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Inspired by Dave Tate and Jim Wendler
Everyday I search for that one thing that might inspire me for a new idea, life change, blog, or podcast. This morning inspiration came early. Listening to Dave talk was like taking a time machine back trip back into my own training and experiences. Sometimes I get caught up in my day-to-day work, and I forget some of the lessons that I have learned. Listening to Dave literally took me back in an instance to a time much simpler. A time when all that mattered was the amount of weight that I could lift.
First off, Dave was my main sponsor during my powerlifting career. I spent some valuable years hanging out with Dave Tate, Jim Wendler, and the rest of my EliteFTS teammates. I had no idea at the time that I was hanging out with some of the most influential people in the strength world. To me I was just hanging out with meatheads just like me. We all lived and breathed the barbell.
During that time I met people like Louie Simmons, Zach Even-Esh, and Joe Kenn. As Zach Even-Esh says, we all lived the code. Living the Code means that we all trained, and we all trained harder than anyone else. None of us talked a big talk without walking the walk! None of us! I still know all of these people, and all of us still practice what we preach.
This is the first lesson of the day! Don’t be the guy teaching something that you don’t do yourself. If you are going to talk about powerlifting, then you better squat, bench, and deadlift. If you are going to be a CrossFit Guru, don’t be a fat guy. A lot of people won’t agree with this, but the ones that matter will agree. You can read all the studies that you want, but if you haven’t performed the sport, you have no idea about application. All you will have to go by is what others tell you. What if that person has no idea what they are talking about?
Another huge benefit of living the code was learning what really works and what doesn’t. If you don’t try it yourself, how are you going to prescribe it to your athletes? If you do that, then you are irresponsible. Not to mention, if you are actually training, then you never know when you will stumble on something awesome that works. That is the best way to learn new ideas to pass on to your athletes.
Jim Wendler was my go to guy when I was at EliteFTS. He was the guy that I talked to the most, and the guy that answered all of my questions. I will have to say that Jim was as close to a powerlifting coach that I ever had. If I had new ideas, I would run them by Wendler. He would give me the pros and cons, and then I would make the decision as whether or not to use the idea. He also gave me some great business and life lessons that I will never forget.
Listening to him on Barbell Shrugged was awesome. He talked about walking on to the football team at Arizona. One day he was given an opportunity during a scrimmage because several players had gotten hurt. He was a running back, and during that opportunity he killed it. He ran the ball well, and earned a spot on the travel team. What a valuable lesson!!!! In life we are given opportunities, and we all have to be ready to make the most out of those moments. These moments will end up shaping our paths throughout this crazy life, so kill those moments.
The one common theme between Dave and Jim was their thirst for knowledge. That thirst was and never will be quenched for them or me! This is so important. You will notice that any of us that have succeeded in this crazy strength world adhere to this very principle. I was so impressed to see a Facebook picture of a guy like Coach Joe Kenn of the Carolina Panthers taking notes at a coach’s summit held by EliteFTS. Coach Kenn is arguably the greatest Strength & Conditioning Coach in the world, and he is still sitting on the edge of his seat absorbing all the knowledge. Folks this is what it takes. If you think that you have all the knowledge, quit now! Your athletes deserve better.
There are three levels of knowledge:
1. Academic- things that you learn in school, academic journals, and books.
2. Hands on- working with other great coaches around the world.
3. Practical- put the knowledge to work on yourself and athletes.
One of these three areas can always be improved upon. Looking back at my time with EliteFTS, I am amazed at the people that I was introduced to. I am also very thankful for my time getting coached, mentored, and befriended by Dave and Jim. They taught me so much about powerlifting, strength & conditioning, business, and life. There is no way that I would be the person that I am today without these guys being put in my life.
I used to call Jim every day to ask him questions about training and life. He would always take my call, and he would always spend quality time with me. I pray that I can be that person for one of my athletes because it really helped me during this important time of my life. You could always count on Jim telling you the hard truth. He would never sugar coat anything, and I appreciate that. I like direction, not BS, and that is what Jim Wendler is all about.
Listening to my friends at Barbell Shrugged interview these two iron legends was like to eras of my life coming together. Barbell Shrugged is a crew of guys that I call family. I love those guys so much, and they have been massive influences on my current life. Dave and Jim influenced me as a lifter, and as an early entrepreneur. As Jon North would say, together they are a big part of my melting pot. My goal is to help as many people on earth like these guys have helped me. If you get a chance, head over to Barbell Shrugged and listen to these two knowledge packed episodes.
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