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DVD Review: Jillian Michaels' No More Trouble Zones

By , SparkPeople Blogger
"Zero in to tackle your trouble zones and lose up to 5 pounds a week! Eliminate love handles, muffin tops, and wobbly arms for good!"

That's what Jillian Michaels' new DVD, No More Trouble Zones, promises to deliver. Her people contacted us to see if we'd like to review it for our readers. Test the newest DVD of TV's toughest trainer for free? It was an easy decision: Don't mind if I do!

I tried it twice last week. Want to hear what I thought about it (and whether it will really tone up your trouble zones as its title and glossy box claims)?

No More Trouble Zones is a 40-minute strength training workout that targets every major muscle group—not just the areas that you'd normally think of as "trouble zones." Besides legs, butt, abs and triceps (standard problem areas for most women), you'll also hit chest, back, shoulders, biceps and more. It's a full-body toning workout (with a title that doesn't do it justice!).

The 40-minute workout is broken up into 7 different workout sections or "circuits," each lasting about 5 minutes. The DVD menu lets you select a single segment at a time or play the entire DVD in full. When I tested it, I did the first four circuits one day (still a great workout!), and then the entire DVD (segments 1-7) a couple days later. In each circuit, you'll do about 12-15 reps of 4-5 different exercises, repeat that series one more time, and then move on to the next circuit. The anatomical focus changes during each circuit, too (for example, circuit #2 targets chest and abs while #3 does thighs and triceps). But no matter which "trouble zones" you're focusing on, you'll work multiple muscle groups during a single move, which increases the intensity and challenge. For example, circuit #1 (shoulders & legs) combines upper and lower body simultaneously with moves like reverse lunges with lateral raises and squats with front shoulder raises.

To see some examples of the multifunctional exercises, check out this video preview where you'll see squats with an overhead press (legs and shoulders), chest flyes with leg raises (chest and abs), forward lunges with biceps curls (butt and biceps), an isometric chair squat with triceps kick backs (thighs and triceps), and more. (If you have trouble viewing the video below, click here to see it on YouTube.)

As you can imagine, combining these upper and lower body movements into a single exercise increases the burn, helps to keep your heart rate elevated (so you'll get a bit of cardio, too), and recruits more muscle fibers, which also helps burn more calories than isolated movements can. What I liked about these combinations is that it made strength training new and different. I thought Jillian created some unique combos, which made the workout more fun and interesting than many other DVDs I've tried.
Here's my list of general pros and cons for the DVD:

Pro: This was by far the best example of instruction and cues that I've seen from Jillian so far. She demonstrates each exercise pretty well, explaining what muscles you're working, giving general safety and execution tips, and even extra tidbits that teach you more about exercise in general, like what a superset is.
Con: On many circuits, Jillian doesn't do any of the exercises, or often, just a couple. I know that some people complain when the trainer on a DVD isn't doing the workout with them, so I thought I'd mention this. Personally, it doesn't bother me as long as I can watch someone (in this case, she has two other "models") doing it correctly.

Pro: All you need to do this workout is dumbbells and, if you have hard floors, a mat for cushioning (optional).
Con: This is the tricky part of any workout DVD. In the video, Jillian and her posse use just 3-pound weights. I had 6-pound weights at home that I used, and I felt like I was doing twice the work as the people in the video, often struggling on some of the moves because there were so many reps when 6 pounds wasn't appropriate. Like many DVDs that use a single weight, you will probably come across exercises where the weight you have is perfect, and other times when it's too light or too heavy for the exercise you're doing. You could remedy this IF you had various weights at home. Otherwise, some parts will be much easier or much harder than others will.

