2016 showed there roughly 300k “trainers and aerobic instructors “in the U.S. alone, with a projected 30k increase in 10 years. That’s a lot. Needless to say, the market is spread thin thus allows for a better opportunity for someone to pick just about any trainer they want. Which leads me to make this very important statement:
We as trainers should be grateful to have clients. They don’t HAVE to work with you. They can easily decide to work with someone else.
Let that sink in for a minute.
The moment you let up or decide to become less invested in your own professional development is reason number 300,000 and 1 for them to move on.
If you’re reading this and looking to get a great start in the fitness biz, you’re already ahead of the curve. The best way to start your training career is to follow those before you and forge your own path standing on the shoulders of giants.
For me, I was fortunate enough to be thrown in the wolves; crawled through 500 yards of crap and come out on the other side squeaky clean (Shawshank Redemption anyone?). But I didn’t do it alone.
Back in 2007, I heard of guys like Mike Robertson, Mike Boyle, Eric Cressey & Tony Gentilcore (The CSP version). I trained a lot of women so I began learning a lot from women in the field as well as Molly Galbraith and the badass ladies at Girls Gone Strong. I was a sponge that soaked everything I read and watched and I’m glad I did.
One thing I could have benefited from was having an internship. For me, I knew I wouldn’t be where I am if I hadn’t put in the hours training real people. Who knows how better I’d be if I had an internship at a world-class facility like CSP, Defranco’s Gym or Results Fitness.
Sometimes when you’re applying for an internship at different gyms you don’t always know what is expected of you. So I wanted to get some insight from some of the best for all the noobs of what some of the best gyms around are expecting of YOU.
Tony Gentilcore (CORE), Mike Robertson (RTS & I-FAST) and Chad Hobbs (Crossfit Bloomington-Normal & The Bloomington-Normal Athlete Factory) weigh-in.
What Are The Benefits of an Internship?
Tony Gentilcore– How else is one going to figure out if this industry is right for them? I liken an internship to an “ooch,” which is a phrase I learned when I read the book Decisive by Chip and Dan Heath. An ooch is an experiment or a way to test a hypothesis.
– Do I really like working with a wide variety of people?
– Can I see myself training/coaching people on the gym floor as a career and not just a hobby?
– Am I cool with wearing sweatpants or shorts to work everyday?
An internship allows for a brief period of getting one’s toes wet and helps them figure out if this is really something they enjoy doing? I mean, if you accept a job out of the gate and two weeks in you’d rather be jumping into a live volcano that sucks.
Imagine one, five, ten, or an entire adult lifespan of feeling that way towards your job.
An internship, hopefully, will prevent that from happening.
Mike Robertson– “Probably the biggest benefit of an internship is having the ability to take what you’ve learned over the course of your collegiate career and really get mentored in the process of coaching. It’s different when you have to go in and teach somebody. It’s an art and a science to what we do; trying to get people to do what you want whether it’s coaching and cueing of an exercise or what they need to do outside the gym.”
Chad Hobbs– The benefits of an internship are endless given the intern applies themselves and emerges themselves into learning as much as possible (both good and bad) with their time at a facility. Questions are paramount, usually, if an intern is eager to truly learn no question will ever go unanswered.
What do Gyms Expect of the Interns as they start?
TG- When I was at Cressey Sports Performance we tried very hard not to put too much weight into someone’s resume.
A piece of paper doesn’t speak to someone’s work ethic, willingness to learn, openness to new ideas and ways of doing things, ability to follow direction and take constructive criticism, initiative, or whether or not they’re just an uppity jerk who thinks they know it all already.
We gravitated towards people who wanted to learn, showed up on time, and could be a team player.
It’s as simple as that.
I think most gyms are looking for that.
MR- As far as expectations go, it’s basic stuff. We want somebody that wants to be a pro; show up early, dress appropriately, ask great questions which is such a huge portion. Having the curiosity. We want people that are curious and ask questions respectfully.
