About Andy Morgan
Hi, I’m Andy Morgan.
I’m a fitness author and online training and nutrition coach for men that take their physique goals very seriously.
I am the author and developer of the site you are reading, Rippedbody.com, where I make a sincere effort to be ridiculously useful to people, without asking anything in return, but knowing full-well that I will get something in return – coaching inquiries and book sales.
This is my business model, selling without really selling. My work is highly niche and I love it.
I have been coaching and writing for the last six years, have worked with over 1000 people, sold over 10,000 books, and had my work translated into 5 languages. This makes me one of the first and most successful online coaches in the fitness industry.
My career story & how I came to live in Japan
The funny thing is that this all happened by accident.
I can identify three defining moments in my life:
- Getting hit in the head with a glass bottle when I was 15.
- Volunteering in Calcutta, India for three months when I was 19.
- Realizing the fitness supplements industry was full of shit when I was 27.
The first led me to start karate classes. The second gave me a thirst to explore the world. The combination of the two resulted in me boarding a plane to Japan after graduating for lack of any better ideas (see: ‘Funny’ things that brought me to Japan). The third led me to start my fitness businesses to fight against the industry nonsense.
This website used to be in Japanese also, but I broke that off into a separate website, Athletebody.jp, after coming to the painful realization that no Japanese person I met knew the meaning of ripped and that wasn’t about to change any time soon. I have since developed it into the most trusted and popular evidence-based fitness website in Japan, and our goal is to be the key educating body providing nutrition and training information for physique transformation to trainers in the industry here.
About my books and podcast
Aside from the articles that you see on the site, these are the resources I have in English that you will likely care about:
- I have a podcast which I use as an excuse to reach out to interesting people,
- I have written a book on dietary adjustments, The Last Shred, teaching people how I get the results for my clients in reaction to being flooded with coaching applicant demands,
- And I’ve been fortunate enough to have co-authored two of the most highly respected nutrition and training books in the industry, The Muscle and Strength Pyramids.
Business and life philosophy
I put my success down to one part luck, one part ignorance of what I ‘should’ be able to achieve, and two parts persistence driven by a feeling of fortune at doing a job I love and the fear of losing should I slack off.
I am from Birmingham in the UK but now live in Tokyo, Japan. I moved here after living in Osaka for 11 years because I witnessed the power of surrounding myself with high achievers – they inspire, make me believe in myself, and drag me up, and Tokyo is full of them.
I have a motto: be useful first and expect nothing in return. I think it must be in my nature as I find it easy to do this genuinely. It has been the source of the most meaningful human connections in my life, and probably the reason why I punch above my weight with my friend circle.
I like most things involving speed, especially motorbikes, cars, and snowboarding. I try to do one thing each day to make someone else’s day.
How I became fluent in Japanese in a year
This is something I am often asked so I will put it here for lack of a better place on the web.
I taught myself to become fluent in Japanese in a year after slacking off for the first four years of living in Japan.
Each year I would tell myself that I didn’t need to study because I would be leaving within a year and so the time spent doing so would be a waste. This is a typical story and explains why so few foreigners gain proficiency, but I decided to do something about it. Here’s how I did it.
- I spent January to March 2010 memorizing the ~2000 Japanese characters (kanji) with Heisig’s ‘story’ method. This involved learning 20-25 per day, which I knew would be hard, so I had friends bet against me achieving this to keep me committed. I used this website’s story sharing flashcard system to organize my daily reviews
- I like watching TV, so instead of trying to study from textbooks as I had tried and failed to do in the past, I chose a long-running detective TV drama to watch, put the Japanese subtitles on, and ‘stole’ 20-25 short (or partial) sentences containing new vocabulary that I felt would be useful. I noted how the one detective could run rings around people with his thorough logic, all while maintaining politeness, so I copied his mannerisms and language style.
- I put the sentences into a memorization app called ‘Anki’ on my phone. On the front side of each flashcard I had the sentence in kanji, and on the back side, I had the phonetical spelling (furigana) above them. I used it as a test of reading, so no English was used on the I cards. Thus, if I forgot the meaning of a word I was forced to look it up, but I used a Japanese dictionary first with an English one only as a last resort. (Hat tip to Khatzumoto of AJATT.com that idea.)
- During each review, I would imagine using the short sentence in a real situation.
- I watched nearly all of the 20 seasons in April to July and various other programs recorded off of TV, forcing myself to get 20 sentences each day before going to bed.
- I picked up my first adult crime thriller novel in August. I just chose one from the best seller section. It was really hard and slow going at first, but by the end of the year, I was reading at half the speed that I can read English books and I enjoyed them. This was before digital books were mainstream, so looking up vocabulary took a long time. Now, with the ability to download TV on demand from Netflix and double-click on ebooks to look up vocabulary, things are a lot easier.
The daily time spent was 3-4 hours.