While they are always welcome to come back and train, this was just the last summer that they would officially be doing it as college athletes.
I would like to share with you some short stories about each of these athletes, as well as highlight their progress over the years.
One point I would like to make is that weight training is a marathon, not a sprint.
Some of these athletes had testing sessions with me where they did not hit their goal weights.
Since they are not competitive powerlifters or weightlifters, its not really the end of the world if they only bench 320 instead of 325. (Just don't tell them that.)
The main thing is that they learned the techniques that would enable them to progressively put on weight (without injury) throughout their careers.
I knew Sean was a warrior the first week he joined Advanced Training, as he shattered several records previously set with our MTS Bands.
Although he is relatively quiet, you can tell that he never wants to lose at anything.
Anytime he heard I made a weight on something this summer, he would immediately beat it.
His competitive nature enabled him to be the Challenge Winner in 2010 and finish 3rd in this year's Toughman.
If you want to know how much Sean progressed over the years, simply look at his two pictures below.
|S. Mulligan in 2009|
|S.Mulligan at 2011 Toughman|
Unfortunately for Sean, he blew out his knee, not once, but twice, during his college career.
(To show you how much Sean's peers respect him, about 15 members of Advanced Training said a prayer in the middle of a public park to ask for his speedy recovery.)
While most athletes would quit after the second surgery, it only seemed to make him more determined.
He walked around with a healthy chip on his shoulder, and I think its what made him progress at the pace he did.
Below are a summary of Sean's gains since 2008.
- Bench Press: 245 to 310 (65lbs)
- Squat: 325 to 400 (75lbs) - includes two knee surgeries
- Pull-Ups: 4 to 25 (21 reps)
- Power Points: 0.612 to 1.032
- Weight: 190lbs to 203lbs
Abrom was the first referral I ever got from another member of Advanced Training. Up until Abrom, I had only trained guys I had actually coached in high school.
I think I can speak for the entire group when I say that we are all lucky that Abrom is the nicest person on earth.
If he ever got mad, I am pretty sure if would take about 5 of our biggest guys to take him down. I feel bad for any Offensive Tackle that has to line up against him for 80 snaps on a Saturday.
Abrom came to our group with raw strength, but pretty rotten form.
I remember his entire body would come off the bench during bench press.
I also remember when he could not hang snatch more than 65lbs without making me want to vomit.
As can be seen from this video, he has come along way. (This video is also great because it also shows how much smaller Sean Mulligan and Gerald Amerosi were a few years ago.)
The thing that impressed me most about Abrom was the effort he had to make to actually get to our training sessions.
Not only did he live on the other side of Staten Island, he also did not have a car.
As a result, he would have to take two buses to get there. (At the same time, we had guys who lived two blocks away who couldn't get there at all.)
|A.Shepard in 2009|
|A.Shepard in 2011|
Abrom trained with us in 2008 and 2009, but decided to stay at school to train with his team in 2010.
In 2011, his school gave me one of the best compliments I ever got.
They told him to go back to Staten Island and train with me before his senior year, because they felt he got better results.
Needless to say, Abrom got a car, made sure he got to all of his lifting sessions, and trained like a beast.
Below are a summary of Abrom's gains since 2008.
- Bench Press: 335 to 370 (35lbs)
- Squat: 305 to 380 (75lbs) -
- Pull-Ups: 3 to 14 (11 reps)
- Power Points: 0.680 to 1.008
- Weight: 247lbs to 272lbs
Steve Roman was one of the best football players I have ever coached.
His extreme intelligence and instinct, combined with excellent athletic ability, made him a dominant high school football player.
He was also what I like to call "A Gamer".
"A Gamer" is someone who steps up on game day and makes plays above and beyond their potential based on the level of competition. The better the competition, the better "A Gamer" will play.
|S.Roman 2011 Strongman Training|
Steve was also "A Gamer" in the weight room.
I remember in his first year, he had some horrible training sessions.
He would bench and squat less than he did when he first started training.
He actually made me doubt that my training was any good.
Then he came in on testing day and put 40lbs on his bench and about 80lbs on his squat.
For reasons unknown to me, Steve did not train with us for the last few years.
I am not sure of the reasons why, but I would be a liar if I told you that it didn't bother me.
Because he was so smart, I had to believe he knew better than to think training alone was a good idea.
Having said that, I had to assume that if he wasn't training with us, it was because he did not believe in the program.
For more reasons unknown to me, Steve decided to come back and train with us this winter and again this summer.
I am really glad he did, because his competitive nature pushed other members of the program.
In addition, he was recovering from a shoulder injury, and I hold myself to be a specialist when it comes to training people with injuries.
Despite training with one arm for about half the summer, he still made huge gains (going up almost a full power point).
I am not sure why he left.
I have no idea what made him come back.
I am just glad he did.
Below are a summary of Steve's gains since 2007.
- Bench Press: 220 to 290 (70lbs)
- Squat: 295 to 415 (120lbs) -
- Pull-Ups: 12 to 31 (19 reps)
- Power Points: 0.632 to 1.025
- Weight: 247lbs to 272lbs
Gerald Amerosi:Gerald Amerosi should be an inspiration to any athlete who is looking to completely transform himself.
He came into the program one of the weakest people I have trained.
(His rookie year Power Points (0.564) rank him 105 out of 109 total.)
He came out of the program with a Power Point Rating of 1.025, placing him 13th on the all time list.
Yeah, I know I said "Enough said", but Gerald deserves more of a write-up than that.
First off, he was one of the few guys I trained that was a baseball player.
When the majority of people you train with are meathead football players, this isn't easy.
Second, he had to work his training schedule around his summer baseball league, which the majority of other baseball players I have trained struggled to do.
As can be expected, he never missed a lift and he trained like an animal.
|G.Amerosi 2011 Toughman|
Gerald was definitely a program guy.
He never missed a summer or a winter session, he never questioned why we used certain movements, and he never hesitated to motivate those training around him.
His numbers below are a product of his hard work and his dedication to making himself better.
Gerald's massive gains since 2008:
- Bench Press: 165 to 285 (120lbs)
- Squat: 300 to 385 (85lbs) -
- Pull-Ups: 10 to 32 (22 reps)
- Power Points: 0.564 to 1.014
- Weight: 247lbs to 272lbs
This is the first and only year Sal trained with us.
Because of that, I always thought he was a slug.
Then when he finally came to train with us this summer, I realized he was the exact opposite.
|S.Altieri 2011 Toughman|
Not only did he train like an animal, he also worked a summer job performing manual labor all day.
Having a similar upbringing, I know how hard it is to train after carrying around heavy objects in 100 degrees for up to 12 hours.
Unlike Amerosi, Sal did question everything we did.
At first, I thought he didn't trust me.
After a few weeks, I realized he actually wanted to learn what we were doing so he could be better.
(Considering he is studying engineering in college, I should have known that was why he was asking so many questions.)
My only regret with Sal is that I did not get to train him for a longer period of time.
He put up some massive numbers in a very short period of time, and I am sure we would have made him a complete and total animal if we had him for a little longer.
To those of you "graduating" from the program, you will be missed.
You definitely were a giant part of what this program has become and what it stands for.
I expect to see all of you at next year's Toughman to keep these young guys in check.