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5/28/2013 1:03:00 PM - Dave Kirschen
My Belated LTTS Writeup!

My LTTS weekend started at about 2 am on Friday morning.

While I had given my new job notice that I would be off this weekend, I stupidly forgot that I would need to be off on Thursday for travel as well. Not wanting to leave them hanging on short notice, I opted to work my normal schedule on Thursday (until 9:30pm), stop at home, watch The Office finale with the wife, pack, and hit the road.

I was pretty tired from work, so on my wife's advice, I packed a thermos full of warm milk and plenty of Benadryl for the trip. She always looks out for me. On the bright side, there was zero traffic on the highways and it was a quick drive from NJ to London. I rolled into the hotel and lecture site at about 11am and immediately saw Dave Tate, who was in the lobby, looking stressed as usual for the LTTS weekend.

After catching up with Dave for a moment, I made my way over to the hotel lounge and hung out with some of the sponsors, including Brian Caroll, Kroc, Chad Aichs, and a couple of guys who supposedly lift weights or something named Steve Goggins and Ed Coan.

Julie Ladewski was presenting inside, and I didn't want to disturb her portion of the seminar by barging in late. And it was too bad I didn't, because I missed a great opportunity to creepily stare at her for an hour. She looks AWESOME!!! Julia has always been super-fit looking, but working with John Meadows has put her on another level.

Matt Ladewski, her husband usually spends the weekend managing elitefts's various social media accounts. This time however, he spent the weekend swaggering around the compound having the same conversation with everyone:

Matt: You see that? (motions towards Julia)

Me: Yeah?

Matt: That's all me bro.

Me: Uhhh yeah Matt, she's your wife.

Matt: Damn straight!

He then did the “I got my eyes on you” finger motion and walked away to have the same conversation with someone else.

The speakers for the weekend were top notch as always, and included Julia, Kroc, Buddy Morris, John Meadows, Gabe Naspinski, Fred Duncan and of course Dave Tate. While the speakers are always great, the biggest improvement to the lecture portion this time around was the location itself. I love hanging out in The Elitefts compound, but it can leave something to be desired as a lecture hall, especially with regard to noise levels and climate control. The hotel function room was far more comfortable and professional looking.

After John Meadows presentation, I saw my hetero man-crush Harry Selkow, and we exchanged a long, totally straight embrace. It was lunch time, and Harry had rented a van, so I, along with Steve Goggins, Ed Coan, Jessica Grey (one of the coaches for the weekend) and and Joe Walraven (the human GPS) packed into the party van and headed off to lunch, where we met EFS staffers Steve Colescott and Sheena Leedham, Russ Smith and Russ's mustache.

Also with us was seminar attendee Shawn Evans. I first met Shawn a couple of years ago at an earlier LTTS. At the time, he was just a skinny 14-year-old who looked just like Harry Potter. He still looks like Harry Potter, but he's since gained around 40 lbs, and hit a huge squat pr during the practical portion.

Look for this kid to do something big in a few years, as long as he stays away from girls... Pissed off girlfriends have derailed more powerlifting careers then heart disease.

Over lunch, we talked about typical powerlifting stuff, including training, competing, the state of the fitness business and unappreciative training parters. Ed talked about some of his pets, including his tiger. That's not a misprint. Ed Coan has a tiger... because of course he does.

After lunch, we hung around the hotel some more and took in a few more lectures. I did my best to pay attention, but the overnight drive was starting to catch up with me.

After the lectures, we met up for dinner and boarded the party van once again. Dinner was the usual festival of pie and ball breaking, with much of the focus on Zane Geeting's new Big Boy style hairdo. Apparently Zane's political views have become so conservative he has adopted Ronald Regan's haircut. Still, his girlfriend is hot, so I guess he's on to something.

The laughter went into high gear when Pulcinella came over to our side of the table, and delved into a detailed story about his enlarged prostate. It got pretty graphic, and I noticed everyone immediately lost interest in the home-made gravy at the table. Not sure how, but this led into a story of how he almost got choked out by a girl at an earlier LTTS, He also second-guessed Dave's decision to have his replacement hip cast in platinum and encrusted in diamonds.

Next day we met for an early breakfast at the hotel, piled back into the Selkow party van and headed to the compound to train before coaching the practical portion of the seminar. I was planning on working up in full squat gear to a light opener. The highest I've been since the last meet was 710, so anything over that was the goal.

I wound up hitting an easy 740 in the Ace suit and Viking brief. This combo felt awesome!

In the video you can see Ken Hicks, the creative director at elitefts taking some pics for the site. Before squatting, I pulled Ken aside and suggested he get a lot of shots of me because this is clearly the bloated, jowly, future face of the company. He wholeheartedly agreed, or at least he told me he did so I would leave him alone.

