What a personal trainer does in isolation | John Fawkes

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If you’ve ever wondered, “What does a personal trainer do in isolation?” This might be the episode for you. If not, then just listen because he talks about a few things that personal trainers don’t really ever speak publicly about.

We also dive into a bit of what happened during this “The C Word”. I’ll treat this as a time capsule of sorts for the future Master of Some to look back on and go “Oh, that’s what we were thinking”.

This episode was an interesting one with fitness/nutrition coach and wellness habits trainer, John Fawkes over in Los Angeles California.

This was actually an accidental recording where I kept the tape rolling at the end of a different interview (which is part of a bigger project that I may release in the future)

Who is John Fawkes you might ask?

He’s a writer and a personal trainer from Hollywood, California. He coaches people on diet and exercise who really want to get into the best shape of their lives.  He is an NSCA certified personal trainer, a precision nutrition certified nutrition coach and Bayesian bodybuilding personal training certified.

He takes a science based approach to coaching and personalizes it to the individual.

Read the full transcription below.


  1. John Fawkes Website
  2. John Fawkes Beautiful Writing 
  3. Music by DLAKE CREATES
  4. Podcast Production by POD PASTE

FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPTION or DOWNLOAD HERE(Please Excuse Grammatical and Spelling Errors)

John: [00:00:00] Within the first week with a new client, we can tell how well they’re going to do. Like every once in a while someone will start out not very well and then do better, but usually it’s just like, all right, you’re not taking responsibility for anything. That’s tough. That’s not going to go well next to the guy who’s like, Hey, so I tried this.

What do you think of it? I’m like, I’m glad you tried it. I’m glad you didn’t sit on your thumbs waiting for me to tell you to do stuff. That’s good. 

Daren: [00:00:29] What is up. I’m Daren and sometimes go as Dee Lake and I’m your host of the Internet’s most exciting health, fitness and self-improvement podcast, master of some.

If you want to be a better athlete and an all around person, this podcast might be for you. If you’ve ever wondered if and how you showed up physically for your workouts that day affected the rest of your mental and emotional life, this episode could be promising for you if you consider yourself a generalist slash Jack of all trades and want to learn.

And how to use different tools to combine your many passions for better living. The show is definitely for you. I’m constantly struggling to find the meaning of things in my life. These wellness frameworks have helped me apply the same processes and habits to other areas of my life, and we’d love to share them with you.

Also in the process, we try to have a bit of fun doing it. If you haven’t already, please subscribe or follow on whatever you use to listen to your podcasts. Most of the original music is produced by me. I go as DLA creates, so if you like any of the music, you can. Add it to your device playlist by going to master some pod.com/music please send this podcast or your favorite episode to someone that you think would get something out of this.

We sometimes curse, swear and use bad language, so please be mindful where and how you listen to our show.

This episode is an experiment of sorts called healthy, wealthy and wise. If we like it, we might keep it. If not, then we’ll can it. Phil kind of suggested that we capture our catch-ups and a bit of a structured manner. I said, yeah, cool. This episode is a snippet from a conversation I had with John Fox. I found john@viathemedium.com network algorithm.

I’d say his content and value would be if Tim Ferris and James clear had a baby, a health, fitness and wellness baby. I’ve been following John’s work for a while and super grateful that he jumped on a web call with me that got recorded. The rest of this conversation will be released sometime in the future as it’s part of something slightly ambitious that I’m putting together.

Here is a bit more about John from John. 

John: [00:02:34] I’m a personal trainer. I live in Hollywood, California. Almost all my businesses online right now. I coach people on diet and exercise who really want to get into the best shape of their lives. Not just not be obese, but really be in great shape and put in the work to do it.

I am, I’m an NSCA certified personal trainer, a precision nutrition certified nutrition coach. Uh, I’ve completed the coursework for the Bayesian bodybuilding personal training course. And I really take a science based approach, um, is really grounded in studies in science, but I also personalize it to the individual and I really push people to work harder than they ever thought that they could because I’ve learned that people are capable of more than they think they are.

[Sample – You better watch your diet]

Daren: [00:03:27] How are you doing with all of this? I know that, you know, obviously you like being outside and doing that. Are you, are you okay? 

John: [00:03:35] Yeah. It’s all right for me. I mean, I’m a pretty introverted guy. Um, I mean, there’s, I miss seeing people, I miss going out, but it’s not terrible for me, you know?

