Now I am no expert and I am sure Jillian has her own order for her DVDs but this is my take on how to get started with Jillian Michaels and what DVDs to use. There are a few DVDs of hers I have yet to try:
Killer Abs - this is her brand new one that just came out and I literally just found out about it while getting a list of her DVDs for this post.
Killer Buns & Thighs - I should probably get this as those areas are where I want to work out more... but I will see where my running takes me first.
Yoga Melt Down - yeah, no interest in yoga.
Beginners - there are three: total body, front side, back side. I never ended up buying and doing her 30 Day Shred before I found out about these, so I think they are pretty much moot.
Anything from Biggest Loser - I never watched the show so never bothered with the DVDs.
Body Revolution – this is her new full program. It has tons of DVDs and books, etc. Think P90X or Insanity style box set.
As for the DVDs I have used here is the order in which I would use them, although it is not the order in which I did and now I wish to share my knowledge! (All these DVDs you can find the exact workouts done on Amazon.com, the reviewers there are awesome at laying out each circuit/level)
30 Day Shred - I think this is a great starting point for new-comers to Jillian. There are 3 levels each of which takes 10 days. It's not super easy, so those Beginner DVDs might be better for those JUST starting out, but if you even have a bit of workout under your belt, give this a try. It uses her 3-2-1 system: 3 minutes strength, 2 minutes cardio, 1 minutes abs. You will need weights (I used 3 pounds, sometimes 5) and I tracked it as circuit training here on SP.
No More Trouble Zones & Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism - I group these two together, as does Jillian, for a reason. NMTZ is strength training with weights and BFBM is cardio. I LOVE these two, I did them at 2 different months of my journey. Both have seven 6-minute circuits and are about 50 minutes with warm up and cool downs.
NMTZ has a 'quick' version where you only do the first 5 circuits, this is because the first 5 are total body (1-shoulders/legs, 2-chest/abs, 3-biceps/butt, 4-thighs/triceps, 5-core) if you need a quicker workout. The last two circuits (6-upper body/core, 7-lower body/core) are for your core and full body, but I recommend doing the full thing. I used between 3 and 5 pound weights and tracked it as circuit training.
As for BFBM, if you can get through circuit 2 you can get through the rest of the workout. I think that one is the hardest of them all. No weights as it is just cardio, and I tracked it as cardio.
Extreme Shed & Shred - This one has 2 levels of which you can do one then graduate to two, or Jillian would like you to do both, which is kinda long. The first level is about 35 minutes with 4 circuits. I did find it a bit easy move wise, nothing overly 'Jillian' on them but they do work you out! There is some new things like Capoeria that is fun. Level 2 is about 45 minutes with 5 levels. This one is definitely Jillian. You can choose on the DVD to do either or both. You need weights and I tracked them both as circuit training.
Ripped in 30 - I did this one after my first round of NMTZ/BFBM and kinda wished I did it later when I had more strength to me, hence having it AFTER her Extreme Shed & Shred. This is first, and I think so far only, DVD that has 4 levels. Even she says there has never been a level 4 before. Each level is like her 30 DS in which it uses her 3-2-1 system and each level has 3 circuits. It runs about 30 minutes each level. You graduate from each level after 5-6 days, 4 levels, 4 weeks. I personally think level 3 is the worse of them, but keep at it, it will change you. I mostly used 3 pound weights with 5 pounds sometimes and of course, tracked it as circuit training.
6 Week 6 Pack - Now I did this as an alternating day with Extreme Shed & Shred (this was 2 days a week, ES&S was 3 days a week) but it can be done alone. It has 2 levels (3 weeks at each level) and are both around 30 minutes. It is meant to give you a great core/abs but it works you out completely. You WILL feel this everywhere, especially, I found anyways, in the shoulders/arms (as well as abs) because she loves her planks. Both are 1 15 minute circuit repeated twice, and you can bet that second round is quicker and she pushes you harder. You will need a dumbell and I tracked this as circuit training.
Kickbox Fast Fix - I am doing this DVD now for my maintaining. It is one of her newest DVDs and I love it. It consists of three 20 minute levels. Level 1 is upper body and requires dumbells. Level 2 is lower body and level 3 is abs. Course, being Jillian, they all workout your whole body. Each level has 4 circuits repeated twice, give or take, usually the last circuit is slightly different and sometimes she switches in new exercises and being that they are only 20 minutes, even your warm up is considered part of the workout. You can do each separately (which is what I am doing - Monday/Wednesday/Friday - with my running) or you can mix up 2 workouts, or do all three for a total body workout. It is fast paced so watch the tutorial for sure, especially if you never did kickboxing before. That being said, it is FUN! I track this as kickboxing.
Shred it With Weights - I recommend not buying this DVD or using it. I bought it because kettlebell training looked fun, different and from what I read, it really works you out. However, Jillian is not proficient in kettlebell (unlike kickboxing which is where she started in fitness). I did her tutorial and Level 1 for a day... then I started to do research. Many people have been hurt with her DVD because she does not perform the moves properly. A kettlebell is not like normal dumbells. It involves momentum from your hips and swinging, also catching it and holding it certain ways. Needless to say I stopped that DVD and bought Iron Core Kettlebell by Sarah Lurie. You can get 4 of her kettlebell DVDs in one right now for cheap and she will train you properly. The first 2 volumes (learning DVDs) are kinda slow but with kettlebell you want to take it slow and learn the proper techniques.
Of course, with Jillian the best part is you can mix and match all her DVDs to keep your routine fresh. Different DVD every day? Why not! As well, you can always up your weight in all her DVDs for more of a challenge, which she encourages quite a bit. And as will any exercise, Jillian included, at first the moves will be awkward/ challenging/ you might fall over (hello kickboxing) but keep at it. It will AMAZE you how much just a week, or even a few days, can help with your balance and strength.
I hope this helps anyone who is just getting into Jillian workouts, or working out in general and wants something fun to do so they don't get bored.
Edited by: MERETONI at: 11/1/2012 (09:43)
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