BIRTHFIT Podcast Episode 106 Featuring Juan Guadarrama





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Lindsey: Hey, Juan.


Juan: Hi, Lindsey.


Lindsey: Welcome to the BIRTHFIT podcast.


Juan: Boom. Thank you. I’m excited.


Lindsey: Yeah, thanks for hanging out.


Juan: Yeah.


Lindsey: Tell everybody who you are and what you do in this world.


Juan: Oh, man. So, I pretty much look like Eazy-E, first of all, for those of you who can’t see me.


Lindsey: But you don’t have the Jheri curls.


Juan: I don’t have everything yet. I’m growing my hair out but I’m a coach at DEUCE Gym. I’ve been fortunate and grateful to be part of that community. Long story short, drove by one day and I said, “This looks like an awesome spot. How do I work here?” And that was kind of it.


Lindsey: You just walked in the gate?


Juan: Yeah. I talked to Logan. I was already training at that time so I don’t think it was a big jump. It’s just readjusting.


Lindsey: Where were you training?


Juan: I started at a small private gym in Santa Monica on Main Street and then I went out on my own coaching soccer at the same time. My own training style started to look more like cross fit. I did a bodybuilding show and then the training and going on stage didn’t make sense to me.


Lindsey: Training for bodybuilding?


Juan: Yeah. I was like I still like to run and do stuff and feel athletic. So then it started to look more like cross fit, so then went down the path and found a home and then that’s been the gig ever since then.


Lindsey: What year was that? Do you remember?


Juan: 2013 or ’14. That’s been a couple of years.


Lindsey: Four or five years.


Juan: Yeah. So, 2014.


Lindsey: Wow.


Juan: Yeah.


Lindsey: So, you’re a coach at DEUCE Gym.


Juan: Coach at DEUCE Gym. I grew up playing soccer. I then ventured into the military on the officer side of the Marine Corps then I made an effort to become a firefighter and then realized that the thing that I really enjoy doing is training for stuff regardless of whatever that end goal is.


Lindsey: Like the process?


Juan: I like the process and suffering for some reason. I like to put myself in the deep hole and be in the trenches. That’s where I live and I enjoy teaching others about that. So, training makes the most sense to me.


Lindsey: Okay.


Juan: There’s also an element of I had ideas and wanting to be a teacher but being in a classroom, stuck in a box doesn’t make sense to me, so this is my version of being a teacher and it was a dream to — I want to be the guy that opens the gate in the morning and writes stuff on the white board. Now, I get to be that guy.


Lindsey: You are that guy. Tell everybody what time you get to the gym.


Juan: So, my alarm is set for 3:40 a.m. I get to the gym by four. And then there’s a good crew there.


Lindsey: Like how many people?


Juan: There’s an early morning crew about three or four of us.


Lindsey: This is like 4:00 a.m.?


Juan: This is 4:00 a.m. to 4:30. And there’s a later crew that comes in at 5:00. Most of, we’re talking about the strength program, comes in at 6:00. And then there’s people that come in during the rest of the day. But I have created a culture of doing something difficult in the morning.


Lindsey: Yeah. Why?


Juan: My mom has said that I’d been like this as a kid. I just was born that way and just woke up, all right, grab my stuff, got to go. There hasn’t been like, oh, I’m going to wake up, I’m going to do something to mentally prep. It’s just like get up, go do something.


Lindsey: You don’t need the mental prep.


Juan: That is my mental prep. For me, lifting weights — I’m kind of a meathead. It makes you be present. Otherwise, you die, essentially. It’s my way to like, “All right, I’m present right now, I’m focused.” It just helps with my own needs, I guess.


Lindsey: Yeah. So, that time, between 4:00 and 5:00, that’s your me time.


Juan: Yeah, 4:00 to 6:00. There’s a lot of fulfillment in that morning time. You start with something difficult and then I love training. I think at my core, I’m an athlete. If you grew up playing sports, that’s kind of all you know so I’m lucky and fortunate to continue that path. Not at the capacity that I would want to but I still get to enjoy that part. And then I get to coach and hang out with people, which is super awesome.


We’ve created a culture and environment to where if someone misses, we hold each other accountable and just like the brotherhood of like, “Hey, Lindsey, where were you at yesterday morning?” And you’re like, “Damn, that’s the type of friends I need.”




Lindsey: Yeah. I for sure need that in the fitness world.


Juan: Even though like everyone needs their days of like, “Oh, I need to chill,” which is fine, but knowing that there’s a group there, that’s there, we’re there.


Lindsey: And will call you out a little bit?


Juan: We call each other out. “Come on, let’s go.”


Lindsey: That’s cool. So, you also wear other hats like a husband and a dad.


Juan: Yeah, which are very important to me, I think, to maybe give people listening perspective. Flor and I, my wife, had a baby pretty early on.


Lindsey: How old were you?


Juan: I was 23. She was 22. This is what?


Lindsey: How old is Lucas?


Juan: He is four now. That was four years ago. I finished school and then, yo, we’re having a kid. We’re not really an adult yet. That was the hustle in trying to figure out, hey, how am I going to make money without getting a traditional job and still wanting to do what I want to do, which is kind of always been the case. In high school and college I DJ-ed for a living.


Lindsey: You did?


