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.

DALLAS

I’m the newest addition to the IOPC team and I’m pretty sure I was hired because I’m really, really ridiculously good looking.

You’ll see me around the gym Monday to Friday, usually accompanied by my 2 really, really ridiculously good looking dogs.

As you can probably tell, I don’t take myself too seriously but when it comes to you, our members, I take it very seriously.

Why did I become a PT?

Well, I make no secret of the fact that I have struggled for the most part of my life with my mental health. I found fitness again after leaving it behind when I left school and it changed my life! Working on my physical health had a HUGE, positive impact on my mental health. It was then, after struggling for so long and finally finding something that helped, that I knew I had to get into the industry to share that with others who may be struggling too.

You probably didn’t want to know all of that but this is the first time I’ve written an ‘about me’ so give me a break.

I’m here to help you achieve your goals, I’m here to make you laugh and if you ask nicely, I will be happy to show you my dancing skills (I’m working on the boss’ to let me run a group dance class, watch this space).

Say hi, come train with me, let’s change the world…

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When and why did you decide the health and fitness industry was for you?
Upon discovering what exercise did for my mental health, I knew I HAD to get into the industry to be able to share that with others who may be struggling with mental health as well!

How did you come about working at Institute of Physical Culture?
I was busking at the local donut store. They saw me, noticed how handsome I was and the rest is history!

What goals are you working on at the moment?
Currently working on rehabbing a shoulder injury – it is my goal to lift heavy again without pain.

What do you hope to achieve working in the health and fitness industry?
To educate and make a positive impact in people’s health and fitness journey.

What is one piece of advice you would tell yourself when you first started?
You have much to learn young padawan.

What has been the biggest game changer in your career and or life?
In my career: Meeting Luke and Zoe (and Daisy and Pablo and Frank). Oh and Courtney.
In my life: My first testosterone shot. Without that, I would not have been able to transition and be the man I am today.

What has been your biggest achievement?
It would definitely be working here at IOPC.

What has been your biggest life lesson?
Always make sure there’s toilet paper before you sit down for a poo.

What is a typical day like for you?
No two days are the same which is why I love Personal Training and being at the gym. The staples each day though: Say good morning to the dogs and get kisses, say good morning to the cats and get ignored, coffee.

Finish this sentence: On Sunday mornings you can usually find me:
Mowing the lawns or at the dog beach.

Name 3 words that describe you?
Handsome
Sarcastic
Open-minded

Name a few of your daily habits
Annoy my Mum, my cats and my dogs. Annoy my work colleagues. Floss.

What would your personal motto be?
NO RAGRETS

COURTNEY

I’m a self-proclaimed cool cat, trail runner, and lifter of all things heavy, light and in between.

Now, before you go inviting me out to carve up the trails with you, let me tell you how I got into it. I ran a 20km in the mountains not that long ago afer accepting an invite from two of our IOPC clients, and I loved it so much I figured hell why not start making this my thing. And alas! Here we are!

So, who am I?

I am a mother to 4 fluffy paws and am an all-round boss bitch in the gym.

Literally.

I manage this place.

If you haven’t met me already, chances are we WILL meet. If we have already met, well then why are you here creeping our profiles. Unless of course it was just to see if Dallas really is as good looking as you’ve heard. He’s not, but make sure you tell him he is.

Anyway, back to me.

Hailing from the land of the long white cloud aka Nu Zeeeelund, I am a lover of netball, science and nutrition stuff (I have a bachelors in Exercise Phys), fush n’ chups, and love a good sing to anything I think I know the lyrics to.

I moved to Brisbane with my partner after we decided to chase those everlasting summers, and I found myself here, managing the IOPC because:

– I am OCD and like things done right the first time
– I’m great at telling people what to do, including the 5 IOPC dogs
– I’m loud and know my way around a squat rack
– I’m pretty strong, despite not quite being able to jump to the chin-up bar
– I’m great at overcoming adversity (see chin-up bar struggle above)
– And finally, I’ve been working behind the scenes with Muscle Nerds (the parent company of the IOPC) for a while and figured it was time to step up

I absolutely love what I do but more than that, I love seeing the happiness and excitement in people when they achieve something they never thought possible. Losing weight, getting out of pain, shaving time off your 10km every week, lifting more weight than you ever dreamed possible and actually enjoying being active! Just feeling energetic and alive again!

Life is too short not to love every moment of it. We all have ups and downs. We all have things that challenge us and make us question ourselves. Training gives us a purpose to continually be better. It’s something that gives back. We put in the work, the time, the effort. It rewards us slowly but surely. Better sleep. More energy. Feeling happier and more confident in our own skin.

This is why I train and this is what I want to help give back to you. There is more to it than just your appearance, and I want you to experience it all!

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When and why did you decide the health and fitness industry was for you?
I played a lot of sport when I was younger and enjoyed staying fit and healthy. I always thought I wanted to be a physio but as the years went by I decided that wasn’t for me. I studied sports and exercise at uni and from there I knew I wanted to help people. There still may be more study to come as I enjoy the physiology side of things. So watch this space.

How did you come about working at Institute of Physical Culture?
Long story short, Luke and Zoe hired Shane (my partner) for the gyms parent company, Muscle Nerds. When they brought the gym, they asked if I would help them out by doing admin work and then they slowly convinced me into become a personal trainer. And I’m glad they did – I love it!

What goals are you working on at the moment?
I think…. I want to run a marathon and a 100km trail run next year (2021).

What do you hope to achieve working in the health and fitness industry?
I want to help all my clients and members achieve there ideal life. A life that they can sustain and are happy with, not a life that society portrays for them.

What is one piece of advice you would tell yourself when you first started?
I haven’t been in the industry long but I still tell myself to believe in what I am capable of and always will tell myself this.

What has been the biggest game changer in your career and or life?
Very cliché but meeting my partner Shane has he taught me to see my potential and what I am capable of.

What has been your biggest achievement?
I don’t want to say there haven’t been any, but I still believe I have many more to come.

What has been your biggest life lesson?
Your past doesn’t have to shape your future.

What is a typical day like for you?
My morning starts sneaking around the house trying not to wake my partner (this is hard as I am a morning person, so my energy kicks straight in) I enjoy a coffee either outside if its not to dark (I am scared of the dark) or on the couch, head to work and my days starts with PT clients, then complete admin work before my PT clients in the afternoon. Head home catch up Shane and Maui (my cat) eat, sleep, repeat.

Finish this sentence: On Sunday mornings you can usually find me:
Doing a trail run or drinking coffee and soaking up the sun rays

Name 3 words that describe you?
Bubbly, Driven, Personable

Name a few of your daily habits
Dance around, play with my cat, drink coffee

What would your personal motto be?
Your life is yours, live it how you want.