Published by Gaiam on December 2014
Pages: 12 DVDs
Buy It Here! •
BODYSHRED is a high-intensity, holistic resistance and endurance-based 60-Day fitness plan, involving synergistic 3D body dynamics that explore the scope of movement possibilities to maximize athletic performance and metabolic potential in just 30 minutes.
Using Jillian's S.H.R.E.D. Method, you'll shed fat, define muscle, transform the look of your entire physique, and dramatically enhance your overall health and athletic performance! Includes 12 DVDs, a Rotational Calendar, Meal Plan and Fitness Guide.
BODYSHRED™ is ‘Intelligent Training.’ It’s kinetic, it’s energetic; it provides the ultimate challenge, regardless of level. Utilizing Jillian's 3-2-1 interval approach to whole body circuit training (3 min. of strength, 2 min. of cardio, 1 min. of abs), BODYSHRED™ integrates all of the most progressive exercise science techniques used by world-class athletes into one program. Elite workout methods like HIIT, PHA, plyometrics, super-setting, combo lifting, 3-dimensional movement possibilities, functional bodyweight training and much more, come together in one powerful class that offers you the most successful way to get lean and shredded fast.
BODYSHRED™ not only burns more calories while you’re training, but can literally ACCELERATE your metabolism long after the workout is finished so you continue burning fat and calories at a higher rate - for up to 24-48 hours post training. You’ll shed fat, define muscle, dramatically enhance athletic performance, and transform your physique. This class is unparalleled in its approach and its results!
3-2-1 Interval Format – The BODYSHRED workouts are comprised of four 6-minute, high-intensity circuits to achieve a strong, sexy Shredded body.
• 3 Minutes of Resistance Training; Muscular Conditioning
• 2 Minutes of Cardiovascular Conditioning; HIIT Intervals
• 1 Minute of Active Recovery; Utilizing core focused exercises that facilitate supreme stability and power
Using Jillian’s 3-2-1 Interval Format, you'll shed fat, define muscle, transform the look of your entire physique, and dramatically enhance your overall health and athletic performance!
The workouts are structured using optimized muscle splits (Push or Pull) and the program breaks down as follows:
• Monday and Thursday your workouts focus on push muscles - chest, shoulders, triceps, quads
• Tuesday and Friday the focus is on pull muscles - back, biceps, hamstrings, glutes
• Wednesday and Saturday you do a 30-minute cardio workout
• Sunday is a complete day of rest
When I started this review I was out of shape. I was placed on a complete exercise halt due to a bad hamstring sprain for 9+ months. Prior to the [most recent] injury, I would have considered myself an “experienced” exerciser – well, I would have called myself a “heavy lifter.” I’ve used several of Jillian Michaels (JM) DVDs over the years as well as other DVDs like The Firm, Tracey Mallett’s Booty Bar, The Bar Method and P90X.
My preferred workouts are actually extensive free weight use (dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, bands, etc) including the Big Five Olympic lifts (Squat, Deadlift, Bench press, Row and Overhead Press) as well as barbell complexes and circuit training. I’ve completed a variety of free weight training programs as well including Strong Curves, StrongLifts 5×5, Group Personal training, T-Nation’s The 10,000 Swing Kettlebell Workout, and Nia Shanks’ Better Body by Minimalism.
Like all people who lift heavy, I have had a slew of injuries – thus the purchase of the BODYSHRED program. I decided that I’d get myself back in shape with JM, work on regaining lost flexibility with Lastics, do Better Body by Minimalism and then get back to squatting and deadlifting (my faves!).
Another important thing to know about me and exercise is that I hate cardio. UGH! It drives me bonkers but I force myself to do it because I know it’s good for me. But still…ugh!
This is going to be a long review as the program covers 8 weeks and 12 DVDs. Due to that, the review will be broken down into the following sections:
§ Program Overview & What’s Included
§ The Meal Plan
§ Equipment Required
§ Weeks 1 & 2: Ignite
§ Weeks 3 & 4: Accelerate
§ Weeks 5 & 6: Elevate
§ Weeks 7 & 8: Transcend
§ Final Summary (Results & Negatives)
§ Program Overview & What’s Included §
So, what is BODYSHRED? BODYSHRED is a eight week modified HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) program designed to encourage weight loss and muscle building. There is the [DVD] program and actual classes. There are a pretty good amount of BODYSHRED classes near me but none close enough to attend. Though I do plan to try a class one day.
