JILLIAN MICHAELS: THE BIGGEST WINNER! SHAPEUP – BACKSIDE

2005, $1.00, at Goodwill Superstore on San Fernando

First Impression: Q: How do I “win by losing?”

Second Impression: A: Simple. Stop talking, and let your fussy coworker think they are right so you can go home already.

The workout has an intro that would be suitable for an edgy detective show. The sweeping shots present a gritty vision of Los Angeles at sunset, beautiful and damaged. Jillian looks out a window with iron bars as a voice-over begins, “I was a troubled kid…” Spoiler: Jillian Michaels was saved by fitness and you will be, too!

I could almost take it seriously, until they insert a shot of Jillian sprinting in front of some crumbling brick buildings, as would a hipster in search of cheap rent.  Her form is laughable. She does this thing where she scoops her hands behind her like a Jack Russell trying to dig its way out of a yard.

The session begins and the hipster theme continues. Jillian wears a shirt with a logo from a convenience store: Quick Pik n Food Mart. It’s a really obscure store; you probably haven’t heard of it. She introduces her helper, who wears a shirt that proclaims, “To Hell With The Consequences.” Indeed.

As she introduces Misty, Jillian kicks her on the side of her hip and almost knocks her over.  Jillian needs to have a meeting with HR to discuss her impulse control problem. I pause the DVD so I could accurately describe what I witnessed, and I am struck by the mournful expression in Misty’s eyes:

Jillian introduces the rest of her crew. She calls one “Tough Guy” and punches him. She coos, “Maaaaaaat” at the blond fellow. He gives her a big smile, which immediately dies a quick death as she walks away. Then Maaaaaaat remembers he’s still on camera.

The workout features a grueling move called the Hollow Man, where you lie on your back and hold up your torso and legs at the same time. Jillian thinks it’s hilarious to sit on top of Tough Guy while he’s doing this move, to make sure he does maximum damage to his lower back. Tiger Balm for everyone! See you in HR.

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