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VINE VOICEon March 28, 2008
I had never purchased a Jillian Michaels DVD before b/c of the hit or miss reviews. So when I heard raves about this one, I decided to give it a shot and I am so glad I did. This is an absolute butt-kicker workout. I am an intermediate/advanced exerciser (I work out 5-6 days a week) so I figured I could see what Level 1 was all about and move onto Level 2 right away. Listen to me folks--these workouts are HARD. Level 2 was VERY difficult--a good difficult though, very challenging. When Jillian tells you to start at level 1, listen to her she knows what she's doing. I've been at this for about 5 days, and I already feel a difference in my body.
Jillian is tough--absolutely NO rest in this workout (not even for a sip of water) but that's what makes it go by so quickly, and it makes your body change, according to Jillian. You're done before you know it--but by the end you've gotten a kick butt workout and feel like you've really done something. She bases her workout on the 3-2-1 method: 3 mins strength, 2 mins cardio, 1 min abs. Her strength circuits remind me of Jari Love--compound exercises that work the upper and lower body simultaneously. The cardio is good as well: a lot of jumping, so watch those knees (she has a modifier for beginner and lower impact) And the abs is straight up ab work--a variety of crunches and twists on the floor.
This is a great workout and I find Jillian to be tough but she's pretty likeable. Be warned though: she's no-nonsense. I think it's funny when during the stretch she admits she's not flexible and struggles to reach her legs on the floor. I thought "Ha, Ha, finally something I'm better at than Jillian!" lol
If you really want to get a good workout and to jumpstart your weight loss get this DVD you will not be disappointed. It's great for those who are short on time too and want to try something new; every workout is just under 30 mins!
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on July 1, 2014
I first began working out to the 30 Day Shred a year ago today, but never got around to leaving a review for some reason. Since I truly believe this DVD is a game changer, especially for beginners, as well as it being my "anniversary" today, I felt it was now fitting to finally leave a review for this awesome workout.

First some context...I am a 33 year old Asian female who has been a bit overweight for most of my adult life. I didn't weigh myself before I began my exercise journey, but I believe I was close to 160 lbs. and wore XL most of the time. However, I am not the stereotypical petite Asian as I am about 5'6, so the extra pounds on me were not too bad looking, except for the fact that I had a belly! I think this was due mostly to the fact that I never worked out before the 30 Day Shred (except for gym classes in school) and poor diet choices; I do shift work so I often ate again after work around midnight and eating chips and instant noodles weren't helping either. Also, I suffered from low self esteem for a long time, so I was also guilty of "emotional eating", eating when I wasn't really that hungry but just to feel better.

The turning point for me was in 2012 when I went on a date and the guy (whom I met online) told me blatently, "You would be a 10 in the looks dept. if it weren't for your excess weight!". I was crushed beyond belief, and afterwards when I got home, I took a long look at myself in the mirror and told myself that I had enough, and I was sick of being fat as well as constantly being told that I am (you see, I also had a lot of co-workers who were rude enough to often "remind" me that I am fat!). So I considered buying a certain popular home gym but when I found out it was beyond my budget and hard to set up, I gave up and thought about joining my local gym. So I went in for a trial period, but I was lost as to what I should be doing or even how, and I was told that I needed to set up time with staff just to be acquainted with those machines! What's worse, I was hounded by the sales there about membership fees as well as getting a personal trainer, since I was a newbie! I couldn't afford all that and just going to the gym seemed like a hassle to me, so I walked out, and felt bad as I really wanted to get in shape! But as I was leaving the gym, I saw a poster in there with Jillian's pic advertising her "Shred" classes and a lightbulb went inside my head! I could workout at home to a DVD!

So I asked one of my online friends, who is a personal trainer, about working out at home and she told me that it was indeed possible; I just needed a mat and some weights, for exercises like squats, lunges, etc. I told her that my biggest concern was to shed fat, so she recommended that I focus on cardio. I went to Ebay, and just punched in "cardio dvd" in the search box, and I saw Jillian's 30 Day Shred and Denise Austin's Cardio DVD at first glance, and I decided to buy both, just to see which I liked better. I started Denise's first, but she just seemed to annoy me (no offence to Denise fans) and it was a bit dancey for I tried Jillian's next; since it was called the 30 Day Shred, I decided to start at the beginning of the next month, which was July 1, 2013. Prior to starting it, I read a lot of rave reviews online about the Shred, so I decided it was worth a shot!