So on one side, it’s about being professional, to asking great questions and constantly learning more about what it is we’re doing.
CH- This varies. It is up to the gym to lay out their guidelines for the intern to follow. A clear understanding of conduct, punctuality, and standards should be followed.
Where and how do you look for interns; what makes them stand out?
TG- Recommendations help. If another colleague of ours reached out to us and said “so and so is an amazing human being and would make an awesome intern” and then personally vouched for him or her, that would almost be a guarantee we’d take them on as an intern.
Outside of that, at CSP, 95% of the interns were/are taken on via the internship application process.
First and foremost, the first “layer” or “test” is whether or not people can FOLLOW DIRECTIONS.
– Do they send in all the requested material by the end date?
– Do they send in all the requested material period?
– Can they write well? When you have dozens if not hundreds of applicants, first impressions matter. If you misspell someone’s name, write in the wrong facility on your application, can’t differentiate between you’re/your, and/or it’s readily apparent there was zero effort put into the cover letter, then it doesn’t matter if you graduated Magna Cum Laude, have every certification under the sun or read Supertraining to orphaned kittens on a weekly basis, you’re likely not going to be considered.
As far as what makes interns standout?
The ability to make connections with people. Knowing the x’s and o’s of program design and how to break down deadlift technique are splendid skills to have. However, the ability to connect to people, talk, and develop relationships is often what separates the masses.
MR- As far as finding them, the biggest thing is to find them through the internet. We have a fairly decent presence, but reaching out to local colleges; can you be on site. It comes back to meet the expectations. If they can’t they’ll probably stand out in a negative way.
CH– Interns apply through their universities most of the time. Resumes are great but I look for the in-person interview as the standard if someone will be joining us. They have to be personable without that you are not fit to coach at this facility.
What should interns do to get the most out of their internship?
TG – Show up, smile, ask questions, train with the staff, fail, fail again, be open.
MR- I would say to strive to constantly not only meet but exceed expectations. It’s not enough to just show up. Ask questions about things that aren’t clear to you. You need to constantly be a sponge; constantly taking notes after every session as to what you saw that day, which drives the next round of questions. Constantly evaluating yourself as a coach, as a practitioner to see what’s working. The failures are what drives us. Going through those with either your mentor or on your own is what makes us better as coaches.
CH- Ask Questions
How did you develop the process at your facility and has it changed?
TG- Well, in terms of CSP all I can speak to are to the years I was there (2007-2015). We kinda winged it to be honest. Our first intern was Brian St. Pierre (of Precision Nutrition fame), who just kinda showed up one day to say hi and it turned into him interning for us.
He was then eventually hired.
As our notoriety grew, so did the interest in people wanting to intern with us and learn.
When I left we had more or less three intern classes per year (four months) that entailed a pretty detailed onboarding process (rules, expectations, etc), weekly staff meeting, and consistent one-on-one “check-ins” with staff to discuss strengths/weaknesses/favorite He-Man characters.
I believe now there’s an even more extensive curriculum – exercise library required reading the material, in addition to weekly in-services, interpretive dance-offs, etc.
I think the establishments that do internships well are constantly evolving the process…tweaking this, changing that, it’s never a set thing and there’s a consistent pattern of honing the systems involved. And while I was kidding, I think interpretive dance-offs should become a staple…;o)
MR- When it started, it was just Bill and I. You used to just come in and chat with us. Now, we’re not the only people here so we have a way for you to come and speak to our interns and bring up topics for you to talk about and then teach us those topics you bring up. The changes are constant. We have a document of things you need to go through which spans across 16 pages now that came out of necessity. For instance, we had a kid who swore he didn’t smell after he worked out and didn’t shower. We said ‘no, you need to go home and shower before you get back on the floor.’
We had another kid that would show up at start time and would proceed to go into the bathroom and comb his hair for 30 minutes. So all these things are now expectations that we weren’t clear enough on. We have documented these expectations so that way we have a clear understanding and therefore making our business consistent and smooth, and I feel like that is what has helped us evolve over the years.
