In perfect harmony with Best of You Today, her mission is to use her experience and education to teach and inspire men and women to live their best life! She recently took time out of her incredibly busy schedule to talk with us about her personal motivation and the desire to keep others, throughout the world, equally motivated.
BOYT: What was your motivation to pursue a career in the heath and fitness industry?
Jeanette Jenkins: Athletics, originally, because I played so many different sports growing up. I really wanted to be a professional athlete, but the salaries of professional athletes, especially for women were pretty pathetic. When I was fifteen or sixteen, I was certified as a lifeguard and swimming instructor. I started my career in fitness by being an aqua student’s instructor teaching swimming lessons and then I moved on to competitive swimming. I was an all-around athlete. After working in aquatics in high school I went on to study human genetics and kinesiology in college. I originally thought I was going to go into sports medicine and be a sports medicine doctor, but while I was studying, I was working in the field. I went to my first fitness convention in New York when I was in my first year of studies. I actually hopped on a bus in Ottowa, Canada, to go to New York. When I arrived and saw the size of the conference, I was like, “Okay, there are five hundred people taking one class.” I just didn’t realize how big the industry was in America and I realized that I could actually do this for a living in the future. So, I stayed and networked and met the presenters that really inspired me: Donna Richardson, Jay Blahnik, Calvin Wiley, Ken Voight, and Kendall Wilson to name a few. I decided I was going to do fitness competitions and began working with trainers. I felt like all of them gave me different information, nobody knew what they were talking about and there was no consistency. That drove me nuts. So I decided to become a certified trainer and learn for myself. After becoming certified I started training clients in Ottowa while I was still going through college. I really enjoyed what I was doing and realized it was possible to make a living doing what I loved. I knew I had to go to a city where there was a large population of people with a lucrative income that could afford the quality training that I was going to give them. Once I finished my degree, I left and went to Los Angeles and set up shop. I started teaching at Crunch Fitness in L.A and shortly realized that I had celebrities attending my classes. My classes were unlike any other. I had the greatest music, the most motivation, and people were getting crazy results from my workouts. I began to develop a list of clients that were referral-based, and currently, my time is dedicated to training celebrities. In fact, I literally just finished a yoga session with the twins, Tia and Tamara Mowry.
BOYT: It seems your training method is based on getting clients results while also educating them so they can eventually be on their own -- true?
Jeanette Jenkins: Oh, 100 percent . I don’t like my clients to depend on me completely. I want them to feel like they can come to me or they can go to Equinox and take a yoga class or go out into Central Park and take a jog. I don’t want them to feel like they can only workout with me. For example, I do yoga with clients Paula Patton and Robin Thicke all the time. They went on vacation to a Carribean island and scheduled a yoga instructor there. They came back and were like, “Jeanette, you have no idea! This woman didn’t know what she was doing! We could have taught the class!” They were going through all the moves and she didn’t even know the moves. So, when you educate your clients, they become educated.
BOYT: In a society where the media puts so much emphasis on being very thin to be considered fit, how do you encourage your clients to focus on health and wellness verses weight and appearance?
Jeanette Jenkins: My clients don’t do that with me because I don’t let them focus on it for five seconds. From the first day that someone starts training with me, it’s all about health. I’m checking their nutrition. I’m asking if they’re going to the bathroom regularly. How’s their digestion? How does their stomach feel? How are they in the morning? Do they have energy? I’m checking all these things to see if they have proper energy through the day and if their horomone balance is right. Are they eating too much sugar? Are they having too much caffeine? I’m looking at them for longeivity. Everything that comes out of my mouth is about them being healthy so they can enjoy this amazing life that they’ve successfully achieved and to help them build strength mentally and spiritually to withstand the beatings that a celebrity has to take. I really, really encourage them to enjoy every moment and to enjoy the journey. It’s not like there’s only a happy moment when they finish a movie or get the Golden Globe. Their happiness is right this very second.
BOYT: How do you keep your clients passionate and motivated day after day? How often do you meet with your celebrity clients?
Jeanette Jenkins: Some of them, five times a week. It very much depends on whether they have a new movie, video release or an album release. Sometimes they’ll do doubles (twice a day). My job is to maintain a balance when training someone so much by keeping them motivated while also keeping them safe from overuse injuries. That’s all cross training. For example, with Robin Thicke, I’ll do a week training with him in the gym. We’ll do a double, then right after that go into yoga. He’s getting the benefits of both. It’s a constant variety. A five-day schedule for one of my clients might be coming to my studio where I put them through a forty-five-minute spin workout followed by forty-five minutes of yoga. Then, the next day we’ll do a hike and the next day we’ll do Pilates. I’m also listening to their body and working with them. I remember one time when a client came in and I had this whole circuit workout program planned for her for that day. I was literally going to give her a thousand-calorie workout. She came to me and said, “Jeanette, my hip is killing me.” And we did Pilates the whole session, because I knew her hip was tight to the point it was causing her pain. So why not go through a series of Pilates and yoga movements to get it stretched? By the time she was done, it was fine. Usually when people tell you they have a pain, they’re not used to someone being able to actually get rid of that pain.
