today’s post is my attempt to give a little review on my experience with the Spartacus 2.0 workout. I recently hit a fitness plateau and felt like my regular regimen wasn’t quite doing it for me anymore. A good way to spice things up is to try new (but similar) workout routines to give your mind a break from the monotony.

Enter…the Spartacus workout!! *explosion*

To start off…I’ve always favored routines that involve rep and set numbers as opposed to timed circuits. This posed as a bit of a challenge for me because the Spartacus workout is done in timed intervals.

I personally felt like I was too busy looking at the clock to give all of my attention to the moves (even when I had a buzzer set up to alert me)…The good thing is that I can always fix that in the future by getting a better watch or better yet, working out with a buddy who can call out the intervals!

Putting that personal preference aside, I found the Spartacus 2.0 quite fulfilling and versatile. I won’t get into too many specifics on how the actual exercises work, but for more information check out the descriptions here!

[CF Note: Yes, it’s a Men’s Health article; however the workout was created by a woman who seems to have an incredible understanding for the physiology of all genders. So ladies AND gents? Get to it!]

All in all it was a nice little package. The exercises are meant to work your entire body all at once so you don’t have to spend a lot of time isolating every muscle group one by one. It didn’t take too long (roughly 45 minutes for me) and the strength training/cardio aspects were equally balanced. I wasn’t exhausted but my heart rate was definitely elevated!

I need to stress that it’s good to go over every exercise before starting to make sure your posture is correct. Get a feel for the moves and see if any of them make you uncomfortable. I noticed that some of the moves had a medium risk of back strain…but after I slowly tried them out, corrected my posture, and got my bearings I then had no trouble with strains. If you still have concerns about your posture, try searching for videos of the exercises being performed! The internet is cool, yo.

One thing I missed in the routine was an included warm up/cool down. I have a handful of warm ups that I know, but it would have been neat if the workout included a couple of moves or stretches. It’s never good to jump right into the main event. If you’re short on warm up material…I’d recommend taking the first circuit slow, making sure to go through every range of motion properly to a) warm up and b) become familiar with the moves to avoid doing them improperly and risking injury.

Because I’m not a superhero yet, I always modify moves if they’re above my strength or stamina level. When I feel I’ve surpassed the modifications, I will build my way up to the original move. Step by step!

For example, in exercise 2.2, I took out the push ups in the movement. In 2.3 I sometimes hold on to something for balance (to allow proper posture). In the final exercise I do a couple of jump squats, however to protect my knees I do the remainder of the move as simple squats. I strongly believe that although we should push ourselves, we should always work realistically and build up our abilities instead of jumping right into professional athletic moves.

Although I probably won’t make the Spartacus 2.0 my main strength training routine, it definitely helped me get out of my rut and I will continue to use it when I need a change of pace!

That’s all for today my dears. I have exciting things coming up and will post about them soon!

Stay fabulous. ❤