Wondering how Jessica Ennis-Hill's fitness coaching app Jennis Fitness works, and what inspired it? Jess explains all…
"The home workout playlists on Jennis Fitness are inspired by all the exercise and training I’ve done over the years as an elite athlete," explains Jess. "They actually use similar body weight exercises and circuits to those I used when training professionally.
"The big difference is that now that I'm a busy working mum, I no longer have the luxury of time. So I’ve needed to wrap them up into combinations that give you great results through 30-minute sessions or less. I also had to make sure they could be done at home.
"The exercises combine to give a great cardio and strength workout, and I guarantee you’ll get a really good endorphin buzz afterwards. The playlists are also divided into beginner, intermediate and advanced so there’s something for everyone."
So, what inspired the style of exercises in the playlists/circuits?
"Being a heptathlete I had to make sure I could run, jump and throw – there was no avoiding the things I wasn’t good at, so working all of my muscle groups was really important," says Jess.
"The Jennis Fitness exercise playlists combine a lot of explosive exercises that I did when I was training, with lots of strengthening exercises, such as jumping lunges or tricep dips. In all of them, you’ll see that I’m making sure that we work our arms, legs, bum and core, so it’s all all-body workout."
What makes the Jennis Fitness playlists so effective?
"It’s important to combine cardio and strength work – there’s no point being super-strong but lacking in the stamina department," explains Jess. "My workouts aim to get the heart rate up, as well as working the muscles, so you will increase fitness and improve your tone. Cardio and strength and conditioning are good for burning calories too."
I train with Andy, my husband, at home – we always agree a time when we’re going to do it and then neither of us will let the other down
How often do you recommend people do these?
"It’s completely up to you but I do them three times a week. I believe it’s really important to rest and let your body recover, so I’d rather do less and go hard than work out every single day."
How do the circuits work with other types of workouts, such as running and yoga?
"I very much believe in a holistic approach to training, one that incorporates cardio, strength and flexibility. Because of that, these circuits are great for helping people work on the often-neglected strength training. I’ve also tried to create workouts that suit different abilities, so the beginner workouts and the short times are ideal for those who are just getting into exercise, while the intermediate and advanced will really stretch people."
Why is rest so important?
"Rest during a workout allows your heart rate to drop before you go and raise it again," explains Jess. "As you get fitter, you will recover quicker and build fitness.
"One thing I learnt from my years of training with my coach, Toni Minichiello, was that although we often feel like we want to constantly push ourselves to get fitter, rest is actually a part of training, so you need to treat it like that. You’re not just doing nothing, you’re allowing your muscles and body to grow and adapt to your workouts while avoiding injuries."
What marks these circuits out as different?
"My workouts are built around my personal experience and years of being an athlete, and they can all be done at home. They work for my life now and I believe they will work for you too."
The exercises combine to give a great cardio and strength workout, and I guarantee you’ll get a really good endorphin buzz afterwards
What are your favourite exercises?
"As much as they are tough, I love a burpee – it is such a great all-body exercise. Coming from a sprinter’s background, I am quite dynamic, so exercises like jumping lunges and squat thrusts suit my explosive style."
And which exercises can't you stand?
"I’m not an endurance athlete, so I’m not a fan of distance running – I’m a sprinter at heart!"
Where do you do your workouts and when?
"I have two favourite places – I love working out in my garage gym at home and I go to the woods to do hill sprints whenever I can."
What do you think about doing Jennis Fitness circuits with a friend or partner?
"The circuits can easily be done with a friend or your partner and I encourage people to do them together as it makes it a lot more fun," says Jess. "I train with Andy, my husband – we always agree a time when we’re going to do it and then neither of us will let the other down, so we stick to the plan even if we’ve had a long hard day."