review by Emma on May 8, 2012
Last Sunday I ran my first ever race! I ran 10k in 62 minutes which I was massively proud of as running is still fairly new to me. As much fun as the race was, it meant that in the months leading up to it, my workouts basically consisted of pavement pounding only. So I knew doing any kind of Jillian workout after so long was going to be killer!
My solution was to do a prep workout a few days before I planned to "really" start my 30 day challenge to get ripped. This turned out to be a genius move on my part because for TWO WHOLE DAYS after my prep workout I could barely walk. I'm not joking. I highly recommend putting time aside to do one session of level 1 of this DVD about 4 days before you really want to begin your 30 days.
Well, I already knew what I was in for today after my prep workout but that didn't make it any easier! This DVD has a very similar format to the Shred; it's split into 4 levels and should be done 5 - 6 days a week with a mandatory rest day. I plan on doing 6 sessions of each level per week. The levels are broken down into the 3-2-1 format, with 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio and 1 minute of abs, done 3 times per level with different moves on each. I really enjoyed the strength moves on level 1 as there was a lot of things I've never done before - almost all the moves are different to the Shred so it'll be a while before I find these easy! I found the cardio section very intense and after around 15 minutes I was dripping with sweat (had to mop my lounge floor after!!). I'm pretty confident that in 4 weeks I'm going to look a lot more lean than I do now!
I was aching this morning, but walked home from work to loosen up my leg muscles and by half way through the first round I felt fine and was able to power through all the moves. The workout goes so fast that by time the first 3-2-1 round is done it's feels like it's pretty much over and the warm up pops up out of nowhere. At some point in the workout, Jillian says something like "Transformation isn't a future event, it's a present activity" and although motivational quotes aren't exactly my favorite thing, this really resonates with me. Getting into shape and getting a lean toned bikini body isn't something to dream about, it's something you can start making happen right in this moment. That feeling really spurs me on when the squats are burning.
My 3rd day in a row and the aches have gone, my abs are feeling stronger and looking flatter (I think they are gratefully springing back into shape after months of neglect). I have a new favorite workout move, actually a whole set, which is the second set in level one where all the strength moves focus on the back. It made me realise that my back muscles are something that I don't ever pay much attention to and I'm excited about the prospect of a little toning in that area.
I took a day off today as it's Sunday and although not massively achy, I do feel a niggling in my shoulders and upper arms. I want to take the day off so that I can go back at it with full power tomorrow. Since my arms are my weakest area, I'm a bit glad I'm aching as it means something is happening in that area!
I wasn't able to start my workout until 9.30pm as I had loads of crap to do after work, and if it had been a run on my agenda I would have skipped it but mentally it's so easy to get this workout done, it goes so fast and feels way shorter than its 30 min. Maybe I'm optimistically imagining things but my legs look more toned already, I'm sure of it. When I'm squatting I see the muscle definition and if I can see it on day 5 I can't imagine what my legs - not to mention the rest of me - will look like by day 30. Jillian is working her magic once again!
I'm already feeling much stronger in all the moves today and I'm finding the whole level a lot easier, especially the cardio which I can breeze through now. There are only 2 things I can't do fully for the whole rep count (proper man press ups and side lounge with a front raise) and I will try to fix that tomorrow on my last day of level 1!!!
I don't know what happened today, maybe I was too tired or maybe I'm bored of the moves already but I found this day really tough to get through. Every move was a struggle but knowing it was my last day on the level helped me push myself. I did more full press-ups than normal and managed to add a weight in the front arm raises so I'm happy with that progress! I started this week at 144.2 lb and have ended at 143.4 lb but more impressive is that my tummy is actually flattening out and muscle tone is slowly returning to my arms (when I flex). I am ready to get onto level 2!