The Jillian Michaels Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism Workout DVD Hurts So Good!

Published in: Beauty Tips, Product Reviews

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.

The workout

  • 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.

PRICE: About $10
AVAILABILITY: Release date Feb. 3, 2009; available wherever fitness DVDs are sold (find it online at and

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 78 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Stephanie says:

    I really like these kinds of dvds.. all dvds like this are almost the same but they all have a 10 to 30 minute workout just to do quick at home without spending lots of time going back and forth to the gym.

  2. Mary says:

    omg I have the 30 day Shred! I consider myself to be a moderately athletic person, but that DVD left me seriously winded even at only the 1st level (i.e. for wimps).

  3. Sheila says:

    This reminds me… I need to work out more!
    Sheila recently posted … Preview- Guerlain Rouge Automatique

  4. AnieJ says:

    I’m in need of a workout I can enjoy and really kill my muscles with. I think this may be the one! Thanks Karen.
    AnieJ recently posted … elf Tools I Might Never Live Without Again

  5. Cody says:

    You should check out Jillian’s Yoga Meltdown… it’s a tough video but somehow enjoyable! I like to mix it up between 30 Day Shred, BFBM, Yoga Meltdown, and No More Trouble Zones. Another thing I’ll do is re-arrange the order of the circuits on this one. For some reason I find myself more motivated when I do them in reverse order.

    • Karen says:

      I will, thank you! I always like to try new workouts so I’ve got both No More Trouble Zones and Yoga Meltdown on my list next. πŸ™‚

      Good call on doing the circuits in reverse.

  6. Jen says:

    “And by the end of the workout, IÒ€ℒm dripping in sweat and panting like a background singer in a dirty Prince tune.” Karen, you’re hilarious!

    Right now, I’m alternating between Shred and the 6 week 6 pack… can we say ow? I sure can.

  7. Tiffany says:

    thanks for the detailed review! I might have to give this a whirl when I’m ready to lose the baby weight!

  8. Kerry says:

    I need to give this a shot! I’m only 10 pounds away from my goal weight, but I’m really looking to gain muscle.

    I’ve tried her 30-Day Shred before, and ouch!

  9. applepark says:

    I have this video but have been doing my P90x videos recently instead… but I swear this workout is very similar to P90x Kempo and Plyo. But I think these are great for $10! You just use your own body weight. No gym, nothing fancy. I should throw this into my video rotation again. Thanks for reminding how fun this one is.
    applepark recently posted … Inglot Freedom System Eyeshadow Palettes Swatches and Labels

  10. JJ says:

    Yeah, I had to google some of the terms you used… can you tell that I don’t work out, LOL? Workout DVDs intrigue me, though. I just never know which ones are good since most of my friends just run on the treadmill. Thanks for the breakdown and review!

  11. Nina says:

    i think the fact that she does give tough love makes her dvds work. πŸ™‚ awesome review!

  12. Tracy says:

    Sold! Although I don’t think I can do those Burpies hahaha!
    Tracy recently posted … Maybelline Volum Express One By One Mascara

  13. kana says:

    This really sounds good! Have you ever done/seen the Carem Electra one? The strip-aerobics, I think? I have those and they really didnt do it for me. I’m considering cutting down my monthly bills and the gym is one of them! It isnt even 24 hours, so i don’t to workout all the time. this can be the replacementn

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kana,

      Nope, I haven’t tried that video. I once tried to go to a similar class at the gym once and I felt SUPER goofy. It’s not really my thing, LOL! It looks like a great workout, though.

  14. Phyrra says:

    Sounds like a great workout!
    Phyrra recently posted … Screw Cupid Giveaway Winner

  15. Arianne says:

    Great review Karen! Sounds just like what I need on my once-a-week home workouts. Have you tried the free Nike Training App on the iPhone? I started doing that recently and it is pretty challenging too. I’m doing the Intermediate workouts. I think you’re really gonna like it too. It’s like burn-your-lungs good. πŸ™‚

  16. steph b says:

    I’d love to give discs like this a try – especially in winter when it is too damn cold to exercise outdoors — but I’m always wondering what my downstairs neighbor would think.