CH- It is in the process of changing. We need a comprehensive online “packet” to feed to the interns that cover all expectations, standards and coaching ed. This is a current project.
What’s great about interviewing these pros I have a profound respect for, is seeing the similarities in their answers. Here are the key takeaways from the write up:
- Be a professional- this is about showing up on time [read: early], dressing appropriately and not coming to work smelling like a wet dog.
- Be coachable- are you the type of person that can follow directions well? Great gyms have their brand and own way of doing things. You as an intern are going to be an extension of their gym. Learning how they do things and following their direction is a really great way to solidify your spot on their roster.
- Always ask questions- gym owners love an inquisitive mind. If you can show that you care about what’s going on around you by asking questions and taking notes, you’ll stand out amongst the group of others trying to get a job.
- Immerse yourself in the process of learning- learning is indeed a process: Learn under a mentor. Go home and read. Come back with what you learned. Discuss. Repeat
If you’re new to the game, go straight to the top and learn from the best. We are standing on the shoulders of giants. The more you know, the better you become to help serve your clients and give them the results they need and deserve. Best of luck. Go get em, rookie.
Here’s my first USPA National Championships performance from June 23, 2018. I wanted to give you all a more in-depth experience to my meet for those of you who watched it live. I did my best to keep it relatively short.
This is also probably the longest video I’ve ever done at around 12 minutes.
1.) Get a handler- someone to look/listen out for your name/heat you’re lifting in. It’s not worth the headache and stress. There was another kid name Donovan there competing and I freaked out thinking I wasn’t going until later. So I ended up warming up too early and therefore got even more tired…yeah. Wouldn’t recommend going at these meets alone.
2.) Weigh-in a full day in advance. You’ll have all day to eat, re hydrate and rest. It’s worth the extra night in the hotel.
You can check out my entire meet prep on YouTube here.
Hope you enjoy it!
Thank you all for the support! Lifting starts at 10am CT. I’ll be in Flight C. Check back for another post for updates
Yes. It’s finally happened. I’m a published writer! I started this website so I can get used to writing more. My one of my mentors, Tony Gentilcore, has been saying for years “in order to get better at writing, you have to…write. A lot.” Over the years I’ve used my social media to get used to writing content every week for the last 10 years.
You might ask how I did I get this gig? You might not like the answer. Long story short, I emailed and called the owner. We had a chat at the gym. And I asked her to be in her magazine and she agreed. I swear that was it.
I sent her the piece I had pre-written. Kept it clean and simple to keep the barrier of entry low so most reading would get it. Sure enough it made the cut (with no edits by the way which was low-key amazing). Anyways, here’s the article below with the link embedded at the bottom. Enjoy!
What is the Best Program You Should Follow? Written by Donovan Muldrow, ACE-CPT
“The best program is the one you’re not on.”
Most definitely a quote to live by and probably one of the least sexiest answers to a very common question. That means whatever you’re currently doing will eventually stagnate, and you’ll need to move on to the next best thing. Often times, thanks to the over-saturation of programs and plans out there, it’s real easy to get impatient when results don’t come around “fast enough” and jump to into a class that one of your girlfriends joined recently and can’t stop talking about it. Of course, if things are heading in the wrong direction completely (injuries, loss of energy, increase in body fat, etc.), we need to scrap that plan and find one that works. More often than not, you have to wait until that plan has ended in completion. It’s the only way to know if the plan worked or not. So, how do we know the plan isn’t working? Well there are some dead giveaways:
If the program doesn’t peak your interest: It doesn’t make sense to be on a plan you don’t want to be on. This is life. You should go about it in a way that you can enjoy which keeps you coming back for more. It promotes consistency, and consistency is the X-factor to get you results.
If you feel more tired than energized from the program: You should feel better not worse after your workout. Going hard for 45 minutes plus is not effective. There are other implications to consider, like lack of nutrition or sleep. Outside of that, if you’re too whipped from the body bar class you just took to do other things that need to get done, that’ll become a problem. You don’t have to go hardcore to get a good training effect in. You should leave the session energized and ready to do anything and everything you need to continue your day.
