How to Improve Box Programming
How to Improve Box Programming
Consider how your clients are responding to stress and the demands of your program and what we need to consider to devise a better plan. That's how we'll improve this sport.
Your Business Can Survive Anything With This
Your Business Can Survive Anything With This
Listen, Blockbuster, Sears, and Kodak went under because they failed to add this secret ingredient to their business models. Are you willing to risk all your business' longevity? Read on to see how your business can stand the test of time.
How to Build a Yearly Plan for Powerlifters
How to Build a Yearly Plan for Powerlifters
Plan, execute, evaluate, readjust, and repeat. Those are the steps I take when developing a program for a client — and coincidentally, the same ones I cover in this article.
Strength Programs Don't Work
Strength Programs Don't Work
Unless you just have some crazy genetics or happen to be the perfect person for a strength program, the majority of these programs are not a valid long-term plan. But don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater...
LISTEN: Beyond Sets and Reps Podcast #3 with Dr. Bryan Mann
LISTEN: Beyond Sets and Reps Podcast #3 with Dr. Bryan Mann
Get to know Dr. Bryan Mann, from his humble beginnings to his current position at the University of Miami, and how he became one of the leading experts on Velocity Based Training.
An Easy Lunge Regression
An Easy Lunge Regression
Frequently, athletes understand the lunge movement but do not understand what should be moving and what is the primary goal. You can fix this by regressing the athlete and utilizing these tips to help them better understand the proper mechanics of the lunge.
When Did Everyone Become Allergic to the Eccentric?
When Did Everyone Become Allergic to the Eccentric?
Nobody wants to watch their favorite athletes practice what they do best. But if you want to be the Michael Jordan or Reggie Jackson of powerlifting, you've got to work on the eccentric.
LISTEN: Table Talk Podcast #6 with Dave Tate (Rant Edition)
LISTEN: Table Talk Podcast #6 with Dave Tate (Rant Edition)
In this episode of Table Talk Podcast, you might want to grab your headphones because Dave Tate has some choice words on a variety of topics.
Discipline in Training and Life
Discipline in Training and Life
As someone who often trains alone, I tend to have time to reflect on things between sets. It's in those moments that I see connections between training and everyday life. Here are a few ways that training and life are closely woven together, particularly in the area of discipline.
Gym Rats Rejoice: Tennessee Repeals Amusement Tax on Gym Memberships
Gym Rats Rejoice: Tennessee Repeals Amusement Tax on Gym Memberships
Tennessee just took a load off gym owners' shoulders by repealing a $10 million amusement tax on gym memberships. The law will go into effect on July 1st.
The Four Weeks Post-Meet
The Four Weeks Post-Meet
Look before you leap into training right back after your last meet because the next four to six weeks can (and will) set up your next cycle for success... or for failure. Take time to reflect on that. Success or failure... which one will you choose?
Turning Pro at the 2019 APF Women's Pro-Am
Turning Pro at the 2019 APF Women's Pro-Am
My goal for this meet was a 400-pound squat until Dave asked, “What’s the Pro total for your weight class?” In that moment, I knew that was no longer the goal — it became a Pro total.
A Pro's Post-Contest Advice for a Safe Transition to the Off-Season
A Pro's Post-Contest Advice for a Safe Transition to the Off-Season
Your motivation is sky-high because you either won your competition and want to reach the next rung on the ladder, or you bombed and want the sweet taste of redemption, so you want to jump back into it. Slow down, kid, or you'll hurt yourself.
WATCH: What I'm Seeing and Why It’s Wrong: Flaring the Bench
WATCH: What I'm Seeing and Why It’s Wrong: Flaring the Bench
elitefts coach and 2019 Stronger Sports Training Success Summit speaker Julia Anto has seen far too many social media lifts with poor form — enough to start up a video series to correct lifters' form. In the second video of the series, she fixes the bench flare.
Training and Competition
Training and Competition

It is crucial to delineate these training and competition as separate but mutually impactful things. I’d wager that the majority of lifters who had a bad meet were doing a whole bunch of competition in training, leading up to the actual competition.

Supplemental Training Mistakes and Essentials
Supplemental Training Mistakes and Essentials

I learned a large portion of my knowledge of supplemental training from many mistakes I made in the gym. I am hoping to help all of you readers avoid at least a few of the mistakes I made and get more out of your supplemental training.

LISTEN: Table Talk Podcast #5 with Sheena Leedham
LISTEN: Table Talk Podcast #5 with Sheena Leedham

In this episode of Table Talk Podcast, Dave Tate opens up about being a father to a son with Asperger’s, and elitefts Managing Editor Sheena Leedham talks about training and educating Blaine and other young adults on the spectrum.

