James D. Marin, aka. JamerJay. His BodySpace page is one of the most popular on Bodybuilding.com, and it's no secret why if you've seen his photo album and/or watched each of the YouTube Videos. He is truly remarkable for keeping himself in such great shape and for staying dedicated despite having multiple jobs and being so young. Why does he do it?
According to his BodySpace profile: "I took up working out (some may say religion) at age 17. I was around 125 lbs when I started out & 6 ft tall. I took it up for myself. Vanity, women, etc. were not driving forces for me - women come and go, cars and material objects come and go, but your body, motivation, dedication and lifestyle stay with you to the very end."
As you'll read in the interview, his body fat doesn't go above 9% and he doesn't have an off-season. Staying in that kind of condition takes the kind of dedication and love for the sport many people don't have.
It really was an honor to interview him. Read on to see what one of Bodybuilding.com's most popular members has to say about nutrition, training and life.
Jamer Jay: The People's Champ
[ Q ] Tell me a little bit about how you got into training and fitness in the beginning.
[ A ] I got into weight lifting during the end of High school - 17 or so. I had always been interested in athletics but cross country
soccer were my main sports/calling back in high school. It was mostly down to my lack of size, coupled with my height (the stand out lanky, skinny guy) that made me decide to start hitting the weights.
Initially, I started everything wrong. I ate everything in sight - cookies, biscuits, ice cream, donuts, McDonalds, etc. I had no idea what I was doing. I was lifting with a set of free weights I had purchased from a store and my protein consumption was low. I figured I could eat anything, as my metabolism was very fast and I was so very scrawny.
Although I gained weight this way, it was mostly fat. I found the Bodybuilding.com website that same year and decided to do some research. I started with the teen bodybuilding section. There were guys like Brian Locke, Layne Norton, Derek Charlebois, etc. that had articles on nutrition, weight training, etc.
It was pretty much from there that my diet turned around and I got into bodybuilding.
Click Image To Enlarge.
My Lack Of Size, Coupled With My
Height Made Me Decide To Start Lifting Weights.
I spent the next few years more into bodybuilding than anything else. I think at my heaviest I was 228 lbs or so. I cut back to 200 lbs and decided I preferred that look. I eventually moved more into fitness just before turning 22. I liked the feeling of combing function, well shaped muscle with low body fat.
[ Q ] What kind of supplementation do you use?
[ A ] I have used tons of different
creatine powders over the years and I felt they helped me out during my first few years of training. However, I no longer really use creatine, as I like to keep lean most of the time and I don't feel I really benefit from it when in that state.
I no longer really use
creatine most of the time due to keeping lean and being ready. I'll sometimes use it but it has to be a few weeks before I'd do a shoot. I use a
multivitamin in the mornings, especially when I'm on a
lower carb day. I use a
NO product - like
NO-Xplode before I hit the gym for an increase in energy and focus - that and I love the taste.
[ Q ] What is your nutrition regime like? Does it vary much between your off-season and on-season?
[ A ] My diet getting ready for a
shoot is 4-5 days low carb and two to three days high carb. Low carb days are usually anything from 50g to 100g carb and higher carb days are 350g or so for my
Protein I keep to around 30-40g per meal.
My Diet On Low Carb Days:
- Whey protein shake with a small bowl of oats OR a big bowl of egg whites and a small bowl of oats, one tbsp of natural peanut butter.
- Whey protein shake post workout.
- Chicken breast, broccoli and green peppers
- Whey protein shake, natural peanut butter.
- Dinner is usually steak, fish or chicken with a small portion of rice/green vegetables.
- Whey protein shake
Sometimes I'll throw in an extra protein shake if my day allows.
Higher Carb Days:
- Egg whites or a protein shake, a few cups of oats and granola.
- A wheat tortilla or 2-3 slices of wheat bread with lots of chicken breast.
- Chicken, green peppers, broccoli and few cups brown rice post workout.
- Usually a protein shake and oatmeal or a wheat turkey sandwich.
- Dinner is usually chicken, steak or fish with potatoes or brown rice and vegetables.
- Protein shake.
All meals are usually spaced out 2-3 hours apart. I normally eat my pre-workout meal an hour before the gym and have a shake straight after.
[ Q ] How much cardio do you do (on-season/off-season)? How do you manage to put on muscle at such a low body fat? Are your energy levels low, if not, why not?
[ A ] I don't really have an off-season these days. I used to go through off-season, gaining around 10 lbs over the course of around 8 weeks, lean-slow bulking. These days I
carb cycle. I go low carb (just under 100) from Monday to Thursday and high carb (regular bulk days) Friday through the weekend.
