3 Mash Athletes Preparing for the Senior World Championships

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3 Mash Athletes Preparing for the Senior World Championships

A couple of days ago USA Weightlifting made the official announcement of the 2017 Senior World Team. I am still in shock that we have three athletes competing in Anaheim:

• Nathan Damron
• Brian Reisenauer
• Jordan Cantrell (shared with Nemesis Sports Academy)

I will be the head coach for Nathan and Jordan. Brian will have Mash Mafia’s own Vinh Huynh, the leader of Mash Mafia MN. Along with Coach Don McCauley we have formed quite the coaching conglomerate that in 2017 alone has produced:

• 2 Youth World Team Members (including one from New Zealand)
• 1 Youth Pan Am Team Member
• 1 Oceania Youth Team Member and Champion
• 1 Junior World Team Member
• 1 Junior Pan Am Team Member
• 1 University World Team Member
• 2 Senior Pan Am Team Members
• 3 Senior World Team Members

I would say that we are off to the best year of our team’s existence. With all of this being said, this isn’t an article to go on and on about our team’s success. This article is to give you guys an idea of what goes into getting these folks to the next level. Hopefully I can give all of you aspiring coaches and athletes some ideas that might help you get to this level as well. At the end of the day we are all Team USA. Coach Dave Spitz, Team Cal Strength, and I talk about this concept quite a bit. Yeah we like to win at Nationals and what not, but at the end of the day we are all on the same big team. We are all trying to help Team USA medal on the big stage against all the other countries. We can only do this through cooperation and support of one another.

That’s why I am compelled to write articles and books that will help you guys and gals out. In this article I want to explain all that goes into preparing one of these athletes for that World level. Now I am hoping that a lot of this will apply to all of you whether you are at the State, National, or International level. We treat all of our athletes the same on our team. All that we require is that they have a desire to want to be the best that they can be. If you are trying to help your athletes be the best that they can be or you’re an athlete trying to be the best that you can be, keep reading.

Workouts are written for all of our athletes. Some are similar, and some are way different. If an athlete has been with us long enough, then we’ve had time to perfect a personalized approach. How does that happen? That’s the question isn’t it?

When an athlete starts with our team, here are a few basic questions that have to be asked:

• Does this athlete thrive from high volume, medium volume, or low volume?
• Does this athlete thrive with high frequency, medium, or low?
• Does this athlete handle high loads well?
• How many other commitments will interfere with training?
• Is this athlete efficient or inefficient?
• Are there any muscular imbalances?

These are a few of the questions that a coach must know. You can ask the questions. You can also look at their past training if they’ve kept a journal. Keeping a journal is something that I recommend all of your athletes to start doing. You can look at their journal and see patterns, successes, and poor performances.

You can also look at their backgrounds and get a lot of information. For example Jordan Cantrell came from the world of CrossFit, so I knew that he would thrive well with higher volume. The same would go for former soccer players or wrestlers.

Commitments outside of training are an unfortunate part of weightlifting life in America. Weightlifting in America is not a fully state funded program, so most athletes have to work a job. Yes USA Weightlifting has a pretty good stipend program, and I am thankful for all that they do. However until you are at the Olympic Hopeful level, you are probably going to have to work. Coaches will also want to know marital status, home life, and other aspects of the athlete’s life because all of these things can and will affect training. That’s ok. I am not saying that athletes shouldn’t have a life. I am just saying that the coach needs to consider all the stressors in an athlete’s life.

Is the athlete efficient of inefficient? John Broz explained it the best. Coaching a weightlifter is like balancing a scale. On one side of the scale is strength and on the other side is technique and movement. You add a little strength and the scale tips towards strength. Then you add some skill practice with the snatch and clean & jerk, and the scale starts to level out again. This process goes back and forth over the career of an athlete. In our book “No Weaknesses” we have a comprehensive 44 point test that will give you exact percentages, and that will tell you if you are efficient or not.

Are there any muscular imbalances? The answer is always yes. No one is perfect. Once again the test in “No Weaknesses” will tell you all about your muscular imbalances and give exact percentages. Jordan Cantrell has some issues that we are working through now. The back squat causes some major back pain, so we decided to take it out. We front squat with several variations, and we are working on strengthening his mid-line with assistance work.

This brings me to my final point. A workout is only as good as the coach running the athlete through the workout. When I write a 16-week workout for one of my athletes, that workout is a simple outline. It is subject to change week to week. The key is the amount of communication between athlete and coach. If an athlete is getting too beat up, then a good coach will drop some volume. If an athlete is rolling through a program like superman, a good coach will up the volume because a certain amount of breakdown is required to force the body to adapt. It’s that simple.

At this point there is no one program that will work for everyone. Well if you are brand new to the barbell, just about anything will work. However for a seasoned veteran, they are going to need a coach that alters things weekly if necessary. They will also need a coach that can talk to them about the process. Training is hard. Athletes don’t know what to expect half the time, and it up to us to help them through the process.

Coaching is an art. I have spent my entire life trying to become the best coach possible. I have also had some of the best coaches in America work with me like Wes Barnett, Dragomir Cioroslan, and Louie Simmons. I am friends with some of the best coaches in the world like Coach Joe Kenn or the Carolina Panthers. If I am not hanging out with the best coaches, I am reading their books.

We released the date of the inaugural Mash Mentorship last week. October 18th thru the 21st we will be hanging out in my gym, on my farm, and all around North Carolina covering:

• Coaching (weightlifting and powerlifting)
• Technique and Programming (weightlifting and powerlifting)
• Art of Coaching
• Business
• Life
• Family
• Basically hanging out and helping aspiring people in the strength world succeed
• Every night ends around a campfire talking and answering questions

Find out more at the link below:

Mash Mentorship

Don’t forget, this Friday Sept. 22nd our new E-Book drops “Time to Train”. If you are a coach or aspiring weightlifter or powerlifter, you are going to want this book.

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