Monday, December 12, 2011

Dissecting Strength: Q and A with Erik Eggers

Erik Eggers of Beast Training LLC ( ) was kind enough to sit down and answer some of my questions via email.  I really appreciated this opportunity to interview a professional of his caliber in the field of strength training.  Here's the questionairre:

1. What is Beast Training LLC?
BEAST TRAINING (“BEAST”) is a Hardcore Strength and Conditioning Facility in Connecticut. The facility has been serving Trumbull and surrounding areas for two years. We are primarily dedicated to helping athletes achieve their full potential on and off the field. BEAST’s goal is to develop our athletes into: Scholarship Players, High School and Collegiate All-Conference Players, All-State Players, and/or to facilitate entry into “reach” Colleges through excellence in athletic performance.

Beast is passionate regarding our clients and their successes, both on the field and in the game of life. We strive to “over-deliver” in each aspect of training and attempt to provide a focused (and intense when required) environment that offers a personal level of attention.

2. Talk a little bit about BEAST's training philosophy. How should a BEAST train?
Beast focuses on the compound multi-joint movements (squat, deadlift, and bench press), as well as explosive jumping and sports-specific supplemental exercises. Our initial focus is to work with our athletes on their training technique to build a foundation for safe strength gains. Once training technique is perfected, we concentrate on pushing our clients out of their comfort zone to train for optimal gains.

We tailor our programming based on the level of athlete and their experience with weight training. We typically utilize an upper body/lower body split with our more experienced athletes and total body training for our newer athletes.

Beast also works with our athletes on conditioning; we are advocates of various sled and Prowler training modalities as well as some “Strong Man movements” such as tire flipping, farmer’s carries, and working with sand bags.

3. What sport do the majority of your members/clients train for at BEAST?
Beast’s clients are primarily High School and Collegiate athletes (i.e. football players, baseball players, lacrosse players, soccer players, and wrestlers). We are working to expand our female client base. In addition, we have the privilege of working with Powerlifters, Strongmen Competitors, MMA Fighters, Obstacle Racers, and Moms/Dads.

We have worked with some MMA fighters who compete at a professional level; watching these athletes in action has been very exciting for us.

4. What is in the future for sports specific training?
My opinion on sports specific programming may differ from some other trainers; I think the multi-joint compound movements, which have stood the test of time are applicable to all athletes and athletic endeavors. The sports specific training has its place, but in my opinion most of an athlete’s initial training should surround building a solid strength base.

I think, unfortunately, a lot of facilities attempt to use the “sports specific” moniker as a marketing pitch. At the end of the day, athletes need strong legs, a strong core, and should be explosive. Once they have attained a certain level of competence, additional sports specific modalities can be employed.

That said, Beast is very conscious of training the appropriate energy system (i.e. aerobic and anaerobic) for the athlete’s specific sport.

5. Running your great programs must be very time consuming.  What does your personal training regimen consist of, and when do you find time to train?
The first year we opened Beast, I was so busy with the athletes and other trainees, my own training definitely took a backseat and suffered. I have a full time job in the finance industry, as well as three children of my own, so I am basically always running like a chicken with its head cut off.

I enjoy Powerlifting and compete in local meets. My personal regimen is constantly evolving, but primarily involves exercises designed to increase my maximum lifts in the squat, bench press, and deadlift. I train three times per week – Tuesday and Thursday in the late evening (brutal) and Sunday mornings. I recently tried to train four days per week, but at 41 years of age, I just couldn’t recover and was forced to cut back. I also spend more time focusing on prehabilitation (“pre-hab”) and stretching than when I was a younger trainee.

6. What are some of the upcoming programs you are looking to add to your website ?
I’m always behind on updating the website (i.e. I don’t think it lists all of the programs we currently offer). I would love to employ more group training sessions for female athletes; we need to help them get out of their respective comfort zones and demonstrate the benefits of strength training. We have a few female athletes now and I think if we can facilitate changing their lives for the better, the results will serve as a catalyst to get more females involved.

We are running a program called “Extra Bases/Extra Yards,” which focuses on speed and agility for younger athletes.

Favorite exercise/lift?
 – I’ve always loved the bench press (probably because it’s my best lift); I am hoping to press 500 Rawdog in a meet in January 2012; I’ve always had a love hate relationship with the Squat; I hate squatting, but I love what they do for the body. For total body development, nothing beats the squat and the deadlift.

Recently one of our trainers paid me a great compliment. He said, “All I ever see you do is squat.”

You can’t build a big house on a small foundation.

Favorite sport to play?
 – Definitely football, but that was a long time ago. Currently I enjoy Powerlifting and if I were thirty years younger I would be involved in mixed martial arts.

Favorite sport to build a program for?
 – I don’t really have a favorite sport to program for – I enjoy working with all athletes and clients who are willing to push themselves to reach their goals. I enjoy working with those who are willing to step outside of their comfort zone and sacrifice to reach an end.

Favorite thing about owning BEAST training?
 – The knowledge that we have been able to change individual’s lives for the better is my favorite thing about owning Beast. Watching our trainees add to their overall athletic ability and/or 100 lbs to their squat or deadlift is definitely very fulfilling as well. But, whether it’s witnessing one of our athletes run for a touchdown, or pin an opponent in wrestling, or rip a double down the third base line, knowing Beast has been a positive influence on the lives of these individuals makes all the work worth the while. In addition, the relationships we have fostered over the past two years have been very rewarding and are very important to us.

From the webpage:
BEAST Training’s Founder and Owner, Erik Eggers, is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (“CSCS”) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association, a member of the International and American Powerlifting Associations (“IPA” and “APA”), and an IPA and APA state record holder. He has been involved in resistance training for the past 25 years.

Twitter: @Beasttraining


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