I can die now that I got that photo.
NBD, Jillian Michaels putting her arm around me.
I was supposed to interview her for work, but her schedule changed. “Okay, can I still get a photo opp with her??” I asked the PR girl. Jillian’s honestly played a huge role in my weight loss journey. I remember watching The Biggest Loser as I was losing weight and thinking “if they can do it, I can do it!” I love her brand of tough love and resilience — while still being real and vulnerable.
I’ve also mentioned I freaking love her podcasts. They are hilarious and irreverent, and they keep me entertained while I run, listening to a mix of her shenanigans, health tips and business and life lessons. You can tell she takes her work very seriously, and while I certainly don’t agree with some of her business decisions, I respect her work ethic.
So when we got the chance to take a photo…I thanked her profusely, told her how excited I was to meet her, and how I loved listening to her podcast while running. It was after we’d snapped this photo, and her arm was no longer around me. “That’s so sweet!” she said. “That’s my favorite project.”
So, the workout. The reason I was ostensibly there. Well, this is the second year that she’s partnered with Curves for 30-minute circuit workouts: 30 seconds of a bodyweight move like push-ups, 30 seconds on machines. While Curves are definitely very, very beginner-friendly, I found that so long as I pushed myself to get in as many reps as possible on both the bodyweight moves (push-ups, roundhouse kicks, squats with punches), I was definitely able to get my heart rate up and sweat.
In normal Curves locations, there’s a video of Jillian playing in the background coaching you through the workout with a live coach helping with form cues. In this case, Jillian herself helped with form cues for the bodyweight exercise while a Curves coach helped with the machines. Although I like to think I know a lot about fitness and working out, I am not a machines girl and some of these machines were completely new to me and humbling to figure out, so I definitely lost some of the 30-second interval figuring out what I was doing and transitioning.
An instructor also led us through a mobility warm-up that drew from their new Body Balance class. So many older folk and those newer to working out (and, um, me) are lacking in flexibility and mobility, and I think this is an awesome addition. They also added an Arms-Core-Legs class to work on those body parts, and a Stretch & Strength class to strengthen and stretch out a muscle, back to back.
Although Curves might not generally be my speed for a workout, I love that Jillian has worked to offer something for everyone from the beginner to fitness to someone more advanced with her new BodyShred certification. Once I start racking up certs, I may go for that one as I seek to expand my own fitness empire…
Who’s your fitness idol?