Category Archives for "Travis Mash"

Slight Set Back and Some Life Advice

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

Slight Set Back

Lately I have been writing about all the great things going on with my training. Well today I am going to give you a dose of real life and how I handle it. Monday was probably the greatest day of training that I have experienced during this comeback. I benched a pr 375lb and hit a pr squat of 255k/563lb. Everything seemed to be heading in the right direction.

On Tuesday I caught a 115k/253lb Snatch, which would have been a 5k PR in this comeback of mine. Instead, I tore my right tricep. Actually that was good news because I thought I snapped my elbow. I am waiting to set up my MRI to find out how badly I tore it. Hopefully it was just a mild tear, which means that I will be ready to go in a couple of weeks. If it’s bad enough, then I will need to get surgery.

This is a pretty big let down as I was just getting in shape enough to consider competing, but such is life. This is just another chance for me to learn some lessons in perseverance. That’s the thing about the barbell. Training will normally mirror life. It’s full of ups and downs. It’s all about how we as individuals handle those ups and downs. That’s what truly defines us as strength athletes.

It’s easy to be the king of the hill when everything is cruising along. The question is, “What’s your attitude when things are dark and gloomy?” This is when your values will guide you. You have to know the answer to the following questions:

1. What’s important to you?

2. Why do you train in the first place?

The answers to these questions are keeping me sane right now. Let’s go through the questions, and you will see what I mean.

1. What’s important to Coach Travis Mash? Glorifying God is number one. Loving my family is number two. My athletes and friends come right behind. Then I want to inspire the world to live better, healthier, and more focused lives.

This injury bothered me at first for all the wrong reasons. I wanted to compete to show the world that I could still be strong at 43-years-old. That goal was too selfish. I am not sure that God was getting glory in any of that the way my motivation was becoming. Being healthy for my family is another reason that I train, so I can focus more on fitness and cardio now that my upper body is jacked. There was a part of me that was focusing at least as much on my training than my athletes.

I am just using this injury as a wake up call. I can still inspire all of you with the way that I rehab and comeback from this injury. I can now get in better conditioning which is better for my quality of life with my family. I can focus more on my athletes, which is always a good thing.

2. Why do I train? I train to inspire all of you, and to stay healthy for my beloved family. I want to affect as many lives as I can while still on this earth. This injury doesn’t change this goal what so ever. Therefore there is no reason to really be upset. I can just shift gears, and still inspire all of you to live healthier and more fulfilling lives.

Just writing these words pumps me up to see what I can do while I am nagged by this injury. See that, self-pity didn’t fit in any of those goals or answers. Here’s a bit of advice that I want to pass on to all of you. You can take it or leave it.

When you spend the majority of your time loving others, helping others, and inspiring others, you will notice more joy and love in your own life. That’s my secret. I don’t follow society’s catch phrase of “you have to love yourself”. Deep down, we all love ourselves. I have never met someone who didn’t love himself or herself. However I have met a bunch of people that love themselves and only themselves.

Where did that saying even come from? I mean maybe there are things in my life that I want to change. That doesn’t mean that I don’t love myself.

Here’s the thing though. If you are doing things for others because you expect something in return, then your motivation is selfish. That’s not what I am talking about. Truly loving other people is loving them and doing for them with no expectations. It’s a very hard concept, but if you are able to pull it off, your entire life will be flipped upside down.

I am not saying that I have this concept down. It was Christ that told us to love others. If I perfect it, that means I am probably dead and in heaven. I am just saying that it is something that we should all work to do. It’s a game changer y’all.

Anyways I hope that this helps all of you see how I handle an injury. It can be a trying time in one’s life. Hopefully I will handle it, and come out the other end stronger spiritually and physically.

Coach Mash

Big Squats, Attitude, and Monday Workouts January 23, 2017

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

Monday Workouts January 23, 2017

I had one of my strongest days to date yesterday. I started my morning off by working out with my longtime buddy Chris Ox Mason and my other buddy CTP. When you workout with people that you love, training is way more exciting and enjoyable.

