What Is Power Building?
About Our Coaches
My fitness journey began when I was just ten years old in my parents’ gym with some kettlebell swings and a 400m run… I remember hating it. My older brother, he loved it; so I kept doing it too. What’s a younger brother for if not to follow in their older brother’s footsteps?
Before long, we found ourselves deep in to CrossFit. With my parents becoming the founders of CrossFit Kids, and eventually much safer program The Brand X Method. *We are no longer associated with CrossFit.
My dad used to joke with us about how he found the website. A Google search of “crazy ass workouts” and the CrossFit main page popped up. None of our fighters at the gym wanted anything to do with these workouts, so he had us do them with him.
Although I initially hated that type of workout, I saw it carry over into my chosen sport of soccer. I was out-running and out-performing every player I came across. By 17 I found myself playing for the #1 under 18 boys team in the US, The La Jolla Nomads.
I was fit. Deemed fittest teen in the world and proved it on the biggest stage I could’ve at the time. I was competing at this time in CrossFit and that’s where I met Randy. We competed on the same CrossFit team once I turned 18. We finished 14th place out of over 3,000 competitors in our division.
I was lean. I could perform body weight movements faster and more efficiently than anyone I knew. I had endurance and speed, running a 4:48 mile and a 17:03 5k.
I was strong. I held the American record at 17 years old weighing in 138# and squatting 448#. I could clean and jerk double my body weight! I could do 18 unbroken muscle ups on the rings.
I wasn’t big……. A part of me never wanted to push myself in that way (CrossFit), to feel pain that deep and also have it be self inflicted. But a part of me hated my appearance, and knew that vigorous exercise was the only way to fix that issue. Unfortunately I just thought doing more AMRAPs and EMOMs would get me looking the way I wanted.
Ever since I was ten years old I can remember wanting to be bigger, wanting to look like my dad rather than the 80 pounds I was sporting. Time passed and I did get bigger! It was awesome! 130 pounds and graduating high school… what a joke. Where were all the muscles? I’d worked my ass of for 7 years for NOTHING?!
I knew something had to change, it started with my diet. Eating over 6,000 calories a day was my goal, anyway anyhow. Around that time I met two very important people to me, people who shifted my focus to just powerlifting…. Jesse Burdick and Mark Bell. These guys were huge!! They were demi gods, and I wanted to be just like them.
I started studying. And not like I had before, my CrossFit journey accrued me certifications in endurance, mobility, Weightlifting, Kids, Level 1, Level 2, and the old CPC….. I was knowledgeable, but never before had I seen this type or style of training.
I went to work. Starting my journey for strength and mass turned to Power Building. I went from the 130 pound 17 year old to the 230 23 year old.
Randy and I have kept in touch and are launching Elite PowerBuilding together because of our similar stories. We’ve found this style of training works, not just for skinny kids but for everyone with the goal of gaining muscle and strength.
Start: 130 lbs
Now: 210 lbs
High score: 230 lbs
Bench press- 385
Shoulder press- 210
Power clean- 350
Overhead Squat- 355
Before long, I weighed between 155-160 lbs at 77″ tall. I began to feel dizzy, weak, irritable and sad a lot of the time. I had 0 interest in friends or pursuing relationships. All I cared about was my obsession with food and exercise. I kept it from myself and yet wanted it so badly. I binged and purged (through exercise, never puking). I woke up at 3am writhing in pain from starving and went and binged at an IHOP. I came back on base and went to the gym and biked for three hours. I went back to my room and had a protein shake and went to sleep. It was about all I could do.
I remember one time being able to taste ammonia in my mouth, which I later read had something to do with the body breaking muscle protein down for food. I was constantly cold. I was a mess. I got sores in the corners of my mouth, and the doctor told me that it was very strange because they only see that in the elderly or people with compromised immune systems. I later discovered that it is also a symptom of malnutrition.
