Interview With Super Heavy Weight APF Competitor Mike Wolfe by Ben Tatar, CriticalBench.com
1. Tell us about yourself.
My name is Mike Wolfe and I grew up in St. Mary's Ohio. I compete as a Super Heavy weight in the APF and I'm going to compete in the WPO bench contest very soon. I am 30 yrs old and I have been married for 11 years to my beautiful wife Chastity. We have two children Damon 9 and Caitlin who is 6.
2. Give us a little history about your career?
I started training in high school during football and it wasn't very productive. I quit for about a year after school and then in 94 I got a little more serious about my training. I met up with a cop at the local YMCA, his name is was Randy Houseworth, and he was a 3 time Police Olympics Bench press Gold medalist. He was the one that guided me into the world of powerlifting. After one year of training he took my bench from 225 to 525 with a shirt. I started benching in an Inzer single ply denim bench shirt. I was competing in the mid 90's and I was successful at the State level winning 4 straight contest. In 1997 I took up bodybuilding and dropped a ton of weight and was close to getting on the stage but never did. About that time I quit lifting all together for 2 years, I was burned out. So, then I took up tournament paintball and I was the captain of an amateur team. We had some success but we never got to pro level. Then in late 2002 my brother in law wanted me to show him some weightlifting techniques and the bug bit me hard again. And since that day I have never looked back and had huge success. I started training at Westside under Lou and George Halbert a little over a year ago.
I went in there with a contest best of 525 pounds. I train there every Sunday morning at 7
am, I have a 2 hour drive one way to get there so that means I leave
my house at 5 am every Sunday morning, but the success they have
given me is priceless, well worth giving up my Saturday nights for. I
recently benched 825 in Kenny Patterson's APF World Gym Championships
at a bodyweight of 401. I took 1st place in the heavy's and I was also best
lifter. I'm just getting started.
3. Do you prefer Westside Training or Metal Militia and why? How do you integrate both systems into your training? We know that in Metal Militia that when you are benching with a shirt you should drift the bar back, why do you choose to drift it back instead of in a straight line?
I use the Westside training style and technique but I do allow the bar to drift back at the lockout like metal militia. Going to Westside they completely changed everything I ever knew about benching. I always benched like a bodybuilder to the chest arms floating around out in limbo. I never pushed with my arms. I always used my chest and shoulders, not my tris.
The shirt that I use has a groove that if perfectly done will put the bar out to your belly and then follow the groove back over your upper chest. It's just an easier groove to push through. By bringing your elbows in to your sides it displaces the weight into your triceps and takes a lot of the tension off of your chest and shoulders, and then you use your tris and lats to push the bar back up and follow the natural shirt groove to the top
4. What are your future bench press goals?
My closest goal as of now is to do 900 plus at the Bench Bash for Cash in Chicago in October. My long term goals are to set the WPO world record, set the raw world record and set the all time World Record in all federations. I want to own all of these records at the same time so no one can question my ability in a shirt or raw. If it takes me 1100 pounds shirted and 800 raw so be it. I will work my butt off to get those records and if I fall short I'll pick myself up get back on the bench and try harder.
5. So you want to have the Raw Record, Single Ply record and the most
weight benched period record. How would your training differ to hit all 3 of these
records? And which record would be your first choice, which would be your second choice and which would be your 3rd choice?
I want the Raw World Record, The Super Heavy WPO World Record (2-ply), and the All-time World Record. Well I would have to change my training for the raw record drastically. I would have to eliminate all shirt work and start working a lot of secondary muscles to help take the weight that the shirt would normally handle. I feel there would be a lot more direct chest work to help explode the bar off of the chest. And then you are going to have to be able to stabilize the bar without the aid of a shirt so lots of Shoulder and Arm work would be needed for the raw record. As for the other two records, well I'm currently working on them!
My first choice would be the World Record, then the WPO world record and then Raw, in that order.
6. If you one day set the world record in the raw bench, shirt bench and
single ply bench how would you react? What would it mean to you?
It would mean everything to me, because in benching you would of had accomplished it all. And it would of have shut everyone's mouth in what ever they do. Raw, single ply, double ply and no one could question your accomplishments. This would bring the weight lifting world into peace.
