A few years ago I started doing CrossFit while still in the Marines. I loved it and immediately started seeing improvements in my performance, both in PT and in the field (where it actually matters). CrossFit gets knocked quite a bit but I have to be honest and say that I love it for an infantry Marine. I loved that I could take a squad and thrash the shi* outta them in a half hour, the pain and misery builds camaraderie as much as work capacity.
It also jump started me on the path that I am on now.
In September of 2009, I got out of the Marines and enrolled in University of Louisville for Exercise Science. A couple of days after Me and Waylon partied across America and shotgunned beer on the side of the Grand Canyon (Waylon puked into it), and I was living back in Kentucky, I went into Derby City CrossFit. I started training there and immediately began benefiting from Ben’s experience and coaching. CrossFit gave me an outlet for competition as well as I had the opportunity to compete in the sectional and the regional last year. But most importantly, I traveled to West Side Barbell for a Powerlifting Certification. I immediately loved the atmosphere, the attitude, and the overall amazingness of the weight being thrown around.
Since then I have been soaking up as much knowledge as I could, dedicating as much time as possible to figure out how to get strong. We have traveled around to train and ask questions to some of the strongest people in the world. We read all the information we can by the people who have been there and done it; Dave Tate, Jim Wendler, anybody who is strong as shi*… and of course our lord and savior Louie Simmons.
The DarkSide is intended to chronicle my journey from an average strength athlete into an elite athlete and coach. As I grow as an athlete and coach, so too will the site, our programming, and our athletes. The DarkSide is seeking to create the atmosphere that is conducive to training intensely and subsequently making steady gains. It is about the long hard road.
“When people ask me what book to buy to get stronger or more fit I say a basic physics book because Newton’s laws of motion apply to everything…….I don’t bring a person in to show me how to lift weights, I bring physics professors, mathematics professors, calculus professors, and so forth, and engineers because that’s what I think is missing in this sport.” -Louie Simmons
Well I’ve always been into lifting weights but throughout college managed to get pretty fat and weak. I finished my bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at 6’0″ 283lbs of booze and pizza. When Brown got home from the marines he like everyone else noticed I had been steadily packing on the poundage over the last year of school and took it upon himself to get me to join up at DCCF with him. I’m glad I did as it probably has without a doubt added several years to my life as in my first 9 months of training CrossFit I was able to drop 80lbs and gain more lean mass than I had had since high school playing football. I enjoyed CF and owe my dedication to health, fitness and strength to it but quickly got bored “wodding” the shit out of myself every day. I liked that I was getting stronger doing CrossFit workouts alone I had established a solid strength base. At the time CrossFit had done a couple interviews about powerlifting with Dave Tate and his demeanor and attitude towards being strong had me hooked. This coupled with Ryan attending a CF Powerlifting certification with Louie at Westside redirected our training from CF wods to strength training.
I started reading (and still do) everything I could about getting stronger and powerlifting. Dave’s website Elitefts.com has tons of information on the sport of strength and I have taken it upon myself to learn everything I can from guys like Dave, Louie Simmons, Jim Wendler, Matt Kroc, Mark Bell and the miracle baby Max Mormont. I try to take the information thats out there and view it from an engineering prespective as far as the mechanical system of the human body and how the best leverages can be placed on the bar according to anthopometric measurements.
As we started experimenting with the Westside method and strongman training people from the gym started to join in on the fun and the DarkSide was born. The DarkSide is constantly evolving as we try to meet our training goals not only for ourselves but for the solid group of guys who come in every afternoon and kill it with us. Basically we are trying to get strong as sh*t and have a good time doing it.