We appreciate them more than anything and their hard work, dedication, and compliancy needs to be showcased.
Check out their stories!

Rachel Barnette

Location: Nashville, TN

Instagram: rachelraebarnette

Coach: Shane O’Leary

Client Since: July 2018

Goals: When Rachel came to us her goals were to improve her health, get her body fat down to the high teens, and she wanted to be able to beast mode without to being detrimental to her health.

Training Methods Used:

12,10,8,8 – Hypertrophy / Functional hypertrophy

8,8,8,6,6 – Functional hypertrophy / strength

Modified GBC – Metabolic adaptations

Giant Sets – Metabolic adaptations

12,12,10,10,8,8 – Hypertrophy

GBC – High focus metabolic 

MN: Why did you choose to work with Muscle Nerds?

“I chose to work with Muscle Nerds because I was tired of constantly trying to figure out my body and I was getting to a point where my health was taking a hit from my lifestyle at the time. I was training, coaching, a college professor, and running my own small business. My quality of life was decreasing day by day and something had to change. I had worked with other coaches in the past, but no one ever seemed to take the time to look at my entire case and treat me as an individual. It felt like protocol this or template that, when both were the last thing I needed. I was also particular about who I worked with because I was was bringing a lot to the table with some past health issues and surgeries, and so many other coaches in the past just had me cut calories or never educated me on the why. Looking back, I can see where other coaches really messed me up. So I really needed to make sure that I could trust the next coach I worked with. That trust was extremely important to me. And as a coach myself, the education was extremely important to me as well. So after listening to a few podcasts that Luke had spoken on, I decided that if he and his team couldn’t help me feel better, I wasn’t sure who could. Working with Muscle Nerds was almost like a Hail Mary for me and I’m so glad it worked out.”

What do you feel your notable achievements have been since working with Shane?

“I eat so much fucking food, haha. But really, the most notable achievements I’ve seen over the last 7-8 months that I’ve been working with Muscle Nerds is my quality of life. My stress levels are massively down, I eat a fuck ton of food (currently cutting on 3,000 calories – who cuts on 3k cals?), my mental game is back (research is my life), my training is challenging and fun for me (which is hard for me sometimes because of my athletic background), and my quality of coaching is better now that I can function optimally.”

MN: Anything else you would like to add?

“Working with Muscle Nerds has absolutely changed my life for the better. When I came to Muscle Nerds, I was feeling hopeless that I would never feel “right” again. I have a heavy past filled with an eating disorder, autoimmune issues, multiple surgeries, and my health and coaching was taking a hit due to my lifestyle at the time. I was insanely busy and my overall quality of life was dropping. When I found Muscle Nerds, it was my last “let’s see if this coach can help me” attempt. I have a lot of humans that I show up for daily, and I was losing my ability to show up for them because I was struggling to get through the days.

I have worked with so many people in the past, but no one was ever able to really help me feel good. Over the last 7-8 months that I’ve been with Muscle Nerds, we’ve been able to not only improve my quality of life on all levels, but we’re able to challenge me as well. I came to the table under eating massively, and now we’ve never dropped below 2,900 calories. EVERRRRRR. (Shane, I know you’re reading this. Please don’t pull calories right now just in spite of this comment).

What I love most about Muscle Nerds is how attentive they are and how individualized everything is. I had a massive breakthrough a few months in when I was really stuck. During this time, Shane had reached out to check on me and how I was doing. From there, we hopped on a call and took everything to the whiteboard. We found that I was unhappy and overworking. But mainly unhappy. I was living in accordance to an old identity and what others were speaking over me – not in accordance with what I wanted. After that chat, I had some major breakthrough. The breakthrough didn’t happen one on one with Shane, but he asked some questions that I sat on, processed, and really took to heart. I was able to expand on them and really start to make some shifts in my identity and who I wanted to be. A lot of that wasn’t just through working with Muscle Nerds directly; however, Muscle Nerds holds space for people to work through stuff if they’re willing to do the work. Shane was able to see that something was wrong with me, and I was willing to do the emotional work that really needed some attention. To me, that’s massive, because most coaches wouldn’t have caught that. They would tell you to hit your macros and do your program and that’s it. But Shane was able to notice that something was going on with me, help me process some, give me space to work through everything, and then change programming and move forward accordingly. Muscle Nerds has helped me with so much and I look forward to what we continue to find as we keep working together.”