7. That would be an awesome accomplishment. What are your best bench press assistance exercise maxes?
I have done a raw 825 off of a 2 board it was 400 in band tension and 425 in plates. It is on the new Westside bench training video. I have done a very easy raw 600 as a guest lift at local YMCA touch and go meet. I have done a 705 floor press with a combo of plates and chains. And my best in gym shirt lift was 835.
8. What is the first thing that goes through your mind before crushing a big weight?
You know in a contest I don't get mad and intense. I don't walk around like my underwear is too tight. I just come in, smile make eye contact with people, give a few thumbs up, then I go over to my beautiful wife and kids and give them all a kiss and then sit down, close my eyes, and think about what I got to do. Over the years I have spent way to much time thinking about negative thoughts and trying to be pissed at the jerks that pushed me around. I'm a big goofy guy and that's what works for me. So I just think about that bar blasting into outer space and my arms being the rocket boosters to get it there.
9. In order what are the 5 most important factors when going for a bigger
bench press and what are the 5 biggest mistakes that lifters make?
The most important factors are:
1- Having the drive and dedication to believe you can achieve what you want.
2-Traning with 100% intensity, have fun when it's time to have fun and train like crazy when it's time to train
3-Train your technique and bar speed
4-Consume enough food to feed your body
5- Get enough rest to let your body heal and always train smart
The 5 biggest mistakes are:
#1- The biggest mistake is they over train.
#2- They don't seek out the knowledge from people or literature to help them train.
#3- They expect results overnight
#4- They don't build up a solid enough muscle foundation before getting in a shirt
#5 they think that putting on a shirt will make them a 500 pound bencher overnight. My best advice for them would be to surround yourself with the right people and every thing will come. Finding the right people are people who are very knowledgeable in the sport and how it works.
10. What statements do you want to make when your bench press career
is over? What do you want people to say about you when your bench
press days are all said and done?
The Statement that I want to make when my career is over would be to let people know that this is a great sport. And if you put your mind to it you can achieve anything you want. I want people to say only positive things about me. I want them to remember me as a great out going guy that was always cool to kick it with. I want them to see me as a guy who came into this sport and was an ambassador of all that is good in this sport. I want to be remembered as a man with drive, dedication, intensity, and a love for the sport.
11. Away from the gym what does Mike Wolfe enjoy doing most?
I love to spend time with my wife and kids. I enjoy going on road trips with them, I just love to drive. I don't drive anywhere in particular. I just get in my car or truck and drive. Windows down, music blaring that's what I like to do outside the gym.
12. Has there been any amazing stories or adversities in your life
that you had to overcome?
I was just the usual fat kid getting pushed around and beat up. That's the reason I turned to weight training. I can remember being told by the high school football superstar in my school that I will always be fat until I can bench my bodyweight. Well now I do twice my bodyweight and I'm still fat- Just kind of a funny adversity story.
Another story was my first lifting experience which was in junior high, where we were introduced to the high school weight room. And there was, "the block", a 185 pound hunk of steel on a hinged bench with two handles coming off it. If you could do the block you were cool. I never could do that damn block. Put me under it now and I'll do it for a 100 reps.
13. You've came so far. What does it feel like being one of the most massive and strongest men in power lifting?
You know being one of the strongest benchers in the world has still yet to sink in to me. I'm just Mike the big goofy guy who can bench nearly half a ton. I think its funny, people always come up to me and ask for pictures and autographs. I always joked around with my wife telling her I would be famous some day. She would always give me crap about my signature on my checks and credit card slips because it was so sloppy, I always told her it was my autograph. Not that I sign autographs, I print my name. I remember my first autograph was a girl working at Taco Bell. She recognized me from a news paper article and wanted my autograph for a friend. Then I had a guy ask me to sign his belt and I looked at it and he had names all over it. He had Anthony Clark, Eddy Conga slew of top Bodybuilders and he wanted me to sign it also. That to me just cracks me up, I love it!
14. Tell us about your training routine.
My training routine consists of a five day split. Sundays I do all my max effort work in Columbus at Westside. Monday I train back. Tuesday I train Shoulders, no direct pushing movements mostly all rear and traps. Wednesday I bench doing my dynamic work (speed work).Thursday I hit back again. And Saturday I'll do rear delts and traps.
