Launch of The Transformation Training Program

This week marks the first week of perhaps the greatest training program I have offered at my training center.  This program consists of 4 intense days of strength training that I know will deliver outstanding results.

All participants have done a fantastic job this week attending all of their workouts and working very hard.  In addition to the 4 days of training I am also encouraging participants to walk 8000-10000 steps per day with the use of a pedometer.  This is especially important to participants with the goal of losing body fat.

The 6 am group is filled with 4 super participants.  I think 6 am is the best time of day to train if you can become accustomed to getting up early.  Our 7 am group has 2 really great guys that are a blast to work with.   A Drury Baseball player is part of the 7 am group, this guy is going to be an animal, Just sit back and watch!

This training program is designed to produce maximum results in minimum time. Total workout time for the week is about 2.5 hours (40 minutes per session) and is laser focused to provide maximum muscle recruitment to, build muscle, lose fat, and improve athletic performance.  A balanced approach to training is always the best approach and that is the approach we are taking.

Steps to Success:

  1. Attend all laser focused strength sessions.
  2. If your goal is loss of bodyfat walk 8000-10000 steps per day, every day.
  3. Track macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fats) in all foods consumed, resulting in a nutritional plan to meet achieve YOUR goal.

No magic potion, pills, exotic formulas, or fluff 🙂

Just Laser focused Strength Training, Movement, and Nutritional Basics.

Stay Strong,


P.S. If you have any questions about this Program and live in the Springfield area please email me at

Hey, please comment below if you have questions or would like to pick on me, Chris 🙂

Or Make fun of a guy this morning picking something up 🙂

Pricing of Fitness Training Services

It seems lately I have been getting quite a bit of inquiring about what I charge for my training services.  It appears that there are some “trainers” in the Springfield area charging very low rates (<25 dollars per session) for one on one training.  As a business owner with rent, insurance, utilities, and all the other costs of doing business, I cannot imagine training individuals at such a low rate.  As I was searching the Internet on this topic I found a great article by Seth Godin that illustrates my feelings on this topic.

Do you think a professional trainer can afford to train individuals at such a low rate and actually be “professional?”

I consider myself a professional and support my family by my training business.

I have at least as many years of education as most lawyers, doctors, and nurses and frankly I bet I have more experience in my field.

Would you expect a lawyer or doctor to charge very low rates?

If they did charge very low rates, wouldn’t you seriously question the qualifications of this “professional?”

Perhaps the problem really is that these very low training rates are being performed by unqualified individuals?

The industry is filled with trainers with no formal education, college degree, and or very little experience.

So in response to the cost of my services.

My services are going to be priced accordingly.  One on one training is my most expensive training program per session, but I offer small group training that is quite affordable and priced at a point that should meet the needs of many individuals.

If you are a fitness trainer with real knowledge, and experience you too deserve to be paid a “professional’s wage.”

My services are focused on the best training knowledge I have available through years of experience.  No, I cannot run a successful business charging low prices per session.  I can get you in the best shape of your life and to me that is more important than the cost of my programs.

By the way, we have a brand new Transformation Program starting Next Monday, which is very affordable.  I think most would find it to be very affordable and I guarantee you will transform your physique in matter of weeks.    Just show up:)


Changes at Build Muscle Lose Fat

Wow, I just finished watching my oldest sons first baseball practice.  Pretty cool, I wonder if he will find a love for baseball like I did.  I still think baseball is the greatest game on the planet.  I know the Springfield area is in love with the Orange ball, but in my opinion there is something special about baseball. 

I want to let you guys know there is going to be a HUGE transformation coming to this site and a launch of ………..

I do not want to get too specific yet, but lets just say it will not just be an information product but a coaching experience.

Our training book should be done in the next few weeks.  Along with this book. we are also launching a very cool, awesome, fantastic, cool, awesome, program to go with it.  Gosh, I have had too much caffeine today.  I digress….  This book is based on training that I know will transform your physique, it won’t be easy but nothing worth having is.   If you perform the core (not talking about abs :))routine in this book for 8 weeks you will have more muscle, and less fat.  You have my word on that!   I won’t make unheard of claims like 20 pounds of muscle in 60 days, which we all know or should know is not possible.

