By Shukin on 12/28/2014 Back to Articles
Squat Press Pull 1019 Raw total, with only ONE ARM!!
Congratulations Michael on setting a goal and achieving that goal, along with actually surpassing that goal.You set a goal of a 1000 pound total and you broke that goal... Meanwhile, having only ONE arm, such an amazing feat.
Thank you. Feels great set the goal and accomplish it and then some!
How are you feeling now that the meet is all over and done with?
Relieved! This was only my third meet, but the pressure of not hitting the 1000lbs total lingered over my head and was quite nerve racking. I had so many people cheering for me and just knowing I was going to smash it. It helped motivate me for sure, but still, I didn’t want to fail and let down so many people (Thousands maybe?)
Your videos and photos of the meet are kind of blowing up all over social media! Did you realize that your hard work and persistence would make such an impact with influencing others?
I didn’t realize it at all, I was and am still blown away from how many likes and shares my videos and pics have received.
People talk of various adversities that keep them down keep them from going to the gym, the normal ups and downs of life. How do you not let those struggles get in the way?
They do get in the way. If they didn’t, I’d say I didn’t have a normal life. I struggle every day with different things in life. I’ve just learned how to deal with it and reschedule gym time. Depending on what’s going on, I may get up at 3:30 AM to make time for the gym or I’ll wait until after 8PM, after I put my boys to bed. Again, I might have to call that day, but I’ll make it up the next day.
Do you consider yourself disabled or handicapped?
Neither. This is my norm. Others may (and do) see me as one or the other. Sure, I am handicapped/disabled, physically, but mentally, I’m just another Joe on the street. I think, I act out, I do everything everyone else does.
How important are setting goals for you? And how do you go about setting these goals?
It’s hard to say. I do get things done when I set goals, but I tend to procrastinate on them, up until the last possible minute. Why? I feel that I preform better under pressure. Baby steps usually. Some people try to reach for past what they really can do, at a small amount of given time. I like to chip away slowly to make sure I’m injury free and not over working myself.
We spoke a couple nights before your meet and you said that you were visualizing all of your lifts, can you give us a bit of insight into how you go about doing that?
I just visualize that there is a bigger amount of weight on the bar than I plan to lift. My plan was to try for 540lbs squat, if my opener and second lifts were good and depending on how it felt. So I saw the bat with 550lbs on it. I approach it, do my usual setup, unrack the bar, step back, get a belly full of air and hold it, wait for the squat command, squat the bar, wait for the rack command, and rack it. I did this over and over in my head every day (on all of the lifts) until I actually stepped onto the platform.
You've written and spoken about it elsewhere, but just for those who are new to you and what you are about, would you mind telling us how you came about losing your arm?
I was working in an industrial business (very small single owner shop) and working with a machine called a water extractor. I was reaching over the machine to turn the machine off and when I did, I lost my balance and put my left hand down to try and stop myself from falling in. My arm slipped in and it was immediately twisted off.
Did you go through a period of depression? If so, did you have a support group to help you?
Yes, I have for quite sometime afterwards. My mother and other family members. Never a “lost limb” support group of any sort.
How did you come back to Powerlifting? And what keeps you interested ?
People at the gym stated I should try powerlifting after I started lifting increasingly heavier with my first program. Challenging myself. I still like to challenge myself, but I now like to keep powerlifting to help motivate and inspire others.
So what is next for you Michael?
I’m going to continue powerlifting, but I’m going to work on dropping some body weight down. I’m also going to start attending and presenting motivational and inspirational talks.
We look forward to that and look forward to following you. How can people follow you on Instagram and Facebook?
Find me on all social media as “squatpresspull” and on YouTube as “squatpresspullcom”.
Do you have anything that you'd like to say in closing?
I’m just grateful for the chances I’ve had in life from my family to my time in the gym. I’ve been quite blessed to be able to do what I do and have the want and desire to continue it. I appreciate my family and friends for putting up with me after I only get 3-4 hours of sleep after a training session that lasted 4 hours the night before. Thanks to my sponsors for believing in me and believing that I’d get the 1000lbs total at the meet.