Jillian Michaels' 30-Day Shred DVD

30 Day Shred DVD - Jillian Michaels

The Bottom Line

With the 30-Day Shred, a short workout (less than half an hour) really counts. Jillian Michaels works you hard in this series of three workouts, each including three circuits of increasingly difficult strength, cardio, and ab moves. It's not for the faint of heart (or knee), but if you do it right, it works.

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  • Short--easy to fit into busy schedule
  • Requires little equipment (mat and hand weights)
  • Good variety in movements, muscles worked
  • Good for men or women
  • Movements are easy to follow and understand


  • Post-workout cool-down may be insufficient
  • Demonstrator of advanced moves doesn't always have great form
  • "20 pounds in 30 days" is an overly optimistic promise
  • Can be hard on knees and shins unless you modify some moves


  • Three levels, with increasing difficulty (but ALL are challenging!)
  • Each workout combines strength, cardio, and ab moves
  • Celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels designed and demonstrates the workouts, with two helpers
  • One helper demonstrates modified movements (lower impact and intensity)
  • Contains brief warm-up and cool-down segments

Guide Review - Jillian Michaels' 30-Day Shred DVD

Workout DVDs aren't for everyone, and neither is brash, no-excuses trainer Jillian Michaels. (You may know her from TV's "The Biggest Loser.") But if you want a workout that works, and doesn't take hours of your day, try her 30-Day Shred DVD.

In less than 30 minutes, including a brief warm-up and cool-down, Michaels takes you through a butt-kicking series of strength, cardio, and ab moves. In each of the three leveled workouts, you'll complete three circuits; each circuit consists of three minutes of strength moves, two minutes of cardio, and one minute of crunches and other moves targeting the abdominal muscles.

The idea is to do 10 days of level 1, then move up to level 2, and so on. The levels build upon each other. For example, in level 1 you'll do ordinary push-ups. In level 2, things get a little tougher with walking push-ups, in which you stand up, then walk out to a push-up position on your hands, do the push-up, and walk back up to standing. Then in level 3, it's time for traveling push-ups, in which you stay down on the ground in push-up position, but move your hands to a different position in between each rep. Like I said: butt-kicking.

I like this DVD because the workout is efficient. Every minute counts and, Michaels argues, replaces "hours of phoning it in at the gym." If you have the self-discipline to really follow the moves without cheating, you will see some good results.

A few words of caution: Many of the movements are intense and high-impact (especially the plyometrics in level 3). You'll need to pay close attention to your form and do the lower-impact modifications if necessary if you are less physically fit or prone to injury.

Also, the demonstrator who shows the advanced modifications of the movements (her name is Natalie) doesn't always have excellent form, so you need to listen to Michaels's instructions carefully. Finally, the cool-down stretches are perfunctory. Consider holding them for a longer time and/or adding additional stretches, to better care for your muscles and joints.

In Michaels's patter, there is a lot of emphasis on weight loss as a motivator. While I agree that that's why most people work out or would buy the DVD, I would have appreciated fewer appeals to vanity and more to health and strength. These comments also might make the DVD less attractive to men, which is a shame; this is a workout that's challenging enough for most guys.

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