Tag Archives: home workout

Ripped in 30: Midway Thoughts

9 Jul
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At just 30 minutes, you’ll still get a great workout!

 

Now that I’m a bit over the half-way point of my Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 DVD, I wanted to share some thoughts and give a midway review.  So far I’m really enjoying the DVD, and it has been a great change from P90X and can’t really run :( (womp, womp).  Because the workouts are shorter and more efficient (more exercises squeezed into less time), it’s just what I was looking for following the intensity of P90X (1 hour+, 6 days a week).  Mentally I was ready for a bit of a break, without totally falling off the bandwagon.  Here’s how I’ve been doing with the program:

  •  Minimum of 4 days a week – my average has been about 5 times a week.  Jillian suggests 5-6 times a week for maximum results.  I was hoping for 6, but life happens!
  • I have not been following the diet plan Jillian provides online (for free!).  If you are looking to fully complete the program, I’d suggest following it.  I have been tracking (loosely) using My Fitness Pal (except for 4th of July…I couldn’t resist my mom’s chocolate chip cookies that I’m convinced are filled with crack they are so addicting).
  • I have not been following it as a “30-day program” – though it’s designed for that and would be excellent.  This is more a ‘filler’ for me in between programs – something to keep me active on a regular basis.  So I did not take before/after pictures or measurements, though part of me is wishing I had!
  • The DVD contains 4 separate workouts with the idea that you graduate to a new workout each week.  For week one you do the first workout 5-6 times and then the following week move onto workout 2 and so on.  I have been following this pattern.
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I’m gonna make you sweat!

So in usual fashion, let’s get a little pros/cons list going, shall we?

Pros:

  • Length.  These workouts are short.  I’m talking you-can’t-really-find-an-excuse-not-to-do-them short.  Including the warm-up and cool-down they run somewhere around 30-35 minutes.  It’s easy to squeeze 30 minutes into the day!
  • Intensity.  At just 30 minutes it is amazing how intense these guys are!  By the end of the workout I am definitely sweating.  Even though the workout is on the shorter side, I feel Jillian really gets you moving and makes the time you do spend working out very worthwhile.
  • Convenience.  These workouts are done at home , no need to drive to a gym!   If you’re always on the go and need the ability to quickly get a workout in, this is a great option.
  • Limited Equipment.  Not a lot of equipment for this one: just hand weights.  Additionally the weights needed are pretty light – we got away with using water bottles as our weights while on vacation, and still felt the burn!  Jillian does use a mat in the video, and if you are on hard wood floors you would likely want a mat for some of the ab exercises.
  • Inexpensive.  I got my DVD on amazon for around 12 dollars!  Not bad for something I’ll be able to use again and again.  12 bucks for 4 workouts seems like a deal to me!
  • Low Impact.  I purchased this DVD on the advice from my Physical Therapist – and it was good advice!  This is relatively low impact – most exercises I can complete without causing issues to my knees.  There are a couple higher impact exercises, but I have been modifying them with little issue.  Even though it’s low impact, I’m still managing to sweat!
  • Full-body.  Jillian targets everything!  The workouts are divided into a warm-up, 3 circuits of cardio, strength, and abs, and a cool-down.  The circuits really target everything which provides a nice well-rounded workout.

Cons:

