I started this 30 day challenge with a single goal:  to increase my strength and tone up to make me a better runner!  Over the last four weeks, I’ve tracked my shredding progress in this post.


To summarize the challenge:


  • My initial plan was to shred everyday for 30 days. I ended up shredding 21 out of 30 days, which I think is pretty good.  For a girl who NEVER strength trained on a regular basis, 5 days per week is a miracle.
  • I did each level of the shred for a 10-day period and then switched to the next level.  I used two 3-lb hand weights for the strength moves.  If I were to do the shred again, I would buy a variety of weights (a set of 5 pounders would’ve been nice) so I could challenge myself more on some of the moves).
  • In general, Level 1 was too easy, Level 3 was too hard, and Level 2 was juuuuust right.  (I’m like Goldielocks, what!)
  • If you have knee issues like I do, you will not be able to do ANY of the levels in their entirety, even the modified moves.  There’s a lot of lunges and squats, which are simply out of the question for me.  I substituted lunges or squats with jogging in place or doing sit-ups.
  • Jillian is crazy.


The big question on everyone’s mind is, of course, did the 30-Day Shred WORK?  Well, here are my before and after pictures and measurements (there is no sucking-in involved, I promise):


Front View Before:


Front View After:



Side View Before:


Front View After:



Back View Before:


Back View After (OK, I might be squeezing harder in this photo than the "before" shot, but not much!):


Body Part Before After Difference
Hips 35 inches (at widest part) 34.25 inches – 0.75 inch
Waist 26.25 inches (at narrowest part) 25.75 -0.5 inch
Biceps 10.25 (at widest part) 10.75 +0.5 inch
Thighs of Steel 22 inches (at widest part) 22 No Change


Honestly, I cannot believe that I lost 1.25 inch from my hips and waist AND I gained a half inch on my biceps (that’s a good thing!).  Interestingly enough, my weight did not change at all (well, it’s in the lower part of my "happy weight range," so maybe I did drop a pound or two, but nothing significant).  I just got more "shredded!"  I think the measurements speak more to my improvements than the pictures do.


The one area I can see a difference is in my arms — dozens of push-ups each week will do that to a girl!  I also feel a lot stronger when running.  Running used to be very tiring on my upper body, but lately my arms do not hurt when I run at all.  Also, I asked the Husband last night if he thought I looked any different, and he said the one area where he can really tell is my arms as well.  Woo goo!  Biceps of steel, here I come!


All in all, I think the 30 Day Shred is AMAZING.  It WORKS!  And it taught me that strength training doesn’t have to be this big "thing."  I will definitely stick to shredding in the future.


Have you shredded?  Do you love it?



  • nibblesandwiggles April 2, 2009, 4:35 pm

    I definitely see an improvement in your before and after pictures. Front view your legs look trimmer, side view you can see improvement in your abs and your rear delts are more prominent in your rear shots. Good job and thank you so much for sharing your results!

  • Balance, Joy and Delicias! April 2, 2009, 4:36 pm

    the best workout review I’ve ever seen! You’re amazing!!! Thanks so much! I’ll definitely try it out! 😀

  • Elizabeth April 2, 2009, 4:36 pm

    I’m on day 20 (level 2 – moving to level 3 tomorrow). I can tell a change in my arms for sure. I think I can tell a slight change in my abs. I’ve always had a flat stomach, but I can see a bit more definition than before. As far as my hips and legs, I’m not too sure. I have thighs of steel too (woooo big thighs!) and have always had wider hips, so we’ll see when I remeasure at the end. Hope I get as good of results as you!

  • Alicia April 2, 2009, 4:38 pm

    Congratulations Caitlin! After that review, I think I am going to give it a try. I too have never really done actual strength training on a regular basis, but will be giving it a try after this post! Thanks 🙂

  • girlrunningaround April 2, 2009, 4:38 pm

    Great job! You can definitely see the increased muscle tone in your back view pics.

    I love the Shred, and I totally agree that Level 2 is best. I’ve been doing it with 5lb weights and it’s working well for me.

    I wish I could have joined in on the challenge, but it wasn’t good timing for me. Great job in inspiring others to get shredded!

  • Meghann April 2, 2009, 4:40 pm

    Look at those muscles!

    I should have taken measurements, but I don’t own tape to do so 🙂

  • runsarah April 2, 2009, 4:41 pm

    Awesome review! I think I am going to get heavier weights as well to challenge myself a bit more now. I have mainly noticed changes in my biceps too! I’ve found the jumping lunges etc are bad on my legs and won’t be doing them very often any more…way too high impact for my not-so-great knee joints.

