The first time I spoke to Greg Everett, I was asking a huge favor.

It was 2008, and Greg owned Catalyst CrossFit in Sunnyvale, CA. I owned Catalyst Fitness in Ontario, Canada. But I wanted to be a CrossFit affiliate. And I didn’t want to give up my brand to do so.

CrossFit HQ recommended I contact Greg directly for permission to share the name “Catalyst.” He agreed to share custody of his brand without hesitation. I became “CrossFit Catalyst” and he remained “Catalyst CrossFit” for a few more years until the infamous “Black Box Summit.”

Despite his de-affiliation, Greg remains a revered coach in weightlifting and CrossFit. He’s earned that position through knowledge…and consistent demonstration of that knowledge through books, full-length films, training plans and videos.

There are currently 1120 videos, 330 articles, 294 exercise demos, 2971 free weightlifting workouts, 37 weightlifting programs and 2971 photos on–and they’re ALL free. Greg sells DVDs, remote programming, his film American Weightlifting and an online Coach Certification…but everyone starts with the free content. No one else in weightlifting publishes this much or this regularly. Greg talks extensively about the need to establish authority for ALL coaches, in weightlifting, CrossFit or any other sport.

Greg also discusses the necessity of mentoring under an established coach:

“In this new landscape of the internet and these spontaneously-materializing experts and coaches that is woefully missing. There’s not that transfer of knowledge and practice from generation to generation. It’s people getting these piecemeal chunks of information and trying to reassemble them into the whole. And they’re missing all the nuance and the human component of it.”

Everett describes the “art” of coaching: the pieces between the cues, the off-the-spreadsheet learning and temperament of a professional.

Greg believes strongly in “doing whatever works,” and avoids “experts” who are too entrenched in any singular philosophy. He tests his programs on himself before they’re published; writes his own content often; and shoots videos himself when he has breaks in the day.

In “Critical Questions,” I answer Sarah’s email about “the value of a mentor,” echoing many of Greg’s statements and adding the difference between a seminar, a model and a mentor.

Recorded on November 13, 2015.