Juan: I basically partied for a living, which is cool. And then, all right, I can’t do that. I don’t think being at a house party until 5:00 a.m. is a good call for being a parent. So, I got to do something more constructive.


Lindsey: Yeah. When you all — I’m going to stop you and this might not even be a question. When some people get pregnant and they feel that young, was there ever a question to like, “Okay, are we going to stay together, do we have this baby, what the hell are we doing?”


Juan: I think there was definitely growing into it. There was, for sure, if we’re being real, you’re Latino so you’re having a baby, there’s no–


Lindsey: There’s no question.


Juan: There’s no option. I think it was more like, hey, so how are you guys going to do this thing? I was excited. Obviously, super nervous.


Lindsey: Oh my god.


Juan: I don’t know what the hell are we going to do? But I think we both have very parental instincts. I don’t think either of us had ever read a book on parenting or watched videos or any of the things, I guess, you’re supposed to do. It’s just we played it by ear.


Lindsey: You all are very — Like it’s instinctual.


Juan: I feel like we’ve very instinctual about it. I also view it as like that’s my little man. That’s me. What would I do in this situation? And you start to think about it and you look at your own actions because as a young 20 year old you could just be a douchebag all the time. And society’s like, “Oh, he’s just in his early 20s. He’s still learning.”


Lindsey: He’s just a young dude.


Juan: He’s a young dude. But then you realize that there’s a pair of eyes watching you all the time. What would Lucas think of this action? And the reality of it is they don’t really listen to what you’re saying. They just watch what you’re doing.


Lindsey: Yeah. That’s pretty powerful.


Juan: Which is true. I mean, they listen. They just observe. But I think when the time comes and like, “Oh, dad has been out the house way before I’ve been awake.” So, it’s like what type of message does that send? So, we had to grow into it. In that part of your life you’re maybe more of a honeymoon phase and excited about your partner because it’s early on, the sexual attraction, if we’re being real, and then you have to grow up and your relationship dies a little so your energy has to put forth to your child. So, a little bit of, I think, our relationship died to like, “All right, we had to keep this thing alive.”


Lindsey: Yeah. It’s survival.


Juan: And then later on, as you get older and your child doesn’t need you 24/7, you go back to like, “Oh, hey, we have to talk to each other.”


Lindsey: We’re in this relationship.


Juan: We’re adults now. Because you went from kids, having a kid, to now being an adult and figuring out, “Hey, we have to communicate and we don’t now just like stay up late and drink and party and go out.” We have to go to sleep early and make sure this thing eats and is healthy and is getting read to and showered correctly and you’re doing all the little things you’re supposed to do because it’s such a critical age, the early years, of what type of personality and character this thing is going to have.




And you can already see it, just like observing him being in pre-school, kid’s characteristics, which is insane.


Lindsey: So, who does he take after the most right now?


Juan: A little bit of both. So, one of the biggest realizations is realizing that your child isn’t you. You can’t speak to them the way you would speak to yourself. I am making an effort to be better at this but I’m pretty much very one layer. I’m trying to build those layers and we can get into that a little bit.


Lindsey: If you want to meet one in person, come by DEUCE Gym.


Juan: Whatever I’m thinking or whatever I’m saying, that’s it. There’s no deeper thought. Okay, I’m going to wake up. How do you wake up? I just wake up and you go. There’s no like I got to convince myself this is a gift for me, blah, blah, blah, blah. So, realizing that he is not my personality. The way I see it, if you ask me to run through a wall, I’m like, “All right. I’m going to try to run through a wall.”


Lindsey: Like, how fast?


Juan: How fast? Lucas would just be like, “No, I’m not going to run through the wall.” He just maybe looks around and maybe just walk away. He observes.


Lindsey: How can I walk around this wall?


Juan: How can I walk around? At parks sometimes, he will just sit and observe the other kids. At birthday parties, he’ll sit down and observe the others. He will not leave my side. Sometimes we think we love him too much because he feels very safe with us so it takes him a while to do stuff. A very observant person, kind of complete opposite of me. I’ll break an arm and then try to figure out from there. It’s the first realization that you have as a parent. This is its own person. It goes back and forth but I think as he’s gone older he’s become more attached to me. Also it depends on his mood.


I try to be tough with him because I feel like that’s what my role is even though I’ll give him love when he needs love. But for the most part, we play fight a lot and if you ever see us at the gym or whatever. Sometimes I get in trouble at school because I’ll pick him up and he’s excited to see me so he’ll come over and then start punching the shit out of my stomach. The teachers are like, “What? That’s really aggressive and violent.” I’m like, “No.”


Lindsey: This is the only time he does this.


Juan: Well, he only does that with me because when he’s playing with other kids, he’s the kid like if someone were to take a toy away from him, he will let them and he wouldn’t respond. He would just like–


Lindsey: Here you go.


Juan: “You can have the toy. I’m not going to fight you on it.” But with me, he opens up, fights and punches and kicks. There’s that balance of him and very selfishly me trying to instill characteristics that we think athletes should have, selfishly.


Lindsey: Wow, okay. So, I’m going to touch on you all’s relationship. What do you think was the biggest learning lesson after you had a kid between you and Flor?


Juan: Figuring out what your roles are. Since we’re Latino, I keep saying this, there’s traditional roles.


