Every Strength Coach/Trainer has a list of people they look to for training wisdom. My list is a little different as some on this list have given me life wisdom over the years.
Dan John – At the top, the apex is the man… Dan John. If you need an introduction to him, start Googling. When I was younger I distinctly remember reading his works online, reading about his teams and the results he got with young athletes and lifters. Dan’s simple approach to training makes you feel stupid for not knowing it. I call him every now and again as he is like a father figure to me, we rarely discuss training, we discuss life. His wisdom goes beyond the weight room as he is a class man, a class human being and a class coach.
One of my defining moments with Dan was doing a seminar in Texas with him… yes WITH him. Having the chance to speak on the same billing as him was my “damn I arrived” moment. When I was in pain from my kidney stent (from a horrific kidney stone) and talking the attendees about Strongman training, Dan was taking notes. Here is a guy that forgot more than I will ever know about training and he is taking notes about my topic. He was asking questions and soaking up the topic.
He is a perfect example of the phrase “you never stop learning”.
Angry Coach – He will go unnamed here, as he doesn’t use his name on his log. He is one of those guys who you read and say “he knows his shit, but who is he”. Well he is an incredible training mind. He is also an asshole. By asshole I mean he will straight up tell you how it is, where you are wrong, where you are right and he pulls ZERO punches. He’s trained and learned from some of the best people in this industry and if I have a question that needs some no-bullshit type of answer to it, he is the first person I will ask.
Jim Wendler and Paul Carter – I put these two together not because of their training, even if their training methods have worked wonders for thousands of people, plus 5/3/1 being arguably the most popular general strength program around today… no, these guys are here because of their outlook on life. They aren’t afraid to wax philosophical, talk about life, discuss emotions and be the example of what it means to be a coach. Coaching isn’t always about X’s and O’s, its about molding your mind into a better you. These two follow my train of thought in a lot of ways with regards to that and its a breath of fresh air to see coaches that embrace life outside the iron rather than just talking about barbells and sprints.
Tim Mosolino – I guarantee most of you never heard of this guy. He hardly markets himself, he doesn’t pimp himself out like the modern strength coach, yet his gym is full, his clients are getting results and he trains some damn good athletes. I first heard of Tim years ago when I was re-starting my training career. He invited me to the Strength Coach 101 roundtable in Boston, free of charge with Joe Hashey, Eliot Hulse and himself. Ari Selig was in attendance who is a strength coach in the Boston area. This was a roundtable meant for coaches to exchange ideas, train and learn from each other. One day was spent in Tim’s old gym in the Boston area going over different training methods, marketing ideas, evaluations, etc.. The next was spent in TPS, CJ Murphy’s gym, where we did the same with him and Matt Rhodes… plus playing around with various grip tools, fat bars, stones, etc. Tim was a generous man that weekend with his time and energy hosting us and his generosity will never go unnoticed. Having the chance to sit with, and learn from, some excellent coaches was a great opportunity for me to expand my knowledge as I re-entered the training world full-time.
There are more, but these guys stand out for the above mentioned. I can’t put people like Louie Simmons, Rick Hussey, etc. because I haven’t either spoke with them in depth or spoke with them period. I read, I learn and I know if I need to swing some ideas by people that have been there, done that… I don’t ask the up and comers, I ask the ones that have been in the trenches for years, coached for years and have the scars to prove it.
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