Nicholas Gonzalez on Functional Fitness and Being a Dad

‘The Good Doctor’ star talks motivation, the benefits of fat, and being a fit dad.

Nicholas Gonzalez on Functional Fitness and Being a Dad
Daniel Gomes / M+F Magazine

Family Business

I think in this political climate, people want a little good news, they want a little hope, and that’s why The Good Doctor is resonating. And playing Dr. Neil Melendez is a dream job because my father and brother are both surgeons. They love the show, but now people respect me as if I were a doctor, which is both hilarious and frustrating for my brother. I always tell him, “It looks like we’ve got three doctors in the family.” And he’s just like, “Shut up.”

Scholastic Speedster

When I was the Texas high school champion in the mile and two mile, I was 125 pounds. Just lungs and legs. I had a bit of a weights regimen, and that continued once I started running at Stanford, but endurance was at the core of everything I did. I turned more to weight training as my film and TV career progressed, and I got further from my running roots.

Evolving Approach

With new roles it’s kind of a joke among friends and family: “Oh, do you have your shirt on?” But I’m 42 years old, I listen to my body, and lately working out has really changed for me. I still do strength training, but I also work in three to four days of hot yoga a week. I want to feel good, be active, and handle a long day standing on set.


I think a diet higher in fat, especially when you’re active, can be really productive for the body. Something I love lately is FatCoffee, a high-quality butter-and-coconut-oil mixture you can pour right into your coffee. What’s beautiful is that the company gives a lot back to autism research.

Fitter Father

I have a 1-year-old daughter. When you become a parent, it’s easy to get caught up in everything about the child. But my wife and I realize it’s important to take care of ourselves so we can better raise our kid. You should promote activity as much as you can, setting a good example but also realizing that’s where the play is: not in video games but in getting outside and using your body. And you want to live longer for your child—that’s the best incentive.

Stream the first season of The Good Doctor on