If you follow me on Instagram (and if you don’t, why the heck not?!), you’ll know that I promised to reveal the person who made me fall in love with fitness. If the post title didn’t give it away, the answer is Jillian Michaels. I own every single Jillian workout on the planet and I’m going to share the best Jillian Michaels workouts with you today and the best fitness investment I ever made (power block dumbbells!).
When I was at my heaviest weight with a non-functioning thryoid, I was very unhappy in my skin and looking for solutions. A friend recommended Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, which will always hold a special place in my heart. I bought the DVD and decided to commit 100% even if I had to modify level one (which I did).
After the first workout, I was exhausted to the point I had to take a nap and I was very discouraged. But you know what? I came back the next day. And the one after that. I’ve continued to show up for years and now working out is a critical part of my day (and so is meditation). Consistency is what pays off in any journey. Keep. Showing. Up.
No matter how many free workout programs I try online, I always come back to Jillian. Her workouts are as tough as you want to make them, her style is motivational, and she has so many different videos available (each with different levels), which means there is always a routine to appeal to your mood and help you to reach your goals.
The best Jillian Michaels workouts
Beginner Shred. If you are just starting out on your fitness journey and you are overwhelmed by how challenging workouts feel (don’t worry, I’ve been there), this DVD is a great place to begin.
One Week Shred. If you are just looking to drop a few pounds before an event, a change in season, or simply because you feel like it, this is an excellent program. Keep in mind, it’s very intense and not designed for beginners.
30 Day Shred. This is a classic Jillian workout program. I lost 15 pounds the first time I did it and I still use level three as part of my workout rotation to this day.
Ripped in 30. I actually prefer this DVD to the 30 Day Shred because it has four levels and more challenging workouts (don’t worry, Jillian always provides beginner modifications and emphasizes form, which a lot of free programs fail to do).
Shred it with Weights. This is an excellent kettle bell workout that mixes in Jillian’s favourite cardio intervals (you can also use dumbbells). If you only have 30 minutes per day to workout, this is a great DVD that comes with two different levels. If I use a 15 pound weight, level 1 can still make me sore!
Extreme Shed and Shred. This DVD has two 45 minutes workouts, one that is cardio based and one that is strength based. You can either rotate them, do them together, or complete the strength training in the morning (to keep your metabolism firing all day) and the cardio routine in the evening. It also comes with a meal plan to help ensure that you see results.
No More Trouble Zones. This is an excellent video that targets common problem areas with toning moves, while leaving in the necessary cardio intervals to burn fat. I wish that it was possible to spot reduce fat, but unfortunately it’s not!
Killer Buns and Thighs. This video is lower body intensive (duh), which are my favourite muscle groups to work because they’re the biggest. It’s a short workout (only 20 minutes), so believe me, Jillian pushes you the whole time. If you don’t want to spend hours in the gym, then you have to work hard during the time you do have.
6 Week Six-Pack. Let’s be honest: abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym. You are probably not going to get a six-pack after finishing this program, but it’s still an excellent way to work your core and I’m sure that you will see improvements, if not abs.
Killer Arms and Back. This is one of Jillian’s newer DVDs and she is very inventive with how she works your arms and back. I’m loving this program!
Killer Body. This is a great full body workout program. It offers three different 30 minute workouts and you are supposed to complete each one twice per week for maximum results.
Hard Body. This program is two 45 minute workouts. The routines are solid, but I should mention that the camera angles are kind of strange and distracting.
Body Revolution. This is a 90 day program that has three different phases. You can change your body in 30 minutes a day, which I never used to believe. However, if you work smart then you can condense an hour long workout in half and see results.
Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism. This 40 minute interval routine incorporates cardio, strength, and core work to help trigger weight loss. You don’t need weights or equipment, so this DVD is great for people who are just starting their home gym!
Yoga Inferno. Jillian has another yoga video (meltdown), but I wouldn’t recommend it. Inferno is a challenging “Jillian-style” yoga video that traditional yogis might find off-putting. It’s Jillian, so expect cardio intervals and a challenging yoga-inspired workout versus a relaxing stretch session.
Overall, I can tell you that Jillian loves circuits, so there is always going to be repetition in her routines, but the moves are effective and always leave me sore the next day. I have never finished one of her videos and felt like I didn’t get a good workout.
What is your favourite workout DVD?
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