Many consider Mike as the Studio SWEAT instructor who consolidates road riding, body & mind integration, and playlists, with songs that seem everlasting into his cycling classes. But, what else is there to know about Master Mike?
Intellectual conversations seem to be a lost art these days, but after sitting down with Trainer Mike and getting to know his inner workings and philosophies, my faith in humanity has been restored.
So…who is Mike?
1. What is your idea of perfect bliss?
Although I value simplicity and contentment, one idea of perfect bliss comes to mind. I love puffing from a tightly wrapped Cuban cigar, paired up with a shimmering martini. With a martini and cigar, you’re never alone and after time, they can eliminate the shabby preoccupations of the day and transport you to a blissful state. It’s my nostalgic passport to a better era, when films were called movies and all that was listened to was hot jazz. When engaging in the Martini and Cigar culture, I take salvation-for at least an hour or two.
2. What historical figure do you most identify with?
Out of all historical figures that bestowed us with their theories, triumphs and scientific discoveries, I admire Socrates and his method of cross-examination, that allows people to discover themselves and what their opinions amount to. His inquiry-based thinking method is one I strive to utilize by aggressively questioning all that’s around me, to reach the level of knowledge I desire (rather than taking short cuts). By testing my own hypotheses and focusing my attention on the role of preconceptions, I can probe deeper into my own hidden knowledge.
3.Which superpower would you have?
No brainer, invisibility. I have always valued solitude and anonymity so having the ability to be untouched or unseen is one I’d sign up for. As an adult, disappearing isn’t so easy. Maintaining an image and visibility is essential to business and many correlate successes with those who stand above the crowd. Although I am just as extroverted as I am introverted, some things are meant to be kept personal; I enjoy keeping my private details out of the public eye because invisibility truly is a superpower.
4. What’s your favorite music?
Everything jazz. Jazz defines a unique human, created in an environment fraught with adversity. Jazz is a universal language everyone can understand and feel differently about. Whether I’m listening to a band, or a solo virtuoso, I am always astonished by the individualistic expression every musician brings to the table. Additionally, jazz is a genre you can listen to at all hours of the day since it doesn’t interfere with thinking… so if I’m going to have background noise, it might as well be Hawkins laying it down on that tenor saxophone.
5. What words/phrases do you overuse?
If I had a dollar for every time I say “Frontload” I could hire someone to say it for me. Frontloading is defined as preparing an individual ahead of time, to allow them to access prior knowledge, compare, contrast, and engage in critical thinking. In my spinning classes, I implement the term to prepare sweaters for what’s ahead so that they know how much intensity they need to bring and how to allocate their energy. Frontloading prevents riders from over or under-exerting, as well as it interrupts the natural tendency of holding back!
6. Describe the workout you’ve designed that you love the most.
Instead of designing a particular workout, I focus more on the overarching theme and purpose of every class I teach. For every indoor cycling session, I play 8-10 songs within an hour that are perfectly matched to the right drill and to the proper workout. Cycling is all about building a base through a prolonged effort. By utilizing songs that are “long winded”, I’m training my sweaters to become addicted to the discomfort.
7. Which talent would you most like to have?
I want to become a master of the guitar. Executing a stunning flamenco guitar solo, finger strumming, and being “that guy” who always shows up with an acoustic guitar with a few songs at hand has always been a dream, but just like most novice guitar players, I lack the patience to learn. With vast experience in playing other instruments, I’m sure one day I could take on this marvelous instrument but for now, I’ll be listening to lots of guitar music to develop a better ear and to allow me to hear what I want to play, refine my ideal sound, and gain intuition to learn!
8. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be and why?
I wish I listened to my mother and valued the importance of protecting my eyes and skin from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation! I’m certain everyone has heard horror stories a million times over, but I question whether people truly grasp the seriousness of how dangerous sun exposure really is. Alongside overeating, smoking, and lack of exercise, over-exposure to the sun affects the body silently, and over time, provides people with a false sense of security. My advice is, don’t fall victim to the sun — protect yourself!