1.) What has your fitness journey been?
My fitness journey has been messy AF.
Before switching to a career in fitness, I spent five years in finance. Originally from Massachusetts, I attended Northeastern University where I majored in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and a minor in Spanish. While pursuing my MBA part-time at Boston University, I began religiously attending Barry’s Bootcamp where I had a paradigm shift.
Perhaps my spirituality shifted. I changed everything around in my life that wasn’t working. If this was the moment I would begin to do things I love, why be shy about it?
I dropped out of business school, uprooted my life from Boston, and moved to San Francisco to pursue my dreams of becoming a personal trainer, like one I informally imagined I could be while sprinting 12.5 mph at Barry’s. When I first entered the fitness industry I had no aspirations other than building a client base and paying my bills, but since then my journey has evolved into a much deeper purpose.
Becoming an independent personal trainer and nutrition coach ultimately has been the one of the most challenging, humbling, and rewarding experiences of my life. As a former municipal bond research associate or even as a business graduate student, I always had a “compass of success” whether it was my salary or GPA. Personal trainers don’t clearly have those compasses. I didn’t realize I had to define success for myself. I also wasn’t ready to do that because I was secretly fighting a bigger battle with alcohol addiction.
Good change never comes from comfort zones. I knew I was so much more than a highly functional addict. I wanted my personal life to be congruent with my professional life. So I moved back home to New Hampshire with my family in July 2016 to become sober.
I was attending local AA meetings, all while teaching a minimum 18 classes a week at OrangeTheory Fitness and studying for my nutrition certification.
Recovery is not linear. It’s a lifelong journey, just like my fitness journey. Some days will be harder than others, but what I do know is my worst day in recovery is better than my best day drinking.
To sum up my fitness journey, I left San Francisco in July 2016 so I could exorcise my own demons. I returned in January 2017 ready to use the lessons of my own struggles and challenges to help coach and train others in overcoming life’s obstacles and curveballs.
2.) What are your personal goals, how have they evolved?
The quick and easy answer is maintaining a healthy lifestyle, abstinence from alcohol, and managing a successful lifestyle brand, but ultimately here are three things I’d like to achieve:
I want to affect or influence someone in the same way my mentors, Billy Polson and Mike Clausen at DIAKADI Body in San Francisco, as well as the co-owners and trainers at Barry’s Bootcamp in Boston, inspired me to think outside the box and pursue my passion within the health, wellness, and fitness industry. I admire and have so much respect for these individuals because they were more or less frustrated or unfulfilled with their stations in life and then took action to change the narrative, be their own bosses, take the road less traveled and march to the beat of their own drums.
I also want to lead by example and show the world that you can crawl out of any hole. At 29 years young, if I can maintain my sobriety in this fast, furious and fabulous gay world, then my clients have no excuses other than to use a fitness mentality through their struggles to find their strength.
Finally, as a minority in the fitness industry, both as a person of color (I’m Cape Verdean: Portuguese, Italian and Black – look it up) and as a gay man, I want to disrupt and fuck up everything you fear or consider to be masculine and feminine in the gym. There is so much testosterone, masculinity, and machismo in the fitness industry, that if I can help breakdown and shatter any stereotypes or stigma; I’m all here for it. Who cares if you only see women doing that certain types of exercise? I want to break those backward rules. They are old ways of thinking and preventing the dissemination of effective exercise knowledge.
3.) What’s your routine?
Well, I’m just like everyone else, in the sense, that work is like a second home. I live at DIAKADI so I do exercise every day.
Keyword: exercise. Movement is medicine so if I bike on my Ford Go Bike from my apartment to work everyday I consider that exercise.
In terms of weight lifting, I train six days a week. I try my best to keep Sundays as a rest day or an active rest day, in which, I do power or vinyasa yoga and/or some rigorous stretching at home.
I recently started strength training with my DIAKADI colleague and strength coach Ross Steiner. We’ve mostly been reviewing the fundamentals of barbell back squats and deadlifts, but he absolutely upgraded my training style and regimen to lift heavier. It’s my first time ever having a personal trainer and I’d highly recommend him to anyone wanting to learn how to lift smart and heavier.
4.) What’s your nutrition/ supplement?
