Sunday, March 11, 2012

activity review: 30 day shred (level 1)

I know we've all seen it in the stores, most of us know people that have tried it.  Heck, if you're like me, you probably bought it in January of 2011 when Target had all of their workout DVDs on sale, but you only tried it once or twice and gave up.  

That's a fact.  Last year, when I was almost 200 pounds, I tried this DVD.  I didn't make it through the second circuit of level one (there are three circuits in each level).  

I digress.  

Let me introduce this workout properly:  This is a DVD created by Jillian Michaels that uses her "3-2-1" form of exercise.  What this means to you is that in her three levels of workouts on the DVD, she cycles through three minutes of  strength training, two minutes of cardio exercises, and one minute of abdominal work.  You complete this six minute cycle three times for a total of 18 minutes, combined with a 3 minute warm up and a 3 minute cool down.  Twenty four minutes total.  

Like I mentioned, I had picked it up last year when Target placed all of their workout gear on sale in January.  Check for it here.  I picked it up for $10 if I remember correctly, and I tried it twice last year and gave up both times. That's right, I stopped less than half way through the workout.  I was a fat ass.  Not only was I almost 200 pounds, I wasn't in any sort of shape at all.  Well, that's not true I guess.  Round is technically a shape.  

After seven weeks of walking and spin classes twice a week, I went back to it.  And I did it!  That's right, I kicked level one in the pants!  

Well not really, but the nice thing is that there is a modified beginner version for most of the exercises.  I can do this level a few more times and improve before I move up to level 2.  That will be a separate review.  

A few of the things you can expect from this DVD are: jumping jacks, jumping rope, squats, light weight arm curls and rows, and crunch abdominal exercises.  

The pro's: 
It's less than thirty minutes!  This is great if I need to get in a bit of activity before work.  
The pace is rather quick, meaning you don't do any exercise for more than one minute.  This keeps you from (a) giving up, (b) getting bored, or (c) getting really exhausted from one single thing.
You only use hand weights and a mat (optional) in this level, and in reality you don't even need the hand weights.  It's completely feasible to use cans or water bottles for the exact same results.  
There are two instructors in the rear of the studio showing you beginners and advanced modifications for most of the exercises.  

The con's:
I'm not exactly a huge Jillian Michaels fan.  I can't explain it, I just get irritated by her every once in a while.  
There aren't really moments to grab a drink of water.  I understand it's only 30 minutes, but I appreciate a brief chatty moment in an exercise DVD so I can slurp some H2O.  
Push up's.  There, I said it.  I hate push up's.  Always have, always will.  There are two sets of push ups in the beginning of circuit 1.  I did them, I lived.  They just bug me for some odd reason.  

So there you have it, take what you will from my review.  I'm going to attack level 1 a few more times and I'll review levels 2 and 3 when I get to them.  For the time being, I rated myself between a medium and a high level of intensity for the workout, so that's somewhere between 3 and 6 Activity Points Plus for me.  It's up to you what you call it for yourself.  

Also worth mentioning is that a friend of mine recommended Collage Video to me a while ago, and while I haven't ordered anything from them as of yet, I know they have this DVD.  Click here for price and availability. They also have a place for you to view part of the DVD to see if you like it.  

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