From the Desk of Loy Machedo: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Of Jacques Sophie
There is a saying.
When you fight with someone and do not like them
Most probably you end up telling everyone the truth about the person.
Given the fact that I was more like a brother to Jacques Sophie
After which we had a massive difference of opinion & clash of personalities
I think I would be in a very strong position to tell you the Ugly Truth about Jacques Sophie.
After all – I am no longer his student, he can no longer benefit me and even if I bad mouth him – there is nothing he can do about it.
So allow me to tell you The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Of Jacques Sophie.
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The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Of Jacques Sophie
After 16 years of bodybuilding
And a sedentary lifestyle of 6 years
I was 112kgs with excess muscle mass and a 52 inch protruding belly
My stamina was non-existent as I would even struggle to walk a flight of stairs.
My shape – well I was in shape – that is if you consider ‘round’ a shape.
My lower back, my knees and my joints were in such a bad condition – I would take pain killers from time to time just to forget the pain.
And the vision of being healthy or fit – well – seemed non-existent.
Even after meeting with multiple doctors and so-called-experts
The diagnosis was still the same
Thanks to the super heavy weights
Full Squats for legs – 225kgs
Leg Press for legs – 310kgs
Deadlifts lower-back – 185kgs
Bench Press for chest – 135kgs
I would never be able to run or walk fast.
I would have to live my life like this – for the remainder of my life.
This depressive state of affairs was my reality – well that is until I bumped into Jacques Sophie.
At first when I looked at him – he seemed like this small tiny simple guy.
Nothing really visually impressive.
Where one would expect a coach to look like a muscled bodybuilder or some Hollywood 6-pack celebrity star – Jacques didn’t necessarily look like a ‘coach’.
At first glance, I felt he looked more like a super sun-tanned Lifeguard – with his shiny sunglasses, his peppered grey white and black hair and dark tanned skin.
I was very skeptical about him – however I allowed myself to suspend disbelief and go with the flow.
The first day was nothing but simple instructions like
try touching your toes,
show me how you squat,
show me how you complete a push up,
hold your leg up,
move your hands in a circular motion….
As he meticulously took down notes.
I wasn’t surprised as I wasn’t able to do a single exercise he gave me.
However, what surprised me was – he told me I would be able to all these exercise easily – within a month.
I looked at him as if he was high on something.
And subsequently ignored his comment as a marketing gimmick.
How was it humanly possible to do something – that even the doctor had made clear as ‘impossible’.
However, 24 months since that day
I had a few accomplishments up my sleeve.
Once upon a time I couldn’t run 100 meters without collapsing on the ground
After training with Jacques Sophie,
I completed 12kms in 52mins beating a lot of seasoned veterans in the process.
I was told I would never be able to carry my body weight over long distances
I completed 21kms within 2 hours.
I didn’t know how to swim
And I was absolutely terrified of the ocean
(If you saw Jaws – you know what I mean)
If I even saw a floating algae in the water – I would scream like a little girl
But under the coaching of Jacques Sophie,
I swam 2 kms into the ocean
Where I couldn’t ride a bike properly
I managed to cycle 50 kms alone.
And finally to bring it all together
I completed a Triathlon race – not one – around 6 of them.
So now where does the complication arise?
What is the good, the bad and the ugly of Jacques Sophie?
Well here is a honest point by point assessment.
• He is extremely knowledgeable about his craft. He understands the fundamental principles of exercising, track & field events, fitness, stamina & weight loss techniques.
• He is very meticulous about his work. Very dedicated and very sincere about what he is doing and why he is doing it.
• If you give him a goal – he will push you all the way to help you achieve it.
• He is not very receptive to new fads or training techniques. I suppose because of the health risks involved and also because he is the Coach who is in-charge of your well being. So there is a wealth of information he may ignore or not consider.
• He can be very moody, opinionated and stubborn.
