Increase Your Knowledge With A Powerlifting Certification

One of the greatest ways you can increase your revenue is by adding programs for your members to buy in to. By this point, every CrossFit coach and Box owner realize that one of the best programs to add is a powerlifting program. If you haven’t realized that yet, you should read this article about the explosive growth of powerlifting within the CrossFit community.

There are massive differences in how a CrossFit athlete will perform the bench press, deadlift and squat compared to how a powerlifter performs those same movements. CrossFit athletes perform the movements in a way so they can typically do as many reps as possible. A powerlifter performs the techniques in a way that maximizes the most weight they can move in a single rep. Unless the CrossFit coach has experience in a powerlifting environment, they will not know how the techniques differ.

If you are interested in adding a powerlifting program and learning not only how to perform and coach the movements correctly as well as how to coach at a meet, the online certification for American Strength Club Powerlifting L1 is available. This course is completely online and priced at a point where it is education that is available to anyone who wants to increase their skills and knowledge.

Ready to increase your revenue per member, to start new classes and to help your coach get a raise by coaching your new powerlifting class? Click the button below to be certified.

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Follow-Up Letters Help You Get The Coaching Job

The second you hit “apply” on a job posting, your interview process has started. Gym owners need more than your resume and cover letter to decide if they want to proceed with you to the next step in the interview process. Everything they can find about you online, they will, this is all a part of the interview process. They will look first at your cover letter. If the cover letter is acceptable, they will move on to your resume, if they do not like your cover letter, or worse, you didn’t put one, the resume will never be opened and the interview process is over. If there are two or three people going through the interview process (there will at least be that many), how you follow up could be more important than any other step in the process.

Go Beyond The Interview With A Follow Up Letter:

One of the most important things you can do to help secure the coaching position is following up with a thank-you note. The note lets the interviewer know for sure you are dedicated to getting this position within their facility while giving them an extra look at if you are the kind of person who can fit into their community and culture.

You want to send the note as soon as possible. However, this note should be an old school means of communication. We do not want to email it or “slide into their dm’s” with it. The note should be handwritten and delivered. I suggest that the note is mailed and done so with next day delivery so that you can make the biggest and best impact. Getting true, mailed and handwritten letters are a rarity in the days of email and spam mail. This is your last attempt to delight the interviewer before they make their decision about you or the competition also competing for this same job.

What should the follow-up letter say?

When you prepare the thank you letter, at the start of it you want to be kind, polite and thank them for your time. Next, retouch on things from the interview that you should explain better, or any additional revenue ideas you may have had. During the interviews, try to make mental notes about the pain points of the interviewer and the facility, mentioning how you could help with these would be a great way to get them to think further about you.

No matter what you put in the follow-up letter, just make sure you write on because if you do not, there is a strong possibility that your competition read this blog as well and already mailed theirs.

If you need help with your letter, maybe a Coaching Resume Review with a 1-hour phone call will help you get the job. Click the link below to learn more.

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Creating Your Professional Brand

As you grow as a coach, more opportunities will present themselves if you know how to look for them. The more people know you, the more you build your brand, the more opportunities try to find you.

  1. Identify Your Unique Position In The Fitness Community
    You must take time to think about what skills and experience you have that sets you apart from other coaches. Have you had a unique training opportunity? Maybe you have coaches athletes to the Games. Perhaps you have the level of education about a skill set that you can create your own seminar program to enable you to share your knowledge while making money. You don’t have to expect to start as an expert, but your pursuit of knowledge and sharing that knowledge will eventually get you recognition as an expert. You want to build your brand on what you can do and what you have done, not what you plan to do.
  2. Be Real
    Don’t try to change who you are; people quickly pick up on that. The point of personal branding is to share your personality with the fitness industry and grow a following of people who recognize you as an expert. Pretending you are someone you are not, or trying to speak above your knowledge level is something that will be picked up on by everyone you broadcast your message to. A common pitfall of coaches trying to climb the ladder in the industry is they pretend, or legitimately think they are smarter than they are. Remember, when trying to build your brand and following, don’t say anything that you can not back up with peer-reviewed research papers.
  3. Define Your Target Audience
    Do not merely throw your message out, hoping it will stick to someone who sees it in Facebook groups. You often see bad examples of someone trying to build their personal brand. It is common to be in a group for weightlifting and see someone share something in there about jumping rope or getting individual training clients or growing your gym. These “experts” are not experts. If they were, they would know they are pushing people away from their message by becoming pure spam. When you determine your target audience, you should find the right place to share your knowledge and content with them. This is why you do not see an expert mentor in our space like Will Hurst of Little Big Gyms posting in every possible group. Instead, he is very targeted when sharing his content, which helps him stand out as the top mentor in our industry. Being targeted in his content sharing is one of the reasons why so many gyms use his mentoring service.
  4. Build Value
    Have something to add. You can not share the same information as the rest of the world and expect people to hit your “Click Here To Learn More” link. When you do share your knowledge, including sources for your content will instantly give you more credibility than you would’ve had otherwise.
  5. Share Wisely
    Your story, news, knowledge, and information must be shared across all platforms, even if you do not personally use them. An example is BarbellJobs. When a gym places a job, it is shared on the BarbellJobs main website, Instagram, Instagram stories, the Facebook business page, Facebook groups in the area of the gym, it is shared on LinkedIn, in specific LinkedIn groups, on twitter, email, and Pinterest. It gets shared everywhere, but the sharing is targeted, not spammy. Jobs are not shared in groups for weightlifters if it is a general manager position. You should take the same approach, share it on all platforms, but identify where on those platforms your message will be well received.

