Review: Jillian Michaels’ 6 Week Six-Pack (Level 1)

Jillian’s recent DVDs, while decent, haven’t lived up to her “classic collection” (in my mind) of 30 Day Shred, No More Trouble Zones, and Banish Fat/Boost Metabolism.  Yoga Meltdown and Shred-It with Weights both felt a bit “jump on the bandwagony” for my taste and, while it was obvious she loved yoga and kettlebells, it didn’t really match up (for me) with her style of teaching.

But in 6 Week Six-Pack, Jillian has moved back toward what I love about her.  She’s hardcore, a little bit “yell at you,” a little bit funny, and totally there to kick your butt.

The DVD has two workouts, Level 1 and Level 2.  She says to do Level 1 for 3 weeks, then move to Level 2.  I’ve only done Level 1, and it was a lot more than a traditional ab workout!

But then this isn’t an abs DVD, it’s a workout designed to get you ripped abs.  And that means abs AND cardio.  No slow warmup like in Shred…Jillian starts out fast and it really surprised me.

From there, she goes into the workout, which is made up of two longer circuits.  There were a lot of ab moves in here that I’d never seen before, and not once does she have you do a regular crunch, a traditional side plank, or practically any other ab move I’m used to.  Everything seemed new, and it wasn’t as predictable as Shred (a good thing).

One downside is that some of her transitions are so quick that I missed the first move of the next exercise.  The second time through was even faster, and I had to slow some of the moves down to keep semi-decent form.  Of course that’ll get better as I get used to it.

Now, if I’m remembering correctly, every one of the exercises has at least SOMETHING to do with abs, although there are some squats and lunges in there for legs, and planks for chest and shoulders.  Yet somehow, I ended up sweating like crazy and quite tired at the end.

She’s got B and Maddie as her backup crew, and they do a good job of demonstrating the “easy” and hard moves.  Kristen and I are going to have a fistfight next time we see each other about who’s abs are sicker, Maddie’s or Anita’s, but there’s no doubt that they’re great.  And B is a machine…her flexibility and strength is amazing.

The whole thing ends up with a VERY short stretch (Jillian, please put more stretching in these!) and then you’re done after about 35 minutes.

The Good

  • I was sweaty and tired at the end.
  • Definitely felt it in my core, and cardio-wise I thought it was better than Shred.
  • Some completely new ab moves, some variations on familiar ones.
  • Fast paced, unpredictable (not boring).
  • Jillian was being Jillian again.

The Bad

  • The music.  Lord.  Of course, it wouldn’t be a Jillian DVD without bad music.  It would have been nice to speed it up during the 2nd circuit.
  • A bit frantic at points.  Obviously it’s doable since B and Maddie keep up, but I had to slow down at times, not because I was tired, but because I simply couldn’t move my body that fast.
  • Not as well rounded as Shred (which should be obvious since it’s called 6 Week Six Pack, LOL).  Kristen thought it wasn’t much of a leg workout, I thought the squats and lunges were pretty good though.
  • The stretching at the end is too short.
  • No hints on how often to do it.  Jillian says “workout 5 days a week” but does she mean this workout?

Final Verdict

I think 6 Week Six-Pack is a worthy replacement, or sequel, to Shred.  If you’re very fit, or have done Shred for a while and don’t find it too challenging, you might find that it’s not enough of a cardio workout since it’s only 35 minutes long.  But for beginners, those who have just finished their 30 days of Shred, or more advanced people looking for an “off day” workout, this is a great addition and much better than her other two recent DVDs.

22 comments for “Review: Jillian Michaels’ 6 Week Six-Pack (Level 1)

  1. December 1, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    I so agree about the yoga and kettlebell videos, so anything that returns to the traditional Jillian style and compares somehow to 30DS is for me. Off to the store.

    I felt compelled to comment because the anti-spam word was Anita.

  2. December 1, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    Thanks for the review! I’ve got my copy and will be trying it out for the first time tonight. Wish me luck :)

  3. December 1, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    Interestingly, my anti-spam word was shred. And since I’m beginning a weight-loss journey, I’ll have to look for this and maybe the 30 day shred too. I’ve never tried it before, was scared of her, LOL.

  4. December 1, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    Great review Bill. I ordered this DVD last night and I’m really looking forward to it killing me.
    I’ve been rotating 30 Day Shred, No more Trouble Zones and Banish Fat/Boost Metabolism. Totally agree about the Yoga DVD…as someone who has done yoga on and off for the past ten years I enjoyed the work out but it didn’t make me sweat as much and also I think some of those moves just aren’t made to be sped up.
    Anyway so glad I found Shredheads. You guys continue to inspire and motivate me on my quest to lose the muffin tops.

  5. kaitlan
    December 2, 2010 at 12:05 am

    I actually loved her last two DVD’s. I thought Yoga Meltdown and Shred It with Weights were great. I think it’s crappy that you trash Jillian on here after you have named your website after her.

    • December 2, 2010 at 8:35 am


      You didn’t read my reviews of her previous DVDs, did you? They were fine DVDs, but they weren’t “classic Jillian.” I think this one gets back to more of the basics that 30 Day Shred was, and I happen to like it. If it comes across as my “trashing” Jillian, well, that’s certainly not what I’d intended.

  6. Monica
    December 2, 2010 at 9:04 am

    I pre-ordered my DVD from Amazon and it is supposed to arrive tomorrow. I can’t wait! My boyfriend is actually wanting to do this DVD with me, that’s a first, lol.

