Why Jillian Michaels Has America’s Healthiest Body

Jack Guy

Jack GuyFrom Health magazine
When California-raised Jillian was 12, she weighed 175 pounds. After engaging in martial arts and working her way into a career as a personal trainer, the 5-foot-2 3/4-inch star got her weight down to around 117 with just 13% body fat.

She also started her own organic garden, greened up her house, and switched to clean foods. For her, the goal is a healthy body and mind. “Fitness for me is a tool that I use to build a life,” Jillian says. “Its never about a crunch for me. I couldnt care less.”

And, as she resumes her role on The Biggest Loser, now in its eighth season, she has plenty more to celebrate: a new Wii game, Jillian Michaels Fitness Ultimatum 2010; two spring 2010 follow-up books to her best-selling Master Your Metabolism—The Master Calorie Counter and The Master Cookbook; and an expansion of her QuickStart Rapid Weight Loss System supplements line at GNC.

With the same addictive intensity she uses to motivate her clients, Jillian tells Health what she thinks we all should change in our diets, why shes not a fan of “walking,” and which celebrity she wishes she could take under her wing.

Q: How do you feel about being named Americas Healthiest Body?

A: Im totally flattered. But I just think, God, if people had any idea of the stuff that goes on behind closed doors: the struggles in the middle of the night in front of the refrigerator, the weeks on end I cant get my ass to the gym! But, in reality, theres a part of me where it makes perfect sense.

Next Page: So, what’s your definition of a healthy body?

Q: So, whats your definition of a healthy body?

A: A disease-free body. I have a very close friend who just turned 40. She was always the hot girl with the beautiful body. She smoked and she drank, but she looked good … right up until she got diagnosed with breast cancer.

When youre skinny, youre not necessarily a healthy person. And when youre obese, youre not disease-free; youre struggling with fatty liver disease, diabetes, stroke, cancer, sleep apnea, acid reflux, and the list goes on.

Q: If you could get people to do one thing differently every day for their health, what would it be?

A: Go organic. That would be the one thing—its not even exercise. Our food is corn derivatives, food derivatives, and chemicals. It is making us fat and sick.

Q: In terms of our fitness efforts, where do we go wrong?
A: We sell ourselves short when it comes to capability and potential. We read on the treadmill. We walk. People will be like, “Ive been walking.” And Im like, “Really? Really?” “OK, you walked to the car, and then to the door at the mall, and then you took the stairs, too? Come on, man.”

If I can take a 66-year-old man and train him six hours a day, six days a week, you can do more than just take the stairs! People have no concept of what the human body is really designed to do. They have no concept of their strength! And they function in a zone that is well below what their potential really is.

Next Page: Is there anyone in particular that you wish you could take under your wing and train?

Q: Is there anyone in particular that you wish you could take under your wing and train?

A: I would love to train Obama, just because hes awesome and the leader of the Free World. Id feel really good keeping him healthy and strong.

But if theres someone I think is utterly misguided, it would be Oprah Winfrey. She says she had a thyroid problem and ate soy, and Im like, How? Where is Dr. Oz? Shes just so misinformed, it is shocking to me on a daily basis. Soy is terrible for you .

Q: Is there an area of your life where you are undisciplined?

A: The only thing I would tell you is fitness.

Q: What?!

A: Yeah, its exercise. Im like, “Ugh,” because I know that with diet and sleep and lifestyle, I can control my weight. I get tired, man, I get so tired!

And if I dont work with a trainer, Im like, “OK, I ran my 30 minutes, Im going home.” People often ask me, “Why do you work with a trainer?” And I say, “Because hes a monster. He pushes me in ways I wouldnt push myself.”

Q: When and where do you feel happiest?

A: Im probably happiest when I watch somebody have that “Aha” moment. So much has become about business. Gone are the days when I could go to my little gym, train my clients, and get the phone call that they lost 10 pounds and got to a smaller jeans size, which made me happy for the rest of the day.

And so when people have that awakening and I can be a part of the transformation, that is probably when Im happiest, because that is when I think, “Oh, theres a reason that Im alive.”

I was definitely on the chubbier side growing up, but I hit my heaviest weight around age 13, when I was about 170 pounds (I’m 117 now, for reference).

I used food as comfort, but I also used it as a way to relate to my dad—he was overweight too, so we bonded over food a lot. Back then, I really just ate without any regard for my health—pizza, French fries, Taco Bell, you name it.