I can’t express how happy I am to be excited about training again at 43-years-old. What excites me about training? That’s a questions that I am asked quite a bit. The answer is curiosity. I am curious as to what’s possible. How far can I take my body at this age compared to 10-years ago or 20-years ago? I have no idea, but I am going to find out.

Every day is adventure training with Ox Mason. I don’t know what new thing that he will throw at me, and I don’t know what new barrier I will break through. What excites you about training? If you don’t know, you should find out. You need to find a way to make training a passion. Then it’s not a chore for you to check off some list. Then it becomes something you look forward to.

Ox and I were sharing with CTP that the gym is our hangout. Some people go hangout at the bar or the bowling alley. We hang out at the gym. The gym is recreation for us. It’s not some torture, or thing that we have to do. It’s something that we want to do.

Morning Session at TFW Winston-Salem

Bench Press Max Effort
375lb x 1 Comeback PR
315lb x 5 all paused a 5 rep PR

Bentover Rows Paused one second on chest 3 x 8 reps

KB Upright Rows 3 x 8 reps making sure that the eccentric is slower than the concentric

Mobility work focused on hips and thoracic spine

Evening Session at Mash Compound

Back Squat Modified Mash Method
242k/532lb x 1 PR
255k/562lb x 1 PR (up 33lb from last week)
200k x 5

Sumo Deadlift Max Effort
505lb x 1 PR sad to say

The bench PR was a big milestone because it left me only 25lb away from 400lb. I am way ahead of schedule on all my lifts. I was hoping to be at this point around May. I feel very blessed that my body is responding so quickly. I added in the rows to strengthen the areas where I am weakened from my cervical spine injury. I like to pause my rows to really strengthen the rhomboids.

The upright rows seem to be the weakest movement of all for me. I am assuming this is true because the movement requires fibers from my upper and middle trap to fire, which happen to be closer to the cervical spine. I am weaker the closer that you get to me cervical spine. That’s why I will be keeping the exercise in my program for a while.

I definitely went off the script in the evening session with the big back squat PR of 255k/562lb. I felt strong, so I decided to get an idea where my strength is on the back squat. The lift was probably an 8 RPE, so I feel a 600lb high bar squat is just around the corner. I will now get back on the program and stick to workout for a few weeks now that I have tested things out a bit.

Max Effort Deadlift was on the cards for today, so the 505lb sumo deadlift was an 80lb PR as of late sadly. Sumo deadlifts absolutely destroy my soul to perform. The main reason that I perform this movement is to increase blood flow to my hips and encourage healthier positions. You can see when I squat that my stance is extra close. I would love to get my stance back to a more shoulder width stance, which is where I have always been the strongest. I am using the sumo deadlift to encourage this position.

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

Auto-Regulation and Workouts January 19th and 20th

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

Auto-Regulation and Workouts January 19th and 20th

I am sorry for getting a little behind. CTP, original Barbell Shrugged producer, is in town, and I am trying to pick his brain and learn from him. We have already captured some priceless footage, and I can’t wait to deliver the end product to you guys. Anyway, here were the workouts:

Thursday January 19th at Jack King’s Gym

Clean & Jerks:

115k x 3
125k x 2
135k/297lb x 1

During this workout, I could tell that I was starting to feel the volume from the last several weeks. The workout progresses nicely, but it took a longtime to warm up and energy levels were down. The cool thing about being 43-years-old is that I have finally learned to listen to my body.

Friday January 20th

Morning Workout at TFW Winston-Salem

Mash Method Bench Press
315lb x 1
275lb x 5
340lb x 1
275lb x 5
365lb x 1
275lb x 10

KB Bottom Up Z Press 20lb 5 x 5ea side

Hip Mobility Work and Evening Prep

PM Session at the Mash Compound

Front Squat up to 210k/462lb and called it a day

The morning session was excellent. I decided to use the 5+ principle on the last set of bench to get in a little extra hypertrophy. The Mash Method paired with Max Effort on Mondays has really shot my bench up quickly. I have also added some quality muscle, which is great for the ego. I actually had some on Instagram comment on my increased muscle mass. Maybe I have a vanity issue, but the comment made my day.

