Returning to the Commercial Gym
Returning to the Commercial Gym
Unfortunately, in our attempt to downsize into a smaller house, hard choices needed to be made, and the home gym that I had spent years putting together had to be left behind in storage. Although this is temporary, I'm not hating it.
Gym Management — Lessons from Culture and Criminology
Gym Management — Lessons from Culture and Criminology
If you walked into a gym where plates and dumbbells were scattered everywhere, you likely wouldn’t think twice about leaving your weights on the bar, right?
The Founder Phase — How to Get out of It
The Founder Phase — How to Get out of It
This is the phase of #hustle and #grind, when the Founders’ wallets are empty but their energy is boundless. It’s as exciting as a roller coaster! But roller coasters aren’t exciting for long.
Rules for Interviewing
Rules for Interviewing
For this month's article, I want to write about something that I've been doing a lot of recently with some success: interviewing. Consider these eleven rules for your next job opportunity.
The Power of Giving — Live, Learn, Pass On
The Power of Giving — Live, Learn, Pass On
As human beings, we live through the experiences life teaches us. We then learn from these moments, whether it’s positive or negative. And ultimately, we pass on.
No Man Is an Island: Recognizing Those Who Have Inspired Me
No Man Is an Island: Recognizing Those Who Have Inspired Me
No one ever gets anywhere alone. These are the people that have supported me and paved the road to where I am today.
Founder, Farmer, Tinker, Thief: The Four Phases of Fitness Entrepreneurship
Founder, Farmer, Tinker, Thief: The Four Phases of Fitness Entrepreneurs...
As a business owner, the path from Founder to Thief is the path to self-actualization.
3 Things Great Families and Businesses Have in Common
3 Things Great Families and Businesses Have in Common
Just like families constantly struggle to balance the needs of its members, so too does a business endeavor to find the right balance of serving customers, stakeholders, and employees. There are three key things that, when understood, help achieve these goals.
Using Values and Strengths to Help You Determine Your Career Path
Using Values and Strengths to Help You Determine Your Career Path
Through my work at my university, I spend a great deal of time developing students and helping mentor them for career direction, particularly in the exercise science related areas. This is the approach I use to help them find the right path.
New Gym in the Neighborhood
New Gym in the Neighborhood
I invite you to consider simple choices for space arrangement, staff training, and customer service to help you shape your gym for your chosen demographic and make a difference.
Consequences of Disrespect: Don't Disregard the Bureaucrat
Consequences of Disrespect: Don't Disregard the Bureaucrat
One of the most important lessons of my 15-year leadership career came from a man capable of responding to disrespect and condescension with calmness and grace.
WATCH: elitefts Core Values — Strength
WATCH: elitefts Core Values — Strength
What is true in the gym is true in life. Everything is about strength and overcoming adversity.
WATCH: elitefts Fitness Professional Summit — Transparency and Building Trust in Your Business
WATCH: elitefts Fitness Professional Summit — Transparency and Building ...
Taking on a young athlete that didn't fit was a big mistake, but how DeFranco handled the situation led to an explosion in his business. This is the story of how kicking a kid out of his gym was one of the three best decisions he ever made.
WATCH: elitefts Core Values — Trust
WATCH: elitefts Core Values — Trust
In the world of strength training, you often see trust: between training partners, between lifters and their equipment, and between competitors and judges. But not all trust is created equal.
Three Things I Would Change About the Fitness Industry
Three Things I Would Change About the Fitness Industry
Two decades of working in this industry—and even longer being part of it as a lifter—has shown me a lot of great things, but I've got a few suggestions as well.
WATCH: elitefts Core Values — Focus
WATCH: elitefts Core Values — Focus
Without focus, you won't make it far in training, business, or life.
The Contempt for Millennials: Reconsidering a Generational Divide
The Contempt for Millennials: Reconsidering a Generational Divide
This hostility goes far beyond the baby boomer and Gen Xer tensions that dominated my early professional years. Those generational differences never reached this level of sheer nastiness.
The elitefts Company Story
The elitefts Company Story
From 1998 to today, elitefts has had one simple goal: to make average athletes great and great athletes elite. This is how the company has grown along the way to educate and outfit the strongest athletes around the world.
The elitefts Timeline
The elitefts Timeline
From 1970 to present day, this is the progression of elitefts.
The Coach Rulebook: 5 Rules to Follow
The Coach Rulebook: 5 Rules to Follow
You can be the smartest nutrition or training coach in the world, but if you don't know how to actually help people your business will fail.
The Privilege to Work Hard
The Privilege to Work Hard
Your skills and abilities can get you the job, but your tenacity will get you the results needed to excel at it.
WATCH: Steve Pulcinella Visits the S5 Compound
WATCH: Steve Pulcinella Visits the S5 Compound
After a long, miserable drive to Ohio, we stuck a camera in Steve's face and forced him to talk about his life. The results are about what you'd expect.
