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The year was 2005 and I had never truly committed to exercise. Before I had a family I didn’t feel the need to exercise, but by this time I’d already had two children and I was not happy with the way I looked. I was also jealous of all the other mothers who felt comfortable going to the gym. So I decided to join my first gym. But the only way I would feel comfortable in a gym, using any equipment other than the treadmill, would be with a trainer.
The first trainer I was assigned seemed good. He came across as knowledgeable, but he wasn’t always 100% committed to my session. He’d take phone calls during my session. He cancelled a lot. Eventually he was fired. By the time I was assigned a second trainer I was pregnant with my third child. He also seemed pretty knowledgeable, but he certainly didn’t practice what he preached, especially when it came to nutrition.
After my third child was 7 months old I joined a new gym and was assigned Michaelson as my personal trainer. From the beginning it was obvious that Michaelson definitely knew what he was talking about. He wasn’t into the cookie-cutter type of exercises that I’d seen a lot of other personal trainers doing with their clients. I trusted Michaelson’s instruction and guidance much more than I did my previous trainers. Michaelson was also very well versed in the nutritional aspects of health and fitness, in conjunction with exercise. After he branched out on his own, I followed Michaelson to his own fitness studio.
I did have a set back over a year ago, when I had surgery to reconstruct a torn ACL. I used the rehab time as an excuse to not exercise and watch my nutrition as well as I should have. I was horrified to discover I weighed the most I’d ever been, not being pregnant. Michaelson gave me the tools and encouragement to lose the weight and come back from my injury even stronger and fitter than before. I ended up losing almost 20 pounds and have never felt better about myself.
Even though I have now been with him for over four and a half years, Michaelson still encourages me to push myself. Michaelson has made me feel strong and proud to be able to do things I never thought I could. He has turned me into a competitive person in the gym. Michaelson has always challenged me to reach beyond what I think I can do. I’m always looking to get to the top of his leader-board. Prior to Michaelson going to the gym was a chore, but now I look forward to my workouts. Because of Michaelson, health and fitness has become an integral part of my lifestyle.
I worked out pretty regularly in college. But I was not very educated when it came to exercise. I pretty much followed my “bigger” college roommate around the gym and worked out like he did. Still, as a 6’1” guy weighing 150 lbs I did see some gains. I didn’t appreciate at the time though that I was lacking a fundamental understanding of exercise, muscles/movements, and nutrition.
Flash forward 15 years (which had been pretty exercise-free) and my doctor informed me that my good cholesterol numbers are too low. By now I weighted about 165 lbs. My doctor went on to explain that aerobic exercise would help. So I began jogging. Soon enough I was bored simply jogging so I went into the gym. I immediately found myself falling back into the same routines I remembered in college and didn’t feel like I was making good use of my time (or money!). My wife was already working out with Michaelson but I signed up with another trainer. I was immediately unimpressed and asked the owners if I could switch to Michaelson.
It wasn’t long after that when Michaelson left and opened I’m Core Fit. I’ve now been training with Michaelson for about two years and it was the best decision of my life. It changed my life. In fact, I’m very proud to say that I’m an original client of Michaelson’s at I’m Core Fit. Every workout with Michaelson is a challenge and I’m continually amazed that after two years he’s still creating entirely new workouts that test me body and mind. I now weigh about 180 lbs and the extra weight is all muscle. Michaelson’s total body approach to exercise has increased my “core” strength tremendously. I no longer suffer any lower back pain. I also have an appreciation for what I eat and when I eat. When I go into a traditional gym on my own I don’t even want to work out on the machines, knowing how much I can push myself with simply an exercise ball and my own body as resistance, for example.
The simple truth is that I don’t know what I’d do if I couldn’t work out with Michaelson. Nobody pushes me like him and the I’m Core Fit model is fantastic. The gains for me have been as much mental as they are physical. I can’t recall how many times Michaelson has pushed me forward by saying “It’s all in your head Marc”. My confidence has grown tremendously. I hold myself better, head high, shoulders back and that has helped me take on new challenges (e.g. work) outside of the gym.
I’d really like to find out just how many pushups and squats I’ve performed since joining I’m Core Fit. Probably a scary high number!
