Body Revolution: Phase 1 Workout 4

Jillian Michaels
Year Released: 2012

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights)



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I am a BIG Jillian fan and have most of her workouts, so was naturally very excited to get her Body Revolution system! This is a progressive system and she does a great job of upping the intensity not just with each phase but with every two weeks (for instance, Phase 1 workouts 1 and 2 are easier than Phase 1 workouts 3 and 4). She leads with a big group of men and women in a clean, uncluttered studio setting and they seem to have a lot of comraderie between them. She uses 3, 5, and 8# dumbbells (I think you can go heavier at times) and the band that comes with the set. The band is made out of a bungee-cord (rather than rubber tubing) but is nothing special, you can use your own band.

Each workout is about 35 minutes long with a 3-4 minute warm up and maybe 2 minute stretch (I tend to spend more time on the stretch) and the circuits generally have 3-4 strength moves, a cardio move, repeat strength moves, then move on to next circuit. The strength moves have a good cardio impact, but I would say the workouts are more strength-oriented (hence the additional cardio workouts). The odd-numbered workouts focus on the “front side” – abs, quads, shoulders, chest, triceps, and the even-numbered workouts focus on the “back side” – back, hamstrings, glutes, biceps. So they all sort of feel like total body workouts, but would still be considered split routines, and you would need to pair both even/odd days to hit all the body parts. For that reason, they are somewhat difficult to use as standalone workouts, unless you did two at once. But they are well balanced within the system.

The P1W4 workout definitely steps up in intensity from workouts 1 and 2. She adds high impact exercises to the warm up (jumping jacks, high knees) which I don’t especially care for, but you can always modify. The workout has alternate unweighted front lunges (optional weights), chair squat with back row (works mid-back), one legged squat with upper row (optional keep both feet on floor), plyo skaters, (repeat strength), side lunge with bicep curls, chair pose with upper back row, back lunge into kneel, back to standing, with weights raised overhead, alternate knee hops with weight, side to side jumps, (repeat strength), laying side leg raise with dumbbell on leg, leg raises in plank pose, repeat leg raise on other side, hollow man hold, fast feet, (repeat strength), standing side crunch with weight “terry pulls” (intended to work that muscle in the back/underarm area), good mornings with heavy weights, side to side crunch swivel, punches (cardio), repeat strength. Cool down.

I would rate the Phase 1 workouts W3 and W4 as intermediate-high intermediate workouts. She still gives a lot of form pointers but often repeats that you’re ready for more and she expects more of you. I would compare them to Ripped in 30 or 30 Day Shred, level 1-2, in terms of intensity.

Instructor Comments:
I think Jillian is more personable in this system (more encouraging, less yell-y) and jokes a lot with her backgrounders, but is still sort of loud and pushy classic Jillian. I notice that as the system progresses, she talks more and more about how bad-ass the system is and how great your physique must be looking from workout out with her, which I find tiring. I think that’s one of the reasons I haven’t really revisited the system since completing it.

Emily B.

09/02/2013