View Full Version : Mike Wolf - Questions about your training history

05-26-2006, 12:27 PM
Hi Mike,

I was wondering if you could give us all a brief history of some of the methods, routines, training systems, templates, etc. you've used throughout your career and your impressions of them. Also, could you give us a brief description about how your training changes in and out of seasons?

Thanks and glad you're here!

05-26-2006, 02:17 PM

05-26-2006, 05:26 PM
Hey guys,

Sorry my computer is down have not got a chance to get on here.

Ok about my training, I'm gonna be completely honest I have only been training real hard since June '04

When I first went to Westside We concentrated more on the basics, we did alot of form work. i went inot Westside and Lou laughed at my form and asked you bench 600 like that?
So for awhile it was all tech and form work. We then worked added some band and board stuff.Then got me in a shirt, I was lost took me upto my first meet to figure out the shirt. But then it was like wow Ok i got it, Ok so I thought. Well my form and tech is still God Awful.

We basicly run 4 ME moves in about 12 cycles doing each move 3 times.Everytime we come back to it you try and hit a PR. We do stick to basic stuff floor press with chains,some band work off boards, straight weight off boards, bands full range. We then do a max tricep move usually some kind of extension or close press with DB's or KB's and that is it for ME work.

On Dynamic day we do 10 sets of 3 I work upto 315 to 365 with purple bands. We stick to a basic 3 reps in 3 seconds time frame with about 1-1 1/2 minutes rest.Then do a Heavy Tri movement.

I do no legs, hit my back ,rear delts,traps, sidedelts ,and occasionally biceps twice a week. heavy both days.

Here is my split
Sunday ~ ME bench
Monday ~ Back
Tuesday ~ Shoulders Traps
Weds. ~ Dynamic Bench
Thurs. ~ Back and Sholders
Friday and Saturday rest

I dont change a whole lot I like to keep it pretty simple it seems to work so far so why change what aint broke.As for off season I usually take a couple weeks off after a meet and get right back at it.

We add our shirts about 8 weeks out and take a opener 2 weeks out and get out of it. Out of that 8 weeks we may have the shirt on 3 times, maybe a little more if it is new.

Other then that there really aint much to say, nothing fancy.George does kind of keep an eye on me peaking and stuff for a contest. But like I said it is all pretty basic.

I trained like a BB before going to Westside and I'm surpriused i never hurt myself benching as heavy as I was the way I was.

Hope this helps. Wolfy!!!!!

05-26-2006, 05:33 PM
Hey guys,
Ok about my training, I'm gonna be completely honest I have only been training real hard since June '04

Holy hell...........

So do you ME on the same exercise until your done with it or do you rotate until your done?

What about warm up? Do you or do you not stretch?

Was it you i saw pictures of at this years Olympia?

05-26-2006, 07:14 PM
Thanks for the reply Wolfy!

So, I'm just curious where you started and how you got to 600 before WS. Were you just going to the gym with no particular plan and lifting heavy? Were you one of those freaky guys that benches 315 the first time he touches the bar?

By George, I'm assuming you mean George Halbert? Is he still competing? I haven't heard much about him lately and that's surprising considering how freaky strong he is!

05-28-2006, 02:14 PM
Ezekial ~

I do just the one ME exercise per workout session, then the following week do the next ME move in the cycle and rotate them over 4 weeks then on the fifth week back to the first ME move and go for a PR

As for stretching I get my shoulders and back nice and loose then I rub like a Icy Hot or Similar product on my shoulders and elbows to help them warmup.

Warmups i'll just start with an empty bar and work my way up to about 4 plates a side then do singles from there.

Sensei ~

No way was I one of those guys who could bench 315 the first time. I started lifting in highschool for Football but was a slacker and did not try hard.When I graduated I weighed 270 pounds wore size 44 pants and could not bench 200 pounds. Now i weigh 402(as of 7am this morn)I wear size 46 pants and bench 830 :) I just got sick and tired of being the Fat kid that got picked on so i started lifting out of boredom while my girlfriend worked. I trained every Saturday and Sunday cause those days she worked all day. I trained Chest and arms both days every week.

I got married I was still not benching 200 pounds, i was just trying to read as much as possible about getting bigger and stronger. I bought every magazine and almost every book I could find. I trained like a BB and was growing but not getting much stronger.

