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About Dustin Sanchez
I’m Dustin and I created this website. I started lifting weights as a freshman in High School back in the ’91. Back then I trained like a bodybuilder and ate like a bird, and never really gained much muscle.
But I really developed a love for finding my physical limits during these 100 degree Houston Summer garage gym workouts.
Around 1999 I started training with a couple of powerlifters while stationed in San Diego for the U.S. Navy. I weighed about 150 pounds and my two training partners weighed about 235 and 250 pounds each.
These guys were really big and really intense in the gym. They liked to yell and scream a lot. They made fun of me because I never did much yelling or screaming in the gym. To this day I don’t get amped up or do any kind of crazy yelling for a big lift attempt.
I’m more of an ‘eye of the hurricane’ kind of guy in the gym, but I like to train with dude who get really hype.
In late 2000 I met a guy named Chris “2-Strong” Turner who had recently set the USAPL California State Deadlift record & Total record for the 181 pound class (which I believe still stands to this day), you can see his record here.
He was a great deadlifter until he hurt his back, at which time he started pulling sumo an stopped making fun of me for pulling sumo.
He was also a medical corpsman in the Navy, saw me lifting at the base gym one day and asked if I wanted to join his powerlifting team. I competed in my first two powerlifting meets under his coaching and we lost contact shortly after I got out of the Navy in 2001.
If anybody reading this knows Chris, please ask him to contact me (I’ve tried stalking him on both Facebook and Twitter to no avail).
Under Chris’ coaching, in 2000 or 2001, I set the USAPL California State Deadlift record for Jr. Men’s 148 lb division at 451 lbs. That record has since been broken (I believe it stands at around 500.1 lbs today), but for a short period of time, I was a big deal in California.
I did a few powerlifting meets after leaving the Navy, nothing spectacular, but there is one meet that always sticks in my mind…
Believing In Yourself
Fitness is more than just moving weights or burning fat. It gets inside of you and becomes a metaphor for life.
My favorite lift is the squat. It takes true grit to train the squat on a consistent basis, and it takes courage to put enough spine snapping weight on your back and take it for a ride.
I did a powerlifting meet was in 2002, where I competed without any assistance gear (RAW) at 148 lbs bodyweight.
Several of my family members and close friends attended this meet.
My last squat of the day was 440 lbs and at the time it was more than I had ever attempted.
I un-racked the barbell and it just felt heavy.
Sometimes you un-rack a weight and it feels light on your back and you are really confident that you will get that weight. This 440 lbs felt heavy.
I started my descent into the hole and did my best to quickly explode out of the bottom of the lift, but I stalled about 1/4 of the way up.
As I stalled out I looked into the audience and found the faces of my friends and family.
All the cheering stopped. It was like the air was let out of the room.
Everybody’s face turned to disappointment. I could see in the eyes of my friends and family that they all thought I was done, that I was not going to make the lift.
But the truth is I wasn’t done yet! I still had more fight in me!
You are going to experience times in your life when nobody believes in you, when the only person who will give you a chance is yourself.
What I love about fitness is that it allows us to build the courage within ourselves to keep pushing, to keep fighting when everybody has given up on us and when absolutely no evidence exists to believe that success is a possibility.
Dustin…the Cliff’s Notes
- I’m a lawyer in Texas. Nothing on this site should be construed as valid legal advice.
- Favorite binge food: S’mores Poptarts, beef ribs, beef skirt steak
- Least favorite thing to do in the world: anything that could be construed as “cardio”
- Dream vacation: 2 months living on some South American beach. Early morning, beach front kettlebells & pushups. Grilling fajitas every day, then walking into town with a few friends every night and getting mistaken for locals by week two.
- Education: U.S. Navy Nuclear Power Program, BS Nuclear Engineering Technology – Thomas Edison State College, J.D. – University of Houston Law Center
- Fav Friday night activity (after deadlifting): 2-stepping at the local honky-tonk
- I wake up very early every morning (it annoys girl friends & best friends)
- I try to “work smarter” but usually just work harder instead
- I have never been “very good” at anything. Therefore, I am numb to the embarrassment of public failure.
- I’m one of those Self Help addicts…Tony Robbins is my fav, although Earl Nightingale is a close second
“I am the source of all my emotions. Nothing and no one can change how I feel except me. If I find myself in reaction to anything, I change it in a moment. I am the master of my fate.” – Tony Robbins, Awaken the Giant Within
- Sometimes I get so happy, sad, mad or glad, that I will go into my garage and crank out several sets of intense exercise when I know I should be taking an off day.
- I used to teach a fitness boot camp at 5:00 AM. I loved it so much that I did it for free.
Favorite Fitness Boot Camp Moment
I don’t have what you might call “the social skills.”
A lot of times, I just come off as a real jerk. Especially when “motivating” people.
However, at my fitness boot camp I tried to be a nice guy because I’m trying real hard to be a better dang person.
Every day I made the class run wind sprints on a tennis court. They hated this exercise.
Sprint to one side, sprint back. Sprint to one side, spring back. Rest 30 seconds. Do it again. Until I got tired of making them do it.
This sucks at 5: 00 AM.
One morning the entire class was sluggish during these wind sprints. I stopped the class for a water break and a pep talk.
I told them a story from the movie Gattaca. There are 2 brothers in Gattaca. One of them was bred to be genetically perfect, the other is just a normal person like you and me.
Somehow the normal brother (Ethan Hawke) is always better at life than the genetically perfect brother (particularly at swimming in the lake).
As children they constantly challenged each other to these long distance swims in the lake and the un-perfect brother always won.
One day as adults the genetically perfect brother challenges Ethan Hawke to a race in the lake. He wants to know how Ethan Hawke always succeeds at things and also wants to prove that he is better than his un-perfect brother.
The waters are very choppy because it is in the middle of a storm when the brothers start swimming. They swim, and swim, and swim, and Ethan Hawke pulls ahead.
They get far out into the middle of the lake and the genetically perfect brother starts to give up. He starts yelling at Ethan Hawke to stop. He’s so tired and he is about to drown, and he yells to his un-perfect brother who is still swimming like there’s no tomorrow, he says, “stop, we still have to swim back!”
Finally Ethan Hawke stops swimming and says, “You want to know how I do it? This is how! I never save anything for the swim back.” After telling them that story they ran the wind sprints faster than ever before. It was pretty cool!
That has pretty much been my approach to life so far. I’m not recommending this all or nothing mentality to you or to anyone. I’m just pointing it out to give you some insight into who I am.
There have definitely been times when I pushed all in and came up empty, but the thing I fear worse than failure is having to spend the rest of my life asking, “What if?”
So that’s me. Hope you enjoy DailyFitnessInterview.com.