The Midwest Strength and Performance Story

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Our founders

Mike Sell, TJ Lawson, JT Baginski, Zane Roebuck, Jimmy Walker & Ashley Sell

MSP GYM was founded in 2017 with the specific goal of becoming the most client-centric and results-driven gym in the Greater Wheaton Area. Corporate gyms are known for penalizing clients financially for the silliest things, offering impersonal workouts, and putting profit over people. We are different. Our boutique fitness facility combines client-centricity and intelligent programming. We fervently believe that everyone can reach their unique fitness goals, and all of our fitness offerings are organized so that each and every movement can be customized and modified based on training history, age, goals, abilities, etc. We use evidence-based programming principles to help our clients succeed, and we meet with all of our members individually at least every quarter to ensure they’re making progress. At MSP, you are not only joining a gym, but a united community that is here to have fun and support you each and every step of the way. Get ready to join the most goal-driven gym family in the Midwest!

Our coaches

TJ Lawson coach at Midwest Strength and Performance Wheaton

TJ Lawson

OWNER + TRAINER

Specializations: Weight Management Sports Conditioning Strength Training Steel Mace Training TJ Lawson is Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association and graduated with a B.S. in Exercise Science from Carroll University.

He played 4 years of Varsity Football in college and interned as a Strength Coach with the UCLA Athletic Performance Department and the Swift Olympic Speed Skating Team . He has worked with some of the best college athletes in the nation in a wide range of sports including Football, Lacrosse, Gymnastics, Softball, Women’s Swimming and Diving, Women’s Water Polo, and Golf. TJ uses his expert experience as well as out-of-the-box methodologies to construct unique and result-driven programs. Whether you’re an athlete or an everyday individual, TJ will put your goals first and work with you every step of the way to ensure success.

Zane Roebuck coach at Midwest Strength and Performance Wheaton

Zane Roebuck

OWNER + TRAINER

Specializations: Health + Lifestyle Improvement Elite Sports Performance Bodyweight and Mobility.

Zane has a passion for helping people reach their full potential in the gym, on the field/court, and in life. Zane is a graduate of the National Personal Training Institute, and is accredited in National Academy Sports Medicine. In his eight years of training experience, he has mastered the areas of athletic performance, general fitness, Steel Mace, TRX, and Box and Burn Level 1. Zane prides himself on the fact that he can train people without the use of any “tool” or special gym equipment. His passion is to test people’s limits, and he is trained to do this through a safe and enjoyable approach. He coaches people of all ages and experience levels, which allows him to modify and scale to each client’s needs.

Jimmy Walker coach at Midwest Strength and Performance Wheaton

Jimmy Walker

OWNER + TRAINER

Specializations: Boxing & Boxing Fitness Youth Athletics Fascial Stretch Therapy.

Jimmy Walker is a proud husband, father, and seasoned boxer with over 15 years of experience in the ring. His journey in boxing includes notable achievements such as competing in the Golden Gloves tournament in 2008 and 2017, where he earned the title of runner-up in 2017. Beyond his own boxing career, Jimmy is passionate about sharing his expertise with others as a personal trainer. Holding accreditations from the National Personal Training Institute, Level 2 Fredrick Stretch Therapist, Life Stretch educator, and CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, he brings a wealth of knowledge to his training sessions. Jimmy’s specialization extends to various demographics, including cerebral palsy, autism, seniors, children, elite athletes, and brachial plexus cases. He is committed to providing tailored training programs that cater to the unique needs of each individual. Outside the gym, Jimmy finds joy in spending time with his four children and actively promoting fitness within the community. His passion for fitness extends beyond the boxing ring, as he specializes in youth athletics, speed and acceleration training, as well as boxing and battle rope workouts. Whether he’s in the gym, with his family, or lending a helping hand in the community, Jimmy Walker embodies the spirit of dedication, compassion, and resilience.

Mike Sell coach at Midwest Strength and Performance Wheaton

Mike Sell

OWNER + TRAINER

Specializations: Body Transformation Powerlifting Bodybuilding.

