Jillian Michaels is one of our go-to workout DVD choices (along with Bob, of course). Whenever we need our fit booties handed to us, we know we can count on her to lovingly yell at us and get our muscles and lungs burning. So when we got Jillian Michaels Hard Body in the mail to review? Well, we were excited, had high expectations and, honestly, were a touch scared. I mean, just look at that cover! It’s pretty intense.
The Hard Body workout DVD has two workouts on it: Level 1 and Level 2. Each is about 45 minutes and is made up of the circuit-training style that Jillian is known for that pits strength and cardio back-to-back for maximum calorie burn and effectiveness. (Read: You’ll be WAY out of breath during most of it.) Unlike some of Jillian’s other DVDs that are more regimented (like The 30-Day Shred where you do 3 minutes cardio, 2 minutes strength and 1 minute core), these circuits aren’t really explained as to their format or timing, but there are six of them that you go through twice for each level. You start things off with a quick Jillian-esque 3-minute warm-up, do 40 minutes of the circuits and then end with a quick 2-minute cool down with stretching.
The moves in Hard Body are what you’d expect from Jillian—plus. Not for the newbie (and for those without a lot of coordination they may take a little practice), they’re complicated and combine a lot of upper body with lower body. We’re talking traveling push-ups with lateral jumps, jumping donkey kicks, rolling supermans and a whole host of unique moves we’ve never seen. So that’s AWESOME. And be warned, Level 2 is harder than Level 1, but Level 1 is no picnic. And just so you know: Level 1 includes weighted burpees.
Yep, you read that right. WEIGHTED BURPEES.
While we do wish there was a slightly shorter workout option—would love a special quick 20-minute version–these workouts are interesting, fun and effective as heck. Jillian is her usual self in this workout DVD, too—there’s lots of joking and talking. If you like her, you’ll like it. If you don’t, you won’t. She’s got some fit girls with her who are worth watching too, both for modifications and as inspiration for what sticking with this workout can do. And the music? Well, it’s interesting. There’s a DJ spinning in the room—live. A little odd and maybe a touch distracting, he feeds you with techno beats. The music isn’t bad though, and, really, even if it may be a bit goofy, I appreciate any workout DVD trying something new to make things more fun.
FBG Rating (Out of 5):
Long-Term Likeability: ★★★★
Fun Factor: ★★★★
Meets Expectations: ★★★★
Fit Bottomed Line: Jillian has done it again! Not a workout DVD for the faint of workout heart, Hard Body has unique circuits that deliver.
What’s your favorite Jillian Michaels’ workout DVD? Will you add Hard Body to your collection? —Jenn