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Jillian Michaels BODYSHRED Q & A with Master Trainer Sean Levesque

And it is hump day again! I am feeling super fitness-y this week, so I think we are just gonna keep it going. I mean, after weekend of running 20 miles, going to a FitFest, and with the ongoing #BOSUStrong Challenge, how can I not?

I have a really cool interview that I am going to share with you all in a hot minute, but first I wanted to say that I am being featured on Bumble Bee for their Athlete Spotlight! I hope you will check out the interview with me! Who knows? You might learn something 😀


Speaking of interviews with freaking awesome people, I have a really cool expose for you all today. As part of Wild Workout Wednesday, I am interrogating interview Sean Levesque, Jillian Michaels BODYSHRED Master Trainer, Personal Trainer, and Life Coach. I met Sean at Blogfest on the walk over to Jillian’s BODYSHRED session, and I jumped at the chance to interview him to dig a bit deeper into what he gets to do and his personal training approach.

Sean Levesque, BODYSHRED Master Trainer


What got you into a fitness career/life in fitness?

19 years ago while in college I stumbled into a small gym in a strip mall and was somehow recruited to teach a step class (of which I knew NOTHING about) on Wednesday mornings at 530am. HA!  What a train wreck! I was a poor college student so no judgment ok? 😉 It did not last long (1 month I think) but after leaving I found the Trinity Wellness Center, applied to work in the fitness center, and my fitness journey took off in a completely different direction.  I was hired by one of the industry greats, Dr. Terry Eckmann, who mentored me and made me believe that I was something that I could hope to become in my own eyes. I then started teaching senior classes (Puked before my first class due to nerves) and moved on to step, sliding, HiLo, etc. I ended up changing my degree to Exercise Science and Physical Education. 

What is your favorite aspect of your life in fitness (as a leader, as a practitioner, however you feel like answering!)?

The opportunity be a role model of healthy living for my wife/kids/family and to serve others in a way that can make them feel better about themselves and influence them to choose a journey of health and well-being.

What is your personal favorite fitness activity? How has that changed over time (what are some past loves)?

I really enjoy different types of circuit/interval training. It can encompass cardio, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility,  and core work within a shorter time frame, burn a lot of calories and gives the afterburn. (Sounds a lot like BodyShred ;-)) Past love that I still thoroughly enjoy……. kickboxing (TurboKick).

What are you interested in trying next? What new fitness finds/pursuits do you find intriguing?

Corrective exercise is something that I find fascinating and incredibly helpful for myself and clients. I am spending more time now than ever before learning about and practicing it.

How did you get started with Jillian and her approach to fitness?

The co-author of the Shred manual is Linda Shelton.  Having worked with Linda, she recommended my name to Jillian and suggested I apply to be on her Master Trainer team. I knew instantly that this was something I wanted to be a part of and applied.  My application was accepted so I attended a 3-day intensive where I got the final approval. 

From Life Coach to #BODYSHRED Master Trainer, I love @SeanLevesque1's approach to #fitness via @suzlyfe Click To Tweet


Q & A with BODYSHRED Master Trainer Sean Levesque

How long have you been a BODYSHRED Master Trainer?

2 years

Why is BODYSHRED such a great workout, and why is it a great option for all fitness levels? What makes it so effective?

BODYSHRED encompasses so many different components of fitness into 30 minute calorie inferno that utilize the 3-2-1 methodology. It teaches body awareness, provides incredible EPOC (afterburn), and can be easily modified for a variety of different fitness levels. 

What makes BODYSHRED different from other group fitness classes?  

It beautifully fuses together pre-choreographed programming with freestyle. In other words, a trainer/instructor is given the methodology and foundation (3-2-1) and then uses their own trainer logic to design classes to meet the needs of the people in their classes.  It’s genius!

How can instructors themselves also benefit from BODYSHRED instruction and certification?

It is one of the best trainings I have ever been to and the reason why I became a Master Trainer. I hear this after every training, without fail…….”Sean, this is the best training I have ever been to.”  It not only teaches someone how to teach BODYSHRED, but it can also make them a better instructor/trainer in every other format that teach. The things we cover really allow the opportunity to dive into the major problems our society faces when it comes to posture, muscle imbalances, chronic pain, etc. This is priceless!

What are a few of your favorite combinations and moves?

I LOVE “Bear To Front Kick Shooter” as a move. My favorite combo….that is a tough one.

BODYSHRED at Blogfest!

