I had the honor and pleasure to be invited to coach at the EliteFTS Powerlifting Experience 2 last week.

I have been to the compound to coach and speak many times and each time I am honored, awed, humbled and excited at the prospect of doing this.

Dave Tate and the EliteFTS staff put a weekend of the best coaches and training available anywhere and take all of the profit and give it to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Let me expand on some of the things I said above.


If you look at the list of coaches at these seminars it is pretty awesome to be of thought highly enough to be there. Here is a list of them:

Dave Tate
Chad Aichs

Vincent Dizenzo
Steve Goggins
Marshall Johnson
Dave Kirschen
Julia Ladewski
Matt Ladewski
Casey Williams
Scott Yard
David Allen
Christine Brass
Molly Edwards
Meana Franco
JL Holdsworth
Alycia Israel
Eric Maroscher
Yessica Martinez
Jen Petrosino
Matt Rhodes
Joe Schillero
Harry Selkow
Joey Smith
Brandon Smitley
Mike Szudarek
Ken Whetham
Sheri Whetham
Bob Youngs
Ken Whetham
Mickey Belanaih

I may or may not have been waiting in Mickey's room like this.

I may or may not have been waiting in Mickey's room like this.


That’s a list of heavy hitters.

As I said, asking to be on a panel with them is an honor.


Every time I train at the compound I am awed at the level of dedication, strength, skill and comraderie of the team that I am a part of.

Even though we all only see each other a few times a year for the most part, we all function as if we trained together every day.


We do this to Live, Learn and Pass On.

We do this to help other lifters be better.

We do this to help sick children and make a dream come true for them. I get humbled the most by this.

I am the proud father of a healthy and smart 10 year old. As a parent it is difficult for me to think of having a child who is suffering from a terminal illness. I get humbled as I see everyone come together with the single purpose of making a child’s dream come true.

I get humbled to think about how lucky I am as a father to have a child who is healthy and doesn’t want for anything. It is good to give back and make someone’s life better.


This is the easiest one to write about.

I get excited every time I go because I get to spend a weekend training with and learning from good friends. Some old, some new.

On to the weekend.

We all went to breakfast and had a few laughs and got ready for the day.

Casey hiding from the paparazzi.

Casey hiding from the paparazzi.

I coached with Brandon Smitley, the Whethams, Big Swede, Eric Maroscher, Steve Goggins and I brought my main man Russ Smith with me to help too.

Me and the Stache waiting for our flight to leave after an hour delay.

Me and the Stache waiting for our flight to leave after an hour delay.

We had the Driven Group and it was comprised of a great group of lifters, some with experience and some without. We brought them through technique on the squat, bench and deadlift and then a mock meet.

To the person, each athlete was very coachable and hard working. As a coach, this is what you want.

When working with people I do not care if they are world class lifters or first timers. I care if they are hardworking and coachable. All the talent and ability in the world mean noting if you are un-coachable. This group was neither of those.

We saw massive improvements in form and technique (two different things) as well as more than a few PR’s.

After the lifting was over we listened to Dave, Vincent and Steve Goggins wrap up what they saw as points to remember. We also had the honor of listening to Clint Darden give a speech that should be mandatory listening to every single athlete on the planet.

Yes it was that good.

Bob saving Dave's life as he was one breath away from death all weekend.

Bob saving Dave's life as he was one breath away from death all weekend.


After, we all retired to the hotel for a few adult beverages and some food. Somehow everyone ended up in my room until the wee hours of the morning. Nope, I am not going over the topics discussed but let’s just say that we all had a good night and shared a lot of laughs.

Sadly I had an early flight out Sunday and couldn’t stay for the second training session with the team. Maybe next time.

Some thoughts on geared lifting.

On the plane on the way down I got the brilliant idea to try out a Metal Jack Deadlilft suit. I mentioned it to Russ and he was all in.

jack deadlift

I had a massive ART session the day before and John my PT said very firmly “do not train tomorrow”.


I’m going to the compound and I’m not going to train.

I did anyway and Casey, Matt and JL all had a good laugh at the shitshow that was my deadlift session.

The shitshow was all me, the suit was great.

I did get a lot of really valuable feedback and all of the comments went back to me getting my hips in order. Maybe I’ll listen to John going forward.

I love geared lifting. I’m a gear whore. Not to the Jo Jordan extent but a whore nonetheless.

After lifting RAW for the past few years, getting in a suit was a wakeup call. I did about 7 or 8 singles in the suit and felt like I got run over by a truck.

So, here are my thoughts:

Geared lifting is awesome and you all should by a ton of Metal gear right now from this site.

Geared lifting will exploit your weaknesses.

Gear will push you around if you have a weakness so if you are thinking of using some, get strong. Find your weakness and eliminate it. You need to be strong enough to push the gear around.

Find a good crew of geared lifters to train with and learn all that you can.

If you lift in gear DO A MEET! Competing is awesome and it makes you better.

That’s all for this week.

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Vincere vel mori

Total Performance Sports