Today marks the first of what we plan to be many Hypertrophy interviews, as we talk to Jason Tremblay of TheStrengthGuys.com. I like Jason’s approach of sport-specific strength training, and TSG’s sheer ambition in their growth over the last year, so I thought it’d be great to ask him a few questions about himself and TSG.
Tell us a little bit about yourself
My name is Jason Tremblay and I am the President and Director of The Strength Guys Inc. I was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta as an avid sports enthusiast. Growing I played multiple sports and nothing seemed to pique my interest.
As a teenager I began trending towards being overweight and obesity until I discovered weight training at 16 years of age. I dived head over heels into the world of strength training and physique enhancement and sought out to learn all that I possibly could about it.
As I began to learn more and more about strength training I became interested in the personal training side of the fitness industry. At 18 years of age I graduated with my Personal Fitness Training Certificate at Mount Royal University.
During my 10 months of course work in the Personal Training Program at Mount Royal I became friends with Anthony Walker, who is now the co-founder and Vice President of The Strength Guys.
After Anthony and I graduated with our PFT certificates we decided to create a twitter account called @TheStrengthGuys and share some of the lesser known sides of strength training to the world. Anthony and I have been directing The Strength Guys for the last 1.5 years while we are currently pursuing our Bachelors Degrees in Exercise Physiology.
What’s the story behind The Strength Guys all the way up to being followed by Jay Cutler on Twitter?
The Strength Guys started as a social media based group on Twitter in October of 2011. I began tweeting exercise physiology based strength training information, and after the first 3 days of our existence we only had 1 follower.
As an avid bodybuilding fan, I sent out a tweet to Jay asking him for his help in building our brand. He promptly followed us and sent out a promotional tweet to help us build our following. By the end of October we were in business as the tweet from Jay really helped to get us on our feet. In May of 2012 Anthony and I made the decision to hire Matt, who became the 3rd member of our group.
We also had a partnership with Hunt Fitness where I was learning the nuances of designing individualized exercise programs. Kyle Hunt was gracious enough to allow us a place on his website http://hunt-fitness.com where I could sell my programs off of.
In the summer of 2012 Matt and I made the decision to promote ourselves heavily during the London Summer Olympics. For every day of the Olympiad I wrote a sport-science based article and Matt published corresponding Facebook and Twitter posts.
The TSG Olympic Series not only helped us in establishing ourselves as a knowledgable strength training group, but it also allowed us to establish important business connections and control over how The Strength Guys would evolve.
At the beginning of September we hit the 1000 follower mark on Twitter, and from there our brand began to expand rapidly. In October of 2012 Matt, Anthony and I made the decision to begin selling our programs. Word spread about our programs and our coaching operation began to expand.
As our clientele grew Matt, Anthony and I became increasingly confident in our programming abilities, this confidence eventually led us to contact NASCAR Driver Mark Martin on Twitter to see if he would be interested in our programming. Although he was very adamant of our unique programming style at first, Mark eventually decided to give our program a try and after the first workout he was hooked.
With Mark and an ever growing client base on our sides, TSG was growing at full speed. By January of 2013 we were working with the Canadian Junior National Bodybuilding Champion, the current NASA National Powerlifting Champion and a variety of up-and-coming physique competitors.
Late in February Anthony and I decided to bring on the 4th member of our group, nutrition coach and NPC Bodybuilder Austin Stout. In the weeks to follow, Matt and I decided to get together for the first time in person at the Arnold Classic in March. This was a crucial moment in the formation and evolution of our group as Matt and I had only been in contact via social media, e-mail and phone in the months prior to this.
While at the Arnold Classic Matt and I forged a business relationship with Layne Norton, and befriended Alex Kovaleski, who was initially a client of ours, and is currently our Multimedia Director. After the Arnold Classic Matt and I headed home with a 5-man team to follow. With our client base expanding, Anthony and I hired the 6th and 7th members of our team, Chris Aydin and Jordan Jansen as strength and nutritional coaches respectively.
On June 24th, Matt, Austin, Chris and Jordan decided to part ways with The Strength Guys and form their own coaching group. Currently The Strength Guys is a 3 man team which is still being led by Anthony, Alex and myself.
What are some things about strength and lifting that people don’t usually know, but you think they should?
The most glossed over part of strength training and program design is the training philosophy. I like to use the analogy that designing a training program without a training philosophy is like firing a cannon off of a canoe.
When there is no philosophical reason for why your program is the way that it is, how can you justify it? Every good coach has a set of values that they never compromise, and this is why the training philosophy is so important.
Do you have a top 3 of favourite lifts or exercises?
Of course! I am a strength training enthusiast first and foremost so I am going to have to give the standard Squat, Bench Press and Deadlift answer for this question.
However, exercise variety does change in our programming based off of the goals of the athlete. For Powerlifters or Olympic Lifters there will be more of an emphasis on developing motor patterns and therefore there is a lot less in terms of exercise variety.
However with bodybuilding, the emphasis is maximizing mechanical tension and metabolic stress, so consequently there are more exercises in our bodybuilding programs to reflect this training objective.
I would like to thank you Jon for allowing me the opportunity to share the story of The Strength Guys like it has never been told before. I would also like to thank all of our clients and followers for their support and for continuously providing me with the motivation to continue to grow TSG.
If you are interested in being coached by The Strength Guys please contact [email protected] for information on their rates and services. You can also find The Strength Guys on Twitter and Instagram @TheStrengthGuys, as well as on Facebook at facebook.com/TheStrengthGuys