Age: 42
Hometown: Ashland, Ohio
Current Residence: Burlington, North Carolina
Height: 5’4″
Weight: 125
Titles Won: Fitness Olympia, Fitness International
Twitter: @jenhendershott

Quote: “The people who motivate me the most are the people who really do get off their butt and lose 100lbs and change their life. Those people who have to fight genetic health struggles are my heros because I have been blessed in a lot of ways and those people are always going to have to work a lot harder.”

From K-8 teacher to 2-time Fitness Olympia champ, and now a highly coveted trainer, Jen Hendershott shares how fitness pushed her off the fast track to a life spent in the classroom and took her body and her career to the next level. On top of her two Fitness Olympia wins, Jen boasts an impressive resume including two Fitness International titles.

Now 42, Jen has retired from competing professionally and is now flexing her entrepreneurial muscles. She says, “I’m just a totally different person. The reason I retired was I had become a professional. I had become an entrepreneur. Competing opened the doors to the life I have now.”

Jen’s primary focus now is helping others achieve their personal fitness goals. From competing to weight loss or simply living healthy, she’s made herself an incredible resource for those seeking help. She’s also the mastermind behind rocker Chris Daughtry’s impressive physical transformation. Jen says, “The greatest thing in my life right now is helping people. It’s better than any trophy, any win.”

Ten years ago Jen created Phat Camp, weekend workshops that educate women on nutrition and exercise, and help build their self esteem. Her latest business venture is Get Phat Online. She says, “That’s my baby right now. That’s where i think a lot of people are finding themselves to be the most successful.” It’s an online training business where a carefully selected team of trainers help her develop nutrition and workout programs for men and women all over the world. 

Impressed yet? Here’s what else she had to say:

M&F: What’s your favorite workout?
Jen Hendershott: I love to train legs. I love plyos on legs. I don’t train heavy really at all. It’s all plyos for speed and agility.

Is there a workout you hate to do, but do anyway?
I hate training back because when I pick up a heavy dumbbell I tend to get muscular. I’m trying to be fit and 40 and have a different physique than when I was competing. I spent 15 years building my body to be fit and muscular. Now I’m going in the opposite direction. It’s just not my market anymore. It’s not how I make a living.

How do you stay motivated?
To be very honest with you, I have been so motivated and on track for 15 years. I’m a self motivator. I can talk myself into things and out of things very easily.

Do you have any staple meals or snacks?
I love peanut butter. I could eat a whole jar of peanut butter and not gain a pound. During the week especially I try to stick to a clean, high fat, low carb diet.

Do you have a go-to recipe that’s five ingredients or less?
I love peanut butter pancakes. It’s low sodium bisquick, vanilla protein powder, egg whites, 3oz of strawberry greek yogurt and a big scoop of peanut butter. Add little bit of water and mix.

What would you be doing now if you weren’t a trainer?
Honestly, I’d probably be a high school principal. That was my ultimate goal when I came out of college. I wanted to teach and become a principal before I discovered fitness and fell into all of this.

Is there a fitness trend today that you want to see more of?
Can I be honest? Just get off your ass! I just want to see more people moving, and less people making up excuses. I don’t care what it is, as long as you’re doing it. To me, anything works as long as you apply yourself and are consistent and loyal to it.

Is there anything you’d like to see go away?
Anything that promises a quick fix.

What are some common mistakes you see people making in the gym?
They’ll show up and do the work, but they’ll go home and eat like crap. You see the same people in the gym for years and they still look the same because their nutrition is not right.