Jillian Michaels

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Jillian Michaels
Jillian Michaels by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Michaels speaking at the 2017 ICON event in April 2017.
Born (1974-02-18) February 18, 1974 (age 45)
Alma materCalifornia State University, Northridge
OccupationPersonal trainer, businesswoman, television personality, writer
Height5 ft 2 13 in (158 cm)
Weight115 lb (52 kg)[1]
Partner(s)Heidi Rhoades (2009–2018)

Jillian Michaels (born February 18, 1974)[2] is an American personal trainer, businesswoman, author and television personality from Los Angeles, California.[3] Michaels is best known for her appearances on NBC, particularly The Biggest Loser. She has also made an appearance on the talk show The Doctors. In fall 2015, she hosted and co-judged a series on Spike titled Sweat, INC. In January 2016, her reality television series Just Jillian premiered on E!.

Early life[edit]

Michaels was born in Los Angeles, California,[2] the daughter of JoAnn and Douglas McKarus, a lawyer.[4][5] She was raised in Santa Monica. Michaels has recalled a traumatic childhood that included night terrors, her parents' divorce, and suffering verbal abuse by classmates as a 5-foot, 2-inch, 175-pound eighth-grader.[2]

Michaels attended California State University, Northridge, supporting herself as a bartender and personal trainer during that time. After working briefly as an agent with International Creative Management, in 2002, Michaels opened the sports medicine facility Sky Sport & Spa in Beverly Hills.[2]


Michaels at a book signing for her book Unlimited: A Three-Step Plan for Achieving Your Dreams in April 2011.

As a personal trainer and black belt owner, Jillian Michaels uses a blend of strength training techniques with her clients including kickboxing, yoga, Pilates, plyometrics, and weight training.[6] Since 1993, Jillian has held two personal training certificates from the National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association (NESTA) and The Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA). In addition, she is Kettlebell Concepts certified. She also plays Lloyd Garmadon in LEGO Ninjago: Maters of Spinjitzu. Jillian has also developed a continuing education series for trainers with AFAA and holds a nutrition and wellness consultant certificate with the American Fitness Professionals and Associates (AFPA).[7]

In January 2012, Michaels released a 90-day weight loss program titled "Body Revolution".[8] She recently launched BODYSHRED, her 30-minute workout class exclusively at GoodLife gyms in Canada and in the US with clubs like Lifetime fitness, Crunch and UFC Gyms.[9] In 2015, she launched her new infomercial BODYSHRED, a 60-day at-home workout program.[10] Michaels' business partner and manager is Giancarlo Chersich. Together, they operate Empowered Media, LLC.[11]


In addition to her DVDs, Michaels has also authored several books on health and wellness topics. Several of these books, including Master Your Metabolism and Unlimited, have made the New York Times Best Seller list.[12][13]

Michaels hosted a Sunday talk radio show on Los Angeles's KFI (640 AM) from 2006 through 2009.[14] Since February 2011, Michaels has hosted a weekly podcast, The Jillian Michaels Show, through iTunes. In December 2011, the show was among the podcasts honored by Apple in its App Store Rewind 2011, winning in the Best New Audio Podcast category.[15]

On October 21, 2008, she launched a video game for the Wii, Jillian Michaels' Fitness Ultimatum 2009.[16][17] A year later, she launched a sequel called Fitness Ultimatum 2010. In 2011, Michaels released two more games, Jillian Michaels Fitness Ultimatum 2011 and Jillian Michaels Fitness Adventure for the Xbox 360.

Jillian launched her company Empowered Media LLC in 2008 and released her fitness video membership website called Fitfusion.com, often referred to as the Netflix of fitness, featuring top fitness and yoga trainers and celebrities including Dashama Konah Gordon, Tara Stiles, Cassey Ho, Crunch Fitness, Jennifer Nicole Lee, Billy Blanks, and others. Fitfusion is also associated and broadcasts on AT&T U-verse, BroadbandTV Corp, Bell TV Canada, and other TV channels, as well as Roku, Apple TV, and Fitness on Demand reaching audiences in Marriott, Hilton Worldwide and Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts.[18][19]

The Biggest Loser[edit]

Michaels was an original trainer on the reality series The Biggest Loser when the show debuted in October 2004. On the show, she assumed the role of Red Team trainer and remained in that capacity for the first two seasons. After her departure in 2006, she was replaced by Kim Lyons.[20] She returned to the show in 2007 as the Black Team trainer competing against Lyons' Red Team and Bob Harper's Blue Team.[21] Along with Harper, Michaels was also a trainer in the Australian version of the show from 2006 to 2008.[22]

On December 7, 2010, Michaels announced via Twitter that the eleventh season of the show would be her last.[23] Michaels made her last appearance on The Biggest Loser on May 24, 2011.

