DVD Review: Jillian Michaels' No More Trouble Zones

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
3/4/2009 5:26 AM   :  145 comments

"Zero in to tackle your trouble zones and lose up to 5 pounds a week! Eliminate love handles, muffin tops, and wobbly arms for good!"

That's what Jillian Michaels' new DVD, No More Trouble Zones, promises to deliver. Her people contacted us to see if we'd like to review it for our readers. Test the newest DVD of TV's toughest trainer for free? It was an easy decision: Don't mind if I do!

I tried it twice last week. Want to hear what I thought about it (and whether it will really tone up your trouble zones as its title and glossy box claims)?

No More Trouble Zones is a 40-minute strength training workout that targets every major muscle group—not just the areas that you'd normally think of as "trouble zones." Besides legs, butt, abs and triceps (standard problem areas for most women), you'll also hit chest, back, shoulders, biceps and more. It's a full-body toning workout (with a title that doesn't do it justice!).

The 40-minute workout is broken up into 7 different workout sections or "circuits," each lasting about 5 minutes. The DVD menu lets you select a single segment at a time or play the entire DVD in full. When I tested it, I did the first four circuits one day (still a great workout!), and then the entire DVD (segments 1-7) a couple days later. In each circuit, you'll do about 12-15 reps of 4-5 different exercises, repeat that series one more time, and then move on to the next circuit. The anatomical focus changes during each circuit, too (for example, circuit #2 targets chest and abs while #3 does thighs and triceps). But no matter which "trouble zones" you're focusing on, you'll work multiple muscle groups during a single move, which increases the intensity and challenge. For example, circuit #1 (shoulders & legs) combines upper and lower body simultaneously with moves like reverse lunges with lateral raises and squats with front shoulder raises.

To see some examples of the multifunctional exercises, check out this video preview where you'll see squats with an overhead press (legs and shoulders), chest flyes with leg raises (chest and abs), forward lunges with biceps curls (butt and biceps), an isometric chair squat with triceps kick backs (thighs and triceps), and more. (If you have trouble viewing the video below, click here to see it on YouTube.)



As you can imagine, combining these upper and lower body movements into a single exercise increases the burn, helps to keep your heart rate elevated (so you'll get a bit of cardio, too), and recruits more muscle fibers, which also helps burn more calories than isolated movements can. What I liked about these combinations is that it made strength training new and different. I thought Jillian created some unique combos, which made the workout more fun and interesting than many other DVDs I've tried.
Here's my list of general pros and cons for the DVD:

Pro: This was by far the best example of instruction and cues that I've seen from Jillian so far. She demonstrates each exercise pretty well, explaining what muscles you're working, giving general safety and execution tips, and even extra tidbits that teach you more about exercise in general, like what a superset is.
Con: On many circuits, Jillian doesn't do any of the exercises, or often, just a couple. I know that some people complain when the trainer on a DVD isn't doing the workout with them, so I thought I'd mention this. Personally, it doesn't bother me as long as I can watch someone (in this case, she has two other "models") doing it correctly.

Pro: All you need to do this workout is dumbbells and, if you have hard floors, a mat for cushioning (optional).
Con: This is the tricky part of any workout DVD. In the video, Jillian and her posse use just 3-pound weights. I had 6-pound weights at home that I used, and I felt like I was doing twice the work as the people in the video, often struggling on some of the moves because there were so many reps when 6 pounds wasn't appropriate. Like many DVDs that use a single weight, you will probably come across exercises where the weight you have is perfect, and other times when it's too light or too heavy for the exercise you're doing. You could remedy this IF you had various weights at home. Otherwise, some parts will be much easier or much harder than others will.

