Oh, how we love a good Jillian Michaels’ workout DVD. And, this new one — Jillian Michaels Yoga Inferno — had pretty big (yoga) shoes to fill. After all, her last yoga DVD, Yoga Meltdown, got a whopping four stars from us! We can kind of be a tough crowd to please when it comes to our workout DVDs. (Opinions, right here!) Not to mention that when you put the words “intense fat-melting” and “scorch fat” on your cover, we’re going to have expectations. High expectations.
And, so I got out my light dumbbells and rolled out my yoga mat to give these two 30-ish minute yoga workouts a go. Getting my dog off the mat was a nice pre-warm-up, warm-up. (Side note: What is it with dogs and yoga mats? They LOVE them.)
First thing I noticed was that the production quality of the workout DVD’s menu was pretty low for what you’d expect from a powerhouse like Jillian. But, thankfully, once you get to the actual workouts, you get Jillian plus two of her buds doing the workouts in a beautiful white desert — they’re even rocking shades because the sun is so bright.
In both workouts, Jillian leads you through a flowing series of poses for about 8 minutes as a warm-up. And the warm-ups are pretty warm — we’re talking squats and push-ups, in addition to basic yoga moves like sun salutations. Then the “real” workout starts when you begin doing different yoga poses pretty quickly — lunges, warriors, triangle, tree — while working in moves that build strength — chair pose, push-ups, tricep extensions, rows — and cardio intervals. Oh, the cardio intervals. The cardio intervals are by far the hardest parts of both workouts, and they get your heart rate up like whoa. We’re talking mountain climbers, plank jacks and jumping up and back from a down dog position. Both workouts end with a couple core moves and a few minutes in corpse pose (our favorite!) while Jillian gives you a seriously intense be-proud-of-yourself and go-kick-ass pep talk. Love those.
In Workout 1, you only need your yoga mat and yourself, as all of the exercises are body weight only. For Workout 2, you also need a pair of light dumbbells. Beginners should grab weights that are just one to three pounds, while intermediate and advanced can pick up three to five pounds. I did Workout 2 with a pair of five-pound dumbbells and could complete the whole thing (minus the very last core/back section, which was pretty impossible with fives) with lots of burning but no compromising of form. In fact, in comparison to some of the other Jillian Michaels’ workout DVDs I’ve done, I have to say that this one didn’t seem to be quite as hard. Going through the yoga poses and using such light weights really made this workout DVD doable — and it had some of that yoga flow to it that just feels so great and almost meditative.
That said, this isn’t your typical yoga, guys. Yoga Inferno is definitely more yoga inspired than “yoga” — and while it’s best if you’re familiar with most of the basic yoga poses (Jillian doesn’t break down the yoga poses really at all, although she does cue on proper form and awesome modifications are shown for just about everything), this is not a darn thing like traditional yoga. You’re doing a new move every minute (if not sooner), Jillian is pretty much talking the entire time (in a really approachable way), and you are almost always mixing a traditional fitness move with a yoga pose or doing it with a yoga twist (think Crescent Moon into Triangle while holding weights or Warrior One with tricep kickbacks). It’s a unique way to work more flexibility and balance work into your strength training and cardio, and I really liked it. But if you’re a yoga purist, this could totally not be your thing.
FBG Rating (Out of 5):
Long-Term Likeability: ★★★★
Fun Factor: ★★★★★
Meets Expectations: ★★★★
Best for: Beginner and intermediate FBGs who are somewhat familiar with yoga and are wanting a challenging yet not impossible workout that combines strength, cardio and flexibility.
Anyone else tried Jillian Michaels Yoga Inferno workout DVD? Do you agree with my review? —Jenn