A Look to the Future

By now most of you know that a lot of changes have taken place at Mash Elite. These have been the hardest changes of my career.

Hunter Elam, Nathan Damron, and Meredith Alwine are no longer a part of our team. I am convinced that all of them will go on to do extraordinary things in the sport of weightlifting – and with their lives in general. I am satisfied with the progress they all realized while under my guidance, and I look forward to cheering on all three of them in the future.

This article is my way of helping the weightlifting world understand some of the choices I have made and to help you understand the choices I am going to make in the near future.

Changes

It all started during the world championships last year. The announcement was made that athletes would be required to compete six times in 18 months. This meant anyone with an Olympic-hopeful athlete was going to be very busy. And for me, things were going to get crazy.

I had four senior athletes who competed for Team USA. I also had three youths and two juniors who competed for Team USA at their respective international competitions. I have three athletes from other countries who compete on the international stage – and one that I support with guidance and finances. Then there are the athletes who want to make it on the international Stage. I have several in this category, which means I will soon be even busier.

Then I have my online team – which is amazing, by the way. Some of these international athletes are straight off of my online team, Team Mash Elite. I coach amazing youth, junior, senior, and master athletes from all over the world in places like Guam, Australia, and New Zealand. They definitely deserve better attention from me, and they’ve already started receiving just that.

This year alone, I have been to the following foreign countries:

  • Colombia
  • Guatemala
  • Peru
  • Cuba
  • Jamaica
  • Thailand (I’m on the plane writing this right now)

I have visited these cities within the U.S.:

  • Colorado Springs (always my favorite)
  • Anaheim
  • Virginia Beach
  • Chicago
  • Johnson City, TN (USAW Level 1)
  • Las Vegas
  • Raleigh (USAW Level 1)
  • Richmond (USAW Level 1)

Upcoming in my travels for 2019:

  • Sweden (super excited because my wife is coming)
  • Jamaica (super excited because I love the mission of Stronger Experts, and I love the people of Jamaica)
  • Utah for the American Open

I am not complaining. It was my dream to create the best weightlifters in the world. However, a few things have happened that have changed my outlook on pretty much everything.

Magnolia

On February 9th of this year, my precious baby daughter, Magnolia Taylor Mash, was born. There is something about having a baby girl that changed me from the inside out. You see, I have an older daughter, Bailey Alexandra, whom I love with all my heart. Yet I wasn’t there for her like I should have been. I am not going to make up a bunch of useless excuses. All that I can say is I didn’t do a great job, and that is something I will have to live with for the rest of my life.

When Magnolia was born, it was a second chance to father a daughter properly. The biggest part of being a father for either a boy or a girl is being present in their lives. During my return from one of my weightlifting trips, Magnolia didn’t remember me. I actually frightened her, and my baby girl cried in my presence. That was the beginning of the end. I will not make the same mistake twice.

Every time I leave my family, my very soul is crushed. My sons get sad, my daughter just smiles because she is unsure what’s happening, and my beautiful wife gets upset. I just can’t, y’all. I’m not saying I won’t travel to make the world of strength a better place. I am just saying my family will be going with me most of the time, and I won’t travel nearly as much.

Mistakes and Losses

There’s more though. The sheer number of our athletes competing around the world and the U.S. meant that sometimes we had athletes competing at the same time across the globe from each other. I was forced to make difficult choices on where I should personally be. Fortunately, I have the best co-coach in all of America: Crystal McCullough. She has led our athletes in competitions where they performed at lifetime bests. Yet to some of them, I was choosing another athlete over them. Now some of this was my fault with not setting up proper expectations, and some of it was the fast growth of the team.

