Thursday, January 26, 2012

Review: Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred

I've seen a lot of online reviews for this DVD, particularly on Amazon and blogs everywhere who swore by the "Shredding."  Last Christmas (yes, that long ago!), I received this DVD from my younger sister because it was on my wish-list.

However, being the gym rat that I had been, I didn't get much of a chance to do this video until mid-2011.  I did this once or twice using my laptop instead of a TV, tucked away in my cramped bedroom.

But as I've mentioned, I've pretty much converted to working out at home and running outside.  I'm pretty lucky that this has worked out so far, and I've actually seen positive changes in my physique. 

I was mostly doing Jillian Michaels' No More Trouble Zones once in a blue moon.  The 45-min workout is pretty strenuous and made me feel pretty good afterward, but I never stuck with it.  Now, I do one of Jillian's videos once a week, on a day that I don't run. 

This 30 Day Shred video is comprised of three 20-minute workouts that get progressively more difficult.  Conventionally, you're supposed to do each level for 10 days, thus working up to 30 days.  I obviously did not adhere (lest I'd be shredded???).  I've only done Level 1 once, since I want to maximally challenge myself.  Don't get me wrong, Level 1 will make you feel like you've worked out, but I'm a masochist and usually do Level 2 and Level 3 together, to create an approximately 45-minute workout (with the warm-up).

In all the levels, you do three minutes of strength training, two minutes of cardio, and one minute of ab work, three times.  If you do the math, that's 18 minutes.  In Level 1, your strength training is pretty static, while in Levels 2 and 3, you'll have to hold a squat or otherwise combine strength with cardio or something that makes just lifting a 3-lb dumbell way more tough.  Prepare to do a lot of plank-based moves and even things like jumping lunges and squats (!!) in Level 3.  Those jumping moves make me a little sad because they remind me of the FitMoves classes I used to take at my old company's gym, a class in which "The Ukrainian" and I got to know each other before we started dating.

I've also just done one Level and supplemented with other exercises.  This would probably be the best strategy for most people.  I aim to work out for at least 45 minutes a day, so 20 minutes, no matter how intense, is not quite enough to fill my obsessive mental quota.

As for results, I am pretty much always sore the next day after doing these, so I know I got in a good workout.  These DVDs are interesting enough for me to stick with them, which I feel is key to the effectiveness of any fitness DVD.


  1. I wish I could work out to dvds, but I've tried, and it ain't happening. But I might try again. Maybe JM might spark it up? lol

  2. I've worked out to DVDs before like P90X and Insanity! They work, I just find myself getting bored in a few weeks. I'm not sure what it is, but I find that I work out better if I have to force myself to leave the home. I've always wanted to see what a Jillian Michaels workout would look like, though honestly, I'm not sure if it's because I'm actually interested in her actual workouts or because I think she's insanely hot.