LUKE LEAMAN

I wrote you guys a really nice and detailed about me, but Zoe said it was too long-winded. Here’s the Reader’s Digest version, but apparently you can click through to read more (if for some odd reason you wanted to). I’m the big boss around here, the head honcho… or at least, Zoe tries her best to let me think that.

Disgruntled with the industry and the lack of empathy and science, Zoe and I started Muscle Nerds in 2015. In that time we’ve gone from not knowing anything about starting and running a business, to creating a highly successful online training and education platform.

The idea for Muscle Nerds started in 2013, when a colleague of mine started a spoof page on Facebook called “Muscle Nerd Leaman.” Muscle Nerd, absolute brilliance. I kept that idea in the back of my mind until Zoe made it a reality.

I’m the big-picture person in the company, the dreamer. I create concepts and ideas, and Zoe makes it happen. I’ve never been much for the details, so together, along with our staff, we make a complete and conquering machine, like Voltron.

My daily activities include pestering Zoe, auditing and managing our online training, research and development, creating course material, lecturing, networking, deal-making, and staring at the wall waiting for ideas to pop up. I also practice Jiu-Jitsu on Daisy periodically through the day.

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When was the first time you decided the health and fitness industry for you?
When I was 8 years of age. It was 1986 and I had just watched the original Conan the Barbarian with Arnold Schwarzenegger. I became obsessed and my parents thought it would be funny to buy me a little weight set for my birthday. I started training that day and have trained ever since. When I was 14 I started the powerlifting team at my high school and competed in powerlifting until I was in my 30’s. My obsession with learning began in my early teens when I began reading every magazine and T-Nation article I could get my hands on. Being inquisitive in nature, my studies therefore naturally lead me into the why and the science. Soon I was studying textbooks and doing internships with professionals that were top of their field, from strength coaches to therapists to doctors.
How did you come about working for Muscle Nerds?
I fell into it in 2015 when I started the company. I had been online training a select few clients since early 2006 and when I finished up with Poliquin Group, I turned to Zoe and said ‘Let’s start Muscle Nerds’. (Read Zoe’s answers for more detail. She’s good at that – the detail. Me, not so much).
What goals are you working on at the moment?
Completing my level 2 ASCA.  Completing an undergrad in physiotherapy in the next 3-4 years and successfully running Muscle Nerds clinic.
To become Australia’s best therapist and rehabilitation specialist in the next 5-8 years.  In the next 10 years, I will be consulting Australian sporting teams on rehabilitation and sports performance.

What is your current study focus?
Cell physiology, inflammatory systems, and the immune system.
What is one piece of advice you’d tell yourself when you first started?
Never start a company. It’s a trap and the ‘freedom’ it gives is a lie!
What’s been the biggest game-changer in your career?
Meeting Zoe.
What’s been your biggest achievement?
I’ll let you know when I get there.
What has been your biggest life lessons?
1. Never trust a fart 2. Never pass up the chance to use the bathroom 3. Never let a good boner go to waste
.
What’s a typical day like for you?
Wake early, start working. Play with Daisy. Work some more. Annoy Zoe and distract her from work. Work more. Beat my head against the wall. Look up and realize it’s 1 AM.
Finish this sentence. On Sunday mornings, you can usually find me: 
At my laptop doing work.
Name three words that describe you:
Relentless Resilient Restless
Name a few of your daily habits:
Brush teeth. Poop. Annoy Zoe. Annoy Daisy. Rant. Quit the business. Re-hire myself.
What would your personal motto be?
Help enough people get what they want out of life, and eventually, you’ll get what you want out of life.

ZOE KNIGHT

About Me’s are the hardest things to write. You feel you have a pretty good grip on who you are and what you stand for until you have to put it into words. Written words, that is. Because no one gets talker’s block – we only get writer’s block (what’s up with that by the way?!).

In short, I’m a Co-Founder of Muscle Nerds. I’ve been with the company since day dot – although you could argue it was brewing in the background long before Luke and I gave it a legal structure. My sole role in the company is to try and keep some form of order – not only in our accounts, in our team, and in our admin processes, but in the methods to our madness as well.

I am inquisitive by nature and I love to learn (almost as much as I love Luke, Daisy, reading, and having a tidy house). If you don’t find me working at my laptop, studying at my laptop, cleaning my house or at the dog park, you’ll see me in some shape or form trying to get Luke to either stop trying to pick things off the floor with his toes or getting him to take his coffee mixed with water, instead of eating the granules dry off a table spoon.