This strength routine is different than any program you have ever seen or tried.  Less than 3 hours of laser focused strength training per week that will transform your knowledge of training and your physical body, more muscle, less fat.  This program is a culmination of 25 years of training experience, my scientific research, and training clients from all demographics (over 20,000 sessions supervised).  Yes that is correct, 20,000 supervised sessions (1000 sessions per year for at least 20 years).  This program will save you thousands of dollars (hiring a trainer who may or may not know anything), and years of frustrated effort.  What is your time worth?

If you want to build muscle and lose fat, this program is for you.  No P90X stuff either.  Just real training based on what works.  No hype, no inflated claims, no smoke or mirrors, just results.  Results that real clients have experienced in my training center.  Again, it won’t be easy but if you want change this is the product that will get it done.

Well, I better go for today.

Tomorrow, not so much coffee:)

Stay Strong,





Birthday Lesson

My birthday was yesterday and Friday evening I had some problems come up that needed to be taken care of immediately.  I spent all evening Friday and into the morning early Saturday attempting to fix this problem.  On top of this problem, I had a ton of grading to do as I teach some online classes that were ending this weekend.   I found some folks that could fix this problem but I thought, “Heck I can fix it my self.”  So I worked at least 4 hours Friday and 4 hours Saturday morning with no success.  My wife kept saying, “Mike hire the pros and get it fixed so you can get on with grading papers and celebrating your birthday.” 

 Finally Saturday morning, I paid an expert 90 bucks to fix this problem and within 10 minutes the issue was resolved. 

Lesson: I should have hired the pros Friday evening and gotten this issue resolved quickly and efficiently.  Being cheap and stubborn often costs you much more in time and lost productivity. 

2nd lesson: was that I should have listened to my wife early.  She mentioned Friday evening to get someone on it and forget about it. 

Being cheap and stubborn is often just stupid.  I have a problem with being stubborn and feeling like I can figure things out.  The issue got resolved early Saturday morning but not after I had spent at least 8 hours on it and a ton of stress.

Gosh, I wish I would have hired the pros early Friday evening enabling me to get my work done late Friday evening and being able to enjoy the whole day Saturday (Birthday).

I guess it is sort of like hiring a fitness coach.  Yes, you MAY eventually figure out the best ways to train and diet to achieve your goal.  But, this process will require many, many years of frustration, lost time, and energy.  Hire an expert with many years of experience which will allow you to start your program with the most efficient methods and dramatically save you time and energy.  Unless you like wasting time and energy trying to figure it out 🙂

In my case, surely the 8 hours of time I spent was worth more that the 90 bucks I spent to get the issue fixed quickly.

That’s my Birthday Lesson.  I can tell you the next time I am hiring an expert and forgetting about it.  No stress and wasted time.

Stay Strong,




One Concept for Building Muscle and Losing Fat

As I sit in the coffee shop today day thinking about one piece of advice I could give to help with your success in transforming your physique.  I look back over the years of experimenting, reading, studying, dieting, competing, training clients, and everything that I have put into my work of finding the most efficient ways to Build Muscle and Lose Fat.  Achievement really comes down to ONE concept.

One concept will eventually lead you to success.

One concept that will allow you to Build Maximum Muscle.

One concept that will guarantee achievement of fat loss.

One concept that will lead you to victory in any field, especially in physique development.

One concept that will allow you to discover the best ways to exercise program and diet.

One concept that will set you apart from the crowd, even if today you are miles from your goal.

So what is that one concept?

As I look back, I realize I have tried about every training and diet plan imaginable.  Dieting, I have experimented with low carb, carb cycling, high carb, moderate carb, high protein, low fat, and on and on…  Training I have exercised using high frequency, low frequency, low volume, high volume, high repetitions, low repetition, and on and on…

So what is the answer?  What is the best method?  I know you guys want answers right? 🙂  We all want to know the one magic routine or method?   I know, I have been there and I still look. “Give me a strategy that will work forever or even just for a little while.”  Surely there is one best way to train and diet?  Or is there?  What is this one concept, that will allow you to transform your physique.