On September 4, 2012, it was announced that Michaels will return to The Biggest Loser in Season 14.[24] Michaels also returned for Season 15, which premiered on October 15, 2013 on NBC, but did not return for Season 16 which aired in the fall of 2014.[25]

Losing It With Jillian[edit]

On June 1, 2010, NBC debuted Losing It With Jillian, a spin-off of The Biggest Loser. In the show, Michaels visits the home and workplaces of family members for a week.[26][27]

Losing It With Jillian originally ran on NBC in June and July 2010. As of January 2012, all eight episodes of the series are available for viewing online.[28]

Contract with CBS Television Distribution[edit]

On May 6, 2011, CBS Television Distribution announced that Michaels had signed a multi-year deal to become a co-host of the panel-discussion show The Doctors, as well as to serve as a special correspondent on the CTD program Dr. Phil. Michaels had been a guest on The Doctors several times previously.[29] On the show, Michaels hosted a recurring segment called Ask Jillian, which dealt primarily with nutrition and diet topics.

Michaels left The Doctors in January 2012 after half a season, because, she claimed, the arrangement "wasn't the fit both the show and I hoped for".[30][31]


Michaels is involved in a variety of charities including the NFL's Play 60,[32] the Clinton Foundation's Alliance for a Healthier Generation,[33] Stand Up to Cancer,[34] Working Wardrobes,[35] Hope for Haiti,[36] and Sow a Seed and Dress for Success.[37] Michaels also devotes time to animal welfare causes, and she recently helped PETA rescue a racehorse from the slaughterhouse.[38]

Michaels serves as an adviser to the National Day of Dance for Heart Health, an organization that encourages people to exercise.[39] In January 2012, she was a participant in the Clinton Foundation's inaugural "Health Matters: Activating Wellness in Every Generation" conference.[40]


In 2010, Michaels faced four separate lawsuits alleging ingredients in the Jillian Michaels Maximum Strength Calorie Control dietary supplement, the Jillian Michaels Maximum Strength Fat Burner and the Triple Process Total Body Detox and Cleanse, were ineffective or dangerous.[41][42] In each instance, Michaels denied the allegations. All four suits were dismissed.[43][44][45]

Michaels was the subject of a critical October 2010 op-ed piece in the Los Angeles Times from fitness author James Fell that claimed 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" and alleged she had let several of her fitness certifications lapse.[46] Michaels responded by threatening legal action for defamation, stating she had been an active physical trainer for 19 years and that none of her certifications have lapsed.[47] The newspaper published a correction citing her up-to-date certifications shortly thereafter and no legal action was taken.[48]

In 2012, Michaels faced backlash from law enforcement officers and their families following her outspoken comments on the July 28, 2012 episode of her podcast, "The Jillian Michaels Show."[49] Approximately 8 minutes into the episode, Michaels expressed a lifelong hatred of police officers, to wit: "Cops are just A-holes ... I've hated cops since I was a kid. The 'Po-Po,' I hate 'em. I've always hated 'em. I tried to pretend like I don't hate 'em." Michaels' comments were prompted by the police response to a burglary that had occurred in her Malibu home earlier that month.[50] According to TMZ, on July 3, 2012, at approximately 9:00pm, career-criminal Gerjuan Harmon broke into the home she shares with her then-fiancée Heidi Rhoades and their two young children. While Michaels and family were elsewhere in the home, Harmon, a parolee, entered through an unlocked door and removed Michaels' purse, which contained her wallet and the keys to her 2011 Bentley GT. Following a high-speed police chase, Harmon crashed the Bentley into a light pole.[51] After fighting with the responding officers, Harmon was placed under arrest. In September 2014, Harmon was convicted of unlawful driving or taking of a vehicle, evading an officer, resisting executive officers and misdemeanor hit-and-run driving. He is now serving a 17-year sentence in state prison.[52] When describing the incident on her July 28, 2012 podcast, Michaels claimed that the responding officers were bribed by TMZ, accepting money in exchange for details about the crime. With no evidence to support her assertions, backlash from the law enforcement community surfaced on social media. A Facebook page, "Jillian Michaels Hates Law Enforcement,"[53] was established in an apparent effort to counter Michaels' vitriolic comments and assertions by suggesting boycotts of the various brands endorsed by Michaels. The July 28, 2012 podcast episode in question, titled, "Jillian Finds Gratefulness in a Personal Loss," was removed from the show's iTunes feed by the show's producers, but can still be found on SoundCloud.[54]

