Name: John Machin
Year of Birth: 1956
Birthplace: London England
Current Residence: Cheshire England
Sports: Bodybuilding, TRX Gymnastics
Tell us a little about yourself, what you do for a living, what hobbies / interests / passions you have.
I’m semi-retired now, having spent most of my life writing comedy scripts for British television. My career gave rise to a couple of best-selling TV-related books. Bodybuilding, along with instruction in exercise and nutrition, has been a semi-professional hobby of mine since the very early 1970s, when we in Britain had few large gyms, nor much idea of how and when to train, and what to eat. I’ve seen earth-shattering changes since those days!
Why did you become vegan?
I’m an instinctive vegan. I’ve never been able to eat meat or fish; the very idea makes me shudder! As for butter and cheese – no amount of money would persuade me to put such disgusting produce in my mouth, let alone chew and SWALLOW them! (Feeling sick just thinking about it.)
When and why did you become interested in fitness?
I had asthma as a child. At the age of about 11 (1967), my GP gave me an inhaler. This relieved the wheezing and tight chest almost instantly. Suddenly, I was able to play games, run, work-out … I was like a canary let out of a cage. To make up for what I’d missed out on, I took exercise very seriously – passionately – determined never to be second-best again. It’s a mindset which has stayed with me to this day.
How would you describe your nutrition program?
Very simple and limited. I don’t eat a wide range of foods. The basics, to me, are nuts (macadamia, usually), broccoli, chlorella, beans (butter beans, usually), tomatoes, and some form of high-carb protein shake. My diet varies little from those basics. 99% of the Earth’s animals eat simply with a very limited choice of foods; I don’t see why humans should be different.
How would you describe your training program?
Heavy. Incessant. Spectacular. More precisely, I work-out for around two hours daily, with the occasional day off. The work-out consists of resistance training, bodyweight training, proprioception training, and plyometrics. There are few rests between sets: I try to move from one exercise to another without pausing – supersets, trisets, giant sets, circuits. In this way, challenging the cardio and vascular systems to the maximum one fresh muscle group after another, my workout has an intense anaerobic and aerobic effect. I don’t perform any specific aerobic exercise – treadmill, elliptical machine, static bike, rowing machine - at all.
What are some common misconceptions about veganism?
I make sure people have no misconceptions when I’m in the gym. Any idea anyone has that a meat-eater is naturally stronger than a vegan is soon dispelled.
What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with veganism or training?
As a lifelong vegan, I admire anyone who converts from omnivorism. It was easy for me. If I’d had to convert, I’d have gone vegan for two days a week at first … then three … then four. By the time I reached four days a week, I’d be feeling so much healthier, the extra three would be easy. My advice to novice trainees is to read the authoritative magazines, books, websites and forums. Don’t copy what your friends do or what personal trainers tell you - unless they have a body which proves they know their stuff. Most haven’t a clue.
Do you have any other thoughts you’d like to share?
We’re now in an age where exercise facilities and nutrition can transform the human body in a way never previously available to our species. Reaching the age of 60 no longer means we need to be fat and semi- incapacitated. For proof, please check out a Facebook page I began in 2011 (at the age of 56). I’m performing pull-ups with 20kg and dips with 45kg! And doesn’t that just make the chubby young meat-eaters furious! …