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!

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

  4. 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

  5. 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

    • 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.

  6. 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?

  7. 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

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

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

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