Coach Spotlight: Karl Schudt

Get motivated with Coach Karl Schudt: "Don't quit! Try to find the glory inherent in the activity. Make it more than just a chore. Even when you are staring up at 5x5 squats, think of how glorious you will be when you finish."

Coach:Karl Schudt

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

Karl Schudt

Do you have any embarrassing nicknames? What are they?

None currently. In college, they called me Tnuc. Read it backwards. I don’t think it was very nice. 

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

Bruce Willis.

How long have you been coaching?

10 years

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

engineer, bouncer, choir director, occasionally get paid to sing, philosophy teacher, seminar host at

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

I love my clients. They put in the work!

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

Sometimes clients don’t do the work. But I still don’t hate them. 

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

Learn how to teach bar position for the squat better. 

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

Reading, running seminars, beach time, music

What is your favorite lift?


Where do you live?


What is your favorite animal print?


Gym cat, dog or something else?

too allergic

How long have you been training?

since 1983, off and on. 

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

Sumo deadlift rolled back and knocked me on my ass. I finished the set, but haven’t pulled sumo since. 

What do you love about training? 

Fighting entropy

(Video) Coach Karl hitting a 470 lb. bench press!

What do you love about coaching? 

I used to teach students who hadn’t read the book and didn’t care about the class. Coaching is much better. The clients are interested and care very much.

What lifting achievement are you most proud of?

590lb squat

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%.

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?

What do we say to the god of death? Not today! 

Pre-workout of choice

Coffee and toaster tarts

What are some of your go-to lifting songs?

If I actually have to concentrate, Atlas Rise by Metallica or Kashmir by Led Zeppelin

What is the most embarrassing song you like?

Taylor Swift, all of it. 

What’s one of your personal lifting superstitions?

Anti-superstition: it doesn’t matter at all if the deadlift is not aligned properly.

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

600! In some lift. I don’t care which.

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

I am going to Nationals. I want to do well and possibly hit 600 in competition. 

What have you learned about yourself from barbell training?

Hard isn’t hard. Also that I don’t get hurt. I’ve been very lucky.

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

Mel Gibson, so we could do Lethal Weapon crazy scenes before each lift.

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

Odysseus, because he was never at a loss.

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

Karen Carpenter, so she could have focused on PRs and not bodyweight. 

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

Most likely to be displayed in a museum of interesting anthropometry

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.

Pizza from down the road. They use a sweeter sauce. My wife doesn’t like it, and so we compromise and never get it. 

What was your favorite childhood TV show?

Star Trek

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

The Blues Brothers

Tell us your best dad joke. 

Knock Knock! Who’s there? Ananya! Ananya who? Ananya business! (my daughters have a friend named Ananya. She’s not amused.)

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

Don’t quit! Try to find the glory inherent in the activity. Make it more than just a chore. Even when you are staring up at 5×5 squats, think of how glorious you will be when you finish. 

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

This is a fine group of coaches. I’m honored to be among them. 



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