The Lab Trainer Revealed – David Phan


The Lab Trainer Revealed

David Phan Lab trainer revealed Part 1

Welcome back folks to another session of The LAB Trainer Revealed, with David Phan! Today we grab a seat with the experienced personal trainer, amateur photographer and football fan for a light hearted yet information-packed interview.

In this week’s The LAB trainer revealed – Part 1, David tells us how his love for athletics and action movies as a child inspired him to to follow a career in physical fitness. He also introduces us to his thoughts on trends in the fitness industry along with some tips on how he keeps his enviable “skinny but ripped” physique.

Read on for tons more interesting info about David and his favorite methods for training and staying fit.


Name: David
Age: 29 years old
Date of Birth: March 10, 1987
Nationality: French
Bangkok Resident: 4 years so far

Getting to know David

1. What brought you to The Lab?

A combination of many things. I mean it’s a great place, the staff are great, the clients as well. I like the philosophy of functional training. It’s a fun place to work and be a part of.

2. Where does your passion for fitness originate?

I’ve always played sports since a young age. The first time I stepped into a gym I was 18. I was very skinny at this time, my body type has always been like this and it’s something I’ve always worked hard on. Growing up with other influences in fitness, I watched Bruce Lee movies…other action movies. I just always wanted to be doing some sort of physical work.

3. Are there any other trainers or athletes that inspire or motivate you?

Everyone at The Lab! I get inspired by the people I see and spend the most time with then I can tell Lab Trainers all have something special.

There are quite a lot actually. I don’t even know where to start cause I follow a lot of guys that are in the pure strength field. I like Jason Ferrugia and some other guys from (big resource of strength & conditioning articles). He owns this blog, writes quite frequently about pure strength training for athletes and personal development. Everything you need to know about barbell/dumbbells and sometimes machines.

I also love calisthenics and gymnasts/acrobats. I really admire those who reach a respectable body WITH mind blowing skills.

David @ The Lab

4. How would you describe your fitness philosophy – style of training?

I like a lot of body weight exercises, and I like to mix this with conventional barbells, dumbbells. So, conditioning and strength with a bit of yoga flow, which soft on the body and low impact.

5. How do you feel working with private clients vs. group class?

I like both. Usually when you train private it’s a slowed down process of progress and work. You get into the details of the client and build deeper relationships. You’re their coach in the gym but you also try to have a hand in their outside life and lifestyle, see what they’re eating outside the gym and also understand his limitations to his fitness regime…etc why he’s not following the plan you’re giving him/her. So you can easily see his faults.

Group classes are a bit different. They are for general fitness. They’re a fun but challenging way to engage fitness in a group of highly motivated people.

6. Do you have any tips for people with the same body type as you? 

You should always eat more than you think you need. More of everything – protein and calories. Guys like me don’t get fat. We have the opposite problem of people who tend to put on weight easily. We need to force ourselves to eat – 4 to 5 times a day. Liquid meal such as big smoothies or weight gainer can really help.

7. What do you think are three traits that make a good trainer?

Number 1: and most importantly! You need “the look”. You’re selling your image. It is accepted in people’s mind that what you achieved with yourself you can replicate with others. After all you’d never want to book a not so good looking PT right?

Number 2: Definitely the knowledge. Constantly update yourself on your field of expertise.

Number 3: The communication and personal skills to transmit this knowledge to your clients. For example you can be super knowledgeable in fitness training and if you can’t communicate this info it’s all for nothing.

So to sum it up, looks, knowledge and skills to teach.

8. Best tip in finding consistency with workouts?

Finding the right PT or right gym for you personally. The rest will come easy.

On Balancing Social Life & Fitness

9. Do you have a hangover recovery routine?

Oh I think its all about the timing and what you do before and after your drinks. You start to anticipate and eat a bit before. Then first thing you do when you get home is drink a lot a lot of water. You wake up not 100% percent fine but you’re in pretty good shape. Drink lots of water, that’s my simple thing and it works for me.

10. Do you have any advice for your clients when it comes to consuming alcoholic drinks while still respecting their fitness goals?

Depends on your goal. Wanna gain weight? Beer. Wanna stay slim? Any alcohol but no mixed drinks, no fruit juice – go for vodka shots or whisky on the rocks.

Let’s Talk About Your Thoughts on Fitness

11. Worst or most dangerous fitness trend at the moment, in your opinion?

Thanks for bringing up this question! I read an article not so long ago and I strongly agree with what I found inside.

I’ll just share the link for you to read but to cut it short I always promote health and longevity with my clients and I really don’t like the trend of glorifying “hardcore” training.

The author of the article call it the “militarization of fitness” and you can read it fully here. Be prepared to hear something very conflicting with the usual messages in the fitness industry.

12. What does “balance” mean to you?

Uhhh…it’s when you are drunk and can still stand straight! When you reach this level of balance you’re really someone special.

13. Who do you find the easiest to train and the hardest to train?

The easiest person to train is one that is coming into the gym with the proper mindset and drive established in them already. They’re already motivated. They don’t need any extra push for the last rep or that last effort. This type of client makes my work much easier. I’ll tell them “hey” come in one or three times and week and they’ll be commit straight away. When they’re on the same page as you, it’s always the easiest. You only have to focus on planning their routine and BOOM! They follow it. It’s great it works.

At the opposite end, the most difficult clients are ones that find excuses to skip classes… traffic, late, weather, lazy, sick…etc. Then again, it’s also my job as a trainer to motivate those with a bit less built in drive. For them, I try my best to inspire.

Social Media

14. Tell us a bit about your social media presence.

My IG handle is @fitdavidson. David is my name and Son is my vietnamese name. Hence ‘davidson’. I think I’m fit enough to deserve adding it on top of my name! I almost exclusively post things about fitness in general as well.

I have a personal Facebook account and I use it more for friends, family and what feels more private. I also share my passion for photography sometimes.


Hope you guys enjoyed getting to know more about Coach David in this week’s instalment of The LAB trainer revealed!

Stay tuned for next week’s Part 2 of The LAB trainer revealed with David, where he tells us about his typical day of eating, life in Bangkok and some interesting fitness stories about himself and his clients.

– The Lab Team


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