Name: Jen Jewell
Height: 5′ 2.5″
Weight: 115 Lbs
Occupation: Owner/Certified Personal Trainer, Cellucor Athlete & Spokesmodel, Fitness Writer
WBFF Eastern U.S. Championships, June 2011, 2nd place, Earned Pro card
2011 WBFF World Championships, Pro Fitness Model category, 6th place
Cellucor Sponsored Athlete/Cellucor Spokesmodel
Status Fitness Magazine Cover Model Contest/Top Finalist (official results pending…)
When did you get started with fitness?
My love for fitness was apparent by the age of 3, when I was nicely asked to leave (OK, let’s face it, I was kicked out) my first ballet class. How does a 3 year-old manage to have a ballet instructor dismiss her from class, you ask? Oh, that’s simple- while the other girls were obediently standing in line, paying attention and quietly performing one plié after another, I was doing jumping jacks, running in place, leg lifts, and even went so far as to get down on the floor and do the “bicycle” exercise for abs. Where had I learned all of these moves? Why my Mother’s Jane Fonda workout tapes, of course! Apparently I had “too much energy” for ballet and it was suggested that I take up gymnastics- more than a dozen years and countless competitions later, my shameful ballet debut had been a blessing in disguise.
The dedication, focus, mental discipline and pure physical strength developed throughout my years of intense gymnastics training had provided me a solid foundation for a future in fitness.
During high school I decided to join a gym during my sophomore year of high school and have been lifting ever since! I was actually so intimidated to workout at a health club that I joined a women’s only facility. It was here that I was free to roam the Nautilus equipment, maybe pick up a pink dumbbell or two, and where I discovered my first copy of Oxygen magazine left behind by another member. Thank goodness for that magazine or else I may not be where I am in fitness today! Strumming through the pages exposed me to a whole new world of clean eating (gasp, protein powder? What was that?), fitness competitions, complete strength training programs, and photos of some of the industry’s top competitors and fitness models. After reading an article featuring Monica Brant, I immediately set out to follow the example workout and meal plans she had listed in the issue, and with that my world was forever changed. I self-taught myself proper form and lifting techniques based on pictures in the magazines, and was thrilled with the results I was achieving all due to my focus and dedication. I was hooked and have been working on my fitness at the gym ever since!
What drives you to be so fit?
Honestly, I truly love working out! Every second of the training- whether it is for general health and fitness or when preparing for a competition- is genuinely fun and enjoyable for me. I have always loved to push my own limits and continue to challenge myself on a regular basis. What better way than to make my workouts into fun, fitness adventures?
Also, working with my clients and helping train and coach them towards their own fitness goals serves as a constant source of motivation for me. I am truly fortunate that I have been able to evolve my passion for health and fitness into a career, so I had better make sure I prioritize my own fitness and set an example for my clients!
I really do “practice what I preach” and never take for granted how self-motivated and enthusiastic I am when it comes to my approach towards fitness.
While others out there may battle finding/maintaining sources of motivation, discipline and focus, I’m there to remind them that welcoming fitness into their lives can be both realistic and simple- all they’ve got to do is start!
What has been the hardest obstacle for you to overcome?
Staying away from desserts has been one of the most difficult contest prep/clean eating obstacles to overcome. Yes, that’s right- I love my brownies, chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes and cups of frozen yogurt like a lot of you out there! All of my meals are clean, healthy, full of lean protein and veggies, and I have no qualms whatsoever about turning down a slice of pizza or order of French fries, but unfortunately, I’ve never met a sprinkled cupcake that I didn’t like! Funny, ice cream and abs do not go hand in hand (at least in my experience!) and that whole saying “Abs are made in the kitchen!” most definitely rings true. While friends and I may joke about me being a “dessert monster” of sorts, when it comes down to priorities and training, I’m not going to let a few bites of sugar filled magic get me off course. I stay focused, disciplined (and have an encyclopedia of “Clean Treat” recipes on hand for approved dessert options, most of which involve baking with whey protein) and ask myself this: When preparing for a competition, would I ever think about skipping a workout? The answer is always no, I would never miss a day of scheduled training! So why would I neglect the other portion of my program and stray from my predetermined meal program?
If it is results I’m after, you had better believe that consistency and efforts all around are being put forth! Being committed to your plan doesn’t just mean showing up for sessions of cardio or finding the energy to weight train, but also applying these same rules of discipline to the nutritional component, too!
What is your favorite body part to train?
Call me crazy, but I get excited when I’m heading to the gym, as I truly love to train! I do not discriminate when it comes to preferring some muscle groups over others, all of my workouts are a ton of fun, but at the same time intense and challenging. However, I will say that my lower body is a lot of fun just because of all the various plyos, stairs, beach workouts, etc., that I am able to add in along with my weight training in the gym. I’m all about the “remix” and making sure that I constantly push the limits with my muscle groups, and by adding new variables to my workouts, my workout remix is in full effect and my progress does not plateau.
Do you incorporate much cardio into your training?
My training is a balance of cardio and weights. I love to add cardio bursts between sets when I lift. For example, I always carry a jump rope with me and will jump rope for 30-60 seconds between each set, or add in burpees, mountain climbers, high knees, jump squats- you name it, whatever gets the heart rate elevated and adds to the challenge and intensity of the workout. I’m fortunate that I live near the beach in Los Angeles, and can often be found getting my cardio sessions in outdoors on the sand- sprints, running and even walking through the sand are all great cardio workouts! When preparing for a competition, the amount of cardio that I do generally increases, and I love the Step Mill for longer cardio sessions- I swear that machine has it out for me, but I keep coming back for more because I always get results!