Going on the Record with ATWR Holder Heidi Howar
Going on the Record with ATWR Holder Heidi Howar

I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing and training with Heidi, and I can say with absolute certainty that she is the real deal, an ATWR-holding meathead who’s willing to do what it takes to become, and in her case, stay the best.

LISTEN: Table Talk Podcast Clip — Jim Wendler's 2-Minute Conjugate Breakdown
LISTEN: Table Talk Podcast Clip — Jim Wendler's 2-Minute Conjugate ...

Conjugate. You keep using that word. We do not think it means what you think it means. Why is conjugate training so hard to understand? It’s not! In fact, because it’s so easy to understand, Jim Wendler can explain it in two minutes. Two minutes! It’s that simple.

Unlocking Your Muscle Chain
Unlocking Your Muscle Chain

Muscle chains are like dominoes: It’s enough for you to drop the first one, so the others fall from the power that is constantly transferred from one domino to another and then the weight takes over the job and pulls over the domino that falls and hit the next one into falling… and the next one… and the next one…

The Specific Demands and Application of Conditioning for Sports
The Specific Demands and Application of Conditioning for Sports

With all the knowledge we have available to us, you would think that we have gotten past the idea that distance running will get an athlete in shape for any sport. So how should we program for athletes? Sport-specific? Sort of. In order to approach something that is actually sport-specific, we must take into account the actual demands of the sport.

LISTEN: Table Talk Podcast #4 with Dave Tate
LISTEN: Table Talk Podcast #4 with Dave Tate

In this episode of Table Talk Podcast, Dave Tate puts on a one-man show and answers listeners’ questions about his worst powerlifting meet, his high school football and wrestling career, and more.

Leg Workout of the Day with a Goblet Squat Death Drop
Leg Workout of the Day with a Goblet Squat Death Drop

It’s not all that often you can say you made up a type of exercise… but that’s exactly what I did. Enter the Goblet Squat Death Drop, a Mark Dugdale Original. Or exclusive. Whichever one you prefer to call it, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that it’s brutal and will complete your leg workout.

C.J. Murphy's Specialty Bar Car Show #3
C.J. Murphy's Specialty Bar Car Show #3

In my first two Specialty Bar Car Shows, I showed you a plethora of specialty bars: the elitefts Power Bar, trap bars, deadlift bars, the elitefts Rackable Cambered Squat Bar, and the Tsunami and Bandbell Bars. Now, in the grand finale, I’ve saved the best, most badass bar for last…

Omaha Barbell Is More Than Just a Gym
Omaha Barbell Is More Than Just a Gym

“When we opened this gym, I just didn’t want it to be a gym; I wanted it to build a legacy that would always be remembered in Omaha.” Bret Carter, owner of Omaha Barbell Gym, talks about the growth of his gym and how he keeps his diverse gym membership thriving.

The Leadership Parallels Between the Successful Coach and the Successful Boss
The Leadership Parallels Between the Successful Coach and the Successful...

After eight years of competing in strength sports and seven years of supervising employees, I’ve found that these parts of my life share several similarities when it comes to success. I’ve learned what makes the best coaches and bosses stand out from the rest. These three keys will help you do just that.

The Two Variables That Change It All: Load and Speed
The Two Variables That Change It All: Load and Speed

Your athletes’ load and acceleration will vary greatly depending on the skillset and experience of your athletes. Your athletes’ levels of experience will impact the ability of what they can and cannot do, as well as how you can assess and train these athletes at each level.

LISTEN: Table Talk Podcast #3 with Jim Wendler
LISTEN: Table Talk Podcast #3 with Jim Wendler

In this episode of Table Talk Podcast, Dave Tate and Jim Wendler talk about a couple of documentaries, majoring in exercise science, the best way to break down the conjugate method, and more.

How I Trained for a 600-Pound Bench
How I Trained for a 600-Pound Bench

I’d been using the same blueprint that goes to 500 to get me to 585, and that’s where I went wrong. I had to analyze everything in order to customize a new plan to break that 600-pound barrier. This is how I did that.

Troubleshooting Strength Injuries: How to Autoregulate
Troubleshooting Strength Injuries: How to Autoregulate

Autoregulation is about being able to gather as much information as possible to assess the current situation and knowledge. Once you know that, you can apply this knowledge to autoregulate your training… but you’ll need to learn a couple of skills first.

