As I approach 800 days on the Jillian Michaels online program, I thought it a good time to give her program a shout out. I have done so on occasion in the past as I love her workouts! I love the freedom of doing it at home on my schedule. I love that while I started off sceptical about the effectiveness of an online, at home program, it has always, and continues to kick my booty. I find it amusing when people ask what gym I go to and I say i have never had a gym membership. Followed by their smirks when I say I do an online program, and even more smirks when I say I have no gym equipment. It's Jillian Michaels, people. If you have seen her hard core, in your face approach on Biggest Loser, that's what you can expect of her online program. I am convinced that if I even think in my head "this is hard, I can't do it" she will reach through the comp screen and slap me around! Here is a peek at what I mean................
While I mainly use it for the workouts, there are many other tools available. Weight trackers, calorie trackers, menus, shopping lists, ect.....tons of additional tools to choose from.
For me though, it is about the workouts. Circuit training to be specific. Just as there is no secret pill to get the weight off, there is no one exercise to get you fit, which is one reason I am a huge advocate for circuit training. Her program uses a combination of strength and cardio training in each circuit. This combo is most effective for maintaining max calorie burn as well as keeping your heart rate at a high level throughout the workout. The level I am at currently has 5 circuits, or groups of exercises. Each circuit has 5-6 exercises in it. Each circuit is worked through twice, 20 to 30 reps each. So that's 25-30 different exercises per workout, each done 40-60 times. If we are talking about lunges, that's per leg. Some things are done in 1 minute increments, for example mountain climbers, burpys, jumping jacks, jumping rope, cross hops......mainly cardio exercises are done in 1 minute chunks.
One of the great things is how many variations of moves there are that I never knew before. Take push ups as an example. There are normal push ups, scorpion push ups, traveling push ups, ball push ups, clock push ups, frog push ups, close grip push ups, ect. There are so many variations of squats, lunges, curls, presses, crunches, it never gets boring! No 2 workouts are ever the same. And, don't' think she wont throw the variations at you all in one workout. One workout can end up having hundreds of push up in it if she puts one variety in each circuit.
You workout 4 days a week, you set your days on/off, although it's 2 back to back days on, one off, then 2 more on. So that's 4 workouts a week, and each one takes me about 1hr 20 minutes- give or take. One day a week is supposed to be your cardio day, and then you are supposed to take 2 days off, although you can do cardio if you choose on those days. Well, everyday in our house is a cardio day. If I am feeling overly tired or sore, I will take either Wednesday or Friday off from working out/running, but I usually regret it.
There are detailed explanations on the site as to why you are working the areas you work one day and why you work a certain area the next. Also, why you work different ends of the body to keep the blood flowing from one end to the other and why that's a benefit. There is also info on metabolism, a quiz to find out what group you fall into and what foods your body would function best on. There are also tools and advise on all things fitness/weight loss related, including the mental side of it all.
One thing i will say is to do it at home on your own, you have to be motivated. There isn't any pressure to do it because people are watching and you can't look like a wimp. There isn't an actual human personal trainer watching you and helping you to keep pushing through a set. Its 100% you. Which is another benefit. For me personally, it has helped me develop the ability to keep pushing myself beyond the pain, beyond the shaking muscles that don't seem like they can keep going. I have to make myself finish the reps. It's only myself that will keep me going, or let me quit, I am 100% responsible for my success or failure. One more time for emphasis, I am 100% responsible for my success or failure!! Yes its hard, yes it hurts, and yes I will keep going. Why? So many reasons, but the very basic reason is because this program works!! When you combined Jillian's knowledge and workouts with a determined person, it works. Do I have a perfect body, no. Am I ripped, no. Do I feel fit, healthy and strong, yes. I am able to do things I never dreamed I could do. I am able to push through things, and go further, longer, faster than at any other point in my life. I am mentally able to convince myself I can do something if I just keep pushing myself. The ability to mentally focus in on finishing a task, staying in the moment, feeling whatever my body is feeling, and finding the ability to make it keep going has been a major benefit that I didn't' realize would develop.
I started Jillian's program to lose the last 75 lbs I needed off. I have gained so much more from it than I could have imagined. If you are looking for something new, a fresh start, a challenge, an alternative to the gym, or just want to take a peek at her program, go for it!
A new goal I have blogging/fitness related is to share once a week with you my favorite exercise of the week from my workouts, so keep your eyes peeled for that. Keep in mind what i said above about there not being 1 secret exercise to get you fit though, these will just be one of the hundreds from the week that I enjoyed.
Ok people, go out there and have a great weekend!