Mikhail is a VPT at Gymbox Old Street, and will be taking Saved By The Bell, and Gains classes at Gymbox Victoria and Old Street. "I raise the performance level of those around me" he says. We meet the "Big Fella".
Hi Mikhail! Can you describe yourself in five words?
Gregarious, eclectic , tenacious, meticulous, flawed.
What makes you unique as a VPT (Very Personal Trainer)?
What makes me unique as a VPT is my ability to raise the performance level of those around me. Also, my determination and dedication to succeed by dragging the best out of my clients. My clients are a reflection of my abilities as a trainer, so it's paramount I protect my reputation by ensuring they reach milestones.
And as a person?
People don't know very much about me... you only see the surface. Mystery makes life more exciting, no?
What do people not know about body building?
There's a hell of a lot of science behind bodybuilding, it's not just throwing weights around. Bringing nutritional science, mathematics, biology and genetics, blood flow and muscle tension, biomechanics together you can learn to manipulate your body's hormones to grow muscle and burn fat.
In what ways does being ‘built’ impact on how men feel about themselves?
It gives a insane amount of confidence, but it also demands respect. For me, personally, people treat me differently now, compared to my skinnier self. In public if someone doesn't know my name I'm generally referred as "Big Fella". Just knowing how hard you have to work to achieve a certain physique will spill over into every aspect of your life. Everything I am today I owe to those dumbbells you see stacked in every gym.
How does this also apply to women?
Women can obtain confidence and self belief through bodybuilding. For both men and women socially, there's a lot of pressure to look a certain way. I truly believe more women should lift and ditch cardio. It is so attractive coming from a male's point of view. However, some men find females who are strong intimidating – this just reflects their weakness as a man. Women benefit ten-fold from lifting and be involved in a process where they can sculpt their convex and concave curves, and be true to the potential that lays within.
Do you train the way you do for vanity, or for health? Which comes first?
To be honest, I started training for vanity – I wanted to look like the guys in fitness magazines. Learning I had to adopt a healthy lifestyle to achieve a certain aesthetic influenced later decisions. For me now, living a healthy lifestyle and walking what I speak/preach – and looking or having an desired aesthetic – comes hand in hand with my life, career and goals in life.
How does being in control of one’s body influence on the way you feel about yourself?
Being in control of my body makes me feel unstoppable.
You say you are a no gimmicks trainer – what can a new client expect from a session with you?
A new client can expect to be pushed to their limits – change takes place in discomfort. A lot of my clients have thrown up in sessions. I've recently banned the word "can't" with one of my girls. She's not allowed to say it when I ask her to do something. I regularly get sworn at by my clients, and get told they hate me! My sessions last 45 minutes for anabolic reasons, by 30 minutes most people want to stop, but I won't ever let them.
What have been your biggest achievement to date?
Growing into the person I am today, and overcoming the challenges in my life to date.
What are the secrets to getting lean, and staying lean?
There is no secret, to look lean you need muscle. Muscle is an active tissue – it burns more calories just existing, it burns fat around it, it generates heat, and continues to burn calories well after you've trained. It also looks better. Working hard, eating clean, sleep and recovery – and not giving up – are just some of the variables.
Want to train with Mikhail? Drop him an email right here.