Top positive review
161 people found this helpful
on December 19, 2009
After working out with a variety of Biggest Loser DVDs for several months, I finally picked up one of Jillian Michael's solo projects, the 30 Day Shred. This DVD includes 3 levels of difficulty, meant to be worked up to over 30 days (presumably spending 10 days in a row on each level). Once you've hit the 30 days, or whatever schedule you work out for yourself, I recommend rotating all 3 levels for a nice variety.
To summarize, this DVD is fantastic. Jillian employs a unique 3-2-1 circuit training system - three minutes of strength training (divided into two 30 second / 1:30 intervals), two minutes of cardio (divided into two 30 second repeating intervals), and one minute of abs, which you do three times with different moves in each circuit. Jillian has two 'helpers' working out behind her - one who generally does an easier, modified version of a move, the other who does a more hardcore move to work your way up to.
Level 1 is a nice light workout that will still get your heart going, but without killing you - a great intro to the system and as Jillian promises, it does get easier with time, helping you to build up confidence in your body. Level 2 is by far the hardest of the 3 levels, with a large focus on the arms / shoulders / plank pose. Level 3, although challenging in its own way with many plyometric / jump training moves, also has some really creative moves I haven't seen in the other workout DVDs I've used, which actually makes it more fun than level 2.
Jillian herself is, as always, a great motivational force. She doesn't talk too much, her instruction is very intuitive to make sure you don't strain your muscles or perform something incorrectly, and she seems to know exactly when you want to quit. Her 'bodies' in the back are a little less inspiring, angling more towards the robotic end of things, but they thankfully show good form, and also a little humanity when they get as tuckered out as you do (PS - keep an eye on Natalie, she cops out on a few moves, which Jillian occasionally calls her out on...you know it's a tough workout!).
And most importantly - the results. This was a game changing DVD for me. I believe all of the working out I'd done leading up to this DVD was the perfect foundation for finally getting results. I've noticed my muscles firming up, my body slimming down, and generally just felt healthier and stronger, and very happy with how I've progress in general. I don't do all the tough moves all the time (or in a few cases, ever), and I should probably do Level 2 a bit more often, but I still feel great and happy I tried this DVD out, I definitely want to check out other Jillian Michaels products.
A couple of caveats for everyone out there - I feel like this DVD would be extremely challenging for someone who hasn't been working out on a relatively consistent basis. Having done five months of Biggest Loser DVDs, I was used to the types of moves explored here - lots of squats, lunges, planks, etc. Don't be afraid to slow down the pacing of this DVD - work your way up in longer than 30 days, I myself spent two weeks on each level instead of just 10 days. Additionally I think if you're on the older side, this DVD would be quite challenging, as I tried to get my mom to do a Level 3 jumping lunges move and she nearly fell over. Finally, I wouldn't recommend anything heavier than a 3 lb or 5 lb weight, unless you're going for a bodybuilder look. As it is, I mostly stick to the 3 lb as I find many of Jillian's moves are pretty explosive and can strain your muscles with a 5 lb weight. That's not to say it's not worth challenging yourself - but be aware that this DVD is not for the ambivalent towards getting fit!