What is your VO2max? How is it related to your longevity and healthspan?

December 22nd, 2023 by Jennie

Two powerful studies, published in highly respected medical journals, followed almost 900,000 subjects for a number of years and concluded that higher VO2 max was associated with lower mortality across all fitness levels. And while there seemed to be no upper limit to the benefits of aerobic fitness (CRF), the impact of lower aerobic fitness on longevity was clearly similar to commonly recognized comorbidities: 

Increased Cardiorespiratory Fitness (CRF) was associated with reduced long-term mortality (death by any cause) with no observed upper limit of benefit. The adjusted mortality risk of reduced CRF was greater than or equal to traditional clinical risk factors, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and smoking. Extreme aerobic fitness (CRF ≥ 2 SDs above the mean for age and sex) was associated with the greatest survival and was notably beneficial in older patients and those with hypertension.”

In other words, the greater your fitness, the lower your chance of passing away early, with no limit to how being more aerobically fit can help. If you’re not very aerobically fit, the risk of not living as long is similar to or even greater than known health issues like heart disease, diabetes, or smoking. 

The great news is that CRF is a “modifiable indicator”, and can be changed or influenced through exercise to great health effect. The following tables show the various VO2 Max categories used in the studies and the substantial reduction in All Cause Mortality as aerobic fitness moves from group to group. 

Improving from the Below Average group to the Above Average group is associated with a 41% decrease in All-Cause Mortality within the next year. This is equivalent to the impact of quitting smoking! Moving from Above Average to High has a similar reduction in overall mortality risk. Furthermore, improving your VO2 Max from Low CRF to High CRF results in a substantial 290% reduction in All Cause Mortality, and going from Low to Elite is even more remarkable with a massive 404% reduction! Another way of saying this is that someone in the low CRF group has an almost 3 times greater risk of dying compared to someone in the High CRF category, and a 4 times greater risk of dying than someone in the Elite group.

Peter Attia MD in his best selling book on longevity, “Outlive”, highlighted the significance of this finding by saying “It turns out that peak aerobic cardiorespiratory fitness, measured in terms of VO2max, is perhaps that single most powerful marker for longevity”

With such an impact on longevity within your control, why wait any longer? Call or order your test online today at Athletic Mentors and schedule a VO2max test to determine your longevity risk and talk with a fitness expert to design a program that helps you improve your health to live longer and better. 

Sugar by Any Other Name: How To Tell Whether Your Drink Is Sweetened

June 14th, 2019 by Athletic Mentors Staff

Sweeteners that add calories to a beverage go by many different names and are not always obvious to anyone looking at the ingredients list. Cutting out sugary beverages is a big step in making healthy diet choices. Some common caloric sweeteners are listed below. If these appear in the ingredients list of your favorite beverage, you are drinking a sugar-sweetened beverage.


  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Fructose
  • Fruit juice concentrates
  • Honey
  • Sugar
  • Syrup
  • Corn syrup
  • Sucrose
  • Dextrose

    High-Calorie Culprits in Unexpected Places

    Coffee drinks and blended fruit smoothies sound innocent enough, but the calories in some of your favorite coffee-shop or smoothie-stand items may surprise you. Check the Web site or in-store nutrition information of your favorite coffee or smoothie shop to find out how many calories are in different menu items. And when a smoothie or coffee craving kicks in, here are some tips to help minimize the caloric damage:

    At the coffee shop:

    Order the smallest size available unless you are ordering plain black coffee.
    Forgo the extra flavoring – the flavor syrups used in coffee shops, like vanilla or hazelnut, are sugar-sweetened and will add calories to your drink.
    Skip the Whip. The whipped cream on top of coffee drinks adds sugar.
    Get back to basics. Order a plain cup of coffee with milk and or drink it black.
    At the smoothie stand:
    Order a child’s size if available.
    Ask to see the nutrition information for each type of smoothie and pick the smoothie with natural ingredients and no added sugars and syrups.
    Hold the sugar. Many smoothies contain added sugar in addition to the sugar naturally in fruit, juice, or yogurt. Ask that your smoothie be prepared without added sugar: the fruit is naturally sweet.

    Better Beverage Choices Made Easy

    Now that you know how much difference a drink can make, here are some ways to make smart beverage choices:
    Choose water or plain iced tea instead of sugar-sweetened beverages.
    For a quick, easy, and inexpensive thirst-quencher, carry a water bottle and refill it throughout the day.
    Don’t “stock the fridge” with sugar-sweetened beverages. Instead, keep a jug or bottles of cold water in the fridge.
    Serve water with meals.

