Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
Well, hello and thank you so much for the opportunity to share in this interview!! I’m Jada Kelly! Teaching others to live a sustainable fitness lifestyle is my thing!! Everyday I’m thankful that I get to share my passion with other people and help them create positive change in their lives.
I started training and teaching in as a junior in college. It’s crazy to think that what started as a job wiping down machines at the student recreation center, has now blossomed into one of the best parts of my life!
I am honored to be sponsored by Team My HMB and Team Peak (Metabolic Technologies) and have been with them since 2010. I started with Team My HMB when I was competing in the NPC bikini division and have stayed with them through babies, mom life and training transitions.
I’m currently working as a trainer and coach in Los Angeles, with programs for in-person and remote clients. Most recently, I started the Yes to my BEST Challenge, which focuses on living this life at your best, but breaking it down step by step to help you get there and stay there.
Besides training, my favorite thing is being a mom to me and my husband’s two young boys.
Describe a typical day of training
Lately, I have been really into full body workouts, specifically using circuits or supersets. With the two kids, my work and my husband’s job, two-a-days or two hours taking my time in the gym just is not realistic!
I’m all about my 45 to 50 minute workouts with lots of combo movements (multi-joint, upper and lower body combinations). I will usually do four full body workouts a week with medium weight and higher rep range and then have one or two days focused on strength with heavier weight and lower rep range.
I don’t do many cardio specific workouts, but I think that’s more of a preference. I love weight training and would rather lift a little lighter, move faster and get my heart rate up that way then run on a treadmill for 30 minutes.
Another thing I love to do, especially when I’m leaning out, is to add in jump rope intervals between lifting sets. Here is a sample of my workout for a full body strength day:
- Dynamic warm up using CARS (Controlled Articular Rotations)
- Bulgarian Split Squats (3 sets of 10 each leg)
- Seated Overhead DB Press (3 sets of 10)
- Stiff Leg Deadlifts (3 sets of 10)
- Bench press (3 sets of 10)
- Barbell Walking Lunges (3 sets of 10)
- Single Arm Bent Over DB Rows (3 sets of 10 each arm)
- Leg Press (3 sets of 10)
- Triceps Skull crusher (3 sets of 10)
- Goblet Sumo Squat (3 sets of 10)
- Biceps curl (3 sets of 10)
- Cool down
I do love training with a buddy, but because of my schedule, it doesn’t happen much. I teach about 8 classes a week, so I get to enjoy the group atmosphere on those days and that is always awesome.
I used to think that being fit meant that you had to workout minimum 1x per day for at least an hour and lift as heavy as you could. That is simply not true!
Fitness looks different for everyone. Build a routine that fits your life, routines, personal goals and preferences. Do not be afraid to try new things when you can OR go back to your basics when you need to!
How do you keep going and push harder?
Motivation is crazy, right? One day you have a ton of it and the next day, it fades. I love to focus on my commitments and follow through on those instead of depending on motivation. Setting workout appointments really helps to keep me on track.
Each week, I go through my schedule and punch in the times that I know I will be able to get to the gym. Life is full with work and kids schedules so I do not have a consistent workout time.
Whether it’s a 6am workout or an 8pm workout, my husband and I work together to make sure we can both get our movement in. I love that we both see value in exercise and can support each other to make it happen.It’s not easy, almost never convenient but it’s important so we figure it out.
Most of the time, I enjoy writing my own workout plans but sometimes, I just want to show up and have someone else guide me through a workout. On those days, I will go to a new class or look up a workout from a favorite trainer. Being open to different workout styles keeps me interested and learning new ways of movement that I can use later.
Looking lean used to be the thing that made me push harder and keep going. While looking fit is still a part of the goal, what keeps me going now is knowing that if I continue strengthening my bones and muscles, I’m going to feel and look great for life!
I want to be able to keep up with my kids and eventually my grand kids. Those habits start TODAY. I know that every workout is setting the foundation for my body to age strong and gracefully. When I think about it that way, movement and eating well is a no brainer.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
I’m doing great today! I just turned 38 this past December and I feel like I’m in the best shape of my life. I am able to share fitness principles with others and I LOVE it. Obviously, life is not perfect and I have challenges like everyone else.
We are all working through relationships, fears, time management, figuring out our purpose and actually taking steps to do it, etc. I have definitely made my share of mistakes too! I’m thankful that I’m learning to be better everyday.
The future looks exciting! We only have today for sure, but my dreams and plans for the future are big. This past year, I started shooting fitness videos for GymRa (streaming exercise videos), continued teaching group fitness classes at Equinox, took on more face to face clients, and launched Yes to my Best Challenge (a group for women who are committed to living a sustainable fitness lifestyle to bring out their best).