Pro: I thought it was a challenging, varied, and good workout overall. I enjoyed the moves and there was a HUGE variety of exercises for a 40-minute workout. I wasn't bored at all during the workout either.
Con: There are virtually zero modifications for beginners to adapt this workout to their fitness level. In general, I'd say that it is not for beginners at all. You would have to have a basic level of strength, coordination, muscular endurance, and even fitness knowledge to complete the workout in full or know how to modify it on your own. On some exercises, my 6-pound weights were too tiring (like after 50+ repetitions of various shoulder raises), so I had to modify it by resting my shoulders and continuing with the lower body work. In fact, there were many moves where I had to rest or do just part of the exercise to suit my level. This DVD is do-able for beginners if they give themselves permission to go slower, focus on just one move at a time (i.e. just the upper body portion of an exercise instead of the full upper-lower body combo), or make their movements smaller—but don't expect any explicit direction on how to do so.

Pro: The DVD includes both a 5-minute warm up and cool down.
Con: The 5-minute warm up includes some dynamic stretches like arm circles, and light cardio moves like faux jumping rope and marching. Personally, it didn't elevate my heart rate or warm up my muscles as much as I would have liked before getting into the workout itself. But you could always do your own warm-up. The "cool down" isn't actually a cool down—it is a stretching segment. There is a big difference between the two! While the stretches are great, I highly recommend that you take a few minutes to cool down properly after this intense workout.

Overall, I would recommend this DVD as a strength-training routine for an intermediate to advanced exerciser who likes Jillian Michaels or simply wants to change up their routine a little bit—it has many diverse exercise ideas that will keep your body guessing and help prevent workout boredom.

As for whether you'll "eliminate love handles, muffin tops and wobbly arms for good," like the box claims, remember that there is no such thing as spot training. As I mentioned in my Biggest Loser Weight Loss Yoga DVD review, be wary of claims and DVD titles, which are often marketing techniques. This is a full-body strength-training workout, which helps sculpt lean muscles, but cardio exercise is necessary to burn the layer of fat that covers those muscles you're training. You'll need more than No More Trouble Zones to develop a six-pack or jiggle-free arms, namely cardio and a calorie-controlled diet.

You can purchase No More Trouble Zones from for just $10.49! Check out the other reviews there, too. When I last checked all 20+ reviews were 5 out of 5 stars, which is a GREAT sign for a prospective DVD you want to try.

Have you tried No More Trouble Zones? Do you plan to?

Photo Source: used with permission from Lionsgate Films, Inc.

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I love this DVD. I actually get it for free through my "onDemand" option on my cable. It is a good intensity and I love the variety. Some days it is hard to get through, so I will just do half of it... and I still feel like I got an EXCELLENT workout. Jillian is a perfect trainer for me, she has that perfect balance of pushing you, being tough and sincerely encouraging you at the same time! LOVE IT! Report
I have all three of Jillians DVDs (30 day Shred, Boost your Metabolism, No More Trouble Zones) and this is my favorite of the three. I've been doing this 2 times per week and have definitely seen the definition in my muscles. Like others, as advanced as I think I am, I cannot get through a whole workout. But I'm working up to it and those who are new at working out can use their own body weight if they want to try this video. Definitely a kick butt workout that gets results. Highly recommended Report
I sure am glad to see that others have had trouble keeping up with this workout. I love it but was beginning to feel like a wimp when I had to slow down. I am just a beginner when it comes to working out but I know my endurance will improve if I stick with it. Report
This is a wonderful kick butt DVD workout! Jillian covers it all and like someone else mentioned I feel strong and like I worked out hard when I am finished. While I still can't do all of the reps and exercises yet, I look forward to working out now and what I can accomplish with dedication. Report
I would like to try this dvd. I noticed that some one won this dvd about a month ago, how do i enter the contest and where do i go to find them please email me with an answer please. or just leave a comment on this page with the answer thanks Report
I have this DVD and the Blast Fat Boost Metabolism DVD. Ok...this is going to be an odd thing to see, but I actually look forward to being able to do No More Trouble Zones! I love this DVD from Jillian! I feel so strong when I have completed it. And, trust me, I can't get through all of the exercises yet! Circuits 2 and 6 kill me...and the side planks in Circuit 7...yeah, still workin' on those! But that is the point...I'm not giving up. There is really something with this workout that leaves you wanting to come back again and again! Thank you Jillian Michaels! Report
I just bought this DVD and look forward to trying it out tomorrow! Report
I like Jillian Michaels...However I don't see much difference between this & 30 Day Shred, which I already have (& 30 Day Shred has mods for beginners). I wouldn't waste money buying both. Report
i did the no more trouble zones from exercise tv and i liked it very much it really makes you work.
I love the JM's 30 Day Shred and would love to give this DVD a try too! Thanks for the review! Report
I've done her Shred and tried one other program (from Ex TV and the exact one eludes me, but it could have been this one). I also have another Bootcamp style DVD and invested in 2 lb weights (not very expensive at Target or some place like that ) because I knew my 5 lb weights would be too heavy. It was a good decision.