I then meet Randy Houseworth a cop in New Bremen Ohio he was the Fraternal Order of Police Olympic's World Benchpress Gold Medalist. He was benching 500 plus pounds and he told me he could get my bench up. So i trained with him for about 1 and a half yrs and he took me from around 200 to 525 in that time. We did some Westside stuff, we bought the vids and did board presses and tried to cycle our peaks up and down for contest. But for themost part we just lifted HEAVY!!! This really in turn helped me a ton cause it built an awesome foundation for me to later work with.Me and Randy trained together for about 4 yrs. And are still great friends

After Randy retired i did BB for a bit then came back to benching. I started off low doing 315 for reps no bands no boards, just 315 for reps then slowly started adding more weight. I kept my rep range low 6-8 reps per set and usually did around 5-6 sets. I did all of this raw. After i got upto where i was doing 405 for 6-8 reps i started throwing in pin presses(rack lockouts) and did them once weekly tryign to get use to holding heavier weight. each time lowering the pin one notch. In this time I was also doing TONS of tri work, lots of close grip work and tri extensions. I would do both of these every week for about 4 sets each of 6-8 reps. I slowly crept my way up to over 500 doing this and when I went to Lou's he asked me what my best shirted bench was and I told 525 he asked what my best raw was and I told him 525, he was a lil confused. I told him I had not been in a shirt for yrs and if I had to guess i would figure my shirted bench around 600 pounds. I went down there and the rest is above :)

Oh and yeah that is George Halbert and he is doing GREAT, his shoulder is rehabing good and he will be competeting soon. We benched together this morning and he was trong as hell so it is only a matter of time now.


05-28-2006, 07:48 PM
Oh man... holy crap 300+ lbs. on Dynamic effort days.

Clifford Gillmore
05-29-2006, 06:13 AM
I'm not too up on your recent history Mike, but didn't you train Metal Militia style for quite some time? Why the swap, what are you feelings towards that?

Thanks for the replies!

05-29-2006, 10:07 AM
That is AMAZING progress. Very inspirational - it gives my bench press some hope. Thanks for the reply!

05-29-2006, 04:05 PM
As well as mine, I was fat but easily pressed 315 before I graduated. Basically wolf and I were the same person in HS, execpt that I quit football twice and did nothing from the summer after 10th grade until halfway through my senior year. Came back pressing 225 for 2-3 reps and the week before I graduated I did 315.

Gives me big hopes with my goals, 500 raw is all I would ever want.

05-29-2006, 04:07 PM
Also it makes me wonder... just how bad my form might be???

If his was THAT far off, how far off is mine??

I got to thinking, everyone knows the "basic" form... but maybe form is a big part of why you dont ever see many 500+lb benchers.

That and you have a crazy arch for being 400lbs lol

05-30-2006, 11:25 AM
Forgive my ignorance, but I can only assume you are a benchpress only competitor? What made you decide to persue this?


05-30-2006, 04:14 PM
Forgive my ignorance, but I can only assume you are a benchpress only competitor? What made you decide to persue this?


i was curious about that to, why only bench press, and no squats? just curious.

06-01-2006, 05:51 PM
Hey guys again sorry for the delay, my computer took a ****.So I'm at Mom and Dad's. I will have mine back up soon.

Ok lots of questions :)

First off I have never trained Metal militia style. I do agree with alot of there stuff and train some what like them but I'm am not in my shirt no where near as often.

I am a bench only competitor, I have done one full meet where i took weight and one full meet where I took a bogus squat and deadlift. Beleive it or not I use to do some stupid **** on Skateboards and Rollerblades, you know 360 kickflips down 6 steps and all kinds of stupid grinds and slides on my blades and it has led to VERY BAD ankles and knees. I've broke my ankles six times 4 on the right and twice on the left. I had reconstructive surgery on my right ankle in 2000 blew it out playing tournament paintball. So no more heavy squats or deads for me, I have also had a pressure fracture in my lower back. So basicly the only good joints on me is shoulders and elbows. Well at least for now :)

My form was GOD Awful ,and Lou had no qualms about telling me that. His exact words were, "You ****ing
Bench 600 pounds like that"? Oh Yeah he was not impressed at all. But he got me going and here we are :)

Guys the best advice i can give you is to just belevie in youselfs. If you would of told me 10 yrs ago when I was starting out I would be one of the best in the world I would of laughed at you. But after seeing all these guys doing it I thought to myself why cant I? I knew what I needed to do and took my training by the horns and lead it where i knew i could acheive my goals. And dont set unrealistic goals, take small steps and go up gradually.If you bench 450 and 500 is your big goal, shoot for 475 in the next few months, then shoot for 500 from there.And then 525 and so on. Before you know it you'll be benching 600 instead of 500 :) But always keep track of your progress so you know what works and what dont, anbd always try for a personal goal on ME day.

