The Zach Even - Esh STRONG Life Podcast

The Zach Even - Esh STRONG Life Podcast


The STRONG Life Podcast with Zach Even - Esh is about how you to Live a STRONG Life. Or, in layman's terms, how to kick a** and take names. Each episode covers topics such as strength and muscle building, being an entrepreneur, conquering obstacles in life and overall, living life on YOUR terms.


Joe DeSena | How to Be Happy, Tough & Successful  

STRONG Life Episode 101 with my man Joe DeSena, SPARTAN Race CEO.

As always, chatting with Joe is inspiring to another level and then some!

In this episode we discuss our favorite topics:

- Being "Successful". Success is a very general term but we discuss concrete ways to help you move forward in all areas of your life (Work, Relationships, Fitness, Health &More)

- The common traits Joe has found in tough, happy people.

- The movie on NETFLIX that Joe and I recently watched that you HAVE to watch.

- What is 1 BIG piece of advice Joe has for ALL entrepreneurs.

- If Joe was a Strength Coach / Trainer, what would he do to grow his business?

- What did Joe do to grow his pool cleaning business to 700 clients?

- Joe discusses the ability to get Tough even if you've always lived a comfortable life.

- What is Joe's next BIG Fitness Goal?

- What is Joe's BIG Life Goal that he wants to accomplish?

- Throwing phones off bridges & moving onward? Can we REALLY do this?

- Joe's thoughts on planning a business, traveling, leveraging your money & experiencing Life

- The difference between a job and a business and WHAT type of lifestyle are you truly ready for?

"Extreme Success Comes Through Extreme Sacrifice" - Great quote I picked up from Joe during our STRONG Life Podcast.

To connect with Joe, please see the resources below:

Spartan UP Podcast on iTunes & YouTube

Spartan FIT on Amazon

BIG Thanks for supporting The STRONG Life Podcast.

Our 1 and only Sponsor is

Use Code zach100 for 10% off.

STRONG Life Resources are best found by being part of our AWESOME STRONG Life Journal/ It's FREE and you can sign up Here:

Thank you!

Live The Code 365


The UPenn Strength Crew: NOTHING Worth Having Is Comfortable  

Episode 110 of The STRONG Life Podcast is with Jim Steel (Head Strength & Conditioning Coach at UPenn) along with his assistants, Cristi Bartlett and Tracy Zimmer.

The camaraderie among this team of Strength Coaches is inspiring to say the least. In the past episodes I've done with Jim, I also posted videos of Cristi and Tracy crushing BIG weights for high reps.

The stories of Strength and Toughness in this episode will fire you UP!

Here's some of what we discuss in this episode:

- How did Cristi and Tracy get to UPenn as Strength Coaches? What was their journey like?

- What nutrition do Tracy and Cristi follow at the moment and why?

- How does Jim prep his food for his day coupled with early mornings and late nghts?

- Where does the mental toughness come from for Cristi and Tracy? How and why do they keep the discipline going, even during tough times?

- How does Jim change his frame of reference to continue training after decades of being under the bar?

- If you could pick just 1 exercise to do for the rest of your life, what would it be and why? The crew answers, each in their unique way.

- Dogs. Why do we have the dogs (Lab, Doberman, Mutt Rescue) and how have they influenced our lives?

- Books to read and re-read.

- Why nothing worth achieving will ever be comfortable and the mindset needed to break through mental and physical plateaus.

GREAT times chatting with Jim as always.

I am psyched that we were able to get 2 of the strongest girls I know to share their mindset, nutrition, training and life philosophies.

Here's Resources and Links for today's Guests:

Train Like an Athlete E Book by Tracy Zimmer

Training Videos w/ Jim, Cristi & Tracy

BIG Thanks to my sponsor,

Use code zach100 for 10% off.

I am loving their equipment! The Functional Trap Bar is Awesome.

Here's how to take Your Training to the Next Level:

- Zach's Online Coaching Group

- Underground Strength Academy

- Underground Strength Coach Certification

- Bodyweight Bodybuilding

- Zach's Books on Amazon

BIG thanks to all who listen and invite friends to listen to The STRONG Life Podcast.

Till the next time, keep crushing LIFE!

Live The Code 365,


Zach & Jim Steel: Iron Memories & Living The STRONG Life  

What a blast I had in this conversation with Jim Steel who is becoming a regular on The STRONG Life Podcast.

Forgive a few tech hiccups in the beginning but trust me, this episode is GOLD!

Jim and I discuss the following topics as well as answer some questions from my Instagram:

- Jim's recent strength training / workouts.