The KB Bottom Up Z Press is an exercise that I have been meaning to add to my program. This exercise encourages proper posture, while developing stability and strength in the shoulder and surrounding musculature. I could feel this exercise all throughout my scapula region. The best part was that my range of motion and position improved each rep and each set.

Coach Ox Mason had me pause each rep for a few seconds at the top of each repetition. That added to the stability portion of the exercise, and it really made my left arm work. Ever since fracturing a cervical vertebra in 2007, my radial nerve in my left arm has been compromised. My thumb, pointer finger, and middle finger on my left hand are semi-numb and are not as strong as my right hand. The closer to my cervical spine you get equals more weakness. I have tried numerous protocols to improve it like chiropractic, laser, and acupuncture, and so far nothing has helped other than targeted strength work. That’s right, the more targeted strength work that I do strengthens the area and allows for better functionality of the entire arm.

The evening session was the first time that I have experienced complete over-training during this comeback. I have been working incredibly hard to get back into shape, but the real reason is lack of rest. I have a beautiful newborn baby at home, Behr Bradley. Between Behr, and my main man Rock Mash (my 2-year-old) rest can sometimes be hard to come by. Like I said, CTP is also in town, and we are working hard on some cool projects for all of you guys.

These are not excuses. This is just life, and now finally at 43-years-old I am wise enough to chill out for a day when I am wrecked. Basically all I did was work up to a medium weight in the front squat, realize that I was wrecked, and then I just worked on mobility. I spent the weekend working on projects, eating a lot, and recovering.

Any and all programs are just guidelines. They are more like outlines. It’s up to you or your coach to know when to go off the script, and going off the script doesn’t just mean go heavier than prescribed. Going off the script can also mean go lighter than prescribed. The athletes that last the longest in the game are the ones that can auto-regulate the best. That means they know when to hold’em and they know when to fold’em.

Training Journal for Coach Mash January 18th

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

No Weaknesses Paying Off

Yesterday I started my training off at TFW Winston-Salem with my training partner Chris Ox Mason. This is the day that we perform our “no weaknesses” training combined with conditioning and mobility. I think that Ox is on to something with these workouts. They have improved my conditioning by 100%, but they do way more than that.

Once my heart rate returns to normal, they leave me feeling better. I have PRed my Front Squat two-weeks in a row during the evening session after these workouts. This week I hit a massive marker of 227k/500lb in the Front Squat, and I believe that I owe a big percentage of these improvements to these workouts. Our mobility is focused on the following:

• Overall hip movement
• Squat Quality
• Thoracic Spine Movement

The “No Weaknesses” or muscular imbalance and stability work is focused on:

• Scapula Stabilization
• Overhead stability
• Core Stabilization with different versions of carries

Here’s what the workouts looked like:

-Round 1 (3 Rounds of the following)

• 20 second sprint on Aerodyne Bike
• Trap Bar Carry 40 yd
• Leap Frogs x 10

-Round 2 (3 Rounds of the following)
• 20 seconds sprint on Aerodyne Bike
• One Arm Kettlebell Overhead Carry 20yd ea arm
• Med Ball Rotations into wall 5 per side

-Round 3 (3 Rounds of the following)
• 20 seconds sprint on Aerodyne Bike
• Bear Hug Carry 100+lb Heavy Bar 40yd
• Grasshoppers 5 per leg

This workout was tough. We took two minutes between rounds. Within 30-minutes afterwards, I felt better than when I walked in. I believe that this is the key to a great workout. You don’t need to be crushed for two-days to consider something a good workout.

A couple of good things that happened during the workout:

1. I was able to use the most weight yet in the kettlebell bottom up carries. This is a huge advantage for me. I fractured a cervical vertebra in 2007, which dramatically affected the strength in my left arm. Ever since that accident, I normally spin towards the right, which is my dominant arm. For the last three weeks, I have caught all of my snatches without turning or stepping. This is a huge objective marker that confirms the effectiveness of these workouts.

2. I was able to complete the workout without quitting or redlining. I have asthma. Asthma can really send me into a panic when I lose my breath. The only hard part was bear hugging the heavy bag. Two weeks ago, I had to quit because this movement sent me into a panic. I was able to cruise through the movement this week.