My back work consists of heavy pull downs, Hammer Strength Iso Rows, and partial Deadlifts. My shoulder work consist of side lateral raises, rear delt raises (cable or dumbbell), rear delt band work, heavy dumbbell or barbell shrugs.
15. Tell us about your diet.
My diet is a mess. I really need to clean it up drastically. I don't follow any strict diets I eat basically what I want when I want. My wife says that I am a meatatarian because my basic mainstay is lots of meat. I don't use much as far as supplements, they are just too pricy to try and take on a regular basis. However, when I'm working onto a contest I try to up my protein through supplementation.
16. What went through your mind, the first time you walked in Westside and what was the first thing that Lou Simmons said to you?
The first thing that went through my mind was "damn this place is small". It's only about 1200 square feet. The first thing that I remember Lou telling me was that if he had my arms that he would be benching 1000lbs.
17. What are your favorite Westside exercises and least favorite Westside exercises?
My new favorite exercise is floor presses I suck so bad at these, but I know they are going to make me strong as all get out. My least favorite is those damn JM presses I tried for like a month to get that motion down and I just can't do it.
18. What kind of bench shirt do you use? How do you use boards, bands and chains? How do you hook them onto the weight?
My shirt that I use now is a 2 ply Black Inzer Denim with the open back, low collar, grid stitching, and the radical Westside cut. It actually goes on very easy and is just the right tightness, but I have ordered new Denim and a new Rage X and those are going to be super tight. Really isn't much to say about boards and bands either you use them or you don't. All the benches at Westside are designed specifically to use bands so you just hook them under and snap them on the bar. I personally use the purple bands (medium bands) to do all my speed work and then we double them up for lots of my heavy work. I actually just started using chains here in the last few months and they seem to be working we use up to five chains aside for floor presses.
19. How would you compare the bench press to the other activities that you
have done in your life such as paint ball?
As far as comparing benching to paintball they both have one heck of an adrenaline rush. The thing is, paintball is a team sport, benching you have a team of guys but when it comes down to it. It is you against the weight. There are no buddy's there to help you lift the weight. It is you and the bar. I enjoy doing both but I love to bench press.
20. Give us some inside secrets about you...
Well my wife says that I'm a closet nudist. I enjoy the feeling of walking around all natural, but only when the kids are at Grandma's house.
21. If you could go to a nudist colony with any power lifter of your choice
who would you choose and why? And who would be the last person that you would go to a nudist colony with?
Wow! What a question! My wife would say I'd pick Kara Bohigan and she is a very beautiful lady, but she is cool in a buddy way, so that wouldn't work and Ryan would kick my ass! So just by looks alone I'm going to say Priscilla Ribic, that woman is very good looking. Priscilla if you read this hope you don't take offense, Ben asked the question! The last powerifter that I would go to a nudist colony with would be alone. My god I could only imagine if there were two of me at a nudist colony. God I would get in so much trouble with myself that it wouldn't be funny
22. If you could meet anyone in the world who would you meet and why?
Hugh Hefner cause he is the MAN, for one not only does he a have like five gorgeous women living with him, but he is man enough to put up with five gorgeous women living with him. And he has all access to the Grotto.
23. Would you rather be the undisputed championship bencher or Hugh Hefner?
Hands down Hugh Hefner, you know being the undisputed champion bencher would be flat out awesome but being Hugh Hefner would be flat out WILD!!!! Money, Chicks, Lots of BOOBS, owning the rights to Playboy and the millions upon millions of dollars it generates. I wouldn't think twice, but this is reality, so look out here I come.
24. Some of your biggest fans might be 225lbs benchers and they might think that a 225lbs bench is good. What would you like to tell all the men that bench 225 and under who look up to you?
I would tell them that a 225 pound is nothing to be embarrassed about. It seems that people are judged in the bench press by how many 45 pound plates are on a side. It is like the 35's 25's, dimes, nickel and Scooby snacks don't count. There are a lot of people out there that can't budge 225.So it is definitely something to be proud of. Everyone starts somewhere and at one point in time I was only benching 225. If people are content with 225 that's great, but if they hunger for more they need to get that drive and make it increase. Start piling up those 45 per side and see how people react. Trust me if I can do it anyone can.
