Team Elitefts has grown a lot recently. Between our two new columnists and our five new athletes, (not including our February addition of Zach Gallmann), the team has welcomed seven new members.

A lot of time that goes into these decisions. For each person added to the team, the elitefts staff and team leaders have spent weeks, months, and years watching. We receive thousands of sponsorship applications every year; if you've submitted one and have yet to hear from us, it doesn't mean we aren't watching you. Being part of elitefts comes down to more than personal success in a strength sport. We want the kind of lifters that do more than post a big total on the platform. A 1000-pound squat is great, but we could find that at any big meet, from a dozen guys. What can you do for someone other than yourself? What do you contribute to this sport, other than an ego? Are you making the world of strength sports better for anyone other than yourself?

The purpose of elitefts has never been to only lift big weights. Does team elitefts do that? Hell yes. But there's also more to it. Live, Learn, Pass On is not a marketing slogan. It isn't a bullshit line we're feeding our readers and customers. Every business decision we make revolves around this core principle. It is our identity, and it will never change. These are our newest members contributing to this identity.


Carlos Reyes

Carlos Reyes began competing in strongman in June 2009. His achievements include winning the North American Strongman Teen National Championship (200-pound class) in 2010 and 2011, the Men's National Championship (200-pound class) in 2011, and attaining his lightweight pro card (231-pound class) at the Hartford Europa Platinum + contest in 2012. After recovering from an injury, he decided to enter his first raw powerlifting meet in 2013 and fell in love with the sport. Since then, he has achieved an 805-pound squat, a 515-pound bench press, a 725-pound deadlift, and 2045 total in the 220-pound class (raw with wraps). Carlos currently resides in Bridgeport, CT with his three-year old pug, Riley. He is pursuing a career as a firefighter/paramedic.

Christian Anto

Christian began his athletic career in high school as a soccer player. He continued his soccer career into college playing for a NJCAA school in Madison, Wisconsin. After his final season and graduation, he moved to Memphis. There, he turned to the weight room to extend his athletic goals and began studying Human Health Sciences. While still training he crossed paths with NBS Fitness owner David Allen. After several months, Christian converted his educational focus to Exercise Sports Sciences where he has earn his bachelor’s degree and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) certification.

Christian is a competitive powerlifter who has gained elite totals in two weight classes and in three years has climbed the rankings to top 10 in the world within his respective weight class of 181 pounds. He is very passionate about his training and brings that intensity to his clients. Christian is ready to share his knowledge and help clients become strong and healthy while reaching their personal fitness goals.

Joe Sullivan

Joe Sullivan graduated from John Carroll University in 2015 with a Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science. Beginning in high school he developed a passion for powerlifting and strength sports. He used it as an outlet, and poured himself into his training. He then became one of the top-ranked 198 pound lifters with a 1725-pound total in sleeves. Now working at a medically integrated fitness center in Lewis Center, OH he has decided to go up a weight class and pursue a 2000-pound total at 220 pounds. He is currently 22 years old, and plans to compete at the Chicago Fit Expo on June 26th, 2016.

Tarra Oravec

Tarra Oravec is an elite competitive powerlifter and has a top 10 All-Time total with 1200 pounds at 181 in the raw with wraps division. Her best meet lifts are a 435-pound squat, a 280-pound bench and a 500-pound deadlift. Tarra won Champion of Champions at RUM 8 in 2014. She has a Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh. Currently she is working for a nonprofit organization in the city of Pittsburgh providing housing and case management to those in the homeless arena that frequently cycle through other systems (justice, mental health, drug and alcohol, etc).

Mario D'Amico

Mario D'Amico currently resides in Eastlake, OH and has a Bachelor's Degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Akron. Pursuing his paramedic and firefighting certifications, Mario fulfills his stereotypical meathead duties by holding the position of Key Holder for a Willoughby, Ohio Vitamin Shoppe. He has elite totals in the 198 and 220-pound weight classes and broke the 800-pound squat barrier in December.


Matt Smith

Matt Smith began powerlifting in 1989 while playing high school football in Thornville, Ohio. After three years, he chose to walk away from football and then began a serious powerlifting career in 1997. He started in NASA federations to get meet experience and hit a personal best total of 1818 pounds (744 squat, 452 bench, 622 deadlift) before coming to Westside in Columbus, Ohio. Matt trained at Westside for 16 years and recorded personal best lifts of an 1160-pound squat, 749-pound bench, 850-pound deadlift, and 2673-pound total. Matt now offers online personal training and consulting.

Marilia Coutinho

Marilia Coutinho is a powerlifter, with world records in full power and on the bench press, having held the all time record for the classic squat. She has a Bachelor's degree in Biology, a MS in Chemical Ecology and a Ph.D. in Sociology of Science, with further education in sports science. She created a continued education program in strength and conditioning under her company MAD Powerlifting.



WATCH: Table Talk — How Can You Become Part of Team elitefts?