Life, Lifting, and Jeeps
Life, Lifting, and Jeeps
Even after 47 years of life, I continue to realize there are crossover lessons between powerlifting and life. Case in point: modifying a new Jeep for desert driving.
66 Lessons for Freedom, Happiness, and Physical Excellence
66 Lessons for Freedom, Happiness, and Physical Excellence
I recently wrote down things I’ve learned that helped me change my life, and I hope this list of those lessons helps you break through whatever you feel is holding you back and achieve optimal health, wellness, strength, success, freedom, and happiness.
The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team: Lack of Commitment, Avoidance of Accountability, and Inattention to Results
The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team: Lack of Commitment, Avoidance of Accountab...
In my last article, I went over 2 of the 5 dysfunctions of a team. Here, I’ll cover the remaining 3 and how to bring the team closer together.
WATCH: Fighter Mentality with Brian Alsruhe
WATCH: Fighter Mentality with Brian Alsruhe
Growing up in the ‘80s, Brian Alsruhe found strength in Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and He-Man. The one thing these people (and cartoon character) had was muscles; therefore, he’d need muscles to be strong. That brought him to martial arts, forming a strong mindset, and eventually, to strongman.
Franco, Sartre, and The Gym
Franco, Sartre, and The Gym
I read about the loss of bodybuilding legend, powerlifter, and two-time Mr. Olympia, Dr. Franco Columbu. I hardly need to go into the impact he had on bodybuilding. His life was a life well-lived, one with a deeply personal and meaningful purpose.
The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team: Absence of Trust and Fear of Conflict
The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team: Absence of Trust and Fear of Conflict
I used the book The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team to help bring my athletes closer together, especially when there was a major shift in the team. These exercises helped bring us closer together and improved performance and morale.
Don’t Let The Things You Love Destroy You 
Don’t Let The Things You Love Destroy You 
The things that gym owners and coaches love to do are destroying them. Find what you love to do without it taking too much of a toll on your health, both mental and physical. #BeThe1ToAsk others if they need help.
How to Get Through a Near Career-Ending Injury
How to Get Through a Near Career-Ending Injury
It’s said a person is only one injury away from ending your sports career. When dealing with that kind of injury, we often neglect how it affects our minds, which are almost just as easy to break as our bodies.
A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats
A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats
The legendary Frantz Gym was the place where the top powerlifters trained, where the collective whole was greater than the sum of its parts. “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” can often be tossed around, but that was a large part of the magic that was Frantz Gym.
I’m Going To Die
I’m Going To Die
As I close in on turning 50 this next March, I admit that death has had a much more profound impact on me, to the point of almost making me dwell on it… and taking a 3,000-mile-long trip to spend time with my mother-in-law who has stage-4 cancer didn’t really help much, either.
Pushed by Pain, Pulled by Purpose
Pushed by Pain, Pulled by Purpose
I hope my story encourages you to realize that your past does not hold you back, no matter the story. There is always a way to use negative experiences for good and help others. It is also at that point you are no longer pushed by pain, but otherwise, pulled by purpose.
4 Mistakes Fallen Leaders Are Prone To
4 Mistakes Fallen Leaders Are Prone To
Wealth, power, and fame. Some might say those are inherently negative characteristics. I, however, believe the way those characteristics are wielded determines whether they are good or bad.
These Four Walls
These Four Walls
Recording a podcast episode with my mentor (and cousin) John Alvino made me reflect on the pivotal role training has played in my life. Quite frankly, without it, I don’t know where I’d be. Inside these four walls, training has been my therapy, my drug, and my anchor.
4 Things I Learned in Prison
4 Things I Learned in Prison
My bodybuilding mentor invited me to run a training seminar for inmates at the second-largest prison in Washington state. Let’s say I learned a few things while I did my time… teaching inmates, that is.
The elitefts Article That's Changing My Life
The elitefts Article That's Changing My Life
One elitefts article is changing my life, and it was a completely unexpected article! Thanks to Matt Ladewski’s “4 Non-Training Podcasts you Should Listen To,” I’m a third of the way done with a 75-day challenge. It’s taught me a lot about myself and my habits, both good and bad.
9 Things I Learned From a Social Media Detox
9 Things I Learned From a Social Media Detox
Quitting social media will help you realize how you’re spending your time and where you’re spending your time. Most of us, myself included, are wasting entirely too much time on stupid stuff. Stop wasting your time there and start putting it where it’s most important.