Jillian Michaels says:
“BODYSHRED is a high-intensity, holistic resistance and endurance-based 60-Day fitness plan, involving synergistic 3D body dynamics that explore the scope of movement possibilities to maximize athletic performance and metabolic potential in just 30 minutes.”
High-intensity interval training, also called high-intensity intermittent exercise or sprint interval training, is a form of interval training, an exercise strategy alternating short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with less-intense recovery periods. HIIT is a form of cardiovascular exercise. Usual HIIT sessions may vary from 4–30 minutes. These short, intense workouts provide improved athletic capacity and condition as well as improved glucose metabolism. Compared with other regimens, HIIT may not be as effective for treating hyperlipidemia and obesity, or improving muscle and bone mass. Some researchers also note that HIIT requires “an extremely high level of subject motivation,” and question whether the general population could safely or practically tolerate the extreme nature of the exercise regimen.
In reality, I’m not quite sure BODYSHRED if is a true HIIT program (and thus 8 weeks would be terrible for your CNS) or if it’s not a real HIIT program. It’s pretty hard on the [nervous] system to do a eight week intensive HIIT program where you’re utilizing HIIT 6 days out of 7. As I write this, I notice that I have accumulated a few rather sore spots that feel like they could easily turn into injury. And that’s not taking into account the aggravation of old, already healed injuries.
Interval training is not without its downfalls, of course. Just because I’m suggesting it to build a lean, mean physique doesn’t mean you should incorporate it into your routine on a daily basis. In fact, you shouldn’t.
True interval training isn’t a rushed jog—it’s balls out. The central nervous system (CNS) is primarily affected by this high-intensity work and takes a minimum of 48 hours to recover. The late Canadian sprints coach Charlie Francis described the CNS like a cup of tea—everything pours into the cup until things start to overflow.
Overtraining leads to overflow. If you’re overtraining, intervals can tax your CNS and cause muscle damage, mechanical tension, and metabolic stress. Like lifting heavy iron, interval training must be allotted sufficient recovery time.
Training intervals once per week can improve body composition along with conditioning levels. If you’re looking to really up your conditioning, twice a week is a nice, sweet spot.
–High-Intensity Interval Training: The Ultimate Guide, Bodybuilding.com
JM’s BODYSHRED comes in a fold-out “boxset” (with one each DVD inside TWELVE (12) flimsy cardboard sleeves) that includes the following:
* Ten workouts/DVDs – 8 are HIIT workouts and 2 are pure cardio workouts
* Bonus material – Opus workout DVD (“An all-out pedal-to-the-metal challenge for extreme athletes only”)
* Bonus material – Cast and Moves DVD (which I never viewed)
* BodyShred Fitness Guide – overview of the program
* Rotational Calendar – details each week in eight-week plan
* BodyShred Meal Plan
I have to admit that the fold out “boxset” and the single use DVDs were the first things that drove me bananas. Each DVD is performed twice during each week which means you have to change DVDs every.single.day. Add the daily DVD switch with dragging the DVDs out of those flimsy sleeves and I became beyond irritated. So I eventually ponied up for a DVD holder. It makes much more sense and is more convenient and protective of my (costly) investment.
The Fitness Guide is…a multi-page advertisement for JM and her BODYSHRED workout. There are some tips, some motivational paragraphs, and the DVDs are discussed in slightly greater detail.
The Rotational Calendar is strangely useful! Each day is detailed: it tells you which DVD to use and what body parts the DVD will target. This was great to show my physical therapist when I asked for clearance.
§ THE MEAL PLAN §
The Meal Plan is rather detailed considering this is a home DVD workout set. The meal plan includes tips, recipes and a complete list of what to eat for each meal for the entire 60 day program (10 breakfast, 10 lunch, 10 dinner & 10 snacks).
The BODYSHRED Meal Plan establishes a calorie allotment of 1400 cals per day for women and 1600 cals per day for men. I did not count calories. I did not write down what I was eating BUT I tried to eat pretty clean (ish) for the most part. I’ve counted calories and macros off and on for years so I’m pretty good at eyeballing my calories (specific foods). I also have a previously [professionally] calculated calorie allotment of 1620 calories per day (based on my current height, weight, and muscle mass) and I stayed around there for the majority of the program.
I have to admit that the meal plan was a real turn off. I wasn’t a fan of any of the recipes. There is an absurd amount of salads in there! I know that a lot of dieters/cutters eat salad [all the time] but as I age I realize that…I hate most salads. The meal plan also has multiple recipes that include a vegetable I greatly dislike: Fennel. Fennel – to me – tastes like black licorice (which I HATE). Ugh.
