Team

Strength Sensei Inc. Staff and Team Contributors are all professional coaches who were mentored by Charles R. Poliquin and have each utilized what they learned to create their own successful careers in the industry.

Andre Benoit

A Canadian based S&C Coach, Owner of The Canadian Center for Strength and Conditioning, Trainer for The Canadian Armed Forces and the Senior Director of Content & Course Conductor for Strength Sensei Inc.

We are so fortunate to have Andre be our Senior Director for all things sold, taught and produced at Strength Sensei Inc. in Charles absence. In an archive of old articles that Charles archived we found a wonderful Interview about Andre Benoit back in 2010 entitled A Few Words with Andre Benoit. It details Andre’s work with elite athletes over his career highlighting The St. Louis Blues professional hockey team as an International Master Course Conductor for Charles back in his Poliquin Group years. Andre was Charles first full time assistant working with Charles as far back as 1989. In his employment for Charles he was instrumental in much of Charles work including the development of his educational certification programs and software.

Andre was trained by Charles prior to 1989 when he was competing as an Olympic Athlete on the Canadian Luge Team. This article goes into depth about how Charles helped Andre recover from a severe back injury to compete as an Olympian. In a current video interview by Adam McCubin on YouTube Andre speaks about his rehab in an entertaining and in-depth accounting of Andre’s history with Charles as an athlete and as a colleague. Charles and Andre enjoyed a lifelong friendship of mutual respect and loyalty that endured and extends as well to Charles daughter Krystal Poliquin in her life without her father. Charles referred to André Benoit as “his yin to my yang,” stating Andre’s “knowledge and teaching skills have helped produce the highest standards in training personal trainers and strength coaches” in this interview about Andre’s professional collaboration with him during those years.

Strength Sensei Inc. is grateful to have Andre’s influence as our Content Director as he brings to Charles work the same quality and integrity that Charles depended upon while he was alive. We thank Andre for being Charles’ Ying by maintaining the highest industry standards for all of Charles customers for decades to come in our Sensei’s absence.

I will miss our impromptu calls Charles, and your friendship. My mentor is no more in flesh, but you will always, always, be with me every single time I write a program or when I’m coaching. The best mentor I have ever had. I owe him, my career my back health my sport performance even my wife Susan (therefore my family). You always said I was the Yin to your Yang. Well, I guess that made you the Yang of my Yin my friend.

I will miss you horribly Charles without a doubt. I am happy and grateful to have had such a long friendship with you. A friendship that many will never get to experience in their lifetime. I love you and will never forget you, my friend.

Andre Benoit

Ryan Faehnle

Ohio based industry leader as NCAA Division I Assistant Director of Strength and Conditioning responsible for the fitness and physical performance of hundreds of athletes competing at the highest levels in the collegiate ranks and Founder of VIPAR. Host of Strength Sensei Inc. High Performance Package and Seminar Contributor.

Coach Ryan Faehnle is a highly regarded industry leader as a former NCAA Division I Assistant Director of Strength and Conditioning who was responsible for the fitness and physical performance of hundreds of athletes competing at the highest levels in the collegiate ranks.

Throughout his diverse career, Coach Ryan has coached, mentored, and consulted athletes in 21 different sports at the high school, collegiate, and professional levels, with athlete successes ranging from NCAA All-American to NFL Super Bowl Champions.

In addition to training athletes for sports performance, Coach Ryan has consulted with top-level physique competitors who have sought him out for fat loss and muscle building advice.

Known as a coach that doesn’t compromise on results, Coach Ryan has traveled the globe in search of the best training, nutrition, motivation, and recovery modalities that lead to success. His abilities were acknowledged at a high level when famed international Olympic strength coach Charles Poliquin welcomed Ryan to his staff, where Ryan lectured internationally on fat loss, training athletes, hypertrophy, nutrition, energy systems, and supplementation.

Unlike many “keyboard warriors,” Coach Ryan’s reputation lies solely in his ability to achieve results with his athletes and clients. On top of his “in the trenches” experience training himself and others, as well as his years of research and study, and an 8-year career in the U.S. Air Force, Coach Ryan holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science, and multiple industry standard certifications.

