3,039 of 3,095 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW! Amazing!
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...
Published on March 28, 2008 by mcel
1,977 of 2,041 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I wish there were more workouts in this DVD
First off, I would give it 3 ˝ 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...
Published on May 27, 2008 by M. Curtis
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3,039 of 3,095 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW! Amazing!,
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!
1,977 of 2,041 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I wish there were more workouts in this DVD,
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.
1,193 of 1,365 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW! YIKES! JILLIAN KICKS YOUR [...],
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 jacks..no 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 easy...you 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!
209 of 244 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review from a PT - FANTASTIC workout!,
THE INSTRUCTION: Jillian and her two friends all have excellent form on every single exercise. I appreciate this because the girl who shows the modified moves (Anita) is very fit and does the moves perfectly - this is important for a beginner to watch! (I hate when the most unfit person on the DVD shows the modifications - that does the true beginner no favors.) I enjoy Jillian's no-nonsense style of motivation - she gives it to you straight ("You don't get abs like this for free", "You can't rest during a 20 minute workout and expect results", etc) but she's not scream-y or drill instructor-y. She explains her 3-2-1 philosophy clearly (more on that in a bit) and she's absolutely right that combining strength with cardio is the most efficient way to work out. She's also right that you can't take a break in such a short workout, but don't take that tooooo literally.... I do take 5 second breaks between circuits to sip water. All in all she is tough, but she knows what she's talking about.
THE FORMAT: There are 3 self-contained 20-minute workouts. Each one follows this format: 1 minute of warm up, three different 6-minute 3-2-1 circuits, 1 minute of cool down. The 3-2-1 circuits are: 3 minutes of strength using hand weights(30 seconds of a 'serious' exercise + 60 seconds of a compound - legs and arms - exercise, twice through) + 2 minutes of cardio (30 seconds of cardio + 30 seconds of another cardio, twice through) + 1 minute of abs on the floor. The 3 20-minute workouts are designed to progress you through different levels of fitness: start with level one for a few weeks, then level 2, then level 3. In my opinion, this is a well-designed and and very time-efficient way to workout, and it moves along at a nice pace that doesn't get boring.
Two things I love about the self-contained workouts (as opposed to mix-and-match style): 1- You don't have to choose between toning and cardio, one workout has both, and 2- Once you are bored with Level One, you don't just keep doing it with add-ons to do Level Two... you have a whole new workout to do.
THE EXERCISES: The strength moves are basic and effective. I like that they are separate from the cardio moves (you put your weights down for cardio and abs - except in one circuit of level 3) because that's safer for your joints. They include exercises like (a variety of)push-ups, rows, bicep curls, flys, chest presses, etc, and the 'compound' moves combine upper body exercises (like the bicep curls) with squats and lunges to keep bigger muscle groups working and fat burning. If you're strong, you could use some heavier dumbbells here because the instruction is excellent and the moves are controlled and safe. The cardio starts out as moderate impact - jumping jacks, butt kicks and the like. Jillian does not show low impact modifications here because she wants people to push themselves. I agree, to a point. But people with bad knees or backs, in my opinion, should stick with low impact versions of these moves. (If this is the case for you, I would caution you not to do this DVD if you have never exercised before. Take some classes or do some DVDs that do show low impact modifications - then you can modify Jillian's moves yourself.) In levels 2 and 3 Jillian makes the cardio more intense - including plyometrics (jumping) like squat thrusts and 'mountain climbers'. For these more advanced moves, she does have Anita show modifications. The abs workouts are nothing new (crunches, reverse curls, leg lifts, bicycles, etc) but are all effective and well-demonstrated.
WHO CAN DO THIS DVD: Level 1 is actually what I would consider an Intermediate level workout. Beginners can do it as long as they use no or light weights to start, and as long as anyone with bad knees or backs modifies the cardio to be low impact. Level 2 is solidly Intermediate - a tough, intense workout that is not for beginners. Level 3 is Advanced, though an intermediate level exerciser could do it if they follow Anita's modifications. A very advanced exerciser may want to do level 2 and level 3 back to back. As far as coordination levels, all the moves are basic and well-explained.... nothing fancy here and anyone should be able to follow this. If you're looking for something dancy - look elsewhere.
BOTTOM LINE: Three well-put together and intense workouts, very well instructed and demonstrated. Something for almost anyone - unless you are brand new to exercising.
539 of 642 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Starter DVD,
At first I was really skeptical about this DVD. Thinking how can this work? Will it be too hard for me since I NEVER exercise? At first, it was hard for a beginner. The cardio moves was too hard for me to keep up. So I did slow down and got a drink of water. So for the first day, I could not do the full 20 minutes. I woke up feeling my legs and arms burn so badly I could not walk up the stairs at work. I haven't had this feeling for a looonnnng time and I must be nuts but I felt great knowing it works!!!
