WORKOUT WEDNESDAY: JILLIAN MICHAELS’ HARD BODY REVIEW

It’s time again for another workout DVD review! I can feel your excitement, so let’s dive right in shall we?

 

JMhardbody

 

This newest workout from the reigning queen of Biggest Loser female trainers (see what I did there?) delivers a WOW for every 45 minutes. There are 2 forty-five minute workouts contained in this tiny package and they both pack in plenty of results. There really isn’t much negative I can say, except maybe more pumped up music. Aside from that, Hard Body is spot on.

These workouts are designed with results in mind and JM does a fantastic job of cueing and keeping you motivated. As always, there are modifications given for every move, which makes you excuses fall to the wayside. The sequencing is superb for both cardiovascular health, lean muscle-building and balance. Jillian covers it all in 45 minutes, all with a light sense of humor mixed with her own personal brand of training.

You can check out a clip HERE and add this workout to your weekly routine. In my professional opinion, this DVD is suitable for all fitness levels.

 

Motivation Monday: Jillian Michaels Slim for Life Book Review

Hello all you GORGEOUS fit people!

here we are, February 18, 2013. Are your goals for the new year being tackled with the same enthusiasm and vigor as January 18th? What about those weight loss goals? You know, statistically over 60% of goal setting Resolutionists (New Year resolution makers) have already given up on their goals. Not you though…..YOU are not a statistic my friend.

So, in order to help you recommit and stay strong, I have been asked to review the one and only Jillian Michaels brand new book (release below). I know what you’re thinking: “ALL these books are the same.” Just settle in for a bit and bear with me. It’s worth the read and here is your why:

SLIM FOR LIFE

Jillian Michaels

Harmony Books, 2013

Let’s tackle some basics real quick. JM’s new book is 265 pages (give or take if you’re an e-reader). It’s FULL of all her secrets and quick-witted charm. She tackles her writing with a down-to-earth attitude and approach. She never places herself above her readers in any way, which makes this a very comfortable read. From the dedication at the beginning, you know exactly what this book is about: YOU.

Jillian has taken her years and experience in the field of training, as well as the field of “celebrity training”, and given you all you need to start making sustainable changes. She doesn’t sugar coat anything or promise and easy fix. Jillian keeps it real and helps you cut through all the opinions and jargon we have all been sold for far too long. On a personal note: I hate diet books. I mean, I literally despise their very existence. I believe “diet” books have gotten us into this mess. The good news? Jillian didn’t write a diet book…she wrote a lifestyle manual.

The User’s Guide is most helpful, as it explains the various ways one can choose to use this book. Among the many new and exciting things I saw here, the rating system was my absolute favorite. Basically, Jillian has rated each tip with a 1, 2, or 3. Three is the MOST important and one is more of the icing on the proverbial cake. This allows the reader to be picky about HOW much they change at any given time. If it feels a bit overwhelming, you simply focus on the 3′s then come back to the others as you gain more control. Truly genius, in my opinion.

All of the chapter colorfully and thoroughly cover subjects from eating and exercise, all the way down to a clean home, motivation and even some extras (like shopping and fashion!). The Eating and Exercise chapters are the longest on purpose…they get the most results. Jillian gives realistic expectations on what you will be able to change and what you can expect from each chapter. Fun add-ons are the EZ CALORIE CUTS, which help you make better food choices to save yourself a few calories. She also offers SLIM MYTHS throughout the book, which dispel those nasty diet myths we have come to believe.

Slim for Life has a chapter on home living, which includes how to shop your grocery store. Jillian gives you some fun and easy to remember pointers on shopping for a slimmer and healthier you. She also serves up her list of fit living secrets for partying, dining, office issues, traveling and even flying. I have dog-eared those pages as I found ALL of these tips most helpful.