At 55 years old, knowing that my dad passed away at the age of 54, I made a determination that I was going to get myself into shape and lose some weight. Those were my exact goals! Having grown up tall and thin, I never dreamed I would ever have to try to lose weight, let alone be considered “obese” by the standard “height & weight” charts! Unfortunately, over the last 15 years or so I put on 35 to 40 extra pounds…mostly in my stomach area. With a very busy personal/business schedule including 50% out of town travel, I knew I needed some help to get started, but had no idea where or to whom to go. I knew I would not get what I needed by going to the local gym and running on the treadmill or other cardio machines.
I first heard about Michaelson Williams from my wife, who managed a Little Caesars pizza restaurant located next to the fitness center where Michaelson worked a few years earlier. So I went to visit Michaelson at I’m Core Fit for an introductory work out. After that I was ready to get started and serious about getting back in shape. That first day I could barely do a single push-up! I signed up for½ hour sessions 3 days a week …and boy were some of those early sessions BRUTAL! It took every bit of effort I could muster up to push through…but I was determined! I would never have continued on had I not had a financial commitment (paid in advance) and been so determined to succeed with my goals. Fortunately, I stuck it out and with Michaelson’s constant encouragement, insistence and ‘hard love’ he pushed me through the initial stage and kept me coming back each time for another “whoop’n”. As I progressed, I could steadily feel myself getting stronger. My first unanticipated accomplishment was the fact that I started getting up earlier in the morning ready to go…because I was getting a better night’s sleep!
Next Michaelson started his ‘boot camps’ three days a week, which meant that I was now working out 6 days a week (when I was in town). A main emphasis of the camp was on losing weight by eating properly in combination with the workouts. So I started an entirely new lifestyle in eating. It was at this stage that I started shedding pounds. Over the course of about 12 weeks I lost 30 pounds…while at the same time gaining muscle mass. It has been over 5 months and I have maintained my new weight and have no plans on going back where I was!
Michaelson has the type of personality that keeps you engaged and causes you to push yourself harder to reach beyond your known or planned limits. Michaelson gave me a compliment the other day that really meant a lot to me. He asked me how old I was… “Are you 51?” I responded with the correct age of 55. He proceeded to inform me that I was holding my own against some of his clients that were 10, 15 some 20 years younger! That meant a lot to me! Thanks to my determination and Michaelson’s training and encouragement my body feels better and stronger than I can ever remember it feeling!
Regards, Bob Hoover
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I have had the distinct pleasure of incorporating the I’m Core Fit training methods into my life over the previous 3 years, and my life has changed for the better as a result. I don’t look at my sessions with Michaelson as just “workouts” but as a progression and a change in lifestyle that will enable a stronger physical body and more confident mind. Learning how to treat my body has been an epiphany and I couldn’t be happier with the results. And it is not just the exercise portion. It is learning how to eat, and what not to eat and drink. Many times in our sessions the conversations have turned to healthy eating habits and without the eating changes I would never have had the results I wanted. You cannot truly get healthy and strong without both the exercise and proper diet. I would say it is just as or more important to learn how to eat correctly. And how to supplement your diet.
The physical parts of our workouts have concentrated on the core. I was 39 years old
when I met Michaelson and had a back issue that was running my life. Now I am 41, have a strong core band, and back problems are a thing of the past. I attribute this change to the methods I’ve learned from Michaelson and the I’m Core Fit way of training. Getting and keeping the body in shape starts from the core; the legs and the upper body should follow. Without a strong core there is no reason to sit there and do the usual bench press and curls that you see so many people do in the gym, without getting the results they want. That was me. I learned to lose weight but I did not know how to truly get strong and healthy. It is two
years later and I am the strongest and healthiest I’ve been since my college days. Every workout is focused, intense, and has purpose. And the things I learn can be brought forward for the rest of my life.
Mentally the workouts have been awakening as well. Being pushed to do things that you didn’t think were possible builds confidence. I have built on each little success and continue to reach milestones. The mental aspect is a large part of that. Try “sitting against the wall” with legs at 90 degrees for over 4 minutes. The brain goes to places you didn’t plan on. But learning to stay focused and in the moment can help the pain subside. And then when you get to that “time” that you hadn’t reached before the confidence raises a tick. Then next time it gets a little easier. That is one thing I’ve come to learn. In fitness you need to be patient and realize that with consistent work and better eating habits you will get the results you want. But it takes time. You cannot expect immediate results. I think this is why so many people fail to lose weight and keep it off. The process must be trusted and time must be given to allow the results to come.