- The power & magic that was found in the photos and books of the "Golden Era".

- The importance of learning on your own vs always going to youtube or searching google to find information.

- The first time I watched Pumping Iron & convinced my friend's Dad to bootleg record the VHS tape for me!

- Nutrition tips and guidelines we have for athletes who want to get Bigger & Stronger without adding unnecessary fat.

- The Biggest Lessons Jim learned coaching at The D1 Level that has enabled him to better work with the coaches & athletes along with the differences at IVY league vs scholarship state schools.

- Our thoughts on giving athletes time away from training with us in an organized setting to empower them for both the immediate time and their future

- Thoughts on organizing workouts for your athletes with flexibility vs being regimented with specific load, sets and reps.

- The story of Arnold & Franco squatting together and how you can use the power of the mind to get Stronger in the gym AND in life

- Thoughts on the science of strength & conditioning vs the practicality of strength & conditioning

- I tell Jim how impressed I am with his Coaches & their camaraderie. How does Jim feel about his team of Strength Coaches at UPenn & why does he feel they have such  great relationships.

- Thoughts on celebrating every play on the Football field.

- I ask Jim why I see in his youtube videos, the girls hitting high reps on the BIG lifts?

- The difference in physiques that comes from lifting heavy vs lifting pump up style

- Stories of Kirk Karworski training methods

- Zach's high school days of volume workouts that lasted for hours on end

- Why Jim & I believe in NOT being coached all the time & learning things on your own

- Why Jim is starting his own magazine & why I am PSYCHED to read this!

- New books Jim & Zach are reading and how we're applying what we learn from these books

- We discuss cold water / weather & breathing methods

- Being famous vs "keeping it pure"

- Why I have to stop being bothered by people who don't pick up their own dog's crap

As always, I had a blast chatting with Jim and we're going to do this more often!

Make sure you follow me on Instagram where I announce QnA opportunities and of course, BIG thanks to my Sponsor at

Use Code zach100 for 10% off and get your hands on their equipment.

You can support our show by leaving us a review on iTunes and seeing the resources below:

Till the next time!

Live The Code 365,


Matt Shadeed | Dedicated To Being a GREAT Strength Coach | Alabama State Football Strength & Conditioning  

Here we go! Episode 108 of The STRONG Life Podcast with Arkansas State Football Strength & Conditioning Coach, Matt Shadeed.

Matt discusses his passion and dedication to being a GREAT Strength Coach & a GREAT Family Man.

We discuss the following topics in this episode:

- The mindset needed to handle the tough times as a Strength Coach, especially in the D1 Football Sector

- How Matt keeps his schedule organized to ensure he gives his players & staff everything he's got as well as his family.

- How does Matt organize training for incoming freshman

- Program design for the Football players at Arkansas state and why Matt chooses to do More work with smaller groups.

- How does Matt organize the various phases of the training year from pre season, in season, post season and off season.

- How to move each training session at a fast tempo while working in mobility, restoration and activation for the MAIN lifts.

- Software vs Pen and Paper for recording workouts?

- Developing buy in and culture with athletes to maximize the results of the training.

- How Matt organizes a rough draft of the annual training plan and how flexible is Matt when training the players from day to day

This is awesome insight into the energy and dedication you need to being a Great Strength Coach. As Matt said, it's NOT about you, it's about the kids.

That might seem like common sense but most Coaches aren't living by this code, if they were, they would be focused on constantly improving in an effort to help the athletes improve.

Being a Strength Coach isn't for everyone, THAT is for sure!

Visit our sponsor at and use code zach100 for 10% off.

For more videos and book recommendations from Matt Shadeed, see this episode on our blog at

Thank you!


Dr. Phil Wagner | SpartaTrac | Strength & Conditioning Science + Excellence  

WOW! My mind is blown after chatting with Dr. Phil Wagner, the Creator of The SpartaTrac system.

This conversation is beyond inspiring! From Phil's experiences as an athlete, to a Coach, to WHY he created The SpartaTrac system (this is something many college coaches must hear) to his current take on nutrition and training for himself and his family. 

Phil's amazing journey will educate, inspire and open up your mind BIG time.

From his multiple shoulder surgeries as an athlete to his strength coach experiences dating back to the late 90s, being mentored by the best of the best; Todd Rice from Cal Berkeley to Jim Steel & Rob Wagner at UPenn.

Phil spent time in Australia & New Zealand training their Professional Rugby Teams as well as playing Rugby himself. With all of Phil's Experience (Bio HERE) he shares the lessons learned that you wish could be bottled into a formula to learn from!

