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Can Jillian Michaels' 30-Day Shred Help You?


By Mary_RD on Apr 05, 2011 10:00 AM in Tips & Updates
Edited By +Rachel Berman

By Mary Hartley, RD and Carolyn Richardson

As the demanding trainer that helps “The Biggest Loser” contestants lose massive amounts of weight, Jillian Michael is unquestionably making great TV.  But can she get you in shape in your own home in just 30 days?  More than simply getting in shape, Jillian Michael promises to shred you.
 
Jillian Michaels' 30-Day Shred

In 2008, Jillian Michael released her best selling DVD, Jillian Michaels' 30-Day Shred.  The fitness DVD currently holds Rank # 13 in all of Amazon Bestsellers in Movies & TV.   Calorie Count members have had lots to say in the Forums over time about the 30 Day Shred.

Jillian's DVD contains a mixture of cardio, strength-training and abs done in three 6-minutes intervals:  2-minutes of athletic-style cardio, mostly kick-boxing, 3-minutes of strength training with dumbbells and the weight of the body and 1-minutes of classic ab moves.  The entire workout takes roughly 25-minutes, including warm up and cool down. 
 
Not for Everyone

With Jillian’s help and your perseverance, you are meant to advance to Level 3 level in 30 days.  But Level 1 is actually made for someone who gets any regular exercise 2 to 3 times per week or is active in sports or dance.  College Video rates the 30-Day Shred as ‘Advanced’ and customers at Amazon.com say the DVD is not for anyone who is out-of-shape and injuries have been reported.  And even if you are in-shape, expect to feel muscle pain and stiffness in the first 24 to 72 hours.  That Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, or DOMS, is due to the "shred".  After all, Jillian is now your trainer. 

“Lose up to 20 pounds in 30 days”

The DVD promo language claims, “You can lose up to 20 pounds in 30 days.”  Perhaps Jillian saw that happen on The Biggest Loser, but it is unlikely – and unhealthy - to aim for that at home.  The Clinical Guidelines published by the National Institutes of health advises a maximum loss of only 2 pounds a week.  Obese newbies, like The Biggest Loser contestants, may lose more, but then this DVD is not for them.

But fit users who want to shed pounds while they shred, should count calories aiming for no more than a 500 calorie deficit.  That's only 500 calories less than one burns in a day, an amount that should spare protein from being used for fuel and may provide some extra protein for muscle building  To build muscle while selectively burning fat, it's wise to eat a source of protein and carbohydrate immediately after the workout.  To log the calories burned in the 30-Day Shred, use your judgment and consider logging some combination of kickboxing, high impact aerobics, calisthenics, weight lifting, or circuit training.  Choose the level of effort that matches your vigor and Calorie Count will adjust the calories to your weight.

Read about what to look for in a fitness DVD at Consumer Search's Exercise Videos: Reviews

Your thoughts…

Does Jillian Michaels' 30-Day Shred appeal to you?

Calorie Count follows About.com's Ethics Policy when it comes to reviewing products.
Like Calorie Count, Consumer Search is a service from About.com, a part of The New York Times Company.



Comments


Yes! I love the 30 day shred! It delivers what it promises (not in pounds though) I lost a lot of inches after doing this for 3 weeks.

After you have done it for a while, it does get boring though and i would recommend to go onto Jillians other DVDs.



I love the 30 day shred dvd too. It is one of the most fun exercise DVDs that I have because there is lots of variety in it and it can really get your heart rate up. Another great aspect is that (at least on level 3) you can burn a bunch of calories in just 25minutes. I agree with Helen22 that you should mix it in with other work outs to stop it getting boring.



I have been doing 30 day shred for 120 days now. Laughing I finally advanced to level 3 a week ago but I still prefer level 2 for the arm workouts and also because my knees have started bothering me with the jumping involved in level 3. Unfortunately the only weight I have lost has been in my chest. I still am 20 pounds from my goal weight. I do feel great after using 30 day shred and I prefer it to her other dvds. I love the fact that you can do it all in less than 30 min.



