Category Archives for "Barbell Life"

Setting an Example for our Youth by Crystal McCullough

====================================================
Check out our latest E-Book “Performance Zone” for only $19! Offer ends Monday at Midnight!

Check it out now at:

==> www.mashelite.com/performancezone/
====================================================

Setting an Example
By: Crystal McCullough (Follow her on Instagram @crystalmac_72)

Why do we do the things we do? Why do we choose certain career paths? Why do we dedicate the time it takes to reach goals in the gym? I hope your answer is passion. I know mine is. There are many reasons why I am passionate about my career path as well as my health and fitness. My first career path was nursing. I became an RN because I love to help people. That being said, I prefer to educate those on how to stay healthy in the public health area rather than taking care of those already sick. That led me into what I do now. I am a CrossFit Affiliate Owner, General Manager and Head Trainer. I chose this career path for the very same reason. The two go hand in hand; two sides to the same coin.

I read an article a while back about a 3-year old child diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes (first time in history this has happened!). This child weighed 77 pounds and was considered morbidly obese at the age of 3!!!! Now, tell me whose fault that is? It certainly isn’t the child’s fault!! The parents were both considered obese themselves and they were simply ‘passing it on.’

The following statistics are courtesy of www.letsmove.org. There has been very close monitoring of childhood obesity since the early 1980’s when the rate of obesity in kids ranging in age from 6 to 11 was 6.5%. That same age range bumped up to 19.6% in 2008. In a span of a little less than 30 years, obesity in youth of all ages has close to tripled. 1 in 3 children are considered obese in the United States at this very moment. Depressed yet?

With a gym on every corner, a baseball field or park in nearly every neighborhood in America and a wealth of information out there as to why our kids are suffering from this epidemic, why is there still an issue? Is it laziness, socioeconomics, education…what is it? If we keep going at the rate we are going, we will have condemned our youth to lifelong chronic health issues before they even reach adulthood.

There is good news in all of this. It is NEVER too late!! We have the opportunity to set a good example for our youth. This can manifest in various roles: parents, teachers, youth group leaders, coaches, and adults in general. We can make a difference in a child’s life and possibly save them from a long future of chronic health issues like diabetes, heart disease, etc. For this article, my focus is on the parents out there!

Regardless of your circumstances, you can still set a good example for you children. My son has been blessed in that he has been a gym rat from the age of 6. He has fallen in love with simply being at the gym and moving. As he has gotten older, he has grown into an athlete with goals. Not all parents have the ability to provide this to their kids and that is definitely more than ok. And, not all children have athletic goals like my son does, but movement and exercise are still a functional necessity in their lives. Here are a few tips on how to get our children involved in moving and eating healthy.

1. Involve your kids in your exercise when possible. If you are running, have them trail along on their bike. As they get older, they may want to run as well. We used to make a game out of running with our son. He never even realized he was getting exercise.
2. Involve your kids in meal prep. Bring them into the kitchen and have them help you cut up the vegetables and prep the meats. They will enjoy spending time with you and it also gives you an opportunity to educate them on good food choices.
3. Lose the video game controller and take the kids outside for a game of tag or throw the ball around. Any exercise is better than no exercise. They will enjoy the time they get to spend with you and memories can be made!
4. Give your child the opportunity to watch you train. If it is possible, let them in on some your training sessions. When I did CrossFit GPP (General Physical Preparedness), my son loved sitting in the room just watching the athletes work out. He couldn’t wait until he was old enough to join in!! Now, I use my son as my spotter on bench and my videographer to get him involved. He loves it!! At times, he joins in with me and lifts as well. It is great bonding time for us AND he is getting fit at the same time.
5. Share your goals with your children. Teach them the importance of setting goals for themselves and working hard is what will help them achieve those goals. Stick to your own goals and teach them to finish what they start.
6. Let your kids set the tone of what they want to do. Don’t use exercise as a form of punishment. It will backfire on you because they will begin to dislike the very thing you are trying to promote.
7. Don’t push your kids into athletics. Support them and help guide them. Be a facilitator not a dictator.

