elitefts™ Sunday Edition

Once again, I had the great pleasure to assist at a Learn To Train seminar just a few weeks ago. Being asked to help coach is such an honor, and it is something that I don't take very lightly. I have been with elitefts™ for many, many years now, and I know that live, learn, and pass on is not just a slogan. For the elitefts™ team, live, learn, and pass on is a way of life, and the LTT seminars are the epitome of that. These seminars are a culmination of so much amazing knowledge and experience...you cannot receive this wealth of knowledge from any other seminar. What's more, all profits from the LTTs go directly to the Make-a-Wish® Foundation! Everyone who coaches is donating their time to make this weekend incredible for lifters and, in turn, to be able to help the children of the Make-a-Wish® Foundation. For me, this weekend is about being able to help other lifters, helping the Make-a-Wish® Foundation, and being around other high-quality lifters.

It seems as though long distance travel always seems to have some drawbacks. The worst, of course, being the flying sardine can! I just can't seem to get used to air travel. I seem to spend the whole day asking myself why the world caters to small people who are apparently always cold. Why are the seats so small, and why the hell can't they turn on the air conditioning? Don't they know that sweat is running down my back? Also, what's up with the snacks? (Or lack thereof). Luckily, I made sure to grab plenty of junk food before getting on the plane...but what happened to getting snacks? Shouldn't they be included with such a high-priced ticket? They can't even give me a small bag of peanuts or crackers? We even have to pay for our luggage to fly now. Come on, I just want some snacks. Oh, and you know what else I hate? I hate when I can't get the handicap stall in the restroom. I can hardly move in a regular stall, let alone wipe my butt! I don't know what I would do if I wasn't so flexible...maybe wipe my butt by the sinks? I was very amused when the pilot asked us to turn off our media players/electrical devices...and then went on to say that the FAA is deciding to change that rule. Let's just say that I have never been very good at following rules in the first place, and the right music can calm me down when too many people are in my circle of hate. Plus, I once heard a comedian ask if we would be let on a plane with radio, cell phones, laptops, etc. if these devices could actually make the plane crash. If it were true, they would confiscate all of it! (Oh, and Mythbusters already busted that myth anyway). So, to say the least, the flying part was not my favorite part of the weekend; however, it thankfully wasn't the worst flying experience I have had. At least I didn't have the urge to put my elbow in anyone's face this time!

For this LTT, I ended up flying in a bit late, so I didn't get to see any of the lectures. (I am sure Matt Wenning, Dr. Bryan Mann, and Josh Bryant all gave exceptional lectures). However, I did get there in time to check-in to my room and spend a little time catching up with lifters I have not seen in some time. I even got to meet a brand new friend born only a few weeks before—Tenzing Hammer. Despite comments about me not eating the baby, I think Tenzing liked me. Although, it may have just been the fact that I produce exorbitant amounts of heat...

After a short video interview (which should be up on elitefts™ at some point), I got to be on the elitefts™ roundtable panel. This was exciting for me, and I love doing stuff like this. I was told we were picked for the panel based on responses from readers and attendees, so I would like to say thanks to all the readers and attendees. Hopefully I make the cut next time, too. It's pretty nice to be picked to sit on a panel with such amazing and respectable people. I really like doing panels like this because they show the differences between top-quality lifters, driving home the point that everyone is an individual, and we all do things a little differently. I also think that it offers a great opportunity for people to be able to ask questions in person, and I know it's important to all the people on the panel that we answer exactly what that person wants to know. (This can sometimes be hard to accomplish over email or in the Q&A).

Afterward, we had our team dinner which was extremely nice because it gave me more time to catch up with people. I was also excited to get to train bench the next day with my good friend Vinny Dizenzo. I think we are both pretty much nuts, so maybe that's why we get along.

So, Saturday started way too damn early. However, if I must to be up early, it's somewhat consoling to know that I get to spend a whole day in the gym. As most people know, I have been struggling with a tricep I tore pretty badly a long time back. Thankfully, though, Vinny and Dave where able to pick out some things that I needed to work on and gave me some ideas that might work better for me at this point. This training session really motivated me, and I need to compete again. I am excited to work on some new technique and training ideas. It is really incredible how much of a difference it can make just to be around top lifters! I see so many low-level lifters who refuse to take advice from anyone, but so many top lifters I know are more than willing to give and get advice. Maybe that plays a big part in how they grew to be top lifters. We all need help sometimes, and that is not a bad thing. It's only bad when you choose not to improve or take any help and advice.

My favorite part of the seminar began after training. I love being in the gym, and coaching a group of people who are there to break PRs gets me excited. To get to coach alongside guys like Josh McMillan, Brian Carroll, Joey Smith, Mike Szudarek, Mike Stuchiner, and Zane Geeting is another honor for me. Plus, how often does an up-and-coming lifter get to be coached by so many great athletes?! Only at LTT! We had another outstanding group of lifters this time. Everyone worked really hard and listened well. I don't even know how many PRs where broken, but it sure seemed like a lot. One of the highlights of the weekend was a competition Dave did between two lifters for an elitefts™ sponsorship. Basically, whoever put up the best total bodyweight coefficient got the sponsorship. Casey and Brandon both had competitions coming up, but they went balls-out the whole day. They both lifted stupendously, and they both carried themselves in a very respectable manner. They were cheering each other on and were great competitors all day. In the end, Casey won the bodyweight coefficient; however, Dave chose to grant them both sponsorships. I can't say for sure, but I believe this was because of how well they carried themselves. Both of these guys are great lifters, and I hope that you will be checking them out on elitefts.com. (I know that Casey has since competed and put up an outstanding 2,000-pound raw total, and I know that there is much more to come). All in all it was a very good day in the gym, and I hope that everyone walked away with a bunch of information to bring back home and break all kinds of new PRs.

After getting a much-needed shower, we headed out to dinner with the team. This was a great time...so much so that it didn't end until about 5:00 a.m. (I, of course, could have kept going since I am used to not sleeping). I have to say that hanging out with my friends Spud and Murph was one of the best abdominal training session I have had in a long time. Too many stories to tell about that night!

When morning came, it was time to head back to the gym. I rarely train two days in a row, but I wanted to go in and help out in any way that I could. I got to do some nice big handoffs for Josh, and it was great to meet new friends like my roomy, Joey Smith. I have this theory that crazy people get along. Again, it was great to see old friends like Spud, Murph, Bob Youngs, Vinny, and Scott Yard. In turn, it was great to see friends from the last LTT like Harry Selkow, Steve Goggins, Josh McMillan, Brian Carroll, Zane Geeting, and just so many other people. Spending a weekend around such high-caliber people is probably a really good thing for an anti-social person like myself.

I would like to thank elitefts™ and Dave Tate for having me out to help coach. In turn, I would like to thank all the attendees for coming out and helping elitefts™ make such a big donation to the Make-a-Wish Foundation. I would also like to thank Mark Watts and the rest of the elitefts™ staff for doing so much to put together such a great event. Putting something like this together is an enormous amount of work. Additionally, I would like to thank all the other elitefts™ team members for all they did. I am always proud to say that I am on the elitefts™ team with them.

I would like to end this article by saying that there will be more LTT seminars, and the amount of knowledge you can walk away with is outstanding. The best money I have ever spent on my strength was an elitefts™ seminar. I would love to see you at the next one.