Whenever I hear about Jillian Michaels, I’m taken back to circa 2009 when her fitness DVDs were sweeping the nation. It even convinced a cardio bunny like me to pick up a pair of dumbells and give strength training a go.
And I did love the results I saw with some of those DVDs (You can see my full review of one such DVD here.)
But there was one problem: What do you do after you finish the videos? You can’t just do the same few workouts over and over again.
I mean, you can. But it gets pretty boring!
Despite Jillian Michaels having a whole library of fitness DVDs, they were an imperfect solution for the average busy gal who barely has time to plan the next five minutes, let alone an ongoing fitness regime.
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When I found out (rather quite recently) that there was a Jillian Michaels app, I jumped at the chance to try it out. As it turns out, it’s quite a robust app and there’s a lot to love about it!
So without further ado, here is the My Fitness by Jillian Michaels app review. (Don’t have time to read the whole review? Scroll down to the bottom for the quick FAQ!)
[Updated January, 2021]
My Fitness by Jillian Michaels App Overview
The Jillian Michaels app set sets out to be a one-stop-shop for all your fitness goals. It currently has no less than 26 premium fitness programs (of varying lengths), adjustable difficulty settings, a DVD library, and a meal planner.
Download it onto your phone or tablet, and voila, you’ve basically got the celebrity “tough-love” personal trainer in your pocket with a never-ending supply of workouts!
I originally wrote this review in 2019 but I have kept updating it as Jillian adds more programs and content to the app.
Right towards the end of 2020, Jillian rebranded the app from “My Fitness” to simply “Jillian Michaels”. The colour scheme and layout has changed, and you can now choose workouts and programs by category.
She’s also added meditations, audio-only workouts, and workouts from other trainers including Keith Johnson, Kenta Seki, Natalie Yco, and Tone-it-Up Duo, Karena Dawn and Katrina Scott.
All the changes and additions are very positive and I cover them more later on in this review.
How it Works
The app will get some background info from you about your fitness level, stats, goals, and dietary options, and then will suggest some fitness programs for you to choose from. You can also let the app know what kind of equipment you have access to (like a workout bench, dumbells etc.) so it knows what workouts you can and can’t do.
Once you choose a program, you are taken to the dashboard which has your day planned out for you, including meal suggestions and fitness tips.
When you are ready to do your workout, you tap on the picture of your fitness program and it takes you to the workout preview. The moves are all prerecorded separately so they can be spliced together to create a customized workout.
If there’s a move you need more information on, just tap on the video and it will play a short clip of Jillian doing the move while her voiceover explains how to do the move correctly.
Once you’re ready to go, you hit the red start button and prepare to sweat!
The sessions start with Jillian’s voiceover giving a quick overview of the workout, and around the halfway point she comes back with a quick pep talk to keep you going. She’ll also wrap up the exercise session with some praise and tips, but outside of that, the only time she’s talking is to cue you from one exercise to the next.
Although I miss the constant dialogue you get when you do the Jillian Michaels DVDs, there’s still enough of it that you feel like you’re getting a personalized workout, and it’s the only way to create such highly customized workouts.
There’s a brief, 3-second pause in between exercises, but you can lengthen or shorten this if you choose. There’s also upbeat music tracks that you can toggle through, or even turn it off altogether.
After the workout, it will ask you how hard you thought it was and based on your answer, it will fine-tune the next workout.
How Much Does the Jillian Michaels App Cost?
Similar to the Sweat app and Freeletics, My Fitness by Jillian Michaels is subscription-based. Currently, there are three payment options:
- Monthly payment of $14.99 USD
- Yearly payment of $119.99 USD
- There’s now also a 3-month subscription plan for $34.99 (Which works out to about $10/month)
This is right on par with other apps on the market, its closest competitor probably being the Sweat app, which is billed at 19.99 USD or 119.94 USD annually.
Better still, the programs can be done as home workouts, eliminating the need for an expensive gym membership.
If you go the month-to-month option, you also get to try it out the first 7 days for free and cancel before your trial is up if you decide the app isn’t for you.
The Jillian Michaels Nutrition Plan
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know how I feel about diet plans in general.
Especially ones that use a million ingredients and take an hour to make.
And although I didn’t strictly follow the diet plan in this app either, I did love some of the meal ideas. I also thought it was clever that it incorporates “leftovers” from previous meals into the next day. It has meal plans for just about every diet preference under the sun: omnivore, pescatarian, vegetarian, vegan, paleo, or gluten-free.
Along with the recipes are a grocery list for the week which makes it easy to stock up on the needed ingredients.
