The Learn to Train Seminar 4 at elitefts™ was off-the-chain from Memorial Day weekend May 25 and 26. Elitefts™ is located in London, Ohio, about 30 minutes from Columbus, and only 75 miles past Cincinnati. I got there Thursday afternoon and drove from Louisville, KY. I actually arrived at elitefts™ first just to make sure I could find the place. I got a quick tour of the warehouse, the main office, and the gym. It was awesome to meet Dave Tate for a few seconds. I thanked him for having such an incredible facility and a great business.

After I left, I ate at Los Mariachis. By this time, I felt the catabolism coming on strong and was starving. I then headed to the hotel and met three other guys who were there for the seminar. Of course, if you see another muscular dude, then you know why they are here, and that’s for the LTT Seminar. They invited me out to dinner where I consumed even more calories, and yes, it’s a good thing. Come to find out, they drove here from Charleston, SC. One of the things about this seminar that I quickly found was that there were people from all walks of life. People came from Maryland, Pennsylvania, Texas, California, and even Toronto.

Both days were packed with learning, networking, coaching, and trying to stay cool from the 95-degree heat. Oh, and that’s just outside. It was over 100 degrees in the gym warehouse. Here’s a summary of the presentations from each of the speakers.

Friday

Friday started off with Jeremy Frey. Jeremy discussed several of his experiences, as both a college and high school strength and conditioning coach. I can relate to many things he mentioned as most of my experience deals with strength and conditioning. You could tell Jeremy really has a passion for teaching others while motivating and inspiring those around him. His philosophy, “Success comes from learning from those who have been there, by doing it yourself, and having an understanding that you can always learn something new.” Awesome stuff.

John Meadows was next and his presentation was insightful. I enjoyed it when he busted out the slides of many of the physiological pathways. Some individuals at the seminar may not have understood them, but I did…and it’s always cool when somebody busts out insulin pathways, and mTOR, which is huge pathway involved in protein synthesis. He did mention something that most people should be aware of and that is eating carbs is not the problem, it’s simply the fact of eating the wrong ones, and the over-consumption that gives people problems. This is, of course, a huge issue with the current obesity epidemic plaguing the country right now.

After John Meadows’ presentation, came the hilarious and certainly outspoken Steve Pulcinella. I’m a big fan of Iron Sport Gym as many have seen the classic video from Iron Sport Gym

One of the best parts about Steve’s presentation was the creation of the Triangle of Domination

Essentially, everything boils down to hard training, good nutrition and attitude. Herein lies the problem, as Steve points out. When people start filling the gaps and spaces with non-effective, and time-wasting stuff, it just turns them into a “big f-ing vagina.” If you really think about it though, there are way too many trainees trying to really complicate things when they just need to keep it simple. I can understand that complexity comes with lots of experience and years under the bar, but for beginning and intermediate trainees, keep it simple.

 

It was 12:30 p.m. when it was time for us to get huge with lunch and it was already 97 degrees. Lunch was BBQ chicken, green beans, pickles, and awesome cornbread, along with four huge tubs filled with ice-cold water, diet Coke, Gatorade and other drinks. In addition, there were multiple supplements available for all the attendees to use including Metabolic drive bars more water, Gatorade, coffee, and Spike energy drinks.

After lunch, we started the hands-on training session and began with the bench press. We were divided into groups according to our max bench press numbers. There were a series of coaches for each group. My bench technique was already really solid, but they were still able to fix a couple of small things. Then, came the strongman session. After a long hiatus, I ended well with the Farmer’s Walk, and completed 275 pounds each hand for 60 feet. It was easy!


I was fortunate enough to meet and talk with pro Strongman Andy Deck, who was also there coaching and providing insight into training. He’s another freakishly strong dude. I also had the opportunity to talk a few minutes with Matt Kroczaleski. He’s gearing up for another bodybuilding show. Matt Kroc is super awesome, and insanely strong.

One of the sessions was rehab/mobility. I ended up doing some of this, as I tend to need a little more thoracic mobility and hip mobility. Friday’s session ended well, and I was trashed from the heat. After Friday’s session, I headed out to dinner with the guys from South Carolina. It was a riot with non-stop laughs and good times. Unfortunately, I developed a huge sinus infection from my allergies late Thursday and got progressively worse. I had to stop at CVS and load up on medicine, plus I still had some of my leftover inhaler so I was puffing that too; once in the morning and again in the afternoon. I felt better as the day progressed but luckily, it didn’t offset my training performance.

Saturday

Saturday was another hit. We started around 10 a.m. However, we arrived there earlier to see all the pros train with 700-1000 pounds on the bar doing squats and the music cranked up loud. Presentations were good and practical. Chad Smith kicked off the Saturday session. Some cool things about Chad’s presentation was the ability to keep it simple in terms of training. Chad said, “Perfect practice makes perfect,” and, “Frequency is a much better way to learn technique.” I strongly agree and that what is truly important is practice in anything. By the way, Chad is freakishly strong and at only 25 years of age, he has a 905 pound squat.

CJ Murphy was up next to discuss everything about Strongman training for the general population. As a competitor, I definitely used many of these methods for those in the general population, as they are very effective, but yet truly under appreciated. Next, Josh Bryant discussed Programing Accessory Movements to Improve Raw Lifts. Awesome stuff. Many of these accessory movements work great, but it all depends on where your weak points are and what you need to focus on.

Saturday’s lunch was BBQ pork, beans, fruit, and sandwich buns, plus all the drinks. It turned out to be quite the lunch as Dave Tate sat at our table, and we were able to chat even more aside from Friday.

After lunch, everyone split up into their groups and started to squat. This was probably one of the best parts of the seminar. I always was very good at coaching the squat, but it was awesome to learn more coaching cues from the best lifters in the world. I knew mine needed work, and right when I was performing my squat, Dave walked up to help coach. Actually, my squat seems to be more of a mere strength issue, as opposed to all technique. So, afterwards, while everybody else was being coached, I talked with Dave more one-on-one and he helped a lot, and provided incredible feedback in order for me to get where I need to. You can tell Dave has so much passion, and drive for what he does, as we all do, and it comes out in his teaching and coaching.

After the squat came the deadlift. This is actually my best lift, so I was right on target with everything and currently working towards a 635 pound deadlift. After the training session, Dave gave a 30-minute talk regarding everything about training, business, life lessons, people, and communication. This was very intriguing and insightful and a great way to complete the seminar.

The Aftermath

For each day (Friday and Saturday), I think I sweated about eight gallons, consumed 6000-8000 thousand calories (probably closer to 8). This included breakfast (Friday was at the hotel, Saturday was at Waffle House). As previously stated, Friday’s lunch was BBQ chicken, green beans, and cornbread; while Saturday’s lunch was BBQ pork, beans, fruits, and sandwich buns, plus all the drinks. Each day, I had three protein shakes (one of my own, plus the ones that were provided), eight Metabolic Drive protein bars, four Gatorades, diet coke, some coffee, two Spike energy drinks, and probably three gallons of water. This was for each day for both Friday and Saturday. Yes, rather crazy but I can handle it.

All-in-all, it was a fantastic seminar, and I had a blast. I met some great people and there was a great atmosphere. I look forward to the next LTT Seminar. Probably one of the most important aspects of this seminar was that the money raised was used to grant wishes for several children through the Make-A-Wish Foundation®, and they were able to send all the kids to Disneyland and a Disney Cruise. I’m happy that I was able to contribute to this cause and give several children with terminal diseases their wish. That’s Empowerment! That’s Extraordinary Resolve!