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The 6 Ways Jillian Michaels Became an Icon in the Fitness World

October 12, 2015 2 min read

Jillian Michaels has undoubtedly made quite the name for herself in the fitness world. A reality star who has inspired people far and wide to get in the best shape of their lives, doesn't shy away from speaking her mind, sharing emotional moments with clients, and putting her own personal life in the spotlight. But how exactly did this exercise guru build such an enviable empire?

1. Think of Fitness as Empowerment

Jillian was sick of the fitness discussion revolving around how you can get away with doing the bare minimum.  “It was really just placating people and saying, ‘I know you’re not capable of much, but if you just do the bare minimum.’ … I really hate that,” says Jillian. “I think the message is that you’re far stronger than you ever believed yourself capable of," she says. "It’s about really pushing women to get out of their comfort zones and find their greatness."

2. Work Out Smarter, Not Longer

High-intensity interval training is big on exercise aficionados lists right now, including Jillian's. “What I love so much about [my] programs is over the last several years, we’ve seen a trend toward high-intensity training, a trend toward metabolic conditioning, and a trend toward 30-minute workouts instead of 60-minute workouts,” she says. “I don’t really love working out. In fact, I actually hate it. I workout because I want to have a better life, not just a better body. When you’re physically strong, it transcends into every other facet of your life.”

3. Show Yourself Tough Love—and Self-Compassion

Jillian is known for her harsh training style. “I wouldn’t say my approach was exaggerated on The Biggest Loser, but I would say it was misrepresented,” she says. “Empathy is: I get it, I know it sucks and that it’s physically and emotionally painful. But you can do it. I demand that [people] step up and explore and express their potential. I don’t think doing anything otherwise would be doing anyone any favors.”

4. Do Your Research

Jillian's fame and fan base continues to rise. Her Instagram account has 311,000 followers, and she’s signed on to host and executive produce Sweat Inc., which premieres on Spike October 20 at 10/9 central. “It’s like Shark Tank meets fitness,” she says. “We’re taking all of these fitness entrepreneurs and saying, ‘Okay, who has the next fitness phenomenon? What’s the next CrossFit? What’s the next Flywheel?’”

5. Set Realistic Goals

“I’ve always been really transparent about my flaws, like having cellulite,” she says. “It’s not about being skinny, it’s about being strong and it’s about being healthy. I think I can accomplish that without being perfect."

6. Bounce Back Like a Pro

“I’ve had some tremendous professional setbacks, like when the Los Angeles Times said I was an actress, not a trainer,” says Jillian. “I think the way you get through it is by being transparent, taking responsibility for the part that you played, and learning from it. If you do all those things, there really isn’t much you can’t overcome. In fact, you can become wiser, smarter, and stronger because of it.” Are you impressed by Jillian Michaels? Source: Women's Health  

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