So, make sure to be honest with yourself or your coach/instructor. If nothing is going right — strength, weight management, body composition — there needs to be an exploration on both sides about what to do moving forward. Make a change. Implement that change. Trust the process. Focus on the positives, and navigate through the challenges. Move forward. Always.
Ever since I began this journey, I’ve always believed I could get to this point. How cool it would be sitting here writing to all of you my “I’m-a-veteran-in-my-field-so-here-are-my-lessons-over-the-years” article.
The hard part was waiting for it to show up.
Once I decided what and who I wanted to be in this world and what I wanted to do, I knew change was imminent. What I didn’t know was exactly what it was going to take and how scary it was going to be.
The stats said that I had an 80% chance that I was going to quit within 5 years into the Personal Training biz. The cards were already stacked against me it seemed: I took my A.C.E.-CPT exam 4 times before finally passing it by 13 points, I had only 10 academic credits of Kinesiology courses under my belt; I was one of a few male minorities in the business in my area and with a University Studies degree in Sociology.
And now many years later, bestowing the wisdom from all the great and not-so-great decisions I’ve made that got me to this point. Hopefully this inspires you to make mistakes worth making to get you to where you want to be in life.
Lesson #1-EMBRACE ADVERSITY
I learn best when I make mistakes. To me life lessons are the best way to navigate through life. Parent’s tell you not to put your hand over the stove, but let’s be real, sometimes you want to put your hand over the stove anyway to realize how hot it is for yourself. This is what my dad calls, “being hardheaded”.
Ultimately, I take that approach with my clients. I know I can’t keep them from doing what they want, but when they do what they want and it doesn’t go well we can then reflect on the experience and move forward. Being open and real with your own struggles allows you to empathize because you’ve “been there before”.
Circa 2007: Before I became a trainer, I worked behind the desk. Fun Times.
Don’t worry about appearing to be perfect. Things like injuries and overindulging in food will happen. Life happens. It’s all about how you work through and around it. If you can do that for yourself, you will be better off helping the people around you.
Lesson #2-REPUTATION IS EVERYTHING
If you’re a crappy trainer, people are going to know about it. If you’re a great trainer, people are going to know about it too. Which one do you think would get more clients? You might think there’s not a lot of room for error. Everyone has the ability to learn and get better if they’re open to it. In my experience, the difference maker is who you are as a person.
You might not get the absolute best results on paper, but if you care enough about your people they’ll eventually want to stick with you for years.
Lesson #3- THERE’S A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ” I TRAIN PEOPLE TO HELP THEM GET BETTER” VS. ” I TRAIN PEOPLE TO GET PAID”
One of the biggest reasons why most trainers don’t make it past the 5 year mark is because they can’t make it work for them financially. Ultimately, their heart isn’t in the right place. I’ll admit this industry is not for the light-hearted. It certainly isn’t for those who are looking to live a lavish life, make a ton of cash and party every weekend.
You absolutely have to put your time, effort and energy into your clients well-being. “They don’t care about what you know until they know how much you care.” Sure, Personal Trainer is a title and a lot of people can call themselves that if they want.
But to be a COACH is so much more than a certification or academic achievement.
Lesson #4- GET A MENTOR OR COACH THAT’S BEEN WHERE YOU WANT TO BE
Who didn’t have someone to look up to growing up. We may not realize it, but we have mentors all around us. You might consider a teacher you’ve had in school, a family member, friend or co-worker. No matter what we know, we’ve learned from someone who knows more and have had the experience.
For me, early on it was guys like Mike Robertson, Tony Gentilcore, Eric Cressey, Ben Bruno, Molly Galbraith; listening to The FitCast with Kevin Larrabee, Jonathan Fass and Leigh Peele (yeah, that far back). Even my first boss in the biz, Kristen Nesvacil when I started at the Rec at my alma mater was a huge influence.