On the first day of level 1, I remember wanting to die!! So many jumping jacks! I felt out of breath within 10 mins but I didn't want to give up. Jillian's legendary motivation got me through it, although I was incredibly sore afterwards. BTW, I never heard of The Biggest Loser before this workout, so I didn't know anything about Jillian beforehand. I did each level for 10 days each, but I remember also doing level 3 on the 31st as well. I did the Shred for the actual 31 days straight with no rest days, which in hindsight, is sorta crazy now! I just kept plugging away everyday for that month and I was shocked when co-workers started asking me if I was losing weight within 2 weeks, I guess when I was into level 2, as I did sweat the most during level 2 and it was a big step up from level 1! I also remember my clothes feeling a bit looser during the halfway point. I was just amazed that I saw results so soon and without following a strict diet; I just tried to eat sensibly and had a protein shake after my workouts, so perhaps that helped to curb my appetite a bit!

As you can guess, I was pretty pleased with the quick results of this workout at the end of that month, so I quickly ordered a few other Jillian DVDs, Ripped in 30 was my next one. I knew that this was the beginning of the "new" me, and my self confidence grew day by day as well. I didn't weigh myself at all for fear of being demotivated by the number on the scale. Instead, I went by what I saw in the mirror as well as my clothes getting looser as days went by. I couldn't believe that I could achieve such results with a DVD that didn't break the bank! This might sound bizarre, since a lot of people have commented on how Natalie "cheats" in Jillian's DVDs, but I found Anita and Natalie to be quite inspirational during the workouts for some reason. I also didn't think the music was that bad either! Level 2 was my fave and now my go to when I am in a pinch, sometimes level 3, but I now hardly break out a sweat during level 1, which tells you a lot!

In the past year, I have become a big Jillian fan and now also have Yoga Meltdown, BFBM, NMTZ, Hard Body, and Killer Buns and Thighs (which also feature Anita and Natalie!) and I plan on getting her other ones in the near future. I now rotate all of these DVDs throughout the week but have found that since I have gotten stronger and fitter in the year since I started the Shred, I now prefer the longer workouts like BFBM, which has boosted my results since it's pure cardio. But when I am in a time crunch, I will do the Shred! This workout will always have a soft spot in my heart because it was the first workout I ever did! I owe it to Jillian for all these awesome results, since I now wear a S. I love everything about her instructional style! Yes, even her "constant chatter", as it motivates me and I love her quotes as well...."When you get stronger physically, it will transcend into every other facet of your life" comes to mind. Jillian is a godsend for the home exerciser!
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on October 16, 2014
This really was a fantastic workout to start with. I did the workouts 6 days a week, making sure all days added up to 30 (so I went for over a month, when you count the days off). I did not change my diet; I did not change anything. As a natural consequence, I drank more water. I bought her Master Your Metabolism book; and I made sure I took 20 minutes a day to do this. I wrote about my results (with pictures) at

I recommend a few things: drink water; never work out on an empty stomach; you don't have to keep up, just keep moving. What you struggle with in week one is easy by week four. It's really fun. And TAKE PICTURES. My pant size did not change; my weight did not change. But if you look at the photos, it's quite clear my body changed. So don't trust numbers! Take pictures! Have fun!
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on May 27, 2008
First off, I would give it 3 ½ stars. I've only done level one but it is a good, very intense work out. I felt great afterwards. Also, I really like the trainer. She motivated me to push my hardest to try and finish each exercise, which sometimes I couldn't do (and I consider myself to be in good shape). My biggest complaint about the DVD is that you are told to start with level 1 and then progress up to level 2, then level 3. But there is only one level 1 workout, one level 2 workout and one level 3 workout. As a result, you are doing the same workout every day until you can move up a level. This can get boring. In addition, you are working the same tired and sore muscles that you worked the day before. My other complaints are a bit petty: the music is terrible and you can't skip through some of the beginning stuff. As stated above, the workouts are great and extremely challenging but I wouldn't use this DVD alone.


