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on 13 January 2012
I had been browsing through Jillian Michaels' videos for some time before I made up my mind to purchase this boxed set. I am very keen on fitness and, having 3 young children and working full-time, there is no way I can even start to think about hitting the gym. Therefore, I own a very well-stocked fitness collection of about 60 DVDs, some of them going as far back as the 1980s. I also have a treadmill and a stationary bike on which I train regularly so, as you can see, variety is not a problem in my case.

Over the years, one of the problems I've encountered with fitness DVDs is that I outgrew them very quickly. Then I discovered Billie Blanks, and that DID make a huge difference, but I also wanted something involving weight and resistance work, so I turned to The Firm, which also delivered great results. Jillian Michaels had always put me off a bit, as she came across as slightly aggressive in the videos and previews I watched. At the same time, I liked her no-nonsense approach to exercise, her straightforward routines (it always takes me a while to learn The Firm ones) and her emphasis on strength.

Then this boxed set was released. I checked up the four DVDs separately, and it was obvious that the collection had been put together with a high degree of common sense; it is coherent and exhaustive, as each DVD targets a specific type of workout. I'll expand on this later. Also, what I found really attractive was the price. It doesn't get much better than this, so I thought, "go for it! If, in the worst case scenario, you don't like some, or even all of, the workouts, you won't have spent a huge amount of money."

I have now gone through 3 of the DVDs, and have watched the fourth. I can't begin to tell you how glad I am with this purchase. I'm a seasoned exerciser, and it takes quite a bit to get me puffing and gargling my heart out, even though I'm well on my way to 42 years of age. But Jillian manages to do this with each and every one of her workouts. Not to an unbearably painful extent, mind you. When I seem to have reached my limit and I think "this is it, now I'm gonna die", she moves on and gives me a (short) respite. And that's the secret that keeps me going. There are no fancy moves or complicated choreographies. It's the old-fashioned "no pain, no gain" thing throughout. And it works. There are also variations for more and less advanced exercisers, and Jillian makes sure they're clearly explained to you throughout the workouts. The only downside, and it's a small one, to the entire project is that the emphasis throughout is on weight loss more than overall fitness and strength. There will of course be a lot of people out there who exercise because they are determined to shed some weight, but there are also many of us who are slim and regard physical fitness as an essential component of our daily routine, just like eating or brushing our teeth.

On to the DVDs - I won't get into much detail here, because each DVD is thorougly described in the sections where they are sold separately, but I would just like to emphasize on how exhaustive and well-put this collection is: (1) 30-Day shred is made up of 3 overall, x-training workouts, self-contained and only 20 minutes long each. They use the 3-2-1 method (3 minutes strength, 2 minutes cardio, 1 minute abs). You can do them separately and combine with some other short workouts in this collection, or do in one go (and that IS hard, I promise!) (2) Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism is a 40-minute workout which you perform without weights, but beware! There's a lot of resistance involved with lots of burpees, planks and push-ups. One very good thing about this workout is that you can select the number of circuits you want from the main menu. (3) No More Trouble Zones is designed to complement Banish Fat, and it is intended as a toning workout, although you never quite lose sight of the cardiovascular component, which is a good thing, at least for me, to keep things interesting. (4) 6-Week 6-Pack is the one I have not as yet tried, although I've watched it and, yes, it is hard. Once again, this is a toning workout focusing on abs (THAT area most of us women struggle with at some point), and it is made up of 2 x 30-minute workouts, the second one being a progression from the first. Once again, do not be fooled by the fact that this is a toning workout, for the cardiovascular component is there as well to some extent and, once again, it makes time fly.

All in all, we have 4 DVDs, two focusing mainly, but not exclusively, on cardio (30-Day Shred and Banish Fat), and two which target-tone your entire body, but without neglecting cardio, either (No More Trouble Zones and 6-Week). In addition, all of the workouts are either short (20-30 minutes) or can be broken up into shorter, 6-minute segments, which enables you to literally make an endless number of combinations and never get bored. At the same time, for those days when you feel a bit down, or don't have the time to start combining workouts, you can still tackle a 20 or 30 minute one and, being so intense, you've got the feeling that you've actually accomplished something. It doesn't get much better than that.