BOYT: Would you agree that cross training, in addition to avoiding boredom, is really effective in terms of weightloss and increased cardiovascular fitness?
Jeanette Jenkins: Yes, cross training does help to avoid boredom and it’s also necessary so that you don’t plateaeu. If you’re not doing the same thing all the time, you’re constantly challenging the body by having to learn something new. Even though you’re cross training, you still have to change the mood within each method of training. So, if you’re putting everybody through the same flow, the same sequence of yoga moves every time you do yoga, you’re not challenging them anymore. Even if you’re only doing it once or twice a week, it’s the same. If you’re doing cardio and you always do a three-mile jog, incorporating sprints will really shock your body a little bit. The thing with my clients is that they know that they’re never going to get off easy unless their body is calling for it. If their body is like, “Okay, today we need to do something to just get the endorphins up and relieve some stress,” we take it easy for a day. Otherwise, it’s my goal to get results consistently. I will challenge them in every capacity with the method of training, with the reps and sets, with the movements and different plains of motion.
BOYT: Do you notice a difference in the training style and motivation between celebrities and non-celebrities?
Jeanette Jenkins: I noticed it’s really about personality type. Some celebrities are looking for certain things and some things might not be for their body. If they made it to the top without people saying, “Ok, you have to be a size two,” then they may not be as motivated as the woman who has a contract because she looks gorgeous in a string bikini. So it really depends. Certain personality types just enjoy training; they love sports. They put 150 percent into it because they so enjoy it. They can’t wait for you to come. Those are the easiest clients to train because they deliver 100 percent consistently. Then there are those that you have to find new ways to motivate. They’re always trying to find a way to cancel. They know that they’re supposed to be doing it and when they don’t do it, they miss it.
BOYT: What’s the best resource to find a quality personal trainer? What qualities should someone look for when searching for a trainer?
Jeanette Jenkins: First, I think a person should look for someone who represents themselves very professionally. They must believe in their profession. They’re not a trainer now trying to be something else. There are a lot of trainer want-to-be actors, trainer want-to-be producers. Find someone who’s a serious professional and ask them about the field. They’re going to be passionate about it. Second, go with referrals. Ask your friends who are in shape who they work out with. Do they like that person? Why do they like them? Referrals are always really good. I’ve found that people think they have to have one trainer but they can have two or three types of trainers. Most trainers don’t have the qualifications to work multi-disciplinary. When I travel and I have to get another trainer to cover my clients, I usually hire two, three or four different trainers because I’m certified in Pilates, kickboxing, yoga, all these different methods of training, and I’m not going to let you work with my clients unless you’re educated in those fields. Have two trainers, have a yoga teacher and then have a private training instructor. Ask them how many different methods they are trained in. Do they just do weight training? Do they do bosu ball? Do they do spinning? What are the things that they’re certified in? Then, that’s what your training is going to emulate. If all your trainer is certified in is weight training, then you’re going to go into the gym and get on your leg press followed by the lat pull down every workout. It’s going to get really boring. If you want more variety you have to make sure that your trainer has a variety of qualifications.
BOYT: We love your DVDs. Are you planning a new DVD series, supplement line, or book in the future?
Jeanette Jenkins: I’m not motivated by sales; I’m motivated by really changing people’s lives. I created my original DVD series, called the Hollywood Trainer Cross Training System. It’s seven DVDs that come with a book that tells you how to rotate the DVDs into a workout regimen. If you’re beginner level, I give you a six-week program. Intermediate level gets a six-week program, and advanced level is a six-week program. If you’re a beginner, you have eighteen weeks of programming with that one purchase of the DVDs. I also have a meal plan included, as well. This is true cross training. It’s yoga, Pilates, kickboxing boot camp, cardio, ab blast, butt and thigh blast and then an ultimate cross training DVD. If you follow the system through beginner, intermediate and advanced, you’re going to get results. I’ve had people lose anywhere from thirty to sixty pounds on the system.
BOYT: Please share with our readers something they may be surprised to know about you.
Jeanette Jenkins: I eat junk food. I have an 80/20 rule. For twenty percent of the time, I’ll grab a Krispie Kreme doughnut or eat a Big Mac, and I know all the crap that’s in it. I believe in your own personal responsibility for your health. I believe in everything in moderation. Eighty percent of the time I eat organic and healthy. and then 20 percent of the time I’m hanging with my friends at McDonalds, having a Big Mac and fries.
About Jeanette Jenkins
Jeanette Jenkins, founder and President of The Hollywood Trainer is the author of The Hollywood Trainer Weight-Loss Plan: 21 Days to Make Healthy Living a Lifetime Habit and creator of the highly successful Bikini Bootcamp, part of her internationally successful Hollywood Trainer DVD Collection, created to inspire and motivate men and women to live a healthy life. For more information on Jeanette Jenkins, her DVD series, and realted information visit her website.
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