Sunday 12 November 2017

No More Trouble Zones DVD Review

Price: £6
Length: 4x 4 minute dance routines + warm up & cool down
Workouts: All-over body (cardio, abs, strength)
Suitable for: Everyone
Overall Rating:   ★★★★★
Enjoyment:  ★★★☆☆   Difficulty:  ★★★★☆   Results:  ★★★★☆
Based on 5 weeks of use.

   I love a good Jillian Michaels workout. Love to hate them, too. They're always so tough. But, if you stick with them, you learn that tough works. Though that's not to say you should stick with something that you find tough until you find it easy. You need to change things up - that's why, for the past 3 years, I've changed my workout every month. Because, bottom line: easy gets you nowhere.
   It's true that No More Trouble Zones is an older title, but that doesn't mean it's outdated. Not at all. All of Jillian Michaels' DVDs seem to change things up every single time - you'll see a lot of familiar moves (there's only so many ways you can dress up a squat or a lunge), but there are always new variations and combinations to keep your body guessing. And No More Trouble Zones is no exception.

   No More Trouble Zones is a 45-minute workout (minus warm up and cool down) that focuses on the use of weights and compound moves (utilising multiple muscle groups at once, such as a shoulder press and a squat at the same time, rather than just one or the other) to build lean muscle, improve strength and create curves. Because good curves are made from sculpted (ie toned and trained) muscle, not from fat.
   Broken down into seven 6-minute circuits that focus on different areas of the body, the workout doesn't feel as though it drones on, instead there are clear and concise transitions that keep you and your body from getting bored. It's the same system used in Jillian Michaels' Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism, and it makes a 45-minute workout physically and mentally bearable.

   Dumbbells and an exercise mat for comfort's sake. A variety of weights are best so that you can get the most out of each movement. Personally, I use 1.5kgs (3lbs) for the first circuit, barring the first move where I use 2.5kg (5lbs), and I use 2.5kg to 4kg on the second and third circuits and then 2.5kg for the most part through the rest. This means I'm able to max out most circuits and get the best results, rather than breezing through some moves with weights that are too light and not pushing myself, and being unable to finish a set with others because they're too heavy.

   As with all of Jillian Michaels' workouts, there are always modifications to make an exercise easier or harder depending on your fitness level, then there are also the weights themselves - heavier or lighter depending on your strength.
   Unlike Banish Fat Boost Metabolism, which can be used to supplement this DVD, the only cardio involved in No More Trouble Zones comes from the compound moves. Compound moves burn fat and calories, but there will be a greater focus on developing lean muscle and strength. In Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism, the focus is more on the cardio, though the body weight movements also help to build lean muscle and stamina.
   If you're looking to shed fat, I strongly advise using both of these DVDs back to back for about 20 minutes each. Using No More Trouble Zones first will guarantee you burn all the energy in your muscles (glycogen) without exhausting yourself, and when you begin Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism right after, your body will start burning fat for energy instead, but you'll still be quite fresh-faced and ready to go. A 40 minute cardio-exclusive workout will exhaust you before you reach the fat-for-fuel mark and you'll be putting less effort in right when effort will count the most, resulting in less fat burn and greater exhaustion - physically and mentally.

   The entire DVD is a challenge, but as it's broken into seven circuits that each focus on different muscle groups, completing it from start to finish for the full 45 minutes is made achievable, with stamina and drive.
   That said, each circuit sits in its own DVD chapter, making it easy to skip certain circuits if you're looking for a shorter workout.
   The circuits are arranged as follows: shoulders, quads & glutes, chest & shoulders, biceps & glutes, triceps & quads, abs, and two final circuits focused on mat work for the whole body.

   In short, it's all you'd expect from a Jillian Michaels workout: compound moves, circuits, supersets and active recovery, that last point of which actually makes the entire 45 minute workout achievable in one go - though, naturally, the first four circuits are enough for a brilliant heart-thumping, muscling aching workout.
   I'm usually kind of glad to see the back of tough workouts after the 4/5 straight weeks that I use them, but this is one of the few exceptions. While I do re-use even the ones I hate, this DVD is one I'll return to eagerly.
   It's also complimented perfectly by Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism.


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