Looking for some nuggets of advice to get you motivated in the gym? This achieving gr8ness profile is just for you! We got the chance to sit down with Cortni Joyner -- ex-pro soccer player, celebrity trainer and avid CrossFitter -- whose clientele includes celebrities like singer Jo Jo and Manolo Vergara. A total #girlboss and badass, Cortni shares some awesome tips on how to stay motivated in the gym and balanced through the LA fitness industry grind.
When did your passion to live an active lifestyle start?
Cortni Joyner: When I was little. Little little. I think I was born this way. I climbed trees, and ran...I learned to ride a bike when I was 3. I’ve just been active for as long as I can remember. I picked up soccer in elementary school and fell in love, and played that through college and a few years in the W-League. When that was over I found CrossFit, and that is so many different things rolled up into one “brand name.” It’s a great way to stay active and challenged.
Living in Hollywood must have its ups and downs. How do you stay grounded and inspired?
CJ: I try my best not to pay too much attention to what’s going on around me but to surround myself with good people. My favorite quote is “comparison is the thief of joy.” And I believe that. So, I keep good people around and try my best only compare where I am now to where I used to be.
Why did you decide to get into fitness/training?
CJ: When soccer was over, I still felt like I couldn’t sit still. Desk jobs weren’t for me. So I started training, and working in a job where I can remain active. I love that being fit is part of my job.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to live a healthy lifestyle in 2019 but struggles to balance clean eating, working out and determination?
CJ: Start. And start small. Make one small change first. My new clients come in and I tell them to focus on getting to the gym consistently for 4 weeks, then we will talk about diet changes. If you try to make too many changes at once, it becomes overwhelming. It’s not the way to set yourself up for success. Set one goal, make that routine, then set a new goal. The little changes will accumulate over time and give you a solid foundation to build on.
What are some of your favorite ways to workout?
CJ: In a word, CrossFit. And that’s sort of a loaded answer, but it goes like this. CrossFit is a brand name. The methodology is “constantly varied fitness.” Lifting heavy, powerlifting, Olympic lifts, bodyweight movements, running, jumping, rowing, all with varied intensity…call it what you want, it’s SCALABLE, it works, it’s fun and challenging.
How do you stay motivated?
CJ: I set myself up for small, constant wins. I’m motivated by progress. I think a lot of people are. When you don’t see progress, you get discouraged. So I changed the way I set goals. Small daily goals, bigger weekly goals, then monthly and bigger picture. They don’t have to be massive. On my busiest weeks, it’s something like getting 4 hour-long workouts in and no Postmates on weeknights. (Yes, getting to the gym myself is HARD when work gets crazy!) The idea is to create more opportunities to cheer myself on. Motivation, for me, is very much internal.
What does “the grind” and being #HungryForGr8ness on a daily, mean to you?
CJ: Being the best person I can be. Having genuine interactions with people and leaving them better than I found them. I think the best things come from just being good to the people around you and doing your best work. It guess it sounds sort of “reach for the stars” cliche, but it’s what I believe. I don’t believe “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” or “hustle never sleeps” or whatever else is out there implying that if you’re not killing yourself slowly, you’re not grinding. Work hard, have fun, and be a good human. That’s the grind I’m interested in.
Top 3 favorite workout songs to get you through that final set?
CJ: Hahahaha I like ballads. The sadder the better. Rihanna: California King Bed, Adele: All I Ask, Janet Jackson: Again
What are your go-to pre and post workout snacks?
CJ: Pre workout I like coffee, bacon, eggs, rice. Post workout, chicken and rice. I eat a lot of rice.
Gyms can be overwhelming, any tips for people just getting started on their fitness journey?
CJ: Find a gym that’s easy to get to. If you want a trainer, try out a few. The right one will make you feel comfortable. So will the right gym. Not all gyms are the same, so try a few. Then just start. That’s the hardest part. Start. Set small, achievable, goals. Be nice to yourself when things feel hard. Set more small goals. And stick with it. I can promise you this: you won’t be the only one feeling overwhelmed. That will pass!
What is your favorite quote to live by?
CJ: Do unto others as you would have done unto you.
Just for fun: You're stuck on an island and can only take three food items with you (endless supply). What would they be?
CJ: Rice, a good turkey burger, chocolate chip cookies
We've got to know, what's your favorite way to eat gr8nola?
A: Love me some Coco Cacao and Vanilla Greek Yogurt.