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When was the first time you decided the health and fitness industry for you?
It was after a Saturday morning boxing class. Our usual trainer was away and the owner of the gym took the class. He had a completely different coaching style that was encouraging, motivating, positive, and fun. I had one of the best workouts of my life that session and I remember being at home in the shower afterward and thinking “Man I want to be like him”. As soon as I got out of the shower, I jumped online and started googling PT Schools. I submitted an application form to Max Fitness College and to the Australian Institute of Fitness. I had an interview with AIF on Tuesday and an interview with Max on Wednesday. I got accepted to the both but decided to go with Max as their application process was a lot more thorough. The next day, on Thursday, I received a call from the owner of the gym I attended boot camps at as she had heard I was starting my Cert III & IV. She offered me a job on the phone then and there. It was a crazy fast evolution, from deciding what I wanted to do on Saturday, and 5 days later I was enrolled to study and had a job. Just goes to show – if you have the balls to go after what you want, the universe will reward you for it!
How did you come about working for Muscle Nerds?
I attended a Biosignature Course in Sydney in March 2015. Luke was one of the instructors at the time and I thought he was a real dick (Let’s be honest here – sometimes I still do). I even gave him a bad review on my feedback survey for Poliquin group! A week after the course he added me on Facebook and asked me on a date. I said no for almost 2 weeks (he was annoyingly relentless – please refer to his answers on the 3 words that best describe him. He is NOT joking) until I finally caved and thought to myself “You know what Zo? You never have any fun. Just go on a date with the guy – you’ll never see him again”. So I drove down the Gold Coast one Saturday night and picked him up for a dinner date. The minute I arrived it felt like we had been together forever. What was meant to be one dinner date, turned into a 4-day date and I stayed down the Gold Coast with him until he flew out that Wednesday. We kept in touch constantly over the coming months, and in June, I quit both of my jobs, sold my car, and on July 9th 2015 I flew to America. I originally had the trip booked for 4 weeks. I obviously knew there was a chance I wouldn’t be back after 4 weeks which is the reason I handed in my resignation. That last thing I wanted to do, was call work from the other side of the world and tell them I wasn’t coming back (have integrity guys – it pays off). The day before I was meant to fly back home to Australia, I phoned the airline and changed my departure date to the day before my 90-day visa was up. About a month later, Luke finished up with Poliquin Group and we, therefore, found ourselves both Jobless. Luke looked at me and said, “let’s announce Muscle Nerds”. So. We did. That very hour. And here we are!
What goals are you working on at the moment?
My current goal and one that will probably never change is to always learn and to always raise the bar of what is expected. I want to learn business, I want to learn finance, I want to learn marketing, I want to learn all that self-development shit. (I also NEED to learn business, and NEED to learn Finance, and NEED to learn marketing. This business stuff is no joke). I want to learn science and I want to learn the art of applying that science. Stemming from that, my goal is cut through the bullshit that this industry is full of, and just offer true, real, genuine, and honest information and services. The ultimate goal is to create a huge family of coaches that can change the industry for the people who really need us. For those people, we can quite literally be the difference between life and death. My goal is to get people healthy. Help the people that need the help.
What is your current study focus?
I’m currently studying my Bachelor of Health Science and Naturopathy, so I guess you could say that is my current study focus haha. It’s a full-on workload but I’m somehow managing to keep my juggling balls all up in the air.
What is one piece of advice you’d tell yourself when you first started?
Time management is the crux. Sacrifice is inevitable if you want to go far. Get into the habit of being organised. Be as proactive as you can – be two steps ahead. Get into the mind of your clients – consider their emotions and perception. Set a quality standard and then strive to exceed it. Eat well and keep a good sleep routine – you’ll need the energy. Also. Luke is a maniac.
What’s been the biggest game-changer in your career?
Meeting Luke. For waaaaay too many reasons to count.
What’s been your biggest achievement?
The lives we are changing. Not only through the coaches we directly influence, but also their clients that we indirectly influence. Giving people a better quality of life is an absolutely priceless gift.
What has been your biggest life lessons?
The harder I work the luckier I get.
What’s a typical day like for you?
I tend not to get really warmed up for work until around midday. I have tried to fight this for years, but now I embrace it. I get all of my personal stuff done in the morning (clean the house, do the washing, walk the dog, etc), and then I work from midday/early afternoon until far too late into the night. There is typically breaks every 15 minutes for cuddles and kisses with our Dog Daisy. She’s the best.
Finish this sentence. On Sunday mornings, you can usually find me: 
At the dog park or the dog beach, cramming for a test, or frantically finishing an assignment (due dates are ALWAYS Sundays. Ugh).
Name three words that describe you:
This is hard. I say: Compassionate, Happy, Loyal Luke says: Loyal, Honest, Integrity. So I don’t know. lol
Name a few of your daily habits:
Bloody good question. I really don’t have any. Every day I pash my dog and drink soda water? lol
What would your personal motto be?
Just give a shit. In everything you do – care. Do everything with the best intentions and the highest of standards.

