Interview with Daniel Koppenhaver

In this episode, I interview one of my best friends, Dan Koppenhaver, about his experience of competing at the US National Weightlifting Competition in Dallas, Texas and what went into his training.

Dan is a full-time firefighter in Durham, NC and when he is not at the station he is usually lifting.  Dan has made huge sacrifices to reach the level he is at now, including, waking up to train at 4 am before he pulls a 24-hour shift at the firehouse.

Currently, Dan is raising money to get to Reno so that he can compete.

Full-time firefighters, unfortunately, do not make a lot of money. If you want to help Dan out a little but click this link here which will take you to his GoFundMe account where is is close to his goal.  Even just a small donation of $1 can go a long way to help Dan get to Reno so he can crush it!

In this episode we discuss:

  • The crispness of autumns arrival
  • What physical training for firefighters look like
  • What firefighters have to study in regards to emergency training, medical training, etc
  • The humbling experience of spending time in the ER during training
  • Ben Franklin started one of the first volunteer fire departments
  • Remaining humble even while saving lives
  • Training never stops
  • What spurred his desire to learn the Olympic Lifts
  • David Rigert
  • Getting back into weight lifting after college
  • Joined a local Crossfit Barbell Club after firefighter academy
  • John North USA Weightlifting
  • FitCon- NC
  • Reno- USA Weightlifting Championships
  • What he learned from competing
  • Travis Mash
  • What mistakes he made at his first competition
  • Create a ceremony before you lift and do it every time
  • Mastering the Mundane: the small details that matter
  • Struggling to get sleep while at the firehouse
  • Discovering the importance of pre-workout nutrition
  • Coffee = happiness
  • The psychological benefits of showering
  • How much he actually eats in a day
  • Ironic Omelets
  • Favorite Spice Girl
  • Most money he has ever spent drunk at Wendy’s
  • Longest time he has not taken a shower
  • All Natural Gluten Free Showers
  • Listening to Katy Perry while squatting, thanks Greg Nuckols
  • How long he scrolls through Facebook before he gives up
  • Aspects people don’t know about firefighting
  • Where does he see himself going from here
  • Set the bar really high and keep going
  • Pants
  • DanKoppenhaver (Instagram)


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