Coach Spotlight: Randy Winfrey

International man of mystery... Robert DeNiro lookalike... Italian chef. Coach Winfrey would you more, but then he'd have to kill you.

Coach: Randy Winfrey

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

Randy Winfrey 

Do you have any embarrassing nicknames? What are they?

Captain America when I first went into the military in the early 1980’s

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

Robert DeNiro when he was a bit younger

The DeNiro resemblance is uncanny!

How long have you been coaching?

20+ years

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

Firefighter, Special Agent Investigator

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

Keep it simple, just work harder

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

Cooking Italian food, landscaping, relaxing outside

What is your favorite lift?


Where do you live?

Houston TX

What is your favorite animal print?

Don’t care

Gym cat, dog or something else?


How long have you been training?

since 1979, so 40 years

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

Trying to make the Nautilus system work in the early 1980’s and collapsing on the squat platform last year tearing my quad tendon. 

What do you love about training? 

Hard work

What do you love about coaching? 

Making a difference, especially with kids on my track team and getting older people stronger. 

What lifting achievement are you most proud of?

Deadlifting 455×5

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?

Get to eat 6,000 calories per day 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?

The thought of someone working harder than me.

Pre-workout of choice

Espresso, especially Illy brand or anything from Peru

What are some of your go-to lifting songs?

Several from Motley Crue, Metallica and Ratt, but I don’t always listen to music while lifting and don’t need it to train. 

What is the most embarrassing song you like?

Old Madonna songs

What’s one of your personal lifting superstitions?

Always grip the bar with my left hand first

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

Attempt to get my squat back over 400, press 155×5, bench press 225×5 (regaining upper body strength after damaged nerve at C-7)

What have you learned about yourself from barbell training?

It is a good way to channel my hard work ethic into something simple.

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

My wife, to get her stronger after years of endurance training

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

Not really, I like to take bits and pieces from different people’s philosophy/attitude/perspective and make it my own. The Bruce Lee approach.

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

In their prime, Pyrros Dimas and Mark Chailet

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

Probably nothing, I’m boring.

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.

Antipasti with prosciutto wrapped around cantaloup, salami and various cheeses. Spaghetti (#12 thickness) with Marinara sauce (cooked the Southern Italian way), meatballs (Sicilian style), and Parmesan cheese. Spinach salad with red onion, feta cheese and olive oil. Small slice of cheesecake, red wine from Montalcino, and espresso. 

What was your favorite childhood TV show?

Rat Patrol (military series)

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

Several; The GodFather, The American, Ronin, Gladiator

Tell us your best dad joke. 

Don’t have one

(We’re not buying it, Randy!)

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

Don’t think complicated is better, nutrition and rest combined are more important than the training.

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

I could move back to Italy tomorrow and be happy. The Mediterranean lifestyle fit me well.

(Ciao Bello!)




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