The 30 Day Shred is a workout program designed by celebrity personal trainer Jillian Michaels.

It consists of daily, 20-minute, high-intensity workouts done 30 days in a row and is claimed to help you lose up to 20 pounds (9 kg) in a month.

This article reviews the benefits and downsides of the 30 Day Shred, investigating whether it can help you lose weight.

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The 30 Day Shred workout videos are available for purchase at various e-commerce sites.

The program also requires you to have two 3- or 5-pound (1.5- or 2.5-kg) dumbbells.

There are three 20-minute, total-body workouts designed to progress through three levels.

Each level is done for 10 days, and you should ideally reach Level 3 by the end of the program (1):

  • Level 1 (Beginner). This level is designed for people who are just starting out, very overweight, or haven't exercised in over six months.
  • Level 2 (Intermediate). These workouts are for people who are active in sports, dance, or any regular exercise two to three times per week.
  • Level 3 (Advanced). This level is intended for those who are very active in sports or consistently work out four or more times per week.

The exercises are based on Jillian Michaels’ 3-2-1 interval system, consisting of three minutes of strength exercises, two minutes of cardio, and one minute of ab exercises.

Each workout starts with a two-minute warmup, followed by three interval circuits and a two-minute cooldown.

Some specific exercises include:

  • Strength: pushups, double-arm row, chest flyes, military press
  • Cardio: high knees, jumping jacks, squat thrusts, skate jumps
  • Abs: crunches, leg lifts, double crunches, plank twists
Summary The 30 Day Shred consists of three 20-minute workouts of varying intensity. Each workout contains three interval circuits of 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio, and 1 minute of abs.

The 30 Day Shred program is claimed to help you lose up to 20 pounds (9 kg) in a month.

The two main factors responsible for weight loss are calorie intake and physical activity (2).

People starting out with more body fat will likely see more weight loss over the course of the program (3).

The initial weight loss may be related to reduced carb stores and mild fluid loss (4).

Though the program may provide enough physical activity to promote mild weight loss, 20 pounds (9 kg) is an unrealistic expectation for most people. Plus, nutrition guidance is lacking.

For more substantial weight loss, it’s important to stay active throughout the day rather than solely during your 20-minute workout (5).

How many calories does it burn?

A major influencer of weight loss is the number of overall calories burned (2).

In general, a person weighing around 150 pounds (68 kg), who is of average fitness, can expect to burn 200–300 calories per workout on the 30 Day Shred. This equals about 2.5 pounds (1.1 kg) lost per month from exercise alone (6).

How much weight you lose also depends on your calorie intake and overall physical activity aside from the 30 Day Shred workouts.

Summary The 30 Day Shred program claims that participants can lose up to 20 pounds (9 kg) in 1 month. This may be unrealistic for most people.

While weight loss is the main focus of the 30 Day Shred, daily exercise may offer additional benefits.

Can support muscle gain and healthy aging

Resistance training, such as the strength portion of the 30 Day Shred, can help increase muscle mass.

Gaining muscle is associated with a boost in metabolism, decrease in injury risk, and prevention of muscle loss that commonly occurs with aging (7).

Additionally, resistance training is linked to other benefits, including improved bone density, blood sugar control, and resting blood pressure (8).

Therefore, following a program like the 30 Day Shred can support healthy aging.

Improved heart health

Cardio and aerobic exercises that are part of the 30 Day Shred may benefit heart health.

Aerobic exercise has been shown to offer many health benefits, including reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as promoting a healthy body weight (9).

In line with recommendations of the American Heart Association, you should do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity weekly. This equates to 30 minutes, 5 days per week (10).

The 30 Day Shred can help you meet these recommendations to promote overall health.

Summary While weight loss is the major focus of the 30 Day Shred, it may offer other benefits, such as improved blood sugar control, LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, and blood pressure.

Though the 30 Day Shred may provide several benefits, it has potential downsides as well.

Lack of nutrition guidance

One of the main downsides of the 30 Day Shred is the program’s lack of specific nutrition guidance, which plays a major role in overall weight loss (2, 11).

While you can create various custom meal plans in the My Fitness by Jillian Michaels app, they require a monthly fee for full access.

Taking your current body weight and goals into consideration, the app generates a calorie range for you. Specific meal ideas with nutrition facts are provided as well.

Focus on short-term weight loss

Considering the 30 Day Shred only lasts for a month, its primary goal appears to be short-term weight loss.

While some people may see significant weight reductions during the program, the likelihood of regaining this weight is high once the program is over (12).

To maintain weight loss for the long term, it’s important to make small, consistent changes over time rather than attempting to lose weight quickly.

Exercises may be too intense for some

The 30 Day Shred incorporates some movements, such as pushups and jump squats, that may be too intense for some people.

Additionally, certain individuals may experience joint pain due to jump exercises.

Still, each workout provides alternate versions of the exercises that are designed to be a bit easier. This may benefit people who feel the workouts are too intense.

Does not address overall physical activity

While the 30 Day Shred provides 20 minutes of daily physical activity, it doesn’t focus on being active throughout the rest of your day.

If you only complete the 20-minute workouts and remain inactive otherwise, your results will be much slower.

Aside from exercise, it’s important to stay active throughout the day by moving more and sitting less. This supports a healthy metabolism and optimizes health benefits (13).

Summary Despite offering health benefits, the 30 Day Shred lacks specific nutrition guidance and focuses on short-term weight loss.

The 30 Day Shred may be a good option if you‘re just getting into regular exercise or are an active person who wants to try something new.

The program provides a solid exercise regimen with built-in progressions.

The workouts appear to burn sufficient calories to promote weight loss — whether you have a significant amount to shed or are simply trying to become fitter.

Keep in mind that the program should be paired with a nutritious, portion-controlled diet designed to meet your specific calorie needs and goals.

Summary The 30 Day Shred may be a good choice for those looking to learn basic exercises or wanting to try something new. The program likely offers better results when combined with proper nutrition guidance.

The 30 Day Shred program promises weight loss of up to 20 pounds (9 kg) in a month. This may be unrealistic for most people.

Though the daily 20-minute workouts may aid weight loss and heart health, the program lacks nutrition guidance, may be too intense for some, and focuses on short-term results.

While the 30 Day Shred can promote short-term weight loss, long-term results can be achieved by following a whole-food diet, being conscious of portion sizes, and gradually increasing physical activity over time.