25. There are fat people in schools that get picked on. Are there any message
that you would like to tell the heavy kids that get picked on and the people who pick on them?
Yeah to all those super jocks that think they are the stuff in school, watch who you push around because you never know they may be the next Mike Wolfe or Gene Rychlak. As far as I'm concerned though, those guys did me a favor. If not for them I probably would have never picked up a weight and got this serious about it. I see them now and lots of them are out of shape, worthless and didn't amount to anything in life. They are a cool and stuff to me now. I just laugh at them and go on, but in the back of my head I know what I could do if I wanted to. So watch out who you push around cause you never know for sure where life is going to take that fat nerdy kid who sucks at sports in gym class.
And to that fat nerdy kid, keep your head up, walk proud, and know you can be anything in life that you want to be if you put your head into it..
26. I'm going to say a name, tell me what comes to mind-
27. Ryan Kennelly-
all around the best bencher ever
28. Shawn Lattimer-
he is a cool guy. He has been at the top for a few years running and deserves only the best.
Crazy strong without a shirt, I'm clueless why he hasn't hit a grand or more with a shirt.
30. George Halbert-
or as I call him G-money, he is by far my best training partner I have ever had. George has accomplished so much in this sport; he has a passion for benching that I have never seen in anyone for any sport. He is definitely one of my best friends and someone I look up to every day.
31. Ed Coan-
I can't say much about Ed. I've only met him once and he was in a pissy mood when I met him. I don't hold grudges against people. If I had a bad experience the first time meeting Ed, well, everyone has a bad day. I will say that Ed is a legend in the sport of Power lifting and he is definitely incomparable to anyone else.
32. Gene R-
BIG Gene, the guy is insane! I only hope that I can move through the rankings at the speed that Gene did. What this guy has done in benching is just astronomical. Gene is the man right now, but being the man means people want what you got. And there's a big target on Gene and people are coming.
33) This is fun, I'm going to give you some other powerlifting concepts, tell me what comes to mind.
34. 135-225 ~
train you ass off and that bench will rise
35. 225-315 ~
A very respectable bench press. It's about the average throughout the states
36. 315-405 ~
definitely getting above average depending on your bodyweight you are starting to look like freak. Keep training bigger things are just around the corner.
37. 405-500 ~
Damn good if you are not competing. If you bench this much you should get your ass in a meet.
38. 500-600 ~
Now we are getting Freaky, Depending on bodyweight you may flat out be a FREAK, and if you are less than 200 pounds you know you're a FREAK!
39. 600-700 ~
You know what's next the "BIG SHOW" If you are doing this weight you got it together and definitely need to labeled as an ELITE lifter.
40. 800 plus ~
I'm there so you need to know my name "Hello" My name is
Mike "The Big Bad" Wolfe I'm here to take your record. Hahaha.
41. I'm going to name some groups in the gym now, tell me what comes to mind.
we got them? Are they HOT? Send them my way!
43. Old Men-
are we talking about the Old bastards that sleep on the equipment between there sets, and then go sit in the whirlpool butt ass naked with other old naked men? If so move it. I got work to do; I have no time for naps at the gym.
44. Pretty Boys -
Keep flexing those muscles and checking your hair every ten seconds in the mirror pretty boy. That chic you think is hot and think she's looking at you forget about I already got her number.
45. Huge Bodybuilders -
Go drink your protein and pop some zits, just stay off my bench! Just joking guys you know I love ya!
46. Talkers -
Who me? Sorry George didn't think I talked that much.
47. Pound for pound -
Look out all you little pound for pounders my Boy Jason FRY is coming and he's a bigger FREAK than you!
48. Athletes -
Well I consider anyone competing an athlete, so do your best, train your ass off and it will all come together at the end.
49. Casual Lifters -
Did you pay your gym fees this month?
50. Chicks in the Gym -
Are those Real?
51. Strongman -
You guys are SICK!!!! SICK SICK!!!!! I love to watch you crazy asses try and roll cars and pull Fire trucks and Planes. That's hands down the craziest stuff I ever seen. Go flip a car you crazy ass.
52. Wannabes -
If all you are is a wannabe you are never gonna be. Change your train of thought to I'm gonna be and you will see a world of difference in you gains.
