Our Story


Developing Values: The family, friends, community and personal experiences founder Dave Tate had when growing-up all helped shaped the values of our company today. “I was taught at a young age the importance of quality over quantity, and it was driven into me that if you start something, you finish it, and you do it with honesty and integrity.”It was during these formidable years, and as a direct result of several key events early in life, that Dave molded his own morals, ethics, and principles. Today, it is the values—courage, empowerment, integrity, attitude, execution, education, and quality—that serve as guideposts in every action and aspect of our daily business.


Discovering A Passion For Strength: For Dave, his passion for strength is about breaking personal records and finding peace.“Growing-up, training was my biggest passion. It was my way to deal with all the adversity the world tossed my way. It was my haven. When I was a kid, the gym was the one place I could go to be in charge and decide whether I succeeded. It was my place to build and grow—mentally and physically.” It also meant standing out from the crowd and being great. When it comes to our business, it is this same passion for strength that fuels us in everything we do. It’s in our DNA. It’s who we are. It’s what we do.


Feeding A Never Ending Desire For Knowledge: Education is how elitefts achieves competitive differentiation and drives market opportunities. For nearly an entire decade prior to our beginning, founder Dave did his own self-study of strength and conditioning. This included reading all the Russian training manuals he could find, consuming nearly everything available on strength and conditioning, attending countless seminars, and, networking with as many coaches and trainers as possible. Today, elitefts owns the greatest inventory of free strength training-related information in the industry and remains fully committed to leveraging the spirit of teaching, customer feedback and educational resources into new product categories to drive future growth.

“When it comes to educating and helping others reach their goals, premium training information is mostly marketed toward those who can afford to pay for it. From the beginning, elitefts has taken a different road—we decided to side with the masses. And that means responding to the needs and desires of people around the world: people who place training as a top priority in their life; people with different needs, dreams, and aspirations; people who want to increase their strength and improve their everyday lives. Our business is based on a partnership with the customer. elitefts is an education company that just happens to sell top-of-the-line strength equipment and accessories — not a strength equipment company that happens to provide education.”


Shaping The Business: Immediately prior to the founding of elitefts, Dave worked for an organization entirely driven by a system of values. It was this experience—living and working by the company’s mission, vision, credo and values—that inspired many of the exact same structures found within our own company today.

“elitefts is what I define as a ‘value based company.’ Every action within the company is based on a set of defined values and beliefs.”


Our Start—EliteFTS Is Born: Realizing there were thousands of coaches and athletes looking for quality training advice, Dave set-up a simple question and answer forum through a powerlifting website and began writing articles to help these athletes and coaches. It was at this moment, EliteFTS was born. “I could not believe the incredible amount of misinformation in regards to strength training.” elitefts was founded with one simple goal: to make average athletes elite and elite athletes great.

First of more than 250 educational seminars takes place.

Initial product is sold.


Branding Our Name: During the first year of business, it was immediately realized that for the company to grow, it needed to be branded “EliteFTS.” Our name came from readers online who didn’t want to type out “Elite Fitness Systems,” so they shortened it. “I like that readers created it, so I trademarked it. They are just as much the company as anyone.”


Educating And Outfitting: “Educating and outfitting the strongest athletes around the world.” To us, this means providing the education, motivation and empowerment to help athletes—those who place training as a top priority in their lives—get better. The business of elitefts is built on education, product innovation, a highly efficient global supply chain and strong strategic execution. “What sets us apart from everybody else is that we are in the PR business"

Personal Records.”elitefts.com website debuts.

Q&A section appears on elitefts.com

Online store launched on elitefts.com


elitefts brand equipment line introduced


First Team elitefts member appears on elitefts.com Q&A

elitefts brand mono-style squat stand introduced to market

Under The Bar first published, highlighting the values behind our company. Since then, more than 50,000 copies have been printed.


