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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 3, 2016
I've lost 70 pounds with this dvd. Thank you so much Jillian
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on May 2, 2012
Yep, all the 5 star reviews have it right: this workout (or series of workouts) is as impressive, challenging, and effective as they say. The ironic thing is, I wasn't even planning to embark on a workout challenge when I came across this DVD. I happened to see a "before/after" review from someone on Pinterest. The pics the user included showing her before and after body caught my eye and totally had me sold within minutes. (And like I said, I wasn't even looking for a new workout at the time - it was THAT impressive.)

Here's what makes this series awesome:

1) As a busy full-time working mom of a 21 month old, I couldn't be more thankful that this workout can be done in only 24 minutes a day. TWENTY-FOUR (24!?) minutes a day to a better body? You bet. The way Jillian designed the workouts is genius. Even in Level 1 (the "easiest" but by no means "easy" level), you're working multiple muscle groups and/or doing cardio at the same time. As Jillian notes throughout the series, that concentrated focus on more than one muscle area at the same time(large and small muscles - like legs with arms) allows you to get it all done and burn more calories in less time. Who has more time to waste doing easier (but longer) workouts that won't even be as effective? Do this one and save yourself the time.

2) The series includes 3 progressively challenging workout routines. You only do 1 routine per day, but as long as you've worked your way up to Level 3 and are ready for any of the levels (that will indeed take you some time to do) you are then free to switch around to any of the 3 workouts depending on your mood for the day. You get bored of one routine, or are ready to move to a harder level, you can move on and the other 2 workouts are there for your choosing. Unless you're already very fit, it's unlikely that you'll want to jump right to Level 3, but now that I've done all 3 levels I super-appreciate the ability to pick which one I want to do from day to day.

3) Each level is challenging in its own way - you're not going to find any of the levels easy (again unless you're already super-fit, but even Jillian and her "best girls" are struggling on some of these moves, so maybe if you're more fit than them?!)

4) The workouts deliver. I think the marketing materials I've read for the series actually says "lose up to 20 pounds in 30 days" - well, that's not a realistic goal for everyone, unless perhaps you are quite overweight to begin with. But if you do have that much to lose, then I can see how this series would help you do it. What really impresses me with this series is NOT the weight loss piece (I've lost about 4 pounds so far and I'm on day 22), but the strength and tone I'm getting from these workouts. I did my measurements on Day 1 and have been measuring every 5 days since then. I've definitely lost inches in places where it counts - waist, hips, thighs. I also noticed my slightly previously-emerging double chin is no more and my face is thinner! :) (I tend to lose weight in my face and bust first.) I also just FEEL more fit in general. I started feeling great after the first few (rough) days.

5) Jillian gives the perfect mix of "tough love" and "encouragement." Just when you feel like you're going to die and feel like you're being pushed too hard, she says something that reminds you why you're doing it (just as an example, at one point she reminds you how much nicer it will be to go jeans shopping when you're more in shape), and it seriously helps put your focus back on the positives instead of how GOSH DARN HARD you're working. It's still tough, but those little reminders take the proverbial edge off for sure.

6) Totally based on my own experience for this one, but people noticed a change in me after using this DVD for just a few days. I have a job that I am only in the office a few days a month. The last time I went in and saw the people I work with, 3 people told me how great I looked and asked what I had been doing. At that point, I had only been using this DVD for about 7 days. Based on the on-the-spot testimonial I gave to each of them, 2 ended up writing down the name of the DVD and planned to buy it.

7) It's UNDER SEVEN BUCKS! I have never before purchased a better workout for less money, or even close to it.

Clearly there's a lot that I like about this DVD. Now for the few things I don't (minor.)

1) I have neck problems - was treated awhile back for a herniated disc in my neck and still have pain related to that injury. Although Jillian has one of her "girls" showing modifications to the workout for almost every move, she doesn't specifically tell you how to modify if you have common complaints like neck or back issues. Some of the modifications work out fine, but a couple of them still give me trouble and I kind of just end up suffering through and hoping I don't hurt myself (I suppose I could not do those particular moves, but with a 24 minute workout you don't really want to cut out too much - as Jillian says throughout.) So minor point, but important to be aware of if you have any serious injuries that you may be concerned about aggravating.

