We Spoke to a Tone House Trainer About How to Get an MJ Body

If you want to look like MJ, be prepared to get your sweat on. Tone House trainer James McMillan tells us how.

We connected with James McMillan, head coach at Tone House NYC to speak about MJ's fit body and how to turn bodygoals into achievement. Here's what he had to say: 

Mary Jane has a slim, yet curvy, figure. Is that genetics or a workout?

A great amount of studies says that 80 percent of your weight and body shape is due to your genes, but studies sometimes leave out many other determining factors like environment and personal daily and yearly choices. Mary Jane is seen on camera strutting an amazing slim figure. She is a hard working but highly stressed character, which may cause negative weight loss. MJ has come across the fountain of youth, but she hasn’t made it to this point without a healthy and active lifestyle. Working out is a key part of her life, and she makes sure to highlight that to the world. 

If a client showed you Mary Jane as a goal body type, what type of workouts would you recommend?

To maintain a healthy slim figure you will need to utilize exercises that maximize calorie expenditure and increase your metabolism. This means short but effective workouts, and that is my favorite form of working out. Daily 30-minute workouts would be the most effective. These would include but not limited to running, body-weight workouts, and lightweight high-rep workouts. 

Depending on your pace, running can burn up to 900 calories and greater in an hour. Short sprints will help build lean muscle and burn calories at a faster rate. Try to run track sprints or find a nice grass hill and run hill sprints. Try to do three 20-yard sprints and make sure you slowly jog to return. 

A lightweight high reps workout is a great way to shred your body up. This form of working out increases lean muscles without putting too much force and weight on your muscle. Using a lighter weight, but reps 15-20, allows your body to burn calories more efficiently. For amazing arms like Mary Jane, try a dumbbell bicep curl into a shoulder press. Standing straight up with your arms at your sides, curl the dumbbells up at the same time, making sure to not rock your back. As you control the weight up to your bicep keeping your elbows tight, rotate your wrist so that your palms are facing forwards and press the weight above your head, once at the top pause then slowly lower the weights back down to the top bicep position, then lower them down to your sides.  Try three sets of 15-20 reps.

Mary Jane always shows off her great arms in those dresses. What's a good workout for fit and chiseled arms?

To fix the arm jiggle, utilize dips. This workout can be done in your office, at home or in your local park. Find a bench or an elevated surface. Stand in front of it with your back facing the bench. With your palms on the bench walk your feet out, straighten your legs and lower your body down in controlled movements making sure to keep your elbows pointing backwards and not out, keeping your shoulders back. This can be difficult but try three sets of 10-12 reps until you build up the strength for higher reps.

A lot of people say targeting a body part doesn’t work. Is it true that to get to a flat belly you have to lose weight overall?

Everyone has abs. It maybe hiding under fat but it’s there. I’m a big believer of focusing on what is stressing you out. If you want a flat belly treat it like you want it to go away. And hit it at all angles, rotate your core, lift and stabilize your core, treat it like it’s a part of your life like brushing your teeth. Because your core, well, in this case, your belly, is an area that shows if you are putting in work or not. It starts in the kitchen but finishes in the gym, or local park. But to answer your question, losing body weight the right way for sure helps tighten your belly!

What is one of the biggest fitness myths you’ve heard since working in the industry? Tell us why they’re not true.

The biggest myth I’ve heard is lifting weights will make me bulky for a woman. Now I know weightlifting is the key to adding mass, but this is only if your workouts are geared towards building mass. Weightlifting will not only help but it will fill you out in the right areas of your body. More than likely your favorite stars have their current body due to lifting weights in some form or fashion. It all depends on what type of weight training you’re doing, how often you’re doing it and how much you are consuming in food in that time period. Lean muscle should be the goal if you are training the right way.

How many workouts a week is good enough for effective weight loss?

Three to four workouts a week is great for weight loss. All you need is 30 min a day, and you’re on your way to your dream body as long as you stay consistent and committed. 

What would your advice be to someone that hates working out?

Find something that excites you, with the new trends of boutique gyms out now, you can burn that fat in more ways than in the past. A hip-hop dance class or maybe a cycle class, and if you enjoy more HIIT classes, come give my gym a try at Tone House to lose weight. There are many fun ways to stay in shape. Always think about your body as the one machine that you will need for life, everyone spends more and puts more into their phone, car, gadgets, etc., but they sometimes forget that their body is the one machine you will actually need in the long run. Working out should always be an experience, not a punishment for the food you ate last night or that one drink you should’ve put down. It should be a chance to connect with your body mentally and physically. Self-love is key to success and showing your body attention is one of the many ways to have it. Give yourself goals to reach or find a friend to do a workout challenge with; it gives you that added excitement to complete it. 

Thanks for all of your advice, James! Now you're all ready to go out there and get that Mary Jane body poppin'! If you're in the NYC area and are interested in taking a class with James himself, sign up for a class at Tone House! Be sure to catch Being Mary Jane on Tuesdays 10p/9c, only on BET!

Latest News

Subscribe for BET Updates

Provide your email address to receive our newsletter.

Select the types of notification you would like to receive from us. Please note, you must choose at least one.

By clicking subscribe, I consent to receiving newsletters and other marketing emails. Newsletters are subject to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Users can unsubscribe at any time.