Jillian Michaels' No More Trouble Zones Review
No More Trouble Zones
If you are looking for a tough workout that will kick your butt, look no further. This is a classic Jillian workout that is designed to push you and push you hard in a fairly short period of time. It is a 40-minute workout with 7 circuits, each circuit zoning in on specific trouble areas. Each circuit has five moves. You complete a full set of these moves (roughly 30-45 seconds on each move) and then you repeat the set. Jillian believes in low weights, high repetitions (this helps to tone, not to bulk) so you don't have to use 20 lb weights. 3-5 lb weights are sufficient.
Now I will breakdown the workout circuit by circuit. I will tell you what moves are in each circuit as well as my own personal experience with it.
How I Did
I strongly feel that a workout is only as good as its warm-up and this is an excellent warm-up. With the marching, jump rope, skaters and jumping jacks really warm-up my legs, the arm circles hit my arms, and all the time my heart rate continues to increase. By the time I finish the warm-up I feel as though I have already had a good cardio workout, but the workout is just beginning.
March in place - this is a wide legged march which seems to warm up the legs better than a regular stance would.
Jump rope - the movement without the rope.
Arm circles - a dynamic warm-up move that stretches while getting your heart rate up.
Skaters - a smooth move that really starts to raise your heart rate.
Jumping jacks - the most intense warm-up move.
You then repeat these moves, increasing the intensity.
How I Did
Whenever I complete this circuit, I always think it is so nice of Jillian to have one of the hardest circuits first. This circuit really works out my shoulders. By the end of the circuit, my shoulders are killing me and I feel as though I am already on my way to getting the sexy shoulders Jillian talks about. I have rarely had a workout that hits my shoulders in the same way. Meanwhile, my legs feel as though they have had some exercise but they aren't completely dead yet.
Backward Lunge with Shoulder Raise
Shoulder & Legs
Squat with shoulder press - the squat works the butt, hips, and thighs while the shoulder press works, well, the shoulders. You squat down and press the weights up above your head.
Backward lunge with shoulder raise - the lunge works glutes and quads while the shoulder raise keeps up the workout on the shoulders. You lunge backwards while lifting your arms out to your side for the shoulder raise. For this move you focus on one leg first and then the other leg so it counts as two moves. Jillian believes this is a more effective workout.
Squat with forward shoulder raise - this squat is performed with your feet hip-width and, as you squat down, you raise your arms forward for the should raise.
Press outs - this move is performed by standing with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent while you press the weights forward, your palms facing up. This works out your shoulders and chest.
Then you repeat all these moves.
How I Did
This circuit gives my shoulders a break (which they are thankful for after the previous circuit). Instead the focus is on my chest and abs. I admit I like working out my chest. I like the idea that I am helping to give myself a natural lift. The chest moves help give me a good workout in that area, but it doesn't kill me. The abs are a different story, though. By the time I finish, my abs are really feeling the workout. I usually have to make sure I take a few breaths between each move to help reduce the stress on my abs.
Chest & Abs
Chest press with a crunch - works out your chest and the top of the abs. While performing the crunch, you press up for the chest press.
Leg raises with chest fly - works out your chest and lower abs. While raising your legs you bring your arms together for the chest fly.
Bicycle crunches - works out your abs. With your hand behind your head, you bring your elbow to the alternating knee in a crunch like motion.
Squirms - works out your obliques, the side of your abs. With your palms facing out, you bring your shoulders up off the floor and touch your ankles.
Push-ups - works chest and abs (especially if you don't have to do the modified push-up).
Wash, rinse, repeat!
How I Did
This is the circuit where I finally feel like my legs are being worked out. From the dead lifts all the way through to the side lunges I almost feel as though my butt is getting a better shape, not to mention everything from my waist down begins to feel more toned and tight. My biceps also get a good workout; not as intense as my legs, but intense enough for me to notice.
Static Squat with Bicep Curl
Biceps & Butt
Dead lifts and hammer curls - hits the glutes, hamstrings, and biceps. With your legs straight, you lean down almost touching your toes, stand back up, and complete the bicep curl.
Static squat with a concentration curl - as Jillian says, hits the tush, saddlebags, and biceps. You position yourself in a squat position (the lower the squat, the greater the intensity) and, with your arm stabilized on your thigh, do a bicep curl. On the first set you do one arm, on the next set you do the other arm.
Alternating lunges with wide grip curl - targets the glutes and biceps. As you move forward into the lunge, you do the wide grip curl. This is a two for one move; you focus on one leg first and then the other.
Side lunges with bicep curl - works the glutes, quads, hip flexors, and (you guessed it) biceps. While go down into the side lung, you raise your arms for the bicep curl.
Now, do it again!
How I Did
Holy cow! I think I need to perform a funeral for my triceps because I think they are dead. This circuit kills my triceps every time I do it. Perhaps it is because the workout is so intense for my triceps, but I don't feel as though my thighs are worked as hard. Except for the surrender. That move does work the legs. I always feel a great sense of accomplishment after that move.
Thighs & Triceps
Chair pose with tricep kickbacks - targets the quads and triceps. While in chair pose, you perform the tricep kickbacks. This move, while working out the quads, really focuses on those triceps.
Sumo squat with tricep extension - targets the inner legs, butt, and triceps. As you lower into the sumo squat, you lower the weights behind your head and, as you come up in the squat you raise the weights.
Surrender - works quads, glutes, and shoulders. With your arms raised (holding weights), you kneel down one leg at a time and then stand back up.
