The Jacked Drifter’s Zach Gallman and The Refined Savage’s Mark Valenti joined forces in a collaborative podcast with Dave Tate as this episode’s guest.

The trio talks about elitefts’ history, starting from its humble roots as a Q&A page to a company that creates and shares content for free and sells top-of-the-line strength equipment. They also talk about some of the “big names” elitefts brought to the forefront of strength training, such as Buddy Morris and Jim Wendler.

The discussion of Crossfit elicits a few groans, but Dave points out that bashing other strength sports doesn’t do anyone any good. There’s something good that comes from each strength sport, such as the rise of women joining Strongman as a result of starting off in Crossfit.

Dave also calls out the “old guard” of strength sports for complaining about all of the new non-competing powerlifters out there. Rather than complain, he suggests that the “old guard” reach out and help train these newer lifters in groups to get them further invested in the sport.

There are more junior high football players than there are NFL players.

It’s a sort-of “the more the merrier” attitude, but it also brings some good questions to ask newbies interested in competition to consider, such as how long do they intend to be competing? If they don’t want to be involved for more than a year or two, they probably aren’t going to be competitive powerlifters.

Other things might scare beginning competitors, too, such as weight gain and dirty bulking. Prompted by Zach and Mark, Dave goes into detail about an article he wrote some time back about how to gain weight. Though he’s discussed this in another recent podcast, Dave reinforces his stance that modern dirty bulking isn’t really dirty bulking. All of the processed foods make it easy to pack on the calories but at the cost of key nutrients.

This brings Dave back to a time he refers to as an “identity crisis,” when he tried out bodybuilding, gained a lot of muscle, but ended up weaker than before as a powerlifter. Why? It was because he ate “too clean,” and the muscles he gained weren’t useable for powerlifting. The nutrients he needed for powerlifting were cut out in the bodybuilding diet; similar to how eating only processed foods to gain weight comes with nutrient deficiencies.

Dave is asked about the shift from geared to raw lifting and how he weathered that change. He says he was a “late adapter” to raw and is a big fan of how it works in skill... plus it was also in elitefts’ best interests in terms of business, so that was a nice bonus.

By the minute:

  • (0:03) Introduction
  • (0:32) Refined Savage
  • (1:16) Dave’s background
  • (2:36) The business side of elitefts
  • (3:44) Q&A / Website
  • (5:28) Selling equipment
  • (8:20) Bringing it all together
  • (11:30) Big names
  • (14:05) Opening gym advice
  • (15:34) Jim Wendler and the 5/3/1
  • (21:41) Crossfit
  • (31:51) Social media and sports bashing
  • (35:40) Considerations for beginning strength sport athletes
  • (38:40) How to gain weight
  • (46:00) Today’s dirty bulking is not dirty bulking
  • (48:47) Issues with macros
  • (49:49) Dave’s “identity crisis”
  • (57:27) Shift from geared to raw lifting
  • (1:04:19) Conclusion