Here's some of the topics we cover:

- Phil's history as a Strength Coach and the BIG differences he learned from different areas of the country (Cal Berkeley, UPenn, UCLA).

- The BIG difference in all coaches in Australia and New Zealand for Professional Rugby

- Lessons learned from Todd Rice at Cal Berkeley such as how Todd trained all the athletes in Olympic Weightlifting.

- What do you do when an athlete does not have the mobility to perform 1 of the lifts properly. This answer is AWESOME!

- When Phil was let go from Cal Berkeley, why did he decide to create SpartaTrac? This answer is HUGE yet is still overlooked in most sport teams.

- How Phil's Strength Coach philosophy was shaped going from 1 of the best Strength Coaches who was a big believer in Olympic Lifting (Todd Rice) to going to some of the best Powerlifters in the Country and World (Jim Steel & Rob Wagner).

- How Phil began learning about nutrition while at UPenn, gaining almost 60 lbs while there!

- Phil's thoughts on surgeries, including his own 3 shoulder surgeries and how to apply a different approach to athletes after surgery?

- Is surgery a valid option? And, what does the future of surgeries look like for athletes being we live in a world where Scientists are advancing tissue and cell repair.

- How does Phil only train 2 x week for 20 minutes at a clip now? We get into the physical, psychological and nutritional aspects that ALL play a massive role here.

We discuss much more in this STRONG Life Podcast and I am fired up for you to listen to this episode!

You can learn more about Phil and what he does with SpartaTrac and his gym Sparta Science at the links below:

SpartaTrac Software

Sparta Science Facebook

If you enjoy The STRONG Life Podcast, please take 1 minute and leave a review for us on iTunes to spread the word.

Special Thank you to our sponsor,

STRONG Life Resources to Dominate in the Gym AND in Life:

Simple & Savage Strength: Training For LIFE  

This is an in between-isode.

I don't get into any fancy BS here.

Off the cuff, I hop on my facebook and do some Live Chats / QnA Sessions.

Here's what I cover in this quick session:

- Strong is STRONG. Getting a beard & tattoos won't get you stronger. Adding weight to the bar WILL get your Stronger. You can't fake STRONG.

- The embarrassing BS I used to be part of in the "fitness industry" where we over hyped all of our information.

- What it REALLY takes in Life, Lifting, Business and making the world a STRONGER Place for yourself and others.

- Why I have my son Wrestling and Being with me when I train the athletes at The Underground Strength Gym

- What gets me out of bed everyday at 6 AM and how you can use this to have more fire in your life.

- The Podcasts I listen to with my son when we spend time in the car together.

- The quotes I am teaching my son and the kids I train at The Underground Strength Gym.

- How I decide to take actions based on purpose and sharing lessons vs the money.

- Getting Comfortable being Uncomfortable.

- What to do in life when things are going great

- Advice I gave to a friend who is pushing the envelope in life and business to reclaim his freedom again.

- How to Create your OWN "Rules of Life Success" and the difference between good and great

Hope you enjoyed this in between-isode!

Please visit my sponsor at

Support the show through these STRONG Life Resources:

Matt Reynolds | Being STRONG & Successful Through Simplicity  

STRONG Life Episode 106 is Round 2 with my friend and Coach, Matt Reynold of Reynolds STRONG.

Matt is not only a good friend but also a mentor to me.

He guides me in business and we regularly chat on Life, Lifting and Success.

The theme we always come back to:

Keep it Simple, Trust Your Gut Instincts, Be STRONG & Train for Life.

Matt takes us through Success Principles that he has applied to all aspects of his life:

- Running a Gym with Over 1,000 Members and Creating an Amazing Experience for his Members

- How Matt grew his Gym in a "Grass Roots" Style from a small space to a BIG space in the downtown area with over 1,000 members

- How Being a Top Strongman & Powerlifting Competitor Helped Matt Understand the Importance of How Being "Generally STRONG", regardless of your age / goals / fitness levels

- Keeping Things Simple in Training, Life & Business Through Systems, Consistency + Working Harder than Everyone Else

- Being Strong as a Family Man & Why This is Crucial

- Motivation VS Discipline

- How Matt rehabbed Himself after a Recent Pec Tear

- Why Starting Strength Works so Well for both athletes & general population

- Why Matt Prefers to Train "Normal" People Nowadays Over Athletes

- What GREAT Books is Matt Currently Reading?

