30DS day two: I’ve been experiencing ongoing deleterious side effects from my NYE indulgence. I mention this because I woke up feeling digestively terrible, which was only compounded by my extreme soreness from 30DS day one. My thighs and lower back were screaming at me as I creaked out of bed, called in to work, and crawled back into bed with the heating pad.
Much later in the day and with a couple of small safe meals in my stomach – and goulash on the stove – I took on day two. Most people who blog, tweet, or otherwise discuss 30DS online refer to their workouts by the level – L1, L2, L3 – and the day of their workout – so today for me was L1D2. And L1D2 wasn’t quite as hard as L1D1, despite being quite sore. In fact, I kicked its ass.
Day three was a different story, mostly because I decided to switch up to L2 to give my muscles a break from the repetition of L1. Here’s the thing: most workout programs build in days for recovery, or switch up activities throughout the program so that you’re not exhausting – or injuring – muscle groups through overwork. This is one thing that concerns me about 30DS: doing the exact same workout 10 days in a row seems like you’re asking for injury. Discussion on the Sparkpeople forums seems to indicate that the levels were designed to be done as a part of a workout program, rather than as a stand-alone program – however, this doesn’t seem to be how 30DS is typically done.
Which brings me to a second concern: the packaging for 30DS advertises that you can lose up to 20 pounds in 30 days! If you’re doing the workout on 30 consecutive days – as seems to be typical – the advertisement would make it seem like you should be losing about half a pound per day. In order to do that, you’d be burning/cutting 1750 calories per day.
Now, let’s do some math here. I arbitrarily used Calorie Count to calculate the number of calories that I need to maintain my body weight. I’m 30 years old, 5’10”, and (after the holidays, ugh) weigh 164 pounds. In order to get the lowest value, I indicated that I was sedentary – basically, I sit on my ass all day and never exercise. 50% of that is true for me, by the way, and probably for most of you as well. According to Calorie Count, I need to eat 1853 calories per day to maintain this weight. This basal metabolic rate (BMR) calculator backs me up. Remember: in order to lose 1/2 pound of fat per day, you’d have to cut 1750 calories per day. So for me to lose 1/2 pound of fat per day with 30DS as my only exercise, I should be eating around 353 calories per day.
The point of this story is that I wish those claims were qualified in some way. If you’re dramatically overweight, starting an exercise program for the first time, and also starting a diet, it’s possible that you could lose 20 pounds in 30 days. It would not be possible for me to lose 12% of my body weight in 30 days without extreme measures like perhaps cutting off a limb AND ALSO doing 30DS. My expectations are somewhat more realistic. And L2 kicked my ass in a serious way. I’m going back to L1 on Wednesday, and I’m thinking I might take Friday off.