Category Archives for "Weightlifting"

The Coaches that have Influenced me the Most and Why

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

The Coaches that have Influenced me the Most and Why

I have led a blessed life in the world of strength and conditioning. I have somehow managed to hang out and get to know some of the most influential coaches in the world. My athletic career opened the doors, but I think that my treatment of others nurtured those relationships. Here’s a quick tip before I get into the meet of this article. If you desire to learn or gain from another coach or athlete in the country, you should be willing to give as much as you get. If you focus on giving and helping others, you won’t have to worry about gaining from others. It will happen.

People often ask me who were my biggest influencers in the strength and conditioning world. If I list them all, this article would be a book. Really that’s a great idea for a book, but for today we will keep it simple. I am going to break it down into categories:

• Olympic weightlifting
• Powerlifting
• Athletic Performance

I am going to try and stick to one or two coaches per category if I can. I hope that all of you will learn a couple of things from each coach. More importantly I hope this encourages you to go out and form relationships of your own. You can read all the cool books that you want, but nothing replaces seeing it in person or talking to the author over drinks.

Personally I like focusing on the coaches that are actually producing athletes. There are a lot of self-proclaimed gurus on the Internet nowadays, but proof is in the production of fruit. You might have a PhD, but if you aren’t producing anything, then there is nothing to substantiate your claims. I am not totally sold on studies. Studies are a great first step to get me to try new things, but normally these studies are done on some random general people. I coach great athletes, so there are some pretty big differences.

Anyways, let’s get to it.

1. Olympic weightlifting– without a doubt I have been influenced more by Coach Don McCauley than any other coach. I first had the opportunity to work with him at MuscleDriver USA, and he totally took me under his wing. Yeah I had already produced some pretty big athletes, but Don has produced Olympians.

Too many of you coaches think that you are coach of the year because you have a few National competitors. That is a terrible mindset to take. You have so much to learn. I have tripled my knowledge of weightlifting, since meeting Don McCauley. Now I am blessed to work with him everyday at my own gym. He does a great job coaching our men and women. I have personally watched him coach people into major PRs on the same day as meeting them. I am not talking about new weightlifters. Anyone can pumped up a newbie and get them to PR. I am talking about seasoned veterans.

Here are just a few of the amazing things that I have learned from him:

It’s all about timing. Most weightlifters want to focus on how high they pull the bar. Yes you have to peak the bar as high as possible, but here is the thing. Once the hips are open, you have done all that you can to peak the bar. Great lifters are the ones that waste no time at the top of the lift, but instead focus on getting under the bar and meeting it strongly.

Back foot down on the jerk– I have always been told to step through the jerk with the front foot. I never really understood how to do this until Don talked about getting the back foot down. The back foot will always touch down first in the jerk. If I focus on driving it straight down, that movement will propel into the right position under the bar driving the front foot out.

Focus on the Vertical Drive more than the split of a jerk– Most athletes want to sneak under the bar during the split jerk causing them to get driven to the ground. Don teaches the athlete to load the posterior chain by getting on the entire foot. Then he teaches them to focus on the vertical drive. The split will become a mostly involuntary motion that is perfected from all the hundreds of reps in practice. The goal is to catch the weight as high as possible in the strongest position as possible.

2. PowerliftingLouie Simmons has had the biggest influence on me. I don’t follow the conjugate system exactly like he prescribes, but I use several of his principles. Here’s a short list:

Attack Muscular Weaknesses with accessory movements– my e-book “No Weaknesses” was greatly inspired by Louie. I think that this is his biggest secret to producing so many champions. They will attack weaknesses for up to 70% of a workout, and they will do this right up to a meet. I totally agree with this approach.

Conjugate– I might not take it to such an extreme, but I use the conjugate system to keep the body from stagnating. For squats we use pauses, bands, chains, and sometimes-different bars. For the Olympic lifts we use pauses, blocks, hangs, and complexes.

Work Capacity– athletes that don’t focus on conditioning are really missing out on an aspect that could help them. We use low eccentric and low impact movements to increase to work capacity of our athletes. If you can perform more work than your competitors, then you will eventually win.

