Back in early 2006, I woke up feeling ten years older than I should have felt (I was 32 at the time). I had absolutely no muscle tone and started growing a built-in inner tube for my trips to the beach. It was at that moment, looking down at my expanding waistline with one bloodshot eye, I decided a change was in order. There was only one problem: I was at a complete loss as to where to start. As a kid, I was on my bike for hours a day but never had any real interest in sports or exercise.
Motivation was hard to come by when it came to exercise. Then I remembered taking Tae Kwon Do as a teenager and, while it was new and tough for me at the time, I had some fond memories of it and the exercise it supplied. Knowing that you could burn a ton of calories in a Martial Arts class while learning to defend yourself at the same time sounded like a win-win to me. So, Martial Arts became the path I needed to take to get back in shape.
Within about a week I started classes in Shaolin Kempo at a local dojo. I couldn't do ten sit-ups to save my life, but that would soon change. Cutting unnecessary things out of my diet (I did keep some chocolate in there; I'm still human, afterall) and adding some things that were necessary helped maximize my transformation. Between that moderate change in nutrition and the instructors putting me through the paces, I was on my way. Did it work? Let me tell you, the simple act of starting an exercise program and watching what I ate helped me lose fat and gain lean muscle mass in a matter of months. I had lost 26 pounds in a matter of two months and it felt great. I felt great. I didn't want to stop, so I didn't. Oh, and about that inner tube? It fell off and floated out to sea never to return.
So here I am today in the fortunate position to help others reach their fitness goals. I do not consider physical fitness training a job or even a career:
It is my passion.
Outside of training, I love to cook and I keep music (mostly in the form of singing) as an integral part of my life. I also study Taijiquan as part of my training and a way to become more in touch with myself. mlaiuppafineart.weebly.com and mikewithamic.weebly.com are where I spend some of my play time :-). I also enjoy taking part in endurance races/obstacle courses with my son, as well as keeping all of my kids aware of their health.
- Certified Personal Trainer (National Academy of Sports Medicine)
- Corrective Exercise Science (National Academy of Sports Medicine)
- Weight Loss Specialist (National Academy of Sports Medicine)
- Fitness Nutrition Specialist (National Academy of Sports Medicine)
- 3rd Dan Black Belt in Shaolin Kempo Karate (Avon Kempo and Aikido Academy)
- Chen and Yang Style Taijiquan (primarily xué'shēng; secondarily lǎo'shī)