Lindsey: Yeah, cultural stuff.


Juan: I think we play to that a lot in our own modern day version of it to where like there’s disciplining and there’s “man stuff” that like, “Well, I got to take that role.” Like Flor’s voice compared to my voice, there’s a different response to Lucas. He’s going to walk over Flor. If I say, “Hey,” just a “hey” or a “Lucas,” it’s like, “Shit.”


Figuring out our roles. Also early part of her life she’s pregnant into her adult life so you go from dealing with changes in her body and the development of our own selves and her career and my career and whatever that means. I’m in the situation, basically, an entrepreneur where you have to do things like this in order to just stay relevant, and figuring out how to balance. Because the things that we do, we could work 24/7 and never finish. But shutting that down and like, “Hey, babe, we need to go do something without Lucas.”


Lindsey: Together, just us.


Juan: Together. Which is the thing, I think, we’re working on the most right now. I enjoy when she comes to the gym. It’s all my favorite things in one place, the gym, my child, my wife working out fucking killing it.




Lindsey: You’re easy to please.


Juan: I’m super easy. And she just feels better about herself. And lifting weights, I believe, makes everyone feel better and empowered. She’s a small person so any–


Lindsey: She’s tiny.


Juan: She’s tiny. She was like 90 pounds. I think she stays at like 95 pounds. So, any strength that she gains I think she feels good about it. It’s just a hard balance between like she gets out of work at 5:00 and she just smoked. She’s a pre-school teacher. So, dealing with kids in that high energy environment all day and then trying to work out, it’s tough.


Lindsey: Yeah. How do all balance that? If you both work, you have Lucas and then where does your time fit in, your time together?


Juan: So, one of the reasons why I get up early is I try to make my day finish earlier because I pick up Lucas at 3:00 every day so I spend time with him at that time either go to the park or do dad stuff, which is also a battle because I’m tired at 3:00 and he just woke up from a nap. It’s like, “Damn.”


Lindsey: He’s just ready to go.


Juan: Game on. On the weekends, we try to do nothing, literally just sit on the couch and do nothing. We’ve been trying to make more of an effort of going out with friends at night.


Lindsey: Like you two as parents?


Juan: Us two as parents. As a couple, not parents.


Lindsey: As a couple, okay.


Juan: I’m trying to leave Lucas behind a little more. And this sounds like a softie but like re-flirting again and doing stuff that you first did when you initially get in a relationship.


Lindsey: Totally. That’s so important and so many people lose that.


Juan: It’s super hard for me being a meathead as I am, of like being in tune with my emotions and being in tune with Flor’s emotions and needs. So, my three-year goal — I’m 27 now — by the time I’m 30 is to develop a full depth of emotions which is like a daunting task. Going to war is the easier option for me.


Lindsey: My gosh.


Juan: I don’t know if this comes from a kid or just from experiences.


Lindsey: Yeah. Did your dad, mom, anybody not have emotions?


Juan: I don’t know.


Lindsey: Or share their emotions?


Juan: I don’t think they share their emotions. But even though I’m working on that — Lucas is a reflection of me, right? He shares and expresses his emotions all the time. He like sits there, “I’m sad.” If Flor and I look at each other and we’re like, “That’s good.” And then when he gets angry, “I’m angry.” Then out of the blue, “Mom, dad, I love you.” And I’m like, “Okay.”


Whether I have him or not, he is learning and understanding and I want you to go through all of them and know how to control that. And like be aware and even if you — Just be aware so that you can control. Like an example of ours is we coach all the time. If you’re sad, you’re tired, you’re angry, who cares? It’s not about you when you’re coaching. Hide it. You’re faking it. You got to fake it. You’re in the worst mood ever but you show up in the gym, you walk into those gates, I don’t care, you got to put a show on.


Lindsey: Yeah. They depend on you.


Juan: It’s very cool and interesting to get feedback from him to know that I think I’m doing okay.


Lindsey: Yeah. It’s going to be interesting raising a boy because past generations did not make it really acceptable for guys to explore their emotions.


Juan: I think, now that you said that, that might be a reason why I didn’t develop — you’re growing up with 90s hip hop and you’re going to sleep to Eminem and Tupac and you’re like, yeah, you’re not supposed to have the emotions. You have emotions, you’re soft. Not that I grew up in the super ghetto but I grew up somewhat hood and you understand what the principles are in the streets or whatever. You’re just not allowed to show any sort of softness.


Lindsey: It’s like a weakness.


Juan: It’s a weakness. But having a kid, being married and being in a relationship and now being a leader of a tribe in parenting, I don’t view it as a weakness but as a strength of like, okay, where am I mentally, what can I tap into and how can I use that to help my situation or dominate the situation?




And the more that I coach, it’s realizing that no one cares about the squat. It’s more about how can I develop this person that I’m spending a lot of time with build their tool belt or their emotional status. The vehicle is like, yeah, lifting weights but there’s so much that you learn through that especially the days that I have clients, “You know what, I don’t really feel like working out today,” or, “I feel like trash,” or, “Someone in my family died.” I’m like, “Okay. You can have those feelings but I need you to manage them on this five by five squat. Otherwise, you’re going to die.” Which forces them to like turn on-turn off.


Lindsey: To be present.


