WATCH: What Dave Tate Learned from Training with John Meadows

TAGS: training with john meadows, table talk, training partner, workload, bodybuilding, Video


Dave Tate has coached, worked, and trained with all sorts of people... but has he learned from any of them?

In this Table Talk, Dave answers this question with a more specific name and angle:

"What was the biggest thing you learned from training with John Meadows?"

The first thought that comes into Dave’s mind is some exercise variations, though it’s not the biggest thing. For him, it’s just that, in his experience, anytime you train with someone who’s been around a long time, you’re going to exchange ideas in everything you do with this person.

In the case of John Meadows, he picked up John’s style of “pure-itizing” volume and effort. John focused on doing this from a bodybuilding aspect, whereas Dave’s focus is strength and its programming aspects.

John showed him that everything matters, especially in sports that are absolute and specifically measurable, such as weightlifting, powerlifting, and track and field. There’s very little room for error in these sports, and that’s part of what Dave loves about them.

“There’s a lot of programs that work, a lot of variations that work, and yes, everything will work for beginners, everything will work for intermediates, but once you get past that intermediate phase and you move forward, that room for error, man, it’s so fucking small, and that’s what I love, is trying to figure out how to manipulate, how to move around in that space that’s got very little room for error to be able to help lifters get better.”

On the other hand, bodybuilding has immense room for error from a training standpoint. Dave sees it as basically obliterating the muscle, resting the muscle, and letting the muscle grow. It doesn’t interest him due to that large room for error in training. But bodybuilding nutrition has a tiny room for error whereas powerlifting nutrition has tons of room for it. Essentially the room for error in powerlifting and bodybuilding are flipped in terms of training and nutrition.

“When you look at things as a whole unit, it kind of all balances it out so there’s that ultimate respect for all sports.”

John helped Dave reach that conclusion by meticulously documenting his workload and programs in a way that was intentional. It wasn’t just a ton of workouts scribbled on a crumpled sheet of paper. Every single word on the program had purpose and intent behind it.

Purpose, intent, and the ability to manipulate variables are the biggest lessons Dave learned from John Meadows.

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