Last Friday I experienced the opportunity of a lifetime. I worked out with celebrity trainer [and drill sergeant], Jillian Michaels. It is quite uncommon for me to enter big contests because I always get discouraged when I lose, but when I saw a chance to workout with one of the most iconic fitness professionals, I couldn’t help myself. I just had to give it a shot.
Let’s make a long story short. I won – I was going to workout with Jillian Michaels, and I could bring a friend to torture as well! Off I went to Toronto to get my butt seriously kicked by the most intense trainer I know of. Since I was only in town for one day, I packed as much into it as possible; registering for the workout bright and early, grabbing some Starbucks [and a banana] for workout fuel, a quick pit stop at Anthropologie [a quite successful one too], and then finally – the moment I had been waiting for – a Jillian Michaels “ass kicking” [her words, not mine]. With my best friend in tow, we secured spots near the front of the class. I was in for a surprise – I figured that the room would be filled with contest winners like myself. Boy was I wrong. About half of the attendees were actually fitness professionals… and there we were, right near the front. I wish I could have gotten a closer/clear/one on one picture with Michaels, however, just breathing the same air as someone so motivated and influential in the fitness world was unbelievable!
As soon as Jillian Michaels emerged from backstage things got serious. She began to walk us through the exercises we would be using for the class, explaining the structure as she went. If you aren’t familiar with her workout program I’ll give you a quick run down. Body Shred, which is offered through Goodlife Fitness in Canada, is a high intensity interval training class. It follows a 3-2-1 format, with only 24 minutes of work. Sure it sounds easy when you type it out, but in practice, 24 minutes without breaks, while your heart rate is between 90 – 100% of your max is no laughing matter. During the half an hour class you will warm up and cool down [3 minutes each] and complete 4 rounds of circuits in between which are comprised of 3 minutes of resistance, 2 minutes of cardio, and 1 minute of active recovery [which actually means intense ab workouts – not break time]. I highly recommend visiting a Goodlife Fitness near you to try this class for yourself. You’ll love me and hate me all at the same time! Working out with such an intense instructor [and a huge group of fitness professionals and enthusiasts] was one of the most motivating experiences I have ever had and it allowed me to push myself harder than I thought possible. Although the workout Jillian Michaels led us through was challenging, I must admit that my Tuesday night Rideau Center instructor Sarah, works her class ten times harder – she is ruthless, but awesome. It didn’t surprise me when I found out that Jillian Michaels was one of her idols – they definitely have that drill sergeant thing in common! I loved that options were given so that first time shredders and veterans could choose their levels to intensify [or not] the workout. My guest, Sarah, had never tried the class before – you can see our pre workout faces here, she was terrified. I however, was on top of the world! Sarah was an awesome sport and made it through the half hour HIIT workout like a champ, she even admitted to enjoying it afterwards. Unfortunately as soon as the workout ended Jillian ran off the stage leaving no opportunities to get a group photo, let alone individual pictures. Not to worry though, a life-size cut out was waiting outside to pose with after we finished the class. If you look quickly it almost looks real!
Working out with the tiny dynamo only fueled my admiration and appreciation for her even more. The entire experience was something I could only ever dream about and I am still pinching myself to make sure it really happened! Thanks again to Goodlife for hosting this contest and giving fitness enthusiasts and professionals the opportunity to meet such an influential trainer in the industry – you better believe my motivation to workout has sky rocketed after this class!
Have you ever tried BodyShred or any other Jillian Michaels workouts?