In a previous post I talked about my fitness philosophy and how I stay committed to working out. One of the cornerstones of my fitness plan is working out at home. I got some questions about what, specifically, are my favorite at-home workouts so I made a list! Fair warning: the majority of this list includes Jillian Michaels because I have a major girl crush on her and why wouldn’t I? You should, too.
- Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. An absolute classic. I’ve had it for years and it still never fails to challenge me. I think this is the first iteration of JM’s “3-2-1” workout format which is circuit training consisting of 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio, and 1 minute of abs. The circuit is repeated 3 times for a total of 18 minutes of actual work. For me, the intervals are the perfect length. I hate cardio but at only 2 minutes a pop, I can go balls to the wall for that short burst and then get some relief in ab work which is one of my strengths. There are three levels on this one. I happen to really like Level 1 and with a few modifications (heavier weights, different ab moves, planking cardio for added strength/less impact on my shitty spine) I can still get a lot out of it and feel sore the next day. This is my #1 at-home workout recommendation, time after time. It’s good for any level, is truly “full body,” and incorporates strength AND cardio which I think is the real key in changing your body. And at 18 minutes, sorry but you’re fucking lying if you say you don’t have time for it.
- Jillian Michaels 10 Minute Body Transformation: Volume 1 and Volume 2. I love these for their versatility. Another thing I love about them is that JM looks really pretty in them and her outfits are great and like I said… #GIRLCRUSH. Each volume has five 10-minute workouts. Volume 1 has Pilates, Cardio Burn (nearly killed me, yes it’s only 10 minutes, yes I still almost died), Booty Boot Camp, Calisthenics, and Kickbox Blast. Volume 2 has HIIT/Plyo (I don’t really do this one because plyo isn’t ideal for my back), Hard Core, Animal Style, Lift, and Yoga. Of these, the ones I do the most (in order) are Lift, Hard Core, Pilates, Yoga, Calisthenics. One of my favorite ways to use these is to ride my spin bike for 15-20 minutes, hop off and do the 10-minute JM “Lift” routine for a good cardio/strength combo. I also love to combine 2-3 of just these for a full body workout. A lot of the time, that “combining” happens throughout the period of an entire day. I’ll do 10 minutes in the morning, 10 in the afternoon, and 10 at night. It sounds insane and inconvenient, but sometimes I only have 10 minutes at a time to give and it adds up! Or, if there’s a day when I cannot get my head around working out, I’ll tell myself I’m going to just do one of them. Sometimes after I do the one, I’ll pick another either right away or later on in the day. And sometimes I don’t and I’m totally fine with that because these are DENSE and effective in a very short period of time.
- Jillian Michaels 6 Week Six-Pack. The title of this one suggests that it’s ab-focused but it’s definitely much more than that. In my opinion, it’s full body and it’s about 26 minutes of actual work. I like to throw this one in to mix it up because it doesn’t follow her traditional 3-2-1 format. It’s one circuit of 10-15 exercises repeated twice. There are two levels and, in my opinion, Level 2 isn’t really harder than Level 1. I love all the different sit-up variations and all the low back work. This one is really hard. The first time I got to the end of the first circuit I thought the whole thing was done and then she said it was time to get back up and do it all over again and I nearly died. I actually may have stopped completely because I just wasn’t mentally prepared. OK, I did stop. But I can do the whole thing through now!
- Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30. Basically the same as 30 Day Shred (the 3-2-1 circuit training) but there are 4 workouts on this one instead of 3 and instead of doing two strength moves for 3 minutes, you do three strength moves for 3 minutes which makes it go a little faster but I’m not sure my muscles fatigue as much. It says the workouts are longer than 30 Day Shred, but it’s still the same number of circuits so it must just be the warmup and cool down that make them longer and who actually does either of those things anyway? OK, probably some people do but I don’t because YOLO. I really like all the workouts except for Level 3 – it’s just not my thing and it hurts my knee joints.
- Jillian Michaels Killer Body. This has 3 separate 30-minute workouts, each focusing on a different muscle group — core, lower body, and upper body. Each workout consists of four strength circuits separated by 1-minute cardio intervals. I absolutely love the upper body one, even if I do almost faceplant every time I attempt the crossover pushups. Mark my words: One day I will break my nose doing crossover pushups. I like the lower body one and I don’t love the core one compared to other things I do specifically for my core (namely, her “Hard Core” from Total Body Transformations Volume 2 and 6 Week Six-Pack). For me, it’s hard to get my head around devoting an entire workout to one muscle group but, as with all her workouts, it does end up being full body to some degree and it’s fun to mix it up.
- Cheap spin bike + Peloton app. About a year ago, husband was talking about getting a spin bike and at that time everybody was getting Peloton bikes. As spin novices, we decided it was completely insane to buy a $2000 piece of gym equipment that we might never use and opted for a (much) cheaper spin bike and said if we used it consistently we’d eventually upgrade to a real Peloton. Well, we’ve had our Sunny bike for a year and we are definitely not upgrading any time soon. The secret is the Peloton app, which is only $14/month! This is the same app that the actual Peloton bike owners use, except they pay much more for it per month. The reason they pay more is that their bikes actually link to the app so the trainers can see them and talk to them if they’re doing a live ride, they can be on the leader board, and they can see their actual stats. We just strap our cracked-screen iPad to the front of our cheap bike and it works perfectly fine. I don’t need to see specifically how fast my legs are moving per minute and I most certainly do not need to pay $2k for a bike plus $40/month to have a trainer call out my username mid-ride. My philosophy is if I’m sweating, it’s working. With the app, we still have access to all the same live rides and the entire streaming library. You can filter by time (I like 15-20 minute rides), workout type (I like HIIT and climbs), and a few other options. For at-home cardio, this is my favorite option because I’m a meathead and I like to put the resistance up insanely high so I can sneak in some leg strength work.
With all these options for at-home workouts, I find it really easy to mix it up, keep it fun and different so I don’t get bored, and also hit a ton of different muscles so none of them are ever “too easy” for me and I still get sore from all of them.
What are some of your favorite at-home workouts?
Also, and most importantly: Can at least one person get the Jillian Michaels 10 Minute Body Transformation: Volume 1 and do the 10 minute cardio and report back that they almost died too so I can stop feeling so bad about myself for that?
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