While America’s most famous female fitness trainer has made her mark on television, the New York Times best-seller list, workout DVDs, the spinning scene, and even nutrition plans, BodyShred is the first project where she’ll bring her signature method to the masses via group fitness classes taught at Crunch gyms nationwide.
“I wanted an opportunity to bring my fitness philosophies to life so they can evolve and grow,” explains Michaels. “I also think there are so many talented trainers out there…. Their passion and personality adds an extra dimension to the program.”
That it does. To launch Bodyshred, Michaels tapped a team of select trainers, who taught the method to a larger group of Crunch instructors. She then led a Master Class for the entire group, which pumped them up to go out and act as her fitness evangelists. (Our instructor, Zuta Gilchriest, described the experience as “amazing!!”)
The 30-minute workout is Michaels’ take on High Intensity Interval Training. “It’s extremely high intensity, and it’s designed to get the job done in 30 minutes. It’s for fit busy people who want results fast,” she says.
So while the class is over before some delis can toss a lunch salad, you’re working at an uncomfortable level of exertion the entire time.
Each exercise is done for 30 seconds, and the moves are arranged into interval circuits based on Michaels’ 3-2-1 system: Three minutes of strength, two minutes of cardio, and one minute of abs.
Every class is different, and includes killer moves you may never have encountered, like the Dancing Crab (where you’re on the floor in a crab walk position, kicking one leg up at a time and touching it with the opposite hand) and a variation on Warrior III that involved doing chest flies with weights while balancing. These are mixed in with burpees, lunges, and kick-butt plyometrics.
Unlike most interval classes that use recovery breaks as part of the method, during transitions Gilchriest just kept telling us not to slow down. And there’s no mercy for newbies. Crunch holds 15-minute “intros” before class starts, where you learn all the moves ahead of time.
“The fitness regimen covers all modalities from balance, speed, power, flexibility, strength and so on,” says Michaels. “Plus, Bodyshred isn’t a pre-programmed class—it changes every time you take it so your body will never adapt.” Which sounds a lot like her approach to nationwide fitness domination. —Lisa Elaine Held
Bodyshred will be offered at select Crunch locations in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, and San Francisco. Free for members, non-members can purchase a $25 guest pass. Check schedules at www.jillianmichaelsbodyshred.com or www.crunch.com.