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My Story/Who I Am

This is the website of a ‘FFB’ (former fat boy) who’s experienced every spectrum of the health and fitness rainbow. I have been borderline obese and borderline anorexic.

I didn’t see my abs until I was 22 years old. Yep, not even as a kid! As a teenager I tipped the scales at over 100kg and had a 38 inch waist at one time. My daily diet was 3 square takeaway meals EVERY DAY & would often guzzle down TWO LITRES of Dr Pepper per day!

By 2013, at the age of 22 I weighed a measly 60 kg at a fraction under 6 feet tall. To put this in context, in the photo above I weighed 82/83kg.

Like you, I wanted to change but didn’t necessarily know exactly how. Although common sense told me if I worked hard enough, regularly enough, something would happen. So, I embarked on daily cardio while reducing my food intake and slowly eradicating the ‘crap’ foods/drinks in my diet – largely the takeaways & the full fat soft drinks.

We had a treadmill in our garage that was classically unused which I deployed in my war against my 21 year old ‘beer belly’, as fittingly coined by my sister at the time. Running faster and further each day, 6 months went by and my weight literally FELL off me. At one point I think I lost over 7lbs in a week!

None of this  phased me and I loved feeling lighter and seeing my new found ‘definition’ and ‘muscle’. The questions about my well being were just down to others’ resistance of me making a change and them not being able to, so I told myself……….

The Rebuild

Summer 2016 – 78 kg & right at the beginning of the calisthenics adventure!

In the end, I saw sense and was tired of being a slave to cardio and fearing a rest day would send me right back where I’d just slogged so hard to free myself from.

I knew it was time to try and gain ‘good weight’ (muscle); my arms had gone from 15/15.5 inches (albeit in a fat condition) to barely 12.5 inches! Again, for context, they’re virtually 16 inches today.

I invested in a home barbell set and did the classic 5×5 barbell routine. I stuck to this militantly but suffice to say, it didn’t produce the superhero 30-40 lb pure mass gains in your first year the marketing rogues online tout……..

By Late summer 2014 I weighed 70 kg on the nose and had starting working professionally in fitness. It was bittersweet in many ways as I had to give up on my initial ambitions of being professional in the world of cue sports (pool & snooker). I’d lost in a big tournament that spring and with it, had ran completely out of money.

My dad, bless him, was willing to carry on supporting me as he has done throughout my whole life but I knew I just couldn’t keep on like this anymore; I had to call it quits, alas. Funnily enough my initial drive to get fit and shape up was to benefit my pool & snooker playing. I hypothesized that I would be able to concentrate better if I was fitter and be more confident generally if I was happier about the way I looked………

Front lever

(On holiday in Malaga, Spain (September 2018) – weighing in around 84/85 kg & holding a ‘Front Lever’; well into my calisthenics journey at this point) 

By the beginning of of 2015 I was working as a personal trainer and gym instructor in a mainstream gym. I continued there and went on to self employment in mid 2018, where I still am now.

Despite working full time in the industry my passion never faded. I still loved being around fitness and doing my own training. Obviously I had days where I’d second guess my results and seek a deeper meaning for everything but even as of late 2020, I still train as much as I can and still genuinely love training people one on one and in groups.

The Calisthenics Era

Over the years I began getting more and more into calisthenics and bodyweight training (the full story behind that can be found in my interview with and I can honestly say this style of training has led to more progress strength wise and aesthetically than weight training ever did! You’ll see the trend shifting on this site from mid 2017 to now, where most of my content is more orientated towards this style of training, although you’ll also see I’m not dogmatic about it and use all modalities with myself and clients.

The last few years have led me to getting guys their first ring muscle ups in less than 6 months, getting girls their first dips and chin ups, coaching guys in their 60s to more strength and mobility than ever before, as well as all the regular gym training I do with clients and the online/remote coaching I do specifically for calisthenics.

                                          Back Lever, Barcelona Beach, June 2019.

I’m currently a personal trainer & movement/strength coach, specialising in calisthenics & bodyweight training, working among the fitness industry in the U.K. and I’ve worked with various people overseas thanks to online coaching/programming.

I hope you enjoy reading through the near 300 articles on my site. Incredible to think it’s been over 6 years since I started this ‘blog’.

