Dave Spitz – Olympic Weightlifting, Regret vs. Disappointment, and the Transformational Mantra “Never Do Nothing”

Dave Spitz Olympic Weightlifting

Dave Spitz
Olympic Weightlifting, Regret vs. Disappointment, and the Transformational Mantra “Never Do Nothing”

Dave Spitz is the CEO and Founder of California Strength. He holds recognition as one of the few USA Weightlifting Senior International Coaches in the country and is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist. California Strength has dominated the United States Olympic weightlifting landscape, producing numerous National Team Titles, American Records and earning medal recognition on the international stage. Most recently, Dave coached Wes Kitts to an 8th place finish at the Tokyo Olympics.

For more info about Dave and CalStrength, check out the California Strength website, and follow then on Instagram.

Athletes, Coaches, and Bulgarians mentioned in the episode: 

04:20  Dave runs through his “Day Job”
05:30  CalStrength has a new facility complete with a cafe, pool, and outdoor bar
06:00  In Germany no gym can survive unless there is a bar and cafe within the facility
07:50  The culture is driven by the more by the expectations, commitment to intelligently designed programming, and leadership than the physical facility
08:40  Dave and Kelly ran into each other at The Arnold Sports Festival
09:25  Dave was at The Arnold to coach two athletes – Wes Kitts and Nathan Damron
10:10  Dave coached Wes Kitts to an 8th place finish at the Olympics this year
11:32  Kelly loved being able to watch Wes and Nathan compete while simultaneously watching Dave watch his athletes complete their lifts
13:05  Dave lived a lot of life before arriving at his current job – college sports, founded an oil and gas company, job in finance…
15:40  When the 2004 Olympics in Athens rolled around, Dave realized that he was successful but unfulfilled
16:18  Dave decided to take up weightlifting with Olympics being the goal
16:52  Dave started training with Ivan Abadjiev in Bulgaria who he had met through Alex Krychev, the 1972 silver medalist
17:30  Soon after, Dave started a non-profit and brought Ivan Abadjiev over to the US along with some Bulgarian and US athletes to stay together in a house and train; Donny Shankle; Max Aita; James Moser
19:20  “Success is Situational”
20:00  “Regret lingers. Disappointment fades”
21:43  In 2009, Dave walked away from everything else and focused on Cal Strength full time which coincided with the rise of CrossFit, the rise of online content, and Olympic lifting being accessible to a broader audience
23:10  Kelly finds that time very special and magical
23:45  Olympic weightlifting has exploded across many disciplines
24:50  Is the trap bar the slant board of weightlifting?
26:10  Speed is a safety mechanism
26:40  People are very confused about whether kids can/should lift weights
27:09  Dave’s kids are 6, 8, and 10 and all do Olympic lifting
28:40  CrossFit is introducing the Olympic lifts to a wide variety of people that wouldn’t otherwise have any exposure to weightlifting
29:50  Going to the Tokyo Olympics definitely scratched that Olympic itch for Dave
31:40  There are still some big holes in athletic development, i.e. lack of early exposure; Dave has developed an athletic life plan for his kids
34:00  Early specialization is still a huge problem
35:28  The sport specific training myth
37:34  Individual sport athletes have pressure that is different than team sports; Mikaela Shiffrin; Simon Biles
38:34  Reentry into life after attending the olympics as an athlete or coach is hugely difficult for many; Nathan Damron; Maddison Pannell
39:28  In starting CalStrength, Dave’s goal was to bring US weightlifting back to relevance; Travis Mash
40:48  The asymmetry in weightlifting competition is disheartening
41:55  Coaches like Dave, Travis Mash, and Chad Vaughn have put Olympic lifting into the language of athletic training
42:35  Kelly believes that Dave and CalStrength have foundationally changed training in the US; Jim Schmitz
43:39  Balancing coaching with running a gigantic corporation is tough; Stu McMillan
45:42  Nic Gill has said that by the end of the week there is less coaching going on since the athletes are taking ownership of the training plan
47:16  Busting the myth that people that own gyms get to exercise all day
47:45  Dave’s daily routine
48:55  Dave’s mantra: “Never Do Nothing”; Atomic Habits, by James Clear
49:58  When the Starrett’s kids were young, Kelly developed a 10 minute workout plan called 10/10/10 at 10pm
50:38  Dave’s Rx for everyone
53:07  CalStrength has a new program that is actually what Dave uses to stay fit: Ripped & Ready Program
54:45  What is Dave living for?
57:05  The Starrett’s daughter Caroline (13yo) did a water polo camp at the olympic training facility in Colorado Springs and she was talking about another player that she just couldn’t stop as a goalie, turns out, it was Maddie Musselman
58:27  Dave’s socials

Full Transcript


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