[Update: Thank you SO much to Jeanette Jenkins and her team for sharing this blog on Facebook and for all the retweets!].
This past weekend, I had the pleasure of meeting and working out with one of my fitness role models, The Hollywood Trainer, Jeanette Jenkins. Macy’s and Shape Magazine teamed up to host a fun, informative and interactive event at Lenox Mall in Atlanta. Jeanette is touring the country promoting her new workout DVD with Kelly Rowland called Sexy Abs: Cardio Sculpt.
Jeanette Jenkins is one of the most highly sought after trainers. She has trained (what seems like) everyone in Hollywood—Kelly Rowland, Queen Latifah, Tracie Ellis Ross, Kimora Lee Simmons, Serena Williams, Pink, Alicia Keys, Tia Mowry, Nia Long, Shonda Rhimes, Terrence J, Carmen Electra, Paula Patton, just to name a few.
She studied Human Kinetics at the University of Ottawa in Canada and graduated from the Institute of Integrated Nutrition. She approaches fitness from a holistic health point of view and is known for her cross training techniques. Jeanette is spunky, positive and her expertise has been featured all over media—The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah.com, Access Hollywood, Celebrity Fit Club, Extra, NBC’s Today Show, Self, O Magazine, Essence, Glamour, InStyle, Marie Claire, People, The Tyra Banks Show and more.
Jeanette took questions from the audience and gave practical, expert advice about fitness, nutrition, alcohol and losing weight. It was nice to hear her philosophy and viewpoint on various health and fitness topics, which she also covers on her blog.
On Drinking Alcohol
One of the first questions was about alcohol and whether or not Jeanette drinks. Jeanette said she does drink, but believes in the “80-20 rule”. She said drinking once a week (1-2 drinks) in moderation is ok, but know that “drinking alcohol IS sabotaging your weight loss” because alcohol slows down a person’s metabolic rate. For example she said, if a person drinks alcohol, then it will take nearly 1-2 days in order to boost their metabolism back up again to help with weight loss. Jeanette also said if a person drinks alcohol, then it is important to really hydrate the following day by drinking a lot of water.
Another audience member, a local trainer at LA Fitness asked Jeanette her opinion about the popular, cult like exercise training called “Crossfit.” I was extremely interested in her response. Crossfit is so controversial, some people love it, while others do not prefer it and have had experiences where the grueling and intense nature of the exercises has caused injury, despite the results people get from it. I have never “officially” done crossfit at a Crossfit facility. However, I have done some Crossfit style exercises and did experience a minor injury, which was a wake-up call for me to modify my workout regime.
Jeanette made a joke about being a Nike girl (she has been a Nike Training Club Ambassador for the last 9 years and a featured trainer on the Nike Training Club iPhone application. The Crossfit program is Reebok’s baby).
Jeanette diplomatically answered the Crossfit question. She suggested when people are considering trying a new exercise, they should go and preview the class first before taking it. This way, she said, a person can determine if the style of exercise is right for them. They can focus on learning the form and also see if there are certain modifications they can make to certain exercises, which they may not be ready for during their first class.
For instance, she said, during weight training exercises, people could use less weight or no weight at all and just focus on the form. Jeanette also reminded us that in any group fitness scenario, the trainer is teaching sometimes 20-30 people so giving focused attention is difficult. She said it is important to “listen to your body”, know when to push yourself in group fitness atmospheres, but also know when to modify an exercise so injury does not occur.
On Not Having Time To Workout
One woman in the audience said that she did not have time to go to the gym (I remember those days!). Jeanette nipped that excuse in the bud RIGHT AWAY! She asked, “Do you want me to solve your problems?” Jeanette said choosing health and choosing happiness is a choice.
(I totally agree! It wasn’t until I put working out and exercise as a top priority in my life, above everything else that I thought was important, did I start seeing real, long-lasting change in my body and lifestyle).
On Healthy Snacks
A teacher from North Carolina, who drove down to Atlanta just for the event, asked if Jeanette had any suggestions for healthy snacks outside of nuts that she could eat in the classroom. Jeanette recommended she try Clif Bars because they are mostly made with organic, natural fruits and are not processed as much as other health bars. Jeanette also suggested she try juicing some vegetable and fruits, making salads or keeping fruits, such as bananas and apples in her bag.
Working Out with The Hollywood Trainer
After the Q&A ended, a select group of us had the opportunity to experience a Jeanette Jenkins kickboxing class! I was seriously looking forward to this work out to complete my four days of high intensity exercise. We only had 20-25 minutes for the class, but Jeanette kicked it into high gear about five minutes into the workout and once we started up, there were not any breaks. We did jumping jacks, burpees, kickboxing, push-ups, walk ins and outs, triangle yoga poses, as well as a cool down. The majority of us were sweating and glowing by the end of the workout.
Jeanette ran through the crowds, doing call and response, asking us to dance a few moves. It was a blast and even though we were exercising she made it fun and high energy. I look forward to testing out her new DVD Sexy Abs: Cardio Sculpt with Kelly Rowland, especially after that class because I know she is the truth and all her clients have been transformed! (I promise to do a review of the DVD very soon!)
*The Hollywood Trainer, Jeanette Jenkins and Robyn
Once the exercise class wrapped up, Jeanette met with attendees for photos and quick chats. I told her I am a yoga instructor and how she is an inspiring fitness figure for me, especially as an African-American woman. She encouraged me to consider a full time career in health and fitness because it is totally possible and much needed. I appreciated her vote of confidence and support!