Have you ever tried any one of the workout DVDs by Jillian Michaels? Yes? Then, you will understand what I mean by saying that I dislike and love Jillian Michaels in equal proportions.
Here is how my relationship with her works. The dislike usually kicks in during the second circuit of any of her gruelling workout videos and carries on until she utters the words ‘cool down’.
When the workout is all over, I switch gears and simply adore Jillian Michaels as a fitness trainer and declare that her workout DVDs are simply the best. And I will talk to you today about that relationship with as well as the best Jillian Michaels workout DVDs.
But before I talk about that, I will ask again- have you done any of her videos? No? That is okay because this article is supposed to walk you through the Jillian Michaels fitness DVDs world and at the end of the day, help you decide which one of her fitness videos you would like to try out.
You see, I have been doing her workouts for years now and own almost all of her programs, thus I feel I can point out which workouts are worth your time, and which ones you shouldn’t even give a second glance. But before I do that, let me just run you through what you should generally expect.
*This post may include affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure here
JILIAN MICHAEL’S LATEST WORKOUT DVD
WHAT TO EXPECT WITH JILLIAN MICHAELS HOME WORKOUT PROGRAMS
Jillian Michaels kicks butt. She means business when she tells you that her program will help you lose weight or that it will sculpt your body. She puts in the work in developing rock-solid fitness programs that drive results but after all, is said and done, she expects YOU to do the work.
You are what will drive results, no matter which one of her home workout DVDs you do. If you put in a 3, you will get a 3 as far as results go, if however, you put in 100%, you will get 100% back!
Jillian Michael’s workouts are for everyone. Beginners, intermediaries, advanced and even those of us who do not know where we stand as far as fitness levels go. Her fitness videos are designed for working out at home, require minimum equipment and are for both men and women.
Whatever your fitness level, America’s toughest trainer Jillian Michaels will beat you like you owe her money if you put in everything you have got. She might even beat you until you pass out or puke – I had seen her do that to contestants on the Biggest Loser.
What I am getting at is that Jillian is a great trainer and if you want to lose weight, you will. If you want to build muscle you will. And yes I know some of us are waiting for me to mention that magic word that gets most women excited so I will. If you want to ‘just get toned’ (I am playing nice today) Jillian Michaels will help you achieve that too.
EQUIPMENT YOU WILL NEED TO DO JILLIAN MICHAELS’ WORKOUTS
Like I said earlier, Jillian’s workout videos do not require a whole load of equipment. A bit of workout space, 2-3 sets of dumbbells and a mat is usually all you need to exercise to Jillian Michaels’ videos.
MY TOP 6 OF BEST JILLIAN MICHAELS WORKOUT DVDs
1. 30 DAY SHRED (30DS)
30 Day Shred is what I would term her claim to fame as far as the Jillian’s Michaels workout DVDs for weight loss are concerned. Yes, most of us know her from the popular TV show, The Biggest Loser, but 30 Day Shred is what made Jillian Michaels popular in terms of home fitness videos that are proven to produce impressive results, and it has a massive following.
30 Day Shred is a great place to start from for beginners as it is, along with Beginner Shred, an entry-level program. The DVD is made up of 3 levels and each level is supposed to be done for 10 days (please rest between each level or you will cause your body more harm than good).
THE 30 DAY SHRED WORKOUT
The workouts are performed by Jillian, Natalie, who does the advanced moves, and Anita who does the beginner version of the workout. Each level starts off with a warm-up followed by 3 circuits and the workout ends with a quick cool down.
The total workout time for 30DS is about 25 minutes (including warm up and cool down), although it is marketed as a 30-minute workout program.
30 Day Shred is based on the 3-2-1 concept, meaning, for each circuit you perform 3 minutes of strength training, 2 minutes of cardio and 1 minute of abs. The first week is fairly easy, but the intensity progresses with each level.
2. RIPPED IN 30
When I started out with Jillian’s workouts I did 30DS, then followed it up with Ripped in 30, as this sequence seems to be the norm among her fans. Ripped in 30 builds up the intensity from where 30-day Shred left off. Ripped in 30 contains four workouts (week 1, 2, 3 and 4). I found week 3 to be the hardest of all the weeks.
All the levels are full body workouts and unlike 30DS, which tends to get tedious, you only perform each level for 5-6 days, before moving on to the next.
The 3-2-1 concept is also used in Ripped in 30 but this time, the moves are more challenging and the total workout time is a bit longer than 30DS. You also get one trainer doing beginner moves, while other one does the advanced and this is standard in all of Jillian Michaels fitness videos.
Although Ripped in 30 is so much similar to 30DS, the Ripped 30 trainers are not the same as in 30DS, so you get to have a whole different workout experience with Shirley and Basheera, with Natalie Jill standing in for Basheera in week 2.
3. BODY REVOLUTION
Body Revolution is a 3-month workout program which delivers insane results, and as Jillian, herself says it aims at “progressing you from the couch to a bikini or speedo.”
Body Revolution starts fairly easy and progresses every 2 weeks. The workouts are split into three phases (months) and the workout calendar looks like this:
- PHASE 1
- WEEKS 1-2
- Monday: workout 1
- Tuesday: workout 2
- Wednesday: cardio 1
- Thursday: workout 1
- Friday: workout 2
- Saturday: cardio 1
- Sunday: rest
- WEEKS 3-4
- Monday: workout 3
- Tuesday: workout 4
- Wednesday: cardio 1
- Thursday: workout 3
- Friday: workout 4
- Saturday: cardio 1
- Sunday: rest
The other two phases follow the same sequence as phase 1. Workouts 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11 focus on the front of the body, while workouts 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 target the back of the body muscle groups.
