Body positivity is the the Hallmark of Joseph Eskander, the Melbourne based Personal Trainer and Meme trader poses partly naked in every Instagram pic. In fact, it's rare is he is captured with more than one article of clothing attached to his body.
His amazing physique is a testament to his confidence on camera, but if you dig a little deeper into Joseph persona you find a man who is open, honest and deeply involved in his community. Good looks aside Eskander has turned the celebration of his body into an art form, with his nudity at the centre of the canvas. Whether it his own digitally tuned images or artist collaborations Eskander body proves to be a perfect muse.
A celebration of the human body minus all the ego is defiantly needed in the digital realm and Eskander content is helping move that needle forward. Rather than another gym mirror selfie for the masses, Eskander expresses his sexuality and body positivity through the lens of artist. With some amazing results. Noisin profiled Eskander to discuss his career path into personal training and his journey with body positivity. We discovered that building a beautiful body is more a mental game and that everyone experiences body shame regardless of their age or fitness.
Also, this guy is a king at memes, and they are camp AF. His Insta stores have to lead me to many moments of spontaneous laughter in public, but totally worth the embarrassment.
N:Can you talk us through your journey to becoming a personal training and why you decided to take this career path?
JE:I had been working for somebody, the company for most of my adult life. I just got to a point where I didn't want to answer to anyone or work in the confines of a manager or boss. I loved going to the gym and trained 7 days a week. I loved the stress relief it gave me but never considered doing it for a career. Once I did work in the fitness industry only then did I realize how much I loved it and loved helping others. I never felt a sense of purpose in my past careers until then.
N:A lot of personal trainers follow or develop a particular style of training, ever it is completely individually developed or adopted from well-known styles. Can you describe your personal training style?
JE:Originally it was all about wanting to look good naked. Training only in hypertrophy and bodybuilding. Over time I gained an interest in compound training, yoga, and HIIT/circuit type training.
What is your number one strategy to motivate a lazy client?
Ignore their moans and make jokes. Sometimes do it with them.
N:How important is it for you to create a sense of community within your central group?
JE:Very important. I run group sessions on a weekly basis as this brings all my clients together. They get to know each other and build a support network outside of their one to one training with me. While I was away on holidays my team still got together and trained at the gym as a group. I even got photo updates sent to me. I love it.
N:What is your weekly exercise routine?
JE:I change up my weight training routine every five weeks. I'd train six days a week in weights.
N:What are your thoughts on men using steroids to aid in building muscle?
JE:I don't really have an opinion on it. I think because it's so common in the area I work in. I've become used to seeing it. The demographics are young adults, gay and straight, career-focused. No kids/family to support. Very social. Work hard, play hard mentality. It's not aligned with my style of training or holistic belief of fitness. But I don't judge.
N:What is the dietary plan you follow to ensure you maintain overall health and build?
JE:I keep it very simple, lots of green veggies, fruit, lean meats. But in saying that I don't eat meat as much as I used to. I'm definitely eating more vegetarian meals and seafood/fish. Two meals a day. For breakfast its generally a protein smoothy/shake. I fast once a week. As I mentioned earlier I drink or try to drink up to 3 liters of water a day. I have two to three coffee a day (long black generally) I do love my sweets and try to keep that in check but I won't deprive myself of chocolates. I can't live without my chocolate. I've tried to cut it out in the past but I end up bingeing once I get the taste of it. Like I can't stop. I go crazy. So yes, all in moderation.
N:From your point of view why do you think you have built a strong Insta following?
JE:I really don't know. I just try and be myself. I'm average looking, love traveling. Love my job and try to fun in everything I do. Maybe that translates in my posts, I don't know. But I get some great feedback and messages from people which is just amazing.
N:How do you handle the 'haters' and their negative comments?
JE:I've been lucky where I've only come across a handful of "haters". I didn't know them to really care enough of their opinion. I just deleted their comments. One guy's comments I deleted messaged me and asked why I deleted them only to tell me he had the right to express his opinion, my response was, yes you are, but this is my page and I'll do what I like on it. Just unfollow if you find me offensive. Then I blocked him. Lol.
N:Has your social following helped you build your fitness business and if yes how so?
JE:It has without a doubt. I'm able to get that message across and people are always asking for tips and ideas. I get enquires as well and most of the time that has translated into one on one training.
N:Do you use nudity and your body as a form of self-expression and art?
JE:Most defiantly. I don't believe I have the best body out there. I grew up with body issues, being overweight as a child and teenager. I hated my body. It took me a long time to overcome that. I'm proud of my body now. I understand it a lot better. I go through cycles where I'll holiday for over a month and not train and lose muscle. I'll go through fazes where I'm lean and muscular. I love that I've become comfortable in my skin. I also love being able to be apart of photographers art. I love being around creative people and I love that I can express myself in this manner. Once you put yourself out there I don't feel I have anything to hide. It's very liberating.
N:You are clearly a fan of nudity and body positivity, do you feel comfortable with your own skin or do you feel any sense of vulnerability when posting explicit content?
JE:Continuing from the last response, yes I'm very comfortable in my skin. I really love that feeling of not having any restrictions. I believe there's been a flow on effect in other aspects of my life. It really takes away that fear of doing things you may feel uncomfortable doing. Just putting yourself out there without a care is so freeing. That sense of vulnerability has passed for me. I'm mostly concerned that I'm so desensitized by nudity that I never really know what I may post is too much. I've had my fair share of posts being pulled down. So it just gives me fuel to be a little more creative and find a way to create a pic that's more suggestive rather than post a pic, here is my dick or bum, enjoy. Lol.
N:Do you or have you ever struggled with feelings of inadequacy with how you perceive your own body?
JE:Yes. Growing up as a child, through to my teenage years. And it scared me into my adult life. I'm in my 40's now and I'm learning to look at myself in a positive way. It's funny to look back on some pix of me in my thirties and remembering how I felt at the time, thinking I looked fat or maybe too skinny but in reality, I looked fine. I don't know what I was working for. I was really hard on myself.
N:Your body is been carefully built and looked after, do you take the same care with your mental health?
JE:I have more so into my late thirties. I meditate and practice daily gratitude logins in a journal. I read a lot of self-help and motivational books and yoga has also been a big help in directing me to this path. I try to be aware of how I speak to myself and not use words that may be derogative or negative.
N:What are some of the practices you use to maintain mental health?
JE:Meditation, gratitude, reading books and material that is regarded as motivational and positive that I could use in my day to day living. I see a healer every now and again. I believe exercise in all forms can be great for your mental health. When I was younger and getting into weight training, I found it to be a great way to let off some steam and refocus. One of my big goals is to run a holistic retreat incorporating exercise, yoga, meditation, massage, nutrition. One day. Watch this space.
If you happen to be located in Melbourne and want to scolpte your body into a god-like figure :P hit for Joseph Eskander Personal Training here. Soon you will be posting half-naked selfies.