Plan Moving Forward:

“Rachel and I have worked very closely to build to where we are now with her aesthetics and health marker improvements. As always, if you want to know where to start with a client, you need to know where they have been. For Rachel, she has a strong history of highly competitive sports and a massive drive towards changing women’s health for the better. She was used to beasting life in every way, however her health markers and bodily state suggested a change was needed. Rachel started by accepting she would need to do less of what she wanted, and more of what she needed. Thru this dedication, consistent communication and willingness to accept help, she has earned the right to train with some very intense protocols and as you would see by her shared journey, is losing fat and looking amazing without starving herself. 2019 is the year we see what Rachel is truly capable of and dial in every aspect of her training and nutrition as she once again continues to help others all while showing what’s truly possible with patience, consistency and a positive attitude.”

Will Foden

Location: Singapore

Instagram: @willfoden

Coach: Shane O’Leary

Client for: 4 months

Goals: Lose body fat, stay as strong and powerful as possible for BJJ, and get healthy.  Will wanted to learn to measure, assess, and understand what his body is doing via HRV, blood pressure, measuring blood glucose as he could see some things in his health that needed attention.

Notable Achievements:  A picture speaks a thousand words, and when you look at Will’s pictures, you can see the 1000% effort he gives in every area of his life. When Will came to us he had the strength to move a house, but in a sport like BJJ having strength without speed, agility and mobility is like swimming with concrete boots on – it’s all dead weight. Will trusted us to take his training and completely redesign the approach to focus on his goals. Strength was not an issue. Health, excess body fat, speed and work capacity all needed to be addressed. BJJ is not a conventional movement pattern so we train Will with some more unconventional styles and exercises and after a few sessions learning the movements, he crushes them like he does his opponents. Will’s most notable achievement? His open-mindedness. For someone who came bearing a few battle scars and limitations, his willingness to continually show up, put in the work, follow the recipe and not try and be the chef has led to outstanding improvements across the board.

Training Methods Used:

  • GBC For Athletes 1
  • GBC for Athletes 2
  • GBC for Athletes 3
  • Ascending Velocity 2 week reset
  • GBC for Athletes 4

The phases are built around building complexity of movements and establishing ranges of movement that Wills body is unaccustomed to.  A combination of gymnastic movements and explosive weightlifting techniques has been blended to provide a fully rounded BJJ specific program outside of his weekly fight and technical training sessions.

Plan Moving Forward:

Will is looking to compete in 2 months time (August 2019) so we are maintaining the speed and continuing to build mobility and joint integrity. There is a short time to build work and lactic capacity for fights and ensure the one thing we don’t need to worry about is fatigue related performance errors.

MN: Why did you choose to work with Muscle Nerds?

“I decided to work with the Muscle Nerds team after I decided I needed to actually be coached rather than program for myself. I’ve been in the Strength and Conditioning game for 10 years and I needed an objective view from someone who didn’t know me to take me to the next step of my athletic career.

I have a Strength and Conditioning background as well as playing many years of pro and semi-pro rugby, but after taking a new venture and training and competing at Brazilian Ju Jitsu I wanted to finally trust someone else with my programming and nutrition.

I chose the Muscle Nerds team based off their reputation of using science to drive their results as well as them expressing that they want your results to last.

My goals were simple, but I never knew how to elicit both performance and body composition change at the same time. I wanted to improve my performance as well as lean out and drop body fat. The aim was to drop a weight class from 100kg to 90kg.

During my program I reverted to things that I didn’t and couldn’t believe I would be able to do. Rugby took its toll on my body as well as I had a near career ending knee dislocation (being kicked by a horse, long story lol), I also had a dislocated shoulder and a abnormal amount of scar tissue and tightness through my joints due to hammering my body with as much weight as possible and playing week in week out. An example of this, I now able to overhead squat which I’ve never been able to do.

