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Jillian Michaels – 30 Day Shred

wpid-51QlqI3yaOLSL500.jpgJILLIAN MICHAELS:30 DAY SHRED – DVD Movie


I cannot say enough to recommend this video. Really. It is the most effective, most challenging, and yet completely motivating workout I have ever done. (And I’ve done a few.) It is completely brilliant- a 20 minutes workout that actually kicks your butt; the length of the workout really makes you feel like you have got to push yourself and get through it, because you tell yourself, who can’t do 20 minutes? Psychologically, it really makes you want to finish, and finish strong.
And it pays dividends. If you’re anything like me, I couldn’t even do the video for 2 days after the first time I did it because I was just too sore. But in the best way, that I-really-got-a-serious-workout kind of way. Very satisfying. In under 30 minutes!
I love Jillian on The Biggest Loser, and she has the very same no-nonsense approach on the video that she uses on the ranch, and I think it really does push you. She tells it like it is- “If you are looking for a modification on jumping jacks… look elsewhere. I’m not going to give that to you, I have 400 pound people doing them on the ranch, and I know you can do this,” “I’m not gonna let you cheat. I know this is hard work. If we are promising you big things, we have to deliver.” And she’s right. If we’re really trying to get a workout in 23 minutes or whatever it is, she’s really got to make it hard to get results. But it works, and it’s worth it.
I have read several of the other reviews on here, and I would like to respond to some of the negative points that people have brought up:
-The intro to the video cannot be fast forwarded, so you actually have 2 or 3 minutes of Jillian talking at the beginning of the DVD that adds time to your workout without adding any action. OK, it is a bit annoying. But USE THIS TIME WISELY, by running in place or any other light cardio activity to extend the warm-up time. The video only gives a minute or two for your warm up, and trust me, you will need a little more than that to prepare your muscles for what’s coming.
-The workout is too challenging/not challenging enough… That’s crazy. It is what you make of it. If you think it’s too hard, modify – I didn’t use weights the first few times I did it, because you don’t want to shock your body by doing too much too soon. Give yourself time to get used to the motions and the workout before you add weights if you are a beginner. If you think it’s not hard enough or you are not getting enough burn in the strength training segments, you need to add more weight, or, considering this is just a 20 minute workout, alternate days doing this DVD as good cardio and doing a more in-depth 30 minute strength training segment the next day. There is no reason this DVD cannot be a staple in your routine, no matter your fitness level. It is an undeniably effective 20 minute workout. Make it work for you.
-It’s too high-impact. OK, there is a lot of jumping. That’s because jumping is wildly effective at burning calories. Again, 20 minute workout, it has to be as challenging as possible. You could cheat, and take it a little easier on your knees, but you will be sacrificing intensity. If you KNOW you have bad knees or arthritis and you still want a great workout, buy a mini trampoline for the jumping segments. You won’t be able to fully extend your legs to the side in the jumping jack sections, but you will still be able to jump and reduce a lot of the impact. My arthritic mother, who I bought a copy of this DVD for, did that and it worked perfectly for her.
-Not enough warm-up/cool-down. Come on, people. Did you really think that you can get a warm up, decent workout, and cool-down in 20 minutes flat? Let’s manage our expectations a little bit. It is 20 minutes. You will need to add a couple of minutes to the warm up, I addressed that earlier, just begin your warm up during the intro part of the DVD that you can’t fast-forward through. The cool down/stretching segment is also not long enough to really stretch everything you just hammered during the video. Turn the DVD off, and do some additional stretches for another 5 or 10 minutes. Even if you add to the warm up and the cool down, you’re at about 35 minutes for a great, complete, body-rocking workout. That is not unreasonable, especially considering most people would spend almost that much time in the car driving to and from the gym. (Where you would have to work out much longer than 20 minutes to get the kind of full-body workout that Jillian delivers here.)
The bottom line: It costs less than half of a monthly gym membership at even the most affordable gym, you can completely modify it to work for you, it is 20 minutes long and you do it in the comfort of your own home so you really have no excuses not to get it done, and it delivers like Domino’s. You will see and feel a difference faster than you thought possible, and the soreness in your muscles will let you know real quick that you are doing something effective.
Jillian knows what she is doing, and she will get you results. It is well worth the price and it absolutely makes the most out of every single second you spend doing it. What more could you ask for?!


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P90X Extreme Home Fitness Workout Program – 13 DVDs, Nutrition Guide, Exercise Planner

P90X Extreme Home Fitness

Tired of ineffective workouts that sound great but produce less-than-optimal results? Turn to the P90X Extreme Home Fitness system, a bundle of 12 sweat-inducing, muscle-pumping workouts designed to transform your body from regular to ripped in just 90 days. Hosted by Personal Trainer Tony Horton, the series of DVDs will help you get lean, bulk up, or grow stronger, with an endless variety of mix-and-match routines to keep you motivated. The secret behind the P90X system is an advanced training technique called “muscle confusion,” which accelerates the fitness process by constantly introducing new moves and routines so that your body never plateaus and you never get bored. The more you confuse the muscle, the harder your body has to work to keep up. And the more variety you put into your workout, the better and faster your results will be. By breaking old routines and opening new doors, secondary and tertiary muscles are constantly being activated and developed.

