I've just completed my 5-week run of Jillian Michaels' Shred It With Weights and Buti Yoga, and I'm quite torn between the two.
Level 2 of the Shred was a lot harder than level 1 - I said 3 weeks ago when I completed level 1 that it was quite a good and solid introduction to kettlebells and that I was a little concerned that level 2 wouldn't be hard enough for me either. I promise I didn't mean to sound cocky, and, fortunately, level 2 was quite hard indeed. In fact the jump between the two was quite significant, and while I was able to increase the weight to a 6kg kettlebell on level 1 after the first week, even after my full three weeks at level 2 I still don't have all of the moves down.
The first circuit of level 2 I found the worst, as two of the three moves are very high-intensity. The third move, fortunately, is more balance-based than intense - halos with a raised leg - which I was always grateful for before restarting the circuit.
As hard as each move throughout the whole level was, I loved it, truly. I adore kettlebells because they're the perfect balance of strength and cardio all at once, making it insanely effective. I always finished the workout exhausted but with a giant grin on my face, and I will definitely use it again in the future.
As for Buti yoga, while I wish I could say otherwise, I just didn't enjoy it. There are only two reasons, but they're pretty big when it comes to gettin stuck in and getting the most out of it. Once reason is the instruction.
As lovely as Bizzie Gold is, her instruction wasn't good enough. Several trademark moves were never properly explained in either the workout itself or in the 'Buti Basics' section, and while they looked simple, they just weren't, and even after a month of using just the 25 minute 'Feel' section, I just couldn't get it down no matter how much I practised it and I'm really very patient with these kinds of things. She's probably a wonderful instructor in person because, of course, she can help you and tell you what you're doing wrong, but she didn't offer any tips - either what to do or what not to do - but on a DVD she offered little.
The second reason I didn't enjoy it was becaus I found a lot of the other moves difficult. I could do them but just barely, and while that is, of course, to do with my own personal skill level, not the DVD or instruction, it made it difficult to keep up. Struggling in a workout is good, it means you're putting your body under suitable stress in order to change it, but if you're struggling so much that you can't complete even one move properly, you've got a problem.
I did have a go at the second and third workouts in the series in case they were easier - I've found with some DVDs that that can be the case, like level 3 of the 30 Day Shred was, for me, the easiest, as was level 2 of Hard Body. Unfortunately, however, I found the same problem with instruction in those, too.
I stuck with it and tried my hardest, I didn't complain and I tried each move with full concentration and energy every other day, but I just couldn't get it. I'm hoping to be able to try again some other time, but it won't be for a while. I'm not too keen to pick it back up too soon.
Having said that, I do still feel that this has been a good month. I've worked hard, and while Easter gave the month a...well...less than perfect start, I feel I did well in the end.
Unfortunately I can't get reliable results this time because the end of the workout fell bang smack in the middle of that time of the month, and I've also fallen ill which has affected my recovery times, but I still dropped half an inch, and lost 2 lbs. The inches have been slowing down lately - unsurprising, since there's not much left to lose, and the last stretch is always the most stubborn - and that's been getting me down a bit, but at least I have a better reason for the pounds to be slowing down since my muscle gets leaner every month. I'm not concerned about the scales - in fact sometimes I wonder why I bother checking the scales at all, but I suppose it's a force of habit.