We were in Westminster, MD last weekend for a Starting Strength seminar at CrossFit Retribution. Rip’s friend, Jim Steel, stopped by and brought his friend Rob Wagner. Let me say this, the fact that I’ve worked by Rip day in and day out for the last two years along with the fact that I’ve been on his seminar staff for almost four years now doesn’t lessen the respect I have for him and his knowledge. Familiarity tends to dampen such things, not in this case. So to sit at a dinner table with he and Jim Steel, who’s been around the strength world for 30+ years and is the Strength and Conditioning Coordinator at UPenn, and listen to their stories is quite an amazing night. ADD in the fact that Steel brought Rob Wagner, a Masters World Champion powerlifter and legendary strength coach, and I just became Starstruck.

It was one of the greatest Saturday night dinners ever, one I won’t forget for a long, long time. The conversation was filled with great stories and lots of laughter. We had heard that “Captain” Kirk Karwoski will be showing up at some point and without even looking up, you knew the exact time he got to our back room dinner. A hush came over the room and people just stopped to stare. It was one of the coolest things I’ve seen. ADD in the fact that I got a big hug from the greatest squatter in history and that pretty much tops off the night.

It was an amazing evening. Seriously, it would be completely douche of me to consider myself part of this crew. So I do not want to give that impression. I just happened to be fortunate enough to sit at that table and enjoy the evening with these legends of the strength game. It was a great night, one for the books. I’m appreciative to these guys for sharing their free time and allowing the rest of us to revert back to giddy school kids as we took it all in.

About tosabarbell

For training opportunities at tosabarbell, call or text Juli at 320-296-9313. e-mail to At tosabarbell, I build relationships cultivated in a strength and learning environment. There is no 12 week magic pill program to strength but rather a lifetime commitment to be the very best and most useful human you can be. tosabarbell is a private, home grown gym with three lifting platforms; squat rack; prowlers; throwing implements; bars, bumpers and everything else needed for an effective strength and conditioning program. Straightforward barbell programming including the Olympic lifts; sound (read: not fancy bullshit) diet advance for weight gain or loss; and strong coaching will ensure you will meet your goals such as becoming stronger, more explosive, and better conditioned. I have been coaching teams and athletes for over 30 years. I grew up participating in various sports at various levels but was always drawn to those that require strength training. I have multiple local, national, and world records in the sports of Weightlifting and Highland Games Heavy Events as well as a combined total of 5 World Championships. My 5 years of training and coaching under Mark Rippetoe provided a wide range of influence from some of the top strength & conditioning and throwing coaches in the country. I will strongly encourage tosabarbell athletes to compete (and prepare you to do so.) However, tosabarbell is also for those who wish to be stronger and go through life feeling better. Matt WanAt is a retired Professional Strongman who competed frequently with Strongman Champions League in Europe. He played a year of D1 football with Iowa before concentrating on his Chemical Engineering degree in Iowa City. He is a native of Wauwatosa and still remains a staunch supporter of Tosa East. This blog will be a mixture of strength notes, coaching and nutrition tips, personal shit; bacon delicacies, and a whole lot of fun.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Starstruck

  1. Dwayne KONG Wint says:

    When I went to the SS seminar and you, Rip, and the staff and guest stars showed up, I was starstruck. I still find it awesome to be surrounded by so many stars.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s