You know a thing or two when you coach over 5,000 Olympic and elite athletes across 42 sports, nine professional teams in three different leagues (including the New York Mets), and have 27 years of experience morphing eager collegiate athletes into athletic goliaths.
And sometimes you learn a thing or two, as was the case with Mike Barwis, C.S.C.S., CEO of Barwis Methods and co-founder of Revere nutrition who’s revolutionizing the way average men and women, as well as top-tier athletes train, recover, and, most importantly, fuel.
“The athletes I trained over the years really are my family,” Barwis says. “I've had the number one defenseman in the NFL call me on his way to the hospital when his wife was about to give birth and I’ll carry [Jets guard] James Carpenter’s baby boy on my back while I'm training 30 NFL guys.”
Now, with the launch of Revere, a revolutionary take on nutrition, Barwis is leveraging his decades of experience working with the world’s best athletes to power the everyday athletic pursuits of the average joe and the weekend warrior. Committed to safety and integrity, Barwis and his team have partnered with leading nutritional scientists to create incredibly effective products that are built from only simple, natural, plant-based ingredients.
Where it all began: The player who sealed Barwis’ fate
Naturally, Barwis feels a high amount of responsibility to take care of these players and their families. But it wasn’t until he met Brock Mealer, a 23-year-old from Wauseon, OH, the brother of one of his football players at the University of Michigan who rocked his world and set Barwis’ purpose.
In 2010, on Christmas Eve, Brock Mealer was in a car accident with his parents, brother, Elliott, and his brother’s girlfriend. A driver blew past a stop sign and broadsided their car, killing Mealer’s father and Elliott’s girlfriend, and paralyzing from the waist down. Mealer was told there was less than a 1% chance he’d ever walk again.
Elliott Mealer was the first person Barwis met at the University of Michigan. He was in a sling, and when Barwis asked what for, Mealer recalled the accident and said: “I ripped the door off the hinges to get my brother out of the car, and I tore my shoulder out of the socket. When I was at the hospital with my brother, we watched a motivational speech you did on ESPN. We loved it. Is there any way you could go see my brother?”
Barwis skipped a meeting with the admissions coach and met with Brock. The two formed a friendship. Brock would come to practices and the players would throw him the ball.
But Brock felt nothing short of hopeless after two years of rehab and no progress. That’s when Barwis stepped up.
“I like helping people, and I'll take you on,” Barwis recalls telling Brock. “He laughed and said 'You're already here 17 hours a day—you're crazy,' and I said 'I'll work 20 if you show up.”
With an education from the School of Medicine, Barwis had experience working with people with disabilities—using training protocols to help them regain function.
In six weeks, Brock experienced his first leg twitch.
In six months, he led the Wolverines out on the field for the season opener on two canes, on his own feet, in front of 110,000 people, Barwis said.
“He made it across and touched the banner in Michigan Stadium,” Barwis says. “That's still the loudest recorded decibels in the history of the stadium. At that moment, I remember tears running down my face, my heart pounding, and I thought I'm not doing everything I need to do to be impactful.”
Barwis launched First Step Foundation, a facility that offers recovery programs for people with neurological disabilities. In five years, Barwis and his team has helped 65 people take their first steps after being told they’d never walk again.
“I got my first exposure working with the general population, working with children and people with disabilities,” Barwis said. And I realized something: People have really bad nutrition.”
How Barwis made his foray into the world of supplements
“Most people don't really understand how nutrition impacts performance,” Barwis says. “They don't provide themselves the right fuels at the right times. They don't know what those fuels are.”
A lot of supplements have specialized marketing that tricks people into believing the ingredients are designed to help them, when they can be a hindrance.
So Barwis set out to fix the gap he saw in athletic programs by creating a wholesome line of supplements that takes all the guesswork out of the equation.
It came from Barwis’ desire to create something completely natural that comes from whole foods and has no negative byproducts. And here’s the kicker: that tastes great and gives people the results they crave.
Revere is plant-based, non-GMO, has no artificial flavors, dairy, soy, or gluten. Rather than monstrous tubs, the supplements come in individual packets that are categorized, too. There’s a pre-workout energy Pea Tea packet made with pomegranate fruit extract, beet root powder, and coffee extract; a post-cardio Vanilla Chai powder featuring pea protein isolate, rice protein concentrate, and tart cherry; and a post-workout Dark Chocolate powder for muscle repair and strength that boasts pea protein isolate, rice protein concentrate, and cocoa powder.
Here’s where Revere shines: The serving is based entirely on you and your training needs. There are low and high dosages.
When it comes to elite-level athletics and average people trying to get in shape, there’s one universal truth: We love to be told what to do.
There’s a questionnaire that determines the intensity and frequency of your workouts, factors in your body weight, height, and behaviors that require specific supplementation.
“We can send packages basically on a prescription-like basis, where it's sent right to your house, and each day is laid out for you, so you know exactly how much to take, exactly when to take it, and you’re getting nothing but healthy, whole-food nutrition,” Barwis says.