Personal life[edit]

Michaels has two children with her ex-fiancée Heidi Rhoades.[55] Michaels adopted their then-two-year-old daughter from Haiti in May 2012, and Rhoades gave birth to a son that same month.[56] On her sexuality, Michaels has stated, "Let's just say I believe in healthy love. If I fall in love with a woman, that's awesome. If I fall in love with a man, that's awesome. As long as you fall in love...it's like organic food. I only eat healthy food, and I only want healthy love!"[55] The couple announced the end of their relationship in June 2018.[57][58]

In an interview with Chris Azzopardi of Pride Source she said "I didn't even know I was (gay) until later in life. I mean, I realized I was bisexual at about 18 but I didn't even realize I was gay until into my 20s."

She also credits Madonna's "Justify My Love" video with helping her find her voice.[59]


  • Winning by Losing: Drop the Weight, Change Your Life (September 2005), William Morrow, ISBN 0-06-084546-5
  • Making the Cut: The 30-Day Diet and Fitness Plan for the Strongest, Sexiest You (April 2007), Harmony Books, ISBN 0-307-38250-8
  • Master Your Metabolism: The 3 Diet Secrets to Naturally Balancing Your Hormones for a Hot and Healthy Body! (April 2009), Crown, ISBN 0-307-45073-2
  • The Master Your Metabolism Calorie Counter (April 2010), Three Rivers Press, ISBN 0-307-71821-2
  • The Master Your Metabolism Cookbook (April 2010), Harmony Books, ISBN 0-307-71822-0
  • Unlimited: How to Build an Exceptional Life (April 2011), Harmony Books, ISBN 0-307-58830-0
  • Slim for Life: My Insider Secrets to Simple, Fast, and Lasting Weight Loss (April 2013), Harmony Books, ISBN 9780804138178