Could you tell us about your current training program?
Right now I am lifting weights 4 days a week, and doing cardio 4-5 days a week as well. If I can split up my workouts I always try to go for a run on the beach or hit the stairs in the AM and then head to the gym late evening to lift. Every so often I switch up my training and instead of doing specific splits for muscle groups, I will do total body workouts, 3-4 times a week (for example, every other day). I’ve found this to be incredibly effective in avoiding a training plateau and also on weeks where I am traveling more so than usual or simply am pressed for time.
Day 1- Leg day! Cardio
Day 2- Back, Cardio
Day 3- Chest/Shoulders, Cardio
Day 4- Arms, Cardio
Day 5- Bonus plyometric blast!
Day 6- Active rest or yoga
What does your diet look like?
Year-round my diet consists of lean protein, vegetables, fruits, whole grains and essential fats. Typically I eat about 6 small meals a day, and aim for about 1 gram of protein per pound that I weigh, of which is evenly distributed amongst my 6 meals and veggies (spinach, kale, bell peppers, asparagus and broccoli are a few of my faves) are added at most meals. I am constantly on the go, so Cellucor’s Super Sport Performance Isolated Whey protein powder is great for me to have on hand when I need a yummy, quick, clean protein source. I try to include my servings of fruit pre/post workout (berries are my favorite!) and most of my fat sources are from almonds, avocado, natural almond or peanut butter, salmon, lean steak, etc. One of my new favorite clean meal options is simple and high in protein- 4-6 ounces of 2% Plain Greek yogurt, topped with blueberries or raspberries, tastes like a treat but is low in calories, and high in antioxidants, protein and flavor. And yes, I do enjoy the occasional cheat meal- anything from Mexican food, a burger or a decadent dessert can be on the list!
Do you Take Any Supplements?
I am truly fortunate that I have recently been signed as a Cellucor sponsored athlete! Cellucor is such a top notch sports nutrition company, with premium products that I had already been using prior to jumping on board as part of Team Cellucor- I literally can attest to and stand behind the quality (and results!) of their products.
Some of my staple items from Cellucor include-
Super Sport Performance Isolated Whey Protein Powder- literally the best tasting vanilla protein I have EVER tried! Blends well, tastes great mixed with water, but for a protein “milkshake” concoction, I like to mix mine with light, unsweetened almond milk- only adds 40 calories but turns a simple protein shake into delicious dessert! Yum! I have such a sweet tooth, the chocolate flavor offers a clean dessert alternative, too!
Super HD- Fat burning Super Thermogenic…no jitters, just results! I started taking this about 3 weeks ago and can already see and feel a major difference- I’m leaner, tighter and have dropped pounds of bodyfat! I’m using Super HD to help lean out for my projects with Cellucor and will most definitely be including this in my contest prep program for The WBFF World Championships in August- I’ve got a title to win!
N-Zero Extreme, Creatine Free Pre-Workout- essential part of my training program, I always take a serving before I lift!
R3 Extreme Recovery & Defense Matrix
What is your biggest “Fitness” accomplishment?
Now remember, I am only getting started! Thus far, my biggest “fitness” accomplishment is finally mustering up the nerve to compete in 2011. For an entire decade (yes, a decade- that is NOT a typo!) I had tossed around the idea of entering in a fitness competition, as it had appealed to me from the moment I had picked up my first copy of Oxygen magazine and stumbled upon competition photos of Monica Brant. Something had always held me back- I was nervous, intimidated, fearful of failure, I was lacking the compliance with nutrition- whatever my reasons or excuses had been, in the Spring of 2011 I decided enough was enough and I was finally going to compete! I set my sights on The WBFF event in June, and 12 weeks of contest prep later I stepped on stage, earning my Pro card that night! This decisive course of action- albeit a decade of procrastination involved- has completely changed the direction of my life on both a personal and professional level. Without this accomplishment I would not have had the opportunity (and bold leap of faith) to leave my corporate America job behind in pursuit of a career in fitness and helping others, as well as signing on with Cellucor.
Is there anyone in the fitness industry that you look up to?
Given my personal experience and decade of delay in entering a fitness competition, I truly look up to any and every person that has mustered up the nerve, desire and dedication to compete. Of course I will always view Monica Brant as a role model and true inspiration in fitness, as it was her interviews, workouts, examples of meal plans and competition photos pictured in fitness magazines that inspired me not only to start lifting weights, but to compete. The longevity of her career and the inspiring impact she continues to have in the fitness industry, is both admirable and remarkable.
Final Advice For Readers?
Cast away any ounce of self-doubt- NOW! You are far more capable of achieving and succeeding than you might assume; once you have a goal and plan in place, you will be unstoppable! Determine your goal, and plot your decisive steps of action to take in order to achieve this goal. Achieve, then re-evaluate, aim higher and set new goals, achieve, REPEAT. It was only in this past year that I had clearly defined goals combined with definitive plans of attack (including possible obstacles to overcome as well as specific timelines set for each of my goals), and I cannot stress enough the importance of these details and the ensuing positive effects! Four out of five goals have been achieved; the outcome of the fifth goal is to be determined in August 2012, as I compete for the title of WBFF World Champion.
– Jen Jewell