I have been very impatiently awaiting Jillian’s BodyShred program! And now that I own it, I look at it with some trepidation. The trailer for it looks scary hard. But I am up for the challenge! BodyShred is the next step after Body Revolution. Body Revolution had 3 stages–beginner, intermediate and advanced. And the advanced phase was no joke, very challenging. So it follows that BodyShred starts at an advanced level (this is written before doing any of the workouts, so see summary below about my thoughts after doing all the workouts). In the Fitness Guide that comes with the program Jillian describes this system as a “hybrid of the most cutting-edge fitness philosophies integrated into one comprehensive system that targets every muscle in the body with every fitness modality–all in one workout.” All of the workouts are around 30 minutes and they use Jillian’s signature 3-2-1 method: 3 minutes of resistance training, 2 minutes of HIIT and 1 minute of active recovery core moves.
Just like with Body Revolution, the materials that come with BodyShred look like a lot of time and thought went into designing and creating a quality program. This is not a cheap program btw, but this is Jillian Michaels we are talking about, so I felt she would deliver a program worth the cost. The program comes with 11 workouts, a DVD that introduces the cast and teaches some of the moves, a Fitness Guide, a meal plan, a rotation calendar and a sweat towel. The Fitness Guide is excellent. Very detailed, breaking down how this program works–all of the scientific talk broken down for a layman. She discusses the benefits of BodyShred then talks about the individual workouts and how you will approach them. It ends with some tips as well as pictures of the trainers who are featured in the workouts. The meal plan is beautiful and full of pictures of amazing looking food that most people don’t have the time or money to prepare. Jillian is all about organic whole foods after all. It does have some yummy looking recipes in it and I may try a few, but overall, too complicated for me. She gives you a meal plan using her recipes but she also gives you guidelines–women should eat around 1400 calories and men around 1600 calories. You can pick and chose among the recipes and create your own meal plan. Each recipe has a nutritional break down. As a side note, if you are interested in losing weight while doing this (or any other program) and need a sustainable meal plan that is not expensive, not complicated and still yummy and filling? Hungry Girl is the answer. I am not a spokesperson for Hungry Girl but I have been receiving her newsletter and buying her cookbooks for years. She came out with an excellent diet plan that is based on the volumetrics theory of eating and she just recently came out with a cookbook to supplement that. It is super easy to follow, is filling (3 meals and 3 snacks), will give you lots of protein and falls in the calorie limits Jillian lays out for the BodyShred program.
BodyShred is is set up as a 60 day program. You have 5 workouts for each month. The schedule is the same as it was for Body Revolution. The program as a whole has 4 “push” workouts, 4 “pull” workouts and 2 cardio workouts. We’ll get to workout #11 momentarily. Push workouts work your chest, triceps, shoulders, quads and abs. Pull workouts work your back, biceps, glutes, hamstrings and abs. On Mondays and Thursdays you do Push workouts and on Tuesday and Friday you do Pull workouts. On Wednesday and Saturday you do a cardio workout. Every 2 weeks you change push/pull workouts (graduating to the next level, that is). Cardio workouts are done for an entire month. The second month you will change to the second cardio (more advanced) workout. And every two weeks the push/pull workouts become more advanced.
Oddly, workout #11–Opus, is not even mentioned in the reading material, nor is it included in the rotation calendar. It is described on the BodyShred website as “Ruthless supersets are combined with the most sophisticated exercise sequencing to humble even the most well-conditioned athlete. ” So Opus is the pinnacle of this advanced system. A bonus challenge if you are up to it. It was the final workout I attempted and I was not up to it. It is uber-advanced. Way beyond my fitness level. There is a reason this workout is not included in the rotation–most people will not be able to do it w/out modifications. I think it was created more for fun–for anyone out there who says Jillian’s workouts just aren’t challenging or advanced enough for them. Try Opus! You will change your mind!
In Cast & Moves 12 trainers are listed. If you select a trainer you can choose to watch an intro of them or watch them demonstrate several different moves that are used in the BodyShred program. First, the intros are about a minute long and apparently filmed during break periods during the filming of the series. I say that because the sound is horrible and some of them I can barely hear what they are saying about themselves. They are only about a minute so you’re not wasting a ton of time trying to hear it–and some of them you can hear just fine, but not all of them. However, before it goes into the intro you get a graphic of them with some bullets about their background. They are all fitness trainers with different specialties. So these are not people who have “completed the 60 day program.” These are fitness experts who will execute every move with perfect form. And several of these fitness professionals comment that these are some of the hardest workouts they have ever done. Yeah. I’m getting nervous. As for the moves they demonstrate? All I could think as I watched them is O.M.G. What the @#%&* have I gotten myself into? These are seriously advanced moves. Each demonstration is approx. a minute long, some as long as 2 minutes, and each trainer has 1-3 exercises they demonstrate. Sometimes they do show modifications, but not always.
All of the workouts (except the cardio workouts) are structured the same. They consist of 4 circuits. Each of those circuits has 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio (usually HIIT level) and one minute of core. Every exercise is done for 30 seconds. Strength always has 3 exercises that are repeated. If the exercise focuses on one side of the body, when it is repeated it is done on the other side of the body. All of the cardio blocks consist of 2 exercises that are repeated. If it is done on one side of the body, when it is repeated it is done on the other side of the body. And finally, the core is done the same. Either two core exercises, each done once for 30 seconds, or if the exercise is focused on one side of the body then it is done 30 seconds each side of the body. Oh–and there are no rest periods. You go-go-go. It is fast paced, you are supersetting muscle groups and it can burn your muscles out! Also, all of the strength workouts have the same warm up: running man, arm circles, jumping jacks, cat/cow (hands on knees), jump rope, toe taps (touch fingertips to opposite toe; alternate sides). In Workout #6 she varies the warm up moves slightly–they are still the same basic move, but she spices them up a little. For the cardio workouts, there is no warm up. Oh–except for Opus; Opus has a completely different warm up.