I love the 30 day shred as well! I have done it through twice now (going from level one to level 3). The first time through I did not really lose any weight but I went from a size 10 to a size 8 and started to see definition all over. The second time through I still did not really lose any weight however I went from a size 8 to a size 6 and could really see definition. I would recommend this DVD to anyone wanting to tone up and slim down. Not so great for actual pound loss though. 



I have been working on this dvd for a while now... Honestly I have only done level 1, 7 times in a month. This is because at first my knee would not co operate with at the squats and lunges, secondly my leg muscles stopped working for 3 days, thirdly i think i have now fully injured my ankle which is causing me to lose motivation considering I can only do half the video on level 1... either way today is 4/5 11 and I started on 3/9/ 11... I have lost 9 lbs and 12 inches.  It does work but there should be a weight limit on this. I am 203lbs started at 210... these workouts are not for fat people. Way too many injuries possible. I seriously hope my ankle can recover. What i can say is working out is key, however this workout is not that great considering she does not explain how to position your body correctly to prevent pain and injury. Now I am just hoping I can find things to do that do not make my injury worse. Oh yeah and it does get terribly boring. and DO NOT USE HER WEBSITE.... terrible. Caloriecount.com is free and 100% better all around.



I have this DVD workout and I love it. However I actually do level 1 plus either level 2 or 3 workouts when I do it. It's definitely a great workout!!



I have this DVD and I do like the workout I get from it.  However, I also agree that it's not for beginners.  I've always had problems doing squats correctly and so I think it will be a while before I can advance to level 2.  I do feel like if you aren't sure you are doing moves correctly, it would be great to see a professional trainer to help you make sure you know how to do the moves without injuring yourself (since she's not there to tell you if your posture is correct). 

I also find it annoying that I have to hear her spiel about being the toughest trainer etc, etc, for 5 minutes before the workout options are even provided (you can't just push the menu button and be where you want to be).  

 



Original Post by: cngonzalez

I love the 30 day shred as well! I have done it through twice now (going from level one to level 3). The first time through I did not really lose any weight but I went from a size 10 to a size 8 and started to see definition all over. The second time through I still did not really lose any weight however I went from a size 8 to a size 6 and could really see definition. I would recommend this DVD to anyone wanting to tone up and slim down. Not so great for actual pound loss though. 


Sounds like you lost pure body fat! Much better than scale weight which is mostly water anyway.



I started incorporating Jillian's 30 Day Shred into my already active lifestyle of running in hopes of building muscle (not to lose weight). I found that it did help me build stronger arms and legs and made me a better runner. 

Even as a already active person, I found that it took me a good 30 days before I could move up to level 2. And after another month, I still wasn't ready to move up to level 3.

Of course, body type plays a role in how much muscle you can build. I didn't ever try level 3, but, I have enjoyed doing Jillian's other workout, Shred it With Weights, which uses a kettle ball. 



Mary, Your review claims that the video's cardio is "mostly kick-boxing" but there's no kick-boxing at all and only a bit of shadow-boxing. I have been using the DVD for a couple of weeks and haven't lost weight (but also haven't changed diet). My purpose in using it has been to tone, and I'm achieving my goal. Each level provides a more or less challenging option with models for "easy" and "advanced". I've done a combination of the two on levels 2 and 3. I agree with others that this can be a very challenging workout, but you can also modify to make it easier. The tricky part is, you HAVE to push your body in order to see change. Just like counting calories, if you want to see physical changes, it is a pretty simple equation of effort in for results out. Of course, there's a fine line between pushing yourself for better fitness and pushing yourself to the point of injury. That fine line is obviously something relative to individuals--you can't expect any workout dvd to tell you exactly where that is. 



wow. I am amazed at the positive reviews. I have not seen the shred itself but I find Jillian to be just about as annoying and even less credible as a weight-loss/exercise guru, than Richard Simmons. At least he is compassionate and realistic about what people's abilities are. Jillian may offer something for some people, but I just see her as one more "mean girl" who picks on fat people. What I've seen of her on the Biggest Loser makes my heart hurt for the victims she's supposedly "training," and all the ads I see online for this thing just turn me off more.

