Originally posted 3/13/11

Starting tomorrow I’m going to be doing Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred. I read on Healthy Tipping Point how good of a program it was for toning up, and that’s what I want. Since I don’t have a gym membership, I rely on workout videos and magazines to give me ideas and keep me motivated. Well, no one can do that better that Jillian. I freakin’ love this woman, what she stands for and how she helps people. Plus she’s got a killer bod so she must know something!

Here is my before picture.



(check out those guns!)

Not too shabby, but could be better. Hopefully my after picture will really show some definition!

Let the games begin!


I decided to track how I move through the workouts each day so I will provide a quick update here after I complete each one.

Here’s how the program works: there are 3 levels to the Shred. You are supposed to do each level for 10 days, working from 1 to 3. Each level is made up of 3 min.  of strength moves, 2 minutes of cardio and 1 min. of abs. Combine that with a warm up and cool down and you have a 20 min. workout. I plan to combine this with additional cardio on most days, if time. I also took my measurements on day 1 and will take them again at the end.


3/14 – Day 1: Took measurements

  • 5’7” tall (I only include this to provide some context)
  • 138lbs
  • biceps: 12”
  • waist: 30.5”
  • hips: 36.5”
  • thighs: 19”
  • calves: 13”

Level 1: silly me, I thought level 1 would be easy. HAHAHAHA! I should have known. It’s Jillian after all. It’s definitely intense but also doable. I’m sure I will be super sore tomorrow, when I have to come back and do it again. At least they provide an easy and advanced version. Today I did all advanced moves but tomorrow may need to lay off a little…

3/15 – Day 2: Level 1. I was sore today, no doubt about it. My shoulders, chest, hamstrings and quads mostly. I used a lighter weight (3# instead of 5#) to give my body a little bit of a break while still working out. It was a little harder today just because my muscles were tired. Jillian says you start to notice a difference by day 5 so I’m looking forward to that. I also added 20 min. of cardio on the elliptical just to polish off a few more calories. Fav quote of the day: “Stress is what brings about change. Push through the stress to get to the body you want.”

3/16 – Day 3: Level 1. Still sore, and in new spots. Bumped it back up to 5# today. There were a couple spots where I wanted to quit and throw my weights down…but I didn’t. As Jillian says, you don’t get results by taking it easy. Had planned to do an additional 20 min. cardio DVD afterwards but only made it through about 10 min. of that before stopping. My knees were starting to hurt and I wasn’t “feeling it”. Hey, at least I got an extra 10!

3/17 – Day 4: Level 1. For some reason I had a thought this morning that I could probably move on to level 2 after today. HA! After finishing level 1 this morning I know I need more days with it. However, I do see myself getting stronger and my endurance increasing. It does get old to do the same workout day after day. I kind of wish the program had several workouts for each level. Good news – today was my weigh in and I lost 3 lbs this week! Go me!

3/18 – Day 5: Level 1. I couldn’t pull myself out of bed this morning to Shred. Not after volleyball last night and a late bedtime. But since I had the afternoon off, I used Isabella’s naptime to do it. Definitely felt good to sweat and know that I got a good workout in even if it wasn’t at my usual time.

3/19 – Day 6: Level 1. I don’t usually do formal exercise on the weekends so it was tough to pull myself out of bed at 6:30 a.m., but I did it. Got through the Shred and then took Samson for a walk/run. Shred is getting easier but I still feel the burn and sweat each time. The walk/run was nice. It was a bit chilly but I always love getting out in the fresh, crisp morning air and working my body. Plus, Samson got to pee on a lot of stuff so he was happy!

3/20 – Day 7: Level 1. Today I upped my weights to 8# . Figured I needed to do something to challenge myself a bit more. That did the trick!  It was tough and I’m a sweaty beast now. For my additional cardio today, I’m going to walk over to Walgreens to pick up a prescription. Saves me gas and gives me that extra cardio! Only downside is that I can’t take Samson with me. Sad smile

3/21 – Day 8: Level 2. Even though it hasn’t been 10 days, I decided to move ahead to level 2 because I wanted more of a challenge. Boy did I get one! Holy cow was it tough. By the end I thought my lungs were going to burst from breathing so hard. But like Jillian says, if you want to get a good workout in only 20 minutes, you have to work hard. I added another 20 min. of cardio on to the end too, just to polish it off.

3/22 – Day 9: Level 1. I decided to go back to level 1 today to mix things up and give my body some variety. I did it with 8# weights though to keep the intensity up. Tomorrow it will be back to level 2. No time for extra cardio today because I have to take Samson to the vets for his yearly round of shots and whatnot. That’s ok though – I don’t have to push it to the max every day. Since this is a workout done every single day, I figure I can give myself a break in other ways.