How will I be approaching this? I am not doing the rotation as laid out. I am completing the entire program in one month–so instead of changing the workouts up every 2 weeks, I will change them up every week. I am also hybriding BodyShred with P90X2, so it will be a tough month for me!
Program Summary: This is an incredibly challenging workout series. However, it does not start out at an advanced level as I had initially expected. The first two workouts are more intermediate–similar to the second month of Body Revolution. The level increases from there. By the end, is it more advanced than phase 3 of Body Revolution? First–Opus is definitely far more advanced than anything in Body Revolution, but Opus is a bonus workout that isn’t even part of the rotation. Second, much of the difference between Body Revolution and BodyShred comes down to workout structure. The structure of the workouts is different. Body Revolution doesn’t use Jillian’s 3-2-1 method that is used in BodyShred–which is a much more intense structure than what is used in Body Revolution. So even tho in Phase 3 of Body Revolution you do some of the same advanced exercises that are done in the last month of BodyShred, because of the structure, BodyShred is much more brutal and intense.
Regarding the Push/Pull structure of each week–you can always lift heavier in a Pull workout. My weights were pretty light for the Push workouts–5s, 8s and 10s occasionally. But for Pulls I went up to 15 sometimes. Now, I couldn’t go any heavier than that and that is due to the fact that these are metabolic workouts full of compound exercises. This is something to keep in mind regarding your goals when doing this program. There are many different types of workouts out there and they all serve a purpose. Jillian’s workouts are generally metabolic workouts. They will get you in shape, you will build some muscle, and you will burn fat and calories. But I personally pursue a more holistic fitness program and metabolic workouts only make up a portion of that. An important portion, btw–I am a big fan of metabolic training, therefore I find workouts like these very important and valuable. However, I also require heavier, more focused strength training, straight up HIIT, kickboxing, yoga and more focused bodyweight work. Anyway, these are just my own thoughts and opinions and something to consider if you spend more time thinking about health and fitness (like I do–too much time some might say!). But if you are just looking to get in shape and/or lose weight–these fit the bill beautifully. As long as you are exercising consistently you are doing great things for you body and if you only chose one type of workout, then it doesn’t get better than metabolic weight training.
As a final note, Jillian uses all of the trainers as her crew in the workouts and for the most part they did an excellent job. But a few of them seemed to be putting very little effort into the workouts, which surprised me. Let me restate–the majority of them were giving it their all and with stellar form. It is pretty astounding really, that they could keep going, nonstop at the most advanced level of the exercises for the entire workout. Kudos to them. Seriously. That is a feat of fitness. But a few of them didn’t even seem to be trying. There is always one modifier so she doesn’t count–but sometimes a non-modifier seemed to be putting forth less effort than the modifier. Oh, and BTW–that is probably something of interest to some folks. There is always a modifier. So for most of the exercises you have another option if it is too advanced for you. I made good use of that modifier with Zenith (Workout #7).
Month 1 Workouts:
Cardio #1 Fire Up is 31 minutes long; no warm up and a 4 minute stretch. There is no warm up because it is a cardio workout and so Jillian jumps right into it. She labels this as a moderate intensity cardio workout. It wasn’t advanced, no complicated or unusual moves, but it was an intense little cardio workout that I really enjoyed. It got my heart rate up there and since the exercise changes every 30 seconds, it stays interesting. Great little cardio workout! It is set up in 3 circuits. Each circuit contains 9 exercises. You go through them once, doing each exercise approx 30 seconds, then repeat the circuit before moving on to the next circuit. Jillian leads the workout but then turns over the stretch to one of the other trainers (Zuzka).
Circuit 1: 1. behind back jacks (jumping jacks where you slap your hands behind you); 2. jump rope; 3. high knee runs; 4. butt kick runs; 5. fast feet; 6. running man (straight leg jump switching feet, arms are straight and moving with legs); 7. Skiers (feet together; jump feet side, center, side while torso remains forward); 8. circle runs (run in a wide circle, torso always remaining forward); 9. mountain climbers. Repeat circuit.
Circuit 2: 1. crab push kicks (get into crab/table and alternate kicking feet); 2. burpee; 3. back jacks (jumping jacks with arms straight to side; then clap together in front of you–also called seal jacks); 4. jab, cross; 5. chair hops (drop into yoga chair and hop, raising arms overhead); 6. plank jacks; 7. zig zag jumps (jump forward 4 and back 4 in a zig zag pattern); 8. hop forward jack back (long jump forward, two jacks back); 9. suicide runs. Repeat circuit.
Circuit 3: 1. speed bag; 2. “river dance” or toe tap (alternate hopping feet forward, tapping toe when forward); 3. lateral knee thrusters (get into a lunge and bring knee up and back, twisting arms toward it); 4. plank thrusters (get into plank and jump feet in and out); 5. crossover jacks (jumping jacks but feet cross); 6. forward knee thruster (same as #3 except you are not twisting toward knee but crunching when knee comes up); 7. alternating push kicks; 8. cross hops (I couldn’t understand what she called them–I think that’s what she said) (jump side to side on one foot); 9. #8 other leg. Repeat circuit.
