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Jillian Michaels’ Thirty Day Shred – Week One

jillian michaels 30 day shredUgh.  Phew. ZZzzzzz. That Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred is one tough, exhausting DVD. But, you know what?  It works.  Just in ten days – the number of days I devoted to level one, figuring that three levels divided by four weeks would be ten days a level – me so smart! – I can feel my endurance has improved tremendously. The first two days that I did the exercises, I was huffing and puffing, stopping here and there for a breather. Last night, I breezed right through it. That’s how I – gulp! – know I’m ready for level two.

Let’s see, what do I like about this DVD? It kept me on my toes.  The three circuits seem to flip by fairly quickly, and as soon as I think I’m about to die, it’s time to change to another set. The formula seems to work – three minutes of strength, two minutes of cardio, and one minute abs.  Three circuits and you are done. Use your choice of hand weights – I used 5s and 8s.

Circuit number one begins with squats and overhead dumbbell presses, and the cardio involves jumping jacks – probably my least favorite exercise. Combined with crunches, it’s an effective first level – but nothing too severe.

Circuit two – back rows, lunges with bicep curls, punching and butt kicks – this is the level that killed me. Thirty seconds of non-stop lunges doesn’t SOUND too awful – but try it and you’ll see.  (insert maniacal laughter here…) One great feature is that Jillian gives pointers throughout the circuits with tips and hints – on the butt kicks, actually KICK your own butt.  It’s nice to have that reminder to keep my chin off my chest during ab work and press my throat to the ceiling. When it feels like it’s getting easy, she always tosses in a reminder of what you COULD be doing – abs in, butt back – and boom! It suddenly gets more difficult.

Circuit three featured chest flys, side lunges (again with the lunges!) with front raises, a repeat of the first four cariod choices, and more ab work. I have to say, the abs on Anita – one of the demonstrators – made me a believer. You don’t get those abs for free, and any time I wanted to quit, I looked her way.

Level one was great.  Level two awaits – I hope I’m up for the challenge! Anyone want to join me?

May 19th, 2009

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(Page 1 of 1, 6 total comments)

Connie Fletcher

I am turning 63 in 2 weeks and am not much of an exerciser....til now. The 30 day Shred is a butt kicker..pardon the pun..and I am loving it!!! I don't know if I am losing weight, but I feel on day 5 of Level 1, and finally did the whole workout!! I am sooooo jazzed!!!! It wasn't easy, but by golly, I did it!!! I'm glad to have found this site. You ladies give me lots of encouragement...I hope you're all still doing well....

posted Apr 25th, 2012 1:05 am


I have found it like Gillian says "hard" and it is work to come off I have done it for 3 days and already even the first day I felt things toning up.

posted Jun 11th, 2010 3:06 pm

Cathy S

Jen: there is no recommendation by Jillian on the Shred DVD about days of rest that I am aware of. I take 1-2 days off myself. When I first started, I took time whenever my muscles were strained.

posted Sep 13th, 2009 2:55 pm


I am wondering I use the video off comcast so it doesnt tell you exactly how to do the program.. are you so suppose to take any rest days? I am on day three of level 1 and I love it.. but it is hard to sit my thighs burn:)

posted Aug 12th, 2009 2:36 pm

Cathy S

Ok, so how is everybody doing?

I do Level 1 Monday, Level 2 Tuesday, and Level 3 Wednesday and then back to Level 2 Thursday, and Level 3 Friday.

I have wondered what is more difficult for others, Level 2, the chair squats with a v-raise or Level 3.

I've been doing them consistently, but am still not shredded! I am, however, solid underneath this 10 pounds of fat which I have not seen be shredded quite yet. I'm not giving up.

posted Aug 4th, 2009 10:30 pm


I started this program because I am going on a cruise in 2 weeks. I did start with only 27 days so each level was only 7 days for me. I am almost finished with Level 2 and I cannot believe the improvement in my body! My stomach is flatter, my arms, chest and shoulders are more defined and i have almost completely banished cellulite from the front of my thighs, which I have developed over the last few years. I've been doing the workouts 6-7 days a week and eating fist size portions. I stay away from fast food, sugars, sodas and stick to clean lean protein, veggies, fruits and grains. I have to say I recommend this program to anyone and will definitely continue this after I return from vacation :)

posted Jul 10th, 2009 12:53 am


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9 Responses to “Jillian Michaels’ Thirty Day Shred – Week One”

May 19th, 2009
12:41 pm

I have just started the 30 day shred. After 10 days can you see a difference yet on the scale or your clothes? I cannot believe how much I am sweatting just after 20 min. I love it. another bonus is that none of the moves are complicated like in many other workout videos.

Cathy S
May 19th, 2009
8:44 pm

Hello Bonnie: I’m with you! Keep at it. This works. I did level 1 for over 2 mos. before I moved to level 2. And just when the side lunges with arm raises weren’t killing me, I tried level 2.

I have done level 2 for 3 weeks and it still kicks my , but is getting easier.

I tried level 3 over the weekend, when I was well rested. It is very hard, but not that much harder than level 2. I now think I will progress to level 3 — 3 days a week.

Just for fun, Monday a.m. I started doing level 1. and level 2 the rest of the weeks, level 3.