I would now give this video 5 stars. One of the comments to my review suggested that I don't wait to move up in levels, rather, I could do each level so that I am not doing the same workout again and again. THANK YOU to that person. I am now switching around levels and I love it. Level 2 and 3 are harder but I follow the "easier" version of most of the exercises and make modifications to some of the aerobic exercises that may be too hard (or that I just may not like). This is now my favorite DVD. I love it because it is hard enough to actually replace the gym... and in only 25 min.
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on May 21, 2015
How can I love this DVD? It's PAINFUL, it's not easy by any means and yet I love it. I've waited 2 months to write this review because I really wanted to give it a fair shot before I jumped in with my thoughts. I tend to go gung-ho at first, dive right in and then quit too quickly because I pushed myself too hard. This time I was really careful and methodical with how I went about this DVD. I'm 42, have a son and felt determined to finally begin my goal of exercising regularly. I'm 5ft 5. I started at 162 Ibs. My size 10's were getting too tight and I refused to go up to a 12!

Level 1 starts off with an easy enough warm up and ends with basic stretching.
It includes 3 circuits, each circuit consisting of:
1) 3 minutes of strength (pushups, lunges, side lunges, chest flies, etc.)
2) 2 minutes of cardio (jumping jacks, butt kicks, jump rope [without the rope], punches)
3) 1 minute abs (basic crunch, reverse crunch, side crunches, bicycle)

I use 5Ib weights throughout except I use 3Ib for the boxing/cardio and shoulder raise/side lunge (which happens to be my favorite of all of the exercises)

After 2 months I've lost 7 Ibs and instead of squeezing into a tight size 10 I'm now in a size 6 in some clothes, but mostly a size 8. I'm VERY happy with this. I didn't measure myself because I honestly didn't think I'd keep it up truth be told, but I've definitely lost inches. More than how I look though is how great I feel. I have more energy. My stamina is amazing, and I just love this DVD! I love how I feel when I'm done.

One other thing about me - I have MS. I have a mild case of it - knock wood - but because of weakness in my legs I've had to modify how often I do this workout. I tried it daily for 6 days straight but I couldn't maintain that pace as my symptoms returned. My dr. said I was pushing my body too hard so I now I do it every other day and cardio on the other days. I also follow a low calorie diet and Jillian Michael's 80/20 philosophy. I believe all of this has helped me go down 2 sizes. I don't want to be a size 2. I'll never be a skinny lithe person. But getting to a six and feeling so much healthier is something I'm really proud of. Here's what has helped me:

1) It's only 22 minutes, and as hard as it is it goes by very fast. This has helped me realize and appreciate I can find 20 minutes in my day to this. There's no excuse. My son does his homework, and I work out. I get up early some days to do it. I do it on weekends. There's NO excuse not to do it with it being so short.

2) Take your time and don't push yourself too hard. The day after I first did it I could hardly move. It hurt to sit down to pee for crying out loud! I took 2 days off and went back at it. Start slow and ease into it. This is a tough workout .... don't burn out so fast by rushing in.

3) Practice the form of each movement and then get into it. My knees killed me the first 2 weeks and a lot of reviews mention knee pain because of this workout. It's not this DVD that's the problem - it's the way you're doing it! Practice, do it with someone watching you and get your form right. And then when you're exercising watch your form to make sure you're not injuring yourself. After I did this my knee pain went away and I'm all good.

4) Go at your pace. In the beginning I would try and keep up with Jillian and it was completely stressing me out. Go at your pace. You'll find after a week or two your stamina will have improved and you can push yourself harder.

5) Adjust the routine if you feel you need to. I realized I will never be able to do a pushup on my toes. I just can't do it. So now I do the plank the whole time she does the pushups. It's HARD! But I can do that better than a pushup.

6) I am still on level 1 after 2 months. Probably because I do it every other day. I don't feel stressed about that. I'm not ready to move on yet. I've seen (amazing) results with level 1 and I'm ok with that. Having MS doesn't stop me from doing this but it does make me tweak it in a way that is beneficial for me.

