The best online fitness resource you'll ever need. We filter out the BS to ensure you meet your health and fitness goals!
The best online fitness resource you'll ever need. We filter out the BS to ensure you meet your health and fitness goals!
Today, we’ll find out everything about Jillian Michaels’ The Fitness App. By the end of the Jillian Michaels App review, you’ll know what exactly to expect. And, be able to make an informed choice as to whether it’s right for you or not.
Please note that this review is based on the latest version of the android app 4.2.11.
For the unversed, Jillian Michaels is a personal trainer based in the US. She is a businesswoman and television personality. Jillian has appeared in various shows such as The Biggest Loser, amongst others. She has a long history and experience in the field. Her original products were DVDs which became an instant hit in the early 2000s. Keeping up with the times, she has now integrated the contents of her DVDs into her app. Also while providing new offerings such as meal plans, meditations, and tailored custom workouts. Thereby catering to both new and old users.
Most of us know her as a television personality who helps people in their weight loss goals. She’s known for her sometimes brash way of guiding and motivating clients. Although, there are some people who might respond to such an approach. For the vast majority, it can turn out to be a deterrent. However, for the purpose of this review, we’ll stick to the contents of her app, only.
The app focuses on three main aspects:
Right of the bat, we see that the app has a broad scope. It focuses on a variety of topics that need to be integrated to form a holistic plan. Out of the above three, the first two make up the bulk of the content on the app.
Upon installing and first opening the app, the user is greeted by Jillian Michaels welcoming them to the app. And then giving a quick run-through of what to expect.
The UI is simple and easy to navigate. A new user is taken through a series of questions that focus on current lifestyle and activity levels. Also along with their goals and reasons to start a fitness journey. All this information can be easily changed in the settings section of the app. It can also be modified according to the user’s current goal and progress. The content is easy to find. Relevant categories group the information accordingly.
There are 3 fitness levels to choose from– easy, medium, and hard. Next up on the list is ‘choose your goal’. This is divided into sections such as weight loss, shape, and tone-specific body parts, gain muscle, cardio conditioning, pre-natal and post-natal fitness. Sleep, mindfulness, and stress reduction are some lifestyle goals are also included.
The user can be specified in terms of their goals and choose how much weight they’d like to lose, which body areas they would like to work on, and if the focus is on toning or muscle building, aerobic conditioning, or endurance training. Pregnancy fitness is divided into 1st, 2nd, and 3rd trimesters along with postnatal plans.
The user is asked to enter their fitness preferences next. The options range from cardio such as walk, jog, run, HIIT, distance runs; resistance training with equipment such as dumbbells, kettlebells, bands, or bodyweight specific; and specialties such as kickboxing/martial arts, yoga, and other restorative routines.
The next feature of the app is its meal planning section. This guides the user through another series of questions. These help build a personalized meal plan.
Features include a grocery list that is integrated with the plan, options to swap and exclude dietary ingredients, 800 + recipes, and a meal log, apart from a customized meal plan. The app also provides guidance on cooking in batches, and for multiple people.
The main feature of the nutrition section is its Advance Meal Planner or AMP. It allows you to pick a goal from weight loss, maintenance, and muscle gain. Followed by a schedule and number of meals to be included. The user can choose any number of days and a specific meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks). The next option is the number of people you wish to cook for and the number of days you want to spread the batch over, in case you’re choosing the batch cooking option.
Food restrictions and allergies are next. A list is provided for the user to choose from. The list contains red meat, gluten, beans, nuts, seeds, shellfish, fish, and dairy. The user can choose as many as they want or none. There is a handy section on foods you hate. This is great for anyone with specific tastes and choices. The app generates a personalized plan based on your responses to the questionnaire.
However, none of these services are free. Once all the information has been entered, the user is taken to a subscription page to unlock all content. Members-only content includes personal and customized workouts, all of Jillian’s previous DVDs, and a community geared towards support and motivation amongst other features.
There are three tiers of subscription: quarterly, annual, and monthly. The rates are discounted – as of November 2021 to $34.99 for the quarterly plan, $119.99 for the annual plan, and $14.99 for the monthly, pay as you go subscription. The app also provides a free 7-day trial. It’s worth noting that users can cancel their membership at any time with the caveat that the cancellation needs to happen 24 hours before the end of the subscription. The plan will be auto-renewed if you forget to cancel.
When it comes to free content, the app is severely limited. The only options I came across were 7-minute circuits. These are geared towards different body parts and fitness styles. They include upper body toning, lower body burn, abs, HIIT, and total body-specific routines. These circuits are supposed to work as a teaser to onboard users to the premium plan. Each circuit consists of 12-13 exercises, spread over 7 mins, with an average burn of 20-22 calories. The exercises included come with various modifications throughout, which is essential for tailoring a program according to a specific user’s needs.
The main bulk of the content falls under the premium section which we will explore next.
