Mike’s 2015 Goals

2015 goals in wood typeFirst and foremost, Happy New Year!

I hope you’re ready to make 2015 your best year ever, because I know I am.

You should know right off the bat I’m not a big New Year’s Resolution (NYR) guy. I think, by and large, they’re pretty much worthless and rarely supported by actionable items.

But in my old age, I also realize that people could do worse than setting a NYR – after all, at least they’re still dreaming about what they could be, or become, if they put their mind to it.

I much prefer setting goals, and then taking the next step by creating actionable items or mini-goals to help support the big goals.

And one of the best things you can do to help support yourself is to put your goals out there for people to hold you accountable for.

With that being said, I thought I’d take a big leap of faith and put a number of my goals out there for the world to see.

This isn’t an extensive list, but I hope you’ll find some value or insight into see a short list of my goals for 2015.

RTS Goals

Host Two Awesome Seminars

Even though I don’t enjoy the travel aspect of seminars, I love working with coaches and trainers in a seminar environment.

I think full immersion is one of the best ways to really dial in and learn about a topic, so it’s my goal this year to host two amazing seminars.

The first course is my Elite Athletic Development Seminar 2.0 with Joe Kenn, and then our 6th annual Midwest Performance Enhancement seminar.

EAD 707The seminar with Joe Kenn tends to be a bit more advanced, but the fun here is having extended periods of time to really dive in and learn about a specific topic. Instead of 45-50 minutes, each block of time for Coach Kenn and I is between 90 minutes and two hours, so we have a ton of time to flesh out our thoughts and dig deeper into why we do certain things.

Last year’s course got rave reviews, and I fully expect this year to be even better.

The second course is our Midwest Performance Enhancement seminar, and it’s definitely a different feel. In this case, we do a day of Round Robin speaking that features six or seven different presenters, and then an entire day learning the methodology of one awesome coach.

Believe it or not, I’ve already got my speakers pretty well lined up for this year’s event, and I can tell you this much – it’s going to be awesome!

Write an Athletic Development Book

I’m sure this sounds like a pretty big goal, but in my opinion, I don’t think it will be too bad.

For a year or two now, I’ve had a rough draft/outline of this sitting on my computer, just waiting to be pulled together.

And I think now is finally the time to pull it off.

My goal is to get through the EADS 2.0 seminar first, and then write the book in April. If I use a proper outline and really focus on my writing, I should be able to have the content done in about a month.

And for the record, I’m doing this renegade style. I’ll have one of my people proof it, create the art work, and the whole thing will be self-published.

I don’t care if it sells one copy in a proper bookstore. My only goal is to help my thoughts on athletic development reach a broader audience.

Release my “Foundational Programming and Coaching” DVD Series

For at least the past two years, I’ve wanted to create a core product that every trainer could purchase to take their game to the next level

I wanted to create a product that I could’ve used early-on in my career. Something that covered how to write programs, how to coach various exercises, and that filled in a lot of knowledge gaps that people are left with.

Last year I recorded my Foundational Programming and Coach seminar while in Dublin, Ireland. It’s in the process of being edited now, and I hope to release it sometime in April of this year.

Re-Develop the RTS Website

The RTS website is the hub for everything that I do.

And while I just got a very nice re-design a couple years back, I already feel that I’ve outgrown it.

For you, the seasoned RTS veteran, I don’t know if a facelift will do a whole lot. Especially if you’ve been here a while, you already know your way around and know what I have to offer.

However, for new people who are interested in my thought process, there’s going to be a very streamlined approach once they sign-up for the newsletter. I hope this will get new trainers and coaches acclimated and up-to-speed, so that everyone here is on the same page going forward.

Create Great Content on a Weekly Basis

As always, I want to continue to give back and create great content for you on a weekly basis.

The obvious way to do that is to keep writing. But in 2015, I’d like to do a bit more than that.

1263397555_69905Firstly, I’d like to crank the podcast back up again. I’m not going to commit to any certain number of podcasts per month, but I definitely enjoyed this aspect of content creation in the past. There are a number of great coaches on my list that I want to interview, and I’d love to get my first one back up in early February.

Second, I’d like to start sending out two newsletters per week. The first will announce my “keystone” content for the week, and the second be a digest format with announcements, exercise of the week info, etc.

So as you can see, I’ve got some cool stuff lined up for RTS. Now let’s talk about IFAST.


Make Client Retention our #1 Focus

At our staff meeting the other day, I gave my staff a simple goal:

Whatever you see a big-box, commercial gym doing, just assume we are going to do the opposite.

For instance most box gyms love to brag about how many members they have. At IFAST, that’s the furthest thing from our mind.

Would we like to grow and get more members? Sure.

But our primary focus will always be on serving our current members to the best of our ability.