Then, when I was 13, my parents got divorced—and everything shifted.

Jillian, right, with a friend. Jillian Michaels

My mom enrolled me into martial arts classes—not for weight loss, but as an emotional outlet to help me through that time of my life.

And it definitely took me a while to really catch on to the health and wellness components of it; one time I showed up to class with a bag of Cheetos, and my instructor was like, “No, absolutely not. It’s disrespectful.”

That was really the beginning of my fitness journey—I learned to use fitness as a means of empowerment.

I was better able to handle bullies at school—and I realized that when you feel fit, you feel stronger in other aspects of your life, and you feel more capable.

But even though I was taking steps to become healthier, I wasn’t necessarily doing it the right way.

My diet changed a lot—but not necessarily in a good way at first. I was eating a lot of fake diet food, like artificial sweeteners and low-fat versions of other foods.

It took me years; it probably wasn’t until my thirties—I’m 44 now—that I finally got a firm grip on what a healthy diet should look like: eating whole, real foods; trying to avoid fake foods and chemicals like artificial sugars; and learning how to practice calorie restriction—not deprivation.

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A post shared by Jillian Michaels (@jillianmichaels) on Feb 2, 2018 at 5:00pm PST

I also try to practice my own form of intermittent fasting—I typically wait 13 to 14 hours between my last meal of one day and my first meal of the next day. So I’ll usually stop eating around 7 p.m.; I’ll have coffee when I wake up at 7 a.m. the next day, and then I’ll break my fast around 9 a.m. But you can’t eat like crap during those remaining 10 or so hours—here’s what I tend to eat throughout the day:

  • Breakfast: low-fat Greek yogurt with sliced bananas and crushed almonds on top.
  • Lunch: a chicken veggie burrito with black beans, but no rice.
  • Dinner: a Mediterranean salad with olives, feta cheese, and veggies, and salmon on the side. Along with a glass of red wine.

I’m also committed to finding balance in my exercise routine, as I have with my diet.

Yes, I work out—but I only do it for four and a half hours per week. That’s because I do it intelligently, mixing cardio with strength training and never letting myself get bored of one workout. Switching things up is important—I like to do a mix of cycling, yoga, and martial arts—and helps me stay interested in exercising.

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almost Friday tribe! How’s the week treating ya thus far?

A post shared by Jillian Michaels (@jillianmichaels) on Aug 2, 2018 at 1:16pm PDT

When I’m crunched for time, I also try to fit in a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workout whenever and wherever I can. Those exercises—squats, lunges, burpees, pushups—burn the most calories during and after a workout, so you get the most bang for your buck. But there is one thing I definitely can’t stand: running—I just think it’s tedious (and it makes my hips feel tight).

In fact, balance is a key aspect in other parts of my life, too.

Being (or getting) healthy doesn’t have to be complicated—and it shouldn’t require extremes. Healthy living is all about moderation. If you put the word “too” in front of anything—too much food, too little food, too much sleep, too little sleep—you’ve got chaos, whereas if everything is balanced just right, everything falls into place.

Need more inspo? It’s Transformations Week on WomensHealthMag.com! For more amazing beauty, fitness, and weight loss transformations, check out the rest of our Transformations Week collection.

While diet plays a huge role in reducing belly fat, Jillian Michaels also recommends exercising to reduce overall body fat, which will help lean out your torso. “You’ll want to condition the muscles under the fat so when you lose that top layer, your tummy is toned,” Jillian explained. She said to focus on functional exercises that work multiple muscle groups like push-ups, mountain climbers, planks, and lunges to burn calories and condition your core.

“The techniques that have been shown to burn more calories leading to burning more stored fat would be HIIT training (high intensity interval training), resistance training, functional fitness (exercises that incorporate multiple muscle groups), and circuit training,” Jillian said. “I like people to do a minimum of 20 minutes, preferably 30 (not including a three- to five-minute warm up and three- to five-minute cool down). If done properly, it will be enough to see good results — but only if the diet is also on point.”

Here’s a circuit workout designed by Jillian that comes from her new app, My Fitness by Jillian Michaels to help you reduce belly fat. “I combine HIIT intervals into my strength and conditioning circuits. There is no rest in between exercises, so heart rate stays up and time isn’t wasted. The exercises incorporate multiple muscle groups and utilize bodyweight and free-weight resistance training to maximize efficiency and condition core muscles,” Jillian explained. The actual workout should take about 21 minutes, so with your warm up and cool down, you’ll be done in about half an hour.

