Common problems with the 30 Day Shred

While both Bill and I sing the praises of the 30 Day Shred, and for good reason, we both realize that it might not necessarily work for everyone. However, I'm pretty certain that if you look at exactly what's causing your issues with it, you might be able to make it work with a few adapations.

Not Losing Weight

Keep in mind that the 30 Day Shred is only 20 minutes long, and will help you burn anywhere between 200-300 calories (not guaranteed of course). If you want to see weight loss, you must watch your caloric intake. Also, you actually have to do it. That sounds funny, but if you're just barely following Anita and not actually completing all the moves for as long as Jillian Michaels has them timed out, you're not going to get as good of a calorie burn.

Knees Hurt

This is a common complaint about the 30 Day Shred, and we strongly suggest that you get a new pair of cross training sneakers if you're planning on doing it regularly. If you've had knee problems and/or surgery, you might want to check out Bill's series of posts about adapting the 30 Day Shred for bad knees.

Not Enough Exercise

Given that it's only 20 minutes, many people say that they need more cardio, abs, and/or strength training. If that's the case, you can consider doing some of our adaptations to make the 30 Day Shred more interesting and more difficult. Or you can always double up and do two levels in one day. Bill has also done running and shredding in one day. (Crazy man!).


Well, any workout you do for an extended period of time will probably get boring. That's just human nature. If you can't keep up with doing the different levels 10 days each, then you can change things up and rotate in a few different kinds of workouts. We also like the other Jillian Michaels DVDs, however those are definitely longer than one level of the Shred. A super easy fix is to just turn off the sound and play your own music. Trust me, it does wonders.

Any other gripes about the 30 Day Shred that you want to share? We'll try to give you some solutions!

23 comments for “Common problems with the 30 Day Shred

  1. shannon
    January 11, 2010 at 11:11 am

    I have been having shoulder pain that derails me a bit from the shred. My shoulders are tender to begin with and it seems the overhead lunges flare up the pain…I use 3 lb hand weights — could it be I need to drop that??

  2. January 11, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    funny, I’m currently experiencing shoulder pain too. Today is day 26. My rotator cuffs are a bit miffed. I’m pushing through the push ups anyway but wondering if it’s a good idea.

  3. January 11, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    I needed more exercise. I would do a shred session and then run a 5k (it was actually an AMAZING warmup) at least twice a week. That being said, it’s pretty hardcore and for some reason, my HEELS started to hurt by the 4th week something fierce and I had to modify – I now do shred-inspired circuits, longer, but less intense.

  4. January 11, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    Great idea about muting it and playing your own music. I can’t believe I didn’t think about doing that.

  5. emma
    January 11, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    I think ExerciseTV, and especially Jillian Michaels provides great workout routines and plans! She is really motivating and inspiring… I did her 30 DAY SHRED and got incredible results! Yes, I agree that 20 minutes is not enough but if you add the 30 DAY SHRED to your normal workout routines you will for sure see results. I’m living proof!
    Check out to see what else they have to offer!

  6. January 11, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    I just started the 30-Day shred last week (I did day 6 of Level 1 today). Just wanted to say thanks for the site and the motivation! You guys are awesome and just coming here and reading about other experiences really helps! Thanks!

  7. January 11, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    Check your form on the shoulders and drop the weight.
    Kami – are you doing modified pushups?

  8. January 11, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    Kristen were you seriously able to do 30 days straight of the shred? No rests?

  9. January 12, 2010 at 8:45 am

    Hey Lindsay – Yep. I did it for the entire month of March w/o any breaks.
    I’m nuts like that.

  10. Barbara
    January 12, 2010 at 8:50 am

    Shoulders shoulders shoulders. I can’t get through the shred without massive trapezoid PAIN, not work out discomfort.
    It mostly has to do with form. I have learned through PT that I am scrunching and not pulling them back and down away from my ears. It’s such a bad habit that I do it every time I do the Shred. Dammit.