Ryan currently owns a private consulting business where he has authored and ghost-written several best-selling books and has consulted with and coached both athletes and coaches in the professional ranks and the Olympic games. Ryan is available for seminars, private consultation, online coaching, and in-person Fascial Stretch Therapy.

Visit Ryan’s YouTube channel VIPAR

Charles Poliquin had a profound impact on my life in many ways, and I think of him often, and always with a spirit of gratitude. He changed my career long before I ever met him in person. My early mentors were direct descendants of Charles’s coaching methods, so I had access to long-term programs he had actually written for the athletes that he had coached, as well as the context behind those programs. I felt I had tools in my toolbox that other coaches in my position at the NCAA D1 level didn’t have access to, and the training results of the teams and the individual athletes that I coached showed this clearly. When he called me personally to hire me onto his staff, my career was officially ignited in ways I’d never imagine. Over the course of the next few years, my network grew, and I met many friends, colleagues, and business partners, all through Charles’s grand influence. Even more than changing the trajectory of my career, however, I am grateful for the time that I could call Charles my friend. We had some torturous workouts together, our text message strings were epic and hilarious, and I have so many fond memories of his gut-wrenching one-liners, sharing a meal together, and talking about life experiences, of which he had many great ones to share. He showed our whole industry how work harder to learn and understand the language of weight training, and how to give back and be charitable to others in the process. I miss Charles very much, and I’m forever grateful for the impact he’s had on me as a person, a friend, and as a coach.

Ryan Faehnle

John Connor

A Dublin based S&C Coach and Co-Founder of the Irish Strength Institute. Strength Sensei Inc. Strength Sensei Inc. Seminar Contributor.

John has been involved in the fitness industry for nearly 20 years. John is the Co Founder of the Irish Strength Institute which is a high performance centre located in Dublin.

John has worked with clients both in Europe and the USA having worked in a High Performance Facility in Phoenix Arizona designing programs and training NFL players from the San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders and the Green Bay Packers
John has also worked with several inter-county Gaelic footballers and Premiership footballers

John lectured internationally for several years for the Poliquin International Certification Program (PICP). This work took him all over the world, from mainland Europe, Australia and the US, imparting his knowledge to course attendees.

John currently devotes his time between training clients at the Irish Strength Institute and working with professional fighters in both MMA and boxing. Johns list of current and former clients includes UFC veterans Conor McGregor, Cathal Pendred, Artem Lobov, Aisling Daly and Paddy Holohan and boxing world champions Carl Frampton and George Groves.

John is currently undertaking a Phd in Human Health & Performance at Dublin City University (DCU) and has published two papers so far on his specialty in “weight Cutting in combat sports” with several more to follow

I first met Charles when I did an internship with him in 2004. Charles had flown in that afternoon from Colorado, so I had the pleasure of following Ben Prentiss for the first day. When Charles arrived, he didn’t even say hello to me. Ben just handed him the results from my structural balance test, and he grunted to me to follow him into his office. When he sat down and after a long pause looking at my results, he just said “You are too skinny and weak to be a strength coach!”. Charles was known for his bluntness and I always appreciated that from this first encounter. He would never sugar coat any answer. That week in July 2004 was the biggest influence ever on my career. I watched Ben and Charles coach world class athletes during the day and then Charles would answer every question I had on strength training, nutrition, supplementation and rehab well after it was time to finish up.

It was around this time that Charles was launching the Poliquin International Certification Program and me, not really knowing what I was getting myself into, decided to host one of his first seminar series with my business partner Eoin Lacey. As a result of hosting several of these seminars myself, Eoin and Andre Benoit took Charles immense knowledge and put it in to a more structured approachable format for people. Those days of teaching the PICP were incredible times and I was constantly learning from Charles, my fellow instructors and from many of the coaches and trainers I met on the courses.

I started coaching athletes involved in MMA & boxing more than 10 years ago and Charles helped me so much in those early years designing strength training and conditioning programs. From there I got heavily involved in helping the athletes I was coaching in developing their nutrition plans and with their weight cuts. The approach back then to weight cutting was mostly from word of mouth and anecdote with no real science or research behind the methods used. As a result of this I started to seek out research in other weight class sports and this led me wanting to my own studies on this topic. In the last few years more experimentation has been done in this area and I will be presenting the latest research in this field that is still bogged down with bioscience.

