Shred-It With Weights

shreditShred-It With Weights is Jillian Michaels one and only kettlebell workout. I have had it for a long time. I did it once a long time ago. I don’t remember much about it except I didn’t like it. I don’t remember why. It is still on my workout shelf with all of my other Jillian Michaels workouts and I have always planned to give it another try. Currently, I am nearing the end of a two week kettlebell rotation and decided this was the perfect time to sample this workout again since I am steeped in kettlebells. After doing the first workout, I don’t know what I didn’t like about it! Awesome kettlebell workout. Very metabolic, my heart rate was up there and I even got some strength work. I do have to say tho that when I did these workouts the first time, the heaviest kettlebell I owned was 8 pounds. Now the heaviest I own is 50 pounds. So…. maybe that’s why I didn’t like it? Too easy? Not anymore! Not with heavier kettlebells! And as usual, Jillian packs a lot into a short amount of time. ** This review was started after doing workout 1. Now that I’ve done the second workout I see why I maybe didn’t like it. I definitely prefer workout #1. However, they are both very good workouts.

There are two workouts on this DVD: Level 1 and Level 2. She has a little intro at the beginning saying you don’t have to have a kettlebell to do these workouts; instead you can use a dumbbell from 3 to 8 pounds. That seems like a pointlessly low weight. Why bother? During the workouts one person is using what looks like a 5 pound dumbbell. Jillian and the other exerciser are using kettlebells but they are the “building” type where you add plates to make the bell heavier, with the max weight being 20 pounds. Their KBs are empty so I am assuming they are using 5-10 pound kettlebells. There is also a 10 minute kettlebell tutorial in which Jillian demonstrates basic kettlebell moves and how to execute them properly. For this she is using the kettlebell with all plates in (20 pounds) and she demonstrates how to do a swing, how to rack the kettlebell, overhead press, snatch, and different ways to hold the kettlebell. I do have some concerns about the safety of some of the exercises in Level 2 workout, but I’d like to believe she knows what she is doing. She is the expert after all. And I didn’t hurt myself when doing Level 2, but a few of the exercises seemed… questionable so I went more conservative on my weight than I normally would out of fear of injury. During the actual workouts she has someone doing beginner modifications and someone doing advanced modifications.

I just have to say that Jillian looks amazing. She is a beautiful and extremely fit woman and I have always admired her shoulders and arms–but wow! They look amazing in these workouts–the tutorial in particular. Her arms and shoulders are ripped!

Level 1 is 28 minutes long with a 3:30 minute warm up and a 3:30 minute stretch. I loved this workout! I don’t know what I didn’t like about it before, but I find it amazing now! She crams a lot into 28 minutes! I think maybe one of the reasons I didn’t like it before is I only had very light kettlebells at the time: 4, 5 and 8 pounds. So maybe I didn’t find it very challenging. I don’t know, but this time I used 25, 20 and 15 pound kettlebells and I got a great workout. It is made up of 3 circuits. Even the warm up uses the kettlebell. Warm up consists of arm swings, around the waist with the KB, butt kick runs holding the KB by the bell, halos, and rotations (hold KB by bell and twist waist side to side).

Circuit #1: 1. Bridge press (get into bridge, hips raised with KB in one hand at shoulder; press KB up and down); 2. two hand KB swings; 3. Deadlift rows (hold KB by handles and do deadlift straight into row when you stand); 4. Bridge press (other side); 5. KB swings; 6. Deadlift rows; 7. Bent leg deadlift (more like a deep squat, touching KB to ground).

Circuit #2: 1. Squat swing (KB swing alternate hands and go down into squat instead of hinging at hips); 2. Rack, squat and press; 3. One arm row (while in deep lunge); 4. Squat swing; 5. Rack, squat and press (other side); 6. One arm row (other side), 7. Crunch with a press (lay on back with knees bent holding KB by bell at ribs; do a crunch, pressing KB to ceiling).

Circuit #3: 1. Windmill, 2. Squat with rotation (hold KB by bell and do quarter turn jump squats (side, middle, side, middle, etc); 3. Turkish get ups (I am not going to describe this move except to say Jillian’s version is easier than most); 4. Windmill (other side); 5. Squat with rotation; 6. Turkish get ups (other side); 7. Snatches.

Level 2 is 28 minutes long with a 3:30 minute warm up and a 4 minute stretch. I think now I remember why I didn’t like this DVD. I don’t dislike Level 2 but I do wonder about safety. I am no kettlebell expert so I don’t know if some of the moves in this workout are safe or not, but they seemed unsafe. Not all of them btw. Specifically Swing Throughs, Plyo Swings, Rotating Heroes and Punch Swings. I don’t know. I trust Jillian, I really do, so I want to believe these are safe but advanced exercises, but they seemed a little unsafe. Level 2 is an advanced workout and for the most part I did like it. Not as much as Level 1. It definitely challenged me–I’m just worried about hurting myself if I go heavier with my KB like I did in Level 1. For this workout I stuck with mostly my 15 pound KB and the 20 pound KB for a few exercises. Again the warm up uses the KB and consists of figure 8s, jacks with a press (hold KB by bell and push overhead while doing jumping jack legs), deep lunges (put KB on floor and put one hand on handle; step back into deep lunge with same side leg as hand that is holding KB; alternate hands/legs), toe taps (no KB; straight leg front kicks touching toe with opposite hand), hip thrusts (stand slightly in front of KB on floor with wide legs and reach arms wide overhead; squat, tapping hands to KB horn and stand, raising arms overhead again).

Circuit 1: 1. Rock & roll squats (hold KB by bell and squat down until butt touches floor, roll back bringing KB to tap floor over head then roll back up to feet, never using hands); 2. Split jerks/Reverse lunge with press (hold KB racked at shoulder; lunge back (KB side) and press KB overhead–for split jerk you jump into reverse lunge); 3. One leg halos; 4. Rock & roll squats; 5. Reverse lunge with press (other leg/arm); 6. One leg halos (other leg); 7. Star jumps (hold KB by bell and do air jacks).

Circuit 2: 1. Plank rows (get into plank with one hand on KB; row the KB while twisting torso and coming to sides of feet); 2. Swing throughs (this is a KB swing, but you hinge your hips even more and try to get KB even further through your legs than a normal swing–so you can “see the wall behind you through you”); 3. Plyo swings (KB swings; you start stepping forward with a swing and back with a swing and alternate, then halfway through it turns to a jump forward with a swing and jump back with a swing); 4. Plank rows (other side); 5. Swing throughs; 6. Plyo swings; 7. Deep squats with a press (hold KB by bell and squat deep and press KB overhead at top of move).

Circuit 3: 1. Rotating heroes (KB swings where KB goes overhead; you step to side, facing the right when the swing is at the top, then step back to front the next swing); 2. Push ups (KB on floor, both hands on horns); 3. Punch swings (one arm KB swings, but at the top of swing you are bending your elbow and bringing KB in then “punching” it out as it goes down); 4. Rotating heroes (face other side); 5. Push ups; 6. Punch swings (other arm); 7. Russian swings (Russian twists except you are holding the KB by the handle and swinging it side to side as you twist).



3 thoughts on “Shred-It With Weights

  1. I feel quite the same way about this DVD. I’m a Jillian fan, too. LOVE her Bodyshred, etc. I was so excited to see JM had a KB workout as I love my KBs…but level 2 felt really awkward to me as well. I don’t care for level 2 at all but I loved level 1. I was also irritated by her desire to rename already (well known) named exercises (personal pet peeve).


  2. You should go with your gut instinct. I really love some of Jillian’s workouts but I trashed this one. My instinct was that some of the moves weren’t safe and it’s very likely that they aren’t. Jillian may be a diet and fitness expert, but she is NOT a kettlebell expert. I used to listen to her podcast and she told a caller that it’s “really easy” to get your kettlebell certification and all she did was go to a class for one afternoon. I think she even said she doesn’t really like kettlebell workouts. I guess she forgot she made (and profited from) this DVD. I would stick with the instructors who specialize in kettlebell. I have a love-hate relationship with Jillian. I don’t think she has a lot of integrity since she is clearly using the fitness industry to maximize her profit and maintain her celebrity lifestyle. A couple of her DVD’s are just plain crap. BUT I do have her to thank for getting me out of a really bad slump a few years ago. Banish Fat Boost Metabolism literally changed my life. It’s still one of my very favorite workouts. And the early 3-2-1 DVD’s (30-Day Shred and Ripped in 30) really are superb.


    1. Yeah, I probably will not return to workout #2 on this disk. But I did like workout #1 and didn’t see any safety issues. I am actually a Jillian fan and I do like most of her workouts. I’m doing her BodyShred program right now which is based on her 3-2-1 method and it is excellent–and tough!


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