Happy Sunday guys.
It seems my last few posts have started with “random discoveries,” so surprise, surprise…here’s another one for ya.
Jenna Willis is a trainer who I heard about through watching Vanderpump Rules. Lala Kent had just gotten in such good shape, even though her body was bangin’ before. So, as I do, I stalked Jenna on Instagram & started working out with her for the first 5 months of my pregnancy.
She’s a professional ( & celebrity ) trainer & now that I live in LA ( & can’t workout with Kim Kelly anymore ) I needed something.
Jenna works with a lot of the same moves that are in the TSC Body Guide, but I wanted a pro to help me through them when I was pregnant. She has an amazing ebook coming out soon on fitness & she’s tight as fuck. Not only is Jenna cool, she’s super knowledgeable when it comes to nutrition & is a total master of her craft.
In this interview Jenna is giving us all the deets on healthy snacks she loves, heavy lifting for women, & a quick full body workout you can do anywhere.
With that, let’s get into all things fitness with Jenna Willis.
♡ You trained me at the very start of my pregnancy, but introduce yourself for those who don’t know you.
Jenna Willis: Hi! My name is Jenna Willis & I am a celebrity trainer based out of Los Angeles. My personal fitness journey began when I was a toddler with gymnastics. As I grew, I transitioned from the uneven bars to volleyball & became one of the tiniest D-1 players in the nation. Post graduation I pursued an acting career in LA & continued to physically train as an outlet to manage my personal stresses.
Much of that stress came from the inherent uncertainties of being a working actor in Los Angeles. I found that maintaining a regular fitness regimen was beneficial to both my physical & mental wellbeing on & off set. Exercise became the constant in my life; however, I still felt a need to be of greater service.
Eventually, as I built a routine that included heavy lifting, resistance band work & plyometrics, people would approach me at the gym to ask if I was a trainer. I’d politely tell them no & brush it off as a compliment until the “no’s” became so frequent that I realized the universe was handing me the “opportunity” I had been searching for. I could share my knowledge & help others in the same way I was helping myself.
So, I took the leap! I became a certified trainer & began to take on clients. My business quickly flourished & I now have a client list that boasts some of LA’s top creators & entertainment professionals including: Liza Koshy, La La Kent &, of course, Lauryn Evarts Bosstick.
When I listened to the universe & re-focused my energy, I fell in love with a workout’s ability to positively change & empower my clients both physically & mentally. It has literally brought me ( & some of my clients) to tears at times. The wonderfully cathartic ones, I swear!
♡ What makes your workout method different than others?
JW: I curate each client’s session to serve as a building block towards their ultimate goal, & that is different for every client.
My client Erin Cummings, an actress & breast cancer survivor lost a lot of her upper body strength as a result of her double mastectomy. We are working towards her ultimate goal of a stronger upper body by incorporating modified chest exercises. As she gains strength I build the program to become increasingly more challenging.
Conversely, my client, Lala Kent of Vanderpump Rules is all about that booty, so we incorporate an extra day each week dedicated to glutes. One thing my clients say sets me apart from other trainers is how I seamlessly interweave the personal into our professional relationship. I work with my clients as their trainer, but more importantly I support them as their friend. Who is better at holding us accountable & helping us grow than a friend?
If my client has a background in dance, I incorporate exercises that focus on balance & coordination. If I know they struggle to keep focused, I eliminate repetitive tasks, never engaging them in more than three sets. For some clients, their mental blocks are larger than their physical ones, so we start there. I don’t train my clients to be a version of me. I train them to be the best version of themselves.
♡ If someone is looking to lose 20 lbs, where should they start?
JW: Just remember – diets are like boyfriends. If they seem too good to be true, they are. Being swept up in a romance with someone who says they love you right away may seem exciting, but all the pitfalls that challenged your previous relationships will creep back in & you’ll find yourself unhappy & unhealthy with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. However, if you take an honest look at yourself & change your patterns, you’ll meet someone with whom you can lay a strong foundation & slowly build a new lifestyle together.
These fad diets offer us a “shortcut.” Think of shortcut, as short time. They never work in the long run. They are never sustainable & you inevitably end up back where you started, reverting to bad habits that caused your weight gain in the first place. That’s why you need to be honest about your current diet & exercise habits. Based on that honest answer you can target the dietary choices & behavioral patterns that are holding you back.
Remember you can’t get where you’re going unless you know where you are. Once you know that, you can create a diet & exercise plan accordingly. The goal is to lose the weight AND keep it off.
My main tip? Find a nutritional/physical lifestyle that you know you can mentally, financially & practically maintain. This is the key to success! And once you see change, I promise you will want to continue down that path.
♡ What are some easy weight loss tips & hacks, as well as fitness tips & hacks?
JW: Oh I love this! Here are a few of my favorites:
Jenna’s Favorite Weight Loss & Fitness Tips:
It is the most abundant protein in your body, but sadly you lose it as you get older. Collagen is a major component of connective tissues that make up several body parts including tendons, ligaments, skin & muscles.
