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It has been a great pleasure to sit down with a true legend in the strength and conditioning world; Ethan Reeve is one of the world's very best strength coaches, period.
Ethan developed a love for strength training and a work ethic to match as a boy "chopping cotton" and baling hay for 8-12 hours a day. He did 500 pushups every day from grades 8-12 which helped him move on to wrestling at the University of Tennessee. At the University of Tennessee, he won two Southeastern Conference wrestling gold medals at 150 and 158 lb. but still felt as though there was something missing in his strength and conditioning routine. He created a workout called the "Ethan Reeve", which is 10 power cleans at body weight and 10 chin-ups x 10 rounds. He did this seven days a week for two years and always made sure that he could complete the workout in under 20 minutes. His discipline was so strong that he even did this workout on competition days and before weigh-in as a wrestler. The hard work and dedication paid off as he finished his career as a two-time NCAA All-American and four-time SEC champion wrestler at the University of Tennessee.
After college, Coach Reeve began his coaching career at The University of Tennessee serving as Assistant Wrestling Coach/Strength Coach for wrestling for two years, before working as Assistant Coach at Oklahoma State, Ohio, and Clemson.
He got his first Head Wrestling Coach position in 1984 at UT Chattanooga where his teams won five Southern Conference championships in just six years.
My path intersects with Coach Reeve at The McCallie School in Chattanooga, TN. He became the first full-time Strength Coach at McCallie from 1990-1995. He has also worked with the Women's U.S. Rowing Team and at the same time, helped them win four gold medals and one silver medal in the 1995 World Championships.
Coach Reeve became the first Director of Strength and Conditioning at Ohio University in 1995 and worked with over 650 athletes. In 2001, he became Director of Strength and Conditioning at Wake Forest University and remained there until this year, where he returned to The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Coach Reeve is known for a training philosophy called Density Training which we talk about on the podcast. We also go into the mental aspect of training, training as an aging athlete, and how his Density Training program can be applied to any exercise for athletes of any level.
I hope you will enjoy this conversation as much as I did. If so, leave a comment or share it with your friends on social media.
Follow Ethan Reeve on these Social Accounts:
- Tom Rowland