Category Archives for "Athletic Performance"

Spring Training at the Mash House

Play is the work of childhood. Believing and encouraging this lifestyle as parents is a wonderful gift we can give our children.

The days are warmer and longer this time of year and it’s the perfect time to encourage kids to stay outside a little longer.  The Mash kids are 7, 5, and 3 and their favorite outside activities include riding bikes and roller skates, playing basketball, and climbing on their new climbing dome. Our goal as parents is to encourage them to move their bodies naturally and build bodyweight skills like pull-ups and pushups, front rolls, and squats. They are almost always barefoot too, and we don’t fight it.

The climbing dome is the newest addition to their play -training and it has already proven its worth. The kids, all three of them, wake up and ask to go outside and play first thing in the morning. Their energy is contagious and getting sunshine on our faces and fresh air before 8am is good for everyone.


A couple other items that we have really loved having around for them are a set of homemade monkey bars and a climbing peg board. These two items are housed in our basement and have been really great to have available in the winter and on rainy days.


We don’t have a specific “kid” version of a climbing pegboard. It would make the perfect addition to any home gym.

If you would like to know more about training youth, check out this video on Youtube



External Resistance: Bands & Chains v. Straight Weight

Before we learn all about the pros and cons of bands and chains, we just dropped two brand new Programs:

==> SuperTotal: Strong and Sexy

==> Powerlifting: Tank Extreme Conjugate

Only $35 for either of the 16-Week Programs during the two week Launch.

I will go over the details for each later in the article.

I enjoy creating my educational material for GymAware more than anything else I have done in my career. Yes, of course I love going to battle with my athletes and watching them succeed. However, there is nothing more rewarding than helping a fellow coach grow in his or her profession. I have been a coach since 1997, so I know how hard this profession can be. A good coach was put on this earth to serve others. Therefore, there is no other group of people that I would rather help.

One of my latest topics for GymAware was on “External Resistance: Bands & Chains v. Straight Weight”. I will lay out the bullet points shortly, but here are the links:


Louie Simmons, of Westside Barbell, popularized bands and chains in the strength and conditioning world. From the moment he first mentioned these new options for external resistance, coaches have been debating the effectiveness of utilizing these tools.

Here are some key points:

  • Bands and chains are going to out perform straight weight in the area of developing force at a high velocity (aka power)
  • Bands and chains are going to switch the joint angle where maximum force is exerted
  • Bands are going to add to the speed of the eccentric contraction creating a greater stretch shortening cycle
  • For powerlifters, you will need to spend the majority of competition prep with straight weight due to specificity
  • Chains are possibly a bit more specific to straight weight, so consider using chains in between bands and straight weight.

Let me know if you have any questions, just email me at: Also, if you have any topics that you would like me to explore and expand upon, I am all ears.


Here is what to expect if you are considering one of my two new programs:


SuperTotal: Strong and Sexy

Finally, a SuperTotal Program designed to get you strong, powerful, and jacked. Here’s what to expect:

  • Peak all 5 movements in 16-weeks
  • Videos demonstrating all the major movements
  • Bands for rate coding and accentuated eccentrics
  • Velocity, RPE, and Percentages allowing you to choose your loading parameter
  • Isometrics to strengthen weak positions
  • Data automatically tracked
  • Daily readiness
  • Workout RPE for session impact
  • Educational items throughout added to maximize value and experience
  • and so much more!

Only $35 for either of the 16-Week Programs during the two week Launch.


Powerlifting: Tank Extreme Conjugate:

This program takes advantage of several stimuli all focused on increasing max absolute strength. For some of the specialty bars, we’ve made sure to provide substitutes, so that you should be able to follow this program with just a barbell and plates.

  • Velocity suggestions along with percentages and RPE, so you can choose your loading parameter
  • Isometrics for strengthening weak joint angles
  • Eccentric overloads for connective tissue and improved elasticity.
  • Videos demonstrating all the major movements
  • Bands
  • Chains
  • Flywheel with substitutes if needed.
  • Weight Releasers for Eccentric Overload and Potentiation
  • Added educational items to ensure a great experience.
  • I give alternative choices for everything, so all you actually need is a barbell and plates.

