Jennifer Widerstrom was a track & field athlete at University of Kansas, and was ranked in the top 25 for the Hammer Throw. Her aspirations as a fitness competitor landed her a 1st place finish at the 2006 Midwest Ironman Classic.
After doing a few fitness modeling jobs, she was snagged by NBC as “Phoenix” on the new American Gladiators.
Since then, she has excelled in the industry, becoming the first female to co-host a Men’s Health Fitness DVD, starring in several Icon Fitness infomercials, and booking an amazing location shoot in Panama for the Athleta catalog. Jennifer Widerstrom is definitely on her way to being one of the most sought after fitness models in the nation. We sat down with Jennifer to learn a little more about her!
1. What intrigued you about SU that made you want to join the agency?
Joining SU was an easy decision. They’re amazing people that work their butts off for you… you just can’t beat that combination.
2. What are some of your favorite sports and why?
There are so many!! But to keep it short… Spectator wise I’d say Football and Gymnastics, unless I’m at Wrigley Field and then I’d include Baseball. Boxing/kickboxing for a sports I absolutely love doing. I’ve been active my whole life and nothing has fulfilled me the way this has physically and mentally.
3. Describe some of your favorite project/shoot experiences.
Again so many! But here are my top three… First was my shoot with Athleta down in Panama this last winter. Amazingly genuine people. Amazing place. Amazing product. Enough said. Second was my shoot with Rodale for a Men’s Health DVD. We all worked to hard and so quickly but being such a team effort the shoot went SO well and have an absolute blast all the while. Finally, I’ve got to give a shout out to my Icon Fitness family. Clear communication, constant support and a steady stream of dancing and jokes throughout. Sometimes when I shoot with them I have to remind myself that I’m working.
4. What kind of physical regimen do you follow to keep yourself fit for sports modeling?
I’m a huge advocate for the gym I train at which is Pulse Fitness Studio. Each week I’ll work in a combination of boxing, studio cycling and also the tread and tone classes which is a shared time session of weight training and treadmill intervals. Oh yeah! …and I’ll sneak in a bikram yoga session here and there.
5. Nutritional regimen?
Balance is key!! I’ll eat the standard veggies and fish and quality carbs that everyone else does but I only keep that tight so I can have the goods when I want them. Pizza, cheese cake, delicious snack food from Trader Joe’s… all of it is in my diet but I just keep it in moderate amounts.
6. Can you tell us the mentality you bring to a shoot, in light of the demands and expectations of the project?
Be a joy to work with, period. Any short comings or nervousness you may have will be diminished because of your willingness to be positive and professional. Beyond that I just be myself and have a ball with everybody.
7. How about some information about yourself, i.e. personality, future goals, and aspirations.
I love people and I love helping others. Through building my brand, I want to create a platform large enough to positively effect people on a grander scale than I am now. This includes support for healthy living, volunteerism and even helping individuals connect with the best versions of themselves.
8. What do you enjoy most about sports modeling?
Building relationships. This industry is so fast moving that you have the wonderful opportunity to come into contact with so many dynamic people and so has become my favorite part about the job. Location shoots are always great of course, but it’s who you’re with that makes an experience what it is, bringing out the very best in your work.
9. What words of wisdom would you give to those who want to get into the business?
Be patient. Remember that any good thing comes together in time and not always in the way you thought it would. I’m not suggesting complacency, but instead to trust in yourself and your ability to grow.