Blast you, Jillian Michaels, and your calorie-killing tough love! The first time I pushed play on your Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism DVD ($10), I came this close to a full-on bakery breakdown. I’m serious, I was one mountain climber away from driving to the nearest bakery to stuff myself with donuts (have I mentioned I’m a stress eater?).
But, as if you could somehow tell when I was ready to quit, you looked me in the eye, cranked up the motivation dial and firmly told me “not to phone it in” (which is Jillian Michaels for “never give up, never surrender!”).
Needless to say, this workout’s no joke, and it hurts SO GOOD.
How good exactly?
Good like the first time you got your ‘stash waxed, or the first time you kissed that hot, scruffy bad boy (you know, the unemployed one with the muscles and the motorcycle — the one your parents despised).
Made to heighten heart rates and torch calories, Jillian’s 45-minute workout begins with a warm up, which is then followed by seven 5-minute circuits and a cool down. Each of the circuits is comprised of a series of 30-second exercises, and the workout doesn’t require any equipment to do; just a small space on the floor to move around, and maybe a yoga mat, if you have one.
For what it’s worth, I am not an athlete — not by a long shot — but I’ve exercised off and on for most of my adult life. I think I have reasonably strong legs from running and dancing, and decent upper body strength, but I’ve been neglecting my core for years (I HATE sit-ups and crunches).
Now, this wasn’t my first time at the rodeo with Jillian. I’d been using her 30 Day Shred DVD for a while, so I thought I knew what to expect from this one.
Boy, was I wrong! With Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism, Jillian takes workouts to the next level — one where I want to curl up into a ball and cry, LOL!
Jillian uses plyometric exercises with big, explosive jumps, and likes working several muscle groups simultaneously (back when I belonged to Gold’s Gym, I’d watch personal trainers perform similar exercises with real athletes). I remember some of the moves from Shred, like skaters, burpies and mountain climbers…but the whole DVD makes Shred look like musical chairs at a kid’s birthday party.
JM incorporates a little bit of everything to work the arms, chest, back, stomach and legs, alternating kickboxing with old-school calisthenics, and cardio with core. Best of all with a DVD, since you’re in charge of the remote, you only have to complete as much of the workout as you can. If you’re tapped or pressed for time, you can just skip ahead to the circuits you really want to cover.
- Warm up: arm circles, toe touches, arm swings and jogging in place
- Circuit one: squatting side kicks on the right side, squatting with alternating punches, squatting side kicks on the left side, a jab-cross-hook-elbow combination and alternating front kicks
- Circuit two: burpies, plie hops (the former dancer in me loves these, they totally make your butt burn), a punch-hop combination, 180-degree jumps and single-leg hops
- Circuit three: butt kicks, high knees, jumping jacks, oblique crunches on the right side and oblique crunches on the left side
- Circuit four: mountain climbers, lower back and leg raises, pike crunches, oblique twists and a walking plank (hurts so good!)
- Circuit five: swing kicks, uppercuts, back kicks, squatting with a jab-cross combo and knee crunches
- Circuit six: jump squats, cross-country skiing, scissor kicks, skaters and standing mountain climbers
- Circuit seven: twisting jumps, standing ab crunches, knee crunches on the right side, knee crunches on the left side and jump rope
- Cool down: a five minute cool-down stretch
I really start to feel the burn (and doubt my commitment to Sparkle Motion) around the fifth circuit, but Jillian is there with the tough love to urge you ever onward. She always seems to know when I need her help the most. And by the end of the workout, I’m dripping in sweat and panting like a background singer in a dirty Prince tune.
After two weeks and about five workouts, I’m beginning to see results. By no means do I feel ready to don a bikini and heels for a rap video (dare to dream!), but I do feel a little less sausage-y around my mid-section, for sure.
If you like working out at home and want to burn some serious calories, give Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism a try. It won’t be easy, but it hurts so good.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,