Juan: To be present in it. I think it’s just a huge win that you start to learn and understand and learn about yourself.


Lindsey: Yeah. You coach little kiddos.


Juan: I think I coach a big demographic.


Lindsey: You do. And that’s where I was just — I was like you coach young soccer players, you coach 65 and over. Talk about each of those populations. What did you learn from them?


Juan: I’m grateful in that the first gym that I worked at I had to deal with a lot of different demographics to start. To give you an idea, this is Santa Monica, so the people that are coming in, different, wealth backgrounds and different needs, which I think helped me in the beginning to understand what training was, which later now has helped how I run things. Because it could be very intimidating. You walk into DEUCE Gym, first of all, through the gate and then you see me and you’re like, “What am I getting myself into?”


Lindsey: You see you or Chris with tattoos and Embo is 6’1″.


Juan: Tattoos, hair and muscles. And you’re like, “What am I going to do here?” But from the beginning I was training people who were injured, people who were older, people who were very de-conditioned or overweight and you start to understand scaling options. Like, “I can teach you muscle.” “What? There’s no way.” “I got you. Let’s break it up piece by piece.”


Lindsey: Yeah. We can do this.


Juan: “Let’s start with the ring row.” Boom. You start educating and understanding. After that first gym since I went off on my own, you then have to be able to work with anyone if you want a job. You had to say yes to everyone.


Lindsey: Yes, especially at that point If you want to get paid, yeah.


Juan: If you want to get paid, you’re having a kid, you’re training everyone and anyone. And one of the early things that I learned, you have to be able to train someone in a telephone booth. You can’t do that, you’re not going to make it. If you need all the machines in the world, if you need weights, you need this and that, you don’t know your shit.


Lindsey: That’s really a good little analogy.


Juan: Right?


Lindsey: Yeah.


Juan: There’s places I’ve gone like, “Hey, can you train them? What equipment do you need then?” “I got you. I’ll crush you without anything.”


Lindsey: We’ll figure it out.


Juan: We’ll figure it out.


Lindsey: Yeah.


Juan: But that forces you to have to learn and adapt real quick. So, that’s like once I started teaching class, I was like it’s not that big of a jump, if you just get better at the presence and the attitude part. Later, kind of those experiences that have now led me to be able to coach younger kids, because I coach youth competitive sports, soccer, be able to be comfortable with teaching athletes who are a lot older. I think the oldest is like a 75-year-old.


Lindsey: That’s awesome.


Juan: To stroke patients, major injuries. “Oh, I broke my hand.” “Cool. Well, you can still use the safety squat bar to squat. We can do everything.” To high school students, to homeless kids, to anything. “Challenge me, man; give it to me,” which makes you a lot more effective and valuable in any situation. I enjoy all of it because it’s all different challenges. It doesn’t keep my day boring or whatever, just teaching the same class over and over and over again. I got to prep for the first time lifter. I got to prep for the person that can’t get their heart rate through a certain level. I got to prep for pro athletes who I need to push. It just makes my day super fun.


Lindsey: Do you have a favorite? A favorite demographic?


Juan: Right now, my older person in class? Because they love it now and the place that they are in their life, it’s like you need to use it otherwise you lose it and you can see it, which helps me with the rest of the demographics because I can now see where people are ending up or could end up.




So, it gives me a lot of feedback and feedback of what people, what things they’re capable to do. Like they can do — what’s the most impressive? I had them do Turkish get-ups. A very big fear for them before was like being on the floor. Now, we’re crushing on the floor and we’re rolling around doing stuff like, “All right, this time, you can’t use your hands to get up. Go.”


Lindsey: That’s huge.


Juan: We’ve done snatches.


Lindsey: I’ve seen like some hip drills that you all do where you lift your hip over the boxes–


Juan: Yeah, you like that one?


Lindsey: That one was great.


Juan: So, we set up a wall of boxes and the drill was, okay, you got to get over to the other side, come back, over, come back, then you got ten slam balls up overhead. It’s a way to challenge their midline, mobility on their hips. The reason I kind of chose that is getting in and out of the car is difficult and it’s at that height, that same height, so they get comfortable with that.


Lindsey: Right, for sure.


Juan: I got to put my hands on the support thing. I got to swing my legs over so there’s some rotation in it. I got to come back and then you’re asking me to pick up a 30-pound ball, slam it ten times. My heart rate is now up. And I think a very point part for them is that their cardiovascular is just–


Lindsey: Yeah.


Juan: And from what I’ve seen and done some research, I feel people are scared to get older person’s heart rate up.


Lindsey: Just like pregnant people, pregnant women.


Juan: I just look at their facial expressions and skin science, and this is my experience from being EMT and trying to pursue firefighter, I can tell if you’re good. You’re breathing hard, your heart rate’s up but I can tell you’re chilling. Or if you’re starting to get up there, “Hey, Lindsey, I need you to go sit down for five minutes.” We’re going to go tell jokes in the office. I’m going to bring you back down. I’m going to talk to you.


Lindsey: Go for a walk.


Juan: We’re going to walk to the corner and back. Okay, this next thing, we’re just going to do some prehab stuff, some band pull aparts while I have you here. How was day? What are you going to do later today? Get to know you. Build a relationship. Now, Tuesdays and Thursdays are their favorite day of the week.


