Introducing Michael Clegg
Michael Clegg, otherwise known as Mick or Mike Senior, has been a personal coach and trainer 34 years. He has owned the Olympic Sports Gym in Ashton-Under-Lyne for nearly 35 years. The gym over the years has expanded both in size and equipment becoming one of the biggest in the area. It was during that expansion Mick designed his SPI Lab. Since then, the gym continued to expand, as did Mick's lab.
One day Mick decided things had to change as he wanted to do more and there just was not enough room to expand any more! In late 2013 he decided to move into a new building close to the gym where he would have more room himself to evolve his lab. This new training facility became the new Elite Lab incorporating his SPI technologies, the new centre of his specialised coaching.
Mick had the amazing privileged to work at Manchester United Football Club from 2000 to 2011. He was the Power Development (Strength & Conditioning) Coach and fitness trainer to many of the worlds top football players including Roy Keane, Cristiano Ronaldo, David Beckham, Wayne Rooney, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville, to name just a few.
Since he left Manchester United he has continued to coach other top class athletes including Mike Eade, Kyle Howarth, Matt Gilks and Aaron Cook as well as working with those in golf, BMX, ruby and American football.
Mick was invited to join the scientific advisory board for CogniSens Athletics after his use of the NeuroTracker and consequent work on his SeedofSpeed Philosophy which he is founder of. Mick is also the Director of Sports Performance Innovation, a company born out of his SeedofSpeed ideology.
The Seed Of Speed is a philosophy based on his passion for speed, both physically and mentally. His ability of being able to work with athletes of such outstanding capability gave birth to his methodology that reinforces his belief of the importance of combining cognition training with all areas of overall fitness and exercise work. This belief comes from his desire to reinforce the value of speed / reaction training to help develop and boost the reaction times for all athletes who are at the very top of their game and are looking for that edge that could make them the best in their field.
During his life in the fitness industry and within his own gym he has produced Olympic Lifting teams from schoolboys to international level originally starting with over 30 boys from never having lifted a bar eventually going up to top world class lifters winning competitions world wide. He also ran an Olympic boxing club for 14 years at his gym which started with the local lads that were at school with his own children. He has coached in many schools as well as giving lectures in various colleges in and around Greater Manchester. He even trained the England lacrosse team.
Mick and his work with Cognitive Training & S.P.I.
"Watching Athletes in sports, especially my own sons, having two sons at United up to first team level and two sons international weightlifters, as well as Cristiano Ronaldo for five years, lead me on the path to understanding its not the brawn but the brain that is the most important part of the body to stimulate."
"To further look into the relationship between the brain and athletics, myself and my eldest son Michael went to America to increase our knowledge of brain use in sport, especially in the area of speed. After analysing baseball, basketball, NLF, we attended some lectures by Dr Joe Dispenza who is a brain specialist as well as having a big interest in quantum physics. It was at this point myself and Michael put our minds together and focused the direction of our research as looking for the seed of speed. Once we had found the area where the seeds were planted then we embarked on a journey of stimulating the growth of the seeds to our present study entitled “how to produce a super powered brain for athletic performance"
"It was at this point we focused the direction of their research as looking for the seed of speed."
It was working with Cognitive ideas that formed the basis for the concept behind the Seed of Speed training methodology to attain speed, strength, endurance and flexibility. It was from this that seedofspeed and Sports Performance Innovation were both born. Mick is founder of seedofspeed and director of S.P.I. which focuses on advanced technologies from around the world in the area of elite athletic training.
It was through this research that Mick is also now member of the scientific advisory board for CogniSens Athletics on cognitive training technology.
SeedofSpeed for Sports
Athletes Who Have Used The SeedofSpeed Training Methods
Aaron Cook, Mike Eade, Matt Gilks, Kyle Howarth and Lewis Buxton have all trained with Mick and his SeedofSpeed Philosophy in his SPI Lab. The Warrington Wolves Rugby Team and the Manchester Titans American Football Team have also been coached by Mick since he left Manchester United.
Taekwondo Champion Aaron Cook
Since mid 2011 Mick has had the unique opportunity to train another Elite Athlete, the Taekwondo Gold medalist Aaron Cook. In June 2011 it was confirmed medal hopeful Aaron Cook, the 20-year-old European -80kg gold medallist and former world No 1, had resigned from the World Class Performance programme, opting to pursue his own training schedule outside the guidance of GB Taekwondo. Aaron, already holding several gold medals, left team GBs coaching programme in June to undertake his own training regime. He told the BBC that "Everyone was great over there, the coaching staff the other fighters and they've had some tremendous results down at the World Championships so it shows that the programme works, but it's not for everyone - so I've got to go down my own path now."
