Jillian Michaels talks about her app, home fitness and personal battle with coronavirus

Famous fitness expert shares how the coronavirus has shaped her businesses and personal life

As some gyms throughout the country are trying to recover from coronavirus shutdowns, celebrity personal trainer and businesswoman Jillian Michaels has seen the at-home industry boom first-hand.

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In an interview with FOX Business’ Liz Claman, the 46-year-old health guru and media personality shared that her namesake brand – Jillian Michaels: The Fitness App – has grown by 30 percent. Other businesses she invested in that rely on foot traffic such as supplements and coffee have not fared as well in comparison.

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“So, it’s kind of fascinating,” Michaels told Claman. “On one hand, I deal with my businesses struggling and trying to keep the employees on board. Then with at-home business, the Jillian Michaels brand, we’ve indirectly benefited from this because people are afraid to go to the gym even if they are open in your area now.”

Michaels’ app offers free 7-minute daily workouts as well as premium exercise programs, meal plans and customization options. Access to the full app is $14.99 per month for a “regular membership” while more exclusive subscriptions are $44.97 for three months or $179.88 for the year.

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The app was originally released in January 2017 but as time has gone on, Michaels and her team evolved its at-home fitness offerings in light of growing tech-focused exercise brands like Tonal, Mirror and Peloton.

This business shift also fell in line with Michaels moving away from her gym-based BODYSHRED classes that were taught in fitness facilities because they were no longer “financially viable anymore.”

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“We have always done well at at-home fitness and that’s where we decided to really focus the Jillian Michaels brand and my brand of fitness is through the app,” Michaels explained while noting that she decided to refocus her business a year ago. “And we happened to get very lucky kind of closing down those other components of business without knowing obviously what was on the horizon for 2020.”

In terms of whether people should return to gyms in the age of the coronavirus, Michaels said that those who are most fearful of the respiratory illness should stay away for the time being.

“A public gym is probably where you will get it,” she shared.

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The famous trainer also revealed to Claman that she had recently been infected with the coronavirus, and blamed herself for letting her guard down.

“I am actually a person who let my guard down. I haven’t even spoken about this publically really, and a really close friend of mine gave me COVID several weeks ago,” Michaels opened up. “I’m fortunate to have gone into it being healthy and I was able to get on the other side of it pretty quick. But not everybody is that lucky as we know.”

Michaels added that anyone who puts themselves in contact with another person who is not wearing a mask can be at risk of contracting coronavirus, even if it’s only for an hour. This includes the gyms.

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Fortunately, Michaels said fancy pieces of equipment aren’t necessary for her programs.

In her own words, “You have your own body weight and you can use it in a million different ways, literally, to get a superior workout.”