BODYSHRED at Blogfest!

What do you think is the best application or role for BODYSHRED? As part of your daily fitness regime? Weight loss? Functional training? What is its greatest strength?

Ha!  All of the above!  Really!  If taught correctly it can be used in so many different ways.  The versatility is its greatest strength.

What sets certified BODYSHRED instructors apart from other group fitness program instructors? How does the certification go to the next level in education?

We get to go deep into trainer logic, or the “why” behind what we do for every combination of exercises and/or circuits. We really focus on the trainer taking their knowledge, what they learn regarding BODYSHRED science, and providing credence for their choice of exercises.  They should always be able to answer “why” they did what they did or chose what they chose. 

Where is BODYSHRED offered?

Jillian Michaels BODYSHRED is a group exercise class offered at gyms and fitness centers all over the US and Canada.  I have been to trainings in almost every province and over half of the States.

How can I get certified?

Is there ongoing education requirements? We have Jillian Michaels BODYSHRED Certification Workshops across the country.  Check out the BODYSHRED website to see when we will be in your area. Our Certification Workshops are full day training session.  Instructors must hold a national certification from an accredited organization such as AFAA, ACE, NASM, ACSM A or NESTA to register. Continuing education unites from AFAA, ACE, NESTA and NASM are awarded upon completion of the workshop.  Also if you are a part of our Instructor portal, Shrednet,  you receive music every month and tons of great continuing education.

What equipment is needed for BODYSHRED?

You, 3-8 lb dumbbells, and a willingness to challenge yourself.

I don’t have a gym for group classes, is this something that I can use with my personal training clients?

Absolutely!  BODYSHRED can be a great supplement to what you are already doing with your clients. 

Let's get sweaty! Loved learning about @jillianmichaels #BODYSHRED! #fitness #fitfam via @suzlyfe Click To Tweet

I loved the BODYSHRED workout that Jillian led, and I would definitely recommend it as a great workout and the certification to group fitness instructors and personal trainers alike. In fact, right now BODYSHRED is touring the country (and you can get to see Jillian, natch) doing certifications.

This weekend is SCW Midwest MANIA Fitness Professional Convention, and BODYSHRED is holding workshops. Jillian is also speaking! I am going to try to go–if you want to come with me, let me know in the comments!

What was your fitness aha moment?

Have you tried BODYSHRED or any other Jillian Michaels’ workout?

What was the last new workout format that you tried that really “did it” for you?

Connecting with Fit Foodie Mama, Fruition Fitness, Angelena Marie, and Fitful Focus for Wild Workout Wednesday!

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  • Reply Michelle

    Cool interview! I’ve never been one for group fitness type stuff…running and triathlons have done it for me! But I do love the energy of the group classes like that!
    Michelle recently posted…Do At Least One Thing EverydayMy Profile

    September 23, 2015 at 5:39 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I liked that Jillian made a group fitness thing still feel very much about you!

      September 23, 2015 at 3:57 pm
  • Reply Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious

    I have taken this class and it’s killer!
    Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious recently posted…WIAW…Pumpkin, Smoothies & The Boot That Never EndsMy Profile

    September 23, 2015 at 6:11 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I would love to take it again!

      September 23, 2015 at 3:57 pm
  • Reply Renee

    Haha just hearing about this workout again makes my butt hurt LOL! Great time!
    Renee recently posted…Get Your Fitness Walk OnMy Profile

    September 23, 2015 at 6:16 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      hahahah glad I did that for you!

      September 23, 2015 at 3:56 pm
  • Reply Anna @ Piper's Run

    I’m a big fan of Jillian Michael’s workouts – have been for years and just recently got back into them since being so injured! I LOVE them…well, sometimes during the work out I actually hate it but by the end I’m always amazed that it’s over and how great I feel!
    Hope you get to meet her this weekend!
    Anna @ Piper’s Run recently posted…Stress Can Be PowerfulMy Profile

    September 23, 2015 at 6:31 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I feel like the best workouts are the ones that you both hate and love!

      September 23, 2015 at 3:56 pm
  • Reply Bri

    I used to love her ripped in 30 program and yoga meltdown! Those were my gateways into exercise! Sometimes I’ll go back to those when I’m bored with my workouts.
    Bri recently posted…5 Fitness Habits of Highly Productive PeopleMy Profile

    September 23, 2015 at 6:36 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      It’s official, I totally need to try them!

      September 23, 2015 at 3:56 pm
  • Reply lindsay

    well that is cool! how come i’ve never heard of this? I want to try her workouts too. Gosh, so many cool fitness programs and certifications these days
    lindsay recently posted…Healthy Fettuccine with Capers, Pine Nuts, and Yogurt Sauce {Gluten Free or Grain Free}My Profile

    September 23, 2015 at 6:50 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I know, it’s hard to pick what you want to specialize in!

      September 23, 2015 at 3:55 pm
  • Reply Annmarie

    Awesome interview! Love that he wants to focus more on corrective exercises, that is something I am going to be spending more time learning as well!
    Annmarie recently posted…DVRT Strength Workout for Runners- Taking It A Step FurtherMy Profile

    September 23, 2015 at 6:59 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      You guys should go into business together 😀

      September 23, 2015 at 3:55 pm
  • Reply Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine

    Sounds like a great workout! I used to do some of her DVDs a few years ago- they are no joke!
    Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine recently posted…Sunday Meals and Recovery vs Rest DaysMy Profile

    September 23, 2015 at 7:07 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I really need to try them!

      September 23, 2015 at 3:54 pm
  • Reply Heather @Fit n Cookies

    This is one of the classes offered by AFAA for continuing ed credits and I had contemplated it for the past year and a half, ha. I have to see if it’s offered anywhere nearby and maybe get to it!
    Heather @Fit n Cookies recently posted…5 Ways to Stay Healthy During Pregnancy + GiveawayMy Profile

    September 23, 2015 at 7:14 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      It is awesome and I love the format!

      September 23, 2015 at 3:54 pm
  • Reply Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner

    Love Jillian but haven’t done one of her workouts in a while! I hear good things about bodyshred might be a great option for a snowy day.
    Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…The Husband Project-Month 2 UpdateMy Profile

    September 23, 2015 at 7:17 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Definitely. And you could always up the weights because you are beasty!

      September 23, 2015 at 3:53 pm
  • Reply Stacie @ SimplySouthernStacie

    I have a few of Jillian’s workout dvds and I love them! She manages to put together a fun, yet challenging workout in just 30 minutes. Plus, she’s got so much personality so I always find myself laughing at her throughout the workout too.
    Stacie @ SimplySouthernStacie recently posted…WIAW: Noble Crust ReviewMy Profile

    September 23, 2015 at 7:30 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I really need to try some of her other stuff!

      September 23, 2015 at 3:53 pm
  • Reply Gretchen | Gretchruns

    I love Jillian’s videos! I have quite a few of them, from yoga to shred. Love them all! The first time I went to my gym’s Centergy class (hybrid of yoga and pilates) I was like YES- this is the perfect class for me. I love it! It’s challenging but also has some great stretches and really pushes me. It’s the best!
    Gretchen | Gretchruns recently posted…Wednesday Reviews : Empty Products #3My Profile

    September 23, 2015 at 8:11 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      That is so awesome! That is how I felt the first time I went to Hot Power Fusion at Corepower

      September 23, 2015 at 3:52 pm
  • Reply Julie @ Running in a Skirt

    I’ve always been a big fan of Jillian! Great interview!
    Julie @ Running in a Skirt recently posted…5 Ways to Wake Up HappierMy Profile

    September 23, 2015 at 8:14 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thanks! Glad you enjoyed!

      September 23, 2015 at 3:52 pm
  • Reply Jamie

    A few years ago I was injured from running and I got into cross fit for about 3 months. While it was an awesome workout, it was very different from running. If I have the option, running will always be my number one, but cross fit was definitely a very cool experience!
    Jamie recently posted…Tuesday on the RunMy Profile

    September 23, 2015 at 8:15 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I’ve done some cross fit style workouts, and they are ok… definitely not my long term solution either lol!

      September 23, 2015 at 3:51 pm
  • Reply Alicia

    That sounds like a fun workout class. I love trying new classes to challenge myself. I wish my gyms had more variety of classes here. You should go for the certification 🙂
    Alicia recently posted…What I Ate in Bermuda: WIAW #17My Profile

    September 23, 2015 at 8:44 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      And would you like to pay for it? lol

      September 23, 2015 at 3:51 pm
  • Reply Mar @ Mar on the Run

    love Jillian! Great interview. I wish I was in town this weekend to go with you – another month 🙂
    Mar @ Mar on the Run recently posted…Health Coaching at Georgetown, Part II: The PracticumMy Profile

    September 23, 2015 at 9:01 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Well, I wish you were here, period!