WATCH: Lessons Learned from Online and Personal Training Clients
WATCH: Lessons Learned from Online and Personal Training Clients
Through many years training many clients, these are the main lessons that have helped the most for setting lifters up for success.
WATCH: Coach Shoop's Impact on Dave
WATCH: Coach Shoop's Impact on Dave
Continuing their conversation, Shoop and Dave talk about the past and what brought them back together.
WATCH: Coach Shoop Visits Dave Tate
WATCH: Coach Shoop Visits Dave Tate
If you've read Under the Bar you know who Bill Shoop is — he's the high school football coach Dave credits with changing his life forever.
WATCH: Dave Tate Podcast with Ben Pakulski
WATCH: Dave Tate Podcast with Ben Pakulski
The psychology of a world-class strength athlete can provide a powerful foundation for success in business, but when mishandled it can also be a disaster in the professional world.
Exiting Your Comfort Zone: Expect Casualties Along the Way to Success
Exiting Your Comfort Zone: Expect Casualties Along the Way to Success
Winners create their chances and don’t wait for opportunities. They are relentless, ruthless, and focused.
The Client Rulebook: 5 Rules to Follow
The Client Rulebook: 5 Rules to Follow
If you're going to invest the time and financial resources to hire a coach, you should be doing everything you can to get the most out of the relationship. Avoiding these common mistakes is a must if you hope to reach your goals.
Heavy Metal Fitness: Tim Ingram's Strength Haven Grows Again
Heavy Metal Fitness: Tim Ingram's Strength Haven Grows Again
When we first shared his story in 2014, Tim Ingram had just opened his first training facility. Now he's back with another story of growth — and an even bigger gym.
WATCH: elitefts Fitness Professional Summit — The Four Pillars of Anatomy at 1220
WATCH: elitefts Fitness Professional Summit — The Four Pillars of Anatom...
Marc Megna's vision for the future of fitness isn't founded on the equipment, the layout design, or even the location of the gym. This is the story of how he opened his facility and built its success.
Credibility or Accountability — What Drives Your Organization's Success?
Credibility or Accountability — What Drives Your Organization's Suc...
After 15 years of executive leadership riddled with countless mistakes and faulty approaches, I have come to passionately believe that leadership focused on credibility rather than accountability is the more effective approach to take.
WATCH: elitefts Fitness Professional Summit — Megna's University of Richmond and NFL Careers
WATCH: elitefts Fitness Professional Summit — Megna's University of...
One football play earned him a full tuition scholarship, but making the NFL wasn't quite so easy.
WATCH: elitefts Fitness Professional Summit — Marc Megna's Path to the NFL
WATCH: elitefts Fitness Professional Summit — Marc Megna's Path to ...
Megna's accomplishments are many and impressive to all, but his story doesn't start with a silver spoon or generational talent. This is the story of where it all began.
Kids Ruin Everything?
Kids Ruin Everything?
I recently read two statements that I not only disagree strongly with but am qualified to disagree with. Total immersion in a goal isn't the only way to success, and if you believe having a family has to take away from your goals — well, you're wrong.
WATCH: elitefts Fitness Professional Summit — Authenticity Is Your Key to Success
WATCH: elitefts Fitness Professional Summit — Authenticity Is Your Key t...
DeFranco gives advice on authenticity and how staying true to yourself while running your business will bring both you and your clients more success. It worked for Enzo Amore and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
WATCH: elitefts Fitness Professional Summit — Humanize Your Business
WATCH: elitefts Fitness Professional Summit — Humanize Your Business
Once people know you, the next step is getting them to like you. If you try to make yourself look perfect to accomplish this goal, you're making a big mistake. You need to be vulnerable.
Time Management Strategies by a Busy Fit Chick
Time Management Strategies by a Busy Fit Chick
If you don’t make the time to reach your own goals and make strides personally, you will become resentful of the things you let get in the way. You can really do it all — you've just got to do you first.
Know Your Worth: Is It Smart for Trainers to Reduce Price?
Know Your Worth: Is It Smart for Trainers to Reduce Price?
I've heard, "Know your worth" a lot lately, and my response is to say that that statement is absurd and shows that you may not understand business as well as you think you do.
WATCH: Table Talk — How Dave Supported Himself as a Powerlifter Before elitefts
WATCH: Table Talk — How Dave Supported Himself as a Powerlifter Before e...
Before the original Q&A, before the equipment, before the team, what was Dave doing?
WATCH: elitefts Fitness Professional Summit — How Triple H Became DeFranco's Client
WATCH: elitefts Fitness Professional Summit — How Triple H Became DeFran...
Beginning to work with Paul Levesque, better known as WWE star Triple H, was a turning point in DeFranco's career that helped lead to less time in the gym and more time helping other coaches and trainers.
