Tag Archives: strongman

Finding Value in a Gym and a Coach

By far, my least favorite thing about being a gym owner and a coach is “selling myself”.

The truth is, I’m about as straight a shooter as you’re going to get. I don’t sugarcoat things nor am I a “salesman”.

Perhaps that is one of my vulnerabilities. Like I said, I don’t “sell”, but across the fitness industry as a whole, there are tons of salesmen, fakers, and frauds. Hell, I would venture to guess that there are more pretenders than their are legit experts, which is disheartening to say the least.

But the longer I’m in this business, the more I realize that it’s not my fault that lifters fall for the gimmicks and the snake oil salesmen. It’s not my job to “sell you”.

It’s YOUR fault for not recognizing value when you see it.

I get “tire kickers” all of the time at Primal Strength Gym. They will come in, take a look around, ask the usual questions about price, and be on their way.

When I follow up, I’ll hear the typical excuses if they don’t want to join.

“Globo Gym down the street is $20 cheaper.”

“I want to go to a gym that offers more classes.”

“I don’t know how often I’ll actually use the gym to make it worth it.”

“Wish you had a stair stepper.”

I could go on.

My initial reaction is to want to shake them and wake them up.

How can you not see the VALUE in a place like Primal?

  • Primal is home to multiple nationally qualified athletes, which means they continually compete against some of the strongest people in the nation.
  • Primal continually wins competitions. In fact, I can’t name one competition we attended that we didn’t place in the top 3.
  • Primal athletes have set national records.
  • The training environment Primal offers is unrivaled in the area.
  • The diversity and quality of equipment in the gym is second to none.
  • Primal coaching is first class.

I have people that commute in from hours a way, sometimes multiple times a week, just to train at Primal Strength Gym. Now those are the people that see value, far beyond the perspective of monthly membership dues.

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a rant. Maybe this whole post rings with a little bit of irony as I tout Primal’s accolades after I open the post saying I’m not a salesman. Perhaps I’m selling you a bit, but more than 90% of my readership reaches far beyond my local market area.

So my main intention is to really just change your perspective and to implore you to examine the hidden value of opportunities in your training future.

Ditch the globo gym and towel service, and pay a bit more for a quality environment and lifting culture.

Train at the places with the most USEFUL equipment, not the shiniest.

Drive the extra 20 minutes to get quality coaching.

Recognize the quality of other lifters in more hardcore gyms, even if it makes you feel weaker initially. And soak up every ounce of knowledge they have.

Train at the place that scares you a little bit. Don’t be the strongest guy in the gym because that is a sure fire way to make you stagnant.

Stop getting hung up on price comparisons and adjust your perception of true value!

Lift on my friends,

— Tank

5 Habits For A Stronger You

Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. — Aristotle

True story, Aristotle must’ve been a smart guy. He was also a big believer in physical fitness and getting stronger, both in mind and in body.

The quote above speaks volumes and encompasses a huge aspect of success and excellence. The problem is, we as humans aren’t the best at maintaining positive habits. The most successful people are not necessarily the ones with the most talent, but the ones with the most consistency. The act of getting stronger is no different.

So what do the strongest people on the planet do on a consistent basis that separates them from the weak?

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What is Functional Fitness?

Functional fitness. That’s the buzz-term that was popularized years ago and still gets thrown around and bastardized today by trainers, coaches, and gyms across the world.

Functional fitness sounds great doesn’t it? I mean, who wouldn’t want to be “functional” and “fit”. The idea that your training will carry over to some sort of function is a good thing.

But does your training really fall into functional fitness?

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Is Strongman For You?

When I first opened the Primal Strength Gym, I was the only one who trained for Strongman. At my last Strongman Sunday event, around 8 months after I officially opened Primal, we had more than 15 people come and train.

After this upcoming Saturday, I will have had 9 people from Primal compete within the past two weeks, with 5 of those competing for the first time.

It has been a cool experience watching the sport grow amongst my gym members, and the general awareness my gym has created across the city of Charlottesville.

But there are two things that seem to peak the curiosity of my followers.

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Lifting Motivation — Loving What You Do Versus Doing What You Love

I started thinking about this concept on my way home from the gym last night. While loving what you do and doing what you love seems like two different ways of saying the same thing, it’s not. I’ll explain later…

Anyhow, it was the first good training session I’ve had in weeks and I was trying to figure out why.

Over the past month, I’ve been run-down, and for about a week I was sick, had no appetite, and thus no energy or focus. Under those circumstances, that was the logical reason why my training had been suffering.

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Should You Train to Failure?

If you’ve been with me for a while, you know I preach not training to failure. However, there are a lot of training to failure proponents out there.

So who is right and who is wrong?

Of course I’m not going to throw myself under the bus, so let me elaborate on why I’m an opponent to training to failure, and what you should be doing instead.

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Are You Properly Aroused?

Psych-up procedures are one of the most important mental aspects of the iron game, especially if you’re trying to go for a max effort lift.

At face value, you’d say¬†psyching yourself up is¬†just to “pump you up”. But it’s important to understand the science and how we can use emotions to boost our performance (and how too much emotion can detract from our lifting).

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What I Learned From Winning Strongman

This past weekend I took home first place in my weight class (lightweights under 200) at the River City Strongman in Richmond, Virginia.

It was a great but grueling day of lifting and competing. I met some awesome people, had overwhelming support from friends and family, made a few mistakes, but most importantly, overcame and battled throughout the day to bring home the win for Primal Strength Gym. I was also honored to compete with another Primal member who took home third in the heavyweight class.

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Why You Should Be Squatting With A Safety Squat Bar

Specialty bars have grown in popularity since Westside Barbell introduced them into their training. While the straight bar may always be king, especially for powerlifters who must use a straight bar in competition, variety never hurt anyone and in a lot of other cases, may prove superior to standard training. Enter the safety squat bar.

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Who is Your Competition? Part Deux

A few months back, I wrote a post on competition. If you missed it, check it out here: Who is Your Competition?

Evidently it ruffled a few feathers around town. Heard people calling me (behind my back) everything from a cocksucker to an asshole. All of a sudden I was the renegade gym owner.

Continue reading Who is Your Competition? Part Deux