I’ve started the Jillian Michaels Body Revolution program at least five times. The farthest I got was right around two years ago when I made it to the 7th week and then went to Dallas for a few days and lost all progress (OK, I gave up). It’s a 12-week, 6-phase program (she calls it a 3-phase program but I disagree). It’s supposed to be 6 days a week – strength 1, strength 2, cardio, repeat all 3, take a rest day, start over. You do that for two weeks, then move onto strength 3, strength 4, but still do the same cardio workout. It isn’t until week 5 that you get a new routine routine, and for me, that was a dealbreaker. The cardio is SO boring. I mean, it’s tough, but you repeat the same 10 cardio bursts (60 seconds each) three times, so doing that 8 times in one month is really freaking boring. I know I’ve lost you by now, so just take my word for it that the cardio is boring.
So, I decided to use the strength workouts to supplement my running. On Jillian’s cardio runs, I skip her workout and run instead.
People spend around $100 on the DVDs, but they’re now available on YouTube. And thanks to my dear brother bear, who gave me a Roku for Christmas, I can play the workouts right from my TV in my bedroom (sorry downstairs neighbors. Actually, not really. Your dog’s howling and TV blaring doesn’t even come close to me working out for 30 minutes after work or in the middle of the day on a weekend).
When I first started this program, I couldn’t figure out how many calories I was burning. I tried Googling it, I tried using all sorts of calorie databases, but then I learned that it varies greatly from person-to-person. I clearly had no idea how calorie burn really worked. So I kept doing research and everything told me I needed a heart rate monitor. Again, didn’t know much because I thought I could just buy one of those little watches. Well, you can, but you also need the chest strap that actually tracks your heart rate for the entire workout, and calculates the calories burned.
Pretty complex, so you can imagine why these things can run $100-$200. However, I wasn’t willing to spend that kind of money so I found a Pyle Sports heart rate monitor that seemed to fill the bill – and my budget. It’s ugly and huge and clunky, but it does what I need it to do. The heart rate is always spot on (I became very good at manually measuring my own heart rate when I had tachycardia for four years), so I trust it.
I average around 250 calories for a 36-ish minuted workout, and that includes warming up and cooling down. I imagine this will get higher as the workouts get more intense, or maybe not because I’ll be in better shape. We’ll see.
Well, Monday was supposed to be a run day and Tuesday my day off. However, we got 26 inches of snow Monday night into very late Tuesday, and most sidewalks still aren’t cleared and roads are down to one lane with HUGE snowbanks, so I decided running wasn’t a good idea. Instead, I took Monday off and my workout on Tuesday was digging out my car. It was a very light, fluffy snow so I only burned 351 calories in the hour it took me to dig out, but you’ll see in the last photo from this morning that I’m plowed in again, so I’ll have to spend some more time shoveling after work in addition to Workout 1.
9 p.m. Monday:
9 a.m. Tuesday:
1 p.m. Tuesday:
6 p.m. Tuesday:
7 p.m. Tuesday (I cleared the top, back, front and one side of my car as much as I could, then moved it so the snow on the other side would just fall down, then cleared my spot and moved my car back):
6 a.m. Wednesday – not cool, plows!
6 p.m. Wednesday: