About Muscle + Brawn

Learn about our mission, our methods, and our team.

Our Mission

I began my quest for Muscle and Brawn over three years ago, inspired by a personal injury. I was pushing myself to new limits at Crossfit, consistently lifting heavy weights and seeing impressive results with my physique. But, as I was attempting a personal record deadlift of 385 lbs, I felt a crunch in my lower back that turned out to be a bulging of my L4 and L5 vertebrae.

This injury sparked a newfound passion for biohacking and healing within me. I delved deep into the world of peptides, hormone optimization, and various other methods to enhance my health and wellness. And now, I am fully dedicated to helping others achieve their ultimate body and physical potential through expert coaching and cutting-edge knowledge.

At Muscle and Brawn, we have assembled a team of experienced coaches, doctors, and fitness gurus to help you reach your goals. Our team works together to create personalized plans tailored specifically to each individual, taking into account their unique needs and aspirations.

Our expertise lies in SARMs, peptides, bodybuilding, testosterone optimization, telehealth, and research chemicals. Our team of experts rigorously reviews brands and tests products to ensure that they are safe, effective, and meet the highest standards. We are dedicated to providing our clients with the most current and up-to-date information and resources available.

Whether your goal is to build muscle, lose fat, or simply improve your overall health and fitness, we are here to support you every step of the way. Our coaches are always available to answer any questions you may have, and provide guidance and encouragement along the way.

We believe that with the right knowledge, support, and tools, anyone can achieve their optimal body and physical potential. Contact us today to start your journey towards a stronger, healthier, and more confident you.

Muscle and Brawns' Founder

Steve Shaw is the original founder of Muscle and Brawn, an experienced powerlifter with over 31 years experience pumping iron.

During competition he’s recorded a 602.5lb squat, 672.5lb deadlift and a 382.5lb bench press. His mission with Muscle and Brawn was to share tips that have worked for him over the years – helping readers to build more muscle and get stronger.

In the last few years Steve has stepped down from Muscle and Brawn, in 2020 Nchip.org purchased muscleandbrawn.com to combine and awesome fitness site with an even greater editorial reach.

Read all of Steve’s articles

Our Coaching and Writing Team

Our team is made up of passionate and certified researchers, medical doctors in training and practice, bodybuilders and (aspiring) olympians.

Daniel Louwrens CPT BSc

Certified Personal Trainer, Nutritionist, Bodybuilder and Head Coach


Daniel Louwrens is a well-rounded fitness professional with a wealth of experience and expertise in the field. He is a graduate of the University of Western Cape, where he earned a BSc in Chemistry. This strong scientific background has equipped him with a unique perspective on the science behind fitness and nutrition, allowing him to provide his clients with accurate, evidence-based information on all aspects of health and wellness.

In addition to his academic credentials, Daniel is also a certified International Personal Trainer and Certified Nutritionist. These certifications demonstrate his commitment to providing high-quality, evidence-based fitness and nutrition advice, and they reflect his deep knowledge of the latest research, trends, and best practices in the field.

In addition to his work with individual clients, Daniel is also a highly skilled bodybuilder and head bodybuilding coach for Muscle and Brawn. He has a deep understanding of the demands of bodybuilding and the techniques and strategies needed to achieve optimal results. Whether working with amateur or professional bodybuilders, he provides a customized approach to training, nutrition, and recovery, ensuring that each client is able to achieve their unique goals.

Daniel’s combination of academic and professional credentials, combined with his years of experience in the fitness and bodybuilding world, make him a highly qualified and knowledgeable fitness expert. Whether you are looking to improve your overall health, build muscle, or reach your bodybuilding goals, he has the knowledge, skills, and expertise to help you succeed.

View all of Daniels articles

Brenton Barker

Sports Coach and Government Sports Program Coordinator in Japan and Australia


Brenton’s 20 years of experience working with professional athletes have provided him with a wealth of knowledge and expertise that he applies to help athletes reach their full potential. His work has not only benefited individual athletes, but also teams, leading them to victory in more than ten international events.

Brenton’s educational background has played a significant role in shaping his career. He holds a Degree in Sports Coaching, which has provided him with a deep understanding of the fundamental principles of sports training, including anatomy, physiology, nutrition, and psychology. This education has allowed Brenton to design and deliver effective training programs tailored to the unique needs of each athlete and team he works with.

In addition to his academic qualifications, Brenton has held several prominent positions throughout his career. He was the former Head Advisor to the Japanese Government Sports Institute, where he oversaw the development and implementation of training programs for Japan’s elite athletes. He was also the former Manager & Head Coach to Australia’s Governing Sporting Body, where he was responsible for overseeing the country’s top athletes’ training and development.

Brenton’s expertise is in a range of areas, including goal setting, leadership, internal and external motivation, technical analysis, and program design and delivery. He understands that each athlete has unique needs, and he works with them to identify their strengths and weaknesses, helping them set achievable goals and stay motivated throughout their training.

As a Dunlop International Advisory Board member since 2010, Brenton has been able to share his expertise with a global audience. He collaborates with other experts in the field to develop cutting-edge training methods and equipment that help athletes perform at their best.

Currently, Brenton consults with several professional athletes and sporting organizations, providing them with personalized training programs, leadership coaching, and technical analysis. His approach is highly individualized, taking into account each athlete’s unique needs and circumstances.

In conclusion, Brenton’s vast experience, educational background, and prominent positions have made him a highly sought-after expert in sports coaching. His expertise in goal setting, leadership, motivation, technical analysis, and program design and delivery, coupled with his individualized approach, have led to numerous victories for athletes and teams. His contributions to the field of sports coaching continue to make a significant impact, and he remains a valued member of the sports community.

Read all of Brentons articles

Aryan Bajaj

Journalist and Bodybuilder 

Aryan, a student pursuing a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications, aspires to establish a successful career as a writer and filmmaker. He also possesses a strong passion for fitness, which has led him to undertake a remarkable transformation through weight loss, resulting in a decline of over 30 kilograms.

His passion for fitness is not limited to weight loss, but encompasses a comprehensive approach that involves diverse physical activities, balanced nutrition, and bodybuilding. His exposure to fitness at a young age, due to the influence of his family who are fitness enthusiasts, has shaped his perspective on fitness and provides him with a unique and informed viewpoint.

Aryan endeavors to create compelling, informative, and visually appealing content that is grounded in thorough research and analysis. His objective is to provide a well-rounded perspective on fitness, incorporating a variety of physical activities, such as football, swimming, lifting, and cardio, to provide a comprehensive and engaging experience for his audience.

Read all of Aryans’ articles

Jimmy Diaz M.S.

IVF Research Scientist and Science Author


Jimmy is a native of Los Angeles, California who was raised and educated in the area. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of California, San Diego, and a Master of Science in Reproductive Clinical Science from Eastern Virginia Medical School. In his professional capacity, Jimmy works as a Clinical Scientist and is involved in the field of assisted reproductive technology.

Aside from his career, Jimmy has a diverse range of interests and hobbies. He is an accomplished freelance writer and ghostwriter, and has a background in athletics, having competed as a Division 1 athlete. He is also an avid sports enthusiast and enjoys a wide range of physical activities, including water sports such as surfing, swimming, wake surfing, and water skiing. He is also an enthusiast of winter sports, including skiing, and wind sports, such as kitesurfing.

Jimmy is known for his adventurous spirit and love of adrenaline-fueled activities. He is a self-proclaimed adrenaline junkie, and is constantly seeking new experiences that challenge him and get his heart racing. Each year, he sets a personal goal to try out a new sport, which has allowed him to expand his horizons and continually push the limits of his own abilities.

