Interview With Micah LaCerete, aka Hitch Personal trainer, Life Coach and Fitness Model Interviewed By Ben Tatar of CriticalBench.com - April 2008
Micah LaCerete, aka Hitch, is a professional fitness model, personal trainer, life coach and a club promoter. He inspires thousands of people around the world to get in better shape and to live a healthier and more balanced lifestyle. He trains hard and is known for making headlines in magazines. I had the pleasure of meeting Micah at the 2008 Arnold Sports Classic where we set up the following interview.
1) Critical Bench: It's Ben Tatar from Critical Bench and I am here with well known fitness superstar, actor and motivator, Micah aka Hitch. Tell Critical Bench readers and all of your fans about yourself!
Micah: My name is Micah aka Hitch, lol.. Micah is that realm 2! Hitch is that realm 1, haha..
I am a Personal trainer, Life Coach and Fitness Model but more importantly I have instilled in me the desire to inspire! I live each day in hopes that I can help as many people as possible through coaching, communication and listening. I then will teach them the ways of not only transforming their bodies but more importantly transforming their minds and lifestyle.
I Love, Live and Breathe Health and Fitness.
I also do fitness modeling. I love competing with myself. I love getting my mind and body to its top potential through sacrifice and hard work. If they hit national publication then I become more known and spread my word of positive living and giving back. It's a main reason I work so hard everyday.
2) Critical Bench: That is awesome! I like how you compete against yourself and know yourself so well, while inspire the world all at the same time. PERFECT! Micah, when and how did you get started in bodybuilding? Did you play any sports when you were younger? Were you always this big and ripped?
Micah: I started working out when I was 18, right after I went to college. I was always athletic growing up, playing baseball, basketball, soccer, golf, tennis, and everything else, but I never worked out. I was skinny and lean, a hard gainer for sure.
3) Critical Bench: Micah, being a hard gainer, how long did it take you until you started to easily rep 225 on the bench? (Micah has repped 225 for almost 30 reps. Many of the 300+ pound guys in the NFL can only bench 225 for about 30 reps.)
Micah: Well I was always had a strong bench press for my size. I think training delts and triceps very hard leads to a stronger bench press. I started working out when I was 18; I was benching over 225 by the age of 20. I would train heavy but also train lighter weight until failure as that would build a lot of my endurance.
4) Critical Bench: Micah, you were once in a serious car crash and most people would have called it quits they experienced such a tragedy. What motivated you to come back and become better stronger and more ripped than ever before?
Micah: I was looking in the mirror one day and realized I was living a life that I was not happy with. I was not happy with what had happened to me both mentally and physically. I made a deal with myself that I would not party anymore, not drink and focus on bettering my life and living healthy. Since that day I have not had one drink and fully committed myself to the lifestyle I have molded. I wake up happy everyday and help so many others
5) Critical Bench: That is what sacrifice, mental toughness and what it means to be hardcore! That is amazing!!! Very inspiring! How does your family feel about your fitness success?
Micah: My family has been 100% supportive since day one. It has been a major reason I kept working so hard on the goals I had set for myself.
6) Critical Bench: On another topic, your physique definitely turns heads! What are some of the best reactions you have gotten in regards to your physique?
Micah: Some of the best reactions I have gotten.. haha. I can't think of one off the top of my mind but I get some of the craziest, wildest emails on myspace. Just think of the wildest thing someone can say to another person and I'm sure I have gotten it before, lol!
7) Critical Bench: haha, I bet! Who hits on you more for being SUPER RIPPED, gay men or females? Or is it a mix of both?
Micah: I get a mixture of Women and Men hitting on me. I have heard it all. Lesbians saying they would hook up to gay men trying to convince me that they could turn me gay. I prefer the women comments being that I'm straight although some of the things I have heard from them would make me run as well. I usually just laugh at it all and focus on the emails and comments that are more inspirational
8) Critical Bench: hahaha! Too funny! I'm laughing right now. You have huge and sculpted biceps! Tell us about your arm routine!
Micah: My arm workouts vary from week to week. One week I may do heavier weights lower reps, the next week hit tempo type training or supersets and go to complete failure. My favorite style training with arms has to be tempo. I go super slow and controlled to get maximum cell volume. I usually hit arms for 30-45 minutes also throwing in forearm exercise
9) Critical Bench: Interesting combo, going heavy for low reps and then super sets and failure! A great mix of different hardcore training, so training never gets old and so the body never adapts, love it! What about your leg routine?
