In This Issue:
– Robertson Training Systems Updates
– Exclusive Interview: Dave Tate
– Upcoming Interviews
– New Articles
Robertson Training Systems Updates:
Don’t forget to sign-up for the 2008 Indianapolis Performance Enhancement Seminar; here’s the info.
When: Saturday, May 17th, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Where: Omni Severtin Hotel, Downtown Indianapolis
Cost: $129 Before April 1st; $159 April 1st and after
Unfortunately, we’re going to have to cancel the Bulletproof Knees seminar in Montreal; we’ve had some issues come up with regards to scheduling, but I’ll be looking to kick start that again in the future. Stay tuned.
Finally, in the upcoming newsletter, I’m going to write up a review of my Aussie seminars. Both were a huge success, and I think everyone involved was pleased with the outcome.
Check out the Ultimate Muscle Advantage
I’ve signed on for an interview during Vince Delmonte’s “Muscle Advantage” program which starts next week. The cool thing is, you can listen to all these calls FREE! If you like what you hear, you can purchase the calls later for future reference. Here’s the link:
Exclusive Interview: Dave Tate
MR: Dave, it’s a pleasure to have you here today. I can’t imagine anyone here doesn’t know you, but just in case, please introduce yourself to my readers.
DT: Here is the official bio:
Dave Tate is the founder and CEO of Elite Fitness Systems, staffed by experienced professionals dedicated to providing strength coaches, athletes and trainers with the highest-quality equipment, personalized service and extensive knowledge needed to advance their training programs.
Dave has been involved with powerlifting for more than two and a half decades as a world-class participant, coach and consultant. He has logged more than 10,000 hours of personal training and strength consulting sessions with professional, elite and novice athletes, as well as with professional and university strength coaches. He holds Elite status in powerlifting (in three weight classes) with best lifts of a 935 squat, 740 deadlift, 610 bench press and 2,205 total.
In addition to remaining active as a participant who still pushes himself to excel, Dave contributes insights and inspiration to the sport that has shaped him. Through Elite Fitness Systems, he has conducted hundreds of influential seminars and clinics nationwide for gyms, training centers, schools and universities. He has written more than 100 articles on strength training for magazines and web sites, including Powerlifting USA, Men’s Fitness, Men’s Health and T-Nation.com. This athlete-entrepreneur earned a Lifetime Achievement award in 2005 from the Society for Weight Training Specialists.
Dave Tate’s impact also extends beyond training techniques and beyond his sport. As a business adviser, motivational speaker and author, he shows how athletic disciplines teach valuable lessons for overall achievement. “We each have all we need to achieve success in anything we choose to do,” says Tate, describing the theme of his 2005 book, Under the Bar / Twelve Lessons of Life from the World of Powerlifting. He lives with his family in London, Ohio.
MR: What originally got you into the field? Were you an athlete growing up?
DT: Strength Training has been a part of my life since 1982. I received a weight set for Christmas (1981) and never looked back. This was the best gift I ever received and to this day I have no idea why I got it. I never asked for it and never worked out before with the exception of running for Pee Wee football, soccer, wrestling and other sports I was a part of.
I remember I did not have a bench for the longest time so I would do floor press off milk creates. My passion for training grew with every session. I trained every day for 2 or 3 hours. I just kept doing everything I could think of. I loved betting stronger and finally found something that was going to make a difference.
Up to this point I was not a good athlete at all. Honestly, I sucked! I was the kid that was always picked last; I was slow, could not do a chin up and did not have the confidence or belief I could be better. I played the sports I did because my parents signed me up and wanted to socialize me and build my confidence. While the early intentions were good I am not sure how much socialization I got being picked last and made fun of for not being able to kick or hit the ball. I am not sure this really helped with my confidence that much, either.
What I found with my new weight set was I did not have to be a part of a team, nobody was there to make fun of me, and I could beat the shit our of my self and LOVED IT. I saw my body grow bigger and stronger each day and I was becoming a better athlete. I found my edge and over time learned how to use it to my advantage.
After one year of training my father realized my passion and hooked me up with a small powerlifting gym. After a while, I started competing in powerlifting and became the strongest kid in school. This also gave me the confidence and strength to excel in every sport I participated in.
In my early years I spent hours with tutors, counselors, and therapists because everyone was concerned with my learning disabilities and confidence. While I am sure these things had a purpose, all I feel they did was build and highlight me weak attributes, thus destroying my social skills and confidence.
Luckily for me, someone had an idea that a weight set would make me stronger and thus build my confidence and abilities.
Looking back – The greatest gift I have ever been given. I am sure it is not hard to figure out why I now do what I do.
MR: That’s really motivating stuff Dave. As well, you’re old-school in the fact that you got into powerlifting at a young age. How did training for the sport influence you both then and now?
