Interviewee #5 – Rich Cohen: CEO & Founder of The Lab BKK

Back in the early stages of last year, I was already looking at making my way to Bangkok.  I wanted to be around a community of great, entrepreneurial-minded people.  I contacted this gym called The Lab BKK online and spoke with a man name Rich – who just so happens to be on my podcast today.  I was very apprehensive with the entire ordeal, but I just decided to join the class shortly after the Spartan Competition back in September.  After 30 minutes of this particular cardio class, I was completely dead.  I bought a package, and 5 months later, I’ve never looked so sexy before in my life (HA!).

Moving onto the man of the hour – Rich Cohen – a fitness entrepreneur in Thailand and originally from England.  The first time I met him, he beamed with this aura of optimism.  I’m attracted (no pun intended – don’t get it twisted) to people who are just a bundle of great energy.  I spoke with him the entire class about different things, but it wasn’t until two days ago when I asked myself, “just ask him about joining the podcast.” He agree – instantaneously – and here is some show notes, questions, answers and an intro from him.

“I was 21-years old, wheelchair-bound, sitting in my parent’s backyard smoking a joint, slowly en-route to recovery following a near fatal neck and back injury.”

Richard went on to say that he had that “jesus” moment.  That moment that most of us (I hope) say “enough is enough.”  He came to Thailand in 2004 in a remarkable prime.  Since there were only 1-3 fitness guys around at the time, he built what’s turning into an empire.  Full one-hour podcast down below!

Also, his personal thoughts on the Ketogenic Diet

“I used it for my competition and it worked well for me personally as a fat loss strategy, although I got very sick towards the end and it has taken me a few months to reset the way my body functions since introducing more carbs and protein.

I think it works well for certain people, for instance a friend of mine is type 1 diabetic and an endurance athlete (triathlon) he says going on that diet has been life changing for him as a blood glucose management tool.

Long term I’m not sure what the health implications are consuming that many fats.

Some diets suit different people, I always encourage people to experiment with different types and take bits from each that works well for them.”

I made a blog about a year ago on the ketogenic diet.  I received some backlash and whatnot, but it was all based on opinion.  I’m not someone who sticks to a strict diet.  I love my pizza and my hamburgers, although not excessively.

Nonetheless, to see this many create a business which is booming in Bangkok and ultimately going from wheelchair to champion – is simply amazing.  He did an ultra-marathon in the Atacama Desert in Chile.  I’ve been contemplating about doing an ultra-beast, and now I think I’ve been inspired to achieve it because of this inspirational figure.


The Ketogenic Diet – Good or Bad

My friend, who just became a nurse, said that Ketogenic diets could possibly be dangerous for you because it’s bad for your kidneys.

In addition to that, Lisa Cimperman, R.D.N., a clinical dietitian at University Hospitals Case Medical Center has said, “once your body enters ketosis, you also begin to lose muscle, become extremely fatigued, and eventually enter starvation mode. Then it actually becomes even harder to lose weight,”

“Keto diets should only be used under clinical supervision and only for brief periods,” Francine Blinten, R.D., a certified clinical nutritionist and public health consultant in Old Greenwich, Connecticut, told Healthline. “They have worked successfully on some cancer patients in conjunction with chemotherapy to shrink tumors and to reduce seizures among people suffering from epilepsy.”

What is a Ketogenic Diet?

The ketogenic diet, often nicknamed “keto,” is a high-fat diet that mimics fasting physiology. Your brain and body begin to use ketones (derived from stored or ingested fat) for energy instead of blood sugar (glucose)—a state called ketosis. The diet was originally developed to treat epileptic children, but there are many variations, including the Atkins diet. You can achieve ketosis through fasting, diet, exogenous ketones, or a combination.

If this diet was originally used to help epileptic children, wouldn’t you second guess using it? I question things.  Some doctors put patients with diabetes on it when others say “DON’T DO THAT!”  It can do more harm than good – damaging the heart, which is a muscle.

We fall prey to wacko diets, but the truth is there’s no quick fix.  Cutting refined carbs and replacing them with fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean protein, cutting processed foods, and avoiding too many additives will keep you healthy in the long term.

If you desperately need a “purge,” consult a physician or doctor and get a few opinions.  Otherwise, you’re better just setting up a healthy meal plan and executing it.

  • Meal preparation
  • Exercise
  • Implementing more good than bad

For example, anyone who asks me about losing weight, it’s easier to put in more than take out.  Having some lean protein and vegetables after a nice workout is a start.  One of my students actually dropped 6 pounds in just two weeks just by regular exercise and made one meal a day.  Yes, she still has her cheat meals, which we all need, but she’s just a bit more cautious.

Ok, so let’s say you don’t have time for exercise….could you walk for 10 minutes a day?  Just ten. That’s all I’m asking.  Tony Robbins has said, “if you don’t have 10 minutes for yourself in a day, you don’t have a life.”

Listen to a podcast or an inspiring speaker while doing this.  Afterwards, have some 12 grain bread, eggs, and broiled vegetables ready for consumption.  This right here will put you in the right direction rather than looking up information on wacko diets.

That’s just my opinion.