Coach Jonathan Pope is a certified Personal Trainer and Conditioning Specialist and the owner of Smart Success Personal Fitness Training in New Jersey who has had the opportunity over the last 3 years to work with hundreds of clients, helping them to reach their fitness goals.

Coach Jonathan Pope is the leader of a team of fitness professionals at the Koffler & Hyland Wellness Center in the Westchester and Putnam Region of New York. He is a personal trainer, certified and board-certified strength and conditioning specialist, and certified nutrition specialist who offers a range of weight management and general wellness programs. Coach Jonathan specializes in weight management, weight loss, fitness, and sports nutrition, and most importantly, he helps you reach your goals!

I work with them every day, so I know how good the coaches are.

Today you’re going to meet one of them, Jonathan Pope. This way, you can discover it too.


There is virtually no product or program from PN that Jonathan Pope has not been involved with in some way.

He first bought, studied and practiced the PN system. He then enrolled and took one of the first certification courses. That’s how he enrolled in the PN coaching program.

Not because he really needed to get rid of the fat. John had been an athlete all his life, so he was not overweight. Instead, he signed up for NP coaching because he wanted to experience NP coaching from the inside. He wanted to go through the process.

Why such an obsessive fascination with all things NP?

I’ve been following Dr. John Berardi’s work for years, he says. I identified with the philosophy of learning.

It’s about doing what works in the long run. Giving customers the resources they need for life.

And Jonathan, more than anyone, understands why this is important. That is, he takes it literally. To the bone.

John has been an avid athlete since childhood and grew up at Utah State.

He was a stubborn boy who loved to challenge himself and excelled at snowboarding, skateboarding, basketball and other sports.

In fact, I’m willing to try anything, he says. It was a challenge for me, but I wanted to see if I could do it. Intensity was his middle name.

In college, John concentrated on baseball. Initially, he hoped to make a career in sports. After all, he was going to play in college.

But the universe had other plans. Instead of shining, John struggled. It was all I could do to survive each day. After elbow surgery, a ruptured spleen and several minor injuries, his body said: That’s enough.

In the past, he constantly strived to improve himself. Now his goal was to persevere.

At that point in my life, my identity was to be a very good athlete, and that dream quickly fell apart. I didn’t know how to do it.

And what did he do? Which he has always done best.

I continued.

After only one year of baseball in college, John’s body betrayed him.

He may not use that word, but that’s how he felt when he found out he couldn’t go on.

Five surgeries in five years, he sighs. Two for his elbow. Two for his knee. One for his shoulder.

To the uninitiated, baseball may not seem like a difficult sport.

Players do not hit each other with bats, defend each other or hit each other in the face. But injuries from repetitive strain are a constant risk, and baseball can put a lot of pressure on ligaments, tendons and joints.

Jonathan needed help to rebuild his body. And after all that medical care, he had a lot of time to think.

One of the questions that bothers him the most is why it happened in the first place. If he was fit, active and healthy, why did he keep getting hurt?

I got up every morning and wondered why almost every joint in my body ached. I spent a lot of time feeling sorry for myself and feeling like I had let myself down. It was easy to retreat and be cut off from the rest of the world.

At some point I realized that no one was going to fix it for me. I had to act.

The fact is that two decades of intense training without a proper system or plan amounted to unconscious self abuse. Not that he wanted to hurt himself. Not that he wanted to hurt himself.

But by losing important information and advice, he did himself a disservice.

He was fighting himself – and none of his coaches were stopping him. Worse, some may have even contributed to the problem.

It frustrated him, angered him, but most of all it made him curious.

Frustrated by what had happened and the quality of the rehabilitation he was undergoing, John began to search relentlessly for answers.

Smart, determined and very focused, he has studied, consulted and interned with the best in the business, including strength trainers, physical therapists, chiropractors and doctors, including some of the PN staff.

I had to find out. Of course, I put a lot of pressure on myself. Moderation is not my strong suit.

But how can I train better and safer in the future? How can I help others do the same?

At that point, John was determined to find solutions – not just for himself, but for others like him.

The more he learned, the more he wanted to learn – and the more he felt the desire to share his knowledge.

Coaching was a natural career choice for him.

After graduating from the University of Northern Colorado with a degree in exercise science, he soon went to work at a corporate fitness center.

But he was frustrated by his lack of creative control. John, who was bent on success from the start, had to use his mind and ambition to build something from the ground up.

If I’m gonna do it, I wanna do it right. I really want to help people, he recalls.

This led him to start his own company (with PN coach Craig Weller), Rogue Performance, which offers fitness and weight loss programs, as well as athletic training specifically for team, mountain and endurance sports.

As opposed to a gym that caters to everyone, Rogue quickly became known as a place where athletes of all ages and levels could find community and support to achieve their goals. Clients appreciate the personal attention and unique, long-term approach to fitness.

From the beginning, nutritional advice has been an important part of Rogue’s offerings.

I can have more impact in less time – for myself and my clients – simply by changing my diet, says John.  The NP certification gave him the tools he needed to help people achieve real results.

Finally, he developed the online programming at Rogue. From there, it seemed obvious that he would join PN, where his skills, experience and knowledge would benefit even more people in need.

Jonathan has developed programs for everyone from stay-at-home moms to elite athletes, teenagers to men and women in their 50s, 60s and beyond.

He enjoys helping different clients with different goals.

It’s great when people start to change. Not just their bodies, but their insides, he says.

You’re gaining confidence. They have moved on with their lives outside the gym. It is amazing to see clients blossom when they are challenged in the right way and given support and encouragement.

High but realistic expectations are the key to success. By pushing your limits and doing difficult tasks in the gym, you’re preparing yourself to do the same outside the gym, he notes.

There is always room for improvement and development.

Jonathan lives in Denver where he continues to snowboard, mountain bike, climb and do other outdoor activities.

These days, the sports I choose don’t match my natural physical attributes, he notes. Therefore, training the mind has become more important than ever.

Not that more than that was ever a problem. My free time is probably the most intense game most people play, he laughs.

But these days John is aware of what can happen if you push too hard, too long, too relentlessly, and he strives to balance intensity – to train both smart and hard. Traveling and spending time with his long-time girlfriend complement his professional and athletic schedule.

And no matter what, Jonathan will never ask a client to do anything they don’t want to try themselves.

At the end of the day, it’s about a solid education. Train with a plan and a goal. And a training adapted to the individual and his goals.

Training doesn’t have to be an endless cycle of hard work and bitter disappointment, Jonathan says.

On the contrary, the training should be as fascinating as it is useful.

Like Jonathan Pope himself.

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