I mean, it’s just, I watch TV, I play video games. I’m playing like I play like Dungeons and dragons and stuff. So I’m playing that over discord. So I at least interacting with other human beings. Um, you know, I talked to my family a lot. So I don’t want this to last too much longer, but I’m okay with it. I don’t feel like I’m going crazy or anything, and I mean, I still go out and go for walks a couple of times a day.

Like we can at least do that here. Yeah. Um, you know, unfortunately I’m in the middle of a big city, so it’s one of the more shut down parts of the road. But, you know, for me, I have a high tolerance for isolation. I’m okay with it. Yeah. Um, cool. I mean, how is it over there? 

Daren: [00:04:30] Um, we, we got the numbers down. Uh, or, sorry, they’re starting to go down.

It’s a at about, it’s stayed at about 6,000 in the past week. Uh, so a number is definitely for the whole country. Um, and, uh, definitely it’s really low and it’s like, I didn’t think they would do it here because they weren’t taking it seriously. Like once it started hitting like Italy and Europe and then the U S we like.

The government didn’t start shutting things down. It was like the prime minister here. He was like, Oh yeah, it’s fine, it’s fine. And then every few days. They started getting stricter and stricter, so it wasn’t this on off switch. And then like they finally were like, okay, we’re going to sit here, which was a tiny bit less restrict in the U S actually, it’s very similar to the U S um, but everyone really respected the, cause we’re, we’re coming out of summer, so it’s still super nice.

We had the whole beach fiasco. Everyone was at the beach, you know, when that’s supposed to be like 40,000 people at Yale, it’s 40,000 people at, you know. The beach and in Bondai Sydney, um, and everyone was like, Oh, you can’t do this. So they closed all the beaches and that’s when they were like, Hey guys, we need to take this seriously.

But everyone did. It’s weird cause I’m like 10 minutes away from the city and um, and everyone is actually respecting it. Like, or at least everyone that I see. And I thought like, people would kind of be like, Oh, like everyone, even like really close friends of mine, everyone’s like. You know, 1.5 meters, like, you know, six feet and it’s, it’s down to them.

And I was like, Holy shit. Like I thought people wouldn’t take it that serious cause they weren’t a week before. So now, you know, it’s been three or four weeks now, and the numbers are finally showing. And because we were a bit late, because we’re a smaller country in the U S I think it was just, but we could have, if we would have waited a week or two, um, I think we would have been similar to us in, you know, per capita.

So, uh, so, so yeah. 

John: [00:06:13] People here really thought that no one was going to respect the, the quarantine and then that was going to be an issue. It really hasn’t been like people have been really good about it here. Um, and that seems to be true in most of the U S too, other than now we have, we have like this weird minority of people who think everything’s a conspiracy.

But then the thing is though, people have this tendency to like really exaggerate how big, like how big or influential those weird little minorities are. But more so now that people are not even going out and seeing it for themselves, and they’re just like seeing everything on the internet and it’s like.

That’s like a few thousand people. Most of the country is doing really well. 

Daren: [00:06:54] Yeah, yeah. No, you see the, like, you just see the protests and whatnot and everyone’s like, Oh, the U S is fucked. And I’m like, I’m like, no, they’re not. It’s the U S like, they’re not that fucking, I promise you. Everyone’s not good.

Not everyone’s not doing that. All of my friends are not doing that. Like even my friends that voted for Trump are not doing that. So, um. It’s like, I feel like you know that the media is obviously just over-exaggerating one small, like, you know, if you drive the car really fast, it looks like a huge population of people.

It’s like everyone’s out now 

John: [00:07:23] where the media is trying to, like, the media is really exaggerating. Like the difference between Democrats and Republicans on this issue. Like, like they’re posting these polls that say like, Oh, Democrats are more worried about. Getting sick and Republicans are more worried about the economy.

It’s like, well, first off you made them choose one or the other, so you don’t really know the magnitude of how much they value one or the other. Second, you get pools that are like, well, how worried are you that you are someone where you know, we’ll get the virus? Oh, Democrats are more worried than rebel.

Well, Democrats disproportionately live in crowded cities and Republicans live in like, we actually do have more to worry about like that. That’s a logical difference of perspective. And then like, they’re like, the new thing here is, Oh, Texas is reopening in Texas is already reopening. Can you believe it’s already reopening?

