My Journey in Strength
While this phenomenon of 'Throw Back Thursday' always amuses me, today it has me thinking and wishing I had more pictures from my past. Since everyone loves posting pictures of themselves I decided to post one of the entire gym set up that helped create my love for strength training and to reflect on my Journey in Strength.
This was at my first duty station in 1980, I was a Military Police Officer at a Nuclear Missile Defense Battery in West Germany, I say 'West' because this was during the Cold War and the Berlin Wall was still standing and Germany was divided into East and West.
The gym you see in the picture just happens to also be my barracks room and this massive weight set was passed down from meathead to meathead and was probably 5-8 years old when I got it. About 30 miles away in Wertheim there was a larger base a decent gym but I could only get there a couple of times a week and getting there was an ordeal in itself!!! We worked 24 hours on duty and 24 hours off duty guarding the launch pads and missiles so when you finally made it back to the barracks at 6am all you wanted to do was shower, eat the nasty gruel they tried to pass off as food and get some sleep. Now the bus that went to the base in Wertheim left at 11am so if you missed the bus and didn't have a ride you'd be forced to hitch hike which back then was very popular and you could generally get a ride then just catch the bus back to base when it left at 4pm. There were a few other guys that enjoyed training as much as I did and since our base was at the top of a big ass hill we had a great training schedule set up. On off days we would head to Wertheim and do our cleans, squats and pulls then head back to base and get a jeep or load up a wheel barrow and take turns pushing it up the hill. On days we would be on duty we did our presses and pullups then we would carry each other up the divider berms between the missile pads or lift the big ole stones we had found or our duffel bags that we had loaded with sand.
Here we are in 2014 and I still train the same way as I did way back in 1980. The lessons of hard work, sacrifice, dedication, motivation and passion still live deep within my soul as they have for almost 35 years. I am blessed with my very own awesome gym and to be able to pass on my training philosophy to others that are not afraid of the hard work and sacrifice it takes to become a CHAMPION.
While I never claim that my buddies and I invented our way of training it sure helped form my own philosophy in strength development that continues today. With that in mind, I will say what I find less than amusing is reading or listening to some of the fakes, frauds, and snake oil salesmen out there that like to create the image that they invented all of the training that people have been doing for generations. NO YOU DID NOT!! Maybe you put a different name to it or a little different approach or maybe your own twist on it but it is still strength training and it has been happening long before you and will continue long after you have left it behind so just because you recently became exposed to it does not mean that you invented it.
I sit here at Revival Market enjoying a flat white coffee and have to smile as I think back to 1980 when after training my buddies and I would head to the little town of Hardheim at the bottom of the hill to enjoy a coffee and pastry and watch the world go by. Although I have been very successful as a Strength Athlete, I have to wonder what type of athlete I could have become had I had someone like me coaching me way back then or had access to the gyms that are out there now. Maybe it's part of the reason I am so passionate about not just the training but the journey as well. I guess its always something to ponder while I enjoy my coffee and watch the world go by.
Play Hard...Train Harder...NO EXCUSES
Posted on 03/13/2014 3:07 PM by Ed Cosner
Life's Lessons Learned through Training
I cannot begin to express how proud I am of former PowerSport Strength and Conditioning Athlete US Army Captain David Taliaferro of the New York National Guard's 133rd Quartermasters Company / U.S. Central Command Material Recovery Element based out of Ft. Hamilton, NY. David has been chosen to lead 130 soldiers who are now placed under his command during their mobilization and deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
David is a 2007 graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy where he played football and ran track. I met David while I was an assistant strength and conditioning coach for the San Antonio Spurs and he was busy working as a ball boy for them. He would stand by the weightroom door as long as he possibly could watching and listening to me as I coached the players both before and after games all the while he would enquire about my training and my philosophy and soon began comparing what he saw in my coaching and training to that of what he saw in my my boss' but that right there is a whole story in itself!!! When our season ended David soon began training with my off-season groups to experience first hand my training and he blossomed into one of my most dedicated and motivated athletes, often motivating others as we ran and did drills in the 100F (37C) sun drenched San Antonio summers (where it seems that you owe the damn sun money and he's there to collect it) or at the equally as hot Olympic Gym!!
Over the years and to this very day David, his family, Sally and I have remained friends. Having proudly served in the US Army myself and Sally in the US Air Force, we cannot fully put into words how we both feel about this leader of men but David and his family know and that's all that is important.
Sometimes, you never know the depth of your influence on those that you are blessed to coach.
