As a trainer on NBC's "The Biggest Loser," Jillian Michaels helped exercisers reach their goal weight and get back in shape. Today, she plays a different role by bringing new programs and ideas to the health club market.
Michaels will launch a new TV show that seeks to uncover the next big group exercise program; she now offers her 30-minute group exercise program to health clubs; and she has teamed with Curves, Waco, TX, to integrate a workout program in its facilities.
Michaels will serve as host and judge on the 10-episode Spike TV competition show "Sweat Inc.," which will air in the fall. She partnered with "The Biggest Loser" producers to create the show, in which 12 fitness entrepreneurs will compete to have their group exercise idea chosen as the most innovative. The winner will receive a cash prize and a partnership with a national gym chain to develop the fitness idea.
"It will give emerging fitness brands a chance to showcase what makes their workouts special and help them learn what it takes to make it in this ever-evolving industry," Michaels told Club Industry.
The 12 contestants have varied backgrounds and are from different areas of the country, but they have "great, innovative ideas that are somewhat under the radar at the moment," Michaels says. Each week, they will engage in competitions to showcase their regimens in unique ways.
"I think we can all agree that the fitness industry has exploded over the last 10 years, and it's continuing to grow," Michaels says. "There are some 30,000 fitness clubs in the U.S. and almost 60 million Americans with gym memberships. With such a rich demand for fitness, enthusiasts are continually on the hunt for 'the next big thing.' We're looking to uncover a fitness entrepreneur who might be sitting on a billion dollar idea."
To win the reality show competition, an entrepreneur must demonstrate perseverance and passion for his or her work.
"At the end of the day, I truly believe that you have to believe in what you do in order to do it well," she says.
Michaels Creates Own Programs
Michaels is putting her own 30-minute group exercise program, BodyShred, into fitness facilities around the country.
"I designed BodyShred as a way to extend my fitness philosophies and methodologies from my DVDs and the training I did with my clients, as well as contestants on 'The Biggest Loser,'" Michaels says. "With BodyShred, we are granting fitness professionals all over the U.S. and Canada the opportunity to learn."
BodyShred classes are comprised of four circuits using what Michaels calls her 3-2-1 interval format approach: three minutes of strength with two minutes of cardio and one minute of core work for 30 minutes of intense conditioning.
"I designed BodyShred as a way to target every muscle in the body from every angle of push and pull with every possible fitness modality," Michaels says. "It will maximize athletic performance, metabolic potential and overall aesthetic of one's physique. They won't just look better—they will be better."
Michaels launched her program in November 2013 in Los Angeles. Today, about 600 gyms in the United States and 300 in Canada offer BodyShred. So far this year, BodyShred has launched in several major cities, including San Diego, Denver, Houston, Philadelphia and Chicago.
Michaels and her team also are expanding the program into other clubs in markets where it is already available as a group class, such as in New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, DC, among others. BodyShred has launched in XSport Fitness facilities and will soon be offered in 114 Life Time Fitness locations and several other studios in the United States.
"My team and I have big plans to continue to expand into several markets in the U.S. this year and beyond," she says. "We already have plans in motion for a growth rate of approximately 150 percent by the year's end. So far, we're on track to meet that goal."
To become certified for BodyShred, trainers must sign up online at jillianmichaelsBodyShred.com and find a training workshop near them. The fitness professionals then must complete a nine-hour course, which will prepare them to teach a group class.
During the workshop, the professionals will learn about new concepts, teaching tools and a motivational delivery style. In addition to the in-person certification workshop, trainers must pass a practical exam administered on site, as well as a web-based at-home written exam, achieving a score of 80 percent or higher.
Michaels spent a lot of time training clients one on one and furthering her knowledge of the fitness industry before she developed and perfected the BodyShred program and teaching it to other fitness professionals, she says.
"BodyShred allows my fitness philosophy and unique method to live through my master trainers in so many areas of the country," Michaels says. "With my certification workshops, I'm hoping to share with local fitness professionals the training techniques I personally use to transform millions of bodies and lives."
Michaels is looking for BodyShred instructors have a passion for fitness and health, who possess a desire to help others become the best versions of themselves and who are enthusiastic.
"Group ex is very different from personal training—it's essentially a performance every time, so you need to be energetic and motivate your clients to give it their all," Michaels says.
In addition to these two efforts, Michaels partnered with Curves in 2013 to bring a program called Curves Workout with Jillian Michaels into participating Curves clubs across the United States and Canada. These total-body workouts were introduced in January 2014 and use Curves circuit strength training machines and functional, body weight-based exercises that "ramp up metabolism and transform physique," she says. The workouts are also said to boost intensity, build strength, burn fat and prevent plateaus. Each month last year, Curves and Michaels refreshed the program with 12 new functional moves.
Michaels says she decided to partner with Curves because the gyms are approachable.
"They appeal to people who may be suffering from intimidation and are afraid to start their fitness journeys at a regular gym, especially if they have a substantial amount of weight to lose," she says.