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402 of 414 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT COLLECTIONI WOULD GIVE IT 10 STARS IF I COULD...!, 13 Jan. 2012
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This review is from: Jillian Michaels - The Collection [DVD] (DVD)
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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Tracked by 5 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 20 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 12 Feb 2012 17:34:27 GMT
Thanks for your comments , I already own one Jillian Michaels dvd , so I kind of know what her work outs are like , and because your comments were so helpful and in depth , I've decided to go ahead and buy the box set , as it does seem such a bargain !! Thanks again ! Steph

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Feb 2012 06:27:42 GMT
Nuria says:
I hope and trust you will enjoy this boxed set at least as much as I'm enjoying it... with all the huffing and puffing, that is! Best of luck!

Posted on 16 Feb 2012 14:44:21 GMT
Ruth_Spicer says:
I also thought I would be put off by the American voice shouting, but it actually really motivates me and I figure I would quite like her a personal trainer, I always listen to the end message go forth and kicking butt for the rest of the day and it makes me feel much better! i only have the fat burner but will definitely get the selection and give the one i have away as many people have been so complimentary and want to know my secret! A must have if you want to work out well at home with the newest and latest ideas of exercising to get best results

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Feb 2012 13:41:31 GMT
Nuria says:
I agree with you: you have to get one of Jillian's DVDs to sort of warm up to her. I too was initially put off by her military style; she almost managed to look slightly unpleasant on some clips I had watched on YouTube. However, once you watch the full workout, you can see it's tough kindness (or kind toughness, whatever you prefer!). She comes across as demanding yet at the same time encouraging, which I personally find highly motivating, and I do understand why she is such a celebrity in the U.S. and Australia.

Posted on 19 Feb 2012 00:36:27 GMT
This has got to be the most well written review I have seen on here! Really good!

As for the boxset, I'm going to buy it now. I have over 4 stones to lose so I hope to start off with the 30 day shred in the mornings before work. I'll probably try to do the longer workouts a couple of times a week in the evenings.

Thanks again for the review!

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Feb 2012 10:36:20 GMT
Nuria says:
Thanks for your appreciative comments. I tend to go by the reviews of the products I buy, especially in the case of exercise DVDs, and I find most of them extremely valuable to make up my mind as to whether to purchase the product in question. Therefore, whenever I find a very good (or not so good) product, I like to try and help as best I can.

Best of luck with your workouts. I'm sure you will succeed if you keep up with them. As with most things in life, motivation is key.

Kind regards.

Posted on 14 Mar 2012 14:23:39 GMT
Last edited by the author on 14 Mar 2012 14:25:31 GMT
Dee M says:
Hi like you i have been looking over JM dvds for some time especially the 30 day shred. I am a complete beginner with fitness DVD's. I've found a few clips of JM vids on Ytube and it looks very intense.

I lost almost 3 stone through gym and dieting and kept most of it off for nearly 3 years but the threat of it returning is allways nipping at your heels or waist in my case :) I am still fairly fit but need to rebuild my stamina. Also like you i have some equipment at home and since my local gym hiked up thier prices (thanks guys) ive decided to make use of my home equipment which i should of been doing anyway.

I was wondering if the 30 day shred or this box set has beginner/intermediate/advanced modes?

Any advice appreciated



In reply to an earlier post on 14 Mar 2012 17:49:59 GMT
Nuria says:
Hi there! 30-Day Shred is ideal for all levels of fitness, as it features three different, self-contained 20-minute workouts, which theoretically go from beginner to advanced. However, beware, because Level 1 is not for absolute beginners - not at all. It feels easy after a short while, especially if you are already fit or used to training. Level 2 is, as I see it, a huge progression from level 1. I'm reasonably fit, run on the treadmill 3 times a week (about 8-9 km each time), and use some hardcore cross-training videos in between, and I still find myself huffing and puffing at some stages during this workout (but then, I'm almost 42!!). However, Jillian is aware of when she is pushing you hard, and gives you a short break every now and then, although she keeps you moving throughout, which is a good thing. She also has one of the girls to modify all of the moves, so you can train at a slower pace at all levels if you think that works better for you. As for Level 3, it is a progression from level 2, but not such a quantum leap, and I think one generally finds it easier to transition from level 2 to level 3 than from level 1 to level 2. And, of course, if you are reasonably fit and have got some spare time, you can do the three workouts back to back, which is a challenge all right! I occasionally do this, starting with level 2 or level 3 and then moving down to level 1 as a way to cool down slowly, and it works fine for me. I like this video and it definitely helps to keep extra weight off and to lose weight if one is on a diet, so I would encourage you to go ahead and try it. Best of luck!

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Mar 2012 17:59:52 GMT
Last edited by the author on 14 Mar 2012 18:03:00 GMT
Dee M says:
Thanks. I think ill go ahead and purchase. The 30 day shred alone has over 450 reviews 392, 5*. You cant argue with those kind of ratings. Ill be on my elliptical while i wait for it to arrive, or at least wipe off the dust, lol. Thanks so much, again for your help.

Posted on 21 Apr 2012 16:32:52 BDT
thank you for taking the time to give such a detailed account of these dvd's. i have ordered the set and look forward to reducing a dress size....... i have just increased my years last week to 57 years of age ............ 57 years young but thankfully reasonably fit....... is anyone of my age group who has ordered this. i will report back when i have sampled them, for those reasonably fit ladies in their fifties to review...... jj from york
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