Lindsey: That’s awesome.


Juan: Because they’re so excited to come to the gym.


Lindsey: Is it all guys or girls?


Juan: We’ve had a couple of girls and it’s interesting how the boys behave when there’s a girl and when there’s not a girl.


Lindsey: And these are 65 and over?


Juan: They’re hilarious. Yeah, they’re hilarious. Then they have no filter. There’s no reason to have a filter.


Lindsey: They’re to that point in their life where they don’t give a fuck.


Juan: They talk about dating and ex-girlfriend. It’s so much fun. I feel like I’m stealing from them because they’re paying for me to get their stories which I enjoy.


Lindsey: And their jokes.


Juan: And their jokes. They bring a lot of jokes to the table.


Lindsey: Oh my gosh. All right. So, talk a little bit about your training philosophies. You probably have an idea deep down inside what you believe in strength and conditioning wise, and maybe how you apply that to maybe a young person.


Juan: Yeah. I like barbells. I like the simplest things. I think my training is a reflection of my personality. There’s like, “All right, let’s get the basic stuff done.” My style, I guess, is to first build the base of strength because I believe that everything else comes from that, and that strength can come from someone who’s starting to move for the first time, just body weight exercise.


If you’ve ever seen a 13-year old kid who’s going to be a super tall try to squat or lunge, it’s like Bambi walking around on ice. But the end goal is like, I want you to be proficient using a barbell at some point. That looks like a long journey and it looks like a slow journey. I get parents asking me to, “Yo, can you change my kid’s life in two weeks?” I’m like, “Yo, I need your child for years.”


Lindsey: Maybe a summer.


Juan: Give me a long period of time. Very basic building a base level of strength, keeping in mind like injury prevention and a lot of the, at least the younger kids that I’m working with, do a lot of repetitive motion, baseball players, soccer players, all rotating in the same direction for a million times.




Lindsey: And as we all know in the BIRTHFIT community, that creates core dysfunction.


Juan: It’s terrible. I’m excited for all the kids that are young at the gym right now for when they’re like in their pre-teens and Lucas is in his pre-teens and I take Lucas in and have, “Hey, give me all of your kids for the next four years. We’re about to crush and do a case study on this.” Because I think the members have bought into training, right? So, I hope that, hey, if I can have your kid, they trust me with what I’m going to do. I’m super excited about that. As far as strength and conditioning, the conditioning part, it depends what the end goal of the person is but, for sure, if you’re just doing general fitness I’m an advocate for cross fit. That’s what I do for myself.


Lindsey: Yeah. Their methodology, like they kind of figured it out.


Juan: They get a lot of heat for it. I don’t understand why they still got a lot of heat from it but the person who you know is the most fittest is doing cross fit. I don’t care what world you’re in.


Lindsey: Yeah. How would you define fitness?


Juan: Just increased work capacity. So, like you’re able to do a lot of stuff. Now, as an athlete, we get — that’s a specific goal.


Lindsey: Yeah, for sure.


Juan: If you’re doing birth, that’s a specific goal. If you’re training for something, that’s a specific goal. But from my experiences, if you’re asking me, Let’s go to some cross fit. Let’s go to DEUC Gym. Now, we’re not going to ask you to do the most difficult thing day one but building the expression to have the capacity to do so, I think, is important. I think, and it’s hard, and you do a very good job of this, that when people go work out, they think they have t o go 100% all the time.


Lindsey: Hard in the paint.


Juan: If you go 75% year round, you’re crushing it. If you’re trying to be me and/or like competitive people, I’m not competitive but if you’re trying to kill yourself and achieve very specific things, you’re going to get crushed and hurt yourself. If I get hurt doing something like, all right, you were pushing it.


Lindsey: You were being silly.


Juan: You were being silly. Right now, one of my goals is squatting 500.


Lindsey: How much do you squat right now?


Juan: I’m at 445 so it’s not too far. But I’m asking my body to do something that’s pretty aggressive. So, I’m crushing my body. There are certain benchmarks that if you have like, hey, you can squat bodyweight and a half, I think you’re good. Let’s find something else to do. So, I think there’s a stigma or misunderstanding of like you don’t have to go 100%. 75% a whole year, you’re killing it.


Lindsey: Yeah. I’m all for the sustainability.


Juan: I don’t know. Maybe it’s our fault if people will think that. You can cruise today. You don’t feel good? Chill. Go through it, break a sweat, you moved. Next time you feel fucking great, crush it. That’s the day.


Lindsey: Yeah. I think that’s a good coach. The difference between a good coach and a not so good coach is they can read their athletes. They know if they’re coachable that day or if they’re mental, they got stuff going on or having emotions.


Juan: The emotional challenge is huge. I think it’s — it needs to be talked about more as a coach. The programming blah, blah, blah, that stuff’s easy. You can teach that. The learning of emotional intelligence of where this person is at today is hard.


Lindsey: Yeah. What do you do when somebody — what’s your quick scan? Because you have to have a quick scan.


Juan: I have gotten better and I used to be nice about it and now I’m not nice about it, I think, as I’ve gone older and like let’s stop bullshitting. As soon as someone comes in and they look terrible, I’m like, “Hey, we’re going to move with whatever we got today. You don’t have to kill it. I could tell you’re not having a good day. And don’t lie to me because I can tell. You’re not the first person I’ve seen. I’ve been doing this for years now. At this point, I can–“


Lindsey: You look like shit.


Juan: I’d straight up tell them. I think people respect that and they’re like, “Yeah, I’m struggling today.” “Cool. We don’t have to talk about it. You want to talk about it, we can talk about it during your sets. But I’ll adjust the work out for you. Don’t worry.” I don’t know if I built this reputation that was like, “Hey, if you’re going to train with Juan he’s going to kill you every time.”


Lindsey: No.


Juan: Maybe in the beginning I used to do that. If you’re feeling okay and you’re feeling good, all right, we need to take advantage of these days.




Lindsey: You’re going to push.


Juan: I’m going to push. If you feel terrible, I’m not going to push you further down the hole. If I can tell that you didn’t get any sleep, like all right, maybe we’re just going to get your heart rate up. We’re going to do some calories on the Soul bike and we’ll stretch the rest of the time. That is going to help you recover for when I see you next. Next time, hopefully you feel better, you’ve recovered. I didn’t mentally crush you. I gave you some mental energy. Because sometimes I even find myself — you’re playing therapist role more than you’re playing the coach role.


Lindsey: Yeah. We talk about that a bit at BIRTHFIT coach seminars.


Juan: I do, I think, maybe more of that than coaching. And we’re like, “Hey, talk to me about how you feel right now.”


Lindsey: What have you got?


Juan: Or maybe I can fake that energy into, “Cool, let me take over the energy. You don’t have to say anything.” And my coaching voice or my energy can push it through these sets and then by the end of it your heart rate is going and muscle get turned on. And you’re like, “You know what, this little adrenaline pump has gotten me to feel better.” And they hopefully walk away feeling better throughout the day.


Lindsey: That’s cool what you just said. I may steal it, about let me take these emotions from you right now, like put it in my coaching voice or whatever, and then you could offer and say, “If you want them back at the end of the session you can have this shitty emotions back.” And I bet you they’re like, “No, I’m good. You can keep those.”


Juan: It works a lot of the time. And you just build very tight bonds and relationships.


Lindsey: They trust you.


Juan: Yeah, they end up trusting you a lot. The other hard part is you also have to create your own boundaries because you could dig yourself a deep hole.


Lindsey: Oh, yeah, let’s go down this topic because this is like, I mean, this topic it’s mentioned at our BIRTHFIT coach seminars, they get mentioned in our regional director training especially around motherhood transition, boundaries, boundaries, boundaries. But as a coach/therapist and somebody that’s basically a manager at a facility, how do you create your boundaries? What do you do? Everybody’s like [0:42:25] [Indiscernible].


Juan: Yeah. The way I create borders for myself is if I’m at the gym then my whole self is for the gym at that time. I have to be turned on. If I’m doing admin work and someone asks me a question, I got to shut the computer. I have to answer your question. There’s a couple of things in them. There’s the customer service, part of it. People are paying money for this. They want an experience. They want some of my time and that’s what they’re getting.


Lindsey: They want you to be nice.


Juan: They want us to be nice which sometimes isn’t the easiest thing but take a deep breath, okay, let me walk you through this. When I leave the gym I try to do my best to shut down. I try to finish everything I need to before I leave the gym and I try to prepare everything I need for the next day before I leave the gym. This isn’t always perfect but as soon as I leave the gym and I pick up Lucas I try to shut off from the gym.


Lindsey: I could be present with him.


Juan: Be present with him. There’s the occasional — I mean, there’s the Slack messages that are ongoing but sometimes I won’t respond unless there needs to be a response from me or that other people need to know that I acknowledge that. Like, okay, I’m in the loop. But I try to leave everything after I’m gone. So, mentally, physically, I’m out, I’m out, and then straight to Lucas time. I’m like, all right, deep breath, pick him up, okay, let me try to teach you one thing today or let’s go practice one thing today.


One of my favorite practices right now is we either go to the beach or we go to this park that he likes to go to. The most recent one is let’s learn and see and challenge your jumping abilities. So we’ll choose a rock. Cool. “Oh, no, you didn’t land in the correct position. I want you to land without letting your hands touch the ground.” He’ll do that 100 times. By the end of the day, he’s smoked. Or like, “Hey, I have an idea. Let’s see how many times we can run around the park before we get tired.” He goes, “Yeah.” “Ready, go.”


Lindsey: Shit. I would fall off.


Juan: Or it’s always developmental questions or learning how to communicate and building relationships. I’m very grateful that Ronnie and I faked a podcast and have gone better with conversations and digging into people.




So, I’ve tried to have him learn or, yeah, learn to ask other people questions. Right now we’re at mom to where she comes home, because she comes home later, he goes, “Mom, how was your day? What did you eat for lunch? Who did you play with?” He’s at like surface level questions right now but him asking on his own, I think, is a big win, and be interested in other person or in other people.


I take that from my own self and I think I was very selfish up until I had a kid to where like, “Dude, screw everyone else. This is my needs. I don’t care. What about me?” But I think that’s more survival instincts as a young male in the world. So, I’m trying to have him build deep relationships or understand how to do that early on so then you can understand how to have relationship with the teacher, how to have relationship with a coach, with other teammates, with girlfriends. I was a terrible boyfriend growing up. I don’t want him to be that same douchebag. A lot of it is like what did I think I messed up and what can I teach you?


