We are pleased to welcome Jared Countess, mathematician turned personal trainer, to the mod_e team. We were immediately drawn to Jared’s uncalculating charisma and obvious passion for fitness and nutrition. Jared is a NASM certified personal trainer, certified strength and conditioning coach, and sports nutrition specialist. Jared’s journey is an interesting one, and we are stoked to be a part of it! Check out our interview with him to learn more about what he’ll be contributing to the team. It is not in numbers but in unity that our greatest strength lies. Ooh Rah!
Q1: What is it that makes you so interested in sports and nutrition?
Hey, I’m an FFK, or “former fat kid,” turned fit guy and personal trainer. So cliché’ I know. The truth is it’s my mission and it’s been a lifelong one. As a kid no matter how hard I worked, how many sports I played or how hard I trained, I was always fat. And I’m not talking about chubby, I mean fat, my doctor labeled me clinically obese when I hit 200lbs before the age of 10. To make it even worse, I’m black and if you are not black then believe when I say this, there is nothing worse than being black with absolutely 0 athletic ability. Don’t get me wrong, I played sports, but I was kind of like Sean Astin in Rudy, hard work and wit got me on the field, but nobody looked for me in a pickup game. I got interested in both sports and nutrition, because I did not want to be the obese kid. I wanted to be a strong, smart and fast guy. I had the mental stamina so I worked for it, trained for it, and no matter what I did I just could not get there. It wasn’t until I understood the role of nutrition and what the right nutrition is for me to get to where I wanted to be that I became really interested in the nutritional part as well. Sports and nutrition really need to go hand in hand, otherwise you leave a lot of potential or even your goals on the table.
Q2: What athletic performance (by someone, in the past) has shaped your view on sports?
I know what you are asking but honestly I don’t really follow sports very much, even though I am very active I am not your typical sports fan. Having said that there are two kinds of performances that very much shape my view. The ones of my clients and people I work with and my own. I am just not watching it on TV or following it in any other form. One fact I came across though a few years ago really stuck with me and that was when I learned that Michael Phelps consumes 10,000 calories a day to support his training. This to me changed my entire view of nutrition and how it correlates to training. This was my real life example that to perform you must fuel your body.
Q3: What exercise do you like best and why?
I love Pull Ups. When I started I could not do one. And now I can do 100 in under 8min. I also love them because they are you best overall upper body building exercise. When done properly they are great for the shoulders, form a muscular upper body, decompress the spine and build the biceps and strengthen the core.
Q4: Which exercise do you hate but still do and why?
I can not say I hate doing any exercise right now. Normally I would say running, but I do not allow myself to think about how much I dislike it. I have learned and teach all my clients that the first area to conquer is your mind. If you hate something that is good for you or helps you better yourself, you will eventually stop or cheat yourself while doing it. So whenever I began a new routine or change my goals I immediately link the activity to my goals. I don’t allow myself to think about how much I dislike it and when the thought pops up which it does I immediately think about why I’m doing it and how much I want the results. For running I never want to feel so defeated by a course like The Spartan Race again. So I’ll get and stay conditioned for it.
Q5: What has been your biggest athletic accomplishment?
……None. I think more in goals than accomplishments. Doing sports is a never-ending story and once you reach one goal you already have a new one.
Q6: You work as a coach and personal trainer. What are the biggest challenges you experience with your clients?
The biggest challenge I face as a coach and personal trainer is convincing my clients to eat more, when they look in the mirror and don’t like what they see. Trying to convince people that the body only makes permanent change from a semi-fed/fed state is difficult and goes against most conventional knowledge and information found on the web. But I try to teach my clients that if you could not see yourself doing this for the rest of your life then it is probably not the best way to get fit.
Q7: What is the biggest self-made hurdle or mistake people make when trying to reach their goals?
Biggest self-made hurtle or mistake people make when trying to reach fitness goals is not listening to their bodies. Everyone knows it’s going to hurt and you are going to have to restrict yourself somewhat if you want to lose weight/burn fat. But most people go too extreme and workout when sick or hurt. This only leads to more sickness or injury. Then after they are injured, mostly knees and backs, they have a hard time doing anything, lose motivation along with their progress. It is my job and goal to get people to look at physical activity and nutrition, especially when first starting out, the same way they look at work or play. The body and the mind need breaks, rest and recuperation. Have rest days, take time to heal or bring down the intensity if you are in pain. Fitness is a multifaceted venture it’s not just lifting weights or running or riding a bike, train all facets and you’ll get even better at your main focus and you will decrease injury and fatigue.
Q8: What role does nutrition play–compared to the actual training or working out–to reach optimal performance?
Back to Michael Phelps and his 10,000 Calorie regimen. The body cannot perform without proper nutrition and lots of it. A Formula 1 car is not getting as many miles to the gallon as a smart car period and it uses better more expensive gasoline. So if you want to move fast you better eat good and lots of good food. What goes in comes out is the simple formula here. It’s easy to leave a lot on the table with bad nutrition.
Q9: What is your life philosophy?
Achieve Peace. Peace in knowing that I gave my best and did my best to live to my fullest potential. I want the Peace of knowing I gave life my all.
Q10: What is your nutritional weak spot?
Cheese. I’m lactose intolerant and it’s not good for me, but I have to have it at least once in awhile.
Q11: What do you like about mod_e products?
Mod_e is quite honestly the best sports beverage I have seen on the market. I love juices for getting in nutrients quick and increasing their absorbability. I find a lot of my clients have problems with both detoxification from years of improper eating and need to do a better job of getting in and absorbing proper nutrients. Mod_e products knockout two birds with one stone, detoxifying and fueling your body in one fell swoop.
Q12: Any last thoughts?
Here is why I think the best performance nutrition is natural performance nutrition. What humans can and should consume has evolved and been tested for over 5 billion years in the biggest lab there is–Earth with all it’s natural facets. And Nutritional Science has been around for thousands of years and it was the ancient Greek philosopher Hippocrates who said “let thine food be thy medicine.” He is the reason a doctor’s code is called, the Hippocratic oath, and the reason I have not taken so much as an aspirin in the last 10 years. Good natural nutrition is my food, my fuel and my medicine and I am pleased to say that MOD_E falls in line with this most ancient of philosophies. Finally, there is an option for athletes that combine modern as well as ancient scientific insights and knowledge with the resources that are provided naturally.