So I gave it another go 2 days later. This time....(ha!) I did the entire video including the cardio and I sweat like crazy!! I really did feel great! After 2 weeks into this video (it's not a miracle DVD so I had to eat right too) I lost a total of 6 lbs and noticed my clothes feels better. I went and bought her other DVD's too. Now I alternate between her No more Trouble Zone when I don't feel like doing so much Cardio to this one. I lost a total of 20lbs in 2 months and my abs and arms looks great. It's only March, I'm confident that if I keep this up, I will at least feel great by summer!!! So for someone who cannot afford the gym (Like me) who also has a toddler at home (like me) who never exercised before (like me) who wants to do a short intense workout (like me) who wants to see results fast (like me).....I strongly recommend this DVD!!! I hope this helps you since it helped me!!!
244 of 290 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Skeptical to Skinny :-),
Within just a couple weeks, things started tightening and firming up; my clothes got looser. I stayed on level one for months, and combined the workout with a better style of eating (lots more veggies and salads, occasional green smoothies; avoiding gluten since I think I may be sensitive) and by mid-June, I had gone from 178 to a fit 138, for a total loss of 40 lbs. Mind you, I still ate my fill of dark chocolate every day, and never felt deprived at all. If I occasionally fell off the wagon, I just climbed back on and started again. By the way, I never have gotten used to the level 3 workout, so you can tell I'm not some naturally buff athlete, just a formerly overweight mom of 7.
This DVD works, people! I can hardly believe the changes in my body since February. I feel like a teenager again, and people tell me I look fantastic. I've never been a fitness-DVD fan, though I've tried many, but Jillian's style just really motivates me. I roll out of bed, get dressed and do the workout right in my bedroom. The best part is I've formed new habits that are permanent; I have NO DESIRE to go back to my couch potato/junk food lifestyle ever again. I feel like a completely different person now.
Don't listen to the nay-sayers; you can do this at any age, and your body will respond big-time. Going from a size 16-18 pants to a size 6-8 proved to me that we really can re-invent ourselves. Next week, this former couch potato is running a 5K race at 50 years old. Oh, yeah!! Thank you, Jillian! :-)
182 of 216 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly a God Send,
212 of 253 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I <3 JILLIAN MICHAELS! And so will you...,
And it pays dividends. If you're anything like me, I couldn't even do the video for 2 days after the first time I did it because I was just too sore. But in the best way, that I-really-got-a-serious-workout kind of way. Very satisfying. In under 30 minutes!
I love Jillian on The Biggest Loser, and she has the very same no-nonsense approach on the video that she uses on the ranch, and I think it really does push you. She tells it like it is- "If you are looking for a modification on jumping jacks... look elsewhere. I'm not going to give that to you, I have 400 pound people doing them on the ranch, and I know you can do this," "I'm not gonna let you cheat. I know this is hard work. If we are promising you big things, we have to deliver." And she's right. If we're really trying to get a workout in 23 minutes or whatever it is, she's really got to make it hard to get results. But it works, and it's worth it.
I have read several of the other reviews on here, and I would like to respond to some of the negative points that people have brought up:
-The intro to the video cannot be fast forwarded, so you actually have 2 or 3 minutes of Jillian talking at the beginning of the DVD that adds time to your workout without adding any action. OK, it is a bit annoying. But USE THIS TIME WISELY, by running in place or any other light cardio activity to extend the warm-up time. The video only gives a minute or two for your warm up, and trust me, you will need a little more than that to prepare your muscles for what's coming.
-The workout is too challenging/not challenging enough... That's crazy. It is what you make of it. If you think it's too hard, modify - I didn't use weights the first few times I did it, because you don't want to shock your body by doing too much too soon. Give yourself time to get used to the motions and the workout before you add weights if you are a beginner. If you think it's not hard enough or you are not getting enough burn in the strength training segments, you need to add more weight, or, considering this is just a 20 minute workout, alternate days doing this DVD as good cardio and doing a more in-depth 30 minute strength training segment the next day. There is no reason this DVD cannot be a staple in your routine, no matter your fitness level. It is an undeniably effective 20 minute workout. Make it work for you.
-It's too high-impact. OK, there is a lot of jumping. That's because jumping is wildly effective at burning calories. Again, 20 minute workout, it has to be as challenging as possible. You could cheat, and take it a little easier on your knees, but you will be sacrificing intensity. If you KNOW you have bad knees or arthritis and you still want a great workout, buy a mini trampoline for the jumping segments. You won't be able to fully extend your legs to the side in the jumping jack sections, but you will still be able to jump and reduce a lot of the impact. My arthritic mother, who I bought a copy of this DVD for, did that and it worked perfectly for her.
