Adjusted Reality

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” – Mark Twain

Shredhead, Coming Back to Earth

Few things to talk about today so it’s sort of a scatterbrain Tuesday!  Get ready for the smorgasbord!


*Ok, squeamish boys, you might just want to skip this section – go on then.*

So yesterday, my post kinda reeked of melodrama.  I wasn’t sure what the heck was going on in my brain.  Sure, that number on the scale was enough to floor me but then little things at work were affecting me more than I should and I was just feeling awfully ill.  I went to empty and fill (my bladder and my water glass, respectively) and started freaking out because I thought something was wrong with me.

After a few minutes of puzzling out what day it was – it’s the first time I’ve been early for TOM in… years probably.  But only a few days so I don’t think it’s anything to worry about.  I am under so much less stress this month than I have been in about a year maybe (taking it easier on the workouts, wedding stuff done), that my 33-ish day stress induced cycle is off.  Once I realized that’s what it was, it made so much sense.  THAT is where probably half of the bloat came from (the other half salt).  THAT is why I was really feeling ill.  THAT is why people at work were making me emotional.

I came home, took pain killers, and curled up on the couch.  Yes, I even skipped my workout.  I’ll make it up later this week.  I needed it.  I’m down 2.1 of the 7 lbs today and I expect they will fall off this week as it progresses.

Occam’s razor – most often, the simplest explanation is the right one.


So I’ve been doing the 30 day shred, and it’s been interesting to say the least.  I always discount short workouts a bit – I can do anything for 20 minutes, right?  Well, Jillian definitely pushes that theory to the limits.

The videos have you doing her 3-2-1 system – 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio, and 1 minute of abs.  During the strength portion you do one sort of isolating arm move for 30 seconds, then arms and legs for 1 minute, and then repeat.  During the cardio section you do one exercise for 30 seconds, then a different one for 30 seconds, and then repeat.  During abs, you do abs.  For example, one circuit is chest flys for 30 seconds, then side lunges with anterior raises for 1 minute (then repeat) for the strength portion, then jumping jacks for 30 secs and punches in a squat for 30 secs (then repeat) for cardio, and then bicycle crunches for 1 minute for abs.

So Day 1 I had no respect.  I was like, ok, this is cake, and went for a 5k immediately after.  The next day, I was kinda sore.  Which isn’t too hard to believe – I worked different muscles than normal.  Then I realized I had to do it again.  The second day – that was tough.  The third day?  I decided it was a shred and yoga instead of the additional cardio I had planned because I was so incredibly sore.  Day 4 I felt better because of my little rest and ran again after, and that made me sore as hell for Day 5, where I blew off the rest of my cardio.  I was pretty sore through the weekend, but I think that was also attributed to being on my feet most of the day on Saturday and then dancing my hiney off at the party.

By yesterday morning (Day 6) I was feeling better and though I blew off additional cardio it wasn’t because I was sore.  This morning I moved on to level 2 and I have 2 words for you – SQUAT THRUSTS.  Ugh.  Some of it was easier (the ab workout was pretty weak in comparison I thought but we’ll see what’s sore later), some of it was harder (hiya, cardio, you actually felt like a workout), and I can tell different muscles are sore.  The plan is to stay with this another 6-7 days, and then move on to level 3 and finish the 4 weeks out there.

My impressions after a week-

The Good:

-It is a kick ass workout if you only have 30 minutes to spare from start to cooldown/stretch.  Even a 5k takes me longer and that’s typically my shortest workout.

-You will most likely find some new awesome moves.  Lunges + bicep curls?  Painfully awesome!

-I haven’t been this sore and also felt this much improvement in the strength side of things in a while.

The Bad:

-While I definitely feel an intensity to it, I don’t think it’s enough time.  I need some running, DDR, and yoga in there. 6 mins of cardio bursts per day doesn’t feel like it’s doing my running any service.

-The first week of almost utter and complete soreness made it really tough to WANT to do anything else.  I had the best success going for runs immediately after shredding because I was warm (and might continue that trend on short and fast runs), but splitting workouts into morning and afternoon is NOT optimal with this as I cool down, get sore, and then have to get back into something else 9 hours later just as my body is starting to repair.

-It is rough on your body.  I trained for a half marathon with very few aches and pains and this short workout gave me minor knee and ankle aches.  I question whether doing it every day (ok, 5 days a week for me as I just don’t do a week with no rest days) or even consecutive days is good for you.  As Jillian says it helps you adapt quickly, but at what cost?

-It’s boooooring doing the same things every day.  I’m trying to follow instructions for now but I think I’d rather rotate between the levels during the week.

The verdict:

Gonna stick with it for the next 4 weeks, 5-6 days a week.  After that – I think it gets thrown into the strength training rotation.  I expect to look a little firmer once it’s done but I don’t expect miracles unless I really put a little more effort into my consumption.  I think this would also be the PERFECT workout for crunch time at work when 30 mins is about what I’ve got and just do it every day before work.

I am going to make doing the shred my first priority.  That is, if all I can do in a day is shred, that’s ok.  I have 2 yogas, 2 DDRs, and 2 runs planned as well, but I have to listen to my body.  If I’m going to die, I need to rest.  I have 2 weeks post-shred before a 5 mile race, and then that week I start half training.  I don’t want to come out of this weaker than I was.  That being said, I cannot forsee doing this more than 2-3 times per week max if I want to also continue running.

Zliten also tried it yesterday.  He has been complaining ever since. ::grin::  I don’t think he’s going to do the every day shredding, but it’s an option for him on days he doesn’t want to leave the house.

So, my dear internetians… I leave this in your hands to continue the discussion?  Ever had TOM just completely sneak up on you and you thought you were going crazy?  What’s everyone else think of the shred?  What’s going on with your Tuesday?

Pictures from… because they are adorable.


Where Everything Falls Apart


Five Random Things


  1. syl

    I love the length of the shred, even after 20 minutes I feel like I’ve put in a full workout.

  2. I loved the shred for a while and then had to give it a rest. Level 3 was my favorite and I used to do it twice a week, usually on my running rest days. I’m thinking of getting back into it now that the weather is started to get colder.

  3. I wish I wasn’t biased against Jillian. This seems like it would be a good push of a workout. Unfortunately, her recent actions has caused me to take everything she says with a grain of salt the size of a salt lick.

    That being said, if you’re feeling the burn and you’re sore as heck, there are a few things you can do:

    1.) make sure your water content stays high. Water will help flush out the hydrogen byproduct of the lactic acid being broken down. Hence, decrease in muscle soreness.

    2.) Get a massage. It doesn’t have to be professional, but getting that stuff out of the muscles will reduce soreness (see above)

    Remember – Intensity doesn’t have to be duration. A high intensity workout that pushes you into your anaerobic zone doesn’t have to be hours long. You can see results even with a shorter duration. I have a workout now that has me doing high intensity for 90 seconds and regular intensity for 3 minutes. It’s insane and it kicks my butt, but I’m seeing results (I can see my deltoids now!)

    Don’t overtrain. Shred + DDR + running could cause injury because you’re pushing yourself too hard. Be careful and be mindful. Maybe alternate so you are only doing 2 of the 3.

    As for TOM, my workouts mess mine up all the time. As long as I’m eating right, managing stress properly, drinking enough fluids and getting plenty of rest, it all comes out in the end.

    Hope that helps!

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