Snap Shot n.
- A photograph taken with a small hand-held camera.
- An isolated observation
Snap Shot with Zach Even Esh
“My own training is very instinctive and spiritual. I go by feel and allow myself to train in any which way possible”
Simple Strength: How did your own training start, were you always interested in fitness and health or was there a particular event that set you on the path?
Zach Even Esh: I began training at age 13, in my brother’s room, where he had a small weider bench, a bunch of dumbbells with the spin locks and a barbell. We even bought the BOWFlex!!!
SS: Did you participate in any sports or activities growing up that had an influence or impact on how you train?
ZE: Wrestling changed my life. I became obsessed with the sport and training for the sport. BUT… I kept getting injured and kept falling short of my goals, losing lots of close matches or losing to guys who were not working as hard as I was. I transitioned into BJJ and shoot fighting after college and got injured again. I’ve had 3 knee surgeries and after my ACL reconstruction I began a mission to help wrestlers around the world avoid my painful mistakes.
SS: How has your training changed and developed over the years? Are there key concepts that define what you now
ZE: Absolutely, I am always evolving. I focus on athleticism, not just strength or just speed and agility. I focus on building athletes who are strong, mentally tough, explosive, agile, mobile and hostile. I use various training tools to help develop the athleticism and love bodyweight / gymnastics movements, kettlebells and odd objects.
SS: Whilst there probably isn’t anything like an average week, can you tell me if you have a particular focus or
approach to your current training?
ZE: My own training is very instinctive and spiritual. I go by feel and allow myself to train in any which way possible: mountain biking, skate boarding, swimming, surfing, powerlifting, strongman training, etc.
I just move my body and since I am not competing for a specific sport, I go by feel. I go with the flow. I used to always push for brutal workouts but those days led to many injuries and exhaustion. I am a family man now and love being strong and athletic, NOT beat up and exhausted.
SS: There is a tremendous amount of confusion when it comes to diet. Some people seem to approach it as an
extreme sport. Can you give me a snapshot of your own nutrition?
ZE: My nutrition is nothing to write home about. I favor 3 – 4 meals a day with a protein shake somewhere in the day. I prefer proteins and healthy fats over carbs and for snacks I like some fruits and trail mix.
Intermittent fasting like the Warrior Diet is a great idea 1 – 2 x week and I’ve used it in the past with great success.
SS: Are there any particular supplements you consider essential for yourself?
ZE: I take fish oils every morning along with vitamin C and B. I take calcium and more vitamin C at night to improve
SS: In my experience, recovery is the most overlooked aspect of the whole training process. What key strategies do
you use when it comes to recovery?
ZE: If you Train hard you must rest hard. I rarely train more than 2 days in a row.
SS: Who have been your biggest influences over the years?
ZE: WOW, the list is many and I’ll likely forget people so I apologize in advanced….. Louie Simmons, Dave Tate, Pavel, Dr. Yessis, Jonny Hinds, Steve Cotter, Joe DeFranco, Smitty of Diesel Crew, Mike Robertson, Bill Hartman, Eric Cressey, Dan John and probably a few more I forgot!
SS: Are there any books or resources you might recommend that have informed your approach to training or life in
ZE: Yes, check these videos I’ve done on my favorite books:
SS: I’m a big fan of quotes. Do you have a personal favourite?
ZE: This was a quote in front of the squat rack at an old school bodybuilding gym I trained at, next to a never seen
before pic of Tom Platz squatting in college, musta had 6 or 7 plates on a bent bar!
“There are those that do and those that don’t, those that will and those that won’t”
I LOVED it and it always stared you in the eyes whenever you were squatting, pushing you to get an extra rep!
SS: Currently reading?
ZE: LOTS of business books, constantly studying the videos of Bartendaz and the likes of the BEASTS in NYC!
SS: Currently listening to?
ZE: the gym i pod is lots of rock and hard rap, if I ever hit the radio, which I rarely do as there is always business CDs rolling, I like Matt Kearney, Pearl Jam, Bob Marley and anything that helps me chill
Zach Even Esh is the owner of the Underground Strength Gym and the original backyard and garage coach. Zach uses all manner of training methods to get athletes, young and old in great shape, fast. He has a fantastlically zero B.S. approach to getting the job done. Check out his site for tons of free information plus Zach’s manuals, DVDs & courses.