- How Matt trains some of his busy traveling, high profile online clients

- The Launch of The Starting Strength Online Coaching Platform

As always, it is inspiring and refreshing to talk training, life and business with Matt.

Matt's focused and simple approach to his overall life gives you powerful insight into "what it takes".

What it takes to do what? Fill in the blank! You name it.

The focus, the follow through & consistency, the dedication, the smarts and the knowledge. It ALL plays a role.

Hard Work is the foundation.

BIG thanks to for sponsoring The STRONG Life Podcast.

BIG thanks to my buddy Matt for taking the time to chat with us today.

Below are resources to connect with Matt:

Instagram Starting Strength Online

If you found value in the show, do us a favor and invite 1 person to listen!

The STRONG Life grows when more like minded people get together and spread the good word!

Get your STRONG Life Tip of the Day HERE:

STRONG Life / Underground Strength Resources:

The Underground Strength Coach Certification

The STRONG Life Online Training Team

The Underground Strength Academy


Training to Be Dangerous & Why Convenience Is The Enemy  

STRONG Life Podcast Episode 105 - Training to Be Dangerous & Why Convenience Is The Enemy.

This episode comes to you from a question that came in from a Strength Coach who attended a business seminar I held some 6 or 7 years ago.

With my fires charging, I had just handed in my key after clearing out and moving the FIRST ever Underground Strength Gym.

It brought to me many memories of the Savages we worked with at The Underground.

- Why you MUST train to be Dangerous.

- Why Convenience Destroys Your Success.

- The 1 Thing you Must NEVER Stop Doing.

- Training for Appearance vs Performance or BOTH?

- The Story of the Disappearing Sandbags.

- Weak VS Strong in both Mind AND Body Explained.

- Convenience VS Excellence & how this can change your life for better or worse.

- Stand for Something or Fall for Anything.

- Stories from my Days as a Physical Education Teacher; How & Why I almost dropped out of the teaching certification in college?

- Your Life is NOT that Hard.

- NEVER ask Zach this 1 Questions for the Rest of My Life :)!

- The story of Mark who trained on a Friday evening when the gym was closed and How this relates to The Relentless Pursuit of Excellence?

- What is the common trait among our most successful athletes vs those who live closest to the gym?

- Why we Need TOUGHER Coaches & TOUGHER People.

- Get Comfortable Being UNcomfortable.

- The Answers are in front of you at

- To be Strong, to be Successful, to be a Savage, you need to do These things?

Enjoy the episode and then OWN the day.

Punch your excuses in the face.

Thanks to for supporting The Underground Strength Gym and The STRONG Life Podcast.

"Pain is Not my Enemy, It is My Call to Greatness." - Henry Rollins

STRONG Life Resources:

The Underground Strength Newsletter

The Encyclopedia of Underground Strength & Conditioning

The Underground Strength Coach Certification

Bodyweight Bodybuilding Training System

Captain Joe Mastrangelo, Navy SEAL: Forging Your Mind & Body For SUCCESS  

STRONG Life Podcast, Ep. 104!

This Episode is VERY special for me.

After 22 years, Zach reconnects with 1 of his earliest mentors!

Meet Captain Joe Mastrangelo, Navy SEAL and hard charger who has forged his mind and body by conquering one tough goal after another. 

Today, Joe is running Veteran Sailing Association, a non profit to help Veterans learn to Sail, to reconnect with themselves by connecting them to nature and disconnecting them from technology. 

In this episode Joe discusses Cultivating & Forging Your Mind & Body For SUCCESS, from the early years as a kid (How Parents can help) and how to do this as you get older.

Joe and I met in the Summer of 1994 when Joe was in Israel and I was an 18 year old who just finished freshman year in college.

Perhaps you read my story in The Encyclopedia of Underground Strength, on how Joe fired me up to conquer all obstacles when I was a depressed and lost 18 year old.

We trained together 6 days a week and our intensity was through the roof.

Here are some of the topics we discuss:

- How Joe developed and forged his inner fire at a young age and why this is crucial for other young kids

- Lessons for Parents on how to raise your child to be strong, tough, confident and capable.

- What to do in your older years to grow, reclaim or simply start experiencing the cultivation of your inner warrior

- Getting your hands dirty through manual labor and learning a craft with your mind and hands.

- Why was Joe's favorite week in SEAL Training, Hell Week?

- How to conquer your "life problems"?

- Why having a Purpose is critical to constantly pushing forward and growing in your life.

- How Joe came upon the idea of starting Veteran Sailing Association to help Veterans?

