Name: Nick Koller
Location: Seattle, Washington
Coach: Luke Leaman
Training Methods Used:
MN: Tell us about your experience with Muscle Nerds:
Met Mr. Lucas Leaman about 6 years ago at a course run by another company, I had heard about him previously from an article highlighting him as one of the company’s success stores. I read he lived in Austin the same time I did so I always remembered him because of that.
My first actual experience with Luke was during a course where he was lecturing… he was the complete opposite from the head coach that had just left the company which instantly drew me to him and having been the top of my class during my premed studies I knew he knew his shit and was super impressed by him. Had integrity, wasn’t feeding me bullshit, said if he was wrong please correct him, you could tell he actually gave a fuck about you and you weren’t just another one of his followers to boast his ego.
Fast forward a few years I had always told myself at one point in my life I would do a physique competition/photoshoot. I went to a competition and saw how old it would make people look past a certain age, I think I was 30 at the time so I felt like if I didn’t want to have scrotum looking skin I needed to set out to do this soon.
One of my former classmates Art posted images of his photoshoot and I was extremely impressed, I knew I wanted to work with Luke once I saw those… the change was dramatic and in a good way!
The time came and at this point Luke was having trainers under him program for his clients which I was content with, I knew he would be over seeing every thing.
Then time came and I emailed Zoe and she emailed me back saying Luke was gonna work with me personally and I flipped my fucking shit. Jazz hands in my car on the way to work… I’m probably on the spectrum haha.
I knew I was given a golden opportunity and I was going to do everything in my power to prove he made the right decision… something I’ve done with previous coaches who believed in me.
I never asked Luke why he has taken me on… took me about a year.. and even with how limited our interaction was when we were around each other I had just assumed he saw something in me.
Out of the gate I was just killing it, each week I looked dramatically different, his understudies were messaging me saying how impressed they were and I think we were about 2-3 months in and I was about to have a re-feed of 1600g of carbs… soooo excited for that, planned it out for days
Then.. I got a flu bug that I hadn’t experienced since my freshmen year of high school 17 years ago. That knocked me out a good month to get back to normal but resumed the progress I had previously achieved. I was looking RAD, everyday I had the best physique I had ever had and was feeling really good about things.
Then a medication I had been on for years and years started to disrupt my biochemistry in a way I couldn’t work let alone work out. That was hard because it took about 3 months to figure it out and before that I didn’t know if I had MS, chronic fatigue, cancer.. maybe I was self sabotaging subconsciously? And of course I’m thinking… fuck Luke gonna think I’m this huge pussy and he made a mistake. My diet was still on point for the first 2 months but then it was a lot of “fuck it I’m having cupcakes” to make up for the stress and sadness I was experiencing at the time. Finally a commercial came on for this medication stating some of the possible side effects and I stopped that day and FINALLY felt normal, I was really excited to get back on track again and glad Luke hadn’t lost faith in me.
Fast forward to the fall the benefits of this experience were starting to materialize, my schedule became fully booked and I started having a wait list, sadly I got to the point of exhaustion and we were transitioning to a cutting phase so I ended up taking several weeks off of work to get my feet back under me… aka some least mode and show that I was really serious about this.
After that STILL more setbacks completely out of my control occurred that I had to fight through. Medication I took for ADHD raised my prolactin levels so that it looked like I was growing breasts, and then the medication I used to treat the prolactin levels causes medication induced binge eating disorder so I had to constantly fight these awful awful cravings that made me think I was losing it. ON TOP OF THAT my city was shut down for 2 straight weeks because of snow and I wasn’t able to train weeks 3 and 4 before the planned shoot, just sitting in my house all day. BUT I was finally able to get the job done 16 months in and my god did everything magically fall into place the final few hours and it all came together beyond the best case scenario I had going into this whole experience.
This whole process was extremely vulnerable because I was shooting to do something and at a level I really had no business achieving with the experiences I grew up with. It could have easily just been a huge slap of cold hard reality then the confidence boost it became. Growing up the “fat” kid in the family I learned really early on the camera wasn’t my friend. On top of that every date I would meet from online would comment on how I looked better than my pictures… aka I’m terrible at taking pictures… and these were from pictures I actually liked of myself. So I hated being in front of a camera and always completely froze. My confidence is now sky high, I made 50k more than the previous year, raised my prices, training a movie actor for his next role in a movie that will be out everywhere, starting a second business with a former client that has a 50k social media following, my life honestly feels like a fairy tail I feel so incredibly lucky.. the universe definitely made me fight for it though!
MN: How has it helped with your clients?
Going into it I don’t think I could have ever imagined how helpful this was going to be at bettering me as a coach. We as coaches are trying to teach people how to take care of themselves but we are also teaching them how to be good clients! You cant really master that skill unless you are on the other side of things… doing a program someone else is writing, nutrition, getting the workouts in, etc. I realized how many skills it takes to be able to do this and I was able to give names to these skills, a lot of them I was doing automatically like the story of who I am (personal trainer, doesn’t give into temptation, resilient)
My level of coaching is shockingly better than when I started and Luke and I never really talked about how to be a better coach, you learn it through this experience.
MN: What goals have you accomplished with Muscle Nerds?
I set out to do a photoshoot at a level that you would think I could be on the cover of Mens Fitness. Next goal is to do my first physique contest.
MN: How do you feel now that you have accomplished your goals?
I have a hard time believing I’m the person in those pictures. Many times before bed I would just look at them and think… how the hell did I pull that off? I had always hated taking pictures. I always believed I could do anything I put my mind to and now its just at another level.
Would you recommend Muscle Nerds to other trainers?
100%… I didn’t just accomplish a photoshoot, I made 50k more than the previous year, my coaching level has catapulted into the stratosphere. I’ve never been more confident in my life. And this is only a year and a half in. I feel like this is JUST the beginning and I’m crazy excited what life has in store for me next… it feels like in a few years this will be nothing compared to what is about to happen next.