Tuesday 18 September 2012

jillian michaels' killer buns and thighs review & results.

this took forever to finish. my apologies. i've finished my masters, begun a new job, and have been so busy that i simply haven't had the time to do anything let alone blog! i'm extremely useless.

measurements before:                         measurements after:

waist: 26.3''                                                        waist: 26.0" (-0.3) 
hips: 37.7''                                                         hips: 37.7" 
thighs: 21.6''                                                      thighs: 21.1" (-0.5)
calves: 12.6''                                                      calves: 12.6" 
upper arms: 9.1''                                              upper arms: 9.1"
lower arms: 8.7"                                              lower arms: 8.6" (-0.1)


as you can see, my results weren't so great inch-wise. this was a real disappointment considering how hard the workouts were. in terms of difficulty, i would say that it's behind 'banish fat boost metabolism', but much harder than anything else i've tried. i lost 0.8'' in level one, 0.1'' in level two, and zilch in level three. AWKWARD. but still... this brings my overall inch loss to 9''. better than nothing i guess (*grumble*).

however, something very strange happened instead. for the first time, the number on the scale went down instead of my measurements. i started this weighing 139.7lbs (63.4 kg), and set a goal weight of roughly 133lbs (60 kg, ish) for fun. and i hit it!  i honestly don't know how. but it didn't really last, as my weight has fluctuated a LOT between 133-136 lbs since. suffice to say i'm still trying to get through this plateau. with that said, onto the review!

before the workout
i hate my legs. i really do. the worst part is that they used to be my best feature in my teens! weep. i honestly don't know why they look so chunky now, and every time i see a photograph of them i want to gag. my inner thighs are particularly dreadful, and so i was really keen to do this. i felt as if my legs were technically in shape though, and so i severely underestimated jillian's sadistic tendencies was really up for the challenge.

yeah. i said it was hard.

during the workout
this follows jillian's usual format in that it's done in circuits, with three levels. however, the workouts are longer and last between 40-50 minutes - and so if you're someone who has little free time or is constantly on the go, this probably isn't the best option. instead of also just needing handweights, you will need a mat and a chair. yes, a chair. A CHAIR. this is something that i didn't like about the workout, as not everyone has a chair they'd be willing to stomp on. i used a two-step ladder and just felt like it was a bit of hassle really.

however, what i absolutely love about this dvd is that it's a lot more fun and relaxed than jillian's other offerings. she's constantly chatting and joking around and it cracks me up. i can understand that it may be offputting for some, but i felt as if it made the (very, very, very) hard workout somewhat easier to get through. i just think she's hilarious really.

after the workout
my thighs are bigger according to the tape measure. i would punch jillian, but i can't lie - they are a lot more firm that they used to be. for the first time, i'd say that they are vaguely strong. my bum also looks better.

i really liked the challenge element to this, but considering that it didn't work for me in terms of inch loss, i don't think i'll be doing it again. i might hang on to level two though, only because it was an absolute killer.

as usual i kept a diary to log the torture. read on if you fancy it.

day one, level one - hurr hurr hurrrrrrr this kills. :( i've realised just how crap my thighs are what with all the lunges and squats. the first and last circuits are significantly harder than the two inbetween, and they're the ones i need to improve on the most. although it isn't easy at all, i do quite like the third circuit as it is still hard (containing toning moves) but isn't as intense as the others. [412 calories]

day two, level one - today i think i improved ever so slightly. i tried to get a wider range of motion, and used 1kg weights for one or two moves. i'm nowhere near perfect yet, but i'm working on it. [409 calories]

day three, level one - i had a whopping four days off before doing this due to a nasty cold and throat infection. if that wasn't soul-destroying enough, i was also massively bloated (read: fat). earlier i went to see avengers assemble and ate so much popcorn that i came home on a massive sugar rush. i put that energy into exercise and suffice to say, i really went for it. i tried my hardest to improve - and i did! i stopped much less, did more reps of everything, and used my heaviest weights in the first circuit. i also got that amazing feeling where your legs ache after your exercise. my inner thighs were killing! thanks loki. [436 calories]