BECC

I’m Becc. I am a big hearted, big haired, smiley Mum of two daughters and I absolutely love life in the gym. My other loves are riding motorbikes, paddle boarding and walking my dog Goggins.

 

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When and why did you decide the health and fitness industry was for you?

In 2013, after losing 50kgs myself and falling in love with the process, I had a lot of people both friends and strangers telling me how my achievements had inspired them to start focusing on their own goals and showing up more. I decided to dedicate my focus to inspiring and teaching others and how to reach their own health and fitness goals.  I was a butcher by trade prior to this. After also witnessing the path I had taken, a women I had trained at the same gym with was opening her own and asked if I would be her head coach and it’s been an absolutely amazing ride since then. Almost every aspect of my life has changed 100 times over in the 8 years I have been coaching, but one thing has stayed consistent and that has been my love for coaching people to do things they couldn’t see themselves achieving before. 

 

How did you come about working at Institute of Physical Culture?

After running my own boutique gym in Tannum Sands for 3 years, hubby’s work relocated us back to Brisbane and I was lucky to be offered the role by Zoe who I had the pleasure of knowing via the gym’s parent company Muscle Nerds. I am firm believer in surrounding yourself with people who inspire you to be and do better and feel this is the case being within this team at IOPC. I’m not just here to teach and help but also to learn from the best and I don’t know if you picked this up yet, but I couldn’t be more excited to be part of it all. 

 

What goals are you working on at the moment?

This is always tough as I tend to have a LOT of goals and life does tend to throw spanners and laugh when I have said them out loud, but I am forever ambitious. I want to make the most of living by enjoying the everyday things as well as the extraordinary.  I forever want to learn and improve on my knowledge of the human body, what it’s capable of and how we can structure programs to achieve maximum potential. I am determined to be as strong as possible for as long as possible and after losing my Mum when she was only 52 I aim to set an example of good, hard working, healthy living for my daughters by living to the age of 100. Ambitious Yes, doable – absolutely!  

 

What do you hope to achieve working in the health and fitness industry?

I really want to maintain my level of passion for my work within the industry and for helping others for a long time. This can be easier said than done as it is an incredibly demanding path both mentally and physically, I truly love it though and want to help others love it too. I want to do more motivational speaking and I would love to own my own gym and education facility that creates a legacy long after I am gone and something people are proud to be a part of. 

 

What is one piece of advice you would tell yourself when you first started? 

You are stronger than most will give you credit for. Don’t lose yourself for the sake of pleasing people and never stop learning because you will never know enough and you will certainly never know it all. 

(sorry that’s more than one) 

 

 

What has been the biggest game changer in your career and or life?

Changing my views on what success actually is and having kids in my early 20’s. I don’t want to get too deep too soon here but I love to motivate people how to overcome what are commonly considered barriers/excuses not just as a parent. 

 

What has been your biggest achievement?

Not just surviving but thriving despite an abusive childhood and raising a family that will never live that life, and also, working hard to have a career I am passionate about. 

 

 What has been your biggest life lesson?

 Just because it’s what happened in the past doesn’t mean that’s how it has to happen forever more. If you don’t like something, do whatever it takes to make it better. 

 

What is a typical day like for you?

Early morning (4am) work or training/walking the dog. Kids ready for school. Work or vlogging or training (I should be studying) until kids are picked up from school.  Then it’s family duties like cooking, cleaning, homework all that fun stuff, reading and yoga if I’m lucky and bed around 10ish. Weekends are for paddleboards or motorbikes (if work is quiet I sometimes squeeze this in during the week too) or strolling through markets and always falling asleep late at night with a movie on. 