Bottom line, this nonsense with childhood obesity has to stop! If we don’t reverse the damage that we’ve already created, the future will be very bleak. There may be those of you who have no idea where to start. You might be searching for a healthier version of yourself. That’s ok!! Bring your kids along for the ride!! Let them learn with you. If this is you, you know how hard it is to re-train yourself as an adult. Let your kids learn now so they don’t ever have to go through what you are going through.

Sidenote:
Since writing this piece, my son has literally gone from working out in the gym to spend time with mom to an elite weightlifter. He has competed at Youth Nationals and set an American Record in the Clean and Jerk. He has also most recently, squatted 400 pounds. Yes 400#!!

About the Author: Crystal McCullough BIO

40-year old Army wife and Mom to a genetic 13-year-old freak. Basketball player turned runner turned CrossFitter turned powerlifter. Crystal has podiumed over the years at 5k and 10k road races, local CrossFit competitions, and most recently competed at the Arnold 2016 XPC Powerlifting Finals as well as USAPL Raw Nationals 2016 in the Open division. Her best lifts are 145k squat, 81k bench, and 162k deadlift. She is an RN with a Masters degree in Nursing Education, a CrossFit affiliate owner, and a Mash Elite Performance nutrition coach (among other stuff). She is a member of the Mash Mafia Powerlifting team and is currently studying for her CSCS as she prepares to move to Winston Salem with her family in May to join the Mash Mafia crew on a full-time basis.
====================================================
Check out our latest E-Book “Performance Zone” for only $19! Offer ends Monday at Midnight!

Check it out now at:

==> www.mashelite.com/performancezone/
====================================================
This book will help you discover all the steps necessary for “getting in the zone”, or what we call “entering the flow state”. This book will help you:

-Give you the history of flow or the zone
-Explain what is needed to get into flow or the zone
-Give you The Guide to Initiate Flow
1 Clear goals
2 Feedback
3 Skill ratio

This is definitely my favorite book to have written. I hope that all of you enjoy reading it!

==> www.mashelite.com/performancezone/

The CrossFit Paradox by Coach Nick Scott

Our latest E-Book “Performance Zone” has dropped! Check it out now at:

==> www.mashelite.com/performancezone/
====================================================

The CrossFit Paradox

In this piece I am going to go over what I refer to as the “CrossFit Paradox”. This is based off of several years of observation, and experimentation involving literally hundreds of athletes. So what is the CrossFit Paradox? The basic gist of the principal is this: You can improve athletic performance in a given sport using CrossFit training, but you cannot improve in the sport of CrossFit beyond a certain level by only using CrossFit training. Let that sink in a moment…

Now, that we’ve processed that statement, I’m going to start backing up my claim. For years Louie Simmons has been telling big, sweaty, huffing and puffing powerlifters that the only way they can beat the guy standing next to them is to out work them. He has always maintained that a lifter needs to have a good GPP (general physical preparedness) base in order to have the requisite conditioning to be able to handle more volume in the weight room. I think everyone can agree this statement is true. The more fit you are, the more you can do; and the more you can do, the faster you’ll develop. Simple really. So here’s the funny thing, what is CrossFit? Yep, you guessed it….a GPP program (straight from coach Glassman’s mouth).

Over the years I have used Westside barbell methods to train my CrossFit athletes. At every single powerlifting meet I have had athletes in I have always had people on the podium, and in fact at every single meet we have won best overall lifter. Now keep in mind these are CrossFit athletes competing in powerlifting. So we weren’t up in the super high weight classes, and weren’t doing equipped meets. These were all raw meets, and yes we stuck out like a sore thumb. However people were always surprised that we were winning all the time, especially against people that just did solely powerlifting. I would often get asked how I was able to develop their strength so quickly, and I would always reply “CrossFit.”

If you think about it, this makes a lot of sense. Westside uses the conjugate system for accessories and GPP for conditioning. So what does a metcon end up looking like? A constantly varied group of accessories (conjugate), plus conditioning (GPP). In fact, we learned that prepping for meets, it was actually really easy to combine your conjugate/accessory work with your metcon. Simple, just use movements that make sense and make a metcon out it!

My lifters had such a level of conditioning that they could do more squats, more deadlifts, and more sets of bench than the average powerlifter. They could also recover from their training sessions faster. As a result, my athletes got stronger in a shorter frame of time when first starting out than traditional powerlifters just starting out. I’m not the only person who has seen the light on this, in fact the strongest woman in the world Laura Phelps-Sweatt does CrossFit these days.

