Tate, Wendler, DeFranco, Seminar

Today I had the opportunity to go to a seminar at Defranco’s place in NJ. First off Defranco’s place is where every trainer wants to be every training session of their life. It’s simply amazing. It has 3 Elite (Tate’s store) powerracks WITH Olympic platforms attached and fronting them. Those were nicely complimented with a flute ham raise and a Reverse hyper. Finished off with the usual benches, BIG DB’s and a gigantic cable cross, pull down, row system. There are more bars there than anyone can imagine. Fat bars, cambered bars, buffalo bars, fat pull down and row bars. It’s ridiculous.

Now there was a seminar…
Tate and Wendler are the widest people I have ever seen. As wide as they look in pictures they are that much wider in person. Also, Wendler isn’t 55 years old as his photo makes him out to be on Elitefts.com.

To put it bluntly, these three know their fucking shit. This wasn’t your typical seminar. It was more like a gigantic Q&A. If you had a question they answered it COMPLETELY honestly. Which is very rare these days especially in the fitness world. They have a simple no bullshit approach and that’s the way it should be. No gimmicky bullshit. If you were making things too complicated or over analyzing something they would tell you. And it’s not just about power lifting. These boys have trained countless athletes. One look at Defranco’s wall shows you just that.

A lot of what they discussed is keeping things simple…

They are great speakers and get their points across very well. Tate and Wendler have different opinions on certain things and they defended their stances very well. You’re never left saying “Whaaaaa” after they answer your question or demonstrate a movement.

A great Wendler quote “If someone says bodybuilders are weak, they’re fucking stupid and I can guarantee the person that says that is weaker than a bodybuilder by a long shot.”

I could only stay for 1/2 the seminar as I’m battling a stomach virus or I have colon cancer, one or the other, but if you EVER have a chance to attend a seminar given by any or all of these guys, attend it. Bring a note pad with every question (intelligent ones) that you have about training and fire away.

BTW, the first 1/2 of the seminar lasted 3.5 hours, God knows how long it lasted after I left. It’s definitely worth every penny.

P.S. Wendler “helped” (read that as he he forced every part that was out of position into position) me get into a powerlifitng bench form, Jesus Christ! If you THINK you are in a proper form for a comp powerlifting bench, chance are you are nowhere fucking NEAR the proper form. My body has NEVER been in that position before and it’s something that needs to be felt to get it right.

Great guys, great time and I can’t recommend them highly enough!

AWESOME thanks for sharing was reading about DeFrancos new set up in Tate log

Lucky bastage


I was there too - GREAT SEMINAR! The presence of those 3 guys is unreal and they are all brutally honest and they don’t overcomplicate anything.

Defrancos new gym set-up was the best I’ve ever seen. I walked in the place and my jaw dropped. It has EVERYTHING an athlete would ever need. And the atmosphere is second to none - pics of all Defrancos high profile athletes, impressive record board, etc. After reading his website for over 2 years it was cool to see his place come to life.
My highlights from the seminar were the following:
Wendler’s hands-on teaching of the box squat. As much as I thought I knew how to box squat, being there and seeing him teach in front of me was an enlightening experience.

Defranco took a guy and critiqued his 40 yard dash stance. It was amazing to see Defranco in action. The guy doesn’t miss anything! I have his combine dvd but learned so much more from seeing how he works with athletes in person.

Tate & Defranco gave some great business advice. (This was much needed for me!) Tate had a lot of great training advice that went against mainstream thinking. He really made me question a lot of things that I thought I knew about training. And the guy is HUGE!!!

The best part of the seminar was that although I was intimidated by all 3 guys when I got there, they all turned out to be very approachable. They answered all questions, spent time during lunch answering questions and they were all hanging around after the seminar helping guys out. This is very rare in the ego driven S&C biz.

I highly recommend seeing these guys speak if you ever get a chance. And I wish they would all write some more articles for T-Nation!

Pictures of the facility! Chop chop! I want to be further impressed!

…Thank you for sharing.

Good posts, fellas. Thanks for sharing this. I’m a huge fan of DeFranco and therefore Tate and Wendler by extension. I know it won’t do it justice, but can the two of you who were at the seminar maybe give us a few bullet points about how Tate et al. improved your bench and box squat form? Maybe you had some flaws in execution that are common to us all.

Wendler’s main box squat points:

*Stay tight under the bar! Although I’ve read this countless times, you don’t know what tight is until you actually SEE him show someone what this really means

*A simple way to help get tight, and increase your strength, is to squeeze the hell out of the bar. This gets your whole body tight and he said he has put up to 40 lbs onto someone’s squat just by giving this advice.

*Arch your UPPER back. He said if you think about arching your UPPER back, this will get everything in the right position

*Start movement by pushing your hips back. (Most of us know this)

*Instead of the old “spread the floor”, he used the phrase, “show your groin”. This helped me a lot because I never quite comprehended the spread the floor thing. Show your groin helps me better visualize pushing my knees out as I’m sitting back.

Those were Jim Wendlers main 5 points on the box squat. They may seem simple but they helped me a lot.
Unfortunately I didn’t get to hear what Dave Tate was teaching at the bench because I was talking to Defranco during a break before lunch when Dave had a couple guys over at the bench.