As for Jillian, I must say my initial impressions about her have changed as I've been doing the workouts. She comes across as demanding, serious about what she does, assertive but not aggressive. She is not in the least patronising and does not appear to be playing a role, but just being herself. All I can say, to sum it all up, is that I would give this collection 10 stars if I could.
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on 31 May 2013
I truly cannot fault this product, i would recommend it to anyone, willing to loose weight! i have marked it into categories to show how amazing this workout and everything in between is:

Postage: I ordered free standard delivery, and you really do NOT need to pay extra to get it quicker if you don't mind waiting a few days. I ordered it Sunday night(around 11pm.)And got it a day before its estimated delivery date! It arrived Thursday morning and i was very impressed with how quickly it came and how well it was protected.

Jillian Michaels: As with all her other DVDS she is well motivating and it does genuinely make you loose weight. I love how she sets different levels depending on how advanced you are, not to mention on each level she shows a beginners version and a more advanced version which really helps, as she always modifies moves if they are difficult. A fantastic and funny trainer, i love how she makes you laugh as well!

DVDS: The DVDS are fantastic! At the moment i am focusing on '30 day shred', which i love! As with all her DVDS they are challenging, but if you are willing your shape will change quickly and people around you will notice it. In my opinion no more trouble zones and 6 week six pack are for more advanced people, however i find banish fat, boost metabolism quite fun! I defiantly would recommend starting with 30 day shred. However for some workouts you will need a pair of hand weights (light ones) and a mat if you are working on a hard surface.

Overall i love Jillian, her workouts and the results! I would recommenced it to
anyone!
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on 26 September 2015
This review might be longer than I can simplify it but I hope it will help some of you out there who're needing a place to start, or start again or even are looking for a challenge :-)

30 Day Shred - In this you get 3 Workouts starting from Level 1, on to Level 2 and then Level 3. The idea is you do each level for ten days, five times a week. Now, to give your muscles a break AND to keep your body from acclimatising to the workouts (cause once you do, you're not burning as much fat and calories as you can be), I would suggest you do 2 days on with 1 day off then 3 days on with 1 day to rest. Or whichever works for you really. The workouts in all levels are 20 mins long so no excuses! Do give yourself 30 mins though to factor in your warm-up and cool down. Across all levels there are two assistants who show you the beginner moves and advanced moves, the pace is set to such that as a total newbie you can follow it comfortably or for those more familiar with circuit training (like me once I did this DVD twice over) to not find it a bore or too slow and gives you a good couple of seconds recovery as you increase your challenge (will explain this bit later). You will sweat, you will pant, you will groan and thank the gods when it is over but only if YOU push yourself to your max. You don't have to kill yourself on the first go through and if anything if you are anything like me when I started out then you might now want to cause if you get too sore and too fed up right from the off, you won't want to do this daily. So beginners ease yourself into it. It IS hard. It is a challenge but remind yourself why you're here right now thinking about buying this DVD and hold on to that to motivate yourself :-) More advanced people - oh ho ho! Go for the full burn! You'll love it!

30 Day Shred Advancing Advice - Here is where I explain about increasing the challenge I mentioned. Once you've done it all, 30 days are over, what do you do now? Well...Lots! What I did was I did it once on no weights (as I was a complete beginner, no fitness level at all, seriously even walking my dog had me out of breath after a quarter of a mile). Then I started using 1.1kg weights and after that 30 days I restarted this programme with 2.3kg weights. If you buy a dumbbell tree then that's really handy, just go up the weight tree scale. To not get bored on the next go round (when I got on to the 2.3kg weights) I set myself a programme to workout to of one 30 Day Shred, day two of 6 Week Six Pack (available in the DVD collection pack), day three of Yoga Meltdown (you'd have to get that DVD separate though), day four a rest day then rinse and repeat. But I encourage you to find what works for YOU! Cause you need to listen to your body, feel when you need to up your game, listen to yourself when you need a rest day and stick with it. Ladies if you think upping your weights will make you bulk out please note that NO it does not! You *cannot* do the same workout time and time again cause your body will get used to it, it will not respond as it adapts cause your body will be going "This is normal, I do this all the time! Why burn more calories for fuel?" and then BAM! You have hit that dreaded plateau where nothing shifts. It's either you do less/ your regular repetition load with increased weights or you are doing more reps with your lighter weights (which means spending more time on your workout). So if a 20 min only AND effective workout is what you're looking for, you will at some point need to take things up a notch. Hey, I am 5ft and a very petite lady and I definitely don't have 'tree stump' arms for it :-)

RESULTS SO FAR: I've done 30 Day Shred thrice over now (as explained above) and I am delighted to say I've gone from having a 36 inch waist and flabby arms with legs so dimpled it'd make even the most polite orange shy to now, 3.5 months on I am a 29.5 inch waist.