Motivation vs. Discipline
Motivation vs. Discipline
Whenever I ask for topics people want to learn about in my column, “how to stay motivated” is always at the top of the list. Motivation is in high demand: you see it all over Instagram in memes, pictures, and captions. Despite the high demand, it sure seems like it’s in short supply….
The Allure of Powerlifting
The Allure of Powerlifting
What is it about powerlifting that draws people to it like a magnet? Is it the parts of us that start as iron ore and are melted down into knurled steel through training? Is it a religion we worship? What power does powerlifting have over us?
Hi, My Name is Anne, and I'm an Alcoholic
Hi, My Name is Anne, and I'm an Alcoholic
Believe it or not, sometimes words can be heavier than your PR. These words and the ones that follow are my weights to bear… and also, to share with you and others who may need to hear them. This is my story.
Shooting From the Hip
Shooting From the Hip
Sometimes, I have to remember I am not Superman. I remembered how I have been feeling, sleeping, and how much I have been working. So I took a break and slept in… and managed to get this article done, too.
For the Fathers and the Fatherless on Father's Day
For the Fathers and the Fatherless on Father's Day
For many, bearing the title of “father” is a great blessing. But even if you aren’t on good terms with your father, just know that there is another father somewhere out there who is willing to take you in as his son.
Risk Versus Reward
Risk Versus Reward
If we all sat inside a cage and didn’t go anywhere, we would certainly be safer with less chance of injury or death. But what kind of life would that be? No one cares what you think, so shut up.
Are You Tough?
Are You Tough?
Toughness is something deeper than the scene in The Terminator when a biker puts out a cigar on an unflinching Arnold Schwarzenegger’s chest. So what does it really mean to be tough? Let’s find out.
You Can Learn Anything
You Can Learn Anything
I don’t know why my tae-kwon-do instructor did this after I told him I couldn’t afford lessons, but he said, “You’ll be back, and you’ll teach the kids’ class.” He gave me an opportunity to become a coach, which changed the direction of my life.
Implementing Self-Determination Theory in Coaching
Implementing Self-Determination Theory in Coaching
Self-determination theory is an approach to shift motivation from extrinsic to intrinsic. As coaches, we can make small changes to the way we already do things to cause great changes to the athlete’s performance and motivation source.
The Monsters on My Shoulder
The Monsters on My Shoulder
I have two monsters perched on my left shoulder, whispering what-ifs and morbid thoughts and suggestions into my ear. No matter what I do, they won’t go away. That’s the most difficult part of having a mental illness.
WATCH: Joe Sullivan Rants — Go to Therapy!
WATCH: Joe Sullivan Rants — Go to Therapy!
Joe Sullivan has some choice words for powerlifters who think that the weight room is their therapy. It’s not. Go get help. See a therapist.
Mental May — Destroying Demons
Mental May — Destroying Demons
Put on your helmet, fasten your breastplate tight, and with one arm supporting your shield, allow the other to gather your sword. Go to battle with your demons. Win the war every day. Every breath you have is a victory.
Dave Tate, A Mother's Perspective
Dave Tate, A Mother's Perspective
Marge Tate could have allowed labels, sickness, and loss to paralyze her legacy. Instead, through passion, tradition, and communication, her commitment to human connection and service is alive — and she passed it on to Dave.
Pushed by Pain: The College Blur
Pushed by Pain: The College Blur
Remember how I said the first part of my story wasn’t the worst part? Well, this is it. But here’s the thing: after those shitty events happened to me, I became pulled by purpose instead of pain.
Fall Forward
Fall Forward
When you tuck the ball and fall for a yard, and when you get rolling, take three steps forward and get pushed back two, remember: you still fell forward one step.
Motivation is Bullshit
Motivation is Bullshit
Motivation is good to get the ball rolling, but as soon as the terrain shifts to uphill, the motivation dies, and your ball comes to a screeching halt. Instead, you’ll need to develop enough discipline to move forward on a daily basis.
Under The Bar: They are NOT Angry Birds! The Monster Within Special Education
Under The Bar: They are NOT Angry Birds! The Monster Within Special Educ...
Special education is an unfunded federal mandate. Contrary to popular belief, it is not funded by the feds at 100%. Not even close to a third. Cutbacks and downsizing are hitting education hard, and it’s directly impacting student delivery in the classroom.
Discipline in Training and Life
Discipline in Training and Life
As someone who often trains alone, I tend to have time to reflect on things between sets. It’s in those moments that I see connections between training and everyday life. Here are a few ways that training and life are closely woven together, particularly in the area of discipline.
