Mighty Fitness and Ivan Leafa

When we first heard of Ivan Leafa, founder of Mighty Fitness, we jumped at the opportunity to hear him talk about his dream and his story. Not only is he running his own business, he’s also aiming for Gold at the next Olympics, a lead guitarist of a band, and serving a full time ministry in his church. He took time out of his busy schedule to talk Mighty Fitness, challenges, motivators and his long term goals and dreams. 

What is Mighty Fitness all about, and what makes it unique?

Mighty Fitness is all about helping people achieve their goals in health and also in life.

When I first started Mighty Fitness, my goal was to set a good example for fellow Pacific Islanders, and to be different from others in the industry. Motivated to break the stereotype of Pacific people, I’m inspired to push my clients, and myself, beyond a mediocre life.

We give our clients a personal service that builds a strong training relationship. We design workouts to suit the different needs that people have to get the best result. Our services include personal training sessions, private group sessions, boot camps, training classes and other work out programs.

What makes Mighty Fitness unique is that it’s God driven, which is a big part of why I believe it’s been so successful.

Showing a direct relationship between faith and health; Mighty Fitness is founded on 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, to offer people an integrated spirit, mind and body approach to living a healthy life. My focus is to spread the love of God by serving others, while leading them towards a wholesome lifestyle.

After a day of training with people, motivating them and giving the best I can – all the energy and self-motivation I have within me is just about spent. My own ability and strength only takes me so far, and so the key for me is to find motivation in Jesus Christ, who has brought me to where I am today.


What’s the best part of your job?

Seeing the change in people’s lives – seeing my clients fitter, faster, stronger, happier about themselves and more importantly, seeing them conquer obstacles they never thought possible.

The reason why it’s called personal training is because it really does get personal! Even though I’m younger than most of my clients, the value of our relationship is similar to that of a parent and child. Just like any parent who celebrates, encourages or gives tough love to their child – I do the same for my clients when they succeed or when they’re not at their best.


What’s been your biggest challenge and motivation so far?

Starting the business was definitely hard – I had no money, no idea of how to start or run a business and no way of getting clients.

I remember the first time I broke down – it was after I advertised a boot camp class. Even though I had prepared and advertised as best as I could… no one turned up. That whole day I sat in the gym thinking I should just find a normal nine to five job, and so I did, doing steel fixing and sorting out clothes. Thankfully I didn’t stay there long.

In spite of this, the biggest challenge is now. Although I have a great group of clients, and have an established a reputation within my community, bringing in new clients can be difficult.

Also, running a business can be exhausting… I’ve worked since 2009 with minimal holiday leave and unpaid sick days.

In saying all of that, I wouldn’t trade it for anything! It takes passion for the industry and a whole lot of faith to continue pushing further.

Above all, and as I’ve mentioned earlier, my greatest motivation is a never failing, everlasting and always positive… God! What I do, I do for Him!

Do you have any advice for young people wanting to get into the health and fitness industry?

My motto is, “A goal without action is just a dream”.

Without hard work and dedication, your goals will forever be a dream! You need to be a competitor against others and more importantly against yourself. Aim to better yourself every day, learn from every mistake, take on every opportunity and never be afraid to fail.


What does the future hold for you?

This year has a lot to offer and I’m excited to see it all unfold!

Apart from Mighty Fitness, I’m aiming to fight for Australia in the next Olympic Games as an amateur boxer. I’m lead and play lead guitarist for my band, Rhythm Republic. I do all of that while serving a full time ministry at my church – Faith City Church – where I serve in the Worship Team and run Faith and Fitness Services.

This verse is always a good reminder; ‘Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.’ – 1 Timothy 4:12


We’d like to thank Ivan for his time and for sharing his story. If you’d like to stay up-to-date with Mighty Fitness, or to make a booking for a free consultation, you can get in touch on Facebook or via email at ivan.trainer@hotmail.com. 


Arieta Tora Rika is a Tongan-Fijian Freelance Writer, Digital Communications Specialist, and Talanoa's Founder and Creative Director. Born in Darlinghurst in the late 80s, she spent most of her childhood in Fiji, New Zealand and Australia, and all of her teen years in Tonga. She now lives in Western Sydney with her husband Josese.