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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 5 January 2010
But I mean it in a good way! This is, without any shadow of a doubt, the most intensive workout DVD I've ever tried (and I have a good few, including Davina, Nell McAndrew, The Firm etc etc...) Jillian and her two helpers (one advanced, one 'normal') take you through three 20 minute workouts - Levels 1, 2 and 3. Each workout is made up of three circuits which comprise of 3 minutes of weights, 2 minutes of cardio and 1 minute of ab work.

Like me, you may well be thinking this sounds reasonable, quick and easy. It isn't! Even Level 1 is an intensive workout - lots of jumping jacks, squats, bum kicks etc., and Jillian doesn't let up for a second, constantly keeping you moving. I found I had to use lighter weights than I would for a Davina workout; the exercises are so quick and intense that I couldn't keep up with my usual ones. The exercises have a real 'military' feel and change quickly, and you are given plenty of instruction and encouragement. The music isn't great, but then you probably won't have the energy to think much about it while you're doing this workout!

Levels 2 and 3 contain harder exercises (such as burpees, mountain climbs, jumping jacks from the plank position). I've got a passable fitness level, but on finishing Level 2 I was in a collapsed screaming heap on the floor, thoroughly worked out! Jillian screams at some point in Level 2 "I want you to feel like you're gonna DIE!" - and if you're anything like me, you will! On the plus side, if you can do Level 2, I don't think you'll find Level 3 too much of a difference in intensity, unless you have weak abs as this section pushes them to the limit.

This is a fantastic workout to try if you're looking to push yourself hard, but it is NOT for the faint hearted. Jillian and her helpers are very toned, but also quite bulky - to avoid this it might be a good idea to alternate this DVD with some less intense workouts (as I intend to do!) But the fact remains - there is absolutely no doubt that if you did this DVD every day, even doing just one of the three levels per day, you would lose weight and get results very quickly.
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on 5 May 2016
brought this dvd as i wanted to change my body shape and tone up a bit did it for a month and lost five and a half inches off my thighs hips and waist she works you hard but you will get results if you stay with it
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on 11 April 2016
The pain is made easier with a glass of wine afterwards.
Great, not too sickly 'you can do this' type stuff. Also the sessions are about 30mins inc warm up/down time so easy to fit in around your day
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on 22 May 2012
Day 1
I watched the DVD through and thought it was attainable. I then completed Level 1 Day 1 and was a quivering, perspiring wreck. I knew it was going to be a challenge when my enthusiasm turned to gasping after two of the twenty minutes. On Day 2 I hope to reach three minutes before beginning to suffer. I woke up this morning with aching thighs and abdominals. Hopes are high that pain equals gain.

Days 2-4
Abdominal and thigh aches subsiding. Endurance definitely increasing. Even after four days there is improved definition - "one pack" gradually turning into "six pack". I like Ms Michaels' style - whimps need not apply. Had a brief look at Level 3 = X-rated.

Days 5-11
Still very hard work, but getting easier and recovery much faster. Even after only 11 days I can honestly say that I've never been as toned, especially around my abdominal muscles, in my adult life.

Days 12-16
Continued improvement in all areas. Abdominals becoming more defined on a daily basis. Previously tight shorts now slack. Time to move to Level 2...

Days 17-22
Other reviewers have suggested that Level 2 is not a marked step up in severity. I disagree. Twenty minutes of the higher level have left me even more of a quivering, perspiring wreck than Level 1. For me squat thrusts have always been hard and that remains the case. But there is no doubt that the benefit is felt. After six days at the higher level I am finding each part of the three circuits that bit easier (a relative term), but as I say, the end product is a truly exhausted (but ever more ripped) individual. A telling statistic is that my heart rate at rest before starting the Shred = 72, now = 60.

Days 23-28
Level 2 continues to prove a challenge, but is unquestionably becoming less lethal. Level 3 beckons before long. The effects continue to be felt: a tighter notch on my belt unused for some time is once again performing a service and yesterday I turned to the side and my wife lost sight of me. Oh, and I feel physically great.

Day 29 onwards
Level 3 was attacked after 40 days (my shredding process is indefinite). My word, it was jolly hard work. Ascending the Eiger can't be as demanding as when first trying Ms Michaels' "mountain climbers", and star jumps with 3.5kg in each hand at first seems an unlikely prospect. But it's the third circuit of Level 3 that leaves you gasping most: travelling push ups and arm/leg raises from a plank on your weights. Even now as I start that six minute turn I can't quite believe I'm going to do it, but one digs in...

So how about weight loss and toning? The former has been significant (waist line down several inches) and the latter is very satisfying (genuine six pack now evident). While my waist was previously trying to catch up with my age, they are now diverging. I have never felt as good, and as my wife wife says when she feels content, I feel like I could kick my height.

So a recommendation from me for this DVD? Oh, yes! But if you're expecting gain without pain, think again.

And don't forget, "If you think you're going to die, follow Anita". You'll soon know what I mean...

Update at eight months - my diet has not been compromised one iota and I moved from a daily shred to every other day in October. I have shredded 165 times since May 2012 and my physique is unrecognisable. I have lost one stone (I suspect that means 1.5 of fat off and 0.5 of muscle on): 12st11lbs to 11st10lbs. Still exhausted after every shred, but just love that feel good feeling. Ripped.

Update at twenty-two months - I still shred three times per week and despite continuing to eat and drink as I please my weight has remained solidly level for nearly two years at just shy of 12st. Every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 0630 hours plus on a Sunday afternoon Ms Michaels and her accomplices drag me to continued fitness. I am grateful.

Update at forty-six months - still shredding three times a week. The half hour slot at home (fifty minutes taking into account the inevitable post exercise shower) fits well into a busy life. Just love that sensation of good health about an hour after finishing.
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on 14 December 2013
Bought this DVD for my wife. With the diet and the workout, she's lost 11lb in 5 weeks. So proud of her.
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on 23 July 2015
Tests your willpower with visable results!
So far I have lost 2 stone in a month.
Recommended to all.
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on 18 February 2016
Can't get enough of this dvd it's great the programme is just long enough you don't get bored often like you would in the gym and the results strap good you will feel the difference after a few sessions
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on 18 May 2016
I started this 3 weeks ago and I am now on level 2. I did not weigh or measure myself first but I can definitely tell in my clothes I have lost inches. Love the quickness of the levels & suits my lifestyle.
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on 5 February 2016
Bought this dvd on a recommendation to help get rid of my 'apron' i have bought many home workout dvds and i normally give up after watching once from the comfort of my couch but for some reason i have been sticking to this one. It is realy intense i dont think i have ever sweat so much in my life. Im still on stage one as i think stage two might actually kill me off at the moment. There are two helpers in the background one who does a easier version and one who does the harder version of the moves and i am sort of invetween the so thats not too bad. I thought i was in pain after doing the dvd but when i woke up the next morning i hurt in places i didnt know existed which i hope means the dvd is working. If you are a big busted lady like me a well fitted sports bra is a must otherwise you will end up with black eyes. Not being a sporty person i dont own any weights so instead i use tins out the cupboard. Chopped tomatoes are my prefered ones at the minute but any will do. Partner finds this very funny. The only other advice i can give you is make sure the curtains/ blinds are shut before you start as you dont want to scare the neighbours!
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on 1 May 2016
This 30 day shred dvd is brilliant, I have lost 3 stone and use these workouts to stay toned and fit. Jillian takes no prisoners and so she shouldn't if you're serious about keeping fit. I do all 3 workouts at once and feel great afterwards. I have recommended the dvd to my friends and will be buying other Jillian Michael's dvd's.
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