Consistency = Brand Growth

Everyone has a blog, but not everyone is disciplined about updating it. The more you use your blog, the more search engines will grab it, bringing it higher in the results when someone is searching for something related to your scope of knowledge. A blog post every day will get you to the top of the search results, helping the community to identify you as an expert. Posting once a week and being on page 4 will not help you to be recognized as an expert.

If you are trying to separate yourself from the pack to get a better paying coaching position, perhaps a resume review with a phone call would help. Click below to learn more.

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How to negotiate coaching pay

As exciting as it is to receive an offer, the hard part is always to discuss compensation. One of the biggest indicators, if a coach is happy with their current gym, is if they are being fairly compensated for their work, this is true even with part-time coaches. So knowing how to negotiate salary can be the most important skill to have in having happy coaches.

Salary should never be the first thing that is discussed in an interview, however, it is the most important factor in getting a job post noticed. If a gym owner posts a position on our job board without salary information, perspective coaches automatically assume that if they don’t list compensation that it must be so low thee facility doesn’t want to say it. If you go through the interview without at least some skills in negotiations, no matter if you are the coach or the owner, someone will be leaving money on the table.

Towards the end of the interview process, compensation will come up. Don’t be stressed about it no matter which side of the table you are on. Here are a few notes to help.

  • Research compensation for the local area. Read our blog about what a coach should be paid based on location.
  • Do think past base pay. Think about what new programs could be made based on the coaches’ experience that could bring in new revenue that the coach can get a commission of.
  • Don’t volunteer how much you want to make. For the coach, do not tell them what you want to make, politely wait for their offer and then negotiate.
  • Don’t assume there isn’t wiggle room on either side of the table. A coach always has skills the facility can use to grow and make more revenue.

If you’re ready to find your next amazing coach, click below.

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10 Books Every Serious Coach Need To Read

10 books every coach needs to read to grow their career. In our industry, if you stop learning, you stop advancing. The rest of the world will pass you by if you don’t keep up with increasing your knowledge base. With more and more coaching positions opening up that pay 100k or more, only the most knowledge coaches will get those prestigious jobs. If you want to be one of them, you have to be one of the most well read.


Supertraining is the first and most important book on the list. I have personally read this book 4 times and still go through it at least weekly. In terms of knowledge in a book, this is probably the most important book ever written on training.

Science and Practice of Stength Training

Science and Practice of Strength Training, Second Edition, shows that there is no one program that works for any one person at all times or for all conditions. This book addresses the complexity of strength training programs while providing straightforward approaches to take under specific circumstances. Those approaches are applied to new physiological concepts and training practices, which provide readers with the most current information in the science and practice of strength training. The approaches are also applied to the three new chapters, which will help readers design safe and effective strength training programs for women, young athletes, and seniors. In addition, the authors provide examples of strength training programs to demonstrate the principles and concepts they explain in the book.

Practical Programming for Strength Training

There is a difference between Exercise and Training. Exercise is physical activity for its own sake, a workout done for the effect it produces today, during the workout or right after you’re through. Training is physical activity done with a longer-term goal in mind, the constituent workouts of which are specifically designed to produce that goal. Training is how athletes prepare to win, and how all motivated people approach physical preparation.

Practical Programming for Strength Training 3rd Edition addresses the topic of Training. It details the mechanics of the process, from the basic physiology of adaptation to the specific programs that apply these principles to novice, intermediate, and advanced lifters.

