At the beginning of this week I wrote about how I’m looking to get fit and body confident before Stacey and I go on holiday in June. As part of this goal, I’ve been doing the Jillian Michaels Six Week Six Pack workouts, in conjunction with eating healthily and drinking lots more water and over the last few days, I’ve added in some muscle building protein powder shakes as well. This post will be a review of the Jillian Michaels DVD workout, as experienced over the last fewweeks!
Jillian Michaels first came to my attention as one of the personal trainers on Biggest Loser USA, where she’s absolutely petrifying in the gym and incredibly lovely when helping contestants through their issues. She’s released a number of fitness DVD’s, including the 30 Day Shred, Ripped in 30 and No More Trouble Zones. Personally, I chose to do Six Week Six Pack because a toned stomach is definitely top of my body wish-list, and so far, I’ve found it’s a brilliant tool to get that!
I don’t actually have a physical copy of the DVD; I’m using the Level One video which is hosted by BeFit on YouTube (videos below) and the Level Two which I found on Daily Motion – but the basic premise is that there are two videos, and you do each for three weeks. Level One is slightly easier, but both levels have an ‘easy’ modification and an ‘advanced’ option – the advanced often contains additional weight or more difficult moves. Each video is comprised of a warm-up, a ‘slow’ circuit of moves which takes around 12-15 minutes, followed by the same circuit again but at a faster pace (again, takes around 12-15 minutes) and then a cool-down/stretching period.
I started doing the Six Week Six Pack at the beginning of April – so I’ve been doing it (albeit in an abridged form) for almost three weeks. In the first week, I really struggled to keep up with Jillian and her exercise partners (the attractive Maddie and Basheera) even through the warm-up. The first time I did the video, I got about a third of the way through and had to turn it off. The next night, I managed to get halfway through. Finally, after 3 attempts, I managed to finish the workout (on level one, easy!) – and spent the next two days grimacing every time I sat down… This workout might be designed to condition your abs and core, but there’s plenty to tone up your thighs, bum and shoulders here too.
In week two, I started to find the workout easier – maybe in part because I started moving furniture to make sure I had enough room, and wearing my running trainers to support my ankles. I still struggled with some of the more advanced moves – especially those which require balance, like the incredibly frustrating side plank raises – but in the most part, I started to feel like I could make it through the whole video.
This week, I’ve really started to understand the moves and what exactly they’re doing. I’ve found that placing one hand on my stomach / abs whilst doing the crunch moves (long lever crunches and opposite leg crunches) really allows me to feel the muscles contracting, and encourages me not to just ‘coast’ through the moves. I’ve also found that some of the cardio sections (including burpees and mountain climbers) are far harder when you’re in a second floor flat and worried about upsetting the people in the flat below! I’ve taken to adjusting the cardio moves during some workouts (e.g. in the 6.30am workout the other morning I did high knees rather than burpees as they make less noise on the floor) and I’ve also changed a few of the balance moved to abdominal side to side crunches, which I remembered from my boat club circuit days!
I’ve been aiming to do the workout five times a week, as suggested by Jillian – but to be honest, I’ve only managed to do it four times a week so far. I’m hoping that next week I’ll get five sessions in, but honestly – I’m still seeing results even doing it only four times. As our holiday is in seven weeks time, I’m going to do the level one video for one more week, before (gulp) moving on to the level two version. However, I can say that I’ve already noticed that I’m getting far better at these workout moved (even if I am still sweating at the end of the video!) and I have started to see definition at the top of my stomach.
So, would I recommend this workout? Absolutely. I mean, it’s tough – really tough, especially if you’re not all that fit, like me – but Jillian explains the moves well and encourages you to give as much as you can, which is brilliant. She’s pretty charismatic, and watching her, and her two fellow fitness fanatics, is a great motivator.
If you fancy joining me in doing the Six Week Six Pack then join the link-up below, or add the badge to your blog post and hopefully we can motivate each other!
Level One Workout
Level Two Workout