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Jillian Michaels: 30 Day Shred

Because of our immense love for Bob Harper, I sometimes feel like Jillian Michaels gets the short end of the FBG love stick. And frankly, she’s a bad ass. My husband affectionately refers to her, not by her name, but as “Rock & Roll Motorcycle,” as tribute to her bad-assness. And no bad-assness isn’t a word, but it should be.

Because Erin reviewed Bob-led The Biggest Loser, Volume 1, we thought that to even The Biggest Loser trainer score, we’d review Jillian Michaels: 30 Day Shred. Plus, I’d heard it was a serious calorie scorcher, which is especially good on a day like today when America actually celebrates naming a turkey, killing a turkey and then stuffing themselves with turkey and other delicacies. And I, for one, plan on partaking in all of that, minus the killing of the turkey, and need a tough workout to counteract that extra helping of mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. After doing Rock & Roll Motorcycle’s 30-Day Shred, I’m happy to report that it did the job, and then some.

The DVD is divided up into three different levels. Each level consists of 25 minutes (the package says 20 minutes, but it’s lying—I know because I was almost late to work two mornings in a row) of hard-core circuit training. The circuits have a 3-2-1 format. Three minutes of weight lifting (one isolated movement and one compound movement that works the upper- and lower-body simultaneously), two minutes of cardio drills and one minute of abs.

The 25-minute levels get progressively harder as you go, as they are designed to challenge the exerciser as she gets more fit. Level 1 has you doing rows followed by lunges with bicep curls, butt kicks, punches and oblique crunches. Level 2 hits ya harder with walking push-ups, front and back lunges, plus a hammer curl, skaters, plank jacks and planks plus a side twist.

Level 3 is a whole other ball of crazy. It’s the one level where I feel like you get the real Jillian from the show. The Jillian who turns 300-pound people into svelte role models. She takes you through traveling push-ups, dumbbell cleans, jump squats and old-school sit-ups. It’s insane, in a really good way. All levels include a warm-up and cool down, too.Why aren’t more DVDs designed like this? I mean, really, it’s like a beginner, intermediate and advanced workout in one, and I loved Level 1 for days when I wasn’t feeling very ambitious but wanted to do something. Jillian is tough but totally lovable. Okay, maybe not Bob-lovable, but with lines like “She’s kicking herself in the ass, literally!” during butt kicks and “I have 400-pound people do jacks, so you can, too,” it’s hard not to love her. She cues perfectly, she’s more personal trainer-y than aerobics-y, and all of the exercises are done at a sane pace where you have the time to do the exercises with proper form. It’s like she’s been reading FBG and taking notes on all the DVDs that suck. (Unfortunately, she didn’t read about how much we love fun music because that’s the only negative thing that I can say about the Shred.)One funny thing about the DVD, though, is that I’m pretty sure they used the same set from this DVD. Thankfully, I loved that one, too, so it didn’t hurt R&RM’s rating by much. Okay, not at all. It’s totally worth the $10.99 on Amazon.FBG Rating (Out of 5):
Instruction: ★★★★★
Long-Term Likeability: ★★★★★
Music: ★★★
Fun Factor: ★★★★★
Meets Expectations: ★★★★★
Overall: ★★★★1/2
Fit Bottom line: Whether you’re a novice, intermediate or advanced exerciser, this DVD will challenge you. The exercises are unique, fun and, well, perfect. —Jenn

FTC disclosure: We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial. Affiliate links may be included. If you purchase something through one of those links we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!


  1. Laura says:

    I’ve only done the Level 1 video because they have it on Exercise TV On Demand. It’s quite challenging as it is, I can’t imagine what Level 3 must be like!

  2. Erica says:

    ow fun fun! Glad you got a good turkey day workout in! Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Oh She Glows says:

    Thanks for this review! I have been looking for a new workout DVD!


  4. Katie says:

    Thanks for the DVD review, I think this one is going on my Christmas list!

  5. Renae says:

    YAY!!! Thank you for doing this one!! I know that ya’ll are Bob lovers but I and my family are Jillian lovers and this is my favorite workout DVD. I even got my brother to do it with me.

  6. Sagan says:

    LOVE the 30 day shred. I was really impressed with that dvd.

  7. Dianna says:

    Thanks for this review. I am a hard core Jillian lover and am currently working on her Cardio Kickboxing DVD and it is kickin’ my ass. I have this dvd in my Netflix queue and am asking for it for Christmas.

  8. ElGuappa says:

    Heya, great review. I have owned this DVD for a year and it never gets boring. I have been doing level three the last month or so and, as you mentioned, it’s hardcore all the way. 20 minutes of sweating that pushes your body’s limits. I always feel like a million bucks after I workout with her.

  9. Meredith says:

    I’m always looking for fun new videos, and this one sounds awesomely challenging. I hadn’t heard of it before now, so thanks for the heads up!

  10. keyalus says:

    I might have to add this one to my list. I’ve heard very good things about it.

    The set just might be the same on from the Jackie Warner DVD. Those two know each other. Apparently they co-owned Sky Sport together at one time.

  11. Jenn says:

    Keyalus: Are you serious? I had no idea…I’m off to google the mess out of that. 🙂

  12. NYCgirl says:

    Just wondering how many times people do the work out per week… I do between 3 and 5, (ok usually 3)… and am just curious how much others are doing it, what their results are… I have been doing the 3 levels of work outs, #3 when i feel suicidal… and FEEL awesome but haven’t lost weight yet.

  13. Dania says:

    Ahhh I’m so happy you did a review of this one, since recently (well three days ago) I started doing it myself.
    I’m glad you deemed it worthy, because my whole goal was to get fit by the second month of school ( and stay fit ) and I’m using this video (among other things) to help me achieve my goal.
    So yeah…keep up the awesomeness 😀
    p.s you guys are now my favourite blog

  14. Dania says:

    I have one question I forgot to post though actually, if I just did this exercise daily, would that be enough?
    Should I add in some yoga?
    Because usually, I do this exercise and plenty of walking, but I’m not sure if that’s enough now…

    1. Jenn says:

      Hi Dania,

      We’re actually working on a post about this now, but it’s important to get a good mix of strength, cardio and flexibility in every week, with 1-2 days off for recovery. I’d do this Jillian DVD two to three times a week, plus a session or two of yoga and as much walking as feels good! 🙂

      –FBG Jenn

  15. Michelle says:

    I just started it but I’m loving the Ripped in 30 follow-up, too. Together they are probably my two favorite workout DVDs.

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