Killer Buns & Thighs is another excellent and tough workout collection from Jillian Michaels. This is one of the things I really love about Jillian Michaels; not only does she create effective and tough workouts, but she almost always puts several workouts on one DVD and offers them at an excellent price. So you are always getting more than your money’s worth.
Killer Buns & Thighs contains 3 tough cardio + strength workouts that focus on the lower body. She categorizes them by levels: Level 1, 2 and 3, but none of them are “beginner” level workouts. Level 1 is the easiest of the 3 but none of them are easy. She has two exercisers with her, one showing advanced modifications and one showing easier modifications. So a beginner could come to these workouts and do the easiest variation then work their way up, but an advanced exerciser can also come to Level 1 and get an excellent workout as well.
I’ve mentioned before in other reviews that I am a big Jillian fan and do not mind her attitude/behavior in her workouts (it seems to irritate others). I didn’t in this one either, but she did have an ongoing commentary that got a little irritating. Apparently, on Facebook and Twitter she gets comments from some people that her workouts aren’t difficult enough. So she continually referenced that and how it pissed her off. Often, when she was showing advanced modifications, she addressed it to “those people.” I just kept thinking–it’s social media, Jillian. Get over it. You put yourself out there in any celebrity fashion and you are opening yourself up to criticism. That is life. She still makes a ton of money because people keep buying her workouts and books and watching Biggest Loser. Why? Because she is good at what she does! She needs to ignore the naysayers and just keep doing what she does so well. Oh, and leave her bitching about it out of her workout DVDs please. Because other than that, I loved these workouts.
Anyway! These workouts are all approx 40 minutes long and set up circuit fashion. Each workout has 4 circuits and each circuit is repeated once. The circuits are anything from weighted strength work to body weight work to plyometrics to old school lower body exercises to cardio bursts and more. She definitely keeps these workouts interesting and keeps you from getting bored. As in all of her workouts she uses her brand of weights–a dumbbell set that contains 3 sets of dumbbells: 3, 5 and 8 pounds. But she does say in this workout not to limit yourself to these weights just because that is what she is using. That seems common sense to me but maybe it is not. I always use heavier weights than what Jillian and crew are using in her workouts and these were no different.
Now, because I listen to Jillian’s podcasts, I have to comment on something. Currently (this review was started in February 2014, but because there are 3 workouts on it and I did one a week, it is actually posting in March), Jillian and her podcast crew members (Janice, Jake and Autumn), are going through something they are calling “Project Awesome” where they take some aspect of their lives that needs improvement and work on it. The goal was to be done by Jillian’s 40th birthday which was a few days ago I believe (she has a mid-February birthday). The reason I mention this is because Jillian’s Project Awesome goal is to improve her butt. What was that? Jillian put out a Killer Buns & Thighs workout, but doesn’t like her own butt? That’s not much of a sales pitch for this workout DVD, is it? From this, one can only assume that either the DVD doesn’t work, or Jillian doesn’t actually practice what she preaches. She is getting training from someone she calls the Ass Man and it sounds pretty brutal–90 minute sessions of hardcore lower body work. Having done all 3 levels of Killer Buns & Thighs myself, I can say that they are very good workouts. But if you truly want Killer buns and thighs, these workouts alone will not give them to you. You do need to supplement with more focused lower body work and a clean diet. But I knew that before listening to the podcast. While doing Jillian’s Killer Buns & Thighs workouts I also was using Cathe‘s STS lower body workouts for more focused butt and thigh work. Still, I find it amusing that she created this DVD yet is so unhappy with her own posterior.
Level 1 is 41 minutes long; 7 minute warm up, 31 minute training period and 3 minute cool down stretch. For this workout all you need is a a yoga mat and dumbbells.
Circuit 1: Lunge/squat combo. Static sumo squat while raising heels. Sumo squat hops. One leg chair pose (ouch!). Stiff leg deadlift with dumbbells. Repeat circuit; anything done on one side of the body do on the other side this time.
Circuit 2: Butt kick run. Judo bridge: bridge/hip raise with single arm reach and touch the floor over opposite shoulder (alternate arms). Mountain climbers. Modified Superman: laying on stomach alternate raising opposite hand and leg. From plank position, jump into squat. Repeat circuit; anything done on one side of the body do on the other side this time.
