report

Review of Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred DVD (Level 1, 2 & 3)

Source

You want to get shredded in 30 days? Look no further! Jillian Michaels's 30 Day Shred workout DVD will get you buff and strong in 30 days, with the tough-love motivational style that she made famous on the hit TV show The Biggest Loser.


Overview

The 30 Day Shred DVD contains 3 levels of workouts. Each exercise routine is less than 30 minutes, including warmup and cooldown.

Jillian recommends you start with Level 1, moving onto the next level when you're ready.

You'll need a pair of hand weights and a yoga mat.

My Introduction to Circuit Training

I first picked up the 30 Day Shred one January, after realizing that my clothes were feeling too tight from a year of overindulging without exercising. Not wanting to return to swimming or treadmill walking, I browsed through some questionable-looking workout videos in the local stores, before heading to Amazon.com to find out what their bestselling workout video was.

I then discovered the 30 Day Shred, at the top of Amazon's bestseller list. With circuit training workouts under 30 minutes, and with over 2000 happy reviews on Amazon, I had to give it a try, and I wasn't going to let my lack of experience with circuit training or with weights get in the way!

Level 1 Overview

Level 1 runs 28 minutes including warmup and cooldown, with the main workout running 22 minutes.

Two trainers are in the background - Anita to demonstrate the beginner modifications, and Natalie to demonstrate the advanced version of the workout.

This workout starts out with a warmup containing dynamic stretching, gentler stretching, and cardio intervals (jumping jacks), to get your blood flowing immediately.

After the warmup, it's time for the main workout. The main workout consists of three 6-minute circuits, each of which features her signature 3-2-1 interval training system, consisting of 3 minutes of strength training, 2 minutes of cardio, and 1 minute of abdominal exercises. The 3-minute strength intervals contain one major strength move, and then a compound move working both legs and arms. Most of the strength moves will require hand weights.

No breaks (even for water) are provided, as Jillian states that no rest is allowed, in order to force your body to change as quickly as possible. Instead, Jillian states that if you really need a break, you may pause for no longer than 5 seconds to catch your breath.


Circuit 1
Strength:
30 seconds pushups (beginners may do knee pushups)
1 minute squat and press
repeat above

Cardio:
30 seconds jumping jacks
30 seconds jump rope
repeat above

Abs:
30 seconds basic crunch
30 seconds reverse crunch


Circuit 2
Strength:
30 seconds dumbbell rows
1 minute lunges with bicep curls
repeat above

Cardio:
30 seconds butt kicks
30 seconds punches in squat position
repeat above

Abs:
60 seconds oblique crunch (30 seconds on each side)


Circuit 3
Strength:
30 seconds chest fly
1 minute anterior raises with side lunges
repeat above

Cardio:
30 seconds jumping jacks
30 seconds butt kicks
30 seconds punches in squat position
30 seconds jump rope

Abs:
1 minute bicycle crunches

The cooldown is a set of gentle stretches for all the major muscle groups, starting out in a sitting position, and ending in a standing position.


My Review of 30 Day Shred, Level 1

This has been quite a challenging workout to follow.

The day after I first tried Level 1, it hurt to sit down or walk, as my thighs were killing me after all of those squats and lunges. I could barely sit down on the toilet, let alone make it down a flight of stairs! But I persevered and managed to finish 10 consecutive days at Level 1 - the muscle soreness in my thighs finally disappeared around Day 4.

My shoulders, arms, glutes, thighs, and abs have all gotten quite a workout. At the beginning, I could barely do a single unmodified pushup. After 10 days, I've been able to finish the two 30-second sets of unmodified pushups without a problem.

As a petite woman who was a total newbie to working out with weights, I started my 10 days at Level 1 with 1 lb. weights, and moved on to 2 lb. weights around Day 6.

Those of you with knee problems should take it easy and follow Anita's beginner modifications during the high-impact intervals, and during the squat or lunge exercises. The 1-minute strength intervals with squats or lunges are a bit rough on the knees - I would have preferred that they be broken down into 30-second intervals instead.

If you're not an experienced exerciser, you'll need her pep talk to motivate you to finish this workout. Jillian's tough, motivational style is incredibly inspiring, and really encourages you to push through the difficult exercises and work through the discomfort, in order to see the maximum benefit from this workout.