Shane and Luke flipped my programming aiming to improve my range of movement and speed. Something that even I couldn’t believe in as for years I was so limited in these ranges. I also had to trust the process. I’ve used a very sport specific style of training for years, but the difference was that I was taking programming for masses and not myself and my own body.

We also decided to work only pure speed and power and to be honest I haven’t lifted a super heavy weight throughout this program (which I was accustomed to). Instead, we used speed of the bar or movement to improve power and gymnastic based movements to improve my range of movement and strength.

The ‘make this a long-term journey’ approach has surely made me think twice about actually what a detailed scientific driven process can administer. This has now rolled over into my business as well as getting on board with the Muscle Nerds program design course.”

Luke Foden

Location: England

Instagram: fodens_elite_training

Coach: Luke Leaman

Client for: Just under 1 year

Goals: First goal was to get lean without losing performance or lean body mass. Now the goal is to build lean body mass.

Training Methods Used: 

First few phases:

Antagonistic Supersets 10-12 rep range + MetCons & aerobics – To build work capacity and food volume

5×5 & VO2 Max Work – To build strength and get conditioning up

Giant Sets + 30/240 conditioning – The start of metabolic programming 

Mechanical Advantage Giant Sets – Continuation of metabolic programming 

Last few phases:

10×5 GVT (70%) + 4-5% Principle

9,8,7,6,5 (80%) with MetCon

Conjugate Brick with Mixed Conditioning (VO2max, aerobic intervals, 30/240) – Last phase of cut

10,8,6 (77.5%) – Start of growth phase

Plan moving forward:

To grow to 90kg while maintaining leanness and to increase lifts to world class levels – 8,6,4 (82.5%) wave loading.

MN: Why did you choose to work with Muscle Nerds?

“I was following Luke for quite a while, I loved his approach on stress. After changing my career and having a lot going on in my personal life I realised it was about time I put some self focus on my self and managed my own stress.

The way Muscle Nerds put your health first then the performance will follow is pretty limited in this industry.

I also wanted to learn more about the career I chose, so why not choose one of the best?

Another thing that impressed me about Luke and Muscle Nerds is the way they approach social media. We’re in a world where people/companies are obsessed with being social media famous, but everyone at Muscle Nerds are CLIENT FIRST.”

MN: What do you feel your notable achievements are since working with Luke?

“Where do I start? EVERYTHING.

One thing that really stands out to me is my relationship with food. I have and can quite easily go months without putting any of them delicious sweet sugary foods in my mouth ha.

My mental state has totally changed. With me focusing a bit more on my self, it’s also helped me be more productive and focus on my own clients.

I had major knee pain for 12 months and bam… Luke worked around it, knee pain non-existent!

There’s so much to learn with Muscle Nerds, I’m in no rush. Really excited to see where the next couple of years go.”

Sam Slaughter

Location: Billericay, Essex UK

Instagram: samslaughter_

Coach: Shane O’Leary

Client For: 8 months

Goals: Regain full health, healthy bodyweight, energy, earn the ability to train hard and exceed previous levels, gain structural balance, mobility, and postural improvement.

Training Methods Used:

High Rep Circuits – Reduce training time and focus on mitochondrial health

15,12,10 – Strength endurance and intro hypertrophy 

6,6,8,8,10 – Functional hypertrophy with an upper and lower split 

Modified Giant Sets – Metabolic & mitochondrial health focus 

Modified Giant Sets 2 – Continued health improvements and building work capacity 

10,10,6,6,6 – Functional hypertrophy

15,12,10,15,12,10 – Hypertrophy and strength endurance (reset period)

8,8,8,12,12 – Hypertrophy 

9,9,7,7,5,5 – Functional hypertrophy 

Plan moving forward:

Sam is a highly dedicated and motivated client who has worked closely with me since day 1 on ensuring recovery was always prioritised and he fuelled his body accordingly to his goals. Training was never an issue for Sam, but knowing how much his body could tolerate, how much food he needed, prioritising conditioning, and scheduling in downtime and hobbies was the first areas we needed to engrain as habits.