  1. ^ KFI Radio, October 5, 2008
  2. ^ a b c d "Jillian Michaels Biography". Biography.com. Retrieved 11 January 2012.
  3. ^ "Jillian Michaels". AskMen.com. Retrieved 2009-08-18.
  4. ^ "Jo Ann McKarus: Psychotherapist". JillianMichaels.com. Archived from the original on 17 April 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
  5. ^ http://www.juliehadden.com/Jillian_Health4WomenMag.pdf
  6. ^ "Jillian's Bio". JillianMichaels.com. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
  7. ^ "Jillian Michaels Bio". Archived from the original on January 26, 2014. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
  8. ^ Twitter / @JillianMichaels (accessed 10 January 2012)
  9. ^ "Jillian Michaels BODYSHRED".
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-12-04. Retrieved 2015-05-05.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "Jillian's Appearances". JillianMichaels.com. Archived from the original on September 13, 2008. Retrieved December 24, 2011.
  12. ^ Best Sellers - The New York Times February 07, 2010 (accessed 11 January 2012)
  13. ^ Best Sellers - The New York Times April 24, 2011 (accessed 11 January 2012)
  14. ^ Hrabkovska, Silvia (2015-07-08). "50 facts about Jillian Michaels: personal trainer, businesswoman, author and television personality". BOOMSbeat. Retrieved 2019-02-18.
  15. ^ iTunes Rewind 2011: Apple Gives Us Their Best Music, Movies, and Apps of the Year (accessed 10 January 2012)
  16. ^ "'Biggest Loser' trainer Jillian Michaels to star in Wii fitness video game - Reality TV World - News, information, episode summaries, message boards, chat and games for unscripted television programs". Reality TV World. 2008-06-16. Retrieved 2010-05-17.
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  18. ^ "'Meet the Netflix for Fitness: FitFusion". Readers Digest Best Health Magazine. Retrieved 2018-08-30.
  19. ^ "'FitFusion.com Makes Switching Up Your Workout Cheaper and Easier". Self Magazine. Retrieved 2018-08-30.
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  22. ^ Biggest Loser star battled weight, blues The Sydney Morning Herald, September 18, 2006 (accessed 10 January 2012)
  23. ^ "'Biggest Loser' will soon lose Jillian Michaels – The Marquee Blog". CNN.
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  25. ^ Hines, Ree. "'Biggest Loser' trainer Jillian Michaels won't return for season 16".
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  30. ^ Starr, Michael. Jillian Michaels off 'Doctors', New York Post, January 3, 2012. (accessed 11 January 2012)
  31. ^ Potts.
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  33. ^ Jillan Michaels: A Natural Fit Archived 2012-02-23 at the Wayback Machine (accessed 10 January 2012)
  34. ^ Jillian Michaels to Host All-Star Game Charity 5K & Fun Run Archived 2012-01-20 at the Wayback Machine (accessed 10 January 2012)
  35. ^ Working Wardrobes Press Room Archived 2010-11-23 at the Wayback Machine (accessed 10 January 2012)
  36. ^ Fisher, Luchina. "Hope for Haiti: Stars Line Up for Tonight's Telethon", ABC News, January 22, 2010. (accessed 24 January 2012)
  37. ^ Dress for Success Worldwide: The Power Walk Archived 2012-01-02 at the Wayback Machine (accessed 19 January 2012)
  38. ^ Beth Ann Macaluso, "Jilian Michaels Helps Rescue Racehorse Bound for Slaughter," US Weekly April 19, 2012.
  39. ^ The Biggest Loser: Jillian Michaels (accessed 10 January 2012)
  40. ^ President Clinton Announces Program and Featured Attendees for the Inaugural Health Matters: Activating Wellness in Every Generation Conference Archived 2012-01-27 at Archive.today, Clinton Foundation, January 12, 2012. (accessed 19 January 2012)
  41. ^ "'Biggest Loser' Star - Big Fat Liar ... Allegedly". TMZ.com. February 10, 2010. Retrieved August 20, 2010.
  42. ^ Barrett, Stephen, M.D. (February 14, 2010). "Jillian Michaels Sued for False Advertising". Diet Scam Watch. Retrieved August 20, 2010.
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  44. ^ DeMott v. Jillian Michaels, No. 10CV5886 (C.D. Cal. dismissal January 24, 2011)
  45. ^ Christensen v. Michaels, et al., No. BC431560 (Superior Court of Los Angeles County dismissal November 2, 2011)
  46. ^ Fell, James S. Ring the kettle bell. School's back in. Los Angeles Times, October 11, 2010
  47. ^ "Jillian Michaels: 'Shame on the LA Times for Saying I'm a Fraud'". Us Weekly. October 14, 2010. Retrieved September 10, 2011.
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  51. ^ "Jillian Michaels -- Stolen Bentley Wreckage [PHOTOS]". TMZ. Retrieved 2017-04-09.
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  53. ^ "Security Check Required". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2017-04-09.
  54. ^ Jillian's "lost" podcast, her true feelings toward law enforcement. 7-28-12, retrieved 2017-04-09
  55. ^ a b "Jillian Michaels Is Gay". SheKnows.com. May 23, 2012. Retrieved May 23, 2012.
  56. ^ "Jillian Michaels Is a Mom – Times Two!". People. May 23, 2012. Retrieved May 23, 2012.
  57. ^ Hautman, Nicholas (June 15, 2018). "Jillian Michaels and Fiancee Heidi Rhoades Split After Nearly Nine Years Together". Us Weekly. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  58. ^ Mazziotta, Julie (June 15, 2018). "Jillian Michaels and Fiancée Heidi Rhoades Have Been Split 'for Awhile Now'". People Health. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  59. ^ "Q&A: Jillian Michaels on Her Madonna-Influenced Coming Out, LGBT Community's Pressure to Marry & Why She Uses the Word 'Fag'". Between the Lines.

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
New title The Biggest Loser Red Team trainer
October 19, 2004 – November 29, 2005
Succeeded by
Kim Lyons
New creation The Biggest Loser Black Team trainer
September 11, 2007 – May 24, 2011
Succeeded by
Anna Kournikova