30-Day Shred, a workout DVD divided into three levels, each being about 20 minutes (plus warm-up/cool-down).
Ripped in 30 is sort of the sequel.
As those who have been reading here for a while know, I sort of became a convert to fitness DVDs when I moved 10 miles away from my gym and found that the one at work is a bit limited. Given that my living room has some space, I decided to see how long I could stick to videos and find myself trying more and more of them. Thank goodness for Amazon.
This DVD has four levels, each running a total of about 35 minutes counting the warm-up and cool-down, whcih is a touch longer than 30-Day Shred. Contrary to its title, "Ripped in 30" doesn't mean "30 minutes" -- the workout itself is still the same three circuits of 3 minutes Strength, 2 minutes Cardio, and 1 minute Abs. The "30" actually means 30 days -- so you're supposed to do one level straight for a week.
I never follow directions, of course, so I think I bust this one out once or twice a week and do whatever level seems right for the day. I usually do a video or run in the morning for about 45 minutes and then one of these when I get back from work. And of course, whatever nutritional guides are included with this I have not looked at for now...
Level 1 will already make you sweat. It's about the equivalent of Level 2 in the 30-Day Shred, in my opinion. Jillian works out with two girls and often banters with them throughout each level. It's kind of a more bootcamp-y tone she uses, which people may or may not like. I'm mostly okay with it, but it is a little annoying at times. Expect the usual lunges, small jumps (though not as much in Level 1), and planks.
Level 2 is the one I do most for some reason. It's still tough, especially during one of the Cardio circuits that is done entirely in plank position. This one also requires some balance, which kills me when I can't focus sometimes.
Level 3 seems like the toughest of all, strangely. I do this one when I'm feeling masochistic. She really works the lower body in this one and incorporates plyometric moves that I really should improve.
Level 4 actually is easier than Level 3, in my opinion. Lots of shoulder work is included in this one, and of course, some plyometrics. She talks a lot about "breaking you" in this segment. The strangest move I found here was doing "supermans" with weights. A "superman" is done by lying on the stomach and lifting head, shoulders, feet, and knees off the floor. To do that with weights is something I'm not even sure is possible without messing up the form.
Since this video will leave you sweating no matter when level you do, I definitely feel like I'm making good use of my 30-ish minutes. I'm sure doing the whole program would be beneficial, but I don't think I could stick to anything like that if I can't adhere to a marathon or even half-marathon training program very well.
As far as DVDs go, this is a lot of bang for the buck -- 4 workouts for less than $10...