Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hype or Help: Jillian Michaels Body Revolution Final Program Review



After three long months of testing this program I'm finally down to the review! I've had so many questions, and I hope to answer them all here.

So, is it hype or help? Have a seat, let's talk about that...

What you will need for these workouts:
A set of light, medium, and heavy hand weights to suit your ability level.

What's Included:
  • 15 Workout DVDs
  • Resistance Cable
  • Fitness Guide Book
  • Fat Burning Meal Plan
  • 7 Day Kick-Start Your Metabolism Plan
  • 90 Day Journal
  • Bookmark
  • Free 30 Day Web Club Access
My unboxing video if you want to see it all:


The Diet Plan
I've had a lot of questions on what exactly the diet plan for Body Revolution is. The diet for this program is roughly 1200 calories a day and all of the recipes come from Jillian's Master Your Metabolism cookbook. It's broken down roughly into a 250 calorie breakfast, 400 calorie lunch, 150 calorie snack, and 400 calorie dinner. I couldn't find calorie recommendations for men.
Things Jillian nixes:
  • Soy
  • Peanuts
  • Raw cruciferous veggies
  • Pine Nuts or Pignoli Nuts
  • Miller
  • Bamboo Shoots
  • Peaches
  • Strawberries
  • Alcohol
  • Flax
  • MSG
  • HFCS
  • Artificial Sweeteners
  • Artificial Colors and Flavors
  • Nitrates or Nitrites
  • Heaily Processed/Chemical Foods
  • Caffeine is limited to 400 mg per day
The Fat Burning Meal Plan gives complete recipes for all meals and a 90 day meal plan.

My Thoughts
1200 calories a day was tough to stick to. In fact, I did not stick to it every single day; I noted throughout my review posts the days I upped my calories. If you are doing this program and struggling with the low calories I would suggest upping them 100-300 once in a while as I did. Better to up them just a tad occasionally when you need to than to toss out the whole program.

The calorie limit was the single most important factor in producing my results. I was already eating healthy and working out. It's my honest opinion that the calorie limit was the biggest factor for me.

The recipes are not single serving, they are designed to make 2 to 8 servings. This didn't bother me, I either divided it down to make one serving or I made the full recipe for my family (or to have additional servings for myself later in the week).

I caved and had some strawberries. Yes, yes I did.

I eat paleo and I found this diet easy to modify. Where a recipe called for grains I substituted another carb. For example if it called for brown rice I might have swapped for a sweet potato. As I've been eating paleo since August I don't feel these swaps substantially altered my results, in fact if I hadn't stuck to paleo I think it may have affected them.


The Workouts
The workouts are all around 30 minutes and set up into three phases. Each phase lasting a month.
For example, Phase 1 workouts:
  • Workout 1 (weights). Starts off with basic moves that target the "front of the body" muscles like chest, shoulders, arms, quads, and also core. Low impact cardio bursts are mixed in the circuits.
  • Workout 2 (weights and cable). Similar to workout 1, but the moves focus on "back of the body". Works your back, biceps, glutes, hamstrings, and core. Building strength, balance, and stability is the goal of these first workouts.
  • Cardio 1. Low impact cardio moves.
You will alternate these DVDs your first two weeks and then move on to the next set (3 & 4), keeping Cardio 1 to finish out month 1. Then move on to the phase 2 workouts, etc.

My Thoughts
Personally, I loved these workouts. I loved how they changed every two weeks so I never had time to get bored and I loved how they got progressively harder.

The first two DVDs in the set are more beginner friendly than I find any of Jillian's other workouts to be. At the same time Jillian offers advanced options (and of course you can up your weights) to make them suitable for people like me who are more advanced exercisers.

The last several DVDs are very tough. I would compare Cardio 3 to Insanity. It's that intense. The weights DVDs are no joke either. These moves are tough.
Click here for my final Body Revolution results.

Final Thoughts
Personally I loved this program. I think as someone who was eating well and in good shape before beginning it was just the kick in the pants I needed to break through my 172 wall.

Is it for beginners? I'm on the fence here. It does start out much easier than Jillian's other DVDs. But it steps up fairly quickly from there. Absolute exercise beginners, or anyone that's just not sure, check with your doctor (that's always a good idea for anyone starting a new diet/exercise program). Also, the later DVDs include lots of jump moves/plyo. If this is something you can't build up to because of joint problems or other limitations, this set is likely not for you.

If you are a beginner doing this program my one suggestion is: if you are still struggling with a set of workouts when it is time to step up to the next set simply stay where you are a bit longer. Give your body more time to get strong. Better to make this program a little longer than get frustrated and discouraged because you can't keep up with the next set of workouts. Or worse, hurt yourself.

If you are a badass... I've heard people say it's too easy. Do the advanced options and up your weights. I cannot fathom these DVDs (especially the later ones) being too easy. They kicked my butt and I'm in good shape. (I've done Insanity, Turbofire Advanced DVDs, ran a marathon, etc, etc).

AND of course, I always address this: if Jillian Michaels' tough trainer attitude drives you crazy and you can't get past that...she's still very Jillian in these workouts. 

So, is it hype or help? I'm going to say help and give it 4.5 stars. It's a good, solid program. If you stick with it and are consistent you should be pleased with your results.

Phew! That was long-winded, but I wanted to be thorough. If you have questions I did not answer here, please feel free to ask them in comments!


Disclaimer: I received Jillian Michaels Body Revolution for review. As always opinions are 100% honest and my own. Basic info on my reviews.