Jillian Michaels – Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism DVD Review

Today is my first DVD review. I have put it off because, in general, I haven’t used fitness DVDs for my workouts. I like getting in the weight room with my music on my iPod, doing my thing. As a reviewer this may be a good thing. I have a fresh perspective, not having already developed a favorite DVD or fitness personality. Not only is working out at home with a DVD a relatively new routine for me, the DVDs themselves are new to me as well. So here it goes.

I picked Jillian Michaels: Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism because it is one of the top 10 on Amazon in the fitness category. Due to the success of “The Biggest Loser”, Jillian Michaels is also very popular right now. Basically anything with her image sells. So I thought I would see what all the fuss was about. I was also curious if she would yell at me the way she yells at the contestants on the ranch.

The workout can be approached in a couple of different ways. She divides the content into circuits, each circuit consisting of 3-4 exercises repeated twice. If you are a beginner, you can pick and choose circuits to put together a workout that allows you to build up to the full workout. Since I am pretty sure I am past beginner, I decided to do the whole thing my first time out. That meant a 40 minute workout consisting of everything from kickboxing moves to walking planks.  At the end of the workout I was dripping with sweat, always a sign of success.

Let’s start first with what I liked.

  • Like I said, I was dripping with sweat by the end. It is a very good cardio workout. You are always moving, so your heart rate always stays up.
  • The circuits are not complicated. They are based on moves most of us already know, like jump squats or standing side crunches.  I didn’t feel like I had to overcome a huge learning curve for the workout to be effective.
  • She starts with kickboxing moves and I like to punch and kick. The one workout video I do own is Tai-Bo, so she had me at the first punch.
  • The option to customize the workout is nice. You can pick as many or as few of the circuits to do as you have time or endurance for.  This should help beginners not feel overwhelmed and allow for someone in a time crunch to get an effective workout.

Now, for the things that I didn’t like so much.

  • I wanted more of a resistance workout. I felt that my lower body got sufficiently exhausted with moves like jump squats, but my upper body felt a little neglected by the end.
  • I know the point is to keep moving, but a few seconds for water breaks would have been nice.
  • It would be helpful to have on the menu how long each individual circuit lasts. That way if you are short on time and need to make a 20 minute workout you can do so.
  • For some reason, the first couple of circuits made my feet hurt. This could be just me or it could be all the calisthenics up front. Beware if you don’t like or have an issue doing burpees.

Final Thoughts

All in all, I think this is a solid video. On a scale of 1-10 (1 being bottom of the barrel, 10 being the best workout I have ever done) I would give it a 7. It is simple and effective. Jillian does not yell at you nor is she overly enthusiastic. Anyone, at any level, should be able to get a good workout with this DVD.

Have you tried Jillian Michaels: Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism? Let me know what you think. If you want to give it a try, follow our Amazon link to order your copy today.

  • http://www.eat-to-lose-weight.now Linda

    I agree with your assessment of Jillian’s workouts. I followed along with one of her 20 minute workouts that was listed on “On Demand”. And even though it was just 20 minutes it was an extensive workout, one that followed a couple times a week showed results. Good review.

  • http://www.thrivepersonalfitness.com/about-pamela/ Pamela

    Thanks for the feedback! I may have to try those 20 minute ones as well.

  • http://www.fat2fitradio.com Russ Turley

    Like you, I tend not to use videos for workouts. The last one I tried, the P90 series, had too many jokes. After 4 or 5 days of the same jokes, I was done. How was this DVD in that regard? Would someone get tired of it quickly?

  • http://www.thrivepersonalfitness.com/about-pamela/ Pamela

    Not overly corny or peppy, of course could you image Jillian Michaels as peppy? She pretty much stays focused on the workout, with occasional ribbing of her workout partners about their extreme flexibility. I think I could do this one multiple times without getting annoyed.

  • http://losingmybehind.blogspot.com Cheryl

    Hey there, just wanted you to know that I awarded you two blogger awards today, you can check them out on my blog right now at http://losingmybehind.blogspot.com!

  • http://www.thrivepersonalfitness.com/about-pamela/ Pamela

    Hi! Really? Thanks!

