It feels like Mike Aidala has lived multiple lives. From coaching strength and conditioning with the New York Jets to practicing and teaching yoga around the world, Mike has amassed a wealth of knowledge which he uses to explore his true passion: helping others. But catch him alone in the gym, and you’ll see a different side of Mike: a fierce competitor and absolute strongman who can execute feats that few others would even dream of attempting, like overhead squatting a 315lb loaded barbell… with one arm. Constantly challenging and reinventing himself, few embody our ideals more than Mike.
How do you prioritize fitness in your life?
I move my body every single day, with varying intensity levels. Simply, I feel better after fitness and movement. I continue to prioritize fitness because I want to be able to keep having fun and interacting physically with the world around me.
What lessons have you learned from fitness that have served you throughout your life?
The biggest lessons I have learned are resilience and patience. I firmly believe that the way you show up in the gym is the way you show up in other areas of your life.
"I embrace the “Better Than Yesterday” mindset on a day-to-day basis by having a daily practice of reflection."
With any new modality you get into, how do you approach it in order to master it?
I strive to have a beginner’s mindset with everything that I do or learn. I try to find that childlike joy in learning for the sake of learning and doing the best that I can do at that moment. I would consider myself a master of nothing but a learner of everything.
What’s on your fitness bucket list?
I am currently working on having fun with my fitness! However, there are some things that I have always wanted to do. These include a stand up paddle board trip around the Costa Rican coast, hitting an overhead squat PR of 400 lbs, and mastering the Stalder press handstand, the one arm pull up, and the middle split.
When you feel unfocused or get off-track, what do you do to re-align?
I strive to focus on something I can control and look for an easy win. There are often times I feel overwhelmed and anxious. Rather than let it consume me, I’ll turn to something I know I can do that will help me. Fitness is a great tool for this.
What idea, person, or book has been the most influential in your life? Why?
The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman. I read that book in high school and it taught me so many things. One that I remind myself of daily is to live each moment to the fullest. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend!