When it comes to role models, who do kids look up to the most? Superheroes! That’s right! Every child wants a Superhero for a dad, and healthy, active fathers fit the bill just nicely! (Besides, big guns are always a winner with the kids!) Take Fitmark Ambassador Mike Hildebrandt, for example. He’s a busy, working father of two, young children. Balancing it all is a challenge, but he’s proud to be a fit role model for his kids.
Being a Dad really drives me to do better at work, so that I can provide for my children and set an example for them that it is possible to make a career, fitness and family all work together.
What Was Mike Like As A Kid?
Scrawny! Mike enjoyed playing soccer as a kid and had a body built for speed and agility. But the other kids always teased him about his size. In spite of their bullying, he was an amazing soccer player. In fact, he was so good, he earned a two-year soccer scholarship to a junior college.
I firmly believe that taking control of your health is a tool that will change a person both physically and mentally for the better.
But during this time, something turned his head from the game and it was bodybuilding. Committed as he was to his soccer scholarship, the timing was all wrong. He couldn’t wait for the day when he could step into the gym and start building muscle. No one was going to call him ‘scrawny’ again! He told us:
I was always very athletic; however, I wanted to learn more about how I could have control over my body, and so I earned a BS in Exercise Science from Boise State University and used that knowledge to drive my physique to new levels!
A Superhero Is Born!
The pursuit of fitness and pushing himself to the next level overtook Mike’s passion for soccer. As his knowledge grew about the body and he worked to develop hard-earned muscle, his body began to take on a whole new shape. The kind of shape you see on stage, which was exactly where Mike was headed. He told us:
I believe that a fitness journey truly is a journey and that you have to accept that it will take time to accomplish goals. You need to follow a program that you can reasonably see yourself doing years down the road and not just as a quick fix to get in shape. Setbacks and mistakes will happen; however, your success depends on your ability to consistently give your best efforts both in and out of the gym.
He Cuts a Fine Figure of a Man!
What Mike didn’t know at the time was that he was developing into the kind of role model that his kids could look up to, and the kind of personal trainer that his clients respect. He told us:
I love that I can help to empower others with the knowledge, hope and motivation to take control of the way they look and feel, and I love watching people transform into more than they ever thought possible.
Busy, Working, Fit Dad
Mike has a busy schedule managing four large health clubs in Treasure Valley, Idaho. His days are filled with personal training, traveling from gym to gym, and managing the overall operations of each of these four Axiom Fitness Clubs. He told us:
The position can be stressful and call for long days. I have to focus on making sure that I am organized with my tasks, so that I am able to fit in workouts and still make it home in time to spend quality time with my family.
Functionality, Convenience, The Right Gym Bag
Balancing everything and staying on track during a busy day, especially if you’re on the road, requires a well-packed bag. As a father, Mike loves his Envoy Backpack because, he told us:
I need convenience in my life to make my fitness goals, career and family life work together. I don’t have the time to pack several different bags each day and try to lug them around from club to club. My job requires me to visit several different facilities each day and present myself in a professional manner. I love that Fitmark has bags I can use that meet all my professional and fitness needs in one sleek bag. I can have my work laptop, gym clothes, and food for the day all with me for the unexpected situations that inevitably come up!
It’s The Kind Of Bag A Superdad Would Love!
On his days off when he’s out and about with the family, Mike will switch his Envoy Pack for another Fitmark Bag that’s a favorite with parents. It’s called Mason’s Bag. This tote also has ultimate functionality and a place to store everything, including your food and laptop. BUT it’s a baby bag with all kinds of pockets and extras that parents love. It’s Mike’s Dad Bag!
So what kind of exercises will make it to the list that Mike hands down to his kids?
Mike’s Top 3 Favorite Exercises
- Deadlifts – such a functional and effective exercise that it easily makes it to the top of my list. This exercise involves all your major muscle groups through multiple joints, which means that you will burn a lot of calories and see drastic benefits.
- Cables – I love doing cable work because of the added element of instability and the ability to work the resistance from several different angles. Working on cables can be a great way to switch up your boring workouts and hit your muscles with a whole different intensity.
- Stair Climber – I don’t know too many people that enjoy the stair climber and that is exactly why it makes it on my list of favorites. This machine challenges the cardiovascular system in a whole different way. When you really want to get lean, make this a part of your program.
Mike’s Top 3 Fit Tips
- Always include compound free weight movements as a staple in your routine.
- Work your lagging muscle parts at least 2x per week.
- Use HIIT training for effective and efficient cardio.
Find What You Love and Invest In It
Mike’s rigorous work schedule and training program proves that you don’t have to shy away from what you love, even if you’re a busy dad. Fitness and health are as much as a priority as anything else in your life. And as a dad, it’s super important that you can lead by example and show your kids how fun a healthy lifestyle really can be. Mike told us:
Find what you love and invest all that you have into making it grow!
And that includes your kids. It’s not just big guns that will win you Superhero status with your kids. It’s changing attitudes and leading by example.
Family Friendly Nutrition
Some kids love going to McDonald’s, but Mike’s kids love it when Daddy makes his favorite, healthy snack. He told us, “I really like to make yam fries!” Here’s what you do:
1) Cut up a sweet potato or yam into fry-like pieces
2) Place fries on a cookie sheet and cover with cooking spray
3) Sprinkle taco seasoning and sea salt on the fries
4) Bake for 15-25 minutes at 425 degrees and enjoy!
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!
It’s the simple things that really count and that’s what Father’s Day is all about. Taking time to appreciate who we are and how important we are to others, especially our kids. Being a Superdad is much more than having Superhero muscles; it’s having the muscle to back it up and live it every day, so your kids can follow in your footsteps. Mike says:
Always keep the big picture in mind. We live in a very fast-paced and impatient world that expects everything to happen yesterday. When it comes to fitness, family or life in general, you will need to spend a lot of time and focus on what you want to accomplish. I am convinced that nothing comes easy and the best things in life really are worth sacrificing for!
You can find Mike Hildebrandt online on Instagram @trainermike1 and at Axiom Fitness in Boise, Idaho.