Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Workout Wednesday: My Thoughts on my First Shred

I used to do a regular blog post called "Workout Wednesday" and I have decided to resurrect that feature!  I don't know that I will do this weekly but I figure it gives me a platform to share what's going on in my fitness life!

Last month I decided to give the June Summer Shred a chance after hearing Amber rave about a previous shred she had done.  It's a program that is ran by Bobbi McCormick of nHerShoes and the way it works is that each week for 4 weeks, she sends you a week of meal plans and 5 workouts as well as a shopping list for the meals from the meal plan. 

To be honest, I did not follow the meal plans at all.  While she had some gluten free options, none of them really 'grabbed' me and I felt like a lot of the lunch options were tailored for people who work from home as they were things you'd prepare right before eating it, which does not work for me.  I did make a couple of recipes, though, so at least I tried a few new things!

In terms of the work outs, I pretty much loved this program.  In the past, strength training has kind of intimidated me.  I feel like I would go to the gym and sort of amble around, doing things like bicep curls and lateral raises and after about 10-15 minutes I'd be bored and unsatisfied with my workout.  Doing this program taught me how to challenge myself in the workout room and it showed me that strength training can be fun!  Here are some of my takeaways from the program!

1. Workouts don't need to be long to be effective.  While it's probably ideal (for me) for each workout session to be 45 minutes long, I learned that a really intense 20-30 minute workout can be as effective as longer workout.

2.  You are capable of more than you think you are.  One of the workouts, which ended up being the hardest of the four weeks IMO, included 300 burpees.  Yes, 300 BURPEES.  I looked at the workout and thought - "I can not do this."  In the middle of the workout I thought, "I can not do this."  But I kept going and focused on getting through each set (the burpees were split up into sets of 25) and at the end I was so proud of myself for finishing!  I still hate burpees and I guarantee that this workout would be just as hard the next time around but I know that I have the ability to make it through whatever I set my mind to.

3.  It helps to have a plan.  I have never really felt comfortable in the weight room and have struggled to put a strength training workout together on my own and that uncomfortable feeling I had in the weight room kept me from making strength training a part of my workout routine.  But having a detailed workout that I could take with me to the gym along with a video explaining the moves of each workout made me feel way more comfortable.  I no longer felt like I was sort of wandering around the weight room - instead I was a woman on a mission.

4.  It helps to have a buddy.  Amber signed up for the shred and her participation encouraged me to sign up as well.  I am so glad we did this together as it was nice to have someone to talk to about the workouts.  We'd talked about when we were going to fit in the workouts, how hard they were, how long they took and what parts were the toughest for us.  It was nice to hear that the hardest parts for me were often the hardest for her as well.  Bobbi also sets up a facebook group, which is great for motivation, but there's nothing like having a real life friend to keep you motivated!

In general it's really important for women to strength train but it's especially important for me due to my RA as it helps strengthen my joints which is important since they can undergo quite the battle when I have RA flare ups.  After doing this shred, I'm confident that strength training will continue to be a part of my weekly fitness routine. 

If you are thinking about doing a program like this, I highly encourage it!  The nice thing about Bobbi's program is that the workouts are design for people who are working out at home as most workouts don't require much more than some dumbbells.  I definitely feel like I got my money's worth (the shred cost $45 for 4 weeks).  Bobbi is doing another Summer Shred in July so if you are curious about giving this a shot, you have until Friday, July 4th to sign up!  I will definitely be doing another shred in the future!

Are you good about incorporating strength training into your fitness routine?  Prior to doing the shred, the only time I'd strength train was when I took a body pump class (which I also love).  I'll continue to do body pump but it will be great to have the workouts from the shred to use in the future.  Amber and I already have a plan to keep each other motivated to do some workouts each week in July!

*  The thoughts in this review are my own and I was not compensated in any way for posting this review.


Gracie said...

You're brave, because I can't do even 25 burpees.

Marisa A. said...

I LOVE strength training. It's my favorite thing ever. It never used to be, but after my former co-worker (who I wish would come back) made me go to some classes over lunch I've been hooked! I get much better results from strength training than I ever did with just cardio and light strength training. I recommend the Nike Training Club app. It's got really great workouts that you can do at home and has different levels to work up to (beginner, intermediate, advanced) Also if you think burpees are bad google man makers. ;) The first time I did those in class I honestly thought I was going to throw up. Which probably is not encouraging you to try them...

