I have a man crush on Dave Tate. If I weren't into triathlon, I'd want to be a powerlifter in the mold of Tate.

Dave Tate. Legitimate beast.

Dave is the man over at elitefts.com, where his athletic experience, coaching skill, and self-improvement advice draw millions of hits the website. I am reading his book, Under the Bar, right now, and it's one of the most insightful, down to earth things I have read.

While I should assume you know who Dave is, here's a quick bio from tmuscle.com:

Dave Tate, who's a NSCA certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), has been in the strength field as a coach and consultant since 1986 and has been involved in the sport of powerlifting since 1982.

He's logged more than 10,000 hours of personal training and strength consulting sessions with novice to elite athletes, and he's published hundreds of articles on strength development. For all his work in the field, Dave has been presented with a lifetime achievement award from the Society of Weight Training Injury Specialists.

Dave is a world ranked powerlifter, his best lifts being a 935 squat, a 610 bench press, a 740 deadlift, and a 2205 total. For you mere mortals who don't have any idea how to interpret these lifts, let me put it to you this way, these lifts are insane.

Dave has a B.Sc. in Exercise Science from The University of Toledo with a minor in nutrition. (Yes, really.) And he does have subscriptions to the NSCA and ACSM journals as well as the International Journal of Sports Nutrition. So don't let him fool you; he's well read and does have some academic training in his background, despite all the science-bashing he does.

Dave's a successful businessman too. He's the co-owner and founder of Elite Fitness Systems, a world renowned provider of strength training products and services.

So, Dave Tate is a helluva guy. He's hilarious, educated, intense, committed, knows how to overcome obstacles, has a great family and circle of friends, and is a guy you want to turn to when you need a straight-shooting, no BS opinion.

I like two things most about Dave. First, he's smarter, more knowledgable, and more driven than anyone, but he's the most humble guy. And, not in some fake, pretentious, pretending to be humble way. Second, he can squat like an animal.

Dave's head nears explosion on this lift.

Here's a sample of his down to earth advice, this time in regards to the squat:

First, it's an exercise that's part of a sport. The squat, bench press, deadlift, clean, jerk, and snatch all are part of sports and are pretty fucking important. I mean, they don't have a single-leg squat competition.

The squat was probably one of the first exercises ever done with a barbell. It's one of the few that has stood the test of time. How many other machines, products, or fads have come and gone?

If it were truly a bad exercise it would have faded out a long time ago.

I can't think of another exercise that builds more confidence. It takes persistence and straining to get better.

We're going to sit down and pick up shit all our lives. Now all of a sudden these main lifts aren't functional? What's more functional than sitting down?

It just doesn't make you any money. Give me twenty bucks and I'll tell you the greatest exercise ever. You ready? The squat. No, you can't have your fucking money back.

Anything can be over-trained. But if you've got a program that's producing a bunch of people who are squatting 275 pounds, your program sucks. We've got high school kids doing that after training for a month.

They just don't transfer over for powerlifters. If one leg is already stronger than the other, doing single-leg work doesn't balance anything out. It just makes it worse. We need our guys to be able to push evenly with both legs.

If it's to get bigger legs, break out a tape measure and calipers. If your legs are getting bigger, you're not getting fatter, and you're not squatting, then keep doing what you're doing.

The worst thing you can do is switch because someone told you to. If you're making progress with what you're doing, then stick to it.


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