Luke Istomin: Celebrity Trainer To Fighting World Obesity

A good personal trainer can be likened to a fine bottle of wine, better the more years it has to mature. Luke Istomin, a sought after celebrity personal trainer, can relate to this. He doesn’t put down his success to luck, but rather the seven years of personal training from 5am until 10pm most days that gave him the knowledge, experience and skills to be referred to his first celebrity client. After ten years of experience in the fitness industry, Luke acknowledges the years and hours that it took to get where he is now – at the top of his game – and is relishing the success.

“It’s never been a ‘job’ for me. I get paid doing something that I’ve always loved.”

These days Luke sports a very impressive portfolio of Hollywood A-listers including Leonardo Di Caprio, Tobey Maguire and Nicole Kidman. However, it was spending several months on the movie set of Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Australia,’ training Hugh Jackman that stands out as an amazing experience. ‘We had every single leader in their chosen field assembled together on this massive road trip, and to have all of these people at the top of their game in the one space for a few months made it such a melting pot of ideas, creativity and brainstorming.’ And without a doubt, Luke would have added to this melting pot of ideas with an idea or two on how to build a strong, lean and well-functioning body.

If a string of high-profile clients wasn’t enough, a few years ago, along with friend and former London equities trader, Rob Deutsch, Luke launched boutique gym chain F45 (Functional 45 Minute Training). Priding itself on offering a holistic approach to training, combining the best of cardio and resistance techniques, the group training offers a unique and innovative way to get fit and is a sure-fire way to see results. And not without its celebrity followers, Luke’s own studio in Paddington has seen the sweat of The Voice coaches Ricky Martin and Joel Madden.

‘I had the dream of franchising this model from the day my mate and I opened our doors a few years ago. We were fortunate to meet a franchisor that shared our dream and is now making it a reality.’ And the idea obviously worked as 45 sales of F45 studios went through in one year.

Luke transitioned effortlessly from one-on-one celebrity training to running high performance small group training, saying although he loved the opportunity to work with celebrities, he’s always had a strong connection and appreciation for group training as well. ‘I would say that the majority of my available time is running the group training classes, and I have a handful of select clientele that I personal train. However, when a VIP client comes in from overseas, they get priority with my time of course!’ He’s passion for transforming people’s lives through healthy living and exercise is palpable.

He takes the rising obesity epidemic seriously, pledging to make F45 accessible to as many people as possible throughout the globe. The plan is to expand overseas once F45 has a strong national market. He says ‘You have to dream on a global scale to achieve success for the masses.’

“When you have a rising obesity epidemic as we are experiencing, people aren’t exercising or eating correctly for a multitude of reasons.”

With studios popping up in four states, what makes F45 studios so unique? Luke explains that foremost it’s the community vibe, saying ‘You could be training besides a professional athlete or a first timer.’ The sessions are also fun, extremely innovative and always changing to eliminate boredom. ‘The workouts have been written by myself based on my experience working with my celebrity clientele and getting them into shape FAST!’

Much like a CrossFit or Tough Mudder community, Luke hopes to create a ‘big family’ or as it is described on the website, ‘a cult’, of F45 members that will get together for team games, competitions and national social events with the mindset of ‘work hard and play harder.’

And what’s the future look like for F45? Luke tells me that they have many exciting projects nearing completion that’ll keep F45 ahead of its competitors and will continue to offer premium group training in Australia. ‘We have some awesome plans for F45 that will allow people to pursue their fitness goals faster with our own accredited F45 training academy, and we’ll also be launching our very own national fitness testing program.’ The program has already attracted the interest of some major companies and he says it will add a massive financial boost and media exposure to the program.

For his own Personal Training business, Luke is developing a program that will capture those clients who don’t share the same philosophy as F45, have different goals or simply can’t access a F45. Via his website ( he’ll be offering a select few the opportunity to enrich their lives in both an achievable but yet challenging way via his LIFE (Luke Istomin Fitness Experience) program. LIFE, like the F45 philosophy is designed to achieve phenomenal results – quickly, and takes a holistic approach to training and nutrition.

‘I will be collaborating with some of the biggest leaders in their fields to give you the best information available for everyone that wants to experience LIFE.’

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