When Aaron left the official training programme, one of the people approached as a possible trainer was the former Manchester United coach Mick Clegg. Aaron approached Mick when both had featured in the same issue of Muscle & Fitness magazine. Mick began his part of Aaron's training in July 2011 at his Olympic Sports Gym complex in Ashton-Under-Lyne, Manchester. During the extensive workout devised by Mick, not only does it incorporate the usual gym routine, Aaron also uses the advanced S.P.I. laboratory equipment including, NeuroTracker, D2 and Coretex in his training routine.
During the first few months after teaming up with Mick, Aaron went on to win Gold at Costa Rican Open in August 2011. Then the 20 year old Power Rangers fan won another gold medal in October 2011 at the British International Taekwondo Championships beating the competition to first place. Aaron continued winning with a GOLD at the 2012 US Open in February, and in late March 2012 another Gold at Belgium Open among others. Mick says Aaron's gold medals in Taekwondo are superb, Aaron and he have a fantastic training relationship.
"Since implementing my own Taekwondo training programme with the OSG team at the S.P.I. lab, in conjunction with Mick's training ideas, his training methodology along with the unique S.P.I. apparatus has become a vital and integral part of my effort to become the Best Taekwondo Player in the World. I'd like to thank Mick and all at Olympic Sports Gym for all the help and support they have given me. The unique equipment in the S.P.I. lab has been a key factor in my continued success and I look forward to many more years continued success together." Aaron Cook
During the preparations for the run up to the 2012 Olympics Mick featured in Sky Sports News article about Aaron cook and his training regime. Below is Mick's part in that feature from Sky Sports News TV
See the full interview with Aaron on the OSG youtube channel HERE
Aaron was a strong contender for the 2012 Olympic Games Taekwondo event but after he was not selected for the 2012 Olympics Aaron took a break to consider his options. At the end of June after deciding not to fight the decision made by the selection committee Aaron went public to verify his position and to confirm he would not be accepting the position of first reserve. It was after this Aaron took time away to decide his next step and in December announced publicly that he was changing his allegiance to the Isle of Man and he became what is known as a "Manxman". In a statement he said "I'm going to be fighting for Isle of Man at world championships, European championships and all the open competitions," Cook told Sky Sports News. "I think it's a fantastic opportunity for me and will allow me to still compete for Great Britain at the Olympic Games, which I've wanted. Now we can look forward."
In joining the Isle of Man Aaron now fights with the Taekwondo Association of Isle of Man but in March 2013 British Taekwondo tried to stop Aaron Cook from competing. After looking into the complaint the WTF interceded and declared that Aaron was in fact eligible and able to represent Isle Of Man. Since then Aaron has continued to win more competitions including Gold and the Belgium 2013 open and the Spanish 2013 open.
Mick Trains Matt Gilks
Matt Gilks, Blackpool Football Club Goalkeeper teamed up with Mick Clegg for rehab after his injury in late 2010. Matt, who has been training with Mick for approximately 2 years, has managed to regain his position in the first team and rejoins Blackpool Football Club for pre-season training in July 2012. After taking full advantage of the S.P.I. lab Matt is looking forward to the start of the season.
"Just done my last session with Mick Clegg before I go back to work Monday and would like to say huge thank you for getting me ready for pre-season and indeed the season ahead." Matt Gilks (Pre-Season 2012)
Mick Clegg and Matt Gilks on Matt's Rehabilitation
Matt got in touch with Mick after hearing about him from Colin Murdoch who was a former player at Manchester United. Colin, who is now a sports lawyer and agent, remained friends with Mike Clegg Jnr and happened to mention to Mike that he had a player who needed help with rehab after a serious injury, who could he suggest? Of course Mike replied his Dad!
Matt's initial contact with Mick was in January of the 2010/11 season. He spoke to Mick about rehab for his injury which was a broken kneecap. A lot of injury prevention training had already been done but Matt was still struggling to reach full fitness. Matt considered his problems to be a weak left leg due to the injury and his overall fitness was down.
Mick added Matt had an imbalance to his physical structure due to the injury and pointed to the fact the training in place at that time was detrimental to his overall performance requirements and needed a through overhaul. Matt's use of heavy weights was slow and cumbersome plus the weight he was carrying was detrimental to his movement and overall agility. Mick's initial recommendation was in the form of injury prevention and weight loss with agility type training, he had to loose weight and speed up!
Matt started training with Mick at SPI in January 2011. The first weeks of rehab focused mainly on injury prevention with weight loss. After approximately 4-6 weeks he had improved enough to start pushing a little harder. Mick stepped up the training pushing more toward full fitness with agility and performance type training. Both working until they considered Matt fit enough to play again.
Matt says about that period of training - "It was a whole knew approach to training. Mick having equipment no one else had enabled us to try new ideas and replicate Goalkeeping movements in the Gym. As well as that i was introduced to lots of Olympic Weightlifting. New techniques and muscle strengthening training made me lighter, faster and stronger. Mikes philosophy of lifting weights faster to create quicker reaction and speed within the muscles has really benefited me and i can see the results in my day to day training and ultimately my games."