As a Clinical Scientist, Jimmy is a highly trained and knowledgeable professional who is dedicated to advancing the field of reproductive science. He has extensive experience working in a laboratory setting and has a deep understanding of the scientific principles and techniques involved in assisted reproductive technology. In addition, he has a strong commitment to providing the highest level of patient care and is dedicated to helping individuals and families build their families through the use of advanced reproductive technologies.

Jimmy’s passion for sports and outdoor activities is well known, and he is often seen enjoying the beauty and excitement of California’s diverse landscapes. He is an avid surfer and spends much of his free time exploring the Pacific Ocean and the many beaches that line the coast. He also enjoys skiing in the mountains and kitesurfing in the desert, where the wind and open space allow him to truly experience the thrill of the sport.

In addition to his work as a Clinical Scientist and his sports and outdoor pursuits, Jimmy is also an accomplished writer and ghostwriter. He has a talent for conveying complex ideas and scientific concepts in a clear and concise manner, and is often called upon to create content for scientific journals, academic papers, and other specialized publications.

In conclusion, Jimmy is a dynamic and well-rounded individual who is dedicated to his professional and personal pursuits. He is a dedicated Clinical Scientist and is passionate about advancing the field of reproductive science. At the same time, he is a thrill-seeker who enjoys taking on new challenges and pursuing his many interests and hobbies. Whether he is in the laboratory or out in the great outdoors, Jimmy is always seeking new experiences and pushing the limits of his own abilities.

Read all of Jimmys’ Articles

Dr. Mohammed Fouda MD

Neurosurgical Scholar and Researcher


Dr. Mohammed Fouda, MD is an exceptional neurosurgeon and medical expert who has dedicated years to his field through research and study. He graduated from the renowned School of Medicine at Ain Shams University in Egypt and went on to complete postdoctoral fellowships in neurosurgical oncology at Harvard University and Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Fouda has made significant contributions to the medical field, earning recognition as a medical reviewer for 9 prestigious neurosurgical oncology journals, and publishing over 15 peer-reviewed articles and two book chapters.

Dr. Fouda’s innovative thinking and exceptional skills as a neurosurgeon are well-known in the medical device industry. He has presented his groundbreaking research on intracranial tumors at various conferences, including the AANS/CNS pediatric neurosurgery annual meeting and the AANS annual meeting. He is considered a highly respected figure in the medical community, with a wealth of experience and expertise.

In addition to his professional achievements, Dr. Fouda also serves as our official medical reviewer for website content. His expertise and knowledge ensure that the information presented on our website is accurate and up-to-date, providing our audience with the most credible and trustworthy information possible. With Dr. Fouda’s expertise and guidance, we are confident in the quality of the content we provide.

Read all of Dr. Foudas Articles

Dr. Dimitar Marinov

Assist. Prof. Dr. Dimitar Marinov, MD, PhD

Professor, Doctor, and Researcher.


Dr. Marinov is a highly skilled and accomplished medical professional who is dedicated to promoting the principles of preventive medicine and healthy living. He graduated with honors from the Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria, and immediately pursued further study, earning a PhD in the field of nutrition. As a specialist in Nutrition and Dietetics, Dimitar has a deep understanding of the role of proper nutrition in maintaining good health and preventing chronic diseases.

In his role as a dietitian, Dimitar helps patients make positive changes to their lifestyles through dietary modifications and education on the importance of healthy eating habits. He is dedicated to improving the health of his patients and providing them with the tools they need to manage or avoid chronic diseases. He believes that preventing health problems is a critical aspect of medical care and is passionate about spreading this message to the next generation of medical professionals.

Dimitar’s extensive knowledge and experience in the field of nutrition has led him to take on a teaching role at the Medical University of Varna. He is dedicated to educating future doctors about the principles of preventive medicine and the role of nutrition in maintaining good health. Through his teaching, he is helping to shape the future of healthcare by promoting a proactive, preventative approach to medical care.

In addition to his work as a dietitian and teacher, Dimitar is also actively engaged in research and publication in the field of nutrition. He is dedicated to advancing the understanding of the relationship between diet and health and is constantly seeking new knowledge and techniques to improve the lives of his patients.

