Interview: My Journey From a Fitness Trainer to Become an Entrepreneur

Tell me something about yourself.

My name is Pankaj Narsian, founder and director of Muscle Layman. Most of the time, the first question people ask is Pankaj what? But never mind, let’s stick to Pankaj and Muscle Layman. I work as a fitness educator, online trainer, and nutrition coach. And the best part of my job is, I help people build their true physical potential by setting a strong mindset using my experience and education.

What is your inspiration for fitness?

But before I dive into the why, how, and what I do, allow me to share how it started out. Born and brought up in the mysterious city of Mumbai, India. I grew up on Bollywood action flicks and cartoon shows. My favorites were He-man, Captain Planet, Batman, and many action heroes. I was also bit by the shirtless Salman Bhai bug for a while. So while the fascination for a great physique grew enormously during the ’90s. I was about to finish school & signed up at a local gym. Although my interest in bodybuilding remained limited to having a good-looking physique. The turning point in my life was when dad gave it a meaningful direction.

Share a few memorable moments.

Dad was the action hero in our family. And he always insisted on being tough and prepared for life due to uncertainty. He said physical training helps build mental strength and character, which results in higher self-confidence to handle various situations. When I received that advice, I couldn’t understand it completely. But I started putting my energy in a new direction. And this led to a stronger bond with physical training. 

I did not understand fitness sciences back then as I do now. But I read articles on everything about exercise, food, sleep, and supplements, etc. I had a dozen free training plans taken from 

I started to build my knowledge bank and guided friends on the gym floor. Thus it is safe to say that training and teaching in some form have always been my calling but I failed to recognize it at the beginning of my professional career. 

What was a turning point in your life? 

After college, I was lucky to land a job at one of the leading advertising agencies. I enjoyed the work but as the years passed by, with additional responsibilities I could hardly make time for my training and eat well. I mismanaged the work-life balance which came at a hefty price. 

I added a lot of extra non-productive (fat) weight and got diagnosed with bronchitis. But before things could worsen, I decided to take charge and get a formal education in fitness sciences. I did not know or understand anything, neither did I have a mentor to guide me. I took a leap of faith and enrolled at the first fitness institute that I walked into.

The education strengthened my belief that training is not just about looking good, but it’s performing your best. It’s about being healthy and feeling good overall. So I restarted with a fresh perspective which brought back my passion for training. I applied the education and knowledge in my own training and nutrition. I guided my colleagues on the office gym floor, just like I helped my friends during the college years. And soon I started getting recognized as the go-to guy for training advice in the office.  

But soon came a point where I began losing interest in the current job back then and started drifting towards my actual calling. Something inside me changed and I quit the marketing job. I changed my profession and took a plunge into the fitness industry as a trainer. My trainer job started at 1/10th of the salary compared to my previous job, but what the heck. I was finally getting into something I loved. Fast forward 9 years and here I am, as the founder of Muscle Layman.

How did Muscle Layman start?

Muscle Layman‘s birth came as a need of the hour moment. The entire world was shaken when COVID 19 took us by surprise and got the entire world to a standstill. I waited for 2 whole months but the situation kept getting worse. I was left with no choice but to innovate. And online training always fascinated me because one could work from anywhere and the entire world is your target market. Plus you enjoy the extra time and energy to do things that you actually care about. Example – Spending quality time with family, getting to enjoy at least one meal with your loved ones, etc.

So while the clock was ticking, there was no sign of any income. I wanted to explore Online training but no clue how to get started. I invested time in observing, learning, and putting the pieces together. I offered free training to some initial clients just to get some experience in front of the camera. And I knew no one would object to my trial and error as far as I wasn’t charging them anything. With every session came a set of learnings and I kept working day and night to have a platform that served clients in the best way possible. And that’s how it all started for me. 

Tell me something about Muscle Layman

A team of coaches using education, experience, and research-based evidence. To devise newer and time-proven methods, so you can cut the slack and win the war in your mind. Against all things that have stopped you from achieving your goals. 

Our aim is to build an ML community through which we can inspire people. To build greater strength, performance, confidence, and self-belief in clients. Build your true physical potential by creating a strong mental foundation.

Quick services brief.

Today, Muscle Layman offers 3 different services. 

Tribe Training:

A training format for clients who believe in the spirit of community. People who enjoy working together and helping others grow through sharing experiences. Research has shown that people are bound to stick around longer when they form a bond. So tribe raining has much more for the clients than simple training. 

Layman Nutrition Coaching:

A nutrition coaching service that takes you back to the basics. Instead of thinking out of a box, we teach you to think within the box with a fresh outlook. We coach you on how to adjust the foods you enjoy rather than removing them. And then binge eating when your motivation drops on the floor. It’s a lifestyle-enhancing coaching experience rather than a cookie-cutter plan.

DIM (do it myself) consult:

DIM is a service where you take the lead and do things at a self-paced convenience. We lay the entire groundwork on your training and nutrition. And you act on it throughout the week by yourself. Then check in with us for training corrections and food adjustments at the end of the week.

Where you are and where you aspire to be?

We are a strong team of 4 coaches with expertise in corrective exercise, sports-specific training, body transformation through lifestyle changes, training for special populations, and we serve a wide variety of clientele. 

We commit to bring our 100% to the table. And promise to go above and beyond to help you build your true physical potential using our collective knowledge and experience. As we expand, our vision is to become the best online coaching brand in India. 

How people can connect with you?

You can write to us by dropping an email on [email protected]. Or dm us on our Instagram handle @musclelayman. You also WhatsApp us if you want to get into a quick chat to know more +91 9819522842