It’s too early to reopen. Texas is allowing curbside pickup and delivery are not reopening everything. They’re not like reopening the bars. They’re not having baseball games. Just that one thing. So I mean, they really try and make it seem. Like there’s just, there’s a massive goal between the two parties and other than Trump himself, there really isn’t.

There really doesn’t seem to be, if you look at what. People actually want to do, rather than how they frame it.

Daren: [00:08:54] you know, the quote unquote fly over States, no disrespect. Um, that is where the majority of the people that vote for Trump. Live and they’re not. They’re in very spread out areas. So they’re like, Oh, what are you talking about? I’m fine cause I live on a farm and you know, and they’re like, please stop this whole, like the economy being ripped to shreds right now.

So I get it. I absolutely get it. Uh, 

John: [00:09:15] you know, I got to say here in Los Angeles where it’s 50% unemployment, so Holy shit, you know, there’s also a lot of people on the left, like it would like to mock this concern over the economy. Which it’s not a trivial concern. I mean, most of the people mocking it are people who have office jobs and are now working from home.

It’s like, no, there are other people who are unemployed now. They’re poor and they have no job, and that $1,200 stimulus check, and they’re worried that that’s the only thing standing between them and eviction. Like it’s not a, it’s not a trivial concern. That doesn’t mean fuck it, reopen everything, but it means, you know.

Do the absolute most you can and lock down as hard as you can for as long as you can, and not necessarily the way to go. Like people, people have to work. Yeah. Um, and even if you start giving out money, the stuff that’s bought and sold with them money to be produced by someone. Yeah. Yeah. Yes, and the people people need to have a career going to is, it’s also just not good for your career development, even if the government’s giving you free money to have a gap in your career.

Um, and it’s not good for your mental health to have not a goddamn thing to do. I got to say, I, I’ve been unemployed in the past and I have to say, um, it’s more than just not having money feel like shit. Yeah. Uh, I don’t want anyone to have to go through that. So, I mean, I think, I don’t think we’re ready to white reopen yet, but I do think we need to, it can’t just be all, we’re going to all stay quarantined for three more months.

We need to start thinking about a, a phase reopening. So people work. 

Daren: [00:10:58] Yeah, I agree with that. 

John: [00:11:00] And that’s what’s going to happen, obviously. I mean, everyone’s already talking about it and I think they were being very responsible about it. I in the media and more so some of the, just the very online people on Twitter who liked to fight about it.

Everything. Are making it sound like, Oh, these people want to reopen everything tomorrow. Oh, well, these people don’t care about the economy in practice. I think governments are going to be pretty responsible about it. Um, I have to say, I think state and local governments both have been pretty good overall.

Um, it’s the federal government, and that’s kind of, and by the way, do people understand that? And Australia, because I know in Europe, um, most people really don’t understand just how much, um. How much of the government power in the U S is with state and local governments 

Daren: [00:11:48] in Australia. They are the people that understand politics are blown at how much power the state has because the States don’t have as much power here.

Like, um, you know, I’m big into cycling and the cycle infrastructure is garbage here in, in Sydney, and it’s. It is governed literally by federal. They actually pump the money into Sydney city, which is the local, and they say no. And yes, there was a bike lane. Perfect example. There’s a bike lane that was built within the city of Sydney federal, sorry, not Federalists are the state came in and uh, it wasn’t really federal, but the state came in and then said, Nope, you went and ripped up the bike lane.

It’s a huge artery that served a lot of people that were commuting. Um, so it just, yeah, it’s like. You can get trumped by everyone else. Whereas in the States, it’s like a state can actually like take, you know, the federal government to court and it happens a lot. And they’re like, Nope, Nope. And it’s just, and there’s always this like fight against state and federal, um, and a lot of Australians to your original question there, they’re actually very, very surprised by how much power.

And I’m like, it’s cause there’s so many damn States and you know, like, and the thing is, I think that Trump, and they never, like the federal government never said there’s a. National lockdown or you know, whatever it is, a stay at home. Every state had their own. And I think it’s really the government’s very, the federal government’s very particular about the wording they use, um, to make sure that it’s not this tyranny that’s running around, you know, running shit.

John: [00:13:07] I think most people in other countries just do not quite grasp the degree to which the federal government can just royally screw up. And the country can still be mostly okay because the federal government is like. 30% of the government. 

