Review: Jillian Michael’s Yoga Meltdown & iFit Level 2

March 14, 2010 at 8:46 pm 6 comments

I know I have been majorly neglecting my blog since last week. This weekend has been both busy and not so busy, and I’ve enjoyed it for both reasons. Friday D and I were both zonked and our weekend storm had just begun to brew.  We ordered in and I got to enjoy some tofu vegetable stir fry and watch a movie on the couch. I actually managed to get near 9 hours of sleep that night (a lot for me) and woke up feeling so refreshed.

Most of yesterday was spent lounging, and my sister and I hit up the Bloomingdales Denim Days sale and scored designer jeans for 40% off! Totally worth weathering the insane storm that took down power lines, trees, and flooded roads.  In fact, I just got the phone call confirming that the schools I work in are flooded and we will not be working tomorrow!

As a result of such a lazy weekend with mosntrous weather, I have been hitting my indoor workouts consistently. Tonight I finally got off my booty and whipped out my Polar Heart Rate monitor to see just how many calories I’ve been burning.

Let me preface my reviews with this: I  am a super big Jillian Michaels fan. I own her books and her DVDs, and went into a deep sadness the day her radio show went on “hiatus”. I think the 30-day Shred is fantastic, and it has become my go-to strength DVD when in a crunch. So when I heard she was putting out a yoga DVD, imagine my excitement!

Review #1: Yoga Meltdown

Yoga Meltdown is set up similarly to 30-Day Shred, as it employs 3 “circuits” that you repeat.  However it differs in that instead of offering 3 levels, there are 2.  Now I’ve only tried Level 1, but it does incorporate many common yoga movements and would be a good introduction to some features of yoga to someone who is not well versed.  Jillian guides you through modified versions (to get your muscles yelling) of the following poses: mountain pose, sun salutation (chaturanga, upward dog, downward dog), warrior 2, warrior 3, side plank, splits, dolphin pose,  camel pose, and pigeon.

As someone who practices yoga  weekly (not as much as I should or would like to), I found this workout to be fairly simple and only mildly challenging.  Hardest poses: Chaturanga push-ups (needed to use my knees and still could barely hold the pose), and Warrior 3 lunge forwards – mostly because my balance is laughable. I’m looking forward to Level 2 kicking my booty and being as “go-to” as Shred.  Based on my heart rate monitor I gathered the following information about Level 1 of the workout:

  • Time length: 35-minutes
  • Calories burned: 215
  • Max heart rate: 165
  • Average heart rate: 135

As you can see my heart rate wasn’t really pumping high, but that’s expected with yoga.  Level 2 review to come!

Review #2: Jillian Michael’s iFit Level 2 for Elliptical Trainer

Two weeks ago I finally put together my new friend Ellie the Elliptical (aka my NordicTrack).  While I’m still figuring out stabilization I have been using the iFit workouts and have felt like I was really getting quite a workout.  So far the workouts are made up 30-minute sessions with intervals which vary in speed and resistance (hey, Jillian = interval/circuits). I honestly haven’t huffed and puffed this hard in a very long time, however I keep reminding myself that it is only 30-minutes.  Future workouts will move to 45-minutes as the weeks continue on.

Tonight’s workout was Week 3, workout 2. The packaging claims that each workout burns between 600-800 calories per workout, with a max pace considered a “moderate” 80 rpm. So far, most days I can barely reach 80 rpm and maintain that speed without feeling like I’m going to fall off the elliptical.  Jillian provides “motivating” commentary throughout the workout to encourage you to continue and meet your goals, etc.  She also gives you a heads up when the incline is going to change and you are going to need to pick up the pace.  Quite frankly, I find her constant chatter annoying, however I see the purpose for it and just crank the volume down a bit.

My elliptical machine has been reading my calories burned for a 30-minute workout at between 450 to 500 calories per session. I knew that wasn’t accurate, as I wasn’t using the heart rate monitor nor was I given an option to enter my current weight. Today I whipped out my handy HRM and set off to see exactly how many calories I was huffing and puffing and burning off.

  • Time length: 30 minutes
  • Calories elliptical says I burned: 470
  • Calories HRM says I burned: 285
  • Max heart rate: 183
  • Average heart rate: 168

It’s quite telling that there is nearly a 200 calorie difference between what the machine claims I burned and my monitor claimed.  Although I would love to believe that feeling like I cannot catch my breath intensity would yield such a high burn, I must put more value on my HRM.

Do I feel like I’m getting my ass kicked with iFit?  Absolutely. I am going to continue using this 4x a week and try to stick with it through the 8-weeks and see where it leads. I’ll update again once I enter the 45-minute range.

Later this week: Final book review for Vegan Bites, vegan St. Patty’s Day cupcakes, dinners from The Tofu Cookery, and many product reviews as I just took Whole Foods by storm!  Enjoy your Sunday evenings!


Entry filed under: fitness, iFit, product review. Tags: , , , , , .

Vegan Bites Review: Orange-Teriyaki Tofu Book Review: Vegan Bites and GIVEAWAY!

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. It's A Great Day To Be Alive  |  March 15, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Did you start using iFit at level 2? I got Level 3 for the treadmill and I couldn’t do more than 10 minutes! It was too hard! I’m hoping to buy level 2 and start there instead. Maybe even start at 1. Jillian really knows how to make you sweat!

    • 2. Amanda  |  March 15, 2010 at 10:40 am

      I did start at level 2, totally skipped level 1 thinking I would be just fine. This has been kicking my butt I can’t imagine starting at level 3!! haha

  • 3. Kelly  |  April 21, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Thanks so much for writing about your experience with the iFit cards. Hope your training is going well.

    I notice you are using an elliptical, but was wondering …

    I am about 50lbs overweight and I am thinking of buying Jillian’s Incline Trainer X3 iFit compatible. Do you have any recommendations/advice about “Jillian branded” exercise equipment.

    Thanks so much,

  • 4. Young Katz  |  June 14, 2010 at 4:48 am

    Haha I am literally the only reply to your great post!

  • 5. Juliette  |  August 11, 2010 at 11:00 am

    i tried yoga meltdown awhile ago and stuck to it! strangely, im not losing any weight 😦 i don’t have to , im average for my height and all but i wouldl like too . ive decided to do level 2 twice every night ,,, but now im working up to doing an hour and a half every night! 🙂

  • 6. Anjeanette  |  August 31, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Warrior three is my favorite! Sometimes I have trouble with balance poses. I found Leeann Carey has a free yoga video that talks about a Sitting Bone/Heel Connection in standing poses that is really helpful. Thought your readers would like it:


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