I’ve been MIA for a while. I went through a major life change last year and also moved countries.
The change took up a lot of my time and blogging about fitness fell by the wayside for a while but I continued my fitness activities behind the lines.
Now that Coronavirus is taking the world by storm and everyone is staying at home for the foreseeable future, one of the ways to make sure you don’t go crazy is by working out every day.
Additionally, working out boosts your immune system so your body is better prepared to fight off infections.
So, if you’re looking for a way to jump into fitness over 40, welcome to Fitness At Every Age.
Over the next few articles, I will be reviewing several workout programs starting with Jillian Michaels BodyShred Program.
What is Jillian Michaels BodyShred Program?
Jillian Michaels BodyShred Program is a high-intensity and endurance-based 60-Day fitness program designed to take you from average to amazing.
This is not a new workout program but that doesn’t mean it’s less effective than newer programs.
BodyShred has 8 workouts in total with a bonus workout (opus). The program takes place over 8 weeks.
Throughout each week, it alternates between 2 strength workouts and 1 cardio work out with a rest day on Sunday. The schedule changes every 2 weeks.
Below is a breakdown of how the workout program calendar looks like over 8 weeks:-
- Week 1 and 2 – Launch, Rise, Fire Up x 2 (Mon-Sat) followed by a rest day on Sun
- Week 3 and 4 – Amplify, Escalate, Fire Up x 2 (Mon-Sat) followed by a rest day on Sun
- Week 5 and 6 – Conquer, Triumph, Ignite x 2 (Mon-Sat) followed by a rest day on Sun
- Week 7 and 8 – Zenith, Apex, Ignite x 2 (Mon-Sat) followed by a rest day on Sun
Jillian engages supersets in the workouts, 3 circuits of 10 minutes each with a warm-up and a warm down.
Each set involves 3 strength moves, 2 cardio moves and 2 core exercises, all equally painful. lol.
There were 6 fitness pros in every video excluding Jillian and I quickly set my eyes on two to three personal favourites so I could use them as my motivation yardstick.
You can either get the program on DVD or subscribe to Jillian Michaels Fitness App with a 7 Day Free Trial.
The DVD workout program includes 11 workouts, a fitness guide, a meal plan, a rotation calendar and a sweat towel.
It also includes a DVD introducing the cast and shows you some of the core moves involved in the BodyShred program.
The meal plan has a lot of colourful foods and recipes. Unfortunately, I simply didn’t have the time or patience to prepare the meals involved.
However, I kept the daily nutritional recommendation limit of 1,400 calories for women in mind and adjusted my diet accordingly.
What Equipment Do You Need for BodyShred?
You will need the following equipment throughout the entire program:-
2 – 3 sets of dumbbells according to your abilities. I used 4 kg, 5 kg, and 10 kg weights. I would have liked something between 5 kg and 10 kg as well.
An exercise mat. You don’t necessarily need one but if you don’t have a rug, you might prefer one.
Except for pure cardio workouts, all the workouts consist of 4 circuits. Each circuit consists of 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio, and 1 minute of core – all 30 seconds long.
This might not sound like a lot but believe me, your body will feel every second of those 30 seconds every time.
Because the exercises are so short, there are no rest periods in between but if you get winded, you can slow down and follow the modified version of the exercise.
And if you’re feeling like you’re Hercules, there’s always a more advanced version of each exercise to aim for “if you got more,” as Jillian likes to say.
It’s a very challenging program but it starts slow in month 1 and becomes really tough by month 2.
Jillian Michaels BodyShred workout will shape and tone while also helping you build and define muscle.
I’m going to break down all the workouts in this section so you can get an idea of what’s involved:-
Launch (Workout 1)
Launch is an entry-level workout with a focus on the core. It’s 34 minutes long with a focus on the chest, triceps, shoulders, quads, and abs.
While the exercises weren’t complicated, they were still intense.
Rise (Workout 2)
Rise is 36 minutes long and focuses on the back, biceps, glutes, hamstrings, and abs.
Intermediate with fast paces moves. By the end of this workout, my glutes were on fire.
Fire Up (Cardio 1)
So, I don’t like cardio but I understand why it’s an important part of a full-body workout. Fire Up is moderately intense with 3 circuits that are 9 minutes long.
The first two times I did Fire Up was tough but then my body adjusted and I breezed through the other times in month 1.
Amplify (Workout 3)
As the name implies, this workout amplified my body to new levels of pain. lol. It was a very tough workout to get through.
All the circuits are mega-sets that will take your body to the limit. I was glad to see the last of this workout by the end of week 4.
Escalate (Workout 4)
This workout is weight-centric and I always prefer weights over cardio. Even then, it was still tough to get through.
I alternated between following the rest and following the modifier in week 3 then moved up to getting all the way through in week 4.
Conquer (Workout 5)
Month 2 workouts are not a joke at all and start with Conquer. Conquer is about 35 minutes long with a warm-up and warm down.
It works the chest, shoulders, and biceps. It also includes quads and abs.
Triumph (Workout 6)
Triumph involves abs, balance postures, squats (so many squats), plyo, and abs. It is very intense and I found it almost impossible to complete some of the moves.
I also had to be very careful while completing the moves to avoid injury.
Tip – if something was too tough, I slowed down and took it step by step so I didn’t injure myself.
Ignite (Cardio 2)
It’s cardio – running, jumping and hauling butt for 30 minutes – 3 circuits of 9 minutes each with a warm down at the end.
By the end of this workout, I was dripping in sweat, much more than with Fire Up. I was happy to see the end of this workout.
Zenith (Workout 7)
Intense. Fast. Lots of resistance. You’re going to really feel this workout and don’t knock yourself for not being able to keep up with the video or the person modifying.
The important thing is to get the move right so you don’t injure yourself.
Apex (Workout 8)
The final workout in the BodyShred program is not cardio but by the end of it, I was sweating more than I did with the cardio; that’s how tough it was.
Like Ignite, I was happy to see the end of it by week 8.
There was a bonus workout included, Opus, which I stayed away from.
It’s an incredibly advanced workout and I didn’t feel my workout levels were there yet.
Final Word on Jillian Michaels BodyShred Program
I loved it. It toned and sculpted my body and helped me jump right back into my fitness regimen after a slow down towards the end of last year.
While it was not as intense as the ferocious Insanity or Insanity MAX30, it still kicked my butt especially in month 2.
If you prefer the DVD set only, you can get that on Amazon HERE but I highly recommend the fitness app.
With the fitness app, you get access to Jillian as well. Check it out HERE.
If you decide to try it out, let me know how it goes in the comments section. Stay fit!
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