Joanne Lee Cornish – one of the most successful and recognizable personal trainers in the most famous gym in the world, Golds Gym Venice. Joanne has been coaching for over 25 years, her niche being getting clients stage and camera ready.

Clients over the years have included Rodney and Joan Dangerfield, Chelsea Handler, Demi Lovato, Shawn Wayans, Stephen Nichols (Soap icon), John Ridley (Oscar winner). Monica Brant (Ms Olympia) but perhaps more importantly Joanne helped Cheryl lose 100lb, got Linda strong enough to lift her own child, helped Mike feel comfortable enough to go shirtless at his beach wedding, and freed Tonya from the fear of getting diabetes, a disease that had plagued her family.

Pregnant clients, midlife clients, clients suffering sickness, divorce, grief, injury. Joanne has worked with every issue that life has to throw at us and rarely has the answer ever been to eat less or add another hour of cardio.

A former professional bodybuilder, Joanne’s experience in changing body composition spans over 30 years and three countries. Working with clients and mentoring nutrition coaches Joanne’s results come from her ability to transfer otherwise confusing dull information into an edge of the seat type of experience.

Joanne and her husband Kevin live in Eagle, Idaho with a houseful of pets.

Joanne’s company is The Shrink Shop where she still trains people and coaching people worldwide. Click on the logo below to find out more about The Shrink Shop


Here you go …

Blonde, fit, Golds Gym, Venice Beach, you are forgiven for thinking me another California beach girl. I am actually far from it.  Born in the North East of England, a small industrial town on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors, a land far removed from the sun-drenched beach town of Venice, which became my home for over 2 decades.

The Californian look took me decades to perfect but my accent if a complete giveaway (as you will find out on the audible version of the book)

I started as a sprinter and high jumper, competing for the county and doing pretty well.  I always loved to run but hated the high jump as it meant a lot of standing around in the rain and landing on a mat in the middle of a giant puddle.  The first turning point was when it was suggested that I train my legs with weights.  True my knees were bigger than my thighs and if I wanted to be faster then I should probably put “some meat on my bones”

I was 14 alone on a leg press in the gym at the athletics stadium, I had found my happy place.

There is a whole story about why I stopped being a sprinter/jumper.  It would probably make a good blog post as it involved entering me under different names to get a better “team score’ Looking back I cannot believe how serious a team win was to these coaches and it left me pretty disheartened and honestly, pretty confused.  I left the stadium life but didn’t want to stop weight training so I found a gym owned by a guy my mum knew, this was my second turning point – aged 17

18 years old

18 years old

The gym was owned by Bill Boyd, a bodybuilding judge, he saw something in me and within 6 months I was onstage competing in a sport I didn’t even know existed.  Female Bodybuilding.  The sport was young, it was 1984 and my gym wasn’t even co-ed.  Men trained on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays and ladies trained on Tuesdays and Thursday.  Both men and women were allowed in on Saturday, but the ladies had to come in after 2pm.  That’s how long I have been lifting weights!

I won my first show and was then allowed to workout on the men’s days after 7pm and on Saturday I was allowed to train in the mornings – this was a big deal

I won’t bore you with a list of my competitions.  The major wins were British Junior Champion (under 21),  World Champion (Siberia), European Champion (Czechoslovakia), British Overall Champion.  In that order which was strange but I couldn’t turn professional until I won the Overall British, which I did on my 4th attempt in 1991.

Winning Overall British. Age 24

Meanwhile, I was doing a BA Hons degree in Business and Finance and once I had that and my pro card under my belt it hit the road.  I moved to Australia (Surfers Paradise) for a year or so and then I was all too soon on the flight back to England.  I had given up a very good job, company car, house, expense account and was going back to nada.  Australia to England is an 18 hour time difference and cannot be done in one flight.  My stopover was in Los Angeles.  It was November, I was leaving summer in Australia and heading to winter in England.  I didn’t get on the second leg of that flight.


Looking back, landing in LA with a little cash in my pocket and a backpack on my back is not the smartest thing I ever did and my first few hours in LA make for a whole other blog post.  I headed to the Mecca of bodybuilding, Golds Gym, Venice and that became my home for the next 24 years.