The meal plan also included a lot of wraps, lots of un-tasty looking snacks and a serious lack of salt. I meal planned with JM’s Meal Plan for about a week before hubby threatened a mutiny. After that, I tried to use JMs meal plan as more of a guide with examples. I ended up with 2 more weeks of salads (I did steak, shrimp, tuna and swordfish). I also leaned very heavily on The SkinnyTaste Cookbook and blog. Thank goodness I bought that one! So, instead of eating the crap that Jillian wanted to feed me, I dined on delicious but low calorie items like Sweet’n’Spicy Sriracha Glazed Salmon.
§ EQUIPMENT NEEDED §
You don’t need much for this workout:
* light dumbbells (I used 2lb, 3lb, 5lb & 10lb throughout the entire process)
* A mat
* A towel (I was sweating like a pig)
* Floor space
* Water (lots and lots of water)
§ WEEKS 1 & 2: IGNITE §
In weeks one and two you use a total of three DVDs: Launch, Rise and Fire Up (cardio), doing each of them twice during the week before resting on Sunday.
I found these intro workouts to be a little complicated but effective! I have to admit that I did not manage to get in two weeks worth of workouts back to back as planned. I skipped some days due to time and/or life. Due to that, I decided to push the Ignite phase to three weeks instead of two. By the end of the 3rd week, I did start to feel a bit more “in shape.” My breathing was better and I was managing to get through the DVDs without cursing JMs parents, lol. There are some complicated moves that I never really full mastered: the ‘sit up into plank knee hike’ made me feel like I had two left feet and the “donkey kick” was…excruciatingly embarrassing – even while alone.
The warm up stays the same throughout the program but the “cool down” changes with each DVD and most of them are not really effective.
Remember when I said I hate cardio?? Well, I really hate cardio thus the Fire Up DVD became my
3 6 week nemesis.
I didn’t really lose any weight or inches but I did start to become more fit.
§ WEEKS 3 & 4: ACCELERATE §
In weeks three and four you use a total of three DVDs: Amplify, Escalate and Fire Up (cardio), doing each of them twice during the week before resting on Sunday.
Starting the new phase of the program made me feel like I was at square one all over again. As we move into Amplify and Escalate, the moves are increasingly complicated. Not only are these moves difficult (re: strength/stamina) but they are also complicated. Not. Fun.
Strangely, I never got sore during the Ignite phase but my body started feeling slightly achy and sore after finishing the first rounds of Amplify and Escalate.
The Amplify and Escalate workouts are also pretty hard on the wrists. There are a lot of dynamic exercises where you are in plank push-up position including multiple variations of the burpee and the mountain climber. I tore a tendon in my right wrist about a year ago. I have gone through physical therapy for it and have had no issues…until Friday of week three. OMG. My wrist and forearm were so sore. I ended up skipping the 6th workout day in week 3 and pushing back starting week 4 a day to give my wrist some healing time.
When I first started BODYSHRED, I was barefoot but that changed for weeks 3 & 4. I prefer to workout barefoot or in minimal foot coverings as I feel it allows me to “feel the floor” and my body position better. A leftover from weight training and dance, more than likely. By the beginning of the Accelerate phase my shin splints made every jump/skip/etc feel like pure agony. Wearing sneakers helped the pain dramatically but I still hurt, of course.
At the beginning of week 3 I noticed I had gone down a few pounds and I was starting to look more muscular in my progress photos.
By the end of the 4th week I lost almost 4 pounds. My right wrist also started hurting/aching pretty seriously. It was at this point I started to look through my Workout Catalog to see what cardio I could substitute for JM’s. After some debate I decided to try the Ignite DVD since I was moving into weeks 5 and 6. If the Ignite DVD is also wrist intensive I am going to sub it out for an intense Zumba session. It’s not the same type of cardio but when needs must.
§ WEEKS 5 & 6: ELEVATE §
In weeks five and six you use a total of three DVDs: Conquer, Triumph and Ignite (cardio), doing each of them twice during the week before resting on Sunday.
And this is about the place where my body started to break down a bit. I DO feel stronger and look better. I HAVE lost some weight. I am also experiencing pain from the wrist being aggravated and my hamstrings are giving me some trouble, too. Not while in the act of exercising but afterwards while doing simple things like walking up a hill. The flair from the shin splints have started to die down – grateful for small mercies.