Moving on to Olympic weightlifting. At every single meet I have had athletes in, we have won gold. Period! In fact in my team’s first ever weightlifting meet they gave out 10 total medals, my athletes took home 7 out of 10 of those medals. Again I was asked how I did this, again I replied “CrossFit.” For the record, I have only ever trained one dedicated weightlifter…and yeah, I still made him do CrossFit (he hated it too). That guy went on to be the Kansas state champion, and took best overall lifter in powerlifting and weightlifting (he did back to back meets actually). CrossFit lends itself very well to quickly developing weightlifting aptitude. The reasons are obvious, we do Olympic weightlifting A LOT in metcons. Tons of movement pattern reinforcement (if coached properly), as well as even more volume within the lifts themselves. As mentioned previously, more work gets you there quicker. I believe when you have plateaued in a specific thing, and you feel that perhaps “this is my limit” that the way forward is not do more of the same. To me that’s like slamming your head against a wall. But rather the way forward may very well be something else entirely. Only an open mind is capable of seeing possibilities beyond what is in front of them. To achieve true mastery in a thing requires one to often times search outside of that thing for answers.

Lastly in the strength spectrum we have strongman. Every athlete that I have had compete in strongman has qualified for nationals. Every. Single. One. And again, CrossFit. They moved faster, got tired less quickly, and were on average as strong or stronger than their competition. GPP for the win again! Tons of athletes and coaches have added CrossFit into their training to help elevate them in their sport. For example: Cristiane Justino (UFC fighter), New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton, Danica Patrick, Houston Astros pitcher Brady Aiken, Robert Guerrero (boxer), Erin Cafaro (Olympic gold medalist – rowing), Mattie Rodgers (weightlifter), Ilya Ilyin (Olympic gold medalist – weightlifting), and so on.

Now for the paradox. I have never seen a CrossFit athlete get to a very high level within the sport of CrossFit and break through into Regionals or the Games by just doing CrossFit. Now don’t get me wrong, you can get super fit by just doing CrossFit. But you’ll never see anyone getting to Regionals on CrossFit alone. You can probably smash some local comps, and kill it in your gym against your classmates. But beyond that, it won’t happen. You see a guy named Michael Rutherford way back in the “Preebok” days of CrossFit saw the writing on the walls. He saw that his athletes as a majority weren’t strong enough to do the WODs as Rx’d. Their rate of progress to get to that point was very slow, and in some cases would just never happen. So he started having his athletes do dedicated strength training on top of their WODs. As a result, they got stronger, faster! Again the inverse result, to get more out of CrossFit you needed to do more work outside of CrossFit! Now you see it everywhere with high level CrossFit athletes. They have a weightlifting coach, a gymnastics coach, a running coach, etc. They all know what Louie Simmons has been telling lifters for years. If you want to beat the guy next to you, you need to out work them! But for CrossFit athletes this means doing more in weightlifting, powerlifting, gymnastics, and aerobic-specific training/development.

I will end this with saying that I know this obviously isn’t a catch all and absolute rule for sport specific athletes. There will always be outliers. However, more often than not, I’ll be correct in this. If you’re a powerlifter, weightlifter, football player, or what have you, that wants to get better at their sport, then I strongly suggest getting outside your comfort zone big time. Especially in the off-season!

If you’re a CrossFit athlete who is really wanting to breakout, I suggest focusing your training to supplement your sport. If you’re not strong enough, then add in powerlifting. If your Olympic lifts aren’t making the cut, then add in more weightlifting, and so on.

You see, sometimes when you plateau, the answer isn’t to keep grinding forward with what’s in front of you. Then you will just be slamming your face into a wall. Sometimes the answer is to do something else entirely. This only works when you have an open mind and you are able to see the possibilities outside of what lies directly in front of you. It has been my experience that in order to achieve true mastery of a thing, you not only need to have the discipline to train dedicated in that thing until you feel that you have reached the end, but to search outside of that thing for answers. It is when we close our minds to possibilities that we see less.

