Meet Mike Villegas

Tell us a little bit about yourself...
I’m 28, currently living in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. I am an Emergency Department nurse and Clinical Educator for Loyola University Chicago. I enjoy having a good time with friends, hopefully reignite that once the pandemic ends and start traveling again. I’m also an avid gamer, whether it be solo player games or multiplayer, I’m always down to have some fun on the keys.
 
 
What is something about you that we might be surprised to know?
I immigrated from the Philippines when I was 4. Since then, I am the first in my family to obtain my Master’s degree. I also used to play a ton of basketball back in high school, but the funny part is, I was always the chubby kid growing up, but crazy athletic. I just like to eat.
 
What inspired you to begin your fitness journey?
When I started nursing school, I was pretty overweight and working as a server at an Italian restaurant. I was over-eating and started to experience some self-doubt after a break up. You could say it was an eye opener to be feeling that crummy on what you can say was close to rock bottom for me. Fitness was there for me in high school so why not try again?
Has your motivation changed? If so, what continues to motivate you to move forward?
My motivation nowadays has changed to self-care. As a nurse, burnout is awful and I need an outlet to release my stress. Fitness started it off during school and now powerlifting has taken over as my outlet the past 2 years.

"...Fitness and prioritizing my health has got me to where I am today."

What is the best thing that has happened to you as a result of prioritizing your health?
As my health improved, so has my self-confidence. I went through some dark times during my junior year in college. Self-doubt was always an issue, but fitness and prioritizing my health has got me to where I am today.

If you could tell your younger self one thing, what would it be?
Don’t be afraid of compound exercises! I took compound movements for granted in high school and really only wanted the aesthetics. Wish I could go back and apply the knowledge I have today to my younger self. Also to be confident, once you start feeling a little bit of self-doubt, that’s a growing snowball you don’t want crashing down on you.

"...Be confident, once you start feeling a little bit of self-doubt, that’s a growing snowball you don’t want crashing down on you."

How do you fit exercise into your schedule?
This has been extremely challenging recently with my 2 careers. I choose to workout during my off days and teaching days. I use to exercise before my 12 hour shifts, but my recovery was awful. Now I focus on recovery and mobility at home during my work days and do more extensive programming on my off days at my powerlifting gym.

What is your favorite way to exercise?
I’ve grown to love powerlifting over the past few years. I specifically love the strength phases of my program. It’s always a nice confidence booster to know that you’ve increased your numbers. The volume phase challenges me too but I’m not too fond of cardio.

If money was no object, what would your ideal day look like?
I don’t think it would be any different other than leaving bedside nursing. I love teaching, it’s my passion, and I want to breed the new school of nurses. I get bored at home easily and there is only so much I can watch on Netflix before just falling asleep. I may invest in a new gaming set-up to stream for fun, but I wouldn’t change my typical day.

What is your favorite meal, healthy or not so healthy?

I LOVE pizza, deep dish or thin crust, you name it, I’ll try it, just hold the pineapple. I also love sushi and poke.

What is on your fitness playlist?
I’d like to say I have a diverse taste in music. I rotate through 5 different playlists. I can go from hip hop to EDM to rock. But I’ve always been keen on deadlifting PRs to the heavy bass drop of an EDM song.

 
 

What is your favorite Purus Labs stack, and how do you use it?
I take my CLA, Everyday Amino, and Myofeed on a daily basis. On my training days, I take ConDense, NOXygen, and Citrulline Malate for my pre-workout, followed by the Myofeed for my post.

Is there anything else you would like to tell the world about yourself?
Don’t be scared to try new things! Fear tends to hold us back on growth and development. If you can try something just once to conquer your fear, you’ll be able to see the amount of positive growth in yourself.

"If you can try something just once to conquer your fear, you’ll be able to see the amount of positive growth in yourself."

Follow Mike on Instagram!

Follow Mike on Instagram!

Photos @theksbphoto.fitness

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