Has Jillian Michaels gone soft?
That seems to be the question on everyone’s lips these days when discussing the fitness icon known for her tough as nails style.
Obviously they haven’t tried Jillian Michaels Hard Body Level 2.
Hard Body is the latest release from the personal trainer best known for her work on the Biggest Loser but whose best advice (my opinion) comes in the form of her podcast and her latest book, Slim for Life.
Hard Body features two workouts, each 45 minutes long. Hard Body Level 1 is a great example of a training evolution. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still challenging. But I saw an example of something I don’t think I’ve ever seen in a Jillian workout. She let someone, the beginner modifier, walk it out. She said, “if it’s too much, just march in place.”
This is the example of someone who is acknowledging the reality of her audience. Yes, they bought the DVD. Yes, they want results. Yes, you’ve got to push and sweat and maybe scream to get there. But there are going to be times when you have to take it down a notch and that’s okay. That doesn’t mean stop, that doesn’t mean turn off the workout and sit down, it simply means to take down the activity level so you can catch your breath and finish the workout.
But don’t think her training philosophy has changed. She’s still a hard ass. There are plenty of plyometrics and challenging compound movements, especially when you move to Level 2. Level 1 was a good workout but I felt it favored my upper body. Level 2, with its 180 jumps and chair jump squats, left my quads screaming for mercy. There is NO walking it out in Level 2. It’s the master class where even the modifiers are challenging, just a little less so than the original exercise. I had to settle for the modifier of regular mountain climbers when I couldn’t do the one armed mountain climbers. (Yes, a one arm mountain climber. Try it out, you’ll understand.) Now I have another benchmark of badassness to work on.
To answer the original question – Jillian hasn’t gone soft. She’s gotten real. She’s growing and changing like we all should. If you’ve been reluctant to try one of her workouts Hard Body might actually be a good place to start. However, if you are a beginner, stick with Level 1 until you have the moves mastered. Level 2 is not for rookies.
Have you tried Hard Body? Read Slim for Life? What do you think of the “new” Jillian?