Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Interview with Michael Whities....One Arm Strength!

I just conducted a interview with a very inspiring man. His name is Michael Whities, he is a System's Administer. Why in the world would I interview a System's Administrator? Read on leave your comments and thoughts.

Bill: Michael thank you for doing this interview, let’s start off by telling
us all a little about your self.

Hey Bill, thanks for this opportunity.

I was born in Belle Fourche, SD and I currently live in Brandon, MS with my
beautiful wife Lesa and my wonderful two year old son Tanner. I'm currently
a Systems Administrator at my present job. I love being with family and
friends and have a passion for scuba diving. I spend most of my time with my
son, we are both learning and growing together. In between playing with him
and spending time with my wife, I enjoy working out and working on my
servers. I also have a business on the side with several clients. They, with
everything else going on, keep my quite busy. Other than that, I concentrate
on family life.

Bill: Sounds like a great family man. Michael tell us a little about
your strength training background. What you do for training and how
long you have been training.

Thanks, I've always wanted a family and now I have one.

I've never really "strength trained" before. I've dabbled here and there for
school and hanging out with friends, but never seriously. I now do a lot of
training with CrossFit (http://www.crossfit.com). I've found that this way
of working out is 100% flexible and scalable. Never having prior training
for work outs, I had to create my own workouts. With CF, I can take what
they suggest and scale/change it to fit my needs. It's far better than what
I came up with.

I train with anything from dead lifts to over head squats with kettlebells
to just running. I try to train for three days and then take a rest day.
Some days I can't train as I have a busy schedule and I can't always squeeze
in the work out. It's a little easier now that I have the starting of a
garage gym. I also incorporate grip and pinch training. The grip training
has helped me pull more weight in dead lifts and pretty much anything else.
My hand doesn't fatigue as fast or as much as it used to.

I started training like this "seriously" around Dec 24, 2008. I also started
eating right and getting the will to start training again. I'm feeling a lot
better and a lot stronger since I really started working out. It's been
great to be able to push my son around the house in a clothes basket and not
pass out from exhaustion after only pushing him 10 yards or so.

Bill: That's great Michael, tell us more about your grip training, what
implements you use and what kind of rep set scheme. Do you do any

Michael: I've only been grip training for about 2 months now. I started with a COC
(Captains of Crush (http://www.ironmind.com - IM)) Trainer gripper and a COC
#1. Both were rather easy so I ordered the COC #1.5 and #2. They were a bit
tougher, but I was able to close them with no problem. I then ordered the
COC #2.5 and #3. I couldn't close the #2.5 right away, it was quite hard and
the day I tried, I had already worked my grip out. So I took a week or so
off and was able to close it. The COC #3 is a good 1/2" away from being
closed. I have a lot of work to do on that one. I try to work grip out about
two to three times a week. It all depends on how well my hand recovers.

Along with the grippers, I have two blobs that I train with and a few other
pieces of equipment. The Blobs are 37.5lbs and the other is 50lbs. I've
acquired a 3" Crusher from FBBC (http://www.fatbastardbarbellco.com) and a
2" loading pin. Also, I have a Rolling Thunder from IM that works the same
as the Crusher, only not as hard. Sledge hammer works outs are fun too. I
use an 8lbs sledge hammer to help strengthen my wrist. I've even bought an
8lbs axe to start chopping down two stumps at the house. (The wife likes
that...) I also have two 35lbs plates and two 45lbs plates that I use for
pinching. I've almost picked up the 35lbs plates, but I couldn't quite do
it. The 45lbs plates will have to wait.

Depending on my hand feels, I go with whatever I feel like doing for sets.


5 X #1
4 X #1.5
3 X #2
1 X #3
3 X #3 negatives.

6 X 3 - 37.5lbs blob
Few attempts at lifting the Blob50 (Can't pick it up yet.)

Few attempts at lifting the two 35lbs plates.

1 X 90lbs*
1 X 125lbs*
1 X max weight*

* = plus weight of equipment

3 X hand crawl
Front/Back/Side levering.
Toss it up in the air, catch it and not allow it to break "fall over".

(not all in the same day, I try to rotate them out, two one day, two the

I've done very little bending. I had some stock that was 1/4" thick and I
used paper towels to bend it. The stock was cut in 5" and 6" lengths. I now
have some suede that I purchased from FBBC, but I haven't bought any new
bending stock. I will start bending again once I get a little more free

Bill:That's very impressive you can already close the CoC #2.5 most men
can't close that for some time. Michael there is one thing I know
that the readers probably don't you have a disability that limits your
training. Could you please tell us what that is and how it happened.

Michael: I've read that most people that work out, have trouble closing the #1.

I only have one-arm. I lost my left arm in an industrial incident in 1990
when I was 15 years old. I was working with a machine called a water
extractor. Think of a washing machine on spin cycle. That's this entire machine
did, it spun so fast that it literally dried cotton filters that are about
2' wide and 20' long. I was reaching over it to turn it off and lost my
balance, I quickly put my left hand down to stop me from falling onto the
machine and my hand slipped in. Then the machine twisted my arm off just
below the shoulder. I have about a 4-5" nub left.

Bill: Wow horrible accident, most people wouldn't bother training after that especially grip strength. Lastly Michael is there any thing you would say to some one who says they can't train due to this or that?

Michael: It was, but life goes on. You have to make best with what you have. If not,
you are wasting your time and others around you. (aka.. don't dwell on the
dark past, when the future is so much brighter.)

Depending on the situation. If they are able bodied, they are lying. Take
advantage of what you have (fully functional body) and make it stronger and

If they are disabled in some way. Prove it. If one can actually put forth
the effort and not be able to train or anything, then I'll believe them.

I've had experts tell me (and the court) that I lost well over 85% of the
things I could normally do with two arms. I'll tell you this, I'm doing
about 90% of those things they said I couldn't. Why? I hate to be the one
that can't. If you don't try, you won't ever know. If I can do it with the
lose I've had, anyone else can do it too. Just set a goal in your mind and
pursue it. Lastly, put forth the effort, no one else will do it or can do it
for you.

Bill: Well said Michael, thank you again for taking the time to do this
Interview. I know your well on your way on certifying on the the
Captains of Crush #3.

Thanks Bill.

I really hope that this will help someone to get motivated and they start to take better care of themselves. Working out takes less than 30 minutes on most days. Anyone and everyone should have at least that much time a few times a week to spend walking, running and working out.

If this interview only touches one person, I'll be happy. I'm sure that this one person will in some way touch another and hopefully it snowballs from there.

Thanks again for giving me the opportunity to be interviewed. It keeps me motivated and wanting to continue to help motivate others.

I have the COC #3 certification in my sites. It's going to be well before the end of the year. Just keep an eye out on YouTube.

God Bless.

Folk's most people use two hands to set the gripper to get it to parallel so it's easier to close.....Michael can not do this it is MUCH harder to do. He train's his body by Crossfit, he strives to be a better man, father and husband by being a better example to his family and friends in his life to show everyone his little disability does not stop him from doing what most would not even attempt with two arms.

Train hard and Stay strong!

No comments: