There are literally hundreds of workout programs to choose from these days, plus online personal trainers, personal trainers at your local gyms, and online nutritionists. If you’ve tried it all and you’re discouraged, this program by Jillian Michaels can give you some hope that online workout programs can be effective.
The author has spent most of her life working as a personal trainer. Since gaining worldwide attention with her television show she has focused on spreading the word regarding how to lose weight in an effective and simple manner by making serious changes to your lifestyle. This program points out that in order to lose weight, you must approach weight loss from both a physical and mental perspective. Because of this, many people who have purchased this program have stated that they found it to be a well-rounded program that covers both the dietary and physical changes that make weight loss possible.
But is this true?
The program is designed to provide members with strength, discipline, and motivation during moments of weakness.
When you’ve made the decision to change your lifestyle, it can be both scary and exciting. But it can be made harder if you’re the only person in the home making these changes. You may also find it difficult to talk about your weight loss and fitness goals with friends who don’t work out and instead encourage you to ditch your diet.
Michaels knows all too well the challenges that come with dieting and eating right for the long term, which is why she created a program that covers all the bases. Not only does this program come with meal plans, workout routines, and an extensive exercise database, but Michaels also includes a messageboard and other ways to interact with other members, as a way to help keep users motivated and encouraged. The ability to talk with other people enrolled in the program will allow you to discuss meal plans, get advice on how to avoid or get over a weight loss plateau, and learn more about the average weight loss results.
Truly, this program is very supportive, which is a huge plus for beginners who have trouble incorporating workouts into their busy schedule and implementing a strict meal plan at home.
Tracking Your Weight
There are several different aspects of this online program. The first of which is tracking your weight. The site expects users to log in their weight once a week. There’s also an option to start the program over again if you fall off the fitness wagon. Each weight entry is tracked after it’s charted. For many people, it can be helpful and motivating to see how their weight loss is progressing. However, you can also do this on your own using a simple spreadsheet.
The online journal encourages people to log in their daily calories, meals, and workouts. With the journal you can also enter thoughts and feelings about your day, how your weight loss is progressing and anything else you can think of. It’s also a good place to add your weight loss and workout goals for the day or week.
The Jillian Michaels online program also has you answer a questionnaire. Your daily caloric intake will be calculated based on your answers, which will result in a meal plan tailored to your current weight, weight loss goals, and activity level. The site will tell you if you’re considered a fast or slow balanced oxidizer. Your meal plan will be created based on how fast or slow you metabolize food. The meal plan is easy to follow and consists of whole foods, eliminating trans fats, processed foods, and any food high in fat.
If you want to change a meal or recipe substitutions can be made. This portion of the program also allows you to create a shopping list based on your meals or you can email your meal plan to a friend. Each of the meals comes with important nutritional information. If portion control and calorie counting is a big problem of yours, then you’ll find this portion of the program to be invaluable.
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An exercise program will also be created for you. Fortunately, no expensive equipment is required. All you need is a stability ball, hand weights, and some exercise bands. The workout plan is designed to take into account your current fitness level, and weight loss goals.
However, the program doesn’t take into account any health issues or disabilities that can prevent you from performing certain routines or exercises. As an example, lunges aren’t designed for people suffering from lower back pain or knee problems. Unfortunately, all of the workouts include this exercise. Another set of workouts focus on floor work, which can be stressful on the lower back. If you suffer from ongoing back pain, you should consult your doctor before doing the workouts.
Interacting with Other Members
The community boards and the Jillian Michaels blog are another website feature you can explore when enrolled in this program. Jillian will discuss her day and offer workout challenges. The boards can be a great place to interact with other members and discuss your struggles with weight loss and what you’ve found works for you. It’s also a great place to find support from others going through the same type of struggles.
Primary Focuses of the Jillian Michaels Workouts
As we mentioned, the program is supposed to create a meal plan and workout routine based on your body type and weight loss goals. In order to provide you with the best results and the most effective routine, the program will help you determine how many calories you need to burn daily and weekly.
You’ll also get information and tips on how to start your routine. Activities can include swimming, jogging, or you can take advantage of the database of exercises which consists of more than one hundred and fifty exercises to choose from, allowing you to create your own workout program. Most people choose to stick with the basic workout routines provided, but the database can be a great resource if you’re getting bored with your routine and you’re looking for more of a challenge.
Setting Up Your Workouts
You can choose to follow the tailor-made workout program, or you can create your own using a variety of activities that include the following:
- An hour of sports such as football, baseball, tennis, racket ball, etc.
- Rock climbing
Setting up your own schedule can feel very liberating. But in order to keep your body guessing, try not to set up a predictable workout routine. By predictable we mean a Monday through Friday schedule. Many people have seen faster, and more impressive progress by working out one to two days, taking one recovery day, then working out for the next two days, with another recovery day on the third day. Spacing your recovery days in this manner also ensures that you give your body the time it needs to heal before another workout.
Avoiding a Weight Loss Plateau
For many, this type of versatility is what helps to keep them interested and their body challenged.
On average, most fitness trainers recommend working out four to five days a week, although there are some fitness enthusiasts that workout as much as six times a week.
If you push yourself too hard at the beginning of this program, you can easily become injured. An injury or overdoing it can have a major negative impact on your progress.
As can cutting more calories than you should.
So, what is a weight loss plateau and what causes it? There are many things that can cause a plateau, and you can expect it to happen to you, a few months after you’ve started working out. Plateaus occur when your body gets used to a particular workout, daily caloric intake, or if you work out too much or cut your calories drastically low.
When your body gets used to your workouts, it’s no longer challenged. Your body has become used to your workout routines, so you’ll no longer experience weight loss results or muscle gain.
Avoiding this type of plateau is as easy as adding one workout a week or changing up your workouts. Add a few new exercises, add more weight to your workouts, or include a totally new type of extra activity, such as a twenty-minute jog twice a week.
You’ll notice that once you change up your workouts you’ll begin to experience results again. Many personal trainers recommend simply adding one to two more sets to your workouts and increasing the amount you lift by two to ten pounds. As an example, for one arm dumbbell rows try adding five pounds in order to challenge your muscles. With exercises such as stiff leg dumbbell dead-lifts, add ten more pounds. Lifting heavier will definitely make a difference both in weight loss results and muscle gain.
When Cutting Calories Causes a Plateau
If you fail to stick to the meal plans in this program and decide to create your own by skipping meals or drastically cutting calories per meal, you’re also at risk of a weight loss plateau. This type of plateau is caused by your body going into starvation mode. Starvation mode occurs when the body believes it’s starving due to the unusually low calorie intake. When this happens, the body hangs onto fat for dear life, making it incredibly difficult to lose weight.
Additionally, when you cut your calories like this, the body doesn’t turn to fat to burn as fuel it turns to lean muscle mass. This means all that hard work you’ve been doing over the past few months will be lost if you end up losing a significant amount of lean muscle mass.
On average, women only gain half a pound to one pound of muscle per month, while men gain one to two pounds of muscle a month.
Muscle Gain Tips
Depending on your meal plan, there are some extra things you can do to improve muscle gain, especially on days when your workouts are particularly challenging. Try drinking a protein shake right before and after a heavy lifting session. Add an apple for extra fiber for an after work out snack.
You can also time your workouts around meals if you don’t want to add more calories to your daily caloric intake.
Length of Program
This program is considered open-ended. This means you can follow it as long as you need to in order to achieve your weight loss and fitness goals.
In order to switch over to a healthier lifestyle, the program teaches you how to make important changes to your daily routine. Because of this, some people choose to follow the program indefinitely.
What We Loved
When you have trouble working up the motivation to workout daily, variety is the key to success and consistency.
