2018 is another year in the books for elitefts. Once again, we met our goal of educating and outfitting the strongest athletes around the world.

While celebrating 20 years in business, there were many successes throughout the year that made the anniversary even more celebratory: rebranding our core values of focus, trust, and strength (FTS) in elitefts’ logo, implementing a new customer service system, bringing back the Learn to Train (LTT X), hosting another Sport Performance Summit, expanding our custom-built offerings, and developing our new line of bars and bumper plates.

Let's take a moment to appreciate all of the great things that happened this year with a list of the top authors, articles, training logs, coaching blogs, and products of the year.

Top Columnists for 2018

In 2018, we added five new columnists to our publishing schedule, including Ben Pollack, JP Carroll, Jeremy Frey, Tyrel Detweiler, and Chris Cooper. Out of a total of 37 columnists writing for elitefts, here are the columnists that ranked in the top-5 consistently over the past 12 months.

Top Coaches for 2018

Being an elitefts coach is an honor bestowed only on the most experienced, knowledgeable members of the industry, and the guys in this list reflect that. Congratulations to Dave Tate, Ben Pollack, Vincent Dizenzo, and CJ Murphy for ranking in the top-4.

Top Athletes for 2018

In 2018, we added Lily Starobin, a multi-ply powerlifter, to our roster. Curious about how the strongest lifters in the world train? Interested in learning what they struggle with, how they approach training, and what adjustments they've made to break through training plateau after training plateau? If so, check out elitefts' training logs. Congratulations to Joe Sullivan, JP Carroll, Mark Dugdale, and Christian Anto for ranking in the top-4.

Athlete Stats for 2018*

*Courtesy of Open Powerlifting.

  • Bryan Doberdruk competed in the XPC Finals and took 1st place with a 782.6-pound deadlift.
  • Christian Anto competed in the APF Raw Power Challenge and won 1st place with a 1,664.4.-pound total (squat: 655.8; bench: 385.8; deadlift: 622.8). He also took 1st in the IPA North Carolina State Powerlifting Championships with a 1,650-pound total (squat: 600; bench: 385.8; deadlift: 675).
  • Joey Smith competed in the IPA Flex Lewis Classic and took 1st place with a 135-pound bench and a 1,655-pound total (squat: 920; bench: 135; deadlift: 600). He also competed in the IPA Tennessee State Championships Powerlifting Showdown and won 1st place with a 1,750-pound total (squat: 720; bench: 425; deadlift: 605).
  • Joe Sullivan took 1st place at the IPL Midwest Open with a 2,132-pound total (squat: 881.8; bench: 540.1; deadlift: 711).
  • JP Carroll competed in the XPC Finals and took 1st place with a 2,280-pound total (squat: 940; bench: 560; deadlift: 780).
  • Lily Starobin competed in the IPA Buckeye Brawl and won 1st place with a total of 1,200 pounds (squat: 500; bench: 275; deadlift: 425). She also took 2nd place at the APF Women’s Power Weekend with a 1,110-pound total (squat: 425; bench: 265; deadlift: 420).
  • Meana Albersworth competed in the APF Gulf Coast Winter Bash and placed 1st with a 1,041.6-pound total (squat: 413.3; bench: 242.5; deadlift: 385.8).
  • Ted Toalston competed in the IPA Buckeye Brawl and won 1st place with a 2,170-pound total (squat: 945; bench: 500; deadlift: 725).
  • Yessica Martinez competed in the RPS Live Large Fall Brawl II and placed 1st with a 1,019.6-pound total (squat: 391.3; bench: 225.9; deadlift: 402.3). She also competed in the USPA Iron City Open and won 1st with an 892.8-pound total (squat: 347.2; bench: 181.8; deadlift: 363.7).
  • Julia Anto competed in the XPC Finals and placed 1st with a total of 870 pounds (squat: 330; bench: 190; deadlift: 350).
  • Ben Pollack competed in the USPA The Tribute and placed 3rd with a total of 1,317.2 pounds (squat: 220.4; bench: 385.8; deadlift: 711). He also competed in the USPA Kern US Open and took 1st place with a 1,918-pound total (squat: 771.6; bench: 413.3; deadlift: 733).
  • Vincent Dizenzo competed in the RPS Women’s Worlds and Supreme Iron Warrior and took 1st place with a 1,600-pound total (squat: 600; bench: 460; deadlift: 540).
  • Andy Deck placed 13th in the 105-kilogram World’s Strongest Man in Liperi, Finland.
  • Clint Darden finished 21st at the World's Strongest Man Masters.

Top-20 Total "Open" Ranking for 2018*

*This is the overall open for their respective division.

  • Ben Pollack (wraps): 4th
  • Lily Starobin (multi-ply): 7th
  • Joe Sullivan (wraps): 10th
  • JP Carroll (wraps): 14th
  • Ted Toalston (multi-ply): 17th
  • Casey Williams (wraps): 18th

Honorable Mentions

  • Yessica Martinez (single-ply): 21st
  • Yessica Martinez (wraps): 38th
  • Jo Jordan (multi-ply): 22nd

Top Articles for 2018

Taking a look at our articles (695 published in 2018), coaching blogs (1,317 published in 2018), and training logs (1,940 published in 2018) on the site, here are the publications that ranked in the top-5 for 2018.

Interestingly, Dave Kirschen, Pete Stables, and Joe Schillero top the list with program-based articles, which were all originally written in 2015. 

  1. 16-Week Conjugate Periodization Program For Novice Powerlifters – Dave Kirschen
  2. 16-Week Powerlifting/Bodybuilding Hybrid Program – Pete Stables
  3. The Sumo Deadlift — You're Doing It the Wrong Way – CJ Murphy
  4. 12-Week Conjugate Program for Raw Powerlifting – Joe Schillero
  5. A Bodybuilding Diet for Powerlifters: How to Eat to Build Muscle and Get Strong – Ben Pollack

Top Coaching Blogs for 2018

While CJ Murphy dominated the list with top-5 assistance and accessory exercises, Dave Tate and Vincent Dizenzo shared their views on what not to eat.

  1. Top 5 Assistance/Accessory Exercises for the Deadlift – CJ Murphy
  2. Top 5 Assistance/Accessory Exercises for the Bench Press – CJ Murphy
  3. Top 5 Assistance/Accessory Exercises for the Squat - CJ Murphy
  4. Further Proof that Protein Shakes Don't Work – Dave Tate

Top Training Logs for 2018

With a blend of emotion, training, and programming, these training logs shared the internal trials of competitive athletes, training footage, and the programming these world record holders follow.

  1. 30 Days Sober – JP Carroll
  2. Conjugate Vs. Concurrent Training Systems – Brandon Smitley
  3. "What's your bodyweight" vs "what are you?" – Joe Sullivan
  4. 425x2 on Duffalo Bench Press – Joe Sullivan
  5. Nobody exists on purpose – Joe Sullivan

Top Products for 2018

Whether you're trying to make a high school sports team or a professional team, building your total or preparing for a bodybuilding competition, or setting up your home gym or making an addition to your private training facility, there's an elitefts product that can help you reach your goals. This list includes the top products, including strength equipment, bars, accessory items, and apparel.

Strength Equipment




We hope you find anything you might have missed in 2018 — or anything you want to read again, again, and again. Whether it's an article you overlooked, a coach or athlete you haven't been following, or a product you need, the key to your next PR might be found in one of these lists.

Here's to another year of Living, Learning, and Passing On!

Header image credit: Dmitry Rogatnev © 123rf.com