Pro: I thought it was a challenging, varied, and good workout overall. I enjoyed the moves and there was a HUGE variety of exercises for a 40-minute workout. I wasn't bored at all during the workout either.
Con: There are virtually zero modifications for beginners to adapt this workout to their fitness level. In general, I'd say that it is not for beginners at all. You would have to have a basic level of strength, coordination, muscular endurance, and even fitness knowledge to complete the workout in full or know how to modify it on your own. On some exercises, my 6-pound weights were too tiring (like after 50+ repetitions of various shoulder raises), so I had to modify it by resting my shoulders and continuing with the lower body work. In fact, there were many moves where I had to rest or do just part of the exercise to suit my level. This DVD is do-able for beginners if they give themselves permission to go slower, focus on just one move at a time (i.e. just the upper body portion of an exercise instead of the full upper-lower body combo), or make their movements smaller—but don't expect any explicit direction on how to do so.

Pro: The DVD includes both a 5-minute warm up and cool down.
Con: The 5-minute warm up includes some dynamic stretches like arm circles, and light cardio moves like faux jumping rope and marching. Personally, it didn't elevate my heart rate or warm up my muscles as much as I would have liked before getting into the workout itself. But you could always do your own warm-up. The "cool down" isn't actually a cool down—it is a stretching segment. There is a big difference between the two! While the stretches are great, I highly recommend that you take a few minutes to cool down properly after this intense workout.

Overall, I would recommend this DVD as a strength-training routine for an intermediate to advanced exerciser who likes Jillian Michaels or simply wants to change up their routine a little bit—it has many diverse exercise ideas that will keep your body guessing and help prevent workout boredom.

As for whether you'll "eliminate love handles, muffin tops and wobbly arms for good," like the box claims, remember that there is no such thing as spot training. As I mentioned in my Biggest Loser Weight Loss Yoga DVD review, be wary of claims and DVD titles, which are often marketing techniques. This is a full-body strength-training workout, which helps sculpt lean muscles, but cardio exercise is necessary to burn the layer of fat that covers those muscles you're training. You'll need more than No More Trouble Zones to develop a six-pack or jiggle-free arms, namely cardio and a calorie-controlled diet.

You can purchase No More Trouble Zones from amazon.com for just $10.49! Check out the other reviews there, too. When I last checked all 20+ reviews were 5 out of 5 stars, which is a GREAT sign for a prospective DVD you want to try.

Have you tried No More Trouble Zones? Do you plan to?

Photo Source: used with permission from Lionsgate Films, Inc.


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Comments

  • DLJONE45
    145
    I really love this workout and although I do struggle to get through it sometimes, I always feel as if I have had a super effective workout. I have tried many of Jillian's workouts, but this one is by far my favorite. I have been using this DVD for over a year and have definitely improved my endurance and core. I wouldn't recommend it for beginners, but if you are in decent shape and looking for a challenge, then this is a workout you should definitely try. - 8/17/2014   1:53:02 PM
  • WILLOWBEE63
    144
    I rotate this workout with others of Jillian's (30 Day Shred...Shred It With Weights...Yoga Meltdown...6 Weeks Six-Pack) Along with a few other workouts I never get board...I use a 5 lb weight for No More Trouble Zones and 30 Day and a 10 lb kettlebell with Shred it....great workouts... - 3/23/2013   11:17:19 AM
  • 143
    I love this DVD. It's definitely not a beginners workout. I do several DVD's. I do the Workout for Dummies and this DVD together.The first time I did both I couldn't move the next day. I do strength one day and the treadmill or run the next, It's a workout and Jillian means business which I love. - 3/2/2013   4:32:11 PM
  • 142
    I like the workout because it is challenging. I don't care for her demeanor. And would someone tell her to pull up her pants?

    I don't stay on the same leg as she suggests. I think the set on the second leg isn't as strong that way because your arms are getting tired. So I alternate.

