Browsing the magazine rack, the covers scream of self-improvement:
"Drop a Jeans Size in Twenty One Days!!"
"Bikini Body in Three Weeks!"
"The Ten Minute Workout"
You begin to think: “Twenty one days? I could be a down a size by mid-terms! Bikini body in three weeks? Sign me up! Only a ten minute workout? I could use that as a study break!” And with magazine in hand, you approach the register, eager to kick off your new fitness regime.
But if these seemingly “easy” workouts give you a bikini body in three weeks, then wouldn’t more people be walking around with “washboard abs”?
After years of pondering this logic myself, I decided to test out the hottest workouts. This past month I picked up the September issue of Shape magazine. In general, Shape is an excellent magazine. It offers tips on staying healthy while trying to get fit. There are sections on health food, beauty care, and fashion. I won’t deny that every cover model has rippling abs and toned thighs but I will also say that they still look healthy. From what I have seen, the cover models just look like they workout a lot. There could be a cover with a more unnatural looking female; the majority though are just very fit woman with proportional body parts.
So I started the Skinny Jeans workout. It is a half an hour, three times a week workout with cardio of your choice on the other days. Since I am on the cross country team, I was still running every day. I also wasn’t exactly starting from scratch. I had some muscle from running during the summer and physical therapy. I had, however, stopped lifting due to injury.
After the first day I could barely move. I’m not joking; I had a hard time sitting down. Things took me longer at work because I couldn’t walk as fast. I had been running all summer! I don’t want to know what it would have been like if I hadn’t been running. The first week I was very sore and avoided situations that involved a lot of sitting down and getting up again. Seriously, once I sat down, I was down.
The next week started and I felt better. A little known secret about lifting is that when you start a new workout, it is really helpful to stick with a schedule. Each time you do the workout, you “loosen up” so to speak. It is similar to running or biking; you will be sore but the next workout helps alleviate the pain. Another thing about lifting, it is crucial that you give your body the right amount of rest. This workout was three times a week, every other day. Since lifting is actually tearing down your muscles and building them again, you need to give your body a break, but not too much or you will lose anything you gained.
By the end of week two I saw results. My legs looked stronger. I can see definition. My jeans slide on instead of me having to yank them up.
I have kept up the workout and it’s a keeper. The weight is light so it targets toning instead of bulking up which can be an obstacle with tradition lifts. I can’t say I’ve dropped a whole jeans size though as the cover claimed. This may be because I did have some leg strength from running. I also tried to eat healthy. Sure, I had desserts sometimes but I had a goal to eat better. And the soreness does subside. I feel strong and energized after I workout. So overall the Skinny Jeans Workout is worth the time.
The Workout Breakdown:
In this workout there are five supersets which take about thirty minutes to complete. For reference, a superset is doing two or more lifting exercises back to back. Supersets are key in workouts because you burn more calories by doing the exercises with no break. In between each superset there is a minute rest.
Superset One: The first exercise works your legs and butt. The second exercise works your legs, butt and core.
Superset Two: Exercise one works your legs, butt and core. Exercise two works your legs, inner and outer thigh, butt and core.
Superset Three: The first exercise focuses on your shoulders, back, chest, core, legs, and butt. The second exercise focuses on your legs and butt.
Superset Four: Exercise one works your legs, butt, and inner thighs. Exercise two works your legs and butt.
Superset Five: The first exercise works you legs, butt, and core. The second exercise works your outer thighs and legs.