Jillian Michaels Belly-Fat Workout

Equipment needed: 2 lightweight dumbbells

Directions: After warming up for five minutes, repeat each circuit twice before moving on to the next circuit. For the side plank pops and the elevator plank, do the left side the first time through, then do the right side on the second round. Ideally there’s no rest between exercises, but take a couple minutes to rest between circuits if you need to. At the end, cool down with this five-minute stretching routine.

Circuit 1
Exercises Time
Forward Lunge with Dumbbell Chop 25 seconds
Plank-up 25 seconds
Side Plank Pop 25 seconds
Lateral Burpee 25 seconds
Hollowman Hold 25 seconds)

Circuit 2
Exercises Time
Elevator Plank 25 seconds
Bicycle Crunch 25 seconds
Inch Worm 25 seconds
Squirm Crunch 25 seconds
Mountain Climber 25 seconds)

Circuit 3
Exercises Time
High Knees 25 seconds
Standing Alternating Toe Tap Crunch 25 seconds
Standing Oblique Crunch (Left Leg) 25 seconds
Standing Oblique Crunch (Right Leg) 25 seconds
Alternating Cyclone Squat 25 seconds)

On January 8, fitness guru Jillian Michaels appeared on Buzzfeed’s morning show “AM to DM” on Twitter.

During the segment, host Alex Berg praised singers like Lizzo for “preaching self-acceptance.” This led to the following exchange between Berg and Michaels:

MICHAELS: I love her music, yeah, 100%. I don’t know anything about her. I’m sure she’s a cool, awesome chick.

BERG: Yeah, and I love that they’re putting images out there that we normally don’t get to see of bodies that we don’t get to see being celebrated.

MICHAELS: But why are we celebrating her body? Why does it matter? That’s what I’m saying. Why aren’t we celebrating her music? Because it isn’t going to be awesome if she gets diabetes. I’m just being honest. I love her music, like, my kid loves her music, but there’s never a moment when I’m like, “And I’m so glad she’s overweight.” Like, why do I even care? Why is it my job to care about her weight?

Well, that’s the clip that blew up on social media. There’s actually some more context. The full exchange between Berg and Michaels about fat acceptance and the unhealthy nature of obesity can be read at the end of this piece.

Following the interview, Michaels got smacked on social media for her comments about Lizzo. The fitness guru received backup as well.

On Wednesday, Michaels posted a photo to her Instagram from when she was 14 years old and 175 lbs. She captioned the image: “Here’s me at 5’0 tall and 175 lbs. If I can do it – anyone can. Share your story…”

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Here’s me at 5’0 tall and 175 lbs. If I can do it – anyone can. Share your story…

A post shared by Jillian Michaels (@jillianmichaels) on Jan 15, 2020 at 8:52am PST

Some indeed shared their stories below the post.

User Kimberspores wrote: “I was close to 180lbs at 5’3″ at one point. Now I’m at 145 and working on losing more with your help. I honestly have never felt more inspired than when you’re yelling at me from my tv screen.”

User Thesarahsaurus13 wrote: “You helped me go from 165 to 120 lbs! But better than that, you give me the motivation to get up and care about myself every day! Thank you!!”

Others thanked Michaels for not backing down.

User irrevelry wrote: “Started following you after your comments about heavy entertainers…nothing personal against overweight people it’s just the truth. Thank you for standing by your statements. Gravitas for sure. We need more of your voice of reason.”

Michaels replied:

Honestly – I was asked a question I celebrate her being overweight. Had zero intention to involve her. I don’t celebrate ANYONE overweight because it kills people. BUT it doesn’t mean I don’t celebrate the actual person. Sorta like if your best friend was a smoker – you love them, celebrate them, but certainly wouldn’t celebrate the fact that they smoke… @prettybitches_bychloe I’m looking at you.

As of publication, Michaels’ throwback photo has over 25,600 “likes” on Instagram.

Below is the full exchange between Michaels and Berg from “AM to DM”:

BERG: Well, you’ve said before that you think political correctness has gone too far in the health and fitness world. What did you mean by that?