I would rather jump on the bandwagon of someone who advocates a long-term health change, than someone who promises to solve all my eating problems in 30 days. Just one more BS video from someone trying to make money off the misery of others. Me - I'm not buying into this junk.



I have been doing this video for six months, however I don't do it more than 3 times a week and sometimes I only do it 1 or 2 times a week. I use it along with running and it has definitely strengthened me. It took me 3 months to move on to level 2 and always find it a big challenge. I started at 225 lbs., have lost 20+ lbs. and inches, big time. I too enjoy the fact that it's a short and compacted workout. I never look forward to doing this DVD but believe it does give results and is a good usage of exercise time.



I have decided I love anything Jillian Michaels! I have successfully only done it once from lvl 1 to lvl 3 in 30 days, but that is mostly by choice and a challenge her on CC. I lost ten pounds in 8.5 weeks over the summer in 2010 doing that for my work out, of course I managed to maintain a calorie deficit on most days of the week. I believe if you are comitted and willing to take the 30 minutes to do it, some exercise is better than none and she shows modifications for those that are more out of shape, and I have found that you get out of her workouts (or any really) what you put into it, so if it seems too much too soon you can always make your own modifications. The important thing is to stay active, raise your heart rate at least a little and reduce total calorie intake!



The shred is a great, efficient work out.  I did it for about a year and then fell off it a bit, but it's a great toning tool.  Even though you hear Jillian say the same stuff over and over again, it really makes me power through! 

 

love it!



I just entered a hold request at my local public library for Jillian's 30 Day Shred...  I'll see how it goes. 



I started with the 30 day Shred mid 2009 and I lost the 20 pounds I wanted to lose but did continue using the DVD past the 30 days and it took me about 6 months to lose the weight I wanted as I was also adding muscle which weighs more than fat, I reduced from 30 percent body fat to about 19 percent. This DVD with some of her others to mix it up help me condition my body to do much harder program.

I have now completed p90x am 120 pounds and have 15 percent body fat.

Jillian DVDs do kick your butt thats why they work, your muscles soreness goes away after working out through the soreness, as the saying goes no pain no gain, your body isnt used to being used that way but will adapt quite quickly. With P90X your sore for the whole 90 days as its muscle confusion workout designed so that you never plateau. That soreness in your muscles becomes addicting believe it or not i hope for it the day after a good workout, then I know I accomplished something good in my body.

Love Jillian Michaels, she got me in shape, great motivation, I tell myself her words each day "Nothing tastes as good as being sexy feels."

Will be purchasing her book this week she rocks!!!



I forgot a few things.. I find it helps a ton to mute the dvd and play music you like.... Also have you all notied that the girls in the background are in WAY better shape than her? lol just an observation.



I love this workout - it'll make you sweat!  

I bought a digital version on Amazon for $5.99.  I can watch it on TV through mu blu-ray or on the road on my laptop.



Is the video lots of lunges?  I have a bad knee and can't do lunges on one side, so I try to stay away from any video that does alot of them...



I combined this video with my regular cardio workouts.  The video is great for muscle toning, but not so much cardio.  Which is why I still get my 30 minutes of cardio in addition to the video.  I have been losing weight and toning my muscles with this combination, and I feel great.  25 pounds off so far!!



I did it a while and also got bored then switched to other dvds for a while.  I was doing Jillian's new "ripped in 30" and got to week 3 (level 3) and was SO sore that I went back to 30 day shred for a little while to regroup!  HA HA!  I think I will do Shred again and then go back to Ripped...   Then I plan on Trying Bob Harper's "Inside Out Method"  It looks insane!



I'm on day 7 of this DVD and I've lost 1.8lbs and 2.5 inches combined from my bust, chest, waist and hips. I did full body measurements when I started but I will wait until day 30 to redo them all. 

 

I love Jillian Michaels because she tells it like it is. So many times people are crying and whining cause they can't go on and she pushes them and they end up doing it. So why were they crying? Because they didn't believe in themselves. She may seem hard on them but it's because they NEED it. Maybe if they had people like her in their lives they wouldn't have gotten so big to begin with. She genuinely cares about the contestants, you can see it in every episode.

