Young American decoding the secret to fitness

Writer: Lin Lin  |  Editor: Vincent Lin  |  From: Shenzhen Daily  |  Updated: 2019-12-30

Carrying a gym bag and wearing a T-shirt and sport shorts, Geoffrey Verity Schofield is eye-catching in a crowd. Tall, muscular and spirited, this guy belongs to the gym.

A sports veteran, Schofield is a fitness coach and writer based in Shenzhen. He trains people who want to lose weight or gain muscle and writes on topics related to fitness and health. As he wrote in his Quora profile, the young American is determined to “help humanity become healthier and happier” in his own way.

Geoffrey Verity Schofield

When Schofield was in school, he was a runner — a young Forrest Gump who would run as hard as he could. Four or five years ago, he carried that instinctive passion for sports into fitness training and unexpectedly kicked off something that has now transformed into a long-term career.

In 2011, Schofield arrived in Shenzhen as an English teacher after graduating from the University of Connecticut. After teaching for six years, he switched over to blockchain to seek something different. However, deep inside, a desire to share his passion for fitness was rising, and half a year ago he stepped onto the path of fitness writing and coaching.

He recently finished writing an e-book covering 150 exercises as well as tips about how to avoid injuries. He also writes on Quora. If you search for “Geoffrey Verity Schofield” on Quora and browse through the fitness coach’s profile, you’ll be amused by his lighthearted yet well-informed writing. In his answers to over 600 questions about diet, running, weight loss, fitness training and other related topics, he provides reader-friendly answers with funny jokes, vivid images and memes, while also using quotes from the latest research papers.

As a writer, Schofield values reading and applies what he reads to his writing. To probe the science of fitness, he reads in-depth research papers, decodes the secret to fitness and renders the complicated, arcane research language into simple, readable articles for common readers.

Reading not only nurtures his writing, but also distinguishes him from most fitness coaches. “A lot of people don’t base their training on science, because they don’t have much information. In China, people might read or see something from Douyin (抖音), think that’s cool and just do the same, but that’s not effective. Also, many coaches won’t really personalize the training. They don’t really listen to their client’s goals,” said Schofield.

Whenever a client comes to him, he sends them a long questionnaire about their goals, their bodies and their personalities. Then he writes the client a customized workout plan. “If a client has a vision of what he or she wants to look like, I need to create that and make that happen,” added Schofield.

However, training a bunch of clients means Schofield can only help a limited number of people, and that’s not enough. Currently, he’s building his own website — a platform to reach more people.

“A platform is what really transforms the world. Now there’s a lot of increasing health problems. My vision is to help as many people as I can,” said Schofield.