One mistake I made this year was at the Youth Pan American Championships. Originally we had three athletes qualified: Morgan McCullough, Ryan Grimsland, and Reagan Henry. However, Morgan tweaked his wrist, and we decided to sit it out. Coach Crystal was picked to go as our team coach representative – but when Morgan opted out, so did she. It was my lack of communication that sent two of our youth athletes to Ecuador without us. For that, I am very sorry. I have apologized to the athletes, and I have promised to never let this happen again. I had scheduled a family vacation during that time at the North Caroline Coast. That was also very close to the Senior World Championships. It was my lack of communication and the fact I was distancing myself from certain athletes that caused a lot of our troubles. It was during this time that rumors circled about other coaches recruiting some of my athletes. Do the rumors bother me? Maybe a bit, but dang it – this needed to happen to spark change. I believe all of it to be God’s plan.

In the last year my team lost one of its coaches, Don McCauley. That alone was tough on us all in more ways than one. We were all hurt in a way that wasn’t easily remedied with some form of Band-Aid. Crystal stepped in and has exceeded all of my expectations. But for some, change is rough. I get it – especially now. However, there is something else about Coach McCauley’s sickness that has forced me to look way down deep inside. It’s caused me to look deep into my soul and truly think about what I want out of this life. Everyday I seem to get a bit closer to figuring that out.

When I look at Coach McCauley and Coach Glenn Pendlay, I admire both men. They were able to fully focus on one thing in their lifetimes: the sport of Olympic weightlifting. Glenn used to say he was a Samurai in the fact that he spent his life mastering the craft of weightlifting. Their life was consumed with technique, programming, and their athletes. Glenn saw his athletes more than he saw his son. He loved and cared for his athletes better than any coach I have ever seen.

Wrapped Up

I have watched Don and Glenn get their hearts ripped out when their athletes would leave them. It bothers me too, but not nearly at the level it hurt them. When Dylan Cooper left, he wrote me a long text explaining his decision because he thought I might get upset and block his move to Cal Strength. Coaches can block an athlete from changing teams for about six months if they choose. My response to him was, “Dylan, I am not mad at all, man. This is just weightlifting. We are not curing cancer.” I approved his transfer right away, and Dave Spitz and I became the best of friends during the whole ordeal. I still love Dylan, and he knows that just like Hunter, Nathan, and Meredith do.

Some say that Glenn started dying the moment Donny Shankle and Jon North left his team. Some people who were closest to him say he was never the same. It was later that very year he had his stroke, which started his whole downturn. I watched athletes leave Don, and it would crush him. Personally I don’t think it’s healthy to have your identity wrapped up in your athletes. Sure it’s a part of you – but just a part. Things come and go. People come and go. Coaches, you have to be able to function with or without your athletes.

Some athletes actually like it when their coach is totally wrapped up in them as an athlete. Maybe that’s what some athletes need, but I won’t be that to anyone. I don’t want to teach athletes to be dependent on me or anyone else. That’s destructive behavior that can lead to major consequences later in life.

Besides Glenn, my friend Justin Thacker took his own life. I don’t know the whole story, but I know these facts: He was really hurt by some online accusations, he took his own life in his gym, and he died without forming a family. Once again, the gym was his family. My friend Charles Poliquin died this year also without a family. Honestly this has entirely freaked me out.

Even Bigger

Here’s what all of this led me to understand. First, I have to do a better job of being a sample of God’s love and grace with my own life and the way I treat others. Sometimes when I coach, I feel myself reverting back to the person I was as an athlete – and I don’t like that person at all. Second, my family is going to always come first. You know what? That’s exactly what I want my athletes to see. I want them to see me loving my wife and being a father to my children, so they at least have one good example in their lives. Nothing is worth neglecting one’s family… nothing.

I also want to be the perfect coach for the athletes who I choose to keep. I want to commit to perfecting their programming and staying up to date with what they need to make teams and get stipends. But more importantly I want to do more than make them good lifters – I want to hopefully make a positive impact on their lives. And let me tell you – there is something even bigger I want to do for the sport of weightlifting. Now I am talking about the legacy I intend on leaving, but for this part I will have to leave it blank for just a bit longer. Don’t worry… I will release the news the second things become official.