The main meals don’t look too complicated either.
If I were ever going to follow a diet plan, it would probably be this one.
In fact, I have saved a few of these recipes to try at my own leisure… Simple things like the seared tuna salad lunch and green smoothie breakfast are quick and easy enough to pass my “five-minutes or less to make” rule!
Here we get into the meat and potatoes of the app. There are so many fitness programs that it’s almost overwhelming to choose. Fortunately, when you first sign in, the app asks you some questions about your current fitness level and goals, and then suggests a few programs based on your answers.
The 25 programs can be more or less placed into four buckets:
Running & Walking Programs
Jillian has individual fitness programs for 5k walking, 5k running and 10k running that take 2-3 months each to complete. You can choose to do these workouts outside if you enable the GPS, or you can use a treadmill if you have access to one.
Home Fitness Programs
Most of the fitness programs fit into this category, which is great because home workouts are my absolute favorite. These programs range in duration and focus on different aspects of fitness, depending on your fitness level and goals.
In the time since I originally wrote this My Fitness review, there have been several changes to the programs, including a few new awesome ones tailored to beginners. Here is a current list of the premium programs:
- Burn 60: An 8-week program designed to improve metabolism and help you get rid of those last few “vanity” pounds.
- Low Impact Shred: This is a new, 30-day program made for those who need to stick low-impact exercises.
- Slim 60: a 2-month program that combines strength and cardio HIIT
- Transform 90: a 3-month program that takes you three progressive phases of workouts
- Fitness for Beginners: A 30-day program to kick-start your fitness journey
- Beginner HIIT: Consists of 10 x 10-minute workouts for those who are new to HIIT and short on time when it comes to exercise.
- Quick HIIT: Consists of 20 x 10-minute workouts for those who are short on time to exercise and are ready to kick it up a notch in difficulty.
- 365 Day Fitness Program: I believe this has replaced “The Gauntlet“. It’s a monster of a program! 12 months long and designed to train you in multiple areas of fitness including running, calisthenics, yoga, kickboxing, lifting, and HIIT
- Lean Legs: a 30-day program that targets the lower body
- Sexy Abs: a 30-Day program that targets your core
- Beautiful Back, Chest, and Arms: a 30-day program that targets your upper body
- Booty Boot Camp: a 4-week program for firmer buns!
- Bangin’ Bikini Body: a 4-week program that targets your butt and your abbs with HIIT, yoga, pilates, kickboxing and more
- 6 Week Bridal Bootcamp: (Formerly Wedding Warrior) A 6-week program to get you in tip-top shape for your big day
- Yoga Fit: a 30-Day program that uses yoga to increase strength, stamina, and energy
- Kickbox Body: a 30-Day program that releases your inner-ninja and gets you fit using martial arts techniques
- 6 Keys Anti-Aging plan: a 12-week program based on her best-selling book.
New Programs for 2021!
In addition to all the aforementioned programs, Jillian introduced three awesome new programs this year:
Slider Shred: A 4-week program that features slider discs for total body conditioning and strength.
Booty Band: A 4-week program that helps you target the legs, glutes and abs using booty bands for that extra resistance and burn!
Kettlebell Burn: A 4-week progam for boosting calorie burn and banishing body fat using metabolic kettlebell workouts.
Weight Lifting & Functional Training (I think this was formerly known as “Gym Cat”) is the only program that you might need a gym membership for as it utilizes a fair bit of equipment like stability balls, barbels, medicine balls, and training benches.
However, when I browsed the program briefly, I didn’t see any weight machines so you could technically do this program at home if you have all the aforementioned equipment.
Pre & Post-Natal
There are four fitness programs for women who are expecting or who have recently had a baby. Each of the programs corresponds with what stage of pregnancy you are at.
Besides the diet plan and the fitness programs, the app hosts a whole slew of other features that make the app worth the price of admission:
Apple Watch Integration
Apple Watch users can rejoice because you can sync this app to your apple watch and the Activity and Health apps. I really love this feature because lord knows I’m obsessed with closing them rings!
One small caveat though: The watch defaults to whatever the Jillian Michaels app says, and I’m not sure it’s the more accurate source. For example, usually, when I work out I use the watches built-in activity tracker and log as High-Intensity Interval Training. I turn this on out of habit, no matter what app I’m using.
Today when I was using the app, my watch said I burned 240 active calories. But as soon as I marked workout complete on the app, My Fitness determined I’d burned 200 calories, and the watch went with that.
It’s a very small thing but just something to be cognizant of if you’re an Apple Watch user.