MICHAELS: Political correctness has just, like, come so – I can’t even – I think it’s insane, and it’s like, the pendulum, just, as far as it swings in one direction, it swings back in the other, right? And you’ve got these crazy extremes whereas, “Oh, she’s, you know, she’s too fat to be a pop star!” Well, you say things like that, and you know, then there’s gonna be, you should never be able to say things like that, right? But for years, people were. They could fat-shame, and they could exclude people, and they could make people feel less than in all forms of media, and we should always be inclusive, but you cannot glorify obesity. It’s dangerous. It kills people. It’s the number one cause of bankruptcy in our country.

So, there’s a middle ground here. Now it’s like, “Oh, that woman is 250 pounds! Good for her!” and it’s like, it shouldn’t be one way or the other. It’s really no one’s business to comment. It’s not something you should judge. It’s not something you should celebrate. That woman’s health is up to her – but, I mean, 250 pounds, I would say 999 times out of 1,000 is going to mean heart disease, cancer, diabetes, autoimmune issues, and early death.

BERG: I have to say, I personally found, and I love celebrities like Lizzo or Ashley Graham who are really preaching self-acceptance.

MICAHELS: I love her music, yeah, 100%. I don’t know anything about her. I’m sure she’s a cool, awesome chick.

BERG: Yeah, and I love that they’re putting images out there that we normally don’t get to see of bodies that we don’t get to see being celebrated, and…

MICHAELS: But why are we celebrating her body? Why does it matter? That’s what I’m saying. Like, why aren’t we celebrating her music? ‘Cause it isn’t gonna be awesome if she gets diabetes. I’m just being honest. I love her music, like, my kid loves her music, but there’s never a moment where I’m like, “And I’m so glad that she’s overweight!” Like, why do I even care? Why is it my job to care about her weight?

BERG: For a lot of people, that image resonates that they feel good enough, and actually, I want to get to a tweet about this that was in response to your conversation with Wendy Williams yesterday when you spoke a little bit about body positivity, and Cocoa Popps tweeted: “Saw Jillian Michaels talk about people ‘celebrating obesity.’ Body positivity isn’t about celebrating being unhealthy. (and you can be overweight and be healthy.) It’s embracing yourself without society’s permission. Very disappointed by what she said and the presumptive tone.” So, what do you say to a response like that?

MICAHELS: Okay, I would say, first of all, most people that are that are morbidly obese are not healthy. Now, if they’re working on losing weight – and because they’re working out and they’re eating right you can reverse that stuff pretty quick – but I mean, I’ve been doing this a real long time. I have yet to meet a person that’s gotten themselves to 200, 250, 300 pounds, and the doctor goes, “Looking good!” I mean, no. Just no. Just no. So, I would say to Cocoa Popps, like, first of all, this isn’t what you do, so you don’t know. You haven’t been to the doctor with person after person after person after person that’s 100 lbs overweight and looked at their labs – like, you just, you don’t know. That’s not what you do.

I’m not saying, and never have I said, that we shouldn’t be inclusive and accepting. I’m saying that I don’t love Lizzo because she’s overweight. I like her because of her music – and by the way, if you said to me, like, “Hey, Lizzo can live to be 90 and motivate people, or she can die at 60 and motivate people,” why wouldn’t I say, like, “I really hope she’s as healthy as she can be”? It’s not about saying that I don’t respect her, I don’t think she’s awesome. I absolutely do, but I also would hate to see her get sick, and I mean … it’s the number one cause of bankruptcy in the country, like, come on! It’s a problem. These are facts.

What celeb trainer Jillian Michaels got wrong about Lizzo and body positivity

Lizzo isn’t just one of the world’s most popular musicians: She’s also one of music’s most prominent icons for body positivity and self-acceptance. Known for sending her audience messages of self-love like, “go home tonight and look in the mirror and say, ‘I love you, you are beautiful, and you can do anything,’” she also often speaks publicly about the challenges she has faced in accepting her body. Lizzo is not shy about citing bullying, negative media images of women who look like her, racism, and misogyny as factors in the difficulty she experienced in coming to love herself and her body.

“I don’t think that loving yourself is a choice. I think that it’s a decision that has to be made for survival; it was in my case,” she wrote in an April 2019 NBC News op-ed. The importance of self-love is an idea that has resonated with many fans who have struggled to accept themselves. “Her messages about strength and her body-positive image are having an impact on people everywhere,” as fellow musician and collaborator Big Freedia put it in a December 2019 article about Lizzo in the Los Angeles Times.