All I can say is I intend on this being a new beginning for me as a coach as well as my athletes. I hope this will be a new beginning that lasts well after I am gone from this planet. However, I will go on record saying there are things I intend on improving – like communicating and producing better educational content for all of you. Of course, a big part of these changes mean less travel that takes me away from family. Crystal and I have talked about getting better at nurturing our culture now and as we grow once again as a team. I look forward to picking athletes based more on their character and less on their ability (both matter, of course).

Anyway, this is it. This is what happened, and this is where we are headed. I am going to miss my three athletes, but I wish them well. I am grateful I was forced to take a deep look at my life, and I am even more excited I am taking action. I think this is going to make me a better coach for my remaining athletes and my future athletes. I also believe this is going to make me better at providing more educational content for all of you. Thanks for reading – and more importantly thanks for your loyalty. I look forward to the future.

The Latest on the World of Weightlifting with JP Nicoletta – The Barbell Life 274

Right as this podcast comes out, Team USA will be in Thailand.

On this podcast, we’re joined by my good friend JP Nicoletta. He’ll be right there in Thailand filling us all in on what’s happening.

I’ll be there too with some of my lifters – and of course heavy hitters from all over the world will be there.

So JP shares with us his predictions today, all the latest that’s going on with the world’s best, and lots of insight on the back room strategies of the world.

SQUAT GAINZ

THE SHORT & SWEET GUIDE TO INCREASING YOUR SQUAT

SUPPLEMENTARY PROGRAMS TO BOOST YOUR SQUAT

Coach Travis Mash shows you how to simply and scientifically diagnose and fix your squat weaknesses. Squat Gainz also contains six supplementary squat-focused programs you can add to your current strength work to drive your squat through the roof.

LISTEN IN TO TODAY’S PODCAST AS WE TALK ABOUT:

  • Why I think Ilya is a joke
  • How Lasha is so impressive
  • Why this quad is like nothing we’ve ever seen before
  • Difficult weight class decisions
  • Crazy weight jump strategies with attempts
  • and more…

Two Fast Ways to PR Your Squat

The back squat may be the most popular barbell movement on Earth. Since the inception of CrossFit and the new box gym/garage gym movement, the squat has made up lots of ground on the pec-pumping bench press. Articles are written and videos are made almost weekly giving all of us content about this amazing exercise.

We discuss things like:

  • Hypertrophy
  • Technique
  • Programming
  • Targeting specific joints
  • Post Activation Potentiation

Yet there are two even simpler concepts that can equate to massive personal records and more weight used for hypertrophy repetitions. These two concepts can yield results right away versus training for 12 weeks in hopes the program might work. We get so caught up in all of the scientific data and trying to invent a program that is revolutionary, we forget two very basic yet powerful concepts:

  • Big squat-specific warm-up
  • Bracing

Big Squat-Specific Warm-Up

Too many of us get in a hurry, climb under a bar, and start pumping out the repetitions. This leads to inefficiency of the movement, fewer fibers recruited, and less proximal core stiffness as it relates to the lumbar spine.

A solid warm-up is key. Here are a few main points:

  1. Bike, Row, or Treadmill (2-5 minutes) – The goal is simply to raise the body’s core temperature a couple of degrees. This will make the rest of this warm-up much easier and more tolerable for all of you veterans like me.
  2. SQUAT GAINZ

    THE SHORT & SWEET GUIDE TO INCREASING YOUR SQUAT

    SUPPLEMENTARY PROGRAMS TO BOOST YOUR SQUAT

    Coach Travis Mash shows you how to simply and scientifically diagnose and fix your squat weaknesses. Squat Gainz also contains six supplementary squat-focused programs you can add to your current strength work to drive your squat through the roof.

  3. Mobility – I front-squatted 250 kilograms / 550 pounds in 2017 at 44 years old. That’s the most weight I have front-squatted in my 40s. There was one big difference that day – I used Donnie Thompson’s body tempering. I made sure to hit the major joints used during big squats: back, hips, knees, and ankles. This allowed me to move in and out of necessary positions required for a massive squat, and I was able to move in and out of these positions without pain. If the body is experiencing pain, it’s not going to recruit the maximal fibers required for optimal performance. It’s perceiving a threat and is protecting you.

