He is the creator of everything TORQUE. The man who has put his heart and soul into the place many of us call home. And if it weren’t for a physiotherapist who recommend he deadlift more to fix a back injury as a kid, we likely wouldn’t be where we all are today!

Read on below to see what TORQUE’S Owner – Dan Petkovsek – is all about.

1. How did you get into fitness/training?

I got into lifting pretty young. I was always an athletic kid, but I suffered a severe back injury at age 13 which resulted in me doing physiotherapy at Sick Kids Hospital 2-3x per week for months (nearly a year of no activity). This was my first experience with deadlifts and 45 degree back extensions, as well as hamstring curls and glute exercises.

My parents had some old weights and a Weider Flex 110 machine in the basement which I started to mess around on. I wasn’t really serious at this point, but it was fun to move the pin to the next hole and try to max out that weight.

When I was 15 a few of my older buddies were starting to workout at a small gym next to the highschool so I got a fake ID (saying I was 17) so I could lift with them. My nickname in my first year or two of highschool was “little Dan”. I wasn’t really bullied, but I also wasn’t really a physical presence. The first day of highschool a kid stole my cell phone and my back pack.

I remember seeing photos of Frank McGrath and AnimalPak around this time too and just thinking I wanted to get huge. My parents let me put a bench press and a squat rack in the basement of our house and from there I just never stopped. After school I would go and lift for hours. My technique sucked, my program sucked, I got pinned under more bars than I can even count.. but I got strong and gained muscle.

When I was 16, I was training for my first powerlifting competition and I went to a local fitness store to buy a belt and knee wraps and met Joe Peacock (owner of Dotmar Fitness). Joe is a very accomplished powerlifter, winning multiple national championships, competing in the world championships, and he was also jacked. I asked Joe if he needed any help part time at the shop, which he hired me. I worked there for about 5 years. In the summers I would lift with Joe and the guys at 8:30am before work, and during the school year I would lift at school and my basement.

Between lifting in my basement, the school gym, and working out with Joe – I kept growing, getting stronger, and learning. It just clicked with me.

2. How many years have you been working in the fitness industry?

13 years.

3. What is your biggest personal success?

My biggest personal success is starting a business (TORQUE) from literally nothing (the back of my truck) – and growing it to a place where numerous trainers and staff can earn incomes to support themselves and their families.

On the lifting side – I have deadlifted over 720lbs, and held the all-time Canadian deadlift record at 198lbs, which eventually got beat – but I will make an attempt to get it back in the near future.

Read more: https://www.torquebarbell.com/7-years-of-torque/

4. What is your favourite thing about training?

To be honest – I just love being in the gym and training hard. I’m very competitive, and when it comes to powerlifting – I compete to win, not to participate.

I like to think I’ve got a good work ethic, and the gym is somewhere that if you have a strong work ethic, you’ll be successful. Hard work, consistently over a long period of time equals results.

Whether its lifting with our team, or lifting on my own with headphones in. It doesn’t matter – I just love smashing weights and getting stronger/bigger.

5. How many days per week do you train/what is your training split?

I typically train 5 days per week. For the majority of the time, my training is set up like this:

Monday – Shoulders, closegrip bench, back, arms
Tuesday – Squat, abs
Wednesday – Rest
Thursday – Back, traps
Friday – Bench, arms, chest
Saturday – Deadlift, back abs
Sunday – Rest

I train the main lifts like a powerlifter – meaning squat, bench, and deadlift – HEAVY with low reps, and my accessory work like a bodybuilder (higher reps, but still as heavy as possible). The only exception is during the 9 weeks leading up to a powerlifting competition in which I have pre-programmed weights and sets/reps each week.

6. Who is your idol/motivation?

I have a couple guys who I take bits and pieces from.

Branch Warren and Andrew Herbert – Branch is an absolute monster in the gym and works hard every day. He’s a bodybuilder, and I like that he’s not full of inspirational quotes and stuff. He preaches consistent hard work, no shortcuts, and he goes HEAVY. Andrew is a powerlifter, but he’s come back from a torn tricep, he’s strong as hell, and he loves going heavy.

Evan Centopani and Jeff Long – I take a lot of nutrition info/ideas from these guys. They eat a lot of good, whole foods, lots of veggies and fruit, and typically keep their diets very simple. Chicken, beef, fish, eggs, egg whites, oats, potatos, sweet potatos, rice, spinach, green beans..etc.

7. What did you eat for breakfast?

2 eggs, half a cup of egg whites, 1.5 cups oats, 1 banana, 1 cup pineapple juice, black coffee.

8. What are your certifications/specialties?

I’m a Certified Sports Conditioning Specialist, Certified Sports Nutritionist, Powerlifting Coach, and Personal Trainer. I specialize in getting people stronger – not only for powerlifting, but for anyone looking to improve their performance/life through increased strength and fitness (fitness enthusiasts, contact sports athletes, non-athletes, and beginners).

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