3/23 – Day 10: Level 2. It was time to hit level 2 again but this time I used 3# weights to ease myself in to it. I learned with level 1 that I don’t have to start heavy right away. I have 10 days to work in to more weight so might as well use that time wisely. I also realize why this is called the Shred. My muscles (esp. arms and shoulders) feel like piles of ground meat. That’s good though – means that it’s working and my muscles are changing and getting stronger! Added 10 extra minutes of cardio to the end today as well.

3/24 – Day 11: Level 2. Good golly Jillian is crazy! That is hard – especially the last cardio circuit. I was huffing and puffing  like the big bad wolf by the end! No extra cardio this morning b/c I have volleyball tonight. I have noticed my right knee starting to bother me so I’ve modified the moves to not go so deep in to the lunges. I still get a great workout but without killing my knees.

3/25: skipped it today. Needed some rest!

3/26 – Day 12: Level 2. Back at it early this morning! Got to get it in before the day gets away from me. I actually felt stronger today, after having the day off yesterday. Workout still kicked my butt but not as badly. My knees are feeling it though which means I have to do modified versions of the moves.

3/27 – Day 13: Level 2. I did not feel like getting up and doing this today, after a late night last night (and a few drinks), but I did. Partially because I pigged out yesterday and needed to work it off. Still using 3# weights. Didn’t get to finish b/c the DVD hit a scratch or something and skipped over the last half. Then Isabella woke up and started crying. Oh well, at least I did part of it. Think I’ll bump it up to 5# tomorrow.

3/28 – Day 14: level 2. Upped my weights to 5# and I definitely felt it. Also, I fixed the DVD (it has some fingerprints on it) and discovered a whole extra ab move in there I hadn’t known about since I started level 2! By the end I wanted to scream at Jillian that she was a mean crazy woman but I didn’t have enough breath for that. I sure thought it though!!

3/29 – Day 15: Level 2. Halfway done with the Shred! Woo hoo! I actually do see a small difference in my body. I think my stomach is flatter and my arms are taking more shape. I’ve also noticed a difference in my endurance and flexibility. One downside – my knees are a little more sore and I sweat more. Yes, that’s right, I sweat more. I never used to be one to get soaked during a workout, no matter how hard it was. But today I was dripping by the time I was done! I suppose it’s a good thing b/c sweating is healthy. Here’s to the last half of this journey!

3/30 – Day 16: Level 2: ‘Nuf said.

3/31 – Day 17: Level 2. Decided to mix it up today and added in 8# weights. Used those on some of the bigger muscles like back and chest. I also did one set of the biceps and shoulders with them, then switched back down to 5#. It really did make it that much harder. I added in 20 min. on the elliptical afterwards too. Even though this workout is killer, diet is really important too. This week I have slacked and gone back to eating a lot of junk. Consequently I gained 2 lbs. Some of it could be increased muscle mass so I’m not going to freak out. But it is a good reminder to get back on track with eating right.

4/1 – Day 18: I give up. This is too hard and I’m done. I made it 18 days right?
Ha! April Fool’s! Smile I didn’t want to get up and do it today but I did. I had to really push myself mentally too. It was hard but I got through it. 2 more days of level 2 and then it’s on to level 3!

4/2 – Day 19: Level 2. Man I feel like this should be getting easier but every day I’m still sucking wind my the end. The strength part is getting easier, it’s just the cardio that’s still so tough. But, I guess that means I’m pushing my body which should lead to results!

4/3 – Day 20: Level 2. This was my last day of level 2 and it still kicked my butt. Lordie! Now I’m going to take Samson for a walk/run around the neighborhood!

4/4 – Day 21: Level 3. Jillian ain’t messing around in this level! It’s the last one and definitely the toughest. There is more focus on plyometrics and using the abs in every single move, not just during the ab portion. Jillian says that you should have the beginnings of a 6-pack by now if you’re following the program. Well, I don’t, but not because of the workouts but due to my eating habits. I can feel myself getting stronger though!

4/5 – Day 22: Level 3. Good golly that was tough. She really does a lot of plank moves in level 3, adding them in to the strength, cardio and ab segments. After the Shred I did a 30 min. boot camp DVD that had more plyometrics in it. Through out both workouts I could feel my “Gelatinous Muffin Top” and “noodle”shaking. It grossed me out. But I had to keep telling myself that the only way to get rid of it is to keep pushing! Go go go!

4/6 – Day 23: level 3. The last cardio circuit almost did me in today. I just about quit and then remembered that quitting will not get me results. So I pushed through. I added in 30 min of cardio afterwards by doing the elliptical. Yesterday I went on a 30 min walk over lunch too. I’m going to try and do that again today!

4/7: Day 24: Level 3. I really had to talk myself in to getting up and doing this today. And it was hard. But I did it! Go me! Afterwards, instead of more cardio or weights, I did 25 min. of yoga stretching. It felt SO good to really get in and open up my sore muscles. My whole body hurts from doing this workout and from all the packing and lifting of getting our house ready. So the yoga was perfect!

