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Jim Wendler is one of the best-known names in modern powerlifting. Thanks to his association with Westside Barbell, EliteFTS and his book, you probably think you know a lot about him already.

In this episode, we go deeper than the Wikipedia page to talk about Jim’s mentors, his values, and his concept of “freedom.”

0:00 – Jim talks about finding powerlifting to improve for football, setting a goal to squat 1000lbs, and “getting out”

5:00 – Jim meets Dave Tate

9:26 – Why write 5/3/1: The Simplest and Most Effective Training System For Raw Strength?

10:40 – Jim talks about Boyd Epley

12:00 – “Most of the work I’ve done has been for free”

15:30: “Phil Jackson was the greatest basketball coach of all time, and he was just a role-player in the NBA. But he was still in the NBA!”

16:30 – “We train kids for free at my gym.”

17:30 – The best piece of advice Jim ever got from his dad, and what his mom thinks of his favorite band, Eyehategod

19:40 – Jim lists the top five influences on his life

21:55 – Jim talks about Darren Llewellyn, his first mentor (read more here.)

24:30 – On earning the right to be coached

30:40 – Jim gives some hints on his new book

31:10 – Producing meaningful outcomes instead of correlates (more on this in the TwoBrainCoaching UpCoach program this month)

33:30 – Why Jim teaches every athlete every day

35:50 – Credibility is more than a shortcut to modeling for coaches

36:43 – When should an athlete start coaching themselves?

39:23 – How coaches overanalyze

40:45 – “When in doubt, squat and run hills”

41:40 – George Hackenschmidt laid out the rules almost 100 years ago

43:00 – The role of conditioning in strength training

47:40 – Do coaches try to get too novel with their methods?

52:20 – “Owning a gym can make you a good buck, but it’s going to take some time.”

52:30 – “One of the big problems people have when owning is a gym is they’re 100% qualified to train people, but they’re 0% qualified to run a business.”

54:13 – “The failure rate for gyms is easily 50%. And it’s not because they’re not good at training people. It’s because they’re not good businesspeople.”

54:45: The “Darkthrone” model (read more here.)

56:11 – Is there such a thing as “selling out” for gym owners?

1:00:10 – Henry Rollins and marketing

In “Coach’s Confessional,” I talk about the mistakes I’m preparing to make in 2016. You can see the whole experiment at

Recorded on May 4, 2016.