Joseph “Joey Flexx” Franzo from Flexx Training Systems joins the show today to share his thoughts and process from years as a successful powerlifter and coach. We dive into all things powerlifting including training, mental side of training, and weight selection at meets.
Joe found his way to the barbell through sports and specifically football. After a realization that continuing his football career was unlikely, he naturally turned to lifting weights, which quickly became his passion. While training for bodybuilding, he competed in his first powerlifting meet for fun, and immediately was hooked. As a personal trainer since 16, Joe was drawing a lot of attention in the gym with his big lifting numbers and ultimately decided he would start coaching others in the sport. This led to multiple world champions under his command and naturally grew into what is now Flex Training Systems.
We dive in discussing what makes Joe’s process different from other coaches in the sport. With the impressive improvement Joe’s athletes have seen in a very short period of time, we want to dissect what makes him different and why it works. This includes a focus on RPE while trying to hit one or two good sets with solid form before backing off a bit and avoiding injury. Joe narrows his process down to three things: self awareness and objectivity, recovery, and mindset. Joe does a great job of keeping his athletes aware of dips in performance and the reasoning behind it in order to avoid a catastrophic domino effect across their lives.
This transitions us into discussing the importance of relationships in powerlifting but also in all areas of life. Joe emphasizes the importance of focusing on the individual and matching his coaching style to their personality. He stresses the importance of open communication and allowing athletes to be heard and leaving ego out of the equation. Joe also discusses the importance of maintaining work ethic even after success to continue to earn your stripes.
We then jump into weight selection at powerlifting meets and how important overall strategy can be when attempting to earn placings. It’s important for each athlete to execute their own game plan and to avoid the potential pitfalls of playing the comparison game. This is where social media can possibly have a negative impact on an athlete as they’re preparing for a meet, as numbers can be inflated and egos can get in the way of good training.
Lastly, we discuss working around injuries in powerlifting and balancing progression in each lift while maintaining others. Joe gives us some insight into his exercise selection at different times in his training schedule. Variability is important here, and we discuss where it is appropriate to hammer down on specificity every week and where it’s going to be detrimental. Context is key here and taking time to strategize can lead to a long and healthy training career.
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