Day 1: The Harsh Reality.

Last week before I left Australia, I mentioned I had ordered the 30 Day Shred DVD by Jillian Michaels of the Biggest Loser fame. I'd been following The Casual Perfectionist on her shredding journey for a few weeks, and was intrigued and inspired. The DVD arrived quite literally the day before my flight out, how's that for perfect timing?

The day after I arrived back in London, I popped it in the player to check it out. I wasn't planning on religiously starting the program yet; I had quite literally just flown for 24 hours, gone through daylight savings AND gone back in time in the space of two days. I had a shot at Level 1 as an introduction.

Let's just say, I wasn't quite prepared for it.

I managed the warm up, got through the jumping jacks (or star-jumps as I'm used to calling them) and quite literally felt my legs contract. I don't think they'd forgiven me for the hours they'd been cramped up on the flight. I did bits and pieces of the workout, but stopped often to stretch and catch my breath. Because I didn't follow the instructions and keep pushing through, I decided NOT to count that day as part of the 30. Despite that, the last two days at work I was in a world of pain. Hello, muscles.

Today was the Real Day 1.

Level 1 was just as tough as I remembered, but this time I felt better prepared and ready to take on the challenge, mainly because I knew what was coming. That seemed to work for me; it gave me that little bit of extra indurance. Even so, I was huffing before I got through the warm up, and am thankful I was alone in the flat while doing the workout, bar Oscar, who sat watching me with complete boredom the entire time. I'm sure he thought I was insane, but at least it kept him amused.

Here are my thoughts on Level 1 so far:

  • I suck at push ups. Despite having quite broad shoulders, I have lousy wrist strength and I really struggle to keep pushing through them.

  • Jumping jacks, I like. Jumping rope on the spot, not so much. I've no idea why.

  • I love how strong I feel using hand weights... for the first set. The second and third leave me feeling like I'm about to die.

  • The burn. I am feeling it. Hoo boy.

  • Apparently I've been cursed with uncoordination. I can't even do the hip swivel thing without getting myself confused and rotating directions mid-way through. But hey, it's still stretching, right?

  • I'm not entirely sure if I'm doing the ab exercises right. I'm trying to follow her instructions the best I can, but seriously, I don't actually know HOW to pull myself up with my abs. I figure as long as I feel myself NOT pulling up on my neck, I'm doing ok. I did start to feel some burning at the end during the bicycle crunches.

In my opinion, this workout is really tough for beginners, even at Level 1. After the 20 minute workout, I feel more wrecked than I did after running 5km on the treadmill; a feat I was able to do only last year until my shin splints went haywire. I'm still red in the face a half hour and a shower later, and I know the muscle soreness will haunt me tomorrow - but I'm feeling in the zone. I'd like to do this for the month, reflect on how I'm feeling, and see what happens. Wish me luck!

For more information on the workout, read the reviews here.

8 Comments • Labels: ,  


heidikins said...

Gaaah, I've been *thinking* of trying this...perhaps next month, after I eat my weight in chocolate bunnies. :o)


La Petite Chic said...

I am a true believer in the 30 Day Shred. It got me really toned, really quickly. Those push-ups are incredibly difficult though!!

The Casual Perfectionist said...

Yay! I was wondering if it would arrive before your return flight!!

Congratulations for starting it! For me, it took a good five days before my muscles stopped screaming at me. After that, they don't hurt nearly as much.

Hang in there!!

If you haven't already, you should join the Shredheads at They are so motivating. If you're on Twitter, they have a following on there, too.

My goal was to blog about my experience every day. That way, even if I wasn't motivated, I'd still feel obligated. ;)

GOOD LUCK!! You'll be shredded in no time. ;)

Allie said...

I did The Shred for awhile, and really liked the quality of the workout, but it KILLED my ankles. I don't know why. I haven't had ankle issues before. So, I just went back to running, which oddly, seems more gentle on my joints. But I don't feel like it's even close to being as effective.

katelin said...

i've read about a couple people doing the shred and i'm sort of intrigued but more so scared, haha. it sounds so intense! good luck!

Catheroo said...

YAY! Another sufferer! Misery loves company. I am on Day 5. I swear, it *does* get easier. In fact, I am not even sore now after doing it. That doesn't mean that I can stick with her for the full 20 minutes. I have to take a break here and there. I'm only on Level 1 still, and when I see the clips of Level 3, I freak out. I think I might be on Level 1 even on Day 30!

Keep shredding!

Riayn said...

Congratulations on starting the 30 Day Shred. I did the program a couple of months ago and it is a real killer, but you will get through it.
I didn't do it for 30 days straight but did it every second day and found that was the best way for me and my muscles to do it.

alana said...

Oh man, Alynda, I am also doing the 30-day shred so I totally understand what you're going through. The first few days make you actually think you might just possibly die, but after that it gets much easier (I promise). I find the best way to get through it is to work out with someone else. Matt and I do it together and take turns yelling at Jillian. It helps :)

(However, I was feeling pretty confident one day and thought I would try Level 2. I could barely even last 5 minutes. Gah!)

Good luck!!

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