Track and field is my background. I competed throughout high school and college throwing the shot put. I won two NAIA National Championships in the shot put for Concordia University, which is a small school here in Orange County. Previously to that, I threw for the University of California Berkeley.
I’d always been into lifting, been into training. Even in high school, we didn’t have a strength coach, or anything. I used the much more limited resources of the early 2000s Internet to figure out how to train. I’d watch “World’s Strongest Man” on ESPN like so many people had.
I was always into it, whether it was lifting myself, Arnold Schwarzenegger movies Rocky montages, whatever it was. I was always fascinated by strength and realized, at 14 years old, freshman in high school, that lifting weights was going to make me a better football player and a better shot putter. I’d better figure out how to do it.
Through teaching myself and a little bit from our football coaches and stuff, learned how to train. Was lucky in that, as everyone tends to gravitate towards what they’re good at. I was good at squats, cleans, sprints and jumps. Much better at those than I was at curls and flies, and the bro workouts that so many other 14 and 15-year-olds fall into.
I did that. I liked it. I saw the results from it in my performance and went on to have a good track career through one year as a post-collegiate. In that year as a post-collegiate is when I had started Juggernauts. I graduate college in May 2009, started writing — air quotes — a business plan for Juggernaut in June 2009.
I say that because my degree is in History. I was writing what I thought was a business plan. I googled, “How do you write a business plan?”
Got an investor in July 2009. Got keys to our first warehouse for the first gym in August 2009.
We were open in September 2009. Barely 23 years old, thinking I knew what I’d gotten myself into, but really had no idea.
I stayed trying to shot put for that next year but my coach Len Bluetreich, could coach me through my last two years of high school and then last two years of college, passed away shortly after I graduated from cancer.
That next year, I wanted to keep competing as I’d thrown pretty far even I was at a small school. I was at a little in the high school, but I would have had the third farthest throw for all collegiates, my senior of college regardless Division 1, 2, 3.
I wanted to keep throwing, chase what would have been the 2012 Olympic dream, honor Coach Blue’s memory, but with no coach at that point, and working anywhere from 60 to 80 hours a week — I was starting Juggernaut up there — it just wasn’t sustainable thing.
Through that next season, and then completed my last track meet about June 2010. For about that year, I had been sponsored by EliteFTS as a shot putter. I spent my training logs up there and certainly write some articles and everything.
When I came to the realization that the Olympics weren’t going to happen for me, I figured I’m already strong and I’m on this powerlifting website, so I guess I should do powerlifting. I’d never been to a powerlifting meet. I’d seen videos and stuff of what was all multi-ply powerlifting at the time, but I really didn’t understand what that was.
Then about July 2010, shortly after my last track meet, that I decided, all right, I’m going to start training for a powerlifting meet, and did the program, “The Juggernaut Method,” which was something I’d written for athletes at the gym, and then using with a lot of high school and college football players, soccer players, basketball, that sort of stuff.
I said, “I’m going to use this for my own training. Let’s put my money where my mouth is.” That means something like…