Staying active with Jules

Tuesday September 8, 2020

Our certified personal trainer, Jules, is a third-year human kinetics student at uOttawa and has a strong passion for health and fitness. She is a successful Canadian Physique Alliance bodybuilding show competitor, and she believes that anything is achievable with the right attitude and proper guidance! Keep reading to discover her tips and tricks for at home fitness and how she has been staying healthy during physical distancing!

Q.1: How have you been able to stay active during physical distancing?

A: The gym has always been a priority for me, so I did my best to transfer that to a home workout setting. I cleared out a space in my room where I’d be able to train inside on a rainy day, and aside from that I do my workouts outside. I often plan out my workout a day in advance, write it on a sticky note and stick it somewhere I’ll see it the next day (usually my desk).

Q.2: Have you been doing any specific workouts or exercise?

A: I started out with no equipment at all, so I ended up doing a lot of plyometric and HIIT style workouts. There are great options on YouTube if you’re unsure of where to start... just type in “Bodyweight HIIT workout”. Then, I got my hands-on adjustable dumbbells that go up to 55lbs each, and a barbell set! Lately I’ve been doing old school bodybuilding style workouts using nothing but free weights, and occasionally resistance bands. I’ve been working out 6x a week with 1 rest day, and I divide my days like this: Shoulders, Quads, Rest, Hamstrings/Glutes, Chest/Triceps, Core/Cardio/Glute Circuit, Back/Biceps

Q.3: What has been your favorite exercise or workout that you’ve tried during physical distancing? 

A: Plyometric Push-Ups and Pistol squats have become some of my favorite bodyweight exercises to do from home, and I will definitely continue with these now that gyms have opened back up. I was never good at these exercises before the quarantine started. It was satisfying to be able to improve without needing a gym!

Also, I’ve been doing chin ups and pull ups by tying a knot at the end of a tea towel and putting the tied end at the other side of a closed door (at the top of the door). Then, I grip the non-tied end for the chin up. For pull ups I use 2 tea towels and spread them out for whatever grip I want (neutral or wide). Not responsible for ripped tea towels or broken doors if anyone tries this ;)

Q.4: Do you have any advice for students who are struggling to be active from home?

A: Get creative! Whether you have no equipment at all, some resistance bands, or even a backpack with heavy textbooks you can add into it (if you’re a student I know you do), there’s SO much you can do from home. Here are some exercise examples you can try using a backpack full of heavy textbooks, rice, etc.:

  • Squats, lunges, push-ups (wearing the backpack on your back)
  • Deadlifts (gripping the backpack shoulder straps)
  • Upright rows, single arm rows, Pendlay rows, front raises, lateral raises, bicep curls (gripping the backpack straps)
  • Overhead Press (holding the ‘body’ of the backpack)

For me personally, I have found it helpful to get my workout in early in the day. It reduces the chances of me getting caught up in something else and being too tired to do it later at night.

Q.5: What have you been doing to take time for your wellbeing?

A: I’ve been doing daily meditations using an app called Headspace. It has helped me drastically with stress, concentration, motivation, and even difficulty falling asleep. I also got into yoga.

I’ve also used this quarantine to clean up my diet. I haven’t had a need for quick convenience foods when I’m at home anyways and have all this extra time to cook something healthy and delicious!

I have also used this time to work on reading more and am also starting a business.


Interested in trying a workout with Jules? Check out her Monday HIIT class or try one of our other virtual fitness classes.

Visit the virtual Wellness Hub for resources and tips to help you practice self-care and keep your health and wellness top of mind.