Habits take time to form. Recovery takes time depending on history. For Sam and I we relied heavily on objective data and subjective feedback, that is ‘what was he noticing and feeling’ and ‘what were his metrics showing’. This has not been an easy journey for Sam but his biggest winning trait, patience and consistency. It’s been 8 months and Sam and I have only just started to experience some of his biggest personal achievements. 8 months. His body needed time to get out of the hole it was in and restore his health. We still have many more areas to completely restore but Sam will continue to move from strength to strength and ensure it’s maintained because of his willingness to be patient and consistent. Sam is earning the right to train hard and with an average lean mass gain of 1.4kg a month he has shown us that anything is possible, no matter where you start, as long as you focus on the journey ahead and prioritise health first without falling for a “quick fix” or “an easy way out”. We have another 5kg to add this year, then we dial in on specific localised growth and goals.

Sam mate, I am extremely proud of you!

PS. Follow him for his nutritional information alone, the man is a genius in the kitchen!

MN: Why did you choose to work with Muscle Nerds?

“I’ll start with a brief background on my journey, as this provides a true representation of the outstanding, and life-changing results real coaching can produce. Hold tight this is about to get real deep people.

Feeling like and looking like death on crack cocaine may sound like a good Friday night to some. I can, however, confirm it’s not fun to feel like that 24/7. I was burning the candle at both ends (I wasn’t actually doing crack cocaine, just a lot of caffeine and nicotine lol), I coached full time, trained 7-14 times per week,  and studied full time for my masters. I learnt stress hormones are an amazing fuel source (lol) for a time, BUT that isn’t sustainable. I CRASHED… HARD… my body and my mind fell to pieces, but the (driven and somewhat illogical) person I am pushed through.

Then I REALLY CRASHED, I had to stop working, training, anything really for ~18 months. My mind, my body, was a mess. Depressed, anxious, unsociable, fatigued, terrible digestion. I Struggled to walk upstairs… for me this was PAINFUL. Having always been that guy that was athletic, who excelled in every sport and maintained a physique many wanted effortlessly was now a brainless, non-functional skeleton. I had spent thousands of £’s and hours looking for the answers, trying to get well. I managed to get myself back into a ‘semi-functional’ state, but the Sam everyone knew just still wasn’t present.

Having followed Lukes work for years I had an awareness and confidence in the passion, integrity and experience he and the Muscle Nerds team present in their work. I knew the value of having a coach, as I am in the business, and I knew I needed help. However, when you are of a certain mind type, and you’ve been stuck in a deep dark place it is difficult to reach out, show vulnerability and place trust in the hands of another. I 100% felt “ if Muscle Nerds can’t help me then who can?” So I took the plunge and reached out to Muscle Nerds and NEVER looked back.”

MN: What do you feel your notable achievements have been since working with Shane?

“Although my transformation with Shane on the surface looks very much physical (+11kg), that has been only a small part of the puzzle we have pieced together. Since starting I have regained so much clarity within my life, changed my perceptions and regained control of my HEALTH. My mental state is so strong again that I am now able to tolerate greater degrees of stress without the negative effects and work toward personal and professional goals with clarity rather than confusion. On a lighter note (LOL) I am also getting good at video games again, I am ENJOYING training again, and eating A LOT of food, without any digestive distress… but more importantly, I am HEALTHY and enjoying every aspect of my life and have a smile on my face (most of the time) rather than as Shane once put it “looking like you want to kill Batman” hahaha.”

MN: Anything else you would like to add?

“During the initial phases, I was very burnt out, and the thought often crossed my mind of whether I would ever feel real energy again, be able to train hard again, be the best person and coach possible. I had lost my ability to serve myself and therefore serve others in my life (loved ones, clients etc.). Patience and perseverance paid off and THANKFULLY we made it… Sam is back. Although we always have new goals, aspects to improve upon I am back in a place I honestly didn’t think was possible. Has it been tough at times? Yep. BUT the journey has been amazing, and I have learned so much about myself, and what TRULY matters to me deep down.

