Interview With Fitness Model Jamin Thompson Interviewed by Ben Tatar of CriticalBench.com - June 2008
Critical Bench: I am here with fitness model Jamin Thompson today. Jamin, it's great to have you with us today. Give us some background information about you!
Hey thanks for having me! My name is Jamin, but some people call me Jrock lol.
I am a fitness model, but used to play professional tennis. Most people never believe me when I tell them that because I do not look like your "typical" tennis player. But what most people don't realize is that tennis players are some of the most highly conditioned athletes in the world!
I hung up the tennis rackets a few years back and now enjoy my new career as a fitness model. The international fitness shows now fuel my competitive drive, and I love the grind of training, sacrificing, and working hard.
Critical Bench: How and when did you get started in bodybuilding? Did you play any sports when you were younger besides tennis? Were you always this big and ripped?
Let's just say I was ripped when I was younger, but it definitely wasn't from weight training it was only because I was crazy skinny! I was definitely your cookie cutter hardgainer. I was never the biggest kid around, but I was very fast and strong for my size. In high school I played football and ran track, and I was fairly decent I think, but I always excelled naturally in tennis and was ranked number one in the United States while in high school. I started lifting weights because I wanted to gain some sort of competitive advantage over my competition, however it eventually turned into a passion and now I can't get enough time in the gym these days.
Critical Bench: Jamin, being a hard gainer, how long did it take you to transform from a small skinny kid to the physique that you have now?
Haha well growing up I was always small. My nickname back then was Little Man. I was inspired as a kid to start weight training when I was about 16 after reading Muscle & Fitness Magazine. I wanted to look just like those guys in the mag. In the beginning I didn't really know what I was doing so it was just your typical beach workout of bench and curls, but over the years my knowledge of the human body and weight training has increased a great deal and my body has responded accordingly.
Critical Bench: Jamin, you have experienced several major setbacks in your career ranging from a life threatening stomach illness and a knife attack while vacationing. Most people would have called it quits they experienced such tragedies. What motivated you to come back and become better stronger and more ripped than ever before?
I have never been a quitter. If someone tells me I can't do something, I always feel like I have to prove them wrong. When the doctors told me my athletic career was over when I was in the hospital for stomach issues in college, I swore to prove them wrong. Even if it meant limping back onto the court somehow lol. I think that I have a deep internal drive that kicks into high gear during times of stress.
If I am doing something I want to do it the best. I have never understood the mentality of settling for less. Why be average? When I was a kid my mom always told me to never give up, and as generic and corny as that line may sound, I am living proof that if you believe that you can do something you can.
Recovering after 18 months of debilitating intestinal issues and a loss of 50 pounds was very hard, but in any great fight, if you keep delivering body punches, even a stronger opponent can hit the canvas. Today I am completely healthy, which by my doctors standard, is nothing short of a miracle!
Critical Bench: Jamin, you have achieved a lot! So looking back at your athletic and weight lifting career, what were your top 5 favorite highlights and why?
Representing the United States in the Junior Olympic Team for Tennis
Winning a National Title in Tennis
Recovering from a life threatening disease and come back and play again
Competing in my first Universe Show for Fitness Models
Traveling the world and meeting tons of interesting people is probably the best highlight of all
Critical Bench: On another topic, your physique definitely turns heads! What are some of the best reactions you have gotten in regards to your physique?
Most of the crazy reactions I get are from my old friends. They remember me being a small skinny kid, and sometimes they don't even recognize me! Most people these days usually just tell me that they want my abs.
Critical Bench: You have incredible abs! Tell us about your abs routine.
I actually don't even work abs that much. I have learned over the years that the key to ab development is diet. As the saying goes: train for size and diet for cuts! You will never crunch your way to a six-pack haha. Typically I do abs once a week for about 45 minutes, as a bodypart workout. Some weeks I break this up into two 20 minute sessions on different days.
Critical Bench: How do you keep your bodyfat so low? What types of cardio do you do?
I rarely do any cardio. Keeping your bodyfat low is all about your diet. Cardio helps some, but if I ever lace up the Nike's to do any sort of running it will be in the form of high intensity sprinting.
