Creel’s AthElite Nation helps take athletes further

Brian Creel is a CSCS pro strength and speed coach, USA Track and Field coach, USA Weightlifting coach and owner of AthElite Nation Sports Performance. He is known as one of the strongest men in the world and is a lifetime drug-free athlete.

Brian Creel showcases his world-class strength to lift a car.

Creel’s AthElite Nation in Boaz is home to collegiate All-Americans, national and world champions and numerous professional athletes from the NFL, CFL, WNBA, professional baseball, basketball, softball and soccer. Read more about owner Brian Creel and the training he offers through his facility on page 2 of the Horizons-Community section inside today’s edition of The Reporter

AthElite Nation’s roots date back to coach Brian Creel’s journey as an athlete and his love for strength, speed and athleticism.

His sporting career spanned NCAA Division I college football and track and field at UAB, where he was an NSCA All-American. His success as an offensive lineman for the Blazers saw him become a projected NFL Draft pick and later sign in three professional Leagues — the Canadian Football League, XFL and AFL. He also became a National champion/World Class powerlifter and Strongman competitor.

“Hard work is the currency that makes all success possible,” said Creel, who starred on the gridiron for Boaz. “There’s no substitute for it. I’ve found that success usually starts by a few people who believe in you.”

Creel’s success began with the investment of a few influential coaches (Ben Baker, Randy Nelson, Howard Upton and Steve Patterson), and a work ethic he would carry into his sporting career that was instilled in him by his parents, Judy Creel and Dr. Mike Creel.

“I learned the value of hard work firsthand working on a farm and seeing my parents’ endless hours of devotion on display in their chosen careers; they were always going above and beyond the call of duty,” Creel said.

As a lifetime drug-free athlete, Creel used the knowledge of training instead of drugs to gain that competitive edge to succeed in sport to the tune of developing World Class strength and World Class speed.

With one rep maxes of over 1,000 pounds RAW in the squat and deadlift, as well as defeating some of the top strength athletes in the world throughout his career, Creel is considered by many as one of the strongest men in the world. He preaches that same success and drug-free message today to the athletes he trains at Creel’s AthElite Nation in Boaz.

“Our teammates quickly learned that Brian was not only as strong as he looked but incredibly athletic,” said Chris Snyder, a former defensive end for Penn State and the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. “The first time I watched Brian broad jump over 10 feet, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. For someone over 320 pounds, he moved like an athlete that weighed 200 pounds.”

Impacting lives through faith, training and inspiration

“It’s my ministry … It’s how I give back,” Creel said. “We teach the life lessons of hard work, discipline and perseverance, which all play a key role in one’s success, whether it’s in sports or life.”

AthElite Nation develops athletes from youth to the pros.

“Success is different for everyone,” Creel said. “One athlete’s success might be to start on their high school team, while another might receive a Division I scholarship, and yet success for someone else might be to play their sport professionally. It’s about reaching your potential, taking talent the Lord has blessed you with, working hard and working smart in order to reach your goals.

“We give athletes that vision of ‘what could be’ and the roadmap to get there by way of sound training backed by science. This way, the athlete is not left spinning their wheels with training methods that do not work or that are counterproductive and impede an athlete’s progress.

“A multitude of training abilities are developed to ensure an athlete’s success from strength-speed-power-agility to coordination and flexibility. The proper programming of these abilities along with clearing up any movement dysfunction will go a long way to help prevent injury and increase performance.”

Creel is still involved in Strongman shows and most recently competed in Canada. It’s not out of the ordinary to see him in front of a group of students at an FCA event still practicing what he preaches — lifting cars, breaking bats and bending steel bars to the amazement of young athletes.

“Brian Creel is not only one of the strongest people I’ve ever met, but he is also one of the most sincere and passionate individuals when it comes to improving the lives of young people,” Keith Davis, a former linebacker for Southern Cal and the New York Giants, said. “Truly a man of character who talks the talk and walks the walk.”