For those who are always asking how I stay motivated, Jillian must have caught wind because there is an entire chapter on MOTIVATION! Yes, your prayers have been answered. Even better, she includes a delicious Ice Cream SLIMwich recipe I can’t wait to try. Throughout the final chapters, Jillian gives carefully thought out tips for pitfalls such as hunger, stress, budget, kids and everything in between. In order to not leave you hanging, she even includes a chapter on how to get the MOST out of the secrets in this book. This chapter is also full of all the secrets slim people don’t tell you, like how important fish is in your diet ;)

Overall, Slim for Life is one of my favorite health and fitness books on the market right now (or for a while). It offers straight forward advice, not lame promises. Slim for Life hit the shelves February 12th, so check it out and share this advice with your friends. I would even recommend it for a book club! It has some conversational topics as well as recipes everyone could try. Get with the program and get Slim for Life.

slim for life

OK, so that sounded cheesy, but I would NEVER recommend something unless I truly believed in it!

Live a little louder today!

Michelle

OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE

Stop battling your weight and slim down for life with this no-nonsense insider’s plan from America’s premier weight-loss coach who has helped millions!

SLIM FOR LIFE

My insider secrets to simple, fast and lasting weight loss.

Every week, health and wellness expert Jillian Michaels energizes and motivates her millions of fans and followers —- via television, her New York Times bestselling books, and her website podcasts==== with her invaluable straight talk and tell-it-like-it-is guidance on losing weight and getting fit. Now she’s back with the book they have been begging for, SLIM FOR LIFE: My Insider Secrets to Simple, Fast and Lasting Weight Loss (Harmony Books, on sale February 12).

In Slim for Life, Jillian cuts through all the conflicting and complicated information about losing weight. Taking everything she’s learned, she has crafted an easier approach to helping you win your battle with weight so you can slim down for life. She shares her hard-earned secrets made simple- no gimmicks- all strategies and tips on eating, moving, shopping, and living that will transform your body.

Jillian has cracked the weight loss code, giving you everything you need to personalize the plan and achieve dramatic results. There are calorie-crunching movements that get your burn on, ideas to avoid self-sabotage and methods to supercharge your slim. Plus, she offers hundreds of simple ideas and answers to those challenges that might have thrown you off your game in the past. In SLim for Life, Jillian reveals her secrets on:

  • Optimizing your fat burning potential.
  • Handling hunger and cravings, as well as avoiding diet trends that damage your metabolism, making it harder for you to lose.
  • Cracking the exercise code, because the quality of your workout—more than the quantity—- holds the key to success.
  • Inspiration to change course, build support and cultivate lasting motivation.
  • Surefire ways to navigate pitfalls presented by those situations you come up against— from “it’s not in my budget” and time constraints to fitting in workouts with the kids.
  • Facts about fasting, and why it is never a good idea.
  • How to eat, move, work (yes, work) and live in manageable and enjoyable ways to facilitate a slim physique.
  • How to supplement strategically with easy and tasty slimming foods and substitutions.
  • Managing stress to help ignite your metabolism.
  • How to “green your routine” and remove toxins from your food and home to help you get and stay slim.
  • Plus, dressing to accentuate your slim, and the beauty products that support your health, not derail it.

With savvy tips and actionable advice, Jillian Michaels helps you build a personalized plan that will bring out your inner slim, forever. Her advice is doable, sustainable, fast and affordable. In SLIM FOR LIFE, Jillian is the advocate you’ve always wanted and the weight loss coach who helps you taste success by doing what’s manageable for your life, while giving you better results than you ever imagined possible.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jillian Michaels is one of the leading health and wellness experts in the country, helping to shape and inspire the lives of millions. She is the author of four New York Times bestseller, with more than 1.4 million copies of her books sold in the U.S., who can be seen weekly on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser.” Her website, www.jillianmichaels.com has had 31 million total views and 1.47 billion paid ad impressions since the beginning of 2012. Learn more by following Jillian on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Motivation Monday: Biggest Loser Recap

Well, it’s that time again…..time for millions of viewers to slide into our couches and watch a show about weight loss :) Seems a bit odd, right?

Last night marked the beginning of a brand new season for the long running show. Jillian Michaels made a triumphant comeback and was in rare form. Bob Harper is still holding tight to his long-playing role as the top trainer and Dolvett Quince came back to resume his role as well. The BL also added a twist to the show in that they are bringing in 3 kids to be ambassadors for fitness. This means they won’t be at the ranch full-time and they cannot be eliminated. Good move on their part for bringing awareness to the childhood obesity epidemic. Oh, and Alison Sweeney is hosting again and might I say she looked FABULOUS last night!

