Monday, April 13, 2009

Plank Position Is A Bitch (And Other Things I've Learned From Jillian Michaels)

Fifteen days ago I became a Shred Head (here's proof). In other words, I've let Jillian Michaels, a trainer from The Biggest Loser, tell me what to do for the past 2 weeks+.

I decided to tackle the "30 Day Shred" for a few reasons: its 'lose up to 20 lbs.' tagline, the fact that I will be taking a beach vacation and wearing a bikini in the beginning of May, and because I have seen many other bloggers have success (with pictures to prove it!) on this program.

I am officially halfway through and sadly have little to show for it. I took measurements and pictures on day 3. I've lost about 2 pounds and a few tenths of an inch around the thighs and waist. I'm not discouraged yet, but I am beginning to wonder why I haven't had the results that others have had so far.

I do notice that my endurance has greatly improved (although, I started Level 2 a few days ago and am still struggling to keep up). I've developed visible muscles in my arms and have moved on from the "girlie" push-ups. And surprisingly, I actually look forward to working out every day. So, definitely improvement.

A few phrases that make me want to punch Jillian Michaels in the face:

  • Get down in plank position.
  • There is no modified version of this move, I have 400 lb. people that can do jumping jacks.
  • Just think about going jean shopping.
  • Give me a couple more.
If Jillian isn't the devil, I am going to be so screwed in hell.

Since I started the shred, I have been trying to eat healthier in addition to working out every day. I have increased the protein and fiber in my diet, have cut back on carbs and eat vegetables like they're going out of style. I never thought I'd become a drinker of protein shakes that's for sure. For anyone that drinks them, what brand/flavor do you buy? I started with a vanilla whey powder, but the strong smell was a huge aversion. A friend of mine told me to switch to the soy powder to help with the smell. He was right it doesn't have the bad aroma, but he failed to mention it tastes like chalk! I know it's important to increase the protein in your diet when you are exercising regularly, but I'm not sure where to go from here. Suggestions? Any other advice about diet/meal plans?

And to my fellow shred heads: am I expecting too much at this point in the program?


nicoleantoinette said...

I've been thinking about trying this program too, but wonder if I'd have good results. Given how you're feeling right now, would you recommend it?

Paula said...

Oh man, good on you for keeping it up this long, it sounds pretty hard!

nancypearlwannabe said...

I haven't even done it yet and I want to punch her for suggesting I visualize jean shopping while working out.

SoMi's Nilsa said...

I have the Shred, too. And based on what I see, I think it's a good workout to fill in between other workouts. But, it will never be my sole workout. Seriously. There's only so much you can accomplish in 20 minutes.

As far as that protein goes, I suggest a grill and a lean steak. Yummm!

the girl with the golden phone. said...

the people on the weight watchers boards couldn't say enough, so i bought a copy. i do it every now and then, but prefer getting out of the house and going to the gym. you are right --- it IS a major bitch, but you really do feel better. as for this 20 pounds stuff? i have not seen this verified by anyone. ever. but i wouldn't give up on it either. stick with it -- you're already seeing the benefits. as for diet, my doctor said the best protein you can eat is a bean and a grain [rice and lentils, etc]. it's the most complete protein there is. good luck -- and have fun at the beach!

Anonymous said...

i'll admit i have a copy because of all the great reviews. it IS hard! i'm more of an outdoors workout kind of girl, but it's a great opt to have for those rainy days. keep up the good work!

Jane said...

I keep dropping out of the Shred after two days. You've inspired me to try it again, though.

My boyfriend drinks the chocolate flavored whey powder. It... tastes like protein-y chocolate milk. But it is OK if you kind of hold your breath and drink it really quickly.

Passionista said...

I hate level 2 with all those plank position exercises in.a.row. I have actually stopped the shred and started working out at the gym with a program designed by a trainer so I guess I can't help. I might be posting pics soon though so I can track my progress publicly lol.

brookem said...

i used to have a soy protein shake, once, sometimes twice a day.

i used the chocolate kind, and just mixed it with skim milk, and that wasn't bad. the vanilla kind- you're right, a spec on the chalky side. i would mix it with yogurt, or make a smoothie with yogurt, some frozen fruit, and some low calorie juice. it's a nice refreshing treat actually! said...

I just finished Day 27 of the shred and Day 7 of Level 3! If *I* can do it, *anyone* can do it!!

That being said, it's HARD. BUT, if you stick with it, you will see results. I had a lot of flab to lose, so my results after just a week were amazing.

The scales are brutal, though. Muscle weighs more than fat, so in my case, the scales went up before they went down (which is normal, but very frustrating).

My suggestion? Stick with it for the full 30 days. Then, move on to something else if you want. I'm done on Thursday, and I think I'll be continuing with it! As much as I hate it, I love it.

And, only a shredhead will understand that. ;)


~The Casual Perfectionist

Bill said...

Okay, first, 2 pounds plus no more "girlie" pushups is spectacular! Visible muscles doesn't get much better than that! Great job!

