You Better Shape Up

10 expert training tips to work your mind and body like an athlete

10 expert training tips to work your mind and body like an athlete

Michael Piermarini, Performance is Personal, bike
Performance Is Personal founder Michael Piermarini was a sponsored endurance athlete. Photo courtesy of Michael Piermarini
Michael Piermarini, Performance is Personal
Piermarini offers physical and mental training for athletes. Photo courtesy of Michael Piermarini
Michael Piermarini, Performance is Personal, bike
Michael Piermarini, Performance is Personal

With a BA in psychology, MS in counseling and NASM-CPT personal training certificates, Michael Piermarini brings a fresh perspective to physical fitness. The Dallas resident and SMU alum recently launched Performance Is Personal, a business in which he uses all of those skills to help athletes achieve their goals.

Whether it’s helping a runner improve his mile by 30 seconds or calming his anxiety before race day, Piermarini says, “No goal is too big and no goal is too small.” Because he is a former nationally sponsored endurance athlete, Piermarini knows a thing or two about what it takes to perform — and perform well.

“Performance is Personal came from the idea that everyone owns his own performance in life,” he says. Piermarini insists on establishing a strong rapport with clients through customized training programs, separate or combined mental and physical training, and boot camps based on the client’s needs and goals.

He chose to work with athletes because “they often overlook or minimize their potential,” he says. “Over time, athletes push past physical barriers, but they minimize their mental and emotional barriers. Sports is 60 percent mental.”

For the rest of us laymen hoping to get into physical and mental shape, Piermarini has 10 tips for training like an athlete:

  1. Be aware, listen and take the time to understand your body. You are unique.
  2. Create and set realistic daily, weekly, monthly and long-term goals. And it’s okay to take a day off.
  3. Find a workout buddy to hold you accountable and assist in exceeding your goals.
  4. Train consistently while concentrating — and not simply by going through the motions.
  5. Remind yourself of your goals using a picture, hanging a pair of jeans or a unique daily reinforcer.
  6. Vary workout routines to keep mind and body guessing through resistance, cardio and dynamic exercises.
  7. Drink lots of water to maintain proper hydration.
  8. Eat healthy.
  9. Get adequate and quality sleep!
  10. Don’t be afraid to reward yourself for attaining a goal. What about hiring a coach?


If you’re interested in personal training, and you’re an athlete working toward a goal, Piermarini can work with you at your personal gym or local park. Email or call 214-549-8942.