Muscle Nerds coaching isn’t just coaching, it’s more than physical transformation, it’s personal, it’s your health, but its a team that runs on integrity 100% of the way. There is reasoning within everything decision made, they consider your history, where you currently are, where you need to be and when. If you have a question on why a certain method is being employed, the rationale will be provided, there is no guesswork. This is what makes Muscle Nerds magic.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot… Shane has done an “alright” job I suppose. He has been wicked throughout the entire process, he understood exactly what I required through each phase, knew what my body was/wasn’t capable of and as a result consistent progress presented through the entire process. Through all of this though I didn’t bank on finding a good friend. I am truly grateful for all of your support and guidance and it has been a privilege to have you play such a big role in my rebirth. An exceptional coach and an even more exceptional geezer! I am coming for you mate!! (Just give me my carbs back haha).”

Kosta Mastromihalis

Location: Adelaide, SA

Instagram: kosta_mastro

Coach: Luke Leaman

Client for: 13 months

Goals: Double bodyweight front squat + PR in 12k run; 2x powerlifting meets

Training methods used: First 4 methods:

Conjugate style posterior chain – upper back emphasis to improve deadlift and front squat, mixed anaerobic/aerobic work to build cardiac output.

Plateau 8,8,8,6,6,4,4 – Posterior chain, upper back emphasis to improve deadlift and front squat, VO2 max conditioning 

High Rep Training & 200m and 800m conditioning – transferring from resistance emphasis to conditioning emphasis to get ready for 12k

Lower volume resistance training – to maintain strength, transferring to endurance work. 1600m repeats and 5k repeats.

Current training method:

Kostagate – Conjugate style training with ME lifts on one day and RE lifts on the other. The goal is to increase bodyweight and work toward next powerlifting meet.

MN: Why did you choose to work with Muscle Nerds?

“I initially chose to work with Luke after attending a course and seeing how much care and effort went into all clients at Muscle Nerds. His in-depth knowledge about health and fitness really stood out to and he has not let down as a coach!”

MN: What do you feel your notable achievements have been since working with Luke?

“In my time working with Luke I’ve been able to achieve huge personal best in my 12km run – taking 4 minutes off my previous best and running it in under 50 minutes which was a lifetime goal.

He has also helped me smash some big strength personal best –  I have completed a double body weight front squat, completed a triple body weight deadlift increasing it from 230kg-255kg, increased my back squat from 200-225kg, bench press from 140-155kg & now qualified for a national powerlifting competition.”
MN: Anything else you would like to add?
As a trainer myself working with a muscle nerds coach hasn’t only helped me achieve great physical results but also given me an in-depth understanding about how to correctly program for clients going forward. I could not recommend Muscle Nerds more highly!
Plans moving forward with Kosta’s training:
“Plan is to focus on powerlifting and work toward 300kg deadlift” – Luke.

“Luke has a wonderful, no BS style of teaching that gets to the core of fat loss issues. Many of the things I learnt go against “conventional” fitness industry trends and forces you to look at the most recent up-to-date data. I’d highly recommend any personal trainer or coach to take this course who is looking to think outside the box and push their beliefs for the benefit of their clients. Thanks guys :)”

Ian McWalter

“Yes, I would love to attend again and again and again. It’s good to get away from home and be in another environment to get all this information in without thinking of other things. I don’t know the outlines of level 2, but try not to squeeze the info more together than the setting from level 1. I love the tempo you’re teaching 🙂 (Cheers Patrick)”