  11. January 20, 2010 at 10:14 am

    I did Level I this morning with the same weights, but I find that it becomes challenging when I push myself; when I squat lower; jump higher; not modify. That reduces the boring factor.
    Once I completed Level I, I hopped on the treadmill and did 20 minutes of running and 10 minutes of walking.
    Tonight, Yoga.
    I am upping my routine, so I can finally lose weight. Working on my eating is next on the list.

  12. Teresa
    March 15, 2010 at 10:07 am

    Fall off the wagon…so I started the 30day shred and was doing well. I got sick and skipped a 3days while recovering. (I was on 7days Level 2) Now I’m having trouble getting back on track. Should I just start back over? It has been a week now and not sure how much of an improvement I will see with 5days missed. Help!

  13. Donna
    April 7, 2010 at 11:42 am

    I searched and searched for information on 30 Day Shred and calf pain. The first time I did Level One, I have calf pain for 3 days. It wasn’t until I went to a podiatrist that I discovered I had fallen arches and this was the source of my calf pain. The solution was inserts for flat feet and now I can do Shred without wincing the next morning.

  14. Kori
    June 8, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    Hi there,

    I’ve been doing the 30 day shred for the month of june (so day 8 of level 1 now) I’m experiencing the most excrutiating back pain while doing this workout! I winch and cannot complete a jumping jack it hurts so bad! I’ve got new cross training running shoes, have switched to a foam mat… but nothing seems to help the pain! It’s mostly during jumping jacks, but also during side lunges with arm raises.
    Any suggestions?

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  16. erin
    July 20, 2010 at 8:45 am

    I have been doing the 30 day shred for about 3 weeks. It is a great workout program and I have seen a difference in my endurance, however, I have been getting pain in my shins (the front of my legs) while doing the butt kicks. I like the butt kicks but don’t like the shin pain I feel. Any suggestions on how to alleviate this pain?

  17. July 28, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    I can’t imagine having to add more cardio then just the shred. That being said perhaps that’s why I am not losing weight by week 3. However I am noticing what I think is a difference in my body. I have started to add level 2 to 3 but am yet to do them back to back completely. Today the only part of my shirt that wasn’t literally drenched with sweat was wear my sportsbra is. I sweat way more doing this than any other workout I have done, even with a trainer.

  18. Sezz
    January 4, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    I did 19 days of 30 Day Shred but couldn’t finish on time since on the 19th day my right wrist became painful during the plank poses or during pushups. I tried to ignore said pain but it backfired since the pain begun to shoot from my wrist to my shoulders. I stopped 30DS and did some dance workouts for a week but they did not give me the feeling of accomplishment I get when I finish 30DS. I decided to do 30DS again and just did other exercises when it was already required to go on planks.

    Do you have any suggestions on how to do pushups or plank poses without hurting my wrist? I would really appreciat it.

    • January 6, 2012 at 7:29 am

      Hmm…ignoring it is DEFINITELY not the right thing. First, I’ll have to say you might want to see a doctor. If you were wanting a modification you could do the planks inclined (put your hands on something higher than the floor, like a workout step) to help take some of the weight off of them. Or you could do them on your knuckles so your wrist isn’t bent back so much. You could also try doing them on your weights, which would also prevent your wrists from bending back so much. Again, a doctor or physical therapist would be the best person, since they’d know why it was hurting in the first place.

      • Sezz
        January 7, 2012 at 7:10 pm

        Thank you so much for your reply! Those were very good suggestions.

  19. april
    January 20, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    I have been doing level 3 for about 5 days and started to feel shoulder pain yesterday…im thinking rotator cuff as it hurts to extend my arm back to brush my hair etc. Perhaps from the jumping jacks with weights? Im going to rest it for a couple of days. Any suggestions to prevent this in the future?

    • January 20, 2012 at 5:57 pm

      Don’t use weights? LOL First, I’ll give my standard “See a doctor” line.

      Second, I’d definitely rest it, do more stretching, and try skipping the weighted jacks and see if that helps. Sorry I can’t be more helpful!

  20. amy
    December 4, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    I’m so confused as to why they don’t offer the instructions without the music. I’ve thought about muting it, but I can’t see the screen when I’m doing ab work.

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