Top Line doesn't discriminate when it comes to who we work with just as long as they commit to working hard (even if they show up to the gym dressed like spiderman).
That is the case of Michael Mutter, a BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) athlete who joined Top Line in March of 2014.
A little over a year later, he's become a complete freak athlete.
Mike's story started off with a desire and need to mentally and physically feel stronger than all of his opponents. He wanted to add a new dimension to his training and lifestyle. He believed that this would not only improve his outcomes in BJJ but he also had a goal to eventually compete in MMA. He felt like his story was missing a piece and that piece was strength, conditioning, speed and nutrition coaching. To change his story, he was prepared to carve out the time and resources necessary for the process.
Consistency and tough as nails work ethic are the easiest ways to describe this man. Never has he showed up without being mentally and physically prepared to grind, his goal being to capture the Break Point FC grappling championship belt in the near future!
When you have goals of being the best at any sport, your strength and conditioning programming needs to be totally dialed in. Not only does it need to be tailored to your individual weaknesses as an athlete and your sport but it also needs to be the least possible amount of stress to your body while adding the most strength, speed and conditioning levels which is a simple concept (if your coach has actually been an athlete themselves). Not doing strength and conditioning would be a huge mistake for 99% of the athletes out there. Skill work alone will not help you win when going skill for skill with an opponent.
For example: If pitchers in baseball got stronger arms by only throwing, wouldn't their arms be stronger at the end of a 162 game season? No way! By the end of the season if they haven't already had tommy john surgery, their arms are hanging by a thread and the only thing that keeps them going is the adrenaline of the playoffs. Same thing for sprinters. Why was is that the track athletes always occupied the weight room at the Division 1 University of Milwaukee when I played baseball there in 2004-2006? Because the easiest way to get faster is to what? Get stronger!
We immediately attacked Mike's weaknesses which included mass amounts of speed work even though his chosen sport it BJJ. Speed always kills and Mike was slow. Real slow. Sorry brother.
With all of the skill work necessary to become a great grappler, mma fighter, soccer, football, baseball, volleyball or rugby player, it would be counter productive to over train when it comes to strength and conditioning. You would end up burning yourself out physically and mentally which would make the quality of your sport specific skill practice suffer. And since I've never heard of a squat-triangle hold or a bicep knockout in tactical sports, it's safe to say that your strength and conditioning needs to be effective and intelligently programmed so you can be fresh for skill work.
With Mike, you actually have to hold him back a bit and remind him to relax or he will end up overdoing it which is a good problem to have.
One year of constant skill training (always skill first) and 3 (sometimes 4) strength and conditioning sessions every week have landed Mike on the winner's podium multiple times.
Nutritionally Mike is also willing to do what it takes to make weight cuts while still maintaining his freakish levels of strength which is no easy feat. It also requires discipline and focus which was most likely acquired while Mike served time in the Army.
Seeing an athlete come in extremely hungry to succeed and earning that success by grinding week in and week out is a privilege to be a part of and a joy to watch. It's also motivating to see a husband and a father find the time to stay healthy, enjoy his passion while supporting his family and keeping everyone in the gym laughing at all times.
Mike is one of the many people that make Top Line what it is. A place to work on whatever problems, fears, challenges or worries you have. Everyone's wants, needs and goals are different and that's the fun part. Helping you reach whatever your definition of success is, is what makes our gym successful and has been the reason we've been around for 7 years now.
Only time will tell if Mike has what it takes to capture that belt, but if I had to judge his potential for success on his work ethic, I'd say his chances are pretty darn good.
Keep it up Mike, you're making us look good!