3. Athletic Performance– without a doubt Coach Joe Kenn is my go to guy in this arena. Coach Kenn is the Head Strength Coach for the Carolina Panthers, and he has been voted coach of the year two-time by the NSCA. He’s been a friend of mine since 2005, and he actually works out at the Mash Compound from time to time. We are lucky that he lives near us. Here’s what I have learned:

Keep the athletes moving– most strength and conditioning coaches are strapped for time. This includes me. Athletes have other places to be like practicing their sport, watching film, studying their plays, or in the classroom. However we still have to get a lot of work done with them: strength work, core work, mobility, injury prevention, stabilization, etc. The Tier System, Coach Kenn’s system, is a great way of balancing all of this in a short amount of time. Here’s an example:

1a Squats
1b Planks
1c Scap Retracts with Bands

The athletes use the two smaller movements as active recovery between sets.

Each Job is the best job in the world– This is a great mindset to take as a strength coach. If you are always thinking about how amazing another job is, you will never do well in the one that you are in. If you suck at your current job, you will never get that other job. He said that when he started taking this mindset, he never had to fill out another application. The jobs came to him.

Without brining the Juice knowledge is useless– he told me a long time ago that if you couldn’t get your athletes excited and bought in (bringing the juice), knowledge is rendered useless. If your athletes don’t approach the workout with excitement, then they are going to give a crappy effort. If they doubt you, then nothing is going to happen.

Please understand that this is just a shortened list. There are so many coaches and athletes that have influenced me. However, these three men have helped me the most, and the three of them continue helping me. I owe these three men so much. The least that I could do was acknowledge them.

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Guys and Gals if you want to learn all that it takes to build champion athletes, Zach Even-Esh and I are getting together for two dual certifications this year. Check them out at ⇒ Mash and Even-Esh Unite

March 17th and 18th at the Mash Compound in Clemmons, NC

June 10th and 11th at Underground Strength and Conditioning in Manasquan, NJ

Here’s what to expect:

• 1) Athlete Warm Ups & Assessments / Large Group Training
• 2) Bodyweight & Jump Training for Athletes (Sport + Strength Athletes)
• 3) Quick Lifts & Assistance Work for Sport & Strength Athletes (Barbell / Dumbbells)
• 4) Program Design for Athletes from Youth to D1 to Olympic Hopefuls
• 5. Snatch basics and teaching progressions
• 6. Clean basics and teaching progressions
• 7. Squat Programming and Tricks
• 8. Deadlift Programming and Tricks
• 9. Controlling and demanding the respect of groups
• 10. The business of Private Coaching

Extras-

• This will certify you as an official Underground Strength Coach
• This will certify you for the Mash Mafia Learn 2 Lift Cert

Find out more at:

www.MashElite.com/seminars/

Are the Olympic Lifts Necessary for Athletic Development?

Check out one of our six E-Books:

• “Squat Every Day”
• “Eat What You Want”
• “Squat Every Day 2”
• “No Weaknesses”
• “Mash Program Sampler”
• “The Mash Blueprint for Program Design”

Check them out here: ⇒ Mash Elite E-Books

Are the Olympic Lifts Necessary for Athletic Development?

Are the Olympic lifts necessary for Athletic Development? This question has been debated for years. It normally comes up at coaching clinics when there are opposing camps one from the powerlifting side and the other Olympic weightlifting. It’s normally a fun debate that can escalate quickly. I was at Wake Forest clinic once when a group from Westside Barbell started heating up against a weightlifting coach that was lecturing. People were so set on protecting their agendas that no one really learned anything.

I was there, but I stayed out of it. Both sides were making great points, and then again both sides were blinded by their desire to be right. There is a lesson to be learned here. Don’t let your passion or agenda blind you to learning new ideas that could enhance your own platform.

I have been on both sides of this debate. I have competed in weightlifting at a high level, and I have competed in powerlifting at the highest level. I also played college football. I have coached amazing athletes in athletic performance, weightlifting, and powerlifting. I don’t know that all of this makes me an expert in answering the question, but it at least gives me some credibility. So what’s the answer?

The Olympic lifts are a great tool for power production, kinesthetic awareness, mobility, and speed. However they require that someone be very proficient at teaching them, or they can become non-effective and sometimes dangerous. Here’s another thing to consider. Just because an amazing amount of power is generated during a lift doesn’t mean the lift is creating the power. The lift is just a demonstration of one’s power development. To increase that power output the athlete has to get stronger.

