In the National Football League, you hear a lot about the “coaching tree” of great head coaches — when that coach’s assistant coaches go on to become head coaches themselves.
Among the top-rated coaching trees of all-time in the NFL were the number of great assistant coaches under former San Francisco 49ers head coach Bill Walsh who also went on to head coaching success.
Well, while my long-time friend and personal trainer Travis Monday of Fit 4 Life Personal Training & Physical Therapy in Tampa Palms doesn’t have a Mike Holmgren or Sam Wyche in his own unique coaching tree, he has had a number of his personal trainers and physical therapists in his nearly a quarter-century (including 19 years in Tampa) of being in business go on to open either successful training or therapy businesses of their own. And, some have even opened other businesses that aren’t in health-care fields but who learned from Travis how to run a business and how to treat both customers and employees as much as how to teach them the “Super Slow” method of strength training.
“I’m really proud to have been in the New Tampa community for 19 years and to have had Fit 4 Life alumni go on to even bigger and better things,” Travis says.
A Special Coaching Style
Travis is originally from Wisconsin, and like most people I’ve met from “America’s Dairyland,” he’s just a genuinely nice person. He also obviously practices whatever he’s been preaching to his troops all these years because I’m sure he’s still in single digits of body fat and only his graying hair makes him look any older than he did when he first started training me at his original Tampa Palms location around 2001.
But, those qualities alone aren’t enough to make him a great boss. On the other hand, the fact that he has been able to not only endure, but also thrive, in our area all these years, despite all of the other fitness and therapy places that have come and gone, is a testament to his ability to adapt as needed and keep his people happy.
Among the members of Travis’ coaching tree is Lisa Michaelangelo, a former Fit 4 Life physical therapist who has opened and operates the Emerald M Therapeutic Riding Center located in Dade City (which we’ve featured in these pages before).
Travis also is proud that Erica Cook, a former Fit 4 Life personal trainer who not only has gone on to compete on the “American Ninja Warrior” TV show, she also has opened No Limits Personal Training, a cross-fit studio in Gainesville.
And, Travis also said he feels like he helped Ryan Burroughs go from Fit 4 Life trainer to one day open Auto Paint Guard, Inc., which creates invisible “bras” for cars. “It’s not just about training and therapy,” Travis says. “I go over everything I do to run the business with the employees and I get great feedback from them about what they learned here.”
In other words, Travis has a lot to be proud of, especially the way Fit 4 Life has been able to stay Covid-free during the pandemic — and that is no accident.
“Of course, we follow all of the CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) guidelines,” Travis says, “But we go above and beyond that. For example, I was told one air purifier would cover the entire facility, but instead I bought two. Our trainers and therapists also wipe down every piece of equipment before and after each time it’s used with a soap and bleach solution that kills the virus. We have hand sanitizing stations and we take everyone’s temperature when they come in. We haven’t had one case here yet and we all want to keep it that way.”
Why Fit 4 Life Works!
In his 24 years of teaching the “Super Slow” method (or “protocol”) on Fit 4 Life’s super-low-friction MedX machines, Travis has added a free weight room, massage/therapy tables, and he says that he will continue to offer two free training sessions to any first-time visitor. He also offers payment plans for physical therapy patients who want to continue at the facility after their insurance stops paying for their visits.
And, all I can tell you is that Travis and his wife (and physical therapy assistant) Fiona and their two young daughters are an amazing family who genuinely appreciate the continued support of the New Tampa community.
Fit 4 Life Personal Training and Physical Therapy is located at 17419 Bridge Hill Ct. For more information, call (813) 907-7879 or visit Fit4LifeTampa.com.