As I move on through the recap, I need to remind you that the Biggest Loser is first and foremost a REALITY TV SHOW. They cater to ratings. I’m not judging, but I feel that some people watch the show and get caught up in the alternate reality of it all. Take it with a grain of salt people…… First night was exciting for sure. I loved the way each of the trainers handled the kids. Children should be trained differently from adults. Both in training progressions as well as motivation. The adults were a bit of a different story. The first workout was par for the course and each trainer stuck to their respective roles. I have to say, Jillian makes excellent points about the way we treat and speak to ourselves. I love the line she said about “That is abuse. All of this in here is not.” I agree whole heartedly. Now, I may not kick people out of my gym when they get dizzy (I usually offer a G2 and tell them to rest as it’s usually due to poor fueling), but I agree with her tough approach. you have to want it badly enough to challenge what has become your normal.

Aside from people dropping like flies and feeling poorly about the state of their own health (or lack thereof), everything went fairly smooth for the opening evening. As I sat and watched (with the rest of America!) I was bombarded with a lot of thoughts about this entire approach to weight loss. I mean, ALL of the contestants chosen made comments about the fact that they were doing this for their health and/or to live for a certain loved one. So, here’s the thought that keeps banging away at my heart and mind…..Why on Earth do you have to wait to be on a reality show to do it?

Whoa! I know what you’re thinking, “Come on now, at least they’re trying”. I say, no, they haven’t even begun to really try. Here’s the place I’m coming from. I have lost 104 pounds. No trainer, no huge gym, no pre-planned meals, no TV show, no cameras. Some might rebut by saying I already knew how. You would be wrong. I started right where many of these contestants start. There is NO lack of knowledge available, there is a lack of discipline to go get it.

Real fitness is just that, a DISCIPLINE. It’s not about motivation, inspiration or TV ratings. It is developing a discipline within your life to commit to your health and the health of your family. The young man who goes by Bingo (isn’t he precious???) is the same age as my son. It has taken me taking responsibility and telling him “Just a small serving” or “Get up and go do something”. Goodness, most of the time I get up and do things with him! And I’m busy too people, so don’t even try….. Develop a discipline in life and you will succeed. Success is derived from discipline.

So, I promise I’m not hating on the show! I realize that it does get some people inspired and that is worth the watch itself. Here’s the rub though: years ago when I first started teaching aerobics I had a lady who came religiously to my classes, and she was losing weight steadily. Then, one day she stopped coming. A few weeks later, she met me up at the gym. She explained that the Biggest Loser was coming to Houston to hold auditions and since you have to be a certain amount overweight to participate, she stopped working out and was gorging to gain her weight back. Houston, we have a serious problem….

Why do we think that only a TV show can save us? We are enamored with the celebrity of it all. Ask any professional actor and they will tell you the celebrity part is the worst part of the whole thing. Yet, we pine for it. It’s as though we honestly believe that living in an alternate reality is the only way we can succeed. To that I say this: if you believe you can only succeed in an alternate reality, you have already given yourself to failure. There was a man chosen who stated he had waited 3 years for his chance to be on the show. THREE YEARS!!!!! Do you have any idea what he could have accomplished in 3 years?!? And yes, I get the fact that when you do it on your own there are no cash rewards, no accolades, no interviews……but honey, it is so worth it!

The dedicated discipline you earn from putting in your own work far exceeds anything a reality show can offer! You want to see a change in this world? Start a fire in you first! Be the one that begins to develop a change in your own family. Take personal responsibility for your health and fitness. Stop making excuses and playing the victim! You and I are no different from each other. We both hurt, we bleed, we struggle, and if you’re like me, we have a raging sweet tooth! But you know what? Fitness doesn’t care who you are, how much money you make a year, where you start, or how long it may take. Fitness is available to EVERYBODY. You don’t need a membership, you don’t need a certain color shirt and you sure don’t need to be picked from a crowd. Did you realize that as of right now over 66% of the United States is struggling with obesity? That’s the MAJORITY! You are no longer going to sit idle amongst the majority, waiting hopefully for your name to be called. You will stand from this day on. You will walk tall and know that YOU CAN DO THIS.

