Category Archives for "Athletic Performance"

Structural Balance by Zachary Greenwald

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The human body is built to pull, push, lift, squat and carry. Healthy, pain free activity implies harmony among these movements. Simple ratios allow us to quantify where we are strong and where we are weak. If we repeatedly stress our bodies more with our strengths than with our weaknesses we are less likely to recover and more likely to feel aches and pains.

How do we know if our aches and pains arise from activity that was once strong and overstressed, or from activity that was ignored and under stressed? If your knees hurt, do you need more squatting or less squatting? If your shoulder hurts, do you need more pushing or pulling and in what direction? If your back hurts, do you need more lifting or less lifting?

I have devised a basic guideline to better understand the relationships among major exercises, which can be used to determine whether or not you need more or less of a particular piece. These relationships have been studied by elite weightlifters, power lifters and strongmen and have been refined and expanded upon by my mentor, Chiropractor Dr. Corey Duvall of the Stay Active Clinic in Asheville, North Carolina. There are many more exercises than just the ones that I’ll mention, so you can think of this as the first layer of the onion.

I recommend that you categorize a week of your own training into “pull”, “push”, “lift”, “squat” and “carry”. If the frequency of your training surrounds stronger exercises then I encourage you to challenge weaker ones. This will refine your strengths, limit plateaus, and prevent/reduce chronic pain. The goal is not to be perfectly balanced; instead, the goal is to trend in a more balanced direction over time.

Balance Guidelines

1) Back Squat vs. Deadlift
The Back Squat should be ~25% less than the traditional Deadlift. The traditional Deadlift has the same capabilities as the Sumo Deadlift.

2) Supinated Chest to Bar Pull Up vs. Dip (Downward Pull vs. Downward Push)
Why Chest to Bar vs. Chin Up? At the top of the Chest to Bar Pull Up, the musculature that rotates the shoulder blade downward fully shortens and the musculature that rotates the shoulder blade upward fully lengthens. This is a fuller range of motion than experienced in a Chin up. Chest to Bar Pull Ups should be balanced with Dips. If bodyweight Chest to Bar Pull Ups or Dips have not been obtained, train with assistance on a Graviton. Unlike using bands, the assistance used on the Graviton is easily measurable. Your bodyweight minus the assistance equals your new weight.

3) Supinated Chest to Bar Pull Up & Dip vs. Deadlift
For every Chest to Bar Pull Up or Dip, there is potential for a double bodyweight Deadlift.

4) Chest to Bar Pull Up & Dip vs. Overhead Squat and Farmer Carry
For every Chest to Bar Pull Up or Dip, there is potential for a bodyweight Overhead Squat and bodyweight Farmer Carry for 10 meters (1 rep=10 meters).

5) Upward Push vs. Upward Pull
A BTN Press should be balanced, in weight and repetitions, with a Narrow Grip High Pull. This demonstrates balance between the internal and external rotators of the shoulder. The BTN Press puts the external rotators of the shoulder in a shortened position and the internal rotators in a long position, the NG High Pull does the opposite. These two exercises have the potential to be 45% of the Back Squat. The same balance exists unilaterally, between 1-arm DB press and 1-arm DB High Pull but at 20% of the Back Squat

* Below is the résumé of an ideally balanced 150lb person with 5 Supinated C2B Pull Ups and Dips (this rep range is arbitrary and could have ranged from reps 1-20):

Pull:
Downward=C2B Pull Ups: 150# x 5
Upward=NG High Pull: 100# x 5

Push:
Downward=Dips: 150# x 5
Upward=BTN Press: 100# x 5

Lift:
Deadlift/Sumo Deadlift: 300# x 5

Squat
Back Squat: 225# x 5
Overhead Squat: 150# x 5

Carry
Farmer Carry: 300# (150#/side) x 50 meters

Zachary Greenwald
MDUSA Corrective Exercise Specialist

Don’t miss the Mash Mafia Dec. 20th Weightlifting Competition! Come celebrate the holidays at the Mash Compound with some bar slams and coffee! Click on the link below for information:

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Also check out the first Learn 2 Lift of the Year right here at the Mash Compound January 10th and 11th. Weightlifting and Powerlifting taught by Coach Mash and the Mash Crew! Click below for more information:

Learn 2 Lift January 10th and 11th!