This year on the Biggest loser I saw a 507lb man do phenomenal things, so for me to say this 20 minute workout is too hard  . . . I would just be ashamed. Whenever I feel myself giving out after 2 minute of cardio I just think of the people who are so much bigger than me and how hard they work.

 

I love Jillian, but it's the people she trains that my real inspiration.



I got the 30-day shred about a month ago and only use it about twice a week. Generally because I like to change up the videos I do from day to day to keep things fresh and to shock my body more.  I also have some Jackie Warner videos and a few Leslie Sansone vids too...depending on what I feel like doing. Honestly though...when I feel like getting my heart rate really going I do this video.  I love the change-ups between strength, cardio and abs...so you're hitting all areas of the body.    I have only done the 1st and 2nd level workouts so far....I will be hitting the 3rd level soon. :)  The main thing I really like about this video is that it's only 25 minutes and it hits all areas. 

 

PS:  I do say that if you have any knee problems whatsoever...this video is not for you.  There is a lot of knee intensive moves.



I can't do this routine as it aggravates my weak knee and makes my bladder leak with all the jumping around.  I did like the way it made me feel the workout and it sure makes you sweat, but I cannot afford to reinjure my knee if I want to keep up my healthy lifestyle.  Good luck!



Sounds like I really should have taken some measurements before starting out as I am just about to start level 3 tonight and have so far seen no benefits - no weight loss, no noticable toning, no dress size change etc. Either I'm doing it wrong or I'm losing inches without realising judging by the other comments.



I think she has the right mentality for being a trainer, but I have to ask;

WHAT IS UP WITH THE AIR-BRUSHED PHOTOS OF HER IN AD'S WHEN COMPARED TO HER IMAGE ON THE SHOW?

Kind of a mixed message if you ask me!



I can definitely vouch for the soreness after day 1. I'm a fairly fit person (gym 4-5 times a week) and I felt the ache, mostly in my thighs and ass.

I love Jillian, she's such an inspiration, and having her kick your ass in your own home is pretty awesome.

I definitely would not recommend it if you are highly overweight or unfit  - it is quite strenuous, and I had to stop a couple of times to catch my breath - especially in the press ups, which I'm not good at at all. :)



They sell the video for less than $8 at Walmart.com with free shipping to your local store.



i've been wanting to try it i'm really just trying to get more tone and it seems like that's what it delivers.  i'm excited to try it!



Original Post by: grammajinx

wow. I am amazed at the positive reviews. I have not seen the shred itself but I find Jillian to be just about as annoying and even less credible as a weight-loss/exercise guru, than Richard Simmons. At least he is compassionate and realistic about what people's abilities are. Jillian may offer something for some people, but I just see her as one more "mean girl" who picks on fat people. What I've seen of her on the Biggest Loser makes my heart hurt for the victims she's supposedly "training," and all the ads I see online for this thing just turn me off more.

I would rather jump on the bandwagon of someone who advocates a long-term health change, than someone who promises to solve all my eating problems in 30 days. Just one more BS video from someone trying to make money off the misery of others. Me - I'm not buying into this junk.


You obviously haven't done your research on Jillian.

she's had her own weight loss problems - and she genuinely cares about the contestants on the show. Just because most of the time they show her 'being tough' doesn't mean it's not tough love.

If you've ever heard people at the end of the show talk, they love Jillian for getting them so far. She does have heart, and she's just pushing them to show them how hard they can actually go. Some people don't believe in themselves enough, so she pushes them through it.

The reason they got fat in the first place is probably because they didn't have the right tools, the right attitude, or the belief that they could do it, and she's shown me (through watching BL) that I can do it, I may have been the fat kid in school, but that doesn't mean I have to be fat the rest of my life.



This Dvd has helped me shed 50 pounds. I use it almost everyday for the last 4 months.



I have not seen this video but for someone starting out who is not in shape it would make sense to start on something easier.  A really great resource is a Canadian fitness guru (who I know has US tv spots) named Charlene Prickett. Her dvd's are aimed at different levels & all sorts of exercises based on your interest are available.

