Get Fit Over the Holidays with 30 Day Shred

Published in: Beauty Tips, Product Reviews

jillian michaels 30 day shred review

No joke, but last week I ate four pieces of pecan pie on Thanksgiving. FOUR PIECES!


What’s that, like 18 million calories!?

Curse you holiday temptation! It’s constant and everywhere I turn, like these blasted Trader Joe’s dark chocolate stars. I think they follow me, nom nom nom…

Throw in cold rain and shortened days — what’s a girl to do?

Yes, Virgina, you can still work out over the holidays

I thank my dark chocolate stars for fitness expert Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred ($10).

The DVD’s from 2007 (the one I have), so it’s a few years old, but the balanced workout really makes me sweat.

So, what’s this shredding business?

JM (the same one from TV’s The Biggest Loser) calls it the 3-2-1 Interval System, a 20-minute mixed workout emphasizing strength training, cardio and abs.

The idea is to work your way through the three levels of difficulty over the course of 30 days, at the end emerging leaner and “shredded” to the max.

Can you say sweat?

To say these workouts are challenging for me would be an understatement. No workout DVD has ever kicked my booty like this one has, but it’s still fun, doable, and I think the exercises themselves are interesting — things like skaters (a motion like speed skating), plank jacks (plank position/jumping jack hybrid on the floor), squat thrusts and high-knee kicks.

By the end of level two, which is as far as I’ve gotten so far, I’m dripping in sweat. I even feel sore the next day (in a good way). I can’t even imagine level three, yikes!


And I like that each workout takes just 20 minutes to complete, particularly this time of year.


What else

  • The different levels keep the workouts fresh. One of the things about fitness DVDs is how quickly they get repetitive, but Shred’s different levels give me options and something to work toward.
  • Jillian seems like a real cool chick. She’s supportive, but in a no-frills kinda way (as opposed to an exceedingly gushy cheerleader). At the same time, she doesn’t come off like a scary drill instructor — just a friend who’s trying to motivate you to do your best
  • No expensive do-dads required. JM recommends a workout mat and hand-weights, but both are optional. I’ve done the workouts on a carpeted floor without either accoutrement and still felt the burn.
  • Great for travel! If you’re hitting the road this month, let Shred tag along. Play it in a laptop with a DVD player for a quickie workout almost anywhere.

The only caution I can make about 30 Day Shred has to do with the weights sections (which I’ll often do without weights in my hands). They move fast, and even at level one, the exercises may prove difficult (but not impossible) for absolute beginners.

I took up moderate weightlifting a few years ago and remember how awkward many of the exercises felt. It took me a few workouts to get the techniques and my breathing and posture right, but JM provides explanation along the way. I think she does, however, assume you have a little bit of weight training under your belt.

As far as winter workout DVDs go, 30 Day Shred has been a great way to get my sweat on during one of the most challenging times of the year to stay fit. Love you, Jillian! Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A+

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 30 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. CC says:

    I have this DVD, too, and I agree – I can’t even imagine level 3! Any other fitness DVD recommendations? I want to mix it up with a fun DVD that gives me a pretty good workout like this one.

  2. Christina says:

    Oooh I want this now! I’ve been getting bored with my workout at the gym, and once break rolls around, my access to the campus gym will be limited. This sounds like it’d be fun to try at home. I have weights too! I suppose my only question is that if this is merely weight training, does that mean I’ll end up building up my muscles and not necessarily so much cardio for the flab lol

    • Karen says:

      Hi Christina,

      It’s not really hard core weight training. The workouts are circuit workouts, so there’s also cardio and ab work thrown in the mix, too.

      Like Liliana mentions below, if you use lower weights then it should help with toning, rather than bulking up. πŸ™‚

  3. Lehea says:

    I’d love to get started on this ASAP! Where did you get your copy from?

  4. Liliana says:

    I love this DVD. it’s in my rotation of DVDs to do on the days I don’t do my fitness camp. I’ve lost about 20lbs from my fitness camp (in Chicago) over about 10 weeks and now am keeping up with the maintenance with this DVD and these other two:

    Women’s Health: Total Workout in Ten!


    Jillian Michaels: Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism

    Christina – I do the shred with 5 and 8 lb weights and thats not enough to get ripped. at those weights, you’ll get toned. the shred is good for cardio but if you really want a kick-ass cardio workout, do the Banish Fat dvd, its 50minutes of nothing but cardio!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Liliana,

      Congrats on your weight loss! That’s fantastic. πŸ™‚

      Oh, and thanks for the recommendations. I think I’m gonna pick up the Banish Fat dvd. I need a kick-ass cardio workout.

  5. Sarah says:

    I just started going to the weekly pilates class at a nearby place but maybe I’ll try this for the other 6 days of the week! Sometimes its too much to even contemplate going out in such gross weather…

    Oh and CC – I’ve done Slim in Six in the past and it was really good. It has three levels as well (although I’m not sure if I’ve ever made it past the second…).

    • Karen says:

      DVDs are great for days when the weather is blah. πŸ™‚

      I think I might have to get Slim in Six too!

      • Sarah says:

        Seriously. The pilates class I went to is at Lululemon, a clothing store, and I had to bribe myself with a cute jacket to go.

        Its really good, I might even have an extra copy somewhere…

  6. Arianne says:

    I’ve done level 1 about 5 times now, and made the mistake of trying out level 2! Halfway through level 2, I had to stop and finish up on level 1. It was crayyyyzayy!