But fitness celebrity Jillian Michaels has a different view of things. During an appearance on BuzzFeed News’s AM2DM show on January 8, Michaels challenged co-host Alex Berg’s praise for the open body-positivity from celebrities like Lizzo and plus-size model Ashley Graham. Berg said, “I love that they’re putting images out there that we don’t normally get to see, of bodies that we don’t get to see being celebrated.”

“Why are we celebrating her body? Why does it matter?” Michaels responded. “Why aren’t we celebrating her music? ‘Cause it isn’t going to be awesome if she gets diabetes. I’m just being honest. Like, I love her music. Like, my kid loves her music. But there’s never a moment where I’m like, ‘And I’m so glad she’s overweight!’ Like, why do I even care? Why is it my job to care about her weight?”

Let’s be clear: This is not some feminist re-frame of a comment about Lizzo’s body, an attempt to take attention away from evaluating Lizzo’s appearance and refocusing it on her accomplishments. Instead, Michaels is claiming that Lizzo’s “overweight” body shouldn’t be celebrated, based on assumptions about her current and future health status. These comments are stigmatizing fat bodies in effect, if not in intent.

Michaels’s comments instantly drew criticism from celebrities and Twitter users, who slammed her as fat-phobic and body-shaming. Lizzo has not directly responded to Michaels’s comments, although many have taken her recent body-positive comments on social media to be an indirect response.

While standing by her comments, Michaels posted a clarifying statement on social media: “As I’ve stated repeatedly, we are all beautiful, worthy, and equally deserving. I also feel strongly that we love ourselves enough to acknowledge there are serious health consequences that come with obesity — heart disease, diabetes, cancer to name only a few. I would never wish these for ANYONE and I would hope we prioritize our health because we LOVE ourselves and our bodies.” In a January 10 interview with People, Michaels made clear she wasn’t backing down from her take on Lizzo and people with bodies like hers — saying that “there’s nothing beautiful about clogged arteries.”

An exercise class with personal trainer Jillian Michaels from The Biggest Loser. Tom Cooper/Getty Images for Wellness Your Way Festival

But it’s not Michaels’s job to care about Lizzo’s weight. She is not Lizzo’s physician, nor (as far as we know) has Lizzo approached Michaels to be her personal trainer or to coach her through weight loss.

And by publicly speculating about Lizzo’s susceptibility to diabetes or other chronic diseases, Michaels is doing more harm than good. While Michaels says she is trying to encourage Lizzo and others to take better care of themselves and their health, her comments have a different effect. She is implicitly stating that Lizzo needs to change her body through weight loss, based on assumptions about Lizzo’s lifestyle and health, and is stigmatizing fat bodies in the process. Weight stigma is known to have negative health effects while also encouraging less healthy behaviors, which calls into question the wisdom of deploying it as a tactic to improve anyone’s health. Comments like these, especially from someone with Michaels’s fame and public stature, undermine one of Lizzo’s central messages: making people feel comfortable in their own bodies is a matter of survival.

Weight is not synonymous with health

Michaels’s comments about Lizzo’s weight reflect a widespread belief: that all fat people face serious health risks purely because of their weight. This view is bolstered by a lot of research showing that there are health risks associated with carrying “excess” weight — including heart disease, some forms of cancer, and, yes, diabetes.

But that is not the end of the story, and research on the connection between weight and health is more complicated than it seems. While body mass index (BMI), the most common measurement used to assess if a person is a healthy weight, is correlated with metabolic health in population studies, there are many people with a “normal” BMI with cardiovascular and metabolic issues, while many in the “overweight” and “obese” range are metabolically healthy. Furthermore, the causal mechanisms linking obesity to chronic illnesses aren’t always well understood. For example, the psychological distress that can result from being overweight or obese in a society in which it is stigmatized can cause inflammation and negative long-term health effects.

Moreover, a number of scholars have argued that both the medical community and society put too much emphasis on the effects of weight on health, obscuring the importance of numerous other factors, such as blood pressure, blood lipid levels, and aerobic fitness, that together paint a more informative picture of a person’s health than BMI alone.

Put differently: It is quite difficult to get an accurate picture of someone’s health merely by looking at them, whether you’re a trained physician or a fitness trainer. In fact, it’s irresponsible to try and do so.

