Growing up in Missouri, baseball was my passion. As a young man, I would practice for hours throwing into a homemade strike zone. Even at a young age, I questioned everything about sports training seeking to find the most productive training methods to improve my performance as a pitcher. It wasn’t until high school that I realized the performance improvements possible with strength training. I can remember after a couple of months of strength training, being able to jump much higher. Coaches during those years were discouraging weight training believing athletes could become less flexible due to having more muscle mass resulting in a decrease in performance. This didn’t lessen my curiosity about the possible benefits of weight training. I remember within a few months of strength training being able to dunk a basketball. This experience was the beginning of my journey to acquire knowledge of adaptations from strength training.
After high school, I worked as a fitness manager at our local YMCA, and during that time; I earned a degree in Physical Education and went on to teach in public schools. Following my teaching career, I opened a personal training facility that I have owned for the past 18 years. In 2011, I completed my Masters of Science degree in Kinesiology and completed a thesis focusing on resistance training frequency. The title of my thesis was: “Increasing Lean Mass and Strength: A Comparison of High-Frequency Strength Training vs. Low-Frequency Training.”
You may read that study at the following link.
In 2018 I completed my PhD again studying adaptations from resistance exercise, specifically studying the early timeline improvements in muscle mass and strength from a high volume and frequency strength training program.
You can find my second study published in the link below on the Early Timeline of Muscle Mass and Strength Improvements. In this study, we discovered that after just two weeks of resistance exercise advanced trainees improved significantly in lean mass and strength by following a novel high volume and frequency training program.
I have logged over 30,000 personal training sessions training clients from all populations. Even considering my academic and research agenda, my personal endeavors of competitive natural bodybuilding have taught me the most. Those endeavors taught me about discipline and doing the hard “thing.” Natural bodybuilding taught me about pushing my mind and body when everything in me wanted to quit. So many times in life we don’t know how close we are to achieving our goals the key is to keep moving forward and days when we are exhausted to find a way to do something toward achieving our goal even if our effort is less than stellar.
I participated in my first natural bodybuilding event in 1993. I am a WNBF natural Pro bodybuilder. My title as the 2005 NANBF Mr. USA is the accomplishment of which I am most proud. I have gone on to share my passion by promoting a natural bodybuilding show in Springfield, MO every November.
If you are interested in learning how to strength train to improve your health that is the mission of this website. I believe that strength training is the most powerful mode of exercise resulting in improvements in all body systems.
Michael Thomas, 2005 Mr. USA, PhD