An award-winning DJ, jRoc discovered 8fit in 2017 and within months had changed his entire attitude towards fitness and living a healthy lifestyle—not to mention his pants size. The New York-based former dancer—whose resume notes MTV, Britney, and Janet as previous employers—hasn’t looked back, using his quieter schedule during quarantine to up the workout ante.
From his motivations to how his exercise routine has become a family affair, jRoc gives us the scoop on his 8fit journey.
jRoc, what brought you to the 8fit family?
I was 41, 6’2”, and almost 240 pounds. I knew a healthier, sexier version of myself was hiding in there, so I searched online to see what fitness apps were out there. I needed a jumping-off point and a personal trainer felt too daunting. I tried the free version just to check out the exercises and I felt like I could rock this. Not needing gym equipment or lots of space was a big selling point living in NYC.
How was the first workout?
Honestly, not what I expected. I tend to believe that if I can envision myself doing it, I can do it. The first workout looked super simple, but it was a killer! It was much harder than I expected yet not once did I feel like I couldn’t finish it, which I did—drenched in sweat with a massive sense of accomplishment. I’ve gone from struggling through 15 minutes to trying new workouts that can go on for over an hour.
So you kept going…
I saw what my calorie burn was and thought, “15–30 minutes a day is perfect.” It fit my life and my schedule, which often sees me working late, and the workouts gave me a boost of energy that lasted the day. I just wanted that sense of achievement to continue in my life.
I worked hard and transformed myself in four amazing months. Wore my first speedo, ever! Dropped to 200 pounds. Along the way, I had to deal with life issues that sometimes made me want to roll over and quit, but the process had taught me that even simple changes can make big differences. Consistently spending 15–30 minutes of your day making smart choices really adds up. Even when I gained some weight and got off track, it was manageable to get back into. I trusted in it and myself.
Has it changed your feelings toward wellbeing?
It’s given me a new attitude. I was a professional dancer before I started working in the club scene. Party, work, party, work… suddenly I was in my 40s and in a rut. Using 8fit revealed a side of me I had forgotten was there and reignited a firestarter kind of personality. I smile more and I have more confidence. It made some of my friends, fans, and family want to make some healthy changes too. Heck, during quarantine right now my niece and nephew that live with me join me for morning stretches.
How do you use the meal plans?
I always wanted to learn how to cook better food, but never really knew how much of what groups I should be consuming. 8fit’s plans are always nutritionally balanced, while still adaptable and personalized, and the app creates my grocery list (of things I can easily get in my local stores) so it’s just easy to prepare.
Do you have a go-to recipe?
I have a special place for the Fish with Spiced Lentils recipe. It’s so quick and the flavor is SO good. Switch it out the white fish for trout or salmon occasionally—you’ll thank me later.
What fuels your motivation?
Working in NYC’s gay nightlife scene, I’m surrounded by great-looking guys—sometimes looking hot is actually their job—so that is motivation enough, but the thing that really got me off my butt was the birth of my nephew. The minute he learned to walk and I’d be out of breath from running around the living room after him, I knew I had to do something. He was only going to get faster.
Now I’m able to run around and play with the kids for as long as they’ll want me to, my doctor said that I wouldn’t need to consider medication for high blood pressure anymore, and I’m proud of what I see in the mirror... knowing I did all of that myself and owe it to myself and my loved ones keeps me going.
What would you say to someone just getting started?
This is how it started for me: download, warm up, 15 minutes workout, cool down, and smile. That was it. In the span of a 30-minute TV show, you could change your life in one season. You’re the only person who can unlock the powerful force within and the amazing feeling positive changes bring. Choosing this app means you’ve chosen yourself, and 8fit gives you the tools to succeed one step at a time. Pace yourself, listen to your body, build a routine, and slowly challenge yourself. Next thing you know you’ll be smiling more, running more, and loving yourself more too.
Finally, what mantra do you live by?
Do your best, forget the rest!