LTT8 and Life

Review: Elitefts Learn To Train 8 Seminar April 25 & 26th, 2014

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. That about covers it. For those that were looking for a more exciting and detailed review, read on.

Dave Tate and his amazing staff, sponsored athletes, and coaches definitely made this LTT the BEST. Mike and I were very grateful to have had the opportunity to attend LTT8 because it was the last one of it’s kind for Elitefts. We had an awesome time learning about training, programming, nutrition, business, and life for two days with the best crew in the industry.

THURSDAY(traveling): On Thursday evening, the anticipation climbed as the night went on. Mike and I checked in early and we were greeted with familiar faces we hadn’t seen (in person) in a while, including Mark Watts, Joe Schillero, Alycia Israel, and Michael Tanner. Immediately we remembered that were part of the extended Elitefts family. We talked about some future opportunities and how our business is doing. We would’ve loved to stay longer but we had to run to meet my sister for dinner. I remember sitting up in bed at our (very nice) hotel room, realizing that I wasn’t even tired. I was looking forward to the lectures, learning, networking, and training all weekend. I finally made myself sleep and morning came.

FRIDAY(lectures): The morning started with a great presentation on overtraining by Jonathan Mike. We learned the difference between overreaching and overtraining and how to detect either, and prevent them. Scott Stevenson was up next with peri-workout nutrition which taught me that I should start having protein and carbs before and during my training sessions to help with recovery. I’m one of those people that likes when I can see the science to back up a point being suggested or argued, and Dr. Stevenson provided just that. Next up was my favorite barefoot boy, Harry Selkow, teaching us about training in/out of seasons for athletes, and life. He’s always good for giving great life lessons. Just look at his beard, you know he’s wise! We broke up for lunch, filled our bellies, and headed back to catch some more knowledge bombs! My favorite presentation was next, by J.L. Holdsworth, about business. We took away a lot from this one, and again, touched on some important life lessons as well. Next was a presentation by Matt Rhodes about developing the athlete and sport programming; I know Mike took away some good nuggets from that one. Vincent Dizenzo taught us how to create the perfect program, and showed us the before and after photos of the “operation chubby bunny” project. Lastly, Dave Tate gave a presentation that pulled everything together and showed us why and how accessories are so crucial to the training program.

The first day of the seminar ended with a new addition, the meet and greet, where we had a really great meal in an informal setting with all the staff, team members, and coaches of Elitefts. We got to catch up with attendees we met at previous seminars, talk business with David Allen and trade Chicago food favorites with Traci Arnold-Tate, who just traveled to our hometown with Dave recently. We ended the night with a late trip to Jeni’s ice cream shop in Short North with David Allen and Brandon Smitley, and OMG that ice cream was amazing! We’ll definitely be going back there on EACH of our next visits to Columbus! Thanks Steve Colescott for the suggestion!

SATURDAY(lifting): Day 2 of LTT8 was amazing! We were lucky enough to be coached by the man himself, Dave Tate, and one of our favorites, and past LTT coaches, Matt Wenning all day on the squat, bench press, and deadlift. I really liked the format this time because we were able to get way more reps in and get critiqued on our technique and form even more than past LTT’s. We box squatted, which was interesting because for me, it helps me remove that hesitance from fear of falling back, but then it was more challenging because we had to concentrate on keeping form while we paused on the box. I had to borrow a belt from Angie, the only other woman in my group, for my last squat because the belt I was using wasn’t small enough for what came next. Dave ordered Mike to crank it WAY tighter than I ever thought possible. I was in pain from the belt so much that I didn’t even feel the straining in my legs. Dave asked “Does that piss you off?” to which I replied, “YES” and he retorted, “Good, now squat”. Aaaannd I squatted 210 lbs for the first time ever! Pretty happy with that…. 2 plates is just around the corner! Bench went well, also PR’d with one rep of 115 lbs and learned that I need to focus on keeping my bar path in a straight line, and also bringing the bar down to my nipple-area, rather than under my chest. It was also fun to watch Dave test my husband on teaching the bench press to our group. He did a great job and Dave had no complaints. Elitefts provided us with a yummy lunch that we ate out in the beautiful weather before going back into the compound to deadlift. That cornbread, beef brisket, mac n cheese and green beans gave me the strength I needed to rip 225 lbs off the ground for my final deadlift. Matt Wenning informed me after I pulled 185 for a PR that it wasn’t in fact a PR until it’s two plates. He was good for pushing me last time he coached me, and did the same this time. I followed his “fuck it” philosophy and just did what he told the loaders to put on the bar. All the while, I was pulling conventional simply because I felt more comfortable and stable at that moment, which I haven’t done in forever. I’ve been training sumo, so clearly, it transferred over nicely. That surprised me, but felt great.