Expressing concerns about fatness is a kind of bias, not brave truth-telling

The controversy about Michaels’s remarks about Lizzo is unfolding in a context where many critics, including Michaels, are concerned that body acceptance has gone too far, to the point where we are ignoring the dangers of unhealthy body weights. While Michaels is receiving a lot of heat for going after Lizzo, this is far from the first time she’s made comments like this. Last year, in Women’s Health UK, Michaels charged that “obesity in itself is not something that should be glamorized. But we’ve become so politically correct that no one wants to say it.”

That no one today can say that obesity is associated with negative health outcomes is patently, laughably false. Being overweight or obese is not only frequently positioned as a serious health risk, it’s also often considered to be a moral failing, a product of laziness, or a lack of personal responsibility.

Shaming fat people for their health, not to mention their appearance, remains an incredibly pervasive form of discrimination, one that research shows is detrimental to people’s health in and of itself. Weight discrimination by physicians causes many who are overweight and obese to avoid going to the doctor. Weight stigma is associated with bullying, employment discrimination, and education discrimination; these and other chronic stressors put people at risk for many of the diseases people like Jillian Michaels are concerned that about.

What Michaels derisively calls “political correctness” is actually an attempt to reduce the harm done by these messages, to fight back against an ocean of negative messages about fatness. The claim that you can love yourself and your body, and enjoy your life now rather than after you lose weight — the core of the “body positivity” movement — can be more helpful to people than yet another admonition about their weight and health risks.

While Lizzo is often positioned as “this generation’s queen of body-positive pop,” she has been critical of the common claim that she is “brave” for loving her body, telling Glamour, “If you saw Anne Hathaway in a bikini on a billboard, you wouldn’t call her brave.” Lizzo also worries that body positivity, which she described in Time as “a form of protest for fat bodies and black women,” has become about “going to the spa, getting your nails done or drinking a mimosa.”

At the same time, Lizzo believes that seeing people who embrace their body at any size can be an important part of making peace with your own body. Her own journey stems from painful personal experiences. “When I was younger I didn’t see myself in the media. I didn’t see myself in fashion. I didn’t like how I looked because of what I saw on television,” she said in an interview with Paper Magazine. “I was working out a lot and not eating. I took a picture and sent it to my mom and she was like, ‘Are you OK? You don’t look OK.’”

“When I was younger I didn’t see myself in the media. I didn’t see myself in fashion. I didn’t like how I looked because of what I saw on television,” Lizzo told Paper Mag. Monica Schipper/Getty Images

Lizzo’s public persona is aimed, in part, at helping girls and women who look like her avoid this sort of unhealthy behavior. That makes Lizzo’s open praise of herself incredibly important — and Michaels’s public attack on it deeply troubling.

It’s Michaels, not Lizzo, who needs to change her behavior

If Michaels is truly concerned about Lizzo’s health — and the health of others deemed overweight and obese — she should start by rethinking the approach she’s taken throughout her career.

Her media career began with the NBC series The Biggest Loser (which will be returning this year on USA without Michaels’s involvement), a reality show in which contestants were subjected to a barrage of drastic weight loss practices that, in most instances, did not lead to sustained weight loss. In fact, the show’s practices of daily workouts that were 10 times what is recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine, and purposeful dehydration prior to weigh-ins, are very far from healthy. While Michaels left the show in 2014, she seems to have done so because she didn’t like how she was portrayed, rather than ideological differences with the approach of the show to weight loss more generally.

Instead of the intense and lengthy workouts that Michaels and the other Biggest Loser trainers encouraged, research unsurprisingly shows that people are more likely to enjoy a less intense workout, and this difference in forecasted and remembered pleasure can have an impact on whether people stick to an exercise routine or not. Physical activity, while often associated with weight loss, is not all that helpful to a lot of people who are trying to lose weight. Furthermore, physical activity has numerous benefits aside from weight loss, and it would be unfortunate if people lost out on those benefits because they were not losing weight.

Treating weight and health as if they are synonymous can encourage unhealthy weight-loss strategies, and can cause people to lose sight of the benefits of activities that do not lead to weight loss. But people like Michaels who denigrate Lizzo’s body-positivity message don’t seem to be considering these kinds of health consequences. They are so focused on the potential health risks of obesity that they’re unwilling to think through what our society does to overweight and obese people.

