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Jonathan Herod is pictured with Connie Tsai, a gym member he trained for a bodybuilding competition.

Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you born, raised and where do you

live now?

“I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas, and I now live in Murfreesboro.”

Family? Married, children?

“I am now married as of two years ago and have a beautiful 11-month old who will soon be a 1 year old May 23.”

Where did you graduate high school? College? Degree?

“I graduated high school from Hillcrest High School in Dallas, Texas. I furthered my education to Prairie View A&M near Houston Texas, dropped out my junior year in college and later joined the military in ‘96 and then finished my schooling in 2009 while deployed in Iraq to receive a bachelor’s degree in multidisciplinary studies.”

I understand you are the owner of Fit Boot Camp in Hermitage. Was it originally in Donelson? How old is the business? Where is it located? Did you have to close down due to COVID-19 mandates? Are you open, and what are your rules related to regulations now?

“I first acquired the Fit Body Boot Camp in Donelson but had to transition out due to the possible move of the Donelson Library. In February 2018, I had to close my doors, and 42 days later, I re-opened in Hermitage. The business is currently three years old as of April.

“I am currently closed due to COVID-19, but still offering virtual training and nutritional challenges to keep my paying members and non-members engaged throughout.”

Tell us a little about you before you opened the business. Were you always a fitness junkie? Have you always worked out? What is the journey that got you to this point?

“Before I opened my gym, I was currently serving my 21 years in the Army and 18 of those years I was a master fitness trainer, where I trained and rehabilitated soldiers to either become deployable or back to being healthy. I later transitioned into training prenatal and postpartum women back into shape.”

Where are you located, exactly?

“We are in Hermitage and Nashville. I acquired another Fit Body in Nashville in Trousdale County as of March after the previous owner walked out.”

Please give us your philosophy about fitness and generally what you offer there.

“My philosophy about fitness is very simple. I try to instill protein intake, usually the number of grams per your body weight per day. Be in a caloric deficit. And most importantly sustainability, the ability to make this a habit of daily life.”

When I hear ‘boot camp’ I think a hard and strenuous workout. Is your business for hardcore fitness fanatics? Is there any room for beginners?

“My boot camps are for all fitness levels, and that is was sets me apart from the rest. The intensity is solely based on your fitness level with the correct modifications so that you are still burning your calories.”

I understand you reach out a lot to the community such as schools, firefighters, etc.  How so? What is it in you that pushes you to reach out?

“Due to the tornadoes, I just helped a few small businesses like HGL Management and Nectar Cantina deliver food to the Donelson locals. I volunteer read at Two Rivers Middle School.

Many people are still in self-isolation to be on the safe side. What are three great exercises they can do to keep fit in their home or yard? 

“During this self-isolation, I have been providing virtual workouts two times per day, and I'd recommend any type of mountain climbers, burpees and push-ups.

Do you have a favorite healthy breakfast you would recommend? Dinner?

“For breakfast, I'm a big fan of egg white omelets with bacon and cheese. Dinner would be salmon.”

Who is your mentor? Why? Are you a mentee to anyone?

“I have several mentors. One is a general I served with in the military. His name is retired Maj. Gen. David R. Rubenstein. He just taught me leadership.

“I'm pretty sure I'm a mentee to someone, but I'm always the one training or developing you to take my job. Once you can do that, I'm either dead, or you have exceeded my standards.”

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received? Given?

“The best advice is to continue to love people in such a cruel world.”

Hobbies?

“Golf is my hobby, but now that I have a son, I'll resume my hobby in 18 years.”

Are you a foodie? If so, favorite dish? Favorite restaurants?

“I’m not too much of a foodie, but I love an expensive bourbon on the weekend.”

What would surprise us about you?

“Surprising is pretty hard for anyone to do.”

Where do you see yourself in five years?

“I see myself continuing to live my best life with my two heartbeats, but with more time to do so.”

Pets?

“I had two boxers, Dallas and Austin, but I had to put Dallus down last December. We miss her.”

Are you a traveler? If so, favorite place you’ve visited? Where you’d like to go?

“My favorite place to travel to would be Europe.”

Some answers were edited. 

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