Take collagen daily, not for your skin, but to maintain the integrity of your cartilage & steer clear of pain. 10 grams of collagen peptides a day for eight weeks is more effective in adults for controlling chronic joint pain than Advil! Even if you don’t have a protein shake every day you can easily add it to your coffee or tea ( spoiler: it also tastes great! )
♡ Jump rope.
Easy to use, travel with, & a GREAT workout when you are crunched for time! And for any of you that are allergic to cardio, approximately 10 minutes of jumping rope is equivalent to a 30 minute session on the treadmill or a run.
♡ Water & the 10 minute rule.
Here is kind of a two-for-one. 40% of late night hunger is actually thirst. So, drink a full glass of water & wait 10 minutes. I promise you, you will almost ALWAYS feel satisfied.
Another trade secret is the 10 minute rule. Our brain is tricky. A lot of times it tells us we want something, even when we actually don’t. Trick it back & make yourself wait just 10 minutes before you decide to go eat that candy bar.
♡ Walk on an incline.
Plain & simple… you’ll burn 20-40% more calories when you put your treadmill on an incline.
♡What are 5 of your favorite snacks? We want details!
JW: Here are some of my favorites:
♡ raw nuts.
This is my #1 go-to, but stick to a handful. And make it fun! I personally find joy going to Sprouts Market. They have open trail mix dispensers & I make a combination of my favorites. It’s like I’m a kid in the ( much healthier) candy store all over again. My current fave is a pistachio, almond, macadamia & mulberry mix. #addicted
♡ scoops of almond butter.
My personal kryptonite. In particular, a brand called Butterfly ( currently online & at Erewhon ). Butterfly carries a chocolate reishi & cinnamon vanilla flavor that I crave. I recommend 1-2 tbsp but NO more ( don’t stress- I’ve cheated once or twice myself ). Feel free to add celery for some crunch!
♡ seaweed snacks.
Make sure they are the ones cooked in olive oil! You’re almost guaranteed to find these at any local grocery store. Perfect to grab on the go, savory & satisfying.
If you could see me now, I would be drooling. These are a healthy substitute for grain chips with 5 grams of protein & 4 grams of fiber. Nothing like a little extra fiber to get you through the day! ( BONUS: check out the “Hint of Lime” flavor. )
♡ grass fed/ finished beef jerky.
High in protein, low in fat & simply delicious.
Your first snack should come approximately three hours after your first meal. If you get hungry before then, you may just be thirsty & should drink a glass of water or you did not consume enough calories during your first meal. And remember, no snacking after your last meal.
♡ What’s a good breakfast option for someone who likes to workout in the morning?
JW: Fact: I am not a huge breakfast fan BUT I do enjoy passing on healthy options for those of you that are. Overall, you just want to make sure that you are getting 1-2 servings of a protein/fat source. Here are some healthy options that do not require much prep!
♡ 1-2 tbsp nut butter ( remember, I love Butterfly Brand ) + coffee ( can add non-dairy creamer; currently a fan of Nut Pods ).
♡ coffee + 1 tbsp coconut oil.
♡ 1-2 tbsp nut butter + 1 serving of sprouted grains ( ie. 1 slice of Ezekiel Sprouted Bread )
♡ 1-2 eggs prepared your favorite way + ¼ avocado
♡ Tell us 3 ways to tone up.
JW: Don’t be afraid to lift weights. So many people, women in particular, are afraid they will bulk up if they begin lifting weights. #fakenews. The truth is, how you fuel that lifting is what will lead to bulking ( ie. over-eating/surplus calories ).
And… lift heavy. Yeah, I know I just said don’t be afraid to lift. So, don’t be. And now that you’ve conquered your fear- lift heavy. The more damage you do to those muscles, the more work they have to do to repair. This means your body overall is burning more. The more muscle you build the more fat you inevitably burn because muscle burns more than fat.
BUILD MUSCLE, BURN FAT.
Intermittent fasting is a term that can mean so many things but I am referring to finding a consistent eating window. If you’re new to it, I recommend you start with 10 hours. For most schedules, 11-9 is a really safe place to be. Don’t allow yourself to eat before 11 am & stop eating at 9 pm. This allows your hormones to reset & removes late night snacking/cravings. More often than not, late night snacking can be the reason you are holding on to some extra lbs. A good rule is to stop eating 2 hours before you go to bed.
♡ What’s a 5 minute workout series anyone can do anywhere?
JW: We don’t need to make things complicated. Here’s a Full Body Quickie!
+ 3x 20 Body Weight Squats
+ 3x 15 Pushups (assisted if needed)
+ 3x 15 Split Squats/Leg
+ 3x 30 Plank Hold
♡ Where can everyone find you? Pimp yourself out!
If you have any questions for Jenna let her know below. & with that, we’ll see you guys tomorrow. Oh, & be sure to follow Jenna on Instagram to be the first to know when her ebook comes out !!
Hope you all had a relaxing weekend.
+ easy ways to add more fiber to your diet.
++ more on my experience with intermittent fasting.