This page will chart my progress through Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred!

I came across this workout in the Exercise TV section of Comcast’s On-Demand workout videos, and liked it so much that I decided to order the DVD and a set of three pound hand weights. Here I will provide frequent updates as I make my way through the 30 days.

I understand that miracles can’t happen in 30 days. And I am not necessarily beginning the program with a goal to lose weight. Rather, I have started the program with the hopes of maintaining the weight loss that I have achieved, maybe gaining a bit a of muscle/toning and to get myself healthier and in better shape (because I am quite out of shape!). My ultimate goal is that this program will be a jumpstart for more exercise this spring and summer (outside maybe!?) as the weather improves.

Maybe this sounds cheesy, but after losing 30 pounds, I really feel powerful and motivated! I feel like I can do MORE than I ever thought!

The program is divided into three workouts: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. The idea is to progress through the increasingly challenging circuits as your fitness level improves. Each workout is around 25-30 minutes, which includes a warm-up and cool-down. Each level moves through a series of “3-2-1” circuits, consisting of strength, cardio, and abs movements.

First I will you about my “Pre-Shred” days, which are the days I began trying the workout On-Demand, and then “Day 1” of the “actual” program is the day that I received the DVD in the mail.


Pre-Shred Day 1 Tues 2/15/11 – Shred Level 1 – Evening workout, using water bottles as hand weights. Video was very challenging! Was moderately sore the next day. Felt great after.

Pre-Shred Day 2Wed 2/16 – Shred Level 1 – Despite the soreness, repeated Level 1 after dinner. I was excited to do the workout. So very sore afterward. Extremely sore the next day! Especially in my quads.

Pre-Shred Day 3Thu 2/17 – Shred Level 1 – Did Level 1 workout again. Couldn’t push as hard through some of the moves since I was so sore! I could seriously barely walk up stairs without grimacing all day.

Pre-Shred Day 4Fri 2/18 – Day off. Too sore/no motivation on Friday night. Ordered the DVD on Amazon since it was running on out Comcast On-Demand soon.

Pre-Shred Day 5 Sat 2/19 – No shred. Worked on several weight machines with Jessica at her gym.

Pre-Shred Day 6 and 72/20 & 2/21. – Days off.


30 Day Shred – Official Start!:

Day 1Tues 2/22/11 –Shred Level 1. Got my DVD and 3 lb hand weights delivered from Amazon! Was actually looking forward to working out, and it felt great during and after, but was dreading the soreness the next day. But…

Day 2Wed 2/23 – Shred Level 1. Was only very mildly sore, mostly in my glutes! I was so surprised, I thought I would be in agony after using hand weights the first time. I was looking forward to my workout tonight, and repeated Level 1. The cardio segments feel like they are becoming slightly more manageable. But the bicycle crunches still make me want to scream and cry. In a good way.

Day 3Thurs 2/24 – Shred Level 1. Made it through. Only mildly sore before and after. Those glutes are getting a workout! Yowch! I also took my measurements today (arms, hips, etc.), which I may or may not post at the end and see if there is any difference.

Day 4 Fri 2/25 – Day off shredding. I have a feeling Friday will be my off days.

Day 5 Sat 2/26 – Shred Level 1. It just wasn’t fun today, I couldn’t get into it and it felt like torture the whole time. But I did stick through the whole workout. After the shred, I rode my stationary bike for 30 minutes (6.25 miles, hovered between 12-13 mph, working in two minute intervals of low-resistance and medium-resistance), while watching The Future of Food on Instant Netflix.

Day 6 – Sun 2/27 – Shred Level 1. Today felt infinitely better than yesterday! The workout didn’t feel like a chore and I really felt “in it” today, pushing myself to adapt proper form per Jillian’s tips. The two most difficult moves for me are still the bicycle crunches (the last minute of the last circuit!) and the side lunge with lateral arm raises. Today was the first time that I really noticed a bit of an improvement in my endurance during the cardio segments. In fact, I was feeling so great afterward, that I wanted to keep going, so I queued up a ten minute cardio workout on Comcast On-Demand (30 Day Jumpstart), and continued my workout. I’ve also noticed that the muscle groups that are getting sore seem to be a constantly evolving thing… The first few days (Pre-Shred) my quads were in agony!! For days 1-3 of shred, my glutes were pretty painful. Now I barely have any soreness in those areas, but it is now my calves that are sore (it is pretty mild). Doing well though!

Day 7Mon 2/28 – Shred Level 1 done. I was actually looking forward to the shred tonight. Is that weird? My knees are a bit sore today though, so I had to modify the side lunge with lateral arm raises. I think I am not strong enough to keep proper form and might be hurting my knees a little bit in that move. Otherwise, I am starting to feel much more confident that I’ll be ready to progress to level 2 in a few days! And by “more confident,” I mean “much less afraid,” but hey, that’s progress, amirite!? After the shred I also did 20 minutes on my stationary bike (around 4 miles), alternating between 2 minutes of low resistance and 4 minutes of medium resistance.

