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A Case of Financial Greed – Jillian Michaels?

{ Posted on Oct 15 2010 by Marcus Alston }

The LA times has exposed Jillian Michaels, a trainer on The Biggest Loser, as a fraud and greedy.  An unqualified trainer and sloppy supplement endorser at best or an actress, opportunist, and greedy con artist, who puts people’s lives at risk to make money, at worst.

Below is an excerpt from the October 11, 2010 article by James S. Fell in a special to the Los Angeles Times:

“I don’t know much about proper kettle bell techniques. Neither does Jillian Michaels.

I have an internationally respected fitness certification and 17 years’ experience with free weights, yet I lack the audacity to pretend I am qualified to teach kettle bells.

Jillian Michaels, on the other hand, is lacking in shame. At least that’s what I thought until I realized Michaels is not actually a real fitness trainer — she’s an actress playing the role of fitness trainer on TV and in a line of popular DVDs.

It’s analogous to Jesse Ventura’s choice of a Gatling-style minigun to mow down guerrillas in the 1987 movie “Predator.” Most viewers thought it was way cool, but real soldiers shook their heads in disbelief that anyone would schlep such an ungainly weapon through the jungle.

Same thing with Jillian Michaels. Typical viewers think she’s great, yet the collective jaws of professional trainers hit the floor after witnessing her regular displays of poor technique and unsafe training practices.

Michaels obtained some introductory fitness certifications (National Exercise & Sports Trainers Assn. and Aerobics and Fitness Assn. of America) 17 years ago and does not seem to ever have recertified. The biography on her website goes on and on about her multimedia endeavors, but there is not a single mention of any health-and-fitness education or credentials.

And now, seemingly without any qualifications, Michaels is teaching amateurs how to use kettle bells in her latest DVD, “Shred-It With Weights.” Her toned, tanned and possibly Photoshopped physique stands proudly on the cover holding a kettle bell, while a bubble on the cover exclaims, “Lose up to 5 pounds a week!”

Lose 5 pounds a week? Sure, if you start off weighing more than a Smart Car.

It’s not the first time she’s made such a claim. Even though it takes hundreds of hours for a serious professional to become certified as a yoga instructor, Michaels made a yoga DVD that also promises you can lose up to 5 pounds a week, which is about as likely as Paris Hilton winning the Nobel Prize in physics.

A kettle bell is a traditional Russian training tool that looks like a cannonball with a handle affixed. It allows for a wide variety of swinging movements that focus more on development of power and endurance, whereas most weightlifting focuses on slow-speed strength. In order to reduce the risk of injury and maximize your results, qualified instruction is strongly recommended. . . .

“Her technique is appalling,” Cheng told me. “What she says in the video and what she demonstrates are two different things. She doesn’t break things down into manageable pieces that prompt people to get the correct form, so instead she is enabling bad form… I would not recommend this from a safety perspective.”

Cheng also added that he thought Michaels “is simply trying to capitalize on the popularity of kettle bells without going through her due diligence…”

[Los Angeles Times]

Michaels responded later by denying the claims and stating, “Shame on the Los Angeles Times for saying I’m a fraud and not a trainer. I currently own two certifications, one of which doesn’t expire. I developed my own continuing education program for trainers, with sports medicine doctors. I’ve been a trainer since I was 17-years old for 19 years.”

Michaels is no stranger to claims made against her.  In February 2010, two law suits were filed against Michaels alleging that the Jillian Michaels Maximum Strength Calorie Control dietary supplement was ineffective.  Class action law suits were also filed against her in February and August 2010 claiming her dietary supplements caused serious health problems for certain users.

Michaels is a reality show star and appears to be cashing in without paying her dues, which unfortunately seems to be a common theme these days.  We really don’t know who to trust anyone more.  To address this, be a smart consumer.  Check with your doctor before starting any serious exercise program.  Also get references and check with the Better Business Bureau and do a Google search on any trainer or program you use or follow.  If after doing your research, you buy any of Jillians Michaels products, be very careful.

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