Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP/Shutterstock / Shutterstock
Jillian Michaels isn’t afraid to claim her crown as the “queen” of quick and effective workouts.
“I’m kind of the OG when it comes to the 20-minute workout. I put out a DVD 15 years ago called the 30 Day Shred,” Michaels tells Muscle & Fitness. “Everybody was doing 45 minutes, an hour. These were 20 minutes. It’s the best-selling DVD of all-time because it was the first one to do 20-minute workouts—and it got results.”
The personal trainer and fan-favorite TV personality continues to find success as she adapts her approach with the times, now embracing the latest in technology with her popular My Fitness app. The digital tool allows Michaels to create highly-personalized plans, optimizing workouts based on factors like a user’s goals, needs and experience level.
“Until recently with this kind of technology, you could get a great workout, but you couldn’t personalize that,” says Michaels. “What the app allows me to do is take the science of fitness and the science of nutrition, and wrap it around the individual. They can come to me and say, ‘I’m a beginner. I’m an advanced athlete. I have no equipment. I have these three pieces of equipment,’” she adds. “Based on their needs, their goals, who they are, where they’re starting from, what they like, what they don’t like, what they have access to—I can, essentially, personally train them with the app.”
The customization also extends to nutrition, as Michaels worked with registered dieticians and chefs to create meal plans for every type of eater.
“Basically, if you are vegan or—I don’t love keto—but if you are keto, or omnivore or pescitarian, I can take the simple science of nutrition and say, all right, this is how much you need to be eating based on your goal,” says Michaels.
Additionally, the My Fitness app offers premium programs to tackle specific workout goals. One of them should pique the interests of busy fathers who need a quick sweat to get in shape, as it’s designed to “dad bod” proof your body. Don’t know if you have a dad bod? Let Michaels break it down.
“It’s like the freshman 15 for dads,” she says, noting how guys with dad bods get “a little soft” and tend to have problem areas like love handles. “It can be anywhere from 15 to 30ish pounds, depending upon how tall the guy is.”
The dad bod program takes the same approach to the app’s other workouts, always keeping the user’s goals in mind while utilizing the most efficient exercises.
“No matter who you are, if you’re trying to get leaner, there are certain techniques that accomplish that,” says Michaels. “Things like resistance training and HIIT intervals, circuit training.”
All of the app’s regimens also build recovery and rest days into the equation, aspects of training Michaels feels are often overlooked by other programs and trends.
“This is really where I find that a lot of these workout trends, as much as people don’t want to hear the truth, that’s where they fault short to me, that particular area,” says Michaels.
The fitness star offers CrossFit as an example of a trend that’s “just not responsible” when it comes to rest and recovery.
“I once saw the founder of the movement kind of talk about muscle splits and how they make no sense, and you use your back every day and why wouldn’t you train it every day,” says Michaels. “It’s like, you’re not injuring it every day. Exercise is an injury, especially something as intense as Crossfit.”
“I don’t have anything against a Crossfit workout,” she adds, “if it’s with an excellent coach who knows Olympic lifts, who doesn’t have a weekend certification.”
Stemming from her research, Michaels recommends splitting up workouts by function, hammering “a muscle group twice a week, really, really intensely” and giving them “at least two days of recovery between training that muscle group.”
“I found that two times a week is enough, more, you start to get into compromised results, which what we’re looking at is over-training,” says Michaels. “The level of our physical performance is being compromised, and we’re not maximizing recovery, so you can get injured.”
View this post on Instagram
Can I get feedback please!? Working on a video for the app homepage. My whole team is driving me nuts with notes Need a consensus