It is all about Heart and Willpower, if you got those combined with drive and deternination cant no one stop you. Trust me if my lazy fat ass can become one of the best anyone can. I'm just a average guy who grew up in Smalltown USA, I work a factory job and pay a ****load of bills just like everyone else. Step up and make it happen, if I can do it all of you can also :)


06-01-2006, 05:57 PM
Couple more questions for you (just curious what your answers will be):

Who are your favorite guys to watch lift?

Who are your favorite guys to compete with/against?

06-01-2006, 05:58 PM
one last question, how much can you military press?


06-01-2006, 06:04 PM
Chuck Vogelpohl is hands down my fav for watching his intensity is ****ING NUTS!!!!! I trained one day with Chuck on bench when I first went to Westside, mid August and Westside is like FURNACE in the summer.He drove my balls into the ground, I literlally think he was trying to kill me. Never gonna happen again, his intensity is to much for this fat ass.

My best military press to the front was 405 and that back in the mid 90's when I was benching mid 5's. I dont do any overhead presses at all now.


06-01-2006, 06:05 PM
Oh my bad forgot one,

I love to compete with any top pro in the WPO. My favs are Gene, Shawn, Tiny was pretty cool to.

06-02-2006, 07:38 AM
Wolf bro, I play tournament paintball as well (CFOA,EXP and maybe some NPPL later this year). What tournament series did you play? What team did ya play for? It's bad ass that somebody as strong as you is/was involved in paintball.

06-06-2006, 02:40 PM
Hey Chubrock,

I played in the ICC and did some ZAP tourneys back in the late 90's. My main team was Avatar Rage we also had our novice team Avatar Chaos and had another Amatuer team coming up called Avatar Fury. I captained that team for about 5 yrs. I also did some fill in play with Rival, Team Dread(NPPL in the late 90's) and also Freakshow in mid 90's.

The ICC was our mainstay it was like the fourth biggest tourney series in the states.ICC stands for Indiana Captains Council, they had some really good teams come out of there, Farside,Evil Factory,Atmosfear,Killer Bees,Tippman Effect, alot of those teams are mainstays in tourneys now. Farsie I think changed completely to Evil Factory and Tippman effect is still pretty good I do beleive. The best team we ever played was the All Americans from Smarts Parts, they literally handed us our asses, but it was all good learned alot form that ass whooping :)

What do you shoot, you name it I had it if it was out before '02. I had about a dozen Cockers and 4 angels and everything in between paintball damn near landed me in divorce court. My last gun was a Warped Sportz Dark Hell Angel tricked to the max, had the then NEW Angel Air on it and all, I'll try and post a pic of it.


06-07-2006, 10:39 PM
wow, you lifted with chuck vogelpohl. that would be like a dream come true for me! he has been my favorite lifter ever since i first saw him in monster muscle a few years back. he is the guy i look up to the most because my ultimate goal is to break records in 242.

how long until you are at 900 man? that will be something else :)

06-08-2006, 01:35 PM
Soon I hope!!! The 800 club is geting a little to crowded I think there is some where around 25 guys in it now. Time to move up :)

06-09-2006, 07:08 AM
No **** man. I used to shoot a Pewter Dark Angel with the brand new Angel Air on it. Had the whole huge box thing as a regulator with the digital readout. Was a pretty bad ass gun. I also used to shoot a Shocktech SFL cocker and then an Emag before getting out of the sport for a couple of years. I hopped back in two years ago and have since then been shooting a DM4 and then the gun I'm on now, my Ego. The sport has gotten SO much faster than I remember. There aren't many things in this world that get my heart pumping and adrenaline flowing like playing some ball'. Awesome to see some cool ass guys around here that play.