I should mention it took me 5 months of getting in shape with Bob’s Cardio and Julians’s sculpting, just to get in shape to even do shred. Shred is no small thing! I was 20-25 pounds overweight (last Nov.). Now, 5/2009, I am only 10 pounds or so overweight, and Shred has made all the difference. (minus the fried chicken and hamburgers). Perhaps if I started with Shred and changed my diet a little, I would have had more success back in Nov.

I am just now losing weight, big time. About 1 1/2 pounds a week without changing too much. Just gave up hamburgers and friend chicken, which I love. I still eat a lot.

Cathy S.

May 20th, 2009
1:57 pm

First of all let me say that I have been a seriously lazy person my entire life when it comes to exercise. I have lost 60+ lbs TWICE on Weight Watchers, and rarely, if ever, exercised. As you can tell since I had to do it TWICE, not exercising doesn’t keep off the weight. I have been struggling to lose my last 10-15 lbs for the last year and finally decided a couple of months ago that I’d better start exercising.

Being the type of person that always is looking for the “quick fix”, I bought 3 of Jillian’s DVD’s, 30 Day Shred, No More Trouble Zones, and Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism. I started right off with 30 Day Shred. OMG! I was way too out of shape to start there and after a few days my calves, knees and shins hurt so bad that I lived on ibuprofin for days!! I decided to move on to something else to build up my stamina so I could make it through the cardio portions. I moved on to Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism, which is a very thourough, and much longer workout but at least I could make it through all 7 circuits of this one after a few weeks. I mixed it in with some fun kickboxing cardio DVD’s and eventually my legs quit hurting and I could actually make it though a workout without dying!!!

I just went back to 30 Day Shred 2 days ago and made it through the whole 20 minutes, including all 3 sets of jumping jacks!! I feel like I am getting much more from it this time around and plan on moving up to level 2 soon. Looking ahead to levels 2 and 3, I see a lot of exercises that I have already done from the Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism DVD so hopefully it won’t be long before I can get to level 3.

Still to soon to tell if this will get me off my weight loss plateau, as the last 2 months haven’t done much in that department. BUT, I FEEL GREAT!! It is such a huge accomplishment for me. Oh, and did I mention, I’m 51 years old. :-)

May 20th, 2009
6:58 pm

WOW! You all have had some awesome results! Thanks so much for sharing! I have had a physical set back and need to take a week off, but I’ll be getting back into the swing of things next week. It’s people like you all that keep me inspired to keep on going!

Headless Mom
May 21st, 2009
10:03 pm

Bonnie, Cathy, and Laynie? You are my heroes! That is dedication right there. Keep it up, girls-I’ll be listening for more reports on your success!

Cathy S
May 24th, 2009
3:37 pm

Hi Laynie,

You validated my experience with Shred. I think it is important for others to know that one needs to already be in decent shape to expect to be able to do Shred. Other workout CD’s can certainly help one with this.

Bob’s Cardio and Jullian’s sculpting CD’s all have levels 1, 2 and 3 in them and work great to get one in shape.

It only took me 4 mos. of these CD’s to get in good shape and increase my endurance. So now the key for me is adjusting my eating a bit and doing Shred 5 days a week. It’s only 20 minutes, anyone can work that into their day. I know I will need to continue to do Shred after I have lost my last 10#’s to maintain my muscles and to stay skinny. I do want to have a greasy burger, just maybe once a month or so.

Thanks Headless Mom for your encouragement. Anyone can work up to this. We shouldn’t settle for getting fat as we age, it’s a choice. I’m 43 and got so unhappy with my extra #’s and didn’t accept that my body is going through a “change”. If Helen (Biggest Loser) can be a size 8 at 48, so can I!!!

Jun 10th, 2009
4:37 pm

yeah that shred is no joke my boyfriend and I are doing it together and it’s amazing how much you’re sweating after just 20 min. He’s ready to move on to level 2 but I’d like to do it a few more weeks. I love a challange though so we’re going to take it on together

Jun 11th, 2009
11:07 am

I started the DVD last night with level 1 and am hoping to do it every day leading up to my friend’s wedding in 2 weeks, in which I am a bridesmaid. I don’t really need to lose weight, but I’d like to counter all the unhealthy eating/drinking I’ve been doing lately and have better-looking arms. Anyway, your reviews are spot on. I thought Jillian was great, and I loved her constant reminders that you can’t expect a 30-day shred to be easy. I found last night that the first circuit strength and cardio is probably the hardest for me — my boyfriend made me do push-ups the night before too, and I was already sore, so those were killer. I was pleased that by the time I got to the third circuit, the cardio seemed a bit easier. Not sure if I was already building endurance, or maybe the exercises were just easier for me. Anyway, please keep us updated! I’m going to do Level 1 for a few more days, but I’m a little scared of Levels 2 and 3.

Jun 23rd, 2009
5:38 pm

HOLY COW! i am a new mom of a 7 month old and started doing 30 day shred 1 about 4 months ago. Lost all my baby weight and i look better than i did before! just moved on to 30 day level 2 and i had sweat pouring off of me. i cant wait to see the results from being consistent with it! BIKINI SEASON HERE WE COME! Keep up your hard work everyone!