Wednesday, September 5

Review of Ripped in 30

Over the past four weeks, while sidelined from running, I completed Jillian Michaels' Ripped in 30.

For the record: Something irks me about the titles of Jillian Michaels' workout videos. I don't want to rip or shred anything! I have spent my entire runner life trying not to tear or pull a muscle! I know... I know... she talks about proper form and injury prevention during the videos, but the titles are so... frantic.

But the workouts are good, so I look past the sensational titles. Honestly, I think being a Ripped in 30 graduate became a good (temporary) replacement for my 5k and half marathon goals while I was not able to run. After all, I'm not a "slacker runner" if I'm doing high intensity interval workouts for a few weeks, right?

Here's what I liked, and what I didn't like...

The Good:

I cannot speak highly enough of the 3, 2, 1 system: 3 minutes of multiple-muscle strength exercises, 2 minutes of high intensity cardio, 1 minute of core.

Even with a less-than-30-minute workout, I would be drenched in sweat and noodle-armed by the end.

The strength exercises are intense, and just when you think you can't do one more rep, you switch to another exercise.

I also appreciate the brevity of the workout. I can crank out a session before my morning classes on busy days.

The Bad:

There were a few exercises that raised my eyebrows.

Full sit-ups and leg lifts are notoriously bad for your back. I often found myself modifying the core work to include equally-tough, but less controversial moves (planks, hollow-man, crunches).

While we're talking about modifications, I am a fan of JM's plyometric cardio exercises, but with nagging plantar fasciitis, I had to modify some of those to lower-impact options for this go-around. Fortunately JM provides several low-impact cardio moves over the course of the 4 weeks. Whenever a jumping routine would come up, I'd either substitute another of her lower-impact options, or I'd add a set of squats or static lunges.

Also I really enjoyed weeks 1 and 4, but week 2 was a workout that I simply "got through" rather than a workout that I "liked."

The Results:

I should have Hubby write this section... I think he has noticed more change in my muscle definition than I have. He keeps poking my biceps and calling them guns.

From my perspective, I had to stop stepping on a scale while doing Ripped in 30 because my weight was going up, not down, even though my clothes were fitting better. (Another reason to kill the bathroom scale!)

The Verdict:

The program was highly effective for me, and I am sure I'll go through the circuits again.

What's your favorite at-home workout? Least favorite?
What's your take on the "Ripped," "Shredded," and "Insanity" naming phenomenon?

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