Follow us on

Featured DVD Review: Jillian Michaels: Shred-It With Weights

September 3rd, 2010

Jillian Michaels: Shred-It With Weights - Buy from Amazon

Jillian Michaels is best known for being one of the trainers on The Biggest Loser, which is a Reality TV series that is right on the border between soul-crushing and inspirational. On the one hand, given the virtual epidemic of obesity in much of the western world, any program that encourages people to lose weight is probably a good thing. On the other hand, I think it sets up unrealistic goals for people. Losing that much weight that quickly isn't possible for most people, as the people on the show are losing weight as their full time job. If I could put 40 hours a week into exercising, I could be ripped as well. Plus, they have professional, round-the-clock supervision. For the average person, losing 2 pounds a week is a more reasonable goal to begin and as you come closer to your ideal weight, even that will be harder to achieve. Since Jillian Michaels first started that show, she has put out numerous exercise DVDs the latest of which incorporates weights, which is also at the center of my exercise regime. So is this a program I will be using?

The Program

My initial plan was to exercise along with the program and judge out easy it is to follow the instructions and how tough it is to finish. I figured that since I exercise with weights regularly, it shouldn't be too hard to do that. Granted, I don't have a kettlebell, but the cover says a hand weight will suffice.

This turned out to be incorrect. Firstly, I have dumbbells, not a hand weight, and the size is quite a bit larger than what the woman was using on the DVD. She recommends starting with 3 to 8 pounds, while my lowest weight is 22.5 pounds (two 10-pound discs and a 2.5-pound bar). Secondly, the dimensions are just bigger. A simple hand weight is just a few inches longer than your fist is wide, while you should be able to easily grab either end with one hand. My dumbbell is about 14" long and 10" in diameter. It is impossible to hold with one hand in the same way you would hold a kettlebell. Trying to do a kettlebell rack would result in smacking myself in the jaw with the bar. Trying to do a kettlebell swing would be a whole lot more painful. (There were a couple exercises that I could do with my equipment, but not much.)

With that in mind, it is clear these would be tough exercises to keep up with. But this should surprise no one, as Jillian Michaels has a reputation for being a bit of a taskmaster. There are two levels of exercise routines, each with three variations. One woman is using a hand weight and completing the exercises with a slightly easier variation, while the other woman is doing more advanced versions of the same exercises. (Jillian herself is doing the standard exercise some of the times, while she spends a lot of the time explaining what muscle groups are being used in the exercise, what to avoid, etc.)

The Extras

In addition to the two 30-minute routines, there is a short intro and a 10-minute tutorial on how to use a kettlebell weight.

The Verdict

Jillian Michaels: Shred-It With Weights is not for the lighthearted and just doing the tutorial could be an exercise routine. That said, fans of her past DVDs should be up for the challenge and the DVD is worth picking up, but definitely grab a kettlebell first.

- Submitted by:

Filed under: Video Review