Physical Culture with Cody Fielding


D. Cody Fielding is a professional coach who has worked in the fields of fitness, wellness, and performance enhancement for more than 20 years. I met Cody in 2008, shortly after moving to San Francisco, just as I began my own career as a personal trainer, and he had a profound impact on my own thinking about movement and the body.

We conducted this interview in Cody’s private studio in the Mission District of San Francisco. Cody’s backgrounds includes the study and practice of biomechanics, posture, nutrition, evolutionary biology, psychology, and physics. He has worked with and studied the works of everyone from Joseph Pilates, Moshe Feldenkrais, Scott Sonnon, Mel Siff, and many others.

I’ve been consistently impressed with Cody’s diligence and examination of how to improve performance, but also the subtler elements that make a peak performer. Once, over coffee, Cody interviewed me with a quality of complete focus that contributed to my own desire to learn to conduct interviews. Similarly, over the course of one memorable hour Cody taught me how to throw a football, which is something I had never done previously. His thoughtfulness and thoroughness made learning to throw a football effortless, and for the first time, fun.

Cody and I delve pretty deep into what he calls “physical culture,” which is to say the study and practice of movement and the human body. I have learned an enormous amount about performance, movement, and the body from Cody and I hope you enjoy this interview.


Show Notes

10:00 Cody’s positive outlook of human development
10:30 Gene expression
12:00 Cody’s career trajectory
14:00 Personal training is not known for excellence
15:00 “Dumb” tools and smart athletes
17:30 Training: Hyper-focusing on the individual
22:00 Facing fear in the martial arts
23:00 The drive to go toward fear
27:00 How to get over the fear of public speaking
30:00 Being afraid versus being excited – framing your thoughts to be more helpful
35:30 The real reasons people hire Cody (or any performance coach)
37:30 Show up and listen
42:00 Pain is useful information
46:30 “Wherever your body is, your mind might as well be also”
50:00 You might want to lose weight but you are not ready to take on the lifestyle changes that come with that
53:00 2 different types of development: muscular and neurological
56:00 Admit when you are wrong
57:00 The art of asking questions
1:01:00 Cody’s ethical approach = “A great trainer knows what his limits are”
1:03:00 Cody taught Robin to throw a football through rapid learning process
1:03:30 Dan Millman – The Way of the Peaceful Warrior
1:04:00 Make intentional mistakes
1:09:00 Tension and relaxation
1:10:00 Joseph Pilates and Cody’s theories on breathing and abs


Book suggestions

Supertraining by Mel C. Siff
Body-Flow by Scott Sonnon


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