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Tribute to the Good Guys

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Everyone Needs Help Sometimes

I recently came across a cool interview with coach Robert Dos Remedios.  Now, it would have been just another interview I read to get some cool new training information from a highly respected coach and just check out what Dos has been doing lately, but this one was different.

He mentioned me!!!


Here is what he said:

I also get to hang out with many of them several times a year at the Perform Better Summits….people like Mike Boyle, Gray Cook, JC Santana, Robb Rogers, Todd Wright, Jason Brown, Mark Verstagen, Brian Grasso, Jim ‘Smitty’ Smith, Jason Ferrugia, the list really goes on and on. Believe me, if I listed all the people have helped me and my training in some way just from over the past year the list would be 100 deep!

If you also remember, Dos did a review of AMD:

Here is why this is cool.

First, I respect the hell out of Dos.  His book, Power Training, is a must read and there are very, very few coaches who train as many athletes as Dos in any given day.  And his athletes love him.  He just commands respect.

Secondly, to have a respected coach reference you or your influence – it is a big deal.  At least to me.  I make strength training products that I think are really unique.  In fact, there aren’t others like them anywhere.  Sure some seem similar, but mine are different.  I never wanted to create something that was already done.  I wanted to be unique and innovative.

Trainers and coaches understand that and that is why they have purchased these products over the years.  Now, don’t get me wrong, the money is cool, but not really what I’m after.


I want the respect!

This is something very hard to come by in this industry.  An industry that is flooded with new trainers everyday.  If you can get the respect, you will have everything.

It is not about the money.

It is about, can you provide useful, thought-provoking ideas to help coaches and trainers do their job better.  Now anyone can just say, do this for a set of 12, or do this exercise, but it is much more than that.

Why are you having your clients do THAT exercise?  Why THAT rep range?  That is something many trainers do not understand.

Do you continue to seek out the latest information and latest training to help your athletes or your clients be better, be pain-free, live healthier lives?

So here is my point and why I am so honored that Dos mentioned me in his interview.

Don’t go for the money, go for the RESPECT!  If you get the respect, then you will win, you will create a legacy.  Like Gary V. says, “You will be remembered!  How do you want to be remembered?”

Also, don’t try to get your respect by copying other people.  Don’t try get your respect by putting out junk.  Because you know what, it won’t work.

Get your respect by being original.  Get your respect by going to the seminars.  Get your respect by reading the manuals.  Get your respect by changing lives and helping people reach their goals.

Because all of the good trainers in the industry KNOW who is full of shit and who is legit.

That is the truth.

With that being said, I want to quickly list a few people (there are many more) who have helped shape me to where I am today.  I know I will leave people out and probably will come back and add to this list.  These people are legit and you should read everything they write, buy all their stuff and go to all their seminars.

They are all on my personal Rolodex and you should get to know them quick!

Top Strength Coaches

Just a Few of the Good Guys Who Have Shaped My Training Philosophy and I Respect (You Should To!)

Jedd Johnson – for his never say die attitude and always trying to get that last rep.  Jedd you were there from the beginning and are one of the only ones who “stayed” brother.

Buddy Morris – for his no powerpoint presentation, presentation – he first introduced me to accommodating resistance at Juniata.  The discovery and innovation started there.

CJ Murphy – for his goatee and his loyalty.  His athletic preparation using strongman protocols really opened our eyes.

Jim Wendler – his strength of character, no BS approach and his never-ending search for the meaning of life.   Gave me one of my first chances.  A good friend and a great dad.

Alwyn Cosgrove – for his courage, strength of mind and strength of character.  Alwyn did one of the Diesel’s first interviews from his hospital bed.  His Periodization Bible made everything so simple to understand.

Mike Robertson – one of the most giving, humble, helpful, smart trainers in the biz.  Mike, along with Eric Cressey and Bill Hartman, changed the industry in my opinion.  They redefined the role of the strength coach and their holistic approach showed EVERYONE that the answer might not be as simple as you think.   Quality products, great information and smart as hell.

Eric Cressey – he just told me he is rededicating himself to education.  He has a stack of text books he is reading to bring up his knowledge and his ability to train athletes.  That is legit, that is real and that is how you get respect. Mike and he started with Magnificent Mobility and now they both have an essential library of products that you cannot do without.

Juliet Hanley – her never being satisfied personality, is only second to her caring for others.  One of the smartest (she’d never admit it) trainers in the industry.

Mike Hanley – form, form, form.  Mike is without a doubt the picture of a good trainer.  He is dedicated to perfecting all realms of fitness, powerlifting, kb’s, bodybuilding, FMS, nutrition and many others – I mean the list goes on and on – so he can use this knowledge to better help his clients.  That is the key, never be satisfied, continuing driving, continue learning – NEVER QUIT.

Ross Enamait – this guy’s got the respect.  Great trainer, strong as hell, very humble.  When he puts something out, people read it, they watch it, they listen.  It is that important.

Joe Hashey – he continues to innovate and really inspire people.  If you want to feel important, be a friend of Joe’s.  His Bull Strength manual has been getting tons of praise and he is getting better and better.