4/8 – Day 25: Level 3. Today was tough. The workout was the same it’s been for the last 5 days but it felt twice as hard. I really struggled to get through it. I think part of it is that it’s Friday and I’m tired from a long week. Another part is that I’ve been eating crap all week so my body is not fueled properly. I need to change that ASAP. Time to flip the switch in my mind and make better choices!

4/9 – day off

4/10 – day off

4/11 – Day 26: Level 3. As you can see, I took the weekend off from the Shred. I figured my body needed a couple days of rest. Plus, I was packing and working on the house all weekend so I was definitely getting exercise in. Back at it today and I added an extra 15 min. to the end by doing part of Jillian’s The Biggest Winner DVD. This is my last week of the Shred so I’m committed to pushing and getting as much out of it as I can!

4/12 – Day 27: Level 3. Phew! As always, this was tough. I tried to really focus on each move and the muscles being worked. I also made sure to do each move fully and not cheat (i.e. do a full squat instead of a half squat). It made it just a little tougher and hopefully pushed my muscles that extra bit. Now off to the shower!

4/13 – Day 28: Level 3. Hot sweaty beast again! I only got 6 hours of sleep last night so some of the cardio felt harder than usual. I did increase my weights to 8# today though. Only 2 days left!! Check out this post to see what I looked like after shredding today!

4/14 – Day 29: Level 3. It’s “the end of the 30 day Shred Eve” and I’m ready to be done! Another good workout today. I’ll get some extra cardio in tonight at sand volleyball!

4/15 – Day 30! Level 3. Done and done! Today was my last day on the program and it feels good to be finished. I was tempted to just phone it in but I didn’t. Well, not all of it. I took it easy on some of the cardio because my knee was bugging me. But I made up for it by doing the strength moves the extra hard way (i.e. full out man push-ups rather than the girl ones on the knees). Stay tuned for my full wrap-up and the “after” results!!

The Results


(Hurray for being done! I took this one right after I finished my last workout! That’s why I look so pretty…but I did feel strong and touch – like I could take on the world! )

I’m sure you’re all dying to know if the program worked, and if so, how well. Overall, I would say yes it did work. Before we get in to numbers and measurements, I want to talk about changes in how I feel. After completing the 30-day Shred I do feel like I have more endurance, which says a lot considering I worked out quite a bit before starting the program. I already had pretty good endurance and Jillian helped me kick it up a notch. I also feel stronger. I advanced from 3# weights to 8# by the end and from doing push ups on the knees to full out ones. I also improved my sit ups. At the start of level 3 I was doing the beginners and by the end I was performing the advanced moves. One benefit that I wasn’t expecting was increased flexibility. Today I was reaching further in my cool down stretches than on day 1.

Physically I can see a difference in my body. My arms and legs have more definition and my abs are flatter. Do I have a 6-pack? No. Did I expect to? Well maybe a little. But in my heart I knew that wasn’t realistic. Especially since I wasn’t doing any dieting during this. I tried to eat well but I definitely had a couple weeks of total binging. Had I followed her diet plan I might have seen more dramatic results.

Some things I didn’t like about the program – there wasn’t much variety. I am someone that needs to change things up a lot, which is why I try all these different programs. So doing the same moves over and over for 10 days (before moving to the next level) was boring for me. I would have liked maybe 3 versions of each level so I could pick different ones each day. There was a lot of plyometrics too so this program would not work for anyone wanting low impact or easy on the joints exercise. There were times I had to modify it because of my knees. Another big annoyance was that you couldn’t skip the intro. So every day I had to listen to Jillian explain the program. That got old by day 3.

All in all, I’d recommend it if you’re looking for a quick way to get intense workouts in your routine. The levels are hard but it’s only 20 minutes and it goes by fast.

Now for the “after” results and pics!

  • 138lbs
  • biceps: 12”
  • waist: 30.5”
  • hips: 36.5”
  • thighs: 19”
  • calves: 13”
  • 135lbs (-3)
  • biceps: 12.5” (+1 – which is good!)
  • waist: 29” (-.5)
  • hips: 36” (-.5)
  • thighs: 19” (no change)
  • calves: 12.5” (-.5)
front_day 0_3.11.11

front_day 30_4.15.11


Bring it!!



If you like this, you might also like:

135 and 135 are not the same

1 Year Later

Sweatin’ to the Oldies

6 thoughts on “Shred

  1. Pingback: Google me this… « Team Trader Mom

  2. Pingback: Officially Official…and other stuff « Team Trader Mom

    • I’ll post onean “after” pic once I finish the program. But only if I have a totally rockin’ body! 😉 BTW, I love your blog. I think my lab Samson would have a blast playing with Harry!


  3. Pingback: Decisions, Decisions « Team Trader Mom

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