The Broke Girl’s Guide to Fitness: 30 Day Shred

Fitness 1

Doesn’t it seem like 90% of Instagram users have a personal trainer and a sponsorship deal with FitTea? We millennials are all about Fitspo, squats, and photographically documenting our #cleaneating – which is awesome.

Social media gives us the means to inspire (and maybe kind of inadvertently shame) each other with our accomplishments – but it can also make it really easy to overlook the line between the aspiration and the inspiration. Trainers, exclusive classes and expensive equipment aren’t necessarily within everyone’s means. Hell, for some of us, even a monthly gym membership is a little out of budget. And that’s okay! This doesn’t mean that good health and fitness aren’t still within our grasp. If you can get outside for twenty minutes and get your hands on something heavy-but-liftable, there is bound to be some way for you to get super strong.

As a fellow Broke Person, I’d like to help you figure out what that is! So starting this week with Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred, I’ll be taking a look at effective ways to work up a sweat at home and on the cheap.

Welcome to The Broke Girl’s Guide to Fitness!

Disclaimer: If you’re going to be working out at home and without the benefit of a trainer or instructor’s watchful eye, you need to be really mindful of your form. Watch out for your joints and spine in particular and remember that while feeling the burn is normal, sharp and sudden pain is not.


Jillian performing her 6 Week Six Pack program.


30 Day Shred with Jillian Michaels

All you really need to know about Jillian Michaels is that she’s a badass.  She’s been in the personal training business for over twenty years, but really started gaining recognition for her tough-love fast-results approach on the reality show Biggest Loser back in 2004. Since then, she’s been busy building her fitness empire and designing a ton of at-home regimes, of which 30 Day Shred is arguably the most popular (favoured by Jillian’s fans for its swift payoff!)

You perform the program for 30 consecutive days at twenty minutes per session, moving to the next of the three levels every ten days. The Shred combines cardio, strength and ab workouts for quick and intense circuit-training. Jillian coaches you merrily all the way through with constant encouragement (Don’t phone it in, buddy! You can do this! You’re stroooong!) This is alternately inspiring and maddening.  She also provides adjustments for your level of fitness so, in fact, if you really want to milk the program you could try doing it once through as a beginner and then returning after a thorough rest to perform the Shred as an expert! It is tough, there may be times that you feel like your heart is going to explode and you’ll be convinced that Jillian is trying to kill you – but you really can’t argue with the amazing results she gets.

Now, the 30 Day Shred isn’t actually free – the DVD is currently going for £5.99 on Amazon. The £5.99 is absolutely worth it for the service Jillian provides, but if you really can’t spare it, all three levels can be found on YouTube. And hey, if it works for you and you love the results, you can always invest in one of Jillian’s longer programs down the line.

What You’ll Need

Some hand weights you feel comfortable with (though a lot of fitness newbies have reported getting by happily with full water bottles!)

Try it if…

You want to get fit but don’t know where to start.

You have a holiday or special occasion coming up and you want to look and feel great.

You find it difficult to squeeze a workout into your schedule.

You don’t have a lot of space to work with.

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