Muscular Imbalance Testing with Coach Mash

Muscular Imbalance Testing

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Yesterday I had the privilege of being tested by man Zach Greenwald for muscular imbalances. As expected, there were some significant imbalances. A lot of these imbalances are there because of injuring my cervical spine. The others are there because I have specialized so long in strength training that I have neglected bodyweight and unilateral exercises. I am super excited to bring the imbalances back to an optimal level. Here is what I am looking to get out of this new element of training:

· Nerve impingement to be freed on the left side with my radial nerve
· Overhead stabilization
· Hip mobility
· Injury prevention
· Overall movement improvement
· Overall strength improvement
· Improved bodyweight strength

Zach is convinced that there is even more to gain, so the more the merrier. So far he has tested me in the following ways:

· Deadlift Conventional
· Sumo Deadlift
· Back Squat
· Front Squat
· Unilateral RDLs
· Chest to bar pull-ups
· Dips
· Unilateral Farmers Carry
· Unilateral Fat Grip OH Squats
· Unilateral OH DB Carries

I failed miserably in the following departments:

· Sumo Deadlift
· Unilateral RDLS (weak and asymmetrical)
· Chest to Bar Pull-ups
· All things OH
· Unilateral Farmer’s Carry (asymmetrical)

The OH weakness is obviously key in improving my Olympic weightlifting movements again. I have managed a 290lb Snatch and 360lb Clean & Jerk with terrible OH Stability, so I am excited to see what happens. I am also excited to improve my hip range of motion and stabilization. I will obviously keep you all posted.

Also when I say failed miserably, that is actually a good thing because that means I have a lot of room for improvement. The cool thing is that the results will come quickly because I have neglected certain areas so long. It’s like just starting out in the training process in a lot of ways. I have wanted to do something like this for a long time. Actually ever since I met Charles Poliquin 18 years ago, I have wanted to assess and measure my structural imbalances. The only problem was being able to put concrete numbers to the measurement process. Zach has done it all for me. Zach wanted me to mention his mentor Corey Duvall and the Stay Active Clinic for the mentoring that he has received at that amazing facility in Asheville, NC.

Zach has written a blog that I will post hopefully tomorrow that will explain this process more in depth. I am excited to partner with Zach and Rebecca in what I believe will be a revolutionary strength program. I have said for years that America needed a secret weapon. I believe that this is it!

To check out our current Online Teams, click on the links below:

Eat What You Want! Lift What You Want!

Mash Mafia Online Team

Online Coaching with Coach Travis Mash

Don’t miss the Mash Mafia Dec. 20th Weightlifting Competition! Come celebrate the holidays at the Mash Compound with some bar slams and coffee! Click on the link below for information:

Jingle Bars Weightlifting Meet at the Mash Compound!

Also check out the first Learn 2 Lift of the Year right here at the Mash Compound January 10th and 11th. Weightlifting and Powerlifting taught by Coach Mash and the Mash Crew! Click below for more information:

Learn 2 Lift January 10th and 11th!

Mash Jacked

Travis

For two weeks now I have begun my march back to strength greatness. The first two weeks, I basically followed a Bulgarian method, and I maxed out every workout. My goal was to do that to maximize the initial gains. Everything but bench press was responding really well. The injuries I sustained from breaking my neck have severely affected the radial nerve in my left arm. I am going to need targeted attention to the tricep, rear delt, serratus anterior, and pec region of my left side. I will also employee Dr. Gray to help me wake up that area.

The ten week workout that I have written for my initial training cycle attempts to maximize Olympic weightlifting and powerlifting. My secondary goals are metabolic conditioning, body weight training, and bodybuilding. For anyone that is going to try this workout, make sure that your goals match up with my own. During the ten weeks, I will be training anywhere from 6 days and 8 training sessions to 7 days and 9 training sessions.

The workout is divided into three 3 week blocks, and one taper week for max out. I will attempt to explain each block, so that you will begin to understand the ‘why’. My goal is to teach you all along this journey. I will also post weekly Vlogs that will attempt to explain the mentality, frustrations, and conquests that go along with championship training. I will also post videos of mobility work, met con madness, and nutrition. I want this to be a life journey.

