First, she has a girl doing modified versions of movements, that was a good start I thought, acknowledging that people are at different fitness levels. The program is set up as intervals, 3 minutes of strength, 2 min of cardio then 1 min of abs, and then straight into the next interval without rest. I knew it would be challenging. It starts off with a "stretching" session, I use that term loosely because it is basically swinging your arms around for 15 seconds and a couple hip swivels. Then it's into jumping jacks to warm up. If you are a woman of moderate endowment, heed my advice and double or triple up on the sports bra, there's a lot of fricking jumping in this workout. And, no modifications for them, no accounting for the fact that some people have bad knees, hips or back. Jillian says that she wants no excuses, she has "400 pound clients that can do jumping jacks, so can you". Ummm, I lost 40% of the cartilage in my right knee, if running isn't smart, jumping probably isn't either. But I did my best as I held my flailing pieces together. There wasn't a lot of forewarning as to what the next thing would be, which made me lose a slight bit of the workout catching up. It's a minor complaint, I'll catch on the more I do it. I didn't feel there was a lot of instruction on form for the strength stuff, or maybe it came in too late after we'd already begun a move. There was one move that I was really uncoordinated with and I would have benefited from having clearer form instructions earlier on. I just kept thinking that she reminded me of a far less charming version on Susan Powter.
To be fair, Jillian advertises that you can lose up to 20 pounds in 30 days and explains that if she's going to make big promises, she's got to give a program that delivers. I can appreciate that. I purchased it, used it and kept it by choice because it kicked my booty all over the place! That is its intention and it makes no false pretenses. I just wish she were a little more mindful of those of us who have injuries to deal with. I will keep using the video, it has merit and I think it will help a lot with weakness in my core, which is the stem of all my lower body issues I've been having over the years. My knee was a little irritated afterwards, but there was a lot of leg work, squats and lunges. I think I'll try the jumping one more time to be sure and modify the cardio sections to something lower impact of the knee continues to bother me. My other gripe is that there was virtually no cool down, we went straight out of the final interval into three static stretches, each being held for what felt like only 5 seconds. I had to walk around to cool down.
My muscles were so shakey and tired for so long after, I was wondering how the heck I'll ever reach a point where level one isn't challenging enough and I have to move to level 2. Then I thought of Susan Powter's words, "Modify and keep going!" Thank you, Susan, I think I will!