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There is truly nobody like Mike. He is a superhero, I promise.
When I first met Mike, I asked him if I could come out to Venice Beach, Calif., and train with him. I heard stories for years about how intense this guy trained, so I had to see for myself. Well, I wasn't ready for what I was about to experience.
He CRUSHED my ego.
Mike is insanely strong -- and when I say strong, I mean it. Mike's not bodybuilding strong, he's world-class powerlifting strong! I trained with many IFBB pros in the past and, for the most part, could hold my own. But this was a different ballgame.
I've seen Mike squat nearly 800 pounds ass-to-calves, bench more than 500 pounds, and deadlift 600 pounds for reps. This is probably why Mike can't keep a steady training partner: nobody trains at his level. I couldn't ask for anyone better to train with. Honestly, I wish I could be there year-round with him at 4:03 a.m. in the Venice Gold's Gym.
If I had to use one word to describe Mike O'Hearn, honestly ... I couldn't.
Mike is so much more than one word can describe. I guess it comes down to what he is doing: when Mike is with his many fans, he is "approachable;" when he's training, he is "superhuman;" when he's with his dogs, he is "childlike;" around his friends, he is "hilarious;" as a businessman, he's "professional." Attempting to describe Mike O'Hearn with one word is, basically, "impossible." 500-plus covers cannot convey what a genuine person he is.
The bottom line, for me, is that it's an honor to call Mike my "friend."
Skip La Cour
Mike O'Hearn represents the epitome of dedication, hard work and longevity. He is far, far more than a man with 'big muscles' who can 'lift really heavy things.' Mike is an outstanding leader and role model who helps others live better lives. He does all of this with a huge smile on his face, always with something funny to say that keeps things light and easy. Mike is an impressive man who lives his life with passion -- and that passion has such a positive effect on all of us who get the chance to be around him.
Training with Mike was brutal - not something you'd expect from a guy who graced the cover of hundreds of magazines. He not only trains heavy and intense, but he's got the stamina to train longer than most disciples of HIIT. I've seen dudes squat big weight, but not without knee wraps and weight belts. While I don't subscribe to any one particular training method as the end-all-be-all, simply because the human body readily adapts to anything over time, "power bodybuilding" is legit. Anyone willing to attempt Mike's routine better prepare to go to war against the iron. Additionally, their nutrition and rest best be in order, or they will never recover. As for the weight Mike lifts - don't attempt that at home.
Mike O'Hearn is a hard-working athlete. Some may say he is "gifted." I say, no way - the guy trains his ass off and was never given a gift except for the desire to better himself all the time. He's non-stop, son.
Mike's raw strength is outmatched by few. You could take Mike from gym to gym and put up money for a challenge on a few random exercises. 99 percent of the time, Mike would win.
From step-up and lunge to squats and front squats, Mike is a beast.
He hasn't lost any athleticism. Mike, at 250 pounds and 5 percent body fat, can still run, jump and move a lot faster than you'd expect. Mike's strength training movements are basics that worked for thousands of athletes over the years. Anyone who wants to compete in any sport - or just look and feel better - could benefit from having more muscle and less fat, and Mike's routine will help you get there. Mike O'Hearn trains like a champion. It's time you do the same.
I've never seen anyone else with the intensity and ambition to attack a lift and never think about failing. Mike is the strongest "pure" bodybuilder I have ever worked out with!
I am proud to have discovered Michael O'Hearn. I admire how Michael has stayed true to his belief that the classic physique, like that of Steve Reeves, is appealing to the masses. At one of the many cover shoots we did with Michael, I remember saying: "He has a fantastic physique! People should strive to look like him." It has been my pleasure to watch his star rise to hall-of-fame status.
It takes a different kind of animal to lift as big as you look. Every time I go to Gold's Venice, Mike's in the squat rack under a bent bar loaded with iron. Mike IS that animal.