The members-only area has a staggering number of options in every aspect of fitness. Whether that’s exercise plans, nutrition and cooking, pregnancy and postpartum fitness, sleep and mindfulness aids, and meditations. The sections include app-only content called Interactive Programs. Along with the entire library of Jillian’s previously released DVDs.
Jillian Michaels has also collaborated with top fitness and health experts and their programs are available for use to premium members as well.
The home page is divided into the following sections: For You, Browse, and Generate Workout. The footer consists of further groupings such as Workouts, Meals, Me, and Community.
The simple interface makes it easy to navigate and find what one is looking for. The colors used are effective and not jarring to look at.
Week 1 is all about introduction to the program and includes the following components :
A daily schedule is introduced after the preliminary first week. But the expecting mama is encouraged to listen to her body and do what feels right.
Below is a glimpse of the rough schedule to follow:
A new addition to the meditation section is the series of practices designed by Jim Donovan. They are as follows:
The DVD library contains all of Jillian’s previously released DVDs integrated with new content on the app. Here is a comprehensive list of the DVDs included:
The list also includes Body Revolution, which is Jillian’s original, bestselling, and award-winning 90-day program to lose weight and transform your body. It promises a complete overhaul of one’s body in just 30 minutes a day. Included in this are Jillian’s trademark Metabolic Training workouts. A smart combination of resistance training and cardio blasts integrated into a short, effective routine. This style of training focuses on accelerating metabolism and putting the body in a state of optimal fat loss. The results of which continue long after the exercise has been completed. The program includes 2 strength sessions + 1 cardio routine done twice a week for 2 weeks before moving on to the next, more advanced step.
A special feature of the Jillian Michaels Fitness App is its audio-only workout section. It is geared towards anybody who works out in a noisy place, such as the gym, and is unable to watch the workout and follow along. The audio tracks guide the user through the workout in voiceover format only. The routines available in audio format are:
The BROWSE section further categorizes workouts into Pre and Postnatal, Walk/Jog/Run, First timers, Resistance Training, Weight Training, Yoga, Kickboxing, Kettlebell, Booty Band, Slides, Cardio, Stairmill, Meditations, and Treadmill.
FIRST TIMER section is especially helpful for beginners who are struggling to find a program suited for their fitness level. Some of the options included are:
The GENERATE WORKOUT section lets the user to group workouts according to duration, intensity, and body part.
The COMMUNITY is a members-only section. It is designed to support and encourage communication with others on a similar journey. It’s built for providing members with motivation and accountability. This includes sections such as nutrition/meal plans, workout/training, Jillian’s corner, support, and encouragement, Ask Jillian, and a dedicated space for sharing before and after and other progress-related topics.
The most important section is the one where the user logs their own progress and tracks their habits. ME section includes a daily and long-term progress tracker. Daily monitoring includes:
The MY JOURNEY section includes data logged over a period of time. As the user updates their daily activities, the following sections are also updated: workouts and calories burned, weight tracker, progress pics, and workout history. The app uses an in-built calendar to display the history.
Now that we have thoroughly reviewed each feature in Jillian Michaels App review, it’s time to look at who it can prove useful to, and who is better off trying something else.
The Jillian Michaels’ Fitness App does what many other apps in the genre do – provide options for tracking food, habits, and sleep, workout programs at nominal cost, and community support. It can be used to supplement an expert-created individualized routine. However, it is not a replacement for one-on-one guidance from a professional. Fitness isn’t a fad, but a lifestyle. Long-term goals are essential. An app should be reviewed keeping the success of long-term program adherence in mind. So much information is available freely. Caution needs to be taken to only consume knowledge that is thoroughly vetted.
Behavior modification is of great importance when it comes to program adherence. The Jillian Michaels app, along with many others, fails in this regard. There’s only so long a person can focus on shredding and building muscle. Unless there is help provided to modify behavior, these long-term goals end up staying goals. Or at worst, as wishful thinking.
Behavior change is more than motivation. Motivation can give one a nudge towards healthy living. But, change is not easy. Overcoming barriers to exercise might seem simple in the short term. But changing habits is a different beast altogether. In its absence, using a general fitness app is no different than using a patch to temporarily mask a problem. It’s great to get your foot in the door. But it’s probably not the best idea for maintaining long-term fitness goals.
Whether Jillian Michael’s Fitness App is suitable for anyone is entirely dependent on the individual’s goals and requirements. If someone is just about to start out on their fitness journey and doesn’t mind paying a subscription fee to unlock all content, the app can be great to track and monitor progress. The community feature can be especially helpful. Beginners often struggle with motivation and mental barriers to healthy living. Generic fitness apps are like bathroom scales. They can be useful, but only if used correctly and for their specific purpose. It can’t cater to the requirements of individuals from every walks of life. That’s one of the many limitations of such apps.