After the squats I had about 5 minutes to shove a subway sandwich into my face before we started coaching the squat. I was matched up with Jo Jordan (who now looks like a gnarly jacked Santa Clause) and Steve Pulcinella. Apparently whoever made the groups had ignored my request to pair me with other short guys so I could look tall. Bad enough half the group we were coaching stood over 6 feet.

Our group was motivated and ready to learn... a true pleasure to coach. By the end of the squat session, everyone's form had noticeably improved. In all honesty, a few of them looked pretty damn good from the start.

Following the squat, it was lunchtime. As in seminars past, the event was catered by a local BBQ joint. The food is always good, but as we delved into the bench training, I seriously regretted my decision to pile the jalapeños onto my pulled pork sandwich. Also added a couple of Spike drinks just to make things interesting.

Bench went just as well as the squats, with a few of our lifters working up into heavier weights. One dude, named Vincent, who came all the way from Canada, made the trip worth it by hitting a 30lb pr.

Deadlift went even better with multiple lifters pulling new personal records (Vincent pocketed another 20lb pr here).

After the coaching was done, Dave gathered us all to the front of the room for a final Q&A with the attendees. Considering the panel included Dave Tate, Ed Coan, Steve Goggins, Buddy Morris, Brian Carroll and Jeremy Frey, I wasn't counting on a whole lot of questions coming my way, So I pulled over one of the comfy chairs from the conference table, put my feet up, and goofed on Zane Geetings hair some more.

The hit of the panel was Pulcinella, who responded to a question with the story of how he married into money to support IronSport, his daily nap schedule at work, and how he hid the peepholes in his woman's locker room in a portrait of himself with the eyes cut out. I don't think anyone actually remembered what the question was.

While my write-ups tend to lean towards humor and sarcasm, there was one event this weekend that genuinely touched me. Towards the end of the panel, Marshall Johnson stood up and informed us about the passing of one of the children he met through Hope Kids. For those that don't know, Marshall regularly promotes and participates in the Relentless meets, which raise money and awareness for children with life threatening illness.

Marshall's selflessness, especially at his age has always impressed me, even more then his lifting, which is world class.

Marshall, I'm a fan, even though you sold me up the river in your own write-up.

That night, we headed to a local bar/grill for dinner. Once again it was me, Ed, Steve, Harry, Jessica and a dude we called Uggs, due to his choice of footwear the previous night. Yeah, we thought the same thing.

We spent a good portion of the evening speculating on whether our waitress was pregnant, or just fat. I called pregnant due to the fat that she was wearing stretchy pants, while the other waitresses were in jeans. With a 7-month pregnant wife of my own, I have an eye for this kind of thing. After she picked up my check, I remarked to Harry that she had a particularly pretty face. His response was a piece of typical Selkow brilliance:

“Well of course she does... That's why she got knocked up”

The bar had a few pool tables, and Jess had challenged Ed to a game, so we made our way over to the tables. Ed beat her (barely) and Steve had next. Watching Ed Coan and Steve Goggins playing 8-ball was kind of a surreal experience. On one hand, casually hanging out with two of my earliest idols was indescribably cool. On the other, it was a lot of fun to watch two of the greatest strength athletes to ever walk the earth, sucking so horribly at another sport.

I can't talk though, I was up by 5 short against Jess before scratching on the 8-ball.

Back at the hotel, we hit the bar for a couple of Coors lights (Jess drank real beer), and hung out some more. After two beers, we all bitched about how none of us can hold our booze anymore (except Jess) and headed for bed.

I should note that my roommate for the weekend was strongman Chase Karnes. Seems like a nice guy but we didn't see a whole lot of each other. While Chase got to bed at a reasonable hour each night in preparation for the long days of training and coaching, I followed my normal game plan of staying out too late, ignoring the first 5 alarms the next morning and hoping for the best.

Sunday was a bench session and I worked up in my shirt (which doesn't fit quite like it did 20lbs ago) I worked up with the Barbie and Ken couple that is Mandy Bennett and Mick Manley. The highest I've been since the meet has been 545, so I wanted to get just a bit above that. I wound up hitting a pretty solid 555 before calling it a day.

After benching, I hung around a bit, said my goodbyes, and hit the road.

Events like LTTS are easily my favorite part of my elitefts sponsorship. I love being in the presence of so many great lifters and coaches. I love the ability to pay forward all of the help I've been given throughout my career. Most of all, I love that the whole event contributes to the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

A huge thank you to Dave & Traci Tate, Steve Colescott, Mark Watts, and the rest of the crew at elitefts for making this event possible. LTTS is one of the highlights of my year and I look forward to each one.

Want to try Powerlifting? Start with "Powerlifting: Year 1"

Register here for the Big Seminar II on June 29th&30th

Dave Kirschen

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