2) Jillian has two women who workout behind her - one shows the modified move, the other one shows the advanced move. What bugs me about the advanced version of some of the moves is that even the woman demonstrating them can't make it through some without breaking or stopping or modifying her pose briefly. I can surely understand that, since the advanced moves are SERIOUSLY HARD, but if the person on the DVD can't even do it who's supposed to serve as motivation for where you'll get eventually, it can be kind of demotivating - "if she can't do it - how can I??!"

3) Just remembered how much I hate that you can't fast forward through the introduction. So even if you've seen it 30 times already you have to watch the whole intro which takes about 3 minutes or so. Really annoying when it's not part of the workout and you are just ready to get to the workout!

Aside from those 3 (minor in the scheme of things) negatives, I clearly LOVE this series and will continue doing it even after the 30 days are over. I want to keep my new-found strength and tone, and that's not going to happen if I only do this for 30 days then quit.

FIVE STARS AND FULLY RECOMMEND THIS DVD, provided you are ready for a tough and effective workout that's going to make you BURN and SWEAT!
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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 August 31, 2013
There is simply nothing negative to say about this DVD. There are a lot of dieting/exercise plans that you can invest in (and some that I fell for) that promise quick results (after you spend a pretty penny), but they're not very sustainable. I love that for under $10 (plus another $15 for some 5lb hand weights) I found something that I enjoy, is sustainable, and inexpensive. I just finished my 14th day (nonstop) on this DVD. Prior to this, I was running (something I HATE to do) to try to lose some weight. I'm 5'1" and couldn't bring myself under 150 (I really should be closer to 115 for my height). I had a gym membership, went to classes, spent money on B12 injections and saw a weight loss doctor (long story short... a hack who insisted that I needed to starve myself). Money I'll never get back. It was frustrating to feel like that money, time, and effort were for naught. There was no change in the scale and no change in my body.

Two weeks ago, I bought 30 Day Shred. I've lost about 4 lbs (I think... the water weight flux is always confusing), but even without a single pound of weight loss considered, I've DRASTICALLY changed the way I look in the mirror. My once-painfully tight clothing (I refused to shop for more fat clothes, part of my self-motivation), is now loose. I can wear clothes that were shoved into the back of the closet more than a year ago. Let me tell you, I'm PANTING during this workout. I've never had more than a little bit of sweat beading on my face and chest. I'm dripping sweat by the end of the workout and I usually wait about a half an hour for my body to cool down before showering (otherwise, I'll get out of the shower and still be sweating while I'm getting dressed-- eww.)

What I love, is that yes, it's really hard, but it's also only 20 minutes. By the time your brain and your muscles are telling you they can't handle it anymore, you're on your last set... and you can't let yourself stop when you can see the finish line. I've really surprised myself and I can honestly say that I'm very proud of my results so far. I can't wait to see where I'll be in another two weeks.

I plan on buying the Ripped in 30 DVD after I finish the 30 Day Shred. This is going to be my new 'go to' daily workout. This is part of my routine now. I allow myself some treats once in a while, but my primary food source comes from leafy greans and lean protein. I'm saving money by buying less processed foods, and I'm finding that I'm also less tempted by the not-so-healthy options. It simply doesn't fit with my lifestyle anymore... it's counterproductive to the work I've been doing.
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on April 25, 2016
This is my second time purchasing this dvd! I am purchasing this as a gift for a friend because I am a firm believer in this work out plan. With dieting and implementing this work out two times a day- I lost 37lbs the first month & a half.

I cut added sugars, dairy, and carbs out of my diet. The work outs are short and really get your heart pumping... I sweat so much! I always find myself going back to this routine. I still have a long way to go, out of all the work out plans I've done this has got to be my most favorite.
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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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