This week we're excited to feature MTV reality star and personal trainer, Michael Dean Johnson. A native of Knoxville, Tennessee, Michael gives us insight on fitness, the day-to-day grind, and of course living and eating healthy! Here's why Michael Dean Johnson is our Everyday ICON of the week...
Can you give us a little background on yourself?
Growing up in Tennessee, I was very active throughout my childhood. My fitness journey really began, though, when I started competitive wrestling at the age of 10. I competed in wrestling over eight years for my school teams as well as the Tennessee National Team. Over those years, I learned a good amount about discipline. Wrestling opened my eyes to the fact that strength is a choice, and that we have the ability to push ourselves to do things we never thought possible as long as we persevere.
Upon graduating high school, I transferred my dedication to wrestling over to bodybuilding and weightlifting. After four men’s physique competitions – including three 1st place finishes and one overall victory – I decided to move to New York City to kickstart my modeling career. Since making the move, in addition to becoming a published fitness model, I’ve been featured on MTV’s hit show ‘Are You The One’ and have made over 15 appearances on Bravo’s ‘Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen’!
What do you do?
I am a personal trainer. I'm also a sponsored athlete for MuscleTech and Leorêver.
What made you want to do what you are doing?
I have always loved working out, ever since I was a kid doing push ups in my bedroom. Working out has always been a great outlet for me and has taught me a lot of discipline and helpful tools for life... I’d like to share my experience with others!
Why Icon Meals? What makes us different?
Icon meals is hands down the freshest prepared meal service out there... it doesn’t matter which meals you get and on which day you eat them, you can always expect them to be fresh.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
The best advice I’ve ever gotten is “That is that success isn’t easy (in anything) if being successful was easy then everyone would do it... so be prepared for hard work!”
You are a social media “influencer” what are you doing to be “influential” in today’s society?
I like to say that I only spread good vibes. I try not to talk bad about others whatsoever on social media- I try to spread only positivity in hopes that it will help someone else.
Who is your biggest inspiration? Why?
As cliché as it is... Arnold Schwarzenegger has inspired me for years. He always talks about putting in hard work and I respect that.
How do you balance work and life demands?
I have a good support system at home- my wife is someone who I can always count on and she helps to push me through any struggles.
What do you want your legacy to be? How do you want to be remembered?
I want to be known as the guy who only spread positivity.
What is your current focus? Any plans for the future?
Currently I am preparing for a bodybuilding competition in early spring so I’m eating my meals and putting the work in the gym!
What are your favorite Icon Meals? Or favorite thing about Icon Meals?
THE BREAKFAST MEALS 🤤 the Icon breakfast meals are hands down my favorite (the pancakes or the southwest egg skillet)
Stay connected with Michael Dean Johnson on IG at @michaeldean2.0
His personal training site is: https://www.philosophy-fitness.com
Want to be featured as an "Everyday ICON?" Submit your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a DM on IG or Facebook!
Are you ready to create the body of your dreams? If you answered yes, barring any serious medical conditions, consider the following quote from Jim Rohn: “If you want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.”
While many people are willing to go to the gym and work hard when it comes to achieving their fitness, health & wellness goals sadly many do not know how to work smart. I have spent 30 years in the nutraceutical and fitness industry and I am passionate about helping others optimize their fitness, health & wellness. It is my experience that to achieve your dream body at any age it is a result of consistently focusing on and practicing 4 simple steps:
1) Ideal Food Sources, 2) Ideal Food Amounts, 3) Ideal Food Timing, 4) Resistance Training. That is the “secret” equation that produces sustainable transformative results.
For most people when it comes to getting in better shape their first thought and emphasis goes straight to step 4) exercise. Exercise is indeed critical to creating your ideal body and maintaining health, but in this article, we are only going to focus on the first 3 steps, nutrition. You are about to learn why the food sources, amounts and timing will make or break the results you see and the fitness, health and wellness you experience.
80/20 Rule to Success
Have you heard any of the following sayings?
- You can’t out-exercise a poor diet
- Abs are made in the kitchen
- You are what you eat
Approximately 80% of your overall fitness, health, and wellness success will be determined by nutritional choices and therefore, why we are focusing today solely on nutrition.
This tends to be the hardest part of the process for many, due to the poor nutritional habits they have developed and in some cases had their entire lifetime. Difficulty consistently maintaining proper nutritional habits is the leading cause of failure and throwing in the towel before achieving desired results.
Count Macros & Make Them Count
If you are unfamiliar with the term macronutrients it is simply a term to describe protein, carbohydrate, and fat. Each macronutrient serves its own purpose in our nutrition and has specific benefits when it comes to metabolic function and its corresponding role in our fitness, health & wellness. The key is to choose macronutrients that will help you achieve your goals, rather than causing you to take steps backward.
There are 4 sources that provide energy to the human body:
Protein- this macronutrient provides 4 calories per gram and is responsible for helping to build and preserve lean muscle tissue.
Carbohydrate- this macronutrient provides 4 calories per gram and is responsible for helping energize the body.
Fat- this macronutrient provides 9 calories per gram and is responsible for not only energizing the body but also helping to regulate hormone levels.
Alcohol- this is not considered a macronutrient, but it is the fourth caloric category providing 7 calories per gram, however, it has zero nutritional value.
All food is broken down into macronutrients, but not all macronutrients are the same. In simple terms, Source Matters! It is important to choose quality food sources providing protein, carbohydrate, and fat.
Tracking your macros or eating specific nutrient amounts either by meal or by day is one of the most successful methods to ensure your body receives exactly what is required (not less and not more) to achieve your optimal body. Knowing the specific amounts can be determined through a series of calculations specific to each individual.
TIMING MATTERS -The Magic of Time Restricted Eating!
A critical success factor and cornerstone of the magic of optimal eating is not only the sources or “what” you eat, but potentially even more important is “when” you eat. We have all heard the phrase, timing is the key to life. I am here to tell you that timing is everything when it comes to nutrition, as well. The timing of the foods combined with the sources are the foundation to many of your hormonal reactions. Success of your fitness, health & wellness can be directly related to what you eat and when, in order to optimize your hormones and your results.
While it is not easy to achieve your dream body it is relatively simple. Focus on consuming quality sources of protein, carbohydrates & fats. Count macros to help achieve the right amounts to reach your specific goals and consider trying Intermittent Fasting or Time Restricted Eating to best manage your nutrient timing.
Chris Thompson is a 30 year veteran in the nutrition & fitness industry, an entrepreneur and former c-suite executive for a publicly traded nutraceutical company and founder & CEO of CRUSH1 NUTRITION & CRUSH1 COACHING. He is passionate about optimizing human performance and body composition through nutrition and resistance training with a unique focus on health, wellness, and anti-aging. His long list of success stories includes Rockstars, Fashion Models, Executives, Busy Moms and just about every walk of life. Chris is an author and thought leader and his expertise and programs have been seen by global audiences and featured at bodybuilding.com.
So the number one topic that has been requested for me to touch on more has been tracking macros.
Everyone wants to know how to do it, how you set your numbers, and what exactly IIFYM means and how to implement it. I haven’t touched on this more in detail for a few reasons but I will give all the information I can here: