30 Day Fitness Challenge: Week One Summary

Week one (or the first five days) of my 30 day fitness challenge is now complete. So, how did it go? Was I crazy to combine two challenges into one? You decide!

High Level Summary

Overall, the workouts this week were so short that I am feeling slightly skeptical about whether I will see results. I replaced my usual workouts with this challenge, which I think was a mistake. Going forward, I will add to what I usually do instead. I am very glad that I decided to combine two challenges into one or else I would probably be discouraged enough to say, “forget this!”

fitness-inspiration

Don’t get me wrong – there were days when I woke up sore (particularly my butt!) and each workout did feel like work. However, I think that my expectations were too high in terms of how challenging the exercises would be (that’s what I get for believing YouTube comments!). However, I am going to stick with it and see it through because it is, after all, only 30 days. I have already planned my next challenge, which I’m excited to share with you once this one is complete.

For those of you who are interested in a more detailed summary and review of each workout, read below Note: the workouts repeat each week, so my reviews will get shorter as we move through the challenge. This post is quite long but I tried to be as concise as possible. I did not list each move in the videos because they are so short that you can easily click through them. What I tried to do is provide context so that you can decide if they are even worth clicking through!

If you have any questions about any of the workouts, leave a comment and I will do my best to help you out. I will also happily take any notes of encouragement or suggestions!

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Day One
30 Day Butt Lift: Butt Workout #1, Tone Up

Instructor: Alicia Marie

  • Alicia is an engaging instructor who isn’t too perky (meaning annoying). She isn’t as polished as say, Jillian Michaels, but she seems genuine, has excellent cuing, and takes the time to explain the sequences. At one point, she did get mixed up about what move came next but I easily forgave her
  • Alicia is onscreen by herself without the usual fitness models in the background showing beginner and advanced modifications. Alicia does a good job coaching verbally though so I didn’t miss the visual additions

Difficulty Level

  • I’m not new to working out but I still had a nice sheen of sweat going. None of the moves felt too challenging but I could still feel the burn because of how targeted the exercises were
  • If you are not doing the challenge, I wouldn’t recommend this workout as a standalone. I would recommend doing the challenge with me though or adding this video to your existing routine

Pro Tips

  • There isn’t a warm up or cool down included in the video. I highly suggest that you stretch out your glutes after the workout because you will feel it the next day if you don’t!
  • If you have ankle weights, I recommend using them
30 Day Fat Burn: Dynamic Strength

Instructor: Danielle Pascente

  • I didn’t find Danielle to be especially engaging. She also sounded quite out of breath at certain points, which I found distracting. She has decent cuing but doesn’t provide very good coaching
  • Danielle did have people working out behind her, but they were following along with her rather than showing beginner or advanced modifications. To be honest, I’m not really sure what the point of having them there at all was

Difficulty Level

  • If you have done Jillian Michaels’ Shred-it with Weights, then you will find this workout a piece of cake. If you aren’t doing the challenge, I wouldn’t recommend this workout as a standalone. Jillian’s though? Definitely!
  • None of the moves felt difficult in the sense that I was struggling through repetitions, but some of the moves had sequences that I’m not used to. It took me one or two repetitions to catch on in some cases (that may be due to my lack of coordination though)

Pro Tip

  • If you have a kettle bell, I would recommend using it. I find that using dumbbells as kettle bells feels clunky
Day Two
30 Day Butt Lift: Butt Workout Cardio #1, Boot Camp

Instructor: Alicia Marie

  • See my comments under “Day One”

Difficulty Level

  • Disclosure: I hate cardio. I would do strength training all day long over doing any cardio at all so the thought of doing two cardio videos today (albeit short ones) made me dread the idea of working out at all (hence why I did it at 8 p.m.)
  • At the end of the workout, I was sweating and breathing a bit harder but I expected a greater challenge from a video called “boot camp”

Pro Tips

  • I highly recommend stretching out your hip flexors after this workout. Mine felt very tight from all the kicking
  • There are far too many breaks for such a short video. If you’re not a beginner, I suggest working through them
30 Day Fat Burn: Cardio Extreme

Instructors: Danielle Pascente and Astrid McGuire

  • In this video, Astrid joined Danielle but I don’t feel that she improved the video. In fact, the two instructors spoke over each other and were breathing quite heavily into their microphones. The video felt amateurish
  • The people in the background remained, serving no function

Difficulty Level

  • I was pleasantly surprised to find that a cardio video included weights, which made me not hate it as much as I expected to. The exercises were easier to follow than yesterday’s video and the sequence of moves flowed well
  • My heart rate did go up and I was sweating but I didn’t feel fully exerted

Pro Tip

  • Have your weights ready! Don’t be like me and assume cardio just means jumping
Day Three
30 Day Butt Lift: Butt Workout #2, Booty Booster

Instructor: Courtney Prather

  • Like Alicia Marie, Courtney worked out alone. Overall, I think the sequences were well done but again, I’d eliminate some of the breaks
  • Courtney included a very brief stretch at the end of the workout, which I think is great and so important to recovery
  • Courtney’s manner is similar to Alicia’s and I enjoyed doing the video. I did find her to be quite repetitive with her coaching (I believe she told me to squeeze my glutes 1,000 in 10 minutes) but the workout was solid

