Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Hack Up Jillian Michaels


Whoa, whoa... slow down. I don't mean hack her to pieces. I mean hack her DVD workout video, 30 Day Shred. I'd heard a lot of good things about it, and I generally like her style, so I watched the DVD last night. But I have some issues:

(Goodness, what a big surprise!)

1) I think expecting someone to work out hard for 20 minutes a day for 30 days in a row is just plain foolish.
2) I think the DVD is too short. (What happens after day 30?)
3) Some of the moves are too high impact.
4) She never, ever talks about proper weight selection.
5) Weight is a horrible indication of fitness

So, I decided to hack it. (Hack=re-configuring or re-programming of a system to function in ways not facilitated by the owner.) And I thought I'd share it with you.

1) Use the proper amount of weight. Do the Level #1 workout first with your best guess of what weight to use. If it feels too easy, go up the next weight available to you. When the last 3-5 reps really burn, (but you can still hold good form) you have found your weight of choice.

2) Do the workout 2-3 times a week. Allowing time for your body to rest for 24 hours between sessions. (Extra cardio sessions are recommended.)

3) Hack it up!

For weeks 1 & 2, do Level #1.
For weeks 3 & 4, do Level #1 two times in a row. (Allow for the fact that it will take 40 minutes.)
For weeks 5 & 6, do Level #1 three times in a row. (Allow for the fact that it will take 60 minutes.)

Weeks 7 & 8, up your weights by 3-5 lbs and do Level #2 once.
Weeks 9 & 10 do Level #2 two times in a row (with the heavier weights).
Weeks 11 & 12 do Level #2 three times in a row (with the heavier weights).

Weeks 13 & 14 up your weights by 3-5 lbs and do Level #3 once (adjust high impact cardio as needed).
Weeks 15 & 16 do Level #3 two times in a row (with heavier weights)(adjust high impact cardio as needed).
Weeks 17 & 18 do Level #3 three times in a row (with heavier weights)(adjust high impact cardio as needed).

Will this hack take longer to sculpt you? Yes, probably. But pushing too hard, too fast, leads to injury and frustration and GIVING UP! I refuse to do that. And you should too. This hack is for life long fitness, so if it takes a bit longer, BUT IT STICKS that's fine with me.

It is your responsibility to be conscious of how hard you are working. If you are bored YOU ARE NOT WORKING HARD ENOUGH.


Extra credit:
You can start again (Week 19-20) with this hack. Just up your weights by 3-5 lbs. And follow the program outlined above.

For Level #1:
Do more difficult push ups, if you've been on your knees, go on your toes. If you've been on your toes, stack your feet.

Add a 3-5 lb weight to the crunches. (Hold it in your hand for regular, twist and bicycle crunches, hold it between your knees for reverse crunches.)

For Level #2:
Do more difficult walk out push ups: stack your legs before doing the push-up portion. Add 3-5 lbs weights to your crunches.

For Level #3:
You should get the idea by now, use your own creativity to make everything harder.

Extra, Extra Credit: When you've memorized the moves, turn off the DVD, blast your own tunes and do them on your own. (About 15 reps per set.)
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