Day 8Tues 3/1 – Shred Level 1. Nothing too notable today, other than is it getting easier for sure! I’m really pushing myself to not slack off during the moves, mainly because I’m slightly afraid at what crazy-woman Jillian might have up her sleeves (er….bare and totally built arms..) in Level 2 in a couple days and I want to be READY. Also did 20 minutes on the bike afterward, like yesterday.

Day 9 – Wed 3/2 – Shred Level 1. Still at it! Though I did have to talk myself into shredding. These blog daily updates are great motivation – I feel like the whole world will know I slacked if I don’t shred (even though only 10 people might view this page today – haha.) But once I got going, as always, I was glad. Today seemed – dare, I say? – easy? Relatively speaking, of course. After Day 1 I kind of wanted to cry from exhaustion, but today I wanted to keep going. After I shredded, I did 47 minutes on my stationary bike (10.5 miles!), while watching a DVR’ed episode of Gossip Girl. I need to catch up on that show! I wasn’t pushing too hard because I was trying to bike for a long time. Is that what fitness people call stamina? I’m still a n00bie. Though I used to workout frequently the first couple years of college! ..Spent many an hour studying biopsych notes on the bikes at the IM building!

I basically have Level 1 memorized, so today I nearly muted Jillian, and instead was rocking out to this playlist, which highly improved the experience as well! FYI – I titled this playlist “SHRED, beyotch” in iTunes.


Day 10Thur 3/3 – Shred Level 1. My last day at Level 1. Next time I shred, I plan to try Level 2! I also did 15 minutes on on the stationary bike, for kicks.

Day 11 Fri 3/4 – Off day.

Day 12Sat 3/5– Shred Level 2. I’m unhappy to say that I was quite disappointed by Level 2. I really did NOT like it! I really liked Level1 because none of the moves required a great degree of coordination (which I highly lack) but were still very user-friendly yet effective moves (i.e., jumping jack! push-ups! I can do those!). However, in Level 2, I found myself staring, baffled, at the screen shouting “WHAT THE [insert your favorite four-letter word]!?!?!” over and over because I could NOT figure out how to do the move. Also, some of the moves were just WAYYYY too hard to physically attempt for someone like me (due to lack of sheer brute strength), yet the modified moves were way too easy to even remotely challenge me.” Some of the strength moves I just am not strong enough to do, and instead I end up hurting things like my ankle or lower back instead of giving the intended muscles a workout. Perhaps I need lighter weights for some of the moves (mine are 3 lbs.). Ended the workout feeling extremely frustrated. I’ll try it again and hopefully it will get better. I also spent about 3 hours walking around Kohl’s and the mall which was not a bad workout! I am a power-shopper.

Day 13Sun 3/6 – Shred Level 2. Much better today, now that I knew what I was getting myself into! I was quite worn out by the end – which is a good thing. I wore tennis shoes for the first time, which helped immensely with several of the moves performed in plank position in Level 2. But still wore my PJ pants. Smile


Day 14Mon 3/7 – Shred Level 2. Yup, I did it! I’m starting to like Level 2 better.

Day 15Tue 3/8 – Shred Level 2. I did it, it was tough tonight. I’ve had a pretty bad headache most of the day and I just couldn’t push myself through some of the moves like I usually can. But I did it!

Day 16 Wed 3/9 – Shred Level 2. I’m gettin’ there. Since Day 13, I’ve started actually wearing tennis shoes, and starting on Day 14, I began wearing gym shorts instead of fleece PJ pants (was just getting way too sweaty), and so, after having gone to all the trouble to change into all that, I wanted to keep working out afterward, so after completing the Level 2 Shred, I found another Jillian workout On-Demand, and did about 20 minutes of the 6 Week Six-Pack workout (completed the first of two circuits, and the warm-up!). It was tough, but I loved the constantly changing moves every 30-60 seconds – kept things interesting, much like the Shred.

Day 17 and Day 18 (March 10 and 11) – Off days.

Day 19 Sat 3/12 – Shred Level 2. Plus I will be dancing at The Bang! tonight – hopefully lots of calorie burnage!