  • Monotonous.  Though there are 4 different workouts on the DVD, I have found the repetition on a daily basis a bit blah.  Once I finish the workouts, I think I will plan to shake it up and do a different workout each day, rather than each week.  The workouts themselves aren’t monotonous, I’m just used to the variety of P90X – doing something really different everyday.
  • Personality. This could be a pro or con, but Jillian definitely has a strong personality.  If you don’t respond well to the whole “Macho-man” thing, this might not work for you. I have found her to be entertaining and it doesn’t really bother me.  However, I did the workouts at my parent’s house and she does swear in workout 3, which didn’t impress my mother very much…
  • It’s Hard. So another pro/con…but these workouts are hard!  It can be discouraging to not being able to complete something fully – and I just finished P90X!  Jillian doesn’t use the whole “Do your best and forget the rest” so at times I feel a bit meh when I can’t do things all the way (partly due to my knees too).
  • Targets Women. If you like to do your workouts with a male (or are a male), this might not be the best DVD.  Not because guys won’t get a great workout, but because it seems like a workout targeted for females.  I tried to get my brother to workout with me last week and got the comment “That’s for girls!” (We don’t need to touch on the maturity of this statement).  This DVD focuses on toning, not building, so it might not strongly appeal to guys.  If you get over the whole “this is targeted for women” thing, I think the actual moves would still get a guy in good shape!
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Grrr!!! Come on Shelly!! Push it!! Arrghhh!!

Overall I have enjoyed the DVD and would recommend it to someone looking for a quick full-body workout.  If you’re serious about pursuing this DVD, here are a couple other tips.

General Tips

  • Take before/after pictures.  I always find these to be incredibly motivating as you mentally feel you are “following a program.”  It makes you more accountable.
  • Follow the nutrition guide, or some nutrition guide.  Diet is 85% of fitness – make sure you aren’t sabotaging your workouts!
  • If you have always wanted to become a “morning work-out person” this could be your gateway drug.  At just 35 minutes, it’s something you could tag onto your morning routine without totally rocking the boat.  I have done these in the morning and really enjoyed it.
  • Take the DVD with you if you travel.  This is a great one for summer, as I seem to be gone every weekend.  I have been substituting water bottles or soup cans and managed to still get my workouts in (though slightly less intense).  I may use this in the future as my “travel workout” because of the minimal equipment needed and length.

I have been impressed with this DVD and I would definitely consider another Jillian Michaels DVD in the future.  Personally I tend to prefer the whole-program-in-one-box style of the Beachbody programs (as I’m quite lazy and also like variety), but the JM DVDs are a nice inexpensive alternative to home fitness.  For now I’ll keep working out with Jillian for another few weeks until my next adventure, or my knees heal up… let’s see what happens first!

-Kelly

Have you used a Jillian Michaels DVD before?  Do you like her workouts?

Final P90X Results and Review

30 May

After 3 intense months Adam and I are officially P90X graduates!  It has been a lot of hard work, planning, and early mornings, but man alive it has been so worth it!  Adam and I have both seen big changes in the mirror, but more importantly in strength and overall fitness.  I love what P90X has done for my running and my overall durability.  I just feel strong.  And I like it. This is a program that I highly recommend and can personally attest to the results.  Check out the P90X page to see more tips or thoughts on getting started.  The information below is based on Adam and I completing the “Classic” version of P90X. Onto the final results (and embarrassing pictures)!

What is P90X?

P90X is a home fitness program designed by Tony Horton and produced by Beachbody.  They are the same producers of Insanity, Turbofire, and many other at-home workout programs.  The program calls for a minimum of 6 days a week of workouts which vary from heavy lifting for the arms, legs, and shoulders, to high intensity plyometrics, to Yoga.  P90X is known for being an intense, but well-designed comprehensive fitness program.

Final Tape Measure Results:

(Kelly in blue, Adam in green, in inches.  Feb – May).

Waist: -2.25      -3

Chest: -3      +1.25

Hips: -2.5    -1.75

Calf: +.25     +.125

Bicep:  0    0    (I swear we did the arm workouts)

Body Fat Percentages:

(This is from Phase 2 – we didn’t get a fat caliper initially)

Kelly: -2%

Adam: -3%

Weight:

From Oct – May (We didn’t weigh ourselves again at the beginning of Round 2 Phase 1)

Kelly: -8.5 lbs. (down 10 lbs. from my heaviest last spring)

Adam: -9lbs.

Running:

While training for my half-marathon this spring I have consistently noticed higher and higher paces.  I believe a huge part of this is due to P90X.  I am stronger and faster.  P90X also helped me to attain my fastest half-marathon to date!  A full 15 minute PR from last year!