The Beginner's Guide to Conjugate and Concurrent Training Systems
The Beginner's Guide to Conjugate and Concurrent Training Systems

It’s a system, not a program. It can be tailored to suit whatever your goals are: powerlifting, athletics, CrossFit, marathon running… You name it, and this system can’t be beaten. This article is meant to show beginner powerlifters how to set up their own conjugate-based program.

Training Our Thought Process
Training Our Thought Process

Just the other day, I was listening to a motivational speech that got me going. That speech made it clear to me that an evolution of the thought process and perception of what training should be is how lifters and strength athletes progress to the higher levels.

How to Program for a Large Group of Athletes with Limited Resources
How to Program for a Large Group of Athletes with Limited Resources

The DOMINATE method is a way of working out a team with the bare minimum while still being able to maximize results. It consists of eight principles that all successful strength and conditioning programs must have and must be able to do.

WATCH: What I'm Seeing and Why It’s Wrong: Fixing the Sumo Deadlift
WATCH: What I'm Seeing and Why It’s Wrong: Fixing the Sumo Deadlift

elitefts coach and 2019 Stronger Sports Training Success Summit speaker Julia Anto has seen far too many social media lifts with poor form — enough to start up a video series to correct lifters’ form. In the first video of the series, she fixes the sumo deadlift.

LISTEN: Table Talk Podcast Clip — How Do I Get Stronger at 41 Years Old?
LISTEN: Table Talk Podcast Clip — How Do I Get Stronger at 41 Years Old?

In this clip from the first-ever Table Talk Podcast, Dave Tate and guests Dan Green and Andrew Herbert answer an Instagram DM question. They talk about aging tipping points, wear and tear, and walking a tightrope when it comes to becoming stronger.

Matt Mills Finishes in 18th Place of 40 at the 2019 Arnold Amateur Strongman World Championships
Matt Mills Finishes in 18th Place of 40 at the 2019 Arnold Amateur Stron...

I might not have made it as a top-10 heavyweight finalist in the 2019 Arnold Amateur Strongman World Championships, but I sure learned a lot while I was there. Plus, I’ll be sure to apply everything I learned this time around at my next competition.

elitefts Columnist's Article Featured in Training & Conditioning E-Magazine
elitefts Columnist's Article Featured in Training & Conditionin...
elitefts columnist Chris Janek's article, "Circuits and Supersets for BAMF Wrestlers," landed itself 15 seconds of fame and glory in this week's Training & Conditioning newsletter.
The Practice Squad
The Practice Squad

I recently reconnected with an old client: Don Cherry, whom I first met as a 16-year-old football player. Over the last several years, I’ve been lucky to watch that kid I trained in the belly of the Beast become a college and NFL football player and most recently, one of the voices behind a great podcast.

Your Checklist for a Perfect Personal Training Session
Your Checklist for a Perfect Personal Training Session

Through my 22 years of coaching, I’ve found that all great personal trainers have things in common. While there’s no one single script we follow, it helps me to have a checklist. So I’m sharing a checklist I give to my staff when they start one-on-one training at my gym.

Learn to Train X — Dave Tate Teaches the Max Effort Method
Learn to Train X — Dave Tate Teaches the Max Effort Method

“How do you get better at lifting heavier weights? Well, you do it by lifting heavier fucking weights!” In this video from Learn to Train X, Dave focuses on instructing the max effort method, which is working up to a “heavy fucking weight that’s generally going to be 90 percent or above,” including technical breakdown.

2019 Arnold Sports Festival Report: Day 2 for Team elitefts
2019 Arnold Sports Festival Report: Day 2 for Team elitefts
Saturday of the 2019 Arnold Sports Festival means one thing, and one thing only — the XPC Worlds! Fine, that's not entirely true...
WATCH: How to Properly Do a Bench Press Lift-Off
WATCH: How to Properly Do a Bench Press Lift-Off

Ideally, a good lifter should also be a good spotter. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Dave Tate will walk you through how to do a bench press lift-off — the proper way. This means you’re not putting your nuts in the lifter’s face and aren’t taking the majority of the lift.

The Future of Box Programming
The Future of Box Programming

I’ve seen an influx of boxes close over this last year—more than prior years. This tells me that we need to change to survive. My suggestion? Pull away from the hardcore box audience and focus more on programming for the general population.

LISTEN: Table Talk Podcast #1 with Dan Green and Andrew Herbert
LISTEN: Table Talk Podcast #1 with Dan Green and Andrew Herbert

In the first Table Talk Podcast episode, Dave Tate, along with guests Dan Green and Andrew Herbert, answers listeners’ questions about getting stronger at 42 years old, compound movements, key indicators for bench press, and more.

