Meet Jonathan Herrera

Tell us a little bit about yourself...
I’m a student from the northwest suburbs of Chicago; Elgin, Illinois. I’m a Certified Strength & Conditioning Coach for The Bar The Gym and the Creative Director. I’ve been training for almost 4 years and I’ve been powerlifting for under 2 years.
 
What is something about you that we might be surprised to know?
I'm a first-generation American, I’m pretty short (5’5”), and I used to play soccer before I started training. I wasn’t that good at it, which is why I didn’t try out for my high school team. I am currently applying to colleges and I am still deciding what career I want to pursue outside of training.
What inspired you to begin your fitness journey?
I grew up as a fat kid, and I really hated shopping for clothes since I couldn’t ever find anything that would fit perfectly. Tailoring fees add up quickly, and I hated that I couldn’t wear really nice clothes that I liked so I decided, in May of 2017, to start a weight loss journey. I started at 200 lbs and lost my first 50 lbs by December of that year. I fell in love with training because for once in my life I had control over something. Fast forward almost 4 years, and here I am today with training being my hobby and job.
 
Has your motivation changed? If so, what continues to motivate you to move forward?
My motivation has changed a lot throughout the years. It went from wanting to fit into clothes to now wanting to be as strong as possible and feel good. I used to put too much of an emphasis on how much I weighed but once I started powerlifting, my motivation changed.

I fell in love with training because for once in my life I had control over something.

What is the best thing that has happened to you as a result of prioritizing your health?
Honestly, having the opportunity to work at The Bar and meet amazing people is the best thing that could have happened. I am part of an amazing team who likes to succeed and motivates each other.

If you could tell your younger self one thing, what would it be?
Don’t be afraid to try new things. I know it sounds basic but when I was younger, I avoided trying new things due to the fact that I enjoyed the routine that I fell in but I realized that I was letting lots of opportunities slip away. Once I made it a priority to try new things, I ended up meeting new people who are now my good friends, finding new passions, and I ended up in a position that I didn’t imagine I could be in.

Once I made it a priority to try new things, I ended up meeting new people who are now my good friends, finding new passions, and I ended up in a position that I didn’t imagine I could be in.

How do you fit exercise into your schedule?
I’m a Strength and Conditioning coach so I’m at the gym 6 days a week. I get my training sessions in usually after class, after clients or just at the end of the day. They usually take quite a bit of time so sometimes it feels like another job but I love it nonetheless.

What is your favorite way to exercise?
I’m a powerlifter, but I love strength training in general. My training is made up of a conjugate method split so I am really never doing the same thing twice which is what I love. One day I could be doing stone deadlifts for my lower body accessories and the next I could be doing sled pulls. Keeping it interesting is definitely something that makes my training enjoyable.

If money was no object, what would your ideal day look like?
In all honesty, my day wouldn’t really be that different. Sure, I would drive a nicer car, have nicer clothes, have a better camera, and less pressure but I love what I do. I really am living the life that I never imagined but always wanted. I used to be so focused on the money that I didn’t care about what I was doing but, as I matured as a person, I realized that there’s more to life than just having money.
 
What is your favorite meal, healthy or not so healthy?

I love a good medium rare steak with mashed potatoes, but I also love chicken wings. Growing up we had skirt steak almost every weekend, so I pretty much grew up loving steak. You can also never go wrong with a good crispy chicken wing.

What is on your fitness playlist?
I have learned to lift without caring too much about what is being played at the gym, but when I go for max effort lifts, old Drake always hits the spot. Sometimes I’m in the mood for Drake while other times I’m in the mood for some heavy metal. It really all depends.

What is your favorite Purus Labs stack, and how do you use it?
This has changed a lot recently. I now do 2 pre workout stacks consisting of Everyday Amino, Citrulline Malate, and Creatine followed by ConDense and my absolute favorite, NOXygen. I usually have my first stack with my pre workout meal and I take my second stack as I’m warming up for my training. Flavors for Everyday Amino and ConDense vary on the day.

Is there anything else you would like to tell the world about yourself?
Don’t be scared to take on new challenges and opportunities. I never imagined my life would be like this at my age, and it all simply could not have happened if I didn’t take on a new challenge of wanting to compete in a powerlifting meet. I never imagined I would be a coach, but here I am coaching people. Even when you feel overwhelmed or that you’re not where you should be in life, always remember that everything is perfect timing.

Don’t be scared to take on new challenges and opportunities.

Follow Jonathan on Instagram!

Follow Jonathan on Instagram!

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