Mike graduated from Wheaton College in 2016 with a B.S. in Applied Health Science and has since used his education to make a difference in the world of personal health through a variety of start-up companies. He is Co-Owner and Head Powerlifting Coach at Midwest Strength + Performance, manufactures his own pre-workout through Clinically Dosed Supplements LLC, and serves as Vice-President of Betasol Consumer Products (Patented aerosolizer that lowers the health risks associated with smoking tobacco). He holds many National and World records in the sport of drug free powerlifting. Mike’s best lifts include a 675 lb squat, 440 lb bench press, and 700 lb deadlift. Mike specializes in helping people build strength while obtaining the body of their dreams. Outside of the gym, Mike enjoys spending time with his wife, Ashley, participates in competitive eating challenges, and plays chess with friends.

Alex Maldonado coach at Midwest Strength and Performance Wheaton

Alex Maldonado

PERSONAL TRAINER

Specializations: Kettlebell Training & Flow Pain-Free Training Functional Fitness Steel Mace

Alex is a proud husband, father, and personal trainer. He is a Certified Pain-Free Performance Specialist through the NASM-certified PPSC organization. He holds additional certifications courtesy of Living.Fit (fundamental & advanced kettlebell) and CrossFit. Alex specializes in functional fitness training with an emphasis on pain-free training, general movement improvement, and longevity. He has experience training individuals and groups ranging from high school athletes to senior citizens. His expertise and experience allow him to provide a powerful and effective program that is scalable for all skill levels. Alex leans on unconventional tools like kettlebells, steel maces, and clubs to help clients master all movement patterns while reaching their fitness goals. Alex has a genuine and sincere approach to all his client’s fitness goals and will be alongside you every step during your journey to success.

Rachel McCulloch coach at Midwest Strength and Performance Wheaton

Rachel McCulloch

PERSONAL TRAINER

Specializations: Adult Group Fitness Private Training Steel Mace & Club Training.

Rachel is a WITS Certified Personal Trainer and CrossFit L1 Coach. She has a background in pre and post natal fitness and enjoys working with athletes in all stages of life. When she’s not lifting heavy (to her favorite Justin Bieber song) at the gym you can find her biking around town with her husband and their 3 children.

Ashley Sell

OWNER + TRAINER

Ashley is a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and a Certified Nutrition Coach through Renaissance Periodization. She was a four year starter on the Women’s Volleyball Team at Wheaton College (IL), and she was voted MVP her senior year for her role as an influential and impactful leader. She also has experience competing in drug-free powerlifting competitions and she set the Illinois State deadlift record in the AAPF in 2017.

In High School, Ashley was voted the Orange County (CA) Athletic Director’s Association Athlete of the Year for her achievements as a CIF State Champion & Captain on the Varsity Volleyball team & CIF State Swimmer.

Ashley also had a professional career before becoming an Owner at MSP, which included working at a large Chicago law firm, as a consultant for a legal technology company, and interning at the White House.

At MSP, Ashley is focused on business operations, growth, and optimizing the community experience. She can answer any questions you might have about membership, classes, training options, and connecting with the right Coach!

Andy Siar

PERSONAL TRAINER + DIRECTOR OF SALES

Andy has been a certified strength and conditioning specialist and personal trainer (CSCS and CPT) since 2009, a certified bodybuilding coach and has also been involved in corporate fitness roles such as high level national management. He has coached a wide range of skillsets from children as young as 7yrs old all the way to professional athletes of various ages sports – and everyone in between! He joined MSP because of the environment that it presents, the people that run the business and his true enjoyment for assisting people of all levels of fitness to get to their fitness desires.
He has two children, Ryker and Wyatt, that are familiar faces around the gym world! Aside from time with his kids he enjoys playing lots of golf, watching movies and sports and of course eating delicious foods!

