Jonathan aka ‘Kaos’ is a name to be reckoned with in the training circuit in Hyderabad. I’ve trained under Kaos for four months, the details of which can be found on this very site (Click here). Kaos is a drill sergeant. The closest I’ve ever got to a boot camp in the army was under this guy as a personal trainer. Up at the crack of dawn, relentless yet focused training for 45 minutes to an hour (not counting alone time on the cardio machines), and then a proper diet. I know this interview is about Jonathan, but I feel it proper to state that I’ve never personally encountered a tougher physical and mental phase in all my life. Discipline is mostly self imbibed and it’s not something that comes to everyone easy. In fact, like Rich Piana always said, it’s just those 5% that can understand or make it through the grind. Plus there is no end result, it’s a lifestyle. You will slip, you will fall, you must slowly learn to get back up and get back to the struggle of maintaining and building and chiseling and working away at your mind and body and the results will be self evident. These are just some of the lessons I’ve learnt training with Jonathan. And as he always says, “horse to water pal”.
So, who are you Jonathan? Tell us a little about yourself
I’m from Kolkata, born and bred. I’ve always been involved with fitness and sports. My journey began as a martial artist, a national level swimmer and eventually transitioned into bodybuilding as I was a scrawny teenager. It then felt like the obvious choice, but as the years went by and the mundane complexities of a music career along with an unhealthy lifestyle of a professional DJ / Producer, my fitness and health took a back seat. Sick and tired with the way I looked and the fatigue I felt all the time I decided to empower my self with the right tools to pursue a better healthier life.
I have a Diploma & Bachelors in Nutrition from Shaw Academy Dublin, Ireland, A Masters in Nutrition and Food Science from NYU, I hold a Personal Fitness trainer & Fitness Coach Certification from NYU & ACE.
When did you start training?
At 16 as I was a scrawny teenager and needed to put on muscle as a martial artist. Hence I started lifting weights and eating correctly.
Give us some insight into how you like to train
Currently I train with calisthenics (bodyweight) for warm-up and transcend to weight training starting with compound movement and ending with isolation. I’m not a big enthusiast of CrossFit. I like to control the weight I move along with precise movement/form to avoid injuries. However my workouts are very HIT based with shorter intervals for quick twitch muscle fibre and cardiovascular improvement.
If you had to impart some basic knowledge to the youth today about getting fitter, what would that be?
Learn to eat correctly. Understand MACROS (Protein, Carbohydrates and Fat) drink enough water to stay hydrated. Nutrition is 60 % of the game 20% being rest /recovery and 20% training.
In your opinion, what would you say is the biggest negative aspect of youth around you who want to train and transform?
The youth today are impatient. They don’t concentrate on nutrition or correct supplementation but are dependent on anabolics and the BRO code. Nutrition is the most important aspect when it comes to achieving a good figure or physique. Fast lives and fast food with no tolerance to trust the process leaves them disheartened.
How important are supplements while training? Does everyone need to take supplements?
There is no supplement for good wholesome food. However, you should consider multivitamins and fish oil as you wouldn’t get all your vitamins from food alone. This would be the basic as an average human requirement.
If you had to select three mandatory supplements for regular gym training, what would they be? What does each one do to your body?
BCAA – BCAAs are the essential amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine, which comprise around 35% of your body’s muscle protein. They’re “essential” because your body doesn’t make them on its own—you have to get them from food and workout supplements. Like other amino acids, they’re the building blocks of protein. But these particular aminos may also help preserve muscle glycogen stores, which fuel your muscles and minimize protein breakdown during exercise. Translation? BCAAs can help you get more out of your daily gym sessions.
Creatine – Creatine is most commonly used for improving exercise performance and increasing muscle mass in athletes and older adults Whey Protein Isolate – Whey protein is a source of protein that might improve the nutrient content of the diet. Whey protein might also have effects on the immune system.
Whey Protein Isolate – Whey protein is a source of protein that might improve the nutrient content of the diet. Whey protein might also have effects on the immune system.
