Our Philosophy

To coach and train athletes of all ages, fitness enthusiasts and individuals looking to make a commitment to long term health.

The Optimum Performance Center uses research-based training techniques to help clients move through developmental skill levels quickly and safely, maximizing their results.

Our mission is to bring a whole-body philosophy and results driven performance enhancing programming to our clients.

Our Story

The Optimum Performance Center is owned and operated by Michael and Michelle Gaugler, Lehigh Valley residents, who had a dream to open a facility that was not like a commercial gym and was rooted in research-based equipment and training techniques.

Michael and Michelle have experienced years of frustration trying to find a gym that has the tools and equipment that are proven to provide safe and fast results. They could not find one. So the Optimum Performance Center was born. Not meant to be a traditional commercial gym, where results are hard to achieve, the OPC will help clients achieve their sports performance and personal fitness goals.

Meet the Team

Michael Gaugler

Director of Strength and Conditioning Programming

Michael was born and raised in Nazareth, studied Exercise Science at Penn State and has over 20 years of experience as a strength and performance coach in the Lehigh Valley.

He has experience with Division I, II and III athletes on speed, strength, power, conditioning and injury prevention.

He has worked with local junior high and high school sports teams on proper lifting technique, running mechanics, body awareness, speed, agility, strength, power conditioning and injury prevention programs.

He has also worked with non-traditional athletes such as competitive Irish dancers on body awareness, injury prevention and functional strength.

He is knowledgeable about ergonomics and has helped numerous people with back, neck and shoulder pain and strain from repetitive work such as nurses, factory workers, desk workers and even musicians.

He is certified as a Functional Movement Systems Specialist, Powerlifting Practitioner, NASM Certified Performance Enhancement Specialist and Corrective Exercise Specialist and a certified program design specialist through the National Sports Performance Association.

Michelle Gaugler

Director of Operations and Business Development, Nutrition & Lifestyle Coach

Michelle has 30 years of experience in healthcare provision, business development and management.

Michelle has degrees in psychology and social work. She holds licenses as a social worker, personal care administrator and nursing home administrator, and certified as a personal trainer and a Level 1 Certified Precision Nutrition Coach.

Michelle is excited to be able to bring this much needed service to the people of the Lehigh Valley as she has struggled to find sustained results from using commercial programs. Michelle will be the first to share her successes using the FMS, specialty equipment (which helped her back!) and how the OPC’s training method offers helped to burn fat and build muscle. She offers holistic lifestyle coaching and specializes in women’s needs.

Michelle finds great meaning in helping others and is a relentless optimist so feel free to count on her for a smile, an encouraging word or a partner for reaching your maximum potential!

AJ Santiago

AJ has been a fitness enthusiast since attending Freedom High School where he played football, basketball, wrestling and track and field. After high school AJ continued an athletic career playing football at East Stroudsburg University and Moravian University until a neck injury prematurely ended his career. While devastating, this injury propelled him to pursue coaching others and had an opportunity to come home to Freedom to work with the strength and conditioning program. In addition to performance and strength training, AJ has competed in body building events at a national level. AJ holds certifications with AAAI ISMA as a Master Personal Trainer, ISSA as a Performance Enhancement Specialist and with Parisi Speed School. AJ has a lifelong desire to learn and really enjoys spreading his passion, lifestyle, and knowledge to others! AJ will be working with both adults and athletes doing both private and class coaching.

The facility follows Heads Up to Youth Sports Guidelines. Click here https://www.cdc.gov/headsup/youthsports/parents.html

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