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!):
|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?