Workout #1 Launch is 34 minutes long with a 3 minute warm up and 2 minute stretch. Launch is a Push workout (chest, triceps, shoulders, quads and abs). If you are following the rotation calendar, then this is the very first workout you will be doing when starting the program. Therefore, the workout starts with a 3 minute intro/overview from Jillian about the entire BodyShred program. After you’ve watched it once, when you do the workout again you can just hit “menu” on your DVD remote and it will take you to the main screen so you can just start your workout. This is an excellent workout. It is also a good example of the level this program starts in comparison to Body Revolution. This was an intense intermediate level workout. No complicated exercises. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t intense. The strength is composed of compound strength exercises and bodyweight exercises. It would be hard to lift heavy dumbbells with any of the exercises in this workout. Though overall this program is more advanced than Body Revolution, the early workouts are not more advanced than the final month workouts of Body Revolution. Also, there was only one exercise (at least that I recall) from the Cast & Moves DVD. So as I hoped (and suspected) those uber-advanced exercises probably won’t appear until later in the program.
Circuit 1: Strength: 1. uneven push up (one hand in front of the other; change hand placement each push up); 2. deep squats; 3. (grab dumbbells) forward lunge, lateral raise when standing, reverse lunge, lateral raise when standing. Repeat strength exercises. Cardio: 1. high knee run, 2. burpees. Repeat cardio. Core: figure 4 crunches (30 seconds each side).
Circuit 2: Strength: 1. chatarrunga push ups (tricep push ups); 2. tricep dips; 3. (grab dumbbells) surrender lunges (hold dumbbells overhead; kneel then stand, dumbbells overhead the entire time). Repeat strength exercises. Cardio: 1. jump rope; 2. fast feet. Repeat cardio. Core: walk out plank with knee hike (start bent over with straight legs and hands on toes; walk out to plank and bring knee to same side elbow, walk hands back to toes but do not stand; keep repeating).
Circuit 3: Strength: 1. (grab dumbbells) chair squats raising dumbbells overhead as you squat; 2. plyometric stationary lunge (get into deep lunge and hop while in lunge); 3. crescent tricep kick back (get into deep lunge, hold and do tricep kickbacks). Repeat strength. Cardio: 1. back fly jacks (jumping jacks where you do straight arm fly while jacking); 2. behind the back jacks (this time while jacking arms go overhead then clap together behind lower back). Repeat cardio. Core: oblique crunches (lay on back, knees together with both bent to one side; do crunches in this position–30 seconds each side).
Circuit 4: Strength: 1. wide push ups; 2. get into plank; push back, bending knees until they are a few inches off ground, then push forward back into plank; 3. (grab dumbbells) twisting camel (get on knees, tops of feet on floor, holding dumbbells overhead; twist, reaching arms behind you touch dumbbell to opposite foot; alternate sides). Repeat strength exercises. Cardio: 1. duck and roll, jab cross (duck as you step to the side, jab cross); 2. single leg jump rope. Repeat cardio. Core: 1. bent knee wipers; 2. Russian twists w/ one dumbbell.
Workout #2 Rise is 36 minutes long with a 3:30 minute warm up and 3:30 minute stretch. Rise is a Pull workout (back, biceps, glutes, hamstrings and abs). This was a super tough workout. Still upper-intermediate level, but very fast paced. For this workout you can actually use heavier dumbbells than you used in Launch, but still not super-heavy. I really liked this workout. It wore me out! Circuit 3 was deceptive! Judging by the exercises, I didn’t think it would burn my biceps out like it did, but I did challenge myself with heavier dumbbells and wow–3 solid minutes of compound lower body and bicep moves fried my biceps!
Circuit 1: Strength: 1. back rows in half squat; 2. single leg deadlift with wide row; 3. weighted good mornings (both dumbbells behind your head). Repeat strength exercises. Cardio: 1. butt kick runs; 2. mountain climbers. Repeat cardio. Core: 1. flutter kicks (lay on back with hands under tail bone and lift legs a few inches off the ground and flutter them); 2. put hands behind head, legs straight out and raised a few inches off floor; bring knees to elbows then back out straight.
Circuit 2: Strength: 1. three way supermans (lay on stomach; raise upper body, then raise lower body, then raise both upper and lower together; keep repeating that sequence); 2. single leg bridge with lat pull over (lay on back with knees bent and one leg raised, dumbbells held straight overhead and on the floor; raise and lower hips while raising and lowering dumbbells to the ground beside your hips); 3. reverse plank (alternate bringing knees in to chest). Repeat strength. Cardio: 1. circle runs; 2. running man. Repeat cardio. Core: 1. sit up to ab hold (lay on back with arms and legs straight; sit up the roll into plank and bring knee to same side elbow; alternate sides); 2. bicycle crunches.
Circuit 3: Strength: 1. alternating front lunges with bicep curls; 2. side lunges with serving biceps; 3. curtsey lunges with hammer curls. Repeat strength. Cardio: 1. lateral knee thrusts alternated with forward knee thrusts; 2. punching planks (get in plank and alternate punching straight in front of you). Repeat cardio. Core: 1. twisting plank (get into plank and alternate bringing knee to opposite elbow); 2. lay on back with legs in the air and spread into a V; crunch hands through legs.
