I think strength training is the most intimidating area of fitness. I know how to run. I know how to ride a bike. I haven’t drowned yet, but learning how to properly lunge, curl, crunch, and press was not in my vocabulary. Sure, I dabbled in the weight room and did a handful of body pump classes, but never diligently enough to truly benefit.

Since I started doing yoga and circuit training religiously while training for my second half marathon, I’ve noticed a huge difference in my strength, recovery, and physique.

These are the two circuit DVDs that I love.

I’ve never watched Biggest Loser so I cannot comment on Jillian Michaels as a person, but she has created some really great strength training routines. I try and complete a workout at least twice a week using 5lb dumbbells.

I have no idea why this video is called 30 Day Shred. There’s no way I could do this for 30 days in a row (physically or mentally). The video is comprised of 3 workouts of varying levels. They feature the 3-2-1 method of 3 minutes strength training, 2 minutes cardio, and 1 minute abs repeated 3 times. It’s a pretty intense 20 minute workout. I switch up which level I do because even though it’s called “Level 1” you’re still doing pushups and bicycle crunches out the wazoo.

No More Trouble Zones is a KILLER if you do the full 40 minutes. My abs have never hurt so much in my entire life. (Just a side note, if you compare Jillian Michaels’ body in this video versus 30 Day Shred, she is way more ripped.)

These circuit videos are a great way to push your body in the strength department. If Jillian Michaels isn’t your cup of tea, there’s an option to just have music and not hear her voice.