Inspiration Archive

  • Darden Diaries: I Can Do All Things

    Darden Diaries: I Can Do All Things

    It took him more than a decade to answer my prayers. But in 2006, when he did, it helped to form me into who I am today.

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    By Clint Darden

  • Darden Diaries: My Trip to Elitefts (Part 4)

    Darden Diaries: My Trip to Elitefts (Part 4)

    It was my last day in London, Ohio.

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    By Clint Darden

  • Strong Mind: Live, Learn, and Pass On

    Strong Mind: Live, Learn, and Pass On

    This is my story of Passing It On.

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    By Bryan Mann

  • Steve’s Strength Tips: Stay On Your Feet

    Steve’s Strength Tips: Stay On Your Feet

    There's a big difference between you and me. I've been there and back. I've done it all. Everything you've ever thought of, I've lifted already.

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    By Steve Pulcinella

  • Iron Insights: Words of Wisdom

    Iron Insights: Words of Wisdom

    Inspiration can come in many forms—even just through words.

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    By Sheena Leedham

  • A Lion in Iron: What Are You Afraid of?

    A Lion in Iron: What Are You Afraid of?

    Fear is much like failure. Everyone experiences it, but it’s your attitude towards it that makes all the difference.

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    By Alexander Cortes

  • One on One with Mick Manley

    One on One with Mick Manley

    It's been a rough year for Mick, but in true Manley fashion, he chose to learn from the experience and grow as both a person and an athlete.

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    By elitefts Staff

  • elitefts™ Classic: Could This Be It?

    elitefts™ Classic: Could This Be It?

    After strain, abuse, and injury, "Why do you do what you do?"

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    By Dave Tate

  • Lotteries, Battle Axes, and Thanks

    Lotteries, Battle Axes, and Thanks

    Hope, support, and encouragement are all needed to make your goals a reality. The intimidation that springs from wielding an axe doesn't hurt, either.

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    By The Executive Meathead

  • Under The Bar: Strength and Resolve

    Under The Bar: Strength and Resolve

    How a five-year-old changed my life.

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    By Dave Tate

  • I’m Not Like You

    I’m Not Like You

    The self that we present to those around us is only the part of us that we’re comfortable letting out.

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    By Matt Kroczaleski

  • The Deadlift Training Secret No One Talks About

    The Deadlift Training Secret No One Talks About

    The Deadlift Devil has tormented me for years. I hate that dirty, scaly son of a bitch.

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    By Erik Eggers

  • Five Questions Every Athlete Should Ask Themselves

    Five Questions Every Athlete Should Ask Themselves

    How bad do you want to be a great athlete?

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    By Jonathan Conneely

  • Strengthening Your Core (Values)

    Strengthening Your Core (Values)

    With many great things, the precise point of origin is not always obvious.

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    By Steve Colescott

  • EFS Classic: Under the Bar – Rumor Mill

    EFS Classic: Under the Bar – Rumor Mill

    Who cares what other people think?

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    By Dave Tate

  • Elitefts Classic: Under the Bar – Attitude

    Elitefts Classic: Under the Bar – Attitude

    I always felt the “under the bar concept” could carry it own weight. This is because just about every skill needed to be successful in business and life is also needed to be successful “under the bar”

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    By Dave Tate

  • Chad Aichs: Big Whig Opinions, Hardcore Hearts and Monster Trucks

    Chad Aichs: Big Whig Opinions, Hardcore Hearts and Monster Trucks

    I don't usually bring politics up, but I’m pretty pissed off so here it goes!

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    By Chad Aichs

  • Bob Youngs and the Restless

    Bob Youngs and the Restless

    I became acquainted with Bob Youngs well over a decade ago when the internet and lifting forums were still in their infancy. Like many aspiring lifters, Bob served as my guide when I was somewhat lost in the dark, weightlifting wilderness.

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    By Glenn "Apollo" Buechlein

  • Squats: 100 reasons why YOU do them

    Squats: 100 reasons why YOU do them

    If you don’t know what a squat is… watch and learn: 1.) “It’s hard to puke doing curls.” – Dave Tate 2.) “It’s a great excuse to wear a big ass belt that makes you look less fat.” – Dave Tate 3.) “I love hearing ‘head up’ and it NOT being from a teacher.” – [...]

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    By elitefts Readers

  • Raising the Bar: A Review

    Raising the Bar: A Review

    Dave Tate’s first book, Under the Bar, was billed as a book that wasn’t about training but kind of was. It wasn’t about business but kind of was, and it wasn’t about life but kind of was. His second book, Raising the Bar, is very similar but with a dark twist.