Difficulty Level

  • The difficulty of this workout is really up to you and the dumbbells that you choose. I alternated between five and eight pound weights, but for certain moves, I felt that I could have gone higher (the deadlift for example). Next time this video rolls around in my calendar, I am going to challenge myself more and use heavier weights (and now it’s in print, so I have to follow through)

Pro Tip

  • I suggest having a few sets of dumbbells handy in case you want to challenge yourself. My heavier weights were in the basement and I didn’t feel like pausing the video and going downstairs to get them (I know, I know)

30 Day Fat Burn: Legs and Butt Shaper

Instructor: Astrid McGuire

  • In this video, Astrid lost some of her background people and only kept the standard two. However, she didn’t assign one of them to do beginner modifications and the other to do advanced moves. It was less crowded on screen but again, the people in the background served no purpose
  • On her own, Astrid is a better instructor and coach (probably because she doesn’t have anyone to interrupt…just sayin’). She keeps you motivated throughout without counting down every single repetition like she did in the previous video

Difficulty Level

  • This was the hardest video from my challenge thus far. That may be due to the fact that I did a Butt Lift video prior to doing this one. There were no breaks, which was great, and by the end I was really feeling the burn. I’m looking forward to doing this video again and seeing if it gets any easier

Pro Tip

  • The mat work at the end feels long and repetitive (but the video is only 10 minutes, so really, it’s not). Push through the pain and you’ll be glad that you did! You can do almost anything for 60 seconds, right? I’m a little worried about how my butt will feel tomorrow though!
Day Four
30 Day Butt Lift: Day of Rest
  • I was surprised to see a day of rest so early in the challenge! However, JP somehow managed to get the flu earlier in the week despite it being over 30 degrees celcius in Southern Ontario. I managed to avoid getting sick…until today! Rather than workout for 11 minutes, I decided to take the day off and try to let my body heal. I actually did the workout below on Day Five in combination with the Butt Lift one. Unfortunately I wasn’t feeling better but I just plugged through it anyway
30 Day Fat Burn: Metabolic Booster

Instructor: Danielle Pascente

  •  See my comments under “Day One”
  • Danielle lost her entourage except for two people in the background. However, it was the same situation as with Astrid under “Day Three”

Difficulty Level

  • This is a repetitive circuit video (similar to Jillian Michael’s style). I find repetition very boring, but this video did get progressively harder in each circuit (such as regular squats the first time around and jumping squats the second time)
  • I was a hot mess at the end of this workout. I will have to compare how I feel the next time I do the video to see if my reaction was due to illness or actually being challenged

Pro Tip

  • Only one beginner modification is given, so work at your own pace and level. You can drop your knees for the planks and stay higher with the squats if you have to. I suggest trying everything the usual way first (even if you only make it through a couple of repetitions) and then modifying as necessary. The one good thing about short videos is that you know they will end soon so you can really push yourself!
Day Five
30 Day Butt Lift: Butt Workout #3, Firm Extreme

Instructor: Alicia Marie

  • See my comments under “Day One”

Difficulty Level

  • This was a dancer inspired workout that was quite short even as far as short workouts go (under nine minutes). If I wasn’t sick, I would have probably done it twice
  • I like using a chair in my workouts. If you don’t, then you probably won’t like this video (or a few others in the series)
  • A stretch is included in the video, which is a bonus

Pro Tip

  • This workout tests your balance! Try the moves without holding on to the chair and only drop your hands if you need to. My balance sucks after having back surgery, so I try hard to work on it whenever I can

30 Day Fat Burn: Day of Rest

  • Again, I was surprised to see a day of rest of early in the program. I don’t think an intermediate/advanced person would feel the burn doing just a single video but it would probably be enough for a beginner
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9 thoughts on “30 Day Fitness Challenge: Week One Summary

  1. wowie. that’s a lot. is the butt the only thing your’e planning on working on? or did you want to tone something else too? i mostly want to stop feeling like a weakling when i pick up the groceries.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am working on my whole body essentially. I found the butt challenge on YouTube, so I decided to start there! If I get bored with my workouts, I tend to stop doing them. Changing them up and making a challenge for myself *should* keep me motivated.

      Like

      1. i agree with you there! i just find anything where i feel like i’m actually working out to be super duper dull… which is why i’d rather do something that i find fun and brings out my competitive spirit and then i don’t even know i’m being active! have you checked out the stava app? it’s pretty nifty if you decide to get walking, running or cycling.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I haven’t heard of the stava app but I will check it out if I can. I confess I’m still using a BlackBerry (I need the keypad!) so my app selection is limited. I may be upgrading my phone (and downgrading my keypad) in September though.

        I worry about spending so much time sitting due to work so I’m looking into getting a set of pedals for under my desk! It would be cool to track my progress. They also have a stepper and elliptical for under your desk that you can use while sitting down. That should help with some of the “sitting is the new smoking” damage!

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