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Want to lose weight and tone-up

Thursday, 12 January 2012  |  Admin

New Year, New You???It's that time of year isn't it. We've all (over)eaten from the trough that is Christmas (when having a chocolate orange segment before breakfast seems perfectly reasonable, followed by a mince pie for elevenses, etc, etc) and most of us are carrying a little extra weight.Like I said in my last post, having time off and a break from the norm also gives time to reflect on how we could make things better. I bet I'm not the only person with a resolution about exercise – for me it's continuing to exercise regularly as I have been since May with the demon / she-witch who is Jillian Michaels. (Aside from the next week however as I'll be recovering from a rather spectacular fall on my behind when trying my new roller-boots on Brighton Seafront....roller booting was SO much easier 30 years ago!)Much as I love going to exercise classes, I can't spare 90 mins out of my 'worktime' during the day. In the evening most classes that I'd really like to attend start before my OH gets home from work, and I don't think it's fair to do classes on a Saturday morning. So, for me, exercising at home to a DVD is really the best option. It takes 25 – 35 minutes usually (depending on which DVD I do) and I can pop into the shower immediately afterwards.Now, I have tried a lot of exercise DVD's. I have 3 or 4 Davina, a couple of 10 minute specialising ones too, but for me the best of the lot are by Jillian Michaels. I actually saw her programme 'The biggest loser' last night. My god some of those people are HUGE, but I have to admit that some of them had really sad stories behind their weight.Back in May I blogged about Jillian and her 30 day shred DVD, which I highly recommend. This is what I started exercising with after baby no4 to shed the excess weight and here I am 7 months later within a pound of my target weight – and that's post Christmas, so I'm quite chuffed. That's actually the amazing thing about these DVD's - they actually WORK. It's not just me saying it, quite a few friends have been using these DVD's and can now 'slip into their jeans' rather than pouring themselves in! Stick with these DVd's and you will see the pounds drop off, we can guarantee it... I have a short attention span when it comes to exercise DVD's and get bored of the same routine quickly, so it probably won't come as any surprise that I've stocked up on all of Jillians DVD's. For anyone new to Jillian, here's my quick summary.30 Day Shred

  • Aimed at: Great for people new to Jillian or exercise
  • Length: About 22 mins – but there are 3 levels to work through
  • Focuses on: Whole Body
  • Equipment:Dumbbells, Mat or Towel for floor exercises
  • Detail:Each level contains a warm up, then 3 circuits comprising of 3 minutes strength, 2 mins cardio, 1 minute abs
Comments:Brilliant, still love this and come back to it when I'm short of time. Moving from level to level means you're constantly progressing and can see how you're improving. So at the start of a new level and you're introduced to 'Plank Jacks' and just think 'WTF' - and a week later you can do 10 in a row!6 week, 6 pack
  • Aimed at: The name says it all, anyone wanting a toned tummy
  • Length: About 35 mins – but there are 2 levels to work through
  • Focuses on: Midsection, but works out your arms and legs too, burning fat
  • Equipment:Dumbbells, Mat or Towel for floor exercises
  • Detail:Each level contains a warm up, then one 15 minute circuit which is repeated twice and cooldown.
Comments:OMG, this is hard. There is a lot of emphasis on plank based exercises which I find really tough. There is also a lot of 'cranking it' with weights across your body to tone your obliques, which is also hard (although I am using a fairly heavy weight for this). This is a great one to progress to after 30 day shred.Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism
  • Aimed at: Great for anyone who wants a big cardio workout, or doesn't want to use weights
  • Length: About 45 mins
  • Focuses on: Whole Body
  • Equipment:Mat or Towel for floor exercises
  • Detail:There is just one level in this DVD, consisting of 7 x 6 minute circuits, plus warm up and cool down. All cardio exercises including kick-boxing,
Comments: This is probably my least favourite DVD. Partly because I prefer the interval type training (combining cardio and strength) in some shape or form, but also because at 45 minutes it's just a bit longer than I can usually afford to spend. It is a good cardio workout though, so if this is what floats your boat, go for it.No More Trouble Zones
  • Aimed at: This is a strength and toning workout, although it definitely raises your heart rate too.
  • Length: About 45 mins
  • Focuses on: Whole Body
  • Equipment:Dumb-bells and Mat or Towel for floor exercises
  • Detail:There is just one level in this DVD, consisting of 7 x 6 minute circuits, plus warm up and cool down. All strength and toning exercises, including old school calisthenics (think Jane Fonda)
Comments:I do quite like this one but it doesn't get played that much. Mostly because I prefer interval training and partly because of the time constraints. If you are looking to tone up rather than lose weight though, then this is a great option.Shred it with weights
  • Aimed at: This is really a kettlebell workout, so great for strength training but also with a real cardio blast!
  • Length: About 32 mins
  • Focuses on: Whole Body
  • Equipment:Kettle-bell (4 - 5 kg is good starting weight) or Dumb-bells and Mat or Towel for floor exercises
  • Detail:There are 2 levels in this DVD, consisting of circuit exercises which are repeated twice, plus warm up and cool down.
Comments:Again, I like this one but it doesn't get used as often as the others, mainly because it is an import and only works when played in our PC upstairs! Good if you're looking for something different to add to your routine. You know they say a change is as good as a rest.And these are my new ones, which I haven't worked through all the levels yet but am loving already.....Ripped in 30 (Yes, that is what it's actually called....)
  • Aimed at: This is going back to the shred format, so good for beginners or newbies to Jillian
  • Length: 22 mins
  • Focuses on: Whole Body
  • Equipment:Dumb-bells and Mat or Towel for floor exercises
  • Detail:Each level contains a warm up, then 3 circuits comprising of 3 minutes strength, 2 mins cardio, 1 minute abs
Comments: This is back to the same interval training format that I love, and although I haven't worked through all 4 levels yet, for me, this is better than shred because there are 4 levels to work to rather than 3, so better value for money. And it is now available in a format to play on UK DVD players....Killer Buns and Thighs (I know the titles are embarrassing but just pretend you can't read)
  • Aimed at: This is not for beginners, a good one to progress to after shred, or ripped
  • Length: About 35 - 40 mins x 3 levels
  • Focuses on: Bum and Legs
  • Equipment:Dumb-bells and Mat or Towel for floor exercises
  • Detail: warm up, then 5 exercise circuit which is repeated, then another etc. Includes cardio which stretches the areas just worked...
Comments: I LOVE this. It isn't really a weights exercise routine (although dumb-bells are used in some exercises to make it harder) but after 10 mins, I was sweating buckets and my thighs were killing me. And just when I thought I had seen all the moves Jillian had to offer, she throws in a dynamic plank to squat. Madness. But I like it. Again I haven't worked through all levels because of my sore bum, but can't wait to get back to it!

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