John Connor

Eric Falstrault

Montreal-based Strength Coach, Naturopath, Sport Therapist, and founder of BODHI Fit: Strength Sensei Inc. Seminar Contributor. Author of: The Strength Code.

Coach Eric is the owner and head honcho of Bodhi Fit. Avid BJJ fanatic and competitor. Has been in the strength and conditioning world for almost 30 years. Author of “The Strength Code” and upcoming book “Roll Strong(er)” for BJJ athletes available in the next few months. Father of two beautiful children of 12 and 8.

Eric has gone on to coach a whole host of amateur and professional athletes. Not the least of whom is NHL superstar goalkeeper, Martin Brodeur. For those unaware, Martin Brodeur is largely considered the greatest NHL goalkeeper of all time and Olympic Gold medalist as well.

Here is what Charles said about “The Strength Code”:

“There is no lack of information out there. However, there is a lack of great practical information. The Strength Code by Eric Falstrault is a superb addition to your reading list that fills that gap. It gives many different applications to personal training and strength coaching, with a strong emphasis on the mental component of achieving results.”  – Charles Poliquin

Eric is currently writing exclusively for ATP labs, one of the best supplement companies that Charles Highly endorsed. He also is a regular contributor to muscle and fitness online magazine. He devotes his practice in helping the amateur gym trainee to the full time athlete such as artist from cirque du soleil, hockey players to BJJ black belts competing on the biggest stages in the world.

I met Charles for the first time at a seminar. He showed us his structural balance for upper body. I was probably the smallest in the room. Guys like my friend Larry Vinette were there, big bodybuilders, coaches and me the little coach. He asked for someone to be tested on the bench and my friend pushed me to take a step forward. Needless to say, I had to deliver the goods. We had to wait 3 minutes between the sets and at each set, I was sitting on the bench at 14:45 sharp and Charles said: we have a very good coach here. I think my bench has instantly increased by 50lbs. The bar was still exploding at 235 and Charles looked at me and said, how much can you bench? I told him that I could do a lot more. I ended up with a max out of 370lbs and an eccentric of 10 seconds at 410lbs, I think I weighed 170 or 175 at that time. He said: “We have in front of us a very well trained person”. From that day on, I knew that was what I wanted to do. Train people and make them stronger.

A few years later, I decided to spend a few weeks of internship in Arizona at Charles Poliquin’s performance center. We had known each other for a long time and he knew what I could do. So one day, sitting at the desk writing notes, I saw a big tall guy come in and warm up. Then Charles came in and said “go train him, here’s the program.” If you know Charles, you’re better off doing your FN job. I did not know who it was, but after training, he told me it was Chris Hetherington of the NFL. I see another big guy, who had the NBA written on his face, then Charles told me the same thing. “Go get it big”. The stress was at its highest level. It was Na’il Diggs. I still had no idea who he was, but what a rush to know afterwards.

He helped me built my career and was lucky enough to have owned one of the first Poliquin performance center and Needless to say, I’ve learned tons on strength and conditioning and business in those early years. I’ve learned so much from him and that’s why, we all want to share how he impacted our work.

Eric Falstrault

Jance Footit

Owner 5 Rings Barbell. Strength Sensei Inc. Seminar Contributor and Archive Manager.

Coach Jance Footit is a rising name in the strength training community. Beginning his career technically while serving in the Marines as an infantry man, Jance started off as his unit’s PT coordinator. After his EAS in 2009 he pursued his undergraduate in psychology and biology while securing numerous certifications in strength training, nutrition, and soft tissue work. While completing his degree he was able to gain experience as the strength coach for Brenau University’s track and field team, leading young athletes to records and championships.

Since then, Jance has made his presence known through an incredible travel resume, traveling the world to learn from the best in order to become a knowledgeable coach. Most notably, his adventures have taken him to Russia where he competed in powerlifting after extensive training under Boris Sheiko, and China where he was allowed to learn and train with national level weightlifters in Beijing. Not only is he one of the most traveled coaches around, he continues to bring  other coaches in from al over the world for seminars at his gym, 5 Rings Barbell.