Circuit 4: Strength: 1. deadlifts to a low row to a V fly (deadlift, while in deadlift do a back row and when you stand do a V fly); 2. crescent rear delt fly (rear delt flys while in crescent lunge); 3. renegade rows. Repeat strength. Cardio: 1. donkey kicks (while in plank donkey kick legs); 2. speed bag. Repeat cardio. Core: standing oblique crunches (hands behind head, raise and lower straight leg while crunching elbow toward leg; 30 seconds each side).
Workout #3 Amplify is 34:30 minutes long. 3 minute warm up and 2:30 minute stretch. Wow. This workout really kicked it up a notch. If you are following the rotation calendar, Amplify starts week 3 off. So, you have just completed two weeks of BodyShred the first time you do this workout. This was a super tough workout. As Jillian states during this workout, she is not making us do supersets–she is making us do mega-sets. All of the circuits illustrate this glaringly well! Circuit 1 burned my shoulders out, circuit 2 burned my triceps out and circuit 4 fried my lower body. By the end of the strength segment–and then again the cardio segments–the muscle groups were so fried I was having a hard time finishing with good form. Overall an excellent workout.
Circuit 1: Strength: 1. plyo push ups; 2. static squat with shoulder press; 3. curtsey lunges with lateral raises. Repeat strength. Cardio: 1. jump rope with snap kicks; 2. butt kicks in plank. Repeat cardio. Core: 1. rotating crunch; 2. start in table and pull hips between hands, bottom never touching the floor, then back into table.
Circuit 2: Strength: 1. crossover push ups (get into elbow plank except hands are together under head, one in front of the other; do a push up from elbow plank onto palms, fully extending arms, never moving palms); 2. tricep dips with one leg extended; 3. dancing crab (lay flat on back, arms overhead, legs extended; sit up, bending one leg and pushing up on that leg, touching extended leg with opposite hand; alternate sides). Repeat strength. Cardio: 1. crab kicks; 2. plank jack thrusters (plank jacks alternated with plank thrusters). Repeat cardio. Core: sit up into side plank (you are holding a dumbbell in one hand and when you go up to side plank you press dumbbell overhead; 30 seconds each side).
Circuit 3: Strength: 1. chair squat hops; 2. sit to kneel surrenders with camel (holding dumbbells overhead the entire time, first lunge back into knee then on both knees, then sit on heels and raise back to knees, then alternate twisting arm back, touching dumbbell to opposite heel, stand and repeat); 3. crow push up into flip dog (do a push up while bringing one knee to same side elbow, then take the same leg back behind you until it it lands on the floor and arch torso up raising same side arm overhead). Repeat strength. Cardio: 1. speed rope (very fast jump rope); 2. double unders (jump rope but where you jump high, almost tuck jump); repeat cardio. Core: get into plank, keeping arms straight and locked the entire time, bring knee underneath you to same side elbow, then lower knee to wrist and bring back up to elbow; 30 seconds each side.
Circuit 4: Strength: 1. step back planks (get into plank but plant one foot in between hands; bring back leg in and out, tapping it next to planted foot); 2. pop up front kicks (starting from same position as strength exercise #1, drop back so bottom hits heel, then push up, bringing back leg forward as you stand and doing front kick before returning to starting position); 3. jumping lunges (plyo alternating lunges). Repeat strength. Cardio: 1. front kick, back kick; 2. skaters with upper cuts. Repeat cardio. Core: 1. alternating taps (stand with arms straight overhead and fingertips touching; alternate raising straight legs and crunching torso so fingertips touch toes); 2. sumo touch downs (get into sumo squat, fingertips behind head; lean side to side, touching hand to same side foot when you lean).
Workout #4 Escalate is 34 minutes. 3 minute warm up and 1 minute stretch (maybe a few seconds more than 1 minute). Excellent workout. So far I am liking the Pull workouts better than Push workouts. I think it is because I can lift heavier weights in the Pull workouts. Not super heavy–but heavier than the Push workouts so far. Even tho it did wear me out, my muscle groups weren’t as burned out by the “megasets” in this workout as they were in Amplify. That doesn’t make it any less effective and actually somewhat more enjoyable!
Circuit 1: Strength: 1. wide row in crescent lunge; 2. medium rows in stork (palms facing in, standing on one leg); 3. planks with flys (alternating lifting dumbbells out to side of body). Repeat strength. Cardio: 1. Everest climbers (wide mountain climbers–feet come outside of hands); 2. spread eagle burpees (wide-leg sprawls with jump at the top). Repeat cardio. Core: standing splits (from down dog, raise one leg to sky, then bring knee in to touch nose); 30 seconds each leg.
Circuit 2: Strength: 1. supermans (hands touch at small of back then come forward back into superman); 2. reverse plank (raise and lower hips, raising one leg at top of move; alternate legs); 3. lat pullover with one leg bridge. Repeat strength. Cardio: 1. hanging mountain climbers (mountain climbers but jump feet into air each time you switch feet); 2. single leg burpees. Repeat cardio. Core: 1. bicycle crunches with vertical scissors (straight leg bicycle crunches); 2. twisting inchworms (get into C sit, knees bent, feet raise off ground and sitting on side of hip, hands on floor beside hips; push legs out straight them bring them back in, rolling to the other hip; alternate sides).
Circuit 3: Strength: 1. rock and roll squats (start standing; squat, roll down to back, roll back up into shoulder stand and jump at top); 2. alternate crossover lunges with curtsey lunges doing a hammer curl with each lunge; 3. reverse squat with bicep curls (start in a deep squat and come up a little while doing bicep curls). Repeat strength. Cardio: 1. knee thrust burpee (burpee with a knee thrust at top of move); 2. jump jack squats (squat jacks, touching hand to ground each time you jump out; alternate hands). Repeat cardio. Core: side plank crunches (get into side plank and bring top elbow to bottom knee); 30 seconds each side.