Conscious Coaching

In the world of strength and conditioning, learning how to move others—not just physically, but also psychologically and emotionally—is paramount to getting the most out of them. People are the ultimate performance variable, and understanding how to effectively blend knowledge of proper training with the nuances of human behavior is integral to helping athletes achieve their ultimate goals. Unfortunately, while much attention has been given to the science of physical training, little attention has been given to the science of communication. Conscious Coaching: The Art and Science of Building Buy-In bridges this gap. Readers learn the foundational principles of improving relationships, enhancing engagement, and gaining the trust of athletes through targeted communication. And, every bit as important, readers also learn concrete strategies to apply these principles in day-to-day coaching situations they will inevitably encounter. The result is a game-changing book that sets the stage for coaches to create a culture of success not only within sport, but also beyond. Conscious Coaching is a movement and its time has come.

Special Strength Development For All Sports

After 4 years of compiling data, gathering information, writing and editing Louie Simmons has finally released Special Strength Development For All Sports. Between the covers you will have access to the most comprehensive, advanced and up to date special strength training methodology currently available. Everything presented in this book is derived from over 40 years of research and athletic experiments by Louie Simmons within the walls of his private gym/athletic laboratory, Westside Barbell. Special Strength Development For All Sports covers EVERYTHING a serious coach/athlete requires in their pursuit of excellence and of course the pursuit of reaching Full Athletic Potential.

Westside Barbell Book of Methods

This book is a collection of training methods I have obtained through the past 30 years. I spent 12 years training with the wrong methods, one being the western periodization that is a dead end street. I use a 3 week wave system that leads to circa max and delayed transformation. The soviet system I started 30 years ago prolonged my career to the point where I made top 10 lifts at 54 years old. It has enabled Westside lifters to break 100 plus world records and has helped countless more. I am proud my resume is never up to date. Why? Because I constantly break new records all the time, check out our top lifts in the back of the book and then check out our website for correct records. You will be amazed!

Special Strength Training: Manual for Coaches

From the leading scientist and expert in Sport Training, his last book: a milestone, the point of no return in the Strength Training. The most complete and up to date book in Special Strength Training (SST): Methodological foundations of special strength training, Guidelines for planning SST, SST means and methods – resistance and jump exercises, Complex method, Stimulation method, Contrast method, Circuit method, Strength-aerobic method, Organization of SST in training process and Block Training System, SST means methods and program for acyclic sports, SST means methods and program for cyclic sports, SST means methods and program for sports games and combat sports, traditional SST exercises used by high-level track & field athletes, questions and answers about warm-up, ‘Ultra Mass’ bodybuilding program, the contribution of Yury Verkhoshansky to the development of sport science.

Becoming a Supple Leopard 2nd Edition: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance

Improve your athletic performance, extend your athletic career, treat stiffness and achy joints, and prevent and rehabilitate injuries—all without having to seek out a coach, doctor, chiropractor, physical therapist, or masseur. In Becoming a Supple Leopard, Dr. Kelly Starrett—founder of—shares his revolutionary approach to mobility and maintenance of the human body and teaches you how to hack your own movement, allowing you to live a healthier, more fulfilling life. This new edition of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller has been thoroughly revised to make it even easier to put to use.

Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes & Coaches

The book presents a complete progression for athletes and coaches starting with foundational elements such as breath control and trunk stabilization, squatting, balance and weight distribution, warming-up, individual variation; working to complete learning and teaching progressions for the snatch, clean and jerk; covering training program design extensively, including assessment for recruiting and new lifters, and 16 sample training programs; technical error correction, supplemental exercises, nutrition, bodyweight manipulation, and mobility; and a thorough section on competition to prepare both lifters and coaches.

Chasing Excellence: A Story About Building the World’s Fittest Athletes

CrossFit trainer Ben Bergeron has helped build the world’s fittest athletes, but he’s not like other coaches. He believes that greatness is not for the elite few; that winning is a result, not a goal; and that character, not talent, is what makes a true champion. His powerful philosophy can help anyone excel at all aspects of life.Using the dramatic competition between the top contenders at the 2016 Reebok CrossFit Games® as a background, Ben explores the step-by-step process of achieving excellence and the unique set of positive character traits necessary for leveling up to world-class. The mindset and methodology that have produced some of the greatest athletes in the world’s most gruelling sport can work equally well for golfers, lawyers, artists, entrepreneurs—anyone who’s willing to commit totally to becoming better than the best.By Chasing Excellence, you’ll discover how extraordinary it’s possible for you to be.

