Triple Threat | Jaclyn Santamaria
Jaclyn Santamaria is driven by passion. There’s simply no other way to put it. She goes after the things that she loves and it has brought her to the success that she has today. “I stand by the idea of training with a purpose and doing something that makes me happy. Ever since I stopped competing in jump rope, I never had something to train for apart from maintaining good health and aesthetics. I have become very passionate about weightlifting which has allowed me to find the drive to compete again,” Jaclyn says.
I quickly found out that when Jaclyn takes interest in something, she is completely invested. Developing a love for weight training has led her to many avenues. “I manage a CrossFit gym in Burlington, where I run the Intro to CrossFit program, coach classes, and run personal training sessions. I also work alongside our in house Chiropractor, Dwayne Dunnill of 3D Health Solutions to offer delegated care.
I also have my own personal business on the side called Jaclyn Santamaria Strength and Conditioning (JSSC) which is a platform for nutrition programs, training programs, and double under workshops. Not to mention, I am currently in the middle of my weightlifting season, and training for the Provincial competition which will be held on March 24th,” Jaclyn shares.
Just listening to all of the things that Jaclyn does had me overwhelmed. But Jaclyn express the things that she does with passion and serenity. You can definitely feel the love that she has for the tasks that she takes on.
One thing that I was surprised to learn was that Jaclyn had to overcome a very tough obstacle when she was younger. She suffered from an eating disorder and I’m sure we all understand how hard that can be. “ In high school I was diagnosed with an eating disorder. I obsessed over every calorie I consumed and every inch of loose skin on my body. Exercise and counting calories consumed my life. I looked in the mirror and saw an overweight girl while everyone else saw the exact opposite-an extremely underweight teenage girl who would end up in the hospital if she kept this up. My weight hit an all-time low of 100 lbs and I was still calling myself “fat”. My mother put her foot down at that point and insisted that I get help. She played a huge role in helping me overcome my eating disorder as she battled one in her younger years.
I sought out help from both a psychiatrist and a nutritionist for several months. It was not an easy start. The nutritionist provided me with a list of foods I was encouraged to eat including full fat dairy products, hearty breads, pastas, nuts and seeds, olive oil, red meat, granola bars, cookies, etc. All foods I avoided for months in order to maintain my “figure”. Being able to relate to my mother’s experience was very comforting and made the recovery process a little easier. She stood by me the entire way and I thank her for that,” Jaclyn expresses.
Inspired, I wanted to learn more about how she developed her approach to training. Of course, Jaclyn was very happy to share. “The key has been switching up my training routine. For years, my training regimen was a combination of HIIT on the treadmill, followed by weight training. It wasn’t until I found CrossFit in 2013, when I really felt out of my comfort zone and challenged by my workouts. I really got into the Olympic weightlifting side of Crossfit about two years into the sport, and started taking it seriously as of last year.
Before I started CrossFit and weightlifting, I would rarely ever take a rest day. I would train 7 days a week and only take a rest day if I couldn’t fit my workout into my schedule or if I was traveling. I did not realize or understand the importance of recovery days. It is impossible to perform at high intensity and lift to your fullest potential if you do not give your body a day to recover,” Jaclyn enlightens.
That being said, she came to the conclusion that finding the right balance was definitely key. Over training can be just as damaging as not taking fitness seriously at all. Luckily, Jaclyn realized that she was over-doing it and was able to correct her training regimen.
What’s been the most rewarding part of your journey so far?
Knowing I can make a difference in people’s lives by helping them reach their goals. There is nothing more rewarding than knowing I contributed to the success of an individual by coaching them nutritionally or athletically.
What advice would you give to a young person today who wanted to ditch a sedentary lifestyle and become more fit and healthy?
Choose something that you love to do! Physical activity should not be punishment of any kind. It should be something you can enjoy doing 3 days a week at the very least.
Can you share a workout session that you routinely do in the gym?
My session usually begins with warm-up and mobility followed by a heavy lifting session focusing on the snatch, clean and jerk, squats and clean/snatch pulls or deadlifts. Then I move into accessory work for the upper or lower body and finish off with some light cardio or HIIT depending on how I feel or how physically demanding my session was.