- Why there is power behind decompressing in life, disconnecting from technology and finding energy through nature

- The power of Mentorship: Being a Mentor / Finding a Mentor

- What a day in the life looks like on the ship with Captain Joe

- What Books Joe is reading and encourages you to read to expand your mind

- Joe's advice on Training like a Savage in your younger years vs your "older" years

This podcast brought back some awesome memories of training, motivation and conquering ALL goals with my man, Joe.

A reminder to train hard AND live hard.

A reminder to connect with nature and disconnect from all the technology.

A reminder to expand your knowledge through reading and most of all, new life experiences.

The ultimate reminder; Take care of our Vets. 9/11 was a moment that changed my mind forever about how I view our Military. I always admired our Military, but when 9/11 happened in my backyard it inspired me to help as much as possible.

Take these lessons from Captain Joe and apply to your OWN life.

Visit Veteran Sailing Association and find a way to support them.

Live The Code 365




Strength Coach Relentless Pursuit of Excellence | Brett Bartholomew  

STRONG Life Podcast Ep. 103! Let's crush this episode with Brett Bartholomew.

Brett has been on an intense journey during his time as a Strength Coach.

From volunteering and interning at colleges to working with pro athletes and celebrities, Brett's training methods and philosophies are refreshing to say the least.

In this episode of The STRONG Life Podcast we discuss the following topics:

- How does Brett begin his training journey with an athletes, what does this assessment look like?

- The misconception that when you train pro athletes and celebrities you need to get away from the big, basic lifts.

- How does Brett track the programming and training of his athletes? Software or paper?

- How did Brett work with the youth athletes ages 8 - 11?

- Thoughts on comparing his first year as a volunteer strength coach at Nebraska compared to what Brett sees today in training.

- How has the human body changed as training has changed with more specialty bars, special equipment & lack of unorganized play?

- How to train the older, more experienced athletes who have injuries and movement issues from sports and life?

- Thoughts on Strongman & Odd Object Training for Athletes.

- Paying attention to the details in an effort to become a better Strength Coach (Culture, Personality, Sport, etc)

- The ever evolving art of coaching & how to motivate yourself as a Strength Coach to keep on the path of The Relentless Pursuit of Excellence.

This conversation with Brett gets better and better.

We dig into the intricacies of coaching that go far beyond program design and how to get an athletes stronger and faster.

Dig into this podcast and let us know what you think!

If you love The STRONG Life Podcast help us by:

- Inviting 1 friend to listen

- Drop a 5 star review and a short written review as well on iTunes

To connect with Brett, see the links below:

Bartholomew Strength

Brett on Instagram

Support our Sponsor, Intek Strength HERE

Use Code zach100 for 10% off

For full show notes go to

Thank you and keep crushing it in the gym & in life, until the next time!

Live The Code 365.

STRONG Life QnA - Failure Is NOT An Option  

STRONG Life Episode 102.

This is a QnA Style episode here and the overall message in this episode is Failure is NOT An Option.

I take questions from my Instagram and Facebook and here are the Topics I cover:

- Am I here to motivate you or educate you?

- Do I use eccentric training with my athletes and a throwback bodybuilding story of eccentric training I used back in the mid 90s.

- Is Operation Thunder the business & marketing systems I am using to open new Underground Strength Gym locations?

- How do I implement program design for the athletes while having multiple Underground Strength Gym locations?

- How do you scale your business for growth while trusting other Coaches to be part of the team?

- The next book I plan on "writing" but need someone's help with. Is that person you?

- What do I do when life gets tough? How do I rise up and rise above to keep attacking Life?

- With all the info on the internet, How do I decide on which training methods /  information to implement and which training information is irrelevant?

- How many hours a day did I work when I was starting my business AND teaching compared to how my days look today

- My thoughts on how people choose to learn mostly from the internet compared to the days of Coaches willing to sleep in their cars and travel for knowledge

The STRONG Life Podcast is brought to you by

Make sure you subscribe to The Underground Strength / STRONG Life Newsletter HERE

Till the next time....

Live The Code 365,


Work Your Balls Off | Mike Guadango  

STRONG Life Podcast Ep. 101 with Mike Guadango, owner of Freak Strength.

In this episode, I connect with a long time friend, Mike Guadango.

Mike and I met back in the early days of The Underground Strength Gym when we would compete against DeFranco's Gym at his annual Strongman Challenge.

Back then, Mike was a hard charging athlete with goals of become a Major League Baseball Player.

Injuries have a funny way of changing our life path and that's exactly what happened with Mike.