So, what’s it going to be? Are you in or are you out? Are you tired of waiting for your “chance”? Be the first to step out and make a real change…..no script required :)

LIVE OUT LOUD!

Michelle

NEW DVD REVIEW! Biggest Loser Power XTrain

Hi guys!

It’s been a LONG time since I’ve reviewed a new workout DVD, so I thought I’d hop into the new year with The Biggest Loser DVD series.

For those wondering, although Jillian is back on the show (which airs this Sunday evening) she’s not in the video.

This DVD follows the same circuit style fashion as the others. Why? Well, circuits are the BEST form of exercise when you’re trying to lose weight. It’s effective because it keeps the heart rate up and provides cardio as well as strength training. We ALL know that is essential to keep the skin pulling back to the muscle. Now, as a disclaimer we all know that we cannot expect Biggest Loser style results unless we’re already on the show…..and have a couple hundred pounds to lose :) These DVDs do appeal to those just jumping back into working out or trying it out for the first time.

The big question: Do they work? Yes they do, in my opinion. The problem with any DVD is that it is up to the individual to push play though. They can only film it for you, not do it for you :)

Power X Train takes your workouts to a different level. This DVD is more like actual training in that there isn’t a lot of pre-choreographed movements and everybody is on their own pace. All trainers featured do give awesome form tips, but ya’ll know Bob is the favorite! He states at one point “I focus on your FORM first, then reps” and I couldn’t agree more. Bob is in true form throughout his part, making sure even the home viewers know exactly what to look for in their form. This is of great importance as form is key to not only preventing injury but also expediting your results.

You need your own body weight and some handheld weights for this DVD and you will also need some space. They take you through your paces, but you are always encouraged to stay at the level that works best for you. As always, modifiers are front and center and you can choose the former Biggest Loser contestant you want to follow. As with anything else, consistency is key. If you’re in love with the Biggest Loser DVD series, this is a great one to add to your rotation.

Until I see you again, remember….LIVE OUT LOUD!

Michelle

P.S. Who’s planning on watching this season?

DVD Review: Jillian Michaels Killer Abs

 

 

 

Hey guys!

Welcome to Monday!

Ok, let’s jump in to JM’s newest attack on fat: KILLER ABS.

I love this DVD! The thing that works the best about Jillian’s DVD’s is the time factor. She is well aware that we all have lives outside of the workout room and she fits awesome workouts into short amounts of time. As always, there are 3 levels throughout the DVD workouts. This allows you to build your fitness level or simply change the pace as needed.

Jillian delivers superb instruction with a large focus on form. You know I love form since THAT is they key to changing your body shape! So, I naturally love her emphasis on good form. She also gives clear instruction and plenty of options for the movements.

Each level is about 30 minutes and gives you a killer workout. The core is one of my favorite body parts to train and JM has found new ways to do it!

I highly recommend throwing this DVD in your rotation 3-5 times per week to help you get the lean abs you desire.

Have a healthy day!

Michelle

New DVD Releases and My Personal Home Workout Favorites

Good Monday Morning!

You know I love good, home based workouts and a lot of times it is really nice to just zone out and let somebody else tell us what to do right?

Enter fitness DVD’s. At home DVD’s are a great way to get your workouts in and get your sweat on, provided you have the motivation to push play (hey, we can’t do everything for you!).

Some of the drawbacks of in home DVD’s are the boredom factor (same joke every time!) and queuing and safety issues. It is my belief that the benefits far outweight the drawbacks and as long as you know your body and stay within your capacity then you can bypass injury. Also, mix it up! One fun thing is to put together a Fitness DVD swap with your friends, and you get bonus points if everybody brings a healthy recipe to swap as well. :)

Here are some newer Fitness DVD’s on the market:

Billy Blanks Tae Bo Express

I just love me some Billy! The entire Tae Bo community is really awesome and worth getting to know. This DVD is perfect for those wanting the benefits of Tae Bo without the hour-long workouts. This DVD 8 different and focused workouts lasting 11-12 minutes a piece. So you can feel free to put together your own workout based on the time you have available and what you are wanting to accomplish. There is bootcamp and even toning as well as abs all on one awesome DVD. the energy is truly un-matchable and as always, Billy is dead on with queuing and choreography.

