SINCE 1974

The #1 Mental Toughness Books In Sports

Steve Knight is a 2x national champion, a state record holder since 1982, and a multi-million dollar lifelong entrepreneur.

Steve's Bio

Steve Knight has decades of experience in strength training, mental performance, foundational health, product branding, persuasive messaging, and business strategy. 

Steve leads a simple life in the remote town of Enterprise, Oregon, located in majestic rural Wallowa County in the northeast corner of the state.

Feb 4, 2019, Enterprise, OR

Steve works with driven athletes and civilians who want to improve their performance in competition, and in life.

Steve walks 25 miles a week, lifts weights four days a week, eats a BADASS diet, and hikes in the Wallowas with friends. He enjoys constructing pithy paragraphs that illuminate difficult concepts, having deep conversations with his two adult sons, engaging in stimulating discussions with brilliant collaborators, dabbling at guitar, and generally pushing all kinds of boundaries. 

"Take yourself by the ear and be a BADASS! Adapt. Grow. Improve. You are in charge." 

~ Steve Knight

2x National Champion Powerlifter 

In 1974, a chance meeting in Hawaii with strength training legend Bill Starr changed Steve's life. Over a 10-year span, Bill taught Steve the fundamentals of strength training, nutrition for optimal recovery and performance, and mental preparation to handle the pressures of competing.

Steve successfully applied those world-class lessons to over a decade of competitive powerlifting, winning multiple state tiles and two national championships, and set an Oregon state record in the squat of 722 lbs., in the 82.5 kg. weight class, that still stands today. At one point, Steve was ranked second in the world.

Steve's first tournament in 1974 was a disaster. He grossly missed attempts and placed last, but was bitten by the competition bug.

Steve winning nationals in 1980, with a nine-for-nine performance and four PRs. Bill Starr captioned a six-photo sequence of this lift in Defying Gravity; How To Win At Weightlifting, "A pictorial study of deadlift excellence."

At the 1982 US Senior National Powerlifting Championships, Steve placed second to powerlifting-phenom Mike Bridges, and set an Oregon state record in the squat of 722 lbs., in the 181 lb. weight class, that still stands today.

Master Trainer in Strength, Health, and Mental Performance

Steve Knight was a personal trainer before there were “personal trainers.” Since 1975, Steve has worked with thousands of clients, both athletes and civilians, from a wide variety of backgrounds and interests.

Steve's four decades of teaching cutting-edge methods to fearless men and women have been some of the most rewarding experiences of his life.

Health Club Innovator

In 1979, Steve opened his first club. A forerunner to the modern “CrossFit box.” The club was located in the garage of a former auto dealership, mixing competitive strength athletes with civilians.

The club pioneered free-weight circuits for average folks and offered world-class strength training amenities that attracted the region’s elite weightlifters and powerlifters.

Author / Publisher

From 1982 to 1984, Steve published Salem Fitness Magazine; a local tabloid that covered the emerging fitness and wellness scene. The tabloid evolved into IN-SHAPE Magazine with editions in Salem and Portland, Oregon.

As Steve was retiring from a decade of competitive powerlifting he decided to put his publishing interest on hold to pursue a tremendous opportunity in the strength equipment industry.

Commercial Strength Equipment Inventor and Manufacturer

In 1983, Steve founded, built, and managed IN-SHAPE International. IN-SHAPE was the first national and international supplier of premium commercial free weight equipment.

Before IN-SHAPE free weight equipment was “black iron” made locally or regionally. IN-SHAPE was one of four companies: Lifecycle (now Life Fitness), Eagle (now Cybex), and Nautilus being the other three, that set new design and quality standards for commercial strength equipment.

The first of it's kind, a multi-station "jungle" system; now common in the commercial strength equipment industry.

IN-SHAPE’s innovations are too numerous to list here. IN-SHAPE premium free weight equipment was installed in over 3,500 facilities in seven countries with a total gross sales of over $15,000,000.

Mental Toughness Pioneer

In 2002, Steve wrote "WINNING STATE WRESTLING," a first-of-its-kind book that provided groundbreaking instruction on mental toughness training for peak performance in competition. The response was so strong, Steve expanded the elite-level mental toughness training to 16 titles, including audiobooks and ebooks, with the latest title: "WINNING STATE STRENGTH SPORTS: How To Succeed In Competition" being slated for release in early 2020.

WINNING STATE is the most read, the most talked about, the most believed in mental toughness books in sports. 

The WINNING STATE 16-book series has taught tens of thousands of athletes how to perform in competition and has sold over 120,000 copies.

Magna Cum Laude Graduate

In 2014, Steve graduated magna cum laude from Portland State University. Steve majored in communication theory with an emphasis in media effects, propaganda, and persuasion.

Steve’s objective for attending college "later in life" was twofold: 1) to experience the rigor of a college education; and 2) to advance his skill at communicating difficult concepts in the areas of strength, health, and mental performance.

Steve describes his decision to go to Portland State University as one of the best decisions he ever made.

Masterclass Instructor

Steve teaches driven athletes, in every sport, elite-level mental toughness tactics; and strength sport athletes in Olympic lifting, powerlifting, and functional fitness (CrossFit) precise technique.

Go to our Masterclass pages for more information on working with Steve Knight.