T Nation

Death Squat Video Is Awesome


Pretty awesome video, motivational to see all those elite lifters getting together motivating one another and moving some serious weight. God I wish there was a place to train like that around here, fitness clubs get the job done but man they suck when you are trying to get in and get out and you got to wait for the bench for someone to finish there 35th set or some jackass to stop doing curls in the squat rack. Btw, anyone know who the guy in the green cutoff is at the beginning of the video?


i dont know the guys name wearing the EFS st patricks shirt, but hes one big fucking dude. if you spend some time searching around EliteFTS.com, you can probably find out who he is. he may even be one of the big lifters over there, i just dont personally know who he is. theyve got logs and such, exercise examples, etc, im sure you can find out who he is if you search around those things. i know ive seen a video of that guy bent over rowing like 450 or 550 for reps. hes a monster, but damn, they all were in that video. truly was inspirational.

also, theres an article discussion for the squat vid in the article discussions forum, even though its not actually an article. its several pages long already, might get your question answered there.


christian mello is the dude in green. he has a log on elitefts.


Everyone says this, but in my experience 95% of the people who complain about their gyms aren't willing to drive more than 30 minutes to train with real lifters.

We have a killer set up in Southeast Houston: monorack, another power rack, GHR, 45-degree back raise, cable machines, Reverse Hyper, 200 lbs of chain, mini/monster mini/light/avg/strong bands, competition bench, texas power bar, texas deadlift bar, safety squat bar, giant cambered bar, fat bar, stones, farmers walk handles, yoke, giant tires, sled, giant chain, plus a shitload of suits/shirts that everyone can try out and use.

All this in a nice big space, but in a metro area of about 4 million people, we only have about 5-6 consistent lifters. Others come and go but we can never get anyone to come permanently except us. I spend about 4 hours per week driving to and from the gym, but it's worth every minute.

Unfortunately, I have seen countless other "powerlifters" at public gyms I go to, and none of them are ever willing to make the trip, because they start whining about the distance. I have seen guys with inzer knee wraps, power belts, and chalk in 24 hour fitness and when I ask them to come check it out they say no immediately.

My training partner who started our gym tries to get more people all the time; he found two guys at the local 24 Hour Fitness that is about TWO MILES from our gym. These guys had power belts and EliteFTS shirts and shit. But they said "We already prepaid for this gym, plus that extra distance is too much." 2 miles!

The bottom line is, unless you're really in the middle of nowhere, there PROBABLY is a hardcore gym within a reasonable distance of your house. You might have to dig around for it, but go to the closest powerlifting meet and start networking. You don't have a right to complain if you find a place and don't take advantage!


^ I agree with you, but what about people who don't have time to commute. Before you say "Make time" just know that by even doing this people are "making time". I'm a fulltime student, and am taking summer classes, trying to get ready for college, have a job, and am training for strongman. Training alone takes several hours every day.

To commute to the nearest gym (about an hour by car or metro), would cost me another two hours out of my day. I look at it like this: although it would be kickass to train in a serious gym where people squat over 400lbs (not the case for me) you should be able to motivate yourself. If you constantly need other people to push you, you're doing this for the wrong reasons.

But I do know a kid who literally lives within visibility of our school gym and is always "too tired" or "too sore" or "playing basketball" and never goes. Hell if you're really pressed for time, you'll get an home gym. Rant ended.


Not the same at all, he is talking about real powerlifters moving real weight in a real gym. We have people squatting 7-800lbs, benching close to 700lbs etc. Any lifter that trains in a real gym environment like that can tell you, no matter how much self motivation you have, you will make better faster gains in a real gym. It is just not the same thing. Even CT said himself he hit a PR at the compound that day just because of the atmosphere. I would guess CT does not have to worry too much about a lack of motivation. Training at a Westside, Bad Attitude Gym, Diablo etc raises the game to a whole new level.

You simply have to decide what your priorities are. There is nothing wrong with saying lifting is not worth the extra drive or the extra time or whatever. For me, a 2 hour drive is more than worth the chance to train events with someone that was on World's Strongest Man or work on deadlift technique with the #1 275lb lifter in the IPF. If it starts to interfere with my family life, well then it takes a backseat because my family is higher on my priority list than training.

He is just ranting because we have heard the "I wish I had a gym like that to go to" for several years and 95% of people that complain about that wouldn't train there even if they had the chance anyways.


I don't drive an hour in rush hour traffic to lift because I need other people to motivate me! If I didn't have motivation, I wouldn't make that drive. I am plenty motivated by myself, but there are other reasons you need training partners. Who is going to give me verbal cues at a public gym? Who is going to point out where my technique needs work? Who is going to call depth for me? It gets even more obvious for geared lifting. Am I going to trust some random bro at the gym to set my bench shirt and properly spot a near-maximal shirted attempt?

