On Becoming A Shredhead

Last Wednesday, I was on the treadmill at the smaller of the two health clubs where I’m an instructor, the one where I’ve worked for almost 14 years in many different capacities. The group fitness director (who is really just a personal trainer with the title) came up to me–during my own private workout time–and bluntly said, “We’re cutting your Saturday spin class.”

What? First of all, could you wait until I’m off the treadmill? Second, how about a little intro sentence, like “Hey Melisa!” or “How’s it going? I have something to tell you.”

I have taught this class for six years, and before I taught it, I was a participant in it for about five. The reason they’re cutting it is not me personally, but overall club usage has dwindled to a drip-drop on the weekends. The club is located in an office building and the location does not lend itself, really, to busy weekends. They are taking my class–the only weekend class–off the schedule. I personally think it’s a stupid move, one which alienates people who might want the class available on the weekends. But I’m not in charge.

Oh, did I mention that they were not even going to let me teach it one more time, to announce to my class MYSELF that there would be no more Saturdays*? After much begging and nagging, they let me teach on Saturday for one last time. So at least that’s something.

I have always said that I would teach there until they don’t let me do it anymore; that day is coming quick. I have one weekly class left there, my Wednesday morning Heavy Metal class. I expect they will take that from me (as well as wipe out the entire class program) by the end of this year.

The silver lining in all of this? My body has been at a standstill for months, perhaps more than a year. (Well, THAT’S not the silver lining. Keep reading.) I have taught, for the past two years, between four and nine classes per week which sounds great until your body gets used to the same activity at the same time. I have needed to change things up for a while now. This Saturday thing has instigated a feeling of “Yes, I can absolutely make some great changes in my routine now!” (THERE it is!)

I read over at Andie’s place that she was considering trying Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred. I haven’t been able to get my mind off of it ever since, and I finally bought it over the weekend**. I’ve always said, since I started watching “The Biggest Loser”, that the thought of Jillian kicking my a$$ in a workout sounded heavenly to me (I’m weird, I know), so it was time to try the next best thing to training with her personally. There are 3 workouts (level 1, 2, and 3) contained on the one DVD. The workouts are ONLY 20 MINUTES LONG (plus warmup and cooldown: total=25 minutes!). You read that right. What better length of workout could there be for someone like me who is always in a time-crunch? But seriously, 20 minutes? How effective could that be? Before beginning yesterday, I thought, “Eh, I’ll see what level 1 is like; I’ll probably be able to skip it because it won’t be very difficult. (The thing I don’t like about the DVDs that I’ve purchased in the past is that, although they can be “fun”, I don’t feel like I get much out of them, really. They are mostly geared towards non-exercisers who need to get started on something.)

This DVD? Holy crap. I consider myself pretty fit, and Level 1 kicked my booty to the moon and back. I was sweating like a pig, so to speak. After a 20-minute workout. Yesterday afternoon I was sore in my waist (which, honestly, I love) and I felt like I had been run over by a MINI Cooper. On Level 1. Day 1.

I became so excited that I went back to Andie’s post to see which other bloggers she named as trying this workout. I searched for “30 Day Shred” on Twitter and followed a couple of new folks who are doing it. I googled it. I found a blog about it, called “I’ll Stop the World And Shred With You”. I stuck it in my reader immediately and e-mailed them to let them know that I’d love to be on their list of Shredheads. I became a fan of it on Facebook. (GO BIG OR GO HOME)

Whining aside, I couldn’t wait to do it today. My plan? To really, really do it for 30 days straight and see if I can kickstart my metabolism. I don’t plan to get militant about my diet, but my desire to do well with this does provide a little inspiration to eat better.

Are any of you out there looking for a challenging workout program that you can do in the comfort of your own home and that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg? (The DVD costs between $9.99-$14.99, depending on where you get it, and you need a set of weights) Check out this video of various clips from the DVD if you need help making up your mind.

A word to the wise (or a warning, depending on how you look at it)? This is NOT for you if you are not serious about a tough workout. That’s all I’m sayin’.

If you ARE serious and plan to rush right out and get it, let me know! I’d love to keep in touch with others who are doing it***!

I have to go ice my waist now. Carry on!

*I am positive, after all my years in the health club industry, that for the most part, people in charge only think with part of their brain.

**NOTE: This is not a paid review of this DVD. This is just a post containing my honest, unsolicited thoughts about it. Thank you for your time and attention.