There are a handful of ways we’re going to do this, and I won’t detail all of them here. Suffice it say that we’re going to continue to invest more in our current clients (versus bringing in new ones), as our goal is always to keep our clients at IFAST for a lifetime.

Launch our Youth Athletic Development Program

Last Tuesday, Young Lance hosted IFAST’s first youth athletic development class.

young-athlete1This is something I’ve wanted to launch for years now. Young kids (younger than 14 at least), typically don’t do well in a semi-private environment.

It’s too structured, and they need more time and attention from a coach that a semi-private model provides.

In this case, we’ll take 8-10 kiddos and give them what they should be getting in PE class.

They’re going to work on basic movement skills like running, skipping, jumping and tumbling.

We’ll work on balance and coordination.

And of course, we’ll throw in athletic skills as well, such as kicking a soccer ball or throwing a football.

The goal here is to expose these kids to a wide range of sports and activities, and essentially, work as a piece of their long term athletic development program.

Done well, we’ll be creating happier, healthier children – something that’s hugely important to me.

Grow our Elite Athletic Development Program

royOver the past 4-5 years, I’ve transitioned myself away from general training and focused primarily on the elite athletes that we train at IFAST.

And I’d like to think we’ve been pretty darn successful. In the past two years we’ve trained professional athletes from virtually every major sport, and each year we’ve gotten better and better results.

However, we’ve done a lot of this via word of mouth, with no real marketing on our part.

This will change in 2015.

I never want to be one of these people that writes and waxes philosophical about training, but then never actually coaches anybody.

In fact, I often find that some of my best writing, speaking, and training insights come directly as a result of training my athletes.

So this year I’m going to make a very concerted effort to get more pros in our doors, and I’m excited to see what we can going forward.

Improve my Management Skills

Last but not least with regards to IFAST, I want to become a better manager for my staff.

If you’ve ever read the book The E-Myth, Michael Gerber talks about the three roles you assume whenever you own a business:

  1. The entrepreneur – the person that has the vision for the business.
  2. The manager – the person who oversees employees, markets the business, does the financial side, etc.
  3. The technician – the person who does the technical aspect of your business (in our case, training clients).

As you can imagine, when you start your own business, you take on all three roles. And trust me, this isn’t easy!

I love the entrepreneurial side of our business. I love brainstorming and thinking about what we can do to make IFAST the best possible gym.

And of course, I love the technical side of training, too. After all, training and coaching athletes is what originally drew me to this field, so I don’t imagine that will ever change.

So the third piece of that puzzle is where I struggle. While I don’t mind leading, managing doesn’t necessarily come naturally to me.

In fact, I really have to work at it.

However, in 2015 that will change. I’m reading more management books, and I’m going to make a concerted effort to guide, direct and when necessary, push my staff to help ensure we make 2015 their best year ever.

With both businesses covered, allow me to look inward for a moment and finish by sharing some of my personal goals with you.

MR Personal Goals

Re-Commit to Training

The last year has been a bit on the lackluster side with regards to my own training.

It really started back in the late summer of 2013. RTS was growing, my elite client base at IFAST was growing, and all in all, business was booming.

The only downside was it started to really cut into my training time.

My focus in 2015 with regards to my training has a couple big focuses, and it’s a step-by-step process.

Step #1A – Improve Movement Quality

This first one definitely isn’t exciting, but it’s something I always come back to and address on a yearly basis.

I feel like spending a block or two on movement quality not only keeps me moving and feeling good, but also lays the foundation for the rest of the training year.

Step #1B – Improve Conditioning

Along those same lines, I’m making it a goal this year to improve my conditioning as well.

Now look – no one is going to confuse me for an endurance athlete. I’m not a fan of running (too much cross country growing up), and I just enjoy the strength/power end of the spectrum too much.

That doesn’t mean I can’t have some modicum of conditioning, though. Especially when my daughter is going at approximately 100 mph all day every day, if I’m not in shape, I’m going to get dominated the rest of my adult life!

HRVA by-product of that is I’d like to improve my HRV score. I love using the BioForce HRV, as it’s quick, easy and keeps me accountable.

My goal is to get to an HRV in the mid-to-low 80’s. Again, no one is going to confuse me with a runner, cyclist or swimmer, but some foundational conditioning will help me in a lot of different ways.

Step #2 – Develop strength with athleticism

The second piece of this is finding new ways to challenge myself. Growing up, I played sports all through middle and high school.

And in college, I took that love of sports and participated in any and every intramural sport Ball State had to offer (yes, even wallyball).

From there, powerlifting was a natural progression. I got to merge my love of competition with my love for strength training, and the rest, as they say, is history.

My love for lifting hasn’t changed, but I do want to broaden my scope and focus a bit.

