Ripped In 30 Gets A “C”: My Review of Jillian Michael’s New Release

I’ve been trying to get through all four of the Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 workouts.  This was hard for me to do.  Overall, the workouts were tedious and didn’t offer much more than a series of exercises that Jillian felt she needed to explain over and over in the same trumped up commando-style manner.

Even the exercises themselves weren’t terribly creative and not anything that I hadn’t seen before, however, they were all basic enough that someone that doesn’t frequent fitness classes could mange within a few weeks so that’s a plus.

Except for the warm-up she really never did more than two repetitions of any exercise herself.  I’ve never seen a fitness instructor go at it quite like that. I talked to a couple of my clients that have worked out with Jillian’s 30 Day Shred.  Their take is that this is the way she was with the participants in The Biggest Loser and decided to carry it into the exercise videos.  I don’t know about that because I’m not a fan of The Biggest Loser mentality so I’ve never watched the show.

The word that came up over and over when we talked about Jillian was annoying.  She really over-sells the “I’m the trainer and you’re here to learn from me” gimmick.  For example, in Workout Two she slaps Shelly on the bum and throughout all of the workouts she constantly leaves her spot to go to back row to bark at her ‘students’.

She did give a lot of cues for proper form, which is fine, especially for beginners.  But even that was overdone. I lost track of the times she said, “Here’s what I don’t want to see” and “get over it”.

“There’s Never Been A Week Four Before”

This is the first of Jillian’s DVDs to include four workouts. My favorite line is when she refers to Week Four as being ‘the mother of all workouts”.   Not so fast there, Jillian.

It sounds like the music for the week four class is the same beats per minute as weeks one through three. Plus the ladies are still using the lightest set of weights even on exercises as basic as an upper back row where, by the way, she shouts, “I am going to break you.”  I expected that the speed and intensity for “The Mother of All Workouts” would increase and that something more than a four pound weight would be used.  That wasn’t the case.

She never does mention how many pounds the weights are that they use or why there are extra weights on the floor that look like they are heavier.  Are those an option for more advanced people?  Wouldn’t we have worked our way up to heavier weights by Week Four considering Jillian has been “breaking us in two” for three weeks? I finally had to hit fast forward when she “goes psycho” and makes the ladies do burpees.

Jillian has been criticized before for not having fitness credentials and I don’t know if that’s true or not.  I know that a couple of the fitness icons that I look to for good, creative workouts, ideas for my class, and motivation are Cathe Friedrich and Chalene Johnson. These ladies are doing the work themselves throughout the entire session yet give complete instructions, constant cues, deliver continuous energy, tell jokes, and have awesome background music pumping.

I think that participants want to see the instructor woking just as hard, if not harder, than they are.  That’s what inspires each of us to push ourselves.  We strive to be like that person whether it is in a fitness class at our local gym or on a workout video.

My advice to Jillian is to ratchet down the ‘I’m gonna kick your arse’, jive and stay up in front and lead the workout.  The way Ripped in 30 is done now is killin’ me.

Here’s a tip:  If you want a thirty minute workout that will kick your you-know-what I recommend Steve Maresca’s Rock Hard Body by Jake: Extreme.