My Goals for 2011 – Athletic

Last week, we covered my professional goals for 2011. This time, it’s time to focus on my training and athletic goals for the new year.

Here are my current stats, as they sit after last week’s “test.”

Body Weight: 189-190
Body Fat %: 11.4%

Squat: ?
Bench: 275
Deadlift: 525

I’ve been using Jim Wendler’s 5-3-1 to get a basic training base, and I think it’s definitely delivered in that regard. In all honesty, it’s more like “Mike Robertson’s Bastardized 5-3-1” than anything else, but that’s a article/blog for another time!

Below are some general and specific thoughts as to where I’m at, and what I’m going to do to bring each lift up.


At this point in time, I’m definitely as light as I’ve been since about 2003, and my body comp is doing well, too.  I’m not going to win any bodybuilding shows, but that’s as much due to my milky white skin versus how lean I am.

Overall, I’m happy with where I’m at – but with that being said, it’s time to starting pound on some pounds.  If I’m going to get back into powerlifting, my current bodyweight is in a no-man’s land.  I need to put on at least 10 pounds.  This means more eating (yeah!) and probably even getting some creatine back in the system.


As you probably noticed, this is the one lift that I didn’t really test last week. A few weeks back I did 300×5 with no belt and it felt great, and I figure I’d be good for a 1-RM with a belt somewhere between 365 and 385.

In all honesty, I’m still a bit gun-shy here – just not quite as confident as I should be.

Over time, I’ve unknowingly moved my stance in, which isn’t where I’m going to be the strongest over the long-haul.  In my most recent session I worked on taking my stance width out a bit, slowing down my eccentric, and focusing on “pulling” myself into the hole while pushing my knees apart.

It’s a lot to think about, but this position puts me in the most biomechanically efficient position to move max weights. It will be a bit of a work in progress, but I’ve never been one to shy away from taking a step back in order to move two or three steps forward.


As you’ll notice, my bench definitely isn’t my strongest lift.

With that being said, though, I think this is the lift I’m most excited about going forward.

Last week I spent 15 or 20 minutes chatting with Elite FTS contributor Jo Jordan, and he gave me some fantastic feedback on my bench and how to drive it up.  Here’s the quick and dirty recap:

  • Move hand-grip in a finger-width or two.
  • Add in floor presses, especially against chains.
  • Throw some DB work into the mix.
  • Think about “pushing the boulder up the mountain.”

In a relative sense, this is the strongest my bench has been on a pound-for-pound basis.  It’s not great, but I’m really excited to see where this will be in the coming year.


I don’t typically throw video clips of my own lifting up on the blog, because I know people are going to nitpick every little issue they see.

As the saying goes, though, “Haters gonna hate.” Here’s how it looked:

If nothing else, I should get bonus points for how red my face gets when performing a max effort lift!

Let’s be honest – this wasn’t the prettiest pull of all time.  But then again, it was a max and I locked it out, so I’m definitely happy with where my deadlift is at.

Going forward, I need to focus heavily on glute-hams, as well as some safety-bar squats off the box to improve my hip strength.  I have a definite tendency to let my hips shoot up, and I essentially run out of hip/leg drive way too early.

The result is a deadlift that’s way too reliant on my lower back.  It’s always been a strong point, but I know if I want to pull 600+ I need to get my hips underneath me and leave myself with a better position to finish the lift.


Now I know what you’re all thinking – “What’s up Mike? No goal weights or numbres?”

And to be honest, it’s not that I don’t have numbers – I do.  It’s just that I’m not exactly sure what to expect in the next couple of months, so I’m not putting any pressure on myself to blow up over the next 3 months when I know I have a kid on the way.

After all, there are certain things in life that take priority over lifting – call me crazy 🙂

Instead, my goal is to train my ass off until then – but enjoy myself when she does come.  After that, hopefully we’ll settle into some sort of routine, and then I’ll figure out what my numbers can/should be, and hopefully set my sights on a meet.

All in all, I’m just trying to be realistic.  There are numbers I want to hit before I hang it up, but at the same time, life isn’t just about me any more.  I think I get that.

But enough about me – what goals do you all have for next year?

Ask yourselves this – if you KNEW you would succeed, what would your goal be?

Because if you put your heart and soul into it, you WILL succeed. You just have to formulate that mindset.

I’ll be looking forward to your thoughts and feedback below!

