Briefly describe your daily/weekly workout routine:
CrossFit is a workout program that incorporates all aspects of fitness. You don’t just specialize in one specific area. The program incorporates Olympic weightlifting, running, rowing, bodyweight movements, flexibility exercises and more.
What inspired you to begin a regular fitness routine?
I have always been in athletics. Growing up and in high school, I played basketball, tennis and baseball. Then I played four years of college basketball and being in shape and getting stronger was crucial to have any success at the college level. Also, my degree is in exercise science from Anderson University, so being able to test what I was learning in the classroom in the weight room was always motivating for me.
Why is it something you have stuck with?
Overall fitness is something that I am very passionate about — not just physical fitness, but also emotional and spiritual fitness. It’s important for a person to focus on all three areas to be healthy. I’ve stuck with it because I want to motivate others to be as healthy as they can and enjoy the life that we have been blessed with.
How do you make time to work out?
Working out is now part of my daily routine. I have been able to work training into my schedule whether that be waking up earlier or working out late at night.
When and why did you get serious about fitness?
When I was in college studying exercise science and combining that with being on the basketball team, I was learning about how a person could maximize their athletic potential by working out.
Have you lost or gained muscle mass through working out? How much?
Since 2011, I have done strictly CrossFit and my overall fitness level has drastically increased. I am around 205 pounds, but I’m much leaner and have more muscle then I have before. I honestly don’t remember the last time I stepped on the scale because with CrossFit if my times for workout are dropping and if the weight I can lift increases, I know I am getting more fit.
What’s your favorite
I really love doing Olympic weightlifting. There are two lifts: the Snatch and the Clean and Jerk. Of those two, I really enjoy working on the Snatch. The essence of this lift is to take the barbell from the floor to locked arms overhead in one smooth movement.
Any exercises you dread but do anyway? Why?
Honestly, not really. When there is something in a workout that I dread, I then know that is something I need to work on to become an overall better athlete.
Do you follow a special diet? If so, describe it briefly. Do you “cheat” much?
I don’t follow a specific diet, although I do eat a ton of meats, vegetables, nuts and seeds. People consider what I eat weird and crazy, but it’s just clean eating. I don’t eat fast food or a lot of processed foods either. I never have had much of a sweet tooth, which makes it easy to pass on dessert.
Do you have a favorite fitness moment, for example, when you reached a tough fitness goal or overcame a plateau?
I have been able to hit a lot of personal bests on workouts and lifts while training, which are always great to see. For example, being able to lift five more pounds today than I could last week makes the training worth it.
What do you do to motivate yourself when you just don’t want to work out?
I have a tattoo on my wrist that says, “Philippians 4:13” (“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”). That verse is what I look at during workouts when I need motivation, because it reminds me where my true strength comes from and reminds me I can push a little harder.
What advice would you give someone who wants to start working out?
Give CrossFit a try. It’s a great program because all classes are trainer-led and you work out with others who motivate and hold you accountable. Also, don’t be intimidated. It doesn’t matter what your fitness level is because CrossFit can be scalable to anyone.
What’s a little-know fitness fact about you?
I can walk on my hands the length of a basketball court. Also, in 20 minutes I can do 115 pull-ups, 230 push-ups and 345 air-squats.
— Jennifer Willhite,