Video Fitness

Shape Up: Front & Back

Jillian Michaels

Both workouts are pretty thorough. The "front" and "back" designations confuse me, as there seems to be a mix of both frontside muscles and backside muscles in both workouts. The workouts are basic, "nothin' fancy" drills done circuit style. You do jumping jacks, mountain climbers on the floor and standing, plank work, push ups, crunch variations, lunge variations, curls, tricep kick backs, supermans, pelvic thrusts, etc. A lot of the moves are combinations, i.e., jumping jacks with weights or curtsy lunges with curls. Jillian moves quickly. You do 10, 20 or 30 reps of an exercise and move on, so the time flies by. Jillian gives very little instruction on form, so a beginner would have to beware. I consider myself advanced, and I was sweating and struggling at some points to keep up. My heart rate was in the 80-90 percent range the entire workout. The stretches at the end are miserably short and inadequate - like 2-3 minutes long. I did some extra stretching on my own. Bottom line is that the workouts are thorough and quick, great for getting your cardio and weight work in with one quick shot. The cardio benefit probably outweighs the strength building benefits as unless you are mega strong, you need to use relatively light weights (I used 3, 5 and 8 lb. dumbells) and there aren't a whole lot of reps of each exercise. I'll keep it in my rotation!

Instructor comments: I've never seen "The Biggest Loser," so I had no idea what to expect. Jillian has potential, but she is pretty annoying. She laughs constantly and acts goofy. At the very end of the workout, she talks for a minute or so with words of encouragement. She is calmer and more sincere. If she'd act like that during the actual workout, she'd be much better.

Shelley G.

June 10, 2006

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