I will take what I’ve learned and apply it for the rest of my life. Good training habits must be learned and it helps to learn from a pro. Someone who can assist with the right methods for YOU. Everyone is different and has different needs and speeds. A good trainer realizes that and will work at the pace that is right for you. And the best thing of all is the confidence and life improvements that I have seen outside of the training sessions.
A strong core has led to a golf game I never had. A sore back used to be the norm after golf rounds. Not anymore! And my game has improved as a result of a healthy core, stronger legs, and focused mind. I also enjoy running and since my legs are stronger than ever, running now comes easier as well. I can jump higher when playing beach volleyball. I have quickness and strength that did not exist a few years ago. Even though I am older, I look and feel younger than I did 5years ago. Life is good!
Jason Paul Grieco
At 43 years old, I found myself desperate, ready to give up all hope of ever losing the weight I had gained. I had reached 198 pounds and yo-yoed up and down from this weight for 10 years. Having an underactive thyroid didn’t help. Thinking I could just hit the gym using the information I read from the internet and my past experience of dance and working out, I joined the gym. I was there 6 days a week and working out 1 ½ to 2 hours a day. One hour of cardio and one hour of weight lifting. I did this for 1 month and lost a whopping 1lb. Desperate, I went to the manager of the gym and told him my struggle. He suggested I meet with a trainer.
My first experience working with a trainer was great, or so I thought. He pushed me to the point that I wanted to cry. I would go home and not be able to move for over an hour in fear of passing out or getting sick. In about 3 weeks I had lost 5lbs. I am by nature a strong person, so my trainer focused in on this. He used the philosophy of using only the large muscle group which in turn would cause me to burn more fat and get faster results!
So every time we worked out we pushed the weight up more and more. And about this time in our work outs I started to notice something with his training that bothered me. He was always looking around the gym, looking for his next client or someone to talk to. I would have to ask him if I was doing the lifts correctly. He was late starting my work-outs and ended 5 minutes early. I started to feel like “just a client.” Just a payment.
My last work out with him, we jumped right into dead lifts. I did 150 pound dead lifts 10 times, then jumped down and did 10 pushups. Ten more dead lifts and I felt a strange pull in my tail bone. He said it was nothing, not to worry about it; back to the pushups. When I got up to finish the dead lifts I couldn’t bend my knees, my legs turned to jelly. After having me do some stretches and try a different weight lifting exercise that I could not accomplish, he sent me home. I never heard from him again. Not even a phone call or e-mail to see how I was. I was laid up for over 3 months, having injured the #5 and #6 discs in my spine.
After doing some light therapy with a chiropractor and gaining back the whole 10 pounds I had finally lost, I wanted to get back in the gym. While leaving the gym I noticed the I’m Core Fit Studio sign across the parking lot 10 workouts for $10 each. I thought “What a great deal!” and went home and made the phone call. My first workout with Michaelson, I immediately noticed a difference in the training. Michaelson noticed even the small things like the position of my feet and the way I ran on my toes. The entire time I worked out Michaelson would walk around me and look at my form, correcting me as we worked. Not once did he look at the clock or look at the door as if he couldn’t wait for the session to be over.
Slowly, he helped my back to heal by strengthening my core. The few times I felt pain or a pull he immediately stopped me and either corrected something I was doing wrong or said we were done for the day; my body was giving signs of stress. After, Michaelson would call or e-mail to see how I was feeling, giving me some stretches to do while at home.
With my struggle of having underactive thyroid, Michaelson has helped me overcome major pitfalls in weight loss and my metabolism, having done research for me and encouraging me to do some as well. We have found different things that have helped my metabolism kick in and help me lose weight. When we would hit a wall in my weight loss, he found something else to help. Not once did he give up on me, but instead encouraged me to change my negative thinking to positive. He has helped and continues to help me from being so hard on myself and just be proud of what I have accomplished.
One and a half years later I have lost 35lbs, my back is stronger, and I feel better and more fit. Through this time Michaelson has never treated me as a “client.” Instead, he has become a friend, stepping into the trenches with me while keeping a very professional atmosphere. I believe Michaelson is a very rare trainer in the fact that he truly cares more about the person rather than the “client” (pay check).
