JC Deen is a fitness coach, writer and singer out of Nashville, TN. He’s been seen in Men’s Health, Huffington Post Live, Men’s Fitness, Forbes, and T-Nation, but does most of his writing at his main website, www.jcdfitness.com.
He also takes on a handful of transformation clients each month. Check out this expert interview for ways to stick to your training program and maintain your motivation through the long haul.
Q & A With JC Deen
1. How did you get started in the fitness industry?
I started by writing a blog (now called jcdfitness.com) about my personal experiences with strength training, fat loss, and injury prevention in 2008. Within a few years, I had started building an audience, almost on accident, as a result of people sharing what I had written.
2. What do you think are the top 3 reasons people have trouble achieving their fitness goals?
- Lack of a true ‘why’ behind their goals
- Poor understanding about the basics of nutrition and training
- No guidance and accountability
3. What are some effective strategies to overcome those challenges?
I like to teach people how to dig deep within their reasoning and find out exactly what their pain is, and why they want to resolve that pain. Most say they want to look, or feel better, but those are surface-level goals, and easy to abandon.
Instead, I have them dig really deep and figure out their true ‘why,’ which is responsible for their desire to change. And if we uncover this, it’s easier to establish a plan, and then implement the accountability necessary to reach their goals.
4. What is your opinion on HIIT vs. steady state cardio for long-term fitness and body fat reduction?
I think they both have their place, and neither one is more beneficial than the other, in the long run.
5. Are there any exercises you think do more harm than good?
High-rep Olympic lifts are definitely problematic, and should have no place in most people’s lifting programs.
6. What are 3 of your favorite core exercises?
2. Russian Twists
3. Palloff presses
7. Are there any exercises you think everyone should include in their workout program if they want to get lean?
Nothing specific, but I place a priority on compound movements over isolation, or single joint movements in most programs.
8. If you could only give someone one nutrition tip, what would it be and why?
Don’t fall for fad diets. They all promise an ultimate solution, but none of them ever deliver. Focus on whole foods, following a diet that provides all the essential nutrients, and adjust based on your activity levels and training goals.
9. What do you eat for breakfast?
A large bowl of oatmeal (usually about 80g dry) with butter and brown sugar. 2 eggs. 1 cup of orange juice. 2-4 servings of cottage cheese (for the protein and calcium).
10. Anything else you would like to add?
I’ve been practicing meditation and mindfulness since July 2012, and while it may seem to be far removed from an active life, it’s an incredible addition to your fitness routine. I’ve found it to improve my focus, not only in the gym, but with my work and my studies. I’ve written about it frequently on my site, bodybuilding.com and for ZenHabits.net. Here’s a Youtube Video about meditation.