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Jillian Michaels Reveals Her Fitness Secrets: From Balancing Workouts to Recovery Routine (Exclusive)

Jillian Michaels has been helping people achieve their fitness goals for over 30 years — and she’s spilling her secrets for success with Us Weekly.

“The bottom line is, you really kind of need all [different types of workouts] and you want to try to incorporate [them] all,” Michaels, 49, told Us exclusively while promoting her line of iTOUCH Wearables. “The most important thing [is] it doesn’t have to be perfect.”

After becoming certified as a personal trainer and opening her Beverly Hills sports medicine facility in 2002, Michaels rose to fame as a trainer on the reality series The Biggest Loser. Throughout her decades working in the wellness industry, Michaels has become a firm believer that there’s no such thing as the “best” type of workout.

“When it comes to different types of training, whether it’s strength training, cardiovascular conditioning, HIIT training, they’re all important,” she told Us. “It’s kind of like saying, ‘What’s more important, Vitamin C or Vitamin D?’ So, you don’t need to be overwhelmed.”

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Recovery is nearly as important as the exercise itself. “The reality is that when we’re sore after a workout, what’s going on is we have these micro-tears in the muscle, and that’s a good thing,” Michaels explained. “When you’re sore, you really want to drink a lot of water. … Being hydrated, getting your sleep for recovery, and doing some light cardio activity is going to heal you more quickly.”

Jillian Michaels Reveals Her Fitness Secrets: From Balancing Workouts to Recovery Routine
Jillian Michaels. Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

Most importantly, Michaels warned against overtraining muscles. “Don’t go train that same muscle again, because then those little mico-tears can become a little bit bigger, and then you get into over-training,” she said. “Recovery is really important, and that comes with rest.”

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While fasting before a workout might be “trendy,” Michaels isn’t convinced. “Depending on your fitness goals, the reality is that you should probably eat a little something before you go to the gym,” she told Us. “Based on everything I’ve read, and everything I’ve experienced doing this since I was 17 years old, [fasted workouts] are less effective. … When you have blood sugar available, it gives you more power.”

Jillian Michaels Reveals Her Fitness Secrets: From Balancing Workouts to Recovery Routine
Tom Cooper/Getty Images for Wellness Your Way Festival

Michaels noted that the key is not to “overthink it” when it comes to nutrition, but eating a balanced meal or snack at least an hour before hitting the gym can provide a valuable burst of energy. She typically enjoys a protein shake, yogurt parfait or peanut butter and banana whole grain toast.

With reporting by Christina Garibaldi

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