Meet this week’s athlete of the Month – Mike

Eight months ago, Mike stumbled upon Pat’s Gym, when he was looking for a gym and his wife had heard good things about the gym. Mike was looking for a gym with a knowledgeable coach who could help him possibly avoid surgery. In addition, Mike was looking to develop his body more symmetrically; Mike mainly focused on his torso, as he is an avid biker. Mike is working with Pat Gilles through Online Personalized Coaching. This type of coaching has surprised Mike and has really helped him achieve his goals.

Mike had been an outdoor athlete for many years – mostly rock climbing and road/mountain biking. Mike had done a fair bit of bike touring mostly on a tandem bike with his wife (they moved from San Francisco to Madison on their tandem and later rode from Madison to New Orleans). 

Mike likes the fact that Pat, regardless of the sport, can help you prepare for it. For example, Mike takes advantage of Pat’s guidance to help prepare for some long alpine rock climbing again. And Pat’s focus on form has kept Mike healthy even with all his riding and climbing.

Working with Pat Gilles through Online Personalized Coaching, Mike likes the intensity and the variability; Mike says that he hasn’t repeated a workout in 8 months.  Over the past 8 months Mike has only missed a couple workouts – Mike looks forward to starting his day with physical intensity. The consistency has become a given in Mike’s day.

Mike had never worked with a trainer or coach this closely before. Mike likes that his efforts are tailored to his needs and meeting him where he is with respect to goals, injuries, etc. Online Personalized Coaching has been an amazing experience. Pat is knowledgeable and willing to share his guidance on form and function. 

Working with Pat Gilles has changed Mike’s life. The biggest impact has been that Mike has been able to avoid a planned/expected surgery. Mike approached Pat to join the gym in part because Mike had a shoulder injury that, he suspected, without better strength it would further deteriorate. Soon after Mike started to work out at Pat’s, he received a diagnosis that he would probably need surgery. Mike held off and found that strengthening has helped him avoid surgery. Pat has been super responsive to Mike’s ever-changing levels of pain and has helped to strengthen the shoulder without aggravating the injury. Mike is so much stronger now and is avoiding that surgery! 

Also, since working with Pat, Mike has learned about recovery. For example, Pat encourages all his athletes to get 8 hours sleep. Because of this advice, Mike has become really protective of his sleep. That might sound like a small thing, but this winter is the first in years where Mike didn’t get a cold. The extra sleep and a deeper focus on intentionality around eating and drinking alcohol has contributed to Mike’s overall health in positive ways. 

In the few opportunities Mike has had to be in the mountains this spring, he felt stronger than he did when he was in his 20’s.  A few weeks ago, Mike did a 14-hour round-trip climb of the Petit Grapon with a friend in Rocky Mountain National Park. Mike and his friend rolled out of their sleeping bags with only 2 hours of sleep and pushed hard through miles of snow, then completed a 1,000 foot 5.8-ish climb, and then a return through the snow. Feeling stronger than ever has rekindled Mike’s desire to have more high mountain adventures again – Mike can’t overstate how great that makes him feel