I've only had this set for about a week. I started with workout 1 and have been alternating in sets of 3 per the included guide so workout 1, workout 2, cardio, then back to workout 1. I am not following the enclosed diet plan as it just doesn't suit my needs but I do eat as healthy as possible since I have high cholesterol (lots of veggies, very low saturated fats, watching the carbs, eating lean meats, etc.) As far as the DVDs themselves go, I love Jillian's attitude. I love the way she likes to have fun with her workout group on the DVDs and isn't afraid to shout at and motivate her people. It's a very positive environment that Jillian's created but she's also honest and says flat out when one of the exercises is gonna suck.
Couple of points: 1) you will want a good set of dumb bells. I bought a set here on Amazon and they're very nice, 2lb to 5lb. Go heaver if you're used to using weights in your workouts. 2) you will need some kind of exercise stretch cord. Again, I bought one here at Amazon for about 7 bucks and it works great. I'd go with a medium weight cord unless you're used to using one in your workouts and feel you can use a heavier one.
First day, first workout kicked, my, butt! I was soooo sore! I sweated profusely, could barely breathe and felt weak for hours afterwards, nauseous and very wobbily. I hadn't realized just how out of shape I really was! I don't think I've ever done a real workout in my entire life until I started these DVDs! I was used to doing 1/2 hour on my exercise bike 6 out of 7 days a week. This helped me maintain my current weight (in the high 150's [I'm female, about 5'7" btw to give some perspective]) but it didn't offer me a full body workout and certainly didn't get me in shape. The bike got boring so I looked for something better. I think I've found it but we'll see if I can keep it up. I really want to do the full 90 days but read on about my concerns.
Second day, second workout, not as bad as day 1, surprisingly. I still felt sore but the muscles I'd worked the day before were given a rest as different muscle groups are worked in the second video. I felt, hey, I can do this, I can stick with it. Then, there's the cardio. Again, I felt like a DVD had kicked my a**! But it felt pretty good afterward and I still thought, hey I can stick with this and really tone and sculpt my body and get a good aerobic workout too.
I took a break on the 4th day simply because of my personal schedule. Started next day with workout 1 again. Whew! Still rather difficult and I was really feeling it after but the nausea and wobbly-ness weren't there so I was happy. Yesterday...OW! I don't know what I did but I have to say, be careful when doing these DVDs. They are NOT beginner DVDs. I ripped a muscle in my glut and hamstring yesterday doing one of the exercises from workout 2 that I had done only a few days before with perfect success. As I continued with the workout I ripped something in my right arm. Again, just following the DVD the same way I had done the first time. Don't get me wrong, I am NOT blaming the DVDs here. I still think this is an excellent program. I'm blaming myself for thinking my body could just jump into something totally new and very intense.
I'm worried now that I won't be able to do the cardio today because of my injured muscles. I may have to modify the workouts so this doesn't happen again, which, to me, defeats the purpose of the program. :( I feel like if I stop now to give my muscles time to heal I won't want to start again.
So, if you are out of shape (like me), I would probably NOT choose this set to begin with. Go with something a little lighter so you don't injure yourself. On the other hand, if you feel you are in shape but want something more intense than your regular workout, go for it! Jillian really packs a ton of energy into just 1/2 hour a day! We'll see how things go for me. I will try to remember update this review at a later time so my progress can help you decide if you want to purchase this set.
Woot! I survived the first 2 weeks! I have some observations, tips, and cautions for y'all so you can make an even more informed purchase decision.
1. OW! This is a WORK-out. If you are not prepared to WORK your a** off for this, don't waste your money. Decide exactly what it is you want and why you are doing this to yourself. As Jillian says in one of the videos, "If you don't have a why, you will find the how almost impossible." I'm still red-faced, drenched in sweat, and out of breath after 2 weeks of doing just the first 2 workouts and first cardio disks. If you aren't willing to give 100% to each workout then don't waste your money.
2. I'm definitely seeing results! My muscles are getting toned up, my upper back chub (in the bra area) is gone, and I can look in the mirror and say hello to an actual waist because my upper abs are starting to look pretty good! Believe it or not my shoulders look and feel a lot better too. I am less tense there after doing one of these workouts because there is quite a bit of upper body work. My size 12 pants are looser. I have more energy. I no longer get out of breath going up a flight of stairs! On the other hand, it's only been two weeks. I haven't actually weighed myself but I still have "trouble zones" like flappy underarms and thick thighs which ticks me off! :( Maybe those will be "fixed" later. I feel like I'm not so much losing weight as I am toning my muscles. We'll see how it goes.
3. Watch each video FIRST before you do any of the workouts. You will not have time to study each move before Jillian moves into it. I even practice some of the moves a day or so before I do the actual workout for the first time just to make sure my body knows what to do. Remember you only have a half an hour to do this. Stopping the video to get into position defeats the purpose of the fast calorie-burning muscle toning workouts. Also this will prevent you from accidentally pulling something while doing the actual workout.
4. Drink water BEFORE and AFTER each workout to stay hydrated! This is very important. You will NOT have time to grab some water between exercises.
5. I watched workout three earlier this week because tomorrow is when I start week 3 and I thought "Oh my god!" Worried that I couldn't do it. Now I'm thinking to myself, self, "Stick with it. You never know what you can do until you try." So now I am actually looking forward to my exercise tomorrow. More in a few weeks when I may have other ideas, observations, etc.
I'm coming up on my last cardio tomorrow for weeks 3 and 4. Workouts 3 and 4 were awesome. There's a lot of plank in these two which kills my arms. I'd almost like to give them an extra week to see if I could improve on some of the moves butt I don't want to hit a plateau. There's one move in particular that requires quite a bit of balance (standing on one leg and bending forward with a flat back then standing straight up and doing a dumbbell row) that I just can't seem to balance on enough to keep my form. But hey, maybe it's something I can improve on in future workouts. Some of the exercises in these workouts include side crunches, "squirms," sumo squats with triceps extensions, lunges (backward and forward but not in the same workout), plank with crescent pose, plank ups, and plank with leg lifts. Did I mention there was plank? Good mornings, hot feet, punches, terri (sp?) pulls, etc.
Couple of notes: Order yourself the Jillian Michaels resistance cord from her website (not sure why they don't sell it here on Amazon). It's far superior to the short rubber stretchy one I bought first and has better pull. The handles are ergonomically designed too and you will need it. I tried a particular exercise and my cheap resistance band just wouldn't stretch far enough to let me do the exercise because you have to loop it around your foot and then step into a lunge and press the handles forward. The JM cord is also adjustable. I bought mine for 10 bucks plus about 5 shipping so you won't break the bank there.
As for my body, well... Still improving! Vastly better than one month ago. I'm kind of disappointed that my thighs seem to be the same darned circumference they've been all along. The difference is that the fat is being replaced by muscle which is fine but it's kind of hard to "drop a pants size" when your waist is getting smaller but your thighs are still like tree-trunks. Grrr! I wish there was as much focus on the lower body as on the upper body in these videos. BUT my waist IS looking much nicer! I don't have a beach body yet though :( still a little belly there, but hello feet without sucking in my gut! LOL!
I am sticking with this. Watched workout 5 today to see what's coming up and it looks harder but funner! Guess what? There's more PLANK!
More when I'm done sweating through weeks 5 and 6.