As stated earlier, Body Revolution is pretty easy from the beginning but the gears suddenly switch from week 5 and workouts 5 and 7 are the most challenging in my opinion. I have repeated Body Revolution for maybe 6 times since I first laid my hands on it in 2013, and each time, I always swear at Jillian Michaels whilst doing workouts 7 and 5. Other than that, I find Body Revolution to be the best workout program that Jillian has ever made, out of all her fitness DVDs.
Even if you do not follow the Body Revolution diet plan, I can assure you that you will drop inches like crazy and see amazing results, way before the 90 days is even over.
MY 30 DAY SHRED, RIPPED IN 30, BODY REVOLUTION BEFORE AND AFTER
4. KILLER BUNS & THIGHS
If you want a rock hard butt that you can bounce a quarter off of or just lean legs, then Killer Buns & Thighs is the workout you must definitely DO.
This butt and thigh program consists of three levels and out of the three, level 2 is the hardest because of the many plyometric moves it has, while level 3 to me seems to be the easiest. How you proceed from one level to the next is entirely up to you.
I would suggest that you do each level at a time, twice a week for a month, then move to the next level after 30 days or whenever you feel ready to, just don’t rush through the levels. You can add Killer Body Upper Body or Killer Arms and Back to ensure you are getting a full body workout.
5. KICKBOX FASTFIX
As the name suggests, Kickbox FastFix is just that- a fast fix of kickboxing which includes a warm-up, total body workout, and cool-down, all under 20 minutes. This fitness DVD consists of three workouts: Workout 1- upper body, workout 2- lower body and workout number 3 which focuses on the core.
Kickbox FastFix is not a favourite with a lot of people because of the hard to follow moves that are involved. I’m however a huge fan of workout 1 and I breeze through it on days that I prefer quick fix of fun cardio or when I am just on a time crunch.
The other two levels are so-so for me and honestly, I have done workouts 2 and 3 much less than I have workout 1.
Should you buy Kickbox FastFix? Yes and no.
Yes, if you absolutely love kickboxing and your coordination is on point or if you are patient enough to stick it out and learn the moves.
No, if you are impatient, and hate kickboxing.
THE OTHER BEST JILLIAN MICHAELS WORKOUT VIDEOS
6. BODYSHRED (BS)
BodyShred is by far the toughest workout program that Jillian Michaels has ever created. It is 60 days, 30 minutes a day, program that utilises the 3-2-1 intervals just like 30 Day Shred and Ripped in 30, and follows the same calendar rotation as Body Revolution.
BodyShred is incredibly intense and I find some of the moves quite unreasonable. If you are not highly fit, BodyShred is probably not for you right now and I would suggest you start with the best of Jillian Michaels workouts, that is, 30 Day Shred, Ripped in 30 and Body Revolution and only after that will you be ready to tackle BodyShred.
You will gain amazing strength and muscle mass by following the laid out 2 months of BodyShred. BS is the only one of Jillian Michaels’ workout DVDs that comes with a bonus workout, Opus. Opus is without a doubt the craziest, most difficult and extreme workout EVER.
Every time I psych myself up to attempt Opus, I always end up on my home gym floor with popcorn and just watch the whole thing like a movie.
I am not kidding-this has happened twice so far. Even the modified moves which are done by Zuzka Light are just too hard for me. If you have successfully finished Opus, please comment below, I would like to draw some inspiration from you.
The other Jillian Michaels workouts that I think are worth trying are:
Hard Body is a total body workout program by Jillian Michaels consisting of Level 1 and 2, which are 45 minutes each. Both levels are brutal but you will certainly see insane results if you commit to the program.
I like throwing in Hard Body once in a while when I want to switch things up a little or on Saturdays when I have a bit more time to do a longer than 30 minutes workout.
8. NO MORE TROUBLE ZONES (NMTZ)
No More Trouble Zones is a no cardio 50-minute full body strength training circuit workout. If you hate cardio, NMTZ is the best Jillian Michaels workout for you and if you consistently dedicate your time to it and do it every other day, you will be in the best shape of your life.
9. BANISH FAT BOOST METABOLISM (BFBM)
Banish Fat Boost Metabolism is a 50-minute body weight only strength training workout video with a bit of cardio thrown in. The best part about BFBM is that apart from your workout mat, you do not need any equipment to do this workout.
Apart from the above best Jillian Michaels workout DVDs that I own, I also have the following videos (and I am hoping to get my hands on her latest workout Jillian Michaels Lift & Shred ):
Of all these fitness videos, I think the only ones that will continue collecting dust on my shelf are Shred it with Weights, 6 weeks 6 pack, Yoga Meltdown, and Killer Abs, because I personally do not enjoy them. Feel free to drop me a comment if you would like to know why I do not like Shred it with Weights, 6 weeks 6 pack, Yoga Meltdown, and Killer Abs.
While I have my favourite and least favourite list of the Jillian Michaels’ workout videos, I have to state that there’s NO one specific best of Jillian Michaels’ DVD that will give you results. ALL of her workouts are effective in driving results, you just need to stay consistent, eat right and up your level of intensity whenever you get to work.
There is enough material in this article for you to go out and kick butt with whichever workout you decide to pick from my list of the best Jillian Michaels workout DVDs!