Fun Rating: ★★★★☆ Difficulty Rating: ★★★★☆ Results Rating: ★★★★★
While in the past I chose individual workouts so that I could review them and measure their effectiveness, I seemed to forget that I was doing this primarily to lose weight, not to blog about. So I'm sticking with my habit of alternating between two workouts because it seems to be the most effective. Doing something strength- and resistance-focused on one day and then stretching and lower-intensity the next seems to yield the best results.
So, this month I'm alternating between two Jillian Michaels DVDs: Hard Body and Yoga Inferno.
Hard Body is the one I'm feeling dubious about. Unlike the Jillian Michaels DVDs I usually buy, this one doesn't consist of 20-30 minute workouts, it's 45, so I'm expecting a lot from it. The only thing that calms my mind is the knowledge that she puts a lot of hard work into the 20 minute workouts to get maximum results for such a short time, so it's mostly HIIT (high-intensity interval training), but 45 minutes is simply too long for that, so I'm hoping it's going to be slower-paced. I won't know until I start it up in an hour, though, and, unless it's stupidly hard and I just can't complete it, I'm sticking with it.
Yoga Inferno isn't worrying me too much, though. I still find parts of Yoga Meltdown's 2nd level difficult, but I can do the vast majority of it. There are only two moves I think I can't do, and the back of Yoga Inferno does mention Yoga Meltdown, but it doesn't state anywhere that you have to have completed or advanced past the previous DVD. So, hopefully, I should be fine. It's a little different from Yoga Meltdown, though. Yoga Meltdown was repping in and out of yoga poses and then holding them for 10-15 seconds. In Yoga Inferno, the first 30-minute workout uses body weight and 30-second cardio intervals, while the second workout uses light hand weights to combine 'traditional resistance moves with classic yoga poses for a dynamic, flowing and challenging practice'. So hopefully it'll be doable, but still offer some room to grow. That's half of what I love about yoga: you can really see your progress, and not just in your body's shape, but in its ability to perform and hold moves.
Both DVDs have two different workouts, so I'm planning on doing the first workout from each DVD for the first 2 weeks and then move onto the second workout on each for the second two weeks. Hard Body, I believe, increases in difficulty between the two workouts, so the second should be tougher, but I'm not sure if that's the case with Yoga Inferno, which just seems to have different methods. I won't be joining them up with additional workouts like I've done this year so far, either; instead I'm just using the two DVDs, nothing more.
I mentioned that I've added too much pressure onto myself this month, and that's for a number of reasons. The first is because I chose and purchased both of these DVDs back in January with the intention of using them together in March, and so, as I've looked at them sat on top of Star Trek, Stargate, Dragon Ball Z and the rest of my clearly amazing DVD collection over the last two months, my expectations of them have gradually increased. I won't purchase DVDs that far in advance again unless they're on sale.
The second reason is that I've made additional purchases in the hopes of maximising my results, none of which were really necessary. I purchased another weight-control bundle from PHD Woman, in part because of the convenience of having a shake, CLA softgels and thermogens sold together and the idea that they work perfectly alongside one another, and also because I find the packaging gorgeous and motivating, but for the most part it's because using these products increases my dedication and encourages me to make good decisions for snacks and other meals, and if you make too many bad decisions in those areas, you can undo everything. Plus I can guarantee about 30% of your RDA of loads of vitamins and minerals, the majority of which you wouldn't get from a standard lunch.
I also purchased a new breakfast, high-protein Whey & Oats porridge (in 'apple & cinnamon' and 'marshmallow cookie' flavours, um, yum) from USN, and it's got just 2g of sugar in it per serving when compared to the 10-15g of sugar I get from Special K and honey Greek yoghurt. That simple fact alone is encouraging, but protein is also generally a fantastic thing to have for breakfast as it's a dietary necessity and also makes you feel fuller and more satisfied for longer.
I realise I don't really need any of those things to lose weight in the slightest, all I need is a balanced diet and good exercise, but every little helps and, to my knowledge, none of it has done me any bad - though, I suppose the pressure of not wanting to waste them on a crappy workout has done me a little bit of bad.
I also bought a lot of Nakd bars to make sure I had some very tasty and very healthy snacks through the month - in fact I bought 2 boxes of 18. Since I featured them on the blog a couple of weeks ago I've become addicted to them. Addicted, I tell you!!
Aaand a new top from Bershka and new capris from Fabletics.
Aaand a new top from Bershka and new capris from Fabletics.
I also almost bought myself a new yoga mat, but I thought it would be too much. Plus it was sold out when I went to buy it. I've had my eye on Gaiam's 'Prosperity' yoga mat for a very long time, a gorgeous grey mat with black flowers - I think I may have even featured it on the blog at some point - and using a new yoga workout felt like the perfect opportunity, but I suppose it's just as well. Maybe another time.
Anyway. That's this month's workout. I'll do what I assume to be the 'easier' of the two workouts from each disc for the first 2 weeks, then the tougher for the second two weeks, starting my day with a bowl of Whey & Oats from USN and filling in lunch with a simple chocolate cookie or vanilla cream shake from PHD Woman. I'll be sure, of course, to have a proper solid dinner and make good choices with snacks alongside tasty-as-hell Nakd bars, and I'll take Wednesdays off alongside my usual Sundays to rest and recover - just as not changing up your workout can lead to a plateau, apparently so can not getting enough rest! But that should make two potentially tough workouts a little easier if I have the time to recover my strength and energy.
I'll update again in 2 weeks, as usual, and go over the two workouts I did before moving on to the second of each DVD. Wish me luck! I think I'll need it...