Jillian Michaels understands what it takes to get fit, stick with the program, and make a lasting commitment to being healthy, strong, and fit. After all, as America's Leading Health and Wellness Expert, she inspires millions to feel motivated to reach their personal health and wellbeing goals. Her award-winning Jillian Michaels: The Fitness App, lets you customize your own fitness with a wide variety of plans for all fitness levels and provides workouts, motivation, fitness tips, weight loss advice, meal plans, and recipes, and adjusts the program for you as you provide feedback and reach your goals.

Here she shares her best strategies for getting and staying fit and healthy this year and reaching your short and long-term goals. She gave The Beet an exclusive 7-minute workout, so you can start to get fit and strong right now, today, at home. The workout is designed to do anywhere, no equipment necessary, just a desire to be your healthiest self, starting right now.

For a dose of major motivation from the guru herself, here are Jillian's answers to our burning questions. We needed this!

Q: How do you make yourself start? If not feeling like doing it? What’s the thing you tell yourself or someone to get them to get going?

Jillian Michaels: There are a couple of ways to approach this… How do you make yourself begin with a health goal in general… like the very first step… you have to do two VERY important things:

1. Establish your "Why."  It’s been said that if you have a why you can tolerate the how (the work and sacrifice associated with the goal.) Make sure it’s specific, detailed, and that you are very passionate about it.  For example, here are a few of my “why’s:"

  • I want to be a role model for my kids and make being healthy “cool."  I want them to think of me as the badass mom who jumped horses, snowboarded down black diamonds, and raced motorized surfboards.
  • I want to rock a two-piece on my summer vacation.
  • I want to show people who take my advice that I know the hell I'm talking about and be my own walking testimonial.
  • I want to meet my great-grandchildren.
It doesn’t matter how superficial or profound as long as it matters to you. Work with purpose is passion. Work without purpose feels punishing.

2.  Make sure you are informed. Bringing the action to intention does not equal success.  If that action is misinformed it almost surely results in disaster.  Be sure you understand what is required for you to achieve your goal so not only do you avoid injury, screwing up your metabolism, etc. but you get the results you are after - which also helps you stay motivated.  So learn the simple science behind calories in calories out and the importance of eating whole foods - organic whenever possible.
Now, as for the days, I simply don’t feel like training I have a few strategies I use to trick myself into training. I tell myself that I will only do 10 minutes and if I am miserable in 10 minutes I will allow myself to stop. (I have never not just finished the full 20 to 30-minute workout because once you start it doesn’t seem overwhelming to finish it.)
Play music. Music has been shown time and time again to help get us in the mood and motivate us to move.

Q: What’s the most important body part to focus on? Core? Lower body? What do you think people should do more of?

JM: It’s about total body training for overall health and wellness.  And, even more to the point, changing up the workout so your body doesn’t adapt and stop evolving as efficiently and quickly as it could.

You will notice in the workouts I created the techniques incorporated are HIIT intervals, strength training, circuit training, and multiple muscle group movements like pushups, which train shoulders, triceps, abs, quads, core.  These modalities utilized with a total body training approach is ideal for burning calories, boosting metabolism, making your body as injury-proof as possible, toning, and building strength.

Q: Cardio is always something people say they hate, so what would you tell someone who says ...” I don’t like to do cardio!” How do you get them on the treadmill or bike? And what’s the right amount to start with? I’ve heard 11 minutes a day or 22 minutes a day or 150 minutes a week.... how do you make it seem doable?

JM: I’d tell them they don’t have to. Steady-state cardio is arguably the most inefficient form of training.  The only times I do cardio is when I want an active recovery day so I’ll do a recovery run or a long hike. When I am training someone who is trying to lose a lot of weight fast, so I add low-intensity cardio in, to up their calorie burn but prevent overtraining and injury.  Or, if someone is training for an endurance race like a 10k.

Other than that–you will get far greater results with the techniques I mentioned above–strength training, HIIT, circuit training, etc. Now if you love cardio then great, but the question here is about people who don’t, so in that case, there really isn’t a huge need for it.

Q: What else do you advise people: mix it up? Don’t repeat yourself more than two days in a row? What is the best “weekly” circuit to follow for the best results?

JM: Personally - I’d love it if people would train 4 times a week for 20-30 minutes. I build my basic weight loss and strength programs for people where they train each muscle group twice a week with two days of rest between training sessions.  Your schedule might look as follows:

  • Push Muscles (chest, shoulders, triceps, quads) and lower abs and obliques on Mondays and Thursdays
  • Pull Muscles (back, biceps, quads, hamstrings) and glutes & upper abs and intercostals on Tuesdays and Fridays

This allows for enough time under tension for each muscle group, adequate recovery to prevent injury and maximize results, plus if you incorporate the techniques I mentioned you will get better results faster. (HIIT, Strength, Metabolic Circuits) 

Q: If the goal is weight loss what do you advise ... Lower carbs? How do you turn a fitness habit into a weight loss success story?

JM: This one is so simple: Eat less, move more, use common sense with your food choices. Now, I didn’t say it was easy. But it IS this simple.  If a pound is 3500 calories you have to eat 3500 calories less than you have burned - give or take a tiny bit, but not by much. So understanding how many calories you burn in a day and how many calories you are eating allows you to chart a damn near exact time frame for weight loss. If you can’t figure out how to calculate your daily calorie burn here is a blog of mine that will show you how.

Here's is Your 7-Minute Workout from Jillian Michaels. To get the app, click here.

Meet Jillian Michales, Your Trainer at The Beet, Who Shows YOU How to Get in Shape

Get Stronger and Healthier with This Total Body Workout 

Easy and Quick Workout For Stronger Buns and Thighs

Speed Up Your Metabolism with This Quick HIIT Workout 

Quick and Effective Ab Workout For a Strong, Lean Core