The DVD Workouts
Each of the 12 highly diverse and intense DVD workouts focuses on either a specific set of muscle groups or a unique training technique.

  • Workout One: Chest & Back.This superset chest-and-back-blasting workout emphasizes two classic upper-body exercises–push-ups and pull-ups–to build strength and develop shape. The combination of these two push and pull movements will help you burn loads of calories while simultaneously attacking, strengthening, and developing multiple muscle groups.
  • Workout Two: Plyometrics.Get ready to go airborne. Offering more 30 explosive jumping moves, this intense cardio routine will keep you in the air most of the time. Plyometrics, also known as jump training, has been proven to dramatically improve athletic performance. If your sport involves a ring, rink, field, court, or track, this training will give you the edge. Just be prepared to “bring it” for a full hour when you leap into this workout, because there is no letting up.
  • Workout Three: Shoulders & Arms.Nothing rounds out the perfect physique like a pair of well-defined arms and shoulders, and with its potent combination of pressing, curling, and fly movements, this routine will leave you feeling stronger and looking sexier. Whether you want to build muscle mass or just slim and tighten what you’ve already got, these targeted shoulder and arm exercises will give you the results you want.
  • Workout Four: yoga X.Yoga is a vital part of any fitness regimen, and is an absolute must for an extreme program like P90X. This routine combines strength, balance, coordination, flexibility, and breath work to enhance your physique and calm your mind. Yoga X will leave you feeling energized, invigorated, and maybe even a little enlightened.
  • Workout Five: Legs & Back.Get ready to squat, lunge, and pull for a total-body workout like no other. While the main focus of this workout lies in strengthening and developing the leg muscles (quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves), there are also a handful of great pull-up exercises to give your legs a quick breather while you work the upper body.
  • Workout Six: Kenpo X.Kenpo X was created to give P90X users a high-intensity cardiovascular workout packed with lots of punching and kicking combinations to improve balance, endurance, flexibility, and coordination. During this workout you’ll learn some of the most effective ways to defend yourself, while at the same time getting your body in peak condition.
  • Workout Seven: X Stretch.Stretching is the one thing that will help you achieve a higher level of athleticism over a longer period of time. The X Stretch routine is an integral part of the program, as it helps prevent injuries and avoid plateaus. The extensive full-body stretches that make up this routine use disciplines from Kenpo karate, hatha yoga, and various sports to ensure that your body is fully prepared to meet all P90X challenges head-on.
  • Workout Eight: Core Synergistics.Each and every exercise in the Core Synergistics workout recruits multiple muscle groups to build and support the core (lumbar spine and trunk muscles), while at the same time conditioning your body from head to toe. Loaded with a variety of fun, unique, and challenging exercises, this routine will get you moving in all directions to maximize your P90X results.
  • Workout Nine: Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps.Packed with an array of moves that target both large and small muscles, this workout will do wonders for your upper body. In just one full sequence you’ll get a healthy dose of presses, flys, and extensions to push you to the brink. The results will be a stronger, leaner, and highly defined upper torso that will leave you looking awesome, with or without a shirt.
  • Workout 10: Back & Biceps.With a host of curls and pull-ups, this routine will make it fun to flex those powerful biceps. But don’t worry, ladies–by using lighter weight, you can focus on toning and tightening these showcase arm muscles without adding the size that most guys covet. Additionally, this workout also provides some great back definition that everyone can appreciate. Regardless of your goals, you will achieve them in dramatic fashion if you dig in and max out your reps.
  • Workout 11: Cardio X.This low-impact cardio routine can be used in a variety of ways to meet your P90X goals. Use it in addition to your standard P90X workload when you want to burn some extra calories, or as a substitute if your body needs a break from the program’s high-impact workouts. Whatever your reason for using Cardio X, you’ll find it a fun, full-throttle, fat-burning workout that will leave you feeling lean and mean.
  • Workout 12: Ab Ripper X. The combination and sequence of movements in this unique workout taps into not only abdominal strength, but true core strength as well. Master these 11 highly effective exercises and you will achieve vital abdominal muscle strength to benefit your overall health and physical performance. You’ll also develop that highly coveted six-pack as you take Ab Ripper X to full throttle. It’s extreme work that’s better than any machine in any club.