This year, I’d like to challenge myself by learning the Olympic lifts, and also improving my speed and athleticism.

I’m also a big believer in finding a coach to help you on your journey, so I’m going to solicit two very smart guys to help me out here: Grant “Rufus” Gardis for the O-lifts, and Ty Terrell to help me with my speed training.

Both of these guys are tireless workers at IFAST, so hopefully they don’t mind me bothering them for some coaching!

The side benefit here is that if I can improve my own performance in these areas, it’s going to make me a better coach as a result.

The bottom line is I’ve always enjoyed training, but now it’s time to find some new challenges to keep it fresh and fun going forward.

Enjoy More Down Time

Between two businesses, a wife and kiddos, it’s not always easy to unplug and just relax.

However, I know that when I’m committed to this kind of stuff, I’m not only chilled out and more relaxed, but I simply enjoy life a lot more, too.

As I noted last year, I began taking guitar lessons because I wanted to get back into playing music (I actually played piano for ~8 years growing up). The guitar always sounded fun to me, so my wife bought me a few lessons.

Unfortunately my first coach and I just weren’t a good fit. However, I’m back into it and I’ve got a guy I really like working with, so this is something I’m excited about for 2015.

And while it’s not necessarily “uplugging,” one thing that really gets my mind off work is great TV shows and/or movies.

Growing up, I used to love just laying around on a Saturday or Sunday and watching old movie re-runs. But as those of you with kids know, that’s just not in the cards these days!

Even if I just get to watch an episode of one good TV show like House of Cards or Homeland, and maybe a movie on the weekend, I’ll definitely be happy.

Continue to Make Family a Focus

If you’ve read anything I’ve posted since 2011 when we had Kendall, you know that family is always a huge focus for me.

And honestly, that hasn’t changed one iota since then. If anything, I’m even more dedicated now then I was then, especially when we added Kade to the mix.

Beyond traveling less and making a concerted effort to get home at a good time from work, I’ve also been shutting my phone off when I get home from work.

The goal here isn’t just to have time – but rather, to have more quality time where I’m totally dialed in and engaged.

Shutting my phone off until 7:30 or 8 pm when we get the kids in bed allows me to shut the rest of the world out for a bit, and just focus on and enjoy my family.


While this post may seem quite long, I can assure you it’s only scratching the surface of all my goals.

I wanted to give you a bit of “Inside Baseball,” without totally boring you to death along the way!

So now it’s your turn – would you be willing to share any of your goals for 2015?

And along those same lines, is there anything I can do to help you get there?

If so, please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!

All the best



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  1. Hi Mike, wow you’ve got a lot on your plate for this year.

    As for myself I would like to finish my Master’s degree in Kin. this year but am having trouble with my thesis due to it’s complicated nature involving veterans (something you may be able to help me with)

    I would also like to improve my posture, mobility as well as athletic performance.

    I’m in the process of trying to start my own home based personal training business which is providing me with enough challenges as well.

    This are my main goals, there are others as well but just want to get the meat and potatoes out here, thanks.

    • Jeff –

      Been there on the thesis – hopefully you can get things sorted. Not sure how I can help with veterans but let me know.

      I love the training goals, and I did home-based training for 3 years. Met some really great people, but the hours can be arduous 🙂

      Good luck!

  2. I am planning to create my own DVD product this year. Until now, I’ve only offered services. Maybe you could help by sharing a few quick and dirty tips or resources you’ve learned from producing yours? I bought your Assess and Correct DVDs. 🙂

    I also plan to focus on “correcting” my anterior pelvic tilt!

    Thanks for everything you do, Mike. And good luck with your big goals for 2015!

    • Sara –

      A few pieces of advice:

      1 – Have a solid, dialed in script. Then REHEARSE, especially if you aren’t 100% comfortable and dialed in with the material.

      2 – Make sure you have a quality videographer, and someone that will make you look professional.

      3 – Editing will take way longer than expected. Just sayin’….

      Good luck and let me know how it goes!

  3. Mike
    Thanks for posting this awesome article. My business goals include taking my business into multiple 6 figures, and maybe hit that magical 7th. My athletic goals are to go 11.2 in the 100m and 6.4 in the longjump. Personally, I would like to be a better husband by supporting my wife the best way I can in her personal, professional, and spiritual life. No kids yet… Amazingly to some, these goals are set to be achieved in the first 6 months of 2015! That’s all for now and I know we’ll do it together 😉 Keep up the great work Mike

    • Tanner – Looks like you’ve got a busy year ahead my man. Good luck and keep me posted on your progress!

  4. Enjoyed the post Mike. My goal is to train for a half marathon in May, while still giving adequate energy to home life and work. With an infant and a preschooler at home it’s a challenge.

    • Justin – Kiddos definitely take time management to a new level, right?