***I can’t remember what this footnote was going to be, but thanks to Colleen for noticing that it was missing! haha



  • Andie

    to answer your facebook question- NO, I haven’t started it yet. LOL

    But I plan on doing it. I’ll let you know my thoughts when I start. I’m debating whether or not I want to start right before I go on vacation. LOL

  • Kat

    huuuuuh I am outraged. What a rude way to tell you the class is being taken off the schedule. Really. What is it with people nowadays.

    The Shred – heard so much about it. I think I might have to look into that – though I am so out of shape that actually trying it might kill me ;=)

  • Dea

    I would LOVE it – except that about 95% of the moves I just saw? Can't do….stupid knees….>:(

    Hey – I for one am glad you still teach at MY club! 😀

  • Kristi Nommensen Dorson

    I’m definitely intrigued! I’m a little intimidated too though; I need to start a workout plan, and I have limited time…I’m 80 pounds overweight and at a fitness level of probably, oh, zero, lol. I am about ready to start tackling this weight and fitness problem of mine…do you think this is something a beginner could stick with, or would it kick my butt way too much? I like Jillian, and the time of the workout is perfect, and I am able-bodied. It’s cheap, I may as well give it a try, eh?

  • ♫ Spasm ♫

    loved this post! I totally feel the same way about liking the sore after.

    I did just 30 min of THE FIRM and I love it.

    that Gilad guy is non threatening until the next morning LOL

    sorry that your class got cut 🙁

  • Melisa with one S

    Andie: Hmm, that’s a tough one! If you’re more than a week out from vacay, I’d do it, and then pick it up again when you return. But that’s just me!

    Sandra: Let me know if you do! 🙂

    Kat: I’m certain you won’t DIE from it. I hope not, anyway! haha (Seriously, you wouldn’t.)

    Deanna: I know, the knees. I have to be very careful of mine. Old age, you know…

    Kristi: Hi! Thanks for stopping by! My opinion is that if you have the DRIVE to do it (obviously with a doctor’s clearance, as they say on the video!), you could stick with it. She doesn’t offer modifications for the jumping jacks (she says on the DVD, “I have 400-pound people doing jumping jacks…you have to work for the results!”) but I think if you absolutely had to modify them, you can (google “jumping jack modifications” if you’re not sure how to do them). Also, it looks to me like they are using 5-lb weights in the DVD. I use 5-lb weights and 8-lb weights (both, depends on the exercise), but if you’re a beginner I would start with something that is more like 3 lb weights. You want it to be difficult, but not so much that you quit. Keep me posted! xoxo

    Spasm! I have never tried the FIRM, but have heard awesome things about it! Gilad, though old-skool, is great but I hate all the commercials when I do his tv workouts. 🙂

  • melissa

    i’m buying it tomorrow!!
    i have to do something because my butt and my boobs are dragging on the floor!!
    i’ll be in pain. but pain is good. right??? it’s a good pain, right??

  • Colleen - Mommy Always Wins

    So where’s the *** footnote? 😉

    Luck to you…if my lack of posts in the weightloss/fitness blog haven’t been enough to tell you, not only am I off the bandwagon…I flipped the darn thing over!!!

  • JonnyTam13

    Now, this may be a stupid question, but is this video “guy friendly”? My wife has been looking for a good exercise to help shed the last couple of baby pounds so I’ve promised to work out with her. How many man points will I lose by doing this DVD? And the real question, is it worth it?

  • Birdie

    you exercise every day? You fiend…I do yoga like three times – a year 😛 I actually went to Walmart and spent mother’s day cash on a pilates dvd with bands included. It said ten minute work out so I figured it couldn’t be too hard. It wasn’t. ten minutes isn’t enough.
    Sorry they axed tour class so rudely. I loved your positive outlook though.

  • Melisa with one S

    Melissa: Your butt AND your boobs are dragging? Ugh. Poor thing. ha ha (I totally bet they’re not.)

    Colleen: Good eye! I’m such a dork; I don’t even remember what I was going to put there, so that’s what I put. 🙂 And don’t worry; I don’t think anybody has posted over at the other blog. Oh well…

    JonnyTam: Not a stupid question AT ALL. In my opinion, I think it IS guy friendly. And I have reasons. I know that guys *usually* don’t like choreography (yeah, there’s a rare one now and then, but for the most part…). As I wrote, I’ve only done the Level 1 workout, but I bet the other 2 are similar in “unisex-type” cardio. The cardio moves she does in Level 1 are: jumping jacks, “butt kicks” (where you jog and kick your own butt), boxing, and jumproping (w/ imaginary jumprope). The strength moves are great and EVERYBODY can use abs. I think, because she’s so famous for training women AND men, that it really would be good for either. In fact, I think not only will you NOT lose man points, but you might GAIN some man points! 🙂 And, do you mean is it worth the money or the time? I can’t speak for anyone besides myself, but after two days, FOR ME it is totally worth it.