Now before you think that one of Team USA’s weightlifting coaches doesn’t like the Olympic lifts, I want to remind everyone that I do use the Olympic lifts in coaching my athletes. All of them perform cleans, push presses, overhead squats, front squats, and a version of the snatch (depending on abilities and mobility), but that’s because I know how to teach them. I use cleans because if athletes are producing massive amounts of power on a daily basis, their bodies will become more efficient at power production. I also love the overall mobility that overhead squats encourage. It’s the movement, power, and athleticism that make them a great choice for my athletes.

Here’s the other side of the coin. If you are a strength and conditioning coach that isn’t 100% proficient with teaching the progressions of the Olympic lifts, you can always do the following exercises:

• Back Squat
• Front Squat
• Overhead Squat
• Depth Jumps
• Other Plyometrics
• Med Ball Throws
• Clean Pulls
• Push Presses

This is an incomplete list, but you get the idea. With these simpler exercises, you can train rate of force development, power production, mobility, absolute strength, and overall athleticism. An educated strength coach can easily pick up these movements, and these movements can easily be taught to athletes of all levels. If time is an issue, these movements can be implemented much faster allowing for more time to stimulate results in strength, speed, and muscle mass.

Here’s a checklist that every strength and conditioning coach should consider:

• Are you 100% proficient at teaching the Olympic lifts and their progressions?
• Are their time restraints on getting your athletes improvements?
• Are you dealing with lots of athletes?
• Do you have enough assistant coaches to ensure that all athletes are getting enough attention?
• Do you have the right equipment to teach the Olympic lifts: bars that spin, bumpers, and proper flooring?

Obviously if you are capable of teaching the Olympic lifts, you have the time, you have enough coaches to ensure get the proper coaching, and you have all the equipment, then of course I want you to teach your athletes the Olympic lifts. The Olympic lifts are a great tool to get your athletes powerful, mobile, and athletic. However, if you don’t have proper conditions, there are plenty of exercise choices to stimulate some awesome results for your athletes.

So to bring this back, the answer is the Olympic lifts aren’t necessary for athletic development, but they sure do help. If you don’t know how to teach the lifts, I suggest taking a certification and finding a qualified coach in your area to fine tune your skills. I would hope that this article would encourage all of us to not have a dogmatic approach to our training and philosophies. There are multiple ways to reach a goal. It doesn’t matter what road you take. All that matter is that you reach that goal. We all want our athletes to get stronger. The best way for that to happen is to maintain a mindset open to learning. We owe it our athletes to never stop our quest of knowledge.

===============================================================
Guys and Gals if you want to learn all that it takes to build champion athletes, Zach Even-Esh and I are getting together for two dual certifications this year. Check them out at ⇒ Mash and Even-Esh Unite

March 17th and 18th at the Mash Compound in Clemmons, NC

June 10th and 11th at Underground Strength and Conditioning in Manasquan, NJ

Here’s what to expect:

• 1) Athlete Warm Ups & Assessments / Large Group Training
• 2) Bodyweight & Jump Training for Athletes (Sport + Strength Athletes)
• 3) Quick Lifts & Assistance Work for Sport & Strength Athletes (Barbell / Dumbbells)
• 4) Program Design for Athletes from Youth to D1 to Olympic Hopefuls
• 5. Snatch basics and teaching progressions
• 6. Clean basics and teaching progressions
• 7. Squat Programming and Tricks
• 8. Deadlift Programming and Tricks
• 9. Controlling and demanding the respect of groups
• 10. The business of Private Coaching

Extras-

• This will certify you as an official Underground Strength Coach
• This will certify you for the Mash Mafia Learn 2 Lift Cert

Find out more at:

www.MashElite.com/seminars/

“Let the Recovering Begin” a look at Coach Mash’s Recovery

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

Let the Recovering Begin

For all of you that don’t know, last week I underwent a surgery to repair a ruptured triceps tendon on my right arm. It was just a freak thing that happened when I was snatching. There were signs that I ignored like a super achy right elbow. Here is my advice. If you are having chronic pain, there is a reason. I would simply get it checked out. Getting it check out could easily prevent 4-6 months of recovery.