About Coach Nick Scott:

Nicholas Scott
CrossFit affiliate owner of 5 years. Started my gym in my back yard on a 14’x15’ slab of concrete with some pull up bars stuck into the ground and a squat rack. I have been a personal trainer since 2005, and a CrossFit coach and athlete since 2009. Every year since 2011 I have qualified athletes to Regionals, and have even competed at Regionals twice myself. Over the years I have had the incredible privilege of learning from some of the world’s greatest coaches. I started my coaching education by learning from Rick Hussey and Becca Sawnson at Omaha’s Big Iron gym. They introduced me to powerlifting training and the sport of powerlifting. After receiving my CrossFit Level 1 in 2010 I was lucky enough to be coached and trained in Olympic weightlifting by coaches Mike Burgener, Ursula Garza, Jodi Vaughn, Chad Vaughn, and Cody Burgener. After that I received my CrossFit Endurance certification and worked with several triathletes and marathon runners. Follow him on Instagram: @scottstrengthsystems

====================================================
Our latest E-Book “Performance Zone” has dropped! Check it out now at:

==> www.mashelite.com/performancezone/
====================================================
This book will help you discover all the steps necessary for “getting in the zone”, or what we call “entering the flow state”. This book will help you:

-Give you the history of flow or the zone
-Explain what is needed to get into flow or the zone
-Give you The Guide to Initiate Flow
1 Clear goals
2 Feedback
3 Skill ratio

This is definitely my favorite book to have written. I hope that all of you enjoy reading it!

==> www.mashelite.com/performancezone/

The Coach Differentiator

Our latest E-Book “Performance Zone” has dropped! Check it out now at:

==> www.mashelite.com/performancezone/
====================================================

The Coach Differentiator

Last weekend while coaching at the Arnold Classic, it was clear that there is one unspoken characteristic between great coaches and all the rest. A great coach is able to motivate. They have the unique ability to say whatever is required to get their athletes to perform on higher levels. It’s not the programming. It’s not the equipment. It’s the juice baby! If you don’t believe me, you can ask Coach Joe Kenn or Coach Martin Rooney. They will tell you the same thing.

This article isn’t just for weightlifting coaches. I am talking to CrossFit coaches, strength and conditioning coaches, or any sports coach. You can use all the fancy programming you want. You can write excel sheets that would fascinate Einstein. However, if you can’t get your athlete to buy in to what you’re doing, nothing really amazing is going to happen. I know so many brilliant coaches that have no idea how to motivate athletes. They don’t know how to get those athletes from good to great.

No one really talks about this deficiency in coaching. It’s a hard one to understand let alone explain. Mash Elite’s own sports psych guy, Nathan Hansen is the first person that I know to actually quantify this process. It’s really the coolest thing that I have ever been a part of. It’s a topic that has fascinated me for years.

Haven’t we all wondered how some people perform in contest better than others? You can take two athletes that are just alike in training, and one will perform better than the other during a competition. As a matter of fact, when I was a coach at MuscleDriver USA, there was an athlete that actually performed quite a bit better in training than their teammate that was in their weight class. However at every competition, the athlete that was getting beat in training was able to rise during the competition and beat their teammate. How does this happen?

So how did the weaker athlete in training end up winning when it counted? Here are a few ideas:

• They trusted their coach 100%. The winning athlete never doubted the program or the plan. They believed in the process, so come contest time they never doubted the weight that the coaches put on the bar.
• They were focused during training and the competition. They focused on the movement. They didn’t use emotion to lift the weight. They were focused on the process and the technique, and that led to consistent gains.
• They were present mentally during training and the competition. They didn’t look at their phone. They didn’t get on social media. They didn’t talk about break ups. When this athlete was at practice or in a competition, that’s all they thought about. This allowed them to be fully engaged with all senses of the body.
• They had clear goals. Each day the athlete that was winning wrote down two aspects of movement to focus on. That was all he or she thought of during the practice. This approach led to consistent improvement.
• Goals matched ability. This athlete was able to make an International Team with consistent improvement. Each goal was attainable not overwhelming. Each goal excited the athlete; he or she was never discouraged.