    So I gave my wallet a workout instead and ordered Boy. So excited.

    • Karen says:

      Oh, this one might make your downstairs neighbor kinda cranky. There’s a LOT of jumping. How about a yoga DVD instead? A few girls here recommend Jillian’s Yoga Meltdown.

      Speaking of Boy… I’m picking my tube up tomorrow! πŸ˜€

      • steph b says:

        Good call on the yoga disc. I’ll have to try a few from Netflix. I have a large balcony and it would be great in the spring to be able to do yoga out there. In warmer weather I did all of my pre- and post-walk stretching out there. I could even angle my tv so I could follow a disc out there.

  17. Liz! says:

    Thanks for the review! I’ve been wanting to pick something up for days where the weather is too bad to venture out to the gym. This definitely sounds like it would be worth while!

  18. Michelle says:

    I have this one — it is a butt kicker!! The second to last interval is the hardest — ugggh — I am beet red when I am done. Would love to hear about more workouts you enjoy on DVD!

    • Karen says:

      That’s the point when I want to pass out, LOL! I’ve got some good recommendations from the girls here so maybe I’ll do more workout DVD recs in the future.

  19. l33n3r says:

    I have her “No More Trouble Zones” DVD and there are a lot of similar moves. I like how you don’t need a lot of equipment or space. I use it on my “hard day” workout days and it’s a killer (read: I’m pulsating blob on the floor afterward)! Oh, I picked up my Wonder Woman Russian Red and Mighty Aphrodite today… they’re so pretty! They were sold out of the blue and green mascaras and BOTH of the mineralized skin finishes!

    • Karen says:

      Yay! I’m glad you got to pick a couple Wonder Woman goodies up. Bummer the mascaras and the MSFs were sold out though.

      Looks like I need to get No More Trouble Zones… I wanna be a pulsating blob on the floor, LOL!

  20. Lee says:

    Hey Karen!!! long time no see! ive been offline 4 a few months so busy over the xmas/new yrs period, as im sure everyone was!

    Last time i was on here i was in the middle of but now have completed my Makeup Artistry course with Napoleon and am now venturing in2 work in the field! πŸ™‚

    How have u been? and all the rest of the beautiful ppl on this blog? πŸ™‚

    This dvd looks really cool, im going 2 go look 4 it 2morrow! The only dvd workouts ive been able 2 stick 2 r the 10Minute Solutions, i think the Fat Blaster one was my fav…theyre packed full but seem easier 2 do, i think its the whole mind game of thinking its only 10 min sessions… 10min x 5 lol…but my brain doesnt recognise the full 50mins since its split in groups hehe!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lee,

      Congrats on finishing your makeup course! πŸ™‚ How’s it going working in the field? Are you with a cosmetics line or doing freelance stuff?

      Things on this end have been good. Just chugging along…

      • Lee says:

        Im doing freelance and also awaiting area placement with a line! so im happy πŸ™‚ hehe

        I also put my application in with MAC and they have some available so if im lucky with that ill drop everything else lol!!!

        Its weird, i didnt think i could ever love cosmetics more, but now i do haha!

        • Karen says:

          That’s fantastic, Lee. I think it’s always good to be doing something you’re passionate about. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you and hope that you get the MAC gig!

  21. Emma says:

    ‘but the whole DVD makes Shred look like musical chairs at a kidÒ€ℒs birthday party’ – I love your simile’s Karen!

    I own Yoga Meltdown and I love it, you should totally get it Karen. I’ve even got the hubby hooked, although he’ll only do level 1. I alternate level 1 and level 2 because I’m intermediate / advanced depending on the exercise so I can get a lot out of both workouts.

