Review: Jillian Michaels’ 6 Week Six-Pack (Level 2)

You may have read our review of Level 1 of Jillian’s new 6 Week Six-Pack DVD.  If not, no worries, because after Kristen and I both finished Level 2 we can say that…


Seriously, I can’t begin to explain how much I like it…but I’ll try.  Level 1 was great, but Level 2 is GREAT.  In fact, Kristen and I both happened to do it the same morning and we chatted for a long time, both of us simply raving about it.

The workout begins with a warmup that’s more like one of the cardio circuits in 30 Day Shred.  No slow arm circles here, you jump right into it.  Then suddenly the warmup is over and you’re grabbing your weight.

That’s right, even Maddie, the modifier, uses weight.  There are twisting lunging chops, there are twisting lunging passthroughs (like pendulums but with a weight you pass under your leg), there are twisting side planks with kicks, there are twisting planks…did I mention there are twisting moves?


It’s pretty amazing how many new moves – or twists (heh) on familiar moves – she brings in.  Yet nothing seems too unfamiliar to do (the passthroughs are the hardest for me to coordinate).  She brings some familiar moves in – bicycle kicks, double crunches, and mountain climbers – but because they’re thrown in the middle of the other exercises it doesn’t feel like a boring workout.

And it really feels more balanced than Level 1.  There are more lunges in Level 2 (and the twisting really works new parts of my glutes and hamstrings), along with shoulders, chest, and triceps from all the plank work, so at the end I feel like I’ve gotten more of a full-body workout as well as a lot of cardio.  Seriously, I’m sweating like a madman at the end of it.  At one point she says that one of her goals is to put one of the dancers in the hospital, and I believe she might.

In fact, at one point Basheera, who smiles through EVERYTHING, stopped smiling and actually looked like she was grimacing.  It’s that good.

But the exercises she’s putting me through are only part of it – what I love most about this DVD is that the old Jillian is back.  She’s kicking butt on the moves, giving just the right amount of information you need, yelling at you to keep going, motivating you to keep going…she was even “more Jillian” than in Level 1, if that’s possible.  A great combination of funny, tough, touching, and completely intent on getting you to give your all and stick with it.

Overall Conclusion

If you like Jillian, get this DVD.  It’s a great sequel to 30 Day Shred if you’ve already done that, and if not, Level 1 (with some of the beginner modifications she shows) is a good workout for beginners.  For those of you who are more advanced, Level 2 is by far the hardest 30 minute workout I’ve ever done.  The one thing you should be aware of is that it isn’t a typical ab workout (like these, which I also love).  Despite having a focus on abs, it’s much more well rounded and should help you lose some of the fat covering your abs as well.  I love it, so GET IT NOW.  :)

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21 comments for “Review: Jillian Michaels’ 6 Week Six-Pack (Level 2)

  1. Sabz
    December 7, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    Bill, great review.

    How would you track 30DS or 6W6P if you were doing Weight Watchers? You know, for tracking daily activity…

    Also, I know you and Kristen have done WW in the past. Do you have any resources/links that would help a newbie? :) TIA!

    • December 7, 2010 at 9:24 pm

      Hmm…that totally depends on how hard you’re working. I think I’d use “medium” intensity for 30DS and “hard” for 6w6p level 2. If I remember correctly, I’d use either medium or between medium and hard for level 1.

      Besides the WW site, I’d also take a look at for WW related info. Also But nothing beats weekly meetings in my opinion. :)

      Good luck!

  2. katey
    December 11, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    Hi Bill thank you for the review. Do you know how many times a week you should do this work out to get the total benefits? Thanks!

    • December 11, 2010 at 3:30 pm

      I think Kristen told me Jillian said 5 days/week in the DVD somewhere…I don’t recall hearing that, but my memory stinks. LOL Five times a week doesn’t sound unreasonable to me, as long as your body can handle it. The more, the better. :)

  3. Cassee
    December 23, 2010 at 11:34 am

    I was wondering, I work out 5 days a week but for an hour. Do you think that the work out is enough by it’s self or should I be pearing it with something else. I do have the video and am only on the first level. I;m only doing it 2 days a week because I go to a kettle bell class as well. Just don’t know if it is enough cardio???

    • December 23, 2010 at 11:45 am

      I think it’s all relative – if you’re eating a whole cheesecake every day, an hour of cardio might not be enough. ;) But for me, 5-6 days a week of an hour a day would be enough exercise. What I find I need to adjust more often is WHAT I’m doing to work out…too much cardio and my muscle tone goes away. Too much strength and I start to get flabby. That mix of strength and cardio is tough to balance.

  4. Steph
    December 29, 2010 at 11:15 am

    With WW, as far as calculating your workout points, remember the old saying: If you can sing and talk, it’s a light workout. If you can talk a little but can’t sing, it’s a medium workout. If you can’t sing or talk, it’s a hard workout.

  5. Laura
    January 5, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    I am an intermediate runner who want to develop a stronger core and this DVD seems like it’s the right fit, but since I run 5 days a week, I can’t imagine, given the intensity of the program, that I can do this after every run. I have two easy runs, so should I do it after those and still be able to reap the benefits of the program and achieve results? I’m not concerned about time frame.

