Ten years ago, most people who trained with weights had never heard of a "strength coach." Oh sure, there were sports coaches who worked with athletes on performance. And there were famous bodybuilders who theorized on hypertrophy methods in the magazines. There were even personal trainers and fitness instructors, but a strength coach? An expert who specialized in all things iron? A guy who could help you increase your vertical, build your biceps, and add 50 pounds to your bench press? Not many gym-goers had heard of such an animal.

Then along came Charles Poliquin, one of the first notable gurus that appealed to a broad spectrum of athletes, bodybuilders, and fitness freaks. Poliquin is still at the top of his game, but a whole new crop of strength coaches have sprung from the seeds he planted way back when TC first introduced him to the Muscle Media 2000 audience. These new guys are young, hyper-educated and viciously smart. We know because most of them are already writing for T-Nation!

Eric Cressey is one of those young guns. We caught up with 23-year old Cressey just days after he got his master's degree. We think you'll agree that the future of strength and conditioning is bright.

T-Nation: Tell us about yourself, Eric. What are you doing right now?

T-Nation: What kind of studies have you been involved in?

T-Nation: I'm having vivid boot camp fantasies already. You've worked with a lot of university athletes too, correct?

EC:

T-Nation: You're no armchair expert yourself. Tell us about your adventures in powerlifting.

T-Nation: Why not?

T-Nation: What's your strong point as a powerlifter?

T-Nation: You're going to spend a good portion of your life in the weight room from this point on. Can you remember when you first stepped foot into a gym?

EC:

T-Nation: You're a young guy just getting rolling in this community, but what would you say your "specialty" is? In what area do you have the most to offer?

EC:

T-Nation: You have some strong opinions about training on unstable surfaces. Let's talk about that. What's your general stance on this stuff?

EC:

T-Nation: Yeah, I've always thought these trainers could get much better results with their healthy clients if they'd get them off the wobbly boards and into the rack! What does your thesis in this area involve?

EC:

T-Nation: Cool. Looking forward to that. Now, you've written some great articles about training myths. Which myth really drives you monkey-nuts?

EC:

T-Nation: Yep. Speaking of deadlifts, there used to be a running joke on the forum about them. Whenever someone posted their pic, a dozen people would jump on and say "You need to deadlift!" Funny thing is, you never see anyone doing it in the gym. Like you mentioned above, the average person thinks the deadlift is just for football players and powerlifters. So, why exactly should the recreational gym-goer (even females) be pulling big iron?

EC:

T-Nation: I dig women with calluses, but I have mommy issues. Moving on: I always ask our coaches what common mistakes they see people making in the gym. Let's go one step past the obvious stuff and talk about mistakes that even some advanced lifters make. What do you see?

EC:

T-Nation: Interesting stuff. Okay, next topic. As you work with athletes and observe recreational lifters, I'm sure you notice some patterns emerging. What do you see most people "missing?" In other words, what are most people overlooking?

T-Nation: Hey, let's leave Coach Mike Robertson out of this...

EC:

T-Nation: Let's talk about wasting time in the gym. Not with goofing off or flirting with the yoga instructor, but performing exercises or routines that are simply a waste of time or provide almost no bang for the buck. Any examples come to mind?

EC:

T-Nation: Let's wrap this up. What's coming up for you, Eric?

EC:

T-Nation: I'm sure you'll do it too. Thanks for the chat, Eric. We look forward to more articles from you!