In January of 2014, James Fitzgerald personally reached out to Michael to become his head onsite coach at OPEX Fitness. Before working at OPEX, Michael held multiple positions in the strength and conditioning industry such as the head strength coach for a law enforcement academy, as well as an instructor for strength and conditioning at Northern Arizona University while studying exercise science. He eventually transferred to Arizona State University to study kinesiology in their top 10 nationally ranked program. While attending ASU, he became the only undergraduate instructor for anatomy and physiology cadaver labs. Currently, Michael is pursuing his graduate degree in kinesiology and will graduate in 2018.
Michael has an unwavering passion for continually diving deeper and deeper into the most complicated topics that pertain to fitness, ranging from functional anatomy to functional medicine. Because of this drive for higher order understanding, he has traveled extensively to increase his education beyond that of what academia teaches as the “truth”. The education he has taken on top of his academic studies range from courses like Functional Diagnostic Nutrition (FDN), Postural Restoration Institute (PRI), Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS), Select Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA), Functional Movement Screen (FMS), and Certified Functional Strength Coach (CFSC) to name a few. He has completed an apprenticeship with Altis, as well all three of EXOS’s Performance Mentorships on top of mentorships with leading experts in various fields.
Michael has personally conducted thousands of assessments and has written equally as many programs. As well, he has analyzed countless lab results for clients all over the world ranging from the professional athlete to the fitness enthusiast wanting to lose weight. He has also consulted with and trained tactical athletes at every level from local law enforcement to America’s various elite special forces. Because of his education, inside and out of academia, plus having logged more than 15,000 hours of coaching, he is the expert consultant for all things fitness and performance related for the doctors at the American Center for Natural Medicine in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Clients come to Michael when they have fought for the next level but keep coming up short. His philosophy towards coaching is relatively simple. He meets his clients where they are at and nudges them forward in their journey. Not only does he dial in every client’s training individually, but he also does so with their nutrition. Because no two clients have the same training age, biological age, injury history, training history, athletic background or even lifestyle, he believes no two clients should ever be coached the same. To accomplish such individualized approach to coaching, Michael draws upon his expertise in endocrinology, nutrition, biomechanics, anatomy, physiology and psychology to develop a perfectly tailored program to push anyone forward in their fitness journey.
When Michael is not doing what he is passionate about at OPEX, either coaching or consulting with clients from around the world, he finds himself enjoying a good beer (stouts for sure), a great book (he tries to read one per week), or attending various conferences on the areas of interest to him.