Circuit 4: Strength: 1. good morning press (dumbbell in each hand, arms in goal post; bend at waist, and press dumbbells out while bent over, then stand); 2. deadlift with upright row; 3. diagonal lunges with punches (you will be holding/punching with light dumbbells; alternate legs). Repeat strength. Cardio: 1. lateral bupees (do a burpee and jump to side at top, do a burpee and jump back the other way at top); 2. squat jumps. Repeat cardio. Core: 1. ab hold taps (on elbow plank, alternate tapping hands out in front of you); 2. dolphin (still in elbow plank, push butt back and up to ceiling then bring back to start).
Month 2 Workouts
Cardio #2 Ignite: is 33 minutes long. Just like in Fire Up there is no warm up, you jump straight into the workout. Cardio time is 30:30 minutes and stretch is 2:30 minutes. It is set up the same as Fire Up–in 3 circuits of 9 exercises; each circuit is repeated once. Ignite is super tough–Insanity level cardio! I was drenched in sweat by the end and really pushing through. High intensity, high impact–tuck jumps, burpees (all varieties), lots of plank based moves and it moves non-stop. Definitely more advanced than Fire Up.
Circuit 1: 1. jumping jacks; 2. touch down squats (180 jump squats touching the floor with finger tips when in squat); 3. Everest Climbers (wide mountain climbers; feet land outside of hands); 4. rock star jumps (jump and bring heels to butt when jumping); 5. jog in place; 6. cannonball jumps (3 hops 1 tuck jump); 7. skaters; 8. burps; 9. speed rope (fast jump rope). Repeat circuit.
Circuit 2: 1. alternating front snap kicks; 2. punching plank (get in high plank and alternate punching fists in front of you); 3. straight leg thrusters (stay in plank; jump straight legs in towards hands and back out); 4. single arm burpees; 5. double unders (jumping rope, but high jumps); 6. jump jack squats (get into squat and jack legs, staying in squat the whole time); 7. hanging mountain climbers (mountain climbers where you jump feet when changing them so you come up on the air); 8. butt kicks (stay in plank and run feet, bringing heels to butt); 9. long jump run around (long jump then run back around to start; alternate run around sides). Repeat circuit.
Circuit 3: 1. alternating bear kicks (get on hands and knees then raise knees off ground so you are on hands and toes–this is bear; alternate kicking leg through to opposite side of body); 2. bear crawl (stay in bear and crawl forward 4 and back 4); 3. crab kicks (get into crab and alternate kicking feet); 4. plie hops; 5. jab, cross, upper cut, upper cut; 6. lateral burpee (burpee, side jump, burpee, side jump, keep repeating); 7. donkey kicks (get into plank then donkey kick feet/legs); 8. plank jacks; 9. sprints on the spot (super fast high knees). Repeat circuit.
Workout #5 Conquer is 34:30 minutes long. 3 minute warm up and 2 minute stretch. You will be doing Conquer and Triumph (below) the first two weeks of the second month if you are following the rotation calendar. This is a very challenging workout. Advanced–but not impossible advanced. I am guessing that will happen in the final workouts–and in Opus. One of the exercises Jillian even foreshadows how it prepares you for an exercise in Opus–then had one of the trainers demonstrate it. O.M.G. I am afraid of Opus. I really liked this workout. It has some unique and effective exercises that will definitely make you work hard.
Circuit #1: Strength: 1. toe tap push ups (do a push up then tap fingertips to opposite toe; alternate sides); 2. tricep push ups to goddess with a press (tricep push up, jump feet up to hands so you’re in goddess squat, stand up while pressing straight arms back; the second time through you will use dumbbells so that press will be a tricep press back); 3. push away balance (stand on one foot, squat down, dropping forward until hands hit the ground and do pike push up (always on one leg) and hop when returning to standing on one leg). Repeat strength. Cardio: 1. plie jumps; 2. running plank moguls (get into plank and run feet to the side, all the way up to hands; alternate sides). Repeat cardio. Core: 1. corkscrew crunch (lay on back, legs straight and feet pointed to ceiling; twist hips while pressing feet to ceiling; alternate sides); 2. rolling plank dips (start in plank; pivot into side plank and dip hip to ground; alternate sides).
Circuit #2: Strength: 1. bear with front kick shoot throughs (bear is getting on all 4s except knees are about 6 inches off ground and you are on your toes; from this position, kick foot underneath you); 2. squats with a figure 8 pass (one dumbbell; as you squat you will pass dumbbell through legs, passing it to other hand; alternate sides so the dumbbell passes are in the shape of an 8); 3. pendulum lunge with halo chop (one dumbbell: do a pendulum lunge doing a woodchop with dumbbell each time you lunge, so you halo it around your head as you pendulum). Repeat strength. Cardio: 1. jack burpees (one jumping jack, one burpee); 2. one arm plank jacks. Repeat cardio. Core: leg climbers (lay on back, one leg straight on ground and one leg straight with foot pointed to ceiling; using hands, climb the leg that is raised to ceiling and lower yourself; 30 seconds each leg).