7) Believe it or not when I miss my workout days - life gets busy as a mom and birthday parties, and school meeting and my job can take over but I always get back to it. The longest break I've taken is 5 days and every single day I tried to get to it but something pulled me away. I never fully quit though and would get right back to it. It also taught me that it's harder when you've not done it for a while!!!! That in itself makes me want to keep going and never miss a day. I now do it more first thing in the AM even though that kills me as I'm not a morning person.

8) I HATE the warm up and the first 10 minutes. I literally loathe it. That's the hardest for me for some reason. But once it gets going and I'm 10 minutes in, I LOVE it. I have certain points in the dvd where she says things that just make me smile. When she talks about wanting to quit and turn the dvd off, I'm always going harder, pushing myself further. When she says don't phone it in , go lower and deeper with your legs, I do. I love her and feel she is funny, and real and she makes me want to be better.

9) If you can do more, do it. In level 1 during the boxing/cardio I use 3Ib pound weights. I don't have to but I can, so I push it harder.

10) Watch your diet. I've seen the best changes when I really commit to the 80/20 philosophy. No point kicking your but in this workout only to spoil it with poor food choices.

Give this DVD a try. Commit to it. REALLY COMMIT to it and you'll see results.
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on January 24, 2015
I read the other reviews before buying this DVD of Jillian's 30 Day Shred. I bought it anyway because you can't always go by reviews and I'm glad I did.

First off, I will say, If you have not ever worked out before or had a regular exercise regime of any type, I would suggest you do as I am doing and instead of planning to lose the weight in 1 month and do all 3 levels in 1 month, split it up and plan 1 level a month for 3 months.

Before buying this video, I had been doing minimal exercise so know my body needs conditioned first. While I do want to lose weight, I realize that I can't just expect my body to be able to jump right in there after it has not had any type of conditioning to exercise, so decided to take it slow. Instead of doing this every day, I try to do it 3 to 5 times a week and take a day off as needed (if my muscles hurt too much I take a day off or if I simply don't have time, it is ok to take the day off).

I decided to try to complete 1 level to the point that I could start out with the easy, modified way (the girl on the right) until I could build my body up to follow the harder, full range way (the girl on the left). Once my body is conditioned to do the workout to the maximum on level 1, then and only then will I move to level 2. I plan this to take me 3 months instead of 1 month to complete and then after that, i can focus on doing each level every day of the week and completing all 3 in 1 months time (month 4).

Losing weight is important, but conditioning is the first thing one has to do and that is important to know your limitations as well.

As for the reviews about this being bad for the knees....if is not bad for your knees if you are listening to Jillian and doing as she says and she makes it very clear what posture you should not have in order to not damage your knees. I have a very weak knee from an injury, and I am finding that doing this workout at a slower modified pace and stretching level 1 out to 1 month instead of 1 week, and following everything Jillian says about how to position the knees so as not to hurt them, my weak knee is actually being strengthened.

I have been doing this workout for 2 weeks now and I am noticing a huge difference in my endurance and strength as well as my overall physical well-being. I am also sleeping better, eating healthier, and living happier. I may not be losing the 20 lbs in 1 month that one would lose if they did this every day and did 1 full level at the hardest directions every week, but that will come in time.

Something people tend to forget is that when you do a video like this, it is ok to modify where needed for yourself until you build up your body endurance and strength to do the workout with Jillian and the girls. You don't have to be just like them. Do it at your own pace, modifying where you need to, not modifying where you don't need to and in time, you will be able to keep up with them and go the whole way through with no problem.

We live in a day and age where everyone wants everything right now. Workouts are not something you want to have that attitude with if you want them to be successful for you.

Great video with lots of workout 'suggestions' and help. I also got the Ripped in 30 days to do after I complete this video, but I believe doing both will take me probably 9 months to a year to get up to par and be able to keep up with them all. And for me, while I do need to lose some weight, I will along the way and so it is all ok to take my time.