I'm ill with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & I'm starting out with her "Women with Balls" dvd. (I used to do her aerobics ones prior to illness have not been able to do for many, many years so I'm just starting back in.)

Her website is:  charleneprickett.com

Good luck all!!!



PS

Reason I love Charlene - she encourages constantly & has many, many tips about healthy exercise & eating throughout videos!!!



In my opinion, this dvd is not for someone who already works out. It is too easy and it never make me even break a sweat. Jillian has way better dvds than this, that have sculpted my body tremendously, and I still use them on a daily basis. As far as 30DS goes, it sits on my shelf collecting dust. I do not like it.



I just bought this one but haven't used it yet. I bought JM "No More Trouble Zones" I think it is new and it's a 40 minute workout. warm up, 7 interval workouts, you use 3 lb. weight to build arm muscles and then a cool down. I couldn't get up from a sitting position the next day after the first time I used it. I've used it 3 times now and I still haven't gotten all the way thru it (did 5 intervals). I bought the 30 minute shred because it's shorter and I can do it during the week when I have less time. Anybody else try any other Jillian DVD's that they would like to recommend?



I personally dont like About hyge hype of Jillian related product. Trying to lose large amount ( 30 pounds!?) is abviously very unhealthy and not possible for average joes out there. I'm not a hater. I heard she doesnt have any credential for fitness training. It is potentially dangerous that person without credential doing all these things in media.


Original Post by: laplotzke

I just bought this one but haven't used it yet. I bought JM "No More Trouble Zones" I think it is new and it's a 40 minute workout. warm up, 7 interval workouts, you use 3 lb. weight to build arm muscles and then a cool down. I couldn't get up from a sitting position the next day after the first time I used it. I've used it 3 times now and I still haven't gotten all the way thru it (did 5 intervals). I bought the 30 minute shred because it's shorter and I can do it during the week when I have less time. Anybody else try any other Jillian DVD's that they would like to recommend?


I LOVE No More Trouble Zones, YogaMeltdown, 30 Day Shred, and I just tried her Burn Fat, Boost Metabolism for the first time yesterday. I find them great to workout too, even if I hate the exercises she uses. But, I generally HATE working out anyway, unless it is yoga. I also like that she is "telling me" to not quit, to keep working through. But I also know my limits and stop when I need to or modify so they are not as high impact or difficult.



This  kinda  sounds like exactly what I need. I  do Zumba  6 times a week and I don't have more than a half  hour at the most to tone. I'm  also still trying  to lose stomach from my 18 month old.  It  seems like I've  been  losing inches  but not dropping any weight. I was trying  to  find something to tone up to add to my routine in hopes of  tricking my body into dropping  some more belly fat or fat in general ( I  know I can't spot reduce but a girl can dream). I want something for toning though.  However  my left knee isn't bad it's just funky at times. Is  there like any low impact versions that  may allow me to still do the dvd with my "sometimes funky" knee?



She shows ways to modify the moves so that you can still do the workouts. Or, if her modifications don't work for you you can make your own as long as you are still moving!



I did the 30 day shred last year and it gave the boost I needed to continue with my weight loss.  I can also confirm that even though I am a person who attends aerobic classes 2 times a week, I had a couple of days waddling like a duck from soreness after the first few days.

Moreove, I suggest that you close off the sound of Gillian and put nice music cause it otherwise tends to be utterly boring!!!!!



After seeing this post I downloaded the videos to try them at home. While I don't really have weight to lose, I could most definitely do with some toning and firmness. I'll be very honest - I don't like to exercise - for me it's always a chore. It's easier for me to eat less than it is to exercise more - I know that this is not what I should be doing and that exercise is vital to my health, so I thought 30 minutes is not much - anyone can do 30 minutes right? Well I did it this morning and now I am sore all over! OMG! I didn't realise that 30 minutes can be so effective. While on the one hand it's great that I can feel it, I'm a little worried because you're not supposed to take a break, you're supposed to do the 30 days continously. Am I going to be able to walk on Friday if I keep doing this every morning??



The 30 Day Shred was good she has a great approach and I did 2 out of the 3 workouts a day typically using level 1 as a warm up.

