Tuesday, April 26, 2011

30 Day Shred: Level 3

We're almost there!  Just one more week of shredding and we'll have finished this crazy challenge.  If you haven't already seen it, check out Lauren-the-personal-trainer's fabulous post on weight training here.

This post will serve as a discussion forum while we complete Level 3 of the Shred!  A link to this post has been posted on the top right side of the website under "30 Day Shred Challenge---Resources."  Feel free to pop back in here to talk about the successes and challenges you're facing in working out.

For those unfamiliar with the shred, the basic premise is that you do 18 minutes of intense activity, cycling between strength (3 minutes), cardio (2 minutes), and abs (1 minute).  Within each unit, you do two exercises that are repeated once.  Strength exercises in level one all involve weights except for two sets of about 15-20 push-ups.  Cardio exercises involve jumping and punching.  Abs involve crunches of various kinds.  You can read some background on the challenge here.

Level Two Assessment:


  • Use the DVD for 9 out of 10 days (all ten if possible, but no less than nine)----NO.  I suffered a very painful neck sprain midway through this level.  I tried to work through it, but it became too painful to move so I was forced to rest.  I missed four days in this level.
  • Work in the five-pound weights as soon as I feel that the three pounders are too easy---YES.  Although I think I may have worked them in too early and caused my neck injury by straining against too-heavy weights with bad form.
  • Go for two runs---NO.  Totally forgot about this goal, honestly.
  • Stick to my Weight Watchers Points+ (includes weekly and activity points)---NO.  I went to Atlantic City over the weekend and definitely went over my points.  Not by a WHOLE lot, but probably by at least 20.


Despite my somewhat poor showing with my goals, I felt pretty good throughout level two.  I'm happy that I made the time to work out when I did; there were several days when it was horribly inconvenient to use the tape but I did anyway.

I'm mostly disappointed in my neck strain, to the extent that I could have avoided it by concentrating on my form while lifting weights.  I also suspect that if I'd taken a day off earlier in the week, when it first started bothering me, that I might have avoided needing to take two days off at the end of the week.

This week will be difficult for me, since I will be in utter crunch-time for final exams.  My tendency will be to stop taking care of myself while I attempt to remedy my woeful unpreparedness for Fed Courts, but I'll need to make it a priority to get in this very easy 20 minutes of exercise each day.

Goals for Level Three:
  • Use the DVD for 8 out of 10 days (all ten if possible)
  • Go for two runs
  • Stick to Weight Watchers points

Basically the same as in level two, but easier.

Progress measurements and photos after the jump...

Post-Level Two Measurements:

Weight: 140.6
Change Since Level 1: -1.0
Overall Change: +0.2

Measurements (numbers in parentheses are the change from my starting measurements)
Chest: 31.25 (-0.25)
Waist: 31 (0)
Hips: 36 (0)
Arm: 12 (0)
Thigh: 22 (0)

Overall: -0.25

I'm not seeing big changes in my measurements, but I do feel stronger and my clothes feel more comfortable.  My goal in working through this DVD is to regain some of my strength and fitness (although seeing more dramatic results in my measurements would be nice), so I'm focusing on that goal as I push forward into level 3.  Also, as Lauren pointed out in her guest post, what you eat is also a huge part of the results you'll see while weight training.  While I don't think Jillian Michael's 1200 calorie diet is the answer---even though it would cause weight loss---I do know that I ate beyond my needs this week and that I was FAR from eating mostly healthy foods.


I'm not seeing a big difference in the progress photos between level one and level two.  I'm sure it didn't help that I missed four days of level two, including the two days leading up to these photos (which were spent indulging in AC).  I suppose I do see a bit more muscle definition in my abs, but it's not dramatic.

Random almost-a-muscle shots:

Do you see that little shadow of a "v" emerging?  Just a bit?

Those shoulder grooves are new!

So, shredders, how did you do in level two?  What do you think of level 3?

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