If you follow me on Instagram (and if you don’t, why the heck not?!), you’ll know that I promised to reveal the person who made me fall in love with fitness. If the post title didn’t give it away, the answer is Jillian Michaels. I own every single Jillian workout on the planet and I’m going to share the best Jillian Michaels workouts with you today and the best fitness investment I ever made (power block dumbbells!).
When I was at my heaviest weight with a non-functioning thryoid, I was very unhappy in my skin and looking for solutions. A friend recommended Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, which will always hold a special place in my heart. I bought the DVD and decided to commit 100% even if I had to modify level one (which I did).
After the first workout, I was exhausted to the point I had to take a nap and I was very discouraged. But you know what? I came back the next day. And the one after that. I’ve continued to show up for years and now working out is a critical part of my day (and so is meditation). Consistency is what pays off in any journey. Keep. Showing. Up.
No matter how many free workout programs I try online, I always come back to Jillian. Her workouts are as tough as you want to make them, her style is motivational, and she has so many different videos available (each with different levels), which means there is always a routine to appeal to your mood and help you to reach your goals.
The Best Jillian Michaels Workouts
If you're just starting on your fitness journey and you're overwhelmed by how challenging workouts feel (don't worry, I've been there), this DVD is a great place to begin. You get a taste of Jillian, but won't feel like you're going to puke. Win, win.
If you're just looking to drop a few pounds before an event, a change in season, or simply because you feel like it, this is an excellent program to do it quickly. Keep in mind, it's very intense and not for beginners.
I actually prefer this DVD to the 30 Day Shred because it has four levels and more challenging workouts (don't worry, Jillian always provides beginner modifications and emphasizes form, which a lot of free programs fail to do).
This is an excellent kettle bell workout that mixes in Jillian's favourite cardio intervals (you can also use dumbbells). If you only have 30 minutes per day to workout, this is a great DVD that comes with two different levels. If I use a heavy weight, level 1 still makes me sore!
This DVD has two 45 minutes workouts, one that is cardio based and one that is strength based. You can either rotate them, do them together, or complete the strength training in the morning (to keep your metabolism firing all day) and the cardio routine in the evening. It also comes with a meal plan to help ensure that you see results.
This video is lower body intensive (duh), which are my favourite muscle groups to work because they're the biggest. It's a short workout (only 20 minutes), so believe me, Jillian pushes you the whole time. If you don't want to spend hours in the gym, then you have to work hard during the time you do have.
This is one of Jillian's newer DVDs and she is very inventive with how she works your arms and back. I've done a lot of different workouts and I was pleasantly surprised by the variety. If you're tired of the same old bicep curls, you'll love it too.
This program is two 45 minute workouts. The routines are solid, but I should mention that the camera angles are kind of strange and distracting. As always, the music isn't great either, but you can always mute Jillian and play your own tunes.
This is a 90 day program that has three different phases. You can change your body in 30 minutes a day, which I never used to believe. However, if you work smart then you can condense an hour long workout in half and see results.
This 40 minute interval routine incorporates cardio, strength, and core work to help trigger weight loss. You don't need weights or equipment, so this DVD is great for people who are just starting their home gym!
Yoga Inferno is a challenging "Jillian-style" yoga video that traditional yogis might find off-putting. It's Jillian, so expect cardio intervals and a challenging yoga-inspired workout versus a relaxing stretch session.
This program helped me so much after delivering my son. It was just the right level of challenge for someone stepping back into fitness and was the perfect stepping stone to help me get back to my regular workouts. Jillian is very supportive and stresses the importance of finding time for yourself postpartum.
This DVD has two 30 minutes workouts that are easy to fit into a busy day. I love strength training, and Jillian always provide a challenging session with new combinations of moves to keep you motivated. If you're consistent, you'll notice a difference in muscle tone quickly (depending on your starting point)
This workout does have cardio intervals, but the foundation is yoga. Sometimes I don't feel like traditional yoga gives me enough of a burn, so I'm happy Jillian stepped up to change that because this DVD had me sweating. If you want to incorporate more yoga into your life, give this one a try.
Overall, I can tell you that Jillian loves circuits, so there is always going to be repetition in her routines, but the moves are effective and always leave me sore the next day. I have never finished one of her videos and felt like I didn’t get a good workout.
What is your favourite workout DVD?