Lift & Shred

Lift & Shred contains Jillian Michael‘s only (so far!) pure weight lifting workouts. Most of her workouts are metabolic workouts–cardio + strength workouts done in fast circuits so that you cannot lift heavy but get intense cardio. I was very excited when this DVD came out but I had also just found out I had breast cancer so I had to stop weight lifting for a while and when I was able to start up again, I couldn’t lift heavy enough to give these workouts justice, so I waited until I had regained some strength and stamina. Well, I am back! Treatment is over and the cancer treatment side effects have faded. So I am rebuilding my strength.

Lift & Shred contains 2 approximately 30 minute total body strength workouts. Workout 2 is more advanced than Workout 1. I loved these workouts! I did them separately and used short Jessica Smith add ons to finish my workout off, but these would work really well done back to back, giving you a more comprehensive total body workout. If you skip Workout 1’s stretch and fast forward through Workout 2’s warm up, that makes it exactly one hour.

Jillian functions as a trainer in these workouts. She doesn’t do many of the exercises and when she does, she never does them for the entire set. She spends the majority of the workout pointing out form. The heaviest weight her exercisers are using is 15 pounds. She blames this on Kenta, one of the exercisers. Apparently he was supposed to get their dumbbells and she expected heavier dumbbells. The take home from this is that she thinks you can (and eventually should) use dumbbells heavier than 15 pounds for some of the exercises. And I agree. This is basic free weigh training and you can heavy up without fear of injury as long as your form is good–this is true especially of Workout 1. I found Workout 2 more metabolic–I was breathing harder and working harder even though I used lighter weights, so more of a cardio factor to Workout 2 than Workout 1.

Workout 1 is 32:30 minutes; 1 minute intro, 4 minute warm up and 3 minute stretch. Jillian says there is no modifier in this workout because it is basic weight lifting. The way to modify is to use lighter weights and, of course, the way to make it more advanced is to use heavier weights. I loved this workout! It is basic weight lifting but Jillian hits all of your major muscle groups. She spends the most time on large muscle groups, which is a bonus for me since that is what I like to do as well. She doesn’t neglect smaller muscle groups but they don’t get the same focus the larger muscle groups get. Also, since you are not doing a ton of reps of any exercise you can lift heavier. I am trying to regain my strength and a workout like this one is a perfect way for me to start lifting heavier again. The heaviest weight Jillian’s exercisers were using is 15 pound dumbbells so the weights listed below are what I used.

Circuit 1:

  1. Basic squats holding DBs at shoulders (20# DBs)
  2. Alternating reverse lunges (15# DBs)
  3. Wide back rows (lower body in partial squat, hinged forward slightly) (13# DBs)
  4. Overhead shoulder press (palms facing each other) (13# DBs)
  5. Repeat 1-4

Circuit 2:

  1. Alternating side lunges (15# DBs)
  2. Stiff leg deadlift (30# DBs)
  3. Alternating traditional bicep curls (15# DBs)
  4. Goblet squats (one 30# DB)
  5. Repeat 1-4

Circuit 3:

  1. Kettlebell swings using a DB (one 20# DB)
  2. Bent over narrow back row w/ palms facing in front of you (20# DBs)
  3. Hammer curl + bent arm side raise (10# DBs)
  4. Double arm overhead tricep extensions (10# DBs)
  5. Repeat 1-4

Circuit 4:

  1. Lay on back, knees bent and feet on floor, arms straight and holding DBs to ceiling, raise hips into bridge and do straight arm pullovers, lowering DBs to floor then raising back to starting position (keep hips lifted the entire time) (10# DBs)
  2. Still on back with knees bent and feet on floor, keeping hips on ground, do chest press into chest fly (20# DBs)
  3. In same position as #2, hold one DB across chest and do a weighted basic crunch (one 20# DB)
  4. “Around the world”: same starting position as #1 (hips raised into bridge), raise DBs overhead about an inch or two off floor, arms straight and circle DBs out to side then under thighs then back overhead (6# DBs)
  5. Repeat 1-4

Workout #2 is 33:30 minutes; 40 second intro, 3 minute warm up and 2 minute stretch. This workout does have a modifier. She only modifies a few exercises and, once again, the easiest modification is to use lighter weights. This was another excellent total body workout. It is more advanced and uses more compound exercises so you cannot lift as heavy in this workout as you can with Workout #1 but, unlike Jillian’s other metabolic workouts, there is room to grow. The more you do these workouts, the stronger you will become and the heavier weights you can lift. I did get more of a cardio effect during this one than I did during Workout 1. Again, the weights listed below are what I used.