53. Forced Reps -
I use to do lots of forced reps but I have gotten away from them. They can lead to potential injuries, (just my opinion) and so far knock on wood I have yet to suffer anything major.
54. Ego Lifters -
I definitely don't have no ego lifters, anytime I start to get the slightest signs of a big head my training partner Tony Ramos tears it all right back down. He can take you from thinking you are the best in the world to feeling like a little scolded dog who just peed on the floor. He has such a way with words it is sometimes downright scary. Your Ego gets checked at the door outside Westside. Then Tony chases it down the tracks so you can't find it for awhile.
55: Westside Barbell Club-
I would like to say one thing Westside rules! Now- Then- Forever!!
56. Overall comments-
My comments about all this is if you want to achieve something put your mind to it. Whether it be benching, bodybuilding, fitness, strongman, or being an old man taking power naps in between sets do it to the best of your ability and you will be able to walk away proud.
57) You go through your bench routine, explain what all these weights feel
very easy not much on the bar to me
Still easy bust out a few warm ups and move on
getting heavier I've done this for almost 40 reps
heavy enough that I have to push pretty good, done this for 21 reps raw
This makes you a good bencher feeling pretty heavy have done for 10 reps raw
Have done this many times raw no doubles just singles, heavy but went up easily
In a shirt extremely light can't even come close to touching
This is still easy weight if I can touch it, heavy in the hands but goes up like a rocket
My first 800 I was so fired up that I don't remember much about the weight and how it felt, but watching the video it went straight to the roof with lots of power to spare.
66. What is your message for the following people?
67. People who fear you-
For people that fear me, don't be.I may look big and mean but I'm just a big guy that loves to have lots of fun.
68. People who are amazed by you-
For people that are amazed by me, I thank them. But they need to know that they can do what ever they want if they put there heart into it.
69. Kids wanting autographs-
For kids wanting autographs, that'll be ten bucks please. No just joking I will never charge anyone for an autograph or a picture taken with me.If someone brings me a piece of paper and asks if I'll sign it, that to me is just unreal. Thinking that someone wants my autograph still tickles me to death. But to that kid train as hard as you can and you will be here.
70. People who scream for you-
For those who scream at me in meets, keep it coming that's the stuff I feed off of. If my competition wants me to bench crappy all they need to do is pay the crowd so they will be quiet.
71. People who want to fight you-
For those who want to fight me to prove there manhood, GROW THE F**K UP!!!!! I'm not going to risk my career so you can be the man because you knocked out a pro bencher. I'll walk away before it gets that far. But mess with my wife and then it's another story.
72. People that you burn a fire in and that stick their chest out for you-
For those that I make the fire burn in, stick that chest out a little more and get your ass on a bench and train.
73. O.K., I'm going to say a word and you follow it. Starting with Mike wolf fears…
I fear reptiles! I am afraid of anything from little harmless garder snakes to big ass alligators.
74. The Wolfe retires when…
When my bones and joints give out or when they burn me to ashes.
75. The Wolfe's favorite part about benching is?
I just love the rush that it gives you, it's just you and the bar, screw up and you are done!
76. You have had many amazing experiences. So, what have been your 5 favorite memories of your life up to this date?
# 1 -Seeing my wife for the first time walking out of hair salon with her mom as I was walking in. Something about her that day just made me know I would be with that girl. I think it was the Strawberry Blond hair and the cute little jean jacket she had on. I never dated her until about 2 years later. However, I knew she would find me, well Ok my mom paid her and she still gets checks to this day.
# 2 and # 3 - Seeing both of my children being brought into this World.
# 4 - Seeing the inside of Westside for the first time and thinking damn this place is small.
# 5 - Being the first person from the "BEST ELITE GYM in the WORLD" Westside Barbell to bench press over the 800 pound mark. Lou said I set a milestone that they had been after for along time with my 825.
77. Your becoming a wonder of the world so quickly. Your arms and chest are
massive. Just how big are they? And do you think your genetics are perfect for benching?
