With months of preparation and repetition behind him, Mickey "The Viking" Tomlin is ready to compete in his first U.S. Strongman Nationals on June 30th in White Plains, NY.
Mickey gave us a few minutes of his time to discuss his mindset going into the biggest competition of his career thus far. You can check out the Viking's bio to learn more about him.
KC: Is there a sense of pride you have in competing in your first USS Nationals?
MT: It’s a great personal accomplishment at 51 years old. I’m doing stuff I couldn’t do when I was in my 20's while I was active duty military. I’m lifting way heavier than I ever have in my life. It's a great sense of pride. This one I’m crazy ass happy about. I’ve only been doing the sport for a year and a half. I qualified for Nationals only a year and a half into the sport. I’m trying to make a name for myself and having a good time doing it.
KC: Have you been preparing for this event any differently than you’ve been training for other events?
MT: A lot of people would hit it with a different mindset. In times past, I started getting the pre-contest jitters and heavily critiqued myself. I get in the wrong mindset. Things are firing right because I’m too worried about the contest. For this one, I changed a lot. I haven’t even thought about it. I know it’s coming and I’m working towards a goal, but not treating it differently than a local contest. I haven’t even looked at the list of competitors. I’ve just looked at the weight numbers and created a goal based on what I think I have to list to be competitive. I’ve blocked out the noise and attacked it completely differently.
KC: What’s your training been like for the Nationals?
MT: My coach, David Hamilton, has been working with me a whole lot. We’re ramping it up pretty fierce. We’ve had a stiff regiment for the last three or four months going three or four days a week. We’re breaking it up between pressing movement, deadlift work, and on Saturdays, we get together with other strongmen and do competition moves. I’m on a cycle where I progress my weight each week for four weeks straight, take a week to unload and repeat the process. The last two weeks have all been contest moves. We’re banging it out over and over, getting form and technique down.
KC: How often are you eyeing the leaderboard when you’re competing?
MT: It’s kind of a conditional thing. If I’m doing good and feel good, I block out everything and press on. I don’t care about how everyone else is doing. I’ll make a note of my time and check the board every now and then, but if I keep doing that I’ll distract myself and ruin my focus. I’ll try to keep up with everyone else’s time and not focus on what I’m lifting. I need to focus on beating my PRs and if that wins, then hell yeah. I have to be competitive with myself and the clock.
KC: What do you think are your biggest strengths heading into the competition? What are you looking to improve on?
MT: My big strengths are any pulling movements or deadlifts. That’s what I’m most confident in and best at – I’ll do good there. My pressing movements need work and we have quite a bit of work left. My atlas stones need work but my coach and I are pretty sure I’ll get there.
KC: Do you have any specific goals or expectations for this year?
MT: For 2018, it’s getting out there and doing my best in my first nationals and we’ll take it from there. Goals for the remainder of the year will be based on how I perform at Nationals. If I missed my goals, I’ll correct it and get ready for next years Nationals. At 51, almost 52 years-old, I’m looking to see if there’s any way I can ramp up my training even more.