Boris Sheiko meets Louie Simmons, August 17, 2016. Columbus, OH (video)
Honored Russian powerlifting coach Boris Ivanovich Sheiko talks about meeting with Louie Simmons in Westside Barbell gym (Columbus, OH) (translated by Rostislav Kharchenko):
In the morning of August 16th we departed from Atlanta Georgia to Columbus Ohio in order to meet a powerlifting legend Louie Simmons. We drove by car, so it took us 11 hours to get there. It was after midnight when we were at the hotel. I was baffled when our American friend and guide Jance Footit told us that at 5:30 we had to leave the hotel in order to meet Louie because he will be waiting for us at 6 am at breakfast place. It was a shock to me since no powerlifting coach in Russia would start their day at 6 in the morning. We arrived to the diner 5 minutes before opening, but Louie was already there and waiting for us. I was very anxious while walking in. We all joined Louie at his table. Literally in couple minutes his athletes started joining us as well. I asked Louie why his lifters come so early for breakfast. It appears that they have a tradition – during training days they all have breakfast together and discuss their training plan for a day, which muscles they are going to train, intensity, volume etc. Right after breakfast they go to Westside. By the way lifters don’t pay for themselves since Louie picks the bill for everyone’s food. Louie was very eager to answer all my questions. It was obvious that he could talk endlessly about powerlifting. During conversation over breakfast 3 hours went by incredibly fast. After breakfast we went to famous Westside Barbell.
First thing I noticed after arrival was that there were no posters, ads or photos on the walls. Only big black board with weight classes, names and records. A lot of them had ‘WR’ written next to them. With great jealousy I was looking at a huge number of various machines, many of which were developed by Louie himself. I examined every single one of them. Louie explained purpose of each machine and showed how it works using his lifters. Of course we discussed his world famous training methods. Louie was very interested in my programming and principals as well, very carefully trying to catch every word of our interpreter. We didn’t argue whose training methods were better or whose students are stronger. We just discussed the ways we train athletes and were enjoying it. There was no confrontation since after giving over 40 years to sport two elderly guys (Louie turns 70 next year and I’m 2 years younger) have nothing to prove to each other. And I felt it brings us together.
Another 4 hours went by unbelievably fast and we had to go to our hotel to prepare for our next seminar in Ashland University. After Westside Barbell Louie invited us to his main office where I was amazed once again by the huge amount of produce that Westside provided: sports uniform, t-shirts and lots of books written by Louie. Louie gave me a royal gift – 5 of his books and a bunch of t-shirts. Upon departure I told Louie: “I understood that there is still so much I don’t know in powerlifting training”. Thank you, Louie!