  • Niki April 2, 2009, 4:46 pm

    Great job! I am gonna start shredding once I get it from Netflix!! Can’t wait!

  • Peanut Butter and Jenny April 2, 2009, 4:47 pm

    whoa awesome review girl – you look great! and ready to kick major butt =)

  • Sarah (lovINmytummy) April 2, 2009, 4:49 pm

    I really notice a difference in your abs in the side shot! And your hair looks a little longer too.

    I think as runners, our lower body is already pretty strong, but I too have noticed a difference in my abs and upper body.

    Are you going to continue to Shred???

  • Brandi April 2, 2009, 4:55 pm

    awesome! you can definitely tell a difference!

    I don’t shred, but we do bodypump classes, and I can tell a difference in my legs and arms.

    thanks for the recap!!!

    are you gonna keep doing it?

  • amy. April 2, 2009, 4:55 pm

    You were already BEYOND bangin’, but wow, I definitely can tell a difference in your waist and arms. You look terrific! I’m glad you feel stronger, too–it’s so important to stay in shape for reasons beyond “looking good”. You are so fab. SO fab, girl.


  • ash April 2, 2009, 4:56 pm

    wow, its nice to see first hand if it works or not! I can definitely see a change in the side view, as well the back, great job!

  • teacherwoman April 2, 2009, 4:56 pm

    Great work, Caitlin! I am starting over and we will see how it works for me on the 30th!

  • Kailey (SnackFace) April 2, 2009, 4:59 pm

    Oh. My. Gaaawd. These results are incredible! You look amazing! You looked great before, but I can really see a difference in your waist and arms. Wowza. I’ve never Shreded, but now I’m really thinking about getting that. Thanks for this awesome, awesome review!

  • Jen April 2, 2009, 5:00 pm

    I can definitely see a change – and the difference in your running that you are noticing is awesome! I have a long way to go before I get to my 30 days.

  • Chic Runner April 2, 2009, 5:10 pm

    Great Review! 🙂 I love the pics too. Great idea.

  • Lindsay April 2, 2009, 5:11 pm

    I started shredding on Monday but stopped. I decided that it’s best to wait until after my marathon on the 19th to start something new to my already overtrained muscles.

    I also have bad knees. The lunges I can do. I can’t do the butt kicks. Everytime I do them, I hear my right knee cracking. Not a good thing!!

  • Michelle April 2, 2009, 5:12 pm

    you’ve convinced me!

  • Mara @ What's For Dinner? April 2, 2009, 5:20 pm

    you look fanTAStic!!! Not that you didn’t look great before, but you’re definitely more toned.
    I tried the shred once, and like Lindsay, it just KILLED my knees. I’m diggin’ on Jazzercise though 🙂

  • Caitlin April 2, 2009, 5:26 pm

    you can def. see a difference!

    You have convinced me to try it 🙂

  • Amy April 2, 2009, 5:43 pm

    I def. see differences in the before and after pictures! I am happy I ordered my copy yesterday and now I will be stalking the mail man in anticipation for my 30 Day Shred DVD!

    I can’t wait!!!

  • Lindsay April 2, 2009, 5:47 pm

    I think you look amazing and you should not be worried about whether or not you lost weight or not. I love how your stomach looks very flat in the second picture, that is amazing!! I hope that you keep it up!! 🙂

  • Lisa D. April 2, 2009, 5:50 pm

    Your legs look stronger and your arms and back are definitely stronger. But screw pictures and measurements if you feel good then yay! I was very inspired by the fact that you didn’t shred every day but still continued towards your goal. Sometimes I let a small rut blow up in my face and quit but you didnt! And it isn’t always realistic to do 100% all the time. Very inspiring and once my knee is healed I am looking forward to shredding, or at least modified shredding!

  • jane April 2, 2009, 6:01 pm

    kudos on completing the challenge- especially as a runner. we runners tend to neglect strength training so it’s awesome to see that you tried it and it actually improves your running. thanks for the review!

  • Missy April 2, 2009, 6:24 pm

    Congrats! That is amazing! I have about 10 more days of the shred!! I don’t notice anything in the mirror yet but def. feel stronger in my weight class!

  • Kristi April 2, 2009, 6:24 pm

    You go girl!

    I LOVE 30 day shred! I’m still on level one, but planning on giving level two a try next time. I usually mute the volume and turn on my ipod while I shred. The time flies by!

  • Victoria April 2, 2009, 6:31 pm

    Wow! I definitely see the improvement. I’m feeling pretty inspired to pick up my own copy. Maybe I’ll try my mom’s first.

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point April 2, 2009, 6:38 pm

    thank you for your support! i definitely plan to keep shredding and i’m so happy many of your are going to try it too!

