By Richard Ahern -
Founder and CEO of Unchained Muscle
My name is Richard Ahern, the founder of the motivational gym clothing brand Unchained Muscle. I created Unchained Muscle to MOTIVATE, INSPIRE and bring you unique gym clothing so you can train hard in style! Let’s face it, gym clothing is pretty damn boring, brands with dull (and crappy) little logos with no real story behind them seem to dominate this industry. It’s time to wear something that has a REAL story and message behind it and something that brings a little excitement to the gym and the playing field….This is Unchained Muscle!
First, a little bit about me…...So, at the age of 16 I really had no motivation to pick a weight up, the heaviest thing I picked up was my Xbox controller! I loved gaming, I would game all day and all night, pretty much non-stop, it wasn’t healthy to say the least! I hardly had time to eat and looked pale and weak. My family worried that I was wasting away and was addicted to gaming. So, after much persuasion my gran convinced me to go to the gym for a taster session. She paid my gym membership and ever since that first session I became hooked to the weights rather than a television screen!
Fitness and bodybuilding taught me a lot, it taught me that life isn’t easy, and it will be painful but with hard work, grit and determination you can achieve anything. I applied this to my studies at school and came out with some top grades and got offered a place at one of world’s top universities. I was offered a place at Imperial College London to read Biochemistry which was ranked no.2 in the world at the time.
So, some might say I was ‘all set’ so to speak, to get a good degree, good job and good pay etc etc. But I knew from the start something was wrong, I always suffered from O.C.D. and anxiety from a young age, but my anxiety grew worse and worse as that date that I moved down to London drew closer.
It was 2015 and I started university, man I hated it! A strong resentment built inside me towards the entire system, I knew I never wanted to be stuck in a lab or working for someone else. I wanted to be the boss and I wanted to do something centred around fitness, bodybuilding and my body.
So, without hesitation, I left. Within a few weeks I packed my bags and went home. A lot of people thought I was stupid, to give up such an academic opportunity and risk it all, but I never and still don’t have any regrets. A quote from a Papa Roach song stuck in my head, “I’ve got to follow my heart, no matter how far, I’ve got to roll the dice, never look back and never think twice.” That’s what I did.
I worked for my uncle for a few months as an electrician whilst I dieted harder and trained harder than I ever did before and got into the best shape of my life. Come early 2016, I did my first few photoshoots, got some amazing shots of my body and I found the confidence to present myself to the world on the internet. I created a website, YouTube channel and a Facebook page dedicated to my fitness modelling and online training.
Later in that year, I decided to create my own t-shirt with something motivational on to promote my fitness movement. UNCHAINED MUSCLE WAS BORN, AND THE REST IS HISTORY!
Unchained Muscle is about breaking the chains that hold you back, whatever they may be! It can be anything and we all have something that holds us back and it can mean something different to everyone. Unchained Muscle is about motivating you to break those negative chains.
To me personally, Unchained Muscle is obviously about fitness and bodybuilding but also mental health. I used to suffer with bad anxiety, but I beat it, I beat it with fitness, bodybuilding and I beat it by creating Unchained Muscle. I also know many friends and family who suffer from mental health problems such as depression and anxiety and that's why a percentage on certain items I sell is donated to the mental health charity Mind.
Creating Unchained Muscle in itself has given me an unparalleled sense of purpose and motivation that has crushed any mental health demons I had. I believe so strongly in the message that it brings, I know it can do the same for so many others around the world. If Unchained Muscle and its message of positivity can give you just a fraction of the motivation it’s given me in creating it……..you’ll be unstoppable.
Richard Ahern -
Founder and CEO of
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