    Body tempering or foam rolling/lacrosse ball work will allow you to move into good positions without the aches and pains that come from aging and years of repetitions. In choosing a foam roller, density is key. A squishy foam roller isn’t going to produce much change in the tissue, so I recommend going with a firm/dense foam roller or even a PVC pipe. Lacrosse balls are great for targeting key points because they are dense with a small surface area.

    I am not a huge proponent of static stretching, but there are a couple of stretches which will go a long way regarding optimal movement in the squat. First the half-kneeling hip flexor stretch is a key for me – and if you are a powerlifter or weightlifter, it’s going to be key for you. As barbell athletes we stay in hip flexion. Over time this can cause our hip flexors to shorten, which causes an anterior pelvic tilt. This forward tilt of the pelvis makes squatting with good technique a lot harder than it has to be. Anterior pelvic tilt can also cause lower back issues – and trust me that’s one section of the body you want to be healthy. I love Squat University’s explanation of this stretch. Simply put, he recommends getting into a half-kneeling position and then performing the opposite of an anterior pelvic tilt. Here’s my explanation: with a vertical spine, flex the abdominals, flex the glute on the side of the kneeling knee causing a posterior pelvic tilt, hold the position for 10 seconds, and perform two repetitions of 10 seconds per side.

  4. Purposeful stability, coordination, and further mobilization – I like to use specific weighted movements to begin coordinating the required muscles for squatting that also encourage optimal movement and stability. I watch too many people spend countless hours focusing on mobility. My favorite warm-up weighted movements are:
    • Westside ATP aka belt squat- 20 seconds marching, 20 seconds squatting with kettlebell, and 20 seconds hinging. Three sets of all this.
    • Potato sack kettlebell squats with 3 deep breaths at the bottom for 2-3 sets of 8 repetitions
    • Lying supine on a bench with a band around your feet unilateral knee to chest. Obviously one leg remains neutral in isometric contraction, while knee flexion is performed on the other side. This is a great way to warm up the hip flexor and the glutes. Do 1-2 sets of 8-10 slow and controlled repetitions per side.
  5. Create proximal stiffness with the McGill Big 3 – I recommend all of my athletes perform Dr. Stuart McGill’s recommended side planks, bird dogs, and curl-ups before squatting, deadlifting, or performing any of the Olympic movements. Those three movements help to create stiffness around the spine – and in the words of McGill, “proximal stiffness equals distal movement.” Basically if the muscles around the spine are stiff and stable, the body will allow the limbs to move freely throughout required ranges of motion.

Brace for PRs

Most strength coaches would agree the key to a big squat is a strong back. We have countless debates and discussions on the best ways to strengthen the back. We talk about good mornings, front squat carries, and other exercises designed to improve the strength of spinal extensors. However there is something much more critical for ensuring spinal extension during a massive squat, and that is proper bracing.

You would be surprised at the number of athletes who don’t understand how to brace. I was working with an Olympic hopeful weightlifter at a camp in 2017 for USA Weightlifting. He wasn’t one of mine, but I was surprised to find out he had never heard about bracing. This same young man had lived at the Olympic Training Center, and yet had never even heard of this simple concept. The lesson learned here was never assume the level of an athlete equates to them knowing the basics. I recommend never assuming anyone understands basics. Just like all the great coaches from all of our favorite sport, as coaches we should ensure our athletes perfect the basics.

Here are a few easy ways to ensure tightness around the spine:

  1. Hands as close as mobility will allow – This will create maximal stiffness in the upper back around the thoracic spine, which is where most of us fail during a squat. Close hands along with the Valsalva maneuver (we will discuss more in just a bit) will ensure optimal stiffness.
  2. Tuck elbows under the bar – Too many people let their elbows flare out, which also allows the scapula to flare out. In my experience, the muscles related to the scapula are the gateway to the spinal extensors. When the scapula flares, then the back especially in the thoracic spine area starts to flex or round. Every great squatter on the planet knows this leads to the death of any big squat.
  3. Root your feet in the ground – I like to think about the big toe, pinky toe, and heel as roots growing into the ground. I literally dig them in, and then perform a cork screw (external rotation) in the ground to activate the external rotators. This might not have any direct relationship to the spine, but I have found weak feet equals weak back.
  4. Learn to use a belt – The Valsalva maneuver is a pretty amazing tool to use. Simply put, you will breathe in as much air as possible into the belly, pressing out against your belt in the front, sides, and even in the back – while keeping the mouth shut and not letting any air escape. This technique causes massive amounts of tension around the lumbar spine, and any great strength athlete will tell you a stable spine is a stronger one.

