Every sport has an icon; that athlete who steals the spotlight, owns their name, demands respect, and possesses confidence. This confidence is built from being the best. Now imagine a multitude of athletes in one compound.

Here are the six lessons I took away from the elite™ Learn to Train 6 seminar:

Lesson 1:

Nothing works forever.

Homeostasis is the mechanism that forces lifters to evolve and change programs that will continually produce strength gains. The best program is the program you are not doing. Make sense? The body is smart and as competitive athletes and once a goal has been attained, you had better be ready to change up your program.

Lesson 2:

Let your kids climb a tree.

Sadly, hopping, skipping, and jumping rope are simple movements, foreign to many kids these days. Instead, kids are over-scheduled, over-trained, and forgetting how to do normal stuff like PLAY! Why are they required to play three separate sports leagues at once and not have an off-season? Julia Ladewski, a sports and conditioning expert, sees the result of this epidemic. Kids need body awareness through natural movement. Let them play and watch their sport improve.

Lesson 3:

There are no limits.

As a society that has a low pain tolerance, the concept of desensitizing one another in order to reach goals is not widely practiced. Matt Kroczaleski famously drove a nail into his arm during his period of intense powerlifting. It may sound extreme but he created a training environment in which he was able to reset expectations and ultimately become the strongest lifter in the 220-pound weight class.

Lesson 4:

You don’t always need carbs post training.

Don’t choke on your sweet potato. Fred Duncan believes that carbs post-training blunts insulin sensitivity after training. One study supports his theory by showing bodybuilders that consumed carbs with protein post-workout did not have an increase in muscle protein synthesis [1]. This is contrary to everything we’ve been lectured on in the sport. However, Duncan does emphasis carb ingestion pre-workout to fuel training. He has great success in fat-loss programs, which utilizes this approach. Take it as you will, but remember what lesson one says—the best program is the one you are not doing.

Lesson 5:

If you are going to preach about strength, you had better have your hands in a chalk box.

Many so-called “experts” don’t know what it feels like to load a heavy bar and heave the weight around. Yet, they think they can tell others what to do. What is the best way to shut them down? Stop listening and do your research. True master’s of the sport can effectively teach others the skills and be the teacher. The key in being a GOOD master is to own the knowledge, practice, and pass it on.

Lesson 6:

Always have three solid spotters in your life. One in the back (faith) and one on each side (friends and family).

Getting under the bar and pushing heavy weight is only impressive if you have good spotters. Life balance between faith, friends, and family are the pillars that support YOU, so depend on them to keep grounded. Often we forget to acknowledge those important people.


[1] Ingestion of carbohydrate with protein does not further augment post-exercise muscle protein synthesis.Koopman R et al. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. (2007).