Tag along as we talk about LA-based celebrity trainer Jason Wimberly, also known as the Ken Doll of the fitness world and The Wall.
Jason Wimberly is a Los Angeles-based celebrity personal trainer, and Founder of THE WALL Fitness. With over 10 years’ experience in the fitness industry, Jason has taught over 6000 sold-out classes across the country and keeps many of Hollywood’s elite looking their best. THE WALL’s signature classes offer a unique blend of core activation, rhythmic weight training, and indoor cycling.
Tell us about The WALL and how it came about.
The fitness boom has been amazing for those of us in the industry, but unfortunately, it has led to many entering the space simply to capitalize on its growth, rather than a drive to create something original or of value. I have been an athlete my whole life, and a trainer or instructor more than half of it. It was never necessarily my dream to open my own studio, but I know my type of movement is different enough that I needed to create a place to share it. Luckily I found the team to support me, and now after a year with a pop-up studio to get our feet wet, we will be opening my 5000 sq ft studio in April on Wilshire and La Brea.
How did you get started in fitness?
Dad was, and still is a trainer and bodybuilder, so moving was a way of life for my family. I was pro in the ballet by 17 years old but had even taught dance and cardio sculpt classes before then. I discovered the spin bike in NYC at about 23 years old with Will Ashley at Equinox and instantly fell in love. Total junkie, taking 2-3 classes a day. It wasn’t long before I had to share my love of it with others as an instructor.
What makes The WALL stand out from the rest?
A client told me the other day “fitness studios are like cats in L.A., there’s one on every corner, but not many you’d want to take home.” The growth of group fitness has been amazing, but what ends up happening is that studios rely on gimmicks to carry them, or try too soon to automate their business leaving it lackluster and quite frankly, renders the studio replaceable at some point. The current trend in almost every studio you see is to run clients through a series of stations, with no real togetherness or minimal correction on the form. At THE WALL, all of our classes are done to the rhythm. That doesn’t mean you need to be able to dance, but it does mean whether we are on the weight-training floor or in the spin room, we start together and end together. Regardless of how much you lift, your size, or your level, by using the music to build our classes and rhythm in the movement, we’ve been able to create a community building experience that is empowering beyond bouncing from station to station or watching a TV monitor for your next move. Looking in the mirror and seeing everyone move together makes you feel stronger, knowing you’re not in it alone. It also looks pretty bad ass.
What are your specialties in terms of fitness?
As a trainer I’ve been known for my ability to create long and lean silhouettes, which is how I came up with the name WIMBERLEAN for my first fitness brand and DVD. In the studio and at THE WALL I’m most known for my high kicks, constant booty pops, and occasional drops to a split. Fitness should be fun, and trust me… you’re going to forget how hard it is when I’m lying across your handlebars with one leg in the air.
What are your top 3 favorite exercises?
Without a doubt, the three you will know if you’ve ever taken my classes.
- Curtsy Lunge
- Side Lunge
- Rear fly using my Wimberbands.
What does your day look like?
My day starts at 4:45 am where I roll over to cuddle with my boyfriend for about 5 minutes before stuffing my face with whatever food is in the kitchen. Followed by coffee, some under eye concealer, and usually a lot of spandex… and I’m out the door by 6 am to either teach or take my first client at 6:30. I block off 6am-12pm for clients, then it’s lunch, gym, and my afternoons are spent on e-mails and conference calls. Planning studio events, designing new apparel, deciding on our new café menu and trying new items.
What does a day in The WALL look like?
Right now at THE WALL pop-up, we offer two classes, 123STACK and Stacked. The first combines 10 minutes of core activation, 20 minutes of rhythmic weight training, and 30 minutes of indoor cycling. Stacked keeps the core and weights but drops the bike for a 45 minute all weight training burn. At the flagship studio opening in April, we will be adding our new 45-minute recovery and mobility class, a full spin class, and adding in some dance cardio options as well.
Who is your fitness inspiration?
My Dad. He had me when he was just a baby, but at almost 60 he still is one of the most dedicated men I know. Without fail he’s up at 3:30 am to cook his meals for the day, do his first workout, and train his clients, all while running a successful optometry business and a small real estate investment group in Houston. Growing up around that, and now seeing it stay the same almost 40 years later, inspires me every day.
Who was your first celebrity client and how is his/her training like?
Not sure if I remember my first, but I do have my favorites. Jane Lynch hates working out but luckily loves me enough to suffer through it. I get enough of an ab workout during our sessions from all the laughing so it’s a win-win. Brian McCook, aka Katya from “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” and the “Trixie and Katya Show,” is one of the smartest and most entertaining people I have ever met. Sonoya Mizuno from “Ex-Machina” and “LaLaLand” is poetry in motion, and a true joy to work with because she understands her body so well. And of course, my tiny pixie Selma Blair who is so delightfully angst riddled at all times you just want to hug her, if she lets you.
What is the most interesting part of this job?
Being a trainer or instructor is one of the most important responsibilities out there. Our clients trust us with their time, their money, their bodies, and their emotions. Literally, the most precious assets they have. While physically my body is using to working out all day long, giving so much of myself can be draining emotionally. Luckily, it’s a job where all you give comes right back because you see how great you can change a clients life in such a short amount of time. They can go from the worst mood ever to leaving you an hour later feeling on top of the world. I’m not entirely sure if it’s the most interesting part of this job, but it sure is the most rewarding.
What is your advice to people who are interested in becoming fit?
Do what Nike has always told us to do, and just do it! Find something to move your body that you like and that feels good. Becoming fit is not about being a size or shape, but it is about being your best self. Luckily that also means there is no “one size fits all” solution, and you have the freedom to find what works best for you and your body. The most important first step is that you just start moving, regardless of what it is or where you start. THE WALL was really a bold metaphor for me, to remind us to seek what lies beyond our own perceived limitations. We all build up walls of doubt, either self-imposed or because others told us we couldn’t. I believe that fitness is the equalizer that breaks down those walls, and can bring us together to attain something bigger and better. I always say it’s not just a workout. It’s your life. How are you going to spend it?
Where can everyone keep up with you to learn more?