Last weekend I had the rare opportunity to train with an absolute legend in the Powerlifting world. Louie Simmons made a rare appearance in Connecticut for a CrossFit Powerlifting Cert. The experience was absolutely outstanding!
From what I understand, Louie doesn’t leave Ohio very often to do these certs. However my friend Merle Mckenzie got Louie out to CrossFit Relentless, in West Hartford, CT it was pretty damn cool of him to do!
One of the things I love about CrossFit is that it incororates the best of the best from so many disciplines. This is actually one of the big factors that attracted me in the beginning. I guess it’s that it appealed to my training ADD. Over the less than two years I’ve been involved with CrossFit I’ve had the opportunity to meet and train with some of the best coaches in a bunch of different areas. They were all outstanding and the quality of the instruction was great. Louie and the Westside crew was different though.
The passion Louie has is obvious. He’s in his 60s now and he still loves powerlifting. It’s completely obvious. He loves the training and he loves teaching it. It happend with me and a few others where we grabbed Louie during a break to ask him to clarify something and he just went off spilling his incredible knowledge. One of his guys would ususally interrupt after 10 minues or so and tell him it was time to start the seminar again. Louie would just say “OK” and keep going for another 10 minutes. Total passion and love for teaching.
I kept asking questions during the seminar and, at one point, Louie kind of stopped and addressed me almost exclusively and hammered me until I got was he was saying. His comment was “If you leave without knowing this, I might as well give you your money back!” Such a great experience.
The other thing that was obvious was the family atmosphere that exists at Westside. Louie had 5 of his guys with him. Well, 4 guys and a girl. But the point is, they cared about teaching and sharing as much as Louie. A lot of times, they’d just cut in while Louie was teaching and explain what he was saying in a different way or add something that Louie was leaving out. What I thought was so cool is how impromptu this was and how cool Louie was about letting them add and share the spotlight. Louie obviously doesn’t have the big ego that goes along with a lot of guys with his reputation and experience.
Another highlight for me was getting my own copy of The Westside Book of Methods signed by Louie. Anyone who knows me knows I have a thing for books. My copy of the Book of Methods signed by Louie will be something I never part with. Speaking of, the knowledge insight in that book is incredible! I can only digest a few pages at a time when I read it. It’s that information dense! Awesome!
The Powerlifting Cert was awesome, Louie was awesome and his people were awesome. It was a great experience. I was only half joking when I told my friend Jen I was ready to drop everything here in CT and ask Louie if I could go back to Ohio and train with them. Really!
Thanks for the great time, guys! And thank you, Merle for getting them out to your box!