Micah: I am a huge promoter of doing hardcore leg routines. I have some of the most insane exercises for legs. I do a lot of super high intensity training mixed with jumping and sprinting. I stick with medium weight with tons of super sets, drop sets with leg curls, leg extensions, lunges, TONS of calf exercises and all my stability muscles
10) Critical Bench: You sound like an Olympic athlete! I would love to hear about your back routine!
Micah: My back routine consists of lots of pull-ups, lat pull downs, rows, bent over lateral raises. All high intensity training
11) Critical Bench: You are the fitness version of Mike Mentzer of the new era! Micah what does your chest routine consist of?
Micah: I go super heavy for the first exercise generally bench press, incline press or db chest press then do lighter weight high rep movements. I also have a pushup day 1 time every 2 weeks. This consists of 45 minutes or every single type of pushup imaginable.
12) Ben: Tatar: The pushup routine sounds nuts! If any of you are bored of training, get some chairs out, put 10 girls on your back and take one off your back until you fail, until it's just your body weight! Whatever, you do, do push ups! Micah, how do you get your six pack abs?
Micah: I don't work abs a whole lot. Diet is the key to ab development! your body fat must be low enough first before you see your abs. When I do abs I stick with hanging leg raises, decline crunch and side bends. Working abs about 2 times a week for 15 minutes a session
13) Critical Bench: It's interesting how the person who has done the most sit ups in the world in a row doesn't even have a 2 pack of abs! Micah, is right folks! Make sure you do your abs for at least 15 minutes every weekend! Micah, do you do cardio to keep your fat way down? If so what?
Micah: The only cardio I do is sprinting at the track or running stairs. Everything is super fast and high intensity. Helps keep my body fat low without losing muscle.
14) Critical Bench: Great advice about the cardio and about losing fat without losing size. Do you recommend females to train this way who want to lose weight too? Do you recommend doing high intensity training for fat loss opposed to trying to run a marathon?
Micah: Well depending on where your body fat is at and your overall goals I advise doing sprinting opposed to duration style cardio, for marathon runners you are obviously wanting more duration and hill running. If you are going for an overall body fat loss type, stick with your diet and high intensity everything
15) Critical Bench: That's right ladies. When you are going moderate and then really extreme with the cardio, look at Micah's body and hear Micah say "Don't quit, show me that animal desire!" The fat well shred! Micah, what are the biggest mistakes you see your clients make? What are the biggest factors that hold them back?
Micah: The biggest mistake my clients make is assuming they know what they are doing when they first train with me. Especially with their diet. They get a huge reality check after the first workout; I think I have about an 80% ratio of first timers throwing up. I figure if they throw up and come back then they really want to make this transformation happen. It also prepares them for what they will be going through the next 12-16 week of their life. You have to change your overall lifestyle or you will not be able to keep up.
16) Critical Bench: As Micah's testimonial's show the ladies and clients who make this transformation will thank Micah and themselves for a life time, so the pay off is worth it. Micah, do you have an on season and an off season? Or do you stay cut year round? How is your training during your on season different than your training during your off season?
Micah: I train the same year round. I stay in as good as shape as I can. The only thing that changes during on season is my diet. If I have a big shoot coming up I diet hardcore for about 3-4 weeks. Cut out all the bad foods and stick with a meal plan that works for the goals I have set.
17) Critical Bench: Right, how often do you change your routine? Are you changing your routine a lot to keep confusing the body so it never adapts to anything and so you never hit a plateau to become as freaky sliced as you are today?
Micah: I change my routine every week. I train myself how I train my clients. Constant shocking. My theory on body is to constantly trick it.
18) Critical Bench: What type of training do you like best out of HIT/ DC training, German Volume Training, power bodybuilding, Super sets, and drop sets? I like that about you, you seem to be everything from training like a model, to a power builder, to an explosive/ endurance athlete. You are a bit of each in one package, NICE!
Micah: I like keeping my strength up but high intensity stuff such as vertical leaps, sprinting, anything active to keep my endurance up. I still work on all my speed drills and jumping.