AJ Roberts – one of the nicest (loudest snoring) guys in the industry.  The cool thing about AJ is, he can teach you how to squat and SEO the shit out of your blog.  AJ takes care of his friends.

Jason Ferruggia – has the “in the trenches” knowledge that only comes with training 100’s of athletes over the course of many years.  Someone who challenges the norm and doesn’t care about what everyone thinks is popular.  He trains his athletes to get results, his way.  And Jason has influenced many of today’s successful trainers in one way or the other.

John Alvino – one of the honest guys in the industry.  He gets into the real training and doesn’t get much press, so I wanted to let everyone know what he’s about.  He’s also a nutritional expert and has changed many lives.

Joe Defranco – the WS4SB changed the game.  Its simplicity allowed trainers to understand the balance of movements and provided them with a key programming structure.  Plus, Joe is a good friend, cool as hell and kills it with all of his athletes.

Zach Even-Esh – I remember getting a call from Zach many years ago and we found out that much of our training was very similar.  Zach’s been a great friend over the years and has a passion that many lose as they train clients day in and day out.  Never lose that fire, never lose that passion!

Steve Cotter – this guy is ridiculously strong, powerful and amazing to watch.  His perfection and mastery of the kettlebell is something to behold.  Steve is also someone who is humble and is always pushing the envelop for what is possible with mobility, fluidity of movement, power and strength.

James Smith – “the Thinker” was instrumental in the creation of my Chaos Manual (my thesis).  I remember like it was yesterday, having countless emails going back and forth with James while I was reading Supertraining and Science and Practice.  I would formulate my ideas and how they applied to the development of strength, speed and power and he would either validate them or “correct them” all while improving my understanding.  He was very patient and very brilliant.

Again, if I missed your name, I’m sorry.  I am getting old and forget many things.  I will get your name added 🙂

Did I tell you I recently did pull-ups in the orangutan cage?

Note:  There are a ton of you good strength coaches and trainers out there who a killing it.  Going to the seminars, reading everything, training tons of people but your blog doesn’t get many hits or you can’t get any articles published.  We want to hear from you.  Send us your articles and guest blog posts and we’ll feature you here on Diesel.  We want to help you!  We care about your success!

Here is the original interview from Dos.

Dos Remedios Interview.

PS.  Please post your comments below about who has influenced you!


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15 Responses to “Tribute to the Good Guys”

  1. Ryan Magin Says:

    Awesome post smitty…I got the respect for you even though you cant deadlift for nothin lol…

    But you cant forget big Elliott Hulse he keeps it real as well…

  2. Rambodoc Says:

    I respect you for your consistent work in fitness and in blogging so regularly about it. I have benefited from your posts in many ways. A recent example that comes to mind is your shoulder rehab video. Thanks!

  3. Sean Says:

    Dos and Alwyn are by far the guys that have influenced me the most. I go to Dos’ Cougar Strength Clinic every year and I cannot tell you how much it has changed the way I train myself and my athletes. Some other great coaches are Joe DeFranco, Jason Ferruggia, Chad Waterbury, Eric Cressey, Bill Hartman, Mike Robertson, Smitty (of course), JC Santana and Mark Verstagen. I’m hoping to meet all of these guys in the future.

  4. Josh Hewett Says:

    Hey Smitty… my biggest influences have been you and the whole Diesel Crew! Not only was I addicted to your videos and articles from day one, but you and Jedd were both incredibly supportive of me when I was just starting out on my own a few years ago. Joe Hashey has also been amazing… working hard to pump out great training information and still generous with his time to answer questions / offer advice. Of course, I gotta give a shout out to Zach, who gets me fired up about training every time I watch him! Thanks alot guys… I hope to one day be an inspiration to others as well.

  5. Timothy J Ward Says:

    I’m 20 years old. I was certified (NSCA-CPT) at 18. I didn’t know anything about personal training for about a year until after I was certified when I attended the first annual Indianapolis Performance Enhancement Seminar with Mike Robertson and Bill Hartman. They changed my life. Since then, I’ve been using all my student financial aid to attend seminars, and I’ve been following Eric Cressey, Dos, Mike Robertson, Mike Boyle, Bill Hartman, Alwyn Cosgrove, Brian Grasso, and pretty much everything on I graduated last May from Notre Dame at 20 years old and am now working on my doctorate in physical therapy at the University of South Alabama. I can honestly say that I haven’t really learned anything new yet because I read all those guys’ stuff and it’s becoming second nature to me. I just recently got my youth fitness certification by the IYCA and my CSCS. I’d say I’m pretty successful for my age, but I don’t want to rest on my laurels. I started a blog at The plan was to provide valuable information to college students and also entertain them. Sometimes I go more in one direction than the other. I have a little over 25 posts over the past 2 months, and I spend a lot of time and thought writing these. I’m just getting started on getting a following, but I promise that both the entertainment level (i.e. the Nate Green Interview) and the information (Reducing Injury Rates in Running Populations) is through the roof (for a little bit of both, check out the anterior pelvic tilt series). I also recently started working out with tires outdoors in my backyard to branch out into different training methods. So far so good. I plan, within the next 10 years, of being mentioned among the best of the best. I’m certainly working hard to do it.

