Sunday 3 September 2017

30 Day Shred - Level 3

   And that's the end of level 3, and my rerun of the 30 Day Shred. And I'm over the moon with the fact that it was still a challenge.
   I found level 3 easier than level 2, but that's purely down to the fact that level 3 is made up of moves I'm more familiar with, movements I've found in other DVDs and workout programs both with and without Jillian Michaels, which meant that I'm more adapted to them. I did, of course, ensure they were still a challenge - if they're easy, you're not going to get anything out of them - by increasing weights, speed, depth etc, and by adding weights in where there were none. But because I was so familiar with the moves, even if I made sure they were still difficult, I wasn't as intimidated as I was when using level 2. And yes, I certainly was intimidated. I generally get up at 6:30, 7am and exercise at 9:30, so sometimes I just don't want to jump around like an idiot, and when you know the workout is made up of things you struggle with, it can be difficult to find the motivation, especially after recent admissions regarding under-eating and the subsequent drop in mood, energy and drive that has come with it. But I do it anyway, because it's 20 minutes, it's good for me (as long as I eat properly at the same time and don't under-fuel myself, which, though I have only begun trying to tackle it for 2 weeks now, is proving to be a very difficult habit to break), and because I can do it. And I'll feel guilty if I don't. Which is also part of my problem.

   My skill has definitely, unquestionably and unsurprisingly, improved since I did this workout in 2014, and it was actually quite nice to be presented with jump squats again. I get that, for a lot of people, that's probably a damned strange thing to read, but jump squats used to be one of my most hated moves. Fortunately I realised early on that I hated them because they were effective, so I kept doing them, and in time they became no problem. Before then, high knees were the bane of my workouts, I hated them, and jump squats were simply impossible. But I kept at them because I didn't want to give in, and high knees eventually became nothing, and jump squats took their place. It was burpees that became the impossible move then. I kept at the jump squats, they became easier, and burpees slipped down the ladder to take their place, and tuck jumps fell on top. That's where I am now. I. Hate. Tuck jumps. Fortunately there are neither tuck jumps nor burpees to be found anywhere in the 30 Day Shred, so that's nice, but it remains the case that when I'm presented with tuck jumps, I give them every last drop of energy I have so I can conquer them, too.
   Of course, what will take their place when they slip down the ladder, I hate to think.

   This has been a really interesting month, and I'm glad I did it. And I can also see why it's such a highly praised workout - it's not easy for beginners, but, actually, the movements are pretty excellent for those who are new to it all. They're easy to learn and get right, so form isn't as big of an issue, and the circuits themselves - 3 circuits each made up of 2 strength moves for 3 minutes (30 seconds, 1 minute, 30 seconds, 1 minute), 2 cardio moves for 2 minutes, and 1 or 2 ab moves for 1 minute - are put together in a manner that helps you to keep track, which in turn helps motivate you because you know that after the strength comes cardio when you can shake your muscles out, or abs after cardio so you can get your breath back, or strength after abs so you can give your core a rest. The sets are managable, the number of movements are few but not unvaried, so you're not being bombarded with too much information, and, ultimately, every single move and the format of strength into cardio into abs is super effective, getting the heart rate up and down, burning as many calories in as short a time as possible.
   I would still recommend this to anyone looking to get fit or lose weight, because the 30 Day Shred does deserve all the hype it's gotten.

   I start a new workout tomorrow - one completely different and something I'm really looking forward to because of it. It's also nowhere near as demanding, so I'm hoping that pairing it with my recent call to action to change my unhealthy relationship with food will help me recover some energy and give my body a bit of a break, without doing nothing and letting my mind go absolutely insane. I need to eat more, but I can't make a change like that and move less at the same time. I want - need - to increase my energy input, but my energy output doesn't really need to change. Not since I started toning down my workouts. Doing 5 days of HIIT a week and eating 1,250 calories a day (very little of which are even carbs) does not combine. And neither, it seems does 3 days of HIIT and 1 day of cardio alongside that same eating pattern. The changes I've made to my exercise some time ago are on the money, I think, but the eating needs to change. More calories, and definitely more carbs.


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