    Did anyone notice she does the surrenders on the same leg both times? - 2/7/2013   11:25:35 AM
  • PREMAMEHROTRA
    141
    I have tried the video and I agree with the comments made by the author: this is NOT the programme for a beginner and it would be good to have a set of weights at 3 lbs, 5 lbs and 8 lbs. As she herself says, it's easy for her to manage greater weights but given the repetitions, you might strain your arms if you don't use the prescribed weight levels. She's tough and she's good but you have to be fit to complete her routine! - 10/19/2012   5:36:57 AM
  • 140
    I like Jillian, and i use 30 day shred, no more trouble zone and banish Fat Boost Your Metabolism. - 3/11/2012   5:00:59 AM
  • 139
    Just wanted to add that Jillian does say during the workout that there is no such thing as spot training and that is why this workout has is aerobic. The cardio burns the fat! :) Love it! - 4/4/2011   9:43:18 AM
  • 138
    I love 30 Day Shred & Jillian, so I bought this DVD. I love it! It is like 30 Day Shred on steroids...& I love that I can choose which circuits I want to do. - 3/4/2011   10:34:10 AM
  • 137
    Nicole, your review was really so helpful. I would that you do alot MORE reviews of all that are on the market. Really a BIG help so I don't end up with more exercise DVD's than I need. I don't know if you have review kettleworx but I do LOVE it, and get a good workout in 20 minutes tol that includes warm up and cool down.

    I saw this DVD in the store along with a whole bunch more of Jillians workouts, and felt a bit overwhelmed!!!

    THANKS for your help!

    - 1/27/2011   5:44:10 PM
  • 136
    We started using this dvd this past summer as a way to cross-train. We were doing a walk to run program and needed to strengthen muscles so we wouldn't get injured. It is a great workout! We have started mixing it up with two other of her dvds which is working well to use different muscles and so we aren't tired of the same one. This has definitely helped me lose inches! For me it has lessened the muffin top and flabby arms! And yes, I do believe I will still be doing this workout for a few years as long as we keep mixing in other ones too. :^) - 12/2/2010   9:14:30 PM
  • 135
    I own this workout. It came in a bundle with 2 other Jillian DVDs. I think it is the hardest of the three. I consider myself to be an intermediate level, as I do Zumba 3 nights a week and run a 5k or two every weekend, plus strength training 3 xs a week.. It is VERY challenging. I wanted it to help bounce me off my plateau. Didn't happen. - 10/21/2010   8:46:45 AM
  • AUNIKQT
    134
    This was a great review. I own this DVD and enjoy it because it is very challenging. I feel such a sense of accomplishment after finishing it. My only problem is that sometimes all the lunges hurt my knees. - 10/3/2010   8:39:47 AM
  • 133
    A great review with the Pros and Cons (I just love reviews with those 2 things!), the video also helped to get hints on what the exercises in the DVDs. - 10/2/2010   10:41:03 AM
  • 132
    I use Jillian's 30 Day Shred, No More Trouble Zones, and Burn Fat Boost Metabolism for my exercising along with running 4-6 miles when I can get someone to watch my kids (I don't have a treadmill yet). I would say I have had great results with the DVDs, running, and tracking my food. - 8/7/2010   9:49:48 AM
  • 131
    I have her 30 Day Shred video, but this one is my favorite by far. It helped me lose 30 lbs in 4 months last year. But then I quit and gained it all back. So now Im back on the mission and here to stay. She keeps you motivated thru the workout and knows EXACTLY when you just want to give up, she encourges you to push through the workout. I love her videos, but I did not care for BFBM video. - 8/6/2010   1:56:15 PM
  • 130
    Very helpful review but I like nice instructurs - she just seem to ruff for my taste - 7/14/2010   10:18:11 AM
  • 129
    I found I couldn't use my regular weights (8-10 lbs), but instead, after 5 minutes, I was using 3 lb. weights.
    I enjoyed the workout- couldn't do the "surrender" move because of a bad knee, but just moving around while working the arms was enough.
    My only real complaint was that my back was very sore the next day. - 7/13/2010   8:57:23 PM
  • ETHELMERZ
    128
    I want to know if in, say, three years, the same people are still using this DVD?? Honestly........... - 7/3/2010   9:38:02 PM
  • HANEKAS
    127
    I purchased this DVD from Amazon. I am a fan of the 30 Day Shred DVD and look forward to using this DVD to attain my weight loss goal. - 5/25/2010   7:18:33 PM
  • 126
    This DVD is awesome...it really kicks your butt. Very intense and I agree definitely not for beginners. It made me cry--yup literally--the first time I did it! - 4/30/2010   8:37:21 PM
  • 125
    I love this workout. I use a minimum of 4 pounds for all of her workout DVDs, and on this one, I go up to 7 pounds depending on the exercise. I do the same for the 3-Day Shred DVD. I find this to be so much better than the Shred. It kicks on the arms and abs, and her instructions are fantastic. I cannot find a single thing to complain about regarding this DVD. I am not able to do her side lunges, though -- they hurt my knees, so I use heaver weights and just do the arms on that move. - 4/5/2010   2:47:40 PM
  • 124
    I have this and it is INTENSE! But I agree with a lot of what this review says. I use 3 lbs weights for the whole workout so that I can do all of the moves. But, if I have taken a break at all in my workouts for whatever reason, this is NOT a DVD I can come back and do right away. I definitely have to work up to it!