19) Critical Bench: Micah, I have seen footage of you running before. You're like as fast as an NFL running back and you jump as high as an NBA player. Tell everyone your sprint time and about your best vertical jump!
Micah: I'm still running 4.5 40's and have a 40" vertical. (I have an image that you would love Ill send it over to you)
20) Critical Bench: That is crazy athletic! Note, Micah isn't any taller than 6 feet and his arms aren't long, but he can easily slam dunk a basketball with 2 hands! Micah, how do you decide when to go HIT, when to use cell volume type training, when to do power training, or drop/ super sets? How do you determine when your body needs to train in the ways it needs to train?
Micah: My mind thinks fitness 100% of the time. I never go off workouts that are written up in magazines. I know my body inside out and what I can do to get it to a certain level of strength, endurance and overall look. It's just in my mind of the flow to what training I do. It's how I train my clients too. Constantly pushing them a little further then their body will go until they are in top shape.
21) Critical Bench: That is one factor that separates champions like Micah and average lifters. Average people go off generalities and ideas. The best of the best go off intensity and know themselves and their clients, like Micah! Micah, you need to make a video!! You have such a fan base! When do you plan on making a video all about your training and healthy life style?
Micah: I am in the process of making a DVD with workouts and life coaching. Make sure to look for that later this year.
22) Critical Bench: You were just in Muscle and Fitness Magazine. What is it like being in Muscle and Fitness? Tell us about that!
Micah: It was a great surprise to me that the first job I got after signing with silver models was one of my career goals in being in muscle and fitness. I am so excited to be apart of probably the biggest and most well known fitness magazine in the world. It makes me look back through all the years of sacrifice to know that it was all worth it. I feel very blessed and I hope for continues success
23) Critical Bench: What are your future goals?
Micah: The first being fitness related the other being about my life, a very inspirational book. I will be opening my own Personal training studio and I want to get my own fitness/inspirational type TV show.
My goal is to get my DVD made, and secondly finish my process of writing 2 books.
24) Critical Bench: What are your favorite supplements?
25) Critical Bench: How has fitness made your quality of life better?
Micah: Fitness is my life. Without fitness my life would be completely different. I am so passionate about what I do and giving back to others the knowledge I have gained that not having fitness in my life would have made me less driven and efficient in everything I do.
26) Critical Bench: Without fitness where on earth do you think you would be? Haha, guess!
Micah: I could never imagine my life doing anything but what I am now. I wake up happy and with a purpose. I would probably be working for some company very unhappy wishing I would have stayed in bed, lol
27) Critical Bench: If you could be any kind of animal what kind of animal would you be?
Micah: Well an animal higher on the food chain, lol. Probably a cheetah, fast, smooth yet chill.
28) Critical Bench: Sounds sort of like the realm life that Micah lives now, without all the social connections that Hitch experiences, lol! What do you think of the Arnold Expo event this year?
Micah: The Arnold is a great thing. Getting all the models/celebrities all in one place to chat with fans and motivate other to start working out. It's amazing how many people show up. It's a bit overwhelming when you walk in and there are 300,000 people
29) Critical Bench: For anyone who goes next time, get a pic taken with Micah! You should all be there! Micah, do you have any creeds that you live by?
Micah: A quote I wrote and live by as well as preach is this "when you have control of your choices, you have control of your lifestyle. You'll live healthier, become happier and spread that happiness to those around you"
30) Critical Bench: Nice quote! Micah, give us 10 inside secrets about you!
1. I'm a huge dork with my close friends
2. I don't drink alcohol
3. I like chill environments rather then super busy places
4. I'm very structured
5. Down to earth
6. Have motion sickness (no roller coasters for me)
7. Can't drink milk (does my body BAD)
8. Very passionate about life, relationships and choices
9. Addicted to chap stick (mint)
10. Love smell goods (cologne, candles, anything good smelling for my home or for myself)
31) Critical Bench: What makes you happy? What are your fears and what are your pet peeves in the gym?
