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I get the feeling I'm going to start writing Jillian Michaels reviews the same way I used to do Buffy and Britney ones...IN BULK! Seriously though, I think it's a testament to my total body transformation that not only did I buy seven of her DVDs, continue to use them consistently for the last four months (without getting bored), I now feel moved to rave about them on the internet. Sorry if I end up sounding like a commercial, I promise that is not the case.
WHAT IS THIS DVD?
After much success with the 30 day shred I was looking for some variety, and also some longer workouts that I could do on the weekend when I had more time. I really liked the combination of cardio and strength training in Shred, so I decided to purchase this is combination with her other DVD, 'Banish Fat Boost Metabolism'. The reason for the double purchase is that unlike Shred, which mixes both cardio and resistance/strength moves in the 3-2-1 system, this DVD focuses pretty much only on strength moves, and is a perfect partner to the cardio focused Banish Fat.
WHAT DO I NEED?
A pair of dumbells are crucial. Use whatever weight you are comfortable with, being aware that a single weight might not be appropriate for every exercise. My 1kg dumbells kill me in the first shoulder circuit but barely do anything in the bicep circuit.
A mat is useful if you want one but not essential. There are a few circuits on the floor and it may be more comfortable for you.
WHAT IS THE FORMAT?
Instead of 3 levels, this is a single 45 minute workout comprised of a 5 minute warm up, 7 ~6 minute circuits, each of which focus on different body parts using compound moves, and a cool down.
The circuits themselves consist of 5 moves, done for 30 seconds, and then repeated. Mercifully, there are no 1 minute moves in this once, which is what destroyed me in Shred. Even the hardest moves are over quickly. Do not however, think that this makes it easier, as anyone who has done chair squats tricep kickbacks can attest to!
The DVD allows you to play either the full workout or choose a circuit. The circuits are helpfully named by body part in the menu so you can remember which one is which if you're looking to focus on a certain area. They mostly work two main muscle groups at a time, usually one in the upper body and one in the lower body. According to Jillian, combining muscle groups in this way helps increase calorie burn.
The circuits are as follows:
Circuit 1 - Shoulders and Legs
- Squat and shoulder press
- Chair squats with anterior raise
- Back lunges with shoulder raise - left leg
- Back lunges with shoulder raise - left leg
- Press outs
Circuit 2 - Chest and Core
- Chest press with crunch
- Chest fly with leg raise
- Bicycle crunches
- Push ups
Circuit 3 - Biceps and Butt
- Deadlift with hammer curl
- Static squat with concentration curl
- Alternate lunge with wide grip bicep curl - left leg
- Alternate lunge with wide grip bicep curl - right leg
- Side lunge with bicep curl
Circuit 4 - Thighs and Triceps
- Chair squat with tricep kickback
- Sumo squat with French press
- Crescent with tricep lifts
Circuit 5 - Core
- Double crunches
- Twisting plank
- Plank with toe tap - left
- Plank with toe tap - right
- Windshield wipers
Circuit 6 - Upper Body and Core
- Plank rows
- Hip raises left
- Hip raises right
Circuit 7 - Lower Body and Core
- Side plank
- Side raise
- Inner thigh lift
- Repeat other side
- Donkey kicks - left and right
- Round kicks left and right
^^I didn't know what half of these were before this DVD. All you need to know is that the majority are evil.
WHAT ABOUT CARDIO?
You don't miss it. trust me, in this you don't need it! Although the calorie burn is slightly lower than a cardio focused workout, you will be working PLENTY hard enough and sweating buckets in the meantime. I wouldn't say you get out of breath with this, but your muscles start to hurt (especially for me, in the tricep circuit!) and you feel fatigued.
HOW DIFFICULT IS IT?
First point to emphasise is that there are modifications for every move. Well almost every move, Jillian can occasionally be something of a she-devil.
I can't lie, it's hard, but for workouts like this where the focus is strength, difficulty will come mainly from the weight you choose. Personally, I can get through this no problem, find myself knackered and sweaty at the ends but crucially feeling good and strong. However, if you've not exercised in a while I wouldn't recommend jumping straight in with this one, partly because of the length of it compared to her other DVDs.
Moves wise, most of them are very straightforward variations of moves you will already know like lunges, squats, crunches. They don't require much balance or coordination, and the speed is just right so that you don't feel left behind, unlike in other of her DVDs I may care to review at some point...*cough 6 week 6 pack*.
The whole 45 minute workout is fine for me but as I said, I do this on the weekends when I have loads of time. For weekdays, I really like that you can pick and choose circuits to make it fit into your schedule and personal goals. Or if you're like me, specifically pick the circuits you find the easiest. I'm so dedicated...
WHAT'S JILLIAN LIKE? AND THE GIRLS?
Jillian is Jillian. She will shout at you and tell you repeatedly that *insert muscle here* should be burning, screaming etc. She will insist you don't stop. She will remind you that success comes at a price. She will not let you rest. Most people hate her. I think she's awesome. I got so used to perky cheerleaders patronising me through my workouts. When the woman on my dance DVD told me I looked 'graceful and beautiful' I wanted to reply lying cow, I look like a drunk hippo. So when Jillian tells me I should be ON FIRE I at least appreciate her honesty.
In the background you have Salima and Kristen, who are both impossibly flexible and strong, with all kinds of muscle tone. They are far less annoying in this one than Banish Fat, where it seemed to be 45 minutes of Salima showing how high she can kick her leg and Kristen grinning from ear to ear while shadow boxing. Here they are much more bearable.
WHAT KIND OF RESULTS CAN I EXPECT?
RIPPED RESULTS. No but seriously, this DVD has done more for my muscle tone than any of the others. Her other DVDS are great for losing overall weight but this really tones up the muscles and gets you looking more badass. In particular, the two ab focused circuits leave me with an almost visible six pack when the workout is over, they are that tough. Combined with Banish Fat for calorie burn, this is a bloody fantastic system to get you in shape.
SO DO I RECOMMEND?
Of course I do. It works, it hurts, and you look great afterwards. I personally feel so much stronger for doing this. It's only about £6 on amazon, so totally worth it. My ONLY criticism is that there is only one workout, meaning if you used this DVD consistently (I rotate between several) you'd probably get very bored. This is my favourite Jillian DVD, which says something, as I am the latest convert to the Church of Jillian Michaels.
THANKS FOR READING!
I bought this workout DVD from Amazon for £4.97 after hearing friends discuss the 30 Day Shred, another of her well known fitness DVDs. I was looking to tone up rather than lose weight so I decided on this DVD. I'd seen Jillian Michaels in the TV series The Biggest Loser and I liked her no nonsense & straight to the point attitude.
The DVD targets shoulders, chest, arms, abs, back, legs, hips and glutes using 7 circuits (6 minutes each). There's also a warm up (5 minutes) and a cool down (5 minutes).
You can chose to do the whole DVD at once or choose from one of the 6 minute circuits. She uses weights in her circuits, so if you haven't already got some it may be a good idea to buy some first. I'd also recommend a mat because some of the workouts are on the floor and this will help protect your back. In each circuit you do 12-15 reps of 4-5 different exercises and then repeat once more before moving on to the next circuit. The circuits are:
1. Shoulders & Legs
2. Chest & Abs
3. Biceps & Butt
4. Thighs & Triceps
6. Upper body & Core
7. Lower body & Core.
I really like this DVD and actually enjoyed the workout, especially the variety of exercises. She combines upper and lower body exercises to keep the heart rate elevated and burn more calories. I found Jillian very motivating and she explains all of the exercises very well and explains which muscles you're working. It's a really good work out and I can definitely see and feel the difference afterwards.