How does a coach teach this? A coach needs to practice their abilities just like their athletes practice their sport. When I was coming up as a coach, I was just guessing in the mental department. There wasn’t a lot of sports psych material available. Nathan Hansen has made it quantifiable for our coaches and our athletes. This is material that has been needed for a longtime. Now we have it.

Don McCauley and I are able to get buy in from our athletes. They trust us to produce a program that works. We are constantly working on their psych games day in and day out. We have a room of bought in athletes that all believe that they can be the best.

If you want to know why we are doing so well, it’s because that we are able to get in their brains. We are able to convince them that they are going to succeed, and that’s exactly what they do. My goal is to teach all of you to do the exact same thing. If you want your CrossFitters to crush it during the open, I want to help. If you want your football player to score the winning touchdown, I want to help you as well.

I have been writing multiple Free article about mindset lately, but there is something so much better. Nathan and I co-authored a book “The Performance Zone” that will teach you step by step how to prepare your athletes mentally to perform. I hope that you guys enjoy the book, and I hope that all of your athletes learn how to enter the “Performance Zone” on a daily basis.

====================================================
Our latest E-Book “Performance Zone” has dropped! Check it out now at:

==> www.mashelite.com/performancezone/
====================================================
This book will help you discover all the steps necessary for “getting in the zone”, or what we call “entering the flow state”. This book will help you:

-Give you the history of flow or the zone
-Explain what is needed to get into flow or the zone
-Give you The Guide to Initiate Flow
1 Clear goals
2 Feedback
3 Skill ratio

This is definitely my favorite book to have written. I hope that all of you enjoy reading it!

==> www.mashelite.com/performancezone/

Performance Zone: Great v. Good

====================================================
Our latest E-Book “Performance Zone” has dropped! Check it out now at:

==> www.mashelite.com/performancezone/
====================================================

Performance Zone: Great v. Good

I have been around world-class athletes since I was 18-years-old. Playing football at Appalachian State University was the best thing that ever happened to me because I was exposed to truly great athletes. We had future NFL stars on our team. Our track team had Olympic hopefuls, and our wrestling team had Olympic hopefuls.

I was always drawn to these people. I wanted to know what made them tick. Sometimes they didn’t seem any better athletically than other athletes except on the field of play. All of the great excelled on the field of battle.

Matt Stevens played seven years in the NFL. He was a walk-on at Appalachian. He weighed 175lb entering college and ran a 4.6 40-yard dash. That’s not bad, but that’s not NFL size or speed. He left college weighing 215lb running a 4.4 40-yard dash. His play on the field was simply unbelievable leading the league in interceptions his last two years. How did he make such a transformation and succeed on the field so well?

Like most great athletes, he was able to enter into “the zone” or “flow state” more than others. He was able to do the following better than all the rest of us:

• Set clear and concise goals
• Totally prepare mentally and physically for the field
• Set goals that matched his skill set
• Embark in risks that required the flow state
• Avoided all outside distractions that might interfere

Most 18-year-olds playing sports in college are worrying too much about the parties and other distractions. Matt was worried about his goals. Yes his main goal was always the NFL, but he set small ones along the way that led him down the path like:

• Gain some muscle
• Perfect sprinting technique
• Get stronger in the weight room
• Master the Defensive Play Book
• And so on

These clear and concise goals led him down a path that ultimately led to the NFL. If he had only thought about the broad goal of getting drafted into the NFL, he would have never made it. He would have been like all the rest.

He killed in the weight room and the speed sessions. He was totally in the moment during all of his training. One thing that really helped him was studying the playbook more than anyone else. If you want to slow things down on the field or in life, then master your craft. If you don’t have to think about what’s going on, your body can just take over reacting to every play.

Matt also set goals that matched his skill set. When he ran a 4.6 40-yard dash, he wasn’t trying to run a 4.3. He was just trying to run a little faster and a little more efficiently. The more concise of a goal that you can set will ultimately lead to success.

Matt put himself out there. His goals were always big enough that the risk warranted entering the flow state. If you are always conservative in your activities, the body has no reason to take over. You have to challenge yourself in life if you ever want to do great things or enter the performance zone. Always being conservative will ultimately lead to always being average.

Matt was able to avoid all distractions and outside interferences. He was able to be mentally and physically present during any chosen activity. There is no way to allow the body to take over if there are any distractions. If the mind is spinning thinking about random thoughts, the mind will take over and paralyze the activity.