Dimitar’s commitment to preventive medicine and healthy living is evident in all that he does. He is a dedicated and compassionate healthcare professional who is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of his patients. His expertise in nutrition and dietetics, combined with his passion for teaching and research, make him a valuable asset to the medical community and a true advocate for the principles of preventive medicine.

In conclusion, Dimitar is a highly skilled and accomplished medical professional who is dedicated to promoting the principles of preventive medicine and healthy living. He is a passionate teacher, researcher, and healthcare provider who is dedicated to improving the lives of his patients and shaping the future of medical care. Whether he is working in the clinic, the classroom, or the laboratory, Dimitar is always striving to make a positive impact on the health and well-being of those he serves.

Read all of Dr. Marinovs Articles

Kathryn Giuffrida MPH

Master in Public Health

Kathryn, a well-educated professional with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master of Public Health in Environmental and Occupational Health, hails from the sunny state of Florida where she currently resides with her husband. Her passion for science and health led her to pursue a career in regulatory compliance within the specialty chemical industry. However, her expertise in digital marketing soon became evident, and she made a transition into the digital marketing world.

Kathryn has contributed to a range of websites and digital platforms, including Muscle and Brawn, where she leverages her knowledge in science and health to provide informative and engaging content for a wide audience. Her expertise in health and fitness has also been showcased on websites like Pay It Forward Fertility Foundation, The Unwinder, SHALE Magazine, and My Subscription Addiction.

In addition to her work in digital marketing, Kathryn is an accomplished swimmer, qualifying to compete in the 2020 TYR Pro Series. Her passion for fitness and health extends beyond her work and is a reflection of her commitment to leading a healthy and active lifestyle. When she is not behind the keyboard typing up new articles, she can be found at the pool, where she can be seen swimming year-round.

Kathryn’s passion for science and health, combined with her expertise in digital marketing, make her an asset to any platform looking to provide engaging and scientifically sound content to a diverse audience.

Read all of Kathryns articles

Kartik Kumar Rathi

Doctor in Training 

Kartik is a medical student with a passion for medicine that runs deep in his family. He’s fascinated by the anatomy and physiology of the human body, as well as the biochemical changes and disturbances that lead to pathology. To reflect this interest, Kartik writes research papers, articles, and blogs to raise awareness and provide answers for those seeking information.

In addition to writing, Kartik is also a founder of a social start-up and is passionate about teaching and public speaking. He enjoys sharing his knowledge, experiences, and insights to help others in any way possible.

Kartik has a strong desire to become a successful cardiologist in the future, believing in the importance of connecting with people on a deep and personal level. However, what sets him apart is his expertise in peptide research. He has a deep understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in peptide-related processes, making him a valuable asset in the medical field. Whether it’s through his writing, public speaking, or medical research, Kartik is dedicated to making a positive impact in the world of medicine.

Read all of Kartiks Articles

Michelle Hawksworth

Registered Dietition


Michelle Hawksworth, a South African native, is a dedicated professional in the field of health and wellness. She holds a Registered Dietitian (RD) certification and is a trained yoga teacher, combining her knowledge and expertise in nutrition and physical activity to help others lead healthy and fulfilling lives. Michelle has a deep passion for running, wellness, and supplements, and it shows through her work. She is constantly striving to educate herself on the latest research and advancements in these fields and uses her platform to share her knowledge with others.

Michelle is highly regarded for her ability to blend the traditional principles of nutrition and physical activity with a more holistic approach to health and wellness. She believes in the importance of a balanced diet, regular exercise, and mindfulness practices such as yoga, to achieve optimal health. Michelle also recognizes the role that supplements can play in supporting and enhancing physical performance and overall health, and she is dedicated to providing evidence-based information to her clients and followers.

