Category Archives: 30-Day Shred

30 Day Shred Review

I’m a little behind on writing this review, as I finished the 30 Day Shred on Friday, but here it is!


How it works:  The Break Down

  • 3 Videos – each one a different Level
  • Each level is progressively harder than the last
  • Each video is broken into three 6-minute circuits, plus a warm up and cool down, for about a 30 minute workout.
  • Each 6-minute circuit is broken up into 3 intervals:  3 minutes of strength moves, 2 minutes of cardio, 1 minute of ab work.
  • Most intervals repeat 2 movements.  So for 3 minutes of strength, there are 2 movements that you do twice (or two sets of each movement for a total of 4 sets).  There is at least one cardio interval where there are 4 different movements (which are all repeats from the other intervals) and a couple of ab intervals that you do the same thing for the whole minute.
  • Each video has a modified “beginner’s” version of the movements and a “bad-ass” version.
  • Each video works your whole body, not just a portion of it.
  • You do each level for 10 days then move to the next.

My Thoughts:

  • I love the set up of these workouts – the 3-2-1 intervals.  I love that in one workout, I get legs, arms, back, and chest worked out – plus cardio – plus abs.
  • When I was looking to start the 30 Day Shred, I compared it to P90X and why I thought I’d like it more.  I stand by that comparison.
  • I think Level 2 and Level 3 workouts were equally challenging – both much more than Level 1.
  • I got a little tired of the videos – particularly Jillian’s voice and habits and the background music (one nice thing about the P90X dvds is that there is the option to play without the background music and I think even without most of the talking.  Love that feature).  I got so tired of the videos I did the last few days of Level 3 from memory, without the video.  I think I actually did a few more reps of most movements that way.
  • I got a little tired of the repetition.  On one hand, for some of the movements, I needed the 10  days to get better at them (and a few of the movements I never got beyond the modified the version).  On the other hand, it’s the same thing for 10 days.  Like I said – I had it memorized.
  • Even though it’s “just” a 30 minute workout, it takes up more than 30 minutes of your day – unless you can stay sweaty for a while.  Maybe I sweat more than normal, but for me, the 30 Day Shred involved washing my sweat-soaked hair right afterwards.  There was no, “I’ll work this in really quickly before I go out for drinks” or anything like that.


I need to start by saying I didn’t follow any nutrition plan lined out by Jillian.  I tracked my food following my old original Weight Watchers Points material…but I could have done better – both with tracking and with choices.

AND  I took rest days.  I did not work out on the weekends; life is hectic and I believe in rest days to heal your body, not matter what Jillian says.  So it took me 45 days to do the workouts 30 times.

AND I have no pictures to show.

Here’s my final numbers:

  • Weight:  Lost 5 pounds (from 156 down to 151)
  • Bust:  Lost 3 inches (37” down to 34″) 😦
  • Under bust:  stayed the same at 30″
  • Waist:  Lost 1 inch (30” down to 29″)
  • Abdomen (aka “pooch”): Lost 2″ (39.5” down to 37.5)
  • Hips:  Lost 1.25″ (41.25” down to 40″)
  • Largest part of thigh:  Lost 1.5 inch (24.25” down to 23.75″)
  • Bicep:  lost 1/4 of an inch (12.25” down to 12″)
  • Total inches lost:  9

Not all that impressive.  Plus, I took my measurements halfway through, and my transformation was definitely a positive split (lost more in the first half than the second half).  I know these lackluster results have to do with food – reaffirming the whole “abs are made in the kitchen”.

But all is not lost.  9″ and 5 pounds is better than nothing.  I feel as though I have more energy and less stress.  I’ve come to really enjoy getting up early and working out in the morning.  And even though the weight and measurements didn’t change as drastically as I might have hoped, I can see some toning, and clothes that were a little too tight are fitting better.

This month, I am moving on to Ripped in 30, and I have modified the a nutrition plan that goes a long with the workout into something I can follow.  More on that later.

Would I recommend the 30-Day Shred?  First of all, I’m no doctor, and you should always talk to your doctor about what exercise is right for you (and we all do that, don’t we…).  I liked the workout.  It was challenging, and yet not so much so that I couldn’t do the moves.  If you like HIIT (or are wanting to get in to it) and you need a set routine to follow, this is a good place to start.


One more 30 Day Shred Workout

Tomorrow will be my last day of the 30 Day Shred.  Whew!!!

I’m excited to take my measurements again – even though I don’t think I am seeing any difference than when I took them midway through.  I’ll save all that for a 30 Day Shred review post later though.

I’d like to start my next workout routine April 1st, taking the weekend off (like usual), and I think I’ve finally decided what I’ll do:  I’m going to stay faithful to Jillian and do Ripped in 30.