Amy Dixon Gimme 10: Core Cuts

If you do not know Amy Dixon, please go check her out. I may be partial as I have been a fan ever since I saw her first kickboxing stint on excersizetv, plus I love her hair. Still, find her and see what she’s all about. Amy is not only cute as a button, but her queuing is above and beyond which makes working out at home safer and more effective. Core Cuts offers 6 different workouts for your abs, including the stability ball! I love the ball! So, these are workouts that can fit easily into any schedule and provide a total core workout, instead of just the 6 pack. By the way, I must say I enjoy core cuts even better than Bob Harper’s Totally Ripped Core. Simma down! Amy gives clear instruction with an underlying tenderness that enables you to try a little harder, instead of feeling a little beat down.

Jillian Michaels Body Revolution

Take note, this system is not available YET, but you can get on a waiting list. OK, so I have to say, Jillian is still surprising me with new things. I mean, I really think that sometimes she’s done, but this system has proven me wrong. This is an entire body transformation system with 15 workouts, spanning all workout genres, from kickboxing to core to aerobics to toning to yoga, it has it all! These DVD’s have a lot more pretty people to look at :) and in true Jillian form the instructions are clear and modifications are given and encouraged. Spot on!

Bob Harper’s Beginners Weight Loss Transformation

Ready for a slightly softer approach? Just slightly :) Bob Harper has taken into account the fact that some are either new to exercise or are carrying a lot of extra weight (hey, I totally know it is NO fun to do a push up with 100 extra pounds on your frame!) and has adapted to help those who want to get in shape have a solid platform. This DVD is true to Bob’s form and point of view, so don’t expect a ton of sugar-coating. It is a great place to start and one you can come back to again and again. Slightly less harsh and a whole lotta sweat!

 

Those are the newbies, here are a few I keep in rotation:

Tae Bo Amped

Exhale Core Fusion Power Sculpt

Tracy Anderson Method

Sadie Nardini Yoga

Amy Dixon Breathless Body

I like to mix up my workouts as often as possible since I tend to get bored. My own personal routines have yoga every day, with longer sessions 3-4 times per week.

That’s what works for me, find out what works for you and stay fit and healthy!

Michelle

DVD Review: Ellen Barrett Grace and Gusto

Hey guys!

Excited to get back up in the DVD reviews and man do I have a lot for you!

Today’s DVD is: Ellen Barrett Grace and Gusto

If you do not know who Ellen Barrett is, check out her site at www.ellenbarrett.com. I’ve been following her for the whole of my fitness career and maybe even longer :)

I absolutely adore her! She is cute as a button with lots of energy, but not the annoying kind. Her fitness philosophy stems from the mind/body method, but is truly unique. I have searched for other DVD’s that are close to hers, but have yet to find any. The sequencing, pace, energy, and flow are all unique to her own style.

Grace and Gusto is the latest release from her LIVE DVD series and it has already become my favorite. The moves are challenging enough to get a good sweat going (ok, I know graceful ladies call it a “glow”, but I sweat like a pig!) yet the focus is on big, grand movements which helps to create length in the muscles.

I love the pace of all of her DVD’s, but this one does seem just a tad more intense. Her workouts are effective and a great workout for beginners to advanced. There are always modifications given and you truly do not think that the move is as hard as it actually is! Grace and Gusto has earned a permanent place in my rotations and I will be attending this class at least once per week :)

All of her DVD’s are about 45 minutes per workout, which makes it great for us busy moms. Trust me, you get what you need in 45 minutes! Since Ellen always focuses on the long, lean lines of the body (think dancers physique) you are guaranteed to integrate your core at all times.

This is an awesome DVD to have in your queue, especially for cross training with higher impact sports. I give it a bazillion stars (you know, my rating system may need tweaking…)

Visit her site above for more info and even more DVD’s!

I’ll be back later with reviews for some new Jillian Michaels, Bob Harper, Tracy Anderson, and Tae Bo so stay tuned in!

Here’s to the FIT life!

