The Lounge Q+A: Jennifer Wall, Fitness Trainer

Fitness Trainer, Jenn Wall Fitness

Jennifer Wall 4.8k
It's just really easy. I think that's really helpful.

The biggest thing for me, I was using PocketSuite for everything from booking my clients and subscriptions to payments and contracts.

Jennifer Wall
Jennifer Wall
PocketSuite Fitness Pro

The interview

Wellness Pro Jennifer Wall is a Fitness Trainer in Ohio. Her biology and nutrition background makes her a great asset to the PocketSuite Pro community. Jennifer talks to CEO, Chinwe Onyeagoro about her first college Chem class, and how that led her to pursue a career in nutrition and fitness.

We are talking to Jennifer Wall in the Lounge today. Jennifer Wall is the founder of Jenn Wall Fitness. She is rocking it on PocketSuite and she’s going to share her secrets with us. You’ve been a member of the PocketSuite community since early 2019. We’ve watched you grow. You are absolutely rocking it. I’ve been studying your eBooks and your videos. So, I’m really excited to learn from you. Jenn, we usually like to start by hearing about your story. How did you get started in personal training? What was the spark?

Oh my goodness! So craziest story. First of all, I went to school to get my Bachelor’s – Biology because I wanted to be a doctor. Then I was like “This isn’t for me.” after taking the first Chem class. So I switched to nursing and in nursing that’s when I took a Nutrition class. I was like, “I absolutely love Nutrition.” And it was very evident that your lifestyle, your nutrition, your exercise, are what’s going to keep somebody healthy and keeping them out of the hospital versus treating them later. So I took the route of Nutrition and then after my Bachelor’s in Nutrition I got a job as a Personal Trainer and then I applied to get my Masters in Nutrition, but I moved myself all the way out to the state of Washington. I live in Ohio by the way. But then I went out to Washington and because it was so distant and not the right program, I came back to Ohio. That’s when I became a Fitness Coach. 

That’s awesome. So you were listening to yourself. You were listening to how you were responding to this exposure. You’re like, “Wow, okay, Biology is cool, actually Nutrition is even more interesting. And I like this training thing.” So you just kept going kind of deeper and deeper into your purpose.

Yes, yes, absolutely. That even goes further back into my family history. When I was younger, I just knew that taking care of myself was probably the only thing that I could really be in control of. So my nutrition, my exercise, my lifestyle, that’s what I have control over. Even further back, it’s just a matter of taking that and applying it.

So when you decided “I’m going to go out on my own and build my own business”, how did that feel? Were you like “Yeah, I’m confident. I’m pretty clear about what I’m going to do.” Or was it really scary?

So if you go far enough back in my Instagram, you would know that before becoming a business owner, before running my own business, I did not post on social media at all. I was not one of those people who was very self-confident. So it was definitely out of my comfort zone. Having somebody there to help guide me was super helpful.

It seems transformational. I’ve seen you do videos with your clients. So you have a sense of where we’re headed. When we’ve talked to Personal Trainers, it’s actually rare to connect with a Personal Trainer who also knows nutrition and can help create meal plans for folks. Can you talk a bit about how you integrate meal planning into the overall package and support that you provide clients?

So when it comes to training a client, I think that’s the most important part, so that’s the base that I offer, it’s not so much the training, but actually the Nutrition. I understand what it is that they need to build their bodies properly. I take a look at their history of eating. Take a look at where they are currently. Take a look at where they want to be with their body in the future. So we have a separate fitness app that we use to help, which monitors their nutrition. Then we get the history of what they currently eat. I’ll take those little steps moving forward. Something else that we do is we have multiple questionnaires that they fill out. So they fill out a digestive questionnaire. If you cannot correctly digest food, you’re not going to be getting nutrients from that food either. So we need to know how good is your digestion? What can we do to improve digestion? We also find out any other health problems that they have. That may be indicative of, kind of getting into the nitty gritty of it, but of any hormone imbalances, any sleep problems, any other things that might be going on so that we can help with that as well. The lifestyle techniques too.

That’s way beyond nutrition. That’s going really deep. I’ve never had a conversation with someone about my digestive process. That’s intense. How much do they know about the inner workings of things like their digestive system? How much can they actually answer?

It’s just based on symptoms. Do you have bloating? Do you have auto-immune diseases? Do you have family with that? Do you have acid reflux? Do you feel like your stomach feels heavy after you eat? What is it that you feel and that you experience after you eat? Those symptoms will tell us a lot. Also, any medications that they take. So they can answer the questionnaire pretty well, just because it’s in familiar terms for them.

You know what’s interesting? I read something once that 80% of weight loss and keeping your body in shape is about nutrition. It’s about what you eat. You can work out till you’re blue in the face and you will not make progress unless you fundamentally regulate and become intentional about what you’re eating. What do you think?

Yeah. Nutrition is going to be the most of it. That’s why we offered it as the base. I mean, nutrition or nothing.

Nutrition or bust, right? Well why isn’t this bigger than fitness? Why isn’t nutrition the biggest thing? Right now fitness is the thing we see so often. I don’t see people investing in nutrition in the same way that they invest in personal training and fitness.

Two reasons for that is that number one, most people work out by doing cardio. It’s easier going to the gym 30 minutes to an hour of the day. Being able to do a couple of exercises, whether they’re structured or not structured, but as long as they feel they’re being active and moving, they feel like they have control over that. So they want that, they think that’s what they need. The second thing, is it’s harder to control your nutrition. When you sit down, you have an apple or a cookie in front of you, which one are you more inclined to pick? When it’s right there in the moment, you’re more likely to eat that cookie. So maybe people aren’t as willing to invest in nutrition because they’re not going to make as good progress because they might show that they’re going to fail easier with nutrition. So everybody’s looking for “What do they think they can handle?”

