Joan MacDonald

Joan MacDonald

At the age of 75, Joan MacDonald is not your typical fitness influencer. After a series of health issues, she decided to take control of her health and fitness and began a journey towards self-betterment. With the help of her daughter and fitness coach, she joined the gym, improved her diet, and took on a resilient mindset, racking up an astonishing 1.6 million followers on Instagram, all of whom are watching and being motivated to don some gym clothes, weights, and begin their own fitness journey.


How did you formulate your workout plan?

I started my plan with my daughter Michelle. It was daunting because I had to learn all of the technology in order to view my plan and input my macros. It was stressful, but Michelle guided me through it. She also helps manage my diet and workout routines, which she offered to do after the doctors told me I would need to increase my medication. It was in that moment I knew I needed to set some goals and lose some weight.


When you started first going to the gym, what challenges did you face? How did you overcome them?

When I started working out, I lacked energy. I was out of breath just walking up and down the stairs. I worked at slowly increasing my pace and effort, and as the weight came off it became easier to do so. 


How do you treat yourself? 

I definitely have a sweet tooth! I like chocolate and anything with Nutella. It’s probably why I make my daughter’s chocolate cupcake recipe (Hattie Cakes) often. If you want the recipe you can check out my YouTube Channel.


How often do you train in a day?

I lift weights for one hour, five days a week, and then switch to cardio for 30 minutes. I only do cardio once a week, and have one rest day.


Which supplements do you recommend?

I like to keep it simple with supplements. Protein powder, BCAAs, omega 3s, and creatine are my favourites for training. I would also recommend Women’s Best supplements.


You have become a huge success in the fitness industry – was this your goal?

Oh, no – the thought of being a fitness influencer never crossed my mind!


If you could only do one exercise every day, what would it be? And on the other hand, which one would you gladly avoid? 

I really like hip thrusts and ab work! I would probably avoid one sided-planks. 


You have been a role model for women around the world. What advice would you give to women who are struggling with their fitness journey?

Change is hard, but making the decision to change will bring you one step closer to the goals you’ve set for yourself. Take things step by step and be thankful for what you are achieving. You’ll achieve more out of love than being hard on yourself.


If you could go back in time and tell your teenage self one thing, what would it be?

I would tell myself to be present and to slow down more. We miss so much when we let ourselves get distracted and rushed. Slowing down will let you ask yourself the questions that stimulate self-growth. How am I feeling? How am I interacting in my relationships? How am I taking care of myself? When we don’t process these things we get stuck in a cycle that never allows us to grow in the direction we need to. 


In November 2021, MacDonald released a line of journals promoting not only health and fitness, but mindfulness. Using the hashtag #journalwithjoan, she has created a space where her followers can find support and encouragement for both the physical and mental elements of fitness. This year she has expanded that community by releasing an app: Train With Joan, which features guided workouts and dietary advice. MacDonald continues to be a powerhouse on all fronts who refuses to buckle, no matter the weight on her shoulders!


You can find out more at:

Instagram: @trainwithjoan


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