    Make water more exciting by adding slices of lemon, lime, cucumber, or watermelon, or drink sparkling water.
    Add a splash of 100% juice to plain sparkling water for a refreshing, low-calorie drink.
    Be a role model for your friends and family by making water your preferred beverage choice.

What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Sugar?

May 30th, 2019 by Athletic Mentors Staff

By Erin Young

We all know to go easy on the sweet stuff, but what actually happens to your system when you indulge? Here, eight ways sugar affects your body.

Your brain suffers

Fructose—the sugar that naturally occurs in fruit and is a component, with glucose, of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)

 and table sugar—lights up the brain’s reward center. But over time, a diet packed with fructose (especially from HFCS) can make it tougher to learn and remember, animal research suggests. To stay in peak mental shape, try sticking with whole foods like fresh produce and snack of foods that are packed with nutrition.

You want to eat more

By revving the brain’s reward and appetite center, fructose can interfere with feelings of satiety,or feeling full. Translation: That 3pm cookie may not curb your craving after all. You’ll just want two.

Skin ages faster

Too much sugar can hinder the repair of collagen, the protein that keeps skin looking young. A steady diet of sugary treats can result in reduced elasticity and premature wrinkles. Indulge your sweet tooth with a serving of fruit instead.

Excess sugar is stored as fat

Pause before you slip that additional packet into your a.m. coffee. The liver has an innate capacity to metabolize sugar and use it for energy—but only to an extent. The fructose that’s left over is converted into fat in the liver, raising your risk of obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, and Cardiovascular Disease.

Your cells pay a steep price

Sugar accelerates the oxidation process in our cells. Healthy cells are attacked by free radicals that destroy or mutate the healthy cell. For athletes, this means poor recovery. The result? Proteins, tissues, muscles and organs can become damaged, and our risk of health conditions, including liver disease, kidney failure, and cataracts, rises.

You get hooked

Eating sugar leads to the release of dopamine, the neurotransmitter that makes us like something and want more of it. As dopamine receptor neurons get overstimulated, the number of receptors to bind to decreases, so you’ll need a bigger hit of dopamine to get the same rush. Three Hershey kisses after lunch today, five tomorrow…

Stress eating begets stress

Sweets can lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the near term, research shows. But continue OD’ing on sugary refined carbs and your risk of insulin resistance, which stresses the body from the inside, goes up. To find your calm, sweat instead: Exercise is the best treatment for stress. It makes you feel good and reduces cortisol.

Energy surges, then bottoms out

Refined carbs, like those in white bread and pasta, quickly cause a rise in glucose in the bloodstream, so you might feel extra energized… for a while. But this short-term fix can actually leave you more sluggish later on (when you eventually crash). Instead, opt for protein and nutrient snacks between meals, such as Greek yogurt with fresh berries or fresh veggies and hummus. They help stabilize blood sugar and keep you going longer.


May 2nd, 2019 by Athletic Mentors Staff

So you know you need to read labels to watch your sugar intake. What CAN you eat? Think of food as fuel. You wouldn’t put cake batter into your vehicle because it wouldn’t run very well. Think of what you put into your body in the same manner so that your body can perform at it’s best physically, mentally and especially emotionally. You need to get the most out of what you eat and these foods pack a major punch in peak performance for all areas of your life. Fresh produce is always a winning choice. It’s like premium in the Porsche! Try adding a few of these to your diet while kicking out the sugar. Most of them fit great on a big lunch salad.

1) Leafy greensDark, leafy greens are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and calcium, as well as several phytochemicals They also add fiber into the diet.

2) AvocadosAvocados contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals including potassium, vitamin E, vitamin C, B vitamins, and folic acid.

3) Fish  Fish is a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which help prevent heart disease. All salmon is a healthy source of omega-3s—one 3-ounce serving delivers 700 to 1,800 milligrams.

4) Cruciferous vegetables – Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, radishes, and turnips. They are an excellent source of fiber, vitamins, and studies have shown that cruciferous vegetables may significantly lower the risk of several cancers.

5) Fermented Foods – As in Yogurt or Kumbacha. This “good bacteria” is imperative to gut health. Minus the sugar of course. Buy plain yogurt and add a few nuts and blueberries.