Meanwhile, body acceptance at any size has health-protective effects that can also encourage people to live a healthier lifestyle. But its effects can be more fundamental than that. For Lizzo, finding ways to accept and love yourself in a culture that devalues you is a matter of survival. As she wrote in her 2019 NBC News op-ed, “Loving myself was the result of answering two things: Do you want to live? ‘Cause this is who you’re gonna be for the rest of your life. Or are you gonna just have a life of emptiness, self-hatred and self-loathing? And I chose to live, so I had to accept myself.” This is an important message for fans: that loving yourself is the only way to live your life, even if it’s hard. The time to love your body is now. Instead of disparaging this message, Michaels should examine how her own biases, instead of helping, may harm people’s health.

Katelyn Esmonde is a Hecht-Levi postdoctoral fellow at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics.

HIIT or high intensity interval training is one of the top fitness trends and has been for a while now! And for good reason.

HIIT workouts are incredibly effective at burning calories and quickly accelerating your fitness level. This is because they are designed to stress the body to its max for limited periods of time thereby utilizing intensity to burn more calories and force your body to adapt more quickly to the greater physical demands you are putting on it.

The key is not just the intensity however, but the recovery. You can’t go 100% the entire workout or you would place too much stress on the body, likely injuring yourself or at the very least impeding progress from stress hormone and an extreme inflammatory response.

That’s why HIIT training is about pushing yourself during short bursts of your workout session so you’re exercising at close to 100 percent of your maximum heart rate (MHR) and then recovering at a lower intensity of roughly 60-70 percent of your MHR. These intervals can range anywhere from 20 seconds to two minutes, depending on your level of fitness. Figuring out your MHR is simple — just subtract your age from 220. So if you’re 35, your MHR is 185 beats a minute.

HIIT training is also one of the best ways to enhance your afterburn, which means you will not only burn calories during the workout, but long after the workout is over (this is called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption or EPOC). And you don’t have to be on a treadmill to engage in HIIT training; you can perform intervals on any piece of cardio equipment (such as a bike, stepmill, rower, etc.) or incorporate intense exercises like jumping jacks, mountain climbers and butt kicks into a strength-training routine.

One caveat, which is also a blessing, HIIT workouts should really never be longer than 30 minutes tops including warm up and cool down. While the recover periods during the workout are critical, making sure you don’t train at too high of an intensity over too long a period of time is also very important. In general I recommend a 20 minute session tops, not including any static stretching done after the workout is over.

Here is a sample HIIT workout for you to try that we are currently building into the HIIT section of the My Fitness App:


½ Mile Jog to Warm up

Workout: 3 rounds total

500 meter sprint in under 2:30 on the rower

10 floors in under 2:00 on the stair stepper

¼ mile sprint in under 2:00 on the treadmill.

Jillian Michaels Treadmill Workout

If you’re looking to burn fat, really no other aerobic exercise comes as close as running to boost your metabolism and get you shredded, so in this article we’re going to look at a killer Jillian Michaels treadmill workout.

With that said a lot of people make one of two mistakes when it comes to running. They either run for too long or dislike running because in the past they have gone too intense and didn’t do a gradual build-up.

The main problem with running too long is that you get into the stage of breaking down too much muscle at the same time so approaching it with a different strategy will go a long way in giving better results.

Jillian Michaels Treadmill Workout: Concept

The best part of this workout is that it will build up pace over 4 weeks so you can condition yourself gradually and take it up a notch each week.

The other part of this treadmill workout that is so good is that it is focused on interval training, which if you haven’t tried yet is a fantastic way to break down your workout and yet still give you the benefits of increasing your heart rate significantly to the point where it is also boosting your metabolism.

You’ll want to include this treadmill workout workout into resistance training program for about 2-4 days a week and you should notice the difference in your waist size within 4 weeks. If you do not then you need to reduce your caloric intake which can be most easily done by reducing your intake of soda and junk foods (remember one cookie could have as many calories as 2 oranges!).

Before we get into the workout, getting those abs to show requires a pretty awesome healthy meal plan so you feel totally satisfied with what you eat and also has all the nutrients your body needs to burn fat. That’s why I put together this Sexy Flat Abs Meal Plan which has a full 7day/week meal plan full of clean eating recipes and snacks. Get it before January 31st and use Promo Code “newyears” to get an additional 30% off this package. You’ll have nothing to lose but the fat, but this is only for serious people so get’er done!

