Interview with a PT client

A lot of folks out there have distinct challenges and trepidation when it comes to actually choosing a personal trainer for themselves.  Part of this is not knowing what it is exactly that you are buying.  The service is said to cover certain aspects of physical fitness, in light of your personal conditioning goals, but then again, specific bullet points are touted by other trainers looking to cash in on your working coin, also.

In light of this challenge that many folks face, I thought to actually interview one of my personal training clients.  Even though I work out of Helsinki, Finland, I have performed services as a personal trainer in five countries to date.  My approach is wide and diverse, focusing on strengthening the individual from head to toe: the fascia, the tendons, the bone cartilage, the blood profile and the skeletal muscles.

Take a look and read how a gentleman by the name of Greg Thomson experienced my personal training approach at Helsinki’s Voimapuoti Gym, while he was in Finland, visiting from Atlanta, Ga. in his native USA.

BodyMike personal training with client (1)

1. What was your physical condition prior to you starting out with fitness training?

  • I was very overweight and out of shape. Stress due to work and other life events distracted me from a regular exercise program. Even then, the exercise programs of the past were boring and did not capture my full interest.

2. What were your goals when you started out with your training and what are your goals now?

  • My goals then and now are the same – to lose weight and stay fit. I am not interested in body building, although I do realize that strength training is an important part of any exercise program. I am also interested in combat sports.

3. How have you trained thus far in pursuit of reaching your fitness goals, and how have you fared to date?

  • I have found a combat sports gym near my home that has a unique program of training with a focus on combat sports. The routine is mentally engaging as well as physically challenging. Since I started training, I have lost over 50 pounds and have much higher energy levels.

BodyMike personal training with client (3)

4. What have been the main pratfalls and obstacles standing in the way of reaching your fitness goals?

  • I neglect the nutritional side of a holistic fitness program. I need to do a better job of eating properly and portion control. The world is flooded with every kind of program you can imagine. So for someone who does not know much about nutrition it can be overwhelming. Additionally, I travel frequently for work. So I need a nutrition program that I can follow when I am not at home.

5. How has your training in Finland with me been vs. your training back in the USA with Michael Moon?

  • Michael Moon has developed an exercise program that has changed my life. The combination of basic exercise with the purpose of training for combat sports has captured my attention and kept me motivated. When I train with Michael Moon it is in a group setting. The training with Michael Majalahti was one-on-one and more focused on my specific workout. The individual attention to detail on each movement made a difference in terms of getting more out of each exercise. It was also a treat to workout with a 3 time European champion. The professional wrestler persona gave me some extra motivation that pushed me further.

BodyMike personal training with client (2)

6. Can you sum up in your own words how you have felt my training approach and how it has affected your conditioning?

  • The training approach combines several elements that I really appreciate and enjoy. The technical explanation of each exercise and the inclusion of body chemistry makes the objective clear. The personal attention on each rep of each set ensures that I am getting the most out of my training. Finally, the professional wrestler persona is fun but also motivating. The combination of all these elements makes an intense workout very meaningful.

7. What can you take home to the USA from my training to better help you reach your ultimate fitness goals?

  • The nutritional advice is excellent. I need simple solutions that are easy for someone like me to follow at home and on the road. Also, the strength training tips – watching the speed, pausing and posing, partials to totally exhaust the muscle – will help me take my workouts to the next level.

8. The floor is yours for anything you would like to say or add…

  • It was a real thrill to spend time with you. You are very knowledgeable on all aspects of training. The mental and physical roadblocks that we discussed and how to overcome them was great. When combined with the nutritional advice I feel that I have leveled up and am looking forward to the next phase of my physical training. Hope we can do it again!


Personal Training PhD

As many of you possibly already know, I am also a personal trainer in addition to being a rock musician, pro wrestler, voice-over speaker and artist.  A jack of many trades, indeed!  The Good Lord blessed me with several talents, and thereby I am able to parlay my knowledge and aptitude across many waters, so to speak.

For 12-years now, I have been a personal trainer.  My oldest client has been 85-years of age and my youngest client has been 14-years old.  All across the proverbial board, I have trained folks from all walks of life, from beauty queens competing in Miss-What-Have-You pageants to athletes to ordinary folks both male and female.  Interestingly enough, the majority of my clients have been women, as I guess the ladies feel more at home with a man in charge!  But alas, that is A-OK with me!


Miss Estonia Kristina Karjalainen is one of the known celebrities that I have trained.

