Breakthrough Spotlight – Michael Latman

Breakthrough Spotlight

Michael Latman

Does tapping into your physical strength have the power to develop your strength of mind, character and spirit? We’ve seen it too many times to doubt it… and we are so happy to have our Breakthrough Spotlight Member for June, Michael Latman share his experience of this strength phenomenon!

BREAKTHROUGH:  Thank you so much, Mike, for being our spotlight member for July.  You just won our drawing for the Memorial Day Meltdown. So that is kind of exciting!

MIKE:  It was like winning the lottery!  Really! With only one entry!

BREAKTHROUGH:  Ha, Ha, I know! Yeah!  That was great.  The bonus was you did really well on the challenge, too!

MIKE:  Yeah, from a weight loss perspective, definitely. Ten pounds was really unexpected.

BREAKTHROUGH:  That’s great! Now, we always like to hear about how your journey has been so far and have you share what were you doing before you joined?  So what kind of stuff were you up to before you started training with us?  How were you feeling?

MIKE:  I was doing nothing! I was feeling really weak.  I don’t want to say I was depressed, but I definitely wasn’t in my best mood most of the time.  At least, I see the difference now after I have been working out.  I am less moody.  I am in a better mood more often.  I definitely feel stronger. I don’t feel like an “Arnold”, but I feel like I can get up the stairs and not have pain in my body.  So that to me is a big deal!  We went camping recently and I was able to do everything.  Lifting things without any aches or pains.


MIKE:   So, quality of life has really improved significantly.



MIKE:  Even when it is hard for me to be here, I know that at least twice a week, I need to get this fix.

BREAKTHROUGH:  And it is hard too!  You come after work, so in a lot of ways, it would be easier to just go home and start your unwinding routine at home.  But you noticed the difference, obviously!  Not just in how you feel physically, but you were talking about that your moods are better and all of that.  That is huge! People don’t necessarily realize that until after they have started training.  And then they think, ‘Oh gosh, why didn’t I start doing this sooner?’

MIKE:  Yeah, yeah.  I started coming here because I wanted to get stronger.  I didn’t think about emotional or – not necessarily spiritual- but other benefits.  For example, just recently when we started doing deadlifts, and I got to that point that it had gotten hard, I realized that there is a moment where you do it and you are fine. Then the next moment, you can’t do it.  The only difference is what’s in your mind.  Because the next day or the next set, I do more weight and it doesn’t bother me as much. That helps me at work. I see something difficult happening.  I think, well, I can either go forward or step back.  I tend to go forward because I can remember that – hey- remember that time? 215 pounds sounded like a lot, but it wasn’t!

BREAKTHROUGH:  Right. Or was at the time but you realized, hey, I am capable of more.  I can keep going.

MIKE:  I definitely feel like right now every day, especially with this program, I am not necessarily challenging my body – well it is challenging, but I still haven’t reached that level where I could say now I am going for the record.  I feel like it is all in my mind right now.

BREAKTHROUGH:  Well, that is a big part of why we do what we do, in the way that we do it. Because it does all work together.  Your mind/body connection. It’s a real thing!  And you are absolutely right.  A lot of this game is mental.  You have to be willing to say I know this going to be hard and it is going to feel heavy. But that doesn’t mean I can’t do it. That just means it’s just going to be hard and feel heavy! So, what was the turning point for you?  What made you feel like it’s time to get started doing something different?

MIKE:  In terms of when I started here?

BREAKTHROUGH:  Yeah. When you first came.

MIKE:  So, Yury and I have been friends for a long time. We went through a couple of different things together.  He had been doing CrossFit for a long time and was very happy with it.  But then, he was complaining that things were hurting and that it was not as enjoyable anymore and he told me about Breakthrough. He starting training here, and basically a year later, he’s like, ‘Dude, it is working so well. I don’t have pains –  ever.’ I am like, well, ok.  Sounds like it is a win-win situation.  I will give it a try. There is no running, like in CrossFit, which I hate. And the rest is history.  I finally made myself call and make an appointment.  I didn’t think I would be able to do it actually.  I was so busy all the time.  Once you have set the appointment, the fact that you don’t just drop in, it makes you commit to it.  Like today, I made it here because I have a spare change of clothes in the car, so I could change here instead of going home.  Commitment starts with setting that appointment.

