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—Photo courtesy of Jillian Michaels Bodyshred

We Tried It: Jillian Michaels Bodyshred Master Class

Feel the burn with 30 minutes of high-intensity, sweat-inducing circuit training.

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The Mile High City is bursting with ways to tone your tummy (and your thighs, and your biceps). Every month, new fitness studios open—all with methods sworn to revolutionize the way you work out. While they can’t all be the right fit for everyone, it’s worth giving them a try. (Plus, we can never have too many exercises in our repertoire, right?) We’ve decided to explore as many as we can, one by one, to help break down your options—and hopefully help our readers find the workouts that work for them. No more excuses: Your perfect fitness regimen is waiting for you.


Class: Jillian Michaels Bodyshred Master Class

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Sweat meter (1-10): 7

Instructor: Mark Shipman, a “Master Trainer” (teachers of “Bodyshred” must be specially trained by other master trainers before teaching their own classes) who teaches and certifies other group fitness instructors around the country.

Format: 3-2-1, meaning three minutes of resistance-training exercises (uneven push-ups, jumping lunges); two minutes of cardio (mountain climbers, burpees), and one minute of active recovery (ab exercises like side planks). You’ll do four different circuits of the six-minute sets, plus a warm-up and cool-down to get to 30 minutes of nonstop, targeted exercise.

What it’ll (allegedly) do: Burn fat. This class won’t help you bulk up your body, but check it out if you’re trying to tone problem areas.

Why it works: “You’re able to go all out in 30 seconds without hitting the wall of true failure,” Shipman says. “You may feel fatigue, but there’s a difference between fatigue and failure. Doing each move for 30 seconds allows you to keep up the intensities we ask you to maintain throughout the workout.”

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What you’ll need: A mat and three- to five-pound weights. Bring your water bottle to guzzle from at the end; you won’t have any time to sip during this dynamic fitness routine.

Where it’s offered: Keep an eye out for special classes; I attended one as part of the Empower! Denver wellness weekend at Parker’s Life Time Fitness, but the Denver Athletic Club has also offered sessions in the past. (If you’re the type to enjoy at-home workouts, you can also order the DVDs.)

Price: It varies, since the classes are offered at different locations.

Favorite moves: the rock and roll squat (rocking back with feet over head then rolling forward, jumping up, and landing in a squat), the surfer get-up (which requires dropping to the ground on your stomach and then jumping up into a surfer pose), and the side plank

Instructor insight: “Every single time you show up, you’ve got to challenge yourself to do a little more than what you thought you could do, or you will never see progress,” Shipman says. “It just doesn’t happen.”

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Doesn’t sound like the right fit? Check back next week as we explore other fitness classes in the Denver area.

(Read more: Find your ultimate Colorado workout)

Follow editorial assistant Mary Clare Fischer on Twitter at @mc_fischer.

Mary Clare Fischer, Assistant Editor

Mary Clare Fischer co-edits 5280’s Compass, Adventure, and Culture sections; writes for multiple sections of the magazine; and blogs weekly about health and wellness for 5280.com.

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