With Molly Galbraith after the Train Like A Girl 2 Seminar
Private Coaching Seminar with Mike Robertson at IFAST
On top of that, being able to see folks like these up front and speak to them in person was life changing. Having them tell me that I can email them and hold a conversation and ask questions really helped me along the way. I can only hope to contribute to the industry in a positive way like these Superstars.
Lesson #5- YOU HAVE TO WALK THE WALK
I’ve went back and forth with this for several years. At first, I believed you had to look the part to be a trainer. But then I learned that looking the part was only the half of it. So I realized that you have to know your shit more than looking the part. Well…some people are influenced by what they see. If they can’t get past that part, they won’t give a shit if you’re a genius or not. If YOU don’t look like you take care of yourself, why would they think you can help them?
That being said, the phrase “the truth lies somewhere in the middle” applies here. You’re better off knowing your shit AND looking good while doing it. It makes you more marketable that way.
There are tons of trainers/coaches everywhere. In my town, there are over 100 licensed Personal Trainers. So, how else do you separate yourself from the pack?…
Lesson #6- “GET REALLY FUCKING GOOD AT WHAT YOU DO AND LET EVERYONE KNOW ABOUT IT”
A quote from Jon Goodman that I live and die by. I realized in this industry I have the autonomy to be creative and let my personality flourish. After all, people don’t buy personal training sessions, they invest their time in the person coaching them. It behoved me to learn not just from other coaches on how to help people…but learn from the people I coach. Talking to them about what their goals are; their fears going into training, their struggles. Learning what makes them tick. That’s when you get really start to separate yourself. Putting together programs is a big part of it. That’s the easy part. The hard part that I want to see trainers pay more attention to, is to put more of an effort into understanding their clients better mentally and emotionally.
Not everyone enjoys being yelled at, yet some do. Not everyone enjoys doing heavy squats and deadlifts, yet some look forward to it. Simply creating an open and trusting space for folks to talk about things and get if off their chest will make all the difference. From that point, they’ll be talking about how awesome you are to their friends and family at the dinner table.
Lesson #7- IF YOU’RE NOT GROWING, YOU’RE DYING
Continuing education is vital to staying alive in a forever growing industry. Fitness/Training as we know it today has only been around for 60+ years. With technology improving, so have methods to improve medicine and helping people live longer. Being on the cutting edge of fitness is not only smart…it’s the responsible thing to do.
Me and The G.O.A.T.: Ed Coan
You don’t have to implement everything you learn right away. It’s easy to throw the baby out with the bathwater when you’ve had your mind blown when Ed Coan says your deadlifts look good, and then proceed to make everyone deadlift the way you do come Monday morning. Exercises are like tools in a tool box. Simply, use a movement to address a problem when it’s appropriate. You don’t need to scrap the whole program. Especially when it works and your clients enjoy the workouts (..of course they won’t tell you that while they’re doing it. They’re too busy cursing at you in their heads…or out loud :).
Lesson #8- PERSONAL TRAINING ISN’T GOING ANYWHERE
One-on-one at one point seemed like it was going out the door. Many of the top influencers in the industry were calling for the death of Personal Training and praising small group/semi-private training.
Is group training cost-effective for the client? Yes.
Is it time efficient for the coach? Yes.
Is it potentially more fun for both the client AND coach? It definitely can be.
Though, like exercises, there’s a time and a place for everything. Personally, I thoroughly enjoy one-on-one private training. I love the person-to-person connection and have a better experience understanding on an individual level. More importantly, there’s just something about having a coach personalize EVERYTHING for you. From your program to your overall training experience. I can proudly say that I still stay connected with many of my TWD (Train With Donovan) clients. Mostly because I’ve invested the time and energy to each person that is invaluable.
In addition, schedules are more flexible. Typically in group, you have the accountability of maintaining a standing time. If people don’t show, they’re S.O.L. Which is a nice feature on it’s own. For me, I find more and more people WANTING individualized training. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s because that’s the energy I put out or what. But if Personal Training died, it’s been revived.