Phase 1 Weeks 1-3

Week 1
Day 1
Back Squat 5RM, then -10% for 5
Deadlift Paused 3 sec at Knee 3RM, then -10% for 3 not paused
GHRs ss Lunges 8 reps of each x 3 sets
Leg Curls ss Abdominal Work

Day 2
Bench Press Max Effort Work Sling Shot 3RM
Bench Press Closegrip Bench 5RM, then -5&-10% for 5
Medium Grip BH Neck Push Press 5RM, then -10% for 5
Pullups 15 Total Reps
Dips 15 Total Reps
Bro Session

Cardio
Family Walk

Day 3
Clean 3RM, then -5&-10% for 3
Front Squat 5 sec pause in bottom 1RM
Max set of Pullups 1 set

Row 1000m Row

Day 4
Squat 3 sec pause 3RM, then -10% for 3
Deadlift Sumo 5RM, then -10% for 5
Leg Curls & Abdominal Work

Met Con Work

Day 5
Snatch 3RM, then -5&-10% for 3
Front Squat 5 Sec pause in bottom 2RM

Row 500m Sprint x 2 w 1 minute rest

Day 6
Bench 10RM, then -10% for 10
Standing Press 5RM, then -5&-10% for 5
Pullups 15 Total Reps
DB Tricep Ext ss Pushdowns 6 reps ss 10 reps x 6 set ea
Fat Bar Curls 10 reps x 3 sets

Met Con

Day 7
1 set of Max Pullups
Cardio Row 1500m

Week 2
Day 1
Back Squat 5RM, then -10% for 5
Deadlift Paused 2 sec at Knee 3RM, then -10% for 3 not paused
GHRs ss Lunges 8 reps of each x 3 sets
Leg Curls ss Abdominal Work

Day 2
Bench Press Max Effort Work Sling Shot 2RM
Bench Press Closegrip Bench 5RM, then -5&-10% for 5
Medium Grip BH Neck Push Press 5RM, then -10% for 5
Pullups 15 Total Reps
Dips 15 Total Reps
Bro Session

Cardio
Family Walk

Day 3
Clean 3RM, then -5&-10% for 3
Front Squat 4 sec pause in bottom 1RM
1 set of Max Pullups

Row 1200m Row

Day 4
Squat 2 sec pause 3RM, then -10% for 3
Deadlift Sumo 5RM, then -10% for 5
Leg Curls & Abdominal Work

Met Con Work

Day 5
Snatch 3RM, then -5&-10% for 3
Front Squat 4 Sec pause in bottom 2RM

Row 600m Sprint x 2 w 1 minute rest

Day 6
Bench 10RM, then -10% for 10
Standing Press 5RM, then -5&-10% for 5
Pullups 15 Total Reps
DB Tricep Ext ss Pushdowns 6 reps ss 10 reps x 6 set ea
Fat Bar Curls 10 reps x 3 sets

Met Con

Day 7
1 set of Max Pullups
Cardio Row 1700m

Week 3
Day 1
Back Squat 5RM
Deadlift Paused 1 sec at Knee 3RM, then -10% for 3 not paused
Leg Curls ss Abdominal Work

Day 2
Bench Press Max Effort Work Sling Shot 1RM
Bench Press Closegrip Bench 5RM, then -10% for 5
Medium Grip BH Neck Push Press 5RM
Pullups 15 Total Reps
Dips 15 Total Reps
Bro Session

Cardio
Family Walk

Day 3
Clean 3RM
Front Squat 3 sec pause in bottom 1RM
1 set of Max Pullups

Row 800m Row

Day 4
Squat 1 sec pause 3RM, then -10% for 3
Deadlift Sumo 5RM
Leg Curls & Abdominal Work

Met Con Work

Day 5
Snatch 3RM
Front Squat 3 Sec pause in bottom 2RM

Row 400m Sprint x 2 w 1 minute rest

Day 6
Bench 8RM, then -10% for 8
Standing Press 5RM, then -10% for 5
Pullups 15 Total Reps
DB Tricep Ext ss Pushdowns 6 reps ss 10 reps x 6 set ea
Fat Bar Curls 10 reps x 3 sets