Nonetheless, now, here in 2016, I decided to take my personal training aptitude and expertise to the next level.  I wanted to up the proverbial ante and really immerse myself in the field, in order to offer a more comprehensive whole to my clientele, especially in light of the total deluge of personal training services these days, many of which should not even exist if the truth be told.  There is a definitive difference in understanding physiology and muscular function vs. taking a said course on the matter and just going by what theory has taught you.

I have lived through a 22-year pro wrestling career full of all kinds of injuries and physical setbacks.  I have learned to navigate through the murky waters of limitations and pain, due to the realities suffered in my chosen sport.  In so saying, I understand the body better than most.  It’s an intuitive kind of knowledge that comes through personal experience and application of varied training and reparation principles, when working through and around injuries.  Thereby, I have a more comprehensive understanding of human physiology that I can use to my benefit, and for the benefit of others.


(Left to right) Yours Truly, Harri Kokkonen, Ivo Gonzalez

This past weekend, I ventured out to Hamina, Finland, along with my personal training comrade Ivo Gonzalez, to get my PhD in personal training with a man that is known all around the Baltics as a guru for strength training, powerlifting, weightlifting and bodybuilding.  This man is named Harri Kokkonen.  He is the owner of SKIP Nutrition Finland (SKIP is the oldest sports supplement manufacturer in all of Europe, a pharmaceutical grade line of the highest market quality available today, which I am proud to be sponsored by), Gorilla Wear Finland (since 1982, straight out of the USA, my personal gym gear of choice and also my sponsor) and Voimapuoti Gym in Helsinki and Hamina, Finland.

Michael Majalahti personal trainer

I am a Gorilla Wear sponsored athlete, baby!  The best training gear on the market. (photo: Jarmo Katila –

Ivo and I went to Harri to fine-tune our knowledge of the nitty-gritty details that make all of the difference in the world, when it comes to targeting each specific muscle to the maximum, taking into consideration the nuances and idiosyncrasies that either make or break any given lifting technique.  I am two days removed from that merciless immersion into personal training, and let me tell you, my nervous system has yet to recover from the muscular overload that Harri put us through!  These are 100% guaranteed techniques, when performed stringently and properly, that will absolutely develop the body beyond prior limitations either imagined or real!

The angle of one’s wrists… the line of movement in relation to the targeted muscle… the implications of the supported core muscles in all movements… time under tension… all of these bullet points and more were covered by Harri, as he passed on his vast array of knowledge and expertise to us.

personal trainers

Men’s Physique Competitor (left) and 3-time European pro wrestling champion (right) at your service, ladies and gentlemen!

I feel that this past weekend was a major boon personally to my applied knowledge of physiology and the human body, as they pertain to muscular development and total fitness and conditioning.  I can honestly say, that I am a better personal trainer, having already applied my learned knowledge with a client yesterday, than I was prior to this weekend.

I will be starting my own personal training business this month, which will be launched shortly, where I will apply the lessons learned in my time in pro wrestling, integrated with traditional weight training, bodyweight conditioning and cross-training.  Keep your peepers peeled for that!

Ivo Gonzalez, who has a vast amount of experience in competitive athletics and is a men’s fitness physique competitor, and myself, being a 22-year pro wrestling veteran with coaching experience worldwide, have begun working as the official personal training duo for Voimapuoti Gym in Helsinki, as of this month.  Voimapuoti is a traditional weight training gym, not a health club.  Voimapuoti’s fundamental offering is found in free weights, a variety of different barbells, powerlifting apparatus, and traditional back-to-basics weight training equipment, because let’s face it… a real, strong, powerful body is made by application of fundamental truths that are based on free weights and body control.  We sell results, not pipe dreams.

Voimapuoti Gym personal training Helsinki

Strong for real or just for show?

For years and years now, I have often wondered about the different reasons as to why people train and hit the gym.  Nowadays, with the prevalence of YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and all manner of other social media, people more often than not just want to show off for others.  It’s become an age of vanity over substance, and I’d like to digress for a moment here.


Healthy self-esteem or vanity complex?  It’s pretty individual, but YOU know.

There used to be what folks termed your “15 minutes of fame”, which was a once-in-a-lifetime slot for the average person, if they’d ever achieve such a platform to be noted at least a single time in their lives publicly before the masses for whatever made them special.  It used to take a hell of a lot of talent to get on television to begin with.  Of course, nowadays, with all the reality TV formats out there, all of that has gone out the window.  Talent ain’t what it used to be, folks!