Home for 24 years

As an amateur bodybuilder, I won just about every show I competed in, as a pro I didn’t win one 🙂  My goal had always been to compete on the Ms Olympia stage.  Being professional was hard enough back then but so few pro’s ever made it to that infamous stage.  I competed in the Olympia in 1995 and 1996 and then I was done and retire from the sport.

Before 1995 Ms Olympia 2% body fat .. seriously



Bodybuilding is a crazy, pretty extreme sport but it is the only sport that is judged on body composition.  To be successful in the sport you had to become an expert on nutrition and physiology.  It’s quite funny to me when a new diet hits the mainstream and its something that the bodybuilders had done literally 10 years before.  We were doing low carb when everyone else was doing the food pyramid.  HIgh fat, we had it down back when I was in Australia in the very early 90’s and now everyone is Keto and although not always the best for optimal muscle building, we knew about the ketogenic diet 25 years ago.  Bodybuilders are a strange breed indeed but we studied and experienced every possible way to manipulate our bodies into the leanest and most muscular form.  No other sport does that.


I started competing at 17 and left the stage at 30.  13 years of dieting. I definitely knew a thing or two about losing weight and putting on muscle.  Nutrition had always fascinated me and I became known as the trainer in Golds that got people stage and screen ready. I worked with a lot of competitors.  I trained Monica Brant for her Olympia win, I trained Chelsea Handle for her TV show and Shawn Wayans for his movie roles (take a buff 6’3″ guy and turn him into a “White Chick” – that was fun) If you would like to see more of my clients please go to or to the 

I have been designing meal plans for over 25 years but about 10 years ago I wrote a seminar series called “If Diets Worked We’d All Be Skinny” it was a 6 part series where I explained everything from childhood obesity to bloating, hormonal weight gain, alcohol, sleep, stress and of course nutrition.  Well, seminar #1 I presented to about 6 of my friends who were kind enough to turn up to support me.  By seminar #6 we were at capacity with people standing in the hallway taking notes.  I was asked to repeat the whole series which I did but we had to move to a larger location.

Does that mean I’m so great?  not really.  What was obvious was that people were really interested in understanding what was going on with their bodies, behaviors and were looking for solutions they could implement with confidence.  This was a game changer for me, I really find all this stuff totally fascinating but I hadn’t realized so many people felt the same way.  The Shrink Shop was born and instead of just designing diets, I started teaching diets and the response has been incredible.

which led to 4 years of writing in my car …


“When Calories and Cardio Don’t Cut it”  

30 years of reading and experimenting on myself and 4 years writing on my laptop in a silver Cadillac in the parking lot of Golds Gym Venice – this is how the book was borne.


If there was one thing that held my weight loss clients back it was lack of sleep, or poor quality sleep. In 2016 I designed an all natural sleep product which is now “Amazons Choice”

You can find our Sleep Formula 

I combined 12 natural sleeping aids into this very successful product. No dependency, no hangover – just great sleep


My life just sounds peachy doesnt it?  Well moving to the States was hard!  There were some really fun but very tough years.  In 50 years I’ve collected a few scars.  I struggled with my weight after all those years of competing, that took a lot of figuring out but I am grateful as it taught me a great deal.  I’ve had death, divorce, stress, and anxiety.  I have been broke, living alone, not sure what I was going to do. One thing I am incredibly grateful for is my health.  Throughout all the twists and turns I have tried to keep that my priority and I really think that has helped me to battle through many storms.  If I haven’t experienced what you are dealing with then I bet I’ve worked with a client that has.

Getting older in the fitness industry can be a challenge, surrounded by a bunch or bubbly 20-year-olds who think they have it figured (I know I did).  Let me tell you, experience counts and war wounds count, working with hundreds of clients and all their experiences count – it’s priceless.

Today I am living a peachy life and that is all thanks to my husband Kevin. We met and married within 4 months and anyone that knows him knows its the best decision I have ever made in my life.  We live between Eagle Idaho and Malibu CA all our kids have 4 legs and life couldn’t be better.


So that’s my 51 years, in a nutshell, just a gal working her passion, taking a few risks and building a brand.  I am more than just another California fitness chick flashing her abs looking for a bit of self-promotion.  If losing weight or building muscle is your goal then I have lived it and studied it for over 3 decades and I’m not done yet.


Work with Joanne

This book will become a workshop, both online and location base. If you want to get more information contact joanne or go to the contact page on this site.