Coach Ox Mason, my longtime friend and training partner, pointed out that he believes the whole thing was caused from my right side constantly compensating for the weaker left side. In 2007 I sustained a fracture in my cervical spine. The injury caused a weakness in my left arm. This weakness has caused me to spin to the right on snatches, cleans, and jerks to compensate. My right arm tries to take most of the load on all presses as well. It’s even hard for my scapula to stay tucked in the right position when weight is overhead.

As you can see, I was compensating in a lot of different ways leaving my right arm susceptible to this injury. A little more patience with the muscular balance work towards my left side could have prevented all of this as well. However, like you I want to get to the heavy stuff. The big six (snatch, clean, jerk, squat, bench, and deadlift) is what I love to do. However this impatient approached led to surgery and six months of rehabbing. A wiser approach could have left me doing what I love for a lot longer time without surgery.

I am telling all of you this, so you can make wise decisions for yourself. Hopefully some of you can learn from my mistakes. The only benefit to an injury is the ability to share with others. If my injury helps just one person, then it was all worth it. In my experience, my mistakes have led to better life lessons than my successes. If you are someone that is injured, I hope that you can cling to this positive.

My rehab workouts started two days after my surgery, and they consisted of range of motion work to the injured arm. Basically I curl my arm to 90 degrees, and then I let gravity straighten the arm as much as possible. I am trying to perform 3 x 10 with 3 sessions per day.

Today I am going to start working out in the gym again. Here is what my workouts are going to look like:

Day 1
SS Bar Max Effort 5RM, then -15% for 2 x 5
SS Bar Goodmornings 3 x 8
Left arm Bench Press 3 x 10
Left Arm KB OH Carry 3 x 40 yd

Day 2
Belt Squat Deep Squats 3 x 10
Belt Squat Glute Marches 3 x 6 seconds
Left Arm Strict Press 3 x 10
Sled Drags 3 x 40 yd ea direction

Day 3
SS Bar Max Effort Mash Method (1, 5)
SS Bar Goodmornings 3 x 8
Left Arm KB upright Row 3 x 10
Left Arm Farmers Walk 3 x 40 yd

The goal is to take advantage of this time to get the left arm stronger in all directions. The secondary goal is to keep my legs strong. I will also be adding in some Yoga in about a week along with some aerodyne sprint and distance work. I will stick with this style of workout until I am allowed to start loading the right arm.

The key to mentally surviving this moment in time is focusing on the positives:

• A chance to address my left arm weaknesses
• A chance to influence and encourage others
• A chance to be an example of perseverance for my family, team, and friends

I have already experienced moments of sadness, and I am sure that there will be some more. However my faith in God and my willingness to reflect back on the positives will sustain me through this time. Here’s the thing. It’s just a triceps tendon. It’s not cancer. There are people out there going through much worse than me.

I am excited to get back on the horse today, and at least feel some weight on my body. I think that when I come out of this, I will develop a different mindset towards training. Don’t worry I will never be the old man lifting light weights, but I will definitely take a slightly different approach. I will take a more balanced approach like:

• Focus my training on squat, bench, front squat, deadlift, and press
• Olympic lifts will be done once per week each with a focus on technique and movement.
• Yoga will find its way in there somewhere.
• Ox Mason Conditioning
• No Weaknesses Accessory work

I want to be able to train until the day that I die. I also want to be able to move well, so that I can play with my children as they grow up. I am actually excited to see what I come up with. I believe that God allows things to happen to us to either teach us a lesson or show us a new path. In my case I think that it’s a little of both. I guess time will tell.

========================================================
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

Are You a One Percenter? Advancing to the CrossFit Regionals

Check out one of our six E-Books:

• “Squat Every Day”
• “Eat What You Want”
• “Squat Every Day 2”
• “No Weaknesses”
• “Mash Program Sampler”
• “The Mash Blueprint for Program Design”

Check them out here: ⇒ Mash Elite E-Books

“Are you a 1%’er?”

Less than 1% out of roughly 300,000 athletes: this is how many people advanced from the CrossFit Games Open to CrossFit Games Regionals in one form or another. Tough margins, eh? Imagine if you’re trying to get into a NCAA school for football. Out of a million high school players, less than 6.5% will accomplish this goal, and only around 1.5% of those will make it into the NFL (that’s 0.1% of high schoolers). You see, to be the best at anything, you need to be in the top 1% (give or take). How do we prepare to be the best, to be in the top 1%?

