Performance Training: Business Innovators Podcast with Mike Saunders

I had an epiphany returning from living in Japan and working on my second Master’s degree from DU. My best shot at work is in helping people to better their immediate, and future lives.

It’s the focus that matters. Don’t find a reason to train, train for a reason.

My father had a heart attack at 59. He missed my graduation at The Art Center in Pasadena. It wasn’t a triumph for him. He didn’t take care of his health. He wasn’t looking forward. He had all the signs. Long before returning home, I realized that I might be going down the same path. Going to DU to compete for a sit-down, shut up, do as you are told job wasn’t bliss for me. A creative approach is my sweet spot. Having kids obviated a better path. I will be the best dad I can be – get strong, stay alive, protect the future of my family.

I quit DU and embarked on a ten-year investigation into the dynamics of proactive physical prowess, mental strength, and a tactical approach to life and business.

Mike Saunders agrees: Success leaves clues. It presents an opportunity to apply a proven system to test results.

Dan continues: I changed my path four years ago. I couldn’t train everybody. I closed my gym catering to fitness and martial arts. What came to pass is possible if you have a huge crew of people – I wanted to help a specific group. After interviewing my peer group, I understood that “Train for a Reason” means people will train if the atmosphere is efficient, safe, and fun. And they can make friends. The key point there is time. People would exercise if someone understood their needs and could get them in and out of the gym quickly.

I’ve witnessed the frustration with inefficiency in the gym. As a businessman, I relate to the importance of creating a program that is efficient and equates to a very high level of athletic ability while being portable and direct. It’s also cool that I can train anywhere.

Mike Saunders relates to the power of routine in a society that has acclimated to bigger, better, faster, and easier.

Dan shares that even three times a week, exercise done correctly and on an order (that matters), creates measurable results.

Dan shares that with online tools he dedicates himself to being accessible, for off-floor video coaching or in-person at his gym, he prides himself on caring about his clients through support, because that’s what influences long-term commitment. For those who want to do more, he offers programs that cater to challenge the athletically committed.

Mike Saunders also distinguishes between those who go to the gym without results and those who receive physical and mental improvement.

New clients arrive for an initial introduction understandably nervous about how they are about to be measured. They leave proud of themselves for how they feel and what they accomplished from a program which is different from the status quo.

I have a colorful way to understand the motivation to train beyond the superficial. You appreciate the real reason why you train, the bottom line, and the reason why you’ll sustain a challenge to your limits to feel better and empowered.

Modern training walks away from the myths. Simple training done very well works the best. The better you do the movement, the more you get out of it. Training is a process, which means you build your skill. Consistency is the key to success -it works well in performance, just as it impacts your business.

To hear more about the support that Dan makes available through coaching and training busy professionals, and the key to scheduling and committing to a better you, listen to the short 18-minute podcast at:


Tactics in strength training implies your approach has science. You strengthen all areas of your physiology with a plan. When you execute on that plan you experience a valuable win. Your brain, muscles, nervous system, and inner biology enjoy the efforts you invest. You are clear on your “why” to train. And your investment in the gym is paying off.

Is this you, or the you that will come when you find the right time and place to train? Here are the three tactical concepts in a productive training program.

  • Learn the skills.
  • Be dynamic with your priorities
  • Put consistent action behind your goals

The skills come from the world of action. In our experience a broad training with a good range of modalities works very well. It is important to remember that strength training is more than getting fit. You are developing functional strength. You are learning to move well. You are becoming an athlete in the broadest physical sense. The skills of physical training are tools that can assist you in a wide range of life tasks.

Avoid a major pitfall of the busy person. Schedule your training. Pick your top tasks for any given day and include training three times a week. If you are an insatiable gym goer it’s time to rethink your goals. If you are forty and above working with greater efficacy is better than working more. Invest time in your life. Invest time in recovery. Learn to work simple. Work fast. And work hard.

Going to the gym once a week is fruitless. It’s tantamount to failure and you will quit sooner than later. Begin with your “why.” Why do you train? Clarity will go further than hope. Then set a goal. Make it aggressive but achievable. And go to work. Be consistent. Pick a time that works. Collate your equipment. Be a little Spartan about it. Get hydrated. Mix your recovery drink. And go. Once you begin your warm up, any residual head trash you carry around with you will disappear.

We all need guidance and a push to get training programmed into our lives. I did at first. It took a few months of committed behavior to get the tactics in strength training to feel normal. But I had a goal. I’m a coach. I have a gym. I must be a product of the product. There is no way to duck out of the process. I hired myself. You must do the same. Hire yourself to fulfill your goal.

Tactical strength training is an incremental process. There must be process or the training won’t work. And if it works, who gets the bragging rights? And who cashes in on the bigger rewards of health and brain function?

Your coach is your guide. Our process includes building the person, the tactics in strength, and the physical development. You may not be an athlete. You do want to roll back your athletic years. That includes good motor function in your muscles. It means flexibility in your joints. And a healthy dose of youthful brain function.

That’s tactics in strength training.


Our astonishment of the American Ninja Warriors is the result of performance training which goes beyond our experience of typical fitness in a gym.

With gravity as the omnipresent antagonist, we watch in amazement as these incredible athletes defy its reach.

How is it that a person can train their muscles to defy gravity, and move their bodies across space in a manner that seems to taunt each obstacle?

It may not be the bane of every trainer and coach to prepare clients for extreme athletics. But anyone can learn the basic exercises foundationally structured to create incredibly functional strength.

Use the finger holds as an example. There are no muscles in your fingers. Only ligaments and tendons. The power comes from the palm and the forearm, then extends to the shoulder. Our physical architecture works to our advantage because it is a system. It functions around three planes of motion we call the midline.

Adults have weak arms, backs, and shoulders. It’s a sad day when we realize we can’t keep up with the younger people in our lives. We honestly didn’t pay attention to the maintenance our structure needs to keep us viable. Can you execute on the training basics? Can you do a squat, pushup, situp, or pullup? Have you ever considered all the modalities of physical training? Was it important enough to you to seek the verifiable truths that can assist you to identify your “why” when you consider what strength means to you for your future of health?

Training is an open door. It’s a vast stage where many roads cross and the combinations and permutations of exercise and training can be implemented to arrive on the starting line.

Become a ninja warrior. We don’t have to see you on the TV to cheer you on. You don’t have to perform great feats of strength and gymnastic prowess to win.

The purpose of conditioning is not just exercise.

Training is mind, body, and soul. If you want to be strong, then train. If you want flexibility and coordination, you must practice. The more you work, the more work you can do.

You don’t have to be in shape to start. But you do have to begin to get into prime shape.