As a nutrition coach my philosophy regarding nutrition is simple:
I eat clean, whole, minimally processed foods.
I became a nutrition coach because I felt agnostic to nutritional knowledge. In the fitness industry, there is just so much noise and equivocal posturing regarding nutrition that I thought it was best to do my own research in order to offer advice.
That said, I believe all diets have some merit, but I’m not dogmatic nor do I subscribe to any single diet.
As humans, we thrived for thousands of years on very diverse diets and I believe that will be absolute. What works for one person, may not work for another, but I cannot stress nutrition enough. Depending on your goals, it can be just as or more important than the fitness regimen.
I am a firm believer in the 80/20 rule. Whether you want to gain weight or lose weight, 80% of the efforts should be focused on the diet, while the other 20% is the training program. So for the general population, who is sedentary, purposeful exercise only makes up, at best, 10-15% of their metabolism or total daily energy expenditure. For physically active people, that figure can be as high as 30%. You see where I am going with this? So yes, it is still important to exercise, but it is even more important that you eat well.
I also consider myself a student of the world because I love experimenting.Most recently, I have been experimenting with Pescetarianism. My boyfriend, Justin, is studying to become a yoga instructor and his school has been emphasizing a vegetarian/vegan diet. So to help support his goals and because I am in charge of the meal prep for both of us, we’ve been pescatarian for almost six weeks and we’re both really enjoying all of its benefits.
In terms of supplements, I have been using the Rivalus Clean Gainer as a protein supplement. It’s made of organic quinoa, sunflower oil, wild blueberries, rolled oats, ginger root, brown rice, monk fruit, flax seeds, oat fiber, and avocado. It has a combination of full spectrum proteins such as whey isolate, milk isolate, whey concentrate, and micellar casein. Obviously, all the BCAAs. Low sugar at 8 gram per servings. And you simply just add water.
You can “go big” with two scoops which has:
- 30 grams of protein
- 90 grams of carbs
- 7 grams of fat
- 560 calories
Or “go bigger” with four scoops, which has:
- 60 grams of protein
- 180 grams of carbs
- 14 grams of fat
- 1120 calories
I also own a Vitamix so I’ve recently started using a generic Whole Foods Green Superfoods supplement as an iron supplement for my protein shakes.
5.) Do you mix things up?
I LOVE mixing things up.
When I returned to DIAKADI in January, I started gymnastics training with my colleague Sean Mapoles. I always had an affinity for gymnastics, but when I was younger I was too afraid to own my shit. I really just wanted to be Buffy the Vampire Slayer and twirl like the Pink Power Ranger. I am so glad things really haven’t changed at 29, and I have enough strength, power, flexibility and balance to do a roundoff back handspring, roundoff back tuck, handstands, muscle ups, etc.
With gymnastics, I just wanted to see what my body could do. In a very similar mentality with strength training, I just want to see how much I can safely lift.
About a month ago, I started pole dancing at Atomic Allure in Oakland, honest to God, I cannot remember the last time I felt so sore in my arms, chest, shoulders and entire core. I’m obsessed! It’s such a creative outlet for me and it’s the perfect blend of gymnastics, dance, core strength, and just raw sexual energy. I might have found new career goals in that space.
6.) Cheat days?
I’m always experimenting so I’m a very flexible dieter. I use rest days typically as my cheat days. Like I said, I eat clean, but life is all about balance, right? Some of my favorite past cheat meals included the entire Starbelly Pizza at Starbelly in the Castro. Other favorite cheat meals in the Castro also included burgers and fries from Hi Tops as well as the Cocoa Cayenne & White Chocolate Oatmeal Cranberry cookies from Hot Cookie.
Nowadays, my cheat meals are coconut greek yogurt with some berries, granola, dark chocolate, and a shit ton of honey or just pineapple. 😉
7.) What’s your workout playlist?
You can follow me on Spotify as Joe Andrews. My favorite playlist right now is currently titled “Slayage”.
Joe is a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and PN Level 1 Certified through Precision Nutrition. His fitness and exercise background is truly eclectic influenced by his affinity for tabata, bootcamp, and other high-intensity interval training. He is the embodiment of a true fitness professional using his business acumen to transform his passion for health, nutrition, and fitness into an entrepreneurial venture.