In her work as a Registered Dietitian and yoga teacher, Michelle has helped countless individuals achieve their health and fitness goals. Her approach is personal and customized, taking into account each client’s unique needs, goals, and lifestyles. She is passionate about empowering her clients to take control of their health and to make sustainable changes that will positively impact their lives.

Michelle’s commitment to health and wellness is evident in all that she does, and she continues to inspire others through her work and dedication. Whether she’s working one-on-one with clients or sharing her knowledge and expertise on her platform, Michelle’s passion for running, wellness, and supplements is contagious, and she is making a positive impact on the lives of those she touches.

Read all of Michelles articles

Dr. Thomas Oconnor (1)

Dr. Thomas O’Connor MD

Doctor and Founder of Testosteronology


  • American Board of Internal Medicine Certification – Since 2005
  • Clinical Instructor/Teaching Physician-Department of Medicine-University of Connecticut School of Medicine
  • Physician Preceptor Clinical Longitudinal Immersion in the Community (CLIC)
  • Residency Training – University of Connecticut School of Medicine – 2005
  • Professional Medical Studies – New York Medical College – 2002
  • Pre Medical – Post Baccalaureate – Syracuse University

After many years of caring for thousands of men on testosterone and anabolic steroids Dr. Thomas O’Connor created Testosteronology, a sub-specialty of Internal Medicine. No other medical specialty offers comprehensive and personalized medical services for men on androgens; Testosteronology is distinct from Endocrinology and Urology. 

Testosteronology is more specific than Endocrinology, which deals with all hormones in men and women. And it is different from Urology, a surgical specialty that does not focus on the common medical aspects of how androgens effect men. These aspects include cardiovascular complications, adverse effects on red blood cell production (polycythemia), psychological side affects of androgens, and other internal medicine related conditions. 

Testosteronology offers men from all over the world a safe place where they are respected, listened to, and protected by the most cutting edge, progressive men’s heath physicians on earth.

Read all of Dr. O’Connors articles

Steve Theunissen

Certified Personal Trainer and Gym Owner

Relevant Experience

  • Gym owner
  • Certified Trainer

Steve Theunissen is a seasoned fitness professional with a passion for bodybuilding and health. His journey in the fitness world began when he was ten years old and was struck with glandular fever, which left him bedridden for months. As he watched his schoolmates run past during their physical education sessions, a comment from his doctor fueled his drive to build up his strength and confidence.

At the age of 15, Steve joined the first gym in his hometown of Rotorua, New Zealand, and developed a love for fitness. He combined his passion for fitness with his writing skills to produce audio fitness courses that he sold through the local TV Guide. This success led him to manage his own gym and become the first certified personal trainer in New Zealand with the opening of Ultimate Bodies One-on-One Fitness Studio.

In the late 1990s, Steve became passionate about combating childhood obesity and completed a teaching degree. He combined his love for fitness and literacy to educate middle school students about healthy nutrition and fitness. He started the country’s first Bootcamp for Kids, where he taught students about developing a fitness mindset.

Steve holds multiple certifications from the International Sports Sciences Association, including Certified Personal Trainer, Fitness Nutrition Certification, Specialist in Group Fitness and Guided Study, Strength and Conditioning Certification, Sports Nutrition Certification, and Transformation Specialist and Guided Study. These certifications, along with his extensive bodybuilding experience, have made him a well-rounded and knowledgeable fitness professional.

In addition to his work in the fitness industry, Steve also has a passion for history and has written over thirty books on great battles throughout history. He currently resides in Tauranga, New Zealand with his wife of 33 years, Shelley.

With over 25 years of experience in the fitness world, Steve Theunissen is a highly qualified and experienced bodybuilding coach and trainer. He has a BSc in Chemistry and multiple certifications from the International Sports Sciences Association, making him a knowledgeable and reliable resource for anyone seeking guidance on training, nutrition, recovery, and bodybuilding. Whether you’re just starting out on your fitness journey or are looking to take your training to the next level, Steve Theunissen is the ideal coach to help you reach your goals.

Read all of Steve’s articles

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