She arrived on our doorstep in a cardboard box late last week wearing her little workout bra and flashing those famous abs and that funny little mole on her right boob.
I took several deep breaths, checked my sanity, and started the program bright and early Monday morning.
Monday - Strength Workout 1
Tuesday - Strength Workout 2
Wednesday - Cardio DVD 1
Thursday - Repeat Strength Workout 1
Friday - Repeat Strength Workout 2
Saturday - Repeat Cardio DVD 1
Sunday - Rest (bless you, Sunday)
For the second two-week segment, this pattern is repeated, but you "graduate" -- if you're still able to walk -- to workouts 3 & 4. It changes every two weeks like this until you've gone all the way through to the final DVDs, workouts 11 & 12.
Since it's Wednesday and I've now completed all three of the workouts in the first segment, I can officially declare myself an expert and offer you the benefit of my vast experience with these workouts.
I would say that the first two weeks of Jillian's program are geared toward the newbies. If you're new to exercise - or it's been a while and you're feeling out of shape- you'll be challenged, but you won't die from these workouts. They are meant to ease you into her program. I can tell you that none of these exercises are new to me, so, while it was still a good workout, it wasn't call-me-an-ambulance-I'm-having-a-stroke challenging, like what you might expect from Jillian Michaels. You'll do donkey kicks and squats and shoulder presses and rows and push ups and suicide drills and a whole lotta other stuff that doesn't sound like very much fun.
It's not supposed to be fun. Suck it up.
I'll tell you what I love about these workouts:
I have a very severe case of exercise ADD. Put me on a treadmill or stationary bike and within 10 minutes I'm ready to be done. Doing the SAME, BORING movement for long periods of time is NOT for me. When I get bored, I get lazy. Plus, my mind wanders and I start thinking about cheeseburgers. Not good. But these workouts are done in circuits made up of 30-60 second moves, which helps tremendously with boredom.
What? We get to change it up every half a minute or so? I can SO do that!
The workouts are only 30 minutes, but they're intensity-packed, and they go by quickly thanks to the constant changing of movements. I can dig it. I haven't thought about cheeseburgers ONCE while doing these workouts.
So my assessment so far is two enthusiastic thumbs up. If I had three thumbs, I'd give her three. But alas, I am cursed with the normal number of thumbs. As the workouts get harder, I may be putting up a different set of fingers, but let's not talk about that. Wouldn't be very lady-like.
So to sum up, she eases you into the program, she packs more power into less time, and she makes the workouts go by quickly with the way she runs the circuits.
NOTE: If you're horribly offended by words like "ass," "hell," or "damn," you might want to skip this program. What'd you expect? It's Jillian-freaking-Michaels! No unicorns or rainbows here, people.
Stuff I don't like:
1. If I close my eyes or look away from the TV, Jillian becomes a man. Go ahead, next time you see Jillian on TV, try closing your eyes while listening and tell me she doesn't sound like a man.
Eyes open: Hot, fit chick in spandex leading a workout. Eyes closed: Man yelling at me to "KEEP GOING OR I'M GOING TO COME THROUGH THAT TV AND WHOOP YOUR A**!" I'm just going to make sure I keep my eyes open and on the TV from now on. That way, Jillian stays a girl.
2. You know how you cheat and find future episodes of Downton Abbey online because you HAVE to know what happens next and then you really wish you hadn't done it? Let's just say that I did this with the next set of workouts to see what hell awaits me in week 5. And let's just say I'm really wishing I hadn't. There are times when it's better to just not know things. This would be one of those times.
Truth be told, I'm kind of looking forward to week 5. Bring it, Jillian Man-chaels. I ain't skeered.
Well, maybe a teensy bit ...