Step Out of Your Comfort Zone with Jill Brown

Personal Trainer Showcase
Name: Jill Brown
Age: 49
Stats: 5’3” / 116 lbs
Location: Los Angeles, USA
Website: JillBrownFitness.com

Why did you decide to become a personal fitness coach?

Jill Brown Personal TrainerI always loved to exercise. I actually needed it. As a kid with a lot of anxiety and a troubled family life, exercising always calmed my mind, and soothed my anxiety and anger. I stopped any regular exercise in college and put on a lot of weight. I felt awful physically and emotionally. My self-esteem had also steadily eroded as well. After college I decided to teach fitness classes part time after my day job (I am originally from NYC). So I got my first of many certifications and eventually it became my full time job. It’s not what I went to college for. My degree is in Mass Communications: TV Radio Film and Journalism.

What is your training philosophy?

The greatest changes we experience are when we step out of our comfort zones. When starting a new routine or sport, learning proper form and technique for any exercise or activity should be focused on first. There’s a reason the word “form” is in the word “performance.” The better your form, the better your performance.  And, to those who like to rush things, especially when learning something that has very specific techniques, you’re only one wrong move from ruining your month (or more).

What are your own personal fitness goals?

It’s more of a skill than a fitness goal, but we bought a small sail boat and I want to learn to sail this year. I also want to be able to do a proper hand stand without needing a wall. And always, to keep building strength in new ways.

What do you love about teaching classes?

Teaching classes was my first passion. I love to see someone finally “get it.” That look of self-confidence and appreciation a person gets when they’ve been toiling to learn a routine, a move, an exercise, a skill… whichever it is, there’s always a feeling of pride both my student and I get when that moment happens. And of course the gratitude I get from students for taking the time to help them learn something new or fix a faulty movement pattern that may have been giving them pain.

What misconceptions do you feel people have about getting fit and healthy?

The terms “fit and healthy” are loaded with misconceptions. There are so many people who think they eat healthy but in reality don’t. There are too many fast food restaurants and packaged foods saying certain items are “all natural” and “healthy” but are not. So people think because they’re opting for the salad at McDonald’s or the white meat chicken sandwich with a diet soda, that they eat healthy. They’re eating perhaps the healthier option at that restaurant, but it’s not truly healthy. I wish more people would read or listen to Mark Bittman. As for “fit”, it’s not what you see on the outside as much as what’s going on the inside. Someone who looks a little overweight may be far fitter than someone who’s very trim, but eats mainly processed food and does minimal exercise.

What has been your favorite moment (or moments) as a fitness professional?

Doing anything media related. That is what my degree is in, so whenever I marry the two, such as writing a highly shared blog post, or doing a segment on the news or designing a fitness program for a video, I’m happy.

How important do you believe personal fitness is to recovering from surgery or overcoming limitations?

This is my wheelhouse. I was diagnosed with a congenital spine disease at 35. Stenosis. I was also born with developmental hip dysplasia which I found out about when I was almost 40. Had I known I was born with these two conditions (that didn’t start causing me chronic pain until my mid-30’s), I probably would not have gone into this industry to begin with. But it turned out to be a blessing and I was able to still get into the best shape of my life after 40!

How do you keep your clients motivated?

I have them do certain routines long enough for them to master them, then I switch things up before they good too bored. I also don’t continue trying to teach them something they’re not getting to avoid frustration, unless it’s a basic move like a Squat or a plank. I also switch between workouts that are all reps and sets to timed intervals.

And, how do you keep yourself motivated?

I am always learning. Reading, trying new routines, taking other peoples’ classes or setting a new goal.

Finally, what is your favorite cheat food?

French fries or good Pizza (I’m from NY). And, most things chocolate.

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