Sponsored athletes’ and coaches’ training logs make first appearance on elitefts.com.


elitefts apparel appears


elitefts Collegiate line of equipment introduced

Strong(er) brand first appears


First Underground Strength Session: Our transition from a brand to a culture began when a handful of sponsors converged at an old tractor dealership in the middle of Ohio farmland—also our second company gym and customer showroom. Three different generations of powerlifters trained, helped one another, learned, shared experience, told stories, laughed, and became one. This was living, learning, and passing on.

elitefts accessories added

elitefts reaches 2 million visitors per month


Video Exercise Index Introduced

Served 100,000 customer

2010 - Present

Learn To Train Seminars Conceived To Support The Make-A-Wish Foundation: elitefts has always been about helping others. But besides just strengthening athletes, our commitment has also grown to help strengthen our community. The Make-A-Wish Foundation has today become one of our flagship charitable endeavors. To date, we have had the honor of giving more than $250,000 to this organization.

E-Vault goes live with free access to all content. More than 200,000 downloads in first month.

Reach half millionth order

Team elitefts Expands To More Than 100: elitefts is rich in talent, comprising of team of more than 100 strength athletes, coaches, staff members, columnists, advisors, and other contributors. Members have held strength and conditioning coaches positions at major universities, positions within the NFL, launched their own product lines, authored books on training, owned training centers or gyms, squatted more than 1100 pounds, bench pressed more than 800 pounds, deadlifted more than 800 pounds, have set multiple all-time world records, been ranked in the top 10 for their weight class, and been published in major magazines, such as: Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Flex, Muscle and Fitness, Maxim, Powerlifting USA, Penthouse, Muscle and Fitness, Women’s Heath, Shape, Muscular Development, Planet Muscle, MMA publications, Boxing journals, and many others.

Tour De Force and Passion-For-Profit Seminars released online for free

elitefts Facebook page breaks 200,000 likes

elitefts gym

Mission Statement

EliteFTS is driven to be the strength training industry’s number one online destination by providing readers the widest range of free educational resources, outfitting them with highest quality products and services, and supporting them with highest level of service and care.

Credo: We will provide an unforgettable experience for our readers by constantly striving to retain our position as the premier destination in the world for strength training-related resources

We will establish long-term relationships with others by spotting mutually rewarding opportunities, and trusting them to provide the essential shots needed for continued strength and growth

We will create and foster an environment for our staff and customers that is driven by knowledge and will empower them to be the best they can be

We will choose to bring our best attitude to each day and attempt to pass along something we have learned

Purpose: With continuous improvement we provide strength coaches, athletes and trainers the highest quality equipment, personalized service and knowledge they need to advance their training programs.

Vision: We have a passion for empowering success through personal achievement.

Motto: Prepare – Perform – Prevail

elitefts Learn to Train Seminar

elitefts Core Values

People — Respect and care for their well-being and professional development. Maintain an atmosphere of trust, empowerment and teamwork, and have the best people in the right positions

Courage — To take risks, defy the odds and challenge the realm of possibility. Have the courage to make ourselves vulnerable, to listen to our harshest critics, and have the strength to take chances, innovate and experiment to help build the company

Education — Provide unique resources to build knowledge, skills, and motivation for people that place training at a high priority within their life. By providing strength training education, we inspire and empower our readers to maximize their own training and personal development

Empowerment — Empower people to acquire the knowledge, tools and information they need to achieve the best possible training results

Teamwork — We work together, sharing a common purpose, a common culture and common goals. We work together in pursuit of our Mission, and we work together to create an atmosphere in which everyone has the chance to contribute and achieve success

Integrity — We say what we believe, and we do what we say. We strive for alignment in what we say and do and live and work with trust, honesty, caring, fairness, loyalty, and diversity. These values are essential for the growth of the individual and EliteFTS

Attitude — Our attitude is a reflection of what we value: team members that are enthusiastic, proactive and passionate about everything they do

Accountability — We earn the right to hold others to a higher level of accountability by being accountable to our customers, our partners and ourselves. The ability to put a plan into successful action and execute it thoroughly

Quality — Quality is achieved through passion, integrity, education, empowerment, attitude and accountability. Expect nothing but the best from yourself, your coworkers, Team EliteFTS and the company

Legacy elitefts will help educate and outfit the strongest athletes in the world by becoming “partners” not “spotters”. Training partners work together toward the goal of making each person better. Spotters are there only when asked or added trust is needed. Together, we can and will create a legacy in the name of strength and conditioning.