Extreme Shed & Shred

Jillian Michaels
Year Released: 2011

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights)

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This is an advanced fusion circuit workout led by Jillian Michaels. There are two levels (42 minutes and 54 minutes) or they can be played together for a LONG 80 minute workout including warm up and cool down. The DVD menu will automatically add the warm up and cool down if you choose the longer option. Jillian recommends in the warm up for you to add both levels for a total hour long workout – but as I mentioned both levels together with warm up and cool down is 80 minutes! Jillian works out with two female backgrounders, Bashira giving advanced modifications and a blonde (Nicola or Maddie?) giving beginner modifications. The setting is the grey-toned spacious studio with vaulted ceilings, the same as was used for her leg workout. The music is very good in this one! Just a lot of driving tunes (not recognizable) which keep up the pace of the workout. Many of the moves don’t require any equipment but she does utilize light/moderate weights (3-8#) for some of the exercises.

The most notable attribute of this DVD is the VARIETY of exercises – not only does this have mostly creative (not traditional) work but she incorporates some of everything – weight training, body weight training, yoga, plyometrics, cardio such as kickboxing and agility training, and plenty of plank work. Since I like the creative moves and Jillian’s style in general, I thought the workouts were wildly fun, but can see how many would find it unfocused. Even if you like Jillian but don’t like some of her more creative moves in Ripped in 30, this workout is NOT for you. As it is, this workout reminded me the most of her Body Revolution set. Did I mention it was fun? The time goes by very quickly because she breaks about five exercises up into circuits and repeats the circuit once (working the other side of the body, if applicable) for several rounds. There are four circuits in L1 and five in L2. The warm up and cool down are classic Jillian (arm circles/run in place/arm hugs) and the cool down was especially generous and seemed to be about 7 or 8 minutes long. after such a challenging workout, I really enjoyed the extra time spent on the stretch. I do my own thing for stretching but the extra time allowed me to squeeze in some foam rolling.

Level one exercises include: burpees, down dog, punches, hindu squats, circle runs, roundhouse kicks, side plank variation, running man, curtsey lunge variation, another punch variation, lunge with wood chop, butt kicks, front/back kicks, deadlift variation, capoiera move where you lunge side to side and guard eyes, sun salutations, and squats. Level 1 is tough but I feel that Level 2 is harder.

Level two exercises include: single leg inchworm, plank jacks with pushups, leg raises in reverse plank pose (modifier raise legs in table top position), bird/dog, reverse crunch (optional weight) legs extended and add upper crunch, side lunges (optional weight), elbow plank into standing plank (never changing hand position-she said this would work the abs but I found the most burn to be in the triceps!), traveling planks side to side (such as in a lot of Bob workouts), warrior 2 into warrior 3, single leg mountain climbers (modifier to do regular mountain climbers), statue of liberty-single leg squat into overhead press while balancing on the working leg, alternating single arm kettlebell swing, renegade rows with alternate leg raise (modifier to not raise legs-this one was tough!), plyo squats with touch to floor, Russian twists with weight, high knees/burpee combo, bent leg downward dog with pushup/flip into face up table top position and alternate, bridge with an overhead lat pull (optional leg raise), wheel (modifier can do bridge), “frog” bent leg downward dog into squat jump, isometric good morning (felt like a nice stretch to me/optional weight), plyo lunges, deep plie (like goddess pose) into plyo squats-really worked the legs!, triangle pose (alternate weight with side lean-which is tough-this is the only weight that she repeats twice in the circuit, so four altogether).

Because this has a lot of functional moves, I’d say you will get out what you put into it (and depending on optional weights/poundage used) but I would say this is an advanced workout. I don’t think all of the exercises would be accessible to everyone (I for one can’t do wheel), so would not be best for beginners. There are a lot of modification options so I think intermediates would be fine. I really like this one, it may be my favorite out of Jillian’s tied with 6W6P and some of the Body Revolution workouts. There is just a lot of character in this one, Jillian is in a good mood (she is jovial rather than yell-y), and it just worked! It works well for a day when you want a little of everything but still want to be worked hard. I was really dripping sweat by the end. Overall grade A for me.

Instructor Comments:
I really like Jillian (regardless) and she is especially fun in this one – very giggly and jokey and seems to be genuinely having a great time working out with (or instructing) her backgrounders. There are a couple of moves which are new to me and hard to follow, and she demonstrates form and technique, which is helpful. She also insists that you don’t modify if possible, because “I know you can do it – I believe in you!” I like the motivation but she does insist that “you have it in you” many times over in the workout.

Emily B.