Daren: [00:13:21] Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. The, um, I think I would, now I’m thinking, I think it’s because there’s so many damn States, like, and it’s just like, you know, there’s not too many countries where there’s so many States, or maybe there are, I don’t, haven’t been to every country, but here in Australia there’s, Oh, I should know this.

Five countries in two times. I’m a citizen, this is on the test, dammit. But this five, five States and two territories. But um, yeah, you know, and the, and the countries that literally 80 to 90% the size of the U S like as far as, you know, size wise. So, um, that, that just goes 

John: [00:13:51] to people and they don’t get it.

They’re like the America waited so long to lock down like. Now, California. Yeah, we were the first. We’re all right. 

Daren: [00:14:02] Here’s the reason why 

John: [00:14:05] the significance of this, 

Daren: [00:14:06] you’ve given me the okay to republish your articles, and I meant to say thank you for that. I haven’t republished them 

John: [00:14:10] yet. 

Daren: [00:14:12] Yeah, I haven’t republished them yet, but I’m going to, and I’ve kind of done a little bit of a little marketing around that, so it’s just more of me.

Like content curating, but also like just giving props and spreading your, your stuff out. Um, and I would have, I would have easily just sent a link, but you were like, Oh, it’s only send my email people. And I was like, Oh, cool. You know, I appreciate you letting me do that. So thanks a lot, man. 

John: [00:14:34] Which articles are you republishing, by the way?

Daren: [00:14:36] It was the one on. Uh, the, the, these types of people do this, um, the 

John: [00:14:41] habits of highly offensive trainees. Yeah. That’s it. That’s it. 

Daren: [00:14:45] One, yeah. Yeah. Cause it was email lonely. Um, 

John: [00:14:48] yeah. Oh yeah. I remember that one. 

Daren: [00:14:50] That was there. And it’s like, it’s funny cause I go, Oh shit, I was going to write about that. And then I’m like, well you already wrote it, so I might as well just.

Post it as you know, for you and then, you know, get people to, uh, because like if someone’s done something, like I try to, I try to write around things or at least from my opinion or my perspective and if someone’s on exactly how I was going to do it the way I was gonna do it, I’m like, fuck it. I’ll just share it to everyone.


John: [00:15:11] just one of those things that trainers kind of are reluctant to talk about. Cause it’s just like, we don’t like saying that like within the first week with a new client, we can tell how well they’re going to do. Like. Every once in a while someone will start out not very well and then do better, but usually it’s just like, all right, you’re not taking responsibility for anything.

You’re not taking any action unless I very specifically ride your ass on it. That’s tough. Yeah. That’s not going to go well. Yeah. That’s the guy who’s like, Hey, so I tried this. What do you think of it? I’m like, I’m glad you tried it. I’m glad you didn’t sit on your thumbs waiting for me to tell you to do stuff.

That’s good. Like. It’s the people who take initiative and do, and it kind of like, they start doing stuff first and then asked me like, what do you think? What should I change as opposed to, I’m not going to do anything until you tell me to. That’s what I look for. Yeah. Um, but you know, you never want to say that like, Oh, I can already tell you’re not going to make it.

You know, you kind of sometimes are thinking, um. Yeah, that’s what I was talking about with wanting to kind of move upscale is just one more of those awesome clients who are just raring to go. 

Daren: [00:16:24] Yeah. That’s the best ones. When I was trying to get into the coaching thing early on, I said, I just want to coach people that are like me, where they’re just like super motivated and they just need a bit more like structure or at least another kind of a.

An objective opinion of sorts with someone to just be like, okay, let’s, let’s correct that over there. They’re just not them. Cause obviously you have blind spots you can only see, but so far. All right. Well thank you so much, man. And you enjoy yourself 

John: [00:16:49] later Daren.

Daren: [00:16:49] later. Thank you. And that’s it. As always, we really appreciate you taking the time to listen to us ramble about shit that we think is cool and you potentially find interesting.

Our goal is to help people make fitness and health relatable to life. Please subscribe, written comment or any platform you use to listen to us. Oh, share any episodes with anybody that thinks this shit is cool and help. If you have any questions, concerns, suggestions for the episode or hell if you want to be on the show, hit us up.

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Full disclosure, that’s my podcast company. Don’t worry if you didn’t get all that. There’s a link in the show note description. Again, thank you so much for listening.