Jillian Michaels is at it again, this time wreaking havoc on your midsection with a unique combination of standing, static and mat poses to work muscles you never even knew you had. What I like about Jillian's approach to abs is that she involves the entire body rather than leaving you on the mat to do a billion boring crunches. The workout comes in two 30-minute sections and you're instructed to do Level 1 for the first three weeks and then Level 2 for the last of your six-week challenge. I did them on consecutive days and found both to be very challenging but also interesting and dynamic enough to keep me engaged and not wanting to bail.
You'll need a 3-, 5-, or 8-lb hand weight and a mat (if you're on a hard surface). I skipped the mat because I was on carpet. You'll also want to ensure you have plenty of room to move. You won't just be on your back on the mat. There is a lot of jumping, lunging and moving in general.
I felt that familiar burn of a well-worked core the day after doing Level 1 and for a couple days after Level 2, as well. While I haven't made any move towards doing this for six consecutive weeks, I have no doubt you'd see results. Whether or not that will be a six-pack remains to be seen, but I doubt it. Regardless, it will absolutely strengthen your core.
As with any exercise video, consult with a physician before you start and know your limits. Jillian has two women demonstrating every move--one advanced and the other modified for beginners or people with limitations. There are a number of moves that involve holding a weight and swinging it side to side or up and down. I had horrible visions of it slipping out of my hand and flying straight into my TV. Don't let that happen.
I have a love-hate relationship with Jillian Michaels. I think she's an excellent trainer and really knows her stuff, but I disagree with her sponsorship of diet pills and find some of her training to be a bit extreme. Nevertheless, she puts together a great workout and is a fun instructor to follow with her snarky comments and overall kick-your-ass attitude. It's just enough to motivate you but not enough to make you want to smack her. That's a fine line.
Standard workout music
A clean, simple fitness set modeled after an aerobics workout room at a gym.
Full screen 1:33:1
I don't have any problems with this workout. I did find that I needed a lot more space to move than I expected for an abs video. But that is actually a positive since the dynamic moves are what make the sequence unique and challenging. Still, if you're not expecting that, you'll be swinging an 8-lb weight around dangerously close to you TV.
I think this is a great workout that will certainly yield results. Those results may not be a Jillian-esque six-pack, but you'll strengthen your core and improve your balance regardless. I would recommend this video to people with an intermediate to advanced level of fitness.