Out & about,
Legendaddy helps Gold Coast fathers rediscover a passion for life
Nick Nichols | May 31, 2022
Fitness entrepreneur Mitch Lowe, the Gold Coast coach who has been turning ‘dad bodies’ into ‘buff bodies’ for the past four years, is driving a lifestyle revolution for a forgotten band of Gold Coast men, everyday dads who are struggling to get into shape both physically and mentally.
The founder of Legendaddy, a fitness and mentoring program designed to instil drive and resilience in men through regular training sessions, weekend boot camps, and the spirit of camaraderie, has created a growing community of fathers with a newfound passion for life and family.
Legendaddy has also been a journey of discovery for ‘Coach Mitch’, a biomedical science graduate who began his career in personal training eight years ago, before finding his niche working with dads four years ago. The Manchester native, who moved to the Gold Coast aged 11, says his inspiration for Legendaddy stemmed from a common health problem he found when training men.
“I started working initially with a lot of guys who had back pain, and it just so happened that they were all fathers who had similar life issues confronting them,” says Coach Mitch. “I’m not a father myself, so that wasn’t my inspiration. I just wanted to help these guys enjoy being physically fit, until it became obvious that heaps of dads really struggled with confidence, and often felt alone in their struggles. Legendaddy started as the next step for me in business, but now it is a really big part of my life.”
Legendaddy participants are generally aged from their early 30s to their 50s. Some are even grandfathers, but all have taken the first step to go from ‘dad-bod’ to ‘legend’ in the company of like-minded dads.
“Most of the guys who join us often don’t like how they look and feel; they’re exhausted all the time and lack a sense of direction and purpose in their lives causing them to fall into bad habits and negative spirals that hurt them and their families. For example, most dads work their butts off to support their families but come home at the end of the day and supplement themselves with bad food, cigarettes, or alcohol to try to relax and forget about their troubles.
“Legendaddy is about breaking that cycle by providing dads with a positive outlet to vent their frustrations and talk about some of the things they’re going through. We find that if these guys are in better shape physically and mentally, then they become better able to cope with life’s challenges, and they set a way better example for their families, who they’re working so hard to provide a great life for.”
While support groups for women are more common, Coach Mitch says men have few options available to them.
“The big problem is that men aren’t conditioned to give themselves the same level of support and encouragement that women do. For many of our participants this is their one and only social circle, people they really want to spend time with outside of their families. There are even some members in our group who tell each other things they wouldn’t even say to their mates who they have known for 10 or 20 years. It’s a safe place – an extended family for them.”
Coach Mitch puts every new Legendaddy recruit through a 28-day challenge to determine if the program is right for them. Every six weeks, the team participates in half-day adventure challenges, such as kayaking from Coomera to South Stradbroke Island, enjoying the view from hinterland mountain peaks, and even training courses in self-defence aimed at building confidence and teaching some practical skills.
Legendaddy also encourages the men to bring their partners and kids down to the Saturday sessions on the weekends and encourages family involvement when the team takes part in some of the Gold Coast’s active events such as RAW Challenge and Kokoda.
The latest initiative is the Unbreakable Man (UBM) retreat, a two-day event designed to help men get clear on how they want their lives to look, and who they need to become to create that life for themselves.
“This involves two full days away from the distractions of daily life, where men get the chance to experience confidence-building challenges, and have genuine, eye-opening conversations with other like-minded blokes,” says Coach Mitch. “Every activity, story, and challenge men experience at UBM is aimed at helping them develop the tools they need to improve their own lives.”
Tracking the many success stories at Legendaddy, which has seen fathers become more active with their children and some inspiring their wives or partners to join their own gym, Coach Mitch hosts a podcast, Fit Club for Dads, to encourage more men to step up to the challenge of becoming the man they want to be.
“The podcast offers a lot of tips on diet and fitness, but that’s the easy stuff. The hard part is putting it into practice. So, I talk a lot about what we discuss within the Legendaddy group; taking responsibility for our lives, knowing that failure is a necessary part of success, and how to deal with the challenges of life in a more productive way.”
Coach Mitch says the success of the Legendaddy program isn’t just about helping dads change their bodies for the better.
“It’s about helping them become the man they want to be inside and out, for themselves and for their families. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you look like, or where you’re starting from; we don’t judge because many of us have been their ourselves. If you’re willing to do the work, even if that means going at a slower pace in the beginning, then you can make huge positive changes in you and your family’s lives. Legendaddy isn’t about who’s the strongest, fittest, or most confident. It’s about showing up consistently, however you can, because that’s how we get better.”
Legendaddy’s website has more information on the services provided.