The night before my unit was scheduled to leave for Afghanistan, I randomly found a website listing the symptoms of anorexia and was not so shocked to find that I was experiencing almost all of them. That night, I had an epiphany and realized that I needed to change my habits. I had been reading Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength and visiting the 70sbig.com website and couldn’t wrap my mind around how all of these people just wanted to be strong and not skinny and lean like me. How could they want that? They didn’t care about bodyfat and didn’t obsess over missed workouts. How can all of my friends and co workers be eating food and not worrying about it’s nutritional or calorie content? How can they do all of that and yet still outperform me in the gym?
And then I realized – I am an anorexic. No, I wasn’t diagnosed by a medical professional. I simply experienced anorexia, which in this context, I am referring to as a psychological condition.
That same night, I decided to change, to draw a line in the sand and reverse the damage. I went to a burger place on base and ordered a cheeseburger, fries and a vanilla shake (to dip the fries in, duh. PS if you don’t do this, you need to try it). I sat the food down on my table and told myself that I was going to eat this meal and enjoy it for what it is. It isn’t a collection of macronutrients. It isn’t a calorie content or a “cheat meal”. This is dinner. This is what NORMAL people eat for dinner.
The fitness world is obsessed with being disgusted at the standard American diet. I was too. It’s horrible for your health, obviously, to eat like garbage. I judged people HARD for that shit. But that night, I just wanted to be a standard American. I learned a valuable lesson about how extremes are bad, and life is for living. We will all die one day, and I’m not going to be any more righteous on my death bed for having eaten egg whites and veggies my whole life.
Shortly after arriving in Afghanistan and going from Helmand to Kandahar province, I found myself with a decent amount of “free” time. I committed to Starting Strength. I was done being skinny. I wanted to be a fucking Viking. This was around the same time that 70’s Big came online, and I made it my mantra.
I started my squats at 95x3x5. My max bench press was 135lbs. I could Deadlift 185. I got involved in the CrossFit.com forums. I ate my fucking face off.
A funny thing about starvation is that after a long period of it, your brain shuts down the mechanism to make you feel full. It does this as a survival technique to get you to eat to repair the damage of starvation and return to a healthy weight. I never felt full. I would only know to stop eating because my stomach was so painfully distended. I regularly ate over 3,500 calories per day but tried my best not to count it.
When I got back, I weighed 190-200lbs and was much stronger, but still had so far to go.
Through transitioning from Starting Strength to a bodybuilding program, I was able to reach 225lbs bodyweight.
Just before leaving the military, I got my CrossFit level 1 trainer certification and spent some time training at the CrossFit on base, which was a parking lot with a shipping container full of equipment.
When I got out of the Marines, I landed a personal training job back here in San Diego with just my CrossFit Certification, and began training clients in a regular gym setting while going downtown to do CrossFit myself at CrossFit San Diego.
From there, I ended up on a CrossFit team here that made it to the SoCal Regional competition where I competed. I think we placed 14th overall out of the top 30 teams who qualified in the first place.
Whilst being active in the CrossFit community, I met my friends Drew and Brian who lived together in Reno, Nevada. They were high-level Crossfitters who had some of the top performances in the US. I took a flight out there to visit and train with them for a few days. Watching the way they approached training and eating was another huge realization for me. These guys who were my role models in the fitness community, who blew the competition out of the water,
I no longer have as many issues with my relationship with food, my gains in performance and aesthetics have never been better. I eat mostly whatever I want, just try to get enough calories in. If I don’t feel like training or I have to skip it to hang out with friends or because I’m hung over, so be it. I don’t get anxiety about it any more. Drop in the ocean.
Occasionally however, when I am specifically trying to lean out, I’ll notice myself slipping back in to old, unhealthy ways of thinking like “if I eat this 300 calorie thing, I have to go burn 300 calories” so I have to force myself to eat and remind myself that it isn’t a big deal. If I allow myself to stay hungry, it’s like my mind and body remember starving and I kind of lose it emotionally.
I’m still a personal trainer and still on my fitness journey! This year, id like to compete in as many powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting meets as possible. I recently weighed in at 250lbs and have done powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting competitions as well as CrossFit ones.
TL;DR – Was a skinny weakling, now i’m not
PS If anybody in the San Diego area wants to train with me, let me know! I love working out with a partner!
