When One Door Closes, Another One Opens. Usn Ambassador and Poster Boy Jacques Fagan Gives Us a VIP Pass on His Fitness Journey. Starting From a Painful End to a Promising Career in Professional Rugby, to His Now Budding Career as a Business Owner, Men’s Physique Champion and Brand Ambassador. The Humble Athlete Fills Us in on How He Managed to Transform Both His Mindset and Physique and Built a Sustainable Career in the Fitness Industry.
MEN’S FITNESS: WHAT GOT YOU INTO THE GYM? GIVE US SOME DETAILS ON YOUR UPBRINGING, YOUR BACKGROUND AND YOUR TRANSITION INTO FITNESS.
JACQUES FAGAN: I grew up in the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town and from a very young age I’ve been an active person, always doing a variety of sports like rugby, cricket, athletics and tennis. Rugby has always been my favourite sport, but being a skinny guy I lacked a bit of confidence. I knew that if I wanted to make it far in rugby I would need to build a stronger and bigger body, to help improve my confidence levels. I started training in the gym at the age of 14 and began following fitness icons like Greg Plitt and doing research on training and supplements. Coming from a normal family, everything in my life I’ve achieved through hard work - whether it was on the sports field, in school, starting my own business or doing fitness shows. From the age of 16 my rugby career started picking up. I was selected for the WP Under-18 and 21 teams respectively and later on I was selected to be on the senior WP seven-a-side game until my injuries started creeping in.
My fitness journey started in 2009 when I decided to make a positive difference in my own life by stepping out of my comfort zone - taking on new opportunities, believing in myself and following the dream of living a life of success while always remaining humble and true to myself, my morals and values! Due to my rugby injuries, a shoulder operation and hamstring tears I had to take time off from the rugby season to recover. In that period gym training became my primary focus in building up a stronger body. My brother Vivian at that time started training with a lady, Debby Bradfield who was a Personal Trainer. She approached me at the gym and suggested I give the Fitness SA competition a go. I was 6 weeks out of competition at the time.
Being a shy guy it took a lot of convincing from her but I did the show and placed in the Top 10. I then went on to win the Model Look division and got my first official clothing sponsor. From then on, the bug bit me and I’ve never looked back.
Thereafter, I decided to give up my rugby career and focus completely on this new journey. I’ve since done numerous shows that weren’t only fitness related. I’ve won Manhunt International in that same year, won Mr Universe Model SA in 2011, placed top 5 in Mr South Africa 2012 and won the Best Body award. I also placed top 3 in Mr SA 2013 and won the Best Body award again and through this achievement I got the opportunity to travel the world. I’ve done over 18 fitness and modelling shows to date.
MF: WHAT WOULD YOU CONSIDER TO HAVE BEEN THE DEFINING MOMENTS THAT LED YOU INTO COMPETING AS A FITNESS ATHLETE? WAS THERE ANY ONE MOMENT IN YOUR LIFE THAT YOU JUST THOUGHT, “YES, I’M DOING THIS AND I’M GOING ALL IN”?
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