Talking with the Ass-Master

By: Kevin Larrabee


I caught up with Mike Robertson to talk about a few different topics including what upcoming seminars he is looking forward to, and I didn’t even rub in the fact that my Pats beat his Colts!


KL:  First off, thanks for your time, I know you are pretty busy right now, can you tell the audience what you have been up to?

MR:  Things are always busy Kevin!

Right now as the year winds up, my personal training business is actually blowing up.  It seems as though each month the business is growing.  With that being said, I’m actually looking to significantly cut back my training hours in 2008.  This may sound weird, but I need to focus on my business first and foremost.

When I first moved to Indy, my goal was to make my mark as a trainer and coach first and foremost.  Little did I know my own business (Robertson Training Systems) would grow so quickly!  It’s really taken on a life of its own, and I need to take the time and effort necessary to see what it can really do.

Whether it’s speaking, writing articles, or developing products, time dedicated to RTS is only about 20% of my actual “working” time (i.e. time not training clients and athletes).  So I’ve gotten to the point where I have to make it a priority and see what it can really do!


KL:  That’s awesome man!  Let’s talk about one of those products for a minute. 

It has been a few months since Bulletproof Knees has been release, are you happy with the reaction so far to the manual?

MR:  For such a niche product, Kevin, I’m extremely pleased with the feedback and results it’s garnered.  Would you believe that I haven’t had ONE SINGLE COPY returned?  I think that’s pretty damn good!  (Although I’m sure I just jinxed myself!)  However, those with a more business oriented or selling oriented mindset would just say I’m not selling hard enough!

Given my perfectionist nature, though, I want to make it better.  I’ve learned so much more about knees since its April release, I feel like I’m cheating people by not including more information.  Come first of the year, I’m going to start working on Bulletproof Knees 2.0, and I think it’s going to take people’s knowledge and understanding of knee health and performance to an all new level!

KL:  What has caught your attention lately in the fitness world, or more importantly, what has grabbed your attention?

MR:  Hmmm…not sure if you mean in the good or bad sense, so here are some random thoughts off the top of my head.  Not sure if it’s applicable to the “trends” in the fitness world, but its important stuff in my book! 😉

  • Scapular winging is a huge issue that we need to address.  If you are winging when doing push-ups, you have no business benching unless you have a penchant for rehabbing pec strains and tears
  • I’m sick of hearing argue between intervals and steady-state cardio; I thought we were over this kind of bickering!  You can get benefits from each, and each one has its place in a training program.  It’s a lot like stretching; the time when you use it and the goals of a client often dictate the type you should be using.  It’s not rocket science
  • Behavior modification may be THE most important thing you do outside the gym with regards to influencing what you do in the gym.

KL:  Do you have any upcoming articles that you can tease the audience with?

MR:  I’ve actually got quite a few articles that I want to write, I just don’t have the time to write them at this point!

For T-Nation, I’m working on an article called the Mobility-Stability Continuum.  I think with all this talk of mobility training, we’re losing the big picture on how we need to train for optimal movement.  Hopefully this article will bring us back to a more “centered” position.

Also for T-Nation, Jonathan Fass and I are working on an article for more integrated rotator cuff training.  So many people are still caught up in the isolationist approach to cuff work, when there are much better options out there once you’re healthy and moving properly.  The key is in progression.

Mike Boyle asked me to submit an article for, so I’m going to give various tips and tricks I’ve picked up while working with female athletes over the years.  I think I’ve had great success working with women, so hopefully this article will help other coaches achieve a similar level of success.

I think that’s about it for now; I have other ideas, but I need to get these done first and foremost!

KL:  How about seminars, are you going to any to just watch or are you presenting in the near future?

MR:  I really love attending seminars, whether I’m speaking or not.  I always take something away from them and I really enjoy interacting with other trainers and coaches.

Next year I’m actually doing a two-day seminar in Australia; one day is in Sydney and the second day is in Melbourne.  I’m going to do my best to cover all the major sections of the body (i.e. core, lower extremity, and upper extremity), and then pull it all together with a section on developing kick-ass training programs.  I just hope I don’t get my ass kicked by the jet lag!

As well, I’ve been added to the Perform Better circuit, so I’m going to giving my Bulletproof Knees presentation at several of the summits next year.

Now, with regards to my “wish list” for seminars I want to attend, there are a few:

  • I heard McGill and JB will be presenting at Thibadeau’s place in St. Louis in January, so if that comes together I’d love to see that.
  • I’d also like to get my I-Phase Certification from Z-Health next year.


KL: Thanks Mike!

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