Today’s interview is with superstar fitness coach Jason Klein.
Jason used fitness and exercise to overcome serious hardships in his life, and he’s now on a mission to share his knowledge and experience with as many people as possible, starting with the goal of 5 million people.
Jason’s programs and personal training are all about helping people to get strong, lose fat and feel happy. Who could say no to that?
Doing this interview with certainly certainly made me happy, and I assure you that reading it will make you happy and motivate you to appreciate life more and pursue your fitness goals.
Talk to us about yourself and your fitness career
I’ve been involved in strength training as a coach since 2008. I began training youth Soccer players in speed, agility and quickness. Coming from a personal athletic background in Soccer, Track and Cross country, it was quite the natural transition from player to coach. I had a sense of empathy for what my clients were going through and what they were thinking. What challenges were most common that need the most coaching. A part time college gig evolved into what I would soon become evident as my passion. I began aggressivly learning the world of biomechanics and exercise science and completed both a Bachelor and Master’s degree in Exercise Science. Immediately upon graduating, I was offered a position to train as a Fitness Instructor for the United States Marine Corps and Navy. During my year as a Fitness Instructor on Base, I had the tremendous honor of working with Marines, Sailors , Army Special Forces and many spouses. The primary challenge that I addressed was simply enabeling my clients to: 1. Be strong 2. Burn Fat 3. Feel Good
Following my year as a Fitness Instructor, I went on to found Body of Purpose, a strength and fat loss company devoted to helping 5 Million people experience a transformation of body and mind by 2025.
You’ve suffered from self-esteem issues growing up, did fitness help you in that department?
I was one of those kids who never found their place when they were young. Although you would never know it, struggled with self-image and anxiety to a point were I attempted suicide at 13 years of age. Fitness was the spear’s edge for saving me. It was the one ledge that I held onto during the darkest times in my life. I would not be here talking to you today if it was not for athletics and specifically, soccer. I had no idea at the time, but making my body stronger was empowering me both inside and out. That was what saved me.
You talk a lot about the Interval Cardio-Resistance Training method, what does that mean exactly?
Interval cardio-resistance is a simple term that I use to describe training all three of your body’s energy systems simultaneously. We could get into a exercise physiology discussion, but really all you need to understand is that the human body has three primary sources of energy production and metabolism is stimulated at an increased rate when you are firing all three energy systems.
You’re on a 5-million mission, what’s that about?
The 5-million mission is something that I created when I first founded BodyofPurpose.com in 2012. I realized back then that I needed to share something that can really help people. Whether they are a premium personal training client of mine, paying $80 per hour, or just someone I am mentoring for free, the mission is the exact same. I suppose the reason for my thinking is that somewhere along the way, certain people came to me in a time where I was extremely vulnerable and on the cusp of life. If it weren’t for them beleiving in me, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy life today.
You’re a big fan of fasting, how can the average person incorporate fasting into their diet, and what benefit should they expect from that?
I woudn’t say I’m a “fan” of fasting, however, a fan of how it makes my body feel and look. It is a stress-free way to manage calories and at the same time, enjoy the food that I do eat. The truth is, I am average as it pertains to body fat and even strength. I’m not Michael Phelps. The most important concept to understand when on a fasting program, is that your body will need to adjust into the new lifestyle. I have yet to see a person jump head first into fasting and their body adjusts overnight. It’s the same process as riding a bicycle.
What do you think about cheat meals?
I love them, haha. I think cheat meals should be exploited, but in a fashion that it fills a previous caloric defecit. All that means is you planned for the cheat meal by creating a literal defecit in the carbs and fats that you can consume before the threshold of storing it as fat.
Could you give us a quick tour of your programs?
Over the past three years I have authored four different fat loss programs that over 2,500 people have used to transform their bodies in as little as 60-minutes per week.
The Marine Body is my latest and greatest, which really culminates all of my previous work into one system. It is inspired by the bodyweight training that I did with US Marines and Sailors during my time as a Fitness Instructor. There is not equipment included in this program, only bodyweight.
You describe yourself as a “world vagabond,” how important is traveling to you?
This is a great topic for me and I could go on for days. I found my passion for minimalist traveling in 2014 when I went to Argentina. I had the goal of becoming conversationally fluent in Spanish and meeting new friends, of course. Immersing myself in a foreign society and culture created an interesting shift in my mindset. The World as I know it is but one tiny spec and to have compassion with the “outside world,” simply brings you out of your own head and into the head of other people. This is when real creativity, learning and friendship happens. It’s simply a deeper level of thinking. When you physically see a part of the world in-which you didn’t realize existed, it subconsciously changes your perception of how you see the world and who you are.
Did you notice any differences in the way people exercise in different countries?
I did, but after a few months, I had an epiphany that it really is just different variations of the same idea: movement. There are few methods that I would actually label as “wrong.” If it is challenging you and making your body better instead of worse, then can you really argue it? I did notice that Argentina is all about the Crossfit hype, which goes back to the underlaying question of purpose. If it is making people better versions of themselves, why not?
To wrap this up, what would you say are your three absolute favorite bodyweight exercises?
- Any variation of the prone iso ab (there are hundreds).
- The Yoga Push Up with hand release
- The Walking Sprawl
Thanks Jason, I’ve had a great time doing this interview.
It’s inspirational to see how you bounced out of a really dark spot and used the experience to prevent other people from going to a similarly dark place.
Few things rival exercise as a form of therapy, and I think everybody should be using fitness to become stronger, leaner, and happier.