Start: 160 lbs
Now: 265 lbs
High score: 265 lbs
Bench press- 385
Shoulder press- 240
Power clean- 335
Overhead Squat- 335
There aren’t enough compliments in the English language to describe Randy Hill Fitness. Not only is Randy Hill a veteran of the United States Marine Corps but he is also one of the most badass and down to earth guys I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Randy Hill cares about his clients. Tell Randy what your goals are and he will create a custom workout just for you. Have questions about the workout? Randy will answer them and help you get started.
As for me, Randy Hill has helped me improve in a lot of ways. Currently I am a high school senior and potential candidate for the NROTC program with Marine Corps option. I told Randy what I needed to improve on and in two months my PFT score increased exponentially. I went from 8 pull ups to 19, a 23 minute three mile to a 18:15 three mile, and 75 crunches in under a minute to 100 crunches under a minute.
Make Randy your personal trainer! You will not be disappointed with the results! – ALEX S.
I talked to Randy about my goals (build muscle and improve strength) and my challenges (stupid fast metabolism hindering most previous attempts to gain size) and he built a custom training plan for me based on my needs. Previously I had been doing Starting Strength for a while, but had plateaued from multiple factors. I’m now wrapping up the 8th week on the plan Randy made for me. Before starting the heaviest I had ever weighed in at was 178lbs. When I started the plan I was down a bit and weighed in at 173lbs. Now I’m sitting right at 195lbs with steady upward growth in weight, size, and strength.
Randy has also been invaluable as a resource for exercise form, my silly nitpicky programming questions, and dieting questions. If you’re on the fence about getting a training plan I’d say to go for it. I am looking forward to seeing how much more progress I can make in the next two months. – Michael S.
Fantastic experience! Randy is always on hand to help with questions on form, nutrition, and tweaking the program if need be. The last 6 week volume cycle I just completed has been the most progress I’ve seen in about 1.5 years of getting into powerlifting. Hit him up! – John C.
Awesome, that’s what i have to say! I came into the gym at my heaviest, 280lbs at 6′ 2″ hating how I left myself go. With Randy’s guidance, workout set, and nutrition plan, I am now at 266lbs at about a month and a half into the plan. All my max lifts have increased steadily, as well as my stamina. The best part is that he is open to giving tips and encouragement, and actively checks up on your progress. Loving it so far, and would recommend him to anyone looking at bettering their physical fitness and mentality on nutrition. – David M.
Randy Hill Fitness is a Genuine Muscle Hunk straight out of 1986. He fixed my squat, bench, deathlift, and overhead press. Now my old maxes are my new working weights. He gives based diet advice with simplicity and straightforward principles. “If you can kill it or pick it off a tree; eat it.” He is a friendly dude who knows what he is doing. Working out with most trainers is a one way ticket to snap city; but not Randy Hill Fitness. Randy Hill Fitness will show you all the appropriate stretches and mobility exercises to keep you pumping the optimal amount of iron. I recommend Randy Hill Fitness to all people of all creeds and colors. 10/10 – Tyler M.
I have been into physical fitness for about 4 years now. I have never received any instruction or training previously, just tried to get by on what i could find on the internet and by chatting with people in the gym. I went from 140 lbs in college to 230 at my heaviest. I have been able to get some pretty significant 1RM PRs (445B/485DL/395S) but my gains were always pretty dirty and I often had issues with daily energy and in the gym (tons of preworkout ;)). I recently started a program created by Randy, I was really happy with how well suited to my needs it was even though i didnt meet with him, a lot of specific questions about my needs and i even sent a video of my squat posture. My goals were to increase functional stength, improve hamstring flexibility and trim up my waist. He also helped out with diet by setting up my calorie and macro intake. Reviewing the program he created, I was surpised by the low number of excersizes per day that there were compared to what i was used to doing myself. After completing the first week, wow was I beat! But I wasnt having trouble meeting any of the weight and rep increases. I’m now starting my second 4 week program, and couldn’t be happier. communication is very great, even though I got the program from him online without meeting. I think its significant to mention that someone who has made significant gains like me can still benefit from real training and not just beginners. – Spencer W.