Ripped in 30
with trainer Jillian Michaels
You will love it if:
Jillian’s sassy, no-nonsense personality comes out in full force in these workouts (even a bit too strongly in the Week #2 workout). The workouts start with a 4 minute warm-up, followed by 3 circuits, and a 3 1/2 minute cool-down. Each of the 3 circuits uses the 3-2-1 interval training system that Jillian is well known for. (3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio, and 1 minute of core work.) The circuit starts with a sequence of three 30 second strength moves that are repeated through twice. This is followed by two 30 second cardio moves repeated through twice and then two thirty second abdominal moves. (The ab moves are not repeated.)
The workouts are similar to other Jillian videos in many respects. Just like the rest of her videos, she has two actresses doing the workout with her—one doing the advanced version and one doing the modified version. As in many of her other videos, these workouts require different sized handweights—the actresses use small handweights (I think they are 3 pounds) throughout the videos, but you really need a variety of different sized weights to get a good workout. One thing I don’t like about these videos is that you really need to switch the size weight you are using pretty often in order to get the best workout possible for different body parts, but Jillian doesn’t give much guidance to let you know when to switch weights or what size to use. You’ll just have to figure that out on your own. Once you get used to the workouts and know a leg or back move is coming up, you can anticipate that and switch to larger weights. But the first few times through the videos, it’s tricky…even frustrating.
These videos include a lot of combination moves that combine arm, leg, and/or core work. Overall, Jillian does a good job of giving you a balanced workout—focusing equally on all muscles in the body rather than concentrating on one or two. Some workouts focus more on triceps or glutes or hamstrings than others, but if you do a mix of all 4 workouts, you’ll get a great balance of strength training to all of your muscle groups plus a good deal of cardio. In terms of an all-around great workout, these workouts are the best. There are tons of moves done in plank—which are killer for your core. There are also a lot of high-impact, plyometric moves that are great for building strength in your legs and endurance, but they are hard on the joints. The modified version reduces the stress on the joints slightly, but not a ton.
One nice thing about these workouts is that you have the option of playing them with dubbed over Spanish or English subtitles if you are Spanish speaking (or want to practice your Spanish) or hearing impaired.
I would recommend several different sized handweights. 3, 5, and 8 for a beginner or 5, 8, and 10 for more advanced. (Bigger if you’re a guy or an amazon.) You’ll also want a larger weight (10 – 25 pounds) for one of the moves in the first video. I use a 15 pound kettlebell.
Add a couple feet to your height and make sure your space is at least that wide and almost as deep. You should also be able to jump with your arms stretched out above your head.
You need to be able to do a minimum of 2 minutes of intense cardio—jump lunges, jumping jacks, jumping rope, high knees, mountain climbers, etc.—hold a plank for about 1 minute, do 10-15 push-ups (girl push-ups work), and about 20 alternating lunges. Remember, you will be doing a similar (but harder) routine 3 times in a row. Also, be forewarned that there are several moves in these videos that require excellent balance.
What NOT to Expect
Honestly, with the 3-2-1 interval training method and the excellent job Jillian does of targeting a variety of muscle groups, you can really expect just about everything from this video. However, the workouts are pretty short, and even though they are intense, you will only be getting a taste of everything. A little bit of cardio, a little bit of core strength, a little bit of arm strength, and a little bit of leg strength. If you really want to focus on building your core strength, or leg strength, or cardio endurance, you should try a workout that focuses more on a single thing.
How does Ripped in 30 compare to other similar programs?
30 Day Shred is a very similar workout program except that the focus is more on arm strength training with a smattering of leg and core strength worked in. Also, the cardio segments in 30 Day Shred are a bit easier than they are in Ripped in 30. If you love Jillian but want to focus in only on cardio, strength, ab work, or leg work, she has many other videos available that do just that. I would recommend checking out Banish Fat Boost Metabolism, No More Trouble Zones, 6-Week Six Pack, or Killer Buns & Thighs. These workouts don’t follow the 3-2-1 interval training method and they are longer (40 to 55 minutes), but they are all intense and very good.
If you like the idea of a short, intense workout program but have knee, ankle, or hip problems, Focus T25 might be a better fit. The workouts in Focus T25 are about the same length and intensity as the workouts in Ripped in 30, but the modified actress shows a no impact version that will be helpful for those with joint problems. However, in Focus T25, each workout focuses on something different (upper body strength, lower body strength, core strength, or cardio), whereas in Ripped in 30, you will be doing cardio and strength for every muscle group in the same workout. Zuzka also offers a variety of very short, very intense workouts that are great full body workouts. ZCUT Power Strength focuses more on strength training while ZCUT Power Cardio focuses on cardio endurance and plyometrics. The ZCUT workouts are super intense (a notch or two harder than Ripped in 30) and are between 10 and 15 minutes long, but once you add in a warm-up and cool-down stretch, it takes about more than 25 to 30 minutes from start to finish to complete the ZCUT workouts.
MORE FOCUS ON BUTT & THIGHS
Killer Buns & Thighs
MORE FOCUS ON ABS
6 Week Six-Pack
MORE FOCUS ON ARMS
30 Day Shred
No More Trouble Zones
LESS IMPACT ON JOINTS
SLIGHTLY MORE INTENSE WITH CARDIO FOCUS
ZCUT Power Cardio