Whenever we put real thought into our actions, most of us would like to be able to say that we’ve made a lasting impression on the people around us.
Jean Claude John is driven by this desire to touch people’s hearts. He is a self-defined fitness enthusiast, personal trainer, bodybuilder and someone who changes lives. Aged 26, he works at Vel’s Fitness Centre, a family-owned fitness and personal training business. While this may not have been his childhood dream, through it, he has been able to find himself and discover his career path.
Dazzle: Was a career in fitness training always part of your plans for the future?
Jean Claude: Actually, no. I wanted a career in sound engineering and music production. I had ideas of going to study in the United Kingdom to be a professional music producer but it turns out that God had different plans for me.
Dazzle: What was the lead-up to you becoming a personal fitness trainer?
Jean Claude: After I left Corinth Secondary School I had the option to further my studies at the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College. Before committing, I realised that I didn’t want to pursue something that I wasn’t deeply passionate about. Being my mother’s only son, it was then a mutual agreement between myself and my mom that I would join the family business, Vel’s Fitness Centre.
Dazzle: How do you keep up to date on everything fitness related?
Jean Claude: I try to pull from as many sources as possible. Of course, the internet is a great source of information, alongside books which I constantly research. Above all though, I always test diets and workouts myself before recommending them to a client.
Dazzle: Instant results are often expected. How do you advise clients who have high expectations?
Jean Claude: I help the client understand that anything worth having takes time to obtain. Once we’re on the same page, I assess their goal together with them to determine if it is indeed possible within their set schedule. But I always remind them that to reach this goal they’ve set for themselves, they need to make sacrifices to reap the rewards later. Delayed gratification is the key!
Dazzle: How do you come up with a client’s fitness programme?
Jean Claude: Each client and their goals are completely unique. Therefore it requires special effort to curate their fitness programme. I structure their workouts based on their body type, health condition, history in sports, their strengths and weaknesses etc. Then after a ‘fit test’ I’m able to decide what programme they need to achieve their goal.
Dazzle: As a young fitness professional, how do you
build and retain your clientele?
Jean Claude: When I meet a potential or returning client, they should be able to instantly tell – regardless of my age but rather by my attitude – the value that I have to offer.Along with that, self image is everything. If you think of yourself as a professional, then you act like a professional, you talk like a professional, you do what a professional does. And that is what I go by.
In the case of any business at all, results talk. Which is why I always try to demonstrate my knowledge and deliver results. If not, clients will not be able to trust me with their physical health.
Dazzle: What motivates you?
Jean Claude: My legacy. I want to be one of those people who can say that during their lifetime they’ve contributed to positive change, and helped people believe that if they have faith in themselves, they can achieve anything. One of my favourite quotes is, ‘Nothing is impossible, the human mind is the most powerful muscle. If you master that you can achieve anything.’
Dazzle: What has been your most satisfying moment as a personal trainer?
Jean Claude: I do believe that the best is yet to come. But I am most proud of the progress I’ve made with a client I once worked with. At first he had really low self-esteem and was in poor shape. He felt that he needed a more fulfilling life. After a period of time, we diligently worked towards his goals and he eventually achieved every goal he set for himself.
Dazzle: With so many health and fitness and diet programmes on offer, how do you maintain a competitive edge in order to attract and retain clients?
Jean Claude: My goal is to always provide ‘A1’ customer service. Like the saying goes, ‘treat people how you would want to be treated’. Along with great service, having keen knowledge and delivering actual results means that clients will naturally return.
Dazzle: If you had the chance to start your career all over again, what would you do differently?
Jean Claude: I don’t want to say I’d make a change in my life sooner because I did so as soon as I was able to. But even though fitness training wasn’t always my lifestyle choice, I do believe in God’s timing and that ‘you live and you learn’. So because I have that experience now, it makes me a lot more knowledgeable.
Dazzle: Where do you see yourself in the next few years?
Jean Claude: Married (LOL) because I’m currently engaged. In terms of business, I want to be the big shark in the industry not just another little fish. I always want to grow and learn more. I’m working hard now so that later I can thank myself for making the right choices.
Dazzle: What advice would you give to up-and-
coming fitness professionals?
Jean Claude: There’s enough room in the industry for everybody to be successful. Your sole focus shouldn’t be finances. Instead, focus on how you can help add value to someone’s life because that’s what a personal trainer should be all about. When you do it out of true passion and determination, clients will naturally show up and come back.
Dazzle would like to wish Jean Claude great success in achieving every goal he’s set out for himself!