Matt’s willingness and natural ability to realize these elements leading to the “flow state” is the way that he worked himself from a walk-on to a seven-year NFL Veteran with a super bowl ring. Since working with Nathan Hansen, now Mash Elite can give you those steps and the process required to enter “the Flow state” in our latest e-book “Performance Zone”.

As a coach my biggest desire is to give my athletes and readers all the tools necessary to succeed. This book will do just that. I hope all of you guys enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed writing it.

====================================================
Our latest E-Book “Performance Zone” has dropped! Check it out now at:

==> www.mashelite.com/performancezone/
====================================================
This book will help you discover all the steps necessary for “getting in the zone”, or what we call “entering the flow state”. This book will help you:

-Give you the history of flow or the zone
-Explain what is needed to get into flow or the zone
-Give you The Guide to Initiate Flow
1 Clear goals
2 Feedback
3 Skill ratio

This is definitely my favorite book to have written. I hope that all of you enjoy reading it!

==> www.mashelite.com/performancezone/

Mindset: A Paradigm Shift is Needed

Our latest E-Book “Performance Zone” has dropped! Check it out now at:

==> www.mashelite.com/performancezone/
====================================================

Mindset: A Paradigm Shift is Needed

I have coached thousands of athletes over the last twenty years. Dr. Andy Galpin even admitted that coaches like me are the ones doing the real case studies on real athletes. We get to analyze data on a daily basis from some of the best athletes on the planet down to just really good athletes.

Lately I have become more and more interested in mindset. Now I will preface this by saying that I am not a sports psychologist, but now we have our man Nathan Hansen on staff. Nathan received his first Masters in Behavioral Psychology and his second Masters in Clinical Counseling. He has opened my eyes to the endless possibilities with unlocking athlete’s hidden potential.

In my experience the first differentiator is of course genetics. There isn’t a lot that athletes can do about that. If you are 5’1” playing center in basketball, you aren’t going to a D1 college. I am sorry about that. We are all dealt different cards, and it is up to us to use those cards according to the genetic hand that we were dealt.

However this article is about another differentiator: an athlete’s paradigm or view of reality. This is where the rubber meets the road at the top end of the genetic curve. I have coached several amazing D1 and Olympic Hopeful athletes. I have often found that it isn’t the genetically most gifted that always make it to the top. Of course to get to the top genetics play a role, but it’s that athletes that truly believe that they can be the best that actually get there.

Let me settle one thing right now. Being cocky and arrogant isn’t the same thing as actually believing. A lot of times arrogance is just a mask for self-doubt and fear. I believe that this winning paradigm was formed at home and in the circle of friends that each athlete chose growing up. Of course some athletes are wired to be more naturally confident than others, but surroundings play a huge role in creating healthy paradigms.

Cade Carney is my freshman athlete at Wake Forest University. He started at running back as a true freshman. He went there with the intent that he was going to start and play well. He did just that. Here are some of the keys that I believe allowed him to do such an amazing job:

• His family openly discussed the moment of Cade entering college sports from an early age. They discussed what it would take to do well.
• Cade was prepared physically, mentally, and skill wise.
• Cade set clear goals from an early age conquering each of them.
• Cade chose his surroundings wisely.
• Proper mindset was established before day 1 of college.

I had the opportunity to be around Cade and his family multiple times while he was growing up. I watched Cade have conversations with his father about playing D1 since he was in 7th Grade. It wasn’t that they just talked about it. It was the way that they talked about it. It was the language that they used. They talked in future tense not in hypotheticals. In their minds it was inevitable. They were just planning on where he would go, and how well he would do.

Being prepared physically, mentally, and skill wise allowed Cade to enter Wake Forest confident. If he had slacked off, doubt would have crept into the picture. Once doubt creeps in, it is very hard to get it out of your head. He was strong, confident, and prepared to play the game.

Cade set clear and concise goals from the time that I knew him. I had to work hard with most athletes on goal setting, but Cade was setting his own goals from an early age. I am not talking about goals like playing D1. Yes that was part of the process, but it was the smaller goals along the way that led him down the path like: perfecting sprint mechanics, proper squat technique, a 4.4 40-yard dash, etc.