6) Blueberries – These contain high levels of antioxidants that help the body fight inflammation. Blueberries also cut risk of heart disease and cancer, as well as memory loss.

7) Beets – Beets have been shown to help offset the risk of many chronic diseases due to their high levels of vitamin B, iron, copper, magnesium, potassium, and manganese.

8) Nuts – Whether you choose almonds, pine nuts, pecans, or macadamias, nuts are one of the healthiest on-the-go snack options because of their healthy levels of unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids.

9. Olive oil and Lemon Juice – Unlock the secrets of nature’s finest ingredients with our premium-quality Superfood Olive Oil and Lemon Juice. This potent combination, rich in essential nutrients and antioxidants, is the ultimate solution to elevate your health and wellness.

21 Health and Nutrition Tips That Are Actually Evidence-Based

April 25th, 2019 by Athletic Mentors Staff
  1. Don’t Drink Sugar Calories
    Sugary drinks are the most fattening things you can put into your body. Sugary drinks are strongly associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and all sorts of health problems. Keep in mind that fruit juices are almost as bad as soda in this regard. They contain just as much sugar, and the small amounts of antioxidants do NOT negate the harmful effects of the sugar.
  2. Eat Nuts
    Despite being calorie dense, nuts are incredibly nutritious and healthy. They are loaded with magnesium, vitamin E, fiber and various other nutrients.
  3. Avoid Processed Junk Food (Eat Real Food Instead)
    All the processed junk foods in the diet are the biggest reason the world is fatter and sicker than ever before. These foods have been engineered to be “hyper-rewarding,” so they trick our brains into eating more than we need.
  4. Don’t Fear Coffee
    Coffee has been unfairly demonized. The truth is that it’s actually very healthy and high in antioxidants.
  5. Eat Fatty Fish
    Especially fatty fish, like salmon, which is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and various other nutrients.
  6. Get Enough Sleep
    The importance of getting enough quality sleep can not be overstated. It may be just as important as diet and exercise, if not more. Poor sleep can drive insulin resistance, throw your appetite hormones out of whack and reduce your physical and mental performance.
  7. Drink Plenty of Water, Especially Before Meals
    Drinking enough water can have numerous benefits. One important factor is that it can help boost the number of calories you burn. According to 2 studies, it can boost metabolism by 24-30% over a period of 1-1.5 hours.
  8. Don’t Overcook or Burn Your Meat
    Meat can be a nutritious and healthy part of the diet. It is very high in protein and contains various important nutrients. The problems occur when meat is overcooked and burnt. This can lead to the formation of harmful compounds that raise the risk of cancer.
  9. Avoid Bright Lights Before Sleep
    When we’re exposed to bright lights in the evening, this disrupts the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. An interesting “hack” is to use a pair of amber-tinted glasses that block blue light from entering your eyes in the evening.
  10. Eat Vegetables and Fruits
    Vegetables and fruits are the “default” health foods and for good reason.They are loaded with prebiotic fiber, vitamins, minerals and all sorts of antioxidants, some of which have potent biological effects. Studies show that people who eat the most vegetables and fruits live longer, and have a lower risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and all sorts of diseases.
  11. Do Some Cardio, or Just Walk More
    Doing aerobic exercise (or cardio) is one of the best things you can do for your mental and physical health. It is particularly effective at reducing belly fat, the harmful type of fat that builds up around your organs. Reduced belly fat should lead to major improvements in metabolic health.
  12. Don’t Smoke or do Drugs, and Only Drink in Moderation
    If you’re a smoker or abuse drugs, then diet and exercise are the least of your worries. Tackle those problems first. If you choose to include alcohol in your life, then do so in moderation only, and consider avoiding it completely if you have alcoholic tendencies.
  13. Minimize Your Intake of Added Sugars
    Added sugar is the single worst ingredient in the modern diet. It can wreak havoc on metabolic health. A high intake of added sugar is linked to numerous diseases, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and many forms of cancer.
  14. Don’t Eat a Lot of Refined Carbohydrates
    Not all carbs are created equal. Refined carbs have been highly processed, and have had all the fiber removed from them. They are low in nutrients (empty calories), and can be extremely harmful.
  15. Don’t Fear Saturated Fat
    The “war” on saturated fat was a mistake. It is true that saturated fat raises cholesterol, but it also raises HDL (the “good”) cholesterol and changes the LDL from small to large, which is linked to a lower risk of heart disease.New studies that included hundreds of thousands of people have shown that there is no link between saturated fat consumption and heart disease.
  16. Lift Heavy Things
    Lifting weights is one of the best things you can do to strengthen your body and improve your body composition. It also leads to massive improvements in metabolic health, including improved insulin sensitivity. The best approach is to go to a gym and lift weights, but doing bodyweight exercises can be just as effective.
  17. Avoid Artificial Trans Fats
    Artificial trans fats are harmful, man-made fats that are strongly linked to inflammation and heart disease. It is best to avoid them like the plague.
  18. Use Plenty of Herbs and Spices
    There are many incredibly healthy herbs and spices out there. For example, ginger and turmeric both have potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, leading to various health benefits. You should make an effort to include as many different herbs and spices as you can. Many of them can have powerful beneficial effects on your health.
  19. Take Care of Your Relationships
    Social relationships are incredibly important. Not only for your mental wellbeing but your physical health as well. Studies show that people who are close to friends and family are healthier and live much longer than those who are not.
  20. Don’t go on a “Diet”
    Instead of going on a diet, try adopting a healthier lifestyle. Focus on nourishing your body, instead of depriving it. Weight loss should follow as a natural side effect of better food choices and improved metabolic health.
  21. Eat Eggs, and Don’t Throw Away The Yolk
    Whole eggs are so nutritious that they’re often referred to as “nature’s multivitamin.” It is a myth that eggs are bad for you because of the cholesterol.

