Why StrongFirst?

“You can be anything you want… But you must be strong first.”

I ran this statement by several of my friends and colleagues and asked: what is a fitting name for the new company? Two gents, both from New Jersey, came back with the identical name: “Strength First.” What are the odds?

They are Rob Lawrence and Steve Freides and and we all go way back. Rob went through the second RKC course a decade ago and later became a senior instructor. Although he left RKC after several years, he left a lasting mark. You may have seen snappy Lawrence quotations in my books and manuals. “If everything is a priority, then nothing is a priority.”

Steve Freides also earned his RKC in the early years of the program and became a team leader. A music professor with a bad back, he was bedridden for months. Then he decided to get strong and healthy. This fifty-year-old studied Power to the People!, Bullet-Proof Abs, and Relax into Stretch—and proceeded to achieve an American deadlift record for his age group, a set of abs one would not want to punch, and a full side split, suspended between chairs.

Shortly you will see StrongFirst blog entries by both gentlemen. Back to the StrongFirst name.

The English word “strength” has an awful lot of consonants, which is a challenge for non-English speakers. If you do not understand what this means, a joke about a Polish fellow getting an eye exam might drive the point home:

“Do you see the letters on the bottom line?” asks the doctor.

“Not only do I see them, I know the guy!” exclaims the Pole.

To a non-English speaker “ngth” is a tongue twister like a Polish name to an American. So I changed “strength” to “strong.” Hence StrongFirst.

An aside. You may already have figured out that this blog is not going to be politically correct. If you cannot stomach Polish jokes, Russian jokes, and so on, please seek your strength advice elsewhere. I despise political correctness as an attempt to suppress free speech. I have no tolerance for the thin-skinned people who claim to get offended on behalf of some group they belong to in order to advance some cause.

StrongFirst is for strong people who are not afraid to speak their minds and who do not have thin skin. What we do not tolerate is the lack of good manners. There is a sign at the “entrance” to the StrongFirst forum: “Ladies and gentlemen only.”

StrongFirst” would have been just a name without the people behind it. Our instructor team includes national champions, national team coaches, former military special operators, first responders, law enforcement officers, elite martial artists, performing strongmen, national team doctors, and other high-end strength professionals. Ladies and gentlemen, I am proud to present you:

SFG Masters

  • Jon Engum
  • Dan John
  • Brett Jones
  • Geoff Neupert
  • Peter Lakatos
  • Mark Reifkind
  • Dave Whitley

SFG Seniors

  • Tommy Blom
  • Shaun Cairns
  • Dr. Mark Cheng
  • Dr. Michael Hartle
  • Brad Nelson
  • Doug Nepodal
  • Karen Smith
  • Franz Snideman
  • Mark Toomey
  • Phil Scarito
  • Zar Horton
  • Fabio Zonin

SFG Team Leaders

  • Lauren Brooks
  • Michael Castrogiovanni
  • Andrea U-Shi Chang
  • Lance Coffel
  • Betsy Collie
  • Paul Daniels
  • Ron Farrington
  • Steve Freides
  • John Heinz
  • Dr. Chris Holder
  • Gabi Katschthaler
  • Jeremy Layport
  • Jason Marshall
  • Dr. Ricardo Nieves
  • Michael Rendle
  • Dr. Prentiss Rhodes
  • Dustin Rippetoe
  • Delaine Ross
  • Yoana Teran
  • Robert Budd

Mark Toomey is the CEO of StrongFirst. I am the chairman. I set the course. He runs the ship.

On to world domination.

Why StrongFirst

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Pavel Tsatsouline
Pavel Tsatsouline is the CEO of StrongFirst, Inc.

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