Interesting. When I talk to Pros, I am guilty of suggesting business models, because I always get so excited about their businesses. So tell me to just shut up, if you don’t like where this is going. It seems to me that a lot of Personal Trainers don’t have the skill set you have. Have you ever thought about partnering with them to create packages that include nutrition for their clients? Is that on the roadmap somewhere?

That’s a great idea. So we do have a lot of clients who are already working may be with somebody or doing another program, that is a training program only. So we will take them on for that nutrition portion. I actually have my very first Fitness Coach as a client. I’m mentoring her with tricky situations or helping them understand and get to know the health portion to help their clients be more successful. So I do have that one client already.

That’s awesome. That’s another way to do it. Train the fitness coaches so they learn a little bit about your skill set to provide some an entry point for their clients. What are the biggest rocks that people need to climb to get them to follow a nutritional regiment that is sustainable? What are those two or three things that people have to get over in order to be able to create something that they can stick with and be happy about?

I think that’s a very good question. I think the number one thing is their education. There’s a lot of information on the internet, most of my clients are women, they know what their moms have taught them in terms of dieting and nutrition. It’s getting over that previous eating challenge. That’s the big hurdle, if you can get over that, educate them properly, they’re going to be more likely to see results.

Number two, getting over the idea of calories being bad so counting your calories and things like that can be a trigger for somebody. They can feel like they’re not in control or they’re trying to take too much control. Getting the mindset away from the calories. We can’t lock on the calories, nutrients, carbs, proteins and fats. Let’s at least get you into a lifestyle or an eating pattern. How many fruits and vegetables, how many protein sources per day or at a meal? 

You know what’s interesting? I thought you were going to say one additional thing, because this is my thing, I really think a lot more people would eat super healthy if they knew really good recipes and if they knew how to cook without sacrificing on taste and flavor. How are people cooking and getting to a place where they’re like, “This is great. I don’t care if it’s vegan or not. This is great by any standard.”

We do have recipe packs that we give our clients every month of new recipes. Not only that, all of my clients can talk to each other. They ask, “What can I do to make my protein more flavorful?” Because nobody likes eating protein from the can. Then my girls, my clients will jump in and be like, “This is what I do, I love to cook so this is what I do. Here’s the recipe.” Then we’ll all tell each other. We’ll get five recipes like this from one question.

It’s a bake-off. I love it. So as you look ahead, what are some of the exciting things that you’re up to in the future?

Definitely, being able to mentor others, that’s a big one. I see that coming up in the future. I have a mentor of my own, but being able to take that because I love the education portion, not only for my clients, but there are some of my other coaching friends. Everybody is trying to be successful and I can only reach so many clients at one time. I only know my network so being able to deliver more success through other people is very important for me.

There are a lot of people waving and listening in, so hopefully some future mentees are coming your way.

The other big thing is that I do have two assistant coaches now. I can’t wait for them to be fully on the team. They both have part-time jobs right now, but they’re working their way up to be full-time and live their own dream. So really we have the fit filled team that’s what my cooking team is. I just want my coaches that are on my team and clients to feel fulfilled in their lives. I just cannot wait until that portion really comes into play in the near future.

That’s awesome. For the folks that are listening in that are like, “Oh my gosh, I hadn’t even thought about nutrition as a path for me.” What advice would you give people who are just starting out who admire you and really would like to follow your path? Is it, “Hey, become a mentee. This is the quickest way to get into this space.” Or is there any other advice you’d give them?

I would say become a mentee. Looking back on it now I’m very, very thankful that I had the education that I had with my Bachelor’s Degree. I’m very happy that I’ve actually had two Master’s programs. But looking back on when I got my education and what has helped me the most, it is most definitely the mentorship that I’ve been through. So become a mentee. Before they start, I would tell them, at least go shadow a Personal Trainer. I got my Training Certificate, but it wasn’t until I shadowed somebody else that I learned hands-on. I think that hands-on learning is the most important. Make sure that you look for somebody who is very reputable.

Certainly, the education and the hands-on learning that the mentor provides, but then also the accountability. It’s a non-judgemental accountability. That’s powerful to get people motivated and to also support them through all the challenges. One more question for you, I know you found out about PocketSuite through Eddie. So what was your aha moment when you came to PocketSuite and started using the system?

Oh man, I think there’s a lot. The biggest thing for me, I was using PocketSuite for everything, for booking my clients to the subscription, the payments, for the contracts. At one point, I actually got away and I started booking somewhere else. Then I was doing my contracts somewhere else and it was just too many things at once. I think the big aha moment was that people can be in one place to be on it. You can have so many different apps, but that just makes it hard for you to keep track of everything. So having one place to do everything and the portion that I really love now most is being able to be alone or on a zoom call with a potential client and signing them on. Then just being like, “Here you go, here’s the process. You’re going to receive a text message, anytime you get a charge from me it comes from a text message, know that everything is here. Then you’ll also get this contract. You can read through it with me.” It’s just really easy. I think that’s really helpful.

We’re super excited about you and your business. I’m actually downloading one or two of your ebooks. So Shh! Thank you so much for spending time with us this Sunday and enjoy the ride.

Thank you. I appreciate you for all that you do, all the updates and for always being quick to message back too. 

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