Change Your Perspective About Food…

March 28th, 2019 by Jennie

“The fate of your health, including that of the brain, is a choice—not a destiny dictated by your genes. Food is medicine and we can actually change our gene expressions with the foods we eat.” -Nutrition expert, Dr. David Perlmutter, a renowned neurologist and New York Times best-selling author of Grain Brain, The Brain Maker and The Better Brain.

Food is fuel and medicine. Every one of your dietary decisions throughout the day impacts your exercise and mental performance. Most refined carbohydrates contain no minerals, enzymes or nutrients. This makes them an ANTI-nutrient. Choosing the vending machine over fresh produce is not only void of nutrition, but also causes damage and leads to disease and poor productivity at work and home. Your body needs fuel, not calories. More importantly, you want to live a vibrant life rather than fretting missed weight loss goals. There are so many reasons to eat healthy other than losing weight!


When you fuel yourself with healthy foods over your lifetime, you give yourself a strong heart, body and the power to stay free of disease. It is never too late. Research shows that there are foods that can actually reverse some damage and most definitely prevent further damage. When it comes to preventing some cancers, healthy foods are going to fight for you. Sugar is food for cancer cells. They love it. Starve them by eating a diet free of processed foods. Good fats and plenty of veggies will inhibit cancer cell activity to slow tumor growth.

Consistently getting the hydration, vitamins, and minerals you need keeps your body primed and ready to work its best. Eating nutrient-rich foods are critical to keeping your muscles and mind strong so that you can do whatever it is you want to do, whether that’s bench pressing your body weight or taking the stairs at age 90. People who eat well day in and day out are more productive than are junk food eaters.To keep your muscles strong and brain high functioning, now and as you age, start meeting your nutritional needs!

Athletic Mentors Athlete Nathan Williard Wins Gold

February 28th, 2019 by Athletic Mentors Staff
On Saturday February 23rd, Nathan Willard competed in his very first power lifting meet, and ended up winning it all! Nathan finished with some very impressive numbers. He had a 305 pound bench press, which was the heaviest at the meet! He also squatted 305 pounds, and pulled a whopping 440 pound dead lift!
Nathan started training with the Athletic Mentors team back in April of 2018 originally for football and re-hab after ACL surgery. He wanted to get an edge on his competition by getting some extra strength training, along with some speed and agility. Right away we noticed Nathan’s mind blowing strength. The more he worked with us, the more his numbers continued to increase in all of his lifts. After his football season ended, Nathan reached out to us about an interest in power lifting.  Mark Olson started a program for him, and as a team,  we all got a chance to work with him as he prepared for his competition.
Congratulations Nathan…hope this meet is just one of many to come.  AM will continue to raise the bar!  Best of luck to Nathan on March 9th at the high school state championships!!! 

What Is Processed Food and Why Is It Bad For Me?