Drum Roll Please…….

Don’t Look 🙂

CONSISTENCY.  Is the one Concept that will propel you to your goal.  Without consistency in applying your methods you will never be able to determine if a method is working for you.  You must experiment at times with training and dieting to find the most efficient methods for your body and your goals.  This experimenting will probably take weeks of consistent execution to access the effectiveness.  For instance, I trained for 4 years doing high frequency training early in my career.  This was before any real science was available, and in fact we don’t have much today anyway.  I thought that the best way to train was to train 2 times per day, 6 days per week, and training each muscle group 3 times per week.  As I think back, I was always exhausted and making very little progress.  But, I was doing what I thought was best.

Then I met a competitor who encouraged me to train each muscle group once per week, cutting my training days to 4 days per week.  I did not believe this could be effective and tried to find some research for or against any method.  This led to a dead end as there was no real work in muscle recovery.  I went in the gym and gave this method a try for a month or so.  Like just 1 month was going to dramatically change my physique.  Back then I thought a month was a long time but now I see that a month is not near the time necessary to really assess the effectiveness.  So I only gave it about a month of effort and soon abandoned it to go back to my normal high frequency training (comfort).  Many now would call this type of training  “overtraining.” but I had never heard of overtraining.

I kept this high frequency training approach up a few more years and finally a friend encouraged me to give the one time per week approach another try.  This time I committed to 6 months of consistent effort to the new program.  Sure enough I did gain lean mass as evident by an increase in competition weight at the next show.  If only I had given this approach a consistent effort for a number of months before passing judgement the first time. However, the experience was very valuable in my development both physically and mentally.   I was so young with little experience and as I look back I realize I was drastically short circuiting my progress by such a high frequency, high volume, and unbalanced approach for at least 5 years.

I do believe higher frequency training can work and I see now that I was trying to do too many sets and too much total volume for it to be effective.  The same could be said about nutrition.  Though, I do believe a nutritional intervention can be assessed much quicker.

Give your best consistent effort to every training and dietary approach you attempt for a period of time.  When we are dealing with training you should probably give a program at least 3 months.  Do not change your program every week looking for something wrong with your current plan.  Be consistent and take measurements.  Eventually, the answers will come to you, but the time necessary is usually longer than you think.

One way to dramatically accelerate your progress is to get good coaching.  Hire a coach who has built their body naturally, if that is your goal.  Do not seek coaching from someone who has not walked the path you are on.

Stay Strong,


P.S. Even if you have the best training and nutritional strategies available, achievement will take Consistent effort for an extended period of time.


Deltoid Training For Maximum Muscle Leave No Doubt

BUILD MUSCLE Deltoid Training:

Caution Do This Workout Only If You Want to Add Muscle to Your Physique 🙂

I have the hardest time getting motivated to train shoulders and traps.  The current routine has them trained on their own day which does allow me to focus all my efforts on this stubborn muscle group.  Deltoids are a muscle group that I really do not feel directly during the workouts.  Even days later my deltoids are never really sore.  Generally I do not perform a lot of shoulder pressing for the shoulder training day.  I have found that if I perform shoulder presses along with chest pressing movements days later, my rotator cuffs start bothering me.  It appears the anterior deltoid is involved in most pressing movements so performing both chest and shoulder pressing within days of each other may be excessive.  On occasion, I will do a few sets of shoulder presses on shoulder day but it is usually at the end of my workout and quite light in resistance.

Most of my current shoulder routine involves lateral raises and variants of that movement.  I use to add in some posterior deltoid work on shoulder training day but have since eliminated that or cut it back to a few sets of very light weight.  I have found my posterior deltoids get a lot of stimulation during the rowing movements on back day.