      Do your best to front load the day. If I can get my big stuff done in the morning, I’m more relaxed and engaged in the afternoon/evening with kids and family.

      Hope that helps!

  5. I think i found my goal in life. I want to master my skills as an athletic development coach. This is maybe over the top, but i truly feel this way. How can you become an expert in this feeld. Which research journals, books, site, seminars can you recommend me? I am a strength and conditioning coach for a division 1 basketball team in Belgium. Do you have information you can recommend me specific for basketball conditioning? Ones again thanks for all the products you have put on the market. You are one of my big mentors!

    • Jan –

      You need to start by refining your search a bit. What specific areas do you need to work on? Speed? Strength? Power? Conditioning? From there we can pare down a bit.

      I think for basketball specifically I’d use Lee Taft (for multi-directional speed and change of direction), as well as Joel Jamieson’s MMA conditioning book. It’s not “sport-specific” but it will give you an idea of how to properly program energy system training.

      Hope that helps a bit, and thanks for the kind words!

      • I realy would like some more information on in-season conditioning and strength training for team sports and more specific for basketball. I spend a lot of money on my education. I know the work of Joel Jamieson and Lee Taft. Alain Stein has nice products but i think it’s to commurcial. How do you plan the methods of Joel in the in-season. I have been thinking a lot about in-season conditioning. In my opinion the conditioning work has to be integrated in the basketball specific training sessions. Where you put every week a focus on maintaining a certain enery system. Like week 1 cardiac output (aerobic system), week 2 VO2max training ( i call it that way), like 1-2min high intensity drills with basketball drills, week 3 anaeroboc lactic system 20-40sec intervals, week 4 deload with focus on alactic system. I got this from the sport of soccer. I adjust it to basketball.We repeat this cycle through the season. For strength training i use R7 approach where i use 6 wave-cycles through the season. I read the article you had with the assistant strength and conditing coach of the Worriors. The way he works realy interested me.

        Thanks a lot for your awnser. I appreciate this a lot!!!

  6. Hi Mike,
    I’ve been loving your content and on that note am aiming to build a better aerobic window this year as I think I’ve become one of those anaerobically dominated athletes who could get a lot more from their aerobic system.
    Also trying to get my main lifts up to some more respectable standards.

  7. A decade back I wanted to do too many things, write books, learn coding, develop website on my own, read ‘supertraining’ in a week, get lean n big at same time in 4 weeks, learn dance, learn French, Spanish etc, learn cooking and and and…

    Now I just want to do 3 things: workout in morning for strength, become best in my field of job n dance in an accomplished manner. All the best Mike, to you n me…

    • I love it Gaurav! As long as you’re working towards something, you’re on the right track. Good luck!

  8. Mike, it is great to hear such a successful coach share on a down to earth basis. I am for the first time, specifically writing down my goals and moving toward reaching them. My past experience I just did stuff. I have a goals coach who is helping me to stay on track. I have am onboard with you. I don’t want to have more and more clients. I want to serve my current clients better, and increase the number of Hero clients I have. I define a Hero Client as someone who meets all of my pre qualifications and is dedicated. I will probably see you at EADs. My other business focus is to do clinics, I love to speak in front of small to large groups. My specialty is flexibility and mobility. My new niche market is CrossFit. I am the CrossFit Fixxer.
    David Egan, CSCS

  9. mike hello i am a huge fan, and first watched your built by science overview videos. i am having trouble with basic lifting rules that are preventing my 2015 goals- i would love your help. 1 when flexing abs to maintain neutral spine- do i loterally flex as hard as i can ( i feel like i am flexing too hard and it makes the rest of the lift poasible and my posture still moves because i cant feel because of focusing on a as hard as possible ab tensing). 2 i have gone through your site but nueteal grip when gripping grippers is lining knuckles to wrist to elbow, what about aligning the palm to neutral( thumb aligned to wrist, whoch fingers are over which part of the wrist? 3. how can i find neutral spine if my body is a bit mishapen… ex. nuetral neck is pin pointed with cheek bone over scapula. i know that it goes back of head, back of upper back and butt bone but i need micromanage that in more detail . thanks for reading, this is a huge help i appreciate your easy explanations as my disease has made learning become strenuous with little reward. Thanks, Big fan Andrew

    • Andrew –

      I’m not totally clear on a few of these but here goes…

      #1 – You’re not “flexing” per se. If your goal is to move heavy weights, exhale to get the ribs/pelvis into a good position. Then, while holding that position, inhale again and brace.

      #2 – I’m sorry, but I have no idea what you’re talking about here.

      #3 – Neutral is a zone, not a static position. Do whatever you can to improve alignment and posture, but don’t worry too much if it’s not 100% textbook perfect. Rarely is this going to happen in real life.

      Hope that helps!

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