Thanks, Jillian, for making an affordable workout video that gets me up and moving and started toward a healthier lifestyle.
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on December 21, 2014
BEST workout video EVER! I am a big girl and lost 65 lbs. using this and weight watchers. Worked out everyday and saw results within weeks. Great motivation and never made me feel bad for myself. Much cheaper than going to a gym and I was more successful with this video than any other workout I've done. Can't say enough about this great workout!
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on April 25, 2011
OK first a little background. About 9 months ago, I was living in New York City and a svelt/toned 135 lbs (height: 5'4). I was so used to walking everywhere on top of the occasional workout at the gym. I must have taken that for granted because I moved to the suburbs, drove everywhere, and started winter hibernation. Bam, I found myself hovering around 155 lbs, not fitting into any of my clothes and feeling disgusting about myself.

One day at Target, I spotted this DVD and for $10 bucks I said what the hell.

OHMYGOD. First, I have to agree with most of the positive reviews on here. You will feel like dying. (level 1, day 1). I repeat, you will be panting and sweating and screaming profanities at her. But she is SO good at keeping you motivated, and really for 20 minutes a day, you can push yourself through hell, just to get to the bright other side. And there is a bright other side. Immediately after I showered, I had that post-workout exhiliration, that almost feels like a natural high. Only THREE days after doing Level 1 workouts (and yes, watching what I eat), I felt my body take form.

Here's what you can expect:
-Soreness. Everywhere. Which is why this DVD is amazing. In a short 20 minutes, she targets every area. My quads were sore. My arms. My hamstrings. My butt. And my calves were KILLING me. Going down stairs, I felt like crying.

The reviews on here say that new mothers that want to shed the baby weight find the 20 minutes the perfect way to squeeze it in. Let me tell you, I used to do 1 hour on the ellipictal and hadnt seen the same results as I have with her.

I'm still a beginner, so I havnt measured weight loss yet. But for once, I'm not obssessed with the number on the scale, and will just go by how my clothes fit and how good I feel. Because muscle weighs more than fat, I dont want the # to be higher than anticipated, causing a disappointment/relapse.

The fact that Jillian is selling this DVD for so cheap and for it to be this effective, makes a $500 / yr membership at a gym seem like such a scam.

Buy this DVD. Force yourself through it. You'll never look back.

2 weeks later, I swear a see a six pack somewhere underneath that stubborn layer of fat. But most importantly, when I'm having a stressful day at work, or someone in my family gets on my nerves, i really look forward to my 20 minutes of intensity with Jillian because the exertion really does relieve stress (especially those squat/punch combos in Level 1 and Level 3).

I've only done Level 1 and Level 3 because I find some of the positions in Level 2 to be awkward. Either way, I always feel challenged. It's like the gift that keeps on giving.

I brought this dvd with me when I went to visit 2 guy friends of mine who used to be in the army (2 rounds in afghanistan). When they saw me whip it out, they laughed and said "This is girly stuff." These are very fit guys. Can you imagine my satisfaction where after 20 minutes of Level 3, they were DYING and sweating! Serves them right for doubting! In order to not get bored, I bought the other dvds "no more trouble zones" and the abs one. I figure if you keep your workouts fresh, you wont get bored and lose momentum. In two weeks, I've gone from a size 10 to a size 8. :)
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on April 16, 2012
No one will ever read this, I just wanted to put my star in. This is the video that started my love for workout videos!
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on April 2, 2008
Ok, if you're like me (overweight and unmotivated) and watch The Biggest Loser and wish you could be one of the contestants and have Jillian train you then you're in luck! Buy this DVD! I just received the dvd today and did the First Level today. It's been 2 and 1/2 hours since I finished and I'm still shaking and finding it hard to go up and down stairs. I can't even imagine what she puts those poor contestants through..LOL!

I have knee pains and feet pains and usually just walk at 3mph on my treadmill. Well, suffice to say I'm not seeing any weight loss. And let me be honest the real reason I have knee and feet problems is because I weigh too much. So I did the full on jumping modified jumping jacks in this workout...Jillian tells you straight, she has 400lb people doing full jumping jacks, you can too! And she was right. I sure as heck can't really do the push ups but I'm sure that I will be able to eventually if I keep doing this dvd everyday for 20 minutes.

And she's right, you can't do a workout for 20 minutes and expect it to be want easy, don't get this dvd. You want to sweat and really workout get this dvd!

I'm 5'4'' and 168 lbs. I will let you know my progress in my comments as time goes on. Good luck to everyone!
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