Circuit 3: Fire hydrant: get on all 4s and raise bent leg to side. Donkey kick: still on all 4s raise and lower straight leg behind you. Get in straight arm side plank and raise and lower bottom leg (very hard). Leg lifts: lay on side and bring top leg out in front of you; flex foot and raise and lower leg. Hamstring curls: in plank position bend on leg, bringing it back and up toward opposite leg. Repeat circuit; anything done on one side of the body do on the other side this time.
Circuit 4: Front kick and back kick: done slow with foot never touching the ground. Deep lunge into Warrior 3. Squats with kicks: squat, front kick, squat, side kick, squat back kick; repeat. High knee run. Pendulum curtsey lunges (these just look like front curtsey lunges to me). Repeat circuit; anything done on one side of the body do on the other side this time.
Level 2 is 42 minutes long; 7 minute warm up, 31 minute training time and 4 minute stretch. For this workout you will need dumbbells, a mat and a chair (or a high step, which is what I used).
Circuit 1: Fast squats (or air squats). Surrenders: holding dumbbells overhead, step back into lunge until knee touches the floor, bring the other leg back so you are kneeling then stand, the whole time keeping dumbbells held overhead. Sumo squat (with dumbbells). Single leg runners: squat on one leg and bring other leg back then forward into knee raise, foot never touching ground. Squat hops forward and back. Repeat circuit; anything done on one side of the body do on the other side this time.
Circuit 2: Burpees to supermans. Reverse squats: start in Goddess pose (very deep squat) and raise up to squat position then back into Goddess. Jump rope/double unders. Statue of Liberty. Single leg hip thrusts. Repeat circuit; anything done on one side of the body do on the other side this time.
Circuit 3: Jumping lunges (stay in static lunge position and jump–do not change legs). Single leg burpees. Step ups with reverse lunge (uses the chair–I used high step). One leg hip raise (working leg is on the chair/step). Kneeling pop up: kneel on floor with top of one foot flat on floor, resting bottom on heel; push up powerfully with other/working leg. Repeat circuit; anything done on one side of the body do on the other side this time.
Circuit 4: Standing front leg extension. Side lunge hop: side lunge then hop/knee raise on other leg. Dancing crab: in crab position alternate touching hand to opposite foot. Lateral jumps. Star jumps: deep squat to air jack. Repeat circuit; anything done on one side of the body do on the other side this time.
Level 3 is 44:30 minutes long (but not really–it really is only 40 minutes long); warm up 7 minutes, training time 29 minutes and cool down/stretch 4 minutes (but the last 4:30 minutes just Jillian talking while you lay on your back, so it doesn’t count and after listening to it one time, all future times I do the workout I stop it at 40 minutes). For this workout you will need dumbbells, a mat and a chair (or a high step, which is what I used).
Circuit 1: Hip heists (this is a wrestling move). Get in table position (hands and knees) and raise knees an inch off the ground–now “hop”-both hands and knees pop up. Crab kicks. One leg mountain climbers. Supermans. Repeat circuit; anything done on one side of the body do on the other side this time.
Circuit 2: Heisman hops (these are done slow and controlled–not fast like in Insanity!). Standing one leg, leg extensions. Drop into “standing splits” (down dog with legs shoulder width apart) and raise one leg up and down (three legged down dog). Grab your chair (or I used a high step) and do elevated lunged. Rockstar/cannonball–two different plymotric jumps. Repeat circuit; anything done on one side of the body do on the other side this time.
Circuit 3: Single leg deadlifts. Squat jacks. Squats and roundhouse kicks. Side lunges with leg raise (stay low the whole time). Jump lunges. Repeat circuit; anything done on one side of the body do on the other side this time.
Circuit 4: Modified camel; get onto knees and lean back (keeping hips/thighs/knees straight) and reach back, touching the opposite toe. Standing oblique crunches with leg abduction. Get on all 4s and do fire hydrant with roundhouse kick. Lay on stomach, reach back and grab ankles, pulling up and lifting quads as high as you can. Repeat circuit; anything done on one side of the body do on the other side this time.