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Coaching Your First Powerlifting Meet


Every coach has done it. We have all had those nerves and dealt with the anxiety of coaching at our first meet. Hell, the meet isn’t even the hard part — it’s getting set up for it and preparing how you’re going to do the attempts for your lifters. Are you going to have them try to break records? What’s the warm-up room going to be like? Even if you’ve competed before, coaching your first meet is hell on your nerves. I’ve been in this game for a while. I’m a guy who learns from his mistakes, and man, I’ve done a ton of learning. I never had anyone to tell me what I didn’t know, so I walked into my first meet as a coach with 12 lifters and my blood pressure still gets up thinking about it.

RECENT: The Swing Block Method

I’m going to give you what I wish I always had: a damn good guide for beginning coaches for their first meet. If you don’t have a mentor or somebody to help guide you, this is perfect for you. Also, if you do not have anyone to help you, contact me. I want nothing more in life than to help other coaches succeed. As for who I am and why you should care about what I’m telling you: In 2017 alone, I’ve coached powerlifters to 170 national and state records using The Swing Block Method, which is another big reason why my lifters are setting so many records, and I’ve never been at a meet where I have coached any fewer than 10 lifters at a time.

Finding a Meet

First you’re going to need to find a meet, obviously. Find what your local federations are and when they come around. Give yourself at least a month to mentally prepare yourself and your lifters. Make sure to read their rules. While they are all basically the same, there will be differences. Some federations make you keep your feet flat in the bench, some you have to qualify to compete in the meet, some don’t consider knee wraps to be raw, etc. There are differences. Make sure you know them.

There are a ton of federations out there. Some small, some more recognized. Here’s the thing: it doesn’t freaking matter which one you lift with, as long as you’re comfortable there. The point is to lift and have fun. Screw everything else. When you know your federation, look them up on Facebook. More often than not, they will have Facebook groups for not only the federation as a whole but also the region you’re a part of. Join these groups and learn all you can.

You have the federation picked out and you have a meet date. Awesome. This is where the work starts. Now you have to get your lifters on board to compete. I’m not going to go into that part, because I’m assuming if you’re reading this that you already have them. So get a scale, weigh your lifters, get their age, and write it all down.


Selecting Attempts

Now you need their opening lifts. All of this is important in this order so you can set yourself up with the best plan of attack. At my gym, we always know what our openers are because we follow The Swing Block Method. Because of that, we test openers often, so at any moment we could register for a competition the next day and know what our lifts are going to be.

Here’s how we pick our openers and following lifts. This isn’t the way everyone does it, but it’s how we do it. It works really well — well enough that my gym members have set 179 national and state records this year alone using this method. First we get what their three-rep max is on all their lifts. If you’re following The Swing Block Method, you already know yours. We use the three-rep max as an opener because, even if they are having a bad day, they can get this weight for a single. The first lift should always be something you know the lifter can get, because the worst thing they could do is miss all of their lifts and bomb out. For the second lift, we are looking for a small PR of five pounds or less. We want them to walk away hitting a new personal best. With the adrenaline and the nose torque, this shouldn’t be a problem.

The third lift can be tricky. With my members, we almost always shoot to break a record. It could be a state record or it could be a national record. Doesn’t matter, we’re breaking one. Now, assuming your lifters aren’t following The Swing Block Method, they may not be constant record hunters. So here is another option. After each lift, ask them, “On a scale of one to 10, how hard was that lift?” With this information, you’ll know how much they struggled, even if they didn’t show you, and now you’ll have the information to pick the next lift. Often my members don’t want to know what’s on the bar. They trust me to make the call and they just want to lift and know the weight after. For them, it’s a mentality of, “I’m going to lift that damn weight no matter what.” Your lifters may want to pick the last weight. Either method is fine.

Now we know their weight, their age, and have an idea of what their attempts are going to be. At this point, you need to go to the federation website and decide how you want to register them. Most federations have many categories in each weight division. For an example, you can have a 90-kilogram/198-pound class that has an open, pure, equipped, youth, teen, high school, push-pull, bench press only, and multiple submasters and masters levels. That’s pretty common. So what you need to do is look at their weight class, then the age, which will dictate what categories are open to them. From there you want to pick the option that gives them the greatest chance of breaking that record. We often will place our lifters in more than one so they can break multiple records at once. We may sign a lifter up for the open, push-pull, and bench press only if they can break the records. If they can, you’re looking at six records right there, and even more if they break national records as well. Now, open records are always the best to break. Go for those as often as possible, but find a record they can break and crush the damn thing.

One important part here is that, while this gives you a great way to figure out your lifts, still ask your athletes what they want to hit for themselves. If one of them has a specific number he’s been chasing, you should consider modifying this to fit their needs.


