DVDs aren’t for everyone, but they might be for you!

When I was in sixth grade, we had a yoga unit in gym. The yoga craze was kind of just beginning back then and we in our 11-year-old-awkwardness were endlessly excited to be doing something RELAXING that didn’t involve dodge balls in gym! COME to find out, we (in our 11-year-old-awkwardness) couldn’t be responsible for displaying the level of maturity required to participate in a yoga class. Everyone was laughing and whispering and finding the random poses endlessly amusing. In a fit of frustration, our teacher cancelled the rest of the yoga unit right then and there and promised that our next class would be miserable (and it was, I still remember it to this day.) Point of this story is that I LOVED that one yoga day that we managed to squeeze in and that night at Target, I spent 14 of my hard-earned dollars on a Yoga VHS! (Holy cats, VHS. Do those even exist anymore!?) And so began my Era of Fitness Videos. About 8 years later, I stumbled upon Jillian Michaels’ in that very same Target aisle!

I must admit, I have strayed from good ‘ole Jillian, but not for long! Last summer, I actually bought p90x. Within the first month and a half, I had given it to a friend (who is 100% hooked now.) There were definitely good parts of that system, I love the ab ripper routines (even though I still SWEAR that the Jillian ones are more intense!) and the p90x cardio videos are excellent too. I just hate that you need all of those weights/ bands and it just never felt quite right for me! It’s hard to explain, but by the end of a p90x workout, I was almost ALWAYS more frustrated than I was invigorated and that didn’t fly. So, lo and behold. Jillian made a comeback.

These days, I’ve been much more adventurous with my workouts. I try to incorporate circuits and runs and gym equipment and weights, but I still love to throw in my Jillian DVDs every once in a while. Here are three of my favorites!

(IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT. IN THE PROCESS OF WRITING THIS POST, I DISCOVERED THAT ONE OF MY VERY. FAVORITE. VIDEOS IS MISSING! Missing in action. I will include links to the DVDs on Amazon Since I can’t include my own picture :’-( )

Anyway, on to the reviews!

Jillian’s Finest Work

1. No More Trouble Zones (check it out here ) — This one is one of my very favorites. It is broken up into circuits that focus on certain areas (arms, legs, core etc.) It’s FANTASTIC. You can do all of them for a CRAZY intense, full-body workout or you can pick and choose which sections you do for a focused and intense, yet extremely effective workout! This one requires small hand weights (I usually use between 3 and 5 lbs.)

2.  Banish Fat Boost Metabolism (This!) — The first time I tried this one was with my workout buddy, Jordan. Within 15 minutes, we were collapsed on her basement floor promising ourselves that we’d make it through the whole thing by the end of the summer! (Fortunately for us and our poor hearts, it didn’t take more than a week until we could power through.) This is a cardio-intensive video that includes plyometrics, classic cardio moves (like jumping jacks) and has ab work strewn in for fun! The whole thing is just over 40 minutes (I usually crop the warm-up and cool-down segments, but that’s just me!) This one will have you sweating for certain! Take it slow at first.

3. Ripped in 30(Right here!)– This is the newest addition to my collection. The DVD is meant to be split up into four weeks (hence the ripped in 30. Thirty days that is.) Each week, the workouts get progressively more difficult. Perhaps the best part of THIS video is that each workout is only 24 minutes long. So do-able! The four workouts are interval-style (3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio, 1 minute of abs). Another fantastic, full-body workout that has you huffing and puffing. Even after just 25 minutes!

Even though I’m not quite as nutty about my Jillian DVDs anymore, I still keep them on standby and have recommended them to roughly 2 million people! Jillian Michaels has about a thousand different DVDs, but these there are my favorites! I’d love to hear about the best features in your workout libraries!