Meet the GP's Personal Trainers

Helping you achieve your nEW yEAR'S goals

New year, new you. Tired of pain or stiffness preventing you from moving and exercising like you want to? The trainers at the Gathering Place can help you achieve your health and fitness goals in the upcoming year. Aaron Nikou and Michelle Shoemaker are members of Community Church of Greenwood and are trained in Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT™) and Resistance Training Specialist® (RTS®). Learn more about MAT™ and RTS® in the following introduction. 

Let me ask you an important question? If you had an effective alternative to taking medications, receiving shots, or having surgery for chronic pain, why wouldn't you try it? Traditionally, western medicine has favored symptom related treatments that, at best, are minimally effective and provide temporary relief. What if there were a system that sought to discover the root cause and provided a strategic progression towards health and fitness?

Does it sound too good to be true? It certainly did at one point for this writer until I experienced its healing benefits myself. I can say that both Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT™) and Resistance Training Specialist® (RTS®) utilized by the trainers at The Gathering Place have not only changed my life personally but also professionally.


What is MAT™ or Muscle Activation Techniques?

MAT™ is a revolutionary system, developed by Greg Roskopf, that seeks to determine root causes of muscular imbalances and restore the body’s muscular contractions in order to improve strength and movement. Without us realizing it, the stresses of everyday life, the overuse of certain muscles, and muscular trauma—even small ones like a sprained ankle—result in a less effective muscular system. This causes sore, tight muscles and aching joints that are only minimally relieved by sitting or lying down. We then turn to medications, ice packs, and stretching for further relief. We spend time working on the area where the pain is occurring, assuming that is where the root cause of our pain lies. But what if there is another area in the body that is causing that pain?


MAT™ practitioners assess the body for areas of limited movement. The concept behind this system is that these limited areas may have reduced muscular strength. This can be compared to an individual walking on ice. Instinctively, when we walk on an icy surface, we take smaller and more careful steps in order to avoid falling and injuring ourselves. The muscles, as a protective mechanism, do the same thing in order to prevent joints from further damage. MAT™ practitioners treat the areas of limited movement to restore muscular contraction and potentially increase movement. The ultimate goal of an MAT™ practitioner is to identify and correct muscular imbalances to bridge the gap between fitness and rehabilitation; progressing people back to a healthy condition or the health they want to be at in order to achieve their fitness goals.

What is RTS® or Resistance Training Specialist®?

RTS® is a system of progressive and strategic exercise, developed by Tom Purvis, that is designed to increase muscular strength, decrease joint wear, and ensure individualized exercise challenges. The client is progressed through his or her current level of ability, control, and tolerance. Clients are provided with intentional, specific instruction and cuing to complete exercises that appropriately challenge their currently weak or goal areas.

What does this mean for a potential client?

Each client is evaluated to determine his or her baseline functioning and current capabilities as well as weak areas which need to be addressed. The practitioner and client then discuss appropriate fitness goals and the progression towards accomplishing those set goals. As with any intervention, depending on health history, length of injury or issues, and ability to tolerate treatment, results may vary. However, most individuals respond quickly to MAT™ and RTS® treatment. Individuals may feel more balanced throughout the body and may also notice a difference during their workouts. This may include increased ability to tolerate exercise and the ability to lift heavier weights. Often, muscular tightness, soreness, and joint pain are significantly reduced or eliminated.

For more information on:

MAT™ visit

RTS® visit


To schedule your consultation today visit the trainers page on our website here

Scroll down for each GP trainer's bio, or for contact info click here

Aaron Nikou

A USPTA certified tennis professional and former Division I athlete, Aaron uses his passion for people and experience in the fitness industry to train, educate, and motivate people physically and spiritually to achieve their overall goals. With over seventeen years experience in the fitness industry, Aaron works with anyone from high level athletes to sedentary individuals, early adolescents to older adults. Aaron uses Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT™) and progressive exercise to bridge the gap between fitness and rehabilitation in a comprehensive and progressive way to bring the body back to health.

michelle shoemaker

Michelle has been in the fitness industry since her early twenties. She has been a certified personal trainer for five years with an emphasis in nutrition. After addressing underlying muscular weaknesses that she dealt with as a result of a non-scoliotic curvature, she has been able to straighten and strengthen her spine with the help of a Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT™) practitioner. She now uses MAT™ as well as exercises and myokinesthetic training in her own practice to help people, and she truly enjoys watching people succeed, feel better, and meet their fitness goals.

Austin Glander

Austin grew up in Indianapolis and attended Lutheran High School of Indianapolis where he was active in sports and fitness. After high school, Austin attended Indiana University and graduated with a Park and Recreation Management degree, with a focus on facility management. After graduation, Austin felt a calling to return to sports and fitness and decided to pursue certifications in Resistance Training (RTS®) and Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT™).