It was a cold October afternoon in 2003. My back was sore and I could hardly straighten my elbow. I iced down and took some ibuprofen; still I felt no better. Then it hit me. “I know what will make me feel better,” I thought. “I need to call up Elite and get me some Blue Heat and an elbow sleeve. A back knobber and a super stick, too. While I’m at I’ll throw in a new glute ham bench and a few books,” I told myself. Usually I just ordered my stuff online but my computer was down so I called the toll free number. I was greeted by an evil sounding man who said, “Elite Fitness, this is Jim.” I talked to Jim Wendler for about fifteen minutes that day about a variety of subjects. He was more than helpful and offered tons of great advice. He took my order and told me that any help I may ever need was only a phone call away. I thanked him and anxiously awaited the arrival of my new stuff.

A few weeks later I called Jim again with a question. I was in the midst of making a big decision and wanted his help. He wasn’t getting paid for it or making any money at all from it, but he took my call and helped me out in every way he could. The next time I spoke to him was a few days before Christmas. I was in need of some last minute gifts and needed to order a bunch of stuff. He told me the overnight shipping charge was going to be brutal and asked if I was sure I wanted to do it. Here is a guy about to make a few hundred dollars from me and is more concerned about me getting whacked with shipping charges. I told him it was no problem and gladly placed my order.

I began to talk to Jim on a more frequent basis and started to write for the website. I soon discovered that we shared the same views on politics, religion, training, tattoos, sex, world issues and both took the same nonconformist approach to life. We finally met in person in the spring and hit it off instantly. We hung out and trained together and had a great time. (At least that’s my version of the story, Jim may try to uphold his tough guy image and deny his feelings but I know the truth.)

In the year since I have known him, Jim Wendler has become my friend and has done more for me than most people. Yes, the enormous freak with the bloated face and goatee, who is covered in evil tattoos and listens to death metal religiously is actually an incredibly nice guy. But you didn’t hear that from me.

This brings me to the boss, Mr. Dave Tate himself. I don’t know Dave as well as Jim but I have spoken to him several times and he has never been anything less than gracious with his time. He is always very accommodating at trying to have equipment made to your exact specifications and will fix any problem you may have. I had a business concern that I needed some advice on a few months ago and Jim relayed the message to Dave who took the time to call me on his cell phone and talk to me for as long as I needed. His advice was priceless and I will never forget that he took the time to do that for me. He obviously didn’t have to and had nothing to gain from it but he did it anyway.

Dave and Jim have provided us all with the best strength training information on the net. They don’t charge a dime for it and they update it daily. No one else does what they do. If you are going to spend your money with any company in this industry, I can’t think of a better one to do it with. You will not find better equipment or accessories anywhere else. The customer service is absolutely as good as it gets and the people are top notch, first class human beings. It always makes it a little easier to part with your money when you know it’s going to people like that.

I’ve already made out my Christmas list and it includes tons of Elite Fitness products. I will also be doing most of my shopping there as well. I really hope mom likes her new head harness and ammonia caps.

Happy holidays.