 

Finish this sentence: On Sunday mornings you can usually find me:

Drinking coffee, impatiently waiting for hubby and the kids to wake up so we can go do something fun as above or planning my weeks meals so I can food shop and prep. I very much dislike doing nothing on a Sunday. 

 

Name 3 words that describe you?

Passionate. Empathetic. Resilient. 

 

Name a few of your daily habits

Coffee. Walking. Laughing. Making a list (I love lists lol). Some sort of exercise including being an incredibly inflexible yogi. 

 

What would your personal motto be?

Only the determined succeed. You have to be willing to do things and not expect things to be done for you.

BELLA

Writing about yourself is probably the trickiest thing especially when English isn’t your strongest subject at school…. buttttt here’s some pointers to describe myself, I’m short, determined and always up for a challenge. 

I’d like to think those few pointers are enough to describe myself but probably not, so hopefully these answers can help you learn some more about me 

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When and why did you decide the health and fitness industry was for you?

I’ve always been into health and fitness ever since I was little. I would always try and join in on my older sisters gymnastics class so mum and dad figured it was best for everyone if they let me start a class or two myself. I LOVED it! Loved it so much that I did it for 14 years, finishing in May 2021 after achieving all my goals! I trained up to 20 hours a week for gymnastics so when I finished, I figured I’d give my body and mind a break from training so I became a couch potato! That didn’t last long… it lasted about a week before I was bored out of my brain not knowing what to do with my 20 hours of spare time. Soooo I got into running but there are only so many routes you can take around your suburb until that gets boring too right? It was around September of 2021, when I started begging mum and dad to let me join a gym. It wasn’t too hard to convince them, I think they wanted me to be busy again so I would stop annoying them. So off I went, I started doing my research on gyms and that’s where I found IOPC! The most welcoming, supportive, and encouraging community. 

 

How did you come about working at Institute of Physical Culture?

I joined the IOPC community in September of 2021 and if I’m being honest I really had no clue on how gyms worked. So me being me, I did my research, I wrote up my own programs and I trained my heart out. It wasn’t until October when Zoe approached me in the gym and asked me what I wanted to study when I graduated. Always a tricky question for a school student, right?! I said physio or something in the fitness industry. That’s when Zoe put the thought into my head of completing my cert III in fitness and I knew it was an opportunity I couldn’t miss. The 2021/2022 Christmas/New year holidays was spent working on my cert, using every spare moment I had to work on it, so here we are. 

 

What goals are you working on at the moment?

Survive grade 12, improve my overall fitness & strength and achieve a proper muscle up with no swing! 

 

What do you hope to achieve working in the health and fitness industry?

I want to help support my clients and help them reach their goals, whether they be small goals or big ones!

 

What is one piece of advice you would tell yourself when you first started?

Well…. This answer is still to come as I’m new to this career!! 

 

What has been the biggest game changer in your career and or life?

Meeting Zoe and Luke as I definitely would not be where I am today without their support and guidance! 

 

What has been your biggest achievement?

Reaching level 10 in gymnastics and representing Queensland at Nationals in 2018, 2019 and 2021. 

 

What has been your biggest life lesson?

I have two, first would be “If you never give up it’s only a matter of time until you succeed” and the second one would be “always put 100% into all you do and surround yourself with positive people”. 

 

What is a typical day like for you?

Wake up, go to school, come home, go to the gym, study, go to bed. REPEAT 

 

Finish this sentence: On Sunday mornings you can usually find me:

Sitting on the couch procrastinating and annoying my family. 

 

Name 3 words that describe you?

Happy, Personable, and determined

 

Name a few of your daily habits

I don’t really have any but I reckon annoying my parents counts as one! I also don’t mind going for a nice walk in the afternoon to watch the sunset. I would watch sunrise but that’s too early to wake up! 

 

What would your personal motto be?

Train your mind to see the good in every situation and you didn’t come this far to only come this far  

BEN

Yooo! I’m Ben, or Benny – Whichever rolls off the tongue better. I’m from the north of the UK with a bit of a rum accent. I’m a former professional DJ / Music Producer, turned professional health coach and personal trainer. I was always the class clown in school. Never wanted to learn. Just loved laughing and making other people laugh (because that’s what life is about right?). Of course, today that is slightly different. My life has turned into a learning paradigm. Incredibly passionate about helping other people become the best versions of themselves, whatever that might be. And I love spending time with my wife, my daughter, step-son and my doggo Daisy.