Great review of the DVD. Thanks! Report
I'm pretty sure she address a few times in the video that you can't spot reduce fat, hence the reason for no rest in between the circuits. I liked this video very much. It was a bit of a challenge for me, but you're right, it's definitely not for beginners. She's no joke, she's tough, just she pushes me and I really like that. Report
I love Jillian she a tough woman,,,I lover her video's little on the tough side,,,, Report
I have liked all the Jillian Michael's DVD I have tried so far and I imagine I would like this one as well. They are always very challenging. I don't know why she never includes a good warm-up and cool down, but it's ok because I can always add my own. Report
I have Jullian's 30 Day Shred and I'm working on being able to complete it. I'd really like to win "Jillian Michaels' No More Trouble Zones." Report
Looks good! Report
i have been doing jillian's 30 day shred with my husband and in a month i lost an inch off my waist half inch off my thighs quarter off my chest in another month i lost another half off my waist and even some off my rear which never seems to budge! and i've seen a huge improvement in my stamina. i feel better than i ever have since i have been doing this dvd 2.5 months ago. i am excited to try more of her stuff. and yes, most trainers don't work out the whole time you do but could you? and still be able to speak so that people could understand you? she obviously keeps herself in shape. who cares if she doesn't do it the same time she's teaching us. Report
Thanks for sharing your story. Report
thanks for the honesty will keep looking Report
Her people contacted you to review her DVD? That is awesome on so many levels, Nicole. They have clearly heard of SparkPeople, heard of you, and respect your opinion enough to trust you to put it out there to tens of thousands of prospective buyers. I did buy the DVD and love it. I also completely agree with your pros and cons list, so Jillian's people, if you're listening, keep on putting your trust in Spark and Coach Nicole for a fair and honest review of her products! (not to mention some great advertising to a huge demographic!)

