Many of you may already know me from my regular posts, interactions and pictures on Sleekgeek Facebook Group.
I have been part of the SG family since there were roughly only 1,000 Facebook group members. There are now over 11,000.
I found Sleekgeek by pure chance. I was looking into body transformation competitions and challenges like the ones they have on bodybuilding.com but wanted a local competition and that’s where I found the Sleekgeek Summer Body Challenge – An 8 Week Body Transformation Challenge.
My story starts in school. I was always a sporty kids playing rugby for the B teams through my whole school career but I excelled at athletics.
I was always part of the sprint teams or jump teams and eventually got school colours for high-jump and a chance at WP. I was probably the shortest jumper in the country.
When I left school I was 59kg of skin and bones.
I stopped playing sport and become very much a sedentary kid. I studied IT and got involved in online gaming where I would sit for hours playing games and eating crap.
I then had the opportunity to go to the UK to live and work. This was one of the best things to happen in my life. I got to see the United Kingdom and explore new cultures but there is always a darker side.
I got very involved in the party scene going out 3-4 times a week not eating properly and working long hours with very little rest or proper nutrition.
At the hotel where I worked there was a gym but I didn’t know what I was doing so I thought it was really a waste of time so that soon stopped too.
I then returned home after 2 years now weighing in at 56kg. My girlfriend at that stage got me into a gym. We both started working out and being more active outdoors as you would since its Cape Town its warm and there is so much to do outside.
We joined Virgin Active in Gardens and that is where my current story picks up. She got a trainer to help her while I did the typical “Bro” thing and just started doing weights still not really knowing what to do.
I started reading sites like simplyshredded.com and bodybuilding.com and really got motivated by the type of training they did. I wanted to be big and strong like them. I was using their routines and tried to do my best still I never understood the nutrition that went with the workouts.
I ate everything….everything wrong and bad that would never ever help anyone gain proper weight. My girlfriend’s trainer Bruce was a big guy so asked him for help. I started to train with him.
In one year we managed to take my weight up to 74kg with big eating and big lifting. I was a bigger bulkier guy and I loved it. I then started helping my mates with their workouts, taking what I had learned from Bruce and applying it to them.
One day he calls me aside and says to me, “you do really well with your mates I can see you genuinely want to help them and are really understanding what we’ve been doing, why don’t you study to be a trainer?”
This was the spark that ignited my flame for health and fitness.
I started looking around at courses and who was affiliated with which gyms and come across HPFA in Claremont. I got funding from my girlfriends parents to whom I am eternally grateful and started going to class.
I was part of the Sleekgeek community for a good few months by then and was asked by Elan to join the SG team for fittest in Cape Town.
We were given a fantastic offer to be trained by Jarrod Firmani who taught me the art of lifting, pushing and pulling properly, the power lifting way. These techniques have always stuck with me.
The games were awesome, we were the true underdogs and probably had the most fun than any of the other teams even thought we came nowhere.
I then join a group called CaliKrew that did outdoor training in Sea Point at the outdoor gym. Soon afterwards I qualified as a personal trainer.
When Tambe, the original founder of CaliKrew decided to go explore the world I took over. I’m sure you have seen the group pics and some of the strange things we do but we have fun. It is all focused on body weight movements.
When the Sleekgeek Comeback Kid Transformation Challenge came around I knew I had to enter. For those 8 weeks I trained hard, ate cleanly and had a cheat meal (not a cheat day) once a week.
I was very satisfied with my transformation even though I never placed in the competition. I weighed in at 70kg with a body fat of 10%
This actually spurred me on to go further and with some inspiration and a push from only a few friends did I set a goal to get on stage at a fitness show.
My first time on stage was nerve wrecking as I was the smallest whitest guy on stage but it didn’t matter I felt good and knew that I had done a good job. I weighed in at 69kg and was down to 7% body fat.
I never placed in that competition either but it was great practice. I met some amazing people and was befriended by so many that it gave me the inspiration to do more shows. My next show is In June called Battle of the Titans. This will be the biggest competition on my calendar and hope to get top 5.
So this little boy, 56kg of skin and bones worked his way to a now 70kg lean machine that is stronger, fitter, faster and way more knowledgeable than ever and is now a trainer at Virgin Active in Sunningdale and still lead the CaliKrew with outdoor bodyweight workouts but we now have a home in Woodstock.
A message to those “hard-gainers” – It takes time to gain weight, stop claiming you are eating big like I did in the beginning. You can eat more. Take responsibility for your eating, your training and your rest.
Consistency is key with anything you do and don’t sweat the small stuff.
If I can do it so can you.
- Jono is now working as a personal trainer in Cape Town and you can get contact him on his Facebook page here.
SUBMIT YOUR STORY AND WIN R500 Wellness Warehouse Voucher
Jono wins a R500 voucher courtesy of our sponsor for the “YOU CAN live life well” series Wellness Warehouse to be spent on their online store with free delivery nationally.
I believe very strongly that ordinary every day people like you and I derive great inspiration from the achievements of people who seem similar to us. If they can do it.. damn.. so can I! Right?
So through this program we will continue to tell people’s personal stories.
I want to great an archive of hundreds of stories of people who have changed their lives while others believe they cannot.
Submit your story to firstname.lastname@example.org with the Subject line “You can live life well”
- Your story in your own words covering at least (How you got to a point of change, how you made the change, tips and advise for others)
- A selection of before and after photos
- As many words as you need to tell your story
In advance, we regret that not all stories may be published. Your story is as important as anyone’s story but we can only publish one a week and the editor will make decision on this.
If your story is published you will receive a R500 voucher to the Wellness Warehouse online store with free national delivery.