Musicians v Weightlifters

Blue I Do What I Want

Jack Turner is one of the newest members of the Mash Mafia Weightlifting Team. He is a 40 year old Music Professor at High Point University. It’s so exciting to see someone from such a foreign world pick up the iron and hoist it overhead. Over the last two months, we have had the chance to notice the similarities in the two worlds. We have also picked out the differences which to me were the most interesting. I have always told people that coaching is my art. Whether it’s weightlifters, football players, or softball players, their improvements in athleticism is my exhibition of art. Hopefully this blog will explain my thoughts more clearly.

When an athlete begins, I start with the very basics. Can he or she complete a body weight squat? Can he or she complete an overhead squat? If they are softball player, do they possess an optimal amount of sprinting mechanics? From there we take baby steps all the way to the advanced movements. It’s like teaching someone piano. At first teach them the keys. Then teach them the basic notes. The basics are taught all the way until their first recital. Then the magic happens!

When one of my athletes competes at their chosen craft, I watch in nervous anticipation. My heart beat a million beats per minute. I have so many amazing memories over the last several years watching my athletes succeed. Watching one of my football players break that 90 yard touchdown, or that softball player score the winning run, or that weightlifter win Gold, those are all my works of art.

Working with Professor Turner is no different. Taking a 40 year old man and teaching him how to perform the Snatch for the first time is in many ways even more a work of art. The older we get, the more imperfections that we have in our movement patterns. As a coach, you have to chip away at those movement flaws like a sculptor chipping away at his stone. The first few chisels that the sculptor makes doesn’t make a lot of difference, but over time he or she produces something amazing. When Jack maxed out on Tuesday, it was amazing in so many ways just like a piece of art.

Weightlifting, athletic performance, and powerlifting are all works of art, and we should all look at it as works in progress. We should chip away each day until the big moment to display our talent comes about. Each day just chip away a few swings at the body, and over time something amazing will happen. The same patience required in art is required in sport. That’s why a 90 yard touchdown, a homerun, or a new American Record are so beautiful to me. I don’t just look at the moment! I look at all the effort that led up to the moment!

The most interesting difference that Jack brought to my attention is the fact of how welcoming the weightlifting world is. He told us that when rookie musicians start out, then other musicians have nothing to do with them. It’s as if you must earn their respect when you become great like them. That seems like a very sad world to me. Some people will never be a truly great musician, but if they love it, that’s what matters. Most people will never be a great weightlifter, but if they love the sport, they have my love. People’s love for weightlifting is what makes the sport. If no one loved it, then no one would care who was good at it. If no one loved music other than the great ones, no one would care.

Jack is going to write a blog in his own words that I am very excited about. Maybe other forms of art has more to learn from weightlifting than they might think. The brother and sisterhood of weightlifting is united by one common bond, our love for the iron. We don’t require anything else! If someone loves the barbell, then I love them automatically. After Jack told me about feeling welcomed, I was never more proud to be a part of the Barbell Life. Jack saying that defines what Barbell Life is all about!

​Next year Adee Zukier, Hayden Bowe, and I are teaming up for my Learn 2 Lift Seminars. We are adding the “Eat What You Want” aspect, so the seminar is more of a complete package of Barbell and Nutrition awesomeness.

For any questions regarding Learn 2 Lift/Eat What You Want Seminars, email me at:

We are hosting a Holiday Meet December 20th at the Mash Mafia Compound. Come hangout with the Mash Mafia Crew, some MDUSA Stars, Coach Mash, slam some bars, and of course KILL Some PRs! Click on the link to find out more:

December 20th Meet at the Mash Mafia Compound

We are hosting a New Year Learn 2 Lift Seminar at the Compound as well! January 10th and 11th come out and hang with Coach Mash and the Mash Mafia. Weightlifting Day 1 and Powerlifting Day 2. Come to one or both days just click on the link to find out more:

New Year Learn 2 Lift at the Mash Mafia Compound

To check out one of the Online Teams, click on one of the following on links:

Eat What You Want! Lift What You Want!

Online Coaching and Mentoring with Coach Mash

Mash Mafia Online Team

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