on February 11, 2009
This amazing DVD by Jillian Michaels is a 50 minute workout, including warm-up and cooldown, that includes innovative toning moves to target trouble spots. While not for the true beginner, I think this workout would be good for all levels, because she shows modifications for beginners and advanced exercisers (although sometimes not until halfway through the set). Also, you move at a slightly faster pace throughout, so you get a cardio benefit from this workout as well, although its' main focus is toning your body into great shape. The circuit nature of the workout means that you continue to burn more calories even after the workout is over.
The workout is composed of seven 6-minute circuits that leave no muscle unworked. You can choose to do the entire 40 minute circuit or just select the body parts you want to focus on so you can focus on your "problem areas". Each of the circuits consists of 5 different exercises that you do for 30 seconds each, then repeat the entire sequence for a total of 2 sets of each move. Jillian has a lot of unique, effective compound moves (compound means that you work the upper and lower body at the same time). She uses 3 lb. weights and a mat for the workout but you could adjust the amount of weight to suit your needs and use a blanket if you don't have a mat. I've included a breakdown of all the moves below:
Warmup: Basic marching in place, jumping rope (no rope needed), arm circles, skaters (simulate speed skating) and jumping jacks. Then you repeat the entire sequence for a complete five minutes.
Circuit #1- Shoulder & Legs
- Squat with Shoulder Press
- Backwards Lunge with Side Shoulder Raise (repeat on other leg)
- Chair Squat with Front Shoulder Raise
- Front Shoulder PressOuts
Circuit #2- Chest & Abs
- Chest Press with a Crunch
- Chest Fly with Double Leg Raise
- Bicycle Crunches
- Squirms (lying down with knees bent. lift head and shoulder blades off ground and alternate bending to the side and tapping your heels).
Circuit #3- Biceps & Butt
- Deadlift with Hammer Curl
- Static Squat with Concentration Curl
- Front Lunge with Wide Grip Curl (repeat on other leg)
- Side Lunge with Biceps Curl
Circuit #4- Thighs & Triceps
- Chair Pose with Triceps Kickback
- Sumo Squat with Overhead Triceps Press
- Surrender (step back and down to kneeling position then stand up again)
- Forward Lunge with Triceps Pushback (repeat on other leg)
Circuit #5- Core
- Double Crunches
- Twisting Plank
- Plank with ToeTaps (repeat with other leg)
- Windshield Wipers (lying down lift both legs and move from side-to-side)
Circuit #6- Upper Body & Core
- Plank with Back Rows
- Scissor Kicks
- Pelvic Thrusts (repeat on other leg)
Circuit #7- Lower Body & Core
- Side Plank
- Side Lying Leg Raise
- Inner Thigh Raise
- Donkey Kicks
- Fire Hydrant with Kick
Then relax with a nice cooldown.
Overall, out of the over 200 workout DVDs I own this is one of the best and I highly recommend it for great results. Jillian is motivating without being too peppy and cues well. If you stick with this workout you'll be ready for short summer shorts and bikinis in no time at all. Enjoy! :)
on November 26, 2012
(******Scroll down for 3-month update and...
******NEW NEW NEW 12-month update***************)
Review at One-Month:
Okay, so I've been waiting to write this review, hoping it would earn all five stars... and it has!
So, okay... First about me: I am already a slender person within my healthy weight range. Minus the muscle and add a little soft girly flab, I am very near the size of Jillian. However, I am soft... really soft! I am the kind of girl who needs help opening jars in the kitchen, and I basically am never asked to carry anything. I am the person who holds the door as other people carry stuff in and out, right?! Well, that is me - I haven't always been enthusiastic about exercise, but in the past couple of years, I have liked it more... if only because the years are beginning to show. I realized I must relent at some point and exercise. So, I was cycling for about 9 months straight every night for about an hour each night. Before that, I was doing various repetitive exercises. I am religious about this stuff; I want to be fit. Well, when the temperatures started dipping, I decided I wanted an indoor option for exercise. Enter Julian Michael "No More Trouble Zones."
So, I have exercised to this streaming video (via Amazon) every night for just over a month. At first, it killed me. Wow - Although my legs are very strong from the cycling, virtual NOTHING else was strong. Past tense being the emphasis there. The first four days or so, I was so sore that I didn't know if I could continue. However, I persevered, and the soreness subsided. The first few weeks, I started feeling stronger, but I really wasn't seeing a lot of results. I felt better, yes, but in the mirror, it looked about the same. I decided around the 1-month mark that I needed to cut more calories in a day. After all, I had been burning serious calories cycling every day, and although this video gives you a solid workout, it doesn't equal the calories I was burning cycling. So, I cut about 200 calories out of my diet daily, and lo and behold... I am seeing results.