P90X Fitness Guide
This is your road map and your plan of attack for using P90X. Learn guidelines for getting started and essential tips for how to make the most of the program. The fitness guide provides you tips to reduce your chance of injury; a fit test; recommended supplements and equipment; detailed instructions for stretching, warming up, and performing exercises; and guidelines to help you select which P90X phase to complete, whether Classic, Doubles, or Lean.

The nutrition Plan
Following the P90X nutrition plan is just as vital to your overall success as any of the extreme workouts in this program. Specifically designed to work in tandem with the P90X workout routines, this three-phase eating plan recommends the perfect combination of foods to satisfy your body’s energy needs every step of the way. P90X is not about quick fixes or miracle Diets. It’s about selecting the healthy foods that you want to eat, and determining the portion amounts that will provide your body with the right amount of fuel to excel during exercise. The P90X nutrition plan offers three phases. Phase 1 is the Fat Shredder, a high-protein-based diet designed to help you strengthen your muscles while simultaneously and rapidly shedding fat from your body. Phase 2 is the Energy Booster, a balanced mix of carbohydrates and proteins with a lower amount of fat to achieve additional energy for performance. And Phase 3 is the Endurance Maximizer, an athletic diet of complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and lower fat, with the emphasis on more carbohydrates. You’ll need this combination of foods as fuel to get the most out of your final few weeks and truly be in the best shape of your life.

Tools to Keep You Motivated

  • P90X Calendar to set your workout goals, track your progress, and stay motivated.
  • Free Online Support Tools for access to fitness experts, peer support, and motivation.

What’s in the Box?
12 DVD workouts, nutrition plan, fitness guide How to Bring It DVD, a calendar to track your progress

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Richard Simmons Sweatin’ to the Oldies [VHS]

wpid-512D34YVYYLSL500.jpgRichard Simmons is the king of motivational exercise, especially if you’re a beginner. This video workout is a dance party simulating a class reunion, with an energizing live band playing lively hits from the ’50s and ’60s, such as “It’s My Party and I’ll Cry If I Want To,” “Great Balls of Fire,” and “Dancing in the Streets.” The singers and musicians sometimes come offstage and dance with the exercisers, adding to the energy and festivity. The choreography is very simple, low impact, light intensity, and appropriate for beginners and overweight exercisers. (You may not get your heart rate up if you’re very fit, although you’ll enjoy the music.) Richard doesn’t do much in the way of cueing–he assumes you’ll just follow along. His onscreen class has women and men of all body shapes and sizes, and everyone is having a blast. You will, too. At the end, the exercisers dance down the floor and the screen flashes how many pounds they’ve lost–several have lost more than 100 pounds. (22 minutes of aerobics, total 43 minutes with warm-up, cool down, and stretch.) –Joan Price

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Tae-Bo Workout (SET OF 4: Basic, Instructional, Advanced, 8-minute Workout) [VHS]

wpid-217G5ATASPLSL500.jpgBilled as the “future of fitness” and hawked by numerous celebrities, Billy Blanks’s Tae-Bo actually deserves much of the hype it’s receiving. A mixture of boxing punches and martial arts kicks, Tae-Bo is fun and easy. One of the best elements of this four-tape set is that the first tape (which is 40 minutes long), Tae-Bo: Instructional, lays out the movements you need to successfully complete a workout. Once you’ve mastered the steps, you won’t have to fast-forward through half the tape to get to the workout, nor will your workout be slowed down by the repeated lessons. After you feel comfortable with the movements (and they’re really quite easy to follow; nothing too complicated to trip you up), you’re ready to move on to Tae-Bo: Basics, a 27-minute workout (5 minutes of warm-up, 18 minutes of Tae-Bo, and 4 minutes of cool-down) that will have your heart pounding and your body sweating. Next comes Advanced, a 57-minute workout that will have your heart racing, pulse pounding, and sweat glands working overtime. There’s razzmatazz on the moves, with slightly more complicated combinations that should be fairly easy to master if you’ve completed the first two tapes. This video seriously raises the bar on the difficulty factor.

In addition to the short warm-up, the cool-down, and the 30 minutes of Tae-Bo, Advanced Tae-Bo also includes 18 minutes of muscle-crunching floor work. You know you’re in trouble when even the guys in the tape have trouble keeping up. Make sure you have truly mastered the first two tapes before attempting this one. The 8-Minute Workout is a highly compacted workout (actually 14 minutes long when you include warm-up and cool-down) for those days when you’re too short on time for Basic or Advanced. While the 8-minute idea is compelling, it’s not an adequate substitute for the longer workouts. Blanks, a seven-time World Martial Arts champion, is a superb instructor, providing encouragement and careful instruction (if you don’t know by the end of the tape to hold in your stomach, that’s no one’s fault but your own). The only downside to these tapes is the less-than-exciting music. Not only is Tae-Bo great exercise for all levels, but the punches and kicks are wonderful for working out stress and aggression. This is the aerobics exercise video for people who are bored by aerobics. –Jenny Brown

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