Day 20 Sun 3/13 – Shred Level 2. Confession: I stopped 4 minutes early. I wasn’t feeling it tonight. It just was not fun. And I was feeling nauseous by the end. Several times throughout the workout I yelled out (to no one in particular): “I don’t wanna do this!” So I stopped early. And felt like a fail. I should have just listened to my tired body (that went to bed at 5:00 AM this morning) and given myself an off day. I don’t feel ready to move onto Level 3 tomorrow as I can still barely do Level 2. I may try it out, just for kicks, but I will probably delay moving onto Level 3. I plan to continue shred workouts after 30 days’ worth, so it’s okay in my book to extend the number of each days I do each level. On a positive note, I really do feel that my arms (/biceps?) are becoming stronger. How’s my arm lookin’? (Picture taken yesterday):


Day 21Mon 3/14 – Shred Level 3. Yup, I tackled Level 3 today! Oh my word, I like Level 3 SO much better than Level 2! Level 2 is evil. I totally killed it today. I was honestly amazing myself as I was doing full-fledged sit-ups without stopping. And actual non-modified push-ups! I feel strong now! I was feeling so great about myself afterward that I did 42 minutes (about 9 miles) on my stationary bike, while watching the DVR’ed pilot episode of Real World: Las Vegas, and I really pushed myself the whole time, too. Afterward I told the huz that I feel “amazing.” Huge self esteem boost. Smile

Day 22Tue 3/15 – Shred Level 3 – Did did it again. Phew my legs were stiff today!

Day 23Wed 3/16 – Shred Level 3 – I am getting serious rug burn on my elbows and knees with Level 3!! I had to put a fleece blanket beneath my joints for a few of the moves today. Phew! After the shred, for kicks, I popped on a random 10 minute cardio workout On-Demand. It was pretty lame. Even I thought it was too easy. Jillian is getting me in shape!

Day 24 Thu 3/17 – Shred Level 3 – Yep, a St. Patty’s day shred. I was pushing myself to try to do the non-modified moves whenever possible, and to also complete the moves at the same pace as Jillian. Phew, so hard to keep up with in the cardio circuit with weights. Shadow boxing with weights and jumping jack with weights – yikes! Ever single time I swear I am going to accidentally throw one of my hand weights throw the window. Hasn’t happened though – yet.

Day 25Fri 3/18 – Off Day.

Day 26Sat 3/19 – Off Day. I intended to shred today, but just didn’t get around to it. But, I did spend several hours running around the house, up and down stairs a million times, cleaning! That must count for something?

Day 27Sun 3/20 – First I did Shred Level 3, and then after that I did Shred Level 1. Feelin’ pretty BA. After I completed Level 3, I thought I would just go a few extra minutes by doing the first of three circuits in Level 1. Once that was done, I told myself, ‘hey, let’s do one more circuit’ (6 minutes), and after that I just told myself, ‘okay, let’s go big or go home. let’s just do this.’ And I did it.

Day 28Mon 3/21 – I got all my workout gear on, started doing Level 3 warm-up and then realized I was WAY too sore to make it through! I think I overdid it by double-shredding yesterday. I was in the mood to work up a sweat, but not wanting to do the strength moves in the shred due to soreness, so instead, I flipped off the DVD and instead hopped on my stationary bike and did 42 minutes of cycling (while watching Real World on my DVR). Better than nothing, right?

Day 29Tue 3/22 – I did Level 3 tonight!

Day 30Wed 3/23 – Level 3 DONE! Still tough, even on Day 30, for sure!

Post-Shred Conclusions:

  • Pride: I’m so proud of myself for getting my booty up off the couch and making it through the full 30 days! The first few days were rough and I was extremely sore, but the soreness subsided dramatically after the first few days. Though I didn’t shred every single day, I still think I did very well – 24 out of 30 days.
  • Finding Time: Forcing myself to pop in the DVD every night for a month has gotten me into the habit of working out nightly. I am totally a creature of habit and have certain “routines” every day, and doing the 30 Day Shred allowed me to find a chunk of time in my daily schedule to devote to exercise every day that I hope to continue. I found that working out about an hour after dinner each night is the best time for me. I’m just not a morning person! And I also am not a huge fan of working out on a completely empty stomach.
  • Mood and Energy: I’ve truly been feeling so well, and have noticeably more energy. I feel strong! I also feel a huge mood boost after working out each night.
  • Measurements: Before I began the 30 Day Shred, a few times throughout, and then at the end, I took several body measurements to see if I would have any changes, and I’m on the fence as to whether I think any dramatic measurement changes actually occurred. I measured my biceps, thighs, upper waist, lower waist, and hips throughout the shred. The thing is, it’s so easy to pull the measuring tape slightly more taut or measure in a slightly different location and get an inconsistent measurement (which is why I measured several times throughout the 30 days, rather than once before and once after.) All in all, if anything, I think my bicep may have gotten slightly larger, going from about 10.5” to about 10.75” at the widest part. I’ll take you out, foo! And possibly my upper waist may have shrunk 1/4” – 1/2” as well (going from a little over 28” to a little under 28”, if you must know), while my other measurements seemed pretty consistent before, during, and after the 30 days.
  • Weight: I didn’t start the 30 Day Shred to lose weight (as I’ve already lost weight, and am basically at/pretty close to my goal weight/healthy weight, but I wanted to get in better shape and add some muscle tone. However, I continued my healthier eating and loosely continued to count calories as I have been for the last ten months or so, and it seems I’ve lost about 2-3 pounds in the last 30 days, though, as is usual, my weight fluctuates quite a bit day to day.


