After her fight against the keto diet riled people up, the trainer is talking about why she has “a few issues” with CrossFit

By Julie Mazziotta
February 08, 2019 11:33 AM

Jillian Michaels has a new topic she wants to talk about, and she knows it’s “going to make so many people pissed off.”

After her criticism of the keto diet led to an outcry from its loyal followers and celebrities like Al Roker and Andy Cohen, the trainer is explaining why she has “a few issues with CrossFit,” the popular workout program.

“My issues with CrossFit are as follows. First of all, you’ve got what — 20 to 25 movements that don’t really vary? And you’re doing them over and over and over again. So on one hand it stops being effective because you’re not challenging the body from various angles of push and pull, with different varieties of exercises and different types of movements that work different modalities,” Michaels, 44, said in a video for SHAPE. “And I know CrossFit [athletes say] — ‘Oh, we work all the modalities!’ — but no, not really, so shouldn’t you choose a workout that has a little bit more flexibility and strength so you get more mobility, not just power, which is speed and strength.”

Michaels said that instead of doing CrossFit, people should look for a more well-rounded workout.

“A little agility work, maybe some endurance training,” she advised. “So that you’re training in a more balanced way, to keep the body changing and keep your training more holistic by hitting all modalities of fitness.”

And Michaels also takes issue with one movement in particular that’s common in CrossFit: kipping

“In case you aren’t familiar, it’s likely you’ve seen it in CrossFit. It’s when you use momentum by bucking or jerking your hips,” she explained. “And a lot of athletes or CrossFitters use this to do things like pull-ups or toes to bar. And they feel like it makes them more efficient because they can do more reps. Some believe it helps builds power which is speed and strength together.”

The mom of two recognized that her take on kipping isn’t going to make people happy.

“I know this is going to make so many people pissed off, but where I come from that’s called cheating, using momentum to do a repetition,” she said. “And if you don’t have fantastic form, you can get hurt, and we don’t want that to happen.”

Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

Michaels instead suggests using rubber bands to do assisted pull-ups — which is already common in CrossFit classes as an alternative to strict pull-ups or kipping — and offered a few core strength movements to build up the ability to do strict pull-ups without kipping.

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