As of March 3rd, Heather is the first female in the international powerlifting federation to deadlift 4 times her body weight. That is no small feat and places her in a class of elite lifters most will never dream of reaching.
However, according to a recent report published on Medium by Squats and Science head coach Adrian Khamesi, there may be more to elite lifter Heather Connor than her social media displays publicly–specifically her coaching practices and how she treats her clients.
Adrian is Heather’s coach and provides her with powerlifting programming as well as adjustments for her training cycles.
So What Exactly Did Heather Connor Do?
According to Adrian, Heather stole his training outline and templates, provided them to her own clients and athletes as if they were personalized, and then lied about it afterwards using an intricate story to cover it up.
When her client and the athlete in question Sandra Tran was contacted, she was completely confused and had no clue what Heather was referring to in her story. Heather falsely lied that Sandra used part of her own training instead.
After screenshots were matched up, Adrian realized that it wasn’t just a single training block—an entire year of Sandra’s training was completely copied. Unsurprisingly, she made little to no progress.
According to Adrian, what Heather did is unacceptable.
“This is why I decided to come public about it. Not because of me, but because of Sandra. I can’t believe that someone could be so selfish and egotistical that they could charge a customer for copied programming and then put 100% blame on that same customer when they got caught. What kind of human being does that? Heather has been lying to both Sandra and me for quite some time now. She probably has been lying to many of you as well, since more than 1 person has warned me that she’s a compulsive liar and I ignored it.”
The paragraph above was deleted by Adrian as of February 7th.
As a member of the USAPL National Team it will be interesting to see if there will be any official response or reprimand; it’s highly unlikely.
While the story is unfortunate, it isn’t necessarily surprising. If you rely 100% on someone else to make progress for you in the gym, you’re already setting yourself up for failure if that person is unable to do so or misleads you out of laziness.
The few core principles of strength training don’t change. All intelligent programming is built around them, they’re based in science, and they never change.
It is interesting how even such high-level lifters require someone else to do their training. Isn’t that what they should be good at?
Intermediate and advanced powerlifting programs almost always utilize DUP training with RPE tracking and has become the “industry standard” in building strength while also adding muscle (such as the popular 8 week powerlifting program). But it isn’t recommended for novice lifters (who should use a beginner program to build a baseline of muscle and strength first).
While people’s opinions on training may differ, hopefully Adrian’s article will at least wake people up enough to look into their own training or ask questions if they do have a coach. If you’re going to put that much effort into lifting, why not maximize your progress?