Kyle Howarth Speedway Racer
Kyle Howarth is a local lad of Manchester. Living locally to Mick's gym in Ashton-under-Lyne all his life Kyle has had the advantage of Mick's gym and coaching since an early age.
Training regularly throughout his life Kyle has been lucky enough to benefit from Mick's forward thinking. Being active in Mick's gym Kyle was one of the first to utilise Mick's ever expanding array of cutting edge training equipment in his SPI lab.
Mick and his expertise is giving elite athletes like Kyle the edge in competitive sport especially in the speed / reaction area.
Kickboxer Mike Eade
In October 2012 Mike Eade attended the World Kickboxing Championship in Canada and became World Kickboxing Champion 2012. Mike Eade trained with Mick Clegg at the Olympic Sports Gym utilising both the standard gymnasium as well as the specialised Sports Performance Innovation Laboratory.
Mike Eade currently holds a 3rd degree black belt in Kickboxing and has experience in Boxing, Judo and Kung Fu. Mike is also a qualified PE teacher and teaches in a high school in Manchester.
Since 2002 he has competed in well over 50 tournaments and shows around the country and represented England at 8 World Championships where he has won numerous silver and bronze medals.
He runs both the Stockport and Dukinfield Chinese Kickboxing clubs.
Warrington Wolves Rugby Team
Warrington Wolves have developed a strong association and relationship with professional strength and conditioning coach Mick Clegg. The first team squad were recently put through their paces at Mick's Olympic Sports Gym in Ashton as they prepared for the Qualifying Semi-Final and aim to book their place in this year's Grand Final at Old Trafford.
The gym is renowned for assisting a wide range of people from working with professional stars including players from Manchester United to encouraging fitness throughout those in the community. The players were given use of the weights, the strong man equipment and the high tech NeuroTracker machine which trains reaction time and peripheral vision. Chris Baron, Wolves' head of strength and conditioning, said: "The main reason behind the visit was to give the players the opportunity to experience something different as well as a bit of mental stimulation for them. They've been training at Padgate all year and it was good to experience a different gym as well as different training and coaching too as Mick delivered the session. We had different equipment at our disposal adding variety to the session."
Mick, Warrington Wolves & Roy Keane
Warrington Wolves blown away by Roy Keane before they did the same to Wakefield Trinity Wildcats
WARRINGTON Wolves were inspired by Manchester United and Republic of Ireland football legend Roy Keane going into their big win against Wakefield Trinity Wildcats. The 40-year-old former Sunderland and Ipswich Town boss, who won seven Premier League titles, one Champions League crown and four FA Cups in his 480 games with United between 1993 and 2005, spent time at the club last week studying the club’s training set-up and methods. Keane, who was in the North Stand for Wolves’ recent Challenge Cup quarter-final clash with Wigan Warriors, spoke to the squad about his illustrious career, including eight years as United skipper. Wolves’ head of coaching and rugby Tony Smith said the sessions came about as a result of Wolves’ developing association and friendship with United’s strength and conditioning coach, Mick Clegg. “He’s a sporting icon and we were all blown away by his honesty and the escapades that he was willing to share with us. It was a great insight into the man. He’s a terrific man, I’ve got a lot of time for him and it was a privilege to have someone like him come and talk to us.”
Manchester Titans Training at OSG & S.P.I. Laboratory
"Manchester Titans are happy to announce they are beginning their off season lifting this evening in partnership with Olympic Sports Gym. Olympic have some world class coaches who are going to help develop our athletes for the 2012 season." 05/10/2011.
Formed in 2003, the team will begin the 2012 pre season training using not only the full gym facilities at OSG but will also be utilising all the advanced sporting equipment promoted on the Sports Performance Innovation website. This team is the first to take full advantage of the S.P.I. laboratory in a controlled training environment with one of the countries top sporting coaches in strength, speed and cognition training.
"The Titans would like to thanks all the coaches at Olympic Sports gym for their time and effort during the off-season. This is a short montage of some of the sessions which included:- Speed and Reaction - Olympic Weightlifting - Powerlifting - Sprinting - Bounding - Strongman" 11/04/2012
Mick's BBC Radio Manchester Weekly Red Wednesday show appearance.
Red Wednesday is a weekly show about all things Manchester United and on 1st May 20133 Mick made his local radio debut to join in the discussion about Manchester United and talked about working at Manchester United, his job, the players and went on to talk about his seedofspeed philosophy now.
Mick and his work with the Youth
With truly varied coaching exposure from running a 14 year long boxing club to coaching the England Lacrosse team, Mick has generated the capability to understand the needs of athletes actualizing elite potential, proving this through the achievements of his four sons.
Mick also setup ‘The Olympic Youth Association’ to generate capital and rapidly launch sports development initiatives across Manchester inner-city areas.
View Mick's Strength & Power Development plan especially for School Aged Children