Review: Jillian Michaels Extreme Shed & Shred

jillian-extreme-shed-shredJust when we think Jillian Michaels can’t top her past workout, just when we think she couldn’t possibly have any more fitness tricks up her sleeve, she goes and creates another DVD that has us begging for mercy. This time it’s Jillian Michaels Extreme Shed & Shred. And it does not—I repeat does not—disappoint.

It’s like Jillian put all of her DVDs—Yoga Meltdown, 30-Day Shred, Ripped in 30, Shred It with Weights, 6 Week Six-Pack, and No More Trouble Zones—together for one master workout DVD to kick your butt and shred your body. With two workouts, the DVDs follow Jillian’s usual formula for booty-kicking: circuit training with weights and cardio. But in this DVD, she combines weights, kettlebell exercises, weight training, plyometrics, yoga poses, balance work and core moves for two workouts that really do shed and shred.

The Level One workout includes a 6-minute warm-up, 29 minutes of drills and a 7-minute cool down (42 minutes total). The workout itself is a challenging mix of burpees, down dogs, punches, kicks, good mornings (like dead lifts—hardly see these in workout DVDs, so I LOVED that she did them!), Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu moves, sun salutations and other moves that will have you saying owie. The 54-minute Level Two workout has the same warm-up and cool down, but a longer and more intense workout section that’s 41 minutes long. Featuring more complicated and advanced moves like plank push-up jacks, weighted reverse crunches, deep warrior poses, kettlebell swings with a dumbbell, and a standing balance and core strength move called “Statue of Liberty,” it is not for the faint of heart. If you’re super workout psycho, you can even put the two levels together for almost an hour-and-a-half of Jillian that might just kill you. In a good way, of course.

I’m just going to say it (and this is a bold statement in the workout DVD world): This is the best workout DVD Jillian has created and one of the best DVDs I’ve ever done. In no other Jillian Michaels workout DVD are her cuing, tips on form and modifications (she shows you how to make most of the moves easier or harder) as spot on as they are in this DVD. It’s like she’s been reading our feedback (and maybe she has since she mentioned us in episode 19 of her podcast!).

The music is good (except for the odd cat screeching in Level Two that’s more hilarious than distracting), the pace is slow and controlled, and you get a lot of what’s great about Jillian Michaels. She’s totally herself in this one: cracking jokes (be sure to check out the blooper reel off the main menu), demanding a lot out of you, and giving everyone a good dose of truth and motivation. In the intro of the DVD she even addresses good nutrition and how it’s essential to getting good results (she also tells you about her free nutrition plan that’s online). I especially enjoyed how she ended the cool down with corpse pose and a little semi hippity-dippity pep talk, saying “everything is perfect in this moment.” And, really, in this DVD, everything is perfect.

FBG Rating (Out of 5):

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

Overall: ★★★★★ (I’m rounding up ’cause it’s that good!)

Fit Bottomed Line: If you’re a Jillian fan, you MUST add Extreme Shed & Shred to your workout DVD collection. Must!

What’s your favorite Jillian Michaels’ workout DVD? Could this one take its top spot? —Jenn


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  1. Thanks for the review! I just finished a P90X/Insanity hybrid and I’m looking for something to do between fitness routines. This sounds like what I need so I can still give my body a workout but can also give it a break from the high impact Insanity before Beachbody releases their new Body Pump routine. 😉 Can’t wait for Extreme Shed and Shred to be delivered.

  2. just finished doing both levels & i absolutely loved it! it was fun, & very hard. favorite one of hers! can’t wait to see the results!!

  3. I must say I was very skeptical about working out with a DVD. I have been weight training for years and could not imagine I could get results this way. After my son was born three months ago, I purchased couple of Jilian’s DVDs-knowing I will need to stay close to my baby for a while. I have to say I have been shedding a lot of weight with ease-I really am shocked 🙂 I can feel my body getting toned quickly as a result of these work outs-I do it five times a week.

    I am going to get this one right now! Thanks for the review!

  4. Nope — kettlebells are not required. In fact, Jillian and the girls don’t even use them. They do “kettlebell-style” moves with a dumbbell!

    Hope that helps… 🙂

    –FBG Jenn

  5. Her very best so far!! I am alternating between this DVD and Ripped In 30. If this doesn’t shed some excess baggage, there is absolutely NO hope for me at all. THANK YOU JILLIAN!!!

  6. Well I like the 6 Week 6 Pack because it really gave me great results. I just bought this Extreme S&S because of this blog. I wasn’t going to bc of so many other bad reviews but since you insisted it is the best I had to try it. We shall see tomorrow 🙂

  7. Thank you for this review – I just ordered it. I recently finished the 30 day shred and loved the results but looking for something more challenging.

  8. How often are you supposed to do Jillian Michaels Extreme Shed and Shred? Are you supposed to do it everyday like the 30-day S&S or not?

  9. I agree with this review completely. This is Jillian’s best workout DVD ever–you should all try it if you haven’t already! It begins with burpees and only gets harder!

  10. OMG! It’s been awhile since I worked out period but this one really kicked my butt! I only tried Workout 1 and I felt ok but 2-3 days later, I felt the soreness ALL over. Which to me is a good sign that you worked out every muscle. I’m hurting right now but look forward to continuing this DVD and hopefully get to a point where I can do it regularly without the feeling of a beating. I am going to look into her other DVDs as well to add to my workout routine. Jillian is awesome!
    I highly recommend it!

  11. I want to do this workout and alternate it with another Jillian Michael’s workout? 30 day Shred maybe? What are your suggestions? How bout you guys? What combination of workouts do you do? 🙂

  12. How long should one do level one for and then level two. As will not be able to cope doing both straight after each other.. so how long should I do each level for and how many days a week

  13. Paula,

    I’d wait to move on until you can do the whole level with no modifications. Try to do it 3 times a week with a day of rest in between if you can! 🙂

    —FBG Jenn