Sunday 5 February 2017

Jillian Michaels 10 Minute Body Transformation Review

Price: £12 / $9
Length: 5x 10 minutes
Workouts: All-over body (cardio, abs, strength)
Suitable for: everyone; some kickboxing knowledge required
Overall Rating:   ★★★★☆
Enjoyment:  ★★★☆☆   Difficulty:  ★★★★★   Results:  ★★★★☆
   I started my fitness journey 3 years ago with a Wii Fit and some 10 Minute Solution DVDs. They were a really good starting point, and the DVDs in particular lasted me ages, but even way back then I knew I wasn't going to get any real results after just 10 minutes of work so I always did a few workouts back to back.
   When I discovered Jillian Michaels and her 30 Day Shred back in 2014, I really started to up my game and found that the workouts I was getting in those 10 minutes, even if I did three of them, were quite low-impact and intentionally designed for newbies. I realised I'd been wasting my time, because I only started seeing considerable results when I moved onto her DVDs, and so, when I saw she had released 10 Minute Body, I was intrigued and dubious. I figured, in interest, that it could be insane because of Jillian's 'don't waste time' mindset - just because you only have 10 minutes doesn't mean it should be easy. Alternatively, what concerned me was the idea that perhaps it would be easy because it was only 10 minutes, and what can you really pack into that?
   I usually skip the intro of these DVDs, but in this case, I wanted to know Jillian's intentions behind this DVD. I wasn't disappointed. She says that if you have 10 minutes, give her everything you've got in those 10 minutes, but if you have 20 minutes, do two workouts, 30 minutes, do three. This is how I used to use 10 Minute Solution DVDs (and still do with Knockout Body), and while it's true that doing just one workout from this DVD will certainly do something for you, far more than other 10 minute workouts, you'll never get any actual results if you stick to just 10 minutes a day, no matter how intense. But this DVD can provide an amazing and varied 30-minute workout by selecting 3 workouts, or a full 50 minutes, though that is incredibly difficult. Alternatively, it's a brilliant DVD to have in your fitness collection for those days when you don't have time but don't want to miss out on mobility, or simply want to move.

   Made up of five 10-minute workouts in varying styles and methods, this DVD is designed for days when you don't have time but can't afford to miss a workout, or as a means of creating your own hybrid fusion workout, combining different styles - Pilates, kickboxing, calisthenics - into one session. And because it's so easy to stack the 10-minute workouts, you can do just 10 minutes, or you can do far more. You have more control, and as 10 minutes doesn't feel intimidating, even when you've finished what you planned to do, you may find yourself saying "I can do one more". After a 2-minute break, perhaps.
   But these 10 minutes are not easy. The idea is that if you're only going to do 10 minutes, you have to give those 10 minutes everything. So consider these workouts typical Jillian Michaels workouts that have been compressed from 30 minutes into 10.

   You need very little for this DVD. A mat is ideal for most of them for the sake of comfort, especially during Pilates Power and Calisthenics, but it's also nice for a couple of moves in Booty Bootcamp and Cardio Burn where your elbows and/or knees are on the ground. Or if you have a wooden floor and no gloves, and so are likely to slip.
   Hand weights are only needed for Booty Bootcamp as your arms are engaged with weights at the shoulders for just over half of the moves, but in this case just one set of medium weights are best. I alternate between 4kg (9lbs) for deadlifts and a goblet squat, while I use 2.5kg (5lbs) for the rest. So a variety is nice if you have them, to make sure you give every move your best, but if you only have one set of weights, it won't make too much of a difference. The deadlift in question is single-legged, putting more work into your standing leg, and the goblet squat is more of a goddess squat than a regular one, putting more work into your glutes and quads through the depth and range of motion. So the weights themselves are not totally vital - but it is only 10 minutes.

   The DVD lists the five workouts, each 10 minutes long, between a 2.5 minute warm-up section at the top and a 2.5 minute cool down section at the bottom. The idea is that you do your warm up, then select a workout, then do the cool-down. This means that you'll do a minimum of 15 minutes, and this is good because if you're only doing a 10 minute workout, you don't want half of that taken up with a warm up and cool down. Every one of these sections are 10 minutes of work.
   Alternatively, the workouts are also listed on the menu in the ideal order for if you were to do the entire thing all the way through, though I stress that the full 50-minute run is very demanding. After the warm up, you begin with Pilates Power - controlled but powerful Pilates movements to build strength, use up the energy in your muscles without exhausting you, and warm up your body all the more, working while still avoiding the threat of pulled muscles (a 2.5 minute warm up isn't much, after all) - followed by high-impact, pure cardio with Cardio Burn, then Booty Bootcamp to recover your breath without resting your muscles nor heart rate. The real 'rest' comes with Calisthenics, when you get your breath back more and let your heart rate drop a little, and then when you finish up with Kickboxing, you've got the energy and mindset to tackle those last 10 minutes. Then stretch in the cool-down - though you might want to run through it twice if you've done the whole DVD.
   Each workout is 10 minutes - not 9, ten minutes - and consists of a 5-minute circuit completed twice, once on each side of the body where applicable.