Crescent pose with tricep presses - works glutes, quads, triceps, and shoulders. While in the forward lunge position, you perform the tricep press. This is another two for one, completing first one leg and then the other.
One more time!
How I Did
I love core workouts. This is an area that I definitely need some help in and this workout makes me feel as though this is the help I need. I really feel that it works every part of the abdominal area. If my whole ab area isn't screaming by the time this is done, then I know that I'm not doing something right.
And your abs say...
Double crunch - works the abs. With your hands behind your head and your knees over your hips in a 90 degree angle, you come up into a crunch.
Twisting plank - works the shoulders, triceps, and abs. While in the plank position, you bring a knee towards the opposite elbow, twisting as you do so.
Toe taps in plank position - works glutes, abs, and chest. While in the plank position, you tap your foot out to the side. This is another two for one move; focus on one leg before moving on to the other leg.
Windshield wipers - works lower abs and obliques. With the arms in a V position and your legs out straight, you raise your legs towards your arms; first going one direction and then the other.
If at first you don't succeed...
How I Did
I like this circuit because I feel like I am getting a really good core workout without having my muscles screaming at me. At this point in the workout that is really important for me. I have pushed myself really hard and it gets harder to keep pushing myself. By having this circuit towards the end, I feel as though I could really finish the workout. Usually after the last circuit I start to think I should call it a day, but then I do this one and I realize that I can make it. I do want to emphasize that this still works me out, I just don't feel like I'm going to collapse afterwards.
Upper Body & Core
Plank rows - works the upper back, biceps, chest, triceps, abs, and glutes. While in the plank position (but with weights in your hands), you lift an arm up for the row, alternating arms.
Supermans - works the lower back and glutes. While laying face down on the floor with your arms extended above your head, you raise your arms,legs, and chest up.
Hollowman position with scissor kicks - works inner thighs and abs. While in the hollowman position, you do scissor kicks. The lower the legs, the greater the intensity.
Pelvic thrusts - works the glutes, lower back, and abs. While on your back with your knees raised, cross your leg over so your ankle is rested on the opposite leg and then push up. You can raise your leg into the air for added difficulty or keep both feet on the floor for lower intensity. This is another two for one move.
Second verse, same as the first.
How I Did
This one always throws me for a loop. In the previous circuit, Jillian follows her structure pretty strictly. This circuit, however, she goes a little crazy. I know that might be as a result of the kinds of moves, but it is still confusing.
Regardless of the confusion, it is still a good workout. The core is exercised more indirectly in this circuit, the focus being on the lower body. Since I always feel like my lower body could use more work, I love this aspect of the circuit.
Side-Lying Leg Lifts
Lower Body & Core
Side plank raises - hits the abs, lower back, glutes, and inner thighs. While in the side plank position, you lower yourself until your hip touches the floor and then you raise yourself back up.
Leg raises - hits the outer thigh. From the side plank position, you lower yourself so that your hip is resting on the floor. You then extend the top leg out in front of you and then you raise it up. You can increase the intensity by placing a weight on your thigh.
Side-Lying Leg Lifts for your Inner Thighs - hits the inner thigh. In the same position as the previous move, you place the foot of the top leg on the mat in front of you. You then raise the lower leg.
Repeat these three moves before moving on.
Donkey kicks - works the glutes hard core. On your hands and knees, you bring a knee in towards your chest and then kick it out towards the ceiling. This is another one of the two for one moves.
Round kicks - works the obliques and outer thighs. Still on your hands and knees, you raise your leg up like you're a dog and then extend your leg out, kicking towards the wall. Again, a two for one move.
How I Did
For me the cool down is just as important as the warm-up. I always ask myself, did all my muscles get stretched out? Was anything left out? For this cool down the answers are yes and no. She stretches out every muscle I worked out - my triceps, shoulder, biceps, glutes, inner and outer thighs, back, and chest. I'm not very flexible (like Jillian) so that does make it a bit of a challenge for me. However, the challenge is a good one and I hope that, one day, it won't be much of a challenge anymore!
Cobra pose - stretches the abs, neck, and back. While on your stomach, you lift your torso up and then tilt your head from side to side.
Quad stretch - stretches your quads (as the name implies).
Hamstring stretches - stretches your hamstrings and inner thighs. You go into the splits position and lean towards first one toe, then the center, and then the other toe.
Arm stretches - stretches your arms and chest. First, clasp your hand behind you and pull up. Then bring one are in front of you and pull it across your chest. With that same arm, raise it up and then pat yourself on the back, stretching out your triceps. Repeat for the other arm.
Give yourself a big applause and have a great day!
Where do you like to work out?
This is a great workout! I do want to mention that although it says on the DVD to "workout with Jillian for 5 days in a row," don't forget to give muscle groups about 48 hours of recovery. For example, if you do No More Trouble Zones one day, then the next day you might be better off going for a run or doing yoga. This will help to prevent injury. Working out is great, but if you push yourself into an injury then that will make working out that much harder.
If you are a beginner, prepare to get your butt whooped. As Jillian says, this workout is no joke. You can easily decide to simply complete some of the circuits if you're not sure if you are physically up for it yet. I would recommend completing Jillian's Ripped in 30 before trying this workout, but if you feel that you can do it then go for it! If you are more advanced, this workout will still present some challenge for you. If it still doesn't seem intense enough for you, you can always try using heavier weights.
Is this the perfect workout? Probably not. It is a workout that is guaranteed to help you get in shape. If you eat healthy and combine this workout with others, you will probably get that body that you thought you could never have.