Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Justin Keane sent me this the other day. He has been an online client for awhile and he's dedicated as hell and works through injuries and is a heckuva good guy. It's sorta embarrassing because he is so effusive with his praise. Honestly, and this goes for everybody that I train, I just point the way. The client does all of the work.

"I was first introduced to Coach Steel through his articles and posts on Starting Strength.Com, and soon thereafter through his log over at Strength Villain.  In both places, he stood out from the crowd: a legit old-school badass lifter and coach who didn't take that as license to crap on half of the people asking him questions.  Check out his piece "The Truth" (link at http://startingstrength.com/articles/truth_steel.pdf) to understand we are talking about the real deal here.
A few weeks later, I picked up a copy of his e-book "Steel Reflections"--112 pages of autobiography, strength and conditioning knowledge, and life lessons--and I was hooked: for so many of us in the gym business, life is so damned busy that we have to pick and choose who we're going to check in with online daily, and from then on I knew I was going to make Steel's blog and log a daily stop every morning.  Funny thing happened as I started paying closer attention to what he was writing and how he was training himself and others: he was doing some things I hadn't seen other coaches program in a long time.   Lots of doubles, squatting 4-5 times a week, running for fun (!?!?).  His programming really spoke to something in me that was looking for a bit less 'grind' in the weight room without losing any of the intensity and focus inherent to a solid

Long story short, I hooked up with Steel for my programming and a bit of work on my eating, and he was incredibly patient with my changing needs (one week I'd have four days available, the next I'd be frigging exhausted and only feel like I could train two days).  He was always incredibly accomodating, my week's training arrived like clockwork every Sunday, and most importantly, the results arrived as well.  Over the course of two months, I moved my squat from a shaky meet 342 to a solid gym PR of 350 (that honestly felt like 325 on my back and coming up), and my deadlift from a meet 451 (done on a Texas Deadlifting bar) to a gym PR of 456 (done on a crappy old power bar with less than zero whip).  I know in the grand scheme of things that might not seem like a big deal, but for a 37 year old dude with limited recovery, those PRs were HUGE to me over the course of a couple of months!  These were the two lifts we focused on and I am more than happy with the results.  More still, I feel like I just turned a corner in my training--my joints have felt awesome with the higher volume and lower rep count, I feel stronger all around, and as silly as this may sound to say, I just feel a hell of a lot more confident in the gym.  There's something pretty awesome about doing 5 sets of 2 at a heavy weight vs. 2 sets of 5 at that same weight--if the weight's heavy enough, I feel like I have 5 chances to set up and get past the voice in my head saying "this might be too much" vs. just 2.  It worked for me, big time.  I am a Steel guy for sure and can't wait to get back to this training after I take a little break for the late winter and early spring.  Thanks so much, Jim--you are the man!
P.S., I want to close with this.  For a real insight into the kind of man and dad Steel is, check this post out: http://basbarbell.blogspot.com/2011/11/bully-crusher.html.
I thought of every single one of my workouts with Steel as Strong Dad training.  We need more Strong Dads for sure.

All About Being a Lifer

What's a Lifer? Someone who isn't in to something for just a day, a month, a year...it's for life. Whether its training or your family or your job...it doesn't matter. You work at it, you build on it, you see the big picture . You don't miss workouts because it means something to you. You are like a Shakespearean actor- no matter what is going on in your life, you block it out when it's time to train. You walk into the weight room and all else disappears. Worry about it later.