Even though I’ve gotten a little annoyed with Jillian’s voice and the horrible background music,  I really like the way she has set up these workouts.  I like the circuits that combine strength, cardio, and abs – and the exercises focus on multiple muscle groups (as opposed to workouts that target upper body one day and lower body the next).  I’ve done a little looking for other workouts, but I didn’t find anything (for free) that I wanted to try more than this (I mention “for free” because I did find several that I would have to buy that looked interesting, but I like to preview before I buy).  I’m picking up the Ripped in 30 from the library this afternoon, and will be doing this in the mornings Monday-Saturday (yes, I am giving myself one day of rest between levels).  As a bonus, there’s a 30-day meal plan which I have downloaded and will be considering.

I’d also like to continue walking during my lunch breaks – or rather turn it into an everyday routine rather than just randomly.

So that’s my plan as of now.  That and FINISH THE 30 DAY SHRED TOMORROW!

First Day of Level 3 – 30 Day Shred

Just to recap – I’ve been doing the 30 Day Shred workouts Monday through Friday mornings and taking the weekends off (for various reasons, but I won’t go in to that).  I completed Level 2 on Friday, and really needed the rest this weekend, as I had tweaked my right shoulder.  This morning was my first Level 3 workout.

My shoulder felt normal again, but in an attempt to take it easy on the shoulder, I had decided ahead of time that I would only use 3 pound weights.  I had previewed the workout and knew that the weights were used during some of the cardio, but the majority of the strength exercises are done using body weight.  I did use a 5 pound dumbbell on the dumbbell cleans, but I could not imagine doing jumping jacks with 5 pounds in each hand.

Superman:  my favorite move.  Image found on Google.

Superman: my favorite move. Image found on Google.

In general, I felt like Level 3 was not really a step up from Level 2; I’d almost say it was easier, but admittedly, I did the modified version of quite a few of the moves (sumo hops, jumping lunges, jump squats, and the entire circuit 3).

Here’s my theory on why it seems easier:  In both Level 1 and Level 2 workouts, I personally felt like the first circuit was the hardest.  Starting out with the hardest circuit makes everything that comes after a little harder because I’m tired from the start.  In the Level 3 workout, I felt like the last circuit was the hardest.  The first two, I can do all the “badass” moves (except the jumping moves, because this girl cannot jump; I get no air). But that last circuit comes, and I have to do the modified version of all of them.  I feel like if this were the first circuit, I probably would have been modifying more moves on the other two.

That’s just my initial thoughts.  We’ll see how I feel about this workout at the end.

On a somewhat-related-yet-still-random-tangent, I mentioned that I cannot jump and thought of a somewhat funny antidote.  The hubs and I were doing Crossfit workouts before the wedding last summer, and some of the workouts included “box jumps” – where you jump from the ground onto a “box” or platform of some sorts, stand up straight, then jump off and repeat multiple times.  I think the boxes that the workouts call for are usually 30″ or taller.  Knowing I get no air, I started on one that was 18″…with the husband holding my hands, half pulling my up as I jumped.  When it became clear to him that I was really making the jumps by myself, he went tough love on me and told me he wasn’t holding my hands anymore – literally (figuratively, he was still supportive).  Without his hands, every time I wanted to make a jump, I had to psych myself up – even after I had just done it a few times.  Before EVERY jump, I would have to tell myself, “You can do this.  You just did this with no problem.  You can do it again.”  It’s pretty pathetic…especially when you’re supposed to be doing 50 in a row…and I have to take 10 seconds between each one to work myself up to do it again.  Amazingly though, box jumps are still not my least favorite exercise.

One day...maybe...Image from

One day…maybe…Image from



Found via Google.

Found via Google.

I feel like celebrating – because it’s Friday AND because today was the last morning workout of 30 Day Shred Level 2.  While I know that Monday I may be posting an image of tears – as I previewed Level 3 yesterday and it looks killer – I’m happy to be done with Level 2.

Some thoughts on Level 2:  Level 2 is definitely a step up from Level 1.  While I don’t know if I’d say it gets “easier” as you go through it, you do at least get accustomed to it.  For a while, I was dreading all the planking, but the last couple of days, I knew I could power through it because it only lasts 30 seconds at a time…except those plank twists at the end, when sweat is dripping on to my yoga mat like I’m doing Bikram yoga.  Okay, maybe not quite that bad.

Yesterday’s food:  unexpectedly went out to lunch with a friend and didn’t make the best decision (chicken and rice smothered in teriyaki sauce) – so I at least tried to control how much of it I ate.  Last night, we had Slower Cooker Thai Chicken and Vegetables, which was fabulous.  I probably would have sopped up all the extra sauce with rice, but I felt I had already had my share of rice for the day during lunch.  Used 2 Weekly Points (33 remaining).


This weekend, a few friends and I are going out of town for a ladies’ weekend.  This could be dangerous for the diet, but at least one of the friends is also doing the Dietbet, so we can try to watch it together.

