Good morning, all! I’m on “Spring Break!” WOO HOO! Except my version of partying is writing papers! One and 1/4 down out of three! This morning is the first I’ve been lazy all break. I’ve had a week off at this point and the first chunk was spent at a conference, Sunday was a much needed rest day and the past 3 days have been spent with my nose to the grindstone. Today I’m trying to have some form of a relaxing morning.
During breaks from classes and work (taking this week off, hooray!) I like to try and push myself extra hard with my workout routine–try out some new things or bump things up a notch. A friend mentioned Gillian Michaels’s 30-Day Shred to Me a couple of weeks ago as something she was trying out. She said I’d like it since I’m already a work out fanatic it could just help push me to the next level. Immediately, I was skeptical and a little put off by the idea. Since I was looking to change up my work out routine, I gave it a try earlier this week. Level one, day one. I like the routine. It combined strength, abs, and cardio. High reps kept my heartbeat up and made my arms and legs feel like jelly after. It felt good, honestly. I was sore, and it felt good. I did different moves that I don’t normally add into my workouts.
But I still had mixed feelings about it. I kept wondering if I did all 30 days, what would happen after? Where would my work outs go? Would they turn into something that was somehow less than the shred? Also, the idea of foregoing the somewhat ritual practice of my 45 minutes of my exercise mat 4 days per week made me a little sad. The next day I turned on the video to do it again and made it through about a minute. I realized, I was already sore and about to work the exact same muscles I worked the day before. I was about to watch a video that was asking me to compare my body to the trainers demonstrating the exercises, that used some language I wasn’t exactly ok with.
SHRED?! What shred?!
Let me pause to say here that I think Gillian is one kick ass lady. Granted I HATE the concept of The Biggest Loser (Side note: My highschool HEALTH CLASS made us watch this to show the “dangers of obesity.” NOT OK, Y’ALL.) I applaud anyone who is trying to inspire folks to be healthier and make working out accessible for everyone. But this quick-fix-do-this-for-a-month-and-magically-become-hot mentality? Not for me. I shifted my mat to its usual orientation in the middle of my living room, grabbed my weights and had a killer work out that made me feel great. 45 minutes of peace and Criminal Minds. I did incorporate a few of the exercises in the shred into my routine, and I was glad I’d tried it and learned something. I had a great work out and I didn’t feel like I was missing anything.
So what’s my take away from my brief shred? Well the most obvious is that I’m not a shredder. If the opposite of shredding is chopping, then I’m definitely chopping. I work out regularly, using a wide variety of exercises to keep my body and mind healthy and strong. Chopping away at my goals at my own pace rather than shredding through for quick results that leave me wondering what to do at the end. I’ve decided that I’ll occasionally try out a work out video to mix things up a bit and to learn some new moves. (I still have my Jackie Warner DVD from high school. She might just be the first woman I ever loved.) I do like a high-intensity work out from time to time. I agree that consistency is key, but I differ from the shred approach in that I feel the same forms of consistency aren’t for everyone. Doing the shred made me realize that I’m generally happy with my work outs, and while I do like shaking things up, 30 days of it might not be the best way to go for my goals. For the time being, I’ll stick to chopping and leave the shredding for my carrots.
Thoughts or experiences with a similar work out routine? Let me know in the comments section. I’d love to compare notes or hear some new ideas I could occasionally throw into the mix.