"Ripped in 30": You've Gotta Start Somewhere

Earlier this year, I shared a little bit about my fitness journey, especially concerning running. Well, I'm back to let you know that, while things are heading in the right direction {I completed the 100th Bay to Breakers 12K in San Francisco last month}, I've still got room for improvement.

Lately, I've felt like I've nestled into a big, comfortable cardio rut. My workouts at the gym have become SO predictable, consisting almost exclusively of bonding time between me + the elliptical {no thanks to the gym's snazzy new Precors with a personal TV monitor mounted on each machine}. I know that between the westerns on AMC and "WWII in HD" on the History Channel, I can't help but zone out... which inevitably means I end up phoning it in + not challenging myself like I should.

To switch things up a bit, a couple of weeks ago I started doing the first workout of Jillian Michaels' "30 Day Shred", which I was pleased to find as a free On Demand through Exercise TV. After about a week of doing it without real hand weights {I improvised with a couple of cartons of College Inn chicken broth, haha}, I finally made a trip to Target for the real thing.

Since Exercise TV only features the first workout of 30 Day Shred through On Demand {you have to download the remaining two workouts to your computer for a small charge each}, I figured it'd be better to also pick up the DVD so that I'd be able to follow along from our television than the smaller laptop monitor.

At the store, I noticed that Jillian's been a busy girl, releasing a number of newer video series since "Shred"... the most recent of which is Ripped in 30 {2011}. Its four-workout structure {a different one each week, increasing in intensity} appealed to me, as did the included 30-day meal plan. So I picked up that DVD and a pair of 5-lb. weights.

Now, I'm not expecting to look like Jillian Michaels or her fitness models by the end of this series. {I'm not sure I'd really want to anyway.} I honestly just want my clothes to fit like they used to and challenge myself in areas that my boring workout routine has been neglecting {mainly strength + abs}. While weight loss is not my #1 priority, it's one of the simpler measurements I can use to evaluate how I'm doing with this.

So, since you've got to start somewhere... I'm sharing what my starting point of this journey is: 132.4 lbs. And since you can't fully appreciate how far you've come without reflecting on where you've been, I'm including a "before" shot. {GULP!}

Makes you dizzy, doesn't it?!


Today will make my fifth day doing the workout. {Sunday is my rest day.} Already, I've been able to feel a bit of a difference {super achy hamstrings after Day 2}... plus, I can now manage 40 modified pushups per session, when I could only pull out 24 on Day 1. Hooray for progress!

Have you ever fallen into a workout rut? What do you like to do to switch things up from time to time?



  1. You look great even in the before shot!!! :) But best of luck to you. I need to be motivated to exercise hehe I'm too comfortable. :) XO

  2. I didn't know she had a new video out! I need to get this one, I'm so bored with the Shred series I can't even do it anymore. How did you make that gif? It's awesome!

  3. Good luck, Marissa! I'll be cheering on your progress from the East coast :)

  4. GOOOO M!!! You can do it!!I am big fan of Jillian's videos. I have three including the Shred. Please let us know what you think of this new one!

  5. Thanks so much, ladies! I really appreciate the encouragement. :o)

    Layla: I shot the photos with the consecutive-timer setting, then created the gif with a super old program I have called Animation Shop.

    Terri: I'm really liking it + noticing changes already! Good stuff!

  6. Add to this the fact that old fashion floor crunches are difficult to execute correctly and the addition of one of the better ab workout machines goes from being a nice thought to a smart idea. Equipment ranges from pretty high-tech to even low-tech, simple devices, but the best abdominal exercise machines all pack a punch.

  7. I hadn't read this post and was already sold on giving this one a try just off "over-reading" your twitter comments with Layla. I need something to get me kick-started post-foot break, so now I'm itching to give this a try.


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