By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
It is a pleasure to welcome one of my generation’s most inspiring fitness entrepreneurs, James Cant, to Jake’s Take.
He is Australia’s top-ranked IFBB (International Federation of Bodybuilding) Pro! During the first half of the decade, James competed in numerous fitness competitions such as the IFBB Australasian, Australian Nationals, and South Pacific, before he qualified for bodybuilding’s most prestigious competition: The Arnold Classic, where he came in third place.
James also appeared in numerous online and print publications such as Australian Iron Man and Strength Sensei. He also appeared in an episode of the fitness podcast: Aesthetics on Fire. He is also developing an active presence on social media with over 16,000 Facebook fans and 36,000 Instagram followers.
In this edition of A Conversation, James opened up about why he chose to compete in the IFBB, what factors he considers when creating programs for his clients, and how he uses social media as one of his primary business tools.
Jacob Elyachar: When did you get interested in fitness? How did your passion for fitness evolve into bodybuilding?
James Cant: I originally got interested in fitness and bodybuilding while I was dealing with an injury. I was a very competitive rugby player, and I was about ready to pursue it professionally, but I blew out my knees. I decided that I could not play rugby anymore, I would try bodybuilding. I increased my training and then it snowballed from there.
JE: Could you please describe your fitness routine to my readers?
JC: My routine always changes, and it is rather complicated. I train twice a day five times a week, and I will do that routine for three to four weeks. Then, I will reduce my training down to five sessions for one week, which gives me enough time to recover or even take a few days off.
JE: When did you initially decide to compete for fitness titles?
JC: I was 18-years-old when both my current coach, Rawdon Dubois, and my former coach, Daine McDonald, suggested that I should try and compete in one of those competitions. At the time I did it, competing for a fitness title was a new concept in Australia. I won the competition, and my fitness career took off from there.
JE: There are numerous fitness organizations across the world such as the WBFF (World Beauty Fitness Federation) and the INBF (International Natural Bodybuilding Association). What drew you to the IFBB?
JC: I am sure that all of the other bodybuilding federations are great, but from what I have seen, there is nothing that touches the IFBB! No organization is not as competitive as the IFBB or reaches as many athletes as the IFBB. They also sponsor the Mr. Olympia event. I am very competitive and want to be the best in the best federation.
JE: In 2014, you were crowned Australia’s very first Men’s Physique IFBB Pro. What did winning that title mean to you? How did it help you prepare yourself to be Australia’s ambassador to the global fitness community?
JC: Winning the title was incredible! To be Australia’s first Men’s Physique IFBB Pro is an incredible honor, but I do not see myself as the Ambassador to Australia’s fitness competitions. There have been plenty of other athletes that have represented Australia on the global stage such as Lee Priest and Josh Lenartowicz. It was more of a privilege to me to have that title and be recognized as a Men’s Physique competitor and go on to have the opportunity to compete all over the world.
JE: In addition to being an IFBB Pro, you are also an online personal trainer with many international clients. What are some of the activities that you assign your customers to do?
JC: Whenever I take on a new client, I will give them a questionnaire sheet that has roughly 70 questions on it and it asks everything I need to know about the customer. The questions range from their weight and body type to their eating habits. Next, the questionnaire goes more into detail on topics such as muscle fiber dominance, recovery skills, their genetics, and their gut health. I do recommend to my clients that they have comprehensive analyses of their blood chemistry (such as their estrogen and testosterone levels) and thyroid panels. I ask for them to have all of those tests done so I can figure out what program I can assign them. Once, I have those results; we get to work.
JE: A lot of your clients have gone on to win multiple fitness competitions. How do you feel when you learn that your client wins a fitness contest?
JC: I am more excited than my clients. There is no better feeling as a coach than seeing one of your customers succeed. It is the real reason why I am a trainer; I love seeing my clients win!
JE: How has social media played a role in your career?
JC: For anyone that is starting out in fitness, you have to be active on social media! If you want to partner with companies, you are going to have to promote their products or services. I have benefited massively from my numerous partnerships with food, supplement, and personal training companies. Social media has propelled my fitness career and has become one of my largest business tools to generate clients. If they find that my information is helpful, then they would ask me to coach them.
JE: If you had the chance to meet with someone who is struggling with their fitness journey, what advice would you share with them?
JC: Straight up, I would use the obvious cliché: “Never give up.” You have to keep going and get smarter!
For more information about James, visit his website!