The Body Builders: Jen Dehestani and Jason Sarbacker of JFit 360
It’s hard enough trying to carve out gym time after a long day at the office, let alone between dress fittings, cake tastings, and honeymoon planning. That’s where in-home personal trainers Jen Dehestani and Jason Sarbacker, of JFit 360, come in. The sister-and-brother team bring customized workouts directly to you, allowing you to train side-by-side with your sweetheart. “People are stressed out when they are planning a wedding,” says Sarbacker, a former mixed martial arts competitor who honed his fitness philosophy in the Marines. “Working out will release some of that stress while building something better for their wedding.”
How do you help couples lose weight and tone up before the big day?
JD: We offer a variety of wedding-prep packages, as well as small-group training for bridal parties. All of these options include two sessions per week, and each session is one hour. Our workouts are structured based on the couple’s specific fitness levels and training goals, taking into consideration any injuries they may have. We primarily use circuit training—workouts set up at various stations with a different exercise at each, encompassing cardio along with strength and conditioning components. Clients love that we come to them in the comfort of their own home and that we have a wide array of equipment, so we have endless exercises at our disposal.
Why is personal training better than a simple workout?
JS: With a professional trainer, you have accountability. I hear that a lot. Clients wouldn’t necessarily have worked out if we hadn’t come over. In home training, there’s nowhere to hide, no excuses.
JD: You also will get exercises appropriate to your fitness level and your stage of life—right now we have a few clients who became pregnant after we started working with them, and we tailor the workouts as they progress.
What prewedding fitness goals are most common?
JD: We get a lot of requests to tone triceps: Women don’t want that underarm jiggle. We don’t neglect any body parts, but we can target specific areas.
JS: Most people just want to look the best they can on their wedding day, or fit into their dress. Setting realistic, tangible goals is important to stay focused and motivated. If unrealistic goals are set and are not met, it can often discourage people from continuing with an exercise program. It’s important to find exercises that are enjoyable to some extent, and to try new things— except fad diets!
Are fad diets ever a good idea?
JD: The key to long-term health and wellness is a consistent exercise plan and a well-balanced (along with portion- controlled) manner of eating. Fad diets and juice cleanses can leave you starving and can wreak havoc on your metabolism. Instead, eat clean. Choose unprocessed foods, and limit refined sugars, alcohol, and starchy carbs. And remember, your honeymoon will be right around the corner to indulge!
JS: The right approach is to find a balance between healthy eating and being physically active. Eating the appropriate amounts of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are very important when starting an exercise program and will help ensure the body has the fuel to get through a tough workout and repair itself afterward.
How much time should couples ideally devote to exercise each week?
JD: Clients work out with us two times a week, and a minimum of another two times. If you are working out four days a week, on your rest days you should still be active—walking, shoveling snow. You shouldn’t be sitting on the couch all day. We want to cause muscle confusion. We don’t want the couples to do the same thing week after week. That’s when there is a plateau and you don’t see real changes. We aim for variety and options for workouts that they can do on their own.
What exercises will give brides the quickest tone-up before they walk down the aisle?
JD: Your dress type should dictate where your areas of focus are leading up to the wedding. Having a strong upper back, shoulders, biceps, and triceps are important. Also, be sure to have good posture on your wedding day; some of us have a tendency to slouch without even realizing it. Sadly, I only realized this after seeing pictures from my own ceremony! Practice standing up straight and showing off the body you’ve worked so hard for.
Any parting advice for fitness-oriented brides- and grooms-to-be?
JD: Be focused and keep your eye on the prize, but at the same time have fun and enjoy your sweat sessions together. There is a lot of bonding (and fun, healthy competition and banter) that comes along with hard work. Work together as a team and motivate each other. It’s a special time in your life and you are creating a wonderful support system for a lifetime of health.
Stay on track with Jen Dehestani and Jason Sarbacker’s prewedding training timeline.
One Year: Set your fitness and nutrition goals. Now’s the time to start getting physically active: Aim for four to five one-hour workouts per week.
Six Months: Increase your level of physical activity to avoid a plateau.
Three Months: Cut out high-glycemic carbs. In lieu of bread, rice, and pasta, sub in healthful grains like quinoa or steel-cut oats.
One Month: Limit alcohol intake—unless it’s at your bachelor or bachelorette party, of course!
Three Weeks: Keep up with your exercise and nutrition plan. Counter stress with a spa day.
One Week: Relax. Use workouts as “you” time to decompress from last-minute stressors. Kick back and enjoy the festivities with family and friends.