For years, I’ve been in awe of Jessie J. Not only does the singer have an amazing voice, but she has a super strong body to match. The way she’s able to belt out tunes and perform a full-on dance routine had me questioning: “How does she do it?”
The “Bang Bang” songstress has taken to Instagram many times to show off her rock-hard abs and toned glutes. But it hasn’t come to her easily. She’s always posting her workout routines—from strength training to rowing—and it’s clear that she works hard.
She preaches that everyone should go to the gym to “get ugly,” so you won’t catch her with a fresh face of makeup on the elliptical. She makes sure she is drenched in sweat by the end of her workout. She’s also naturally always active, jumping in the pool or rehearsing dance routines for her performances.
Since I’ve been in a fitness rut, I took some pages out of Jessie’s book, hoping that with the mix up of workouts and tricks I’ve learned from her, I would be able to revitalize my ~boring~ workout schedule (mostly running and online cardio classes). Here’s how I organized my week, inspired by Jessie:
The Fitness Game Plan
- Monday: HIIT cardio workout incorporating moves from Jessie’s trainer Sonja Moses
- Tuesday: Dance class with 305 Fitness
- Wednesday: 30-minute strength training workout
- Thursday: SoulCycle class
- Friday: Workout with resistance bands
- Saturday: Rowing class at Rowhouse
- Sunday: Recovery Day (foam rolling)
Full disclaimer, this isn’t Jessie’s *exact* routine, but I put it together based on the workouts I’ve seen her post to Instagram as well as the tips she’s shared in interviews. I went into the week with the intention of consistently changing things up and getting super sweaty. And after seven days, I walked away with a lot more than a couple of dance moves. I felt so inspired by her mindset when it comes to physical activity, and you just might be too.
1. When in a rut, change it up.
The most exciting thing to me about taking on Jessie’s routine is that she says she doesn’t like to do the same thing twice. “I can do anything from SoulCycle to yoga to dancing,” she told HuffPost. “I get bored easily since I am an Aries.” Because each day I was met with something new, I felt more motivated to complete each workout.
2. Give the workouts you hate a second try.
Inspired by Jessie, I decided to sign up for a SoulCycle class. To be honest, I never loved cycling but it’s been a few years since I last tried it and I wanted to give it another shot. I don’t know if it’s because my routine has been feeling stale or if I was just happy to be back in a group fitness class after the pandemic, but I felt extremely invigorated to the point that I am considering going back. I could also see why Jessie likes taking classes there—the playlist was phenomenal and the group atmosphere kept me motivated.
That being said, I also tried a workout Jessie herself doesn’t like, but she does pretty regularly: rowing. “I hate…the rower,” the singer said in an Instagram story as she reluctantly powered through the workout. Since it was my first time I would be trying a rowing workout, I decided to take a class at Rowhouse to get more guidance.
Even though the class was as motivational as SoulCycle, rowing was tough. It was more difficult to enjoy than the other workouts I tried this week, but it resulted in some serious arm muscle toning. I might not do it frequently moving forward, but I’ll definitely throw it in the mix when I feel I need a change.
3. Dancing is a great way to work out without feeling like you worked out.
I couldn’t spend a week channeling Jessie J without incorporating a little dance into my routine. “People ask me how I stay fit and slim and I explain that I never stop working when I’m on stage and that that’s my fitness,” she told Women’s Health UK. “I just never stop!” Since Jessie is so active outside of the gym—thanks to her shows and music videos being full of choreography—I added a 305 Fitness cardio dance class into my schedule.
By the end of it I was so shocked with how out of breath and sweaty I was. The entire time I kept thinking, How can any performer dance and sing at the same time? I had to give Jessie some major props. This workout made me realize that exercise doesn’t always have to be super technical or include intense moves like burpees or mountain climbers. Just the act of constantly moving your body for 45 minutes to an hour could be beneficial.
Also, I felt like I was learning a skill or starting a hobby on top of getting exercise. Since it was my first time taking the class, I felt really uncoordinated, which pushed me to want to take the class again and improve the way I was executing my moves. Overall, it made me realize that Jessie is so fit because not only does she hit the gym frequently, she’s active outside of it.
4. Getting sweaty doesn’t only happen with cardio.
Jessie goes hard with cardio. Many of the workouts in my experiment were very cardio-focused: In addition to SoulCycle, Rowhouse, and dance, I tried a workout created by her trainer Sonja Moses.
But she also makes time for strength: “I love weight training because it means I gain weight,” Jessie once said, “which is important for me.”
So, I tried a resistance band workout as well as a 30-minute Glutes and Legs workout via the Peloton app. The former was kind of a cardio-strength hybrid; My main takeaway from doing the resistance bands is that it upped the intensity of bodyweight exercises to just the right amount when I felt they were becoming too easy.
For the weights, I used 15-pound weights and 20-pound weights and, let me tell you, I really felt the burn. By the end, I was just as sweaty and out of breath as I was the two days prior.
What I also loved about adding weightlifting into the routine was that it gave me a sense of feeling strong in a way that the cardio workouts didn’t. When I had to move into my apartment later in the week, I actually felt strong enough to lift boxes and carry them up the stairs—not just physically, but also mentally. There was something about the strength training that made me feel like I could conquer anything. It was cool to see how my workouts from this week carried into my everyday life.
5. Go hard with your workouts…and even harder with your recovery.
By the end of the week, I was beginning to feel really sore and tight. After doing a lot of high-intensity workouts, my body was craving recovery but I still had a few workouts left to complete. “All you consist of in life is your body,” Jessie told Women’s Health UK. “So I have to make sure that from my head to my toes, I’m doing the best I can to make my life long and healthy.”
With listening to my body and making it a priority in the way Jessie does in mind, I decided to incorporate foam rolling into the routine since I’ve always found that it helps me feel less tense. It was really important for me to give my body what it needed and it helped me finish the week feeling like a superstar like Jessie.
After the week was over, I felt inspired to go hard but I’m not sure I would be able to keep up with Jessie’s pace regularly. I loved the variety but definitely know I can’t always be as active as she is, and that’s totally OK.
My Biggest Takeaways
- I’ll keep strength training in my routine not just to build muscle, but to build confidence.
- Conquering workouts that I otherwise dread not only makes me feel accomplished, but shows me that I can get through difficult situations in or outside the gym.
- A killer music playlist can be the biggest motivator.
- When my workout schedule gets stale, I’m going to throw in new types of exercises to help me feel challenged and excited.
- I have to be mindful of when I’m overstressing my body with exercise and incorporate recovery and rest days into my routine as well.
- Dancing can be a super intense workout but also another amazing way to incorporate fun into movement.
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