    I have liked all of her DVDs, including the Yoga and Kettlebell routine. Yes, she is not quite classic Jillian in those two, but it’s kind of nice to not get a total beat down each time you workout. I find that doing the kettlebell and yoga DVD on my first two workouts of the week get me ready for the butt kicking on the 30-Day Shred and No More Trouble Zones ones. But, everyone is different. I’m just glad I was able to find something that I actually enjoy and am sticking to. Jillian’s style just seems to work for me.

    And about the Yoga DVD, I too have done Yoga for many years, but I quite enjoy her DVDs, from a speed aspect especially. I’m still sore when I finish because it is challenging, but I find if I put on some typical Yoga music while doing it then my mind gets more focused as well. Her moves were quite an adjustment at first because they aren’t really standard or done that quickly usually, but I’m accustomed to it now and I look forward to it each week.

    • Monica
      December 3, 2010 at 9:06 am

      Lucky me! My DVD came in a day earlier than expected. I really dug the workout. It was difficult, but doable, and has a LOT of room for growth. I always seem to find myself laughing when there is a really hard move that I attempt and fail at, I laughed a few times during this one. :) I like that.

    • Therese
      December 9, 2010 at 1:05 am

      I pre-ordered this DVD from Amazon back in October and it should have arrived by now. I would have just gone to the store to get it on the day it came out if I know it was going to take so long! I have been eager to receive it since I ordered it, and now it’s late! I’ll share my review if it ever arrives….

      • Julie
        December 15, 2010 at 9:18 pm

        I found my copy at Wal Mart for $9.39 in Hamilton, Ontario. Just as a little tip!

        I have done the Shred for the past year, off and on, and am ready to give this 6Pack on a try starting next week. *crosses fingers* Wish me luck!
        Thanks for the review!

  7. December 3, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Great review Bill. I will definitely pick this one up.

  8. Waluski
    December 4, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    I just ordered the Shred It With Weights program.. What kind of results did you see from it? I’m looking for some toning before a family vaca and it’s in three weeksish. I’m slender but not in the greatest shape of my life.

  9. December 21, 2010 at 11:56 am

    I loved this dvd! I also like how it was unpredictable and the new ab moves. The second circuit was really fast paced and I had to slow down a bit because my form was not good going that fast. I did the dvd last night and I am really feeling it in my back this morning.. which I didn’t expect.

  10. Allison
    December 31, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    Hi Bill,
    Your plea to Jillian for more cool down stretches is one I second. My Husband and I are doing 30DS again (we completed one month last year and then had a few short lived attempts at getting back on the bandwagon). My husband has never stayed for the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it stretching session at the end of the workout so this time around I’ve simply ejected the disk and put in my tried and true “The Joy of Yoga” with Sara Ivanhoe (it’s a crunch fitness dvd from the late 70′s) I do the last 15 minutes which includes spine stretches, seated poses and relaxation poses. It’s been really great.
    Thanks for your lovely blog! That goes for Kristen too:)

  11. January 7, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    Oh, I so wish I had found this blog BEFORE I spent the money for Jillian’s Yoga dvd. I have tried it twice now, and good lord, I can not in any reality keep up with it. I have never done yoga, and I have to say, not only does it move entirely too fast for a newbie like me to keep up, my body doesn’t move like that without some coercion. I do however, absolutely love 30DS, I haven’t felt as good as I do right now in longer than I can remember. I feel like my arms and legs are going to fall off, but it is the best feeling!!! I look forward to getting my butt kicked by her everyday. Thank you for the review, I am looking forward to getting the other two you mentioned!

    • January 7, 2011 at 8:48 pm

      After 30DS, I loved moving on to No More Trouble Zones and Banish Fat Boost Metabolism. 6 week six pack moves very quickly in level 2, but it’s nowhere near as awkward feeling as the yoga one. And it really is the hardest 30 minute workout I’ve done… Have fun getting your butt kicked! :)

  12. Jeana
    January 15, 2011 at 11:03 am

    This is a great DVD. I also like 30-day shred (it’s great for beginners). Because of limited(me)time, I want a DVD that Delivers and this one does.

  13. Kristin
    January 17, 2011 at 11:11 am

    I just did 6 week 6 pack last night for the first time. I ran jr olympics in college and I can honestly say I haven’t felt pain like that since then! But it felt great too. After 2 children and a desk job, I’m just not shaped like I used to be and that DVD was a great challenge for me. I could really feel the burning and my body working to keep up. The best part however, was my 3 yr old son saying “Good job mommy! your doing great!” I look forward to feeling the burn later!

    • Melinda
      January 19, 2011 at 4:20 pm

      When my daughter was 1 years old, I was doing a Billy Blanks video and hurting like crazy. Billy said if you have to scream, then scream. I did just that. My daughter comes up to me while I’m sweatingand on my knees and pats me on the back. She’s now 10 and I’ll always remember that:)

  14. Melinda
    January 19, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    The 6 week six-pack is my first Jillian Michaels video and not only do I love it but am seeing lots of results. This is my second week into it coupled with no junk and homemade meals (including granola bars). I sometimes feel bad because I love Billy Blanks too so I do the Boot Camp videos at least 2 times a week. I’m looking foward to getting more of her videos.

  15. Lexi
    March 24, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    I’ve been doing this for two weeks, stopping two days in between because my whole body would be so sore where I can barely do anything. Can anyone tell me, how do you guys spread the workout and what to do? Am I suppose to do this everyday for 6 weeks or interchange with something else? Any advice would help a bunch. Thanks!

  16. Angelina Warren
    September 1, 2011 at 12:45 am

    This DVD actually kicked my ass compared to 30 Day Shred…I can do 30 day Shred with my eyes closed, although I will still break a good sweat but this one left me hyperventilating on my bed for 30 minutes. That’s when I knew this was the ONE..once my endurance builds up with this, I am also going to do 30 Day Shred before or after! But this is def worth the money!

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