Today, he runs a thriving gym in NJ, FREAK Strength.

We got into the topic and conversation of "Why are athletes so different than they were 10 years ago?"

- Why can't we do what we used to do with athletes? Why do we need to train them differently?

- Which exercises does Mike rarely use anymore, even though he wants to?

- Why does Mike primarily use Sprinting & Bodyweight training to develop athletes?

- How can you properly / effectively communicate the "sports specific" questions that come your way from parents if you're a Strength Coach

- How does Mike train the youth athletes & why did he start training these younger athletes when he used to turn them away?

- How is Mike Training around injuries as an ex athlete who is now in his 30s.

- Surgeries. Do you HAVE to get a surgery when you're injured or can your body learn to work around these injuries?

As always, these podcasts fire me UP and they'll fire you up as well.

Education, Inspiration, Motivation......

Mike learned as a young kid the most important lesson of them all from his Father:

"Work your balls off!"

Connect with Mike at the links below:


Web Site


STRONG Life Resources

Intek Strength (10% Off Code: Zach100)

The Underground Strength e Journal

The Underground Strength Coach Certifcation

The Underground Strength Academy

Online Coaching with Zach

Warehouse Gym Blueprint


STRONG Life w/ Jim Steel | Be A Simple Man  

Pretty crazy, here we are with episode 100!

Jim Steel and I crush part 2 of our conversation and although we talk training others and self, lifting "back in the day" and strength & conditioning today.....

The essence of our conversation today revolved around being a "Simple Man". To say it's refreshing and inspiring to chat with Jim is an understatement.

This episode is a breath of fresh air!

Here are some of the topics we cover:

- Hunting, Fishing and Being a Dog Owner

- Lifting "Back in the Day" Compared to Training Athletes Today

- Simplicity in Life & handling Life's Obstacles 

- Parenting and being a Leader for Your Kids

- Reading GREAT Books & Seeing GREAT Photos & How They Can Change You

- Training athletes when the "functional training" craze started and staying the course as a Strength Coach

- Being a Simple Man

I also want to encourage you to get Jim's e books and print them out.

I printed them out and the stories of Jim's training and the times from youth until current day pulled me in. I was bummed out after finishing the book so I know you'll love Jim's book.

Connect with Jim here:

Also, check out - they are our first and only sponsor and I began using their equipment before I was at Lehigh. They sent me a bumper plate after speaking at a clinic and I've been fired up with their quality equipment and customer care.

Use code zach100 for a 10% discount.

Here are other resources to kick a** and take names in life as well as supporting The STRONG Life Podcast

Underground Strength Coach Cert

Wrestling Strength Workouts

Bodyweight Bodybuilding

Underground Strength Academy

Garage Gym Gladiators

Thanks for supporting the show through these first 100 episodes.

Go back and listen to the older episodes. There is gold waiting for you!

30 + Years Strength & Conditioning Advices w/  Jim Steel  

STRONG Life Episode 99 with UPenn Head Strength & Conditioning Coordinator Jim Steel! Jim brings 30+ years of strength & conditioning / training knowledge to the table as we talk his early years of training all the way to present day.

This episode was inspired after we spent endless hours rambling over training and life with John Welbourn & Tex from Power Athlete.

Our direction of conversation took 100 turns that night and I wanted to connect with Jim on some dialed in thoughts on coaching, training, injuries and overall sports performance. 

We will definitely need to crush a part 2 with Jim as his stories and experiences bring a unique angle that isn't found much nowadays.

Here's some of the Topics we cover:

- Jim's early influences and training experiences dating back to the 70s

- Finding mentors back in the day compared to what athletes see / don't in today's world

- How and why Jim began learning and implementing martial arts like Muay Thai into the training of all his athletes, both the male and female teams

- How Jim organizes his day as a Strength Coach working long hours

- How Jim trains the various sport teams at UPenn through a blend of highly advanced technology as well as auto regulation and real world experience

- How Jim trains today after surgeries and injuries and stills finds a way to make it happen

We'll dig further into training and more specifics with Jim's early powerlifting days and thoughts on coaching in the next episode.

You can connect with Jim and read / watch more of his information below:

Jim's Blog

Jim's Articles / Interviews on Starting Strength

Jim's YouTube

To support the show check out the links / resources below:

Underground Strength Coach Cert

Underground Strength Academy

Garage Gym Athletes

Wrestling Strength Workouts

Zach's Blog


Why Is Everyone Injured & Immobile VS Agile, Mobile & Hostile | Dr. Travis Jewett  

STRONG Life Podcast Episode 98 with Dr. Travis Jewett.