Please read a little of what David says about his time training with me: "I credit Ed with intially preparing me as a high school athlete, continually as a college athlete, and ultimately as a leader of Infantry Soldiers. In my experience during multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, mental toughness and physical fitness go hand in hand. In the words of General David Patreaus, "fit minds equals fit bodies". Ed has been, and continues to be, an invaluable resourse to condition the mind and body. While I cannot directly say that a few of the close calls I have experienced overseas were a reflection of the training ethos Ed instilled in me, I am damn glad that I did utilize his training techniques in preparing for combat. There is no higher recommendation I could give for a strength, conditioning, and life coach."
some of the informantion for this blog post is from a press release from the Merchant Marine Academy dated 6 March 2014
Posted on 03/11/2014 4:13 PM by ed Cosner
Congrats to Ben Franks on his 100th Super Rugby cap
"100 games in this competition is not a small achievement-it's massive and we're very proud of Ben and he deserves this recognition" Mark Hammett Hurricanes Head Coach
This past weekend in South Africa Ben Franks achieved a milestone in Super Rugby when he walked onto the field for his 100th game (83 with the Crusaders and 17 with the Hurricanes).
Ben has achieved this milestone with very few injuries playing probably one of the most physical games in sport and one of the most physically demanding positions on the pitch as well. His disciplined approach to training and taking care of his physical self is above any of the athletes I've had the immense pleasure to train. Long before he began training with me his dad had set in motion the training and motivation that continues to help Ben achieve his goals. Everyday he wakes up early to eat a big breakfast and then packs his lunches and snacks to take to training not expecting anyone to do it for him. No one really wants to head out after training to jump in the COLD damn ocean (I'm still cold from him challenging me to stay in for 20 minutes!!) but he does so he can help his body recover. Since he plays about 10 months we have a small 2 month window in which we call 'off-season' so I call upon his dedicated approach to insure we are working hard throughout both Super Rugby and the All Blacks seasons....WE HAVE NO IN-SEASON TRAINING...we have a realistic approach to our training and it works...and it works well!!!
The evidence is in the the achievement.
Ben also has another person in his corner to help him in what he's achieved and that is his partner (and in December his wife) Genna. In every great man's life is a great woman to walk with him and help him achieve his dreams and goals. This simple fact cannot be overlooked!!
To give a little context, I met Ben back in 2006 as he was coming off of his first season with the Crusaders and I was in Christchurch, New Zealand to work the Crusaders Wider Training Group Camp for 5 weeks. Way back then I had a feeling he was going to be someone special in regards to his professional approach to training for his sport. We had several conversations during my time there on training as he was keen to learn all he could in what I call the Physical Development for Sport. We continued to build our friendship over the next couple of years and after the horrible earthquakes in Christchurch he contacted me to become his personal physical development coach. After the All Blacks won the 2011 Rugby World Cup I was brought to Christchurch for a month to train Ben....moved right into the spare bedroom of his new home with Genna and their newborn daughter Annabel and he's brought me back the past 3 years to train him and set up our training program for the season, so we must be doing something right!!
Congratulations Ben and I am very proud to be a small part of your success
Play Hard...Train Harder...NO EXCUSES
Genna created the picture of Ben's professional career.
Posted on 03/06/2014 3:53 PM by Ed Cosner
USA Bobsled Drivers School
Want to give a HUGE shout out and Good Luck to Chris Kendig as he goes to St.Lake City to attend USA Bobsled's Drivers School....kind of like going to Drivers Ed. way back when only this is learning how to drive a bobsled downhill at about 80 MPH and not wreck!!! I remember talking to 3-time Olympian and 2002 Silver Medalist driver Todd Hayes, when I trained him about not only the physical requirements to succeed but the intelligence required to properly navigate the course.
Chris came to PowerSport Strength and Conditioning after 'training' at or meeting with several other supposedly Sports Specific facilities around Houston, needless to say he wasn't impressed with any of them....not one of them had any idea about how to properly prepare him for the goals he wanted to achieve. They wanted him to train like everyone else at their place...in other words...bullshit cookie cutter programs put together by someone who calls themselves a coach!! Since he was a member of the Auburn University Rowing Team and had already been to the USA Bobsled Combine he knew exactly what he needed to improve upon and that he needed a real coach...not someone that thinks they are and that is where I came in!!
Chris is dedicated, motivated and consistant in his training and because of that he has made huge improvements since beginning his training with PowerSport. A great testament to his hard work is being invited to Drivers School!! When he comes back we will begin our next training phase towards the next goals we have established.
pictured is Chris' 125kg power clean and 42" box jump
Play Hard...Train Harder...NO EXCUSES
Posted on 03/04/2014 3:35 PM by Ed Cosner