Only $35 for either of the 16-Week Programs during the two week Launch.

Best Practices When Coaching Young Athletes with Missy Mitchell-McBeth – The Barbell Life 405

On this special episode of The Barbell Life Podcast, Coach Mash discusses High School Strength and Conditioning with Coach Missy Mitchell-McBeth. In the wake of Coach Harrell from Rockwall-Heath High School in Rockwall, TX, sending multiple young athletes to the emergency room with Rhabdomyolysis, aka Rhabdo, a severe medical condition caused by damaged muscle releasing more proteins and electrolytes than the body can handle, especially the kidneys and heart. Rhabdo can result in permanent damage and even death.

The kids were asked to perform somewhere between 300-400 pushups as punishment during a conditioning class. That means there was more to the class than simply a massive number of pushups. This was held on January 6th, which is right when the students report back to class after the holidays. So much for a minimal effective dose!

It’s not the coach. It’s the system. We have to do better. Every year kids die at practice due to negligence, and no one says anything. Well, we did, and now you have the information.

Here’s what we talked about:

  • We talk about the incident and all the things that went wrong
  • We discuss some best practices that could prevent this from happening
  • We each give our thoughts on ways to improve the system
  • Healthy ways to strengthen, develop, and condition athletes
  • What does the research say versus what our experience says
  • So much more!


American-made strength equipment manufacturer providing the best quality, best value, best support & best people so you can build a better athlete.

Accentuated Eccentric Loading (AEL) with Tim Suchomel -The Barbell Life 404

Ok, we are back from a slight layoff for the holidays. We are starting 2023 out big with Episode 404, “Accentuated Eccentric Loading (AEL) to Improve Power Production and Rate,” with my friend Dr. Tim Suchomel, Associate Professor of Exercise Science at Carroll University and Program Director for Master of Science in Sport Physiology and Performance Coaching, so all of you coaches and athletes out there that love getting the most cutting-edge research before everyone else is going to get precisely what you are after.

Here’s a glimpse at this nugget-loaded show:

  • Accentuated Eccentric Loading (AEL) is all the craze, so now find out what the research is saying
  • Best practices for Weight Releasers, and one of my favorite methods, by the way
  • Improving an Athlete’s Rate of Force Development is what most Strength Coaches are after, and Dr. Suchomel will give you some research-backed ways to do just that
  • Using Dumbbells to Accentuate the Eccentric Load for Jumps and what the research says
  • His thoughts on Flywheels after performing the research
  • We go over all the ways to get athletes powerful and how to create that power as quickly as possible

I can think of a few instances where this information will come in handy, haha. This Professor is one of us, meaning he performs research and applies the findings to the athletes at his school. He’s in the trenches and slings barbells like the rest of us. You all should get to know this guy before the whole world realizes what a gem he is.


American-made strength equipment manufacturer providing the best quality, best value, best support & best people so you can build a better athlete.

Tools for Optimizing Performance and Recovery With Louisa Nicola – The Barbell Life 403

This week on the Barbell Life Podcast, we are talking to NeuroPhysiologist Louisa Nicola, host of The Neuro Experience Podcast and Founder of Neuro Athletics.

Here are some of the amazing points she covered:

Regarding Sleep:

  1. Consistent sleep at the same time
  2. How much time should you get per night
  3. What’s the best time to go to sleep
  4. Best Supplements for Sleep
  5. What’s the best room temperature
  6. Best Practices


  1. What’s important for the brain
  2. Omega 3 Fatty Acids are great for the brain, and she explains why
  3. Importance of Hydration and the specifics


  1. Why is Strength Training important for the brain?
  2. Myokines, what they are, and why they are important
  3. Truth about Lactate
  4. What are Neuroprotective proteins
  5. BDNF importance
  6. Endurance training versus Strength Training


American-made strength equipment manufacturer providing the best quality, best value, best support & best people so you can build a better athlete.

Put Your Phone Down

My Happy Place!

I wrote a little blog on my personal Medium account that I thought might help a few of you coaches and athletes:

Put Your Phone Down


Let me know if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions.




Coach Travis Mash

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