Frankly, it depends on a LOT of variables. Let’s start at the most basic variable: Do you want to make it to Regionals, or just have fun in the Open? You see, there is an enormous difference between training to make it to regionals and training for just the Open. I’m about to share with you the consequences of this decision. Gyms all around the world are cranking out their very popular “Open prep” programming. Maybe you want to do the Open for a personal challenge, or to prove you’re the best in your group of co-workers, and you think doing this extra programming might be a great idea. I’m going to give you my opinion on the matter based on my experience in CrossFit. If your goal is anything but making it to Regionals, then these Open-prep programs are an ABSOLUTE WASTE OF TIME! I’ve even seen athletes doing doubles to “get ready” for the Open. Here’s the thing: the Open is only one single workout a week. A single workout that requires absolute maximum effort. If you miss the target, you’re screwed.

The best way to train for the Open, ironically, is to just do CrossFit as prescribed. Constantly varied, functional movements, executed at high intensity. The Open is designed to test your ability to just do CrossFit. Doing a specialized training program to prep for the Open says to me that the affiliate hasn’t done a proper job during the rest of the year making their members proficient enough in CrossFit. They feel like they need to change their programming to make up the deficit. That’s not a good sign from my point of view. I get the appeal of getting gimmicky, participation, and all that jazz. But this is a competition! But I digress.

Now we’ll discuss the nuts and bolts of training for the Open to have a shot at Regionals. First, you need to start a year out. Slowly build your skillset in gymnastics and weightlifting. You need to become incredibly consistent under any level of fatigue. Second, you need to start doing multiple sessions per day, forcing your body to become more capable of recovering between workouts. This is honestly the only good reason for doing two-a-days. At Regionals, you’ll be doing 2-4 workouts a day for 3 days. If you can’t recover between sessions, then you’re done. With a few exceptions, doing multiple sessions a day doesn’t really make you much better at doing a single event (like in the open), but it makes you more capable of consistently executing multiple efforts at the same relative intensities. Not useful for the Open, but very useful for Regionals and the Games.

I specifically recommend a general outline of 4-6 months of strength biased training, movement correction, and skill focus. This will utilize mainly aerobic capacity, V02 max, and single modality training in the morning to keep conditioning and recovery high. Then in the afternoon or evening, grueling lifting sessions with gymnastic EMOMs or dedicated gymnastic skill sessions. After this, we move on to cutting back the strength sessions to equal around 1/3 of total weekly training volume, with 1/3 being aerobic base, and the rest a mix of bringing back metcons into the picture in a larger way and continuing gymnastic development. This will last 2-4 months. Then finally, “Open prep”. We cut back lifting to roughly 20-25% of total training volume, with the rest being all conditioning and skill development. Above all things, we’ll focus on intensity around 8 weeks before the open.

Obviously, this is not an end-all-be-all recipe for all athletes, and I highly suggest an individualized approach to any serious competitor’s training program. For most athletes, their training will end up looking loosely as I described above. In the end, if you’re doing the Open for anything other than winning a spot to Regionals, then the only thing you need to do well is giving 100% effort as often as possible to foundational CrossFit training methods. Nothing more is honestly needed to do well. But if you want to be in the 1%, you should hire a specialized coach with Regional or Games experience, and clear your schedule. It’s gonna be one helluva ride!

FYI Coach Nick Scott has coached over 19 Regional CrossFit Athletes, so we are excited to get him more and more involved with assisting our online community reach their CrossFit and functional fitness goals. You guys can check him out on Instagram: ==> @scottstrengthsystems

==============================================
Check out one of the Online Teams:

• Mash Mafia Bronze
• Mash Mafia Silver
• Mash Mafia Gold
• Eat What You Want
• Eat and Lift What You Want

Check them out here: ⇒ Mash Mafia Online Teams

Can an Athlete Get Stronger While Losing Weight?

Check out one of our six E-Books:

• “Squat Every Day”
• “Eat What You Want”
• “Squat Every Day 2”
• “No Weaknesses”
• “Mash Program Sampler”
• “The Mash Blueprint for Program Design”

Check them out here: ⇒ Mash Elite E-Books

Can an Athlete Get Stronger While Losing Weight?

