SEALgrinderPT catches up with one of the top coaches in the U.S. – Zach Even-Esh. Zach forged himself from a 110 lb weakling to a 220 lb lean and mean bruiser the old fashioned way — picking up heavy sh*t and always leading from the front. SPGT is psyched to get a few minutes of Zach’s time to learn a little bit about him. Check it out…..
SGPT: Tell us about who Zach is and what inspires you?
ZEE: Well, this is tough to type out, ha ha, there is MUCH to tell. The short version is I was a kid who fell in love with working out when I wrestled in high school, problem is, I did it all wrong back then and I suffered many set backs, both in sport and in life.
I became a Physical Education teacher and pursued teaching and education aggressively as it was my passion. I had plans to get my PhD and had begun post graduate studies after my Master’s degree. BUT, teaching changed, administration changed, it killed my passion and my passion to always do what I love was something that always burned deep inside of me.
I didn’t wanna be the guy working for an organization that didn’t push the envelope. I realized it would lay on my shoulders
and so I spent countless years and it all added up to 20 + years of experience in training. Today, I own a small warehouse gym that is strictly for athletes and here and there a few hardcore adults are accepted into the gym.
I wouldn’t say I’m a lucky guy because I know about “making” my own luck and I went through some hellish times to experience the success I have today.
Strength always motivates me. Navy SEALs and Spec Ops soldiers inspire me. I see you guys going beyond the norms to such extreme levels it leaves me awe struck. My older bro spent time in the Israeli Army, some of his time was in a Spec Ops group. I also spent time training in Israel with a guy who became a SEAL in the states. That was 18 years ago, half my life time ago!! I am still inspired when I think of these Men.
Greatness inspires me in life. I hate 2nd place. I spent so much time losing as a high school athlete that when I train or when I work on my business I don’t allow or accept average to happen. I guess I was a late bloomer in life and I’m always pretty tough on myself.
My day is spent working on my internet business and my warehouse gym. I feel more motivated than ever to crate greatness with what I do because I’m also a husband and a father. I want to lead for my kids to see that success can be achieved with the right attitude and the right work ethic. I want to make my wife proud and make my family happy.
I’m a simple guy. Let me spend time lifting heavy objects, relaxing with friends and family and I’m VERY happy.
SGPT: How did you start your Underground Strength gym and how do you stay so fired up to keep it going at such a high level?
ZEE: The Underground began in my parents backyard and garage right after I tore my ACL and had surgery. As a teacher, I needed income for the summer. I had worked at a fitness center in the past and used to bar tend in a tough dive bar as well. But, when I tore my ACL while training in BJJ and an old sport called Shoot Fighting, I was VERY angry. I was 25 or 26 and had been training for half my life.
I experienced poor success in wrestling due to my training. But, my success in BJJ was going VERY well. But, my incorrect training style led to my ACL tear and that fired me up to dig deep and study how combat athletes must train to become healthy AND dominant.
I was on a crazy mission to help wrestlers and still am on that mission today.
I began training athletes for $5 / hour at my parents place and devoured all the information I could. Everyone laughed at me and said it could NOT be done and even as the years went on, MANY naysayers tried to bring me down.
I never gave up and the training grew in success and people around the world began to take notice. I can’t slow it down at all. My passion burns like a madman and I always have the eye of the tiger to keep the success of my athletes rolling. I feel I was put on this earth to teach people how to build brute strength.
I’m especially connected to the younger athletes because I know these days will never be forgotten. I want these kids to look back and remember their success, remember the brotherhood they built at The Underground and most of all, to have great memories that will build a future of success for them.
I’ll always be haunted by my past. I never deny that and I am honest when people ask about it. If a kid wants to win and has the fire in his eyes to win I wanna help him. I hate seeing kids experience the pain of losing although I KNOW losing is a necessary evil they must experience to push them and motivate them to experience greater success.
I’m just keeping my “boots on the ground”. I’m staying true to what I’m good at and what I love to do. I don’t try to be someone I am not. Training professional athletes, stay at home moms, out of shape adults, etc has no motivation for me. I like seeing these
young kids become BEASTS. And, I like pushing myself in training and pushing myself to remain strong in mind and body, even as I get closer and closer to age 40. There are so many young kids around me, I wanna make sure I can always “Lead from the front.”
For more on Zach, check out his strength training at Underground Strength Coach