Killer Cardio

Jillian Michaels Killer Cardio DVD contains 2 short cardio workouts. They are both structured in tabata format (20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of recovery). They both have 4 circuits containing 4 exercises and each circuit is repeated. I really enjoyed both of these workouts. They are not the most intense workouts I have ever done, but they are fun and effective cardio workouts. Level 1 is easier than Level 2 but Jillian shows modifications for many of the exercises in both levels. Now, even tho these workouts are set up in tabata format, sometimes the recoveries are longer than 10 seconds. I did not time them but it was obvious. I didn’t find these workouts so hard that I welcomed a longer recovery as I would in one of Cathe‘s HIIT or tabata workouts, but if you find these workouts challenging then you will welcome it! I know I do in some of Cathe’s workouts! That is another thing to keep in mind. If you are accustomed to doing Cathe’s HIIT workouts and expect something just as intense then you will be disappointed. In fact, if you are expecting these to be as challenging as many of Jillian’s other metabolic or cardio workouts then you will again be disappointed. Her metabolic strength circuit workouts are much more challenging than these workouts. But I am ok with that. I really enjoyed both of these workouts.

As an FYI to Jillian Michaels fan readers of this blog, she has a new workout that will be released March 6 called Lift & Shred that I am super excited about. Although I have pre-ordered it, I will not be able to review it right away since I have to take a hiatus from lifting weights for a while. I really don’t know when I will be able to lift weights again but as soon as I am able, it will be reviewed here.

Level 1 is 24 minutes long; 1 minute intro, no dedicated warm up (but the first few exercises are pretty easy) and 3 minute stretch. Each exercise is done for 20 seconds followed by a 10 second recovery. Jillian shows modifications to some of the exercises. I enjoyed this workout. I did it as my doubles workout. It was moderate intensity and low intermediate level–but again, Jillian shows modifications to some (not all) of the exercises so this could be a low impact beginner level workout, too. I didn’t get a super intense workout, but I got a nice cardio burn. And I found it fun, too. I like the different cardio modalities Jillian used. There are 4 circuits and each circuit consists of 4 exercises. You repeat each circuit one time.

  1. Jump rope
  2. Shuffle 4x to the side and back
  3. Jab-cross
  4. Sprinter skip (lunge back, touching front toe, then jump when returning to standing)
  5. Repeat #1-4
  6. Twisting mountain climbers
  7. Dancing crab (lay on back on floor, push up onto one arm and opposite foot, lifting the other straight leg/hand and taping hand to foot, alternate sides)
  8. Butt kick jogs in plank
  9. Crab kicks
  10. Repeat #6-9
  11. Surfer get ups (start laying on stomach and pop up, landing in a wide squat facing sideways)
  12. High knee runs
  13. Karaoke (an agility drill where you do a twisting run side to side)
  14. Speed bag arms
  15. Repeat #11-14
  16. Rotational wood chops, pivoting body into lunge to side
  17. Knee pulls, pulling arm down from overhead to thigh
  18. Lateral skaters, touching fingertips floor
  19. Butt kick runs
  20. Repeat #16-18
  21. Rock star jumps

Level 2 is 25:30 minutes; no dedicated warm up and 2:30 minute stretch. Each exercise is done for 20 seconds followed by a 10 second recovery. Jillian shows modifications to some of the exercises. This was another fun and effective cardio workout. Again, not as intense as I would expect from Jillian. Her cardio workouts in her programs Body Shred and Body Revolution are more intense than these workouts. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t good workouts. It was more intense than Level 1 but not the HIIT/tabata level of intensity you would get from a Cathe HIIT/tabata workout. Again, not a negative, just something to keep in mind when approaching these workouts. If you are not fit enough for a Cathe HIIT level workout then these might be very intense for you. The bonus to these is that Jillian shows modifications. Cathe rarely shows modifications in her advanced level workouts.

  1. Running man
  2. Ski moguls (jump side, center, side center on a diagonal–a sort of triangle hop)
  3. Jump front and back
  4. Jog in place
  5. Repeat 1-4
  6. Bear kicks (in beast (on all 4s but with knees about an inch off the ground) kick one foot under and across body to other side)
  7. Plank thrusters (in straight arm plank, jump feet in and out under body, bringing knees to chest)
  8. Bicycle maneuver
  9. Plank jacks
  10. Repeat 7-9
  11. 180 touch downs (180 squat jumps, tapping ankles when squatting)
  12. Fast feet, opening legs wide to narrow
  13. Plyo jump lunges
  14. Long jump, place hands on floor and jump feet back to plank, plank walk backwards 3x, walk hands in and stand
  15. Repeat 11-14
  16. Everest climbers (wide mountain climbers–feet jump to outside of hands)
  17. Donkey kick rock star (alternate donkey kick and rock star jump)
  18. Burpee + side lateral hop
  19. Rotational high knee run (high knee run while rotating clasped hands side to side)
  20. Repeat 16-19

5 thoughts on “Killer Cardio

  1. I am a huge Jillian fan and have been doing her workouts on a daily basis for about 5 years now. I purchased the Lift and Shred and it’s definitely different from all of her others (which she makes clear). It focus’ on lifting heavy weights rather than any other cardio, which is a nice mix into the rest of her stuff. I enjoy her HIIT stuff so much, but I’ll definitely fit this into my regular routine.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t bought a Jillian DVD in awhile, but this sounds interesting. Sometimes I want just straight cardio and sometimes I want it without my heart in my throat. This sounds like it would fit the bill. Lift & Shred sounds interesting too, but I wish I could find a video clip for it.


    1. That’s the way I feel, too. I love intense workouts but I don’t always want to kill myself. This is perfect for those days. Still solid cardio workouts.

      I am so interested in Jillian’s Lift & Shred! It looks like it may be a heavy (or heavier) strength workout than what she usually does, so it will definitely be something different for her. She is queen of the metabolic strength workouts that frequently are killer. So I am very interested in how she will approach it.


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