Jillian Michaels Hard Body Review

Saturday, September 7, 2013

I was killing some time at a two-story Target in Chicago, waiting for Hubster to pick me up after my NASM workshop. I perused the workout section and was a little hesitant to pick up this video. I have three of Jillian's videos already, and sometimes they can be a bit repetitive. But it was only $10, so what difference does it really make, right? Plus, Hubster had bought himself something from me for our anniversary, so I decided to buy something for myself from him. Old married people, I tell ya. I put this DVD and Tracy Anderson's Mat Workout (the only thing related to her that sells for $10!) in my cart. I have to say I'm pretty happy about this purchase, because Jillian really mixes things up in this series.

Let's break this down:

The video consists of two levels, 45 minutes each.

These were my stats for Level One:
Heart Rate: I averaged 130bpm and stayed inside my target heart rate zone for 21 minutes.
Calories: 527 (based on my body weight, exertion level and heart rate)


  • In each circuit, there are three versions of most of the moves. One model shows the basic move, one model shows the intermediate move, and Jillian sometimes chooses one model to take it up to the advanced level. Given the three levels of the moves within the two levels of the workout, there is plenty of room for growth.
  • The moves are mostly compound moves, hitting multiple muscle groups at once. For instance, there's one move where you perform a sumo squat with a calf raise and shoulder press for a total-body hit. You get a really effective workout in a short-ish amount of time because you're targeting more at once. I never once felt like I wasn't getting anything out of a move.
  • Like the back panel states, Jillian finally uses some fresh new moves, even some that I've never seen before. Such a relief! This coming from a person who gets bored with workouts quite quickly.
  • Jillian is always great about giving proper exercise form cues. She stops to point out different aspects of the exercise on her models, which is really helpful especially when working out at home.


  • The only drawback I really saw with this video is the scant amount of stretching at the end of the workout. I would suggest doing quite a few more stretches after these workouts, holding each stretch for at least 30 seconds. 
  • I would also be hesitant to suggest this video for beginners. You can modify most of the moves, but it might be a bit too much for someone who is just dipping their foot in the fitness-spiked water. Something like Barefoot Cardio would be a much better option for a beginner.

Bottom line: If the 30 Day Shred feels tough to you, this will feel tougher.

My favorite motivational sentiment from Jillian in this video is her encouragement to dig deep, to think about what you're doing this all for. She says to think about why you're here and let that motivate you. It really is important to reflect on that to keep your athletic spirit from waning. 

Thanks Hubster for the Anniversary gift. You're the best:)

Tracy Anderson's mat workout is up next. I hope to share a post about that too, just as soon as I can.

*This post is based only on my opinions and results. I was in no way compensated for this post, I just thought it was a great DVD to share.

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