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    By Dave Tate

  • Failure Fixation

    Failure Fixation

    Did Arthur Jones have it right when he essentially devoted his life to convincing people they needed to train to failure? Or was the Nautilus inventor and High Intensity Training (HIT) pioneer just an angry, dissenting crank whose primary goal in life was to upset the order and sell more products? Time will tell, and maybe it already has. Either way, there are myriad considerations to take into account when examining the practice of training to failure – points that, once you’ve given them some thought, might just make you reconsider your position and change the way you train.

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    By Frank Francisco

  • Powerlifting Sport Psychology Training

    Powerlifting Sport Psychology Training

    Have you ever been to a powerlifting meet and heard someone boast about colossal training lifts? These claims are commonly made backstage or in the warm-up area. Very frequently, these comments follow a poor meet performance. Why would a competitive lifter brag about training numbers after a pitiable performance? It’s because they, once on the platform, are overrun with feelings of anxiety rather than the performance enhancing feelings of adrenaline. These men may be physical giants, but when coupled with their mental dwarfism, they will never achieve their maximum potential. In the pages that follow, I will lay out a simple plan to help you, the competitor, achieve success not only on the lifting platform but on the platform of life as well.

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    By Josh Bryant

  • Separate from the Pack

    Separate from the Pack

    After serving four years in the Marine Corps and one tour in Iraq, I was finally done. I had served my country valiantly and fought for my freedom. I said to myself, “It’s time to let loose.” So I did exactly that. Five months and thirty pounds of fat later, I was a mess. I became another statistic, another face in the crowd. I was one of the sixty plus percent of overweight people in this world.

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    By Tony Montgomery

  • Product of Your Desires

    Product of Your Desires

    You hear people talk all the time about how someone is a product of his or her environment. This is almost always the case when someone has done something wrong, and the argument is used as an excuse for the person as if they had no choice in the matter other than to become what their environment leads them to be

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    By Matt Kroczaleski

  • Raising the Bar Introduction: Blast and Dust

    Raising the Bar Introduction: Blast and Dust

    Were you fed through a bottle, or were you fed naturally? Did you eat from plastic plates? Stand too close to the microwave? Did you grow up in the ghetto? Are you a recovering drug addict? Is your life a living hell? Are there things about yourself that you don't like? Do you procrastinate?

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    By Dave Tate

  • My Journey to the Grappler’s Quest: Part 2

    My Journey to the Grappler’s Quest: Part 2

    The nerves didn’t hit until I walked into the Las Vegas Sports Center for Friday night weigh-ins. As I looked around the large event center, I spotted numerous UFC fighters, world champion grapplers, cauliflower ears, Mohawks, and tattoos (and of course scantily clad fighter groupies). Intimidation set in even more as I sized up my competition during the tense weigh-in process. The next day, some of these fighters would be my opponents with full intentions of breaking my arm or choking me unconscious! Negative thoughts started to flood my mind. Had I trained hard enough? Was my skill level ready for a tournament of this caliber? I quickly pushed these thoughts out of my head when I recalled one of my favorite Arnold Schwarzenegger quotes: “The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it, as long as you really believe 100 percent.” My confidence was immediately boosted.

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    By Jesse Cohen

  • Are you playing with a full deck?

    Are you playing with a full deck?

    Here is a question I was just asked on the Q and A. I do not watch or read the news in regards to political issues so my answer is based solely on the issues I deal with on a day to day basis with no BS or political agenda. It is what it is...

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    By Dave Tate

  • The Reintroduction of J.L. Holdsworth, and the Introduction of the FIVE PERCENT

    The Reintroduction of J.L. Holdsworth, and the Introduction of the FIVE PERCENT

    Hello Everyone! My name is J.L. Holdsworth and I’m an asshole.

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    By JL Holdsworth

  • How I Passed Basic Training at 235 Pounds

    How I Passed Basic Training at 235 Pounds

    Before I get started here, I want to say that I am in no way, shape or form a badass. I’m simply an average guy with a little better than average genetics, and a good work ethic. I know a hundred guys that are tougher and more hardcore than I am. They just haven’t written their stories down on paper yet.

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    By Donnie Kiernan

  • Under the Bar: December Update

    Under the Bar: December Update

    Under the Bar: December Update

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    By Dave Tate