Our topic of conversation has been running through my mind for a LONG time:

Why Is Everyone Injured & Immobile VS Agile, Mobile & Hostile?

Dr. Travis Jewett is a SMART Dude, a Doctor of Chiropractic and Strength Coach. He is a family man and hails from Iowa, the land of Dan Gable.

This was 1 of the most enjoyable podcasts I've ever done. We tackle some awesome topics and answer some of my most burning questions.

- When did so many athletes get these locked up ankles, locked up hips and hunch backs?

The past 5 years we've seen a tremendous decline in athletic ability that has created the need for Strength Coaches to be 20 X Smarter than ever before.

It is a disaster zone out there people, worst than the Zombie Apocalypse! We've got weak kids running the streets everywhere!

Here are some other topics we cover:

- Squatting everyday

- The dangerous sh*t we see "Coaches" do and say in the gym that scares the hell out of us

- The serious issue with uneducated coaches who are in a position of working with athletes

- When do I get to the point with weak athletes when we finally say "FK it - it's time to put some weight on your back & stop babying you"

- When is it safe or NOT to press weights overhead?

- How can you start developing shoulder stability and rotator cuff strength?

There's LOTS more in this episode and you will love it. Dig in and get your learn on!

Connect with Travis on Twitter HERE

Read his book, 'Dad STRONG' HERE

Support The STRONG Life Podcast with The Resources Below:

The STRONG Life Newsletter + FREE Training Courses

The Underground Strength Academy

Garage Gym Gladiators

Wrestling Strength & Conditioning Workouts

Bodyweight Bodybuilding Training Course

Strength Coach Career QnA, Life Purpose, Old School Strength & Injuries  

STRONG Life Ep. 97 is jam packed with QnA from topics ranging from business / careers as a Strength & Conditioning Coach all the way to the evolution I've experienced as a Coach and Lifter since 1989.

Here are some of the topics covered in this QnA style episode:

The Strength Coach Profession Running your own Warehouse Gym How I started training Why training the wrong way as an athlete hurt me both physically and psychologically How I handled injuries in my teens and 20s compared to what I know now about injuries, prehab and rehab How your Life Purpose can motivate you and drive you through even the toughest of times Life Lessons learned as a 11 year old bus boy and a tough environment How & why I am expanding locations of The Underground Strength Gym Why no one respects free information nowadays Mistakes Parents make when choosing strength & conditioning facilities The Mistake of giving your time away freely to the Wrong people

I cover much more in this episode so dig in and enjoy.

Do me and a friend a favor by inviting 1 person to listen to the show.

This podcast has show notes available at

Keep attacking life and punch your excuses in the face!

Dig in to The Resources Below for Living The STRONG Life!

The Underground Strength Academy

The Underground Strength Coach Certification

Bodyweight Bodybuilding

Online Coaching with Zach

The Art & Mindset of Successful Living  

STRONG Life Episode 96 is with Ed O'Keefe. Ed is a father of 7, a recent graduate of The SEALFit 50 hr KOKORO Camp and has started multiple companies and gone from $0 to 7 Figures.

Ed and I connected long ago when I purchased his Dentist Profits System and applied it to growing and marketing my gym.

In this episode Ed and I discuss the mindset & steps he took to go from Nursing School to being a multiple 7 figure business owner and most of all, a family man who crafts businesses around his family passion.

Here's just some of what we discuss:

- How Ed went from being a broke college student planning to be a Nurse until he came across 2 cassette tapes on mindset and success

- The mindset Ed has in learning from others, most specifically, learning from entrepreneurs who are disrupting markets and building 7 & 8 figure businesses

- The desire to walk 100 miles to learn from someone

- What are the 3 critical parts of every business that you need to maximize

- How to use "Time Collapsing" to 10 X multiply your learning and overall success

- How Ed sets up his day to create success around his rules and what he calls "non negotiables"

- Ed's thoughts on asking vs earning & how this can help you learn and connect with highly successful people and be in the Top 1%

- 1 key factor that helps you achieve greater life success & financial success

- Winning is easy. Here's why.....

This episode with Ed fired me up BIG time. I felt like I was listening to a Earle Nightingale success tape. Feeding your mind powerful information is a MUST if you want more success in your life.

This episode is going to require listening to again and again.

You will pull a new success tip each time you listen to this episode.

Listen in your car, Listen when outdoors walking and listen with pen and paper handy.