Abby Rutledge

PERSONAL TRAINER, NUTRITION COACH + COMMUNITY SUCCESS MANAGER

Abby is a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and nutrition coach. She is certified as a  Level 1 USAW Coach and Renaissance Periodization Nutrition Coach. She is passionate about nutrition coaching for individuals who are overwhelmed by information and feel hopeless to make body composition changes. She prioritizes a focus on slowly changing habits for long term success. She is also passionate about strength for women who feel overwhelmed by a gym environment! Abby is dedicated to motivating all of her clients to reach their goals. She loves being part of the MSP team because each team member is committed to excellence and is truly invested in their clients lives and fitness journey!

Coach Abby received her bachelor’s degree in Biology and Spanish at Wheaton College. Additionally, she was a competitive swimmer at Wheaton College, finishing with All-Conference Honors throughout her college career. Outside of the gym, Abby loves to try new restaurants and spend time with friends.

At MSP, Abby wears many hats: Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach and Community Success Manager. In these roles she can curate custom programs for her clients and dive deep into optimizing our community experience!

Abby Boss

PERSONAL TRAINER

Abby is a USAW Certified Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor who specializes in youth athletics, adult group fitness, and Olympic weightlifting. She graduated from Wheaton College (IL) with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology, and she was a dual-sport athlete; she competed in varsity volleyball and softball.

Through Abby’s experience in athletics and on her high school powerlifting team, she grew a passion for functional sports performance training and empowering women through strength training. She also loves working with those without a background in athletics and helping them discover the joy and self-esteem that can be found and built in the gym.

Outside of the gym, Abby loves to cook, bake, read, watch movies, and spend lots of time with dogs and cats!

Zach Colangelo

PERSONAL TRAINER + COMMUNITY SUCCESS MANAGER

Zach is a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, a USA Weightlifting L2 Coach, and an experienced & certified CrossFit strength training programmer. His experience working in various types of health and fitness environments allows him to produce effective programming for individuals of all ages and fitness levels.

Clients train with Zach because they value his high level investment into learning and applying the strength principles into their custom programs. He not only personally cares about seeing you achieve your goals, he also makes sure that your goal-based plan is efficient, effective and evidence-based.

Outside of personal training, Zach has experience in fitness management where he has helped educate and guide new trainers in their early stages of their careers.

When Zach isn’t in the gym he is either golfing with friends or spending time at the lake with his family.

Jaime Sessions

PERSONAL TRAINER

Jaime is a AFAA Certified Group Fitness Instructor, TRX Certified Trainer and an ASFA Certified Kettlebell Instructor with eight years of experience coaching small groups, boxing fitness and strength and conditioning.

Clients train with Jaime because she is an enthusiastic, engaging, and dedicated strength coach. She is passionate about preventing injuries, increasing strength, and applying strength training to better support everyday movements.

Jaime is a full-time marketing professional, specializing in crafting zazzy, on-brand direct mail and email campaigns as well as social media and conversational marketing, so you’ll find her coaching early mornings, evenings and weekends.

Jaime grew up in Wheaton and loves her community. When she’s not lifting heavy or training for a triathlon, you’ll find her in the bleachers cheering on her three children.

Emily Hillstrom

NUTRITION COACH

Emily began working out at MSP in 2017 as an in-person athlete and under the guidance of Coach Mike Sell and fell in love with powerlifting and nutrition. She has successfully lost and kept off 90lbs of bodyweight, squatted over 300lbs, and deadlifted over 400lbs.

As an RP Strength Certified Nutrition Coach, she’s ready to help you meet your wellness goals! Based in Washington D.C., Emily is a remote coach for MSP.

PERSONAL TRAINER

Zander is a NASM certified Personal Trainer and Coach that specializes in powerlifting, strength training, and body transformation programs. Starting out as being the skinny kid that could never seem to gain any weight, he eventually started his career competing in powerlifting, where he learned how competition and strength training as a whole can completely change the way you view yourself and the world around you.

Zander loves working with individuals from all walks of life, including beginners, athletes and adults. Whatever your goal or experience level is, he is here to help you make them happen!

When not in the gym, Zander enjoys spending time with his dog, watching movies, and writing music for his band.

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