athlete of the month

Athlete of the Month: Ian Engel

This month we'll be featuring Ian Engel as our athlete/coach of the month.  Ian is based in New York City, and trains people out of Equinox on 1 Park Ave.  If you're in the area, be sure to hit him up! Name:  Ian Engel

Favorite Superhero/Sport/Team/Book:

Superhero: Thor

Book: Way of the Peaceful Warrior

Favorite "Go HAM" Song

No Lungs to Breathe. Artist: As I Lay Dying

Favorite Quote

"Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own" - Bruce Lee

Favorite Lift

Log Press / Conventional DL. Honestly they tie in my book. They both make me feel alive in their own ways.


Max Lifts

-Deadlift: 600

-Log Clean & Press: 320

-Split Jerk: 360

-Bench: 375

Why do you train and what does training mean to you?

I train because I constantly want to be stronger than my previous self physically, mentally, and spiritually. I am trying to find my limit and thus far have yet to find it. Training to me is the gateway to discovering who you are and how far you are willing to go with what you have at your disposal. We have one of the greatest jobs in the world. We improve ourselves so that we may show others the door to conquer their own goals and dreams in the gym and life.


-Prepare to Win the 220 Hudson Valley Lift For Autism

-Prepare to Win the 231 New York Strong Competition

-Break the USS Log clean and press record for the 220 Class

-Get my split back ( read that correctly)

-Deadlift 675 by the end of 2016

-NAS Nationals for 2017

  • Favorite Memory from training, competition or coaching

-Winning 4 out 5 events and taking 1st in the 231 NAS Strongman Mania 2015 with my training partner Taylor Luther winning his first comp in the HW Novice Class

-Coaching my client Allison Brando to break through her mental blocks and hitting 225lb trap bar deadlift where 4 weeks prior, 95lbs made her nervous. Watching her conquer her mind was a beautiful sight.

-Getting the opportunity to work under Pat Davidson. A man who has continually inspired me to want more and push myself to the next level and then further.

How can people contact you:


Instagram: i.engel518

Athlete of the Month: Krista Plano

Name:  Krista Plano

Favorite superhero/sport/team/book:

Superhero: Musicians are sort of like superheroes, right? Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails frontman) is mine, he excels at everything he does and has overcome some serious obstacles.

Sport: Cooking? Half kidding. I like playing softball. I grew out of watching baseball years ago.

Book: I proudly admit that the Harry Potter series is my ultimate favorite, it made me want to be a wizard.

Favorite "go HAM" song:

It’s so hard to pick just one, The Beautiful People (Marilyn Manson).

Favorite quote:

"I really try to put myself in uncomfortable situations. Complacency is my enemy.” Trent Reznor

Favorite lift:

hex bar deadlift

Max lifts you know and are willing to share:

Hex bar: 295

Squat: 200

Why do you train and what does training mean to you?

Training makes me feel like myself. If I didn't move and lift more often than not, I'd feel useless and weak. It adds structure and purpose to the weeks, motivates me physically and mentally, and makes me feel stronger everyday. Ever go from not being able to do a pull up to doing 3 or squatting more than your body weight for the first time? Those moments are the best highs.

What are you working on next?

After maxing out for the first time post MASS and hitting 295 on my deadlift, I'm ready to crush 300. My main overall goal is to get leaner and stronger and to surround myself with the people who will help me get there (wink, wink Gerard Friedman). No competitions scheduled...yet!

Favorite memory from training, competition or coaching?

That time I thought I was maxing out with 285 on the bar and there was actually 295!

*Interested in being featured as the athlete and/or coach of the month?  Drop us a line at and let us know why you're a boss.