6 Week Six Pack - This comes as two levels and has two assistants showing you beginner and advanced moves. It's 35 mins but give yourself more around 40 mins from start to finish to factor in a warm-up and cool down. If you have not exercised in a long time or are just starting out then start with Level 1 but I will warn you, it is a challenge so please don't feel demotivated if you need to take a breather, don't beat yourself up if you can't keep pace with Jillian and her assistants - start as you can, keep moving and encourage yourself to do better each time. We all have got to start somewhere! :-) For those who are already exercising regularly if you feel it's not giving you that much a challenge, you can do all the moves with a dumbbell as added resistance. Level 2 is definitely tougher and it really pushes you harder - even the beginner moves have weights and the advanced moves are faster, stronger, more demanding. Even after I got more fit and capable from having done the 30 Day Shred for a while, the Level 2 still was leaving me laying on my workout mat afterwards totally keeled over with my poor dog licking my face all worried like "What's happened!!" If you've already lost weight or are looking to tone up and find yourself at the sort of 30 inch waist zone, you will see the results and fast. Personally I started to notice my abs looking more defined after only 3 days at this. The last point that I can make about 6 Week Six Pack is I think anyone with common sense will already know you CANNOT get a 6 pack in 6 weeks if you're seriously over-weight or have a 'beer belly' type physic, sorry but that is simply unrealistic of you. I'm not saying it is not possible, it IS possible but it will take hard work and the only way that happens is when you start setting yourself attainable goals and are ready for the lifestyle change that it will involve.

Banish Fat Boost Metabolism – Long and short of it is that this does what it says on the tin! I've tried this a good number of times and this work out is a very intense and demanding cardio workout. While I am on the last lap of the work-out routine I have set myself with 30 Day Shred, I have decided to put this one aside till I've finished my cycle through. What I feel about this DVD is that if you are already familiar with working out, with cardio workouts and you need to kick things up then this is best suited for you. Beginners I think you might find this quite difficult but if you think you can take it on, definitely try it but give yourself the allowance to have a few seconds here and there of a breather. This and the next one I will write on (No More Trouble Zones) I think are “the” DVDs for smashing through your plateau so if you got just that last 10 pounds to burn, that last stubborn 2-3 inches on your waist that are going no-where in no time, THIS is the one you want. As with all Jillian's workouts there are two assistants going through things but I'd say in this workout they are more 'motivators' as there really was such little difference between the beginner and advanced moves. All in all better suited for those more familiar with exercise and needing something to kick them into that extra burn. This one is a 40 min workout but call it 50 mins with warm-up and cool down though you can pick your own 6 min circuits as that's a play option on the DVD so if you don't have the full haul of time to give and want something high intensity on cardio but say around 20-25 mins in duration, you can do that and just pick which circuit you run through for what time you have.

No More Trouble Zones – I've gone through this workout a handful of times and it is very area specific in targeting as it says, “trouble zones”. For example, you might want your arms more toned, your inner or outer thighs or your glutes (that's your rear end without sounding crass). Like with the Banish Fat Boost Metabolism DVD I think this workout goes hand in hand together with it and is really much more suited for people who only have a little left to budge and need to spot-tone some areas. It's also 40 mins, taking it to 50 mins with warm-up and cool down but again, like with BFBM you can pick your own circuits you wish to do that run for 6 mins enabling you a more targeted toning programme or just a quicker one if you're pressed for time. Again, the two assistants in this work more as motivators but having tried both this and BFBM I think they are set-up to assume you are not at a beginner level with fitness.

Right, so now you've reached the end of this review I really hope you find it helps you out a bit :-) All in all I think this collection is a fab cover all to get you from Beginner to Advanced or to chuck something new at you. I started with knowing nothing about how to workout, not knowing my limits and little to no fitness and I'm moving through the DVD collection getting better month on month. Only thing I will add to this is that to see even better results you will need to change the way you eat and how you think. If you are serious about making changes that work, making changes that last then you will get there – it IS doable!

