Hey everybodyyyyyyyy!  It’s FRIDAYYYYY!  And you know what that means, right?  

A nice, relaxing weekend with no work…no responsibilities…just maxin’ and relaxin’!  Umm…OK who am I kidding?  I am headed out early this morning to hit up a Fitness Business Conference in Louisville for the weekend and talk shop with some of the best and brightest in the industry.  So while I am pumped as heck bout that, it’s still not exactly a relaxing weekend.  But it’s cool… I am ridiculously lucky to do what I love and be my own boss, so no complaining here! =)

 As I’m sure you know if you read my latest blog post here, I’ve been a traveling machine lately and it’s not slowing down anytime soon! Over the next several weeks I will go to Louisville again, Indianapolis twice, and Baltimore once, and then LA to visit my bestie!  Should be SO MUCH FUN! 

Oh, and I just got back from this dinky little event in Ohio called the Learn to Train Seminar.  It was a little bitty event put on by a company called EliteFTS, you’ve probably never heard of them…. PSYCH! (I am bringing that word back, by the way, so look out!) 

As you can (hopefully) tell from the sarcasm above, LTT5 was absolutely amazing!  Always well-run and a ton of fun!  The owners and staff at EliteFTS always put on a fantastic event and I feel blessed to be a part of it!  Thank you especially to Dave and Traci Tate and Steve Colescott for all of their hard work!!! 


Here are the highlights! 

Friday, October 5th

I stayed with my cousin in Cincinnati on Thursday night so I wouldn’t have as long of a drive on Friday morning.  I got into London around 8:20 and swung by the hotel to pick up my roomie for the weekend, Jen Petrosino.  I hadn’t met Jen before, but I’d heard a lot about her from several people and knew we would get along famously!  Jen is an awesome chick and strong as hell!  She lifts in the 97 lb weight class and it only a few lbs away from a pro total!  She is also one of the most dedicated people I know.  I was super blessed to get to spend a big chunk of the weekend with her! 


My cute little roomie! (yes we look like two different species of human!)


We headed on over to the EFS compound and chit-chatted with everyone while we waited for things to start.  Friday was a pure lecture day and the lineup was dynamite!  I got to hear Dave Tate, John Meadows, JL Holdsworth, Dr. Eric Serrano, and Mike Robertson speak.  Harry Selkow finished things off, but unfortunately I missed his talk because I was outside taking some Prowler pics for the EFS archives with Julia Ladewski (and the awesome Ken Hicks taking pictures). 

Of course many-a-knowledge-bomb was dropped on Friday and I wish I could have caught them all!  But alas, I didn’t.  A few quotes that did stick out to me were as follows: 

1.  “When your nutrition is good, you’ll be shocked at how quickly you recover.” – John Meadows

This is so true!  People consistently forget that nutrition and sleep are HUGE parts of the equation when it comes to recovery.  If you know anything about John and his training methods, you know he is an absolute ANIMAL in the gym.  But guess what?  He said he hasn’t been sore in 9 months!  Know why?  Because his nutrition is on point and it allows him to recover quickly. 


John Meadows is so smart, passionate, and awesome!


2. “It’s not all academic, and it’s not all ‘pick up heavy sh*t’, it’s a balance of the two.”  – JL Holdsworth

I LOVE this quote because this is 100% where I come from.  I think sometimes because I am always talking about postural, pelvic alignment, and corrective exercise, people think that that’s all I am interested in or all I let my clients do.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  Once you’ve paid your dues and EARNED your right to train hard and heavy, then I’m going to have you train hard and heavy.  The same with my own training… right now I am earning back the right to have a heavy bar on my back with all of my breathing and pelvic repositioning.  There’s something to be said for reading the research, and also taking advice from the Coach who’s been “in the trenches” for decades and has seen what works.  


3. “Every great athlete should begin and end with a good set of hips.” – Mike Robertson

YES! YES! YES!  Obviously you probably know by now how much I LOOOOVE MR!  He is my Coach and has been a fantastic mentor for me over the last several years.  Before working with Mike, my good friend and business partner Jim Laird had always spoken about the importance of strong hips, but I don’t think it was until we started working with Mike 3 years ago, that we fully understood the function of the hips and how they affect function up and down the kinetic chain.  So get yo’ hips right!

MR droppin’ some knowledge!


After the lecture portion of the day, the EliteFTS team met up at Der Dutchmann for a lovely family-style dinner of fried chicken, pot roast  mashed potatoes, green beans, salad and pie.  It was lovely and I got a chance to catch up and chat with friends new and old.  