Circuit #3: Strength: 1. sit ups with a chest fly (chest fly is at the top of the sit up); 2. stand on left leg with right leg crossed over the left knee and holding dumbbell in right hand; in this position, squat while raising dumbbell in front of you (change sides the second time through); 3. ab hold into plank (get into elbow plank; walk feet towards hands while pressing hands into floor until you are in straight arm plank; walk feet back out while lowering back into elbow plank). Repeat strength. Cardio: 1. sprints on the spot (fast high knees); 2. suicides (running from one side of the room to the other, touching ground each time you get to a wall (or stopping point). Repeat cardio. Core: side V-crunch (lay on one hip with legs straight; raise straight legs and torso, touching fingertips to toes; 30 seconds each side).
Circuit #4: Strength: 1. grab one dumbbell; do a reverse lunge, holding dumbbell in opposite hand, twist body around backwards and touch dumbbell to foot while in lunge; alternate sides; 2. cyclone squats (2 dumbbells; stand with feet wide, a dumbbell in each hand and arms extended straight out to sides; pivot to side while dropping into squat and bringing dumbbells down toward ankle; alternate sides); 3. duck walks (like walking lunges except you stay in a low lunge the entire time and your knee touches the floor with each “walk”). Repeat strength. Cardio: 1. single leg mountain climbers; 2. switch kicks. Repeat cardio. Core: get into side plank with top arm behind head; bring top elbow to bottom elbow; 30 seconds each side.
Workout #6 Triumph is 35 minutes long. 3 minute warm up and 3 minute stretch. In this workout she varied the warm up just a little. She has you cross your feet when doing jumping jacks. When jumping rope, jump feet side to side. And for toe taps she has you kick your legs rather than bend to them–but you still touch toes with opposite fingertips. Triumph might be my favorite BodyShred workout yet. It is a great workout and like the other Pull workouts you can lift heavy. I felt like I got the best strength workout yet from Triumph. It is a relatively advanced workout but not as advanced as I expected it to be at this point. I would even go so far to say that this workout was more than a “pull” workout; I felt like I was very nearly getting a total body workout.
Circuit #1: Strength: 1. deadlift to bicep curls to overhead press; 2. stork with hammers and reverse fly (balance move; get into stork and do hammer curls, bringing dumbbells to shoulders then reverse flys); 3. stork rows (stay in stork; do a one leg squat, then as you raise back up, row dumbbells). Repeat strength. Cardio: 1. single arm burpee; 2. 180 rotations (180 tuck jumps, keeping feet close together and torso forward). Repeat cardio. Core: 1. heel tap to shoulder stand (lay on back with knees bent; tap heels to ground then press legs overhead, raising hips); 2. double crunch (fingertips behind head, bring elbows to knees).
Circuit #2: Strength: 1. forward lunge with balance (one heavy dumbbell held overhead; raise knee on same side of body that is holding dumbbell and stand one one leg; lunge forward and come back to standing on one leg, always holding dumbbell overhead); 2. repeat #2 on other side of body; 3. lunge, lunge, squat plyos (plyo jumps in that order). Repeat strength. Cardio: 1. single leg hops (skaters, but you are hopping and balancing for a second on each leg); 2. long jump run arounds (long jump forward, then run around back to where you started and do it again; alternate the side you run around each time). Repeat cardio. Core: 1. sit ups with roll back (lay on back with knees bent and hands clasped and straight over head; sit up then roll back down slowly to the count of 5); 2. windshield wipers (you do regular windshield wipers but then, with or w/out a dumbbell, crunch hand to legs).
Circuit #3: Strength: 1. lat pull with butterfly bridge (lay on back, bottoms of feet together and knees open in butterfly while holding dumbbells on the floor overhead; bringing dumbbells (with straight arms) to ceiling then to floor beside hips, while closing knees and raising hips into bridge); 2. still holding dumbbells get into plank and alternate raising straight arms behind you, palms to ceiling; 3. reverse plank hopping feet into table. Repeat strength. Cardio: 1. cross jack punch combo (2 cross jacks, 2 jabs, 2 uppercuts); 2. rock star knee tuck combo (rock start jumps (heels to butt) alternated with tuck jump). Repeat cardio. Core: 1. boat with toe taps; 2. squirms (lay on back with knees bent; reach hand to heel on same side of body raising and rotating obliques/shoulders when doing it).
Circuit #4: Strength: 1. sledgehammer squats (grab one heavy dumbbell and hold in both hands; start with dumbbell behind head and bring it down like an ax between legs while squatting); 2. hold a dumbbell in each hand, front squat then clean and press dumbbells overhead; 3. hold one heavy dumbbell in both hands; side lunge with a twist then reverse lunge with a twist. Repeat strength. Cardio: 1. mountain climbers with up/down combo (4 mountain climbers with a push up); 2. high knee runs with a twist. Repeat cardio. Core: grab one dumbbell and get into side plank; row dumbbell up to shoulder while raising top leg; 30 seconds each side.
Workout #7 Zenith is 35 minutes long; 3 minute warm up and 2 minute stretch. This is a very advanced workout! Zenith is an appropriate name for it! There is a 45 second intro by Jillian stating that some of the exercises are so advanced that you should feel no shame in doing a modified version–as in push ups on your knees. In fact, she confesses that she has to do some of them on her knees–and sure enough, she did! BTW–I did, too! There are some seriously challenging push up variations in this workout. It is a great workout and structured well. Whereas in several of the earlier workouts Jillian seriously megasets you, painfully burning out muscle groups; in this one, I feel like she inserts recovery level exercises every so often so you don’t completely burn out. This is a Push workout and you do it the final two weeks of the program. Lots of challenging bodyweight exercises.