    • January 5, 2011 at 10:15 pm

      This is really an all-around workout, including a lot of cardio, so it’s not just for core building. She points out in one of her DVDs that great abs are about more than crunches, you need to burn fat…so she’s doing that here. Now that I’m headed into the serious portion of my marathon training I’m not going to be doing this one, I’m going to focus on more dedicated strength DVDs instead (like Bob Harper’s Inside Out method DVDs). They’ve also got tons of cardio involved, but for me, they feel more like strength-building than Jillian’s DVDs do. Your mileage may vary. :)

      • Laura
        January 7, 2011 at 1:05 pm

        Thanks, Bill. I now have my eye on his Pure Burn Super Strength DVD. Thanks for the great advice!

  6. Rachel
    January 6, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    Hey, do you think the level one would be enough of a workout in one day or should I pair it with another half hour workout. I eat extremely healthy also.

    • January 7, 2011 at 1:30 pm

      It all depends on what kind of shape you’re in, and how much time you have. And…if you can get yourself to keep going once the first 1/2 hour is over. I find that when I get to the end of one workout, I can rarely get myself to start a second. But if I start an hour workout, I won’t quit until the end.

      Anyway, I imagine (if you’re in good enough shape) that more is better. Somebody mentioned they do a yoga after Jillian workouts since it helps with strength and stretching. Maybe that?

  7. Melissa
    January 21, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    I am on Level 2 of the Shred. How would you incorporate 6W6p in with the Shred? I love the fact that the Shred is only 20 minutes since I have 4 kids time is not something I have a lot of.

  8. Maria
    January 24, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    I started level 2 of 6w6p today and it’s fantastic…I loved level 1 too. I did 30DS before Christmas and loved that. I just love love love Jillian. She is the best when it comes to getting me motivated. Like Bill says…buy this DVD!

    • Melissa
      January 24, 2011 at 5:15 pm

      Do you use it in conjunction with the Shred?

      • Maria
        January 25, 2011 at 9:05 am

        No, at the moment I’m just doing 6w6p 5 times a week as I also kickbox twice a week, run once a week and walk at least an hour a day. Once I’ve finished the 6 weeks I’m going to mix up 30DS with 6w6p…with 3 workouts in 30DS and 2 in 6w6p I’ll have 5 days a week covered! Genius plan.

  9. jude
    January 30, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    I completely agree! I did level 2 for the first time yesterday and stretched out on the floor afterwards, glowing. It’s definitely the most intense workout I’ve ever done (and that’s saying a lot for Jillian); I don’t think I’ve ever sweated more, breathed as hard, or had a higher average HR.

    Pro: For once, I felt like her motivational yelling was really well-placed in this workout. She says stuff like, “You are ALMOST done” exactly when I need to hear it, like right before the last set of mountain climbers.

    Con: Like level 1, I’m still not a fan of the double-timing of the second time around the circuit. Some of the moves are pretty awkward and I need to slow down to get the form right.

    P.S. Love this site! Keep up the great work! :)

  10. Maria
    February 11, 2011 at 10:18 am

    I’ve just finished 6w6p…5 days a week for 6 weeks…hurrah! I haven’t dieted at all and have stuck to all my usual activities (kickboxing twice a week, walking, pilates and the occasional run)…the results from adding the 6w6p DVD are as follows:

    Weight (I’m 5’5″): 144 lbs to 138 lbs (drop = 6 lbs)
    Body Fat: 28.2% to 26.6% (drop = 1.6%)
    Muscle: 33.3% to 33.7% (increase = 0.4%)
    Waist: 32″ to 30″ (drop = 2″)

    I don’t have a 6 pack but after 2 babies I wasn’t expecting miracles! I do have upper ab and oblique definition that wasn’t there before. Still a bit of a belly but it is much smaller. My core strength has improved significantly which has helped me to improve technique and balance at kickboxing. Plus, my lower back no longer aches!

    This DVD is fantastic. Hardcore but lots of fun. It gets results too!

    I’m having a week off Jillian DVDs then I’m mixing up 30DS and 6w6p for a few weeks to drop a few more lbs!

  11. Maria
    March 11, 2011 at 10:13 am

    I’ve had a few weeks off Jillian DVDs and my weight has crept up a couple of lbs plus my squidgy mummy tummy is back! I’m setting myself a 15 day challenge to drop some serious lbs and get myself in great shape to fit into a size UK10(US6) dress for a wedding I’m going to on 26th March.

    The challenge is to do 6w6p(both workouts) every day for 15 days!!! Anyone want to join me?

    My starting weight is 140lbs, waist is 30″.

    Day 1: Just done both workouts back to back…do-able but started to flag halfway through the 2nd half of workout 2. Abs on fire!

    • JoJo
      May 24, 2011 at 10:23 am

      Hey Maria, how did your challenge go?

      I’m on day 7 (level 2) of the 30DS, and have just got 6w6p to add in a few days per week, as an additional workout.

      I’d love to hear about your progress, you did so well first time round with 6w6p.


  12. Mischa
    December 12, 2012 at 9:53 am

    What vexes me is the diggs Jillian makes about not doing the advanced track of a work out, saying even 100 pound people can do x and y so not modification here!
    She doesnt factor in that one may have an injury even though they are sporty. i have an injury to my tendon that wont let me do certain types of movements. so its not about phoning in or copping out. :(
    thats annoying. Otherwise, Basheera is great. shes hot and very beautiful. (Girl crush). and Natalie

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