Mikey thank you for taking some time of your busy schedule to answer a few questions!
The first time we met was at the GymnasticBodies seminar in Denver back in May 2016. Since then you have had an amazing progress with your training. Could you tell us more about the system you use?
I am currently using the GymnasticBodies foundation, handstand, stretch, and movement courses. I also place a lot of emphasis into improving my mobility, which I believe helps me progress faster while improving my recovery time. In addition to being consistent with my training I am always working to improve the basics of GST which help provide greater strength in the long run. A method I use, which is inspired by GB Athlete Leo, is restarting foundation every now and then to refine previously mastered progressions. I have learned to appreciate the saying that Coach Sommer always says, “make haste slowly.”
It would be interesting if you could share more about your physical background. What was your starting base when you started implementing GymnasticBodies approach?
Before I started implementing gymnastic strength training into my training I was a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner/ competitor for 7 years. An injury to my knee kept me from training for a year and a half. I heard GymnasticBodies can help rehabilitate old injuries I was sold. Fast forward 9 months later and I am gained strength, improved my mobility, and become injury free.
Things look good in terms of your strength and health, but as far as I know you have had some bad times, which include injuries. How did you manage to recover and bulletproof yourself to your current fitness level?
In the past, I beat my body up to help me become a better athlete. I would always train for hours a day with no rest. This approach worked well until my body broke down. After sustaining a knee surgery that required major surgery, I was determined to start fixing my body. That is when I found GymnasticBodies. I made sure to perform each of the stretch series courses (front split, middle split, and thoracic bridge) into my weekly training schedule. A few exercises from the foundation courses have been a staple in my training, such as the Jefferson curl, and a collective group of single leg squat progressions known as the “knee series”.
You are a personal trainer, but you never stop learning and adapting your approach when you train with clients. You have some great success stories, too. What is your philosophy in fitness?
My approach to fitness has evolved so much over the years, and I’m sure it will only continue to evolve. In our profession, training clients is both a science and an art. I first heard this phrase from my mentor Dr. Kimberly McGee and it has stuck with me since. This means that there are two halves to exercise & fitness. The scientific side is implementing the proven methods to provide a solid foundation. The artistic side of fitness is expressing your passion in through any outlet you choose. This formula has been successful at finding success for me and many of my clients.
Being a personal trainer is more time consuming than a lot of people realize. When you find time to train and how often do you train?
My current training schedule includes 6 training days with one day of rest. I try to get my training in as early as possible, even if that means that I must wake up at 4:30am. On days that I have clients at 5am then I will train between clients or if I have a cancellation. I find the earlier I train, the less likely I am to skip my work out for the day.
Sometimes when people train on their own or even when they train with a PT they lack motivation. How you manage to keep them engaged and their moral high?
I believe the most important thing to do to keep my clients motivated is to help them visualize what their goals are and most importantly understand the commitment and time it will take to achieve their goals. Establishing this awareness will help clients stay focused even when their morals are low. Many of my clients have been with me for a very long time, and even though there are days where motivation absent, they always have their goals in sight which helps them push through to succeed. Also, my clients love learning new skills and seeing progress in general.