We get a lot of you asking the question: Can an athlete get stronger while dropping a weight class or losing weight? The answer is not easy. It’s yes and no. It simply depends on a couple of factors. Here are some questions that need to be asked:

1. What’s your body fat percentage?

2. Are you an efficient lifter with perfect technique?

3. Do you really need to get stronger?

An optimal body fat percentage for a weightlifter is between 8-15%. If you are a guy, you want to be on the lower end. A girl can be closer to the high end. From what I have read, there isn’t a lot of credible information that gives exacts here. However I can say that most of us will have a level where we can still make gains, and a level where we will start to struggle. There is probably going to be a little trial and error to find the most optimal percentage for you.

Here’s what I can tell you. If you are above that 15% marker, there is a good chance that you will be able to get stronger while losing weight. Body fat doesn’t help with lifting heavy weight. You could lose some weight without losing any muscle. You could even gain some muscle mass, while losing weight. You can for sure do that over time by alternating cut phases and mass phases with the goal of maximizing lean muscle mass.

The point here is that if you are on the high end, you have a lot of room to play. You should easily be able to work your way down. The key is a steady decrease not to exceed 1-2 pounds per week with mass phases staying around 1-2 pounds gained per week. Remember the mass phases work best if accompanied by some hypertrophy work to emphasize muscle growth.

If you are already fairly lean, you can still get stronger. It all depends on your level in the sport that you are participating in. Whether you are a powerlifter or a weightlifter, it will take you five or more years of focused training to perfect your technique and movement pattern.

If you are still new to the sport, solid practice will make you more efficient at the movement. This efficiency will increase your strength from a neurological side. Basically you will get better at the movement allowing your body to recruit more fibers in turn lifting more weight.

It’s like any other sport. Do you remember when you first threw a football or softball? It probably didn’t go very far. However after a summer of practice, you could sling the ball a long ways. Did you add muscle mass? Maybe a little, but really what happened is that you became more efficient at throwing the ball.

Do you really need to get stronger? Most of us might think that this is a crazy question, but there is something that most people don’t consider. Whether powerlifting or weightlifting, one weight class down might mean a world team or a championship. If you can lose 2-3% of your body fat and drop a weight class while maintaining strength, pound for pound you just got stronger. This move could take you from a top 5 finish to a Gold Medal. It could take you from barely qualifying for Nationals to the A Session.

I have watched multiple athletes make the move to lose weight. Travis Cooper was an 85k lifter, and then decided to make the move to 77k. The move earned him multiple International Squads, and put him really close to the Olympic Team. He did it gradually and methodically performing multiple cutting phases along with mass phases. My athlete Adee Zukier did the same thing.

The bottom line is that it can be done. You might want to get the help of a professional to guide you along the way. If not, I suggest that you make sure that you know what you are doing. Our “Eat and Lift What You Want” E-Book is an inexpensive way to figure things out on your own. The key is to make a plan, commit to the plan, and stick to it.

==============================================
Check out one of the Online Teams:

• Mash Mafia Bronze
• Mash Mafia Silver
• Mash Mafia Gold
• Eat What You Want
• Eat and Lift What You Want

Check them out here: ⇒ Mash Mafia Online Teams

Hybrid Workouts: Strong and Conditioned

Check out one of our six E-Books:

• “Squat Every Day”
• “Eat What You Want”
• “Squat Every Day 2”
• “No Weaknesses”
• “Mash Program Sampler”
• “The Mash Blueprint for Program Design”

Check them out here: ⇒ Mash Elite E-Books

Hybrid Workouts: Strong and Conditioned

A question that we get a lot is: “Can I get strong and conditioned at the same time?” When I was younger, I would have said absolutely not. When I was a powerlifter, conditioning was a set of ten on squats. I increased work capacity through more and more work in the weight room. Obviously it worked, but is there a better way? Better yet, is there a healthier way?

In the last year, I have studied, tested, and developed some cool ways to get strong and in great shape. I have to admit that my man Chris “Ox” Mason came up with the concept that I am about to present. I started working out with him earlier this year to get out of my slump that I slipped into during 2016. Ox is my old training partner from college all the way into my professional powerlifting days. Training with him again was like taking things back for me back to a place where I fell in love with training.

I developed our strength portion, and he developed our conditioning portion. Today I am talking about how we mixed the two. I have enjoyed these workouts probably more than any other workouts ever. I have recovered better, experienced less chronic pain, gotten way stronger, and way more conditioned.

