He can bench-press 405 pounds, deadlift 675 pounds, squat 635 pounds, and hits the gym five days a week for two hours a day. While Michael Counihan wears XL shirts to fit his enormous arms, this cop’s viral traction is even larger.
Counihan’s Instagram account, @NoDonutsHere, follows his impressive fitness workouts, and has given him a reputation among law enforcement as the fittest guy on the force.
The 12-year police veteran and tattooed fitness guru sits with INKED to chat about being tattooed and on the force, fitness, and, of course, his tattoos.
Why did you want to become a police officer? Did you ever want to do anything else?
September 2001, I was a senior in high school being scouted by a few different college football programs. After the attack on September 11th, I wanted to join the Marines and fight for our country. However, upon completing my senior year, I was given an opportunity to play college football and I selfishly took it.
After college I felt like being a cop, especially in New York, would be the next best thing to join the military. Nearly twelve years later, I now work a counterterrorism detail there.
Through your Instagram account, you’ve gained a reputation among law enforcement and first responders as the fittest guy on the force. What is the goal/ mission of NoDonutsHere?
Although I have been referred to as “New York’s fittest” I would beg to differ. There are plenty of cops in great shape out there. Before I got that nickname, I had already been encouraging other first responders to live healthier lifestyles with my social media. As my platform grew, the objective stayed the same: to help as many people as possible.
I use my social media accounts to promote a positive attitude toward life, no matter what negative circumstances we see at work, and to be the best version of yourself by eating healthy and training daily. I feel fitness plays a vital role in our line of work; whether it be protecting someone else, or yourself, you should physically be able to do so.
Does being virally known as “hunky and handsome” drive your fitness? What is the response from your colleagues?
I’d like to think I’m looked at as a source of motivation. That seems to be the majority of my feedback, and that is what drives and motivates me. The fact that I’ve built this platform where people go to me for motivation, I don’t want to let them down, so I have to stay on top of my game.
As far as my colleagues, it’s a hit or miss reaction. Some like it, and some don’t. Which I get, I feel like some people see tattoos and muscles and have a preconceived notion as to what kind of person we are. I get a lot of positive feedback though. Especially once people get to actually have a conversation with me.
What type of responses do you get as a tattooed police man?
As far as my tattoos in the street, I get a lot of compliments. I haven’t had too many negative comments or looks. It’s usually “hey, I love your tattoos.”
What are some ways you would like to merge the police world and the fitness world?
I started coordinating these large group workouts last summer. It’s a function training workout based upon movements that any first responder could be tasked with on any given day.
Although it’s geared toward first responders, it’s open to the public and anyone that wants to join.
The idea is to:
1) Build comradery among first responders
2) Improve the relationship between the community and the police.
My experience with the workouts showed me that getting people physically working together toward a common goal, and encouraging and cheering each other on, builds great relationships.
How do tattoos help or hurt your image in your line of work?
I personally don’t think that my tattoos hinder or improve my image. I think at this point it’s accepted by most people. Maybe just that some people have a preconceived notion that I’m some kind of tough guy or have a big ego because of muscles and tattoos.
I’m not sure if the people whose lives I’ve saved liked tattoos or not, but I can assure you that when I was helping them they didn’t care if I had tattoos. I get it that some people tend to judge other with tattoos, but that doesn’t necessarily make it right. Some of the best people I know are covered in tattoos.
Tell me about the supplements company 1st Phorm and your involvement?
1st Phorm is a company I’m honored to be affiliated with. I have been using their product line exclusively for over five years. They are determined to not only put out the best product on the market, but educate people on health and fitness while helping them get real results.
It’s not about selling supplements that people don’t need. The fitness industry has a reputation of being a very vein “look at me” industry. 1st Phorm is really changing the atmosphere by genuinely helping people improve their lives, and I’m proud to be a part of it.
Give us a tattoo tour! Which/when was your first, favorite /and or most meaningful?
My first tattoo was shortly after becoming a cop. As many cops do, I had St. Michael, the archangel of police, tattooed on the top half of my arm. Then I got my favorite tattoo on the inside of that bicep which is the American flag. I carried the patriotic theme down my arm with a bald eagle, the rattle snake from the Gadsden flag with the words, “Don’t tread on me” below it, and a skull with an Uncle Sam hat.
I then got two quotes. 1, “honor thy mother and father” and 2, “DO WORK”. My left arm has a dove with a cross on the inside.