Met Con

Day 7
1 set of Max Pullups
Cardio Row 1000m

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Starting with day 1 you have a simple rep max in the 5 range which is where one will yield the most bang for their buck. By that I mean in the 5 rep range, the athlete can expect the most combination of hypertrophy and strength. I am also trying to build my work capacity with the down sets which is simply another stimulus to create the most adaptation. The paused deadlifts are a terrible animal, but produce amazing results. I watched Greg Nuckols use these to deadlift 725lbs drug free with the shortest arms in the game. By that I mean, Greg wasn’t designed to deadlift. He just got yoked! The pauses will help the athlete recruit the most fibers wherever they choose to pause the movement. The body will learn to fire wherever the athlete decides to pause.

The assistance on day 1 will be greater than the other days because there will be no Met Cons to perform later in the day. I have chosen GHRs because of my weakness in hamstring strength. Nothing on earth works the hamstrings like GHRs because they work the hamstrings as the cross the hip and the knee. It’s really hard to find an exercise that works them quite so functionally. The lunges are simply for hip and knee health. Most weightlifters and Powerlifters only perform bilateral movements like squats because squats are definitely king. However, unilateral movements like lunges help to open the hips, lengthen the hip flexors, and the vmo is utilized more. All of these attributes are good for preventing injuries and flaws. The leg curls are used to relieve pressure on the back, and the abdominal work is used to stabilize the spine for heavy squats and cleans.

Day 2 is max effort bench day, and we will be using the sling shot predominately. I like the sling shot over boards because it allows me to use slightly heavier weights but in a full range of motion. We will also receive some PAP (post activation potentiation) from the sling shot which I wrote about in the articles referring to Rebecca Gerdon’s squat. The closegrip bench is target my triceps which are inhibited by my radial nerve. The push presses are once again to strengthen the area that has been affected the most by my neck, the overhead area. The rest of the day is spent targeting bodyweight movements that I will need to strengthen for the Grid League. I have programmed them in terms of total reps. The goal is to perform the total reps in less and less number of sets. The rest of the day will be spent with my wife and son on a leisurely Sunday walk.

Day 3 will be performed at MuscleDriver USA, and I will focus on just cleans in the Olympic lifting. I am chilling in the jerk department while I am doing so much overhead and upper body work. I learned this from the Kyle Pierce program. The front squat is to increase mobility with that 5 second pause while keeping my knees fresh. The more I squat the better I feel as long as the volume is low. I will also throw in some rowing to keep the ticker strong for my man Rock. I am a 41 year old man with a one month old son, and I am going to do everything that I can to be in shape for my son when he gets older.

Day 4 will be my squat day where I focus on time under tension. Once again, I am really focusing on mobility and stabilization in this area. The sumo deadlifts are programmed because my man Zach Greenwald suggested them after testing a few of my lifts. I am really weak in the sumo deadlifts compared to the conventional deadlifts suggesting some weaknesses that I need to address. I will also perform a 10 minute or so met con on this day that will be centered around weaknesses that I need to target and conditioning.

Day 5 will be much like day 3 except I will be focusing on the snatch. I will still be using the front squat for mobility and stabilization. I will also be rowing once again for the old ticker. I will also be focused on mobility that I hope to convince Tom Sroka to help me with. That guy is the master of mobility work.

Day 6 is another bench press/upper body day. During this phase I will be focused mainly on hypertrophy during the first three weeks on this particular day. Once again I will be performing overhead work and body weight exercises. I will also perform another met con on this day. As you can see, I am really trying to make this workout a combination of strength and conditioning.

Day 7 is simply pullups and cardio during the first three week!

