Trainer for the stars
Who uses Knight's training? Because of a relationship with a radio personality, Knight was introduced to several Detroit Red Wings players
Knight of Walled Lake was training Mojo, host of the Channel 955 radio program, "Mojo in the Morning." Mojo told an interested Red Wing Kris Draper about Art of Strength. Draper, who Knight called "the best athlete I've ever trained," brought 13 other Red Wings to Art of Strength.
"Just two weeks in, Kris is now hitting his 9-iron from 150 (yards) to 165," Knight joked. "He said, 'I don't care about hockey, I just care about my golf game.' "
Knight trained actor Chris Hemsworth for his role as the title character in the major motion picture Thor, released in last month.
Knight's relationship with Hemsworth began when Knight worked as an extra for the movie Red Dawn, released last March. Knight drew attention on the set for his physique and word spread about him as a physical trainer.
"The hair and makeup girls asked, 'Would you go to talk to Chris in the trailer?' and I talk to this guy for about half an hour," said Knight of his initial conversation with the Australian-born Hemsworth. "At the end he says, 'Mate, do you mind if I have my trainer from LA call you?' and I said sure."
"On December the 17th, (shooting for Red Dawn) ends and Chris looks at me and asks, 'What do you do for the holidays?' " Knight said. "(Hemsworth) says, 'What do you think about going to Australia? I want you to finish training me for the movie Thor.' "
Certified to train with kettlebells
What sets Knight apart? His workout doesn't need rows of treadmills or weight machines. Instead, kettlebells, black nylon ropes, tires and barbells line the gym walls.
All simple items when combined in a workout designed by Knight, leave even the most athletic of individuals gasping for breath in minutes.
"The kettlebell is probably one of the oldest, most powerful tools on the planet earth," Knight said. "You can see it in (historical) pictures and (modern) America doesn't justify it. It's the one tool — the heavier the weight, the safer it is. The only thing that compares to it is running a six minute mile or skiing uphill into a brisk wind."
While other gyms and trainers have worked with kettlebells, Knight is certified by trainer Anthony DiLuglio. Clients learn new things about the familiar tool.
A three-time All-American wrestler at the University of Michigan and a hopeful for the 2012 Olympic team, Josh Churella had some experience with kettlebells and circuit training. But before he starting working out at Art of Strength, he never realized the full potential of the kettlebell.
"I kind of knew what to expect, so what it was wasn't that eye opening," Churella said. "The most eye-opening experience was how bad my form was — he had a girl show me up. That was more eye opening, the proper form and technique required for the kettlebells."
'Been to hell and back'
A former basketball player at Orchard Lake St. Mary's Prepatory, Knight wasn't always a fiend in the weight room. He was fined in his freshman, sophomore and junior seasons for not lifting.
And while he started coaching and training after his basketball career, Knight got caught up in bad eating habits and poor lifestyle decisions, ending up more than 100 pounds overweight at 36-years-old.
But, Knight, now 50, conquered his problem. The transformation helps Knight connect with his clients, he said, turning the getting-into-shape experience into a more fun, fulfilling experience.
"How many trainers have been to hell and back?," Knight asked. "That's what most trainers will never have on me. So when I have a heavy person come into my gym, I show them my picture, and that's the first conversation we have. Unless you've been in those shoes emotionally, you have no idea what that person is going through."
College: Bachelor’s degree at University of Michigan
How did you get involved at Art of Strength West Bloomfield?
I started training with Mike Knight 14 years ago, six weeks after I had my second daughter. It was the best thing I could do for my mental strength and myself. Physical strength made me stronger and healthier in all aspects of my life. As a mom and a business owner I needed to be at the top of my game. Mike is the kind of person who takes 24/7 personal interest in every client’s well-being and success at every level of their life, not just the gym. I believe in Mike’s message because I have seen the results personally.
What is your favorite part about being a personal trainer?
Inspiring people to be better and see them succeed, just like I did. Also, passing along the knowledge and experience I gained.
What pushes you to push your clients to success?
I’ve been through the same struggle. I lost weight and fought the bad habits to develop a healthy lifestyle, so I know that I can help them to achieve their goal.
What would you consider your specialty at Art of Strength?
Helping clients develop confidence in their own ability to be successful while keeping it fun.
Cam is entering his third year of training at Art of Strength. He brings his experience to AOS after completing his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Wayne State University in Exercise and Sports Science. At Wayne State, he was a part of the start up for the Club Hockey team. Cam has been an athlete for much of his life starting with baseball at the age of 3. He also participated in hockey, football and basketball. Currently, Cam also coaches basketball at the high school level in Commerce at Walled Lake Northern. Cam enjoys promoting nutrition and exercise in order to improve health, well-being and overall quality of life. “Strength is not something that is just physical. Strength is a achievement. Strength is a state of mind that can be applied mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Strength can provide the confidence to accomplish or overcome anything life throws at you.”