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Wide White: Jillian Michaels: fitness fraud?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Jillian Michaels: fitness fraud?

Jillian Michaels has built a reputation as a tough fitness instructor through NBC's The Biggest Loser. She's also built a brand selling weight loss pills, exercise DVDs, etc.

I don't watch The Biggest Loser and have never purchased her weight loss pills, but I was intrigued when I read an LA Times article coming down hard on Michaels, sent to me by my old personal trainer and RKC-certified kettlebell instructor.

The article's opening line grabbed my attention.
I don't know much about proper kettle bell techniques. Neither does Jillian Michaels.
Jamie and I lost a lot of weight and improved our strength and stamina with kettlebell workouts. Proper form is absolutely critical or you could seriously injure yourself swinging and lifting a 50-pound weight.

Among the article's allegations:
  • Michaels is "an actress playing the role of fitness trainer."
  • Professional trainers agree she regularly displays poor technique and unsafe training practices.
  • Michaels only has introductory exercise and aerobics certifications from 17 years ago and has never recertified.
  • Kettlebell and yoga videos - neither of which she's certified to teach - advertise losing up to 5 pounds a week, which is highly unrealistic.
Some of the direct quotes from kettlebell professionals take things a step further.
  • "I would not recommend this from a safety perspective."
  • "It's just every way. All of it. Every single thing she does is wrong."
  • "Her technique and approach was so off the mark. It couldn't have been more dangerous."
In fairness, I have no doubt Michaels has forgotten more about fitness and exercise than I know.

Still, it doesn't take a genius to know that weight training, yoga, kettlebells, and diet are VERY different from one another! Instructing others in these disciplines requires different skill sets and a tremendous amount of knowledge tailored to each one. The notion that one person would be an expert in all 4 disciplines is tough to believe, especially when that person is missing any certification in those disciplines.

Your health depends on you being informed - informed by someone who actually knows what they're talking about. Pretty faces and great marketing techniques are no substitute for the real deal.

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Anonymous Anonymous declared,

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Please send me an email for details on dinner for 2 on us.



10/19/2010 2:48 PM  

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