Before I became a personal trainer, I relied on magazines like Women’s Health, Shape and Self for inspiration at the gym. I would always do the monthly workouts. In fact, that is how I lost my freshmen 15. This month, Jillian Michaels is on the cover featuring an ab workout. Now, I love Jillian and I love new ab moves so this was an exciting moment when I saw the cover. When I started reading, I thought some of the moves seemed great but the last one had me feeling like a beached whale. Check out the video to see my attempt her challenging move.

I uploaded this video yesterday and already it has over 100 people telling me I’m weak, it’s not that hard and it’s not ridiculous. Well people, I have a strong core and I could not do this move. I was also informed the moves are popular on p90X and BodyRockTV, both of which I do not watch regularly if at all, so don’t blame me for who should be taking credit.

Do you think magazines try too hard to be creative that they risk their readers’ safety? Do you think these moves are basic and easy like many YouTubers?

Jillian Michaels’ Crazy Ab Workout in Women’s Health – JUNE 2012

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  • karen mueller

    First of all, you are hilarious.
    I agree with you. I think that most magazines are full of ‘inventive’ new moves that are ridiculous. I like to keep it simple, and physicially there is no reason to do such an odd ab exercise when the simple moves work so well. (Since when is 3 sets of 15 NORMAL v-ups too easy anyway?) I often pick up workout magazines in passing at the store to see if there is anything worth trying, but I just think most of the “new workouts” are weird and, I agree with you again, risk injury just trying them out.

  • Taylor

    I love your honesty and mockery (that’s a compliment). Yes, I agree that these moves are tough for most people reading the magazine. And so what if bodyrock does it, they also do 100s of other moves that the average jane trying to lose weight can’t do.

    Rock on Sarah!

  • Kelly Runs on Cake

    Without doing the move myself (I’m at the office, so I can’t really try it here!) I bet it does its job. But it’s not something I’d do in public!

    To be honest, I don’t do “magazine workouts” much. I pretty much just skip over them entirely while I’m reading the magazine. Every once in a while I’ll dig a magazine out of the recycling bin to do a routine if I want to exercise a little but don’t want to leave my house -- they all seem to be based mostly on stability balls, resistance bands, or just body weight, so I don’t see a real reason to go to the gym to do that stuff. So I can do all the dumb-looking moves I want!

  • Ali

    I agree! In fact, I see patients in my clinic after doing some of those crazy moves and hurting themselves. Sometimes simple gets the job done and keeps you safe. Love your scenic video BTW!

  • Ashley

    I did this work out when the mag came out as well, and I’m with you girl. I thought the last move was laughable, but that the first three were challenging and worth trying.

  • Nikki


    I agree that last move is insane. I am a P90X graduate, and I still struggle with a lot of the moves in the DVDs. That last one is a lot like the Superman Banana X that Tony Horton has. It’s hard.

    You look a lot better than me doing that! I love seeing the struggle because that means you are a real person, not like some other videos I’ve seen from people who either barely break a sweat or the DVDs where the moves are mastered and they look so “tough”

    Rock on, girl! You are amazing! :)

  • pluvk

    Haha, this video was great! I’m actually glad you posted this because I’ve often felt like some of the magazine workouts were beyond my capabilities -- and I work out regularly! So thanks for showing me that I’m not completely crazy. :-)

  • Dina

    I would feel very silly doing that last move at the gym. Even though my gym is a decent size, you still can’t take up that much room rolling around on the floor. What if you rolled into someone else?

  • Nic

    Goobers, totally agree with you on that last one. Pikes alone are hard to do I think.

    I always feel like I’m getting weird looks from people doing my own thing at the gym, especially if I’m not using the weight machines? I did have another member make a comment to me once. “Hey, you know you can do that exercise like this.” Go away weirdo! I like to maintain the illusion in my head that when I’m sweaty and beet-red in the face nobody notices ;). Usually I’ll save workouts like this for an off time at the gym when there aren’t any classes in one of the studios, and then go in there and set up shop.

  • Jamie

    I actually think the 3rd move is a bit more riskier….with the 4th move your grounded so your not going to roll anywhere without fully engaging your core. The floor can be more forgiving and yes, your supposed to move off the yoga mat (they probably just wanted to keep their photos looking cleaner in the mag). As for the 3rd move, that’s alot of dynamic movement to be adding to plank position and I think the risk for letting go of the low back and pelvis would be too tempting for someone not used to working in just general plank.

    That’s my 2 cents….cheers!

  • Patricia

    I don’t know why Jillian seems crazy, even when she’s quiet with those eyes and the way she moves her lips. Oh my God, sorry for my words!

  • Veronica

    I, too, am a personal trainer and find it very frustrating when clients present me with ridiculous exercises they have seen in a magazine or on a DVD. I often think that these ‘fitness guru’s’ put exercises in an article or in their workouts so they can promote them as the “Craziest ____workout ever!”. Many exercises I’ve seen over the years in both these mediums are ineffective at the very least and even dangerous. Thanks for steppin’ up and telling it like it is.

  • brynn

    actually i do not think that the move was absolutely ridiculous, i have done similar things, and yes it is meant to be chanllenging, dont you want to chanllenge yourself. Another thing is when im at the gym to work out im there to “WORK OUT” i dont care what im going to look like, most the time things that are most effective are going to make you look silly. I can agree that there are some things that are just over the top, but this move is not ridiculous. i really think that people dont want to put the effort and they look for whatever is the easiest.

  • Blerim Besecke

    Hi Sarah! I try these new exercises from Jillian Michaels of Women’s Health to avoid plateaus, beat boredom and speed fat loss. I don’t need a gym to see great results, after this workout!
    Ps: Super video, if it is ok I would embed this video in my fitness blog? Please answer!

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