Being Elite

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“Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.” – Isaac Asimov

This week on Barbell Shrugged we talk strength and values with Dave Tate, founder and CEO of

This is easily one of my favorite shows to date. Dave was a HUGE influence on all of us. I personally studied the elitefts website every single day for at least 10 years. If I wasn’t in the laboratory, classroom or training hall, I was reading the latest articles, Q&A and training log entries.

To be honest, that was more valuable to me than any textbook I can recall. Dave’s endless free stream of education helped me become a much better athlete and teacher. His example served as a blueprint for how the average lifter could actually create their own online platform, educate the world, and impact lives.

A great early seminar video with Dave Tate and Louie Simmons.

Paying it back

Talking with Dave was great, but it was also amazing to hang out and shoot the show from his training compound in London, Ohio.

In short, he’s got EVERYTHING – Every kind of rack, barbell, platform, machine, band and bell you can possibly conceive, it’s there. The urge to train is overpowering as soon as you set foot in the front door, which is the entire point I guess.

This gym/class/showroom/office is where Dave goes to refine, grow. If self-education is indeed the goal he’s leading by example, still training hard and making progress after some 30 plus years under heavy barbells. And best of all, he’s still working to educate and share knowledge with a brand new generation of athletes and coaches online.

When I asked Dave why he keeps training, innovating and educating, his answer was simple and direct. “The gym – this sport – it has given me so much. I have to keep paying that back.”

I think that explains things nicely. We train for fitness and performance, sure, but the real legacy of Dave and elitefts is more than that. You have to keep training, learning, growing and sharing because that’s how you’re going to help the most people. That’s how you will be your best.

The barbell has taught you so much, giving back is the least you could do.

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What elite really means

If you want to be your best and cultivate a rich legacy, don’t worry about attention and achievement. As it happens, that doesn’t count for much in the end.

Ten years from now people probably won’t remember the work you did, the PR’s you earned, or the awards you won. You might not care all that much either, to be honest. But everyone will remember and appreciate your help.

When you take the time to share your lessons you not only improve yourself, but you make a real and enduring impact in the lives of those around you. That’s where the real impact and change comes from.

See you this Wednesday for the show. You’re going to love it.



6 Responses to “Being Elite”

  1. David Austin

    I am interested in hearing the what, when, why and how behind the use of weight belts when lifting weights. The feedback is much appreciated. Ideally the subject would be discussed during an episode of the podcast.

  2. Rob White

    This episode was awesome. I think that some people were they came from. Dave certainly has not. The fact that he still considers it an HONOR for someone to ask him a question about training is amazing. Most people don’t think like that. What a humble man. I could not agree more about paying it back. That is something everyone can do more of. The gift of knowledge is second to none. That’s why I’m a huge fan of you guys!! Thanks for all of the Pearls & Nuggets, and keep thoses Hot tips coming.
    From Cleveland


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