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A routine for the experienced

WHILE PERUSING A Wal-Mart earlier this month, I stumbled upon a display of fitness DVDs. Although I’m not a Biggest Loser fan, I have heard good things about Jillian Michaels, and decided to pick up a few of her DVDs at around $8 each. My current favourite is No More Trouble Zones, which makes the hefty promise to “eliminate love handles, muffin tops, and wobbly arms for good!”

In No More Trouble Zones, Michaels and her two sidekicks lead you through a fast-paced, 50-minute workout. For this routine, you need a yoga mat if you’re working out on a hard surface and a set of three- or five-pound weights. I decided to challenge myself with the five-pound weights, a decision that led to some difficulty rolling out of bed the next morning.

First, Michaels leads you through a five-minute warm-up, which consists of some light cardio and dynamic stretching. Then, the hard part begins: A 40-minute trouble zone circuit. There are seven six-minute circuits that target the shoulders, chest, arms, abs, back, legs, hips, and glutes.

Each circuit consists of five different exercises that are repeated twice. Believe it or not, the 40 minutes fly by, and before you know it you’re in cool down mode for an additional five minutes.
If you’re up to the challenge and are thinking about picking up No More Trouble Zones, here’s what you need to know.


  • It’s a fast-paced workout: Before you even have time to tire of a challenging exercise, you’re already on to the next one.
  • It uses a compound exercise format: By combining moves like squats with shoulder presses, you’re hitting two muscle groups with one exercise.
  • It motivates you: Michaels seems to sense when you’re slowing down or getting ready to quit, offering a dose of non-cheesy motivation.
  • No expensive equipment is required: Have hand weights (or plain old soup cans for those strapped for cash) and  a mat? This workout can be performed anywhere you have access to a DVD player—a res room, apartment, or even a hotel if you’re travelling.


  • It’s not for beginners: Since this workout is so fast paced, there is little explanation of proper form and few modifications. Beginners should master common exercises first with the DVD Get Ripped! Slim & Lean with Jari Love.

—Sarah Horlick