Vixen Health + Fitness: Jeanette Jenkins Pumps Out Great Tips For Dropping Pounds + Toning Up For Spring


Hollywood Trainer and Nike Training Club Ambassdor Jeanette Jenkins has made it clear that she knows what’s she doing in the workout room. Working with Kelly Rowland, Paula Patton, Queen Latifah and other stars, she’s been the driving force behind assuring bodies are at their best fitness point. Well sculpted bodies and slimmed up shapes are her specialty, so VIBE Vixen checked in with her for some advice on how to look sexy this Spring. The warm weather is approaching and all our Vixens should be at their best! -Niki McGloster

Now, just talking about people who are trying to lose a couple pounds and tone up for Spring, what is a beginners’ workout that you would recommend?
I would recommend two things that’s really easy for beginners to start doing. Definitely cardio. Find the type of long distance cardio that you want to do and that’s going to help you burn fat. Whether it’s jogging, power walking, spinning classes, kick-boxing, some type of cardio that you like. Those are the type of cardio exercises I would recommend. And then the second type of exercise would be circuit training or interval training, also known as body sculpting where you’re hitting all of your muscle groups. In one session, you’re going in doing resistance training for your entire body from head to toe. In the category of total body sculpting, you have boot camp, power yoga and circuit training.

You mentioned yoga and it’s big thing these days for sculpting. What is the difference between yoga and pilates?
They’re from two different philosophies. There are several different types of Yoga but it comes from an Eastern philosophy and it’s other 1000 years old. Over the years, we’ve broken off different styles of yoga. There are a set of movements too. The biggest difference is that for yoga you’re pushing and pulling your body weight quite a bit, so you’re forward a lot.

The whole pilates method was created to repair injured dancers, so Joseph Pilate created a whole exercise group to repair these injured dancers. They couldn’t stand up, so he did this whole mat series to make sure you had full range of motion in all of your joints. The movements are very core driven, so you get to work a lot of your core and also lengthen your muscles at the same time. Extension, extension, extension!

Before any type of workout, what are the best meals to eat before a workout?
Well it really depends on the style of the workout is, what someone’s goal is and what time of day they’re working out. There isn’t a blanket answer for anything that has to do with nutrition and training. For people who are trying to lose weight, so I recommend that people wake up first thing in the morning and workout on an empty stomach. They can just have a little something with a little carbohydrates in it, so maybe a fruit smoothie or a piece of fruit or water or green tea. Just some liquid or some fluids, but nothing heavy where the stomach has to work on digesting, but preferably on an empty stomach. Then actually don’t eat for an hour and a half after the workout.

Oh, okay. There’s a myth that you have to eat afterward, so you don’t feel exhausted or drained.
No, your body will use its body fat. In general, your body takes the food you eat and your body fat and creates glycogen, and it’s stored in your muscle cells. The energy that you use immediately to workout is already stored in your muscles. It’s already stored ready to use, so the only people who would need to make sure they have something to eat before they work out is a marathon runner or a professional athlete.

How often should they do each workout?
As long as they do at least three times a week of a chosen cardio for 30-45 minutes and two to three times a week of total body sculpting, they’ll really get great results. If it doesn’t feel challenging then don’t expect your body to change.

Yes, that burn!
If you do a little bit of work, you’re going to get a little bit back. You do a lot of work, you’re going to get a lot back. Training is really simple; you get out what you put in.

Nutrition is a huge part of the total fitness ordeal, so what’s the best food route?
Without having to tell someone to workout an exact number of calories, the best thing for people to do is just make sure they only eat until they’re satisfied and not eat until they’re full and eat half their portions when they’re eating out. If you keep your snacks under 250 calories and you keep your meals between 300-500 calories, you’ll be fine. Number one, though, are green vegetables. They’re low-calorie, they’re filled with iron and vitamin c, they have fiber, they help you with digestion and they decrease your appetite; they’re just the most underrated food item, but I make sure all my clients eat green vegetables three times a day.

You’re making everything seem so easy, yet some people lose their motivation for doing all that it takes to get fit. What are some tips to stay motivated?
If it’s not your thing, I definitely recommend a trainer. Like, you can get a decent trainer for $50 or $60 an hour, so if you just book one session a week every Monday, you can get motivated every Monday. That can be the one thing that pushes you. Usually if people are financially committed to something, they’ll at least show up. Something else that’s very motivating is classes. You’ll find other people who are like you and the music is motivating and you’ll look forward to going, so it’s not this dreaded workout.

Stay tuned for part two tomorrow when Jeanette dishes about her role as Nike Traning Club ambassador, her favorite celebs to train, the obsession with self-image and beauty and more!