Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred Review

So if you are anything like me, the last thing you probably feel like doing after a long day at work and a tedious commute is exercising. All I want to do when I get home at night is crash on the couch and watch shows, and when I try to set my alarm to get up early to exercise, I wake up, laugh at myself for thinking I’d actually do it, and fall back to sleep.

But sitting all day at a desk and barely getting up I’m told is very bad for you! Yes I feel lazy and don’t want to exercise, but I also don’t want to feel as tired and lacking in energy as I do, or put on weight from the secret sweet stash I have in my desk for motivation.

I guess that means sometimes I’m going to have to force myself to exercise so I can balance out that sweet tooth of mine, and also so I can regain my upper body strength so I can once again open tight lidded jars (they are ridiculously hard okay)! Plus I just want to enjoy being young and being relatively fit.

So I’m always trying to find exercise methods that involve the least amount of time/effort dedication. And I’ve stumbled across a great one...

After hearing rave reviews, I recently purchased Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred DVD from JB HI FI Online for $14.95.

Basically the DVD has three 22ish minute workouts that increase in intensity. The idea is it’s a program, and you are supposed to do it every day for 30 days. You do the easier level 1 for 10 days (although it’s not easy by any means), and then level 2 for 10 days, then level 3 for the final 10 days. Jillian promises that you will lose up to 10 kg in 30 days, plus be far more toned, strong and fit in general.

I think a workout of under 25 minutes is perfect, not too long to deter me from doing it or to cut into your day too much. Also this workout can be done at home mere metres from your bed if you want! No rainy, freezing mornings or expensive gym gear needed.
So I did this for 21 days straight, and then my friend surprised me by returning from overseas so I was busy with her and missed a day. And the stupid voice in my head then told me to give up because I missed a day so what was the point continuing (see what I'm up against?).

What were the results like after 21 days? Absolutely incredible! My body felt stronger that it ever has in my life. I had really toned arms and legs and stronger ab muscles after only a couple of weeks, and it’s so incredible to see day by day your body improving. I started out not being able to do push ups and then suddenly was able to do loads!

It’s a hard workout but it’s definitely worth every minute. The exercises you do are top notch, and work all of the different parts of your body (see table below). It’s organised into a 2 minute warm up and down at either end, with 3 x 6 minute sections in the middle. A 6 minute section is organised into 3 minutes of strength (which I find the hardest), 2 minutes of cardio, and 1 minute of abs.

You need a set of hand weights-I got mine from Rebel Sport for about $15. Go smaller with these as you use them a lot in this workout, I have 1.5kg weights and I find they are hard enough for this. I can barely lift my arms the next day!

I also purchased a yoga mat from BIG W for $12. It just saves my carpet and makes for a more comfortable surface.

In case you wanted to know exactly what exercises are involved, here is the breakdown of Level 1 exercises:

(*Note: Exercises for each section (i.e. strength) are of the format: you do activity 1, then activity 2, then back to 1, then 2 again)





First 6 minute section

-Pushups x 2 sets (1.5 mins total)

-Squats with 90 degree weight lift above head x 2 sets (1.5 mins total)

-Jumping Jacks x 2 sets (1 min total)
-Skip on the spot x 2 sets (1 min total)

-Crunches (30 secs)

-90 degree leg pull in and out (30 secs)

Second 6 minute section

-Arm Rows with weights x 2 (1.5 mins total)

-Knee forward squat with bicep curl with weights x 2 (1.5 mins total)

-Punching x 2 (1 min)

-Buttkicks x2 (1 min)

-Side crunch to both sides of body (1 min)

Third 6 minute section

-Lying down weights above chest moving in and out x 2 (1.5 mins)

-Lean side to side while pulling weights up the middle x 2 (1.5 mins)

-Jumping Jacks (30 secs)

-Buttkicks (30 secs)

-Punching (30 secs)

-Skipping (30 secs)

-Bicycle Crunches side to side (1 min)

My Advice:

  • Prepare to be sore the next day. If you aren’t used to doing weights, start gradually and use smaller weights. I started on 3kg-BIG MISTAKE! They were quickly returned and swapped for 1.5kg, and my arms were eventually okay after a week of pain!
  • Wear shoes-all of the squats are quite hard on your knees and after doing it every day for weeks my knees were starting to hurt during the exercises. So listen to your body and go easy if need be.
  • Also it’s extremely hard to do this every day nonstop for 30 days. I think it’s a far smarter idea to do this 5 times a week instead, or even 3 or 4 times. Your body needs to rest and recover and this way gives you a few days off so you are more likely to stick to it. You’ll still see positive changes doing it less frequently than 7 days. But something like this is perfect for getting fit for summer, where you want to work hard every day for a month leading up to beach season.
  • In terms of the weight lost, this is where I felt a bit let down. It’s not like I had much weight to lose anyway, but I still wanted to see movement on the scales. Perhaps it’s because fat converted to muscle, and muscle weighs more? That’s what I told myself anyway, because I had gained a lot of muscle and strength (in a nice toned girl way-don’t think bodybuilder!). Also maybe if I did the whole 30 days then I would have noticed more of a difference. A lot of reviewers say they lose inches instead of pounds from the workout, so it’s a good ideas to measure key body parts before and after because you’ll really see a difference.
  • Play loud music over Jillian (no offence to her!). She starts to get quite repetitive every day and music is a great motivator. Plus she’s pretty mean and sometimes if I don’t want hurt feelings I’ll drown her out :P

So have you guys tried this workout or any of her other ones? What are your thoughts on it? I also want to try some other exercise DVDs, so let me know if you have any recommendations!


  1. Really like this DVD and your advice Kate. Thanks!

    1. Yay I'm glad! I should really check out Jillian's other DVDs, see if they are just as good. Let me know if you have any other recommendations! x


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