Former Seahawk Michael Bumpus builds fitness business in Monroe

Michael Bumpus is serious about fitness. And if you want to be his client, you had better be serious, too.

Bumpus, a former Seattle Seahawk who lettered in five sports in high school and who set records as a WSU Cougar before joining the Seattle Seahawks for a year until sidelined by an injury, has spent much of his life in gyms with elite trainers.

Now he has settled with his wife in Monroe, opened a gym of his own, and is bringing his wealth of experience to Monroe-area athletes. But he doesn't only work with athletes.

Bumpus will work with anyone who wants to get in shape, any age and any fitness level.

But they'd better be ready to take it seriously.

Bumpus is an engaging fellow, affable and amiable, but he has definite expectations for the people who make their way up the stairs at Top Ten Sports in the Fryelands to his small loft space, which is kitted out with basic but comprehensive fitness gear.

"I want to deal with people who are serious about losing weight and getting fit,GÇ¥ he said. "I love to see results.GÇ¥

A long history with sports

Bumpus is perhaps a surprising person to find in rural Monroe. He is a native of Los Angeles' Culver City, and has an illustrious sports history. Raised by a single mom who saw sports as a positive way to keep him busy, he lettered in baseball, basketball, football, soccer and track.

In 2001, he was able to visit Europe to play soccer before going on to a successful football career.

He played for the Washington State Cougars, setting several records, including 195 receptions. It was during his years at WSU that he met his wife, a native of Monroe.

Out of college, he was signed by the Seattle Seahawks as a wide receiver, where press hailed him as a promising talent.

He played six or seven games in 2008 and scored a touchdown against the St. Louis Rams, but in 2009 an injury ended his Seahawks career.

He went on to play pro in Canada and Spokane for a couple of years, but then he and his wife had their first child, and he decided to settle down in Monroe, a change of pace that he acknowledges was rather profound.

"My friends from L.A. are like, "How can you do it?'GÇ¥ said Bumpus with a laugh. "But its so much easier to raise kids here.GÇ¥

Stay Fit with Michael Bumpus

It was after retiring from professional sports that Bumpus got started working in gyms as a trainer.

"When I was working at gyms, I had to play by their rules and their schedule, but I learned a lot,GÇ¥ he said.

The big gyms weren't always an ideal environment to get in shape, he concluded.

"I used to see a lot of people in the gym on their phones. That's bugs me!GÇ¥ he said, and laughed. "I hate seeing people waste time and money on the phone!GÇ¥

More than that, though, he wanted to be able to tailor programs to people's specific goals. He wanted to be flexible with people's schedules and budgets, too, he said. And he wanted to be able to find clients who meant business.

So he got certified and went into business for himself, opening Stay Fit with Michael Bumpus in a small space he shares with the batting cage building at Top TenSports. Before long, he said, he had a nice roster of clients.

"The good thing about Monroe is that word spreads fast,GÇ¥ he said. "We don't send postcards or really advertise; it's all word of mouth. I like it that way because I get serious people, people who are willing to work and get after it.GÇ¥

Working with Bumpus

If you are willing to take your health seriously, Bumpus will go to considerable lengths to tailor a program to you.

"First, we sit and have a consultation,GÇ¥ said Bumpus. "From their, I give them a half-hour session to show them my style.GÇ¥

Bumpus believes in a combination of circuit training and weight training, and also offers clients a comprehensive personalized eating strategy.

If clients decide to sign up, he asks for a commitment of five or eight workouts at a minimum of twice a week, with three visits a week preferred.

"It won't do you or I any good for you to come in just every now and then,GÇ¥ he said.

Workouts don't have to be an hour-and-a-half long to be effective, said Bumpus.

"I can get a full body workout that kicks someone's butt in 45 minutes,GÇ¥ he said.

But the key to results is managing both a good exercise program and good eating habits. And part of Bumpus' practice is helping people come up with workable meal plans.

"I will never say you can't eat this or that. You can eat it. You just have to understand the portion and how it's going to affect your body,GÇ¥ he said. "You tell me your goals, and I'll tell you the food you can eat, the portions, how often you should eat, and when you should and shouldn't eat this and that. It's a flexible and realistic meal plan.GÇ¥

Bumpus includes among his clients a lot of athletes, including a bicyclist, several Monroe basketball, volleyball and soccer players, the state champion Lake Washington High School baseball team and even the Snohomish football team.

When he took on three competitive horseback riders as clients, he even did some extra research.

"To understand what they needed, I went to a ranch and got on a horse for the first time,GÇ¥ he said. "You can look and see it, but there's nothing like doing it. I was on a horse for 25 minutes, and my core and hips were on fire!GÇ¥

Bumpus works to train each person for his or her specific goals and sports, but his clients can't expect to find themselves doing the same routine over and over.

"My goal is to keep it fresh, because once your body gets efficient at a certain workout, it's not as effective,GÇ¥ he said. "You won't do the same workout in two months.GÇ¥

His approach has proven popular; so quickly has his business grown, Bumpus is now looking for a larger space for his practice.

Coming up

Once he's found a place, Bumpus plans to expand some of his offerings.

Regular Wednesday night Boot Camp classes will continue, but he's looking for ways to continue to offer reasonable rates, which at $45 a session are below average gym rates, to more people.

"I'm shifting to semi-personal workouts to make it more cost effective for them and me,GÇ¥ said Bumpus. "So if you show up with three people, it's like, $25 each.GÇ¥

Bumpus has three young children; soon he'd like to get involved with sports in the Monroe School District as well.

But for now, he's just trying to contribute to the over-all health of the community.

"I'm just trying to change the world one client at a time,GÇ¥ he said.

Find more information at or call Michael Bumpus at (425) 232-6856.


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