Chellie Report
I absolutley love this DVD and Jillian's 30 Day Shred! Some may not like Jillian, but I have 2 things to say to this... 1) Jillian motivates me and is a role model, and 2) these work outs are the first that I walk away feeling that I have a great workout because it really kicked my tail! I personally have seen awesome results in using these DVDs in the past month! For example, the large shorts I bought a month ago are too big and need to take them back for the mediums! Report
thanks for the review I don't think I will buy it. I have some weight that I do an these are some tips I can use on my own. Report
If anyone has Comcast on Demand, in the health and fitness section under popular workout is this DVD. I have tried it once and it kicked my butt. I have been doing the 30 day shred as well. But, it's on there if you want it.
I've been thinking about adding another DVD to my rotation. I may have to look into this one. Report
I like seeing the DVD's before I get them. I hate getting something that doesn't give me a good work out! I certainly will checking this on out closer. It just might be worth adding to my DVD collection. Thanks for the honest review. Report
amazon has them for only $10 each, good price so I got a Karen Voight so I paid $30 for 3 dvds and no shipping, it took 5 days. Report
I was listening to Jillian's radio show on line and she did not select the title of this DVD, her producers did. I have been listening to podcasts of past radio programs. I'd like to try this DVD. Report
I've tried this on demand from comcast and I really like it. I've also used her 30 day shred DVD with excellent results. I would HIGHLY recomend it to anyone, beginner through advanced. I concider myself advanced but beginners just need to modify it to their level, like mentioned ubove. I do have to agree with another comment, Jillian should not have let the marketing peeps get her to make a spot reducing video... she constantly tells people on her radio show that you cannot spot reduce fat... so I'm a bit surprised by the naming/focus of this video. But either way, try it, it's a very good workout. Report
One of the greatest things about Jillian Michaels' workouts is that you can view them for FREE on Demand, as well as view her mini workouts online at Its amazing all they have to offer for absolutely nothing! Report
One of the greatest things about Jillian Michaels' workouts is that you can view them for FREE on Demand, as well as view her mini workouts online at Its amazing all they have to offer for absolutely nothing! Report
Thank for the review. I love Jillian's DvD's I already have two and I will be adding this one to my collection Report
Thanks for such a thorough review, Nicole. I wouldn't have even considered this dvd if not for your review, based on its title. Now I may very well get it, as strength training is the most boring exercise for me that it helps to have dvd's with music and people demonstrating different exercises. Report
As a personal trainer, I have to say "shame on Jillian" for false advertising. She knows good and well that you cannot spot reduce, you can only spot train. Our "trouble spots" are usually genetic and, for a lot of us, that means trouble spots stay trouble spots even if we are not overweight or out of shape.
(My husband runs marathons and works out with weights several times a week. He is a lean, mean fighting machine. But he still has little love handles:)) Report
Thanks for the honest review. I think I'll purchase it, it looks like just what I need~ And something my hubby would do with me, as well! Report
thanks for the review I think I will get it, I need a new strength workout dvd Report
Thanks for the review. I haven't tried yet but ordered it from Netflex and looking forward to it. Report
I really like this DVD. To me, it is nice and challenging. I agree that this is not a beginner's workout, which was a definite bonus to me. I have been working out regularly for 5+ year, and lately, did not feel that I had the tools to get a challenging work out at home. I usually go to the gym, so I can have a variety of equipment to challenge myself. It is nice to have an option for a challenging workout with minimal expensive equipment that I can do at home on days I have less time. Report
These models have lipo-suction to get rid of the "trouble spots" that we all know will NOT leave with exercise and diet, once you are down to a NORMAL weight.
BUT, I do like Jillian and think she is serious about what she teaches.
Tony Horton of P90X is even better. Report
I have 30 day shread to start with, but will keep this dvd in mind for later Report
WOW...that little clip gave me some ideas to use at work as I bring my 2-3lb. weights to works w/ me to use during my slow periods...I work in a business that sometimes has big gaps of time when I have little or nothing to do I read and work out (but not down on the floor stuff...standing ,flexing, twisting stuff that doesn't look like a gym workout!). I mean I am getting paid to do my job...not my workout! But if I can slip in a little strength! I work in a sportsbook in a casino. Report
I think I'm scared to even buy the DVD. Jillian is so formidable! She is one tough chick. I love watching Biggest Loser, but I think I'll pass on the DVD for now. I am probably not fit enough for this yet. Thanks for the review, Nicole! Report
Good to know. TY Report
Thanks so much for this review! I *heart* Jillian! Report
Thanx for the review Nicole! I'm just starting to use DVD's at home and there are so many to choose from. Your reviews really help me decide. I haven't tried JM yet but think I might give this one a shot. Report
I am going to check this one out. Looks like a good buy Report
Thanks! I love the Shred. Just started my second round of it. I've fallen in love with working out at home and get myself a new DVD every month. This is the next one on the list! Report
I have this dvd and and it is 1000% perfect. Report
I bought both Jillian's new DVDs through her website (they offered a good deal). I haven't tried them yet, because I don't have time in the morning to workout for 40 minutes, but it sounds like they're programable, so maybe I should check it out. I can do 30 minutes, and I can just work on different body areas each day. I love Jillian Michaels! Her kick-butt training-type attitude is motivational to me. Report
Thank you for the info I am really wanting to buy this to add to my gym.
Just for a change in the same old same. Report
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