Micah: What makes me happy is helping others. I have worked so hard over the years to better myself and get myself where I am today that now my life goals have shifted to reaching out to others and helping them achieve their goals through healthy living and positive thinking. I really don't have any fears. When you go through as much as I have you look at life in a different way. Never to fear only to succeed, fear in my mind holds you back from being a better you. As far as pet peeves in the gym, I am there to workout not talk; I put my ipod on and WORK. If you want to chat with me text me later, haha
32) Critical Bench: Right, you have been through it all! Bad car accidents that would kill many, to being a force in this industry, to losses! I think at this point success is your only option! If you were to play a role in a movie of any type of character what type of character would you play? Did any characters inspire you?
Micah: I would be Jean Claude Van Damme, Bloodsport or Kickboxer. Growing up I wanted to be him and it gave me a lot of drive to workout. I thought at that point he had a body that I could obtain.
33) Critical Bench: And you did, while getting more girls in the process without having to beat someone up in the process! Haha! Micah, what do you like doing outside of bodybuilding?
Micah: I love traveling!!!. Also spending time with my friends and relaxing.
34) Critical Bench: What is your ideal vacation?
Micah: I would go to a fairly remote beach resort and turn all electronics off including computer, cell phone. Just relax in the sun and enjoy life. I'm a simple person; the little things in life are what make me happy.
35) Critical Bench: Seems like you have strong mind control from being a warrior in the gym to your enlightened self on the beach! Tell us about some of the things that you have achieved in this bodybuilding industry that you are proud of!
Micah: Some of my major accomplishments have been the cover of muscle and body with Jennifer Nicole lee, the cover of men's workout; I was on the reality show Manhunt with Carmen Electra and the reality show Split Ends. Recent stuff was signing with Silver Models in New York. They are the best fitness agency in America and have the top fitness models. I'm also apart of Icon Men in La, an elite group of fitness guys. I will be in the June edition of Muscle and Fitness, which was one of my major goals.
36) Critical Bench: What has been your CRAZIEST, FUNNIEST, FAVORITE and moment that has changed your life the most so far in the fitness industry?
Micah: My craziest moment was doing the reality show Manhunt. It was very early in my career and so many new things that I had never been around. Carmen Electra came out to introduce herself to me and I was so nervous, lol. She at that time was like the hottest woman ever. The funniest thing that has happened since I have started has to be when I went to Cancun for a photo shoot and the photographer and I went during spring break. Yeah it was insane. We were trying to shoot and I had a group of like 200 girls surrounding me, hooting and hollering. I felt a bit scared for my life, jk. My favorite times have been when I get to travel anywhere tropical and just enjoying the beauty that this world has. I really try to take it all in and remember even the small things.
37) Critical Bench: Tell us about your diet! Do you have any diet advice for ladies or training advice for ladies such as when to do cardio, when to eliminate carbs and how often they should or shouldn't eat junk food?
Micah: My diet is very clean most of the year. I don't eat red meat at all. I stick with chicken, fish and turkey. I eat tons of vegetables and fruit. Where I am at with my body now I can cheat if I want to and it doesn't affect me. If you are trying to get yourself to a more lean and lower body fat type of body you will need to make the sacrifices to get there. Cut out all sugars, bad fats, and soda. The thing I always tell my clients is treating your diet and workouts like you would treat your relationship. You wouldn't cheat on your partner, don't cheat on yourself.
38) Critical Bench: When your fitness career ends, how do you want people to remember you?
Micah: I want to be an inspiration forever in hopes that when you transform who you are that you will in turn help others to become healthier inside out. Through hard work and positive living anything is obtainable
39: Critical Bench: When you have a family how will you raise them?
Micah: I hope to one day have a wonderful wife, someone who pushes me to be a better person, someone very loving and that will raise my children the right way. I want to be a huge part of my child/childrens life. Working with them to be the best they can be inside out, physically, mentally and spiritually. I'm very excited to have a child.
40) Critical Bench: What are your favorite things about fitness?
Micah: I love everything about fitness. It's a stress relief! You become more confident, look better, feel better, and become more successful in everything else in life.
Critical Bench: Micah, it's been great getting to sit down and talk to one of the greats in the fitness industry. In closing is there anything that you would like to tell everyone reading your amazing interview today!
Micah: All that I ask of you is to make the right choices in your life to become a better person. Give to others around you and share with them your story in hopes that it will inspire them to become more. Stay fit and stay healthy. Thank you very much for all the support, im only one person but with all the encouragement and kindness I sometimes feel like I can move mountains.. THANK YOU