      September 23, 2015 at 3:50 pm
  • Reply Jill @ Champagne for Everyday

    Love this Susie!!! I am so obsessed with celebrity trainer’s lifestyles and wish I could wake up and be Tracy Anderson (but actually maybe not because I don’t do her workouts – but I’ll take her clients and house in the Hamptons :P). Jillian is such an awesome symbol for strong fit women, and I loved getting the inside scoop from Sean!
    Jill @ Champagne for Everyday recently posted…Positano: What I Wore, What I Ate, & Where I Stayed On The Amalfi CoastMy Profile

    September 23, 2015 at 9:02 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thanks Jill! I dunno, I couldn’t keep up with their body fat %’s!

      September 23, 2015 at 3:50 pm
  • Reply Suzy

    I think the only workout videos I’ve ever done was that Billy Blanks Tao Bo workout when I was in high school (we’re talking like, 1994) and then a prenatal one, once, when I was having a fat day during one of my pregnancies. I’ve always wanted to try Jillian Michaels but I must confess, it would be more for just staring at her body. I’d probably watch it with a slice of cake and a latte (following some obscenely long run, of course).
    Suzy recently posted…Woozy Wednesday: Prize HoneyMy Profile

    September 23, 2015 at 9:14 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Billy Blanks was amazing and he loved to point to and touch the girls’ asses.
      Also, I used to watch The Biggest Loser, and it was my ritual to do that while eating ice cream.

      September 23, 2015 at 3:49 pm
  • Reply Nicole @ Fitful Focus

    How cool is this!! That BodyShred class was awesome! I’ve been thinking about getting certified, but I don’t know what I’d do with the cert right now.
    Nicole @ Fitful Focus recently posted…How To Master The Bike CommuteMy Profile

    September 23, 2015 at 9:22 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I’m in the same boat–I loved it, but the timing just isn’t right!

      September 23, 2015 at 3:48 pm
  • Reply Erin @ Erin's Inside Job

    Congrats on Bumble Bee! Aw man, remember Blogfest? Good times.
    Erin @ Erin’s Inside Job recently posted…What To Expect After Being Published in The Huffington PostMy Profile

    September 23, 2015 at 9:35 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thanks girl. And YES I can’t believe how long ago it was!

      September 23, 2015 at 3:48 pm
  • Reply Brittney

    I’ve heard of BodyShred but never tried it! Do you have to pay to attend the whole weekend or is it just by workshop?

    September 23, 2015 at 9:42 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I think there are different options! Check out the site!

      September 23, 2015 at 3:47 pm
  • Reply Cat @ Reader/Eater

    BodyShred made my boobs hurt. HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE?!?! But, in a good way?
    Cat @ Reader/Eater recently posted…Goddess of Badass.My Profile

    September 23, 2015 at 9:44 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Hahhahahaha I’ve been there. It is totally possible. And can totally be a good thing!

      September 23, 2015 at 3:47 pm
  • Reply Michelle

    Awesome interview. I recently had been doing the 30 day shred videos, but tweaked my knee during the lunges/squats (I have NO grace) so I’ve since stopped. I did love it tho, but these old knees need to be babied, BIG time. LOL~
    Michelle recently posted…Sunday SupperMy Profile

    September 23, 2015 at 9:50 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      STupid knees! That’s a bummer, but I’ve heard great things about that program!

      September 23, 2015 at 3:46 pm
  • Reply Maddie @ Dixie Runs

    Great interview! I bet it was fun getting to talk to him. I looooove Jillian. Mostly because I am obsessed with the biggest loser and I want her arms so bad.
    Maddie @ Dixie Runs recently posted…Yet another injury update: the good and the badMy Profile

    September 23, 2015 at 10:10 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Jillian is a BEAST and she is so funny and down to earth, like Sean!

      September 23, 2015 at 3:46 pm
  • Reply Ange @ Cowgirl Runs

    Oh how cool!
    That workout seriously kicked my butt so hard that day!
    Ange @ Cowgirl Runs recently posted…#YYCPizzaWeek Pizza ChallengeMy Profile

    September 23, 2015 at 10:41 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I bet it would destroy us with real weights!

      September 23, 2015 at 3:41 pm
  • Reply Heather

    I do not like group fitness classes except for spin. I bet it was so fun to interview him. You are having a super fitnessy week.
    Heather recently posted…bakingrunner: Who knew WednesdayMy Profile

    September 23, 2015 at 10:55 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I think you would like this–you don’t even get a chance to think about anyone else!