Let’s look at the structures:

Structure 1
Low eccentric and Low impact strength movement
Active Mobility Piece
Low eccentric and Low impact strength movement
Active Mobility Piece
Low eccentric and Low impact strength movement
Active Mobility Piece

Volume: 3-4 sets of 30 second of each movement with 1-3 minutes rest between rounds. We also did 3 sets of Tabata while changing exercises each tabata.

Ex.
Sled Push
Leap Frogs
Kettlebell OH Carry
Grasshoppers
Heavy Bag Carry
Side Lunges

Structure 2
Sprint Conditioning Piece 20-30 seconds
Low eccentric and Low impact strength movement 20-30 sec
Active Mobility Piece 20-30 sec

Volume: Completing each exercise 3 times is one set, rest 1-3 minutes, completed 3 sets

Ex.
Aerodyne or Rower
Farmers Walk
Spiderman Walks

Let’s go through some of the principles. First the low eccentric and low impact strength piece is something that Louie Simmons has been preaching for years, so no one can say that they made this up. So what do I mean by low eccentric? I am talking about movements that are either concentric or isometric in nature. That means you are picking movements that are only loading the muscles during their shortening (ex. Ascent of a Back Squat or a Bench Press), or when the length isn’t changing at all (a heavy carry or pressing against a wall).

The low impact refers to the fact that the movements aren’t putting undue pressure on any major joints. Some examples of low eccentric and low impact movements are: farmers walk, zercher carries, heavy bag carries, sled pushes, sled drags, rope pulls, and overhead carries.

Sleds are great for increasing your heart rate, conditioning and strengthening the hips. The carries are the best way to strengthen the core. Overhead Carries (my favorite) are great for overhead stability and the entire kinetic chain. We normally throw in overhead carries because I have some neuromuscular damage in my left arm, so we are trying to wake up those pathways. I have noticed some major improvements during the last few months regarding position, endurance, and load.

The mobility movements are designed to target our trouble areas in my case the hips. The movements are also designed to keep us moving. We want to keep the heart rate up for some cardiovascular improvements.

There is one benefit from this style of training that means the most to me. I have some major hip damage in my right hip. It’s very arthritic, and it hurt all the time in the past. I was getting a cortisone shot almost every three months, and I was taking way too many NSAIDs. I haven’t had a cortisone shot since June of last year. That’s a record for me over the last five years. I am also sleeping better.

My workouts look like this:

Day 1 Monday
Bench Press Max Effort Rep Max 1-5 for Now
Back Squat Mash Method Strength 3-4 Sets of 1-2 and 5-6 each (What I am saying is 3-4 sets of 1-2 rep and 5-6 rep waves. The Free E-Book is here, so check it out!)
Deadlift Rep Max 1-5 for Now
Smaller Version of the Ox Conditioning Method

Day 2 Tue
Snatch Simple 3-2-1-1 (focus increase Volume)
Strict Presses Mash Method 3-4 Sets of 1-2 and 5-6 reps each

Day 3
Front Squat Max Effort Rep Max 1-5 for Now
No Weaknesses Overhead, core, mobility, and work capacity focused

Day 4
Clean & Jerk Simple 3-2-1-1 (focus increase Volume)

Day 5
Bench Mash Method 3 sets of 3 & 10 each
Front Squat Mash Method 3 sets of 3 & 10 each
Sumo Deadlift 3-4 Sets of 1-2 and 5-6 each

Smaller Version of the Ox Conditioning Method

I am convinced that this style of training would have allowed me when I was younger to train a lot longer without getting so beat up. The added volume is helping to strengthen my joints as well. I may or may not compete again, but I will use this style of conditioning forever. It’s fun, easily quantified, and leaves you feeling better. That’s the best part. You will leave the gym feeling better than ever making the rest of your day brighter.

The volume that I prescribed is just a starting point that we are using. We are 40+-year-old ex-powerlifters, so you may need to scale up or down. We will continue to raise the volume in one of a few ways:

• Increasing work times
• Decreasing rest times
• Adding exercises
• Increasing loads
• More challenging movements

It really is endless. I see this style of conditioning working for the masses. I am excited to work with Coach Ox on perfecting this style of training, and offering it more clearly to all of you. At the end of the day, I just want to impact lives in a positive way. I hope that is everyone’s goal.

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