Michelle

DVD REVIEW TIME! JM Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism

Am I totally late on this or what? I actually had and DID this DVD for a while until I outgrew it. This DVD is challenging enough for beginner to intermediate levels and offers loads of variety to make moves harder or more doable (I hate to say easier! The moves should never be easy). Jillian Michaels seems a little softer, personality wise, with these DVDs. That’s good news for those who complain about her hardcore approach. The DVD itself runs about 55 minutes, with the actual workout clocking in at about 48 minutes. Jillian uses her trademark circuits and the best news is there is NO equipment. You’re toning with your own body weight so there are a lot of body weight exercises that are extremely effective. Her brand of kickboxing is not really my cup of tea (it’s a little soft around the edges), but she does a great job of keeping the flow going and moving from upper to lower exercises quickly to increase calorie burn. You can find this DVD cheap at Collage Video.

I think this is a great workout for beginner/intermediates and if you find yourself looking for more of a fat burning challenge, I suggest my man Shaun T’s INSANITY. You know you want to get INSANE :) I’ll post a full review of that next week, but for now you can check it out here: http://beachbodycoach.com/MichelleCFIT

Head back tomorrow for Fun Friday! I have a real treat planned for you :)

Be healthy, Get happy!

Michelle

Review: Jillian Michaels Extreme Shed and Shred

Jillian Michaels Extreme Shed and Shred

Hey Fit Lifers!

Today I am reviewing another Jillian Michaels workout DVD. Why so many JM DVD’s? Well, people eat them up like candy after a rough week since she’s a “celebrity trainer”. That term is a whole different post. Anyways, I feel it is best if we are educated about what we are getting into :)

So, on average I like the DVD. The one downside is that if you already own a lot of JM DVD’s (30 day Shred, No more trouble zones, Killer buns and thighs, etc) you aren’t getting totally new workouts here. JM has her brand of fitness and it’s short and sweet. These DVD’s fit into just about any schedule and she truly has found her workout niche. There are two thirty minute workouts on this DVD each with beginning modifications. I like the way she talks about breathing since many of us choose not to do that during our workout. Overall, Extreme Shed and Shred is great for those who are still more drawn to their couch than the gym, and that’s JM’s specialty! You can get in and out fast, however you will not be burning enough to return to your couch for the rest of the day. If you’re more of an avid exerciser, then you’ll want to opt for something more challenging.

Beginners enjoy! More advanced athletes, run over to the next :)

Remember, you get a home DVD workout review EVERY Monday, so come back next Monday and I’ll be tackling the original P90X PLUS giving you some information on the differences in P90X2.

Don’t miss it!

Have a healthy day,

Michelle

DVD Review: Biggest Loser Calorie Knockout

Hey guys!

Even though it’s a holiday, you’re still getting a DVD review! For your consideration:

The Biggest Loser Calorie Knockout

OK…..

If you are a fan of the Biggest Loser, then chances are you’ve owned or still own a workout from this franchise. Let’s go through the pluses of the DVD first shall we? As always, the contestants are providing the visual class with modifications. I like this! Some videos have what appear to be unattainable figures (though it’s now my belief you can achieve the body you have the time/effort/resources/drive to achieve). These are totally real people, sweating and struggling through it. There are plenty of modifications and fitness levels covered so this becomes an effective workout that is totally doable. Bob Harper is once again on the charge and is one of the good things as I believe he gives the clearest instruction and best form advice. There are several workouts to choose from based on time, so you can mix it up a bit.

Now, the bad. I must be totally honest that I don’t watch the show itself as I once did (even though Bob rocks!). I was disappointed at the change in trainers. Well, let me re-phrase. I think a change in trainers is good, but a non trainer being a trainer is not. Perhaps that’s just me. I’ve put in the hours and money and sweat and tears into my education and I value it even when people really don’t care to know what all the letters after my name mean. So, a sports personality training just didn’t sit well with me and it doesn’t in this video either. There are 2 other trainers here offering other workouts. One gives cues on form, but their form itself is awful. No rounding the back should mean no rounding the back, period. The pace was a little off and the instruction was not as well laid out as a veteran (this is either a gift you have or spend a lot of time perfecting).

The bad outweighs the good for me on this one and I think you would be better off with one of Bob Harper’s or Jillian Michael’s older DVD’s. Speaking of JM, I’ll be reviewing her new DVD Extreme Shed and Shred next week, so make sure you stop by. :)

Have a healthy day!

Michelle