Lesson #9- NEVER OFFER A SUPPLEMENT YOU HAVEN’T TRIED/RESEARCHED
This can be damaging. Maybe even a little dangerous. It’s real easy to buy into a supplement that is well marketed. That being said, it may not be what you’re looking for. It may not even be the same supplement as advertised as far as results are concerned. There’s a famous scene in the documentary “Bigger, Faster, Stronger” where Chris Bell (the director) creates his own supplement with the help of a few people by putting sugar in capsules. Slap a label on a bottle. Boom. Instant supplements.
This isn’t to scare you from taking supplements. If anything, it should drive you to DO YOUR RESEARCH!! I utilize the website Examine.com. A “fully independent…education company that looks at the research-nothing more, nothing less.” Pretty sweet right?
So, do you absolutely HAAAAVE to take a supplement before you offer it to your client? Absolutely not. In fact, it’s a bit overboard. The point is to have the mindset of educating yourself to better serve the people you’re working with. Even if you don’t have the answers, you should definitely have the resources to find them.
Lesson #10- ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
Earlier I’ve talked about some of the obstacles that life has to offer. I’ll be lying to you if my job wasn’t in the top 3 things I care about. That isn’t uncommon. Lot’s of people would say their job is in the top 5 of most important things in their lives. For me, it’s more than what’s “important”. I facking love it.
When you believe in yourself you believe anything is POSSIBLE. You’ll want to learn more. You’ll fall in love with the process; when you get past a milestone or significant event, you’ll want to go back to work and get better. The idea of waking up everyday and getting better and euphoric. It’s the mindset that makes you great; before any action you take or words you speak. Everything starts with your thought process.
I leave you with this: Always be kind to yourself and to others. Strive for excellence in everything you do. Often what we think and say to ourselves is the deciding factor. You don’t do things to suck at it intentionally, right? So say to yourself what you CAN do and what you WILL do. It makes all the difference. And when you decide to help people reach their goals, they’ll benefit from it and you’ll have a lot more fun doing it too.
Here’s to the next 10 years.
This past weekend, I competed at the USPA Power Surge 2017 Powerlifting competition in Carol Stream, IL. It was at a Holiday Inn. In a conference room.
The Weigh-In and Post Weigh-In Meal
I’ve been keeping track every day the week of the meet to see how much I need to dial back on the sodium and carbs. The last few days leading up to the weigh-in are the hardest, especially when you have to do a cut. I’ve been walking around fluctuating between 215-225lbs when I train. Since I know I will weigh-in between 9am-noon, I’ve checked once or twice each day between those times to get a realistic idea of what I might need to do if I’m over the 220 limit.
Though after years of competing I know that I lose water weight fairly fast when I stop lifting (when prepping for the competition). I chose to weigh-in in the morning so I can have the rest of the day to eat.
I drove 2 hours North to weigh-in and headed back to my apartment so I can sleep in my own bed. To me it was worth it and far less expensive (hotel + meals + gas). Plus, it was a nice day out and I enjoy driving. It’s calming for me…once you get off the Dan Ryan and out of Chicago!
After weighing-in at 219 I planned to have a protein shake with Magnum protein powder, fruits, peanut butter, OJ, oats and some ice cubes. I also had Pedialyte I picked up from CVS and had my awesome clients make me a batch of protein balls to snack on.
Lunch was a sammich with chips totalling easily over 2000 k/cals and 2 dinners: 2 rolls of sushi and a sirloin steak with 2 sweet potatoes.
My dog hates it when I pack to go places. It makes her nervous and so she defecates, urinate and vomits all over the place and won’t use the bathroom outside. She’s smart like that. Waking up not knowing how it was going to go, I was under some stress. I was also burying my grandmother 2 days after the meet.
Fortunately, I had 2 hours of driving early enough to watch the sunrise. It was just what I needed. Got to the hotel. Checked-in. Set up camp. Rules meeting and then the lifting begins.
