Saturday, July 18, 2009

Shred Update: Done with Level 2!

Well, people, I've completed Level 2 of the 30 Day Shred, meaning that I've been at this torturous yet surprisingly addictive workout for 20 straight days without dying, seriously injuring myself--as long as you don't count chronic sore muscles as a serious injury--or kicking the TV screen in the general vicinity of Jillian Michaels' face each time she says, "I want you to feel like you are GOING TO DIE." It's a bit of a miracle, really.

Level 2 is incredibly hard, but it got a lot easier over the past 10 days. On my first day at Level 2, there were some moves I couldn't do for more than a few seconds at a time, let alone the entire interval--squat-thrusts and plank jacks come to mind--but by last night, I was able to complete the full workout (with a few beginner modifications). Sure, I still swore under my breath a few times, and I worked up a major sweat, but it was a far cry from the first time when upon completion of the 20 minutes I was forced to lie on my back on the floor, contemplating whether I'd ever be able to move again.

My main experience with Level 2 was extreme tiredness. I don't mean just during the workout, and I don't mean just muscle fatigue. I mean that the 30 Day Shred makes me intensely sleepy by the end of the day, and when I first wake up in the morning. New physical challenges always do this to me--I felt the same way when I trained for a half-marathon in my twenties, and when I worked up to five-mile runs after having my second baby--but you'd never think a measly 20 minutes a day could make a person so exhausted. Except those 20 minutes are harder than any hour-long workout I've ever done. True, maybe part of my fatigue can be attributed to the fact that I spend my days chasing after two small children and cleaning the house rather than sitting at a desk where my muscles would be able to rest and recover, and also because I tried (not always successfully) to maintain my usual running schedule along with my daily Shred workouts, since the Shred is mainly strength-training. Whatever the reason, OH MY GOD THE TIREDNESS.

As for results, having completed 20 days of the 30 Day Shred, I've lost two pounds and a total of three inches. [Edited to add: Please note: that's with no change in my diet whatsoever, which is saying a lot since I happily consume great quantities of ice cream and chocolate on a regular basis. I was/am not trying to lose weight via this workout, nor am I dieting in any way--just looking for a new fitness challenge.] Today I begin Level 3, for the last 10 days of the 30-day challenge. I wonder what new hell is in store for me? I'll let you know.

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