I recently completed 30 Days of Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred Workout Program. This was #82 on my list of 101 things to do in 1001 Days…and the first item to be completed 🙂

If you are looking for a good work-out program/video series, here are my thoughts on Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred:

The DVD contains three 20-minute workouts (that are actually over 25 minutes long because of the transition time between exercises). Each workout follows an interval system that includes 3 circuits of 3 minutes of strength training, 2 minutes of cardio exercise, and then 1 minute of ab work…plus a warm up and cool down. It was a very good workout program to sort of ease into exercising while also really pushing yourself. Yes, I know that sort of seems contradictory…but if you try it I think you’ll know what I mean: Jillian Michael’s provides low impact modifications for several of the exercises so that you don’t over-exert yourself or your joints…but she keeps you moving your whole body until you are exhausted.

Each of the three workouts on the DVD gets progressively more difficult. Jillian Michael’s suggests that you start with workout 1, progress to workout 2 when you feel you are ready, and then on to workout 3. Accordingly, I started out with the level 1 video and did it for 6 days the first week and then about 3 days the second week before I felt ready to progress to level 2. Level 2 was difficult enough that I can’t say I ever really felt “ready” to progress to level 3 throughout my 30 days…On the other hand, I CAN say I got very sick of doing the same exact workout every single day. Soooooo…I started changing things up: First, I went back and did level 1 a few days (although easier, it was still a tough workout and I felt that it was good to incorporate some other exercises and use some different muscle groups in different ways). But then I also got bored alternating between the first two levels. (I do not use bored to mean the workouts were easy…just that I was sick of doing the same thing every day…I had those workouts memorized.)  So I started challenging myself every few days with the level 3 workout…and then going back to the first 2 levels in the days in between. I found that doing the low impact modifications of level 3 was a bit easier than doing level 2 at high impact…and that I could also make level 1 more challenging by continuing the exercises during the 20-30 seconds of “transition” that Jillian Michael’s allows between exercises and circuits. Based on everything I know about exercising, I would say my mixing it up technique is a better way to use this workout program than simply progressing from level to level, and it also helped me not to give up due to boredom.

Long Story Short…This is how I recommend using Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred Workout Program (where not specified, whether or not to use modifications is up to you):

Week 1

Day 1 – Workout 1, low impact modifications

Day 2 – Workout 1, low impact modifications

Day 3 – Workout 1, ease out of modifications where you can

Day 4 – Workout 1

Day 5 – Workout 1

Day 6 – Workout 1, push yourself to avoid low impact modifications

Rest Day

Week 2

Day 7 – Workout 1

Day 8 – Workout 2, low impact modifications

Day 9 – Workout 1

Day 10 – Workout 2

Day 11 – Workout 1

Day 12 – Workout 2

Rest Day

Week 3

Day 13 – Workout 2

Day 14 – Workout 2

Day 15 – Workout 1

Day 16 – Workout 2

Day 17 – Workout 2

Day 18 – Workout 1

Rest Day

Week 4

Day 19 – Workout 3, low impact modifications

Day 20 – Workout 2

Day 21 – Workout 1

Day 22 – Workout 3, low impact modifications

Day 23 – Workout 2

Day 24 – Workout 1

Rest Day

Final Week

Day 25 – Workout 3

Day 26 – Workout 2

Day 27 – Workout 2

Day 28 – Workout 1, push yourself to work out even during transition times

Day 29 – Workout 2

Day 30 – Workout 3: last day…give it all you’ve got.


A few additional notes:

-There were a few exercises (esp. on level 2) that I always chose the low impact modifications for or substituted jumping jacks. The plymetric moves that are in plank position really hurt my knees and I hate the rubbing noise the cartilage in my joints makes when I try to do them. Don’t let yourself fall into thinking that low impact means “easier” or “the wussy way”…while the modifications usually are a bit easier, “low impact” really does mean “less impact” on your joints…and it may be wise to use these modifications even if you are in peak performance condition.

-As far as I could tell, Jillian Michael’s does not incorporate a rest day into her program…but I did. Done as I laid out above, it will actually take 34 Days to get through the 30 Days due to the inclusion of rest days.

-The DVD box suggests that you could lose up to 20 pounds in 30 Days. I might have lost a pound or two, but certainly not 20. But I do feel that I whipped myself into better workout condition…and might be able to survive 60 Days of Insanity next 🙂


I’m linking up:


The Southern InstituteSumo's Sweet Stuff DIY projects and crafts mop it up mondaysworks for me wednesday at we are that family Somewhat SimpleCatch a Glimpse ButtonA Little Knick KnackTickled Pink at 504 MainA Little InspirationWhipperberryJoin  us Saturdays at tatertotsandjello.com for the weekend wrap   up           party!Positively Splendid

  1. Jenni says:

    ha… good to know! I just did tried a different Jillian dvd (Banish Fat Boost Metabolism) a few moments ago for the first time. I only got through 20 minutes of a 45 minute workout before I gave up. LOL — I’ll try again tomorrow and see if I can make it to 30 minutes. 🙂 Thanks for your review on the 30 day workout. Maybe I’ll try that DVD next after I conquer this one!

  2. Kelley says:

    Hi! Visiting from CRAFT. Thanks for the great tips and your insight. I have tried it but kinda stopped after week one. Ill have to pick it back up again 🙂

  3. Shirley@motivatedmommyoftwo says:

    Stopping by from the eye heart link party, these are good tips i started doing this working several months back but did not complete because I got bored. But with your tips I might just give it another try. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Tammy Skipper (@Tammy_Skipper) says:

    I completely agree with your ‘how’ to do the levels and that it is a great transition to exercising regularly! I did this for the first time a few months after some minor back pain and it was a great tool to get stronger. Love it, thanks for sharing.

  5. Kayla says:

    Hubby and I have been doing the JM workouts for 60 days now. I know what you mean about getting bored. We cycle the 3 levels, and work in the 2 levels of Yoga Meltdown. Its a bit longer, and a different workout, but still super intense. We don’t use the sound anymore, just blast some music while doing the moved. Since we started that, I don’t mind that I’d done them all a million times before.
    Thanks so much for your input and thought! if you have the time, I’d love for you to share on Sweet Sharing Monday! http://saynotsweetanne.com/2012/sweet-sharing-monday-3/

  6. Danise Jurado says:

    I have done the 30 day shred too… One of my favorites. I am enjoying learning all kinds of exercise, its been a huge part of my recent weight loss… great post! stopping by from WFMW 🙂

  7. Holly Lefevre says:

    This is one of my fave workouts – great workout in a short amount of time. I did not lose 20 lbs either…but lots of inches (and I did not change my eating at all). I am trying her ripped in 30 now. I don’t expect to be ripped but less ruffley would be good!

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