    I think that this banish fat one will have to go onto my amazon wish list. I’d like to have a collection to work out from because I think I’ll just get bored if I use the same one over and over again. Hopefully my extra coaching hours at gymnastics will also help me feel fit again!

    • Karen says:

      A few other ladies have recommended the Yoga Meltdown… so, SOLD!

      That’s cool you’re teaching gymnastics. Did you (or do you still) do it competitively?

      • Emma says:

        I competed from 7 – 15 and then started to do ‘veterans’ comps in NZ and the UK (I switched disciplines to Acrobatic gymnastics in the UK) but there isn’t a veterans scheme here in the US, nor do I have a training partner πŸ™‚

        • Karen says:

          That’s so cool. I’m the LEAST flexible person in the world and can’t begin to imagine the skill it takes to do half the stuff that gymnasts do. Those uneven bars scare the crap out of me!

  22. Amee says:

    happy work-outing Karen πŸ™‚
    Amee recently posted … What I am wearing today!! – Make Up For Ever

  23. Vijaya says:

    My mom has a habit of buying these DVDs and never using them.
    Vijaya recently posted … Tokidoki Glitter Eyeliner Set

  24. Fefe says:

    Why I think I may need to invest in this. I will go pick it up tomorrow. yay. I’m on NutriSystem so I’m always looking for other things besires the treadmill. Thank-you, as always.

  25. Ru says:

    Ahh this workout is so hard- even if you are moderatly fit- she knows how to make you hurt! I’m doing shred again for the umteenth time. BFBM is def harder. I stay away for now :/

  26. Oh, I really need something like that! I feel like I maybe should start working out, or something=)
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  27. Linnea says:

    JM definitely knows when to say exactly what you need to hear to keep going. She`s soo good. Once I get through her 30 day shred, I`ll make sure to buy this one!!

    30 day shred still kicks my ass, so this one scares me!

  28. Mmmm says:

    If anyone wants to shape their bodies I would reccomend “Bonnie’s Pilates Workout Routine” on youtube, there are four videos, each lasting around 1o minutes,and I would advise to do them all at once. They’re for the thighs, butt, belly, and overall, your whole body. I was seeing results in my muscles, especially on my abs, being more noticeable, but somehow lately I stopped doing it. Thank you Karen, you reminded me&motivated me to start exercising again! πŸ˜‰

  29. evilcharity says:

    I have several of Jillian’s work out DVD’s. I love to hate them. My two most recent purchases are pretty awesome in a it-hurts-so-good kinda way: Yoga Meltdown (have only done level one, am scared of level two. The Hubs calls it “scary yoga”) and Six Week Six Pack (both levels are great and it’s a fantastic core workout).

  30. Looks good, but is it as fun as a Zumba class?! recently posted … Smashbox hosts Burlesque make-up range

  31. anythingreen says:

    LOL commitment to sparkle motion! πŸ™‚ love it.

    ok, i gotta try this dvd now.
    anythingreen recently posted … subtle smoky eye

  32. Erika says:

    Thank so much for reviewing this! I got it and LOVE it, thank to your review! I’m a fairly new mom and looking for something to do while baby naps and this is perfect!!! Have you got anything else to recommend?

  33. Casey says:

    lol I adore your “Sparkle Motion” comment, it actually made me laught out loud πŸ™‚ Thanks for this review!

  34. Nicole says:

    Karen, you should try Ripped in 30. I am doing week 1 workout for 1.5 weeks. Its tough but it really tone up your body. I have to agree Banish Fat is really. Its one of my fav dvd but when you have two kids running around, I need to get it done under 40 mins. Check it out.

  35. Lovellia says:

    I had the same thought! I did the 30 day shred, I thought this one was going to be easy. But I was wrong, I sweated a lot! I just started this today. My back hurt when doing the walking plank moves, even though I had been doing that exercise in the 30 day shred (level 3), but somehow I was weak at doing it this time. Sorry if my English is bad, coz English is my second language.

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