SQUAT GAINZ

THE SHORT & SWEET GUIDE TO INCREASING YOUR SQUAT

SUPPLEMENTARY PROGRAMS TO BOOST YOUR SQUAT

Coach Travis Mash shows you how to simply and scientifically diagnose and fix your squat weaknesses. Squat Gainz also contains six supplementary squat-focused programs you can add to your current strength work to drive your squat through the roof.

I hope this article helps all of you achieve the squat of your dreams. Let this be a lesson in the barbell continuum – and by that I mean most of us start out on our barbell journey’s seeking to maximize the basics. Then somewhere along the way, we try to get super scientific and fancy, causing us to forget the basics. Then we get older and wiser, shifting back to realizing the basics are what gets us strong quickly and keeps us safe. For all of you young coaches and athletes, I recommend none of you ever quit trying to perfect the basics. The basics will lead to the personal records you are dreaming about, and the basics will keep you safe and healthy along your journey.

Listener Questions Answered – The Barbell Life 273

I love these podcasts.

I love answering listener questions because that way I know I’m actually helping people – actually telling you all something that you want to know. These are always tons of fun for me. I hope you guys enjoy them as well.

And we’ve got another awesome one today for you…

SQUAT GAINZ

THE SHORT & SWEET GUIDE TO INCREASING YOUR SQUAT

SUPPLEMENTARY PROGRAMS TO BOOST YOUR SQUAT

Coach Travis Mash shows you how to simply and scientifically diagnose and fix your squat weaknesses. Squat Gainz also contains six supplementary squat-focused programs you can add to your current strength work to drive your squat through the roof.

LISTEN IN TO TODAY’S PODCAST AS WE TALK ABOUT:

  • When do you push through pain and when do you stop?
  • Breaking squat plateaus
  • Rotator cuff warmups
  • Getting strong in CrossFit
  • Mobility and tendon health
  • and more…

Remembering Coach Glenn Pendlay

This has been a tough week for the weightlifting world.

No, I take that back! It has been a rough week for the strength world. Coach Pendlay’s reach goes well beyond the weightlifting world.

I have been in the strength world for 35 years now, beginning with a barbell at 11 years old. I knew the name of “Pendlay” way before I met him in 2013. Coach Pendlay was a wealth of knowledge, and he shared that knowledge with the world in the form of podcasts, articles, and the infamous “Pendlay Forum.”

In 2013, I read that MuscleDriver USA was starting the first professional weightlifting team – and they’d be right down the road from me in Fort Mill, SC. That’s basically Charlotte, NC if you know the area. When I read about it, I had to see it with my own eyes. I was at a strength and conditioning clinic in Charlotte one weekend, and I decided on a whim simply to drive over to MDUSA HQ. It was Max Out Friday, and my world hasn’t been the same since then.

I had just started dabbling back into the world of weightlifting, with my main focus being strength and conditioning. My first two weightlifting athletes were Rebecca Gerdon and Matt Wininger – and coaching them had already ignited my love for the sport all over again. I personally competed in weightlifting from 1996 until 2000. I made a change to powerlifting mainly because I moved and couldn’t find a training location. I never got over my love for the sport, and Coach Pendlay (along with MDUSA) enabled me to finally turn my love into a career that had never before existed.