  • Brittani

    I tried this DVD and was sold immediately. I bought it from Amazon a week ago. Today was the first day I did my own copy.
    You’re right, it keeps you moving. (I make my own water breaks). =) However, I do agree that there isn’t enough upper body resistance going on, though she does talk about how well you can do with JUST your body and no other equipment. From other videos (more specifically, the 30 Day Shred) I know that to up the resistance for upper body is to incorporate my dumbbells in the punches, jumping jacks, and running in place. That’s the one way I do so. But over all, I LOVE the video!

  • http://www.thrivepersonalfitness.com/about-pamela/ Pamela

    Glad you loved it! She’s set the bar really high with this one.

  • Julie Morgeson

    I’ve worked out for years. I cycle, swim, do yoga, lift weights, and do the elliptical. I now have a job where I travel extensively. I decided to buy DVDs so I could workout in a hotel room. Banish Fat Boost Metabolism is my favorite. I now do it once a week even at home. It’s one of the few workouts that doesn’t require ANY extra equipment. It’s wonderful if you travel, don’t have equipment and/or have only a small space where you can workout. It’s a very challenging workout. You work every part of your body. Every time I do it, I’m sore the next day.

    The negatives are that she does very few modifications for people with knee or back issues or those unable to do high impact exercise. The first time I did the workout, my sciatic was screaming for two days from all the impact. Fortunately for me I used to be a fitness instructor, so I created my own modifications. She does very little safety cueing. I definitely would not recommend this DVD for beginners.

    The music is annoying. I found it distracting the first time I did the workout. Since then I’ve been able to ignore it.

  • http://www.thrivepersonalfitness.com/about-pamela/ Pamela

    I agree, not a workout for those new to fitness. Thanks for sharing your feedback.

  • Amber

    I liked the work out, felt good when done. However I agree no upper body resistance ! I would like to give “shred” a try.

  • Christine

    I gotta disagree with you about the water break issue. If your DVD player has a pause function, you can take water breaks. I usually break after every two circuits. It gives me a chance to rehydrate and rest for a minute. Without those breaks, I wouldn’t make it through the whole video.

    You’re right about the lack of upper body work, though. As great as this video is, I wouldn’t recommend basing your entire fitness regime on it. I work out five days a week with a different video that works a different section of my body each day. I like to kick off the week with this one because 1. It gets my metabolism up after resting for the weekend and 2. Every work-out I do after it seems easy by comparison.

    All-in-all a solid work-out but it should not be the only thing you’re doing.

  • http://www.thrivepersonalfitness.com/about-pamela/ Pamela

    Great point Christine, thank you for sharing that idea.

  • Carolina

    I love the DVD, I’ve been working out with it for a month… or two, havent loss any weight, but I feel great! (I haven’t been dieting either. I agree with Pamela on pretty much everything she says in her review. I did feel I was missing something and now (when I have time) I do both the banish fat, boost metabolism and the no more trouble zones. When I do both of them I skip the cool down of one and the warm up of the second one. After 1 1/2 hrs I feel like a million bucks!
    the boost metabolism DVD also hurts my feet and I bought different shoes (I was using shape ups) the pain decreased but not by much. And sometimes they hurt and sometimes they don’t… So I haven’t figured out what’s the deal with that. I’m flat footed too, so that might add up.

  • http://www.thrivepersonalfitness.com/about-pamela/ Pamela

    Have you tried doing some workouts barefoot? That can help develop your natural arch.

  • http://www.cardio-workouts-at-home.com Ania

    Jillian Michaels seems to be taking over the fitness world, if you search for top exercise videos on Amazon it’s Jillian Michaels, Jillian Michaels and more Jillian Michaels.

  • http://www.thrivepersonalfitness.com/about-pamela/ Pamela

    And the review is on of my most popular posts. :)

  • Gigi

    Loved this DVD! It helped me loose 105lbs.! My daughter is starting to use it now! I was so worried that with loosing so much weight that I would have skin sagging everywhere! Everything has tightened up pretty good! So grateful I bought this DVD! Thank you Jillian!

  • http://www.thrivepersonalfitness.com/ Pamela Hernandez

    Have you tried Hard Body yet?