Lindsey: Yeah. Or what did I wish I would have known?


Juan: Known and done or like — The whole goal is to get your kid a head start with the things that you didn’t know. I look back at my family, my parents came here from Mexico in the late ’80s. I was the first generation born here. He’s second generation and it’s crazy to see like, “Yo, you have such way more of an advantage.” My parents just managed like, “Yeah, I guess you’re going to that school. I mean, you go to college for some reason.” But now it’s like, I think I have a good grasp of a network to where if you don’t want to go to school you don’t have to go to school. What do you want to do? I know someone. And if I don’t then I know someone that knows someone.


Lindsey: There’s options.


Juan: There’s options. And unless you’re getting the scholarship for school, let’s maybe not put ourselves in debt.


Lindsey: Amen. I can tell you that.


Juan: But as like Latino parents, that’s your worst fear. You have to go to school. We don’t know anything else.


Lindsey: That was my parents.


Juan: If I would have look back like maybe me personally should have gone to school. I could have learned a lot of these things by finding the best coach I could find in my area like, “Yo, let me shadow you.”


Lindsey: Mentor, yeah.


Juan: And move on to the next person and move on to the next person. I can find someone for you if you want to go learn from that person which is, I think, times are changing and people are starting to question school unless you’re going to be a lawyer or a doctor or something that you need higher education for.


Lindsey: You need that track.


Juan: Things that I do, maybe not.


Lindsey: I mean, I went the whole doctorate route then I’m in debt and they didn’t even teach you business.


Juan: That’s the other part. I have a middle sister who’s a year and a half younger than me. She’s about to go to Optometry school. I’m like, “Do you know the business side of it? Or are you going to work for someone else?” Because there’s no use if you come out with that knowledge and you don’t know how–


Lindsey: And you can’t figure it out.


Juan: — to even understand how to set up your business in the State of California.


Lindsey: You don’t have the entrepreneur skills.


Juan: Which I’ve learned just because of the situation I’m in.


Lindsey: Yeah, absolutely.


Juan: And I went to school for it. I’m like I’m probably going to be involved in this because you have no idea.


Lindsey: I’m going to have to help you out.


Juan: I’m going to have to help you out and there’s taxes and you think about operation costs and overhead.


Lindsey: Like nobody told me that.


Juan: And I was like, “You’re sure you want to do this? If you are then cool.”


Lindsey: Yeah. And I look back now and I’m like if I would — I would have worked all through school and I did work all through school but I would have worked more and spaced it out more so that that wouldn’t be a thing. I think there’s options and there’s different ways to go about freaking setting up your life, your career, whatever you want to do now.


Juan: Yeah.


Lindsey: So, before you get off, how do you like DEUCE? What’s it like for everybody listening?


Juan: I felt like there was going to be some sort of question like this.


Lindsey: You did?


Juan: There’s a little bit of luck and like, “Oh, you’re so lucky you got to live close to DEUCE,” but at the same time I was like, “Yeah, but that’s also kind of bullshit,” because I also feel like I’ve made an effort to put in and create my own value.




Lindsey: Create your own destiny.


Juan: It takes some time and I think regardless of maybe wherever I live ended up I would have still put in the effort. Yeah, geography has helped me in the network that’s available. DEUCE Gym has helped me but there is also the hard work element of it in that you make your own future and it’s not dependent on someone else to do that for you.


It’s just a lot of freedom and responsibility at the gym which, I think, is a perfect fit for me because I just spend time thinking of things to do. I enjoy running the strength program. I enjoy working with the local high school now, the local homeless group now, connecting with other gyms within our family by doing a podcast and connecting with other coaches now. My network is expanding off of that. One of the greatest joys at DEUCE Gym now is I was the new guy, obviously, for a couple of years and now I’m one of the old guys.


Lindsey: You’re definitely not a new guy.


Juan: Now I’m coaching other coaches, which is full circle. And now my voice has some weight on it and a responsibility of the type of culture that is bred at the gym. There’s a group of people out there that want to be coaches in the same seat that I’m in. I feel that weight of responsibility, one, but I also take pride in my role and that, “You want to do what I do? Well, prove it and show us.”


Lindsey: Yeah. You got to.


Juan: Not that I’m above anyone or a pedestal or whatever but I also think like if you work hard, you have some right to do it and I enjoy the every year, the future of like, “Yo, last year, I thought I knew a lot and now I know more and then I know more and then I know more.” It’s so exciting to keep questioning yourself and learning from everyone else around you. Enjoy every day of it.


Lindsey: Where do you see your life in three to five years?


Juan: Working on a couple of projects. So, I want to create a following for the podcast. I think that’s–


Lindsey: Why don’t you tell people the name of the podcast?


Juan: Strongest on the Field Radio. We’re kind of targeting a younger audience, I think high schoolers and college athletes. That’s what we want to try to get our hands on to talk about our experiences. We’ve interviewed pro athletes and coaches and tried to get some mindset training in there and what people’s journey is and what it takes to get there. So, trying to get that into more people’s ears, I guess.