February 27th, 2019 by Athletic Mentors Staff

Get into the habit of reading every food label to look for added sugars and corn syrup. If you cannot pronounce the name of the ingredient, chances are you shouldn’t put it in your body. Processed foods are to blame for obesity rates, high blood pressure and the rise of Type 2 diabetes. If you have to unwrap it or take it out of a box, it is a processed food. Processed foods fall on a spectrum from minimally to heavily processed:

  • Minimally processed foods — such as bagged spinach, cut vegetables and nuts — often are simply pre-prepped for convenience. They are good for you and often make it easier to eat healthy.
  • Foods processed at their peak to lock in nutritional quality and freshness include canned tomatoes, frozen fruit and vegetables, and canned tuna. Just read labels and buy items without added sugars. Doing your own canning is far more tastier, healthier and rewarding!
  • Foods with ingredients added for flavor and texture (sweeteners, spices, oils, colors and preservatives) include jarred pasta sauce, salad dressing, and yogurt. These foods aren’t the worst offenders, but be aware that most of these pack as much sugar as a candy bar.
  • Ready-to-eat foods — such as crackers, breads, granola, chips and deli meat — are heavily processed and lack nutrition.
  • The most heavily processed foods often are pre-made meals including frozen pizza, boxed macaroni, drive-thru meals and microwaveable dinners. You are getting zero nutrition from these meals, they are calorie dense and there are a number of adverse side effects to your health.

A good, general rule of thumb is to “keep it fresh”. If you are sticking to foods that would go bad within a week or so in your refrigerator, you are making good food choices. Salads, fresh vegetables, fresh meats, eggs and cheese won’t stay fresh too much longer than that. If it does, be skeptical of its’ nutritional value and effect on your health. The “real foods” are the foods that are going to keep you healthy and thriving for many years!

Pensacola Cycling Classic

October 16th, 2018 by tcoffey

Team Athletic Mentors Tim Coffey goes on a road trip from Brevard, NC to Pensacola, FL


With Hurricane Florence ripping through North Carolina I decided I wanted to skip town and go race my bike somewhere sunny and warm.  A week before the race I watched this massive storm gain strength in the ocean off the coast and decided it wasn’t a good idea to spend the weekend in Brevard while the storm rolled in.  I was looking on USA Cycling and I found a stage race in Pensacola Florida. There was a solid payout and with forty people pre-registered for the race I decided to sign up.


I was able to get one of my collegiate team mates to come and race with me.  Shortly after we both signed up we realized me needed to find a place to stay. We looked at staying at a campground on the ocean but after looking at the weather and the heat advisories I knew it wouldn’t be a good idea.  I emailed the race director and he was able to find a place for us to stay. Now with a place to stay and money on the table the race was a go.


We loaded up the car on thursday after class and headed south.  The drive ended up being about eight and a half hours counting time for stopping.  After a long drive we rolled into Pensacola. Our host family greeted us and we went to sleep right away.


Saturday morning came very early.  Our alarms went off at 5:30 am and it was time to get ready for stage one of the race.  Stage one was a three mile time trial. After a thirty minute warm-up I was ready to go.  I felt super strong during the time trial with my Giant TCR kicking a lot of TTl bikes butt and ended up in 4th place,  12.38 seconds back from first. I knew going into stage two that I would need to win to make up lost time.


Stage two was a 50 mile road race through the rolling hills of northern Florida.  There were a lot of attempts of a break away trying to go but nothing stuck. I burnt a lot of matches trying to break away from the field but nothing stuck.  After about two hours of racing the whole field was still together and we were flying down the 1k long finishing straight with a group of about 30 guys. In the massive group sprint finish I ended up finishing fourth, topping my sprint off at forty miles an hour with my TCR pulling off another top 5!  My result in the road race was enough to stay in fourth overall and I did not lose time. After the road race I was down 16 seconds from first place but I still was in the running for the overall.  


The final stage was a forty minute crit.  I did a little warm up before the race but it didn’t take too much riding to get warmed up because the heat index was over 100 degrees.  During the race before mine a guy crashed in the last corner and was hurt pretty bad so my race was delayed because of it. When my race finally started it was full gas from the gun.  


The race leader attacked about four laps in and another guy went with him.  Everyone in the peloton looked around at each other and no one chased. I moved to the front and pulled for two laps trying to bring back the breakaway.  After pulling for two laps I pulled off the front and everyone sat up and looked around at each other again. This kind of racing is called negative racing.  It’s not fun when this happens.