Jillian is cute as a button but tough as nails! Here are just a few observations I've noticed along the way:
-- Knees: If you have bad knees, then is may not be the workout for you. There are several exercises that may compromise your situation.
-- Abs: I can feel every part of my stomach by the second round of Circuit 2. Lord, that one is killer, but it's so worth it from what I can tell.
-- Side lunge: To me, this one is so difficult, not because it hurts but it seems like something could go wrong easily. Jillian is barking so many orders about how to do it right, that I am always afraid I am doing it wrong. The producers may have benefited from showing the audience a profile view of one of the girls doing this lunge. I am always afraid I am not leaning back enough. Just my thoughts.
-- Sumo squat: Okay this one is killer if you try your very best to keep your elbows pointed at the ceiling. That is the trick to make this one burn like holy hell.
-- Plank: For someone as muscle-challenged as myself, the plank moves really are tough. Even after a month, I struggle with them. However, I feel the burn like crazy in my abs after the push ups, so I recommend suffering through them. The Plank Twist and Toe Taps are very tough if only because you have to stay in plank for so long, and the chick moves into plank so quickly. This is just my experience.
-- Very quick water breaks: When her two helpers take the mat, I always grab a quick sip of water. This is just about the only allowance of time you have to stay hydrated apart from pausing the tape. Just my observation.
So, okay... I recommend this one for sure if you are disciplined enough to stay at it and cut calories if you don't visibly notice results within a few weeks' time. I will definitely continue using this, and I shall try to update this again at the beginning of the year to report progress. Good luck to all - I welcome your comments or questions.
I have used this video everyday for three months now, missing only a few days total. I am still in love with this workout, and most importantly, it really is working. I think it's important to note that I do feel thinner, although I'm not sure if I actually am thinner. I am, however, stronger, and the shape of my body is much more toned than it ever has been before. My stomach is always flat, my arms looks kind of "muscly" even when they are not flexed (but very strong looking when flexed), my legs are firm, and my bottom is definitely super toned. In this time, I have tried other workouts, but I must say that not all workouts are created equal. Jillian's No Trouble Zones is great because even when it feels like it's getting a little old, you always feel like you're getting a workout. At about 2 months, I upgraded to 5 lb. weights, which was a real challenge; however, I adjusted and the results are showing. I would suggest building up to 5 lb weights, though. I definitely could NOT have done taken the extra weight sooner, and I think it may have been discouraging enough for me to quit. I have made a few modifications other than the incorporation of 5 lb. weights, which I'll itemize below:
-- Radio - Once I became familiar with the workout, I turned the video volume down to "just audible" and listened to a streaming Internet radio. This is nice because you never know what you'll hear, and it makes the workout a little more interesting, especially when you hear an old song you love. I listened to the comedy channel once, and be sure not to do that! I was laughing and it was hard to keep my pacing or positions.
-- Surrenders - I know some people really struggle with "surrender," but it was a little boring to me. I know pump my arms up and down just as I do in "sumo squat" while I execute the surrenders. I just find it to be much more difficult than holding the weights upright. That makes for one tough circuit!
-- Windshield wipers - After your second set of windshield wipers, Jillian has a rather long set-up before "plank with a row." I use this time to do about six more windshield wipers. Usually by the time she pounds on her abs with her stomach (see the video), I stop and then set up for "plank with a row." I find windshield wipers to be challenging and effective... might as well sneak a few more in!
I still love this workout, although I have watched and done it every day for three months. I can definitely see the results, although I do think you have to be VERY thin to see the actual six pack abs. I think I likely have six pack abs under a thin layer of girl fat. I guess if I were going to the beach, I might eat super, super lean that week and be able to see them! But, I still have definition in my abs where none was before, and that is pretty amazing. This is a great video! I'll update again soon. I check for comments, so please be sure to send them my way.
************ NEW! 12 Month Update! ************
Okay. So, here's the story. At about six months of doing this workout every day, I realized that YES I was firmer and better toned; however, I felt like I was gaining weight - as if I were thicker in places that I didn't like. Things weren't fitting quite right, and I thought it was probably best to jump on the scale. Well, sure enough, I had gained weight. The inevitable thought... I've added muscle. Yes, I do believe I did - HOWEVER - not this much muscle. So, I decided to clock how many calories I burned during a workout using a heart rate monitor. I burned around 250 calories during the 60 minute workout. I decided to get a stationary bike and see how many calories I could burn in the same amount of time, not being too crazy but definitely breaking a sweat. Well, it was more - by about 200 calories more, and at times, even more than that. So, truth be told, this workout is great for muscle and toning; however, you aren't burning a lot of calories here. Sad but true - It was sad for me, because I had to lose that weight all over again : ( But, a stationary bike and watching my calories had me back to the size I had aspired to maintain when I started the Julian Michaels workout.