Until you've trained with guys who literally yell verbal cues at you on every single rep, you wouldn't understand how weird it feels to be alone and NOT have that. And Matt is right, I'm just ranting because it's easy to complain about your gym, but it's another thing to put your ego away and go train with people bigger and stronger than you. People who aren't willing to make any sacrifice to train at the gyms they supposedly are dying to train at are just my new pet peeve.


Not to single you out, because it sounds like you are making time for your training, but...

First, dont declare that you're a full-time student with a job and expect the "i dont have time" to have credibility to people with full-time jobs, families, their own businesses, etc. I'm willing to bet you will be MUCH busier in 5 to 10 years than you are now.

Second, if training alone really takes "several hours every day" - you're doing it wrong. In and out in 45-60 min may not be realistic all the time, but several hours is beyond the pale

Finally, I can understand not having an extra two hours every day to add on top of your workout. That sounds reasonable to me. But have you thought of doing the commute once a week? Or twice a month? If you're really committed to this, you owe it to yourself to at least see what youre missing. hell, maybe you find that the things you need to work on are basic enough that you can do it by yourself with just a video camera, that you dont need bands and chains and partners. or maybe you find that going there twice a month is worht the extra 4 hours out of your month


great vid, you need to train with people with same drive and dedication ,
you sit back and watch the pr's come.


i travel about 30 mins ea way to a PL gym about 15 miles from my house. Best 4 hours driving a week ever.
when i go back to my old gym, i feel lonely having someone yelling at me to get 3 more reps, but when i was at my old gym i had to use the bar to set my suit straps cause the fucker didn't even though what i was wearing.



I've made the transition from the "hardcore-omg-I-would-kill-to-train-there" powerlifting gyms that you guys are talking about back to a commercial one, and its rough. If I was healthy and training for a meet right, there is no way I'd be at a commercial gym.

Training at a place like that is not about having other people to motivate you. But it sure does help when you've had a shitty day and are just plain worn out. It's about having reliable training partners that will push you and give you good feedback. Guys that you can trust to spot you when you have 700 pounds on your back. And know how you like your hand off on bench. People that can spot weaknesses and flaws that you might miss yourself.


pm sent


Point Taken. Lesson Learned.


Thanks for the answer about who that was.

THanks to who ever suggested going to a meet and start networking to find some of these tucked away gyms. I am going to look around the memphis area to see what I can find.


I don't know how to prove it or illustrate it with a powerlifting example, even though that's what the intended point is, but this running example hopefully illustrates it well:

The sub-4:00 mile was once a huge thing. The absolute Holy Grail of mid-distance running. Very many runners would get close, such as 4:01, but it seemed like nobody could break 4 minutes. This went on for a long time.

Finally someone, Roger Bannister, beat it. Only by a fraction of a second, but he beat it.

And then suddenly pretty much all the runners who had been close but just not quite making it, were able to beat 4:00 too.

I am no expert on running but from the experts that I have read, this is considered to be because of the mental factor, not because of training methods changing at that time. No, prior to Bannister runners really didn't believe they could break into the three minute range, and never did. Once Bannister had squeaked by, then they believed they could, and they did.

Now, believing that they could run a TWO minute mile would not have gotten them to running any such thing, but there are many times where the body is capable of more than what one believes can be done.

Now the point: being in with other lifters that are doing great things makes lifting more seem much more doable to the mind. It's a benefit that can't necessarily always be had, but it is a real effect differing from self-drive and self-motivation.


Good example, there is definately a reason why high caliber people congregate at high caliber facilities, i.e.. MetroFlex, EliteFTS and etc. People tend to go there because they too have aspirations to be a high caliber lifter, wether it be bodybuilding, powerlifting or just to be a big mofo. I think most lifters who are passionate about it can relate to that....thanks for that example.

FYI, looked around a bit and all I found was a crossfit gym in the memphis area, popped up under a searh for powerlifting gyms in memphis....not sure how that fits, but Im going to keep on looking.


The weightlifting equivalent would be the 500 lb C&. I forget who finally broke it, but it was then followed up in quick succession by one or two others. Ken Patera I believe was one of the others, but he wasnt the first to do it


Actually, Metroflex may be an example of how you dont HAVE to have the hardest core atmosphere. I believe Branch Warren trains there now, but I think it started off as just Ronnie. Watch his videos, there are plenty of "normal people" walking around in the background. That being said, it helped that Metroflex had a cool owner who wasnt hitting the "lunk alarm" every time Ronnie let out a "light weight buddy!"

No, go there. ThreeWhiteLights who posts here goes to that CrossFit and he gives it the thumbs up. He competes in strongman, I'm not sure if they have tires or stones there or anything, but I've heard that CrossFit is usually PL friendly cuz they'll let you dead. At the very least, check it out.


You know, I already told you all this yesterday :stuck_out_tongue:


Alexeyev, Columbus, 1970.

Does anyone else think that Dave's Squats were high;)