Staying Organized

At this point, you have all their information for the meet. Now you need to create a spreadsheet to make your life easier for the day of the meet. This spreadsheet needs to have their name, weight class, and attempts. Beside each attempt, leave a box to mark if they made the lift. At the end of the sheet, put the state and national records with a checkbox beside them so you can see how close they are and if they break it or not. If you’re taking youth lifters, put the numbers in both kilograms and pounds so you can make copies for the parents to follow along while they watch. Parents love that shit and it shows you’re thinking about them. Admittedly, I suck at spreadsheets. I freaking hate them. Contact me and I’ll hook you up with a template to make your life a ton easier.

RELATED: The Gift of Perspective: Things to Know as a New Powerlifter

Next is figuring out the warm-ups. Every coach does this differently, so I’m not going to get into that. Just do a search here on elitefts and you’ll find lots of great advice about that. Before you get to the meet, there are a few universal rules that your lifters need to know. Things they need to bring to the meet include a singlet, socks that come to their knees but not over, wrist wraps, knee wraps unless you supply the wraps, a cotton shirt to wear under the singlet for the bench and squat, a phone charger, food, and snacks. They really need the food, snacks, and phone charger. It’s not uncommon to be at a powerlifting meet for 10 hours or more. Wrapping the knees and wrist wraps is a technique in itself.

I’ve had a ton of lifters, people I’ve met at meets, and other coaches mention how they were intimidated by their first meet — not coaching it, but the people there. When you’re going into your first meet you almost have to expect the back room filled with a bunch of intimidating assholes. It can be intimidating to think about but the truth of the matter is that everyone in the back room is always extremely nice and helpful. Nobody is ever a dick or rude, and they always want to help where they can. The only instance I’ve had where somebody wasn’t perfectly nice was a guy who had already got himself into what Dave Tate calls The Void. It wasn’t his fault; he was mentally prepared to make the lift of his life and somebody tried talking to him. When you see a lifter looking like they are in another place in their head, give that gentleman some space like you would like to have. The point is, don’t be intimidated by the warm-up room. These are the nicest and happiest people you’ll ever meet. They’re just happy to be lifting with you.


Meet Day

Now it’s the day of the meet. If you were smart you’ve told your lifters to bring lots of food, snacks, and their phone chargers, because this is going to last a while. I always have my lifters get there 30 minutes before weigh-ins. I gather them up and have them fill their registration cards out together. This way everyone has an opportunity to ask questions and I have my clipboard with the spreadsheets on it so all of their information is there and easily accessible. Somebody is going to forget their openers, somebody won’t know what division to enter, and someone will need your knowledge to get everything filled out.

Once you get the cards filled out, take them to whoever is doing the registration. The athletes will pay, register, and get weighed in. Now you have a few minutes to relax and wait for the rules meeting. In the rules meeting, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Seriously, this is the time to clarify everything. If you have a question and you don’t ask, you just did a disservice to your athlete. After the rules meeting, you need to go find the heat lists. This is normally posted in the warm-up room. Each lift will have different heats in which the lifters compete. This is going to let you know when your lifters compete, how long they have until they lift, and if you get an opportunity to sit down or not.

Okay, now warm-ups are going on and your first lifter is about to go. After each lift, look at the flags or lights from the judges, and if your lifter’s attempt gets flagged, ask the judge why. I’ve never had a judge have an issue with letting me know what they had seen that I didn’t. Now ask your lifter, “On a scale of one to 10, how difficult was that lift?” Even if you already know it was easy, you need to understand what was happening in the mind and body of your athlete as they made that lift. This is really valuable information to have. Next, you have to go to the table and let the event director know what the next lift is going to be. Repeat this process for all of your lifters for all the heats.

After the Meet

Once the lifting is over, don’t run off yet. After the meet, there will be an awards ceremony that you want to stay for. Before the awards ceremony begins, you’re going to want to clean your stuff up, get your gear to your car, and make sure you don’t leave any trash out. I make it a habit to very loudly tell my team to pick up all their trash so that the other lifters hear it as well and pick theirs up. It’s not uncommon for me to call out other coaches and teams for leaving trash behind that the meet volunteers have to pick up. Seriously, don’t be that guy who leaves trash. The people at the meet work hard to put on the event, so don’t be the asshole who makes them have to work harder.

That’s it. This is as straightforward as I can make it for you. It’s also a lot of information that I had to figure out on my own because I didn’t have anyone to guide me. If you’re a coach and you don’t have a mentor, feel free to ask me any questions, I’m always happy to help out.

Images courtesy of Barton County Strength Club

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