Weekly Weigh-In #4 and Days 27-28

Weekly Weigh-In #4:  down 1.6 pounds!!!  I did a happy dance on the scale – seriously – the numbers jumped around like crazy while I wiggled then went back to 151.8.  Movement in the right direction on the scale again!


Total weight lost so far:  4.2 pounds.  It seems slow, but healthy weight loss is 1-2 pounds a week…and while I’d rather be towards 2 pounds a week, I’m at least averaging 1.

Worked out with Jillian, Anita, and Natalie the past two mornings for the 8th and 9th rounds of Level 2.  Still haven’t previewed level 3 – doing that in a few minutes.  My right shoulder has been hurting a little so this morning I dropped down to 3 pound weights; I felt like I was cheating, b/c the strength portions felt too easy…until I got to the last circuit.  Shoulder was screaming.  Problem identified: the V raises.

Tracked my food the last two days:  Stayed right around my allotted points – 1.5 over Tuesday and 2 under (or 5 if you count activity) yesterday.  Admittedly, I didn’t finish tracking yesterday’s points until this morning, but no wonder I was hungry when I went to bed….


Day 26…and a Small Rant about Water Cups

Ever been to a casual restaurant and ordered a water with your meal, only to be given some little dinky clear plastic cup?  Why do restaurants do this??  I find this typically at casual restaurants where you walk up to a counter to order and then go to a beverage station to get your own drink.  I don’t know if fast food places do this, but I can think of a couple of nicer places that I frequent that do.  I understand that since they don’t charge for water, they want to be able to make sure a person who orders water doesn’t get some other beverage, but a 6 oz cup?  That’s like three drinks.  Or is it because the price of the cup itself is so much cheaper?

Water Cup vs Small Soda Cup.  Image from

Water Cup vs Small Soda Cup. Image from

It’s pretty ridiculous to me that a small soda cup is twice as large as a water cup.  I guess I could look at it as I get more exercise going back to the beverage station for 10 refills, but seriously, if the restaurant feels so cheated by people ordering water, charge 25 cents and give me a bigger cup!

Anyway, stepping off that soapbox:  got up this morning and did the Level 2 30 Day Shred for the 7th time.  I’m so over planking.  I think I’ll check out the Level 3 video today to see what’s coming up soon.

Yesterday’s food: Earned 3 Activity Points and ate 24.5 points. Right on target with half a point to spare.  Drank my water, and ate my servings of fruits and veggies.   Good day.

On another side note, have I mentioned I gave up desserts and candy for Lent?  It really hasn’t been hard for me – I even made my father-in-law an apple pie for his birthday, which I couldn’t taste to know how it was.  That didn’t even bother me – though it is a little awkward to be sitting at a table full of people eating pie while you sit with nothing.  But last night, I was stuffing plastic eggs with candy for our church’s upcoming egg hunt, and I had the hardest time not shoveling Skittles into my mouth…fun size packaging and all.


Calling This “Day 25” – and Progress


A few things that are not working:

  • Me – in that I have not been tracking my food.  GETTING BACK ON THAT TODAY!
  • Weighing in every 8 days instead of the same day every week.  Silly idea.  Sticking with Thursday for now.
  • Weighing in multiple times in one day (morning vs night).  Again – silly idea and there was a reason, but I’ll stick with afternoon, right when I get home from work.

A few things that ARE working:

  • Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred.

I’ve been feeling kind of overwhelmed by keeping up with everything and underwhelmed by results.  The scale seems to be stuck.  I know the reason – as I mentioned above I haven’t been tracking for about a week.  So in an attempt to stop being overwhelmed, I need to simplify.

But – as the title of my blog is a constant reminder – the number on the scale is not everything.  This morning, after completing my 6th workout of 30 Day Shred Level 2 and in a need for motivation, I took my progress measurements.  Despite only being on the 16th workout, it has been almost a month since I started.  And even though I’m not following the regimen quite as designed, IT IS WORKING.

  • Weight (at last weigh-in):  153.4  (lost 2.6 pounds)
  • Bust:  35.5 (down 1.5″ from 37″)
  • Under bust:  29″ (down 1″ from 30”)
  • Waist:  29″ (down 1″ from 30”
  • Abdomen (aka “pooch”): 38 (down 1.5″ from 39.5”)
  • Hips:  39.75 (down 1.5″ from 41.25”)
  • Largest part of thigh:  23.5″ (down .75″ from 24.25”)
  • Bicep:  12″ (down .25″ from 12.25”)

So even though I’ve only lost 2.6 pounds, I have lost 7.5 inches.  My pants that were snug are fitting better.  I have more energy on days that I workout, and I feel better when I drink plenty of water and eat better.

It’s easy to get consumed with negativity – like how much easier losing weight seemed when I was single and didn’t have to consider someone else when planning meals – and how the pounds seemed to come off so much quicker then.  But in reality, it wasn’t easy then either.  My body is changing, a little at a time, and if I stay diligent, I will get to where I want to be.  Stay Diligent, not Discouraged.