When I walked into their training hall, Coach Pendlay met me at the door. Luckily he knew me and allowed me to hang out and watch practice. It was such an amazing experience. My friend Sam had introduced me to the Cal Strength videos a few months prior to this visit, so it was quite surreal to have Jon North, Donny Shankle, and the rest of the crew right before my eyes. The original Cal Strength videos did an incredible job with character development. It was easy to see the personalities made those videos so good and not the editing.

Coach Pendlay was a character. He was this massive man with the thickest black beard that one could imagine. He was a weightlifting meathead with a brain. It was his brain that attracted me. It was his brain that drew me to MDUSA. I remember one random night when he called me out of the blue at 11pm. I looked at my wife and showed her who was calling. There was no doubt that I was going to take that call.

We talked for hours about his theory of increased frequency. He hypothesized that if athletes would train everyday and multiple times per day (4-6 times) for shorter periods (20-40 minutes) they would improve dramatically faster. He cited a research project he had been a part of with mice. During the research, they had two groups of mice performing work on a resisted wheel. Both groups performed the same amount of work with the same amount of resistance. However, one group performed the work everyday in short intervals – and the other group performed the work three days per week. The higher frequency group improved exponentially in regards to hypertrophy and absolute strength.

A few months after telling me all about this idea of his, I saw that he was trying out his idea on his weightlifting team. Later he told me the only athlete who improved was Mike Szela. However, they didn’t stick with the project long enough to really find out if it would work or not. I guess too many of the athletes complained, so they scrapped the idea. Something like that has to play out for a minimum of 12 or more weeks to allow for adaptation. We might never have a situation to even try out such an idea because you need a professional team to give the athletes the proper environment needed to allow for all-day training.

Coach Pendlay was a visionary like a lot of us. However, unlike a lot of us, he had the ability to make these visions come to fruition. Coach Pendlay had heard the same criticisms all American weightlifting coaches have heard for years – that American coaches and American lifters are subpar. He knew like the rest of us that America’s results on the international stage had nothing to do with the abilities of our coaches. Yet it had everything to do with these two things:

1. Getting more athletes to choose from, giving us a better pool.
2. Giving those athletes the tools necessary to succeed.

America is filled with amazing athletes. That is clear during every Olympics when we dominate the overall medal count. However, weightlifting was still in the shadows with only a small cult following. That’s not the way to win on the world level. The Cal Strength videos spearheaded mainly by the Godfather Dave Spitz helped to pull weightlifting out of the shadows and onto the YouTube screens of millions of people. Along with CrossFit, weightlifting was now a sport that millions recognized.

Once the people could see that weightlifting was a sport filled with beautiful movement requiring skillful gymnastic-like precision, there was only one piece of the equation missing that prevented the sport from exploding in America: money. Let’s face it. With sports like football, basketball, baseball, and even wrestling promising scholarships and future professional arenas, it’s hard to compete. Coach Pendlay’s vision of corporate sponsorship changed all of that.

MDUSA changed things forever. They paid athletes thousands of dollars per month, paid for travel, paid for competition expenses, provided chiropractors, and so much more. The exposure opened athletes up to personal sponsorships, online coaching, and other creative revenue streams. MDUSA was the first of its kind since York Barbell. The team gave the company a brand that enticed people to buy from MDUSA out of loyalty to the athletes. People felt they knew the team and they wanted to be a part of what was happening.

Personally I still feel this needs to go further for weightlifting in America to continue its climb in the international ranks. Coach Pendlay’s vision was dead on. Brad Hess, owner of MDUSA, took the risk – which I will admire for the rest of my life. However, his followthrough wasn’t the best. We needed better character development with more videos and live streaming to really bring the team to life. Dave at Cal Strength had the right idea with the YouTube videos, but for some reason MDUSA didn’t continue with the same vigor. The team helped to skyrocket MDUSA sales without even taking a wise approach. But two distinct bad decisions brought the empire to its knees.

