Training in classical, contemporary and jazz dance as well as musical theatre in school, it’s little wonder Australian personal trainer Alice Leemhuis – or Alice Jane to her followers – found her calling in a physical career. But it was later, while doing the daily grind at an office job, that this ACT girl truly discovered her love of fitness.
“I realised it didn’t matter who [or] where people were in life, what they did for a living or what their drive was, health and fitness has impact on everyone mentally and physically,” Alice explains of her own lightbulb moment, which came during a spate of “tough moments”. “It has the power to help people excel in whatever they are doing in life.”
Like many who plunge head-first into a professional pivot, Alice had no issue starting from the bottom.
“I started where everyone else does – cleaning gym equipment, chatting to members, studying my craft and experimenting on myself!” she explains.
Now at the helm of her own fitness training business – with a growing social media following of more than 16,000 fans – it’s safe to say Alice has successfully made the leap to flourishing small business owner. That doesn’t mean it’s all peachy (I mean, trainers must have to do burpees, for one). In fact, one of Alice’s biggest hurdles is self-doubt, but that’s not the end of her list of daily challenges.
“The fitness industry, I’m sorry to say, is very saturated with views showing unrealistic ideas, and feeding the public with sneaky marketing tactics,” Alice explains. “It’s easy to get ahead by pulling out all the latest trends, but in a business based around people’s health and happiness, it’s our duty as coaches and trainers to help people be aware of this.”
Her answer? Authenticity. Alice believes reaching goals on her terms and leaving comparison at the door is the best way forward in business.
“I truly believe that if you be yourself, you will attract the right people and the people that you want to connect with,” she says. “You can never please everyone, and you don’t need to.”
Never one to skip a meal and always one to change her routine according to how she feels on the day, Alice also believes versatility is the key to feeling tip top and keeping healthy as an entrepreneur. That, and a killer activewear ensemble.
“I live my life in activewear and feeling great to me means loving my gym kit,” says Alice. “Quality activewear is everything. Feeling good and knowing that I’m wearing good quality activewear makes me feel motivated and great about myself.”
The Sydney-based trainer is particular fan of Rockwear – a veteran company that shares her non-discriminatory ‘fitness fixes’ ethos with supportive, affordable activewear across a 4-18 size range.
“There is no [one] ‘type’ of person that fits into the fitness world. It’s about helping everyone understand and feel great in life through fitness and health – or activewear. No person of a particular size, shape or anything should ever feel left out of this industry.”
It’s this enthusiasm for inclusivity that really gets Alice out of bed in the morning.
“[My] favourite part about my job is meeting so many different people and knowing that I can have a positive impact on their life, no matter what their goals are,” Alice says. “I continue to meet so many different and amazing people each day and hearing about their journeys help to inspire me on my own.”
Doesn’t sound like heavy lifting to us.
Photography by Vanessa Natoli.