Cade chose his surroundings wisely from an early age. This is an important one. If you want to derail any chances of success, hang out with the wrong people. People naturally love to drag successful people down to their level. It makes non-successful people feel better. Cade hung around positive people, and kept his eyes focused on the prize.

Cade and I talked about the proper mindset required for entering college. I am sure that he talked about this even more at home. We discussed rolling in day one with the goal of starting no matter who was chosen preseason on the depth chart. Most freshmen come into their first day a little intimidated for whatever reason. Maybe their coaches told them that redshirting was the best route. I don’t understand this mentality.

Once you tell an athlete that they will probably redshirt, that’s the mindset that they take on. They will start to accept that they aren’t going to play, and their performance will reflect that mindset. Maybe they will, but don’t just roll into day one accepting defeat. If you give it your all and still redshirt, that’s fine by all means. Then you go to work immediately determined to start the following year. I am just saying act as if you deserve to start from day one.

Your view of reality is nothing but a group of collected verbal baggage from your entire life. It’s up to you to keep the good baggage and dump the bad. It doesn’t matter if you dad told you that you can or can’t. It only matters what you believe. Start right now surrounding yourself with positive people. A paradigm is never truth. It is just a view of reality that can always be shifted up.

====================================================
Our latest E-Book “Performance Zone” has dropped! Check it out now at:

==> www.mashelite.com/performancezone/
====================================================
This book will help you discover all the steps necessary for “getting in the zone”, or what we call “entering the flow state”. This book will help you:

-Give you the history of flow or the zone
-Explain what is needed to get into flow or the zone
-Give you The Guide to Initiate Flow
1 Clear goals
2 Feedback
3 Skill ratio

This is definitely my favorite book to have written. I hope that all of you enjoy reading it!

==> www.mashelite.com/performancezone/

What is Flow?

My latest E-Book “Mash Method” is live and it’s FREE! Check it out now at: http://www.mashelite.com/mashmethod
===================================
This book has several of the techniques that I used to set personal records and world records along with some of my latest techniques that I’m using to get my athletes and me hitting all-time numbers.
-wave training
-bands and chains contrasted with straight weight
-walk outs
-partials contrasted with full ROM
-Squats for vertical leap -Sled drags to set PR 40 yd dash times
And more!

http://www.mashelite.com/mashmethod

What is Flow?

We’ve all heard about getting in the zone. We’ve all watched our favorite athletes get into a zone like state where it appeared that they couldn’t make a mistake. When Tiger Woods was still killing it, we watched him play matches where he simply made the game of golf appear easy. We’ve watched Michael Jordan play in basketball games where he seemed to be going at a different speed than everyone else.

I remember watching Michael Jordan play against the Portland Trailblazers during the NBA Finals. He hit six three-pointers in the first half of play. After the sixth three-pointer, he shrugged his shoulders as to say that he didn’t even know what was happening. At that very moment, I became intrigued with the so-called zone. Just like Michael, I didn’t know how someone could get in a zone like that either. I wanted to find out.

Throughout my career in sports, I experienced the zone periodically in multiple sports. In one high school football game, I scored two touchdowns, made two interceptions, four receptions, 150-yards of offense, 10 tackles, and two fumble recoveries. In one basketball game, I scored 19 points in one half of play only missing two shots. At the WPO Powerlifting Championships in 2004, I went 9 for 10 only missing a world record fourth attempt that day. I had already broken the world record squat, bench, and total (broke the total twice). It appeared that I could lift whatever weight I attempted. The only miss that I had was another world record bench press taken on a 4th attempt that I actually completed, but the judges gave me two red lights for uneven extension.

The reason that I am telling all of you this information is not to brag, but to explain how I felt during these moments. Each time it was like time slowed down around me. I could see and react to almost everything that was happening. All of my senses were extremely heightened. I was 100% engaged in the activity that I was competing in, and all previous distractions were eliminated.

So what does this mean for you? Thanks to our friend Nathan Hansen, we can now give you the steps to entering the zone whenever you want. So who is Nathan Hansen? Nathan received his first Masters in Behavioral Psychology and his second Masters in Clinical Counseling. Now he works with some high-powered athletes on numerous sports psychology elements.

