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Meet Our Coaches



Hi, I’m Michael Pilhofer.

I am passionate about empowering others to achieve the success they desire and deserve. I’m a teacher at heart with over 25 years experience listening, observing, and communicating to help people improve themselves. I’ve been a teacher and coach in multiple industries, with the last decade helping people to optimize their health and fitness through customized training, nutrition and lifestyle coaching.

I love working with clients who are motivated to learn, energized by the process and the journey ahead. My goal is to create a positive and supportive training environment that inspires people to make long-term fitness and lifestyle changes.

I strive to lead by example, embracing new challenges and growth opportunities both in my own training and my constant pursuit of excellence and knowledge. I have sought out the leading masters in the fields of strength and condition, rehabilitation, and behavior to study under and learn from. Some of those include James FitzGerald, Charles Poliquin, Eric Cressey, Mike Robertson, Dr. Andreo Spina, Dr. John Demartini and more.

I believe that real, sustainable health and fitness is available to all of us right now, and the key is taking that first step. I believe in not simply doing work, but doing work that matters – work that has purpose, a plan, and an outcome in mind.

During my off time, when not coaching or running the gym, I’m a first call drummer in the Twin Cities metro area, as well as getting out on the open road on my Motorcycle.  My personal expression of fitness is as a weightlifter.

Highlights of my Education and Experience include:

  • OPEX Advanced Coach Level 2
  • USA Weightlifting Senior Coach
  • Functional Movement Specialist (FMS) – Level 2
  • Functional Range Conditioning (FRCms)
  • Poliquin International Certification Program (PICP) Level 2
  • Postural Restoration Institute (PRI)
    • Myokinematic
    • Postural
  • CrossFit Level 1 (2007)
  • CrossFit Level 2 (2008)
  • Precision Nutrition (PN) Level 1 – in process
  • Functional Diagnostic Nutrition (FDN) Level 1 – in process

Click here for a complete list of my Education and Experience.



I believe:

  • That your health and fitness is important.
  • That you control your life.
  • That letting it “happen” is not an option.
  • That real, sustainable health and fitness is not a mystery and is available to you right now.
  • That your best healthy self is waiting for you to claim it.

In my early 30’s, I got a wake-up call with my health and how I was training. Growing up, I played tennis. After college, there was lots of traveling with the job so I discovered running. I did lots and lots of it for many, many, years – as it was a stress reliever for me. Unbeknownst to me, I had a hereditary disk degeneration condition in my low back that led to a herniated disk, and had to undergo back surgery. It was recommended that due to the impact of running and due to the nature of my back, I needed to find other ways to exercise.

Post surgery I wanted to do everything I could to help me be fully functional as fast as possible. I wanted to make sure I was doing everything I could to help prevent any further back issues. I was driven to stay healthy and fit. To accomplish this I knew that I had to get strong, and in the right way. Working with husband Michael, he laid out a plan to help build my strength, stability, and endurance, which has kept me healthy and feeling better than ever.

Through this experience, we realized that there was a large demand for qualified fitness professionals that can help bridge that canyon between Physical Therapy and the body being ready for generalized fitness training and sport. In part through my personal journey from injury to full recovery, our Exclusive Coaching (EC) program at MSP Fitness was inspired. Through this highly individualized training program, regardless of whether you are an athlete wanting to maximize your fitness potential or recovering from an injury, the EC program can help you succeed in achieving your goals.

I hold a full-time job with “Corporate America” and I am a part-time coach at MSP Fitness. In my spare time I enjoy weight training, and practicing yoga. I am a foodie at heart. I enjoy reading and perusing for new recipes to enjoy and experiment with in the kitchen.

I have the following Certifications:

  • CrossFit Level I (2009)
  • CrossFit Basic Barbell
  • CrossFit Olympic Weightlifting
  • CrossFit Nutrition
  • CrossFit Kettlebell
  • CrossFit Gymnastics
  • CrossFit Endurance
  • CrossFit Kids
  • Functional Movement Specialist (FMS) – Level 1
  • CPR/AED Certified


For as long as I can remember, I’ve been in love with movement. My path started with youthful exploration, quickly turning into organized sports, ultimately guiding me towards strength and conditioning. It was in the weight room that I first discovered a passion for helping others become strong. More than a decade has passed since that initial spark, and now more than ever, I have a desire to see each individual I work with, drastically improve their quality of life through fitness.

Growing up, I dabbled in nearly every competitive activity, supporting a long career as a mediocre gym-class hero. I remained a jack of all trades until I found my niche within strength sports. Throughout high school and college I competed in Track and Field, specializing in the discus, the hammer throw, and weight throw. Seeking to maintain an athletic spirit, I have since transitioned into the sport of Olympic Weightlifting, competing locally and nationally since 2013.

As soon as I discovered I wanted to work with others in a fitness setting, I set my mind on education. Along the way I have obtained my undergraduate degree in Kinesiology, along with becoming a CSCS from the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Continuing education is a huge priority of mine as I seek to regularly attend seminars, certifications, and pursue individuals to study under.

If I had to summarize my philosophy on fitness it would be this:
1. Do no harm.
2. Less is usually more when you look at the bigger picture.
3. Be open minded.. but not so open that your brain falls out.

When I’m not training others or logging some training myself, I absolutely love hanging out with my wife and kids. You can usually find us cooking, doing things outdoors, or watching a show/movie.

  • Bachelors in Kinesiology (University of Northwestern – St. Paul)
  • Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA)
  • Certified Sports Performance Coach (USA Weightlifting)
  • Functional Movement Specialist (FMS) – Level 2