6 Tips to Optimize the 30-Day Shred Workout's Benefits

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How do you actually make Jillian Michaels' 30-Day Shred Workout slim you down? How do you avoid becoming frustrated at the end with zero results and not conclude that this is just-another-exercise-vid? Here are some of the best tips to maximize this exercise program:

1. Record your measurements and THR

Technically, the metal fat caliper is the most objective tool that can tell us if the exercise program worked for us, but since tape measures and weighing scales are the most available tools  around the house (and cheaper, too! metal fat calipers can cost you no less than P10k and plastic ones are around P1,500), these two are already good enough.

30-Day Shred Workout Base Measurement (arm)
noting the exact part where I initially measured upper arm
circumference (red marker to crease of inner elbow area)

Measure around the biggest part of your upper arms & thighs, the waist (narrowest part of your torso), and the belly area. Make sure you note the exact part where you initially measured (arms and thighs only) so that all future readings are taken most likely on the same areas too.

30-Day Shred Workout Base Measurement (thigh)
red marker to base of patella (upper area of kneecap)

THR is target heart rate. Do you ever compute for this? The target heart rate is essential in determining if an exercise protocol is truly effective in improving your cardiovascular system. Every after exercise, you have to check your pulse rate (beats per minute) if it reaches the THR. To compute, you have to note down your Resting Heart Rate (RHR: pulse count in one FULL minute, at rest) and Maximum Heart Rate (HRmax: 220-age).

THR= 65-90%(HRmax-RHR)+RHR
(i.e., I do 80% of my THR: 80%(190-70)+70). I should end up with a heart rate reading of 166 beats per minute to consider an exercise effective in improving my heart and lungs)

The proper percentage to use will be discussed in tip number 5.

2. AM or PM?

So when is the best time to exercise, really? You can do the 30-Day Shred Workout any time during the day that you are most available and willing to work out. Some are morning persons, feeling that they are able to  comply more with exercise if they do it first thing during the day, and some are afternoon buffs, feeling more able to exercise after office or school work.

When is the best time to exercise? 

Since there is no reliable and sufficient literature that has proven that the time of the day can affect the body's efficiency in burning calories, it doesn't matter if you do it in the AM or PM; what matters is that you do the routine and you stick to it.

3. Screen the video before starting a level

One of the biggest mistakes I did was to start the program, out of sheer excitement, without screening the video first. It is best to practice the exercises involved on the pertinent level (3 Levels, 10 days for each level) you will be doing before starting the workout session.

Screening the 30-Day Shred Workout will help you prevent exercise injuries. Set a time to learn and practice each movement so that when you start your session, you are able to move right without worrying about being able to cope with the trainer's pacing. In this light, you will be able to say that you did Day 1 of each level properly and did not merely spend it on learning how to properly position yourself.

4. Never skip static stretching

At the start of the video, Jillian tells you to do dynamic stretching to open up the muscles. Doing this solely prior to working out was the second biggest mistake I did. I ended up with severely sore muscles the next day that I had to skip the training for several days.

I emphasize that you properly stretch the following muscle groups: triceps, biceps, pectorals/chest muscles, quads/front thigh muscles, hams/back thigh muscles, and the gastrocs/calves. I contracted a terrible case of DOMS for these muscle groups.

Static Stretching Guide
(but should not be limited to these muscle groups)

Properly stretching these muscles means that you have to hold (don't bounce) the stretched position for at least 30 sec, 3 reps each side. Doing static stretching prior to the 30-Day Shred Workout will give you more benefits by letting you exercise consistently and prevent injuries worse than DOMS (think: pulled muscles, sprains, fracture).

5. Exercise Parameters

Frequency: Jillian suggests that the routine be done 6x/day. This is crazy unless you are on the obese state.  Three to four times a week is ideal.
Duration: 40 mins. 10 minutes for static stretching and 30 mins for the 30-Day Shred Workout routine
Intensity: THR: 65% of HRmax (beginners), 70-90% of HRmax (exercising individuals); if you do not achieve your target heart rate, you can repeat doing the entire level (so that's 1 hour of the routine!)
Mode: Interval training + Resistance exercise (this is actually the best way to gain a metabolic boost to bust the fat in the fastest possible time)

More Tips: poundage of weights: I use 2lbs and will progress accordingly; sedentary individuals can start with 1lb
rest periods during the workout: NONE. Jillian is a strict trainer and I love her for that!
On DOMS: Do not push yourself to do the 30-Day Shred Workout while your muscles are aching. You will barely gain any benefit from that painful session (due to limited movement) and you are prone to aggravating your muscle pain. Ice the aching area/s for 10-15mins to impede muscle inflammation and allow faster healing.

6. Boost the program 100%

No better way to achieve this than to tandem the workout with a balanced diet. Never resort to starvation as you will only deplete yourself substantial energy you need, leaving the body with zero taste to even lift the butt off the couch. Not good. 

Most dieters connote dieting to eating seldom and they end up losing all the muscles, retaining all the fat. That's just the saddest thing on earth! 

Eat right. Carbs are necessary to keep you energized all throughout the day and especially during training; get your energy from unrefined carbs such as fruits, nuts, whole wheat products, and vegetables. Avoid the bad carbs (refined carbohydrates) because they are the ones that contribute hugely in building the unnecessary fat in the body. 

Photo Source

This is such a long post on the 30-Day Shred Workout (for those asking for the video download info, you can contact me.). I have tons of insights that I just couldn't contain and I had to discuss them within these 6 points. I hope you learned a thing or two from the eye-strain and I'm more eager that you start committing to a healthier lifestyle today.


  1. Lou
  2. Gizella
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