elitefts has added another columnist and coach to its roster: Tony Montgomery, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, owner of Portland, Oregon-based gym Strength Union and online coaching company Team Phoenix Performance, and powerlifter. In Table Talk Podcast #8, Dave Tate explains why he decided to make Tony part of Team elitefts as well as the rigorous vetting he does for his company. Dave wants anyone he brings to the site to have the same or better quality that he himself brought to the site when it was just a Q&A website 21 years ago. So, why Tony?

We were watching you (Tony) for a while — for years, and as I was telling you the other day, the problem that we had with Tony is kind of a funny thing. We couldn’t find anything fucked up... there’s always something, and now... I see why. You didn’t stay in one place very long, you were moving around! But everybody we talked to always had something good to say about you whenever we vetted it out, so that was a plus.

Dave says he considered bringing Tony on last year, but the new website made him hesitant to add too many new people to the team, so he didn’t. That’s partially why Dave decided to keep things quiet this year and didn’t make any announcements until Anne Sheehan joined the team because Anne had an amazing story and he knew she was coming to the seminar. And so was Tony. The problem, however, was that Dave couldn’t bring Tony up on stage after Anne’s story because it’s “so anticlimactic.” Instead, he made the announcement at the VIP Dinner. To Tony, becoming part of Team elitefts is “hard to put in words,” but he does his best:

elitefts, to me, was something that started my process into my passion. If it wasn’t for elitefts, if it wasn’t for Joe DeFranco, I don’t know if I would be doing what I’m doing now. To think about a company (that) gave me the ability to find my passion and to give me something to pursue bigger than myself for the rest of my life, and now that I’m a part of it, it’s so exponentially more than I can ever put into words what of it means to me because it’s given me my life that I have now.

We’re glad to live, learn, and pass on — especially knowing that we’ve given Tony the ability to do so himself and continue to pass on to others.

Introducing New elitefts Athlete Anne Sheehan