Review: Jillian Michaels Hard Body Workout DVD

Jillian does it again with Hard Body...
Jillian does it again with Hard Body…

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):
Instruction: ★★★★
Long-Term Likeability: ★★★★
Music: ★★★★
Fun Factor: ★★★★
Meets Expectations: ★★★★
Overall: ★★★★

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


Add a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. The DJ in the room is her business partner, G. He does the music for all her DVDs, except this time he’s actually there in person. Those two are a dynamic duo, as he helps with her branding, product development, etc. I did the Hard Body DVD (Level 2) on Monday morning and am STILL sore!

  2. I LOVE Jillian’s workout DVDs and Hard Body is no exception. I will however say that it will take me quite some time to make level 2 effective for me as the moves are VERY, VERY complicated and take plenty of getting used to. My favorite DVD from Jillain is “No Trouble Zones”. She’s awesome and I appreciate the way her workouts make me feel when I’m done with them.

  3. Working Jillian’s 30 Day Shred now and eyeing this for afterwards… Looks like I may be purchasing this next month.
    Thanks for the review.

  4. To be honest, this is not my favorite of Jill’s workouts. I actually find it a bit easier than some of her shorter workouts and I would like to see a little less space between the cardio intervals to keep heart rate a little higher.

  5. Exercising with the guidance of a DVD workout routine seems a good idea. I like it since there is aerobics/toning included in the video. But I am not sure if I am going to try out the advance level especially with the dumbbells and other kind of complicated workouts. It seems a good alternative to Pilates and other exercise routine. Thanks for the nice review.

  6. Wow, sounds like this is the stuff you want to be able to do someday… But surely not the right kind of program for me at the moment. I love Jillian Michaels body, but I suspect that she’s got a lot more discipline than me. 😉

  7. I LOVE Jillian and rushed out to get Hard Body the day it was released. It’s my 8th dvd of hers, and I LOVE it! It is definitely challenging and not for the beginner. In the month and a half I’ve been using it I see results already. So glad I picked this up!

  8. I picked this one up on the weekend, and tried Level 1 on Monday. Probably one of my faves of hers to be honest, I was sweating buckets, and today, I am feeling the burn!

    I have a bunch of her DVD’s including the new Yoga Inferno (think the store I bought it at made a boo boo though – not supposed to be available yet)

    Planning on doing a 1 month program with the Hard Body one to see what kind of results I get