I’ve had the opportunity to do some pretty cool things as a blogger, and without a doubt one of the coolest opportunities happened this past Wednesday when I got to take a JILLIAN MICHAELS BODYSHRED™ class at GoodLife Fitness taught by Jillian herself! Crazytown.
I was a little nervous leading up to the class having done workouts designed by Jillian before (from one of her books) and it was super tough! Not to mention the fact I had a good idea that there was a high likeliness of mountain climbers being involved. I hate mountain climbers. And burpees. But mostly mountain climbers…
When Jillian arrived on the scene everyone was so excited! When she saw us she said, “Look how excited you all are….you fools!” I’m still trying to decide if she meant we were fools to be excited to see her, or to be excited to be killed by her ;) she was really personable and smiling the whole time and let her personality show.
Once in the room we were told to grab a set of hand weights and find a spot. I quickly searched out a pair of 3lb weights (I wanted to be able to move the next day!) and found myself a spot. I was glad I chose the three pounders because when the class started the reps were quick and there were a lot of them. I don’t think I would have been able to perform them with good form with a heavier weight so I was glad I chose what I did.
JILLIAN MICHAELS BODYSHRED™ itself is a 30 minute class, but in order to allow us the best chance to be successful (especially for those like me who had never done it before) Jillian took the time to go through all of the circuits we would be doing, explained the format of the class, how long each circuit was, as well as how she would be cueing us throughout so we knew what was going on before the class even started. She was really nice and cracked a few jokes during the demo, and she made it clear that she was interested in quality over quantity when it came to the individual exercises, and offered up variations for different moves making them accessible for all participants.
I really appreciated her telling people, “there’s no shame in that game” when it came to opting for a modified or less intense version of an exercise. So often we get caught up thinking we need to do everything “textbook” and that is the perfect way to get yourself injured.
“It’s all pretty straight forward….hard, but straight forward”
The next thing I knew the warm-up was long gone and I was knee deep in my own sweat! To say taking a class with Jillian Michaels as my instructor was surreal is an understatement. There were about 60 people in the class so it was a pretty small group making the experience that much more amazing. Most times when you get the chance to take a class with a trainer like Jillian you are one of a few hundred participants, in comparison this very much felt like a “regular” class. I admit that anytime I had to stop for a couple seconds I would look around to make sure she wasn’t nearby first
As I mentioned earlier, Jillian provided lots of options for the exercises, and that, to me is the beauty of JILLIAN MICHAELS BODYSHRED™class. You can have people of all different fitness levels in the same class because everyone works out to their appropriate level. I was sweating buckets. I had sweat in my eye and running down my arms, but when I looked around I saw lots of other sweaty faces and sweaty handprints on the floor but at the same time you could see lots of variation in exercises with participants choosing the option that worked best for them, while still challenging themselves.
The energy during the class was awesome. The music was perfect for the class, and Jillian walking around during the class helping to encourage us to work harder, telling us how many more reps of an exercise we had before moving on to the next really kept me motivated. There is one thing for sure, when Jillian Michaels is standing 3 feet away from you and tells you, you have two more burpees to go, you better believe you do two more burpees!
And my nemesis the mountain climber did make an appearance. And so did his even more evil big brother the “hanging mountain climber”. Holy crow. That’s all I have to say about that.
Without a doubt we worked every part of our body in that 30 minutes, and by the end my arms were a little shaky (but not too shaky to get a high-five from Jillian!!) and my legs had a hard time carrying me down the stairs afterwards. And while I would certainly sort this class into the intense bin, it is still doable. There was no point where I felt defeated or like I didn’t belong there. I was challenged, and there was lot of room for me personally to improve, but I was still able to get a great workout at my current fitness level. And yes, I guess I’m reasonably fit, but I don’t typically do many HIIT workouts like this, so in that regard I’m very much a novice.
blurry post-workout shot thanks to my shaking arms ;)
I didn’t get a chance to meet up with Amanda Debison who was the giveaway winner from my previous post, but I didn’t see anyone there who didn’t look excited to be in the room with Jillian so I really hope she enjoyed herself!
Working out with Jillian was a once in a lifetime opportunity, but reaping the benefits of her JILLIAN MICHAELS BODYSHRED™ class doesn’t have to be! JILLIAN MICHAELS BODYSHRED™ classes are available exclusively at GoodLife Fitness which has clubs all over Canada! Check out their website to learn more about this fantastic new class and to find one near you.
Disclosure: Although this post has been generously sponsored by GoodLife Fitness, the opinions and language are all my own, and in no way do they reflect GoodLife Fitness.
It’s hard to believe we are already in the third month of 2014! Unless you think about all the snow we’ve got on the east coast this winter, then it’s entirely believable! Anyway, Friday marked the end of the Physique 57 8-Week Challenge I was participating in, so I thought a final wrap-up post was due!
The last two weeks were rough for me, continued illness coupled with a definite case of S.A.D. left me less than motivated to get my workouts in. I did the best I could however, and in the end am still very pleased with my results.
After 8 weeks I am down a total of 9 inches (most of that coming from my abdomen and thighs) and according to the scale down anywhere from 2-4lbs (Depending on the day). Considering I didn’t make much of a change in my eating habits during the 8 weeks I’m really, really pleased with me results.
Inches and pounds aside, I can definitely tell I’ve gained some lower body strength and even some core strength (that was my weakest area ) which is fabulous. Half marathon training starts for me in a couple weeks (it should really start right now, but I’m hoping in two weeks time there will be less snow ) so the added muscle will certainly be coming in handy!
I’ve really, really, enjoyed the challenge and would encourage anyone who is looking for a workout that is low impact on your body, but high impact in results to check out Physique 57! If you don’t live near one of their studios you can check out their online videos (and a little birdie told me that monthly challenges will be available to those who purchase the unlimited online video subscription!).
I had the opportunity to participate in the challenge free of charge on behalf os Physique 57, but if you go back through my posts and on facebook/twitter you’ll see that my love of Physique 57 goes back a few years, and if anything this opportunity has made me love them even more (but I’m not sure that is possible).
It’s not cost effective for me to continue with the unlimited online video subscription since I am already so active through my classes, but I will be doing the at home videos a couple times/week and hope to pop over and do an online video now and again to keep the toning going! In case you missed it in my last post here is a photo comparison from October to two weeks ago:
This has been a fantastic opportunity for me, and I know that the gals over on our Facebook group who participated in the challenge all loved it too. I feel like I’ve really made some strides to re-gain the muscle mass I lost back in 2011 when I became a one woman Zumba-cardio machine. I’m not there yet, but I’m certainly on my way thanks largely to this challenge!!
Disclosure: I participated in this challenge for free courtesy of Physique 57 but all thought, opinions and results are my own!