day four, level one - i could punch my illness. i put on just over a kilo and it's left me feeling frustrated. i know it's probably due to increased sodium or water weight, but i'm enjoying being irrational. as of yesterday, i am now following a strict meal plan and aiming to eat at least 100g of protein each day. i do allow myself a little treat every now and then though. anyway, i didn't really begin the workout with the same sugar buzz as i did last time, but still tried my hardest. i think i improved slightly, and would like to add weights to the last circuit next time. i'm definitely doing better with that move where you have to jump from plank into a squat. i'm sure it will prove useful one day. if i'm doing some kind of frog impression. [440 calories]

day five, level one - i was looking forward to this today. my target was to use my heaviest weights for all of circuit one - and i did. [420 calories]

day six, level one - i ended up using weights whenever natalie used weights. this is an achievement and then some. i don't really find myself getting bored of this level which is good... [440 calories]

day seven, level one - i'd be lying if i said that my thighs were perfect and that i didn't have any fat to get off them - but i do feel as if they're firmer. then again, i don't spend my time feeling my thighs on the regular so i'm not sure if it's due to these exercises. nevertheless, i did this workout despite feeling quite tired already. i do think i like it, deep deep down. [417 calories]

day eight, level one - boy, am i tired. [457 calories]

day nine, level one - it has taken me so long to complete this level that i have almost become attached to it. is that normal? probably not. either way, i managed to do the third circuit without stopping once today. yes the moves aren't the most challenging in the world, but it's a small victory for me! [433 calories]

day ten, level one - bye bye level one! i really don't know what was up with my heart rate monitor today. i was sweating buckets as usual and putting in a lot of effort but it just wasn't showing up on my watch. very odd, but i'll take what i can get. [359 calories]

day eleven, level two - i must be honest. i was nervous. in every jillian michaels dvd i've ever tried, level two always seemed to be the hardest. and this was definitely a step up! it had a lot of jumping and squats and burpees and horrible things like that. the first two circuits are harder than the last two though, so it does get more bearable as it goes on. i did the beginner modifications as i didn't know what i was doing - but oddly enough, my legs still ached for the next two days. [442 calories]

day twelve, level two - oh, my, god. i did this workout in the evening and it burnt. i did attempt to do a few more of the advanced moves (but often had to stop for five seconds or go back to beginner) and even though i didn't do everything perfectly, i put a lot of effort in. usually my heart rate monitor goes into the 180s when i am getting crazy with whatever exercise i am doing, and it did for the majority of this. after it ended, i couldn't even get up for five minutes. although i feel very proud of myself for burning so many calories, i am not looking forward to waking up with sore thighs tomorrow! [486 calories]

day thirteen, level two - i had taken my longest break (without exercising, that is) since february. i hadn't really gone for walks, to the gym, or done any of these dvds. and boy... i felt it when i jumped right into this. i didn't really feel like i was doing great during the workout. i felt exhausted, had to stop quite often, and didn't really go into it with all guns blazing like last time. after the third circuit, i honestly thought i was going to faint and even felt dizzy. i'm not sure why this has happened, but my guess is that it's a combination of the break and not eating properly (i.e. enough) to fuel exercising that hard. nevertheless, you can imagine my surprise when it turned out that i had burnt more calories: a new record in fact! my heart rate monitor also hit a new high of 194 bpm. this level is seriously tough! SERIOUSLY YOU GUYS. [492 calories]

day fourteen, level two - i had done half an hour of power yoga before i did this, and so i didn't begin it with the most energy. i don't really think i've got better at anything yet. i did do the third circuit better than last time i guess. [476 calories]

day fifteen, level two - i wish i didn't leave such huge gaps inbetween each workout. this is so tough and so intense, and although i find it hard to figure out my own progress, i really do give everything i have. i think i'm getting better at that crab move, but am so inconsistent with other things. what i may have done with ease last time, i can barely do now. woke up the next day with seriously achy legs. [502 calories]

