Because of our immense love for Bob Harper, I sometimes feel like Jillian Michael gets the short end of the FBG love stick. And frankly, she's a bad ass. My husband affectionately refers to her, not by her name, but as "Rock & Roll Motorcycle," as tribute to her bad-assness. And no bad-assness isn't a word, but it should be.
Because Erin reviewed Bob-led The Biggest Loser, Volume 1, we thought that to even The Biggest Loser trainer score, we'd review Jillian Michaels: 30 Day Shred. Plus, I'd heard it was a serious calorie scorcher, which is especially good on a day like today when America actually celebrates naming a turkey, killing a turkey and then stuffing themselves with turkey and other delicacies. And I, for one, plan on partaking in all of that, minus the killing of the turkey, and need a tough workout to counteract that extra helping of mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. After doing Rock & Roll Motorcycle's 30-Day Shred, I'm happy to report that it did the job, and then some.
The DVD is divided up into three different levels. Each level consists of 25 minutes (the package says 20 minutes, but it's lying—I know because I was almost late to work two mornings in a row) of hard-core circuit training. The circuits have a 3-2-1 format. Three minutes of weight lifting (one isolated movement and one compound movement that works the upper- and lower-body simultaneously), two minutes of cardio drills and one minute of abs.
The 25-minute levels get progressively harder as you go, as they are designed to challenge the exerciser as she gets more fit. Level 1 has you doing rows followed by lunges with bicep curls, butt kicks, punches and oblique crunches. Level 2 hits ya harder with walking push-ups, front and back lunges, plus a hammer curl, skaters, plank jacks and planks plus a side twist.
Why aren't more DVDs designed like this? I mean, really, it's like a beginner, intermediate and advanced workout in one, and I loved Level 1 for days when I wasn't feeling very ambitious but wanted to do something. Jillian is tough but totally lovable. Okay, maybe not Bob-lovable, but with lines like "She's kicking herself in the ass, literally!" during butt kicks and "I have 400-pound people do jacks, so you can, too," it's hard not to love her. She cues perfectly, she's more personal trainer-y than aerobics-y, and all of the exercises are done at a sane pace where you have the time to do the exercises with proper form. It's like she's been reading FBG and taking notes on all the DVDs that suck. (Unfortunately, she didn't read about how much we love fun music because that's the only negative thing that I can say about the Shred.)
One funny thing about the DVD, though, is that I'm pretty sure they used the same set from this DVD. Thankfully, I loved that one, too, so it didn't hurt R&RM's rating by much. Okay, not at all. It's totally worth the $10.99 on Amazon.
FBG Rating (Out of 5):
Long-Term Likeability: ★★★★★
Fun Factor: ★★★★★
Meets Expectations: ★★★★★
Fit Bottom line: Whether you're a novice, intermediate or advanced exerciser, this DVD will challenge you. The exercises are unique, fun and, well, perfect. —Jenn
Looking for more workout DVD reviews? Read our take on Zumba and Carmen Electra's Vegas Strip (always a fun one to revisit). For more on how our ratings are determined (it's not a science, but we do have some method to our madness), read our review criteria.