He works with our own Rebecca Gerdon for one. My interests were peaked when I watched her performance at the 2016 American Open. She went 9 for 9, and her demeanor was totally different. She looked more confident and focused than ever before. Her performance prompted me to search out and get to know Nathan.

The clinical term for getting in the zone is “Flow State”. Turns out that psychologists have been working on the Flow State since 1871 when the pioneer of the Flow State, Albert Heim, fell 60 feet down the side of a mountain. He only sustained minor injuries during this fall, which is a fall that could have easily killed him. During the fall, he remembered his senses being heightened, time seeming to stand still, and all of this allowing him to pick a safe path during the fall down the mountain.

After Heim survived, he was so intrigued that he started looking up other near death survivors. He found that all of them had similar stories. At that point, the Flow State was born. Many psychologists have taken up where Heim left off, and today there is actually a road map to enter the Flow State upon command.

Finding your Flow will take lots of practice on your end. Nathan and I have co-authored a book that we are releasing next month that will map out the steps necessary for reaching Flow. I am going to give you the watered down version to get you thinking about it, but you are all going to love the book. I can say that I enjoyed writing this book more than any other because it was such groundbreaking material.

Here’s path to reaching the “Flow State”:

1. The task has to warrant Flow. That means that there has to be enough risk to trigger Flow. There has to be the right environment with limited distractions. You have to learn to be fully present in the moment. Nathan provides some great ways to practice being fully present. You can start now by turning off the cell phone, clearing your mind of the argument you’re having with your boyfriend/girlfriend, and putting all focus on the task at hand.

2. Clear Goals- this is an important one. If your only goal is to play in the NFL or make an Olympic team, those goals are way to broad to trigger Flow. For Flow to take place, the goal has to be measureable. As a matter of fact the goal has to measurable for the day.

Instead of focusing on lifting a certain amount of weight during a practice, it is much easier to get into the Flow State if your focus is on the movement itself. If you focus on the movement, you can be fully engaged in each lift from the moment you pick up an empty bar to the moment you have a max attempt on the bar. Focusing completely on the movement of a lift will eventually help you enter the Flow state when it counts. It’s all about the practice when it comes to eventually letting the body take over.

3. Immediate Feedback- if something goes wrong, it’s important to know at what stage it went wrong. Then it’s important to know why it went wrong. If you are focusing on the movement, there should be standard steps to each movement. Those steps should be the same no matter if it’s a warm up or if it’s a new personal record. Immediately when a lift is complete, your goal is immediate feedback. If there was a breakdown, at what stage was the breakdown? What caused the breakdown: thinking about past or future performances, worrying about someone else’s performance, not present in the moment, etc?

Whatever the activity, you are now turning it into a process instead of a series of emotional decisions. The key is to teach the body to fully take over. This process takes time and practice, but with this book that Nathan has written, we can now give you the exact process. I hope that this article has given you some tangibles to work on for now. I can’t wait to drop the book next month.

I have to say that I am most excited about this book because it completes our library of books that all athletes need:

“No Weaknesses”– muscular balance, recovery, and injury prevention

“Mash Blueprint for Programming”– ways to program for yourself no matter what your barbell interests are, and how to continue progressing for life

“Eat and Lift What You Want”– explains how to create the perfect nutrition program for you.

Now we have “Performance Zone” coming in March- all about entering the Flow State on a regular basis.

Of course we have all the other programming books, but I am very excited to have such a complete source of information. I always talk about becoming a master of the mundane. Now I we are supplying the tools for you guys to become one. Thanks for reading guys!

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Check out my latest FREE E-Book “The Mash Method” and keep in formed when my new book “Performance Zone” drops:

My latest E-Book “Mash Method” is live and it’s FREE! Check it out now at: http://www.mashelite.com/mashmethod
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This book has several of the techniques that I used to set personal records and world records along with some of my latest techniques that I’m using to get my athletes and me hitting all-time numbers.
-wave training
-bands and chains contrasted with straight weight
-walk outs
-partials contrasted with full ROM
-Squats for vertical leap -Sled drags to set PR 40 yd dash times
And more!

http://www.mashelite.com/mashmethod

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