    And yes, the first time I do it after awhile of not, I cry! :) - 3/5/2010   9:40:19 AM
  • 123
    LOL LILDARIUS... I hope so! - 3/2/2010   2:31:14 PM
  • 122
    Great Workout....but be ready to work your butt off....... - 3/2/2010   12:24:31 PM
  • 121
    I have the same complaint about the warm up and cool down on Jillian's DVD's (I have the 30 day and the Metabolism Blast). It is no where near enough to effectively stretch and cool down after the workouts (which I agree are intense and challenging even for people who work out regularly). I like throwing her DVD's into my rotation cause they are challenging and really spark my body to change. - 3/2/2010   11:51:48 AM
  • 120
    I love Jillian, her videos are killer and her books rock this is actually the only video I don't have and now after reading this blog I will definitely be buying it today!! Thanks for the info and I can't wait to get started!! - 3/2/2010   10:21:42 AM
  • 119
    My favorite workout DVD. - 3/2/2010   7:52:47 AM
  • 118
    my FAVORITE video right now... I have been doing it on and off for almost a year now, and it is still an amazing challenge. Your hear rate stays up so you are burning lots and lots of calories while toning- can't beat that! I use 5lb weights, which I find to be perfect. - 3/2/2010   7:05:14 AM
  • _MAOMAO_
    117
    I love NMTZ! The 40 minute video's the short version. I did the 55 minute video today for the first time in over 2 months. I was fading toward the end, and I'm been so hungry the rest of the day - but I feel SO good! - 1/21/2010   1:22:44 AM
  • NPAUL929
    116
    This was a very good review. I was just looking at this DVD the other day and I was put off by the title. I appreciate the fact that Nicole mentions that titles are often for marketing.
    I am currently working my way through the 30 Day Shred and will consider this one when I feel the need for a different and more challenging workout. - 1/15/2010   8:37:44 AM
  • BCHERRY36344
    115
    I like Jillian's 30 Day Shred dvd. It will kick your butt. - 1/11/2010   1:52:15 PM
  • 114
    Okay, so have any of you done any of her older DVDs in the Biggest Winner series (shape Up front and back, maximize front and back and cardiokickbox) How does this series and the NMTZ and BFBM compare to each other? - 1/1/2010   3:43:44 PM
  • 113
    I love this workout! Yes, it's called "No More Trouble Zones", but she does say in the video that you can't spot reduce which is why she does circuit training so that the heart rate is elevated which will in turn burn fat. This workout makes a huge difference in my body! - 11/25/2009   9:30:50 AM
  • 112
    The reviews look good, so I think I'm going to buy it. I luv her on Biggest Loser. - 11/6/2009   2:49:06 PM
  • 111
    I bought this at WalMart for $9.99 and LOVE it. Gives me the workout I need on non-run days. I alternate with Bob's Bootcamp workout which is great as well. - 10/29/2009   2:27:00 PM
  • 110
    I tried this from On Demand on Exercise TV, and I wasn't a fan. It was challenging and all, but I liked her 30 Day Shred and Biggest Loser Power Sculpt workouts better. I don't know about the DVD, but the OnDemand version is 60 minutes long and I just don't have time for that either. - 10/27/2009   4:32:28 PM
  • 109
    I researched and bought this at Chapters for $14.98 (along with her Burn Fat Boost Metabolism dvd). I also picked up some 3lb dumbbells to start off. Decided to just briefly watch the video before bed to see what i'm getting myself into on Monday, when i want to start her vids. All I can say is Jillian is amazing. Good instruction, nice sense of humor - caught myself laughing hard numerous times. I know people say she's hard, like a drill sergeant, but that's what part of what motivates you to do all the exercises!! I'd rather her drilling me, then a cutesy, bouncy, prissy girl in a pretty leotard dancing around! I can tell this will quickly become a fave. Love her and her training style! - 10/23/2009   2:06:09 PM
  • 108
    I completely agree about the weights! I had 3 sets (3lbs, 8lbs, 10lbs). Some of the moves, the 3s were too light and the 8s too heavy so I finally invested in some 5s. Sometimes, I find it annoying to have to switch weights up but you gotta do what you gotta do!
    ~Ang - 10/2/2009   11:03:14 AM
  • 107
    I really enjoy doing this workout on my strength days. I like to combine it with her 30 Day Shred dvd, usually along with extra cardio that night or all in one set with the 2 strength programs. I definitely had the same problem with the author by initially using weights that were too large. Instead of using 6lb weights, I actually did the video (although with some modifications) with 8lb weights. It was killer!! So, I went and bought appropriate weights and rotated between the two with both dvds. - 9/25/2009   6:53:59 PM
  • 106
    I just did 5 circuits of this work out! - 8/21/2009   8:39:59 AM
  • 105
    I do Jillian Michaels NMTZ and it is awesome. I feel great afterwards. I feel a big sense of accomplishment if I can keep up with her. It will definetely tone you up. I agree it is not for beginners, but don't be afraid to try it. - 8/10/2009   1:36:59 PM
  • WISTFULVISTA
    104
    Mercy me and bless Jillian's heart, but I don't think I'll be up to her workouts in this lifetime :) - 8/9/2009   10:31:48 AM
  • BIJOUX7
    103
    I am a huge Jillian fan. Thanks to her videos I am now tucking my shirts into my jeans :)
    I'm stunned at the progress that I have made over the past 4 weeks!!! I haven't really lost weight but those inches have been BLASTED away. - 8/6/2009   8:28:53 PM
  • 102
    This was an amazing workout! Very challenging. Definitely worth checking out. - 7/29/2009   11:37:28 AM
  • 101
    I like NMTZ. I believe that I like it better than the 30DS. - 6/13/2009   12:29:57 AM
  • 100
    I love this video. Jillian Michaels Boost your metabolism is also an awesome workout. - 6/10/2009   11:41:14 AM
  • 99
    hi there.. if you haven't seen some of her workouts... I found a pretty good one ..'No More Trouble Zones...