After being frustrated with the negative racing, halfway through the race I got a flat tire and almost fell in a corner.  I rolled to the start and grabbed my backup wheel and I was back into the race. After doing one lap with the new wheel the peloton came upon one of the guys that were in the break and he was on the ground all bloody.  Turns out while he was sitting on the other guy’s wheel he had his head down and went straight into a barrier. After seeing the guy on the ground the field lit up and the speed got ramped up since the second place was open.  


We ripped around the course for another ten minutes there was one lap to go.  The field slowed down in the first two turns and then the next three were super fast.  We went into the last corner and everyone was fighting for position. I ended up finishing around twenty-fifth in the field sprint which was good enough to keep in fourth overall and I went home with some cash.  Talk about an awesome weekend, I had a blast.


Athletic Mentors Multisport Team Suiting Up for Success in 2018

February 9th, 2018 by Athletic Mentors

Athletic Mentors — the training and team management company responsible for elevating Michigan endurance athletes to recognition as “podium performers” — is ramping up for another strong showing for the 2018 race season.

The storied team of Michigan amateur triathletes, cyclists, runners and Nordic skiers will be suiting up with support from numerous community partners this year.

Training the next generation of multisport athletes is an activity that will continue to receive increased attention in 2018, building on workshops held last year for youth triathlete training and cycling clinics.

“Our mission is to introduce young athletes to the joy of endurance competition as a lifelong motivation for healthy living,” said Cheryl Sherwood, General Manager and co-owner of Athletic Mentors.

“It’s one of the many ways our sponsors are making Michigan a better place for active living.”

Back for a second year in the presenter role is Greenware, a Kalamazoo packaging company that caters to restaurant, event and entertainment service with an exclusive line of annually renewable drink cups, lids, portion containers and on-the-go boxes made entirely from plants. Parent company FabriKal is privately held and home to more than 800 employees. For Greenware, the AM team is an opportunity to encourage the community to enjoy the outdoors and keep it green.

After a season break, OAM NOW is back in the fold as a major sponsor. OAM NOW offers urgent orthopaedic care from the best orthopaedic surgeons available. With 30 experienced physicians and PAs specializing in motion; spine; joints; hands and feet, OAM is uniquely qualified to give immediate diagnosis and customized care to athletes. With all diagnostic technologies onsite, OAM NOW offers fast, unified care whether you’re on the couch or on the trail.

Rounding out the premium level of support are three community-minded West Michigan companies.

Gauthier Family Home Care provides elder and home care with an emphasis on independence and an improved quality of life. This family-owned business understands the struggles of in-home care and works with clients to create tailored care solutions. Their compassionate, professional caregivers go the extra mile to provide dependable comfort.


Total Plastics Inc. distributes thousands of diverse plastics across the US. They provide top-quality products with superior service and swift shipping. Dedicated staff, value-added services, and quick turn-around set them apart.

Agility Sports Medicine serves the Kalamazoo area with comprehensive orthopedic physical therapy. They employ one of the most heavily-certified staffs in the region, featuring two Board-Certified Clinical Specialists in Orthopedics and the only Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Sports Physical Therapy in Southwest Michigan.

Additional team support comes from the following: Infinit Nutrition, Smith Optics, Giordana, First Endurance, KLM Fitness, Custer Cyclery, Speed Merchants Bike Shop, Giant and the Cross Country Ski Shop. Learn more about our sponsors.

Athletic Mentors continues to serve as the title sponsor for the team as well as the management company that operates it.

“We’re committed to keeping endurance athletes of every age moving. And nothing motivates a commitment to training more than a race,” Sherwood said.

The team regularly operates free introductory clinics to help amateur or would-be endurance athletes prepare for local races such as the GR TRI, the Cycling Lawyer Criterium, or the Michigan Titanium, mother of multisports.

Athletic Mentors, founded in 2002, continues to expand at a record pace. In 2016, it purchased a new home for its Richland training facility and fitness drop-in center. Last year, in partnership with the Wings West facility in Kalamazoo, Athletic Mentors opened a second center to keep young hockey and figure skaters in top form with off-ice training programs.

AM also offers adult fitness programs, classes, metabolic testing and sports camps. Previously, Athletic Mentors has managed the award-winning Bissell cycling team, the Priority Health Team and OAM NOW.