Who are some of the coaches that have influenced your style or philosophy of programming?
This is a very good question. Poliquin had a very strong influence on me because he was the first coach that I was actually really attracted to in terms of his style, his matter-of-fact type, get-to-the-point type of personality. Which really for me, even though his information was solid, scientific, it’s deep, that attracted me because—what happened, I’ve found that a lot of coaches who were a little bit too fluffy for me, for in terms of kind of skating around issues and they take too long to get to the point. So attending Charles Poliquin’s seminars, reading his books, I just liked the way he just got to his business, and period. I’m not here to mess around, let’s get to the business. I don’t have time to waste. And I was really attracted by that.
Another real big influence on me was Charlie Francis. Charlie Francis was Canada’s number one Track coach. A brilliant person, brilliant spring coach. And for me, I didn’t really understand what he was trying to do or his information until I got into the world of strength and conditioning at a deeper level—at a higher level, understanding speed, explosiveness, and building quality, fast athletes.
So looking back at what Charlie Francis did was phenomenal. So he’s a huge influence on me. I use a lot of his methods within my training system called Athlete Activation System. We structure our sprints based on his methodology.
Also another person who had a huge effect on me was Pierre Wall. Pierre Wall was the actual coach for Charles Poliquin. And during Charles Poliquin’s seminars, some of his material, he’d always mentioned his coach, and so I just kind of took note of that. I did one of Charles Poliquin’s internships years ago in Montreal and Pierre Wall was the first coach who taught me the mechanics of Olympic weightlifting: power snatch and all those things.
And back then that was predominantly—I didn’t train any weightlifters at that time—it was predominantly just to use those methods to apply to different: hockey, football, whatever team sport athletes, or track athletes and so on and so forth.
So I first learned it from him. And then as I grew into the field and understood that weightlifting is a massive, massive benefit for athletes of all sports, that’s when I really took time and went to Pierre Wall and to understand deeper of how to apply Olympic weightlifting within the training methodology for athletes. And also, obviously, I have a weightlifting team, so I use Olympic weightlifting for my weightlifters.
So bar none, the top three coaches that really influenced me a lot in terms of coaching are Charles Poliquin, Charlie Francis, Pierre Wall.