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Workout Review: Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred DVD as a Wedding Workout

Updated on January 21, 2020

One of the best exercise programs I've ever done is 1 month straight of "Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred " on DVD. Growing up, I always scoffed at the workout videos my mom did with the exercise instructors on TV. In my mind, if a person wanted to get into shape, they'd go outside or go to the gym. You can't really stay motivated with a workout video. When you want to give up, you just give up!

About 6 months before my wedding, I started asking around for wedding workout suggestions from local community boards. Many of the other brides swore by "Jillian Michaels - 30 Day Shred " DVD. Naturally, I was skeptical. I had a 24 Hour Fitness gym membership but couldn't always motivate myself to go to the gym. I'd tried running on the treadmill for a while, but it didn't seem to be helping. As Jillian Michaels says in her DVD, I was probably "phoning it in at the gym", and not really pushing myself.

I found Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred on Amazon for around $7 and decided to give it a shot. Seven dollars was definitely cheaper than my gym membership, and with so many positive reviews, why not just do it (the wonders for peer pressure)! That definitely was the best $7 I'd spent in a long time.


What the Workout Program Includes:

The 30 Day Shred program includes three 20 minute workouts of increasing difficulty, combining both strength training and cardiovascular exercise to maximize the number of calories burned and to create lean muscle. The individual workouts are structured as follows:

  1. 2 minute warm-up
  2. 3 minutes of strength training (chest flies, free weight exercises, push-ups, etc.)
  3. 2 minutes of cardiovascular exercises (jumping jacks, plank exercises, oblique twists, etc.)
  4. 1 minute of abdominal exercises (crunches, sit-ups, core exercises, etc.)
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 three times
  6. 2 minute cool-down

The intention is for you to workout everyday and do 10 days of the stage 1 workout before you gain the strength and endurance to do 10 days of the stage 2 workout, and finally finish off with 10 days of the stage 3 workout. The DVD includes 2 assistants who demonstrate the moves while Jillian is narrating - 1 who shows a modified, lower impact version of the moves, and another who shows the full motion, high impact exercise the way it's meant to be done.


Jillian Michaels promises results in her DVD, and boy, did she deliver! I didn't follow her program exactly in that I definitely skipped a couple of days to rest my poor sore body. In one month, I was only able to finish stages 1 and 2. Of course, I started out from ground zero (exercising maybe once every two weeks or more). Even so, by the end of it, I'd lost more weight than I anticipated, and my friends continuously commented on how toned my arms and back looked. I couldn't help but preen a little as they exclaimed over how much my body shape had improved with just 20 minutes a day of exercise. I think if I'd eaten a little healthier during that time, my results could have been even better. Even so, I was extremely happy with the way I looked for my wedding, which had been my ultimate goal.

I must say though that the workouts are NOT easy. If it wasn't for Jillian constantly pumping me up and encouraging me in the workout DVD, I think I would have given up and walked away a million times over. With regards to safety, one nitpick I have is that she often tells you what not to do during the exercise to prevent injury halfway through the exercise. I wish she would tell you in the beginning. I've taken weight training and exercise classes before, and so I knew the proper way to do the exercises. I imagine many novices using her DVD may not though. Keep that in mind when doing the exercises, or watch how her partners are working out, and make sure you are following them exactly

Overall, my impression of workout DVD's has improved after this experience, and I have bought several other workout videos since. Even so, whenever I want a quick and sure way of forcing myself to get back into shape, I always go back to "Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred". After all, it's ONLY twenty minutes!

Other Jillian Michaels Workout DVD's


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