ARTICLE FROM AMERICAN FITNESS MAGAZINE — JUNE 1998
Man on a mission: fitness trainer J. Williams’ career takes shape with a no-nonsense approach.
By Ayn Nix

Fitness trainer J. Williams’ career takes shape with a no-nonsense approach.

How bad do you want it?” is the slogan stamped on T-shirts, sweats and hats promoting J. Williams’ personal training company, J-Netics. That’s because those who enroll in J-Netics, based out of L.A. Fitness health club in Tarzana, California, are serious about getting in shape and willing to put themselves through months of tough workouts. “I’m having new T-shirts made that read, `If you’re wearing this, you’re getting in shape,'” says Williams. “And there’s no way I’m letting you buy it unless you are.”

It’s this motivating attitude that draws clients and has helped make Williams, 33, a success. “You should be ready as far as making a commitment and really changing your lifestyle,” he says. “If you’re training with me, you’ve had enough of the run around with other programs that haven’t worked. “Williams sets the example for a group of about 50 clients. To look at his enviable physique today, you’d never guess he was once out of shape with a 38” waist. By following a rigorous training program three days a week, he lost six inches in his waist and gained 15 pounds of muscle over a period of eight months. “I thought, if I’m going to teach and preach this I have to concentrate on myself,” he says. “A man once said to me, `Always look at the person giving the advice before you take it.'”

Another source of motivation came when he read a sign posted at the YMCA where he worked out. “It was about integrating mind, body and spirit,” says Williams. “Some of us are smart, but neglect the body and spirit. God gave us all three, and we should service all three. It completely inspired me.”

Jay Williams BEFORE
Jay Williams BeforeWilliams inspires his own clients by getting back to basics with weight training that stresses consistency and discipline. “Many people are inconsistent, but you have to do it all the time,” says Williams. “It’s like brushing your teeth. You don’t just brush once because you’re having your picture taken. You don’t work out once to fit into a bathing suit.”

Tough regimens build confidence as well as muscle. He may work you like a drill sergeant, but he genuinely cares about each and every client. “I won’t let you fail,” says Williams, whose long list of satisfied clients includes actor Deezer D from TV’s “E.R.” and Fox-TV newscaster Tony McEwen. Women who previously only trained with light weights because they were afraid of bulking up, or took aerobics for years without seeing the results they wanted, are now lifting more than they ever thought possible with J-Netics and are amazed at the changes they see.

Michelle DeBardas, 30, an administrative assistant in Sherman Oaks, California, lost 55 pounds training with Williams. “You feel J. genuinely cares about helping you reach your goals,” she says. “He is very personable and inspired me to get serious about my health and body.”

Maha Youset, 28, lost 40 pounds. She now weighs 140 and is more toned and defined. “Before J-Netics, I did the routine workout, i.e. aerobics and light weights–and the results were depressing,” she says. “I now realize there’s a major difference between working out and training. I was challenged by each session”.

Williams puts his heart and soul into what he does. His warm, exuberant personality plus dedication and knowledge create a winning combination. “He really wants you to win,” says former client Linda Pearlman, 28, who didn’t have a weight problem, but just needed discipline and wanted increased muscle tone. “He’s not just there because he’s getting paid.”

Nothing is impossible
Overweight clients who lose 50 pounds or more become a part of the “50 pounds down club,” and each receives a jacket embroidered with his or her name. “It’s my way of saying congratulations,” says Williams. “What I like best about my job is hearing people say I’ve helped them create something they couldn’t have done on their own. They come to me one way and leave another. It’s so rewarding for me.” Other incentives include a free pair of aerobics shoes after a month of training. “We’re a service and we’re here to serve,” explains Williams.

Individual plans are devised for each client based on his or her goals. Not everyone wants to lose weight, but the majority who come to Williams want to drop a few pounds and develop muscle, not bulk up. However, Williams is quick to point out he’s not a miracle worker. “Everyone gets exactly what they want because we’re truthful,” he says. “A lot of times it’s about putting the person in check and saying, `Look, you’re not going to get to a size one. J-Netics is about uncovering your genetics. It’s sharpening what God has given you so you scan look your best.”

Monthly packages are sold instead of individual sessions and clients are asked to commit to three days a week. “I don’t sell sessions because what people do is come in once a week,” he says. “If you’re not a person who can keep up the pace, don’t waste your time.”

Williams is also adamant about teaching proper biomechanics, so clients are aware which muscles they’re training and what muscle groups are being worked. “I teach how the body responds to training so when you leave J-Netics you can do it on your own,” he says. “Most people can’t afford to hire a personal trainer for a lifetime.”

Proper nutrition is also emphasized. “If you’re not eating well, you won’t see results,” says Williams. Staples in his own diet include egg whites, grains and plenty of fruit and vegetables.

Williams has J-Netics trainers working under him at L.A. Fitness. But he is developing more ambitious plans. In the future, Williams wants to have employees trained in the J-Netics technique working in gyms across the country. He also has dreams of opening his own gym one day and creating a program for teenagers. “That’s when they develop habits and start to get overweight if they’re going to have a problem,” he says.

Before Williams became AFAA certified as a personal trainer, he worked in a bank, but he would go to the gym every night to train or just observe. He eventually realized fitness was his calling. Williams credits McEwen with giving him the support he needed to get his business off the ground. “He said that this is what God has chosen for me to do, and I am forever grateful to him,” says Williams. “I don’t have much patience for anything else–and this takes a lot of patience.”