Nothing but the BEST. That has been my lifelong motto. I have been training in the martial arts for 30 years and own a karate school in Raleigh named Best Karate. I train to be the best competitor, instructor, and official; I train my karate students to be the best that they can be.
When I started getting chronic injuries in karate years ago, I added weight-training to strengthen my muscles and joints. From there, I worked from 1998-2004 as a certified personal trainer and hired, supervised, and evaluated hundreds of other personal trainers for more than 40 gyms. So I know a little about people and trainers.
I met Michaelson in a gym in Raleigh in 2007. As a fellow martial artist with similar upbringings in Pennsylvania, we established an instant friendship. As I watched him with his clients and picked his brain about weight-training techniques and nutrition, I realized why he was the best in the gym. He has vast knowledge about the human body and he genuinely cares about the success of his clients.
In 2008, Michaelson wanted to leave the gym to start I’m Core Fit in a smaller setting. I invited him to use Best Karate’s space because his integrity, high standards of excellence, and knowledge matched my school’s philosophy. I’m Core Fit clients came in the morning and Best Karate students came in the afternoon. I observed his group classes, he observed mine. He had fiercely loyal clients who made wellness a priority in their busy lives. In 2009, I asked Michaelson to design a conditioning program for 45 members of the competitive karate team ages 5 to 55. Michaelson introduced core training for the group and made each drill fun and competitive. Despite the rigorous challenge, core training quickly became everyone’s favorite hour of the week.
When I got in a rut in my own training last year, I asked Michaelson to train me to reach a new level of fitness. I went to Michaelson as a client, not as his landlord. Michaelson is creative, attentive to details, and safety-minded. He holds everyone accountable for every move done correctly and completely. He designed several food plans for me. I notice the difference in my body composition in a month. Over six months of sustained training (something that Michaelson is adamant about), I lost 5% body fat. I still train with him regularly and he continues to challenge me. Nothing but the BEST.
If this book is anything like the way Michaelson trains his clients, you are in for an eye-opening experience.
Stephen Robinson, age 45
6th degree black belt and Chief Karate Instructor
Member, AAU-USA Karate Referee Council,
Member, World Karate Confederation Referee Council
Jason Dickens Story
Throughout my adult life I considered myself to be physically fit. I worked out regularly (4-5 days a week) in a gym (weights and cardio), ran several times a week, and was an avid hiker. I had also spent 13 years in the Marines Corps where I annually performed at a first class fitness level and successfully completed various military training evolutions. Even though I was disciplined and successful, I understood my current path did not lead me to lifelong wellness. First I had yet to heal completely from a recent ACL knee reconstructive surgery, even though I had been medically released. My stamina, dexterity (balance), and flexibility were all suboptimal. And my workout recovery period and injury rehabilitations were frustrating slow. By classic western medicine standards (BMI, heart rate, blood pressure etc.) however I was deemed in great health. Moreover, most professionals deemed my “minor” concerns as middle age issues. I knew better!!
My goals were to return my reconstructed knee to pre-surgery mobility, reach and maintain a fitness level equivalent of an athlete half my age, and develop a deeper understanding of holistic wellness (body, mind, and spirit). To achieve these goals my fitness approach had to change and change drastically. This is when Michaelson William entered into my life. Michaelson’s fitness philosophy simultaneously addressed all of my goals and most importantly cultivated my mental edge. Significant improvement in physical agility, balance and stamina are the hallmarks of the benefits I’ve realized.
Executing a perfect lower plank for over 12 minutes during I’m Core Fit “plank challenge” is one measure of how far I’ve advanced. Michaelson’s disciplined and dynamic training philosophy which emphasizes core fitness, small and large muscle control and mental development has been a life changing experience that has impacted all aspects of my life. I have a much deeper understanding of my personal biomechanics. I’ve developed a capacity to design my own comprehensive training regime including integration of regular rehabilitation and injury rehabilitation. And most importantly I’ve learned to appreciate that fitness is truly 95% mental and 5% physical. Thank you Michaelson for your guidance and instruction over the last few years! Until the next Everest….
Jason E. Dickens
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