Friday, May 6

Jillian Michaels, Part 2

Back in March, I wrote a post talking about three of the Jillian Michaels workout dvds that I had been using up to that point. Since then, however, I've acquired three more and wanted to make my first post a little more comprehensive.

Yoga Meltdown consists of two workouts, each 30 minutes long. Level 1 is a little easier and involves yoga moves that are traditionally done lying on a mat... camel, that impossible pushup, downward dog. True yoga gurus aren't going to like this dvd because, as Jillian puts it, it is a "hybrid yoga." Instead of only holding static poses, Jillian incorporates cardio with the moves. I enjoy it. When I need a quieter, more relaxed workout, I use this dvd. It's still a workout. The static poses really work your legs, shoulders and abs. I do think that it is more effective if you already know yoga and understand the breathing techniques.

Shred -It with Weights is Jillian's kettlebell workout. The tutorial is very important here. Kettlebells are to weight lifting what sprint workouts are to running. Instead of slowly lifting weights, you use your own body weight, the speed of the moves, and the momentum of that speed to lift heavier weights. The effect is that you introduce more cardio to the action. This workout also consists of two workouts, each thirty minutes, and each of different difficulty levels. The second level introduces more jump-training (plyometric) moves to the workout, upping the intensity. The caveat is that an adjustable kettlebell such as JM uses is expensive. The good news is that you can use a 3 to 8 lb. weight and get pretty much the same effect. Because you use momentum to lift the weight, you can start with a weight heavier than what you would normally curl. I typically use 5 lbs. for all the workouts, but for this one, I use 8 lbs.

6 Week Six-Pack follows the same format as the above two. I like this one a lot. My crazily athletic sister also does, too, and if you know how crazily intense she is about running and soccer, you'll know this is a compliment to this workout. This dvd aims at shredding weight and toning your mid-section. There is a lot cardio, which consists of plyometrics and plank-style moves. These are interspersed with ab-specific moves, like bicycles, crunches, leg lifts.

Thursday, May 5

Joseph is teething!

And my life is about to end... or at least, the happy-newborn-infant part of it. Enough said. More later. Uggghhhhh!

Monday, May 2

I'm in love...

You'll probably never guess so let's cut the suspense. My friend Kendra introduced me to Gallup's latest... bikram yoga. I'm hooked. I've always thought I was more of a "cardio" person. Traditionally, I like running and workouts that do not involve much coordination (read: no dance or step routines). When I have ever tried workouts like Zumba, I find myself in possession of about 5 legs and no idea of how to use them or where to put them. It's not pretty. So my mainstay for the last two years has been running and Jillian Michaels dvds. Yoga I had put on the back burner because I never felt like I did anything.

Check again! So there are all sorts of different intensity levels in yoga. Bikram yoga is a high intensity version. To amp it up several notches, try working out for two hours in a room that is heated to 105 degrees. It was insane! The moves were beginner level and with patience and concentration, quite doable. But geez! I have never sweat so much in my entire life. What really got me, though, was how relaxed and peaceful I felt afterwards. I came  home to two crying children and a husband who had a basketball game to get to. Jos was starving, Greta was tired and crying... and instead of having a meltdown as I would normally do under the circumstances, I was able to keep my calm and take care of everything in a timely-enough manner. That feeling of one's body untensing is new to me. I feel like I've been one tight, anxious, intense ball of emotions since my pregnancy. Quite literally, my body hurts from the constant tension I feel.

But not tonight after that yoga workout. I think I might have found a great stress reliever. Actually, I'll get back to you about that tomorrow when I find out if I can still walk. :)