DT: I guess I covered this in question one but I would like to add that training today is just as important to me now as it has always been. We all know the benefits training can provided but I do feel very few really see the big picture. Training can totally change peoples lives from a mental and physical standpoint. Training also helps me to stay closer to the markets we target. Because I’m always training with purpose I know how important it is to people. If I just exercised I would not be able to understand the passion that some people put into their training goals. This passion, I feel, needs to be respected and harnessed as it can be applied in other areas of life.
MR: Let’s imagine we could step back in time; you’re just starting out in powerlifting, but you get to keep all the knowledge that you now have. How would you have changed your approach from the outset?
DT: Hmmm, now that is a good one. The first thing that came to me was I would find someone to bash me in the head with a sledge hammer so I would forget it all because it has been an unbelievable journey. If it was not for all the mistakes I have made I would not be able to sit here and think of what I would do different. Plus, I know if I could go back and do it different than I would make a host of other mistakes because in my life nothing has been easy. I am sure this is the case with 99% of the people that read this.
Have I made decisions I regret? Most definitely YES! But if I was to list them one by one I could also list some of the biggest lessons I have ever learned. Thinking back these lessons have provided more value in my life than the regret I feel in the decisions I made.
MR: Staying on the topic, what do you currently like/dislike about the sport? Where do you see the sport going in the next 5-10 years?
DT: The biggest thing I dislike about the sport right now is how people are forgetting the best things about it. People get too caught up in drama and debates to still see this is a sport we all love to do. We all share the same passion for getting stronger, seeing others break PR’s and pushing ourselves and each other to achieve greater things. Sometimes I wish people would step back and look at what we all love about the sport and see it for what it truly is.
MR: That’s absolutely true; whether you compete in equipped, raw, or any fed in between, it’s all about getting stronger and improving yourself.
Let’s shift gears, because I want to talk about business a bit. Your company, Elite Fitness Systems (www.elitefts.com), has grown to become one of the largest retailers of strength training equipment in the world. What factors do you attribute that growth to? In other words, what has your company done well to help foster its success?
You asked what factors do I attribute the growth to. This is simple. It is the people who are a part of it. From the readers of the site, customers, Q and A staff, sponsored lifters, and staff each has had a significant role in the success of the company. I have always been very lucky and blessed to have the people around me that I do. I have an unbelievable staff that deserves all the credit for what you see and hear. They really are the lifeblood of the company. Very few know that over the past 10 years there has only been one position we have had employee turnover with. For all the other positions we have had a zero turnover rate. They take great pride in what they do and have taken this business to a level I never imagined.
MR: As a business, what mistakes have you made along the way? And what have you done to correct those mistakes?
DT: This would take forever to answer. Business is about making mistakes; the rewards you receive are the side effects of what you learn from them. The day we stop making mistakes is the day I will begin to worry.
To answer your question in a more detailed manner let me state this about mistakes. There are really one two kinds of mistakes: people driven and system driven. If you have a company that is based on people then the only solution you have for these mistakes is to change the person. By the time you reach the age to work you are already set in your ways and have already established your strengths and weaknesses. The reality of the world is most people will not bring up their weaknesses or build upon their strengths – they just don’t care. They want to go to work, not have to deal with drama and enjoy what they do. So if something is broke you can spend your time trying to change the person or replace them. These are your only options.
If you have a system driven business and you have a problem then it is the system that needs to change NOT the person. You see the difference? You also see where the blame goes? This opens the door for mistakes to be found and corrected faster, and with no blame on the employee. You may disagree and ask “what if they don’t do what the system says?” I would then say the system was not created with them in mind (their strengths) and the system sucks. They don’t use it because they do not like it. In this case you do have a people related problem – you.
This is another great point to bring up. You better know what you can and can’t do and check your ego at the door. Business is not about personal glory but growing and protecting the future of those you serve.
MR: Within your business and powerlifting careers, what people have had the greatest influence on you and why?
DT: First and most important is my wife Traci. She has been there with me since the beginning. She has been there for all the bad times and the road has not been easy. I would be the first to say she has made more sacrifices for me than I have her. Second would be my family. There should be no need to explain this one. Finally, all my training partners and staff.
It would be safe to say everyone in my life has influenced me in one way or another.
MR: Ok, this should be a fun question to wrap things up with. Within the industry today, what things really piss you off or get under your skin?
Ranting isn’t only accepted here, it’s encouraged!!!
DT: This one is easy. While there are many things that I could rant about the thing that drives me nuts is not the non-experts, but rather the number of real world lifters, coaches and trainers who do get excellent results that we never hear from. There is a wealth of GREAT, untapped knowledge out there that I would love to read and hear about but in their defense they are to busy doing it to share it. As it has been since day one the best training advice is always in the underground. The internet is now helping bring some of this out but you have to be willing to look in the right places and ask the right questions. Just look at the staff on the Elitefts Q and A and you will see what I mean.
MR: Dave, you may be the busiest guy I know and I really appreciate you taking the time to be with us here today. If you don’t mind, please let the readers know where they can find out more about you and Elite Fitness Systems.
DT: Simple – www.elitefts.com. Thanks Mike