    Birdie: Almost everyday. Probably more like 5-6 days/week. But with this DVD, yes, everyday. 🙂

  • Michelle

    Too funny… before I got into this post I was planning to ask what was up with that Sat class. And now I don’t have to. Pbbbbt to them.

    And I can see where IF YOU DID THIS RIGHT it would be totally painful. But I’m also the one in the classes who cringes watching people do things all wrong and not getting the benefit from it (or hurting themselves). If I could find a way to work it around my running, I’d really consider this one. It’s cheaper than I thought it would be. I’ll assume you paid the $9.99?

  • Bill

    Ahh, welcome to the wonderful world of Shred! I love, Love, LOVE this video.

    JonnyTam13, it’s guy friendly. First, it still kicks my butt. Second, it’s got good looking women to look at while you’re working out. Do you need a third reason? OK, third, there’s no dancy-type stuff involved. Just working out. 🙂

    And yeah, it works, even for guys. Check out the shredhead site mentioned in the post for before/after pics.

  • Bill

    Oops – I forgot to point out that I’m the “Bill Gookin” listed in the upper left of the shredheads site under “About Your Shredheads”. My pics are there…

  • Always a Southern Girl

    I probably won’t be trying Shred!! Because if it busted you it would kill me!

    I like Leslie Sansone, walk away the pounds.

    That stinks about your club cutting your class. Good luck

  • surprised mom

    Shredding? I admire you for doing it, but at this point in my life it would damage me permanently. Walking is as good as it gets for now.
    I don’t know what part of their anatomy the powers that be at the healthclub were thinking with, but cutting your class? Bad move. You did it right by hosting the last spin class and telling the participants face to face it was getting cut. How rude of the management to want to just cut it without having anyone explain in person what was happening. Good for you.
    Good luck with your new exercise routine!

  • Lindz

    I’ve been shreding off and on for over a year now. I am starting to get turned off of it because of the crazy hype and groups that have been formed for it. However, at the same time I am excited for those of you who are jumping on the bandwagon because it will never not kick your ass. 30 days in a row is the most painful thing you will ever experience which is why I now use it in combination with yoga, running, etc and do like 3 days a week. That being said, don’t be afraid to use it in doses and good luck!

  • mayberry

    Well that’s a bummer about your class being cut — but how great that it inspired you to try something new!

    You can even by a Shredheads t-shirt, ya know … just saying 😉

  • Melisa with one S

    Michelle: Of course I paid the $9.99! Silly. And you could totally work this into your running routine. It’s short enough! Maybe don’t do it daily but 3x per week? I don’t know.

    Bill: Thanks for coming by!

    Always a Southern Girl: I have always wondered what it would be like to do an in-home walking program (not on a treadmill). The only time I walk is outside, with the dog…

    Surprised Mom: I find that at my age (I hated typing that) I have to be really careful of my joints. Endurance-wise, I’m pretty good I guess.

    Weaselmomma: I think you should come over and try it.

    Lindz: That’s me, always late to any party. I had to chuckle when I read that you are “starting to get turned off of it because of the crazy hype and groups that have been formed”: that’s me! HIIII! ha ha

    Mayberry: I KNOW! I saw those shirts and they are very cool. I might get one someday, when I can fit it into my accessories budget! 🙂

  • Sue

    The shred or something else. Either or I am going to have to try something or you will be getting all the cat calls this summer and I am a little competitive like that! Haha!
    It is good that you always look for the silver lining!!

  • The Microblogologist

    I'm sticking with my water aerobics and my somewhat new "Fidget Workout". I don't think I saw a single move on that preview that I could safely do without much modification. By the time I'd get it modified enough it would probably not be worth doing. You should so add water aerobics to the routine, that way when I hopefully move back to Chitown you'll be ready to join me and/or teach it =)!

  • nycgirl0501

    Hands down my favorite workout. The only one that makes me feel like I work out. I was shocked too about how sore I was! Loved it!

    I've never done it for the 30 days straight but its been my go to workout whenever I needed it. I'm on Level 2 for about 2 months now and it still kicks my ass every time.