Jillian Michaels’ 30-Day Shred

Posted: October 25, 2011 in DVD Reviews

Yes, I know, Jillian again. The girl’s got a lot of DVDs on the market and since she’s called “America’s toughest trainer,” I constantly seek out to prove that. I still don’t think I agree with that label, but this DVD made me respect her more as a trainer, for sure.

*NOTE: This DVD’s claim that you can lose 20lbs. in 30 days is major. How does one do this? By eating a strict, clean diet and working out every day. Yes, every day. That’s a lot of weight to lose in 30 days, so don’t be fooled!

Jillian Michaels’ 30-Day Shred

Don't worry, her abs don't look quite as good as that in the DVD. *Cough* Airbrushing *Cough*

Where I Got This DVD: A friend
Length: Approx. 75 min.
Workouts: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3, each about 25 min. long
Instructor: Jillian Michaels
Team: Anita (modifier) and Natalie

*Note: I recommend having two sets of hand weights—light ones (3s) and heavier ones (5s or 6s). Each level consists of three circuits, each of which consists of three parts: 3 min. of strength moves, 2 min. of cardio, and 1 min. of ab work. The strength part is broken up so the first 30 sec. is one single-movement move followed by 1 min. of a combination move. This
is repeated twice to make 3 min. The cardio portion is broken up into 30 sec. bouts—two moves, two times through.

Level 1:

  • Starts with a warm-up: big arm movements, jumping jumps, hip and knee circles (little different)—no static stretching, WOO! She actually talks about why you shouldn’t do static stretching before a workout.
  • Circuit 1: Strength = pushups (single move) and squats with shoulder presses (combo move—hello, shoulders already!); Cardio = jumping jacks and jump rope; Abs = regular and reverse crunches
  • Circuit 2: Strength = upright row and lunge with bicep curl; Cardio = butt kicks and alternating punches in a squat position; Abs = cross crunches
  • Circuit 3: Strength: chest flies and side lunge with anterior shoulder raise (whoa, ouch!); Cardio: a combo of all the previous cardios; Abs: bicycles
  • Cool down static stretching

Level 2:

  • Starts with a warm-up similar to Level 1, only a few new moves through in to get you warmer, faster.
  • Circuit 1: Strength = walking pushups and squatted wide row (oww… I had to switch to lighter weights for the second minute); Cardio = high knees and squat thrusts; Abs: one-leg crunches
  • Circuit 2: Strength = static lunge with rear row and pendulum lunges with hammer curls; Cardio: oblique twist jumps and skater lunges; Abs: pendulum legs with weights up and double crunches
  • Circuit 3: one-leg military presses with leg extension (balance challenge!) and chair squat with V-press (this was the hardest 3-min. combo yet!); Cardio: plank jacks and double jump rope; Abs: plank twists
  • Cool down static stretching

Level 3:

  • A slightly harder/higher impact warm-up.
  • Circuit 1: Strength = walking plank and supermans; Cardio: mountain climbers and squat bounces; Abs = pike crunches (needed to show Natalie first instead of Anita—you end up doing the modified version for half the time!) and scissor crunches—this was the toughest circuit yet!
  • Circuit 2: Strength = squat with press and jumping lunges (they burned!); Cardio = punches with weights, butt kicks with weights, and jumping jacks with weights; Abs = FULL crunches, Rocky-style
  • Circuit 3: Strength = traveling pushups and plank row with leg raise (holy cow, this set was super tough); Cardio = squat jumps and rockstar jumps (heels to butt); Abs = side plank raises
  • Cool down static stretching

Instructor: Jill is much more tolerable in this DVD than I’ve felt she’s been in her past stuff. She doesn’t make any awkward comments of break into random laughter, which I appreciated. In fact, she was really good about explaining why you were doing each move and the structure was how I like to plan my own sessions, so it felt comfortable.
Moves: Pretty good. They got progressive more difficult with wider ranges of motion.
Best Workout: Level 3, more specifically Circuit 1
Worst: Level 1, Circuit 3 – I didn’t agree with her when she said to lift your arms to eye level during the anterior raise.
Intensity Level: Borderline-Intermediate to Advanced (I wouldn’t recommend for super beginners)
Buy It?: Actually, yeah. I think this is a good workout because not only is each about 20 min. long, minus the warm-up and cool down, you can mix and match the segments if you want to get creative. Like I said above, I think the 3-2-1 structure is great because it truly is the most effective way to burn calories and get lean. As for the moves, I like them for the most part, especially because none of them were repeated. The only thing that could have been improved is the cardio segments—I think she could have gotten a little ore creative there. This workout is good for someone on the beginner/intermediate side because it gives a set structure with plenty of modifications as well as a great setup for improvement. For more advanced exercises, this is also a pretty good workout because Level 3 really is tough, especially if you’re done Levels 1 and 2 before it. Doing all three workouts back-to-back-to-back makes for solid hour-long workout full of plenty of strength and just enough cardio to keep things moving.


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