About a week ago, Jillian Michaels came out with a new book called “Slim for Life: My Insider Secrets to Simple, Fast, and Lasting Weight Loss.” I downloaded it from Audible.com (which is a great way to listen to many popular health & fitness books if you have a long commute each day). To be honest, the only thing that I’m finding a little irritating is her voice, because she seems a little too wound up throughout the whole thing and kind of talks a little louder in a higher voice – you know, like she does when she’s hounding someone to get off their butts on the Biggest Loser. The whole time though!
I listened to her previous book as well – “Unlimited: How to Build an Exceptional Life.” It was motivational and had many good tips in it.
Well, so far “Slim” is another good “read” with many daily tips you can use. I have heard a lot of similar information in other books, but she has other things in there about HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), which pretty much says that if you intensely do part of a workout for short spurts, alternated with less intense spurts between, you can get just as much health benefit as doing the same workout less intensely for a longer period of time. Such an example is running or working out on an elliptical machine. She says if you warm up, then do it really intensely for 30 seconds to 2 minutes, depending on your heart rate, and then do it for 30 seconds to 2 minutes at a lower rate, you wouldn’t need to spend nearly as much time doing that activity, and you would get even better results! She seemed to like 30 sec/30 secs for the intense vs. less intense ratio. (As you know, I’m no doctor, so consult one before you would try anything new or intense.)
In this book she mentioned a workout she had, called “Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred,” that was based on HIIT. So, of course I had to try it!
Ok, Ok… once I turned it on, it MAY seem more aimed at women because there were no men behind her like there usually are in other workout videos. So, I guess that’s where my feminine side came in. Although, I have to admit – men, you could do much worse than watching Jillian Michaels and two other women with amazing abs for 20 minutes a day! But I digress…
So, Friday night, as I stood in front of the TV with my white head band and leg warmers on (JUST KIDDING!!!), I turned that workout video on for the first time and Jillian (yes, I’m on a first name basis with her – at least when I’m cursing her name in pain), says something to the effect of, “If you give me all you got for 20 minutes, you will save hours at the gym.” Oddly enough, just the other day I said to myself, “Self… isn’t there some way you could give all you got for 20 minutes and save hours at the gym?!” Well, could this be an answer to my prayers?
Three days into it, I don’t know yet, but I can tell you that for a “women’s workout video,” it’s pretty taxing, even for a guy! (Of course, it is no P90X or Insanity though.)
Initially, I wouldn’t have thought it would be effective because the exercises are pretty “old school” and basic for the most part… squats, lunges, ab bicycles, push-ups…, but the beauty of this program is that she adds things like bicep curls with hand weights as you go down into your squats, because she says otherwise you’re not burning enough calories (and yes, we’ve talked about how she yells at you in that higher pitched voice!). What I also like about it is that she mixes cardio with the strength training, so you do about 30 seconds each of things like jumping jacks, “fake jumping rope” and “butt kicks” that add up to 2 minutes and then you do the weight training parts. Then you go back and forth between everything until the 20 minutes are up and you’re wiping your sweat off your exercise mat.
Supposedly, you do this every day for 30 days (there are 3 sections that you do for 10 days each) and you become totally shredded – well, at least that’s what I figure… after all, it IS called the “30 day shred,” right?! Heck, don’t ask me – I’m a guy – I didn’t read the directions!
Like I said earlier, I’m only three days into it, so I’ll have to see if I can find time every day for it, and in a month you might not recognize me any more! 😉
Honestly, I do like it because you do mostly body weight assisted moves, so the only equipment you seem to really need are two small hand weights (about 5 lbs. each) and maybe an exercise mat (or layer 2 bath towels on the floor). It did give me a consistently good workout each time and the time seems to go by quickly, which is always nice when working out. Less is more in my book! The only thing I don’t like is there should be a timer on the bottom right of the screen so I know how much more of the intensity I need to work through.
Give it a try if you are looking for something to get you out of your same ol’ gym rut. I believe you can probably find an inexpensive new or even used copy on Amazon or eBay. It is good for beginning women and men alike.
As always, let the rest of us know if you come across any good workout videos. Just post a comment below.
–Yours in fun fitness, Mike