I keep my cardio to around 3 times a week for 45 minutes at a 4 incline or slow and low intensity - a fast walk. I don't want to go intense because I don't have the carbs to do it and instead of burning fat I would end up burning muscle as fuel.
I find the low carb days and cardio keep me in check. I keep lean/get leaner and keep muscle by doing it this way. If I need to gain weight or cut more, I'll increase or lower the number of low carb days during the week.
[ Q ] What is your training regime like?
[ A ] My training regime is focused around a 5-day weight split. I do
cardio for 8-10 minutes at the end of my workouts these days to keep lean and to warm down.
I normally go from 6-8 reps for a few weeks and then switch it up to 8-12 reps. It depends on what I'm trying to achieve at the time.
I try to stick to around 13 or so sets per body part - 6 to 8 on smaller body parts like biceps/triceps, with 3-4 different exercises and compound exercises first. Sometimes I'll go a little higher on the volume to shock things up for a couple of weeks and then lower the volume.
- Monday: Chest, Abs & Core
- Tuesday: Back
- Wednesday: Cardio/Off
- Thursday: Shoulders, Chest, Abs & Core
- Friday: Arms, Abs & Core
- Saturday: Legs
- Sunday: Cardio/Off
Sometimes I have to miss a day and bring days forward but that's how it usually goes.
[ Q ] What do you do for a living? How do you balance the modelling/life? Where does normal life/competition fit in?
[ A ] I am a qualified sports massage therapist and
personal trainer. The top qualification in England is level 3 reps. It is a 3 month, all intensive 9-5 course that takes into account everything to do with posture, health and fitness, bodybuilding, nutrition, massage, etc.
Personal Training Articles:
However, I still work in Information Technology administration for a small company back home in England.
[ Q ] What is your body fat year round?
[ A ] I try to keep below 9% body fat year round. If I bulk, I would draw the line at around that body fat percentage. It's a lot different to bodybuilding. A lot of those guys end up looking so overweight in standard clothing until they diet down. Whereas I could pretty much go unnoticed year round in clothing. Until I take my top off, of course.
[ Q ] How do you feel about all the attention you've been getting recently?
[ A ] It is nice to see people tell me that they get inspired/
motivated by my videos. I am by no means a big guy these days. I do not have a 500 lb
bench press or 20 inch
biceps, but I am in good shape/condition and decided to go a different approach to motivating others.
I did this by releasing videos on YouTube. I found the majority of fitness videos on that website were done by guys very much full of themselves; flexing, etc. But none of them really motivated you as a viewer.
My approach was to tell a story with a combination of music and workout videos. I have always loved cinematography, music, and video editing, so it was always a fun thing for me to do.
[ Q ] What is your most memorable accomplishment to date?
[ A ] With fitness and modeling? Probably qualifying as a
personal trainer and shooting in LA with Bill Comstock earlier this year - kind of picked up my modeling.
[ Q ] What's the motivation that keeps you going? The one (or however many) thing that keeps you going when you're starting to go crazy from training and dieting?
[ A ] The thing that keeps me in check the majority of the time is that I need to keep/get leaner in case of doing a
shoot. That and I just like to look in shape as best I can. It is not much of a hardship after awhile and the results you get are worth it.
[ Q ] If you could give one piece of advice to someone who needs that little extra push in the gym or their diet, what would it be?
[ A ] I think people should enjoy life and find an inner sense of peace before starting to hit the gym. The gym won't change you mentally or as a person, so it's important you have the right attitude before hitting the gym. Don't get me wrong, take out any frustrations you have in the real world out in the gym, but also make sure that you are enjoying life and not shying away from other advantages due to
diet, etc. Because that will make it very hard in the future.
In addition, train for yourself. Don't train because of women or as a New Year's Resolution. Train because you want to become fitter and look better. It's not a quick fix and it isn't an instant pass to the girl of your dreams.
Diet and successful training come in a package. You aren't going to see results if you are eating badly after training throughout the day. When you buy your membership to a gym you are buying a pass to the healthier food section of the supermarket.
Keep to purchasing non processed foods, quality/complex
yams, whole grain cereals,
vegetables, lots of
water, and lots of lean
protein sources - it's the best start anyone can have.
You just have to remember that you should be doing this for yourself. If you keep pushing yourself in the gym, eating well and are keeping focused on your short-term goals for yourself, you will be ok.