3. My Hip Mobility has improved a great deal. You can look at my Instagram @coachtravismash and you will see my squats improving week to week both in depth and position. Yesterday’s 227k/500lb was the deepest and best position of all my recent squats.

Since the workouts have very little eccentric contractions or joint loading, they are easily recovered from. Actually the carries and movement work get my muscles activated and moving better than ever for my evening workouts. I am able to warm-up quicker and move better than ever for the second workout each day.

I give Ox Mason full credit for developing these great workouts. Our workouts are finished on less than an hour including our warm-up. We end the workout rolling each other out with Donnie Thompson’s awesome mobility tools like the “ex-wife”. They really help to break up scar tissue and improve muscle tissue. I have never experience workouts that kicked my butt like these that also left me feeling better for the rest of the day. Coach Mason’s unique combinations are perfect. Maybe you guys can get some cool ideas.

You can see some video clips on my Instagram: @coachtravismash

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

Training from 1-17-17 and Eye of the Tiger

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

Eye of the Tiger

Yesterday, Emily Drew (my beautiful wife) took a trip to one of my original gyms, Jack Kings Gym. If you love the barbell and live anywhere near Winston-Salem, NC, you owe it to yourself to visit this amazing gym. As soon as we walked in the sweet aroma of sweat filled the air. Right away I knew that I was home.

This was the very gym that I Back Squatted by first raw 800lb. This was the very gym that I Deadlifted my first 800lb. This was the gym that I Benched my first raw 500lb. This is the gym that I started my professional powerlifting career. I was hungry for greatness in those days. I didn’t care about social media, videos, or anything else. I only cared about being the best powerlifter in the world.

I remembered the excitement that I felt in my stomach as I made the drive to Jack King’s Gym to meet Chris Ox Mason. I was excited for each and every training session in anticipation that I would either do something that I had never done or put in the work to do so soon. Every session was treated like it was the only training session on earth.

I won my first National Championships training at that gym, which put me well on my way to reaching my goals. Jack King’s Gym is raw. There is no fluff! There are barbells, bumpers, tons of metal weights, and some awesome old school machines for the almighty pump. Yes I like to get a pump too. I love being jacked! I mean, who doesn’t like being jacked?

Guys sometimes you have to take things back a bit to move forwards. I have some big goals this year. I want to get back on the platform in powerlifting and weightlifting. At 43-years-old you never know when your last competition might take place. That’s why Emily Drew and I are going to spend some time at Jack King’s Gym. I want to take it back. I want to remember why I started this journey. I want to feel that same excitement. I want to see what’s possible at 43-years-old.

I encourage all of you to simplify things every once in a while. It’s not about Instagram. It’s not about popularity. At least it’s not for me. It’s about looking at my own body as a piece of clay. Lifting weights gives me the ability to shape that clay in any way that I desire. I can make it bigger, smaller, more cut, stronger, or weaker. It’s up to me. This simplistic approach was a big part of keeping me same during the most unsettling times in my life. This small bit of control in a life that sometimes felt out of control kept me from going off a cliff.

Right now there are things that are somewhat unsettling in my life. Nothing like when I was young and crazy. I have God now, so it’s really hard to shake me. However, there are things outside of my control that are weighing on me. Yesterday’s session at Jack King’s Gym helped to relax me. I had fun slinging weights with my wife, and for just a moment not much else mattered. We were just two meatheads getting stronger and more jacked while loving every second.

My advice is that all of you use the gym for this. It shouldn’t become a place that stresses you out more. It should be a place that provides stability. You should embrace the process, and realize that each and every day is a step towards your goals. Nothing can stop that outside of God. The weights will be there waiting on you day in and day out just waiting to help you reach your goals. How beautiful is that?

Rocky III was all about Apollo Creed taking Rocky back to a real gym with hungry boxers. Rocky had let his fame and money make him soft. He had forgotten the reason that he started his boxing career. Apollo took him to his original gym filled with hungry boxers trying to make a name for themselves. It worked! Rocky found the eye of the tiger once again.

Yesterday was my version of taking it back. I am hungry once again to do great things on the platform. I still want to coach my athletes to be great, but I want one more year just to see what I can do.

