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Jillian Michaels adds indoor cycling to her fitness-guru empire

July 27, 2011 |  9:49 am

Jillian Michaels

The economy might be spinning, but Jillian Michaels is putting her money where her very vocal mouth is: "The Biggest Loser" alum is investing in an indoor cycling operation that puts the instructor front and center for everyone to see -- and hear.

Michaels will help open a new branch of the New York-based fitness outfit Flywheel Sports next month in Chicago -- there's a branch in Boca Raton, Fla., as well -- as the company takes a ride into the national arena.

The trainer said she was lured by "the authenticity and athleticism behind the brand."

Flywheel gives each rider real-time stats on the bike, allowing for in-studio competition among riders and Web-based access to individual performance over time. "I wanted to be part of the most innovative and effective indoor cycling program," Michaels said.

She'll take an inaugural ride Aug. 9 in Chicago alongside Flywheel co-founder Ruth Zukerman. Much like Michaels, Zukerman is seen as a guru of sorts by fans: The former stay-at-home mom got into the biz as she worked through a crushing divorce, now passing along her determination to her students.

(Any bets on who'll win that "in-studio competition"? The Ministry is not playing favorites at this point -- mostly because we're too intimidated, and concerned about revealing that possibly dusty low-tech recumbent bike lurking in the dining room.)

Alas, despite those bikes-versus-Jet Blue lessons of "Carmageddon," Flywheel for the time being remains a sort of fitness unicorn in Michaels' hometown.

Not for long, however: Rumor has it the company is determined to roll into L.A. next year. Maybe in time for Carmageddon, Round 2?


Anna Kournikova signs on as "Biggest Loser" trainer

Trainer Jillian Michaels is leaving "The Biggest Loser"'

"Biggest Loser"host Alison Sweeney gets her dog into the weight-loss game

-- Christie D'Zurilla

Photo: Fan Sandy Johnson with Jillian Michaels at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books in April. Credits: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times