I also noticed that the closer I get to the end of the BODYSHRED program the…longer it takes for me to figure out what the hell they are doing! I swear, the first run through during the 1st week of each phase involves so much rewinding. Why? Because when she does a new move I often found myself standing there staring like “WTF? SERIOUSLY??! OMG!”
Another thing that bothered me a bit was the…floor/space privilege JM showed when programming this program. She has things like Circle Runs (running around your mat in a circle) which required some pretty decent floor space. The Long Jump and Run Back was also…not quite doable. And the the [running] suicides!!!?! My God! I have a pretty decent amount of space to work with but nothing that could allow for actual suicides. It’s like JM expects everyone to do all the workouts in large open area (like the gym) instead of being at home in front of the TV.
Weeks 5 & 6 required a lot of modifications and/or substitutions for me. Any of the exercises that required balancing on weights in plank position were modified so that I kept my hands flat on the floor. The suicides/circle runs were subbed out for sprinting in place and/or [multiple] running laps around my workout area. I substituted all one-handed plank position exercise for two-handed versions (the one-hand mountain climbers, one-hand burpees, bear jumps, etc).
I also dropped down to only doing BODYSHRED 3-4 days a week while subbing out the other days with other DVDs (Zumba, etc) and/or elliptical workouts. That helped my wrist dramatically.
By the end of week 6 (which is really week 7) I’d lost an additional 4 lbs. I also started showing some definition in the chest area separating the breasts (which means I’m starting to re-develop chest muscles).
§ WEEKS 7 & 8: TRANSCEND §
In weeks seven and eight you use a total of three DVDs: Zenith, Apex and Ignite (cardio), doing each of them twice during the week before resting on Sunday.
By the beginning of weeks 7 and 8 my husband was encouraging me to stop doing this program. There is just SO MUCH wrist pressure that it got pretty painful. Me being me…I was too stubborn to stop at this point in the game.
I did both of the new DVDs…and I just had to stop several times to look at the TV like “Are you f’ing SERIOUS????!” Some of the shit JM gets to by the end of the program is just…bullshit to be honest. Some of the moves required…break-dancing ability. Why the hell does she want me to try to balance myself on my damn elbows like a break dancer??!? The move is called something like “sissy squats to forearm balance” or some variation of. !!! Due to the numerous times I was staring in amazement, I do not think I worked out quite as hard this week.
And “wheel-barrow push ups”??? Fuck. You. Jillian. I am not competing in the Crossfit Games nor am I in Cirque du Soleil. Nor do I have interest in either.
I lost one (1) pound at the end of week seven. Week eight was the start of the holiday season so you know how that goes.
§ FINAL SUMMARY §
Jillian Michael’s BODYSHRED program is pretty intense though I have enjoyed it. There are a LOT of advanced moves that can really dismay those who aren’t prepared (and even those who are!) such as jumping push ups and forearm push ups.
This program is NOT FOR BEGINNERS. Not in the least. I can see this program crushing the will of a beginner. If you are a beginner, I would suggest trying her 30 Day Shred program as a starter – not this, lol.
I feel stronger! I look stronger! I managed to lose about 9 lbs throughout the entire program. I really wish I’d measured myself but I do notice my clothes fit a bit better.
It’s pretty clear that BODYSHRED was not designed for those who need real modifications (for injury vs strength/conditioning issues). There are a lot of moves in BODYSHRED that can tax weak and/or stressed joints and/or old injuries. There are a LOT of plyometric moves (which aggravated my shin splints) and a LOT of wrist intensive moves that made an old injury flare up.
JM did not plan any “notifications” into this programming. I’m not saying that right. I mean, when I do P90X, there’s notification(s) at the bottom of the screen. It tells you how much time is left in a particular move and it tells you what the next exercise will be. This is SO HELPFUL. BODYSHRED did not offer anything like this. There is a small bar at the bottom that says “resistance” or “cardio” but that’s it. There’s no countdown timer or “next exercise” notice. It would have been incredibly helpful – especially since this program is very fast paced. Instead of any notifications, you get to stare at Jillian and her team until you figure it out…and then re-wind.
The non-stretch: There is a 2 min or so stretching session after each workout. These are terrible and not very helpful. I had to supplement.
Floor/space privilege: Jillian Michaels and her team did NOT really plan BODYSHRED with the typical home in mind. This is more geared to those with a ton of hard floor space. Exercises like running suicides, circle runs, etc were terrible in my basement area – which IS a decent-sized dedicated workout space. I couldn’t imagine trying this series back when I lived in a small city apartment.