Interview With Big Bencher Mike Siegler As told to CriticalBench.com by Curt Dennis Jr. "The Brute" of Planetrage.com - August 2008
Mike Siegler - 605x2 and 405x15 Raw Bench Press
Hey, thanks for doing this interview, Mike, Mighty impressive benching lately...Please introduce yourself.
Mike Siegler, Woodbury, MN. I have a wife - Jane, and a son Michael Jr. He'll be 18 in August.
How long have you been lifting?
Tell us about your childhood and how you got into weight training?
I grew up in b-ville/av and went to small private schools in grade school; I worked out to improve my shot put for track. Then when I went to H.S. I got noticed in the weight room and entered some meets with a friend that did mainly Olympic lifting. Before H.S. I only worked out with grown men, so I had no idea it wasn't normal to bench 300 at 15. I just did what they did.
What would you say to a novice lifter or to a lifter who's just starting out in the gym?
It's along road. Don't get caught up in all the hoopla of gear and drugs. Stick to the basics, better to use lighter weight with good form.
Do you have a favorite out of the squat, bench and deadlift?
They are all fun with the right group of guys to train with. I like to bench, but I bench alone so it's boring.
What are the challenges of coming up as a powerlifter?
It's hard to give yourself to a sport so demanding that so few understand or care about.
Tell everyone here the difference between someone who wants to look "pretty" and someone who does what we do? The difference between a workout and a training session.
Well I've done both so I know. When you're a bb you can go in - go through the motions, and call it good. Training is less than 1/3 prep. If you're a powerlifter, you MUST hit your number for that day. Nothing else matters. Miss and you just f'ed your whole day and probably week.
What is your mindset when you train, Mike?
I go to have fun now. I'm pretty loose.
Do you believe that powerlifters have a lifestyle of their own?
I just said this yesterday - if you are good at powerlifting, you are not good for much else.
What can you attribute most of your progress to?
Years of good technique, no bad habits (lifting wise).
What are your workouts like? How are they set up?
Bench Mon/Thurs. How heavy depends a lot on whose there. Usually I'll break it into something like a 4x10 day and a heavy day.
What would you suggest to someone on how to get stronger?
It's hard to get all three going at the same time. Try squatting and deadlifting on the same day.
Do you think using bench shirts/gear is cheating?
Not if the rules allow it.
What do you think is the reason for all the big numbers as of late like Kennelly's 1070 and Frankl's freakish total or Hoornstra's raw strength? Has strength training evolved?
The shirts are ridiculous. As for the raw - people are always getting stronger and smarter. Compare powerlifting to track and field.
Do you think the standards went up in the sport?
I think in some ways they have gone down. Someone benches 900 and they're on page 99 of plusa not the cover.
What changes are you going to have to make to go to the next level?
I am going to have to be more consistent, probably open up to training on weekends again.
Is there anyone you would like to thank right now?
The problem with thanking people is anyone left out bitches. I'll thank you for your interest, msj for the videos and Jane for everything else. Special shout out to Kevin for showing up to spot.