day sixteen, level two - officially over the halfway point. i woke up feeling really energised for some reason (i have no idea why) so i ended up doing the workout in the morning rather than past midday. i definitely felt a little groggier, and sucked more at the plyo parts such as the burpees. but i did improve a lot on surrenders and the goddess pose thing. you win some, you lose some. [497 calories]

day seventeen, level two - i was super annoyed today which gave me a burst of energy. i definitely improved a lot in the first circuit, and in parts during the second. i managed to complete the first circuit doing the advanced moves without stopping, and at anita's pace. go me! [479 calories]

day eighteen, level two - i had a busy day ahead so i did this workout about an hour after i woke up. i definitely felt the effects of having less energy (sucked at a lot of the plyo stuff) but i still gave it my all. the good thing about doing this in the morning is that it's out of the way, and it means that i can go along with my day without having to worry about how i'm going to cram it in in the evenings. that aside, my thighs do feel a lot firmer, but i'm still not happy with them. i wish they were slimmer. i'm starting to feel a little too self-conscious when wearing shorts again. [475 calories]

day nineteen, level two - this sucked. i felt dizzy, breathless and as if i was going to faint. [475 calories]

day twenty, level two - last stretch. unlike yesterday, i was so full of energy. my hrm hit a new record high of 196 bpm. unfortunately i never mastered one-legged burpees, but i gave it my best shot. even mastered doing surrenders with my heaviest weights non-stop! [482 calories]

day twenty one, level three - i was a tad nervous as i did not want to even imagine a step up from level two. however, this was way easier! and by easier, i mean that i did not feel as if death was round the corner. it still definitely works your muscles, but in a different way to level two. thankfully there is a lot less plyo and a wider range of moves in this. unfortunately my hrm fails to work when i'm lying on my front, so my calorie burn seemed awfully low. the warm-up is also very basic and easy. FINALLY! something easy. [374 calories]

day twenty two, level three - i'm actually really enjoying this. the first circuit is still the hardest for me, but i'm working on my co-ordination. unlike yesterday, my heart rate really shot up today and i broke a real sweat. that last circuit is also killer. [414 calories]

day twenty three, level three - even though it took a lot of effort to get up and get motivated, i really enjoyed the workout today. that first circuit is crazy! i try and do the advanced moves and end up going back to the basic ones to catch my breath before going back to advanced again. i also did the rockstar jumps without stopping. positively aside, one-legged mountain climbers still remain my personal nemesis. [410 calories]

day twenty four, level three - i'm not sure if i was just tired or what, but i felt as if i had gone backwards again with this. i had to keep stopping for water, and just felt really burnt out throughout the entire thing. i'm also feeling really frustrated by my fluctuating weight, and lack of inches lost. i think my crab kicks are slightly better? [414 calories]

day twenty five, level three - i was really into this today! i think i just had excess energy and was in the mood for it. i still can't do this flawlessy (by that i mean advanced moves, no stopping) but i have definitely improved. i did crab kicks, rockstar jumps, and squat jacks without stopping. i also find boat position less hard and death-inducing. i feel really good after that workout, no joke. [438 calories]

day twenty six, level three - in terms of progress, i am still the same as yesterday. nothing new to report. [437 calories]

day twenty seven, level three - i can never get the hang of one-legged mountain climbers. seriously. i'm rubbish at one-legged anything. unfortunately i hurt my knee so i had to modify quite a few of the moves, but still gave it my best effort. i can't believe i'm almost done with this. [422 calories]

day twenty eight, level three - i did level one of the 30 day shred before this. whilst hungover. WHAT. suffice to say i was absolutely burnt out to begin with. i thought about giving up in the middle of circuit one, but kept with it. i just had no energy in me to power myself during the plyo moves especially. it sucked. [404 calories]

day twenty nine, level three - today went okay, and was the polar opposite of yesterday. i had energy, wasn't overly exhausted, and got through the whole thing without wanting to die. my jumping lunges have improved. [412 calories]

day thirty, level three -


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