“I would definitely attend another event. Luke simplified complex information that is going to allow me to help myself and clients benefit from his experience and mine. That ability to teach needs to be put to other topics! Just making sure things stay organized and not making the mistakes of other individuals out there like growing their business too large they become unmanageable. Muscle Nerds looks to becoming a very unique brand with credibility and it will be important for Luke and Zoe to ensure the brand maintains that level of quality coaching and coaches. It was nice to hear that future advanced levels will have pre-requisites and testing necessary to attend. The worst thing at a seminar that deals with complicated topics is to have individuals who haven’t ever been exposed to the subject matter or people who have difficulty learning complex information and slowing down the rest of the class’s learning pace so not enough time is spent covering the material. You see this happen at seminars where the pace slowed down too much and at the end of the day, the instructor goes thru 30-100 slides in seconds and minutes versus spending the proper time required to understand the material. P.S. – It was also nice having the cognitive supps to take to be exposed to and help during class! Thank you for the great seminar!!!! Lou Aquino”

Lou Aquino

“This course has changed my life and my partner’s life. I am a healthier and happier person because of the information Luke has given us. My clients are now reaping the benefits and getting awesome results. its a course that is basically common sense – we are re-learning how we should have done things to start off with. Keeping it simple, de-stressing, focusing on health rather than aesthetics.. and in the end, you’ll be healthy AND look good. WIN. I think this is a course ALL PT’s do, so there aren’t people roaming the world messing with peoples metabolisms and long term health. Thanks for everything Luke!”


“TBH, I’d struggle to give other course providers the investment after this week, it was just so valuable. I’ve gone to so many seminars looking for the trick or secret, to no avail, left with info only to train athletes/physique competitors and the sexy stuff, this is instantly usable for 100% of my clients, not the 5%, but the real-world Mary Muffin tops who we actually train and deal with. I’ve been left with mountains of real-world knowledge and tool’s and will be implementing them asap. Both on myself and clients with confidence.”


“Without a doubt, I would go to another. It was a really great 5 days- one of the best value, most information-packed seminars I have been too and it was done with a really great group of students as well which was fantastic. You guys have obviously both put a lot of work into your programs and it shows. You should be proud of the way you are changing the industry to FINALLY start looking at health from the inside out and not being like every other douche that is happy to get a jacked physique with little regard to what’s happening under the surface. Really great work and I look forward to the next one. Only critical feedback is adding that glossary so I can make more sense of my notes haha. I also think you guys should look at doing some short webinar courses on a monthly or bi-monthly basis. I would be in on that for sure- covering a variety of topics from digestive health, stress, through to training programs and everything else in between. Would be a great additional revenue stream for you. I know it’s anonymous but thanks again for everything over the last week- I know it will all make a big difference in our business and can’t wait to fully implement it. Clint”


“The Muscle Nerds Level 1 and 2 education has been nothing short of a breath of fresh air. Here is a group of individuals that are moving the needle, in a positive direction, in the health and fitness industry. Luke and Zoe have turned programming on its head with a health first approach. Muscle Nerds Education has a focused intent to deliver optimal results with a practical approach for the largest sector of the market, the general population. The value I’ve found from the Muscle Nerds Level 1 and Level 2 education is what needs to be happening to reach problems like the 80,000 lower limb amputees from diabetes in the United States annually. I cannot thank Luke and Zoe enough. A top-notch education at an affordable price, every professional in the fitness industry should take these courses. With gratitude, I am truly grateful to this group of coaches.”

JD Arnott - Dogtown Fitness - Santa Monica, CA.

“Without hesitation. In all the courses I have done, this is by far the one that resonated with me the most. It’s practical, realistic information for us as coaches that we can instantly share with our clients and further establish trust because we care more about their overall health long term. Other courses I’ve walked away slightly overwhelmed, and thought “this is too technical, how can I apply this to my clients?”I actually went home the first two nights and re-read my notes, looked up the concepts I wanted to learn more about. I left inspired, not mentally drained. Muscle Nerds, not only have you made me want to keep learning, but you’ve taught me about finding balance – I had so many light-bulb moments during the course! Luke and Zoe, keep doing what you’re doing; I can’t wait to do more courses with you in the future. Kal”


Let’s get Started

When you work with Muscle Nerds you’ll have a designated coach to look over your progress and help you strive for success with your goals. You’ll also be supported by the whole Muscle Nerd’s team as you’ll see the teams expertise and experience written into each and every program – guaranteeing you the best solutions for your goals.