Linda Mrkic is a personal trainer and fitness model competitor, who I’m also lucky enough to call a friend. To me, she is the perfect example of how someone in the fitness industry should be; she lives and breathes a healthy lifestyle all year round and her training and nutrition philosophy is based on being the strongest, fittest and healthiest version of herself. No fad diets, restriction, ridiculously low calories or punishing workouts here. As a PT, this is also something she passes on to her clients, all of whom she cares so genuinely for as she helps them to become the healthiest version of themselves.
As a friend, I know that Linda has had her share of struggles to face, as we all do to varying degrees, but she continually pushes forward to overcome them and also doing so with a positive mindset. She’s incredibly humble and is always continuing to learn and grow, but hard works in silence letting the results speak for her. After only starting to compete for the first time exactly two years ago today, she most recently achieved one of her goals of being awarded 1st place in the ICN (formerly INBA) Fitness Model Open category.
It’s people like Linda who I find truly inspiring, which is why I asked this lovely lady to take some time out of her super busy schedule to answer some questions for the Beautiful Existence.
Tell us about yourself….
Hi there, I am currently 33 years of age and work full time as an Exercise Scientist & Personal Trainer running my own business in the Melbourne CBD. I am a former All-American College Tennis Player, an all state-university cross-country runner. I also hold a B.S in Physical Education, and hold 2 Masters degrees that required a publication of a research thesis. From that work, I was fortunate to be able to publish a research article in a clinical journal and have been a University Professor for 4 years. I have also competed in Natural Fitness/Sports Modelling Comps and have earned 5 x 1st placings in the ICN (Formerly INBA) all in the Fitness/Sports Category. I have also placed 3rd in Australia for Fitness Open and Fitness 30+.
How did you get into fitness personally, and as a career?
I started at the age of 18. I was living in South Florida, USA, playing Collegiate Tennis (with the hopes of becoming a professional tennis player) and studying Physical Education. During that time, I was asked by the director of the University’s fitness and health center if I would like to, and possibly be interested in, working as a staff team member. I was so thrilled and so honored, and very surprised in the same token. He believed my energy and training ethic was inspiring and wanted to have me on board to share with the facility attendees, and of course I said YES lol, and that is where my first fitness job began. I would work at the front desk, but also on the gym floor, helping participants with their exercises and keeping the facility clean and inviting.
What is it that enjoy most about being a personal trainer?
The ability to express my passion for teaching and learning and in turn, help my clients and participants. I enjoy helping people nurture their understanding with their health, fitness/wellness topics and skills. I also thoroughly enjoy helping people build confidence toward becoming fitter, healthier and stronger. I also have a passion towards helping people value their mental health and with that, helping them utilise exercise as a therapeutic means towards an increase in quality of life, happiness and well-being.
What’s your training and health philosophy?
I truly believe that there is “no one way” to train. I feel that the principles of enjoyment and nourishment must be at the center of one’s choices. I am someone who likes to keep things simple and embrace an holistic approach towards training. This holistic ethos encompasses valuing all realms of fitness which includes: cardiovascular conditioning, muscular strength & endurance, flexibility training and healthy body composition principles. I am also a strong advocate towards the powerful benefits of exercise and its positive impact on mental health conditions and want to be able to spread this message as much as I can in a light hearted way.
What advice would you give to someone looking to live a healthier lifestyle, or get started at the gym?
Embrace the things you like or that may spark your interest. For example, you may be someone who gets excited and energized when you hear about flexibility classes, aqua aerobics, or even archery for that matter. Whatever it may be, I encourage you to start with a foundation of movements you enjoy. One step and day at a time, get yourself moving with exercise you enjoy and then build upon those skills and let them filtrate to other areas of your fitness skills. You never know where your fitness journey and exploration may lead you. I never thought in a million years that at the age of 31 that I would be competing in Natural Fitness Modelling comps, and then boom, the universe surprised me.
As a someone who spends most of their days in the gym, what are some of your biggest pet peeves of gym goers?
My biggest pet peeve is negativity or judgement towards beginners or people who may have never had the chance or opportunity to learn skills in the gym. Many people join the gym to embark on an important personal journey of healing and well-being. These people may be overweight, underweight, extremely introverted or have never stepped foot in any sort of fitness or sporting facility. It can be quite intimidating when these people may experience negativity from other gym goers who may be overly confident or just lack respect towards others who may not look or train like them. It’s all about feeling comfortable, liberated and free. Unfortunately, many times, people forget about these important concepts of fostering a positive environment. This is something that I value so much and want to nurture and project in the environment I work in. A simple warm smile or hello can go such a long way.
What’s your current diet and training routine like?
I eat quite a lot of fruits and vegetables, balanced amount of wholegrain carbohydrate, lean fast, and proteins. My eating style is immersed in the concept of intuitive eating that also encompasses the healthy principles of IIFYM (if it fits your macros).
My training routine currently embodies:
What’s a favourite healthy recipe of yours?
A healthy smoothie with a high fiber and protein content. I do enjoy using the new Prana On Bananas & Cream protein powder (Plant Based Protein).
How do you stay on track with your routine and keep motivated?
I just try to take it one day at a time and express gratitude daily for the ability to move and partake in fitness activities. It truly is a blessing. I have learned to listen to my body more as I have aged. This means I have embrace rest and deload days more naturally and feel more empowered and nourished by taking them.
What are your three favourite exercises?
Running, Tennis, Gymnastics…can I say 4? Deadlifting too lol!
Finally, do you have a motivational quote that you’d like to share?
Never ever, ever give up!
Every passion has it’s destiny