The whole team at Der Dutchmann chowing down


THE CJ Murphy, aka Murph, aka one of my fave people ever!


I was positively pooped Friday night so after dinner Jen and I went back to the room and hit the hay.  She was going to be up extra early to train, and while I wanted to get a little workout in, I wasn’t going to be doing anything crazy. 


Saturday, October 6th

My roomie Jen was up at the crack of dawn to get in a training session, and I rolled out of bed around 8-ish and took my sweet time getting to the compound.  With all of the stress, lack of sleep, and back pain I’ve been dealing with lately, I knew that an intense session wasn’t in the cards for me.  I strolled in a little after 9 and did a short workout of goblet squats with a heartbeat, 1 arm rows, offset reverse lunges, pushups, face pulls, and snatches.  

The highlight of this workout had to be the SUPER-AWKWARD moment where a guy approached me during my workout and said, “Wow… are you STILL warming up?”  My response: “Umm.. no.  This IS my workout.”  :::::crickets crickets::::::


The people who were actually TRAINING on Saturday. I was just “working out.” There IS a difference.


Today was the hands-on portion of the seminar and I got paired up with JL Holdsworth and Matt Kroczaleski to Coach our group.  JL and Matt are two of the strongest guys in the world, so it was a huge honor to get to coach side-by-side with them.  They’ve both competed in powerlifting and JL runs a performance facility in Columbus, and Kroc has transitioned to bodybuilding but is still strong as hell.  Needless to say, they both know their stuff, but I do think I was able to contribute and bring a different perspective to the group.  

JL looking beasty…


Matt casually hoisting a 200 lb log over his shoulder…


Dropping knowledge on some folks with JL and Kroc..


I had several people in my group and other groups ask me about breathing, pelvic repositioning and rehab stuff, and several of them even stayed afterwards to learn more about it.  It was very cool to be able to share my knowledge with them.  (I also got to learn a ton too which is always cool!) 

After this day was over, (and after I snuck in a little soft tissue work from Doc Smith, who is amazing!) all of the EFS team hung around the compound eating pizza and shooting the sh*t with one another.  This is always my favorite part of these events, as all of the team members are totally awesome and just wonderful people. 


Everyone chatting… definitely did not have enough Julia in my life this weekend. =(


After a few hours of shooting the breeze, several of us were still hungry so we headed off to find more food.  We decided to hit up a Texas Roadhouse about 15 minutes away.  And by “we” I mean myself and 4 of the most monstrous humans on the planet.  If you ever want to feel small, make sure to go to dinner with Josh McMillan, Matt Kroc, Chad Walker, and Lil’ Stevie.  Holy freakin’ moly.  After crushing some food it was time to get some sleep. 


Sunday, October 7th

This is the official Underground Strength Session day where everyone gets together and gets in a killer lifting session.  Again, because of the reasons mentioned above, I wasn’t going to be training hard, but I did want to get in a workout.  I did some single leg hip thrusts, KB OH press, offset KB step-ups, and some more snatches.  I was also asked to perform some different exercises for the EFS archives.  I was politely told that no one at the EFS compound ever performs the dinky/weird exercises I perform and they needed some pictures! So I did a bunch of foam rolling, several pre-hab exercises, a bunch of TRX exercises (rows, pushups, flyes, flutters, etc), and several KB movements.  Hopefully they got some good pics they can use for the site! =) 

After the training session, we checked out of our hotel and drove to Columbus to meet up with Chris Mason and Josh Conley for lunch!  Chris is the owner of At Large Nutrition and he and I have been FB friends for quite a while and since he was in town from Virginia we thought we could finally meet in person!  He brought Josh along, who is a super strong super heavyweight who lifts at Westside Barbell.  We had great conversation and good food.  All in all, lunch was absolutely fantastic, and Chris was a total gentleman and picked up the whole tab!  What a sweetie!  I was so glad to finally meet him and meet Josh as well! 


Chris and Me

Chris and Me


Josh and Me

Josh and Me


Jen being dwarfed by Chris and Josh

Jen being dwarfed by Chris and Josh

After this it was time to take Jen to the airport and head on back to good old Ky!  

As you can see, it was an absolute whirlwind of a trip, but super fun and I cannot WAIT for the next LTT!  

In the meantime, here are some random pics to hold you (and me!) over until the next LTT! 

Me with Jordan Crespi

Jordan Crespi and Me


John Meadows (aka Mountain Dog) and Me

John Meadows (aka Mountain Dog) and Me


Jen and Me with the Mam himself, Dave Tate

Jen and Me with the Mam himself, Dave Tate

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