Circuit #1: Strength: 1. bow and arrow push ups (get into push up position; as you drop down into bottom of a push up, slide one hand out to the side; alternate sides); 2. diamond push up (tricep push ups; hands are close together underneath you in diamond formation); 3. deep squats holding dumbbells overhead (and never lowering dumbbells). Repeat strength. Cardio: 1. squat jacks; 2. plank moguls (start in plank; jump feet up to side beside hands, jump back to plank, jump feet straight up to hands; jump back, repeat on other side and keep alternating sides). Repeat cardio. Core: 1. bird dog (in plank, alternate raising opposite arm and leg); 2. heel punchers (lay on back with knees bent, feet raised and ankles crossed; alternate punching opposite heel).
Circuit #2: Strength: 1. Jack Lelane push up (start in high plank; as you lower your body into push up, slide one hand straight in front of you; alternate hands); 2. get into down dog and lower to forearms then press back to hands–nothing else moves; 3. static dragon with front press (get into a static curtsey lunge while holding a dumbbell with both hands; while holding the dragon pose/curtsey lunge keep pressing dumbbell in front of you and bringing back in to chest). Repeat strength. Cardio: 1. side kicks; 2. knee tucks (in plank jump feet up into chest). Repeat cardio. Core: side plank reach throughs (stat in high plank; go into side plank, reaching hand to ceiling then reach it underneath you; 30 seconds each side).
Circuit #3: Strength: 1. up dog push ups (start in plank, drop into chaturanga, press into up dog, back into chaturanga (so a reverse chaturanga) and back up to plank); 2. sissy squat to side crow (squat down low so bottom touching heels, put hands on ground beside you and raise both feet off ground bringing knees onto forearm, drop feet back to ground then jump when you come back to standing); 3. static lunge with overhead dumbbell press. Repeat strength. Cardio: 1. standing mountain climbers (high knee runs with arms alternating overhead like you’re climbing a mountain); 2. star jumps (narrow squat to air jack). Repeat cardio. Core: 1. alternating jabs while in boat pose; 2. boat to hollow man.
Circuit #4: Strength: 1. single leg rock and roll squat with a hop (stand on one leg; lower down into one leg squat until bottom is on ground, roll onto back, roll back onto one leg squat and jump to standing); 2. one leg inch worm (stand on one leg, squat down, walk out to one leg plank, walk back to squat, then stand); 3. scorpion push up to grasshopper push up (scorpion push: as you lower into a push up, bring one leg up and cross over behind you; grasshopper push up: as you push up, you crossing leg underneath of you). Repeat strength. Cardio: 1. bear kicks (bear pose is when you are on all 4s but knees are a few inches off ground and you are on toes; in bear pose kick underneath body to opposite side); 2. ninja jump burpees (start on knees; jump up to feet so you’re in frog squat then jump to standing, jump down to plank, lower body completely to floor, then jump back to knees). Repeat cardio. Core: 1. extended plank (you are in high plank but your hands are as far out in front of you as you can get them while keeping body straight and off ground–hold for 30 seconds); 2. dipping ab holds (get into forearm plank and alternate tapping hips to ground).
Workout #8 Apex is 35 minutes long; 3 minute warm up and 2 minute stretch. This workout is brutal! Incredibly intense and advanced. I think I found this one even harder than Workout #7 Zenith primarily because I didn’t have to modify any exercises like I did in Zenith–so I took the full brunt of this workout and it literally shredded me! My legs were like wet noodles afterward and my arm and back muscles were burning. And, as usual, since this was a Pull workout, I was able to lift heavier dumbbells. This is an amazingly painful workout. But I love it!
Circuit # 1: Strength: 1. alternate crescent lunge with row (palms facing body) with stork row (palms facing forward); 2. statue of liberty (hold dumbbell(s) in one hand overhead, raise same leg off ground so standing one one leg; do one leg squat, bringing dumbbell(s) to opposite foot and jump at top of move); 3. 3 way pendulum lunges (forward lunge, side lunge, reverse lunge–bicep curl with each lunge). Repeat strength. Cardio: 1. split jumps (like a tuck jump but you are “splitting” the legs as you jump, as if running in the air); 2. up and overs (get in plank and jump feet high, side to side, bringing feet almost to hands). Repeat cardio. Core: 1. lay on back and raise arms to ceiling; bring straight legs to hands; 2. remain on back but now bring feet to ceiling and hold there; raise hands from floor overhead to feet.
Circuit #2: Strength: 1. wheel push ups (get into the yoga wheel pose and do push ups); 2. reverse flys in superman (lay on stomach with a light dumbbell in each hand and do supermans with arms to sides); 3. L sit with hamstring curl (sit on bottom, hands beside your hips, one leg bent with foot on ground and other leg raised; bring hips between hands, butt never touching the ground and then raise hips). Repeat strength. Cardio: 1. donkey kick burpees; 2. cannon ball jumps (tuck jumps with 3 hops in between). Repeat cardio. Core: 1. lay on back with arms and legs straight, raise shoulders and legs at same time, touching finger tips to toes; 2. grab light dumbbells and do sit ups with jabs at the top.
