Biggest Winner - Shape Up Front & Back

Jillian Michaels
Year Released: 2005

Categories: Total Body Workouts

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This is part of the "Biggest Winner" set of workouts. There are 5 workouts total, each on a different DVD, and they can be purchased together or seperately. The 5 workouts in the series are:

Shape Up Front
Shape Up Back
Cardio Kickbox
Maximize Full Frontal
Maximize Back in Action

Shape Up: Front already has its own review section, so this is a review of Shape Up: Back only. Shape Up: Back is a circuit workout with fast reps that require light weights. The warm up is high impact. Actually too high impact for me-- the first time I did it, I didn't modify and my shins hurt for days! (This "beginner" workout has more impact in the warm up than the more advanced Maximize: Back in Action!)

You'll also notice that biceps get worked in this "Back" workout. That's because working the back automatically works the biceps, so all biceps exercises are included in this Back workout. (Working chest automatically works triceps, so all triceps exercises will be found in the Front workout.)

I label myself as high intermediate. Shape Up: Back gives me a good sweat and is a challenging workout. I like quick circuit workouts, so this is just my style. The moves are set up so that you do one long series of moves, repeat once, then move on to a second long series of moves, and repeat that once, and you're done. A step is used, but I feel the step is optional in the Shape Up workouts and all moves with the step can be modified without it. (I feel the Maximize set makes better use of the step.)

Instructor Comments:
This is one of Jillian's early workouts and she is goofy, laughing a lot, laughing at things that aren't funny, and screaming at her cast a lot. It all seems like melodrama for the camera. She's much better, personality-wise, in her later workouts for Exercise TV, like No More Trouble Zones.



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.