Weeks 4-6

Week 4
Day 1
Back Squat 3RM, then -10% for 3×2
Clean Pause at Knee 3 sec 1 RM no misses
Deadlift Paused 3 sec at Knee 1RM, then -20% for 3 not paused
GHRs ss Rear Leg Elevated Unilateral Squats 8 reps of each x 3 sets
Leg Curls ss Abdominal Work

Day 2
Bench Press Max Effort Work Sling Shot 3RM
Bench Press Closegrip Bench 3RM, then -5&-10% for 3
Medium Grip BH Neck Push Press 3RM, then -10% for 3
Pullups 20 Total Reps
Dips 20 Total Reps
Bro Session

Cardio
Family Walk

Day 3
Clean from Blocks 3RM, then -5&-10% for 3
Front Squat 3 sec pause in bottom 1RM
Max set of Pullups 1 set

Row 1200m Row

Day 4
Snatch Pause 3 sec at knee 1RM
Squat 3 sec pause 1RM, then -20% for 3 no pause
Deadlift Sumo 3RM, then -10% for 3
Leg Curls & Abdominal Work

Met Con Work

Day 5
Snatch from Blocks 3RM, then -5&-10% for 3
Front Squat 3 Sec pause in bottom 2RM

Row 600m Sprint x 2 w 1 minute rest

Day 6
Snatch Pause at knee 3 sec 1RM
Bench 5RM, then -5&-10% for 5
Standing Press 3RM, then -5&-10% for 3
Pullups 20 Total Reps
Nosebreakers ss Closegrip Bench 10 reps and 10 reps x 5 sets
Fat Bar Curls 10 reps x 3 sets

Met Con

Day 7
1 set of Max Pullups
Cardio Row 1700m

Week 5
Day 1
Back Squat 3RM, then -10% for 3×2
Clean Pause at Knee 2 sec 1 RM no misses
Deadlift Paused 2 sec at Knee 1RM, then -20% for 3 not paused
GHRs ss Rear Leg Elevated Unilateral Squats 8 reps of each x 3 sets
Leg Curls ss Abdominal Work

Day 2
Bench Press Max Effort Work Sling Shot 2RM
Bench Press Closegrip Bench 3RM, then -5&-10% for 3
Medium Grip BH Neck Push Press 3RM, then -10% for 3
Pullups 20 Total Reps
Dips 20 Total Reps
Bro Session

Cardio
Family Walk

Day 3
Clean from Blocks 3RM, then -5&-10% for 3
Front Squat 2 sec pause in bottom 1RM
1 set of Max Pullups

Row 1400m Row

Day 4
Squat 2 sec pause 1RM, then -20% for 3×2 no pauses
Deadlift Sumo 3RM, then -5&-10% for 3
Leg Curls & Abdominal Work

Met Con Work

Day 5
Snatch from Blocks 3RM, then -5&-10% for 3
Front Squat 2 Sec pause in bottom 2RM

Row 700m Sprint x 2 w 1 minute rest

Day 6
Snatch Pause at Knee 2 sec 1RM
Bench 5RM, then -5&-10% for 5
Standing Press 3RM, then -5&-10% for 3
Pullups 20 Total Reps
Nosebreakers ss Closegrip Bench 10 reps ea x 5 sets
Fat Bar Curls 10 reps x 3 sets

Met Con

Day 7
1 set of Max Pullups
Cardio Row 1900m

Week 6
Day 1
Back Squat 3RM
Clean Pause at Knee 1 sec 1 RM no misses
Deadlift Paused 1 sec at Knee 1RM, then -20% for 3 not paused
Leg Curls ss Abdominal Work

Day 2
Bench Press Max Effort Work Sling Shot 1RM
Bench Press Closegrip Bench 3RM, then -10% for 3
Medium Grip BH Neck Push Press 3RM
Pullups 20 Total Reps
Dips 20 Total Reps
Bro Session

Cardio
Family Walk

Day 3
Clean from Blocks 3RM
Front Squat 1 sec pause in bottom 1RM
1 set of Max Pullups

Row 1000m Row

Day 4
Squat 1 sec pause 1RM, then -20% for 3 no pauses
Deadlift Sumo 3RM
Leg Curls & Abdominal Work

Met Con Work

Day 5
Snatch from Blocks 3RM
Front Squat 1 Sec pause in bottom 2RM

Row 500m Sprint x 2 w 1 minute rest

Day 6
Snatch Pause at Knee 1 sec 1RM
Bench 5RM, then -10% for 5
Standing Press 3RM, then -10% for 3
Pullups 20 Total Reps
Nosebreakers ss Closegrip Bench 10 reps ea x 5 sets
Fat Bar Curls 10 reps x 3 sets

Met Con

Day 7
1 set of Max Pullups
Cardio Row 1200m

The biggest differences in this phase is less reps and heavier weight. I have also added in extra Olympic weightlifting on days 1 and 6. I have increased the cardio in a linear fashion. Also every third week is a slight deload mainly in volume. You will also notice a daily undulated theme that I have always used, but Greg Nuckols dropped the knowledge on me about how awesome it is. Now it’s there to stay. You will also notice an increase in total volume with body weight training which is an area that I really need to focus. I used to be super strong in the relative strength category, but when I broke my neck that all changed.