Her latest is Ripped in 30 it has 4 workouts and I think it is WAAAAAAAYYY better than the 30 day shred. I also did 2 a day with this. I do them 3 days a week and alternate with 3 Days of INSANITY.



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What I have read from the comments is that the 30 day shread doesnt really help you lose weight but really tone your body. So really to call it a 30 day shread is a bit laughable when most people lose little weight in the 30 days. Its really just like every other workout video - Slap a famous person on the cover and give you an insane promise (20 pounds in 30 days, which is extremely unhealthy and really makes me question her health guru status because of it) and when you finally buy the video (because of the person or promise) you are disapointed that it doesnt give you what was promised.

Yes the video has its perks in toning your body but really its just like everything else - A gimick.



Original Post by: ck85

After seeing this post I downloaded the videos to try them at home. While I don't really have weight to lose, I could most definitely do with some toning and firmness. I'll be very honest - I don't like to exercise - for me it's always a chore. It's easier for me to eat less than it is to exercise more - I know that this is not what I should be doing and that exercise is vital to my health, so I thought 30 minutes is not much - anyone can do 30 minutes right? Well I did it this morning and now I am sore all over! OMG! I didn't realise that 30 minutes can be so effective. While on the one hand it's great that I can feel it, I'm a little worried because you're not supposed to take a break, you're supposed to do the 30 days continously. Am I going to be able to walk on Friday if I keep doing this every morning??


I definitely couldn't do it every day...but I am doing it about 3 times a week.  Generally every other day...giving my body a day to rest up a bit.   Usually on those off days I do a lower impact video like one of Leslie Sansone's walk at home vids...or sometimes if my abs aren't too sore I will do a 20 minute session from Jackie Warner's crunchless abs.  I just change it up...because doing the same workout every day gets boring.  They say you need to change up your workouts frequently to shock your body more into shedding that extra weight.  It's working for me...almost 20lbs down in around 2-1/2 months. :)

 

Good luck to you!



With any routine where you're building muscle, it's good to take days off between really hard workouts. When you work out, your muscles get little tears in them called microtears. When these heal, your muscle gets a little bigger and stronger. Taking that break in between heavy workouts allows that healing to happen, so when you come back to the routine after the break, you can do better.

For me, breaks in between workouts are like eating small treats to beat cravings. They make the effort to lose weight and get in shape work better and I don't lose motivation because I'm always sore/tired and craving.



Tried this for 3 days (borrowed it from the library for a week), while it did get my heart rate going, I did not break a sweat (which is an indication that you are really working on burning those fat cells) though I was sore after the first day. Secondly I lost interest as I was very uncomfortable doing this in my living room. Maybe if I had a larger work out room with more floor space I would have enjoyed it better. But I definitely think that I am more of and outdoor type (even getting out to the gym) not indoor work out type and this could attribute to my lack of interest in continuing. Not for everyone I guess.



I started the 30 day shred last year and did Level 1 about 3x a week for quite some time. I've done Level 2 a few times but have not reached Level 3. Recently I've started the workout again and hope to progress better this time. Personally I enjoy it and recommend it to others. If you're looking for a quick effective workout, it's great.



This DVD is one of my favorite workout videos of all time. I've done other workouts such as 40min of cardio parties with HH abs and TJ cardio parties and I actually sweat more doing Jillian's 'shred' and in just 25mins!!!

I'm a busy mom and it's saves time. After I put the kids on the bus to school at 8am- I do my workout and I'm done before their school bell rings for the first class which starts at 9am!! Then I have the whole rest of the day to do whatever and  sometimes I may do the workout again that day just to get an extra calorie burn and the workout doesn't take that long!! I highly recommend this DVD!! I don't get bored with the workouts. I have  the picture in picture feature on my tv. I'll have Jillian on the small screen and have the news or some other program( latest Biggest Loser episode) on the big screen. That way I don't have to hear Jillian say the same thing over and over again. I know the workouts by heart because I've done them so many times. That 25 minutes of working out goes by so much faster when their is another program on at the same time. That's because you're not thinking about the workout so much and then it's over b4 you know it. So go out any buy this DVD right now!!! BOOYA!



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