My arms at there biggest are 24 inches and my chest and shoulders I measure just about 70 inches. I have nothing for biceps; my arms are mostly all triceps. And yes, my genetics are perfect for benching. There really isn't anything more I could ask for. I have short upper arms and a big barrel chest and belly. If I can hit everything perfect my stroke is only like 5 inches. I was made to bench big weights. That was what the good lord had planned for me
78. Cool, let's say benching makes you a celebrity and you have a TV show. What do you want this TV show to be like?
It has to be a comedy show. It should be something like Blue Collar TV. I'm not a Redneck or anything but those guys just crack me up. It would definitely be something that middle class Americans would laugh there asses off to.
79. Do you have any funny stories that you would like to share?
Gosh where would I start, I'm just one big ball of fun. Very rarely will you catch me in a bad mood, so I have millions of funny stories. One funny thing that happened here recently, I went to a local festival with my wife in my home town. And the local paper had written a huge article about my lifting and my 825 bench. Well at this festival I was just hammered with people that I knew and friends coming up and congratulating me. Well out of nowhere this girl that I went to school with walks up and steps right in front of the group of people and looks at me and she asked "if I remembered her from school?" Those were the first words this girl had ever spoken to me. She was the head Cheerleader, Lots of Money, and Dating Mr. Football well you know the type. Well anyway I tell her yeah I know who she is; well she proceeds to tell me not to forget the little people when I'm rich and famous. So I proceeded to tell her I may get a little fame in the powerlifting world but I won't be rich. So then she tells me not to get a big head and not to forget about her when I'm rich and famous and then smiles, winks, and walks away. Need less to say my wife wasn't real impressed (I was though) and said the only reason she even talked to me was because the article, but I found it rather amusing that now she thinks that I'm some big famous money making machine and she wants part of it. That's funny to me. Who says fat guys don't get hit on by hot chicks?
80. Would you have slept with her if she offered you to?
Umm well only if my wife could have joined in, no just joking I'm a very happily married man. My wife has nothing but a world of trust for me and I couldn't ever take that from her. So hopefully she never finds out about me and her younger sister, Opps sorry baby!!!
81. Benching a personal record or sex what is a better feeling?
Well both are the greatest feelings in the World so I really can't decide. But being promised sexual acts for benching great really makes them both feel that much better. Not that it has happened to me "wink wink" :)
82. What motivates you to get to the top? And say you just got to the top and benched 1200lbs. Give us a speech of what you might say?
My motivation to get to the top comes from never being good at any sports, I've tried them all and failed. I finally found something that I am good at, so you can bet I'm going to take it to the top. My mom always said "when I did something I would always did it big". Well Mom I don't think it gets much bigger than this.
If I just benched 1200lbs, I would go ecstatic. There wouldn't be much a speech because I would be horse from screaming so much, but I would thank everyone that helped me and I would tell everyone that if you believe it then you can achieve it!
83. If you were ever in a bad accident and found out that you couldn't lift
again then what would you do?
I would pick up my head and move forward in life knowing that when I was capable of competing that I put 110% into all of it. I have a friend who was injured seriously in a wreck, will never lift again, but he moves forward through life knowing he will always do his best at what ever life bring him. And because of that he can walk with his head up and be proud of who he is.
84. Tell us about your son. Do you want him to ever get as big as you
and bench as much or if not more? Why or why not?
My son is a spitting image of me. He is really one cool kid but he can be the biggest pain in my butt also. As far as his lifting, he just got his first weight set for his 9th birthday on July 7th. I only got him about 50 pounds in weight and got him a home gym from Wal-Mart. I told him we'll start off slow and pick it up when he gets around 11-12 years old. But I would love for him to put me in my place and do more than I could have ever imagined doing.
85. What pisses mike Wolfe off?
Ignorant drivers, like I said before I love to drive just not around morons that shouldn't be allowed on the road. I find my pleasure in driving and I also find my rage in driving. Thankfully enough I have my level headed wife there to keep from getting out of my truck and beating some of these morons. Oh yeah when my wife doesn't fill up ice trays and clean out the dryer filter every time she puts in a new load of clothes. I hate finding layers of dryer lint in the filter now that pisses me off. I know it sounds minute but it annoys the hell out of me, I swear she does it on purpose.