BREAKTHROUGH:  Yeah, that makes a huge difference when you know, ‘ok these people are expecting to see me. I have an appointment time.’  And you go the extra mile because you have a spare change of clothes in the car, so you can make sure you don’t miss it.  That’s commitment. That is really good. But you are right.  It always seems like, I don’t have time to fit something in. My life is already so busy. So, we also like to hear your “why”, which is your deeper connection to why you are prioritizing taking care of yourself. We all have something that goes beyond just like, well I want to lose weight and get in shape.

MIKE:  The only way I can say it is that I wanted to get stronger.  I mean, physically is one thing…  Being able to lift things, being able to sit down, to be able to squat. Not even squat – just sit down on the ground without having too much trouble getting up. But I think aside from physically, there is something… maybe emotional, spiritual… I don’t know the right word.  It is that strength that doesn’t come from muscles.  Like I feel much more confident in other areas of my life. Because I feel stronger.  I don’t slouch as much! Well I do, but not as much.


BREAKTHROUGH:  Ha – no! You even walk differently, too! There is a change, like you say.

MIKE:  It feels good.  I choose to correlate those two things.  For example, workwise has been very difficult, well it is always difficult.  But lately, it has been very stressful.  I am realizing that I am not as… well… I have to hide that I am not as stressed as people think I should be!  Ha, Ha!

BREAKTHROUGH:  Ha, ha! Otherwise they are just going to give you more work!

MIKE:  Yeah. They say why aren’t you stressing out? Why aren’t you running around?  Well, you know, it is all good.

BREAKTHROUGH:  Right. Oh my God!  That is great!  It doesn’t do any good to stress out.

MIKE:  Once again, it’s almost that level of confidence that you get from, I don’t know, from just walking straight, I guess is what it is.

BREAKTHROUGH:  Honestly, that is why we opened the gym. We couldn’t ignore that we kept seeing people getting not just physically stronger, but getting stronger throughout life as well.  They were able to take on things that they never would have done before.  We just saw too many things happening that were so good.  We were blown away!  Every day. Before we opened Breakthrough, we were just training people out of our house, their house, or whatever.  We thought, we have to go out on a limb here to try to reach more people because it is too powerful not to share!

MIKE:  I am glad you did it! I am a capitalist.  I believe that if you do something well, you should sell it to people. Because that is really why we live here. Yeah, you could work at home but you are limited, and here at the gymthere is a community.  When you asked me to do this interview, I thought what is it that can I say?  Why do I come here?  When I came to the United States, to learn English, I watched TV. My favorite show was Cheers.


MIKE:  Every time I come here, I feel like Norm walking into the bar!


MIKE:  I swear to you!  If you ever change that part about this place, I would think twice about coming here.

BREAKTHROUGH:  No, we don’t want that to change.  We would never want that to change! That was another reason we opened this place.  Gyms aren’t always a very welcoming place, and there are too many people who don’t feel like anyone cares when they come in.  Every place is different and everyone has their own vibe, but there were a lot of people who we knew didn’t really feel that welcome or comfortable in other places they’d tried.  Or like anyone cared that they were there. Why?  There are so many people who would love to come in and pick up 255 pounds for a few of sets and be happy that someone else was happy that they were doing that! Why shouldn’t they have a place where they could train, too.  We will never change that part.  That is not negotiable! So, anything else you want to share? Anything we didn’t cover?

MIKE:  I hope you guys get bigger!


MIKE:  At the swing workshop recently, there were so many people.  All of these people could be working out here.  We need a bigger place!

BREAKTHROUGH:  For sure! We want to grow too because like you said, when you have something that is good, you want to share it. If we didn’t believe in what we are doing, we wouldn’t be here. I can’t wait to share this with everyone!  Thank you so much, Mike!

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