Jane Brooks is a head coach at Iron Tribe Fitness (ITF). Originally from Huntsville, Alabama, she started her journey with ITF in Birmingham (where the company was founded) and three years ago, jumped at the opportunity to help grow ITF in a franchise market. Every morning, Jane greets the day at the early hour of 4:30 a.m. Before most of us have even hit snooze on the alarm, Jane is fueled with coffee and ready for morning classes, which start at 5:45 a.m. She spends her days teaching classes (usually 5-6), meeting with clients to discuss goals and tending to administrative duties. Before she heads back home, she sneaks in a workout at ITF and logs some time outdoors. Since the alarm is set to go off at 4:30 a.m. again the next day, she is in bed by 9 p.m. each night. When Jane isn’t on the clock, you can usually find her cheering on the Predators, the Titans and the Sounds or exploring all Nashville has to offer. As part of the Iron Tribe team, Jane is here to share her workout secrets, her undying love for coffee and tips for staying motivated. Welcome Jane as today’s FACE of Nashville.
Tell us a little about Iron Tribe Fitness. How do the workouts differ from other programs?
ITF provides a unique fitness program where you get the fun experience of working out with a group, but the personalization of the workouts customized for each individual. Think “personal training in the group environment.” However, I think what really sets us apart are the relationships and the community that we form with our athletes. To us, it’s more than just a good workout. If you were to come in and workout for 45 minutes and leave, we wouldn’t be accomplishing the goals we have for our clients. It’s about establishing individual goals and accountability, but keeping workouts fun in a community setting.
What is your favorite way to be active outside of the gym?
I love to be outside! I am always up for a hike around Percy Warner or Radnor Lake. It’s so important to get outside and enjoy all that it has to offer — and Middle Tennessee offers some fantastic opportunities. When I find the time, I love attending a yoga class. Recently, I have been taking a few Acro Yoga classes at a local studio in Germantown, Steadfast and True. It’s fun to challenge your body in different ways!
What are a few health trends we can expect to see in 2017?
The emergence of more boutique-style group fitness is catching on. The average person just doesn’t know what to do when they get into the gym. These boutique gyms are making it easier to have a trainer or coach telling them what to do, rather than having to workout on their own. I would also say more personalized and individualized nutrition plans and nutrition coaching. Again, it is easier to have an expert tell you what to do than figuring it out on your own.
Do you have any quick tips for those looking to get back on track after the holidays?
Yes, two things: find a workout program or activity that you enjoy doing. You don’t have to dread working out! That’s why I love our programs at ITF, and why our clients enjoy coming in. Our workouts are fun and quick. Plus, you get the accountability and support of not only coaches, but other members. My second tip is to prepare. I believe it was Benjamin Franklin who said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Time block your days to make sure you get your workout in or workout in the morning so you know you will do it. Prepare your healthy food ahead of time so you aren’t stuck having to eat something unhealthy or (gasp!) nothing at all.
What is your New Year’s resolution?
I’m always setting goals for myself, but New Years is a great time to reflect, re-adjust and really think of what you would like to accomplish in the next year. This year I’d like to make a point to travel more. Another goal I have is become more aware on local politics and to vote in every election. And a few other small goals, like remembering to bring my own bags when grocery shopping, reading at least two books a month and sending out birthday cards to my friends.
What is your secret weapon for staying motivated?
I am a cancer survivor. At the age of 21, I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. After intense chemotherapy and a lot of prayers, I was able to beat the cancer. Although I had always been active and healthy, it became even more important for me to take care of this body I have been given.
For me, that is the motivation and I am encouraged by workouts I enjoy doing. My workouts are challenging, but there is such a sense of accomplishment. I know that even a short, easy workout on the days I don’t feel like exercising helps clear my mind and ease my stress. I keep going to feel the best I can feel everyday. And by eating clean and healthy, I know I am fueling and nourishing my body the best I can.
That is also my motivation for helping others. I want them to be able to live the fullest life they can, so they can feel better, and in turn have a longer life and a better quality of life. I love hearing my clients say they are now able to do things they couldn’t before — like playing with their children or grandchildren, or being more productive at work. It makes what I do 100% worth it.
What is the best piece of advice you have received and from whom?
I vividly remember having a conversation with my dad when I was a little girl, probably around [age] 9. I was trying out for Clara in The Nutcracker. He told me that I could do anything I wanted to do if I wanted it badly enough and worked hard for it. That year I did not make Clara. However, that stuck with me and has resonated throughout other things in my life. I have found that the things I am passionate about are the things at which I work hardest; therefore, those are the things where I’ve found the most success.
What is your next restaurant destination?
Can you recommend a few good reads?
I am about to start Food Freedom Forever by Melissa Hartwig, which is a follow-up of one of my favorite books on nutrition, It Starts with Food, that she wrote with Dallas Hartwig. To me, they are simple reads that break down the “why” behind the way I eat the way I do (which is whole foods focused on lean meats, vegetables fruits and no dairy or grains).
What are three things — excluding faith, family and friends — that you cannot live without?
Coffee, water to make coffee and mugs from which to drink coffee! Can you tell I love coffee?!
But in all seriousness, I would have to say coffee, exercise and the outdoors (mainly when water or sunshine is involved).
Thank you, Jane, for taking the time to answer our questions! And a special thanks to Ashley Hylbert for today’s gorgeous pictures!
Pam Davis, RN, MBA, is a Certified Bariatric Nurse and this month’s FACE of TriStar. She shares her powerful story of how a health scare prompted her to make a life-changing decision and how that ultimately led to her current position and the impactful work she does as TriStar’s Center for Weight Management program director. Click here to read her story.