  • L. Elizabeth April 2, 2009, 6:45 pm

    I have been shredding for a while now, I bought it a week or two after you started. I am afraid of level 3. Sometimes I do 1 & 2 back to back and I feel hardcore.

    The 5 pound weights are rough with the v-fly in level 2! Be warned! 🙂

  • Rose April 2, 2009, 6:52 pm

    Wow, Caitlin! Great results. It’s interesting that your weight didn’t change but your body changed a bit. I can definitely tell this is a program that WORKS.

  • andrea. April 2, 2009, 7:06 pm

    Congrats on sticking with it, Caitlin! It seems to have had great results for you — the backs of your shoulders look awesome! Definitely more definition. I’ve had pretty good results with the Shred video too — although I’m still too heavy to see much muscle tone, it’s definitely helped me lose weight, and just feel stronger in general. Gotta love Jillian!

  • ttfn300 April 2, 2009, 7:32 pm

    dang, girl! now i want to do that dvd 🙂 i just got it, but have done strength at the gym today so was going to skip. i’m glad to know it won’t be the end of the world if i don’t do the lunges!

  • Dori April 2, 2009, 7:55 pm

    Wow, great after pics! I have been shredding and yes my boyfriend and I have noticed ab definition and overall tightness!

    Great work! You really inspired everyone!

  • HangryPants April 2, 2009, 7:55 pm

    Awesome work Caitlin! I need to shred more consistently!

  • Amanda April 2, 2009, 8:25 pm

    Wow .. what great results!! I have been doing the Shred for about 3 months now … probably about 3-4 times a week. I also like level 2 the most and really enjoy choosing what to do based on how I feel. If I’m really not in the running mood, I will do 2 and 3 back-to-back, which is TOUGH. I just really love it bc I never thought strength training/intervals could be so quick, straight-forward, and effective!! Keep it up! I really believe the plyometrics help with running!

  • Danica's Daily April 2, 2009, 8:28 pm

    Congrats on completing your 30-day Shred Challenge. Lost inches is always a good thing.

    I think your weight didn’t change because you replaced your “fat weight” with “muscle weight” if that makes sense. They both way the same but muscle takes up less space which equals a smaller you.

    Right on, Caitlin! You look fabulous.

  • Sara April 2, 2009, 9:09 pm

    Great review! I’ll definately have to try out this Shred..even though Jillian is crazy. 🙂

  • BOBBI McCORMICK April 2, 2009, 9:55 pm

    wow what a great review!!!! I too think my arms are the thing that benefit the most, I wish I could find something that could give me the 6 pack I have always wanted!

  • Rachel April 3, 2009, 3:51 am

    WOW!! That’s amazing! You’re really inspired me to go out and buy this! Congrats on all the progress oyu made 🙂

  • Sarah W. April 3, 2009, 4:54 am

    awesome review! i think i'm going to do my own 30 day challenge beginning on Monday (after my 10 miler) in preparation for my upcoming half marathon mid-May 🙂 I've been neglecting the weights in favor of my newfoudn love for running & its not good! (plus I could stand to tone up/lose weight)

  • lauren April 3, 2009, 5:53 am

    great review and the results you saw are amazing…good job!

  • sweetandfit April 3, 2009, 6:16 am

    congrats! you look amazing before AND after, but i’m sure you already knew that! =)

  • Leila April 3, 2009, 7:39 am

    wow your arms look amazing! congrats on completing the 30 days.

  • Thinspired April 3, 2009, 9:16 am

    I have not shredded…I am afraid of Jillian..but your progress is inspiring. I suck at strength training so the fact that you basically started from scratch gives me hope! You look great in both sets of photos, but I CAN tell your arm definition!

  • Angie (Losing It and Loving It) April 3, 2009, 9:50 am

    I haven’t started it yet but the dvd did arrive and hubs and I will be doing it together soon. I’m glad you mentioned the lunges because I have bad knees and can’t do those either so I will also have to replace those with something else. Great review!

  • SweetPea April 3, 2009, 11:03 am

    I seriously think I’m going to get into this! Thanks for the awesome review 🙂

  • Sarah April 3, 2009, 12:32 pm

    I have been doing the shred 6 of 7 days a week since Oct. 11, 2008. I have lost probably about 30 lbs. and feel great. I was at level one for a long time and then level two. I started doing level three but thought it was too hard. I tried it again and the DVD was skipping so I am at level two all the time. I feel great when I do it and it doesn’t take too much time. Obviously I was not in shape before that (I only walked) but now think I sort of am in shape. I’d still like to lose about 30 more lbs. So I’ll keep shredding.

