Monday, 11 July 2011

No Pizza before Beefa

In less than 6 weeks I am going to Ibiza!!!!! I am so beyond excited I can barely contain myself!!!! Hence everything being followed with so many EXCLAMATION MARKS!!!!!

However, my excitement was ever-so-slighty tainted by a wee bit of panic. I looked in the mirror and had that realisation that if I don't do anything quickly then I won't be looking like Megan Fox in a bikini when the end of August rolls round. (Or never will. BUT, HEY, I CAN DREAM).

So for the last couple of weeks I have been a slave to a super duper exercise programme called The 30 Day Shred. Designed by TV's 'The Biggest Loser' trainer Jillian Michaels, it involves working out every day for 30 days. And the greatest part? ITS ONLY 20 MINS A DAY!!!! (!!!!!! Oh look, the excitements back!!!) I can't take credit for this (my far fitter sister discovered it) but I had to share the wealth for any females who are, like me, suddenly very terrified about their beach bods. This will hopefully help.

I go through phases of being really dedicated to exercise. I used to be a good runner and I have always like pilates but last year I burnt out in a big way and regular work outs are now a thing of the past (unless you count walking to the bar to get another drink as exercise). So I would definitely consider myself a beginner. I don't particularly need to lose any weight (although if my bum fancied transferring some to my boobs, I wouldn't object) so this exercise programme for me is about toning up, not seeing the number on the scales go down. So if you just want to feel a bit fitter and better about yourself in a 'kini, then this will be right up your street!

So how does it work? It's an exercise DVD you can do at home for 20 minutes a day, every day for 30 days. All you need is some light dumbells (I use 2kg as my arms tend to bulk up quite quickly and I do not wish to look like Madonna) and willpower. The DVD is seperated into 3 levels. Level 1 you do from day 1 - 10, Level 2 from 11 - 20 and Level 3 from 21 - 30. Each level is made up of a 2 minute warm up, followed by 3 six minute sets, then a quick cool down. The sets are made up of 3 minutes of strength training (bicep curls combined with lunges, for example), then 2 minutes of high intensity cardio (so jumping jacks and anything else that makes you want to collapse after a few seconds) then 1 minute of ab work (which is the nice bit as you're allowed to collapse on the floor).

It doesn't waste any time. It's tough from the first minute (starting with push ups is a bit mean), especially if you've been out of exercise action for a while or have never really done any strength training. I was on the floor sweating after I was finished (so sexy). But it felt AMAZING. I haven't worked out that hard in ages and there is an incredible feeling of accomplishment when you're done (I'm one of those weirdo's who actually enjoys exercise when I get round to it). Jillian's designed the programme to confuse your muscles (just as you're getting used to it, you progress to the next level) and use your time in the most efficient way (there's no resting at all). And it does get easier. During Level 1, on day 3 I was so achey I could barely walk up the stairs but by Day 8 I was barely breaking a sweat and was getting bored. Level 2 is a step up but not impossible and my body's obviously adapting because I don't ache after the sessions anymore.

The results so far? An inch gone off my bum. My thighs aren't Beyonce's just yet but they are noticeably less wobbly to me (and I am my harshest critic). My shoulders and arms are leaner, I have more energy and most disturbingly of all, I actually look forward to doing it.

It's under £10 on Amazon so if you decide to give it a go, my tips would be:

- watch the DVD first and practise the moves (go through it all and learn how to do the moves correctly so you don't hurt yourself).

- get some decent trainers (your joints will be in agony if you're not wearing good ones)

- extend the stretching at the end (the DVD cool down is not long enough and you will ache if you don't do more).

- have a bath after the first few sessions (this enabled me to walk again)
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to do Level 2 (after not doing it for 2 days... It's OK though... I bet thats exactly what Megan Fox does too...chooses drinking over exercise. Yep. I'm sure she does...RIGHT?).


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  2. SO true on the bath advice! Oh, and I hate Jillian. OK see you later