Circuit 1:

  1. Start in a straight arm plank w/ one hand holding a DB, do one push up, roll DB out wider and do another push up, roll DB back in to start (one tricep push up + one regular push up) (one 15# DB)
  2. Lay on back w/ knees bent and feet on floor, do close grip chest press (15# DBs)
  3. In side plank, row one DB from floor to shoulder (one 15# DB)
  4. Turkish sit up (start on back, one leg bent w/ foot on floor, other leg straight on floor, one arm holding one DB straight to ceiling, other hand on floor beside hip, so a sit up keeping everything, including arm holding DB, stationary (one 10# DB)
  5. Repeat 1-4, if done of one side of body the first time through, do exercise on other side of body the second time through

Circuit 2:

  1. Russian twists (sit up, knees bent and feet on floor, hold one DB by one bell, arms extended straight in front of you, twist DB side to side, tapping other bell to floor beside you) (one 8# DB)
  2. Burpee rows (start in straight arm plank holding DBs, jump feet into hands and raise up until legs are both bent and you are still hinged forward and do one bent over row, lower DBs to ground and jump feet back to plank) (18# DBs)
  3. Sumo squat w/ high/wide pull (sumo squat bringing DBs down between legs and when you stand, pull DBs back into a row at chest level w/ palms facing ceiling) (10# DBs)
  4. Stiff leg deadlift into rear lunge, alternate legs (15# DBs)
  5. Repeat 1-4

Circuit 3:

  1. Bent leg deadlift + jump (15# DBs)
  2. Wide stance good mornings w/ DBs crossed over chest (10# DBs)
  3. Rear delt flys (8# DBs)
  4. Lateral skaters w/ DB pass from hand to hand, swinging DB behind you when foot taps behind opposite foot (one 8# DB)
  5. Repeat 1-4

Circuit 4:

  1. Side lunge bringing DB down towards foot when lunging, at top of lunge do a one arm overhead press (one 13# DB)
  2. Snatch (bent knee deadlift and when you stand, snatch DBs overhead) (10# DBs)
  3. Split jerk (start standing w/ DBs at shoulders, jump back into lunge while pressing DBs overhead) (10# DBs)
  4. Goblet squat walk w/ one arm farmer carry (lower into wide squat while holding one DB goblet fashion and squat walk forward (remaining in squat) the length of your mat then stand and hold DB in one hand and walk backwards back to start) (one 25# DB)
  5. Repeat 1-4, if done of one side of body the first time through, do exercise on other side of body the second time through

8 thoughts on “Lift & Shred

  1. I’m glad I revisited your review. This does look good. No idea why I put ‘no’ on my Jillian workout infographic, maybe simply because the workout is designed for heavier weights, I have 3s, 5s, and 8s. I rarely use my 8s and I know I need to go up from my 5s — still waiting for 6s to come back in-stock at Target.

    Not available on TFDVDs site, it’s listed on Collage Video but out-of-stock, but with a $15.99 price tag + shipping I wouldn’t buy it there. Amazon actually has it (sold by & fulfilled by Amazon) for $8.63 but again, I’m not a Prime member……. and I’m thinking I probably wouldn’t get much from this workout using my 5s and maybe, depending on the move, using my 8s…….

    I really don’t know if I want start lifting heavier, I’m not sure that’s one of my fitness goals.

    I do love NMTZ. I did that again today, so that’s 2 days in a row. Tomorrow I’ll have to perhaps just walk, weather permitting. It’s unseasonably cool today but I have loads of chores to do so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get out for a walk later……

    I assume one way that L&S differs from NMTZ is that it’s a bit slower paced, time to switch out weights, less rips since you are lifting heavy, etc…..?


    1. Yes, even tho NMTZ is one of Jillian’s few straight strength workouts, it is very metabolic with lots of compound/4 limb moves to elevate the heart rate. L&S does more isolation moves. It’s been a while since I’ve done that workout but I am pretty sure that the sets are timed, so you control your own reps and speed. The viewer’s instinct is to follow Jillian or her background exercisers pace and that is fine the first few times you do the workout but as you begin lifting heavier, you will need to lift slower and get in less reps. This fine btw. High rep/endurance is doing 15 ore more reps a set. Hypertrophy (or working for muscle definition) is doing 10-12 reps per set, and working for strength is 4-8 reps per set. This is all relative the amount of weight you’re lifting. You would not lift the same dumbbell weight for endurance as you would for hypertrophy or strength. Does that make sense? The idea is by the end of the set you are literally eking out the last 1-2 reps. Probably not in endurance/high rep lifting but definitely in hypertrophy and strength lifting.


  2. This is one of my favorite workouts from Jillian; I do it at least twice a week. So happy you’re doing well! Happy Healthy Holidays to you and thank you for your reviews!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am happy to hear you are back at it and feeling good! I love both of these workouts.. very effective for 30 minutes. I have done both back to back, and it’s a serious workout! Be well!

    Liked by 1 person

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