Luke is a strength and conditioning, crossfit and NLP trained life coach for Australian Strength Performance. He competed in the 2010 International Natural Bodybuilding Association (INBA) Victorian Championships, placing 2nd runner up in his category and also won ‘Best routine/ poser’. Luke and his wife intend to compete in the near future as vegans. Their interview was featured on the Vegan easy website. Luke is currently a mentor for the internationally known 30 day vegan easy challenge. He is also a passionate speaker and his themes revolve around mindset, purpose and connection.
Through his journey, he has also been interviewed on Natural Naughties and Living Kind. Triumph through adversity, he has inspired many with his story featured on the facebook group ‘Vegan’.He is currently building his brand Evolv’ved Strength through his facebook page . The manifesto he lives by, ‘it’s not just about being the best, but about giving your best each and every moment’.
Tell us three things about yourself
- My purpose in life is to make a difference and to leave a legacy.
- I am passionate about connecting with like minded people
- I aim to live for the experience.
What’s been the biggest health challenge you’ve overcome and what did you learn from this experience?
It was not so much a health challenge for me but an emotional one. Having gone through depression and a failed suicide attempt in 2008, I have come back stronger than I have ever been before. Up to this day, I am truly thankful for my past because it has led me to become the person that I am today.
Living to tell my story now, I realize that everything happens for a reason and no matter how dark the path is, there is ALWAYS light at the end of the tunnel.
Aside from that, I have sustained two major tears in my chest while training (1 year apart from each other). Through both injuries, I have learned to listen to my body a lot more, to know my limits and trust my intuitions.
What’s your top tip for getting your day off to a great start?
Recite your mission statement (If you don’t have one, create one!) for the day and visualize the perfect day happening. Have a hearthy and healthy breakfast and decide that you are going to give your best today.
Which foods do you eat to nourish your body and give you vitality?
I love having large salads that are jam packed with goodness. Getting creative by adding all sorts of different ingredients (avocado, pumpkin, sweet potato, quinoa, beetroot, corn, etc) and various homemade dressings, the possibilities are endless. I also love a good tofu stirfry or rice and beans. Being a vegan, I consume a greater volume of foods because plantbased foods are less calorie dense. Snacks are my selection of protein shakes, different kinds of fruits (eg: cherries, berries, bananas, mangoes, apples) and to me, they are nature’s ‘fast food’. Full of natural fibres, vitamins and minerals, easily assimilated and digested.
Why is fitness an important part of your life?
Fitness has given me purpose in life, through my own journey, through helping others achieve their physical and emotional goals, I have been on a never-ending path of self-discovery. Being in a position where I actively contribute positively to someone’s life, I feel really privileged.
I believe that fitness is a metaphor for life. In the weights room it is the resistance that builds strength just like my daily struggles. In yoga, its all about being centred and present, something that many of us fail to do. In nutrition, it’s all about connecting with the food that I eat, appreciating what I have and knowing that my decision to follow the path as a vegan, impacts the environment in a positive way.
What is your current exercise routine?
I am currently preparing for competition and alternating between hypertrophy, crossfit and aerobic phase. My main focus for structuring the different phases are based around these 2 aspects:
- Metabolic Conditioning – Working the different energy systems to get leaner (going for sprints/ long runs, using the stepper & bodyweight timed circuits).
- To get more density in my rhomboids, upper trapezius, hamstrings.
- Achieve more symmetry and density in both my torn pecs.
Describe what motivated you to choose your current business or career path?
Fitness has always been a part of my life. When I was a kid, I always watched in awe as my dad did his bench press, 1000 sit ups and we used to go to the health food store to shop for his supplements. I always loved going to the gym to workout with my friends and it was always a hobby of mine back in the day.
Prior to becoming a trainer, I was working in the events industry for about 5 years and did not get much job fulfillment there. When the global financial crisis hit around 2009, I lost my job as an account manager in the events industry. I then decided to follow my passions and got certified as a personal trainer. Years have passed and I have never looked back.
What business or career challenge have you overcome and what one piece of advice would you like to pass on to others?
Being at the crossroads of my life between 2009-2010, job dissatisfaction, financial stress and suffering from a lack of self worth, I was given the opportunity to take the plunge, to follow my heart and to focus on what I was passionate about.
I believe that there is no perfect job or career path. Being retrenched, laid off, not having any job fulfillment are commonalities these days. We spend three quarters of our lives working and we merely exist day-by-day, paycheck-by-paycheck. If there is something you think you are passionate about, take the plunge, make a change, take the ‘risk’ and live for a positive experience throughout your lifetime.
Take time to decide what your purpose in life is, what gets you up, what energises you. In health and in wealth, when you choose to fulfill your highest intension, what you’ve thought you always wanted becomes a byproduct of your actions.
Even now, I am still on a journey of self-discovery trying to hone in on what specifically do I want to be and how I can contribute to society at large. All it takes is making the first step out of your comfort zone and learning to trust your intuitions.
Your favorite book or movie of all time is? And why?
My favorite movies are Baraka & Samsara by Ron Fricke. Both films are non-verbal, beautifully shot and scored. They depict the vast beauty of the natural world, different cultures/ rituals and the impact of our existence on this planet.
Brilliant cinematography, stark contrasts between old and new, natural and man made, beauty and desolation.
And lastly, do you have a recipe you’d like to share with us?
My all time favourite mango banana protein ‘ice cream’
- 3 x frozen bananas
- 6 x medjool dates
- Half a frozen mango cheek
- 1 cup of coconut water
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp shaved coconut
- Small handful of raisins
- 1 scoop of my favorite non dairy protein powder
- 1 strawberry
- Put chopped frozen bananas, mango, dates in high speed blender (I use a vitamix)
- Pour in coconut water
- Sprinkle in cinnamon and protein powder
- Garnish with raisins, shaved coconut and strawberry