High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Like several other Jillian Michaels workout videos, this video uses High-Intensity Interval Training. Intense 30-second cardio intervals will burn fat to reveal your muscles. Squat thrusts, plank jacks, mountain climbers, jump squats, and rock star jumps will leave you breathless.

Level 2 Overview

Level 2 runs 28 minutes including warmup and cooldown, with the main workout totalling 22 minutes.

As with Level 1, Anita and Natalie demonstrate the beginner and advanced modifications, respectively.

The warmup contains static and dynamic stretching, as well as cardio intervals (jumping jacks and high kicks) to loosen you up and test your flexibility.

The main workout consists of the same format as in Level 1, consisting of 3 intervals, each with 3 minutes of strength training, 2 minutes of cardio, and 1 minute of abs. Plyometrics are introduced.


Circuit 1
Strength:
30 seconds walkout pushups
1 minute squat rows
repeat above

Cardio:
30 seconds high knees
30 seconds squat thrusts (beginners may remain in plank and step it out instead)
repeat above

Abs:
1 minute of single-leg crunches (30 seconds each leg)


Circuit 2
Strength:
30 seconds static lunge with medium-grip row
1 minute pendulum lunges with hammer curls
repeat above

Cardio:
30 seconds oblique twists
30 seconds skaters
repeat above

Abs:
30 seconds diagonal leg raises with hand weights
30 seconds double crunches


Circuit 3
Strength:
30 seconds military press with leg extension
1 minute chair squats with a V-fly

Cardio:
30 seconds plank jacks
30 seconds double jump rope (single jump rope for beginners)
repeat above

Abs:
1 minute plank twists

Level 2 uses the same cooldown as Level 1.


My Review of 30 Day Shred, Level 2

This has been yet another crazy workout.

Now that I've moved up to 3 lb. hand weights, my arms and shoulders hate me with a passion. They are praying for mercy during most of the strength intervals. When Jillian says "5 more" near the end of the final strength interval of chair squats with a V-fly, doing 5 more seems unimaginable. Do this workout near a mirror to check on your form - you'll be surprised how much more difficult the strength exercises are when you try to maintain impeccable form.

After completing 10 days at Level 2, I now have amazing shoulder muscles that I would never have dreamed to be possible - those anterior deltoids are getting ripped!

The cardio's definitely been kicked up a notch. Welcome to plyometrics, otherwise known as jump training! Squat thrusts and plank jacks will make you miss the cardio from Level 1. For the first several days of this workout, I thought those oblique twists were going to kill me. I can't keep up with Natalie's super-explosive version of the skater moves without risking blowing out a knee. After 10 days of Level 2, I've still been unable to follow the double jump-rope cardio segments, and have to stick with the beginner modification instead. Even the trainers look winded during this workout - Jillian having a laugh about that near the end is the only pause you'll get during this workout.

The squats, lunges, and various high-impact moves throughout the workout are hard on the knees, as in Level 1, so follow Anita's beginner modifications if you need to, in order to step it out instead of jumping.

The abs exercises nearly did me in, and I found myself having to ice my abs even while at the office!

The best thing about this workout is the great sense of relief you feel when it's over. Fortunately, the workout goes by quickly enough if you make the effort to follow along with good form.


Level 3 Overview

Level 3 runs 28 minutes including warmup and cooldown, with the main workout totalling 23 minutes.

As with Level 1, Anita and Natalie demonstrate the beginner and advanced modifications, respectively.

The warmup contains static and dynamic stretching, as well as cardio intervals (double jump rope, high kicks, and butt kicks) to loosen you up.

The main workout consists of the same format as in Level 1, with 3 circuits, each consisting of 3 minutes of strength training, 2 minutes of cardio, and 1 minute of abs. Plyometrics continue to be included.


Circuit 1
Strength:
30 seconds walking planks
1 minute supermans
repeat above

Cardio:
30 seconds mountain climbers
30 seconds plie hops
repeat above

Abs:
30 seconds pike crunches
30 seconds scissor crunches


Circuit 2
Strength:
30 seconds one-armed dumbbell clean and press
1 minute jumping lunges
repeat above

Cardio:
30 seconds shadowboxing with weights
30 seconds butt kicks with weights
30 seconds shadowboxing with weights
30 seconds jumping jacks with weights

Abs:
1 minute situps


Circuit 3
Strength:
30 seconds plank rows with leg raises
1 minute travelling pushups
repeat above

Cardio:
30 seconds jump squats
30 seconds rock star jumps
repeat above

Abs:
1 minute side plank raises (30 seconds each side)

Level 3 uses the same cooldown as Levels 1 and 2.


