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.
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.