My name is Michael McDonald, I am 29 years old and originally from a little town called Oxford Massachusetts, about an hour outside of Boston. I moved to Arizona when I was 18 years old to study Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University where I graduated with my Bachelors in 2012 with hopes to become a police officer.
I accomplished that goal and moved to San Diego where I began my career as a police officer. Not until shortly after, a little over a year, I realized this was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Being a police officer was amazing but I did not have the same passion for policing as I did for training. Something always kept pulling me back into the gym.
I then moved back to Arizona where I decided to partake in the career of personal training. But it wasn’t until soon after when I was involved in a horrific car accident where I was struck, head on while driving, by a drunk-driver in Tempe AZ, that put me out of commission for 6 months. I dislocated and broken left hip, 4 broken ribs, punctured right lung, and a torn left forearm and tricep.
The surgeon who performed the surgery had told me that if I had not had such muscle tissue and mass in my legs/glutes I would not be alive today. You see, when I first started learning the ropes of training myself at the age of 17, I had this initial thought of training my lower body religiously because I knew athletes were fast, strong, and powerful. I was already an athlete but I wanted to be even faster and stronger, hence why I trained legs routinely. I literally trained legs 2-3x/week every week for about 10 years. I think one of the reasons why I chose legs out of any muscle group was because not many guys trained legs and I didn’t want to be a part of that stigma of guys having huge upper bodies with stick figure legs. Plus, I knew when entering into my collegiate years that females really liked a guy with nice legs so I wanted to stand out. More-so, my legs just so happened to be the strongest part of my body when I started to train, so I stuck with it and thankfully so because if it hadn’t been for all those years of training my lower body I wouldn’t be alive today. Again, this did not stop me from following through on my dream of having a career in the fitness industry.
Months later, after my recovery, I achieved my certification through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (N.A.S.M) but I knew I didn’t want to be a trainer for a big corporation gym. After a few weeks had passed and a few interviews, I was still contemplating how I was to go about training, without working for a boss. Thus leading me into the entrepreneurial life of working for myself. I stumbled upon Independence Gym in January of 2016, which is where I started my personal training career.
Over time, I had narrowed down my niche of clients to specifically females and those who wanted to learn and apply everything there is about glute training. I empower my ladies to become the strongest versions of themselves through physical fitness, showing them how strong they really are, but what I find most gratifying is helping my clients succeed in life, mentally. How they perceive life and themselves, what really matters and how to become truly happy. I’ve always said, “You can eat all the vegetables, do all the cardio & lift all the weights, but if don’t deal with all the things going on in your head and heart, you’ll always remain unhealthy.”
After training clients for about a year, I finally had the opportunity to go on a fitness trip to meet Bret Contreras in San Diego for his first ever 2-Day Glute Training Seminar where I got certified in glute training within strength and conditioning. After that weekend trip, I couldn’t stop thinking about glutes or the lower body because just like before in my life something was pushing me towards training the lower body, but now more specifically glutes. Ever since then I have not went a day without looking up studies, articles, posts, books, magazines, anything and everything glutes related to better help me understand the science and application for glute training.
After 4 years of being a personal trainer at Independence Gym, I decided to venture off and create my own. A studio where my clients can feel confident, be strong, empower each other, and grow mentally without distractions. Thus I created Butts N Donuts private studio in January of 2020. It makes me happy that my clients can use this space as their own and flourish within their fitness goals. And for that, I am truly grateful.