  6. Miah Says:

    Props to Eric Cressey I have learnt so much important stuff from his writing.

    But Coach wise I think Mark Rippetoe deserves to be in there. I dont think there is anyone else who has done a better job of teaching novices how to lift and inspired a whole crowd of unlikely folks to get into barbell training.

    Perhaps Glenn Pendlay also deserves a mention for what he achieves with his athletes, and of course for the Pendlay Row which is one awesome exercise.

  7. Joe Hashey Says:

    Smitty thanks for the mention, I truly appreciate it!

    I can certainly vouch for Smitty being about the respect first. He still gets as giddy as a kid in a candy shop in the gym! Always motivating and teaching whenever some gym member Smitty doesn’t know comes up and asks for help. Smitty’s certainly a major influence in the industry, and does things the right way!

    -Joe Hashey

  8. Jerry Shreck Says:

    Smitty, you and Jedd have been an influence on me to start up a website and present my information to the masses so I can help people reach their goals and stay healthy. There have been many strength coaches who have also influenced my take on training over the years. Most of them are not known in the internet world but are in the trenches getting it done.

  9. Jim Smith Says:

    from Nii Wilson:

    You are not getting old Smitty. I love the work that you do and AMD is insane and Chaos Manual is like the pill you take before you jump into the Matrix. When I spoke to DeFranco at his Strongman charity event he felt that you are a valuable resource he has in his corner. Many people speak highly of you and its always a pleasure seeing you at conferences.
    You get all the respect in the world dawg! You coached me through my first 180lb stone lift and that feeling was like
    a kid learning to walk for the first time.

    James Smith is an animal and when I found out there there were 2 James Smith I like SOMEONE needs a nicky name…Smitty works fine.

    I hope to be amongst this list one day…one attribute that I noticed since I have met with several of the names on this list is not just the technical knowledge but the passion to contribute to the culture of strength and performance training and I truly think that is where the respect, props, and street cred are validated!

  10. Jim Smith Says:

    Thanks everyone for the great posts and feedback. Like I said, in an industry that is so flooded, standing out as a “good coach” is more important than ever.

  11. Dave Hedges Says:

    Many of the people on your list are also on mine, additions would be Mike Mahler and Steve Maxwell.

    I love trainers who offer a more holistic approach. Maxwell, Mahler, Cotter, Cressey and Robertson top that list in my book.
    Then there’s the lunatics, Yourself and Zach Evan-Esh who just seem to take anything and everything available to hand and use it to build athleticism.

    Then there’s Alwyn Cosgrove, just him being around and doing what he does is inspiring enough. Let alone his knowledge base, humour and the fact that he’s a fellow Scot!



  12. Dean Coulson Says:

    I love this post, it stopped me in my tracks and made me think who actually influenced me in my training.

    Being in the UK, when I started training 20 odd years ago, it was a all about what I could find in magazines, which of course were bodybuilding ones. My Main aim now is functional strength and conditioning, but then it was get a bench and lift. I was also into martial arts and looked for ways to improve my fitness.
    I trained with other guys who none of you have heard of, not trainers, just gym rats who had the same ethic as me, get in train your bollocks off and get out.

    One in particular turned my training on its head, and he was a guy called Ian Skelly, he is one tough as hell glaswegian. Not even a trainer, just someone I met in a gym and we hit it off. That was 10 years ago and I have not looked back.

    People such as Goeff Thompson and Peter Constadine, hardcore martial artists and fitness freaks, excellent guys who had been there done it. My thirst for knowledge led me to the Awesome Ross Emanait, a truly humble guy, who has never yet let me down, always replies to my emails with words of wisdom.

    Then I discovered twitter earlier this year and discovered a whole world of amazing people who I never knew existed. It is hard to find people when you don’t know where to look.

    Since then I have read everyones blog I could find and have been truly inspired by the following people, not just by their knowledge, but because they go out of their way to help people they have never met:

    Jim Smith, Zach EvenEsh, Joe Hashey, Jason Ferruggia.

    and that is just the start, I am reading even more than ever, so much to read so little time LOL



  13. Jim Smith Says:

    Thanks for the great comments Dean!

  14. Mike T Nelson Says:

    Good stuff as always Smitty!

    I won’t list all the people that have influenced my education, as the list would be super long and I always forget some people. I always admire your passion and commitment to everything that you do. You deserve all that you get in spades.

    I always look at passion first. Someone with true passion will always continue to learn and advance.

    I next look to see if they “think for themselves” Do they put critical thought into it, or just parrot others all the time? There is a difference between learning from others and directly copying what they say. Think for yourself and take a stand.

    Keep up the killer work! If there is something in particular you want from me or anything I can do to help, let me know.

    Rock on!
    Mike T Nelson PhD(c)

  15. Shane Doll Says:

    Kudos to you Smitty as you’re right on point. You’re doing it for all the right reasons and you’ve got my respect for sure because of that. I appreciate everything you do and for sharing your insight and wisdom. You’re name belongs on that list. Going to share with my new trainers as I always like to send them in the right direction with where to get their info. Keep up the good work my friend. – Shane

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