The mission of elitefts—to help the strong become stronger—has been and always will be powered by three core values: focus, trust, and strength. From owners Dave and Traci Tate, to every member of the staff and team, these values are more than nice rhetoric. They serve as more than fancy buzzwords. These values are the guiding force behind everything we do. This is what elitefts believes in.

Trust is unique. It takes years to build but can be shattered in a day. It is a trait that you can't impose upon yourself, no matter how much you might want it. You can't declare yourself trustworthy, because trust is something you cannot give yourself and that must be earned from another person. You can strive to be a trustworthy person, but it's up to the people around you to decide if you actually are. If you say you're trustworthy but everyone in your life says otherwise, you aren't trustworthy. After being in business for 20 years, Dave is completely comfortable naming trust as one of the primary core values of elitefts. This is something that had to be earned from readers and customers over a very long period of time.

In the world of strength training, you often see trust: Training partners trust each other to show up and put in effort. Lifters trust their spotters to keep them safe during a max lift and their equipment to function properly. Competitors trust the standards of judging to be objective and fair. But not all trust is the same. Consider trust in the spotter-lifter relationship, for instance. If you're a spotter for the bench press, you can give a lift-off or a handout — and those two things are not the same:

  • Lift-Off: You help the lifter take the bar out of the rack, they stay tight on the way down and struggle slightly on the way up, but after a few light taps on the bar they lock it out and you help them guide the bar back into the rack.
  • Handout: You help the lifter take the bar out of the rack, they drop it to their chest and fail on the way up, so you have to do a barbell row to save them. Then they go back down and try (and fail) to do another rep and another rep and another rep, turning the set more into a back exercise for you than a bench press for them.

Just like you don't want to give a handout in the gym, elitefts doesn't want to give a handout in business. The goal isn't just to help people or make them feel better about themselves in the moment, but to equip them with the knowledge and tools to better build themselves. The goal isn't to spoon-feed programs to make people stronger, but to teach lifters how to better program for themselves. We don't want to be the place that has all the answers, but the place that makes you ask better questions. We want coaches to become better coaches by expanding on their own training philosophy, not by adopting someone else's training philosophy. This is what trust means to elitefts.

WATCH: elitefts Core Values — Focus