Now let’s jump into this workout, you’re going to love the progression…

Jillian Michaels Treadmill Workout

Week 1:

1 minute – pre-warm up with 3.8 mph and 1.5 elevation
4 minutes – warm up with 5.0 mph

————-Begin Running——————
1 minute – 5.0 mph (base speed for our interval training)
30 seconds – 6.5 mph
30 seconds – 5.0 mph
30 seconds – 7.0 mph
30 seconds – 5.0 mph
30 seconds – 7.5 mph
30 seconds – 5.0 mph
30 seconds – 7.5 mph
30 seconds – 5.0 mph (we’ve reached 10 minutes total)

————-Cool Down——————
3 minutes – 3.8 mph with 1.5 elevation

Week 2:

1 minute – pre-warm up with 3.8 mph and 1.5 elevation
4 minutes – warm up with 5.0 mph

————-Begin Interval Training——————
1 minute – 5.5 mph (base speed for our interval training)
30 seconds – 6.5 mph
30 seconds – 5.5 mph
30 seconds – 7.0 mph
30 seconds – 5.5 mph
30 seconds – 7.5 mph
30 seconds – 5.5 mph
30 seconds – 8.0 mph
30 seconds – 5.5 mph (we’ve reached 10 minutes total)

————-Cool Down——————
3 minutes – 4.0 mph with 1.5 elevation

Week 3:

1 minute – pre-warm up with 3.8 mph and 1.5 elevation
4 minutes – warm up with 5.0 mph

————-Begin Interval Training——————
1 minute – 6.0 mph (base speed for our interval training)
30 seconds – 6.5 mph
30 seconds – 6.0 mph
30 seconds – 7.0 mph
30 seconds – 6.0 mph
30 seconds – 7.5 mph
30 seconds – 6.0 mph
30 seconds – 8.0 mph
30 seconds – 6.0 mph (we’ve reached 10 minutes total)

————-Begin Climbing——————
1 minute – 6.0 mph increase elevation to 2.5
2 minutes – 3.8 mph increase elevation to 6.5
2 minutes – 6.0 mph decrease elevation to 2.5
2 minutes – 7.0 mph keep elevation at 2.5

————-Cool Down——————
3 minutes – 4.0 mph with 1.5 elevation

Week 4:

1 minute – pre-warm up with 3.8 mph and 1.5 elevation
4 minutes – warm up with 5.0 mph

————-Begin Interval Training——————
1 minute – 6.5 mph (base speed for our interval training)
30 seconds – 7.0 mph
30 seconds – 6.5 mph
30 seconds – 7.5 mph
30 seconds – 6.5 mph
30 seconds – 8.0 mph
30 seconds – 6.5 mph
30 seconds – 8.5 mph
30 seconds – 6.5 mph (we’ve reached 10 minutes total)

————-Begin Climbing——————
1 minute – 6.0 mph increase elevation to 2.5
2 minutes – 3.8 mph increase elevation to 6.5
3 minutes – 6.5 mph keep elevation at 6.5
2 minutes – 7.0 mph decrease elevation to 2.5

————-Cool Down——————
3 minutes – 4.0 mph with 1.5 elevation

Smart Supplements to Support Jillian Michaels Treadmill Workout

  • High quality whey protein for lean muscle development and to help curve cravings – Optimum 100% Natural Whey
  • Thermogenic to burn fat – Irwin Naturals Green Tea Fat Metabolizer
  • Multi-vitamin to make sure you get the daily essentials – Perfect Energy MultiVitamin
  • Omega 3’s for healthy cardiovascular function and support for joints – NOW Ultra Omega-3
  • Branch Chained Amino Acids for muscle recovery – Scivation Xtend
  • Fat Loss Stack to eliminate overall body fat – Women’s Fat Loss Stack or Men’s Fat Loss Stack

Jillian Michaels Treadmill Workout

There you have it! A 4 week training program to get you slimmer in the midsection but allowing you to take it up a notch one level and one week at a time. If you feel like at any time during these weeks like you can go even more intense then do it rather than adding more and more time to your cardio workout as that can lead to over-training and loss of too much muscle.

Have any questions or feedback about this workout? Please leave a comment below…

Jillian michaels hiit workout

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