When did you first enter the world of “fitness"?
I was always an active person growing up, and when I went off to college I knew I wanted to work with athletes. There were shared interests there, and I gravitated in that direction. It wasn’t until I moved down south and started working in the hospital that I began to interact with so many individuals struggling with their health because of obesity. I wanted to try and make a difference, but I wasn’t sure how. Then members of my family and I began to workout as a group. They began relying on me to keep them motivated, and I found out how much I enjoyed that work. The company grew from there—I wanted to reach outside my family and, if I was lucky, maybe help others.
Tell us a little bit about the differences in being an athletic trainer vs being a personal trainer - and how does this make a training session different with you than working with a personal trainer?
Being an athletic trainer requires a lot of extensive college coursework and hours of hands-on, supervised training before stepping out on your own. Once you’re admitted into an accredited program, you’ve got to take advanced anatomy classes, exercise science courses, human movement classes, injury evaluation classes…I could go on, but the gist is, you learn about the human body and how injuries occur and heal. On top of a heavy course load, you are required to spend 2000+ hours of hands-on training with collegiate athletes. I spent years learning how the body works, moves, and functions. Given my education and all that’s come after it, I feel confident safely prescribing a workout that will get results. My classes are unique because there are no limitations—I can modify a workout for each individual. I know the body—if a client has knee issues, shoulder issues, or is pregnant, whatever the specialized need, I can give them a safe and sound workout.
How was J’s Way Fitness born?
J’s Way Fitness was created last summer! I was sitting at work wishing I could be outside running. I knew I couldn’t walk away from my job and out into the sunshine at that moment, but it made it clear to me that I was ready to start my business and at least begin walking down that path. I officially opened up shop on September 30th of last year, and it’s been an exhausting, exhilarating ride!
I love that you guys are outside (I think that being in nature is so important to our health!) - what inspired that?
Most people are cooped up inside everyday, either at work or working from home. I’ve been there—I’ve stared out that window wishing I could walk outside. There’s nothing better than getting off work and walking out into a beautiful day. Being outside motivates me—it’s a change of pace and place, more enjoyable than running on a treadmill or lifting while looking at another set of walls. The air is fresh, no sweaty gym smell, and no gym germs!
Where are some of your favorite outside places to workout?
My favorite spot to workout is what my clients and I like to call “Gale Park.” It’s in 12th south on Gale Lane between Granny White and Leland. For our work, it’s perfect! There’s plenty of flat ground that is nicely shaded, and the running path is a great mix of inclines and straight stretches.
What do you do in inclement weather?
We have some great solutions if there is an absolute must to be inside; otherwise, we find every excuse to stay outdoors. If the weather’s terrible, we will use an indoor space (my clients generously offer their gyms) but if it’s just raining a little, who doesn’t appreciate a little sprinkle to cool you off?
What are some of your other favorite gyms/trainers in Nashville?
My favorite gyms are those with trainers who can tailor workouts and who promote a safe experience. It’s why I have developed my workouts to meet individual needs, rather than a generic workout that may not work for everyone and can cause injury.
Tell us about your diet.
I am a strong believer in eating clean and exercising. I have never followed a fad diet; I feel you just set yourself up for failure. You have to make your eating habits something that you stick to for the long haul. I plan all my weekly meals on Sunday, so I know I have everything I need. (I am less likely to stray from it this way.) I also give into my cravings; there is nothing wrong with having a slice of pizza every now and then as long as you know your limits. But for the most part I fill my grocery cart with fruits, veggies, whole grains, and protein.
What are some of your "must haves" - as far as diet and exercise go.
Two must haves are carbohydrates and proteins. So many people think that cutting carbohydrates out of your diet is the best way to lose weight, but then you are sabotaging yourself. First, you must have carbohydrates in order for your brain to function. Carbohydrates are your fuel. No one likes to workout light-headed and dizzy. Also, after your workout you have to have protein with a carbohydrate in order to properly repair and build muscle, protein alone will not do the job. It’s picking the right carbohydrate that people have a hard time with, and I think that leads them to cut carbs altogether.
What else does Nashville need to know about J’s Way?
Our workouts vary from day to day to reduce the risk of injury. A lot of research has gone into my workouts, and my clients see those benefits. The workouts consist of HIIT (high intensity interval training) three days a week and cardio twice a week. Other than that, I guess I’d like people to know how welcoming we are. J’s Way Fitness is an awesome group of people who come because they love it! I encourage anyone who’s curious to try the free week of workouts. I’ll show you how much fun you can have getting fit!