We’ve hand-picked the 5 best Jillian Michaels workout DVDs to get you into shape faster than you can say ‘jump squat!’
Anyone who reads this site regularly knows I am a huge fan of Jillian Michaels exercise DVDs. I don’t have much time to dedicate to working out so if I am going to donate 20 minutes to an hour of my day to trying to get into shape, I want a workout DVD that works, not something that feels like a nursing home funky-robics class.
I want a workout DVD that works, not something that feels like a nursing home funky-robics class
Jillian Michaels’ workouts deliver me a real body challenge and they make me sweat, which feels like it’s effective. I began with 30 Day Shred about a year ago and in only a month for a trip home to Australia I lost an inch off my waist and thighs. For the last year I have been obsessed with collecting Jillian Michaels DVDs and testing them, which is why I feel qualified to bring you what I believe are her five best for people wanting real results. I’ve explained them with the specific purpose of giving you all the information that someone looking for workout DVD wants. I know because I am that person and I am fusseeee!
1. 30 Day Shred
How long have you got? 25 minutes
How many workouts? Three workouts, levels, 1, 2 and 3 that progress in difficulty – you’re supposed to do one until it feels easy and then move on. A clue, level 3 will never feel easy.
What happens? 30 Day Shred is the classic Jillian Michaels workout and it really does work. Each 25 minute workout combines high intensity moves with resistance and abdominal work using Michaels’ signature 3-2-1 formula. That’s three minutes of resistance moves (think squats, lunges, push ups) with two minutes of cardio (such as high kicks, boxing moves, mountain climbers…) and one minute of abdominal work done as three circuits plus a warm up and cool down. It’s all just so tough it will make you swear but it is over quickly and it really works. Type ’30 day Shred’ into Google Image and see the success stories for yourself.
Level of difficulty? Starts off at beginners and moves to advanced but throughout the workouts there are instructions for easier or tougher variations.
Equipment? A set of dumbbells in different weights. I use the 2kg, 3kg and 4kg ones from fitness-mad.com
2. Hard Body
How long have you got? 45 minutes
How many workouts? Two, level one and level two.
What happens? Still circuit style, you go all the way through each of the seven circuits and then start again from the beginning. I found it torturous, even level one. It features Jillian’s signature strength, cardio and abdominal training combinations which mean you get a killer workout to your muscles while also working up a serious sweat because of the combination of high impact cardio and low impact resistance training JM’s become known for. For Jillian, there’s no such thing as a bog-standard lunge or plank. She has to add about three other things to these moves so that you’re working so many body parts it hurts everywhere. Case in point, at one stage we were doing not only burpees but burpees with weights and a jump at the end. At another we weren’t just doing push ups, but walking push-ups with arm lifts and three squat jumps at the top. The result is a workout in which you get maximum sweat for the time you put in. Therea’s a cute DJ for the first time, eye candy to distract from the pain.
Level of difficulty? Intermediate to advanced
Equipment? A set of dumbbells in different weights.
How long have you got? 30 minutes
How many workouts? Two at different levels. You do workout one for three works and then progress to workout two for three weeks
What happens? If you’re expecting an easy ride of lying on the floor doing sit-ups, forget it. This is high intensity and designed to shred fat from the body to reveal a six pack and the only way you can do that is with tough, sweat-inducing moves. There are lots of them using weights and moving arms and shoulders across the body for whittling waistlines while doing lower body moves such as lunges and squats. The moves in level one are not quite as intricate as level two or as fast, which means you have something to progress to. A great and quick all over workout that is a step up from 30 Day Shred in my opinion.
Level of difficulty? Intermediate to advanced
Equipment? Dumbells in different weights.
How long have you got? 20 minutes
How many workouts? Three in all, covering upper body, lower body and abs. Designed to be done on different days or – when you have the time – as one long workout. Each has a warm up and cool down incorporated into it so you don’t have to keep going back to the menu.
What happens? This is my favourite when I am properly short of time – I find the moves challenging but also fun as all the kick boxing and punching gets my aggression out and calms my nerves for the day. There are a bunch of girls in this one, some doing different variations so it’s easy to do the workouts for any levels – though many of them look pretty challenged themselves in points. Even in 20 minutes, there is enough here to do some damage (as in make a difference). Of all the workouts, it’s probably the one that’s the most fun in the shortest possible time, while also challenging your muscles. It’s also great for learning boxing and kick-boxing moves.
Level of difficulty? Beginners to advanced.
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How long have you got? 40 minutes
How many workouts? One
What happens? Each workout is broken up into six seven-minute circuits which means you go through a few sets of resistance moves twice during each circuit. I love it because it’s all based on your body weight – no equipment required – and you really, really sweat. This comes from a combination of old-school callisthenics such as jumping jacks, high kicks and mountain climbers as well as kick boxing and punching moves plus plenty of plie and jump squats and moves on the floor such as mountain climbers, twisting planks and other torture. The mix leaves me soaking wet by the end of it. It’s the one I always do after a big meal out the night before as I know it will boost my metabolism for the day and get me burning more calories than usual.
Level of difficulty? Intermediate
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