This has been the year of the at-home workout and, as such, fitness apps and on-demand fitness programs are popping up everywhere. While certainly not new to the on-demand workout scene, Jillian Michaels gave her app a revamp last year, turning it into a one-stop shop for customized workouts and nutrition plans. Right now you can get a lifetime subscription for the Jillian Michaels Fitness App for $149.99 from StackSocial.
While I don’t always agree with Jillian Michaels (or her sometimes harsher-than-necessary delivery), I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed my three-week experience with the app. It includes everything from weight training to yoga to kickboxing — and a bunch of HIIT and cardio workouts too — so you can find a way to work up a sweat no matter your fitness level.
Here’s everything you need to know about the app, and why we think it’s a welcome addition to any workout routine.
You can get a custom workout
The Jillian Michaels Fitness App isn’t your standard play-and-go app. While you can browse and play any video from the workout library, the real star of the show here is the ability to customize your workout routine. You can use the routine generator to select whether you want easy, medium or hard workouts from a variety of exercise types — like cardio, HIIT, total body, buns and thighs, and stretches — then plug in which type of exercise equipment you have at home.
From there, the app will create a workout plan that consists of several different short exercises in sequence, adding up to a 10- to 40-minute total routine. I said I have a foam roller, dumbbells and a treadmill, and the app generated sequences that included weighted stiff leg deadlifts, mountain climbers and bent leg presses. The app never really utilized the cardio equipment, even for the cardio sequences, but I figured that’s because working out on the treadmill is generally pretty self-explanatory.
Each workout is accompanied by written and visual instructions from Jillian Michaels herself, so you’ll be able to pull off the moves no matter what your skill level. And in true Jillian Michaels fashion, you’ll get a little guilt trip in the form of “OK, we can skip this time, but let’s not make this a habit” if you bypass a section or bow out a little early.
You also get access to all of the content on Jillian Michaels’ old workout DVDs, so this is good news for all you 30 Day Shred fans who no longer have a DVD player. There are audio-only workouts too, so if and when you do finally make it back to your gym, you can discreetly follow Jillian’s guidance without having to keep your eyes glued to your phone.
If you have an iPhone and/or an Apple Watch, you can sync the Jillian Michaels fitness app to the built-in health app, and it will automatically update your calories, steps and heart rate.
There are meal plans too
In addition to custom workouts, the app gives you a daily meal schedule that includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and one snack. You can select from different meal plans, like omnivore, vegan, paleo/gluten-free, quick and easy, and yes, even keto, despite Jillian Michaels’ past criticisms of the diet.
The app also allows you to take it one step further by “banning” certain recipes or individual ingredients, like dairy, beans or red meat, so if you don’t want to follow a specific diet but are trying to avoid certain foods, you can customize your meals that way.
But, without a doubt, my favorite part of the meal planning section was the grocery list. Once you decide on your diet specifics, the app spits out a weekly grocery list that’s broken up into sections, like canned goods, produce and more, so you can see exactly what you’ll need each week and check the items off as you shop.
As far as taste goes, the meals, which include options like Feta Frittata, Green Smoothie Bowl, Steak and Parmesan Salad, and Mexican Pizza, aren’t mind-blowing or especially creative, but they’re easy to prepare and they utilize recognizable ingredients that I usually have on hand anyway. And as someone who barely has time to eat a meal — let alone make it myself — I’d take quick and easy over fancy any day of the week.
A fitness app worth investing in
At $149.99 for a lifetime subscription, I think the Jillian Michaels Fitness App is a steal compared to similar fitness apps like 8Fit and Centr that cost $25 and $29.99 per month, respectively. The custom nature of the workout programs and the ability to tweak things as you progress makes the whole experience really interactive. Unlike other fitness apps that have you repeating the same sequences over and over, this one feels more like you’re actually working with a trainer who adjusts difficulty as you progress. Of course, that trainer is Jillian Michaels, so you’ll have to have somewhat of a thick skin to enjoy the delivery.