Whitney Johns is a fitness competitor with a unique insight on how a fitter life can lead to healing health issues and feeling stronger in both body and mind.
Despite what the glossy cover shoots portray, it’s life’s imperfections that often bring people into a space where they want to work. Such was the case for Whitney. “My love of fitness started when I was just 16 years old,” she says. “I grew up suffering severe migraines, chronic pain, mental health issues, and had many problems with my gut health. I got fed up feeling poorly all the time, so I took matters into my own hands and searched for a solution. I spent years researching and self-testing to get to the bottom of my issues. It became clear that to heal my body, I had to make nutrition and lifestyle choices that were going to improve my internal health, as well as my outer physique. After earning my IFBB Pro Card and becoming a professional bodybuilder, I bought into many of the unhealthy and extreme measures that the fitness industry promotes. I paid the price for it and once again I had to claw my way back from the damage that these unhealthy habits created for me—mentally, physically, and hormonally. It was at that point that I committed to my purpose: To help as many people as I could learn the right way to go about their fitness and wellness journey, and to share the tools that helped me to turn my life around.” So, even though everything seems perfect thanks to the face value of a photo, there’s often a lot more driving someone to achieve goals that go largely unseen.
Staying in fifth gear
Everyone’s fitness trajectory will be vastly different, but often the typical journey can see someone’s drive to exercise play second fiddle to life commitments and circumstances. Whitney has few ideas on how to keep your fit mission going when you’re running low on motivation.
1. Follow the 20 min rule
You can do anything for 20 minutes and often the hardest part is just getting started. Once you are moving you will be more likely to go beyond the 20 minutes.
2. Set mini goals
This lets you celebrate the small wins along the way. Instead of losing 50 pounds, start with a small goal like getting cardio three times this week or completing 10 push-ups.
3. Focus on “your why”
This should extend beyond aesthetics. Instead of just looking “summer body ready” emphasize the importance of feeling confident, energized, and strong. Find a workout buddy who makes it fun and holds you accountable when you’re slacking.
4. Turn up the fun factor
Try some sort of outdoor recreation for your cardio or even a dance cardio party in your living room works! When you enjoy the cardio that you are doing, it matters less what you are doing; all that matters is that you’re doing it.
Embrace your power
Exercise isn’t limited to the physical. Instead, you can expect to enjoy both emotional and mental upticks that often come as a welcome surprise. “Those who embrace a routine of exercise say they feel empowered, they’ll feel much more capable in their day-to-day functional strength,” says Johns. “With strength comes confidence and feeling sexier in their skin. There is also much to be said about the endorphin release from working out which directly elevates everyone’s mood. Additionally, this allows you to be more effective in caretaking those around you thanks to your decision to take care of yourself. It means you’ll no longer be pouring from an empty cup.”
The great thing about exercise is that the options are limitless and with them come unique groups of people who you can share your journey with. “I am very proud with the type of woman that resonates with my brand and Team Fit with Whit,” explains Johns. “They are strong, badass females that aren’t trying to fit into the cookie cutter perfect mold. They are striving to become their own best version of themselves but on their own terms.
My coaching philosophy rests on the pillars of hormone health, gut health, and mental health. I prioritize wellness from the inside out. Beyond just diets, workouts, and quick fixes. This methodology is a much more sustainable, long-term holistic approach to a transformation journey. So, they can look the way they want on the outside, feel the way they should on the inside.
“The fitness industry is full of gimmicky supplements and powders that have ingredients that super damaging to your holistic health,” she says. “A lot of products are marketed as health products yet wreak havoc on your gut and hormone health. My biggest piece of advice is to look at the ingredient list first, and scan for ingredients that are not naturally derived or highly processed or chemical in nature.
Whit’s weekly routine:
• Resistance/ Weight training 3-4x’s a week
• Kick boxing 2x’s week
• 20 min of daily walking outside with the dog
• I always have at least one rest day
Use these exercises to give yourself a full body band workout that will improve muscle
tone and make you feel stronger where ever you feel like training.
1. Banded good mornings (3 x 10 reps)
2. Banded squats (3 x 10 reps)
3. Banded deadlifts (3 x 10 reps)
4. Seated rows (2 x 15 reps)
5. Standing single arm rows (2 x 12 reps)
6. Standing single arm front raises (3 x 12 reps)
7. Standing bicep curl (3 x 12 reps)
8. Standing shoulder press (3 x 12 reps)
9. Single kickbacks (4 x 15 reps)