The Strength Agenda is proud to feature the writings of athletes, coaches and fitness professionals who all have an undeniable passion for getting stronger. Our writers have different backgrounds and goals, which helps to introduce you to new strategies, techniques and thought processes. If you want to get better, you need to learn more. Our writers will help you do that. Want to be a paid contributor? Learn more here.
Tom Sroka, Founder & Senior Editor
Tom Sroka is a nationally ranked weightlifter in the USA, who has trained with legendary coaches and teammates, including Glenn Pendlay, Travis Mash, Donny Shankle, Jon North, James Tatum and Jared Fleming. Tom has competed in many national meets, and was the 105+ kilo champion in the 2013 American Open. His personal bests include a 151kg (332 lbs) snatch and 202 kg (445 lbs) clean + jerk. Tom is the Weightlifting Coach for The Outlaw Way, and travels the country helping others refine and improve upon their technique. He runs an online training group, The Strength Agenda Way, that is home to national-level weightlifters and Regional-qualified CrossFit athletes.
Tom graduated from Aurora University with a degree in Physical Education with minors in Fitness & Health Promotion and Health Education. In a former athletic life, Tom was a 3-time All-American shot putter and hammer thrower, and a 2-time recipient of the NSCA Strength and Conditioning All-American Award. He has also coached nationally-ranked collegiate athletes and helped secure a National title for the North Central College Men’s Track & Field team.
Beth Sroka, Founder & Senior Editor
Beth Sroka is a Registered 200 hr Yoga Teacher (RYT200) who also enjoys a good squat or deadlift session. Knowing and loving the strength world through her husband, Tom Sroka, Beth merged that with yoga in order to create athlete-specific practices and sequences. With lots of focus on hips, hamstrings, shoulders, and the brain, she seeks to help athletes stay limber, build synaptic density, and learn the art of focus. You can catch her as a regular contributor to the recipe section of The Strength Agenda, and sharing tips, tricks and videos on yoga for strength athletes.
Nate Bailey, Contributor
Nate Bailey is an owner of CrossFit Epitome in Rochester, MN and the Head Weightlifting Coach of Epitome Barbell Club. He has a B.S. in Physical Education and certifications as USAW Level 1 and CrossFit Level1. He is married with 3 children, all under the age of 7. He loves all things Weightlifting, taking up the sport at the young age of 36. On top of owning a CrossFit gym, insurance agency, and a full time family, Nate is a regular contributor for The Strength Agenda. You can also read his stuff on his blog Epitome of Fitness.
Chris Branam, Contributor
Chris Branam is a weightlifter from Bloomington, Indiana. He began weightlifting in 2011 after 10 years of wrestling and 4 years of Highland Games. Chris is one of the head coaches of the Hoosier Weightlifting Club and is looking to expand the club to bring in youth athletes, especially underprivileged ones. Chris and his wife, Anna (owner of Urban Fitness Studio), are fascinated by human movement and potential. Their discussions of athletes’ mobility, nutrition, and mental state inspire Chris’s writing.
Candice Case, Contributor
Candice Case has worked in the fitness industry for the last 17 years and during that time has helped preschoolers, senior citizens, and all ages in between. She’s currently the head coach at Metro CrossFit in Charlotte, NC and trains out of CrossFit Northlake. Candice is also the owner of Wonder Promotions and Events, a company that specializes in sports competitions and fundraisers.
She is an active blogger on health and fitness topics and was the CrossFit Regional Media Director for the Mid Atlantic region for past two years. Candice also maintains a personal blog and recounts her trials and triumphs of being a single mom to two boys and all the weirdness she attracts in her life. She has
an obsession a fondness for Wonder Woman and seeks out truth, justice, and a bodyweight snatch.
Mike McIntyre, Contributor
“I have three main passions in life: my wife, my daughter, and lifting weights. I’ve done some personal training, group strength training, and some coaching. I’ve competed in amateur level strength athletics including powerlifting, all-around weightlifting with the USAWA, Strongman, and Highland games. I have some “good” personal bests including a 500+ lbs bench press, 600+ squat, and 700+ deadlift. I’ve never been “great” at olympic lifting but I’ve hit high 300s in the clean and jerk. I hold a few records in the odd lifts of the USAWA. I’ve been training since I was 14 years old so you can say weightlifting has been a part of who I am for over half my life. I studied Exercise Science but graduated with a degree in Biology. I later went on to get a Master’s of Science degree in Biomedical Sciences with a focus on Human Anatomy. I look at lifting and training from an athletic perspective and also very strongly from the perspective of a scientist. I am also working towards getting certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA.” – Mike
Amber Sheppard, Contributor
Amber is the co-owner and head meet coach of the first USAW club in her state: the non-profit Mississippi Barbell. She puts her law degree to good use by coaching national level weightlifters of all ages, state record powerlifters, and Regional CrossFitters. In her thirteen years as a competitive raw powerlifter she overcame dislocated shoulders, four bulging discs, and an eating disorder to set 6 USAPL records, become a multi-time state champion, and Athlete of the Year. Being a consummate nerd, she has garnered a wide collection of certifications including USAW Advanced Sports Performance, USAPL, CrossFit L1 and CrossFit Olympic Weightlifting. She has put those certifications to the test by shadow coaching her mentors Danny Camargo, Gayle Hatch, Matt Bruce, Don McCauley and Justin Thacker. When she isn’t in the gym, Amber can be found watching WWE wrestling, dressing up other people’s dogs, and eating pepperjack cheese.
Steve Tria, Contributor
Steve Tria is the owner of Team 13 Fitness, and head coach of Team13 Weightlifting based out of his facility in Calverton, NY. He received a B.S. in Biology from Southampton College of Long Island University and holds various certifications including USAW Advanced Sports Performance Coach and Functional Range Conditioning mobility specialist. As one of Long Island’s premier coaches he works with athletes from multiple universities and professional teams along with a number of up and coming weightlifters from the tri-state area. His blog can be found here. Connect with Steve through Facebook, Instagram @coach_steve_tria, or e-mail [email protected]