What are your goals for fitness and body? When’s your next competition? Where will you go from there?
My goals will always try and be more well rounded and complete. Not just as a classic physique competitor but also as a fitness coach/nutritionist. Live by example! My next competition would be this month (January 2019) at the BodyPower EXPO. I really don’t compete for any accolades, its more for a marketing stand point as far as my business is concerned. Hopefully get a few sponsors on board too. All of this help my brand. “Kaos Fitness & Nutrition.”
How has your life changed after you started working out?
I’ve always been a sportsman and keeping my self fit & healthy was always a choice I enjoyed. However facts are that training and eating healthy don’t just keep you physically strong to take on the mundane world but also mentally sharp to handle all the stresses that come with everyday life.
What are the biggest mental battles for an everyday regular guy to go through the struggle of working out?
You must first want it bad enough. More than half the journey is mental fortitude.
Did you every face any downtime or injuries? How did you recover mentally and physically?
Yes, I have like most athletes. We are always trying to push beyond our own limitation and break new barriers, hence injuries are inevitable. As long as your mental game is strong there are always comebacks from setbacks.
How important is diet? What do you eat? How often do you cheat?
Diet is 60% of the game. I eat eggs, chicken, fish, oats, white rice, vegetables, fruits being my favorite, nuts , etc. Over the years I prefer staying on the same diet year round, excepts of cheat meals where I add extra cheese or a some deep fried food once in a while for extra calories.
What sort of clientele do you usually train?
It’s always the people that are willing to go the distance. People who really want serious changes in their lives.
What advice would you give to people who believe that they can only workout in phases and get tired after a few days/weeks/months and never return to it?
If you want it bad enough that would be reason in itself. Don’t try and be someone else when you could be the best version of yourself.
Do you find a lot of negativity in today’s youth? Whether online or in person, do you feel a lot of people tend to put each other down rather than lift them up? How important is that for the gym and training your mind and muscle?
The world has always been the same. Social media changed the game and made everything more accessible. Sorry, but this is an individuals game. You look in the mirror and be honest with yourself to begin with. Negativity is always around the next bend, but if you are a positive person nothing will faze you. Live strong mentally first and then physically.
I’ve trained under you so I know how psycho you are in the gym. Do you go easy on certain clients? How important would you say it is to rest/not go beyond certain limits?
Everyone has a threshold. You learn when to push someone with diligent monitoring and when to go easy. We all had to first balance our heads on your shoulders as babies before we began to crawl and later walk and then run. One step at a time. Rest is very important and a five day split training is more than enough. Remember, you grow when you rest!
What advice would you give the people who believe that bodybuilding is nothing but a steroid game?
Stop making excuses. Just because you don’t have the mind set or the determination, doesn’t mean the people who have gotten there are all about steroids. First build a foundation for at least 5 years naturally. Steroids never changed the game, people did. Yes, steroids are an enhancement they help you recover a lot faster. But then again until and unless you are not planning to go professional in bodybuilding, I don’t see why anyone would need them. There really aren’t any short cuts.
Does your mind set change in the gym when you’re shredding and when you’re bulking? Do you handle each differently? For example, when you’re on moderate to high carbs, you’ll focus a little easier and push harder as compared to when you’re carb depleted?
The mindset will always be the same. The best sculptures were carved out of a massive boulder. Eat big to get big, eat less to get shredded. However its always quality over quantity when it comes down to being ripped and shredded.
Jonathan is an excellent trainer to work with. Most importantly, he trains day in day out and lives what he preaches. His body is his walking talking resume. I wish him luck in his competition a few days out from today, though the outcome is not important. I’ve seen Jonathan on his bulk and cut cycles and have seen him become a giant at 102 kgs right down to a lean mean shredded machine at 80 kgs. His experience and professional certification is evident in the way he trains and coaches his clients and the lessons learnt are more for living a fuller life rather than being limited to performing reps with a dumbbell.
You can reach Jonathan at these coordinates if you want a real serious personal trainer and a life transform guide.