It's the workout phenomenon that is responsible for the women of Ireland a-cursin' and a-hoppin' around their living rooms. Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred has a reputation for being a tough-as-nails workout that will leave you collapsed face first on the floor. But it is also known for delivering incredible results. So we asked our gorgeous commenter and Kill Jill aficionado, Kittykat, to give us the skinny on the Sergeant Jill's extreme drill.
There has been much talk in blather circles lately about Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred.
Jillian Michaels, or Kill Jill as she is known around these parts, is a fitness trainer on America’s Biggest Loser with her own line in fitness DVDs and books. I wasn't sure what to expect from these, as I'd tried workout DVDs in the past that were more Jane Austen than Jane Fonda. But as a girl who literally likes to have her cake and eat it, I figured I’d better get off my butt and get shredding or I'd wind up looking like the Pilsbury Doughboy.
So what is this workout all about?
Well, the 30 Day Shred consists of three twenty minute sessions that are based on interval training - intense enough to work up an almighty sweat yet short enough to be manageable. The programme is a mix of cardio, floor work and strength training. The idea is that you start at Level 1 and work towards Level 3 over thirty days.
I was keen to see if it delivered, so arming myself with hand weights, I launched into Level 1. “Ha, piece of cake”, I thought smugly, as I scooted through it without breaking a sweat. I skipped straight to Level 2 the next day - and I did almost choke on that cake.
The warm up begins in much the same way as Level 1 and as far as trainers go, Jillian Michaels is a very engaging one. But don’t let that toothy, All American, wholesomeness fool you, for as soon as the warm-up finishes on Level 2, the real fun begins. Talk about unleashing the beast!
Gone is the sweet girl next door and in her place is this She Devil whose mission is to bring you to your knees. There are jumping jacks, plank moves, walk out push ups, tummy crunches and - get this - a military press with leg extension that would reduce even the toughest of army sergeants to tears.
And in case your not being tortured enough, Kill Jill provides the commentary throughout, roaring things like “by now your muscles should be screaming” and, my own personal favourite, “you should be gargling your heart”. Nice.
Don’t imagine for one second that your getting a break between exercises either. For as KJ tells us “when we rest we don’t force the body to change. You want a twenty minute workout that delivers maximum calorie burn, you're gonna have to earn it”.
And earn it, you do. This is twenty minutes of one of the most intense workouts. At one point, the urge came over me to kill Jill with my bare hands. But love her or loathe her, this is a workout that delivers.
Kill Jill promises a stronger core, tighter abs and “that V shaped taper we all want” in just thirty days. I was sceptical setting out, but the results really do speak for themselves.
After only two months of doing Level 2 I’ve definitely noticed a difference in my body shape. My abs and thighs are tighter and my upper arms are more toned. I can even do the dreaded walk out push ups with ease now, which is no mean feat considering that I ate the mat for the first week. But I have yet to conquer the dreaded Level 3.
The only downside to this workout is that I did miss the actual presence of a trainer, which can be a pain when it comes to perfecting some of the moves. That said, I did get the hang of them after a few sessions and really started to notice a difference. And that's what makes me a total convert.
Have you ever tried any of Jillian Michaels' DVDs? Do you think she is the devil incarnate? And what is the hardest workout you've ever done? To the comments!