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Here’s fitness coach’s advice for staying in shape during holiday season food-centered gatherings

 Here’s fitness coach’s advice for staying in shape during holiday season food-centered gatherings

A championship-caliber bodybuilder and widely-admired personal fitness coach, Rochester resident Jacob Chandler has consumed the almost-identical six health-enhancing meals daily for the past six years.

But he gives himself a dietary break around the holiday season — and you should, too, he insists.

“Whenever my clients ask me for advice when the holidays approach, I tell them as long as you train and eat consistently the rest of the year, don’t sacrifice holiday memories with your family when Thanksgiving and Christmas approach,” said Chandler, who has thrived as a personal trainer since 2016.

Drink more water

He also offers a second dose of advice for those fitness-minded people who divert from their stringent diets during November and December.

Chandler performs seated bicep curls at Pulse Fitness in Pleasant Ridge, MI.
Chandler performs seated bicep curls at Pulse Fitness in Pleasant Ridge, MI.

“Drink a lot of water because the food you’re eating — and the alcoholic beverages you may be drinking — will probably have more sodium than you’re accustomed to consuming,” he said. “Drinking water will help mitigate the temporary diet change. That said, it’s always good to drink a lot of water when you’re focused on your fitness.”

A competitive bodybuilder starting when he was 17, the 29-year-old native of Shelby Township gave up serious training during his four years at Michigan State University (2012-16) and for the 18 months post-college period when he worked in for the automotive industry as a supply-chain specialist.

Paving his own path

He gradually learned the 9-to-5 office grind wasn’t for him.

“I had a great job with good pay after college,” Chandler said, “but I soon realized it wasn’t the kind of job I was built for, so when I was 24, I decided to transition to a job I was more passionate about.”

Chandler has been a personal trainer and fitness coach since 2016. Like practically everyone on the planet, he was forced to pivot once the COVID-19 shutdowns closed gyms (where he would meet his clients for one-on-one sessions).

“I wanted to keep working and I still needed an income, so I started working as a fitness coach, connecting with my clients weekly or bi-weekly via phone calls, texts, emails or video meetings,” he said. “I enjoy the face-to-face training better, but I did what I had to do to continue getting my message to people.”

Natural leader

Chandler said his business — Jacob Chandler Training — is split between in-person training and coaching via electronic connections.

“The thing I like about coaching people via electronic messaging is that you become ingrained in their lives,” he said. “I’m talking to them multiple times a week — sometimes daily — whereas with in-person training, it’s still consistent, but less frequent.”

Chandler earned the title of Mr. Ohio on the amateur bodybuilding circuit in 2021 and aspires to become a professional in the field within the next two years.

Jacob and Symone Chandler pose on stage after a big win for Jacob to move on to professional bodybuilding competitions.
Symone and Jacob Chandler

“There’s not a ton of money to made when you become a pro, but it adds to your resume and helps legitimize what you do,” he said.

Chandler said he currently coaches three bodybuilding champions.

‘F’ stands for fitness and family

Fitness runs in the Chandler household. His wife Symone is a professional fitness trainer at a gymnasium in Rochester.

“She’s my rock; I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without her,” he said. “It’s neat to be able to relate with your spouse, have the same passion for things like bodybuilding and fitness.

“Along with the support Symone gives me, she prepares my meals so that my chicken and rice don’t taste as bland as when I prepare them. There’s 100 ways to prepare chicken and she knows all the best ways.”

Chandler runs his business out of the Pulse Fitness in Pleasant Ridge.

If you’re looking for an in-person fitness trainer or a fitness and diet coach, Chandler can be reached at (586) 651-5693.

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Ed Wright

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