The program provides customized workouts, in addition to an exercise database you can use to piece together your own routine or add an extra exercise or two to your normal routine. This type of workout flexibility will allow you to create your own personal exercise program. Each of your workout sessions will ultimately depend on your own personal fitness goals. On average, you can expect to work out for half an hour, up to one hour four to five days a week. In the beginning, you’ll work out every other day. This recovery day in between workout days will help your body to repair itself, allowing your muscles to recover safely while minimizing your chances of muscle strains or injury.
All of the program’s support items and tools are available online. These tools are designed to help support your fitness and weight loss goals and can be an excellent resource when it comes to tracking your weight loss progress.
What Type of Results Can I Expect?
Like with any type of fitness/dietary program, the results will vary and can depend on your baseline fitness level, your level of dedication and commitment, your personal weight loss program, and how closely you follow both the workout routines and diet.
You can find many success stories surrounding the Jillian Michaels online program and its effectiveness. People have reported weight loss ranging from forty-five pounds in four months to one hundred pounds in twelve months. If you follow the program correctly you should expect a modest amount of weight loss within the first few weeks of the program. Additionally, expectations should also include a reduction in body fat, a more toned, leaner body, and an increase in strength. Depending on the type of exercises you perform, benefits can also include an increase in flexibility, an improvement in cardiovascular endurance, and an increase in lean muscle mass.
Often, people who are significantly overweight can expect to lose more weight during the first month of the program, compared to someone who only wants to lose the last five or ten pounds.
But even people who aren’t significantly overweight can still benefit from following this program, especially if they struggle to put together workouts or healthy meal plans.
This is a well-rounded program that covers all the bases in terms of how to live healthy and get that toned body you’ve always wanted.
For most of the exercises you’ll need to use one to three sets of dumbbells, one to two sets of resistance bands, and a stability ball. You don’t have to base your workouts on strength training alone, as there are also jogging and walking routines you can perform one to three times a week for a little variety.
The program itself is very beginner-friendly, offering a variety of exercises to choose from based on your current fitness level. This weight loss program is mainly marketed towards people who want a weight loss program that can help them to lose weight and keep it off by incorporating important lifestyle changes. The database also includes prenatal yoga workouts, which is the perfect type of low impact workout designed to keep expecting mothers fit and ready for labor.
When you first start working out if you suffer from certain health conditions or disabilities, you must be cautious about overdoing it. You can also expect to experience muscle soreness, and aches and pains after a particularly demanding workout. People with diabetes, heart conditions or those severely overweight should consult their physician before beginning a workout routine.
This program offers excellent customer support and service including the following:
- Customer service via email
- Telephone customer service
- Support group called Weight Loss Buddies
- Challenges and updates from Jillian Michaels
This program is reasonably priced, so even if you’re on a tight budget, this program is very affordable. Payments are required on a quarterly basis.
- Designed for people of all fitness levels
- Extensive exercise database
- Meal plans included
- Program tailored specifically for you
- A variety of support tools to choose from
- Excellent customer service
- Challenging workouts
- Support journal
- Weight tracking
- Reasonably priced
- May not be the best fit for advanced fitness enthusiasts
Summing it Up
This program promotes a platform in which an individual can incorporate the important principles that are associated with healthy living. Because of this, the program will work well for people who are highly motivated to make these important changes and follow the primary guidelines.
The program places a strong emphasis on exercise, making it a good option if you’re committed to working out several times a week.
The program does require hard work and dedication, which is a good indicator that it’s reputable. Since exercise is the foundation of the program, you can expect faster weight loss results. If the included structured workouts aren’t very appealing to you, you can always log other types of exercises such as going for a walk, cleaning the house, or swimming.
Unfortunately, the program isn’t exactly as comprehensive when it comes to the diet tool portion. You won’t find much information regarding ingredient substitutes and portion size. However, it does provide some of the fundamental tools to teach you how to incorporate healthy eating habits. Jillian Michaels endorses a diet plan that’s high in protein, and low in carbs and fat. You can use many of the helpful tools including the meal calculator and the detailed weekly meal plans which adhere to the program’s strict dietary guidelines. The meal plans themselves are very detailed and provide complete nutritional information for each recipe.