      September 23, 2015 at 3:46 pm
  • Reply Janelle @ Run With No Regrets

    Nice interview! BODYSHRED definitely sounds like an awesome workout and it’s cool to see that the instructors go through a very thorough training to get certified!
    Janelle @ Run With No Regrets recently posted…Tough Mudder Training Week 4 RecapMy Profile

    September 23, 2015 at 12:09 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I agree–I really would have considered doing the certification if I didn’t have a ton of other things going on this weekend!

      September 23, 2015 at 3:40 pm
  • Reply Laura @ This Runner's Recipes

    I love your super fitness-y week! Jillian Michaels workouts are SO effective at butt-kicking. One of my roommates in college introduced me to Jillian, and we’d do the workouts in our dorm rooms while swearing at her for making our muscles burn.
    Laura @ This Runner’s Recipes recently posted…Pre-Race Goal AssessmentMy Profile

    September 23, 2015 at 1:40 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I need to get some of her videos. I feel like they are ones that would actually get me moving!

      September 23, 2015 at 3:40 pm
  • Reply Sara

    Very cool! I want to try this workout. I need some new exercises I can do at home.
    Sara recently posted…Life With a NewbornMy Profile

    September 23, 2015 at 1:50 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Hers are realllly fun. I like the bear one 😀

      September 23, 2015 at 3:39 pm
  • Reply Heather@hungryforbalance

    Very interesting!! I have never taken a BODYSHRED class, but given my love of group fitness, I’m sure I would love it. Thanks for sharing this interview!
    Heather@hungryforbalance recently posted…WIAW: Happy Fall y’all!My Profile

    September 23, 2015 at 1:56 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I really enjoyed it when we tried it at BlogFest!

      September 23, 2015 at 3:37 pm
  • Reply Shawna

    i’ve actually never done any of JM’s videos or workouts but i know they’re crazy intense and def should check ’em out! so cool, nice interviewing, girl. 🙂
    Shawna recently posted…weekly workouts {9/17-9/23}My Profile

    September 23, 2015 at 3:09 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I really liked this workout when we did with her (and a bajillion other people!)

      September 23, 2015 at 3:37 pm
  • Reply Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy

    Great interview! I have a love/hate relationship with Jillian. I hate her workouts when I am doing them, but man do they work!
    Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy recently posted…Comment on New York City by Maria @ runningcupcakeMy Profile

    September 23, 2015 at 5:30 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I have a feeling that I will be trying them sooner rather than later!

      September 24, 2015 at 1:06 pm
  • Reply Tara

    That Bodyshred workout was my favorite. Man, I wish I had written down the exercises. So bummed I can’t come to MANIA to see it live again. Members of my staff are going, but I have a wedding. BOO.
    Tara recently posted…Barre and BOSU Workout #BOSUStrong #FitFamily #WildWorkoutWednesday #SweatPinkMy Profile

    September 23, 2015 at 8:43 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Silly happy couples wanting to share their lives together. You would think they would have priorities!

      September 24, 2015 at 1:06 pm
  • Reply Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home

    This workout intrigues me. JIllian kind of scares me. So it seems like it would be perfect!
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…The Joy StealerMy Profile

    September 23, 2015 at 9:20 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I dunno, I think Becky would be plenty scary!

      September 24, 2015 at 1:08 pm
  • Reply Linda @ Veganosity

    Congrats on being featured in Bumble Bee! And thanks for the awesome interview. I’ve loved Jillian since the first time I saw her on Biggest Loser.

    September 24, 2015 at 12:54 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you! And I really like Jillian as well–she seriously has a heart of gold.

      September 24, 2015 at 1:07 pm
  • Reply Sam @ PancakeWarriors

    I love interviews like this, seeing how people can progress in their fitness career and constantly keep learning! Sounds like a great program, I loved shred when I was first getting into shape!
    Sam @ PancakeWarriors recently posted…A Day in the Life of a Girl’s Best FriendMy Profile

    September 25, 2015 at 9:15 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I thought that he was great–an excellent head on his shoulders, and definitely an eye to the future!

      September 25, 2015 at 9:55 am
  • Reply Jess @hellotofit

    So cool that you got to interview him! I’ve done Jillian’s shed DVDs. They’re fun and she’s simulataneously terrifying and motivating.

    September 25, 2015 at 11:44 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I need to try her shred dvds I have heard amazing things!

      September 25, 2015 at 11:50 am

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