Critical Bench: What's your diet like and what supplements do you use?
I eat really clean all year, and I have a cheat meal about once every week or two. During the week I typically eat lots of chicken, tilapia, orange roughy, tuna, salmon, vegetables, and brown rice. I use optimum nutrition pro complex protein powder, and throw a muscle milk into the mix sometimes for variety. As far as supplements go, the only ones I ever use are glutamine, bcaas, and a twinlab multi vitamin.
Critical Bench: What are your future goals?
I have hundreds of future goals, but I would say my most important goals are: to oneday become an awesome dad and family man, a successful businessman, and to be known as a person of great character and integrity. A leading role in a big movie would also be nice though!
Critical Bench: What has tennis and fitness taught you about life?
That nothing worth doing will ever be easy. Most people fail because they give up once they realize how hard things are, but the few that persevere and keep grinding are usually rewarded with the success. Quitters are always left wondering "what if", and that sucks.
Critical Bench: What inspires you?
I am inspired by stories of courage and determination. I get inspired every time I visit my local children's hospital and see those brave kids fighting for their lives, giving it everything they've got. I get inspired when I see a mother who loves her kids so much that she will sacrifice everything she has, in order to see them become successful people.
Critical Bench: What's your favorite health food and cheat food?
My favorite cheat food is without a doubt Amy's Frozen Pizza. It is pretty healthy for a pizza and tastes awesome.
Critical Bench: What are 10 things that most people do not know about you?
I played the violin once with the Baltimore Symphony
I can squat over 500 pounds
Deep down I am a nerd. I have a degree in economics/masters degree in business
I have over 5000 books in my library
I am actually pretty reserved and quiet
My niece and I have the same birthday
I would rather stay at home and watch a movie than go out and party
I don't drink
I was homeschooled until 10th grade
I had a Reebok contract when I was 14 years old
Critical Bench: What is your ideal vacation and your ultimate dream life?
I don't know about ideal, since there are tons of cool spots to hang out these days, but I have always wanted to go to Sydney, Australia. I hear it is a happening place. As far as an ultimate dream life, I would have to say the ultimate dream life is to be healthy, happy, and in good shape!
Critical Bench: Outside of weight training and dieting, what are your favorite pastimes?
I like to watch movies, read, surf, and hang out with my close friends. The beach is probably my favorite spot to get away from it all and just chill out.
Critical Bench: What type of music do you listen to in the gym?
Good question. It all depends since I like all kinds of music, but when you have crazy workouts you need some crazy music to go along with it. So I throw alittle Rob Zombie, Disturbed, Sevendust, and Metallica into the mix often.
Critical Bench: What are your pet peeves?
I cant stand it when I am in the gym, trying to get some work in and someone is trying to chat it up with me. Annoying as hell. My other pet peeve is when people put the toilet paper on the rack upside down! Hate that.
Critical Bench: What's your favorite quote or motto to live by?
So many good quotes out there…I have hundreds that I like. But one of my favorites is an Winston Churchill quote "Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts."
Critical Bench: What are your fears and what is your weakness?
I do not have any real fears, but it is always a shame when someone does not live up to their potential. There is no greater waste than wasted potential and talent. So I bust my ass every day and work as hard as I can so that I will not regret anything when I look back on my life.
Critical Bench: What is your favorite kind of animal and if you could be any kind of animal what kind would you be?
It would suck to be an animal that gets eaten so I would have to say a Tiger. They are strong, smart, and cool looking.
Critical Bench: Jamin when everything is all said and done how do you want to be remembered?
I want to be that guy who inspires people to do great things. Even if it is just one person, hopefully that person can make a difference and that alone will make my life meaningful. If I can do that through fitness great, but if it is through something else that is cool also.
Critical Bench: Jamin, it's been great getting to sit down and talk to you. In closing is there anything that you would like to tell everyone or is there anyone you would like to thank?
Don't ever let anyone tell you that you can't do something. Always try to conquer the impossible, because that is the only way to truly achieve great things. Thanks to all of my fans and friends who have supported me through everything, you guys rock.