My hope is to expand Yes to my Best to include pop-up workouts, speaking engagements and eventually, my own streaming workout program.
How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
I am still a work in progress when it comes to rest but this year has been the best so far. I like to take one full rest day a week and like to alternate high intensity and low intensity workouts so that I can avoid injury. Mobility practice has become a big part of my routine and has helped so much with avoiding recurrent lower back injuries.
About five years ago, I had my first lower back injury – herniated disc. That initial recovery took about three to four months and I couldn’t lift very heavy during the recovery and for a few months after.
I started playing around with the tempo of my lifts and focusing on lighter weights, eccentric contractions and isometric holds. If you are someone who is dealing with an injury it can be so frustrating – maybe even depressing.
When you are used to your body moving with strength and full range of motion then all of a sudden being limited, it’s tough to deal with. During my injuries, I tried to keep my mind off of what I couldn’t do and only focus on what I could do.
For a time, the only thing I could do was walk. I missed my lifts so much! But the more I focused on enjoying what was possible instead of wishing for something else, the less frustrated I became.
Eventually, I was able to go back to regular lifting and movement, but the key is finding a way to keep a positive attitude through the healing process.
How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
Lately, I’ve been focusing on what I call life-giving foods and making those 90% of what I consume. A life-giving food is a food that is beneficial to your body’s function, look and makes you feel great.
I’m allergic to gluten and dairy (sensitivities showed up after my second baby) so those items are not included in my life-giving foods. Generally, I stick to veggies, lean proteins, healthy fats and moderate complex carbohydrates. Treat meals work really well for me and I like to have 1 or 2 per week.
This is a typical day:
- Meal 1 – 1 egg + 2 eggs whites; ¼ avocado; 3-4 kale leaves chopped and sauteed + 1 garlic clove; dash of hot sauce; cup of Teeccino (chicory root coffee alternative) and almond milk
- Meal 2 – 1 apple + 1 Tbsp almond butter
- Meal 3 – 3oz ground turkey breast + 2 cups veggies (cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli, beets roasted w/ 1 Tbsp olive oil/salt/pepper)+ 2 Tbsp hummus
- Meal 4 – ½ banana + ½ pear + 2 handfuls of spinach + 1 Tbsp chia seeds + 1 scoop Vital Proteins + 1 tsp spirilina + 1 Tbsp almond butter (ADD ICE, BLEND AND TOP WITH ALMOND BUTTER)
- Meal 5 – usually same as Meal 3, maybe different veggies or chicken breast instead of turkey
Supplements I take daily:
- Raw One Multi-vitamin
- Root2 Probiotic
- Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin C
- Two scoops Vital proteins powder
- HMB (3x a day, 1 serving 20 min before my workout) – helps with muscle retention and recovery peak ATP (1 serving 20 min before my workout)- helps lift a little heavier for a little longer and gets the most out of your last few reps
What has inspired and motivated you?
The thing that inspires me the most is other everyday moms finding a way to make time for the gym while being excellent parents. Knowing that I am not alone in the struggle for balance is so encouraging!!
I also love to follow trainers who are unapologetically being themselves and killing the fitness game (i.e. @kaisafit and @massyarias).
When I want to feel motivated, I think about the fact that movement is a gift! So many do not have the ability to run, jump, walk, squat, kick, etc. A grateful attitude can go a long way and give you a boost that you might have been missing.
Instagram, @jadakellyfit - photo by Ms. Rafi
Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
If you are just starting out, take it step by step. Start with one or two things (i.e. taking your lunch to work every day and 20 minutes of some kind of movement). Once those first steps become routine, add one or two more. Keep adding or modifying the steps until you are in a routine that will allow you to reach your fitness goals.
The step by step method sets you up for success because you are setting goals that are actually achievable AND you are allowing opportunities for a win! The more wins you have, the more motivation to continue will build.
In addition, realize you are working to the best version of YOU. While using others to motivate and inspire you is great, be careful that comparison does not creep in. We are are unique and amazing individuals! You were created to be the best you possible, not the best someone else.
Are you taking on clients right now?
I am always taking clients! If you are someone who is looking for a sustainable fitness lifestyle, I am your girl! I work with remote and in-person clients and have a few different levels of programming to choose from.
If you are someone who just needs accountability, the beginner who needs in-person demonstrations and support or the experienced gym rat that is just looking for a challenge, I can help make you better!
My goal for each person I work with is to get them to a point where they don’t NEED me, they just WANT to work with me so they do! I want to build your movement and food knowledge so that your ability and confidence grow as well.
I want you to get to the best version of you. I want you to get so good at the fitness lifestyle that you inspire change in those around you!