Jen Jewell is the bubbly meets badass fitness personality who takes a versatile “fun with fitness” approach to training. Although she is a fitness pro, she isn’t overly restrictive with her nutrition and workouts. She loves yoga, hiking, and outdoor workouts. She actively coaches people around the world who want to get healthy and fit.
Jen tackles your fitness questions below:
Thank you very much for the kind words and for following my fitness journey for several years! I know choosing which supplement is right for your goals is no easy task. There is so much out there! But there are two supplements that I truly believe are helpful for anyone who is active, working out and eating healthy...
Whey protein is a supplement I can't live without because it's a simple, cost-effective way to help ensure I get enough protein for my goals. It's convenient and yummy (it definitely helps curb my sweet tooth)! It was the first supplement I ever purchased.
I also recommend Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) for anyone who is leading an active lifestyle. Think of BCAAs as a sugar-free alternative to a sports drink. BCAAs help with the muscle recovery process after a tough workout and they taste delicious without packing a ton of sugar and calories.
2. filmandfitness What can you recommend to getting back to working out? I try getting back to my 3-5 day workout but can't seem to get back. Not sure if I hit a plateau or what? When I start I usually workout once every 2-weeks or maybe longer. No energy like before. Any suggestions?
The goal is to always create a program that is realistic for your lifestyle. Too many people often get overwhelmed thinking they have to do 10 days a week or else they’re not really back on the workout wagon. I want everyone to set themselves up for success and always keep in mind that the 'all or nothing' approach to workouts doesn’t help us in the long run. Make small changes and they will add up over time.
You don’t need to workout 5-6 days a week if that isn't realistic. Instead, take an honest look at your schedule, lifestyle, family life, work, etc., and factor in workouts appropriately.
If you're strapped for time during the week, look for small opportunities to move whether that's an at-home HIIT workout, a quick workout at the neighborhood park, or even a 10-minute power-walk during your lunch hour.
3. mxh311 Is MyFitnessPal the most practical way to keep track of calories?
There are countless apps dedicated to nutrition tracking. I do think that MyFitnessPal does an excellent job of helping people keep track of their calories. But nutrition isn't just about counting calories. I also encourage my clients to start paying attention to portion sizes. The goal is to learn how to eyeball portions so you are able to make health-conscious decisions anywhere you are, without having to track every single bite you take.
4. jess_elizabeth4 What made you want to get into the fitness business? Have a fabulous day <3
5. fitnessfamandfootball I'm pretty fit but always looking for new ways to burn extra fat. Any tips nutrition wise or supplement wise to help?
When it comes to accelerating fat loss, I like to cut back on processed food and refined sugars. Instead, I focus on lean protein, tons of veggies, fruits, whole grains and heart-healthy fats, while also increasing my water intake. I definitely notice a difference right away when I swap out some of the more convenient processed foods for the items above.
Supplement wise, I love to cycle items from the SuperHD family to help accelerate fat loss.
If you’ve never tried a thermogenic before, SuperHD powder is great. You can experiment with a smaller dosage (example, ½ a scoop) and adjust if needed.
SuperHD Fire non-stim is also great for beginners who may be sensitive to caffeine.
Pre-workout wise, when I’m looking to burn extra fat I’ll swap out my original C4 for C4 Ripped. C4 Ripped is a creatine-free pre-workout designed to help with energy, endurance, and focus, with a thermogenic component to help with fat loss!
6. jdubmountainman Why do the backs of my legs right under my glutes hurt for 5 days after I back squat? 😬
Sounds like your leg days are intense! I’d start with adding a BCAA supplement (I love Alpha Amino mid-workout on leg days). I would also try foam rolling a bit both before and after your workouts. When it comes to leg days, if you are pressed for time, opt for foam rolling AFTER the workout.
7. mongats How often do you weigh yourself and what is your reasoning? I'm trying to be more okay with how my clothes fit and how I feel rather than focusing on that stupid number? Thanks!
Honestly, I can't recall the last time I stepped on a scale. I don’t think about the number, as I know it isn’t a true reflection of my fitness level. The last time I weighed myself, the number on the scale was higher than before I competed in my first show...only now I am a size smaller in clothing and have far more definition year-round than I did back then.
Ask yourself: Are your energy levels, stress levels, endurance in the gym improving? Can you run faster, hit higher intervals on the step mill for longer, lift more or perform more reps? How are your clothes fitting? Taking progress pics each week or every 2 weeks can help you stay on track with your goals and illustrate the physique progress you’ve made.
Taking progress pics each week or every 2 weeks can help you stay on track with your goals and illustrate the physique progress you’ve made.
8. candyg868 You inspire me .. your thighs are life !!! I want to compete in bikini someday soon but my thighs !! Now they are muscular but really need to reduce them like fat + muscle now after babies. Are there any specific tips (cardio and lifting) used to slim thick thighs 👀??
Oh my goodness, you are making me blush! Thank you very much for the kind words. You mention that you want to compete in a bikini competition soon but are concerned about your thighs. Let me fill you in on something I haven’t shared with many people.
You mention that you want to compete in a bikini competition soon but are concerned about your thighs. Let me fill you in on something I haven’t shared with many people. Years ago, I was actually bullied because of my thighs. My legs are short and have always been on the more muscular side from years of gymnastics, cheerleading, etc. Hearing those comments from people definitely stung. This, of course, made me feel self-conscious and had me wondering if what they said was true. It stuck with me until I stepped on stage for my first show.