Additionally, Jance is one of the few coaches out there bringing new ideas and inventions of his own to the strength community, making it a better place for everyone. Strongly embraced by many gym owners and coaches over the world, Jance is the proud inventor of the standing back extension sold by Elite Fitness Systems, a devise he says was inspired by Paul Anderson and Bill Kazmier.

Jance has an athletic background in many sports including amateur boxing and MMA, strongman, highland games, powerlifting, and olympic lifting. All serving to broaden his knowledge as a coach and increase results in his athletes.

Charles was a vision of possibilities to me, as I’m sure he was to many people. Coming out of the military, I did not have a clear plan in front of me on how I would support myself going forward or a long term game plan in mind. The only thing that made sense to me was training and health, but how would I turn that into my career? Was that something that was even possible for someone like me? Meeting Charles for the first time answered all those questions and then some. He was living proof that if you pour yourself into your passions, aim to understand them better than anyone, keep your nose to the grindstone and produce, produce, produce then… as he would put it “what you appreciate, appreciates.” With him being the standard I would judge myself against since then I have never stopped in my goal to learn, apply, and grow more every day. It is because of him and his example that today I can support myself and my family with my passion.
Jance Footit

Adrienne Smith

Owner of Fitness Evolution. Strength Sensei Inc. Dojo & Content Contributor.

My journey with fitness began 22yrs ago. As a small framed girl that had a very hard time adding any weight, I was seeking any way to change this. I found out that muscle weighed more than fat! This was the answer! I wasn’t able to add fat so why not muscle? So I joined a gym with some of my engineering peers. The good thing is that they were men. So my introduction to the gym scene was training in the weight room with heavy weights. Best thing that ever happened to me. I dove headfirst into weight training. I fell in love with the sensation of heavy weights in my hands. I began
seeking training programs that were based on adding mass to this body by reading popular bodybuilding magazines. Then I started looking
for ways to change my diet as well, how to add supplements, how much food I could handle, and how to recover properly.

One day as I was training I rotated my SI joint. This really interfered with training and eventually my daily living. I found out at this time I had scoliosis. So my engineering brain took me down a path of correcting this issue. Although my studies took me down this path of mechanically addressing the body, I still liked and wanted to train heavy, add mass, and shape to my body. This is how and when I found Charles Poliquin. A Strength Coach, yes this was my answer! Little did I know the impact this man was going to have on my life. He was not a strength coach, he was
THE Strength Coach. Once I began learning his ideologies, his methods, and his thoughts on lifestyle, there was no going back. In my first seminar, I realized how much he truly offered and how much he combined so much into his philosophy of training. There wasn’t one thing he left out. It resonated with me instantly. It matched all the things I felt I needed to address within my self and my clients but didn’t know that there was a way to put it into action. He put the pieces of my puzzle together. At the same time, he showed me questions and studies that I didn’t know I
wanted or needed. His way of teaching forced you to look deeper on your own. I feel this was his way of weeding through those that were serious about learning and growing. He never gave anything away for free. He made you work. Just enough information to answer questions, but not enough to GIVE you the total answer. Charles lead me to even more training methods, more modalities of bodywork, and down the amazing path of nutrition and bio-hacking. For me, my clientele ranges from surgically altered to injury prevention, from weight loss to medical conditions.
Outside of all the educational paths that Charles showed me, he showed me all the many ways to address the human body.

The course I took from Charles that had the most impact on me was a nutrition course. It showed things that I not only never thought about, but things the doctors never told me or couldn’t have. Being skinny is not a concern in the medical field, but to a strength coach, it is! This class not only opened my eyes to looking at my client’s body composition issues differently, but my own. I gained 10lbs of lean mass that year with ZERO fat gains! On the heath side, it has prevented me from a life of possible diseases. Now I have taken many courses and have studied with the best in
the field of nutrition, longevity, and bio-hacking. This, along with all many of Charles’ teachings, has added elements to my gym that has kept me years ahead of the competition.

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