Jen Selter is just about as famous as a non-Hollywood celebrity can be. She has almost 11 million followers on Instagram, mostly because of her famous butt. Yes, you read that right: 11 million purely based on her hot physique.
Jen has used her Insta-fame to become an entrepreneur, and her latest endeavor was to create a four-week-long workout challenge for anyone who wants to look like she does. In the interest of experiential journalism, I decided to try it out. Here's how my first week went.
Note: I'm not including pictures of myself throughout the challenge. Although I will write about any physical changes I notice, I think everyone's fitness journey is unique, and I wouldn't want to encourage unnecessary visual comparisons.
So technically, I didn't start Selter's plan on day one. Since her workout schedule consists of four days of exercises plus one of cardio, I wanted to add in another day of cardio and give myself only one rest day at the end of the week. (This addition is a personal choice—two rest days is totally acceptable on the plan.)
The workout starts with approximately a five-minute (depending on your speed) warm-up. It consists of 30 jumping jacks, 12 squats, 15 walking lunges and 20 high knees—then repeat.
The main portion of the workout is composed of two parts. Part A is a cycle, which is to be repeated four-five times. I chose to do just four reps because I was recovering from food poisoning and didn't want to overwhelm myself on day 2. The cycle consists of 10 push-ups, 25 air squats, a 30-second plank, 20 mountain climbers and 25 sit-ups. I modified the mountain climbers to jumping jacks since I have an injured hip—and the jumping jacks achieved a similar goal by still keeping my heart rate up.
Selter suggests taking a five-minute break at this point in the cycle before diving into Part B. This one consists of setting a two-minute timer and doing as many push-ups as you can, followed by another two minutes of air squats to kickbacks.
After all of that, be sure to stretch out—you'll thank yourself in the morning when you're getting ready for Day 3.
I woke up with sore arms, but otherwise ready for the next workout. Day 3 consists of repeating the warm-up from the day before, then setting a 20-minute timer and completing as many sets of the following as possible: 10 burpees, 25 step-ups with shoulder presses, 30 mountain climbers, 60 jumping jacks and 60 air squats.
I decided to swap out the mountain climbers again to avoid further injury, so I chose to do 90 jumping jacks here instead. I got through two sets in the 20 minutes, then finished up with some stretching. The whole process only took about 40 minutes.
I left the gym with sore glutes, but otherwise not particularly satisfied. Sure, I was sweaty, but my whole body wasn't aching the way I generally like it to after a gym session.
Selter designates this as a cardio day, suggesting 30-45 minutes of cardio preceded and followed by stretching. I chose 30 minutes on the ArcTrainer machine, which clocks in at about 350 calories and pretty much works your full body. At this point in the week, I had worked out four days in a row and was feeling a little more sore than usual, but not exhausted.
I was a little disappointed in this day's workout. The whole thing, including warm-up and stretching, took about 35 minutes, and I finished feeling slightly tired but not like I'd been pushed. (Maybe my years as a varsity athlete had me more than prepared for Selter's challenge, but I'd still hoped for a bit more.)
The day starts with Selter's warm-up, then six rounds of four exercises: 15 air squats, 15 Russian twists, 10 burpees, and 15 donkey kicks on each leg. Six rounds may seem like a lot at first, but while going through the exercises, I wasn't really struggling to finish. The biggest thing I learned from this day's workout was that I should focus on my arms more—the push-ups involved in this cycle were the primary challenge.
This was my chosen rest day. I was a little sore, but nothing some stretching couldn't alleviate. Hoping a proclaimed "intense" month-long work out would have pushed me more, I found this pretty disappointing—c'mon, Jen. All hope was not lost, though, because I still had one day left in the week.
Last day of week one, and it was totally doable. I started out with the now familiar warm-up, then followed it up with one minute of push-ups and one minute of air squats. Another minute of each, then onto Part B.
Part B consisted of setting a timer for 14 minutes and going through as many sets of the following exercises as possible: a 20-second plank, 15 jumping squats, another 20-second plank, 30 bicycle sit-ups, a 20-second plank again and 45 jumping jacks. I almost got through three rounds, each round taking me about five minutes. The whole thing took about half an hour, including stretching time.
Overall, I was surprised that week one of Selter's challenge wasn't harder. Yes, working out six days a week was tiresome, but I wasn't feeling completely exhausted after the workouts, and they definitely didn't take up too much time in my day.
Even so, I can report that I was feeling good at the end of the week. Week 1 seems an effective and manageable way to fit in a workout with a busy schedule. Though I'm not all that impressed, I'm not giving up either—keep checking the Spoon Wash U page to see my thoughts after each week of Selter's workouts.