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

I'm so glad you tried out the shred and liked it!

I took a Women with Weights class at my gym a few years ago. I actually started liking strength training (which I normally hate) during this class but I did not like how i was literally STARVING after and would have to fight with myself to not eat the entire house ha ha. Some day I'll get back into it!

A said...

I don't do a lick of strength training and that needs to change. Thanks for the inspiration!

Marlys said...

I know I should do strength training as I have osteopenia and that is the recommended treatment! I have bands and know I should use them, but....!
I know I could NEVER do 300 burpees as I think my bones would break in the process! I'm not as hoppy, jumpy as in my youth! So happy that you love this workout!

Carolina John said...

ugh, my strength training has really suffered as the ironman training gets harder. Yoga has also really fallen down some too, to about half of what it was before. need to do more. the core work especially keeps me stable out there.

Amber said...

Love this review and agree with everything you said! I first discovered this with my bouts of crossfit, but I really like SHORT strength workouts. Unless I'm at boot camp or in a class like body pump I don't want to do strength training for more than 40 minutes. 30 is ideal. I also really like strength training that incorporates cardio, so HIIT workouts, because I find them way less boring than classic strength training and also I feel like I get a better workout. And that is why I love Bobbi's shreds so much because they incorporate all these things! I'm definitely having a bit of shred withdrawal but I'm glad we're keeping each other accountable for July regardless.

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

I found a summer shape up free workout through the fitnessta? blog and she parterned with another blogger, with meal plans. I really did well the first week but then we went on vacation and I just didn't even bother. But I am back to doing the week 3 workouts and I'd highly suggest checking out the strength training ideas they offered up since I also need ideas on what the heck to do! if you need exact links shoot me an email and i can grab them for you!

Emilie said...

I am so glad this program worked so well for you!! I am horrible about strength training, it's my least favorite form of exercise but I know it's so good for me. Lately I've been doing at home strength workouts with various DVDs, like Jillian Michaels. I would love to try this, though! Did you find the workouts easy to follow and understand? I really wanted to sign up for this shred but the $45 was a bit steep. I'm glad I didn't since I was away and got sick so I would have been really mad about spending that money. After reading your review I'm thinking about doing the July shred.

You are SO right about the buddy thing. I do so much better when I have someone to check in with and hold me accountable. None of my girlfriends are into exercise so this is a challenge for me!

Leigh said...

I did one of the shred's a couple months ago and loved it! I should dig those workouts out and do one. Thanks for the reminder :)

Unknown said...

I hate burpees so much!!! I worked out with a trainer who taught me lot about weights! I still go to sassy girl and I get my strength training in that way. I live bikini bootcamp it gets me every time! Of course since every weekend between now and august is booked out I won't be able to go :( I have other classes that I love there too that are super effective!!!

Stephany said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed the shred so much! I've never done one of her shreds, but I did participate in Best Body Bootcamp a few times which I *loved*. Sadly, the blogger who ran that is no longer blogging and isn't running boot camps anymore, but I still have all the workouts and will go back to them from time to time.

Strength training is one of my favorite ways to work out! I much prefer it over cardio because I always feel like such a badass, haha.

Abby said...

Way to go on finishing that shred! That is insane! I'd like to try it some day.....

I love lifting weights - and have gotten used to the gym floor. (I did like my old gym where there was a women's training room)

In fact, I've had to totally re-vamp my triathlon training to include weights at least 2 days/week. Because I felt like the swim/bike/run was making me fat.

I can see the results on pictures you've posted lately! You look amazing, Lisa!

Abby said...

I love that Banana dress! (they both are adorable! - but that one is just so "you"). I'm SO excited Tucson is getting a Banana outlet. Ryan probably isn't...($$$) ;)

Nice work on all those miles! Yay!!!

Jeanie said...

What good tips, Lisa. And yes, I'm trying to incorporate more strength training into my routine, although it does fall next to spinning and elipticalling! Good for you on this new plan -- Interested in hearing more!

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

I prefer strength training to cardio, but I've been slacking with both.

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