I have been training since I was a teenager, trying various methods. Always interested in learning new methods and trying new things. I have done bodybuilding, power lifting, weightlifting, Crossfit, strongman, I even spent a 6 month period working on break dancing, which I am not very good at, but I did learn from that experience.
Over the years I started seeing a pattern emerge from various methods. I would see the same stuff come in and out of popularity. After awhile I started to notice a pattern, a lot of people were just trying to sell and market their take on the latest spin, but it seemed like a fancy label on a method that was shallow in the details. I am more interested in this point not about doing a 12 week program, but learning how to move and operate my body better. Whats the point of doing a squat program if you don’t have a good squat to begin with?
When travelling I would always seek out a gym or coach I could visit to train under to gain some new knowledge. I have almost obsessively pursued further education In my coaching journey. In the summer of 2013 while in California I visited a small gym in Torrance. It was the only local gym I could find with any strongman equipment. At the time I was a strongman subject matter expert (SME) for CrossFit. I met Julien Pineau at his original gym. I have heard a little about him how he was known for leaving people destroyed after a session.
I jumped into a training session which he had me pull sleds, drag sleds, carry yokes in more challenging positions. I was familiar with the movements to move maximal weight, but he challenged me by asking me not to move a maximal load by any means necessary, but by moving it a specific way. I survived the training, bought a couple sandbags (which I still have and use) and was on my way.
But the seed had been placed. Being asked to move with such a specific intent was drastically different than the “by any means necessary” and shutting off my brain. I started to delve deeper into what he was talking about. This was before Strongfit took off. There were limited videos online. I took what I could and started to apply it to my strongman training.
I listened to every podcast Julien was on. I was one of the originals who knew of him before his Barbell Shrugged explosion of popularity. I remember his first podcast on WodCast. The more I listened to him talk, the more it confirmed what I had going on in my head.
When the seminar finally came to Canada in late 2016 I jumped at the opportunity to learn more. I had already had these ideas bouncing in my head and would love to discuss the application with others. Since then I have attended several seminars and I have not regretted a moment. I have learned and improved each time. Not just from the coaches running the seminar, but meeting like minded progressive coaches attending the seminar. Every seminar was different and I learned more with everyone I attended. It was nice to see the seminar evolve so quickly. I have taken recertification courses 3-5 years later and nothing had changed, which was frustrating.
Understanding how my nervous system state effected my training was the first milestone. How food effected my nervous system and vice versa was the next phase. We laid the framework and experimented with Strongfit nutrition. This allowed me better control of my state throughout the day. This resulted into less anxiety and stress, which had slowly been building over the years as I dug a deeper cortisol hole for myself. This also means it’s the first time in my life I didn’t have to obsessively track my food, which I had done for most of my life. I felt free. I also had a better understanding of how to control my mindset and mood through training and nutrition.
I am forever thankful for the mentors and friends I have acquired in the Strongfit community. They have made me a better person and a better coach. I am grateful for the knowledge I am learning and thankful I can help others with this information. I feel that now after over 20 years of experience I am finally figuring this out.
Remember, burn the questions.
Yours in health,