    Go to Google, videos.. then I typed in ... kick butt jillian

    you will find.. 1,2,3,4, and 5 of 5 there [each about 9 min. long]

    if that doesn't work go to google.ca then videos etc

    Good luck. - 6/9/2009   12:44:30 PM
  • 98
    I have tried this On Demand so it may have been cut from the original, but I really like it! I love all of Jillian's workouts! You REALLY get a workout with this! After doing her dvds, all the others seem to be less than challenging. I agree with all of the pros and cons listed, but the cons don't bother me! - 6/7/2009   3:18:02 PM
  • AMANDAJONES85
    97
    I love this DVD. I actually get it for free through my "onDemand" option on my cable. It is a good intensity and I love the variety. Some days it is hard to get through, so I will just do half of it... and I still feel like I got an EXCELLENT workout. Jillian is a perfect trainer for me, she has that perfect balance of pushing you, being tough and sincerely encouraging you at the same time! LOVE IT! - 6/6/2009   3:19:17 PM
  • 96
    I have all three of Jillians DVDs (30 day Shred, Boost your Metabolism, No More Trouble Zones) and this is my favorite of the three. I've been doing this 2 times per week and have definitely seen the definition in my muscles. Like others, as advanced as I think I am, I cannot get through a whole workout. But I'm working up to it and those who are new at working out can use their own body weight if they want to try this video. Definitely a kick butt workout that gets results. Highly recommended - 6/5/2009   1:19:15 PM

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