The same mindset can easily be seen in the populace these days, where lots of people are going to the gym simply to be able to walk around in skin-tight clothes or little to no clothes, in order to strut their stuff.  Now, I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong in being proud of your achievements and “if you’ve got it, flaunt it”, but these days, there is something extra that transcends that simple train of thought: the self-aggrandizing worship of self and vanity to only stroke the ego.  Ergo, we have an influx of people implementing everything from steroids to human growth hormone to silicon to Botox to Synthol to Lord knows what into their bodies to “get the extra edge” or to make up for that which they have not.


“Getting on the juice” can get you extra strong… it can also get you “ripped” in a different sense, and not the one you were expecting.

I personally cannot understand this mindless mire of vanity that so many folks are caught up in.  When simply talking steroids, the muscles can easily become stronger than their supporting tendons and membranes, and then you are in for a world of snap, crackle and pop.  A world of hurt!  Pecs snapping, bones breaking, biceps popping.  Nature never meant for anyone to exceed their natural limits.  Go beyond, and there will always be a price to pay.

I recall working in construction back in the day as a strapping young lad.  I had been working out in the gym since the age of 15, and at about the age of 20, I found myself installing Gyproc inner roofing boards with a friend.  These boards were about 3-by-1 meter in size and weighed a great deal, being made of plaster and all.  I thought to myself then and there, as I pressed the board above my head so that my friend could screw it into the roof, that “Damn, these things are freaking hard to hold up here!  Why am I running out of gas, since I’ve been lifting weights for five years?”.

Well, the answer, as I’ve come to truly understand afterwards, is that real strength and show strength are two different things.  Show muscle and functional muscle are as far apart as east is from the west.  That said, I have seen guys who can do 180kg on the bench press fail to execute five body weight push-ups between Olympic rings.  That says something.


Getting strong the natural way: looking for longevity and quality over vanity and quantity.

I strongly believe that real strength can only be built naturally, over a long period of time, generating and building a strong, supporting infrastructure of powerful tendons, membranes, bones and blood in addition to muscle.  There are no short-cuts to that kind of strength, and that kind of legitimate strength lends itself to overall health in latter years to boot!

So forget about enhancement drugs or unneeded cosmetic surgeries.  Put your time in over the course of several years in training and at the gym, and you will build the kind of body that will pay dividends for you in the long haul.  You can build muscle and size in every part and facet of your body with the right knowledge.  That kind of knowledge might cost you, as per a personal trainer or a course or such, but it’s an investment worth making.

Just remember, there are no shortcuts to the real thing.

Personal training in southern Finland

I’ve got some good news for the folks living in the southern, capital region of Finland!

Just this past week, I signed on with Fit Kunto in Hyvinkää as a personal trainer at their fitness club and gym.  I will be working at both of their locations (Uudenmaankatu 29 and Kankurinkatu 4-6) starting on Monday, January 25, 2016.


If you want diversity in your training and are looking to build a functionally strong body, spurred on by a motivational personal trainer, look into what I have to offer, with 27+ years of training experience myself and 12 years as a personal trainer. (photo: Pasi Murto)

In addition to Hyvinkää, I will still be operating as a trainer at both Voimapuoti Gym in the Pitäjänmäki suburb of Helsinki and at Fitnesse gym in the city of Klaukkala.

In my personal approach, I strongly espouse:

  • building strong tendons, joints and ligaments in addition to muscle
  • training the functional way: what good are pretty muscles if you cannot put them to use and do sustainable physical work with them?
  • understanding the changes that happen in folks past the age of 40, and thus, I am able to help you maintain optimal physical health and understanding past your youth
  • training as much as possible with free weights (dumbbells, barbells and kettlebells), utilizing multi-joint exercises to truly strengthen the body overall and build balance
  • a strong focus on coordination, proper technique and discipline
  • uncovering the proper mental facilities and psychology to attain your ends goal
Kristina Karjalainen v-bar rows

Working as a personal trainer for Miss Estonia 2013, Kristina Karjalainen

Take it from someone who has lived the body culture and fitness lifestyle since their mid-teens.  With over 27 years of training experience, and as a personal trainer for 12 years now, I have trained folks from Finland to Denmark to Japan and a few places in between.  I have trained with some of the top athletes in the world over my life, taking in their knowledge along the way, integrating it into my own.  I’ve arguably got a lot to offer.

Take a look at the following video that I made, along with a top personal trainer from Sweden, that showcases my diverse and multi-faceted approach to training:

If you are looking for something new, and not the typical, run-of-the-mill kind of personal training, hit me up and let’s start you on the road to a new, never-before-experienced YOU!