Listen to Stitcher

Zach Even-Esh is the founder of UnderGround Strength.

I first encountered Even-Esh’s work in T-Nation in 2005. The “Old School Training” article was less an epiphany about training methods to me than a potential business model: suddenly, I could foresee a way to own a gym without investing hundreds of thousands of dollars. This guy – Even-Esh – was doing it. He didn’t have a pec dec, or treadmills; he had a corner of his dad’s garage, some big tires and sandbags. And his athletes were killing it.

In this episode, Even-Esh talks about his background, his future, and his commitment to train athletes ONLY. It’s not the easy road, but he’s never walked the easy road.

This podcast is sponsored by Healthy Steps Nutrition and

1:45 – Even-Esh talks about Schwarzenegger’s Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding as the original source of training information.

4:10 – “I was writing articles probably every other day.”

5:00 – Zach’s online certification is here.

9:00 – Zach talks about the “expensive” business course – $25/month – that spurred him to take action and become a “change maker.”

11:30 – Zach goes to prison and writes about it

14:45 – Zach finds the CrossFit message boards

17:40 – Transitioning from training out of his house to his first location, and selling “Strength and Conditioning” to a market unfamiliar with the term

19:00 – “Convenience and excellence are never found on the same road.”

20:30 – Tough kids and soft kids

21:00 – Tim Ferriss’ “Four-Hour Body

24:15 – How has the training of athletes changed since you started?

28:00 – How does Zach get new clients?

33:30 – Knowing what he does now, would he have taken the same path?

39:00 – How Zach coaches a broad spectrum of athletes in a group setting

41:30 – How athletes are differentiated by physical AND emotional maturity, then separated without discouraging them.

44:00 – What advice would Zach give to someone opening a gym today?

46:00 – Zach’s certification is here.

45:00 – In Coaches’ Confessional, I talk about the big mistakes I’ve made when hiring staff and how I now answer the question, “How do I train new coaches?”

Recorded on May 25, 2016.