Second, if you don't have a lot to lose (your "leprechauns" pic looks like you're already at goal) you won't lose a lot, but will convert fat to muscle instead.

Third, if you're looking to lose weight, check the calories on the protein shakes, etc. Some of that stuff is pretty high.

But just keeping up with it is really great! A few more days and you'll also hate the phrases "no shame" and "these abs don't come for free"! And just wait until you hear the music for the cooldown part of level 3... :)

Andrea said...

I've been thinking about trying the Shred, as well. It's getting a lot of word-of-mouth publicity on the webs among other bloggers in our age/lifestyle group. I even have the DVD and weights all ready for me, but I haven't started yet. Given this post and the responses, I think I will! I'll post my progress, as well.

Lynnsey said...

Wow you sound just like me! I work with this body builder dude who knows ALL about this kind of stuff and he started me on a protein shake that is AWESOME! I can actually drink it without wanting to throw up. It is made by Nucare Nutrition and it is called Nu-Blend7 - Time Released Protein Drink Mix ( I drink the "chocolate milkshake" flavor but they also have vanilla and strawberry but I have not tried those) The great thing about this protein shake is that it actually tastes pretty good and it's time release so it makes you feel full for awhile. I DEFINITELY recommend it!! I am also toying with the idea of this Shred thing. I haven't made that leap yet so let me know how it ends up!

swaaaan said...

my advice is to generally avoid any and all "vanilla flavored" nutrition products. They are never good.

I'm a big fan of Accelerade. I use the fruit punch recovery drink (4:1 carbs to protein) -- perfect for recovery and during exercise. I'm sure they have protein options as well.

Getting fruit flavored mixes is my personal fave because you can add it to juice instead of water and avoid that chalky taste.

that's my two cents! Good luck with your training! Even though it's a 30-day thing, don't stop there! It's a lifestyle change that sticks versus going on a diet for x amount of days.

Alejandra said...


I am a new reader and I am really liking your blog!
Well done on the exercise! As for the diet, the best way to stop eating crap and is to start using your head when it comes to food.
You should read "Skinny Bitch". This book has changed my life (plus I am looking way better than I used too). And their style of writing is so funny that I almost peed in my pants on several occasions.
I believe protein shakes and whatever supplements are unnecessary and can even be bad for you (full of chemical and processed crap). Nature is very well made and provides us with everything our body needs, including when we are exercising like there is no tomorrow. It's all about getting the knowledge.
Good luck with everything :)


michellewoo said...

I want to try this. Though I'm scared it will end up collecting dust on my shelves like my other workout DVDs. Beach vacations motivate me like no other as well.

Katelin said...

i've heard so many good things from this work out, i hope you see results soon! :)

lfar said...

Okay really you don't need protein shakes. You really don't. It's lots of calories and not even delicious. When I'm in the peak of my triathlon season I'm working out for 30 hours/week and I don't drink protein shakes. Just include nuts (aim for almonds, stay away from cashews) and make sure dinner includes chicken or something. Go buy some quinoa- it was more protein than many meats. But for real, for real, for real. You don't need protein shakes. Waste of money and calories!

Michelle and the City said...

thanks guys for all of the motivation/advice! if you are considering trying the 30 day shred, i would definitely recommend it. i may not have lost a ton of weight, but i can definitely tell a difference and it is worth it! i think i might try the fruit version of the protein shake (thanks swaaaan)!

Charm City Kim said...

Don't get discouraged about not seeing fast results. Everyone is different. At least you are seeing SOME results! :-)

As for protein powder... I buy the chocolate whey protein powder. I don't think it really smells (but perhaps I'm used to it?) but the chocolate definitely helps flavor-wise. While this might not sound appetizing, I attribute the taste to a Yoo-Hoo (since that's just chocolate water anyways).

Sara said...

Ok, well. I did it for 2 weeks in addition to my usual workouts. I didn't see any improvement on the weight issue. I did get even stronger thighs though. I've been working out for more than a year. I lost 20 pounds by running, cutting down my portions and keeping active.

Surfergrrl said...

not sure what you're allowed to put in your protein shakes for calories, but here is one I make all the time and LOVE!
1 scoop of vanilla whey powder (i know you don't like the smell, but is the taste OK for you?)
I add frozen fruit, (strawberries and pineapple are my faves) some Kefir (good source of protein and good for digestive health), a splash of apple juice and a tablespoon of peanut butter (I use the all natural, low sugar kind) It's YUMMY!!!

Daniel said...

Muscle Milk is a very good brand. Also if I think I went overboard on the carbs? Isopure has these very sweet drinks. Good stuff.

It really comes down to taste. Even among my siblings we really don't have agreement on what tastes the best. Though a good thing to note? Splenda makes a lot of things better...

Julie said...

mmmmmmmmmm Strawberry protein shakes ROCK.

Tim and I make them at home.

Well, he makes them for me at home.

I'll ask him more info.

Karmen said...

This is the best tasting whey protein I could find. Read Maggie's review.