I’ve honestly had this Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred DVD for months now if not a year.  I’ve put it in the DVD player many many times, but I don’t think I’ve made it all the way to the end (for a grand total of 20 minutes) yet!!

Today I was determined!  I’ve noticed a slump in my strength training workout lately and knew it was time for a change.  In order to push through a workout plateau, we must change our routine every so often.  Our body and muscles adapt and get used to doing the same thing over and over again (muscle memory) and if we want to shake them up abit, we’ve got to surprise them and force them out of that routine.

Jillian definitely shook my muscles up today!  My arms are still trembling even as I type this post!

Her theory is 20 minutes of various strengthening and cardio exercises working together to burn the most calories at a time.

When you burn calories, you lose weight; when you strength train, you gain muscle; when you lose weight, that fat tissue shrinks from around the muscle leaving you with a firm, toned body.  Get it?

The video is made of 3 workout sessions:  Level 1, 2 and 3.  I’m eh, hem obviously still on Level 1….don’t hate.

It’s a series of jumping jacks, jump rope and a squatted boxing move (for cardio) right into strengthening with combined arms and legs movements and then abs also thrown into the middle of all that, then back to the cardio—with no rest in between—that’s the killer.  The idea is to work small muscles in with the big ones and to keep moving for the full 20 minutes to burn those calories.

I do appreciate the fact that in the video she doesn’t force you to keep up.  She understands that it’s hard and it’s a process to build up to that point.  And although she does not provide any rest time in the workout itself, she does encourage taking 5-10 second breaks if necessary.  She also provides you with an easier, modified version of most of the exercises she does.

I also appreciate her encouragement throughout the entire workout….it’s encouraging but also persistent.

Here are a few of my favorite statements she makes in the video:
“You’ve not come this close to the finish line and stop.” This is one I have to repeat to myself over and over again!

“If you want results, they’re not coming for free.” I love this quote because it’s so true.  So many people expect miraculous results without any sacrifice on their part.  That’s why there are so many fad diets and miracle pill commercials all over the television right now!

“When you put stress on your body, it’s going to adapt.” Again, this is forcing your muscles from becoming lazy by doing the same thing over and over again.

Do you prefer a workout video or going to the gym?  What’s your favorite strengthening workout?

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