BellaOnline: MADE is one of my favorite reality tv shows. One of my favorite episodes was the one you and Eddie George appeared in. In spite of the people that said he couldn't do it you guys helped a high school senior named Jordan Holland realize his dream of becoming prom king. How did you get involved with the MTV reality show?
Joe:I got involved with the MTV show as a result of my affiliation with Eddie George. MTV contacted Eddie and asked him if he were willing to serve as made coach to a young man from Columbus Ohio. When Eddie learned about Jordan's weight problem, he agreed to do the show only if his trainer could come in and help Jordan lose weight. Thus, I was recruited for the job.
BellaOnline: Over the six week period that you worked with Jordan for the show how many days a week did he have to report to you and what was the average duration of your sessions?
Joe: Jordan reported every day. The sessions were an hour to an hour and a half. Filming made it longer.
BellaOnline: What was the biggest challenge that you faced or thing that caused you the most frustration through the whole process?
Joe: Keeping Jordan focused was the hardest part. The eating was easy. Getting Jordan to realize he had to keep moving was one of the biggest challenges.
BellaOnline: What lesson were you hoping Jordan would learn from spending time on the farm in Nashville with your friend, Lenny?
Joe: We wanted Jordan to understand the importance of working hard and working to meet a goal. We also wanted to get him out of Columbus, Ohio (his hometown) for a while. His friends were going on Spring Break at the time. Lenny used to be a singer. While we were at the farm Lenny's daughter who is challenged physically took more steps than she had in a while to watch Jordan.
BellaOnline: Who gave you the good news that as a result all of the teamwork you guys put in that Jordan had accomplished his goal of becoming Westerville South High School's prom king?
Joe: I was actually at the prom when they made the announcement.
BellaOnline: How did you get started as a personal trainer and what is your formal background in the area?
Joe: I put myself through college working as a personal trainer. I have a Bachelor of Science as well as a Master of Science degree in Biology. I am presently a doctoral candidate at Meharry Medical College. My area of research is Physiology and Biomedical Science with a specialization in obesity. If I see that you are doing something the hard way I look for a better and easier way to do it. I hate to see people spinning their wheels. Becoming a personal trainer was a way for me to help my friends and others find a better and more effective way of losing weight. I am co-owner of a personal training company called Marathon Fitness.
BellaOnline: Tell me a little about your company.
Joe: In 1999 Marathon Fitness was formed. It is owned by Morris Jamison, John Payne and myself. Morris is a former Tennessee State University football player and John is a former competitive bodybuilder. Our clientele consists of individuals from the music industry, CEO's, elite athletes to first-timers. Seventy-five percent of our clients are women. We have one location in Nashville and also a satellite facility in the federal building that is for federal employees only.
BellaOnline: I love MADE because it helps kids reach deep within themselves and be the best that they can be. MADE dares kids to try to be that very thing they were told they couldn't be and then proceeds to make it happen. Whether it's prom king, a model, a rugby player or whatever. Would you be willing to participate in another show like MADE in the future if the opportunity arises?
Joe: I would not have a problem with it. It was a good experience. Jordan had a positive attitude through the whole thing. I am always down for change.
BellaOnline: When you are out and about have you been recognized a lot from the MADE episode you starred in?
Joe: Yes, I have been recognized a few places in town. About a week after the show aired a gorcery store cashier asked if I had been on MADE. A lot of the people that come into the gym have recognized me from the show. Some people come in because they saw me on the show.
BellaOnline: What was the most rewarding part of being on MADE and working with Jordan?
Joe: The most rewarding part was the positive effect it had on Jordan. You go through life thinking you are helping people and to see Jordan blossom into another person was great. I still mentor Jordan to this day. I have many sons and Jordan is one of my sons. I talk to him regularly. He is even thinking of transferring to a school here in Nashville which would really be good for him. That way I can keep an eye on him and make sure he stays focused and stays in shape.
BellaOnline: Where is Jordan currently attending college?
Joe: He's a student at North Carolina A & T.
BellaOnline: What advice do you have for kids out there that are overweight and afraid to reach out for help or feel they can't afford a personal trainer?
Joe: The one good thing they can do and it's real simple and that is to participate in Physical Education at school. Some other things they can do is to exercise vigorously and walk with a pedometer on their waist. Walking 10,000 steps is a good goal. Two thousand steps is the equivalent of a mile on average. Eating habits are the most difficult to change but they should try to eliminate junk food. Some children may need to see a psychiatrist to the root of their overeating.
BellaOnline: The work you and Eddie did with Jordan was awesome. Kudos to all three of you! Jordan's whole experience was phenomenal and it speaks to people of all ages not just kids. Thank you so much, Joe for taking time out of your hectic schedule to talk to me.
Joe: You are welcome.