Circuit # 3: Strength: 1. get into plank with one dumbbell; do a row, a fly and a lat pull (lat pull is bringing straight arm up and back behind you); 2. static squat with wide row; 3. reverse squats (get into deep squat and only come halfway up while holding dumbbell(s) in goblet hold). Repeat strength. Cardio: 1. deep squat jumps (with hand behind head, go down into deep squat, then jump); 2. side lunge touch downs (side lunge, touching opposite hand to floor and do a hop to the the other side; alternate sides). Repeat cardio. Core: 1. boat sprawls (start in hollow man which is laying on back with shoulders and legs raised and legs and arms spread wide; 2 scissor legs then come up, bending legs and grabbing knees with hands); 2. bicycles in boat.
Circuit #4: Strength: 1. thrusters (get into a deep lunge with back knee on ground and drive back knee up, jumping, then return to deep lunge); 2. static side lunge with concentration curls; 3. extended good mornings (hold light dumbbells overhead with straight arms, legs wide; do good mornings, keeping arms in same position). Repeat strength. Cardio: 1.lunge jacks (jump in and out of lunge with jack arms); 2. 3 way burpees (burpee to side, straight back then to other side). Repeat cardio. Core: elevator plank (get into plank, bring knee to same side elbow then cross to opposite elbow, then lower knee to wrist, return to plank; 30 seconds each side).
Opus is 35 minutes long. 30 second intro, 3:30 minute warm up and 2 minute stretch. Opus is an incredibly advanced workout. It was far beyond my level of fitness; so much so that I didn’t even get that great of a workout when I did it because I had to modify nearly every move. This is something for some people (not me) to work towards. You would have to be an amazing physical specimen of fitness to be able to perform every exercise for 30 seconds at it’s most advanced level (which is the level it is presented in this workout). That’s not me. I love to workout and to be challenged but I don’t care if I can never do this workout. In fact, I probably won’t even bother with it again. The other 10 workouts in this program challenge me sufficiently. As for the warm up–it is completely different from all of the other warm ups. And every circuit the trainers swap out (she only has 3 crew members behind her at a time). Just for fun, I am going to share how many exercises I was able to actually do in each circuit w/out modification. Circuit 1 has 7 exercises; I was able to do 3 w/out modification and 2 of those 3 were the core moves. Circuit 2 has 6 exercises; I was able to do 3 of those moves w/out modification and 1 of those was the core move. Circuit 3–I could do nothing in this circuit w/out modifying. Circuit 4 has 7 moves and I was able to do 3 w/out modification and 1 of those was one of the core moves.
Circuit #1: Strength: 1. push ups into weighted bird dogs (hold a dumbbell in one hand; do a push up then at the top of the push up, raise arm with leg and opposite leg); 2. flying stork (stork with rear delt fly, except you jump from leg to leg into stork for each fly); 3. pistol squats. Repeat strength. Cardio: 1. pike jump (think of a tuck jump but instead of tucking feet/legs under you, you bring legs out straight in front of you and try to touch the toes while in the air); 2. springing tripod (get into table with legs wide and only one hand on the ground, the other arm crossed over to the opposite side of the body; jump switch hands/arms). Repeat cardio. Core: 1. dragon flags (lay on back, palms on floor beside hips and legs straight; do a shoulder stand, raising straight legs/feet to ceiling, lower to count of 5); 2. roller boat (lay on back, hold dumbbells overhead, body straight; come up into boat and rock body).
Circuit #2: Strength: 1. superman to Aztec push ups (plyo push up where you bring arms and legs into superman while in the air; Aztec is a plyo push up but the plyometric portion is touching hands to toes while in the air); 2. weighted duck walks (hold a dumbbell in each hand and cross them over chest, holding dumbbells at shoulders; duck walks are like walking lunges except you stay in a low lunge the entire time and your knee touches the floor with each “walk”); 3. good mornings (good mornings holding dumbbells overhead with palms toward back wall; bend over keeping back straight and with bent with arms straight in front of you do a bicep curls at the bent over part of the move). Repeat strength. Cardio: 1. kipping burpees (start standing, lower bottom to ground and roll onto back with feet in the air, roll back up, put hands on ground and thrust feet out behind you into plank, jump feet in and then jump at top); 2. ninja knee tucks (start on knees and jump from knees to feet then do a tuck jump). Repeat cardio. Core: extended one arm plank (get into plank but with arms farther in front of you than normal; put one hand behind back; 30 seconds each arm).
Circuit #3: Strength: 1. chaturanga crawlers (lower as if in tricep push up but hold at bottom and crawl back and forth while in this position); 2. shrimp squats (stand on one leg with other leg bent behind you; squat until knee touches the ground then stand, never using hands); 3. one arm push ups. Repeat strength. Cardio: 1. straight leg up and overs (get in plank and jump feet high, side to side, bringing feet almost to hands); 2. donkey kick burpees. Repeat cardio. Core: 1. balancing tiger (get into plank, bring one knee in above the elbow (bending arms slightly) and raise the other leg off the ground; hold for 30 seconds each side).
Circuit #4: Strength: 1. Lelane push ups to crucifix push ups (Lelane push ups are with arms far in front of you; push up using your fingertips; crucifix push ups are the same concept but arms wide out to sides of body); 2. static presses in superman (hold dumbbells and get into superman; do shoulder presses); 3. wheel push ups. Repeat strength. Cardio: 1. bear to squat (get into bear and jump into deep squat); 2. plank shoot throughs (start in plank; jump leg forward, kicking leg under you to opposite side of body and raising one arm off the ground with weight resting on other foot). Repeat cardio. Core: 1. plow to shoulder stand; 2. floating plank (get into plank but hands are inverted–fingertips facing behind you–raise legs off ground and hold).