EXTRA TIPS (Which fair enough if you don't need them but appreciate some people out there do): With food, you can't expect to get away with saying “Oh on rest days I buy take-away and I ain't seeing results *sulk and moan*”, sorry but it doesn't work like that. You need to clean up your food habits, start eating fresh and ditching those snacks you think are rewards cause there is no reward in putting in all the effort and then consuming half your daily fat allowance and sugar allowance in ONE chocolate bar. Small changes work, small changes ARE doable. For example, eating one cube of dark chocolate and say 3-5 Brazil nuts is healthier and actually more filling than wolfing down a Mars bar. Swap your mayo for a creamed avocado (mash it up with a fork, add some pepper and a few drops balsamic vinegar, its so simple to do), dry your own fruit in the oven as it then won't have added sugar like store-bought dried fruit does and is cheaper than store-bought pre-packaged fruit (I buy only the basics, white label fruit for example where possible to make dried apple chips, dried banana, dried mango slices etc), swap to fruit tea; make it and chill it for your own healthier cold drinks rather than sugar (or sweetener) loaded cordials and squashes. People often think of eating healthy as boring and/ or expensive – it really doesn't have to be. I'm a total foodie and live on quite a tight budget (£55 per week to feed two adults plus two cats and a dog) yet I am eating 5 times a day on average.
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on 5 January 2012
I was new to the fitness guru Jillian Michaels and came across this set on Amazon. The fact I was getting so much for what amounted to the price of a single DVD from many of the alternatives was the initial appeal, but having used these DVD's I am an absolute convert and couldn't recommend them highly enough.

My main reason for choosing this set was the want to lose weight, I have tried various methods in the past with temporary or no success and wanted to try something different. Unlike many people fitness was not a primary driver, I've never got on with the gym and possibly due to feeling more comfortable in my own home, I seem to be able to get more from the workouts I've done with Jillian. Inside three weeks I am feeling noticably stronger and despite still finding each workout a challenge I am already feeling the benefits and increased endurance at this early stage.

For those as new to Jillian as myself, each DVD delivers a very demanding and high energy workout with Jillian willing you along with her demanding and motivating style. For me it seems just when the moves are getting really hard and starting to feel a little too much Jillian pipes up to remind you that "I know it's tough but these are the ones that really count." Each DVD has levels of intensity/difficulty so you can start as a beginner with the more straight forward moves, but for me each level delivers a great sweat inducing session.

This feels very different to other DVD systems, rather than some celebrity vehicle this programme is deliberately challenging, no corners are cut but if you stick with it for even a few days you very quickly see why.

I will look to update this review as I go on with the system, but for now I am really enthuised, check out reviews for the DVD's individually as I did before buying and you'll see I'm not alone.

If this year is the year you really want to make that lifestyle change then this set won't see you go far wrong.
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on 28 April 2015
I'm half way through level 2 of the Shred at the moment and it's definitely working so far - 6 week 6 pack is a great ab workout too. Not tried the other two yet!

I like Jillian's style as a trainer - she's motivational without being too scary, and explains the correct form for each move well. I'd give this 5 stars if the cool down stretches were a bit better - a bit of advice, if you're on level 2 of the shred like me there is a lot more tricep work involved than the first level, so make sure to add tricep stretches into the cool down which Jillian doesn't!
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on 15 October 2013
Jillian Michaels is amazing!

I bought this as I'd done 30 Day Shred levels 1 & 2 on YouTube but level 3 is not on there. I knew after finishing the Shred I'd want to carry on exercising with Jillian and this looked like it would be good. Well, I'm really glad I got it!

The Shred was brilliant and really helped to tone me up and help me lose the last half stone. I didn't do it every day, but even 3-4 times a week was enough to make amazing changes to my body (combined with a lot of walking and following the 5:2 diet).

After finishing that I've started Six Week Six Pack and Banish Fat Boost Metabolism. They are both amazing workouts. My stomach is looking flatter and my core feels loads stronger. 6W6P is not just crunches- there's loads of planks, back exercises and cardio to make this a fat burning, core strengthening work out.

BFBM is exhausting! I've only done it once so far and I did it all the way through, but you can just pick a few of the circuits if you are pressed for time.

I love Jillian's style- she really motivates you to keep going. She pushes you until you're just about to die, then you move onto another exercise. There are always modifications, so you have something to work towards. None of the exercises need loads of room to do them in (some DVDs seem to forget you're in your living room and not a massive gym), and you don't need good co-ordination either. I can't wait to try No More Trouble Zones when I get the chance, and I'll certainly be buying more Jillian DVDs in future.
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on 23 July 2012
This is a very well thought out collection and hats of to Jillian for an excellent array of butt kicking workouts in a top value boxset. This boxset was the first Jillian Michaels DVDs I got and after trying these out and I immediately went and purchased the 2 DVD boxset with Ripped in 30 and Killer Buns and Thighs. Basically anything from Jillian is going to good.

