In order to understand how True Strength Gym developed, it is necessary to know Wes Wright. He developed the philosophy behind what we do. While he is no longer with us in the physical form, I do everything in my power to keep his ideas and methods alive. Wes worked for decades with many college and professional athletes and teams. His understanding of strength and how to get strong fast is the premise of every exercise we do at True Strength.
I had the privilege to have Wes as a mentor. Wes encouraged me to open Strength BA, (which has become True Strength Gym) and was here through the beginning stages of the gym. He designed, handmade and welded almost everything in the room and molded my mindset and work ethic so that I can bring you this amazing training today.
I first worked out with Wes when I was 19 years old and let me tell you it rocked my world. I was already in great shape, I was a personal trainer, I was strong, and my cardio was great. By most standards(including mine), I was considered a top tier athlete. But, 20 minutes into my first workout with Wes, I was struggling for air and every muscle in my body was pumped to the max at the same time. I will never forget that day or that workout.
Wes was a great man with many stories to tell, amazing stories. He knew so many amazing people and it was always exciting meeting these interesting people. Everyone who knew him respected him. Even today when I meet someone who knew him, they always have a story of how he helped them better their lives. He helped everyone he could, and in doing so,made many friends and changed countless lives. My story is no different and I have many stories of him I could tell, far more than this page will allow, but my intention here is solely to thank and honor him, and to remember where it all came from.
I founded True Strength Gym because I saw the need to change the way people look at strength training. I opened this facility in December of 2010 with $50 in the bank, 4 pieces of equipment, in a rented space with a 10 foot hole in the wall. It wasn’t a spectacular grand opening, but I am extremely proud of how far the gym has come.
Right out of High School, I joined the Army Reserve, which led me to Tulsa. In 2005, while in college, I took a job as a Personal Trainer. As I worked with a wide spectrum of clients, I became to understand that building strength was the basis for every type of fitness goal. I decided making people strong was what I wanted to do for a living. So I have focused all my time and effort into learning every way I can help my clients be as strong as they can.
Wes Wright saw my dedication and became my mentor. For years, Wes personally trained and taught me, so I could also learn all of his innovative (and non-traditional) methods of strength training and how all muscles work together in the body. I have been involved in martial arts and MMA my entire life and I use that intense mentality in my training. I design my workouts to balance building mental and physical strength. I believe we train the body to strengthen the mind.
Life can be hard at times, but I believe after putting your body through hard training you are better equipped to handle the things that life throws at you. I have trained everyone from professional athletes to heart patients. Everyone is pushed to the limits of their ability. I put an emphasis on hand and foot strength. I am now the leading expert in this style of training and plan to show the world what Wes has taught me.
My strength and fitness journey began 30 years ago at my first powerlifting competition in junior high. I won my first state title setting two state records; one for the squat and another for the deadlift which still stands to my knowledge. The fact that I was able to lift more than most kids my age (and some adults!) was like a drug. It was intoxicating to me. I was hooked!In 2002 I met a gentleman by the name of Wes Wright who completely changed my lifting life forever. He came to a state competition that I was hosting and struck up a conversation with me. His knowledge of the lifting game impressed me but what impressed me even more was his boldness and conviction of what he said he could do for me as a strength athlete. I didn’t know this guy from Adam, but he went on to tell me that he could make me one of the strongest men in the world.
Well, I was already there so I thought, but I agreed to take his challenge. I have not been the same since. He showed me things that I had never seen before. He told me of ways to become strong without handling max poundage week in and week out and crippling my body. He killed me in about 20 minutes using nothing more than two 36 pound kettlebells and a bicycle. To make a long story short, he helped me put over 100 pounds on my squat, 35 pounds on my bench, and 30 pounds on my deadlift; all in a matter of 4 months!
I can never begin to repay Wes for the knowledge that he passed on to me. He influenced numbers of people over the years from boxers, MMA fighters, power-lifters, strongmen, and the average Joe at the gym just trying to feel better about himself. Wes was truly a special person and I truly miss him now that he is gone. His influence can be seen and felt today at True Strength Gym where Johnathon Catlett has taken Wes’s vision and applied it to the most unique gym around.