    I’m still trying to get motivated enough to do this everyday, but hopefully during the holidays I’ll get to do so. πŸ™‚
    .-= Arianne’s last blog post… No Thanks: Makeup Products I Will Not Use. =-.

  7. Megan says:

    Karen thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this DVD. I am in desperate need of a good workout dvd and this sounds perfect. I also love how it’s not this whole super expensive system. Just one dvd that has lots of options!
    .-= Megan’s last blog post… A Challenge! =-.

  8. Etherealprey says:

    LOL! OMG! Are you stalking me through my window?! I started that DVD this week too! Let me tell you, it HURTS like a mofo, I’m still feeling it now. i think its more effective that you don’t take a break and you just keep going. I’m gonna be fit by new years! w00t!
    .-= Etherealprey’s last blog post… Day 2 in Vegas =-.

  9. YadiQ says:

    hmm maybe i can add this to my routine

    i have been kicking butt at the gym but i still need a bit more cardio in my life

    no matter how hard i workout i just have like very little cardio endurance (note: bad when doing strenuous fighting sequences that involve low to the floor movements that then move into high upwards punching and kicking movements – YIKES)

    i need to fit in one more hard core cardio session a week but i lack the motivation to go the the gym, i hate running – lack of endurance) and ellipticals bore me to tears lol

    i use wii fit on the weekends which makes things a little funner but i think i need the shred cardio !

    i do enough weights in the gym with the trainer so i think i can go without the weights πŸ˜€

    good luck K! any advice on building endurance for running??

  10. Triner says:

    Thanks for the tip on this DVD! I think I’ll pick this one up. I need a workout DVD to go along with some Wii Fit!
    I had the Biggest Loser Workout DVD and enjoyed it a ton. It got a little repetitive since I could only muster the level 1 exercises, but is similar sounding to this DVD. It also had a ton more options. There was a warm up and cool down as well as several different workout options along with alternative motions for some exercises that might be too difficult for some. I need to have my mom send it back, lol!

  11. Paula Rose says:

    Love this!! I went down 2 sizes in 3 weeks by doing after dinner and before bed. I job is very high stress and this has definitely taken my stress levels down by 80% and I sleep like a ROCK! Def. heading to target for the cardio dvd next! I’ve tried the ‘no more trouble zones’ and do it when I need an extra butt kicking πŸ˜‰

  12. Frances says:

    This is a great DVD! I also love the old school Tae-Bo workouts ( I still have the complete set on video), slim in six, The Firm, and Windsor pilates.
    Given the number of workout videos I have, you’d think I would be in better shape!
    I need to push play more often.

  13. Mariepouliche says:

    I love Billy’s Tae-Boe DVDs. I also go on ; daily hard workouts by a crazy chick. She shows them on videos (youtube) and you can see the pictures on her blog. Thanks for the review, I think I’m gonna have an early Christmas gift for me from me πŸ˜‰

  14. Michelle M. says:

    I did this every day for 30 days before my honeymoon and it was awesome. Level 3 is tough but once you build up to it, it seems like a natural progression.

  15. Michelle says:

    I got this DVD a few months ago and I have a love /hate relationship with it LOL. Love it because it’s a great workout and short, hate it when I am doing those side twists/skater moves in level 2. I actually think level 3 is easier than level 2 — but it is a great workout!!
    I also *love* Get Chisl’d by The Firm. Strength training with cardio bursts — a great 40 minute workout!!

  16. Andrea says:

    this is a killer workout, lol! I got to level 3, and it was tough. and then I stopped using it for a couple of months, tried level one & that was hard lol!

  17. TUPRNUT says:

    I’ve had this video for a while now and it’s by far one of the best best workout vidoes I’ve ever used. My body is still beat the next day and I remember on one occasion, that I could hardly walk stairs the next day.

    My husband was making fun of me one day because I was complaining how sore I was after one of these workouts, so I told him he had to do one workout with the DVD and then he could make fun of me if he could do the workout. My husband’s in the military and always breezes through his yearly physical agility test. He’s super fit. So, he put in the DVD and I sat on the couch and watched. No joke, he couldn’t make it through the workout. He was breathing hard and sweating and gave me props for being able to finish just one of the workouts.

  18. Tanya says:

    Even though Jillian can get on my nerves sometimes (lol), I do have to say her DVDs kick MAJOR butt- and you’re right, they’re no joke. I have “Banish Fat/Boost Metabolism” and that one is pretty intense (lots of kick boxing moves, I love it!). I also have “No More Trouble Zones” which is more toning and some stuff with (light) weights, but this still manages to make me sore for a day or two πŸ™‚
    .-= Tanya’s last blog post… ON HIATUS….But Not For Long!! =-.

  19. Zeni says:

    So I know it’s been a while since you posted it, but it was in one of your newest posts. Anyway do you think this would be a good work out for someone who is not trying to lose weight but get fit? I’m quite skinny naturally, but I’m really weak cause I never work out and am looking for something, but everything I seem to find is for weight loss. I’m trying to avoid wasting the money on a gym membership.

    • Trina says:

      There’s definitely lots of cardio, but even if you’re skinny, cardio is good for you and does build some muscle as well. There’s also strength training in the videos. If you get resistance bands or hand weights, you definitely would gain more strength that way.
      Plus, you’ll have awesome endurance!

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