We at Armored Fitness Equipment are thrilled to introduce our first brand ambassador, Jon Devlin! Jon is a talented guy in more ways than one, and health and fitness is definitely at the top of that list! From CrossFit to eating right, improving form, and creating a lifestyle that’s both healthy and sustainable for you, Jon is not only a representative of our brand but your new go-to for practical ideas, advice, and encouragement as you become a better, stronger you.
What should people know about you?
This is going to sound funny, but I think the most important thing is that I’m a regular person. I have a full-time job (I’m a software engineer by trade!), so I'm not a sponsored athlete by any means. I'm just a guy who goes to the gym each day, works, and likes to make fitness a priority in my life. So, the advantage I have is knowing what it’s like not to train for a living and to have to juggle it with everything else. I’m a great source of information for people trying to reach goals with Armored Fitness products or simply trying to get fit for the first time—because the knowledge you get from me is more applicable. I mean, I’m doing the same thing as you: putting my body to the test and improving my strength and endurance daily. And I’d love to encourage you along the way.
What got you so interested in fitness?
I played baseball in high school, and then I went to college and wasn't working out, wasn't playing sports, and life happened. I got very overweight and decided to start CrossFit at the gym close to my apartment. And I loved the sort of “open sandbox” that a CrossFit gym is versus a traditional gym setting where you kind of have to stay in your lane, stay out of people's way, and be careful not to be too loud. For me, going to the “sandbox” became a lot of fun, like recess as a kid. You go to the playground and come up with fun things to do to entertain yourself. CrossFit just so happened to entertain me while helping me get in shape. And over time, it kind of became addictive. I haven’t looked back.
How do you train personally?
Like I said, I’m an engineer, so, like in my work, I like to take larger problems and break them down into small chunks and tackle those piece by piece. A lot of my training consists of what I refer to as “practicing fitness.” I dedicate time to various areas of my body, and my goal is always to improve my technique—because technique is everything when you’re trying to improve. For instance, today, I worked on the technique of my Olympic lifts, then of my gymnastics, and then spent a little time doing specialized cardio and heart-rate training! The first half of my training time is usually spent breaking down a specific skill or lift that I want to work on. Then I hit some kind of conditioning afterwards.
Where do you train?
I split my time 50-50 between the gym and my home. I go to the gym as much as possible. Stuff comes up though! That’s why I’ve dedicated half of my 2-car garage to gym space. When working out in my garage, I typically do a lot of specialized training due to limited space: a barbell workout, a little gymnastics, something like that. Sometimes I pull out the rower and just go at it. But regardless of where I train, I train with the mentality that there’s always something I can get better at. It kind of epitomizes that “It’s the journey, not the destination” thing.
How does a “regular guy” like you handle fitness setbacks and ups and downs in performance?
I give myself grace knowing that perfection isn’t real. Life will happen! There have been times where I've been super fit, very good on my diet, very lean. And there have been other times where my diet gets away from me, I start putting on a little weight and am not able to get into the gym as much. But the difference in setting small goals is that my method doesn’t have to change when my goals shift. Daily, small goals prevent me from taking on the extreme mindsets, diets, and routines that leave so many of us feeling ashamed when we’re not able to maintain them.
It’s consistency at its core! Consistency means I’m required to do the work, no matter how that looks. Sometimes the goal has to be just to show up and complete the workout—no timer, no score. And that’s okay! Hitting that goal is really good for the spirit—and it’s personal. Everyone’s environment is unique, so defining fitness goals for yourself doesn’t need to measure up to some standard. It needs to be about you, and when those small goals end up giving you results—and they will—it’s super satisfying.
What does being an ambassador mean to you, and why do you think you’re the right choice?
An ambassador is distinct in that, again, I’m not a professional athlete. An ambassador is supposed to be a person people can relate to—one who's knowledgeable about a specific area. In my case, that area is fitness as a whole as well as the benefits of Armored Fitness products and services. I’m sort of the every man's knowledge bank—the guy who answers your questions and helps you become all you can be.
Questions like, “I'm working on my garage gym. What kind of equipment do you recommend? How do I fill it out? What should my flooring be?” to “What should my diet be? What's worked for you? What hasn't?”—I answer all of them because those are what we get so bogged down in. Helping people feel rest assured that they are on the right course pushes them one step closer to better health and legitimate results.
Also, training is a lifestyle for me, and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. No kids at the moment. Hopefully, down the line, that happens. And even then, I want to make fitness a priority. When people follow me, they’ll get to see that, me managing life’s changes—and that’s unique! Sponsored athletes will paint an image that is impressive but inherently unachievable for most people…an hour-long recovery every day? Working out 2 to 3 times a day? Who has time for that? When you look at someone who is a brand ambassador like me, you’ll see a regular person and say, “If that person can do it, then I can too.” That’s powerful, and ultimately, that’s what I bring to the table.
Why be an ambassador for Armored Fitness and not another company?
Because I believe in Armored Fitness. This is a fast-growing, grassroots company. I know the people who started it. I know the sled was created because one of those owners was a member at a CrossFit gym and he hated the sound of sleds sliding on the concrete and that five or six plates had to be loaded onto one of the slides to make it worth anything. That nature of “How do we make the gym better for us and others? How do we make a sled that you can use anywhere? How do we make fitness more functional for people and worth every bit of sweat?”—it’s what they, and I, are all about. It’s seeing problems that are applicable to ourselves as athletes in the gym and solving those problems for both ourselves and others.
How will you make Armored Fitness a better brand as its sole ambassador?
So…I've made a lot of mistakes. Emphasis on a lot (in the fitness realm at least). By putting my content out there, I’ll be saving people from wasting their time using the wrong equipment, misusing the right kind, and so much more. It’s transparency. I’ll be bringing an extra level of transparency to the brand by being that face, that real-life face and name people can utilize and follow for tips on all things health and fitness. I’ll also showcase the other side of the brand that naturally gets lost in any company when products are being sold: their passion for health, for functional fitness, and for supporting people in their fitness journeys.
What most excites you about being such an integral part of this brand?
It really comes down to helping people. People love the feeling of accomplishing things. It’s fun to master your back squat. It’s fun to run 5 miles straight. It's fun to suddenly learn a ring muscle-up. It's fun to learn how to walk on your hands. And all of those are little goals that, at least for me, were things that, when I started training, I thought I would literally never be able to do—like not even close. Handstand push-ups? Are you kidding? A lot of people can’t believe those are a thing. Some of us actually thought they were a joke before we could do them ourselves. The idea of being able to help people achieve those things—the seemingly impossible—is really meaningful to me.
How can people find and connect with you?
You can learn more about me in the recent ebook by Armored Fitness and can find me on Instagram at @jonmdevlin! There’s really no such thing as a dumb question, so send them my way!