Jillian Michaels: "No More Trouble Zones" and "The 30-Day-Shred"

Jillian Michaels: "No More Trouble Zones" and "The 30-Day-Shred"

Like many Americans, I’ve watched “The Biggest Loser” with fascination- although I don’t watch the show on a regular basis, the premise of rewarding the reality star participants for their hard work dieting and exercising really appeals to me. I find it more than a little ironic that the viewers who make the most fun of the participants on the show are the same people who could most benefit from a good work-out and healthier eating.

I don’t tend to judge people for their eating practices or their lack of exercise as my own haven’t always been that good, but do feel that both diet and exercise are really important for both physical and mental health. While it hasn’t been as much of a challenge for me to eat healthy lately, forcing myself to exercise is tougher. I recently purchased two of trainer Jillian Michaels’  DVDs, both of which kicked my ass.

I am in average shape for my age, not quite a couch-potato, but definitely not an athlete either.  I tried the 30-Day-Shred  first, which focuses on interval training and a combination of both high-intensity aerobic and anaerobic exercises. Interval training is reported to increase your strength and endurance and the higher intensity of the work-out is believed to burn fat at a faster rate.

All you need for the work outs are a set of light weights and a Yoga mat. The DVD is divided into three 20-minute work outs that increase in levels of difficulty. Don’t let the length of the work outs fool you- I was sweating about five minutes into the work out which used muscle groups in my legs, my arms, my shoulders, and my stomach. Jillian stresses the importance of working out your large muscles at the same time as your smaller muscles in order to burn more fat. An example of this is doing Bicep curls from a squat position.

Because there are so many lunges and squats in the work-out, as well as some high impact jumping, including jumping jacks and pseudo-jumping, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the work out for someone with knee problems.

I also bought Jillian Michaels’ “No More Trouble Zones”, which is a longer circuit training work out, which focused more on light weight training. Again, don’t let the “light” in light weight-training fool you- if you are just starting out as I am, you will definitely feel a burn.