The other big one, I’m working with DEUCE athletics with Chris and Ronnie to create, basically, a speed summit, speed clinic to talk about strength, prehab stuff, the technique of running and how to specifically train your energy system for your sport. If you are a soccer player you maybe need a little bit more endurance, whatever. You’re not going to have a football player running miles. We’ll have a football–


Lindsey: Or a baseball player.


Juan: Or a baseball player. We’re going to have that athlete train anywhere between three to ten seconds at a very high intensity. How do we do that and how do we make that easy? That’s the biggest project three to five years from now.


Lindsey: That’s pretty cool.


Juan: I think it’s our time to throw our whole experiences into one setting. The market we see right now, no offense to anybody, is that there’s — I feel like a turning of page or new chapter in that there’s the old strength coach, that super knowledgeable trained pro athlete, blah, blah, blah, blah, but it’s not sexy. You can’t talk to a high school kid like that. I think Chris, Ronnie and I understand the science and the training of it and we can deliver in a fun high energy environment.




Lindsey: Right. And they probably feel like they can relate to you a bit more.


Juan: We look a little bit more like them. We’re still fast. We’re still strong. We have this whole thing–


Lindsey: Still curious.


Juan: “Show me coach.” Like, “Yo, you need to train like this.” And you’re trying to be a pro athlete, you need to start thinking like one. So, really trying to build ourselves into that youth market is our three to five year goal. I’m super excited about that. Hopefully we get something popping in the next couple of months.


Lindsey: Do you and Flor want any more kids?


Juan: I want another kid next year.


Lindsey: Next year? Does Flor know this?


Juan: 2018. She knows this. I’ve been pressing it. Once you’re in the hole with one, you might as well be in the hole with two. I think two is a good number. I’ve heard once you get out–


Lindsey: Is Flor up for this?


Juan: She’s getting closer to that. The other obstacle is you have to financially get there, right? I’m trying to get to that bump. So, we’re like, hey–


Lindsey: But people tell me you’re never really ready for a kid and definitely never ready for two.


Juan: We already did the first worst obstacle. So, I don’t think it could get any worse from now.


Lindsey: You already had practice.


Juan: We already had practice. So, yeah. So, trying to get that out of, not out of the way, earlier than later, because at this point, by the time I’m 40, Lucas is 17 and I might go out.


Lindsey: I might be 40 before I have my first kid.


Juan: Yeah, I’m aiming for number two. Boy or girl, obviously, it doesn’t matter. But you start to think about, hey, when I’m gone I want my little nugget to have a partner.


Lindsey: A play partner.


Juan: Play partner, buddy, just your best friend or whatever.


Lindsey: Sibling. Today is national sibling day.


Juan: Isn’t that yesterday?


Lindsey: Oh, yesterday.


Juan: I have two other sisters.


Lindsey: You do?


Juan: I think the family unit is important.


Lindsey: Yeah, it’s huge.


Juan: However, Lucas’ mom, not Lucas’s mom, Flor’s mom, my mother-in-law has twin daughters.


Lindsey: Yeah, they’re so cute.


Juan: They’re two years old. He’s not really by himself. He’s got aunties around the same age. We just got to complete the set.


Lindsey: They’re pretty cute.


Juan: I think they’re going to be my athletes.


Lindsey: Really? You’ve already been training them?


Juan: No. They’re highly aggressive.


Lindsey: They’re girls.


Juan: There’s two of them so they have to fight all the time for attention and love and toys.


Lindsey: That’s so funny.


Juan: They go at it. They will smack each other and not cry. And they’ll team up against Lucas. I think those are going to be my–


Lindsey: Aggressors.


Juan: The athletes.


Lindsey: Yeah. All right. Well, anything you want to add to dads out there that are probably in a very similar boat as you, trying to bring home the bacon, be the best dad, follow their dreams?


Juan: Enjoy it. It’s so much fun. It’s so much fucking fun.


Lindsey: It’s cool.


Juan: Year one kind of sucks because you’re non-existent. You don’t have milk to give them. But then they start realizing you’re there and you’re — this is just like self reflection of yourself. I would say take responsibility of what your task is.


Lindsey: That’s good. Yeah.


Juan: It’s just super important.


Lindsey: And it probably changes like especially at home.


Juan: Yeah. You have a small gap to influence their character because as soon as they hit teenagers, I go, “All right, well, that’s what I got. I gave it my all.”


Lindsey: Yeah. You sure inserted that early.


Juan: Now, it’s up to you. Trying to backtrack, not that I — I don’t know but I would imagine it’s more difficult.


Lindsey: Yeah. It’s true.


Juan: It’s all I got.


Lindsey: Well, thanks for hanging out.


Juan: Well, thank you guys for listening to this episode and putting up with my voice.


Lindsey: Where can people find you on social media?


Juan: Pretty active on social media, jlguadarrama.


Lindsey: How do you spell that?


Juan: G-U-A-D-A-R-R-A-M-A. Or probably somewhere on DEUCE Gym’s social media.


Lindsey: What about you all’s podcast? Is that on?


Juan: Strongest on the Field Radio. It’s @sotfr. Strongest on the Field Radio. I always forget. But, yeah, thank you.


Lindsey: Cool. Yeah, thanks for hanging out.


Juan: Awesome. Bye.


Lindsey: Bye.

[0:60:02] End of Audio


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