Most Recent Workout:

Lateral Raises Dumbbells 35lbs x 12, 40 x 10, 45 x 8, 50 x 6, 45×8, 45 x6, 35 x15

Low Cable Lateral Raises of course 1 armed about 5 sets of 6-8

Life Fitness Lateral Raise Machine 80 lbs x 20,15,12


Barbell Shrugs  225 x 15, 275 x 8,8,8,6,225 x 10

Finished with some super high repetition dumbbell lateral raises

25 lbs x 30,30

Total workout time was about 30 minutes.

Each set taken very close to failure.  The high repetition sets allowed me to feel the target muscle group being stimulated.

Give this workout a try and by all means give yourself at least 7 days of recovery before training the deltoids again.

Train hard, be smart and have fun:)

Hey, don’t forget to vote in my poll.

Stay Strong,




Bicep and Tricep Training For Maximum Muscle

Everyone wants big, muscular arms.  I suppose I would fall into that category as well.  For years I have tried various split routines but perhaps my favorite is to exercise both biceps and triceps during the same session.  The pump you get is awesome and the workout is just simply fun.  We are suppose to be having fun with this aren’t we?  Sometimes I think we forget that this is a recreation. 

As I stated in some earlier posts, I really like to perform a set of biceps followed by a set of triceps.  This gives ample recovery time between sets for each muscle group but can significantly increase the total volume per workout.  For example, I will perform a set of curls with about 30 seconds rest then perform a set of triceps, followed by 30 seconds rest, then back to the bicep exercise.  So if each set takes 20 seconds to complete with 30 seconds rest on either side of the set you get about 90 seconds rest per muscle group but are actually performing about a set a minute.  In 30 minutes you could probably perform about 25-30 sets and still be training with high intensity per muscle group for most of the workout.

Here was the workout from Tuesday:

A1 and A2 was performed as described above as well as B1 and B2, etc.

A 1. Preacher Curl Machine 5 sets of 5-8

A2. 1 Arm Pushdowns 5 sets of 5-8  (my elbows bother me a bit if I perform these with both arms so I usually perform them 1 armed)

B1. Standing Dumbbell Curls 5 sets of 8-12

B2. 2 Arm Dumbbell Extensions 5 sets of 20-30 (my right elbow bothers me a touch, resulting in the higher rep ranges, however I think the weight I used was 90lbs:))

C1. Seated Curl Machine (I think this was a Lifefitness Machine)  3 sets of 20-30.  By this point my arms were about to explode.

C2. Dip Machine (Lifefitness)  3 sets of 20 ish

As always every set was taken very close to failure.

I completed this workout in about 35 minutes.  Don’t waste time, get in and move.  My biceps and triceps now 2 days later still feel the effects of this intense session.

Stay Strong,


P.S. I would love to hear your comments below.  Maybe describe how you train arms.

P.S.S. Don’t forget to vote in our Muscle Gain Poll


Quadricep Training By Michael Thomas

My current training program is focused on maximum effort followed by complete recovery.  Since my bone and cartilage transplant surgery on my knee (2009) I have found that leg presses generally work well causing no irritation over the transplant site.  Additionally, the leg press keeps my back from becoming irritated or worse.  So I get after the leg press, and my choice is the Hammer Strength Linear Leg Press. 

Yesterday’s workout went well.

Leg Press (the last number represents the number of repetitions per set)(warm up) 6 plates x 10, 8 plates x 10, 10 plates x 10, 12 plates x 10, 14 plates x 10.

(working sets)  16 plates x 10, 18 plates x 10, 20 plates x 10, 22 plates x 8, 24 plates x 8, 26 plates x 8.

At this point during the workout I start dropping the resistance and increasing repetitions.

18 plates x 15, 14 plates x 15, 12 plates x 30, 12 plates x 30

Second Exercise

Hammer Strength V Squat

4 plates x 30 for 3 sets

Game Over:

I would suggest You performing a Squat or even a Lunge to supplement your leg training.  Unfortunately, my injuries do no allow me to do those exercises.  But, hey you have to choose exercises that are appropriate for you.  A great friend of mine often reminds me that, “There is more than one way to skin a cat!”

