This month's workout has been intense. I won't lie: it wasn't particularly enjoyable, it was certainly not easy, and I'm kind of glad to see the back of it. But hell, it was effective.
I love Jillian Michaels. I have almost all of her DVDs, in fact. But Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism is, in my opinion, the most effective of all of them.
Most of her DVDs incorporate a balance of strength and cardio, but this DVD is almost exclusively cardio. There's no equipment involved, only your own body weight, so - as she says herself - there's no excuse. And using body weight in place of equipment does mean you get good resistance training in while getting great cardio at exactly the same time. As I stated at the 2-week point, you're used to carrying your body weight around with you all day, so you have to move around much more and more deeply for your body to provide enough resistance for it to actually become a challenge and start to have an effect, and those kinds of movements seriously get your heart rate up. And it's non-stop, so your heart rate stays up.
I didn't really enjoy the whole DVD, mostly for two gruesome circuits - 2 and 6 - but they weren't as bad as they could have been because circuit 3 and 7 were more steady and familiar, so I knew I could put my all into 2 and 6 and not suffer (much) through 3 and 7. And with circuits 1 and 5 being kickboxing, which I love, there was some enjoyment, and section 4 was abs and on the ground - still tough, but there was no jumping around, and jumping is my least favourite form of exercise. I still do it because it's effective, of course, and I remind myself of that all throughout.
I've seen more fat-loss this month than I have for...actually since this time last year. November 2014's workout was great, and it seems I've hit a winner again this year. I presume that this is because, this past month, I've done a lot more cardio than usual. Strength training is important for fat loss because it builds lean muscle which increases calorie burn even at rest (denser muscles require more energy to move, so even basic daily tasks use a little more energy to complete, ultimately making your body more effective at using and distributing energy and subsequently improving your metabolism), but also because strength training improves your body's shape. Curves don't come from starving yourself or excessive cardio, it comes from toning and body sculpting, meaning resistance training either with weights or body weight.
And I've done a lot of that. My issue is that I've not done enough cardio amongst that, so while I have good muscle, a good shape and a good metabolism, I also need to melt the fat away with more demanding high-energy exercise - cardio. And this DVD seemed to focus much more on the cardio element than strength, though strength and resistance was certainly present all throughout.
I really do recommend this DVD. The funny thing is that I've not really lost anything in terms of weight or, surprisingly, inches, but I am leaner and firmer, even around the middle. It's strange because I'd have thought, to be firmer like this, my waistline would have shrunk a little bit with the fat loss, but unless I was actually a little bit bloated when I measured myself this morning, my measurements haven't changed. And yet my body has.