30 Day Shred is an excellent all rounder which works every part of you. There are 3 levels on the DVD and each level is about 25 minutes long. There is a short warm up with 'dynamic' stretches, then three 6 minute circuits made up of 3 minutes strength work, 2 minutes cardio and 1 minute abs, then a short cool down/stretch. Each circuit works the whole body and the cardio moves are short, snappy and interesting. Jillian doesn't give you any breaks in this due to the short length of time so don't be fooled into thinking because it's only 25 minutes long it will be easy!

Banish Fat Boost Metabolism isn't for faint hearted! This is a longer workout, about 55 minutes long. It is made of a warm up, six 6 minute circuits and a cool down. The circuits aren't the '3,2,1' sort although each circuit seems to focus on something different to keep it interesting. There is a killer core circuit in there! This workout is mostly cardio. Obviously, in doing the moves you will be conditioning your limbs in some ingenious way as is Jillian's way, but there are no weights involved or any slow strength moves. You're leaping about pretty much for the whole 45 minutes. I was gasping for air at the end and wasn't breathing normally again until well after my protein shake AND my shower. This DVD will REALLY burn the fat.

No More Trouble Zones is almost the exact opposite to BFBM. There's not much cardio in here at all and it's all conditioning and strength moves. It's the same length of time with the same make up of circuits, just a differet feel. I think these two compliment each other perfectly. BFBM burns off the fat and this DVD tones you up in every which way concievable. If you alternated between these two you can't really go wrong.

Six Week Six Pack - this one is a real toughy! In fact, this is the hardest workout I think I have right now. All my other workouts are tough because you get a bit knackered and you start to ache but you gamely continue whilst puffing and panting away. I can't physically do some of the moves in 6W6P! This works your abs in a way which isn't obvious. There are no crunches in here! It is a mix of standing cardio and kicks and matt work. There are also a lot of leg raises both standing and lying down to work the lower part of the abs. The move I can't seem to do is the side plank. I can do it on my elbow and feet but Jillian does it on her hand and feet. My arms and wrists just aren't strong enough for this! The moves are quite fast paced, especially during the second run through so I found it took me so long to shoe-horn myself into poistion they'd moved on to something else. However, don't read this as a failing on the part of the DVD, this means I need to do this one more often to whip myself into shape. The day after I felt how much it had actually worked me so I shall persevere and try to get up to Jillian's standards! Everyone can do crunches so Jillian is bringing something more challenging to the table with this one.

This boxset is fantastic value for money with the quality of workouts in here. It caters for all levels and will work every part of you. I can't reccommend this boxset enough!
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First of all, this DVD pack was for my lady. I kind of get warn out just watching exercise, let alone doing it, but my other half is very in to all these videos and the report is glowing.

So this is my/and her observation - ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! Jillian Micheals certainly knows how to get people motivated. From what I've seen, she covers each area of the body well and the lbs just drop away.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
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on 10 November 2013
Buy this DVD! Honestly if you are where I was 5 months ago and considering starting the 30 day shred save yourself some money and buy this. After finishing the Shred you will be hooked and you will buy all these other workouts (like I have done). My weekly exercise program is now, Saturday BFBM, Sunday NMTZ, Monday through Thursday a level of Shred or 6W6P, Friday rest day! This has me in the best shape of my life despite being in my 40's and I've lost 20lb! Yes it is hard and you will sweat loads but Jillian will encourage you ever step of the way and it always seams like she is in the room with you.
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on 7 November 2013
I came across Jillian Michaels on the Sky channel "Fitness TV" 6 months ago and decided to buy my first DVD of hers "Ripped in 30". I knew I was out of shape and wouldn't be able to keep up but I didn't want that to put me off seeing it to the end so, I paced myself by walking through some of it when I got too tired. My strategy worked and I can now manage all the levels. Be under no misapprehension that Jillian's workouts are about pushing yourself, not going through the motions. I'm glad I stuck with it as the feeling of losing my muffin top and being able to do my first ever proper "man" push up at the age of 50 is so satisfying.

I have since bought this set ("The Collection") which is exceptional value for money - you couldn't get one session at any fitness class for the price of one of the DVDs. I also have Killer Buns & Thighs and Yoga Meltdown. Very little space is needed and no equipment is required.

I truly believe that anyone committed to improving their diet and exercise regime can attain the physique they want. I find Jillian particularly motivating and, although my family know my nickname for her - beginning with a "B" - I can and do recommend her to anyone who will listen. Her excellent reviews for this set speak for themselves and are well deserved.

Thanks Jillian.
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