Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Review: Jillian Michaels Extreme Shed & Shred

Jillian Michaels' latest workout DVD is Extreme Shed & Shred. From the back of the DVD:

Jillian Michaels Extreme Shed & Shred is a fat-blasting, total body workout designed to help you drop pounds and get SHREDDED fast! This exciting fusion style workout blends everything from kickboxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to yoga and weight training in order to get you in incredible shape quickly while you have fun doing it. There are two 45-minute workouts that range in difficulty level, offering everything from intermediate to advanced moves while giving modifications for the beginner and the extreme athlete looking for a challenge.

As it says, this DVD is broken down into Level 1 and Level 2. The DVD says two 45 minute workouts, but during the workout Jillian calls them two 30 minute workouts. Confused? I was. So I timed them. Level 1 was 43 minutes (including the warm-up and cool-down) and Level 2 was 52 minutes (including the warm-up and cool-down). The warm-up and cool-down are a bit longer in this DVD; the warm-up was a little over 6 minutes and the cool-down was about 8 minutes. This includes about 2 minutes of what I would call a relaxation/pep talk Jillian gives at the end of the cool-down. You could of course skip that to save time.

As is typical of Jillian's DVDs this is set up in circuits. You go through each circuit twice. Jillian calls this a 'fusion' workout; it includes all kinds of different moves. There are body weight moves, moves using hand weights, yoga, martial arts inspired moves, cardio, isometric holds, high intensity intervals, and some kickboxing. For example, in Level 1 circuit 1 you do:  

Burpees with a lateral jump 
Down dog with your opposite hand on opposite ankle isometric hold 
Boxing combo punches 
Hindu squats 
Circle runs

Then repeat

Jillian encourages you to do Level 1 and 2 together. I did that, once, and it is a killer workout that way. Seriously, I didn't want to get off the floor after that. 

During Level 1 I burned 355 calories and during Level 2 I burned 419 calories. I did most of the advanced forms of the moves and I used 8 lb weights. This is according to my fitness level and in no way a recommendation to anyone else. When I did the DVD all at once I burned 695 calories (I definitely felt myself slacking by the end of level 2 when doing it all at once).

This is an intense DVD with modifications available for beginner through advanced. I would not however recommend this to an absolute beginner. This is a TOUGH workout, even Level 1. I found many of the moves very challenging. It's a sweat in my eyes kind of workout. If you have been doing 30 Day Shred and are looking to bump it up a notch, this DVD is it. 

If you are a Jillian fan you will love this DVD. If you're not, well, she's still Jillian as ever here. She teases about  ending Basheerah (one of the back row) with this workout. Typical Jillian stuff. The only part that really bothered me was she says you should feel a 'tearing' in your side/obliques during a triangle pose hold. To me this is the wrong word. A tearing would describe the feeling during an injury. I think she just meant you should really feel it in this area, but I feel the need to point this out. To me it's simply a poor choice of words.

As with her Ripped in 30 DVD there is a 30 day meal plan you can download as a PDF. It is an approximately 1400 calorie a day plan and includes recipes. Meals range 300-400 calories and snacks roughly 200 calories. The plan calls for breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner. The DVD also includes a 30 day free trial of her site.

I enjoyed this DVD and will definitely keep it in my workout rotation. It is very challenging and different from any of her other workouts. The set is clean and not distracting and the music is good, not cheesy or annoying. I give Extreme Shed & Shred 4 stars and definitely recommend it to everyone looking for a challenge.

More Jillian Michaels DVD Reviews:
Jillian Michaels BodyShred
Jillian Michaels Killer Buns & Thighs
Jillian Michaels Body Revolution