Coach Pendlay had it right, man. We are a capitalist country. Therefore, it’s capitalism that will make or break our sport. MMA is huge because of corporate sponsors – just like football, baseball, boxing, and all the rest. A lot of coaches in USA Weightlifting look to our governing body, USA Weightlifting, to solve all of their problems. Look, Phil Andrews is amazing. We wanted a good leader, and we got a great one. Stipends are at an all-time high. Athlete support is at an all-time high. Phil did this during a time when most leaders would have hung their heads with the closing of the weightlifting program at the Olympic Training Center. Instead Phil has crushed it, and has our sport performing better than ever.

But it is my belief that our sport will be in need of something much more for this success to continue into 2024 and beyond. It is Coach Pendlay’s vision that will have to be implemented for this sport to take its next big step towards international dominance. Sorry to rant as this was meant to be a tribute to Coach Pendlay, but his vision runs hand in hand with what the sport needs.

Besides his vision of corporate sponsorship, it was his simplistic view of programming and coaching that influenced me the most. He was very Bulgarian-ish in his programming. He focused on the competition lifts of the snatch and clean and jerk along with front and back squats. He didn’t program a lot of accessory work, which is where we differ a bit. However, he believed in maximum effort work, which is where most great coaches agree. If you want to lift big weight, eventually you have to lift big weight.

In talking to the top coaches in America – Dave Spitz (coach of Wes Kitts), Josh Galloway (Kate Nye’s coach), and Dave Ester (Mattie Sasser’s coach) – we all agree that max effort has its place. There are a few coaches who take a bit of a different approach with success, but in my observation the coaches who at least have maximum effort scheduled once per week are noticing faster improvement than the others. Coach Pendlay spearheaded that approach.

He realized that Americans couldn’t perform an identical Bulgarian program because 1) they’re not on drugs and 2) they don’t have the base that Bulgarians had from starting at younger ages. It was with Coach Pendlay that Max Out Friday was born. I use this concept in my programming to this very day. Fridays we are going to go heavy – either with a 1RM snatch or clean and jerk, a complex version of the two lifts, or a repetition maximum of the two competition lifts.

Coach Pendlay also taught me to keep notes on all of my athletes with a notebook. This system allowed him to individualize the programs of each athlete for competition preparation, peaking, and tapering. He also took notes on warm ups, attempt selection, and the flow of warm ups. It seems simple, but the majority of coaches don’t do it. Some might take the notes, but they don’t have the skill of implementation.

Like him or not, Coach Pendlay changed the face of weightlifting in America forever. He impacted an industry like most of us can only dream about. Where most of us simply have dreams, ideas, and hopes, this man was able to bring those things to life. He had the gift to make people understand his vision. That’s a gift that makes the difference in him and so many other coaches. He got MDUSA to buy into his vision. He convinced a corporate giant to put their money on the line. He convinced a generation of people that the sport of weightlifting is more than some cult sport. He convinced a generation of people that the barbell is a beautiful thing. He convinced me that this sport can be so much more than it already is.

Coach Pendlay, thanks for daring to dream – and thanks for having the courage to bring that dream to life. Personally I want to thank you for inspiring me to follow my passion. You were my example, sir. You loved the sport of weightlifting and you created a successful life around that love. You did this during a time where most people thought you were crazy – and then those same people hated you because you proved them wrong. I pray that your life will remind us all about what’s really important.

Kate Nye’s Coach, Josh Galloway – The Barbell Life 272

Josh Galloway is another one of those new coaches in USAW who you need to keep an eye on.

He’s taken Kate Nye from a mid-level lifter to one of the best out there.

So we talk about her meteoric rise, how Josh has been getting her strong, bouncing back from surgery, and what REALLY sets Kate apart from the competition.

Want to Win the Mental Battle in Training and Competition?

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LISTEN IN TO TODAY’S PODCAST AS WE TALK ABOUT:

  • Kate’s journey from a mid-level lifter to being one of the best
  • Why the bottom fell out with a bomb-out
  • How the Mash Mafia has changed the way we peak for meets
  • Kate making lifts that most others would miss
  • How Kate returned quickly from surgery
  • and more…

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Champion powerlifter and world-class weightlifting coach Travis Mash shares his powerful neural activation technique - proven to instantly increase your strength as well as lead to more long-term gains.

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