If you’re reading this, you are likely pursuing a challenging path. Building the Elite was founded to help people like you develop the skills you’ll need to overcome those obstacles as efficiently as possible. 

Both of us (Craig Weller and Jonathan Pope) have overcome many needless obstacles that could have been avoided with a more robust approach to training. As we struggled with these setbacks, we tried to understand why they were happening, and how to avoid or overcome them more effectively in the future.

After ten years of research and helping thousands of clients with the tools we’ve developed along the way, we founded BTE to share that knowledge with people like you. We specialize in preparing Special Operations Forces candidates for selection through a comprehensive, intelligent training approach.

The process and principles outlined in our book, our app, and throughout our site aren’t limited to the small world of military special operations. These principles will help you get more out of every aspect of your life.


Craig Weller - Co-founder

Craig Weller, Building the Elite co-founder

Craig Weller is a former USN SWCC (Special Warfare Combatant Crewman). He is also certified under the Department of State’s Worldwide Personal Protective Service-2, and spent nearly two years on the High-Threat Protection team for the U.S. Ambassador to Baghdad in Iraq. 

In Special Operations and in subsequent private deployments, Craig held a variety of instructional and diplomatic security roles in locations including Kenya, the Philippines, Central America, South Sudan, and Iraq. 

Jonathan Pope - Co-founder

Jonathan Pope, Building the Elite co-founder

Jonathan has over fifteen years of coaching experience and a BS in Exercise Science. Along with Craig, he co-founded Ethos Colorado Training Center in 2010, where he was the lead coach and oversaw operations for over a decade. 

When not working, he can be found chasing ski mountaineering objectives all over the world.

DJ Gianakas - Coach

DJ Gianakas, Building the Elite coach. Picture coming soon

DJ has been a law enforcement officer since 2009 and spent 8 years as a SWAT operator before retiring in 2019.

He is a former professional baseball player and spent time competing in Olympic Weightlifting, placing 10th nationally in 2016. DJ spent over a decade coaching strength and conditioning before crossing paths with BTE in 2020.

Miguel Zeran - Coach

Miguel Zeran

Miguel Zeran, "Z", is a retired USMC Reconnaissance Marine. In addition to numerous deployments, he spent three years as an instructor at the Reconnaissance Training Company and another three years in South America training Chilean Naval Special Warfare Buzos Tacticos and Comandos.

Z is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA) who also holds a BS in Health & Wellness, an MS in Kinesiology, and is in his second year of doctoral pursuits in Human and Sport Performance.
You can learn more about working with Miguel here. 

Broc Frandsen - Coach

Broc is a coach based out of Phoenix, Arizona. He spent five years as a United States Marine working as a Linguist and Signals Intelligence professional.

He has been involved with BTE since the early years of his enlistment. While furthering his education in sports performance, he also competes as an amateur mixed martial artist.

Joseph Mosher - Coach

Joe has close to 20 years of experience working with collegiate, professional, and military athletes.

Joe is a dual certificate Athletic Trainer (NATABOC) and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach (NSCA-CSCS). He holds a BS degree in athletic training and an MEd in sports administration.

Krista Scott-Dixon - Performance Psych

Dr. Krista Scott-Dixon is a trained counselor specializing in the psychology of behavior change, with certifications including motivational interviewing, solution-focused, DBT, CBT, and trauma counseling.

She’s the author of numerous books and accredited nutrition, sleep, stress, and recovery courses. She is our go-to performance psych and works 1-1 with many of our clients seeking to sharpen the mental and emotional skills needed to handle some of the toughest training courses in the world.
You can learn more about working with KSD here.

James Heathers - Scientific Editor

Dr. James Heathers earned his Ph.D. in psychophysiology from the University of Sydney while competing in strongman events and working nights as a bouncer.

He is the scientific editor of Building the Elite and splits his time between roles as a scientist and executive positions in health-related companies. James regularly contributes to publications ranging from The Atlantic to Evidence-Based Toxicology and may be best known for his work as a scientific BS detector.

Tim Richardt - Physical Therapist

Tim is a Colorado-based Doctor of Physical Therapy with a passion for rock climbing, trail running, and technical backcountry skiing. Professionally, he's been involved in the physical preparation of military, tactical, and law enforcement personnel since 2010.

Tim is our go-to physical therapist and movement specialist. He works with many of our clients and helps create flexible and adaptable systems and resources for our Training App.


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