5 Fitness Rules Jillian Michaels Says You Absolutely Must Follow
Jillian Michaels knows a thing or two about fitness—the former Biggest Loser trainer‘s crazy-toned muscles and challenge moves are proof that she practices what she preaches. (But seriously, her hardcore moves are something to behold.) After years of helping clients shape up and set new personal records, Michaels has picked up a few keys to fitness success, whether you want to get stronger, lose weight, or anything in between.
One of Michaels’ missions is to make fitness and healthy eating accessible to everyone. That’s why she’s working with Thrive Market on their Care2 petition, which aims to help make food stamps available for use on online food markets. “Fitness and healthy eating must go hand in hand so that people have a total solution to health and wellness,” Michaels tells SELF. In addition to having access to healthy food, here are five things Michaels thinks you should always prioritize when it comes to your workouts.
1. First and foremost, make sure your form is on-point.
“Proper form is critical. Boring, but true,” Michaels says. “Not only will you diminish your benefits [if you don’t use proper form], but you risk serious injury. Educate yourself properly before beginning any workout, whether it’s yoga, Pilates, Olympic weightlifting, or otherwise.”
Working with a personal trainer, or paying extra attention to the cues from your instructor during a group class, are simple ways to make sure your form is on point. When you’re on your own, don’t be afraid to check yourself in the gym mirror to make sure your form looks good—here are five basic and effective moves to learn.
2. Incorporate strength training into your routine.
In case you haven’t heard, strength training can be an amazing addition to your workout routine—and, no, you won’t bulk up. “Weight lifting is one of the best ways to amp up metabolism, burn fat, and maintain lean muscle and bone density,” says Michaels. It also helps with any weight-loss goals you may have—lean muscle requires more energy to maintain, so you’ll burn more calories on a day-to-day basis. Always consult with your doctor if you have any questions or specific concerns regarding the workouts that are best for you.
3. Choose workouts you genuinely enjoy—and then mix them up.
Finding a workout you actually like to do is a major fitness rule for Michaels. “If you dread the workout you won’t do it,” she adds. Whether you go for boxing, yoga, indoor cycling, or dance cardio, your workout should be something you look forward to doing.
There’s a catch, though—once you find a workout you love, make sure you mix it up with other exercises, too. “Getting into a workout routine where you do the same things over and over is a mistake,” says Michaels. That’s because your body adapts and you may not continue to see the benefits you’re after. “Find a few things that you enjoy, and then mix it up,” Michaels told SELF in May.
4. Keep yourself accountable.
Sometimes, sticking with a fitness routine means finding creative ways to hold yourself accountable. Michaels’ go-to method is recruiting friends. “Whenever I’m not in the mood to workout, I meet a friend to get my ass there.” Working out with friends or in a place that has a sense of community can help keep you on track, she says. “And if you’re taking classes or working with a trainer, pre-pay so you have to go to your workouts,” she adds. Consistency is what will help you see results, so find the accountability tactic that works best for you.
5. Make sure you’re supporting your workout efforts with a healthy diet.
No matter how hard you go at the gym though, it won’t mean much if you’re not combining it with a sensible, healthy diet. A few basics: “Make sure that you don’t overeat. Calories do count, no matter how healthy [the food you’re eating is].” That said, though, you should still aim to eat whole, clean foods so you’re getting all of the amazing nutrition benefits they have to offer. “Quality is key,” she says. “If you are working out but eating poorly, it will cancel out your gains.”
While there’s no big secret to fitness success, following Michaels’ rules can help you work hard, keep up your routine, and get results. Motivated yet?