Friday, July 6, 2012

Fitness Friday: Starting a New Tradition

First of all, HAPPY FRIDAY!

I think my blog profile mentions that I like doing (or at least thinking about) my exercise video collection, but it occurs to me that I don't think I have ever had a fitness-related post. 

The truth is that fitness is a huge part of my life, albeit a part that no one usually sees: I get up between 5:00 and 5:30 most mornings to get my workout in before the Moose wakes up.  The trouble is, by the time the coffee has been made and my day is underway, my workout has faded into the background.  Sort of like I don't ever mention that I shampoo my hair or brush my teeth in the morning: exercising is more of a habit than an event.

But I am very human and still stumble and teeter on the edge of the bandwagon from time to time (often relative to Moose's mercurial sleep habits).  I find it helpful to read about what others are doing - in their pinch-hitting as well as Wonder Woman phases - thus I am starting what I hope will become a weekly tradition on Mommy Marginalia: Fitness Friday.

This week I am finishing up a month with Jillian Michaels's Ripped in 30. The DVD includes four, 30-35 minute workouts, each of which consist of three circuits of Jillian's "3-2-1" method: three minutes of resistance training, two minutes of cardio, and one minute of abdominal conditioning.

There's nothing particularly new or revolutionary about the moves in Ripped in 30, however I find myself returning to it again and again when I want (or need) something shorter but sweattastic.

Some of my favorite aspects of Ripped in 30:
  • Minimal space and equipment required.
  • Jillian's use of compound (upper + lower body worked together) strength training moves.
  • Body-weighted lower body work - some (not all) of the moves use your own body weight (instead of hand weights) as resistance.  I find these types of exercises particularly effective with my pear-shaped body.
  • Completing several weeks of Ripped in 30 prepares me adequately for some of the tougher stuff in my library.  Last year I used it as a springboard to a full P90X rotation.
Some things I don't really love about Ripped in 30:
  • Jillian's banter gets old and annoying when you're doing the video three times a week.
  • Each "Week" does not provide a balanced workout.  I.e. Week 1 has some great shoulder work, but you hardly touch the shoulders again in Week 2.
  • It can be pretty hard on the wrists.  Especially Week 3, which sees you doing several plank variations PLUS floor cardio (mountain climbers, floor-jacks) done from the plank position.
If you want to get your feet wet with another effective, short workout with Jillian, Lionsgate (the producer of Jillian's earlier videos) have recently started releasing full-length workouts on their YouTube channel for FREE! Below is Level 1 of Jillian's 30 Day Shred (the predecessor to Ripped in 30).

Happy Sweating!

Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links.

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