Here's how you can learn from Ed at the resources below:

Time Collapsing Book

The Time Collapsing Mega Conference

The Ed O'Keefe Show

KNOW Foods

Here's How you can support The STRONG Life Podcast

STRONG Life Newsletter

Underground Strength Academy


Muscle Building VS Fat Loss, Fatherhood & Strength Coach Advices  

STRONG Life Episode 95 is jam packed with Awesome information thanks to your Awesome Questions.

I pulled your questions from This Instagram Post.

Here are the Questions / Topics I covered:

When it comes to programming, do you recommend a 2,4 or 8 week blocks for high school athletes for movement progressions ?

Rambo or Commando?

Who's the most underrated out of the old school strength legends in your opinion?

What is your approach when dealing with athletes who have sport specific adaptations that may possibly hinder their everyday life activities but make their specific movements easier during competition?

An example that I constantly work with is, wrestlers with super tight lats, traps, and even pecs that have that rolled forward posture like a turtle shell.

My general rule of thumb has been "make them aware of the instability and only change it if it is causing them discomfort in everyday activity," let me know what your take would be. Thanks man. Love your motivational stuff too, brother.

You've mentioned that you're opening new locations. Do you know the where yet?

How often would you work on explosive power if it was a weak point for an athlete? Thanks for all your hard work and info
Garage Gym Gladiators QnA: Hustle Muscle + Business BOSS  

Episode 94 of The STRONG Life Podcast is a QnA pulled from STRONG Life Online Training Team: Garage Gym Gladiators.

In this episode we have some powerful training questions that bring to mind some CRAZY memories I have of training, life and business.

Prepare to get fired UP from these lessons and stories.

Here are the Questions / Topics Covered In This Episode:

- Getting people "in shape" without using a Barbell, only using bodyweight, sleds, sandbags and kettlebells

- Female Strength & Conditioning Tips & Why Girls MUST Train

- How to manage coaching groups of athletes with various training abilities and age groups

- Do you need a college degree to become a great Strength & Conditioning Coach? What is my own college experience and what do I attribute my success to?

- Getting better everyday and the mindset I bring to my OWN LIFE & why you need to learn and most of all, DO this.

- Stories of "Make the rep or die" - mindset needed to kick a-- and take names in the gym AND in life.

- Getting stronger but NOT getting leaner? Nutrition Tips and Guidelines to get lean and keep training MEAN.

- The mindset and business strategies I have as I embark on opening new Underground Strength Gym locations and how this mindset can help you, regardless of what your career goals are.

As always, the STRONG Life Podcast pulls no punches.

NO fads, NO gimmicks, Just Results.

Support the show by telling other like minded people about The STRONG Life Podcast. This is FREE of $$ but NOT free of the time and energy YOU must Invest to listen and learn.

Live The Code 365,


JOIN The STRONG Life Coaching Program Here

Become an Underground Strength Coach HERE

Get The STRONG Life Tip of The Day HERE

Strength Coach GREATNESS with AJ Roberts  

In STRONG Life Episode 93, AJ Roberts and I discuss how Strength Coaches can achieve all around Success.

And although we kick off the initial conversation with regards to financial success, it ALL comes full circle to The Relentless Pursuit of Excellence.

Some topics we discuss in this episode are:

- Why I stopped giving discounts for teams, founding members, etc.

- Why your skill set as a strength coach gives you the confidence (or lack of) to charge what you are worth

- Why the confidence to invest in yourself is 1 of the biggest reasons people are willing to invest in your coaching services or not

- The "Business Coach" who told me "Nobody gives a sh-t about those sandbags, kettlebells, bands and chains" and how it changed my attitude on Excellence as a Strength Coach

- How to get FREE knowledge from the library to build your knowledge and business

- Favorite Lessons learned from Spartan Up Podcast

- What 2 books do Zach & AJ highly recommend you to read and implement

- How to STOP wasting time on Facebook & START leveraging the power of sharing your message

- What is the difference in the amateur vs the pro according to Steven Pressfield

- What sticky note does AJ post on his desk to inspire him to change more lives and keep moving forward in ALL areas of life

This episode is ALL about The Relentless Pursuit of Excellence.

And although we speak directly to Strength Coaches, it is applicable to ANY and ALL areas of your life.

Enjoy this episode and please leave a 5 star review on iTunes HERE if you love what we do with The STRONG Life Podcast.

See show notes and links at

Live The Code 365,


Zach's STRONG Life FREE E Journal

The Underground Strength Academy

The Underground Strength Coach Cert

Online Strength Coaching with Zach


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