Full name: Michael Van Wyck
Nickname: Big Mike
Date of birth: December 6, 1980
Off-season weight: 300-320
Contest weight: 272
Current residence: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Years training: 15 in all, only five or six for bodybuilding
Occupation: Personal trainer
Marital status: Single
Hobbies: Watching movies and eating
How did you get into bodybuilding? As a kid I played baseball, rugby and football. It was in the high school weight room training for football that I started to enjoy it more than I did playing football. By the time I was in college down in Rhode Island, I knew I wanted to be a bodybuilder. The school’s athletic director was a competitive bodybuilder named Joe Flesia, and he was the one who showed me the ropes and helped me get ready for my first contest. After that I knew it was what I really wanted to pursue.
Who inspired you when you were starting out? Back in high school I had weights at home in my garage, and on the walls were taped photos of Dorian Yates, Flex Wheeler, Kevin Levrone and Nasser El Sonbaty. Those were the guys who made me want to be a bodybuilder.
Top titles: ’07 CBBF Mississauga Championships, superheavyweight, 1st, and overall; ’08 CBBF Ontario Championships, superheavyweight, 1st; ’09 CBBF Canadian Championships, superheavyweight, 1st, and overall
Favorite bodypart to train: Arms
Favorite exercise: Seated dumbbell curls
Least favorite exercise: Anything that involves the lower back, like hyperextensions or good mornings. My lower back gets supertight to the point where it’s really uncomfortable. That even happens to me on deadlifts a lot of times.
Best bodypart: Back
Most challenging bodypart: Legs
Obstacles overcome: A few years ago I had to leave the states and move back to Toronto to help my mom out financially. Aside from that, nothing too unusual—just little injuries here and there. Most recently, I stopped working out with a guy I’ve been training with for a few years over some personal issues. It’s weird training on my own again after all that time.
How would you describe your bodybuilding philosophy? Be patient, and think positive. We all want it now, and we want the path to getting what we want to be easy. The reality, though, is that achieving things does take time and effort, and there will be times when it seems like you won’t succeed. You just have to keep moving forward.
How do you stay motivated? Seeing changes in my physique motivates me, but most of all I want to be the best I can be. I know I’m not even close to that yet, and that makes me want to work harder and get closer to my dreams. I want to be a very good pro, and that’s what carries me through the workouts and meals every day.
Talk about your training style. I came from the background of training for football, which was all about power and moving the weight. Over the past few years I’ve had to become a master at body mechanics and how to make subtle shifts in your posture, grip width, foot stance or what have you to hit the muscle more effectively or target a very specific part of a muscle that you may need to improve. I handle decent weights, but it’s never more than I can feel good contractions and stretches with.
Training split: Monday: back; Tuesday: chest; Wednesday: off; Thursday: quads; Friday: shoulders; Saturday: arms; Sunday: hams, calves and abs
Top lifts: Bench press: 555 x 12; Flat-bench dumbbell press: 220 x 6; Barbell row: 495 x10; Lateral raise: 100 x 8; Squat: 675 x 8
Favorite clean meal: Ground beef and rice
Favorite cheat meal: Cheese pizza
What is your favorite MuscleTech supplement, and why? I love Cell Tech Hardcore. I have a serving of that after every workout, and I can honestly say I feel my muscles filling back up right away. I’ve always had good results with creatine products, but this is by far the best one I’ve ever used.
Goals in the sport: I want to make a name for myself. I didn’t do very well at my pro debut, so right now I’m blasting my legs to bring them up to match my upper body. I have a lot of work ahead of me, but I’m determined to make my dreams come true.
8 a.m.: 8 egg whites, 100 grams oatmeal, 1/4 cup blueberries; 2 scoops Six-Star Muscle Fuel Professional Strength Whey
10:30 a.m.: 12 ounces chicken breast, 2 baked potatoes, 1 cup green beans
12:30 p.m.: 100 grams oatmeal with 3 scoops Six Star Muscle Fuel Professional Strength Whey
3 p.m.: 12 ounces ground bison, 1 cup green beans
6:30 p.m.: 12 ounces chicken breast, 1 cup green beans
8:15 p.m.: 50 grams Six Star Muscle Fuel Professional Strength Whey
8:30 to 10 p.m.: Train (drink Intravol by MuscleTech during workout, Cell Tech Hardcore at the end)
10:15 p.m.: 50 grams Six Star Muscle Fuel Professional Strength Whey, 1 scoop waxy maize
11 p.m.: 12 ounces sirloin or eye of round steak
Standing rope pulldowns (warmup) 5 x 15
Wide-grip cable rows 5 x 10-15
Close-grip overhead pulldowns 5 x 10-15
Dumbbell rows 5 x 12
Wide-grip overhead pulldowns 3 x max
Machine bench presses (warmup) 3 x 15
Incline Smith-machine presses 5 x 8-15
Flat-bench dumbbell presses 5 x 10-15
Incline dumbbell flyes 4 x 12-15
Cable crossovers 4 x 12-15
Dumbbell pullovers 3 x 15-20
Leg extensions (warmup) 8 x 12-20
Hammer Strength vertical squats 5 x 12-15
Leg presses 4-5 x 20
Hack squats 4-5 x 12
Barbell lunges 3 x 15-20
Leg extensions 4-5 x 8-10
Stationary bike high resistance x 5-10 minutes
Seated dumbbell presses (warmup) 4 x 15-20
Plate-loaded machine presses 4-5 x 10-12
Lateral raises 4-5 x 12-15 (12-15 reps seated, stand up and do 12-15 more)
Wide-grip upright rows 4 x 10-12
Reverse pec deck rear-delt flyes 4 x 12-15
Cable bent-over laterals 4 x 12-15
Barbell shrugs 4 x 15-20
Biceps and triceps
One-arm standing cable curls 4 x 15-20
Machine curls 4-5 x 12-15 (alternate arms, then use both arms at once)
Seated dumbbell curls 4-5 x 10-12
Dumbbell concentration curls 4 x 10-15
Cable pressdowns 4-5 x 15-20
Machine dips 4-5 x 10-12
Dumbbell skull crushers 4-5 x 8-12
One-arm cable pressdowns 4 x max
(holding rubber stopper ball, changing angles)
Hamstrings, calves* and abs
Seated leg curls 5-6 x 12-20
Smith-machine stiff-legged deadlifts 5-6 x 8-15
Lying leg curls 5-6 x 12-15
Seated calf raises 5 x 15-20
Standing calf raises 5 x 15-20
Swiss ball crunches 4 x max
Rope crunches 4 x max
*Calves are trained every other day.