Discover the evolution of workout finishers and metabolic training in this interview with Certified Turbulence Trainer, Mike Whitfield.
Craig Ballantyne: Mike, tell us a little about yourself. Who is the inventor of Workout Finishers?
My name is Mike Whitfield and I enjoy reading, writing and long walks on the beach… oops, wrong phone call. Seriously, I am from Acworth, GA, about 20 minutes north of Atlanta. I currently train people at an independent gym in Dallas, GA called “24/7 Freedom Fitness” and I run a fat loss blog at CrankTraining.com. That’s where I basically cut loose, be a little silly and sarcastic, and give fat loss advice. Some people may have heard about me through my first info product called “Workout Finishers” in which we launched a few weeks ago. What’s that? A shameless plug? Sure. www.workoutfinishers.com. Working on that project, I totally fell in love with info products and that is my passion. I absolutely love it when people I don’t even know email me, comment on the blog or post on facebook how much they love the finishers. It’s really, really cool.
CB: What got you into the fitness industry?
I have actually lost over 100 lbs myself (105 to be exact) and I fell in love with the way I felt and what it did for me, so that’s what got me wanting to share what can be done and what is possible. So, I started studying and got certified as a trainer and started out training people in their homes part time. I knew fitness was my passion, so I actually held 5 jobs at one time as I built my clientele and now I am a fitness trainer full time.
CB: What kind of clientele do you have?
My clientele is a mixture of stay-at-home Moms, every day “Joes” with 8-5 jobs and a few folks who work at home that want to lose fat but don’t want to live at the gym. Fat loss is my passion, so if someone wants to improve their golf game, I recommend someone else because fat loss, especially jump-starting it and breaking plateaus is my passion. I am a little old-school and train some 1-on-1 clients, but they have been great because they end up being my guinea pigs for my finishers experiments. I’ve had a few clients for years now. But I also do small group training, boot camps and web-coaching.
CB: Tell us a little bit about your philosophy
I’m a huge believer in consistency. When you’re consistent, you get results no matter what. Even when you have to tweak your nutrition, your workouts or your approach, as long as you stay consistent you will get results. That’s a big reason I like the “Never ever give up” phrase because it’s very powerful. That’s also why I like Turbulence Training style workouts. Even with a warm-up and intervals or finishers, you’re out the door in an hour or less 3-4 days a week. That means you don’t get burned out and you stick with it. All there is left to do is to tweak and adjust. I’m also a big believer in total body workouts or an upper-lower split using compound movements.
CB: What nutrition recommendations do you give your clients and campers?
Everyone is certainly different. I have recently discovered over the past year or so that implementing Brad Pilon’s Eat Stop Eat style of intermittent fasting while tackling one bad habit per week has worked really well. So if I have a client or camper that eats pancakes for breakfast, pizza for lunch and fried chicken for dinner, then we’ll switch out the pancakes for fruit or something like that and we stick with that for a week or so. That’s it. That’s the only change we do for that week. The following week we aim to change another habit. For some, Joel’s Cheat Your Way Thin works really well. Of course, I get some people that are ready to be gung-ho and jump in head first and they start right off the bat eating whole, natural foods with an occasional reward meal. I actually urge people to reward themselves because it’s a good mental break and prevents burn-out.
CB: What’s your favorite part of writing programs?
Picking out a Turbulence Training metabolic resistance training program for a template is like being a kid in a candy store. When I notice there is only about a week left in a program for myself or my clients and campers, I start getting excited. I like to modify TT workouts to a person’s fitness level, and my favorite part is writing their finishers, which is an alternative to intervals. That allows my creative side to really flow and my clients and campers love and hate them at the same time. But, it keeps them coming back, so that’s why I love them.
CB: How did you start using finishers in your programs?
Finishers are my specialty and I could talk finishers all day. I started experimenting with them about 3 years ago. They have really evolved since then. Some of my clients wanted alternatives to interval training, so I wrote them what I call “mini-workouts” to do at the end of their main program. It turns out they were loving them, and I noticed their bodies were changing a little faster. So I thought, “hhmmmm” and started to ask for feedback from all my clients about how they felt about them. It turns out they loved them. That’s when I thought, “It would be cool to put together a compilation of all these finishers into one resource”. But I put that idea on the shelf until a few months ago.
CB: So tell us a little about what being a Turbulence Trainer has done for your training style and business
For my training style, it has really helped my clients’ results because they are shorter, effective workouts that my clients can stick to. But what really helps is the bodyweight workouts since my campers don’t use any equipment. I just had a camper drop 12-1/2 lbs in 2 weeks just by staying consistent with the workouts, eating cleaner and fasting one day a week. For my business – my mindset has pulled a 180. If you really sit back and look at the number (1,000,000 transformations by 2020), it really opens your eyes. I wanted to be a part of that because it’s big and bold. Then at the TT Summit, it was like a switch went on and I realized how I could make a bigger impact with info products that helped people. So, my mindset now is “take action” especially after writing out my vision on the plane home.
CB: Can you tell us a little about your vision as a TT Trainer?
Well, I’m married and have a 9-month old boy named Champ. Yes, Champ. That’s how cool my wife is. My wife is currently a math teacher and I would like to give her the opportunity to be a stay-at-home Mom. I’m working towards being 95% online and 5% offline. I feel I can make a bigger impact on the world with info products, while at the same time, allow me to spend more time with my family. That is so exciting to me. That’s what gets me up at 4am to work towards that goal. Info products are hard work, but it is very gratifying knowing you made an impact on someone thousands of miles away.