Stay strong



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  1. Mike, I am in a similar circumstance as you as my wife and I are expecting our first child (a daughter) the end of March. I am in week 3 of Cressey’s Show and Go program and will be finishing it up right around the time the baby arrives. Before starting any program I always like to set some sort of qualitative goal to measure my progress from beginning to end. For this program the goals I set were; Bench, Back Squat, Deadlift, and 3RM pull-up. I went with these because they are what I tested when I finished my last program in March 2010. I hope to go from 225 to 285 on the bench, 300 to 400 on the squat, 345 to 450 on the deadlift, and 45 to 70 on the pull-up. By no means “powerlifter” numbers, however being that I am in the Army I still have to be able to run 2 miles in under 14 minutes. Good Luck with your goals for 2011, and congrats on the baby!

  2. This year’s stats:
    -BW: 200 lbs @ 22% BF
    -Squat 405, Deadlift 425, Bench 205 (Yikes!)
    -1 standing wheel rollout, 8 consecutive dead-hang chin-ups
    -Grouse Grind in 56 minutes

    2011 Goals:
    -BW: 185 lbs @ 14% BF
    -Squat 455, Deadlift 495, Bench 275
    -5 consecutive standing wheel rollouts, 20 consecutive dead-hang chin-ups
    -Grouse Grind in under 45 minutes
    -Stay injury free!
    -Be almost as diesel as Mike – LOL!

    My body comp goal basically means dropping nearly 20 pounds of body fat and gaining another 3 pounds of muscle. I just gained 7 pounds of muscle and dropped 3.5 pounds of fat over the last three months (verified by DXA scan), so I am on my way!

    I know my lifting goals are nothing too spectacular for some of you out there, but I don’t consider myself anything close to a powerlifter – I only train to improve my performance in other sporting activities (primarily martial arts). Obviously, my bench is my weakest lift, but I have never really trained it at all. My squat has always been pretty strong, but my back is really the limiting factor there (I have a long history of back problems, dating back to a work injury 17 years ago). My deadlift has really come up this year (a gain of 140 pounds over my previous PR!) due to incorporating more hip drive.

    For anyone who is wondering what the Grouse Grind is, just Google it – it’s a trail up the side of Grouse Mountain (near Vancouver) that is a popular recreation activity/torture session around here – it’s only 1.8 miles long, but with an elevation change of 2,800 feet from bottom to top, it is a brutal test. The gym I work at does a single “official” group run up the mountain every summer, and our current gym record is 37 minutes, 56 seconds.

  3. Mike, great post and nice honesty! I personally thought your pull was fantastic for a maxish lift! I would do cartwheels to just lift 4 plates per side (which is my goal for the DL. Good luck with your training and Happy New Year!


  4. You know your one day your lower back is simply going to explode out your body like a scene from Alien cause your form is so bad right 🙂 kidding nice lift

  5. Current:
    Bwt: 208
    BF%: 14%
    BP- 275
    DL: 315×3

    Bwt: 215-220
    Bf%: 10-15%
    Squat – 350
    BP- 315
    DL – 405
    I want to get back to being strong and feeling healthy again. I too have my first baby on the way and want to make that my priority over myself. However, these are my goals. I have squatted 375 , benched 315 and deadlifted 550, but injuries and bodyweight loss have set me back for over a year now. The overall goal is to continue building the foundation of health before anything else. My focus is
    rebuild the pillars of strength that I so selfishly destroyed by neglecting the little things that keep one healthy and truly strong over a long period of time. I want
    to once again be able to step up to the bar for a heavy pull and have no fear or doubt in my mind. It’s going to be a great year. Thanks for sharing your goals Mike.

  6. Current BW: 217 lbs @ 20% BF (visual est.)
    DL: 330 x1
    Squat: 275 x4
    BP: 175 x4 (I think)

    My goals for 2011:
    1) Get down to 15% body fat. With my current lean mass I would need to drop to 200lbs, but I plan to add more lean mass. So maybe 180/211.
    2) Bench press my body weight. But for the sake of looking cool, let’s round it up to an even 225 (that puts 2 big wheels on each side, right?).
    3) Keep enjoying the sport, and wherever this takes me on my other lifts is fine. I’m happy with my squat and deadlift, but will certainly work toward the next level on each – 2x body weight on the deadlift, and 1.5x on the squat.

    Looking forward to another great year at IFAST!

  7. Just slap on a suit -not to tight though. Push down your hips against the suit and carry the momentum through to a picture perfect lift. If you can’t maintain your back arch throw on an erector shirt.
    -seriously, good starting point

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