86. What makes mike Wolfe smile?
What makes me happy is a huge pile of HOOTER chicken wings and a large Mountain Dew. And my little girl Caity in the crowd at my bench meets; she is so adorable yelling come on Daddy. What else could a Dad do other then smile? It makes me smile being married to a beautiful woman who stands behind me and supports me in this sport all the way. She is definitely one of my driving forces in this sport, if she ever took her support away I probably wouldn't be able to move forward at half the rate I am now. She often goes undetected and sits out of the spotlight but if not for her part, this wouldn't happen and because of her dedication to me I smile :)
87. Wolfe, it's your last day to live. What do you do?
I would have lots and lots of SEX! You got to die as a happy man. And then tell everyone that I love them and I'll see them on the other side.
88. What would you like to see change in this world?
I would have to wish that the world would be a better and safer place for kids to grow up in and not have to worry about war and terrorism. Not having to turn the TV on everyday and see more soldiers dead and more terrorist bombs going off. When my children sit down in front of the TV I want them to see the good things about the World. I want them to be able to grow up and live strong healthy lives.
89. How do you think that bodybuilding ruins power lifting?
I'm not going to say that it ruins our sport but it definitely puts our sport on the back burner. We may not all be ripped with abs of steel and have dark Caribbean tans, but we work our asses off and we deserve a piece of that pie. Why should a bodybuilding show pay a $100,000?
And we are lucky to get $2000. Shouldn't supplement companies look at us also? Don't we use a vast majority of there products also. How can a Bodybuilder live a million dollar lifestyle, but George Halbert has to bust his ass at a 40 hour a week job and then do all his training on top of that. You know a lot of theses hardcore guys say they do it for the love of the sport, but you can't tell me if you were making some greenbacks off this sport you wouldn't love it more. Why do we have to be the Black Sheep of the weightlifting world? It is time for Companies to realize that there is a group of people out there that are just as addicted to the taste of iron as the Big Vascular Ripped guys you have on your bottles of testosterone boosters. Bigger benches squats and deadlifts will sell products just as fast as a ripped guy in a thong. I do want to thank the Companies out there that do recognize our sport Inzer, Metal, Titan, House of Pain, and MHP
90. What is it like training at Westside?
Training at Westside is just incredible. I wish I could live in Columbus and be able to train there everyday. The guys there know when it is time to push and when its time to relax. The intensity level at Westside is second to none, I would love to see someone come in and try and hang with Chuck Vogelpohl in a one on one bench training day in mid August when the temp is 90 outside and 100 inside with 100% humidity. Chuck has an intensity level beyond measurement. I learned my lesson last summer trying to hang with Chuck. You know, I have seen Chuck go non-stop on a hot humid day where it was 95 degrees outside and over 100 inside. That guy is relentless in his training and he drove my ass into the ground that day. It was just me and him, no resting just moving your ass.
The rest of the guys are damn near just as intense. At any given time you can walk in there and be surrounded by a slew of World Class athletes. I will definitely say that going to Westside is by far the best career move I have made. They have brought me from a good State level lifter to a World Class athlete in a year's time. Louie Simmons is definitely hands down the best strength coach walking the face of the earth. His Club and his guys are all the BEST!!!!!
91. What do you think the future of benching holds?
The future of benching will bring us even more evolution of the sport. I hope to one day be able to see our sport in the Olympics. I'm sure that gear will evolve more than it already has but unfortunately there will always be those jealous asses that sit behind a computer and mock us for our achievements of using the shirts and gear we use. Pole Vaulters don't use poles from the 80's why should we use shirts from the 80's. Race car drivers don't use engines from 20- 30 years ago why I should use old fashion gear or no gear. If you choose to go raw be happy go raw but don't bash me or other top pros for evolving with the sport. It's part of the world either evolve or get left behind.
92. If you never benched and changed the sport forever, what do you think your life would have been like?
I think that I would be successful whether I was benching or not. If I never touched a weight and just went through life normally, I'm sure I would be successful in something. I'm the kind of person who does something with passion and drive. I go find something that I'm good in and put all of my heart into it. That is why I quit playing paintball. I played with such a passion and devotion to the sport that I know I had to make a choice. I know that I couldn't put all of my heart into both and be successful. So, I chose bench pressing.
93. Wolf, you have benched 825lbs a barrier that couldn't be broken for years in such a short period of time. If we told you ten years ago that you would be benching this much could you have possibly believe in it?
If you would have told me 10 years ago that i would be benching 825 now, I would laughed at you, however, then I would of thought about it and realized that deep inside I know I have the drive and then it would just take finding the knowledge to do it.
94. What are your words of wisdom?
My words of wisdom are Take Life by the Horns and lead it wear you want to go. If you want to bench 1000 pounds then guide your life in that direction. Live every day to its fullest just like it was your last day. But don't ever take anything so serious that it consumes your whole life, there is so much in this world not to be grounded by one thing. Live a diverse lifestyle and go through life having fun. Here is a little phrase I hear everyday on my way to the gym, "You can do anything you set your mind to man" It's on Eminem's 8 mile Soundtrack at the end of The "Lose yourself " song. I live by that little catch phrase and listen to that song everyday on my way to them gym it is my lift me up song.
95. What's it like being a father and a husband? And how does your wife and daughter think about your recent success?
I enjoy being married I got married right out of high school, I knew the first moment I seen my wife we would be together and here 11 years after getting married we are still happily married. As far as my kids go they are great kids couldn't ask for better they bring lots of joy.
My wife thinks that it is crazy, doing 100 question interviews. I mean I had to live of 5 hours of sleep for 4 nights in a row because I stayed up late answering over 100 questions. She also thinks it's crazy that I'm getting calls from local and distant (Dayton Daily News) newspaper. She thinks it is funny when people ask for my picture or want an autograph. My daughter understands that people are interested in Daddy but I don't think she quite grasps the whole concept yet. She just thinks Daddy is the strongest guy in the world.
96. What do you want the future of benching to hold? Do you want it to turn
as big as lets say the NFL, or have a flavor like the World Wrestling
Federation? Like do you think benchers should also be like actors?
I think that benchers can do what ever they want to if its acting has at it. I love WWE but I don't want my sport turning in to a staged act of guys benching 2000 pounds. Christy Hemme ROCKS!!!!!
97. What is your most romantic story?
You know I try to be romantic but my wife isn't. I tell my wife everyday numerous times that I love her and that she's beautiful and that she's my best friend. That's about as romantic as it gets. Sometimes she will get a card in the car after work just to let her know I love her.
98. Who is the freakiest looking powerlifter that you have ever seen? Has
there anyone that has made you feel small? If so who? Who looks the largest
face to face, give us the top 5. And finally who is the hardest worker that you have ever seen?
Mike Ruggeria that guys is the coolest but the FREAKIEST to me. Face to Face Becca Swanson amazed me that chick is un freakin believable. Lattimer and Mike Miller are just freaks of nature they should be NFL linemen. I am really impressed with Chuck Vogelpohl he is a very intense guy but he is also a freaky big guy. I remember doing a bench workout with Chuck. I really thought he was going to kill me.
99. How do you react when you miss a weight? How do you react when you hit a weight?
When I miss a weight I get frustrated but not mad. I don't go off and throw weights through a wall, I usually sit down with George and go over where I screwed up and we try to fix it. When I hit a personal record, I am a very happy person because that means that I am improving and that I am that much closer to a world record.
100. Have you had mostly sport so far in powerlifting or opposition? How
have people reacted to Mike Wolfe so far?
Total support except for one guy when I did my 825, I have video footage of him shaking his head and bad mouthing me. Didn't know the camera man was my buddy, just jealous. But after I made the big one there was lots of support I had a load of people come up and congratulate and even my biggest rival competitor in Ohio came right up and congratulated me.
I just want to thank everyone that has contributed to getting me where I am. Lou, George, my handoff guy Bull, and all of my Westside training partners, My training partners back at my home gym Jason and Tracy Dross, Randy Houseworth. I want to thank HOP for making great T-shirts, my sponsors Inzer for my shirts and wraps, Whey protein and all my sponsors for my new supplements, Legends sports grill and Bar in St. Mary's Ohio and Pete Van Arsdel "Attorney at Law" for my travel expenses. My wife and kids for there support my Dad for being proud of me, my Mom for always worrying about me. Finally I want to thank whole family in general, all my friends and all the football studs that beat up the little guy for my motivation. Thanks ALL!!!!! Mike "the BIG BAD " Wolfe!!!!!!!