Jennifer Jacobs is Beachbody® On Demand’s newest Super Trainer. Here she talks about the power of trusting your instincts and why prioritising your training plan will fast-track your fitness…
By Sarah Sellens (Photos: Beachbody)
What inspired you to become a trainer?
‘It all started when I was 16 and my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer. I took care of him every day until his untimely passing. Shortly after, I realised I wanted to continue to take care of others.
‘I attended college as a pre-med student and was on track for medical school when a colleague saw the potential in me as a personal trainer and encouraged me to get certified. I soon started my own personal training business as a way to help pay for college.
‘After I graduated, I travelled to France with a friend and was swept off my feet by a Frenchman. I moved to France, got married and started a family. While there, I was able to maintain my personal training business.
‘I was ahead of the curve of “online virtual training” as I not only trained clients in person but also online via Skype. In 2015, I went to New York and was handpicked to join Peloton.
‘I quickly became one of the top instructors and helped them create their first strength classes, which of course became extremely successful. I was at Peloton for four years before moving on to pursue a bigger dream of further growing my own brand The J METHOD.
‘Now, I am pleased to join Beachbody and to release my first programme, Job 1, this December, as well as teaching cycling classes live and on-demand on Beachbody Interactive (BODi).’
What is your career highlight?
‘I have been fortunate to be at two great fitness companies, first Peloton and now Beachbody, but I would have to say the greatest highlight is having the courage to pursue my dream of furthering and growing my own brand.
‘When I was in college, it didn’t take me long to recognise that I would be more successful if I broke out on my own, but I was discouraged by a few people around me and told not to do so.
‘As a result, I stayed where I was until, several months later, I decided not to listen to that advice and do it anyway. The rest is history. The lesson learned? Don’t listen to the naysayers. Trust yourself and trust your instincts.’
What are your favourite ways to exercise and why?
‘I train in a variety of modalities because I believe it is important to train your body in different planes. I also believe in a well-balanced combination of functional strength training, different forms of cardio (cycling, jump rope, shadow boxing) and, most of all, mobility and recovery.
‘When exercising, in addition to using dumbbells, I like to use my own bodyweight or a resistance band. There are so many benefits to resistance training in addition to improved muscle strength and tone: increased muscle-to-fat ratio thereby helping with weight management; increased stamina and endurance.
‘As you grow stronger you won’t get tired as easily; and increased bone density and strength, reducing the risk of injury and osteoporosis.
‘I’ve actually been in Job 1 production the past couple of months, filming in both English and French, and, as part of that, I am performing the Job 1 exercises every day in front of a camera. As a result, I’ve been getting my 20-minute workout at least five days a week!’
Tell us about the Job 1 method
‘It’s a programme that puts you in the mindset that staying on top of your fitness and nutrition shouldn’t be optional – it should be your top priority. It should be your Job 1! It’s about showing up for yourself and giving your health the focus it deserves.
‘When you put your health and wellness first, you’ll tap into a wealth of benefits, including more self-confidence and increased strength. If you make your health your top priority, you’ll see major improvements in almost every part of your life.’
You’re known for functional training. What’s great about it?
‘Functional training is training your body for everyday life and those muscles you use daily to perform basic activities, such as carrying groceries, picking up something heavy, lifting something up and putting it on a shelf, playing with your kids.
‘Functional training helps improve the overall function of your body, boosting muscle strength and endurance. It helps develop stability in your muscles and body, which allows you to complete those everyday activities more efficiently.
‘It’s a great way to train because it’s about making everyday activities easier, reducing your injury risk and improving your quality of life.’
Do you eat to support your training goals?
‘I eat to support everyday life. As a general matter, I don’t believe in restriction. My philosophy is “taste everything but only eat what your body needs to fuel itself”. When you start thinking of food as fuel, then you will tend to eat in a way that supports what you are doing at that time.
‘If you are training for something, then you need to think about what types of food you should eat to help fuel your body so it performs at its best.
‘However, don’t get me wrong, I like to eat sweets as much as anybody else does. But I most likely won’t eat a piece of cake or have a doughnut that day if I know I am about to go on a long bike ride where my body will need more sustained and lasting energy.’
What are your tips for others who want to get in shape?
‘Prioritise yourself by making your health a part of your schedule and committing to it, then you’ll most likely succeed in getting it done.
‘Spend time on mobility and recovery because it’s an important part of any fitness journey, yet is often overlooked. Good mobility helps increase your athletic performance and helps prevent injury.
‘Starting your day off right will help set the tone for the rest of the day. When you are in the right frame of mind, everything ahead of you may not seem as daunting.
‘Something really simple is my “wake up bounce” each morning – play your favourite song and just move your body, with your arms over head while bouncing around on the balls of your feet. Have a little fun with it!
‘Moving your body when you first wake up helps get your circulation going and stimulates your lymphatic system, reducing inflammation and getting rid of any waste and toxins that may have built up overnight. As a result, you feel more energised and ready to take on anything!’
Try Job 1 on Beachbody On Demand now! Membership costs £99 for 12 months, with a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee.