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Coach Spotlight: CJ Gotcher

What are some of your lifting-related goals for this year? "Crush my enemies. See them driven before me. Laminate their dumbbells."

Coach CJ Gotcher

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

Too slick. Never get caught.

Do you have any embarrassing nicknames? What are they?

Just people who think “Gotcha Gotcher” is terribly clever. 😉

Oh, and my call-sign at one point was “Sunshine.” Go figure.    

What actor or actress would you like to play you in a movie?

Ewan McGregor. Or Tom Holland. They could definitely pull it off. 

How long have you been coaching?

Just barbells? 4 years

Have you had other careers, or currently work in another field? What are they?

Active duty Navy for 7 years, Reserves for 3. Superhero secret sidekick, but my only power is bad dad jokes, so they kicked me off the team.

Who’s your favorite BLOC client? (JK, don’t answer that.)

Who’s your least favorite BLOC client? (JK, again.)

I’m probably Matt’s worst client 😉 

If you could time travel back to when you first started coaching, what advice would you give yourself?

Get yourself out there right now. Don’t just do ‘form check visits’ and seminars. ASAP, work with real, messy people with different goals and challenges. Fail a lot.  

What are some of your favorite things to do when you’re not working or training?

Cooking. Reading. The rest is classified.

What is your favorite lift?


Where do you live?

Oceanside, California

What is your favorite animal print?


Gym cat, dog or something else?


How long have you been training?

Started doing CrossFit in 2006, started lifting real weight in 2013.

What is the most embarrassing moment from any dark days of “lifting” that you may have had?

Wasn’t paying attention, distracted, I misloaded the bench by a full 25KG plate. I unracked it, it slid sideways, and somehow, I managed to flip it over like a caber into the medball rack.

What do you love about training? 

The science experiment of it. Each rep, my diet, my sleep, is all data towards the experiment of Life GainzZz

What do you love about coaching? 

The excitement you can see in someone’s face when they realize they have new options in the world. 

What lifting achievement are you most proud of?

Being part of the Ironmonger’s Team win for the USPA 2017 Nationals

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

Magically increase one of my lifts by 100% 

Would you rather not have to eat food and have your ideal body composition, or get to eat 6,000 calories per day and have your ideal body composition?

Not have to eat food and have my ideal body composition.

How many lifting-related shirts do you own? 


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

*Sigh* If I don’t do this, I’ll have to explain to Matt why I missed the workout… 😉 

Pre-workout of choice

Water. Chalk. 

What are some of your go-to lifting songs?

Coffee Sunday NYT – Leah Nobel

Weak – AJR

Counting Bodies Like Sheep – A Perfect Circle

Blood Year – Russian Circles 

What is the most embarrassing song you like?

I have no shame… and it’s “She Blinded Me with Science” 

What’s one of your personal lifting superstitions?

I have a lucky PR shirt of a deadlifting unicorn

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

Crush my enemies. See them driven before me. Laminate their dumbbells. 

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

Prepping for a meet with a goal of a 1400+ total @181. Probably hit the goal next year, but we’ll see. 

What have you learned about yourself from barbell training?

Success is rarely about the obvious—the time in the gym. It’s about properly managing the REST of life—diet, family, work, expectations. 

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

Hawkeye. Imagine what he could do with some meat on that frame. 

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

I pull from too many voices to pick a single one. 

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

Worst-Matched Gym Clothes

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.

We cook a shrimp scampi the whole house really likes. Any type of pasta works, and we cook the shrimp with garlic, lemon, a bit of oregano, white wine, and olive oil, cover it with bread crumbs and parmesan cheese to give the sauce some body, then take the whole mess to broil for 6 minutes. The bread and cheese end up just the right side of crispy and melty… the whole thing’s just good. 

What was your favorite childhood TV show?

Beast Wars

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

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Tell us your best dad joke. 

How do you know when a joke is a dad joke?

When it becomes apparent. 

What advice do you have for a new lifter? Or a lifter who’s been doing this a while? 

Keep your eye on what matters to you. If it’s your lifts, give it 100%. If your lifts are in support of something else, give your strength training the dedication needed to support that other thing, but it doesn’t have to be your life. 

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

Hot Tub Boiz!



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