LTT8. Lessons for Life.

I recently attended the EliteFTS LTT8 (Learn to Train) Seminar in Columbus, Ohio. For those who don’t know, this seminar was filled with sponsored athletes and the best strength coaches in the industry, hand picked by Dave Tate, CEO of Elite Fitness Training Systems. The seminar took place over the course of two days. 95 attendees showed up for this seminar, all with one thing in common: passion and the will to “Live, Learn, and Pass On”. The first day, more of an informative classroom type atmosphere, seasoned powerlifters and strength coaches with 20+ years of experience spoke and taught about the ins and outs of training. Every aspect of the presentations revolved around getting strong(er). I was able to record roughly 4 hours of audio and learn an incredible amount of information. The experience was an eye opener to say the least, but I’m not here to say the least. It didn’t matter that I couldn’t bench, squat or deadlift more than the person sitting next to me, not that I ever think that way, because everyone was there to get better. This mindset really settled in when the entire group as a whole gathered together for a feast after the seminar. In this large room, people of all ages from all over the country were able to converse, form new bonds and potential networking opportunities. To describe this group of people as passionate would almost be an understatement. As the day was coming to an end, I began to get more excited because I knew the next day I would get a chance to lift and train with all of these great people. The anticipation was killing me because I know one of my coaches was in fact Dave Tate. It was hard sleeping knowing damn well that I was on the brink of having one of the best days of my life.

I managed to get about seven hours of sleep. After waking up, I ate a nice breakfast before heading out to the compound. We pulled in the driveway of the compound and I thought to myself, “This was it!”. I stepped out of the car and had butterflies in my stomach. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one, as we all stood in a large group outside of the compound, listening to instructions. The group was starting to energize.

It was time! TIME TO SQUAT! Our coaches, Dave Tate and Matt Wenning gave phenomenal instructions. With them critiquing three of my max effort squats, they were able to pick apart my technique and learn my weak points. Activate the glutes and “stop fucking leg pressing it out!”, Dave said. Next was the bench press. I learned I need to keep my heals more anchored down to produce more leg drive and to bring my grip in a fingers width away from the knurling for optimal performance. The bench is and always will be my hardest lift. After the bench press, the coaches were nice enough to provide a family style lunch before our last lift. During this time everyone had a chance to mingle and get even more acquainted with one another by sharing our experiences thus far. I ate real quick and prepared myself to deadlift. Matt Wenning directed everyone to pull both conventional and sumo while increasing the weight every time you stepped on the platform. Doing this shows where you are weak with heavier weight. Long story short, I need to strengthen my upper back if I want to pull more than 435 lbs.

Even though I didn’t hit any PRs on this day, the lessons I learned were priceless. At the end of the day everyone grabbed a seat and was able to reflect on the last two days. I couldn’t believe how fast time flew. I couldn’t believe all of what really transpired. It was all really overwhelming. It really didn’t settle in my head that at one point Dave Tate was swearing at me! It was one of the most memorable experiences of my 27 years on this planet! I left the compound with an unbelievable amount of motivation to take what I’ve learned and apply it whenever it deemed necessary. I couldn’t wait to get home to train!!!