• Everything is ‘Dog-Eat-Dog’ for him. It is competition at the highest levels. Do or Die. Kill or Be Killed.
• Sometimes it can be very hard to communicate to him and with him.
• He can be very sweet if he wants to. He can be a total asshole if he wants to.
MOMENT OF TRUTH
So now the question is this.
After 2 years of having a super close relationship with him, having him no longer as my friend and trainer – Do I recommend him or do I not?
Well here is my honest-to-god truth – Without a doubt – Yes.
Jacques Sophie maybe a Jackass at times but the man has integrity.
As a Coach – he is absolutely true to his trade. He is very committed and very dedicated. He is not one of those people who stands in the sidelines and gives you barking orders. He gets down to the bare basics and trains with you.
I still remember as a student when I was swimming in the vast blue expanse of the mighty ocean – so many times I assumed this guy didn’t bother (we were having issues at that time) – but guess what – he was right there keeping an eye on me. And he wouldn’t have done this had he not had his heart in place.
As a Trainer – I have never seen anyone more focused about training someone. I myself am a Trainer. I myself dedicate a lot of time, effort and money into training. I know the grind. Jacques Sophie is truly dedicated as one.
And even with all the disagreements we have had – the biggest reason why I endorse this man – the accomplishments, the achievements and the Laurels I achieved – is all thanks to this man. And mind you – all these accomplishments – were seriously deemed both by doctors and so-called-experts as impossible to achieve. Even today – I get people calling me, emailing me or speaking to me about what I achieved and asking me – how did I do it – and that is all because of him.
So irrespective what personality difference me and he may have (Trust me when I say this – I am a very difficult student), he has given me an education, a learning, an experience and memories.
They can you can learn a lot more from a person after you are no longer friends with that person. In the case of Jacques Sophie, I have nothing but respect for him as a Coach and Mentor.
He transformed me from a seemingly stagnant couch potato to a respectable amateur athlete. He made me understand, respect and value the principles of hard-work, sacrifice, dedication and discipline. He reminded me what I once forgot and he made me relive my childhood memories of being an athlete pre-injury days and feel alive once again. And that in itself is priceless.
So – if you really have the time, the money, the dedication, the discipline, the drive and the determination to want to change – and you are truly committed about it – then Jacques Sophie is the man for you.
Jacques may not be perfect, but the fact remains – I myself wasn’t. But even with all these imperfections from both our sides – we achieved a goal. And the very fact that I am spending my personal time writing this article about him today – even after a year has passed by after we ended our relationship – should prove the point – he is a good Coach.
I would just take the liberty of quoting his own words before I conclude this article – To achieve success – I have to put in 50% and you have to put the other 50%. Together we will achieve 100%.
I achieved 100% of my goals thanks to him. And the memories I share with him – everything from the thrill of competing, the strategy of trying to maneuver a bike on a dangerous curve, the pain of trying to overtake a runner ahead of me, the peace and tranquility of swimming in the clear ocean and watching an ocean floor clearly that is nearly 10 meters down with the fishes swimming below you, to finally the priceless and amazing feeling of crossing the finish-line – I owe it to this man.
And I will forever remain in his debt.
To contact Jacques Sophie
To check his profile
To check his company page
Jacques Sophie’s Noteworthy Achievements:
- Ranked Number 3 in Alain WAR in the 15 km Obstacles Race Course (2016)
- Ranked Number 1 at Oceanic Triathlon Overall & Winner of Age Group (2016)
- Ranked Number 5 at Oceanic Triathlon Overall & Winner of Age Group (2016)
- Completed the RAK Half Marathon in 1 Hour 30 Minutes (2015)
- Ranked Number 2 in the Inaugural Desert Dubai Warrior Challenge (2014)
- Finish a 70.3 Half Ironman in Dubai, UAE in 4hours 45minutes (2014)
- Ranked Number 3 in the World Championship in Biathlete Event (2012)
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