Jen Grasso Interview Part 2
Now let’s get to it!
Nia Shanks: When it comes to strength training and nutrition, I am all about keeping things as simple as possible. With that in mind, what are your most basic tips when it comes to training and nutrition?
Jen Grasso: Try to get better at every workout, always striving to add weight or reps. Use big, compound exercises while avoiding typical “girly” isolation exercises. And finally most females should stick with full body workouts. As for nutrition, you must be willing to pay for good high quality, organic food. There is nothing more important than your body and your health. I would also suggest that more people try intermittent fasting as it makes a huge difference in the way you feel, perform and look.
NS: I love those tips – simple, but very effective. Next up, we have some questions from one of the readers:
- Are you vegetarian/vegan? If so, how long?
JG: I am not a vegetarian/vegan but I was for nearly three years. Nowadays we incorporate a wide variety of healthy foods.
- Can you share a typical day of eating on training AND non training days?
JG: I follow an intermittent fasting diet and fast for 16-18 hours after my last meal at night. I then eat all my meals/calories daily within a 5-7 hr period. My diet everyday consists of high protein, low carb all organic foods, lots of fruits and vegetables and ample amounts of water. Training days, I add in a post carb meal right after my workout which usually consists of sweet potatoes.
- Can you share a typical week of training (how many days per week, upper/lower split, hypertrophy or strength training, etc)?
JG: I now strength train 3 times a week at Renegade Training Center or wherever we happen to be, with my fiancé and training partner Jason Ferruggia. I use a lower/upper/lower split since I am focusing right now more on bringing up my lower body, especially my glutes with heavy squats, deads, and assistance lifts. I also do some type of conditioning on my off days, such as hill sprints, prowler pushes, battling ropes, sled drags or jump rope. In addition I add in fasted morning cardio with a 30 minute power walk 3-5 times a week
- Can you describe your overall health and training philosophy?
JG: My basic training philosophy is no machines and minimal traditional cardio. I train for functional strength and to be as strong as humanly possibly using barbell lifts, dumbbells, kettlebells, strongman type exercises and advanced bodyweight exercises. I follow a diet which includes intermittent fasting and an all natural, organic, high protein, low carbohydrate diet using carb cycling during the week and drink lots of water.
NS: Awesome! Let’s move on to a different topic. While a lot of women are terrified about building muscle, some women want to build as much as possible. What tips would you give these ladies who want to get stronger and build more muscle mass?
JG: First of all, train heavy. As I said, use big, compound exercises and avoid machines and isolation movements. Keep a training journal, write down everything you do and always try to beat it. If you can only squat the bar right now, set a goal of squatting 95 pounds 16 weeks from now. Set goals and then do whatever it takes to achieve them. And don’t be afraid to eat. A lot of females have been brainwashed into following starvation diets but if you want to gain muscle you need to give your body the building blocks to do so. That would include adequate amounts of protein and moderate amounts of properly timed carbs on training days. Adding in some non-traditional cardio such as sprints, jump rope, prowler pushes, battling ropes, sled drags are a must to bring up your conditioning and keep the bodyfat levels low.
NS: Thanks for the great interview, Jen! Hopefully our readers will start applying this information today. Where can people find out more about you?