In a time and galaxy far, far away, I was a Division I strength coach. Yep, strength and conditioning. Not movement potentiator or functional fellaciat... er, I mean, facilitator. We coached our kids to be good at the basics and strong, and they went and kicked ass.

In addition to being lucky enough to coach some great kids, I also had the opportunity to redo our weight room. During my sixth year, I was appointed head strength coach of Olympic sports at The State University of New York at Buffalo. At the same time as my job transition, the University at Buffalo had a great athletic director who understood the need for a weight room revamp. The room was so outdated, sports coaches wouldn’t show incoming recruits the room on visits. They would instead take them to the other weight room, which had been updated in ’07.

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One thing that originally sparked my interest to go to administration with the revamp idea was the spending of approximately $32,000 on eight Eleiko competition weightlifting sets for the football weight room. In my mind, I was thinking, “Shit, I can get all new customized racks for that much!” So after a quick phone call to my boy Ed Jaskulski at Brockport State (also outfitted by elitefts) to check on what they paid for their racks, I was emailing Matt Goodwin at elitefts.

The main reason for the call to Brockport was to make sure I wasn’t imagining things on the price point from the website. Once I double-checked the pricing, there wasn’t a second thought where I was going for this revamp. Here’s why…


The equipment was designed and tested by top-level strength athletes who actually train.

I have been a reader of the site since 1999/2000 and followed many of the athletes and coaches who contributed to the site. The fact that I had seen what these athletes could do and that the equipment was designed and tested by them assured me that whatever my athletes could dish out on the equipment was peanuts compared to what it was built for. One example is a 0-90-degree utility bench we had leftover from an order in 2005. I had witnessed one of Paul Childress’ training former training partners attempt a 900-pound bench on this utility bench.

In addition to the hundreds of athletes whose backsides abused this bench, some of my training partners and I did numerous meet preps on this same bench nearly 10 years later. The only maintenance we did was reupholstering it with a grip pad.

In the four years that I abused the equipment I bought during the redo, the only thing I had to do was tighten ONE allen bolt on a utility bench that held in the seat pin. Every day, when I put these things away, I would wheel them over the rack and drop it on the floor. Think about it: four years of slamming and one tiny screw came loose. Not too shabby. Still, five years later, there are only a couple of bent safety pins.

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The options I needed to train athletes effectively came standard.

As I entertained other quotes from other companies (part of the bidding process, which is a scam, anyway…), it became clear very quickly that many of the things I needed to optimize performance and keep my athletes healthy were going to cost more with the other companies:

  • Sumo base for long athletes to give them a chance to squat correctly? EXTRA.
  • Multi-grip pull-up bars to avoid the same movement patterns over and over each week? EXTRA.
  • Band pegs? EXTRA.
  • One-inch hole spacing… Wait, why do you need that?

Yes, options cost more on our stuff, too but I was able to get them all for the same price as the base rack from the other guys. This was a serious eye-opener for me. It made me wonder why someone else would buy anywhere else, and if they were, why were they overpaying for this stuff?


elitefts was a HUGE influence on me as I was chasing my goal of coaching.

I started training when I was 12 years old. At that point, all other hobbies besides the sports I was in took a back seat to training. A couple of years into my training, my dad could see where my interests were going, and he mentioned strength coach was a profession.

At that point, I knew what I was going to do. So, I set this goal of coaching in college. I was going to be one of the 1,200 people in the country coaching at the Division I level. Fast-forward a few years, and I stumbled onto in my junior year of college in search of better ways to prepare myself for football. The first article I came across was Dave’s “Periodization Bible Part II.”

From this point onward, I was constantly on the site reading and researching. I remember taking concepts I read about and taking them into the weight room at school, and people would just scratch their heads.

After undergrad, things didn’t change; I was still reading elitefts. In 2007, I got my first job as a college strength coach 15 years after deciding that’s what I was going to do. The point of that story is, there are five things that allowed me to reach that goal:

  1. Wife
  2. Parents
  3. Knowledge
  4. Great people
  5. elitefts

The last three things on that list were because of the time spent on elitefts and the people I met through the site. Support those that support you! THIS is why I went with elitefts when I redid the weight room. We have knowledge and staff to back our products up that can’t be matched anywhere.

Don’t believe me? To quote Philip H. Anselmo: “Welp, check this out!”


Some elitefts Equipment at The State University of New York at Buffalo

Images courtesy of

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