I know a number of my readers have injuries and I want to encourage you to FOCUS on what you can do.  Do not compare yourself to others you see in the gym who are injury or ailment free.  Focus on yourself and your progress.  Do the best you can with your situation.

I can remember initially after my bone and cartilage transplant surgery being in a wheel chair all day.  I could not walk or bear weight for 16 weeks and as you can imagine this was very difficult.  I developed a strength program for my upper body and the unaffected leg.  There was no way I was going to quit working out during this 16 week period.  My dad or wife would help me load weights or hand me dumbbells so I could lift.  There is no way to load plates or carry dumbbells hoping on one foot 🙂  Actually, I tried a couple times but it wasn’t cool.

Bottom line: Try to work around your injuries and do not give up.  Keep moving and working toward your goal.

Stay Strong,



Salena Trabuc Super Figure Girl

Today I wanted to introduce you guys to a superstar client I am working with this year.  Salena Trabuc competed last weekend and has made some tremendous gains the last 4 1/2 months.  Looking at the data we have collected she has lost over 25 pounds of bodyfat and gained 3-4 pounds of muscle.  Gaining lean mass is very difficult to do when a client is trying to achieve ultra low levels of body fat, but Salena has done just that.  Our focus has been on getting really strong in the weight room (for improving muscle mass) and keeping cardio to moderate levels with just enough to achieve our objective slowly.  Nothing drastic, slow steady decreases in bodyfat, to preserve every ounce of lean mass.

What makes Salena so great to work with is her “Coachability.” 

When we make changes nutritionally she knows exactly what to do and does it to a “T.”  For example, if we decided to go to 100 grams of carbohydrates on a given day she would go to her computer and type out a plan that would allow her to hit those totals, of course making sure she also consumes the precise numbers of protein and fats for our given plan.  She knows the foods she likes and the foods that fit into her busy schedule and makes it happen.  No excuses, no complaining she just does it.

BTW, she is a mom, wife, and a full time nurse (works nights), No excuses 🙂

Guys and gals this type of execution that will dramatically change YOUR physique and if you are willing to wait Ultimately Your Best Condition.  I wrote about this many times but tracking macronutrient intake is vital to your success.

Additionally, I write detailed workout programs for each client and make sure that they have it in excel.  She types in her excel document every set, every rep, and everything relevant to her workouts.  So its like I am actually there with her in the gym during all of her workouts.  Each week I can make changes to her strength workouts through this excel sheet.  I have every workout she has done logged in my database along with every bodyweight and macronutrient adjustment since we started training together.  This type of data allows a coach to have a total picture of what is happening, dramatically improving and accelerating our strategy to push her body to higher levels.  Oh, I didn’t mention the weekly pictures she sends me.  We have pictures of her physique at various bodyweights in the exact same conditions (lighting, etc.)

I can’t brag on Salena enough.  Salena, it has been a pleasure working with you and Trust Me:


Stay Tuned,

Stay Strong,


Build Muscle Poll

[poll id=”2″]

What a great spring we are having in Springfield.  I have a huge weekend planned with Mother’s Day, a Superstar client competing in bikini and attending another clients horse race.  No, I don’t train horses so don’t ask :).  Actually some of my clients are as tough as horses, but that is another story.

On to the meat of the post.

First off, this site is taking off as far as traffic and I want to THANK YOU guys big time for sending links to friends and family to read my stuff.  With this increased traffic I realize that I need your help.


What can I do to improve this site as far as content?

What topics would you like to see discussed?

Perhaps it is a fad in fitness or a nutritional intervention?  Anything to do with building muscle and losing fat we could discuss.

If you get a chance:

1.  Post in the comments, exactly what you would like to see added.  What could I do with this site to better serve you guys.

2. Complete the poll above.  The poll only has 4 options but we are not limited to 4.  If you would like to see additional options added let me know in the comments and I can add them.

THANK YOU guys for reading my entries and forwarding the information to others.

If you get time Please Fill Out The Poll and or Comment Below with Additional Considerations

Thank you guys so much 🙂