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This past weekend, we hosted a strength and speed conference. If you've never done this, I recommend that you do. This is the fourth time I've hosted a conference. Each one has been a little different and each one has been worth everything that I've put into it.

For this month's article, I'll provide a review of the conference and hopefully everyone (including me) will learn something from this experience.


On Friday, we had one presenter arrive early to get some extra training in. Zach Reed, the assistant strength coach at Georgia Tech, flew into town. I had my assistant pick him up at the airport and take him to the hotel so that he had time to get settled. After Zach was settled at the hotel, he came over to train.

RECENT: Certification Craze: Profession Flaws and Our Responsibility

Friday was shirt work for me, and Casey Williams joined for some dynamic effort bench pressing. Zach competes in Strongman and is a very strong man. We benched and I almost kept up with him (while in gear). It was amazing to watch how his strength differed from Casey's. You could see how Zach muscled the bar up while Casey punched the bar up. Casey's technique is due to years of training himself to throw the weight while Zach's Strongman training most likely provided much greater time under tension.

After training, Zach, my staff, one of our athletic trainers and I went to a Pittsburgh institution—Primanti Bros. I had been fighting a bad cold but was still able to talk and listen to some ideas and thoughts. What I learned is that Zach is very humble and strong and he's a good coach and a great person.



I was really pumped up for Saturday because we all trained together. The crew included my staff, Zach Reed, Nate Harvey and his crew, JL Holdsworth and his crew, Cameron Davidson and his crew and a few other special guests. The room was as expected—high levels of caffeine, Hatebreed on the radio and chalk flying around. I had a decent squat day. I was supposed to do doubles at 475, but hit 485 instead (I cut it high but got all whites in training). After this, we all went to happy hour at the hotel.

Spending time talking to everyone outside of the lectures is the most beneficial time of any conference. Don't get me wrong—the lectures are awesome—but the real life moments are better. I was able to reconnect with some good friends, especially when Dr. Dan Fabricant showed up. For those of you who don't know Doc Dan, he's really smart. He's so smart that the reason he was late is because Congress kept him late to ask him more questions. On Saturday night, he taught me that coffee is so much cooler than I ever imagined.

We got on to the topic of coffee and caffeine. Doc Dan mentioned that everyone talks about the diuretic effects of coffee. He said, "You drink a cup of coffee and what happens? You poop and pee." Yes, this is very true. He then continued: "Tomorrow, instead of coffee, drink some boiling (or very hot) water just like you would with coffee first thing in the morning and see what happens. You'll visit the rest room. Why does this happen? Simply, a hot liquid thrown into an empty stomach will quickly pass through the body and be excreted. So quit taking vitamins with coffee because it will just aid in rushing the vitamins out of your body." Such a simple thing but so true. Heat is a vasodilator!


Sunday was the day of the conference. I could go through each presenter, but instead, I'll do you a favor. We recorded all the presenters, so I'll just give you the link and you can watch, learn and take notes as much as you want:

WATCH: Strength and Speed Seminar at Robert Morris University

During the conference, I was able to listen to most of the presenters, but I did have work to do on campus and I kept getting side tracked in the hall with so many great coaches.

All I can say is put on a conference. Who cares if you lose some money? The experience will be worth it. Also, expand you network! At the conference, we had Nick Showman, JL Holdsworth, Ryan Nosak and Scott Umberger as well as the strength staff of Bloomsburg College, NJIT, Mount St Mary's, Acadia, Duquesne, Penn State, the University of Buffalo and more high school and private sector people than I can name. So go set up your conference!