SUNDAY: Naps, food, family and seeing our friend Nick Showman at Showtime Strength and Performance to talk shop, and more food. Then driving 6 hours until midnight to get back to home sweet home Chicago.

TAKE AWAY: I’m a person that tends to over-think almost everything. I like to have a plan, know it ahead of time, and follow it accordingly. This LTT experience taught me to “just lift it.” This can be applied in so many aspects of my life, in addition to training. “Quit thinking about it and just do it” is what my husband reminds me from time to time when he sees that I’m stuck just analyzing something. And again, my LTT coaches taught me that I am way strong(her) than I think I am. I’ve got to believe in myself when I’m up against the iron.

I definitely held back a couple tears at the very end of LTT8 when Dave Tate was trying to explain the amount of pride he had as he stood back and watched his panel of sponsored athletes and coaches during the Q&A. I think I was soaking up the fact that this was the last LTT seminar that they were going to hold. I found myself sharing that feeling of pride because I know if it weren’t for the hard work of all of the Elitefts staff, athletes, and coaches running LTT4 back in May of 2012, the spark to open the facility wouldn’t have been ignited in my husband’s heart. The lives that we have been able to positively impact since opening our doors to this community wouldn’t be such a large number. We wouldn’t have been able to help kids perform better on the field as a result of increased strength, get noticed by scouts, awarded with scholarships and watch them become the first generation in their family to attend college. The families whose dinner tables were scarce during the holidays wouldn’t have had food provided to them from the food drives we held the last two years. The relationships we’ve developed from attending the last several LTT’s, and their potential for future networking also wouldn’t have happened. As business owners, we now have a platform to stand on to reach so many more people than we could before. We feel the obligation to give back to our communities and pay it forward because we know that life isn’t worth living if you’re not making others’ lives better. We’re proud of that. The same kind of proud Dave was talking about.

As I sat there listening to Dave talk about how Elitefts has turned from “I” into “WE” it reminded me of how none of what TEAM HPF or High Performance Fitness stands for would be so if it weren’t for the huge support system that has built up around Mike and myself. That pride that Dave felt during the Q&A reminds me of the pride I have when I’m giving someone the gym tour for the first time and I explain that all of our equipment is from Elitefts, and how it’s the BEST equipment in the world. I wish I could squeeze everything that Elitefts means to Mike and I and get that point across instantly to the new people that come in and see that name on our equipment. Our members understand it, and respect it because they hear it from us all the time. We are forever grateful for everything Elitefts, and always will be. As time goes on, we are made to feel more and more like family by Dave, Traci, Matt, Mark, Ronda, Lori, Dee, Steve, Ken, Sheena, and everyone else affiliated with the company. Thank you all for everything. It means more to us than you probably realize.


Some pics we took at the end of the seminar on Saturday at the compound:

Mike Mireles, Matt Goodwin, Gina Davis-Mireles, and Mark Watts

Mike Mireles, Matt Goodwin (Director of Sales at Elitefts), Gina Davis-Mireles, and Mark Watts (Director of Education at Elitefts)


Mike Mireles, Harry Selkow, and Gina Davis-Mireles

Mike Mireles, Harry Selkow (best barefoot strength coach EVER), and Gina Davis-Mireles


Mike Mireles's buns getting the "Selkow Approval" handstamp

Mike Mireles’s buns getting the “Selkow Approval” handstamp


Jennifer Petrosino, Gina Davis-Mireles, and Molly Edwards

Jennifer Petrosino, Gina Davis-Mireles, and Molly Edwards (both sponsored athletes of Elitefts)


Mike Mireles, Dave Tate, and Gina Davis-Mireles

Mike Mireles, Dave Tate (CEO of Elitefts), and Gina Davis-Mireles