  • Future: I LOVE Jillian Michaels’ workouts! On Day 29 I ordered her new DVD, Ripped in 30! Excited to continue working out with Jillian, and who knows what else I may try as the weather gets warmer this spring!

Check back for more updates!

Feel free to leave comments discussing experiences you’ve had with the 30 Day Shred, etc.!

26 thoughts on “Shred

  1. awesome! I’m excited to follow your progress! I had decent success with the challenge before … even though I only got through 2/3 of it. I keep thinking I should get back in the swing of things … maybe I will make that my mini March goal. 🙂

  2. What a great idea! I love following your progress, and this page just illustrates once again your amazing organizational skills (ok, obsession!) 😉 Great job!

  3. Hey! I just ‘officially’ started the shred today – after a bout of procrastination. I’m getting married in July – so this is my route to getting fit! Good luck to you as well!

    • So awesome! Good luck! I might suggest not being too frustrated by soreness the first few days.. I was sooo sore after the first couple days, but eventually the soreness subsided and I’m only mildly sore and doing better. 🙂

  4. Lol, Momma Behrendt, you put a question mark as if you’re not sure! lol, just kidding. you’re so skinny! obviously i’m so envious- considering i’m going to the gym EVERYDAY and only lost 7lbs (i still have to weigh myself today) so far. my brothers (ugh, sick) both got “shredded” by using P90X so I guess I’m gonna start doing that too. I have ‘Break the Ice’ on my ipod as well! B.Spears kicks L.Gaga tushy 😉 Keeping PG. when i move closer i’m gonna start copying your recipes and see if that will help.

    • From personal experience, I find calorie calorie counting to be extremely more effective for weight loss than exercise alone. I’ve never lost weight solely from exercising – but that’s me. I only started exercising as a means to tone up now that I’ve achieved my goal(-ish) weight. Keep in mind 1 lb = 3500 calories, so 7 lbs is respectable.

  5. way to go. 🙂 I’ve heard level 3 is infinitely better than level 2. I started doing level 1 on Monday, but I still felt sore from my long run the day before, so I stopped after a few minutes. maybe one of these days I’ll actually make it my goal and stick to it. 😉

    • Oh, the rumors are true! I don’t care if I ever do Level 2 again, but I can totally see myself continuing with Level 1 and 3 after the 30 days. Best of luck to you! My long-term goal this year is to try out running myself, so we’ll see how that goes!

  6. I skimmed your progress and am sort of glad that someone else was sore after only two days lol! It’s hard to imagine that I can give 100% if my body is so achy but I’m determined to stick with it. Wish me luck! 🙂

    • Thanks for checking it out! I was most sore the first 3-4 days, in fact! I definitely can relate to that – the first few days I felt hindered by my inability to give it my all due to soreness, but now that I’ve been sticking to it the soreness has truly decreased dramatically. I know only feel mild soreness – enough to let me know I’m doing SOMETHING! Good luck!!!

  7. Hey Meg , AMAZING blog u have here 🙂 I am starting 30day shred and i have 5lb dumbbells. I can do the reps but the last 2 i am struggling!! should i switch to lower weights ie 3lb?? did you alternate weights through out the 30days?? Thanks xxxx

    • Hi Jenna! Thank you so much! During my initial 30 days of the 30 Day Shred, I used solely 3 pound weights, but I had very limited prior experience using weights. After the first 30 days, I then invested in a pair of 5 lb weights, and to this day, I now try to use the 5lbs for all the moves, but there are a few moves that I find I cannot perform using the 5 pounders, and in that case I have been known to reduce to the 3 pounders. So yes, now I do alternate between the two different weights for some moves. Basically, I try to use the weights that allow me to perform all the reps, but still experience that “burnt out” feeling by the end of the move! Hope that helps.

  8. Great updates! I just started this program yesterday and I thought I was going to die. I have been fairly active my entire life, but for the last 5 months or so, I’ve done nothing but stare at a computer screen. So this seemed like it would be a good start. Now I know it is! Thanks for this!

  9. Happy you found success! I started shredding yesterday and first off (I’m not new to exercise, just been out for a while so I’ve started at home now) I noticed she didn’t stretch much in the Level 1 (haven’t done the others yet). So I think I’ll be pairing it with some yoga (not her Yoga Meltdown). I wasn’t too sore today, so either I’m fitter than I thought, or I didn’t push myself enough 😦 I’m hoping it’s the former because the only parts I struggled with were the jump rope (never had strong calves) and the push-ups (upper body strength fails me all my life lol).

    My thighs and calves are a little sore today, was planning to do yoga tonight but might do another shred 🙂

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