The app contains a forum where members can post questions and provide motivation and support for each other. This is a great feature to help stay motivated by connecting with others who are working through the same program as you!
Now, this is a pretty cool feature.
You can put in exactly how long you want your workout to be, what areas you want to target, and how hard you want it to be to create a custom workout on the spot! (I find this is particularly handy if you only have time for a short workout.)
Blog & Podcast
Jillian also believes in exercising your mind, so you can also read Jillian’s blog or listen to her podcast to learn more about how to succeed in your fitness journey. Granted, you don’t need the app to access these, but it is nice that they’re readily available within the app.
If you want to get the vintage Jillian experience, (or feel some nostalgia) you can access several of her older DVDs like 30-Day Shred and Ripped in 30.
I really enjoy this addition, because sometimes I want the classic workout experience where I follow along with a video and have her shout at me from the screen like the old days.
I’ve been doing workouts from Total Body Revolution and really enjoy the personalities of both JM and her workout crew, laughing at their jokes and sweating along with them.
Honestly, the DVD collection alone is worth the cost of admission!
(New) Audio Workouts
Near the end of 2020, Jillian added about 10, audio-only workouts that are designed for the treadmill or stair mill.
I haven’t actually tried these workouts yet because I don’t have a treadmill or stair mill, but if there’s one thing Jillian knows how to do its fire you up with her coaching, so I have no doubt these are amazing.
Another recent addition to the app is the inclusion of meditations. I love these and am so glad she added them!
There are meditations for sleep, anxiety, happiness, mindful eating, self-acceptance, and more.
Despite how intense she is when she’s yelling at you during a workout, Jillian has a really soothing voice for meditations and you will be pleasantly surprised by how relaxing they are.
My Experience and Results with Slim 60
I chose the Slim 60 program to start because I love HIIT with a good mix of strength and cardio. I also chose the advanced setting because I’m deluded. (Lol.)
The workouts in this program are never longer than 25 minutes, and that’s including the warmup and the cooldown. Even the Sweat app and Bodyboss, who both boast short workouts, still end up being 30-40 minutes with the warmups and cooldowns.
Despite knowing that short workouts can still effective, I was still a bit skeptical that this would be adequate until I did the first one.
These workouts kicked. My. Butt.
In the best possible way!
With Bodyboss and Sweat app, there is a lot of crossover in the kind of moves and exercises you do, but with the Jillian Michaels app, there are lots of new moves to keep things fun, challenging, and interesting.
Slim 60 also has you checking in 6 days a week, which sounds intense but with the workouts being so short it is doable.
As far as results go, I didn’t really have much weight left to lose (thanks to previous workout programs) but there was definitely room for improvement in body composition. It did help me shred a few vanity pounds and I got a lot stronger in my upper body (which has always been my trouble spot) and I feel a boost of motivation and energy that was starting to get stale from doing Bodyboss from the umpteenth time.
My results may be modest, but you should check out the jaw-dropping before and after pics on Jillian Michaels’ website!
I’ve since moved on to some of the videos from the app’s DVD library, and just started Body Revolution, which I am freaking loving!
Jillian Michaels App Review Summary:
I never thought I would find a fitness app that I like more than Bodyboss but after writing this Jillian Michaels app review, I think I have a new favorite!
I love that it’s highly customizable without being fussy (something I found Freeletics had trouble with) and Jillian Michaels’ classic “tough love” coaching style makes the workouts fun and motivation.
Verdict: Highly recommended!
- Highly customizable workouts
- 7 Day free trial available to decide if you like the program
- 22 different fitness programs that are between 1-12 months each
- Easy to get started with a user-friendly interface
- Workouts are fun and as challenging as you want/need them to be
- Diet plan included
- Lots of extras, including community, DVDs, milestone badges
- Competitively priced compared to many other fitness apps
- I honestly sat here for twenty minutes trying to think of a con, but I really can’t! I’m sure there is something it can improve upon but for me, it checks all the boxes of a great fitness app!
I LOVE Jillian Michaels’ coaching style, but it’s not for everyone. Some find her a bit “theatrical” but I find her energy and “tough love” attitude refreshing and motivating.
What did you think of this Jillian Michaels app review? Is there anything I missed? Let me know in the comments!
Jillian Michaels app is a one-stop-shop for all your fitness goals. It currently has over 20 fitness programs (of varying lengths), adjustable difficulty settings, and a meal planner. It’s basically like having the celebrity “tough-love” personal trainer in your pocket.
$14.99 USD monthly or $119.99 USD annually.
In a word: Yes! It has hundreds of personalized workouts and if you follow her plans, you will see results!