I’ve since realized that we should embrace our natural body type and work to be our best selves. If certain muscle groups naturally want to develop a certain way, let’s let that happen and embrace it. I know my legs will never be considered “small” or thin, and that’s OK. What I do know is that I can rock a sprint, tuck jump, sumo deadlift and squat heavy because of how my legs are built. The thick muscle I’ve built over the years helps carry me through my fitness journey.
Keep in mind that even if you have a bit of extra body fat on your lower body, you can focus on building leaner, tighter and more defined legs simply by lifting consistently. A few of my favorite exercises for the lower body include:
- Sumo deadlifts
- Jump squats (with or without weight)
- Walking lunges
- Jumping lunges
- Plie squats
- Box jumps
- Hip thrusters
As with any cardio, I think you should stick with what you like to do. I personally like the step mill (or stairs outside), walking on an incline, plyometrics during my workouts and jump rope.
Occasionally, I'll add in some running (mostly walk/run intervals) outdoors. I’ll spend 15-30 minutes on a cardio session, nothing more.
9. slinpikins What do you recommend for someone going back to the gym after injury? Before I got injured, it was easy for me to eat healthy and not think twice about going to the gym. After getting hurt, going back to that routine has been mentally challenging for me and I'm scared to push myself because "I don't want to get hurt again"
I'm sorry to hear that. Injuries can be so frustrating. I’ve been dealing with some injuries recently as well, which has limited what I can do with my weight training. At first, I was frustrated, annoyed and even a tad grumpy. Then I reminded myself that type of approach and attitude wasn’t going to help the situation. It wasn’t going to speed up my recovery. I swapped the negative mindset for one focused on what I COULD DO (despite the injuries) and then honed in on that.
Don’t push yourself and risk making your injury worse, but also don’t let being injured keep you from staying active in other ways. Start back slowly with bodyweight exercises, then add lighter weights.
Focus on what you can control. If you can’t give 100% like you used to before your injury, don’t worry. Do what you can physically and really make an effort to make health-conscious decisions with your meals. Remind yourself that you can control that aspect of your health & fitness while you’re on the road to recovery.
10. kimling.dam First, thank you!! Your stories are always fun!!! Daily supp regimen?!
Thanks so much for the kind words and for tuning into my IG Stories. I'm thrilled to share some of my fit tips and daily adventures with you all!
As for my daily supplement regimen, it varies depending on what my specific goals are at the moment and whether or not I’m weight training that day.
On a day to day basis, I include Alpha Amino, COR-Performance Whey, and Omega-3 Fish Oil. Pre-workouts that I use each week is C4 or C4 Ripped (if I want to burn a bit more fat)
Lastly, I just finished up a cycle of the SuperHD Fire and am so excited to have shed some body fat and inches! That being said, I’ll be taking a bit of a break from the stimulant based thermogenic and will keep using CLK.
12. cassandra.nortje Do you track macros? 🍴
Nope, I do not.
I know this may sound odd as so many other fitness professionals are into tracking, but if I'm being totally honest, it’s just a bit too tedious for me to do on a daily basis. Instead of focusing on every single bite I eat, I focus on making healthy choices from whole foods (lean proteins, heart-healthy fats, whole grains, veggies, fruits and more).
This isn’t to say that I think counting macros is bad. Everyone needs to find what works best for them.
If you’re just starting out on your health & fitness journey, then paying attention to your macros at the start can most certainly help get you on track.
13. apaul_87 How do you stay motivated?
Honestly, I simply love to be active. But that doesn’t mean I am always motivated to get to the gym. On the days where lifting weights at a crowded gym is the absolute last thing I want to do, guess what? I’ll skip out on it.
Instead, I’ll go for a run outdoors, or grab a band and head to the park for an outdoor workout, do some power yoga, hop on my bike and twirl around the neighborhood...Adding this kind of variety to my training and not falling into a workout rut (as I did many years ago) keeps me motivated year-round.
If I am simply too tired, my body is too sore from all of the workouts I’ve been doing, then I don’t push it. Rest days are always good and we need them.
If you need a rest day, don’t think that’s you being unmotivated to train. It’s you listening to your body and utilizing a rest day as part of your program.
14. apaul_87 When you are traveling by airplane, how do you get your supplements, and meals through airport security?
While I am not sure of all of the rules and regulations from one country to the next, I have not yet had a problem traveling with my supplements. I’ve traveled to several countries and states, with everything from SuperHD, CLK, C4, COR-Performance Whey, Alpha Amino, Omega-3 Fish Oil, and multi-vitamins and have been OK. I'll typically pack the bottles in my checked luggage.
If you are traveling internationally, the laws on certain supplements and ingredients may vary slightly. It probably doesn’t hurt to double check the country and whether or not the supplements you are wanting to bring with you are available for purchase there.
15. apaul_87 Do you have a trainer to keep you accountable to stay on track?
Nope, I handle all of my own training and nutrition.
I travel so often for work right now that it is tricky to adhere to one type of training or nutrition regimen. I need wiggle room, especially on busy travel days when I don't have access to a gym...I just try to create some fit travel workouts that I can squeeze in whenever, wherever.
With meals, I find that I always feel best (more energy, better strength in the gym, etc.) when the majority of my meals are healthy ones.
Year-round I adhere to the 80/20 rule.
80% of the foods I eat throughout the week come from items deemed healthy (lean proteins, heart-healthy fats, fruits, veggies, whole grains) and the other 20% of foods I eat that week have more wiggle room (cookies, a glass of wine, burger, pizza or tacos are my favorites), and this approach helps keep me accountable year-round.