Here’s what the workout looked like:

Snatch
80k x 2
85k x 2,
90k x 2
100k x 1
105k x 1
110k x 1 comeback PR

Clean & Strict Press Mash Method
85k x 1
70k x 5
90k x 1
70k x 5
95k/209lb x 1
70k/154lb x 7

I am excited that my snatches are feeling better each and every week especially with only performing them once per week. The muscular balance work has almost eliminated the twist that I have had for the last several years. I also added quite a bit more volume this week to get better at the movement.

The strict press was so much fun. I finally got back into the 200lb club with the 95k/209lb lift. It was pretty easy as well. It was probably an 8 RPE. I kept the higher rep sets the same in weight, and added a AMRAP set at the end. The post activation potentiation really helps to increase one’s ability to perform reps. I can definitely feel the added hypertrophy. After I compete sometime around June or July, I am going to start a massive cut for some endurance events at the end of the year.

You can check out more of my training logs at:

Coach Mash’s Training Log

Training 1/16/18 and Improving Joint Health

Check out one of our five 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

Training 1/16/18

Yesterday was another fantastic day of training. Each week, I am getting closer and closer to my to my goals. Of course, after taking 90% of 2016 off from training, it makes having gains in 2017 a little easier.

Session 1

I started my Monday at TFW Winston-Salem training with Chris Ox Mason. I was really stiff to start things out. I am assuming it was the results of the heavy deadlift on Saturday along with several breakout lifts last week. I was scheduled to Front Squat first, but I decided to focus on mobility and just bench press. It was the right call.

Bench Press Max Effort- 360lb x 1 easily and 370lb x 1 also easily and both were PRs.

Mobility Work-
Half Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
Cobra Pose
Frog Pose
Paused Kettlebell Potato Sack Squat
Plate between feet Squats

I am pumped with my bench press. Six weeks ago my max was a hard fought 320lb, so it’s coming back rather quickly. The 370lb lift was probably an 8 RPE, which is where I am trying to keep things right now. I would rather know that I could do more than actually find out all the time. This approach is allowing me to comeback faster without all the pain that normally comes with training hard.

The Kettlebell Potato Squats are an excellent way to mobilize. You simply hold onto the bottom of a kettlebell, sit into the bottom of a squat, and let the kettlebell pull you down as you focus on shooting the chest out. This movement really encourages a proper position and spine.

Session 2 at the Mash Compound

Back Squat Mash Method
215k x 1
185k x 5
225k x 1
195k x 5
240k/528lb x1
205k/451lb x 5

Sumo Deadlift Mash Method

375lb x 1
315lb x 5
400lb x 1
340lb x 5
425lb x 1
365lb x 5

Back Squat- Mobility in the morning really helped to make the back squat perform better. My position was much better than last weeks along with my depth and strength. This workout was about 818lb heavier in total volume than last week, so I am very excited with the progression. My last five rep was about 50lb heavier than last weeks, and my top single was 53lb more than last week. Hopefully next week will bring the same gains, and then I will already be within striking distance of a 600lb+ squat. I am very excited to see the progress this early in my training.

Sumo Deadlift- first let’s address that this is not a cheat lift. If it were truly easier, everyone in powerlifting would use it. I am over 100lb stronger at conventional deadlift. The main reason that I am sumo deadlifting is to encourage hip health and to work on my weakness. Mobility is good, but you need to make a joint stronger if you want it to get healthy.

Sumo Deadlifts actually hurt me just to warm up, and then my hips start to loosen up during the heavy sets. I am writing this at 6am in the morning, and I can say that my hips feel much better today. Of course the word “feel” is very subjective, so let me put in a way that may substantiate my claim. Normally my hips start to bother me the last couple of hours during my sleep at night. They didn’t interrupt my sleep at all last night. Uninterrupted sleep means better recovery, and that means the sumo deadlifts are working.

I hate working the sumo deadlift, but I know that I need to strengthen that position. I am excited to watch the progression as I actually focus on the lift for a few weeks. Of course my hope is that my hip mobility and strength improves over that time.

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions, feel free to ask below. You can keep up with my training videos on Instagram: ⇒ @coachtravismash

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