Educate Your Clients for Better Buy-In
Educate Your Clients for Better Buy-In
It's easy to tell your clients why you're doing what you're doing, but it's much harder to prove to them they'll be rewarded for their efforts. Here are six steps to helping them believe in your methods and the work they're putting in.
How to Know If You Should Open a Gym
How to Know If You Should Open a Gym
For many people who are passionate about health and fitness, the idea of opening a gym is a very enticing one. These four clues can help guide you in determining if it's the right move to make.
10,000 Hours and the Pursuit of Mastery
10,000 Hours and the Pursuit of Mastery
Most people fail to achieve their goals not because they lack the ability but because they lack the tenacity. Life’s hard and frequently people quit, sometimes 10 meters from the finish line and sometimes two inches. Don't quit.
WATCH: elitefts Fitness Professional Summit — DeFranco's Story and How to Start Your Career in Fitness
WATCH: elitefts Fitness Professional Summit — DeFranco's Story and ...
Answer two questions about yourself, go do shit, and be prepared for the hard work to not always be gratifying immediately. Then you're on your way.
WATCH: Table Talk — Making Time to Train Around A Busy Work Schedule
WATCH: Table Talk — Making Time to Train Around A Busy Work Schedule
A busy work schedule can make it hard to train at the times you'd like to, but there's always a way to make it work.
WATCH: elitefts Fitness Professional Summit — No Chihuahuas
WATCH: elitefts Fitness Professional Summit — No Chihuahuas
There will be people in life who you have to pick up and carry around because their legs are so short that they can't run fast enough to keep up with you and where you're going. You need to cut these people out. Get rid of them.
WATCH: elitefts Fitness Professional Summit — Action vs. Education, Gym Ownership Metrics, and Staff Compensation
WATCH: elitefts Fitness Professional Summit — Action vs. Education, Gym ...
Chris Cooper shares the story behind his mentorship and books, outlines the two most important takeaways from his lecture, and shares several key lessons all gym-owners should know.
Thanksgiving 2017 — A Letter from Dave Tate
Thanksgiving 2017 — A Letter from Dave Tate
Reflecting on past Thanksgiving letters, my closing from 2016 hit me like a ton of bricks. It has been a big year of challenges and opportunities, hardships and success.
Alycia’s List of Takebacks
Alycia’s List of Takebacks
There are a number of thoughts, beliefs, and philosophies about life and training I once thought to be true that I no longer do. Here are the disagreements I have with my former self.
WATCH: elitefts Fitness Professional Summit — That's It?
WATCH: elitefts Fitness Professional Summit — That's It?
Two words forever changed JL's perspective on what it means to grow a business.
Training Clients for Free — The Unsustainable State
Training Clients for Free — The Unsustainable State
For both trainer and trainee, the service is most valuable when the terms are mutually beneficial and serve the aims of both parties. There's only one circumstance for me that I've found no compensation is sustainable.
WATCH: elitefts Fitness Professional Summit — Don't Be A Big Fish in a Little Pond
WATCH: elitefts Fitness Professional Summit — Don't Be A Big Fish i...
The fitness industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. It's the war you want to be in.
Micromanagement and the Failure of Weak Leaders
Micromanagement and the Failure of Weak Leaders
If you lack credibility and influence, attempting to reduce variance and error by controlling every process and detail of your business unit will erode the loyalty, urgency, and purpose needed for success.
WATCH: elitefts Fitness Professional Summit — Owning A Business Is Harder Than You Think
WATCH: elitefts Fitness Professional Summit — Owning A Business Is Harde...
It only makes sense to start your own gym, fulfill your passion, and make boatloads of cash in the process, right? Maybe not.
Reflecting on Strong(er) Business: elitefts Fitness Professionals Summit
Reflecting on Strong(er) Business: elitefts Fitness Professionals Summit
When I registered for this event, I knew that not only would the presentations be top-notch, but so too would the social event.
Closing in on Our 20th Year in Business
Closing in on Our 20th Year in Business
Thanks to your valued partnership, after nearly two decades of business we are still focused on the future.
WATCH: Q&A with Coach Kav — Execution vs. Beast Mode
WATCH: Q&A with Coach Kav — Execution vs. Beast Mode
When you start patting yourself on the back for basic shit you're supposed to be doing anyway, you're missing the whole point. You're a failure.
Mirage Chasing
Mirage Chasing
We seek enough, for what? To prove we did something? That we’re good “enough” at something? I'm fighting every day to overcome this and you should too.
WATCH: Q&A with Coach Kav — Marketing and Branding in the Fitness Industry
WATCH: Q&A with Coach Kav — Marketing and Branding in the Fitness In...
Whether you're starting your business or have been around for years, one of the most important parts of your success is understanding and controlling consumer perception of your brand.

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