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When and why did you decide the health and fitness industry was for you?

After my own health was deteriorating. In my late teens up to the age of 25 I was spending all my hard-earned cash and taking Class A drugs (I won’t say which ones) and this led to substantial weight loss and gut issues. I always went to the gym during the week (more so to stop feeling guilty of my unhealthy habits) and realised that it was time to change my identity for good. I put on some muscle and started to feel really good, documenting my journey online (as you do) and it inspired a lot of people in my local town with their own health, which then led to me to continue learning and implementing more stuff with my own health, then shortly after I become a personal trainer and health coach!

 

How did you come about working at Institute of Physical Culture?

I cheekily slid into their DM’s 😉 ….. just kidding, ha. In all honesty, I actually hadn’t heard of either IOPC or Muscle Nerds before working here as I found Luke’s page through a business mentor I have followed for years, which then led me to his meme Instagram page (which is epic), then from there Luke’s bio stated he was the co-owner of IOPC & Muscle Nerds and I noticed that they were on the hunt for a Head Coach at their gym! I checked out their website and Instagram, LOVED what I saw and applied straight away!

 

What goals are you working on at the moment?

Aesthetics or life goals? They change all the time to be fair. Aesthetically I want stronger and more robust shoulders, bigger arms and to be a better runner (95kg pounding the pavement isn’t the most enjoyable thing I’ll be honest). Life-wise, I want to be an loving and supportive husband, an inspirational father to my daughter and step-son, and to help every client I work with understand that they’re health is their top priority and they only have to make very small steps to see HUGE changes.

 

What do you hope to achieve working in the health and fitness industry?

As long as I bring smiles to people’s faces at the end of each of their training sessions and that they are making progress towards their goals, then my job is done. I don’t have anything that I want to achieve as I’ve fallen in love with the process of working on the next thing I need to do. There’s actually a benefit to having an addictive personality haha!

 

What is one piece of advice you would tell yourself when you first started?

It’s OK to not know all the answers. Personal trainers tend to have VERY high expectations of themselves (which stems from other PTs or Coaches, particularly on social media) like they are supposed to know the answer to everything and that couldn’t be further from the truth. If I don’t know the answer to something, I’ll be honest with you and tell you, but I’ll make sure I go look it up and come back with answer that helps any needs of an IOPC member or client.

 

What has been the biggest game changer in your career and or life?

Getting away and stepping outside my “comfort zone” (my home town, unhealthy habits, brain-dead job) and doing something that most people are scared to take risks for (a better quality life). Meeting my wife and raising beautiful children, and being given the chance to prove to not only myself but also to the team at IOPC / Muscle Nerds that I am good (and passionate) at what I do.

 

What has been your biggest achievement?

From the age of 21-26 I used to be a Nightclub DJ (playing house music) and my friend & I played an hour long set in one of the UK’s best clubs to a sold out crowd (Sankeys Manchester). It was honestly the most euphoric feeling seeing people love, dance and sing to the music you play. The drugs also may have helped, but it was such a magical moment nonetheless hahaha.

 

What has been your biggest life lesson?

Don’t take life too seriously. There are times where you do need to be a little serious, of course. But just have a laugh as much as you can with the people you love, and do whatever the hell it is you enjoy doing the most (and do it often!!! – Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise).

 

What is a typical day like for you?

Up at 4am. Hydrate. Meditate. Train clients Come home to do the school run. Play with my daughter and take her out most days. Work again while she sleeps. Sometimes come back to work to train clients (depending on the day). Back home to have dinner with family. Spend time with my wife watching something on Netflix (while working on my laptop, but shh). Quick read of a book in bed, then off to sleepies

 

Finish this sentence: On Sunday mornings you can usually find me:

Sitting and chilling on the sofa with family having a VERY lazy morning. We usually have breakfast and start planning something to do for the day (given that the weather is OK). If not, I usually just spend some time playing video games with my step-son and watch Pokémon stuff on YouTube.

 

Name 3 words that describe you?

Cheeky. Passionate. Restless.

 

Name a few of your daily habits

Meditate. Walk the dog. Read a book. Train (3-4x per week). Eat good food. Laugh as much as possible. Smile. Tell my wife and kids I love them. Work hard.

 

What would your personal motto be?

Slowly is the fastest way to get to where you want to be.