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I’m a big fan of fitness DVD’s. For starters, they are less expensive than a gym membership. Secondly you can do them in the privacy of your own home. You can make all the mistakes you want, and not feel the same pressure you would in a classroom filled with other people who seem to “get” the routine much faster than you.
I like Jillian Michaels, specifically when I am trying to lose weight and strengthen my body overall. I’ve found that when I incorporate her workouts into my routine, I not only lose weight but the paces I run on any given day feel easier. I noticed a huge difference in the later stages of the race at the Las Vegas Marathon two weeks ago. Instead of slumping over toward the end, my core kept me stable. I felt like I was running tall. I ran a much faster race than I had expected to. I immediately made the correlation between how often I have been doing her DVD’s to how much stronger and fitter my body felt during the race.
Here are my five favorite Jillian DVD’s for weight loss and strength.
Ripped in 30: If you have never tried a JM DVD, this is a good one to start with. There are four workout levels that you can progress through. If you want results in one month, move up a level each week. Personally I feel that you can stretch this out over longer than a month and see better results, because your form on each level will improve the more you do it. You will be able to work into a greater range of motion. She does her 3-2-1 interval system in this DVD, which is 3 minutes of cardio, 2 minutes of strength and 1 minute of abs.
Killer Buns & Thighs: When I bought this DVD, I thought it would be easier than Ripped in 30. As a runner, I have pretty strong legs. But I was wrong. I couldn’t walk properly for two days after the first time I did this DVD. It really works the little stabilizing muscles that I don’t use as often, and helped me notice muscle imbalances in my legs. There are three workout levels on this DVD, so if the first is too easy for you, you can move up at your own pace.
6 Week 6 Pack: Who doesn’t want a 6-pack? I can remember as a college student desperately wanting my abs to look like Britney Spears! Prior to doing this DVD, I mostly performed ab workouts on the mat. This DVD completely changed the way I looked at core work. Now I focus not only on my abs but also on the opposing muscles in my back for a stronger core all around. There are two workout levels on this DVD. I’ve been using this DVD for years, and still find the workouts to be effective.
Hard Body: This DVD takes you to a new level with the workouts lasting 45 minutes instead of the typical 20-30 minute workouts on her other DVD’s. It is less cardio and more strength. During marathon season, I get plenty of cardio from running. With this DVD, I enjoy that I can mostly work on strength while still keeping my heart rate up because of the pace of the routines. There are two levels and neither disappoint.
One Week Shred: This is by far my favorite of Jillian’s DVD’s and also the one I feel is the hardest. There are two 30 minute workouts. You are supposed to do the strength routine in the morning and then follow it up with the cardio routine at night. I like doing the strength in the mornings, before my kids wake up, knowing I will go for a run once they are at school. I perform the cardio workout on days I take a break from running. You have to pay attention to your diet to see results in a week. I cleaned up what I was eating even more and saw noticeable results, something I didn’t see with the other DVD’s listed above.