This might be the most nut hugging post ever written but maybe some young athlete will see it and get to reap all the benefits I wish I would’ve had at my fingertips when I was their age.
If you haven’t “liked” Juggernaut you aren’t trying to get better as an athlete. Period. I may be biased here because I have interned for Juggernaut last summer but then I think about it and what other website is there that gives out this much information for free to athletes of all team sports, track, strongman, powerlifting, CrossFit, yoga and general health? I came across Juggernaut from my football Strength and Conditioning GA at Western Illinois. I told him in the late fall I needed an internship in the summer to graduate with my degree in Exercise Science. He told me to check out www.JTSStrength.com. At this point in time in my life I felt that I knew more than the average Exercise Science student. I mean most of the kids in my classes were doing lat pull downs to their peckers and if you can’t do a proper lat pull-down your senior year in college you have no hope in this field. To say the least this wasn’t anything I was proud of, being better than the worst is no accomplishment at all. I was the kid who would talk with a lot of my teachers after class about topics. I felt that they really weren’t answering the questions I was asking. They would take my questions to a far off land because some of my professors could only relate their knowledge to what they had been taught in school. They were regurgitaters. I could not blame them because they can only teach what they have been taught. Other teachers just didn’t seem to understand why I was asking the questions I was asking. I just knew that I wanted to know more than what I was being taught though. Memorizing information wasn’t what I went to school for; I wanted to understand how that information came about. If you understand how all the parts work then the machine becomes very simple to operate.
So later that day I went on to Juggernaut’s website and started reading some of the articles on the website and was blown away. The information on their site just made sense. So many ideas I had thought about were explained to me as to why they work and mechanism behind so. Back then it was only Chad Wesley Smith and Nate Winkler writing articles for the site and Nate’s nutrition information was about 10,000 years ahead of the nutrition stuff I was learning in my nutrition classes. I felt that I had hundreds of questions being answered as I began digging through their articles.
After spending the next couple months reading articles and watching videos I decided to do an internship with Juggernaut. I emailed and called and called and emailed again then finally just facebooked Chad and the next minute got a response, not really that fast but pretty fast. I’m pretty sure he has never logged off of Facebook since opening Juggernaut. I did a 10-week internship at Juggernaut for Chad and tried to soak up as much knowledge as possible (sorry for all the questions by the way Chad). I remember how simple everything seemed to Chad and got the “It doesn’t matter” response quite often because what matters was putting in the work and the Juggernaut athletes did just that. The football guys were there 6 days per week all summer until heading off to football camp. No wonder most of the guys were off to prominent D1 schools; they understood the value of hard work. The experience was a marrying of my school studies, knowledge gained from my own training and studies and how to apply all of it. A lot of stuff Chad was doing with the athletes I had done in my training but I did not know how to organize to the success I was seeing.
Before graduating college I had to write a yearlong training program for a football athlete and I remember struggling at where to start because there were so many goals that needed to be accomplished in one year. Speed, power, strength, size, aerobic capacity and alactic capacity are all easy to program separately but a little harder when you have to do all of them. As the internship went on and on I had a better sense of how to program for multiple goals. I felt I learned a whole semester’s worth in just one day of discussion, which isn’t a real surprise to most, but do most Exercise Science students ever get that experience? Probably not. But they are out there right now training athletes with little clue on programming. To this day I still have lots to learn about programming but at least now I know what questions I need to answer before setting up a program and where to look to answer those questions.
In addition to interning I also trained for my last year of college ball that summer at Juggernaut. I honestly felt like I had a major advantage coming back to fall camp versus all the players who had stayed at school training with the Strength and Conditioning coach. I never felt more ready to play football my entire life. It wasn’t that I did more work, because I always trained 5-6 days per week, but it was the quality of work and the system that worked for me. It was very specific to the demands of the sport. I got faster, stronger and more explosive all while gaining 20 pounds. All the goals I had tried to plan for in my class.
While doing my internship I was always thinking, “If only I had this sort of training when I was in high school. I wouldn’t have been spinning my wheels early on, and fixing the broken pieces now later in life. “ You can get away with a lot of stupid training when you are young and think it is awesome but it will come back and haunt you if you stick with it too long. I could’ve learned in one week, what took me years of searching through magazines and online forums. Bodybuilding.com was the forum of choice in high school. There is a ton of content and great people with intellect but how do you know who is who? The people who have the most posts probably aren’t in the gym training very much. I went back on the forum the other day after years and years without logging on to see if I could give back and help some kids out. I wanted to strangle some people at the advice they were giving. People were throwing out information that was so untrue but the kids were eating it up because they sounded like they knew what they were talking about. Just because someone knows more than you doesn’t quantify them as being intelligent; they are just ahead of you on a very long continuum. I may have been smarter than those guys on the forum that day but I know coaches my age who are ten times ahead of me and Chad is 100 times ahead of me and crazy to think that guys are 100 times ahead of Chad.
When you go read an article or a post on a forum it is very rare you know who that person is. You don’t know their background or if they know what they are talking about. With Juggernaut you know the lifters, coaches and athletes and if you don’t you should know that Chad controls everything that gets posted on his site and he isn’t going to post an article from someone unless he respects them and basically pre-approves them. Athletes like former World Record Holder Dan Green (843 squat , 810 deadlift and 518 bench at 242 pounds BW), Brandon Lily (last meet 843 squat, 579 bench and 816 deadlift), Caitlyn Trout (World Record Squat 352 pounds at 123 pounds BW) and Chad Wesley Smith (American Record 905 squat) all contribute regularly to the site and answer questions for lifters and athletes all the time.
It is an invaluable experience to hear and watch coaches and athletes who have been at the top of the game in various different disciplines and notice the similarities to their success. YOU don’t hear them talk about this supplement propelling them to greatness. You hear about programs, listening to their bodies, making small changes and being consistent over a long period of time.