Client Spotlight: Matt Challes

"The meditation it requires and the ability to look at my videos and say 'I struggled, but I did it.'”
We’re shining the spotlight on the Barbell Logic community of lifters, coaches, and students. Everyone has a different answer to the fundamental question “Why strength?” Find out what drives your fellow barbell advocates, learn what gets them out of bed and into the gym most days, and maybe discover some new lifting songs.

Matt Challes

What do your parents or spouse call you when you are in trouble?

“Big Head” is a common one.

Do you have any embarrassing nicknames? What are they?

See last answer

What is your occupation?

IT, specifically on ships.

Who is your BLOC Coach?

The Legendary Monica Rosenberg

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


What is your favorite lift?


Where do you live?

Norfolk, VA

Do you lift in a home gym or a public gym?

Public gym

Gym cat, dog or something else?

Let me lift in the forest with all the animals.

How long have you been training?

Strength training for about 1.5 years, with BLOC almost 10 months

Why did you start lifting?

It’s fun, therapeutic, and beats running and doing lots of pushups.

What do you love about training? 

The meditation it requires and the ability to look at my videos and say “I struggled, but I did it.”

What lifting achievement are you most proud of?

Squatting over 300lbs for reps.

Would you rather magically increase each of your PRs by 20% or magically increase one of your lifts by 100%?

Magically increase each of my PRs by 20%

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

We were talking about lifting or doing something physical and someone said “Matt doesn’t count, he’s strong as hell.”

I’m not but it was the thought that counted.

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

Coach Monica for sure. 

Pre-workout of choice

The blackest, coldest black cold brew I can find. Insert product placement for @chameleoncoldbrew here.

What are some of your go-to lifting songs?

The weirdest loudest stuff I can find. Anything with @Chimpendale drumming is good, and Polish producer @Zamilska is a PR regular for sure. I’m open to recommendations!

What is the most embarrassing song you like?

Pretentious Answer: Any music or art that resonates with you isn’t embarrassing. Real Answer: Old Town Roads

What’s one of your personal lifting superstitions?

Left hand first. Always.

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

Benching over bodyweight. Whether it’s by cutting the body fat or upping the bench, or ideally both.

Do you plan on competing in a meet this year? If so, what are your goals?

Probably. No goals. I just wanna see how I do with an audience.

What have you learned about yourself from barbell training?

There’s no good reason not to believe in yourself.

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

Anthony Bourdain. His tenacity in defense of life and culture despite his personal challenges. His commitment to honesty regardless of the context or backlash.

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

Teddy Roosevelt

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

Best Cropped Faces

How much do you love to eat? 1, It’s a chore – 5, What are we eating next??? 


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

NY Pizza. Oh how I long for thee.

What is a movie that you have watched over and over and over again?

Blade Runner 2049

Anything else you would like to share with your BLOC brethren and sistren? 

Embrace the goofy face.




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