I tend to shy away from fad exercises. I don't know why, but the more people endorse a specific kind of exercise, the more I want to NOT DO IT.
Especially if those people are celebrities, because I know that they are living on a diet of water, cayenne pepper, and liposculpture anyway. I could exercise twenty hours a day and still not see those results.
So the more I've been hearing Jillian Michaels' "30 Day Shred", the more I have wanted to run the other way.
In case you have no idea what I'm talking about, Jillian Michaels is one of the trainers on The Biggest Loser, and the "30 Day Shred" is a twenty minute interval workout designed to be done every day. It increases in levels of intensity so that you can see some real results in just thirty days.
I tried to ignore all the people, both on the internet and real life, who were telling me that they were impressed with this workout. I am pleased as punch with my own interval walking/jogging routine that I downloaded from some online fitness magazine. I don't need to do anything scary-sounding, like shredding.
But then I saw the video on sale at Target, and I realized that a) my regular routine doesn't do much for my flagging derriere, and b) our family beach vacation is just about thirty days away, at which my flagging derriere will be required to make an appearance in Lycra. And in public.
It was like the perfect storm of exercise inevitability. I was powerless to resist.
Yesterday was day one of The Shred. And I'm still here, so count that in the plus column.
Since I am (quasi) committed to this, I wanted to approach it with the right mindset. Which of course meant finding the right workout clothes. I made sure to wear my best sports bra, my favorite t-shirt, my good yoga pants (capri length, natch), my good shortie socks (the cushy ones, not the hole-y ones), and the right elastic band for my hair (the one that keeps my hair back, but does not pull so hard that it gives me a headache.)
It only took me twenty five minutes to get ready to go to my living room to workout. Does that make me crazy? (Don't answer that.)
I shooed the kids out (it's better that way, really), grabbed my soup-can weights, and turned on Level One. Since it was my first day, I followed the exercises demonstrated for beginners. I didn't want to get too crazy, and I felt pretty good when I was finished. I mean, it's only a twenty minute workout, right?
Then I woke up this morning.
I was a little stiff getting out of bed, but I didn't think any more about it as the kids and I headed down to breakfast.
As I squatted down to reach the oatmeal out of the pantry, my quads decided that it would be a nice time to SECEDE FROM MY BODY. They just up and quit, my friends. The burning was enough to make me start planning ways in which I could spend my day in a semi-reclined position.
And it was then that I remembered the shredding. Apparently, twenty minutes IS enough time to make you feel like a loser who has never used a single muscle in her body for her entire life. Heh.
I only have myself to blame, really. I went into this thinking that my legs needed more work than my arms. After all, I spend most of my day hauling around twenty six pounds of thrashing baby, and that's an arm workout in itself.
So I was pleasantly surprised to find that my legs were feeling really strong during the video. I even let Jillian goad me into deeper lunges and higher jump-ropes. I AM A FOOL. My mind was writing checks my body couldn't cash (quick, name that movie!).
Of course, I had to do it again today because that's the deal, but the quads were having none of it. As I whimpered my way through the static lunges, I consoled myself with the fact that it's only twenty minutes long.
And if my legs don't fall off, they have the potential to look great at the beach.