A world-class training facility in your own backyard

AthElite Nation’s training system is nearly three decades in the making. As a professional athlete, Creel has been trained by and had the privilege of learning from some of the best in the business, from Olympic coaching to some of the top strength and speed coaches in the country.

With this type of athletic background, combined with an education from one of the top-ranked universities in the world in UAB, along with holding the highest certification in the field (CSCS), Creel has accumulated a vast amount of knowledge in the area of human performance.

With this world-class knowledge, experience and expertise, he has developed thousands of athletes from the youth and high school levels, to Division I college, and to the professional ranks of the NFL, CFL, WNBA, professional baseball, basketball, softball and soccer.

“Brian is one of the most knowledgeable strength and speed coaches in the country, as well as a humble man led by Christ,” Tommy Barnes, a former SEC and current strength and conditioning coach with the US Army, who trains Special Ops, said. “His commitment to his craft is very evident in his personal quest to remain one of the strongest humans on the face of the earth.”

A national presence

AthElite Nation‘s footprint is far reaching. Not only has some of the top talent in the area trained at AthElite Nation, but Creel has athletes who on a regular basis come from as far away as Huntsville, Birmingham and Montgomery. He also has online clients who have made the journey from all over the country, from California and Dallas, Texas, to Florida and Indianapolis, Indiana.

His online clients include a three-time IPF World Champion powerlifter and some of the top high school football talent in the country. A member of the class of 2021, Caleb Johnson is a four-star offensive tackle out of Florida with close to 40 Division I FBS offers who trains with Creel. Some heavy hitters on Johnson’s list of offers are Alabama, LSU, Notre Dame, Auburn and Penn State.

NFL/NBA Combine and Pro Day prep

During the winter and spring, you can find some rather large and athletic individuals going in and out of Creel’s doors as well.

Collegiate athletes getting ready for the biggest job interview of their life with the NFL, CFL, XFL and NBA seek Creel’s guidance to increase their speed, strength and size in hopes of landing a job in the pros.

Success stories

“We’ve had so many success stories here involving athletes who have worked hard, stayed focused and persevered to see their dreams become a reality,” Creel said. “We’ve helped many go from virtual unknowns to Division I scholarship athletes by enhancing their strength, speed, power and size.”

Several athletes that weren’t starters on their high school teams joined up with the hopes of having a good high school career, and within a year or two were not only starters but had gone on to receive college scholarships. Others have had very successful collegiate careers and even taken their game to the professional ranks.

When it comes to youth and middle school athletes, some who have been cut from a sports team have not only gotten back in the game by increased overall athleticism, but their self-esteem and confidence has grown as well.

“At this age, we are giving them the tools they need to succeed in the future,” Creel said.

Albertville senior Journey Oden is one of AthElite Nation’s success stories. She helped lead the Aggie volleyball team to the Class 6A Final Four last fall and followed it up by signing with LaGrange College in December. She owns several records at AthElite Nation for a freshman in high school —a deadlift of 405 pounds, a squat of 320 pounds and a bench press of 200 pounds.

“I’ve been training at Brian Creel’s facility since the seventh or eighth grade,” Oden told The Reporter on her signing day. “I just remember I couldn’t even run good, and I wasn’t even that strong. I really excelled there, and he just kind of pushed me to be my best self.

“I’m still going there today, and it’s just a really great environment for athletes who want to pursue their dream in their sport, or if they just want to get better all around,” he added. “It’s just a great environment to be in at a young age.”

Creel trains adult clients as well. Many have come in to get fit, healthy and to start feeling better. Some have gone on to lose over 100 pounds and adopt a whole new healthy way of life.

Creel, who has had opportunities to interview for jobs throughout Division I and in the SEC, said he has always envisioned himself as a strength and conditioning coach at the collegiate level or pro ranks, but as time went on, God’s prompting kept pulling him home to open this facility.

“I’ve been truly blessed to move back home where life really mattered to me, so I could pour into the athletes of my community and be a small part of their success in sports, and most importantly see them become winners in the game of life.” Creel said.