Remembering the Influential Strength Coach Dr. Ken Leistner

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Rest in Peace to a truly influential man.

There are a great deal of individuals in the fitness world whose influence stretches far beyond the gym. These trainers demonstrate a passion and will to help those around them seeking to be the best versions of themselves, both physically and mentally. If we’re lucky enough, we get to cross paths with such unique human beings who help us to push past our perceived limits and capture lightning in a bottle, transforming our minds and bodies into something far greater than we could have ever imagined.

For a great deal of individuals in the fitness, powerlifting, and football community, Dr. Kenneth Leistner was that very man.

Dr. Kenneth Leistner, “Dr. Ken” as many called him, was a truly influential figure in the powerlifting community. As a competitor, judge, author, and editor, it was clear that Dr. Ken had a passion for strength and conditioning and instilled that passion into his work as a coach and trainer.

A Lawrence High School alum responsible for creating one of the first comprehensive strength programs on Long Island in the late 1960s, Dr. Ken would help pioneer strength training during his time as a high school football and track and field coach. From the most hardcore competitive athletes who have seen their exploits take them to the NFL and powerlifting athletes looking to dominate the iron game to the average Joe and Jane looking to improve their physical well-being, Dr. Ken was a true motivator and a dedicated coach hoping to bring the best out of his trainees.

Having the chance to speak with someone trained by Dr. Ken, you get a sense of what kind of coach and man he was. Kenneth Leistner was obviously more than a strength coach, but an individual looking to truly change people’s lives by pushing them to be the best version of themselves. That meant a no nonsense approach to training and pushing trainees to be hard on themselves in order to get results that they may have never thought was possible before meeting the influential coach.

Members of the fitness community are taking the loss of Dr. Ken Leistner pretty hard.


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This is a very sad day in the world of strength. Dr. Ken Leistner #DrKenLeistner has suddenly passed away. He was an icon in the sport of powerlifting, strength and athleticism. The knowledge he shared was way beyond his time. He was an incredible writer, He was a crazy mad scientist and a dedicated coach. He owned one of the most iconic gyms in the World. Iron Island Gym. He is what brought strength to the East Coast! Without Dr. Ken and Iron Island I never would have been introduced to this sport, and there would be no Blue Collar Barbell. He was doing strongman and conjugate before there was a name for it. Thank you Ken for everything you’ve done for this world!! You will be greatly missed! – @mendelsonstrength πŸ™πŸ’ͺπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡²β€ #strongwomen #conjugate #powerlifting #squat #bench #deadlift #multiply #inzer #girls #longisland #personaltraining #bodybuilding #newyork #igers #athletes #proloccollars #strongman #coach #cantfakestrength #fitness #strengthtraining #strengthandconditioning #longislandstrengthmecca #bwtg #swolehousemeals #ironislandgym

A post shared by π‹πˆπ…π„π‹πŽππ† 𝐒𝐓𝐑𝐄𝐍𝐆𝐓𝐇 π“πˆπ‹π‹ 𝐃𝐄𝐀𝐓𝐇 (@deadlifttillimdead) on

Below is Dr. Kenneth Leistner’s obituary courtesy of Hungerford & Clark, Inc Funeral Home.

Obituary of Kenneth E. Leistner

Kenneth E. Leistner of East Rockaway, passed away suddenly, on April 6, 2019.

(Chiropractor 39 years for E. Rockaway and surrounding areas and former teacher and coach Malverne HS.)

Internationally known strength training coach and author.

Beloved husband of Kathy (Tuite). Loving father of Kevin C. Tolbert, Gregory R. Roman (Dana),

Sol E. Leistner, and Bariann Leistner (Eric Smith).

Cherished son of Doris and the late Sol.

Adored grandfather of 6 (Connor, Gregory, Emily, Katie, Courtney, and Matthew)

Dear brother of Barry (Dawn) Leistner.

Also survived by his 5 loyal dogs.

Reposing at Hungerford & Clark Inc. Funeral Home 110 Pine St.

(Corner So. Ocean Ave.) Freeport. Funeral Mass Saturday 10:45am at

Our Holy Redeemer R.C. Church, Freeport. Interment Pinelawn Memorial Park.

Visiting Hours Saturday 8:30am -10:15am

In lieu of flowers contributions to Lakeview Youth Federation

PO Box 525, W. Hempstead, NY 11552-0525 would be appreciated.

Repast/cookout at the Leistner Home, 307 Ocean Ave, East Rockaway, NY Following the burial approximately 1:30-2 pm Parking available at our neighbor the Church of the Nazarene, Garfield Place.

Generation Iron sends it’s deepest condolences to the family of Dr. Kenneth Leistner.

For more news and updates, follow Generation Iron on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Managing Editor at Generation Iron, Jonathan Salmon is a writer and martial arts instructor. Follow him onΒ Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.


Hungerford & Clark

Legend Fitness



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