One thing I’ve been focused on getting better at was competition-nutrition. Making sure I had enough of the right foods to keep me from cramping and have enough energy to push 100% every lift. Foods high in sodium would keep me from cramping and simple sugars/carbs that are fast acting would keep my energy up when I need it. However, I’m notorious for vomiting before I lift, but I made sure that I wasn’t too full of food coming into the meet.
I made myself another shake for breakfast, loaded with calories, but easily digestible. Especially over a 2hr car ride. I got nervous as I always do, but I didn’t get sick. Diaphragmatic breathing and focusing on being in a parasympathetic system when I’m not about to lift really kept things calm and the food down. My body felt amazing thanks to my Wellness Team: Erica Hartman Massage, Mitchell Family Chiropractic and my Life Coach, Rick Longstreth.
Here’s a video of the full meet:
Squat has become my least favorite lift. With a history of back issues and lack of confidence to go with it, I wasn’t sure how it was going to go. But. I had goals. Sure enough, I fought like hell to get that third lift and I was super excited. It was a 17lb PR.
Bench had become one of my favorite lifts. Mainly because it was my weakest. I had a lot of fun training to get better at it because I knew I would improve dramatically. The best lift in the gym I’ve had was 350 (with a slight pause) a couple years ago shortly before I got injured. I knew I had more in me, but I had goals and I wanted to stick to the plan. I know I’ll achieve another personal best in next years competition whenever that may be. Until then, I’m going to be throwing up some big(ger) weights in the gym [finally].
By far my most favorite lift. Not because it’s the heaviest or the last. But because it’s what the audience (and judges) love to see. Brute strength. Picking up dead weight off the ground! It was a bit emotional for me because the image of my grandmother popped in my head. I failed my first attempt but got the second. The second attempt felt good, though it was 13lbs away from my final lift, which was still under my ultimate goal of 625. Nevertheless, I had made my second lift so it was worth taking the chance.
The meet was very well ran. With a lot of mass and broad shoulders. I wasn’t sure where the warm-up space was going to be. If it was in another room or in the hallway outside of the conference room. No. It was 8-10 feet away from the platform (you can see it in the photos). It was interesting. But. It had a “gym feel” to it; close quarters, 2 warm-up areas. Lots of heavy ass lifting and interesting smells. It wasn’t bad!
It helped that I knew all of the judges and saw them 4 weeks earlier when the gym hosted the Illinois State Championships. That and some Powerlifting Legends showed up. It’s pretty incredible all these people live locally and could watch what was one of the best performances I’ve had yet.
I’ve written down my goals on a post-it note several months earlier after my meet in March. I can proudly say I reached 2 out of the 4 goals I’ve set for myself. Check it out.
What’s great is that I still achieved all lifetime PRs:
Previous All-Time Personal Bests:
Squat 512lbs @196.2lbs (2015)
Bench 319.7lbs @196.2lbs (2015)
Deadlift 600.8lbs @177.8lbs (2013)
Total 1416.5lbs @196.2lbs (2015)
Power Surge 2017 Results:
I qualified for USPA Nationals in Vegas next summer. I’d like to do a push-pull meet sometime before [for fun]. My Squat is something that I really want to continue to work on as I feel it’s my most uncomfortable lift. This way I’ll have time to get my legs bigger and stronger (sorry jeans…It’s about to get real) so my total can be more competitive and get back into the rankings again. This is another reason why I joined the USPA. For the challenge to push myself to be better than ever.
It had been a couple of years since I’ve been able to compete at a high level, but this meet assured me that I’m on the right track.
Conversation before this photo: “Hey, can I get a picture with you guys?” . Eddy: “Hell yeah! Especially after that squat.” Thanks @eddycoan for the kind words. It was otherworldly meeting @jbboss_lifters4lifters and @forsakenwarrior. This is Illinois Powerlifting greatness. @trainhylete @uspapower @uspaillinois @bnafactory @surgetonewlevels #greatness #begreat #alltimegreats #rawpowerlifting