Each week, we shine the spotlight on one of our online coaching clients. The simple idea of making ourselves stronger through training brings together people of all different backgrounds and for all different purposes. In sharing our clients’ experiences we hope to share part of what makes our online community of lifters unique.

Jordan Burnett

The progress picture is 2.5 years apart and about 70 lbs heavier. And somehow he’s only torn one pair of pants along this journey. He’s either much better at planning than the rest of us, or wears a lot of stretchy pants. Good job Jordan.

Jordan is a Strength Coach who lives in Bedford, TX and is coached by Michael Wolf, who also loves Lord of the Rings and Star Wars..coincidence? He lifts in his home gym and listens to some loud stuff. His go-to lifting songs are “The Grudge” and “Stinkfist” by Tool, “Separate Ways” by Journey, “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen, “Wish” and “Somewhat Damaged” by NIN, “Slave to the Grind” by Skid Row, but he’s got a soft spot for “All You Wanted” by Michelle Branch.  
Ready for your heart to melt?

Do you have a role model? Who is it and why?

My mom. She’s the best, kindest, most amazing woman I know and if I turn out even remotely like her I’ll consider my life a success.

Why did you start lifting?

I was 140-ish pounds (at 6’1”) and I absolutely hated how skinny and almost emaciated I looked. I had little to no self esteem and had no confidence at all. One day at work, a female co-worker challenged me to an arm wrestle (she was 5 foot nothing, although I found out later that she’d been a powerlifter in the past), and she beat me with ease. I’ve since developed a monumental respect for strong women, but at the time my pride was severely wounded. That day I looked up strength training and set my mind on getting stronger and the rest is history.

What do you love about training?

I am inherently a very very lazy person. Hard work does not come naturally to me at all. I have to work hard to work hard. When I discovered lifting, I found that it was the only thing in my whole life (I was 22 at the time) that I was actually willing to put 100% of my effort into. I never missed a session, I sacrificed time with friends and family and girlfriends to train because of how obsessed I was with it. Strength training taught me responsibility. It taught me how to do hard things. It taught me how to commit to something and follow through with it, to have some integrity and create some agency in my life. And lo and behold, those things bled into other areas of my life as well. I started to look people in the eye when I talked to them, and I was walking prouder with my chest out instead of being rounded over and shy. I found myself keeping commitments, trying harder at work, developing more mature and healthy relationships. It gave me something that I was truly passionate about that I’ve been able to turn into a career, that I was willing to work hard for and grind and put the hours in to develop. It taught me that it wasn’t too late to become a man of substance. I love strength training with all my heart and I would not be the man I am today without it.

What lifting achievement are you most proud of?

My 442.5 lb squat

Video: Pulling my current 1RM of 455 (which was a 9 second pull the first time I did it) with relative ease today.

Describe a time after you started training when someone noticed your gains. What was it like?

I hadn’t seen some old friends in a couple of years and they were blown away by how much bigger and more muscular I’d gotten. It was very validating.

What or who gets you to train when your motivation is really low?

The thought that if I miss training I’m just setting myself up for failure and it’ll end up taking even longer to reach my goals.

Pre-workout of choice

Black coffee (not Foldger’s, for the love of god)

What’s your favorite meal? Please use as much detail as possible.

2 inch thick ribeye, salt and pepper heavily. 1 green chili and 1 jalapeño finely diced, 2 cloves minced garlic, zest of 1 whole lime, 1/2 of the lime’s juice, fresh cilantro and dill weed, mix everything together and mix it all into a whole block of butter. Super hot cast iron skillet with olive oil, sear the steak on one side for about a minute and flip, add a generous amount of the aforementioned butter to the pan for the steak to cook in and immediately transfer to the oven on broil for 3 minutes per side for a perfect rare. Remove and let rest under tin foil with some more butter on top to melt while it rests.

Dice several Yukon gold potatoes and throw into a pan over medium high heat with olive oil. Add salt, pepper, smoked paprika, coriander, rosemary and butter and cover the pan with a lid. Sauté until potatoes can easily be pierced with a fork.

In the same cast iron skillet the steak was made in, throw down a sprinkle of salt and pepper into the pan with a little more butter, cut brussel sprouts in half and let cook until crispy and soft.

What is your favorite lift?


What is something your coach has had to tell you a million and one times?

Re: the press – “point your elbows forward, tight armpits, first rep looks okay, and…..yeah they’re starting to flare out again.”

What do your parents or spouse call you when you are in trouble? (Take notes, Wolf!)

Jordan Patrick!

If BLOC made a yearbook, which do you think you’d most likely win?

Least likely to miss a training session

Gym dog or cat?

Gym imaginary friend

What was your favorite childhood TV show?


What are a couple of your favorite books?

The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Wheel of Time series, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life, Fahrenheit 451, The Count of Monte Cristo

Dead or alive, who would you love to lift with?

Jon Pall Sigmarsson

Who is someone you’d love to try barbell training and why?

My grandpa. He’s 80 and he’s fallen down a few times now, I just know it would improve his quality of life drastically.

What have you learned about yourself from barbell training?

That I’m capable of doing anything I put my mind to, because whatever it is is certainly not as hard as a max effort set of fahve.

What are some of your lifting-related goals for this year?  

Deadlift 500, squat 475, bench 275, press 185

Video: Jordan singing tasty jams.


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