12-Week Strong(wo)man Program for the Off-Season
12-Week Strong(wo)man Program for the Off-Season

This month’s featured program is great for those who’ve recently finished training for a contest and are getting into the nitty-gritty of off-season training. It’ll keep your gains coming in at a steady pace, improve your base strength, and help you peak while training for your next contest.

WATCH: Table Talk — The Most Common Mistakes Novice Powerlifters Make
WATCH: Table Talk — The Most Common Mistakes Novice Powerlifters Make

Sage words Joe Sullivan recently read online: “Powerlifting is basically just keeping your abs and back tight and squeezing a bar and trying not to lose position.” Joe notices his clients, both old and new, tend to struggle with at least one of these things. (And breathing. Definitely breathing.)

C.J. Murphy's Specialty Bar Car Show #2
C.J. Murphy's Specialty Bar Car Show #2

In my second Specialty Bar Car Show, I’m going to teach you everything I know about the Tsunami Bar, Bandbell Bar, and — one of my all-time favorites — Safety Squat Bars. If I haven’t sold you on any of these bars, remember this…

The Best Speed Drill for High School Athletes
The Best Speed Drill for High School Athletes

Sprinting with a weighted sled has become my go-to exercise for improving an athlete’s ability to accelerate because it teaches and trains those mechanics. My athletes have consistently improved thanks to to sled sprints!

The Time In-Between Sets Matters
The Time In-Between Sets Matters

You see lost lifters jumping from one diet to another or from one program to the next, thinking they bought a long-lost ingredient to the stew that is strength and power. But the actual missing ingredients are right in front of them: consistency and an understanding of the basics.

Your First Meet Cycle — How to Lay the Program's Foundation
Your First Meet Cycle — How to Lay the Program's Foundation

Don’t be the newbie lifter who falls into the tiger pit traps during your training cycle. That’ll only hurt you in the long run — or at least in those first competitions. Don’t be afraid to start training too light and save your attempts for the platform. Not enough advice? I’ve got six other tips, so read on…

I'm Sick — Should I Train or Stay Home?
I'm Sick — Should I Train or Stay Home?

Listen: I’m no doctor or rocket scientist, but even I have enough common sense to know that if you’re feeling under the weather, you shouldn’t be lifting. You should be resting at home. Yeah, you heard me: Go home and stay home. And stay out of your fancy little garage gym, too!

General Criteria to Consider When Writing a Program
General Criteria to Consider When Writing a Program

It’s important to note that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all training protocol, and these are just some general suggestions based on a few successes and countless failures over my career that I consider when writing a program.

WATCH: Table Talk — How Much of Your Workout Should Be Accessory Work?
WATCH: Table Talk — How Much of Your Workout Should Be Accessory Work?

There are quite a few things to take into account when it comes to accessory training. If you ask Dave Tate and Joe Sullivan, a few of these things include program design and competition distance (measured in time, not miles or kilometers), and more.

A Thank You to My Valentine
A Thank You to My Valentine

Head’s up: If you’re looking for reps, sets, or percentages, you might want to look elsewhere on this website. Or take the time to make a sweet gesture for your significant other today, just like I’m about to do for my wonderful wife in this article.

Peaking for Sport
Peaking for Sport

If speed is what we’re going after, then why do the weights on both our heavy and light days continue to climb, and bar speed continues to fall? As we get deeper into the competitive season and continue to put more tonnage on the athletes, we are burning the candle at both ends.

Stay Focused and Watch Your Back
Stay Focused and Watch Your Back

If you think you’re getting a solid upper back that’ll improve your bench press, deadlifts, and squats by using hard, forceful rowing exercises and lat pulldowns, think again. When you realize that, you’ve figured out that you need to change the way you train. Not sure what you should do? Let me explain.

Technically, You're Weak
Technically, You're Weak

Enough of the excuses. I’m sick of hearing them. You have the energy to roll on the floor for 45 minutes before you train, take 34 selfies, and tag the gang before you leave the gym, but you can’t spend an extra 30 minutes on your back?

5 Tips That Will Increase Any Lift
5 Tips That Will Increase Any Lift

It’s inevitable that a lifter will hit a plateau at some point or another. It’s frustrating, I know. Trust me, I’ve been there. But after 10 years of powerlifting and 14 years of strength training before that, I think I’ve unlocked some of the secrets to making gains. Here are five things that helped me increase my lifts.

Two Crucial Components Your Training is Missing
Two Crucial Components Your Training is Missing

Most intermediates that have come to me without ever working with a qualified coach before are lacking a few qualities in their technique, especially on big lifts. Lacking these qualities can potentially lead to injury at one point or another. These two qualities are tension and torque.

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