Pushed by Pain
Pushed by Pain
I’ve realized I’ve never told my story, save for a couple of people. Those who’ve heard it were surprised because, against all odds, I didn’t end up completely fucked up because of everything that happened. Instead, I became strong and independent. So here it is. My story.
Training Our Thought Process
Training Our Thought Process
Just the other day, I was listening to a motivational speech that got me going. That speech made it clear to me that an evolution of the thought process and perception of what training should be is how lifters and strength athletes progress to the higher levels.
Feet Mindfulness
Feet Mindfulness
I pose the following questions: How mindful are you of your feet? Do you think about where you want to go versus where you are heading? Are your feet on the right path, and if not, why? These questions and the wisdom you can obtain from them extend far beyond chalk and iron.
In What We Lack
In What We Lack
We associate the word “heart” with an emotional response and driving purpose, when it is, in fact, the opposite. It’s the act of leaving emotions and connections behind, if only for a short while.
Rise Out of the Ashes
Rise Out of the Ashes
If I can go through hell and back and find success and happiness, so can you. Rise up out of the ashes like a phoenix.
Here are Team elitefts' New Year's Resolutions for 2019
Here are Team elitefts' New Year's Resolutions for 2019
New Year’s resolutions have been around for thousands of years, which gave the elitefts staff plenty of time to share their opinions on the subject and a few goals of their own…
You Can't Be Broken
You Can't Be Broken
The world can be a motherfucker but remember this…
Avoid the Traps
Avoid the Traps
Society has set these standards, and as a result, many people are overworked, underpaid, in debt, divorced, and unhappy. I call them traps.
How to Get a Pickle
How to Get a Pickle
Attention big bald guys: please take note and don’t let this happen to you.
Actionable Steps to Defeat Your Doubt
Actionable Steps to Defeat Your Doubt
There are many cases where medications are overprescribed and are used only to treat the surface of a deeper issue rather than resolving the underlying cause. So, what should we do to address these common issues that persist amongst our society?
Be Afraid
Be Afraid
You hear people in an attempt to salvage their fragile egos say they are afraid of nothing. But I have never understood why being afraid of something is a bad thing.
The Yoke: A Reflection of A Person’s Intangibles
The Yoke: A Reflection of A Person’s Intangibles
These training samples, along with hard work, allowed me to get a 20” neck, sizeable traps, and a sizeable upper back—all done with minimal equipment, mostly at home, and with extremely high rep counts.
Resurgence After the Rust
Resurgence After the Rust
When the dust settles and I turn the lights off in that weight room for that final time, what legacy will I leave, how many lives did I touch?
WATCH: Blast from the Past — Dave Tate's 2010 Body Transformation Tip
WATCH: Blast from the Past — Dave Tate's 2010 Body Transformation Tip
What does it take to completely transform your training, lifestyle, and eating habits after years of the same goal?
What Is Strength?
What Is Strength?
Mental strength and physical strength are two necessary components for a healthy, happy life of abundance, but you have to get uncomfortable to start building them.
You Are in Hell
You Are in Hell
But the heaven you’re searching for isn’t far away.
Mindset: The Difference Between Success and Failure
Mindset: The Difference Between Success and Failure
People who succeed in this world have an iron will and a never-say-die mentality. Do you?
My Powerlifting Influences
My Powerlifting Influences
I would not be the person or the lifter I am today without the influence of these seven people and the lessons they taught me.
Finding True Happiness
Finding True Happiness
I feel that, along with some financial security and fulfillment, you also need these six variables to achieve true happiness.
The Power of Support
The Power of Support
Even in powerlifting, when it feels like you’re one-on-one with the bar, you’re not alone.
Married to a Bodybuilder: Three Women Share Their Support Role Perspectives
Married to a Bodybuilder: Three Women Share Their Support Role Perspecti...
Being married to a physique sport competitor isn’t easy. I want this article to provide some authentic insight from the real pillars of strength: the women who play the support role.
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.
27 Reasons to Be Big
27 Reasons to Be Big
This one still makes us laugh. Funny how some things change while others stay the same. Enjoy…
Putting It All Out There — Fighting Complacency and Contentment
Putting It All Out There — Fighting Complacency and Contentment
Making progress in training or in life means taking ownership of your future. Are you a passenger sitting quietly or are you grabbing the wheel and pressing the gas pedal?
Life, Death, and the Clarity of Obsession
Life, Death, and the Clarity of Obsession
Sometimes rather than serving as an escape from real life, our obsessions can become a source of something that everyday life cannot always provide. Here’s how it’s worked for me.

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