-Not enough warm-up/cool-down. Come on, people. Did you really think that you can get a warm up, decent workout, and cool-down in 20 minutes flat? Let's manage our expectations a little bit. It is 20 minutes. You will need to add a couple of minutes to the warm up, I addressed that earlier, just begin your warm up during the intro part of the DVD that you can't fast-forward through. The cool down/stretching segment is also not long enough to really stretch everything you just hammered during the video. Turn the DVD off, and do some additional stretches for another 5 or 10 minutes. Even if you add to the warm up and the cool down, you're at about 35 minutes for a great, complete, body-rocking workout. That is not unreasonable, especially considering most people would spend almost that much time in the car driving to and from the gym. (Where you would have to work out much longer than 20 minutes to get the kind of full-body workout that Jillian delivers here.)
The bottom line: It costs less than half of a monthly gym membership at even the most affordable gym, you can completely modify it to work for you, it is 20 minutes long and you do it in the comfort of your own home so you really have no excuses not to get it done, and it delivers like Domino's. You will see and feel a difference faster than you thought possible, and the soreness in your muscles will let you know real quick that you are doing something effective.
Jillian knows what she is doing, and she will get you results. It is well worth the price and it absolutely makes the most out of every single second you spend doing it. What more could you ask for?!
209 of 250 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Report from Day 20. Excellent. Could be better. Overcoming tight calves.,
Jillian's energy is great and the program is challenging and she challenges you to "fight for it" as you are going through the exercises.
It is "20 minutes of intensity" which is true. Before that is a little warm up. And after that is a little stretching. About 27 minutes in all.
The first day I bailed out after five minutes of the 20 minutes of intensity @ Level 1 (the beginning Level); I just didn't have any more in me. But each day I tried to do more and more. And I fought for it. My goal is to be able to do the complete unmodified Level 1 by day 30. I am there except for a few pushups and a few static lunges with bicep curls.
My strategy is to do what I can and if I can't, rest and continue as soon as I can. Maybe 5 seconds later, maybe more. And then get back to it.
Calf issues: My calves got very tight as a result of doing this program. Level 1 consists of two 30 second sets of jumping jacks (during the warm up), then three more 30 second sets of jumping jacks, plus three 30 second sets of imaginary jump roping, plus three sets of running in place butt kicks. That is five and a half minutes of pounding on the calves, which is okay if your calves don't tighten up too much. But mine did. I feared pulling a muscle they got so tight, so I took two days off. I did some research and found out how to give myself a calf massage and also worked on stretching my calves. That did the trick and the tightness is pretty much gone and certainly not an issue any more. Another idea about the calf issue is that without enough water in the body this is more likely to happen.
Recommendations for when you get it:
1. If you are someone who needs to know how much work is ahead of them when you are doing this program, count the number of repetitions for the exercises that you will have to do to match what the models are doing and you will be able to mentally prepare yourself for what is ahead of you if that is an issue. Since I like to know how close I am to being done with a tough exercise, this helps me a lot.
2. Start this program and stay with it. If you seem like if you keep doing something you will injure yourself on a particular day, don't do it. You want to maximize what you accomplish and risking injuring yourself won't help. But keep coming back and do what you can do every day. And set goals for accomplishing more.
3. I sometimes chug a swallow from a water bottle in between some of the sets, but very quickly so as not to lose any of the repetitions. This may be a security blanket for me until I am completely on top of it. She allows no breaks.
Issues with the DVD/Production:
1. There is continual music with a beat but the beat doesn't seem to match the beat of the exercises. Which means that if you are to stay at the same pace as the models you have to pay attention to them visually and cannot rely on just hearing the beat of the music to get the pace.
2. When you put the DVD in, it takes at least a couple of minutes before it allows you to start your exercise. "Disc operation not allowed" is the message I get when I try to get to the menu to start. I don't want to kill two minutes.
This is a fabulous program to increase physical and mental toughness and I rate the benefit at 5 stars for sure. I would pay $100 for this if that was the cheapest I could get it, because it is easily that valuable to me. But still, there is room for improvement.
Fight for it!
56 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding!!!!!!,
Well, 3 months and 35 pounds later, I can say this DVD is all the workout you'll need. The workouts are only 25 minutes long (no excuse for busy women), but they're tough. After a couple of weeks and thinking you can't take anymore, you'll notice your body changing. After another 2 weeks, you'll notice the pounds melting off. In less than 3 months, I have went from a size 16 to a size 8 and that's without any extreme dieting.
Again, I must stress, the workouts are tough. There have been a few times that I've cursed at the TV, hoping Jillian would hear me and ease up. But after the workout is over (and my heart stops trying to pound its way off my chest), I feel wonderful. Trust me, completing her workouts, especially workout 3 (there are 3 different workouts), is a great accomplishment. I'm over 40 and haven't felt this great in years. I just gave up my gym membership and have purchased her other DVD, Jillian Michaels: No More Trouble Zones (also awesome), and now alternate between the 2 so I don't get bored.
I have another 20 pounds to lose and I am positive I will lose them with her help. In fact I'll be purchasing more of her workouts as a Christmas present to myself. You can't go wrong with her DVDs, especially for the price. And trust me, after a month of working out with Jillian, you'll be recommending her on Amazon and to all of your friends too. If I could, I would give the 30 Day Shred more than 5 stars.
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