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

Do You Want to Improve and Master Pull Ups?

"Today was the day. No more bands, no more iso holds, no more eccentrics.

It was time for the real thing.

She approached the rack with a little zest (not entirely sure what song she had just listened to), stepped her way up to the pull-up bar, and grabbed hold for the ride.

Following a big breath and brace, she pulled as hard as she could and glided right up, pure euphoria spreading across her face as her chin passed the bar.

I thought she was going to perform a back flip off the rack. Instead she hopped down and gave me a huge high five — she had just crushed her first pull-up.

As trainers, it’s important to first ask the right questions and then move our clients down the path towards their goals. Many times, one of those goals will be to either do a single pull-up or just crush pull-ups period.

While the pull-up might look simple, it’s anything but that. There are many intricacies to be aware of if you hope to help your clients how to master pull ups. This article will walk you through everything from clearing someone to do a pull-up, to the biomechanics behind it, to the execution, programming, cueing and everything in-between..."

Want to read more?  Head on over to the Personal Trainer Development Center and check it out:

Do You Want to Improve and Master Pull Ups?

about the author


James Cerbie is just a life long athlete and meathead coming to terms with the fact that he’s also an enormous nerd.  Be sure to follow him on Twitter and Instagram for the latest happenings.