There are three things in this world that you should never be able to buy—trust, loyalty, and integrity. Dave Tate and elitefts™ will always have my trust and loyalty because I know that they'll always have integrity.

I started the same as any reader on this site. I had a hunger for knowledge. All the stuff I learned in my college courses just didn’t seem to tell the whole picture, but I didn’t know where to get more knowledge. Then I came across elitefts™ and my world changed. I started to learn about Soviet stuff and different ways of training. It was like someone had turned the lights on in a dark room. Then I attended probably one of the first elitefts™ seminars. Before meeting Dave Tate, I thought that I knew how to lift. Hell, I was a collegiate strength coach! I also thought that I was strong. Dave quickly put me in check and made me realize that I didn’t know anything. I was as weak as piss and didn’t know how to lift. This hit me like a ton of bricks. I left that seminar with a fire in me like never before. I wanted to truly know how to lift and be strong, and I wanted be the smartest strength coach around.

"So how does one accomplish this?" I had asked Dave during lunch at the seminar. (I still remember that we were at this little pizza place in London, Ohio, that you could walk to from where the elitefts™ building was. I can’t remember the score from any of my college football games, but I can remember that lunch with Dave Tate from thirteen years ago because it forever changed my life.)

Dave simply said, “If you want to be the best, you have to be around the best.”

This simple wisdom led me to Columbus, Ohio, where I trained with, learned from, competed against, and created lifelong friendships with some of the best to ever grace a platform—Louie, Dave Tate, Chuck Vogelpohl, Steve Goggins, Bob Youngs, Mike Ruggeria, Jim Wendler, John Stafford, George Halbert, and many others too numerous to mention. Had Dave not given me that simple advice, who knows where I would be today. Maybe I'd be a good strength coach, but I know that there isn't any way I'd be the kind of strength coach I am today.

Not only did Dave’s advice lead me to Columbus, but when I moved there, he set me up at the same job that he had had before he left to start elitefts™. His old clients signed up with me and I had a full book in one month. This may not seem like a big deal to some, but it allowed me to pay for an apartment of my own instead of sleeping on someone’s couch, so it was a huge deal to me. Dave also set me up with his doctor, Eric Serrano. At the time, Dave had just said that he was good. Now, after many years of having him as my doctor and considering him a friend, I know that he's the best.

In the gym, I started to hit some really big numbers and understand what I was doing. Dave allowed me the privilege of posting my logs, writing articles, and answering Q&As on elitefts™. (I was the thirteenth person on the alumni list of almost ninety people. That is something that makes me very proud.)

Posting my logs allowed me to get back in touch with my best childhood friend, who I had lost contact with because I moved around a lot as a kid. Josh McMillan got in contact with me through my writing on elitefts™ and we are still great friends to this day. When Josh first came to visit, he brought two of his training partners down to train with me so that they could learn about bench shirts, as I had the biggest bench at Westside at the time. Matt Kroc and Chad Walker were his two training partners, guys I had gone to college with at Ferris State. They've also become great friends, and this was all because of elitefts™ and Dave Tate.

At this point, you know that I owe Dave for my livelihood, knowledge, friends, and so much more wisdom than I can even begin to put in this post. I just wish that I would have been smart enough when I was 25 years old to listen to everything that he had told me. If I would've done this, maybe I wouldn’t have gotten hurt and maybe I would've started my business much earlier.

Elitefts™ has allowed me to contribute to charities like the Make-A-Wish® Foundation, form great friendships with awesome people like Harry Selkow, and give back to the community that has given me so much purpose, direction, wisdom, comfort, and sanity. If I were to measure the monetary value of what elitefts™ and Dave Tate have done for me, I don’t even know what that would add up to. But I do know this—Dave Tate and elitefts™ changed my life. That is a debt I'll never be able to repay no matter how many articles I write and no matter how much equipment I purchase. If you've even received a hundredth of what I have from elitefts™ and Dave and you buy your equipment somewhere else, you've already sold the three things up top that I said should never be bought—trust, loyalty, and integrity. As Harry knows, if I ever meet you and find this out, I will punch you in the face because going to jail isn't anything compared to what elitefts™ means to me.