Photos:

Adam and I initially started a first round of P90X in October.  With this round we ate generally healthily, but didn’t follow the nutrition guide to a T.  Additionally we started this round over the holidays and got a little over half-way.  Adam had to drop after about 5 weeks of P90X so in week 9 or so I jumped ship and we started a brand new round so Adam could join in again.  This explains the transition from Oct – May.  The plan from Oct – Feb was based on healthy eating, completing a minimum of 4-5 workouts per week.  The plan from Feb – May was based on following the nutrition plan and a minimum of 5-6 workouts per week.  There were some cheat meals in there around the holidays as well.  These photos show our complete progress of the entire 6-7 months of following the workouts.

Kelly Back and Side Oct-May

Adam Back Oct-May

Pros:

  • If you put the work in, you will get results.
  • There is a wide variety of exercises (yoga, lifting, plyo, kenpo).
  • You can literally do the whole thing in your house.
  • It’s well organized and set up for you – you don’t have to think!
  • Tony is motivating and knowledgeable (and intense).
  • They show a wide range of levels and modifications.  I used these modifications heavily in the beginning.
  • Tony never makes you feel bad if you can’t do something initially – Do your best and forget the rest!
  • It’s a great program for men and women.  Adam and I could successfully do it together even though we desired different results (gain muscle vs. lose weight).
  • It’s a great program to do with a partner of either sex!  It was great to have something Adam and I could share and do together.
  • The videos include a warm-up and cool down which makes each workout comprehensive and complete.
  • From a woman’s perspective: you don’t bulk up.  This was a big fear of mine.
  • From a man’s perspective: you build muscle and can get bigger!
  • After purchasing P90X you get to keep it.  Unlike a gym membership, you have the videos and program as an investment.

Cons:

  • The workouts are long and a commitment.  Minimum of 60 minutes, but average 75 minutes.  Yoga is 90 minutes.
  • 6 days a week workout.  I would’ve loved 5 days a week.  This gives you flexibility and you can always get another workout in another way.  6 days a week made it hard to plan around P90X if you are super busy or travel often on the weekends.
  • Some of the ‘characters’ might annoy you, including Tony.  For me this was never a deal-breaker, but something to note.
  • From a guy’s perspective: To really maximize results it can get expensive.  Adam really could’ve used heavier weights.  He needed more of a range of weights (and at $1 a pound, 2 thirty pound dumbells is 70 bucks).  It’s an investment that you’ll use over the course of time, but it’s certainly an investment.
  • The nutrition plan can get a bit stale.  At times I felt there weren’t enough options in each of the categories (we did the portion plan).

 Final Thoughts

Overall, I couldn’t be happier with my P90X results.  When I look back on my pictures I don’t remember looking that way.  It’s pretty amazing what hard work and dedication can do!  I really enjoyed the set-up and ease of the program and it is something I have recommended to family and friends.  Personally I think it’s an awesome program for both men and women.  Initially I couldn’t find a lot of info for P90X for women, but after completing the program myself I can definitely say it’s effective for either gender.

P90X is intense so I would make sure you’re relatively fit before beginning the program.  You can always do a “pre-P90X” in the form of Power 90 or another Beachbody program.  Another option is modification.  Many moves I couldn’t complete in the beginning and made modifications to make the moves easier.  This strategy worked great for me.  Then it was super thrilling when I could complete them!

This program can change your fitness level and life, but it is definitely a commitment.  Do your research and prepare before diving into it.  If you’re able to stick with it the program is very rewarding.  It has taught me a lot of good habits that I look forward to carrying forward with me.  P90X is something I will definitely hang onto and do again (probably before the wedding :)).  This has been one investment I’m thrilled I purchased!

Thanks P90X for an awesome program!

-Kelly

Note: I am not affiliated with Beachbody or P90X in any way, shape, or form.  I am not a coach nor do I work for the company/know someone who does.  The opinions expressed are mine alone and I was not compensated in any way.