Pilates Power - I'm always surprised by Pilates. It never looks all that difficult, but it's probably the lowest-impact resistance workout (in terms of affecting the heart rate) there is. It's very difficult, though none of the moves are particularly unusual for Pilates, but rather it's the fact that it takes both strength and flexibility to execute. Pilates itself is not for total newbies, and while there are modifications in this 10-minute workout, it is still a challenge, though a manageable one. You will feel this workout in your legs at the beginning, and your abs by the end. I also have to say that it's nice that Jillian makes it known that it is, really, Shannon's workout, one of her assistant instructors and the woman who taught Jillian Pilates. It's also the one workout where Jillian seems calm. Strangely calm.
Cardio Burn - This is brutal. It is what you would expect for a compressed Jillian Michaels workout: burpees, frog hops, complicated variations of basic moves like high knees, and other wonderfully awful things. I hated it - I hate cardio in general, but I really hated this, and had to remind myself far too many times that it was only 10 minutes. Which means it's one of the workouts on the DVD you really don't want to skip. For it to be so horrible, it has to yield results.
Booty Bootcamp - Though the focus on this workout is all in the bum, your arms are still constantly engaged with hand weights, keeping the blood pumping up and down, burning more calories and, effectively, more fat. It's high impact, though not on the scale of Cardio Burn or Kickboxing, but it's a great workout for combining resistance and cardio with the most balanced ratio out of the five.
Calisthenics - It's more dynamic than I expected it to be; while still slower and more controlled than other sections on this DVD, it still keeps your heart rate up (plyometric single-legged bridges, yikes). I was sweating by the end, and calisthenics had been the first workout I'd used from the DVD, so it couldn't have been overkill, but it's also low-impact enough to be able to manage at the end if you decide 30 minutes isn't enough and want a little more (assuming you used three other workouts).
Kickboxing - There's very little chance to get your breath back in this non-stop kickboxing section; you do need to know your punches and kicks beforehand as it's made up entirely of quick combinations, and if you don't know how to hook or round-kick, you're gonna have a bad time. Of course, Jillian's Kickbox Fast Fix is an amazing 3x 20 minute workout DVD that will teach you how to kickbox while giving you an amazing cardio workout in the process.

Enjoyment:  ★★★☆☆  -  A difficult workout, not conventionally 'fun', but the variety on the DVD lets you shake it up a lot and really avoids boredom.
Difficulty:  ★★★★★  -  It's Jillian Michaels. In 10 minutes. It's far from easy!
Results:  ★★★★☆  -  Depends how you use it. If you only ever use it for 10 minutes at a time, you're not going to see results, but if you use it for about 30 minutes a time, you are guaranteed results.

   Every single workout provided on this DVD is like a Jillian Michaels workout in miniature. All the sweat and hard work compressed into just 10 minutes. It's not enough time to get your body burning fat - it takes about 20 minutes before that happens - but if you follow her suggestion and compile a 20-30 minute session with a combination of the workouts provided, you'll get amazing results - in fact, from my experience, you'll get a workout more intense than a usual 30 minute Jillian Michaels workout.
   The DVD is amazing, it shattered my hopes and my concerns were unwarranted.
   ...Except one: the warm up isn't enough. I do understand the decision to make it only 2.5 minutes - people wouldn't be too impressed if it took 20 minutes to complete a 10 minute workout - but a warm up is vital for avoiding injury in the workout as well as opening your body up to get the most of out. My main concern here was that the warm up would be included in the 10 minutes for each workout, and that would have been much worse - it would have been an even shorter warm up, and the workout would be reduced, too - so I'm really glad it's at least been done this way instead.
   I would recommend doing some butt-kicks, high knees and jumping jacks for 2.5 minutes before beginning the DVD's own warm up. Warm ups are becoming a little too quick on DVDs these days, I've noticed, and I think people are more concerned about time than about avoiding injury - some people skip the warm up altogether. I remedy it by doing my own for a full 5 minutes before embarking on the warm up provided by the DVD. I want to hurt and ache from hard work, not stupidity.

   Otherwise, Jillian Michaels' 10 Minute Body is all you really want from a 10 minute workout. It's intense enough that 10 minutes will leave you feeling like you've accomplished something, but the workouts provided are all versatile enough to be stacked up in any order you want to make anything from a 20 minute workout to 50 - or more if you are insane and were to repeat a few. It's high-impact, it will give results when used alongside good eating, and it should, in my opinion, be a staple in everyone's fitness DVD collection for those days when you don't have the time or the drive.


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