  • Elina April 3, 2009, 3:11 pm

    Wow – your measurements are so inspiring! I think I should have measured myself too. I may have to do that with my next challenge because the scale definitely doesn’t tell the whole picture and even the clothes don’t start fitting differently until you lose (or gain) a crazy amount of weight. Seriously, this was eye opening! Thanks for the recap!!
    Oh, and you definitely look shredded 🙂

  • eatingRD April 3, 2009, 3:13 pm

    Your waist looks so much smaller! Great job! I’ve been trying to tone up for awhile now, and while I can definitely see improvements from the body pump class that I like to go to, my ectomorphic dancer’s body always seems to want to stay. I think my muscle fibers are programmed to not get big!


    demo.eatingrd.com, I’d love to hear your feedback!

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point April 3, 2009, 3:50 pm

    sarah – congrats on your weight loss to date!!!

  • livelovelaugheatlearn April 3, 2009, 5:23 pm

    Congrats on a great challenge!!!

    Out of any body improvement, I always love when my biceps and triceps get more toned!

  • Stephanie July 21, 2009, 3:06 pm

    Hi Caitlin! I just came over from "Losing It and Loving It."

    First of all, you look FANTASTIC. I can definitely see a difference in your legs the "before" and "after" pictures.

    Second, your comment about weight loss was intriguing to me. I'm on day #15 and have yet to lose any weight, but I do feel stronger (and hopefully my clothes will fit better soon).

    Third, I have a quick question for you: did the workout bother your ankles? Mine are killing me!

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point July 21, 2009, 6:33 pm

    stephanie – i skipped almost all the lunges and squats because they hurt my knees. i know a lot of people start doing the shred without sneakers on — are you wearing shoes??

  • ksvobod July 27, 2009, 9:05 am

    I JUST bought this DVD! I excited to start. I wasn't sure what size weights to use, so good to know that 3s and 5s are a good start.

    I'm afraid of Jillian. She's nuts.

    Congrats on one year of bloggin'! You rock.

  • Maria February 21, 2010, 7:31 pm

    I’m shredding right now. I started the 30 day challenge Monday February 1st and got 6 days in and hurt my back (not while shredding) and had to stop ALL workout for almost 2 weeks. 🙁 I’m actually starting it back up tomorrow.I think my back is read and I KNOW that I am. Thanks for the extra incentive to push forward. I’ve got a 10k with my daughter April 24 and a half marathon October 3 so I gotta get back at it full force!!!

  • Danielle @ InDeesKitchen February 28, 2011, 2:53 pm

    Thanks for linking to this review. I just started it yesterday and it’s good to see that it works!!

  • Joey July 20, 2011, 11:51 am

    Just today on my run I was thinking I really need to find a way to strengthen so my runs don’t feel so hard – I think I’ll try this again!

  • Baking N Books July 20, 2011, 9:23 pm

    Have you done The Shred since? And what lbs. of weights were you using to get your “guns”? 🙂

    • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 9:24 pm

      3 – 5 pages and a few times!

  • Sarah September 20, 2012, 9:22 am

    Hi I have also just started I am only on level 1 day 2 just completed finding it hard to walk down the stairs and sitting on the loo is a killer my whole body is killing me but I am supper unfit and haven’t exercised since I left school and I am now 28 years old got about 20lbs to loose ! I hope to burn that 20lbs off while working out with this DVD thanks for the review you look amazing .

  • Rose August 28, 2013, 2:59 am

    Great results! you definitely look much more toned in your upper body at the end!

    Funny that you mention that you didn’t loose weight, I didn’t either after the first month of shred and lost about an inch on my arms, 2.5 inches from my thighs, 1.5 from my waist, 1 from my hips and actually gained 2 on my chest! So I was also shredded but still not fitting into any smaller pants.

    However, I started shred in June 2013 and when I was done with the 30 days in July, I continued level 3 for the majority of August, working out about 4 times a week and alternating with level 1 of P90 and cycling classes.

    I finally went down from 142lbs (my heaviest in 10 years) to 132lbs (SOOO HAPPY!) and am moving on now to No More Trouble Zones, which is super hard! hoping to get to 125 lbs by mid september!

  • Amry February 24, 2014, 4:11 pm

    Hello Caitlin, thanks for the thorough review. You had fantastic results and this motivated me to try 30 Day Shred back in October. I really liked the results, but now my knee hurts! Squatting, lunges, walking too quickly down stairs all hurt. I can’t even run. What did you do to combat your knee pain?

    • Caitlin February 25, 2014, 7:20 am

      Definitely lay off the lunges etc for now – take a break. You may want to look up proper lunge form. It’s really easy to do it wrong and mess up your knee. GOOD LUCK!!

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