Interview with Jay Devaraj Thevar

As we approach the time of the year where pretty much start loading up on the good food, its also the time of the year where we pretty much forget about our fitness goals and aspirations only for us to renew it when the new year begins. As any fitness enthusiast attest to, fitness is not an activity or a habit. It is a Lifestyle. With 3 weeks to Deepavali, we could not think of a better time to get in touch with fitness expert, Mr Manhunt, personal trainer, Jay Devaraj Thevar.

Share with us about your Manhunt 2014 experience.

It was a great & memorable experience I would say. Apart from establishing connections & networking, I made loads of friends with my fellow contestants whom I am still in touch with till today. Before 2014, I was contemplating on joining Manhunt ever since Dr. Kassey Kalleichelven won it in 2000. & finally after mustering up enough confidence, I decided to give it a go in 2014. I joined the Senior Category (30 years old & above) where I won the Mr Congeniality title. Better late than never right? 

How did you prepare for the competition?

Well, before I joined it, I decided to give Acting & modelling a tryout first. & at the same time, I started going for grooming & styling courses with the hope of increasing my chances. After getting shortlisted to be in the Finals, I started working out even harder & went on a super strict diet to create the best Greek God like body I could achieve for the competition since Manhunt is not just about the Face. 

How did your interest in fitness begin?

Well, I was always that skinny fat kid in school who got teased alot for being the male version of a "Anorexic Runway Model". Right after my O' Level exams, I had a 6 mth break before I went on to my tertiary education. It was during this time when I was at home watching TV & I chanced a upon this "SELLAVISION" ad where there was this Fitness Model with a great ZEUS like physique. I immediately looked at my skinny arms & belly & told myself..."I gotta look like that man on tv!"

Soon after I joined a gym & started working out. I got noticed by the bodybuilders & athletes in that gym who coaxed me into joining two Bodybuilding Competitions; Pesta Sukan in 2002 where I competed in the 65kg category & received a Silver Medal & NUS Muscle War in 2003 where I competed in the 70kg category where I won another Silver Medal. & it didnt just stop there. Right after Manhunt 2014, I decided to give competing another try again. I took part in a Bodybuilding & Physique competition organized by a local federation. I competed in the Local & International Sports Model Categories where I won Gold for both. In that same event, I also competed in the local & International Athletic Physique Categories where I placed 1st in the local & 4th in the international categories.

How did that lead to you managing your own gym?

I always had an idea on how a gym should look like and function. As a freelance trainer for the past 16 years, I realised that the only way to go about making my ideas a reality was to own my own gym & carry out those plans that I had for a gym.

In a competitive industry, where there gyms are pretty much every corner, how does the Fesique Lab remain different and ahead of the game?

A very good question! Thank you for asking that. If you go to any of the commercial mega gyms in Singapore, you will face this common problem. OVERCROWDING! & apart from this, if you were to engage a Fitness Coach to assist you in your fitness goals, you end up paying for more than just your PT Sessions. There are other costs like SIGN UP FEE, REGISTRATION FEE, ADMIN FEE, MEMBERSHIP FEE, GST, LOCKER FEE & other Misc/Hidden Costs.

At the Fesique Lab, I make sure that the gym is never overcrowded & place a cap on the number of clients at one single time so that our clients get the best value out of their PT. Our clients absolutely pay for nothing else other than the Personal Training Sessions that they sign up for. ( did I mention we provide Complimentary Permanent Lockers for them) We got one of the biggest shower facilities that a gym can provide.

Apart from this, my team of trainers and myself, with 40 years of combined experience, guarantee results to clients. Why? That's because we are extremely confident in our tried and tested training methods and our ability to bring out the best in each and every one of our clients. 

Indian food seems to by synonymous with Rice and Curries. How do your maintain your physique without sacrificing your tastebuds?

Firstly I will be honest and  upfront by admitting that I love my Biryani. Yes,
both Mutton & Chicken Biryani! I have my Biryanis on a weekly basis. Life is a balance. I work out 4 to 6 times a week, 45 mins each time n eat right & have a nice biryani or two on the weekends. (Did I mention Ciders are my favourite desserts?)

Women generally avoid weight training for fear of looking muscular. Whats your take on this?

This stereotype has been plaguing mankind since the dawn of Arnold Schwarzenegger. I have been training for the past 16 years & have trained numerous Females. I can tell you this with absolute confidence that its not very easy even for the guys to become muscular just by touching weights. It takes years n years of hardcore bodybuilding styled training, accompanied by Sports Enhancing Drugs for ladies to become Muscular.

What are your aspirations for Fesique Lab ?

I hope to bring in the top notch knowledgeable & experienced trainers in the industry together to create the DREAM TEAM & provide the best personal training experience anyone in Singapore can possibly have. With that, I would like to make The Fesique Lab a brand that everyone in Singapore will be familiar with.

What is one tip that you can offer anyone who is thinking of getting fit?

My tip is this,"A thousand mile journey starts with a single step. Make that first step & you will be amazed at what you can achieve.."!

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