My Review of 30 Day Shred, Level 3

This is yet another crazy workout that really kicks it up a few notches.

With my heart rate blasted through the roof, and sweat dripping down my face, it is impossible to deny Jillian's powers as a trainer. Somehow, no matter how difficult it is, she will talk you through it. This is great, because you'll really need it.

Level 3 feels like an endurance test. Get used to spending more time in plank position, and doing more plyometrics. If you have knee or ankle issues, make sure to play it safe and stick with the modified beginner moves.

As for the jumping lunges, be careful to avoid hyperextending your knees upon landing, so check your form in the mirror as you're doing these. (Unfortunately, I found this out the hard way.)

As a newbie to weight workouts, I found doing the cardio with 5 lb. weights to be surprisingly difficult - it will be a super-long time before I can do the shadowboxing with the same pace and form as the trainers.

As for the abs moves, the scissor crunches feel impossible and super-human - when she says to do 10 more, it feels like the longest 10 moves of your life. For the full-on classic situps, it took a super-long time before I could follow along with the advanced version (with fingers behind the ears, bent knees and no help on the feet). The first few times I tried side plank raises, they mostly consisted of falling down.

By the time you get to the plank rows and the travelling pushups in Circuit 3, your sweat will be hitting the mat, so make sure you have a mat that wipes clean easily. The Circuit 3 cardio feels merciless. The first times I tried the jump squats and rock star jumps, I felt like my brain was going to shake loose. Knowing that it was the last circuit, and not the first, felt heavenly.

The best thing about this workout is hitting the mat for cooldown, taking my heart rate, and realizing that I've blasted my heart rate to my target levels.

I feel an amazing sense of accomplishment after doing this incredibly intense workout. After this, my body feels wonderfully strong and healthy, and I feel like I can do anything.


My 30 Day Shred Results

After 30 days of shredding, I burned off 10 pounds of fat, and built 5 pounds of muscle!


More by this Author


11 comments

jane 22 months ago

Just BTW: this is a terrible workout DVD. I lost no weight doing it, and instead gained. Jillian doesn't mention anything about following the diet plan until you have reached level 3. And even then, she only makes a passing comment about "Following our diet plan", and by that point you are practically done. Would NOT recommend.


haneen 3 years ago

hello,

great review (Y)

i wanted to ask you, have you follow any diet plan ( or count calories in that matter,if so, how much)?! is there a dietary plan that is included with the DVD ?!


VancouverGal profile image

VancouverGal 3 years ago from Canada Author

Unfortunately, I can't answer this one for myself, as I purchased my heart rate monitor after completing the 30 Day Shred. Good luck!


sta 3 years ago

how many calories do u lose in a single workout per level


Mrs. Smith 3 years ago

I just finished today! Results Here!!

http://musingsofamarriedmom.blogspot.com/2013/03/3...


VancouverGal profile image

VancouverGal 3 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks and good luck to you too! Have fun getting your man to try it - it'll be great for him too!


ceejay1980 profile image

ceejay1980 3 years ago

Love the 30-day shred! Not sure if my man would like to try it though :-) Good luck on your journey with Jillian :-)


VancouverGal profile image

VancouverGal 4 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks! Both men and women will find this video challenging, unless you are already in very good shape. I have recommended this video to several men and women, and two out-of-shape guys did find it too difficult to stick with. If one of the workouts is insufficiently challenging, however, it is recommended that you use heavier hand weights or follow the advanced modifications.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

Thanks for this review -- good luck with it. Do you know if this works for men or just women? Voting this Up and Useful.


VancouverGal profile image

VancouverGal 4 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks lmarsh1203! Starting at 5 pounds was brave - good luck with your shredding and keep us all updated on your progress!


lmarsh1203 profile image

lmarsh1203 4 years ago

I am on day 5 of the 30 day Shred and chronicling it in a hub here http://lmarsh1203.hubpages.com/hub/The-30-Day-Shre... I was really crazy and started with 5 pound hand weights. It was a baaaaad idea. Things are better now that I've down sized. I've even moved on to level 2! Congrats on the 10 pounds you lost!

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article