Below you can find my academic qualifications and below that you can find my REAL WORLD qualifications 😉



  • Taught hundreds of fitness classes including Yoga, Pilates, Circuit Training, Spinning and more recently calisthenics/gymnastic/handstand based classes.
  • Worked with hundreds of people one on one & online, with results spanning body transformation, injury rehab, posture enhancement, strength/muscle gain & most recently coached numerous people in the realm of Calisthenics/Bodyweight & Gymnastics strength training – with many clients achieving muscle ups, back levers and getting far stronger across the board.
  • Building upon that, I’ve co-delivered two Calisthenics & Bodyweight Strength Training Workshops at GAIN Fitness (Norwich, UK) alongside Ollie Brown of Redevelop Movement – one in November 2018 & another in January 2019.
  • Delivered various handstand & arm balance workshops across Essex from 2019 to present
  • Written articles for and
  • Been a guest (twice) on The UnmeasuredFitness Podcast (LINK)
  • Was featured in an interview for –
  • Was a judge at Lee Wade Turner’s End of year class calisthenics championships (December 2019)
  • Ran a busy weekly Calisthenics class for CastlePoint Leisure (April 2019 – March 2020 – Only stopped due to Covid 19!)
  • Currently run a weekly Calisthenics class for Southend Street Gym (August 2020 to present)
  • Ran a weekly Calisthenics class for Island Gym (May 2021 to November 2021)
  • Currently cover Lee Wade Turner’s Recession Proof Body Calisthenics Classes at Kennington Park when Lee’s away (July 2021 to present)
  • Delivered a Calisthenics & Gymnastics rings workshop for Castlepoint Leisure (November 2021)
  • Currently Teaching & Running 2 weekly yoga/movement classes for Anytime Fitness Canvey Island (Late 2021 to present)
  • Currently running a weekly Calisthenics class for CastlePoint Leisure (January 2022 to present)
  • Currently covering for Lee Wade Turner at Movement Labs Aldgate when Lee’s away (Calisthenics classes)
  • Started work as Crossfit CM2‘s Gymnastics Strength Training coach (June 2022 – present)
  • Taught For Yoga Wild Retreats (Summer festival 2022 & 2023)
  • Calisthenics & ATG/Handstand Coach at Kalosthenos Republic (East India, London) January 2023 – present
  • Co hosted a week long Yoga Retreat For Yoga Wild Retreats In Morocco (May 2023)
  • Judged at the Kalosthenos Republic Open Day (September 2023)
  • Regular Yoga  Cover Stand In for Movement Matters Physio Hadleigh (2022 to present)
  • Norwich 2018 Workshop group photo

(A 25/25 strong turnout for our Calisthenics & Bodyweight Strength Training Workshop, November 2018)

(Action shots from many calisthenics classes coached for Recession Proof Body at Kennington Park)

Lee Turner's End Of Year Champs (Judges pic)

With Lee Wade Turner, Greg Cornthwaite & Terry Sherwood (@turboreps) as part of the judging for Lee’s End Of Year Calisthenics Class Championships (December 2019, Crossfit Aldgate East). 

Contact methods:

Phone – 07944745338 (UK mobile number)

E-mail – (I am now available for personal training (in the UK), online coaching, guest blog posts, interviews and more. Just send me an email and we’ll go from there!)

Instagram – @straight_talking_fitness

Thanks for stopping by. Shout your own blog out down below if you’d like. 

James Ruckert.

30 thoughts on “My Story/Who I Am Leave a comment

    • Awesome! Thankyou 🙂 Please have as much fun as you like, that’s what it’s all about right?!

      It’s really nice to see someone who isn’t scared of a little interaction too! 🙂

  1. Thanks for the like, I very much appreciate it. You have a great blog and one that I look forward to looking around and getting some insight to fitness and health, both of which are big interests of mine. 😄

    • Hello! Thanks very much for stopping by and for the very kind words! There is plenty more cool stuff on the horizon, I promise 🙂 I couldn’t not give your post a like, it was great. I see you’ve got quite a taste or appreciation for strength training?

    • Hey!

      Thanks very much for the feedback 🙂 Same goes for you, lots of great posts on your blog! I particularly like the theme of how women should work out, the whole “girls should only do cardio” crap needs to be put to bed once and for all, right? Haha.

      Nice to meet you, keep churning out great posts too!


  2. Hi! Thanks for stopping by my blog and liking something. Congrats on overcoming obesity and anorexia. Clearly, you don’t do things halfway. I am looking forward to visiting around yours. Keep up the good work!

  3. Thanks for stopping by my blog and liking my Fitness Funnies. Nice to see that you are still on the health track. Keep up the good work!

  4. JR, thanks for all the likes on my site. I think for 95% of us on our fitness journey, we walk alone much of the time, but there are always others willing to help if we just ask. Of course, we should always be willing to help others on their path as well.

    Peace be the Botendaddy

    • No problem at all! You’re quite right, that’s what’s so good about this blogging world; we all come together sharing our stories and experiences which can enhance the journey of others.

      Thanks for leaving a comment 🙂

  5. HI, JR! Thanks for liking my post on not hibernating in the cold weather. I can see that you are still doing a good job on living a healthy life. Keep up the good work!

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