Weeks 7-10

Week 7
Day 1
Back Squat Paused 2 sec warm up with Bands 1RM, then -20% for 3×2
Clean & Jerk 1 RM no misses, then -20%/2
Deadlift from 4 inch deficit 1RM, then -20% for 3
GHRs 8 reps x 3 sets
Leg Curls ss Abdominal Work

Day 2
Bench Press Max Effort Work Sling Shot 3RM
Bench Press Closegrip Bench 3 sec pause 1RM, then -20% for 3×2
Push Press 3RM, then -5&-10% for 3
Pullups 25 Total Reps
Dips 25 Total Reps
Bro Session

Cardio
Family Walk

Day 3
Clean from Blocks 1RM, then -20% for 3×3
Front Squats Paused 3 sec 3RM
Max set of Pullups 1 set

Row 1400m Row

Day 4
Snatch Pull to Snatch 1RM
Squat 3 sec pause 5RM, then -10% for 5
Deadlift off Blocks Bar at Knee 3RM, then -10% for 3
Leg Curls & Abdominal Work

Met Con Work

Day 5
Snatch from Blocks 1RM, then -20% for 3×3

Row 700m Sprint x 2 w 1 minute rest

Day 6
Bench 3RM, then -5&-10% for 3
Incline DB Bench 10 reps x 3 sets
Pullups 25 Total Reps
DB R&Rs 8×8
Fat Bar Curls 10 reps x 3 sets

Met Con

Day 7
Snatch Pull x 2 to Snatch to OH Squat Max
Clean Pull to Clean to Front Squat to Jerk Max

Cardio Row 1800m

Week 8
Day 1
Back Squat Paused 1 sec warm up with bands 1RM, then -20% for 3×2
Clean & Jerk 1 RM no misses, then -20%/2
Deadlift from 2 inch deficit 1RM, then -20% for 3
GHRs 8 reps x 3 sets
Leg Curls ss Abdominal Work

Day 2
Bench Press Max Effort Work Sling Shot 2RM
Bench Press Closegrip Bench 2 sec pause 1RM, then -20% for 3×2
Push Press 3RM, then -5&-10% for 3
Pullups 25 Total Reps
Dips 25 Total Reps
Bro Session

Cardio
Family Walk

Day 3
Clean from Blocks 1RM, then -20% for 3×2
Front Squats Paused 2 sec 3RM
Max set of Pullups 1 set

Row 1500m Row

Day 4
Snatch Pull to Snatch 1RM, then -20% x 2
Squat 2 sec pause 5RM, then -10% for 5 no pauses
Deadlift off Blocks Bar 2″ Below Knee 3RM, then -10% for 3
Leg Curls & Abdominal Work

Met Con Work

Day 5
Snatch from Blocks 1RM, then -20% for 3×2

Row 800m Sprint x 2 w 1 minute rest

Day 6
Bench 2RM, then -5&-10% for 2
DB Bench Press 10 reps x 3 sets
Pullups 25 Total Reps
DB R&Rs 8×8
Fat Bar Curls 10 reps x 3 sets

Met Con

Day 7
Snatch Pull to Snatch to OH Squat Max
Clean to Front Squat to Jerk Max

Cardio Row 2000m

Week 9
Day 1
Back Squat warm up with bands 1RM, then -20% for 3
Clean & Jerk 1 RM
Deadlift 1RM
Leg Curls ss Abdominal Work

Day 2
Bench Press Max Effort Work Sling Shot 1RM
Bench Press Closegrip Bench 1 sec pause 1RM, then -20% for 3
Push Press 3RM, then -10% for 3
Pullups 25 Total Reps
Dips 25 Total Reps
Bro Session

Cardio
Family Walk

Day 3
Clean from Blocks 1RM, then -20% for 3
Front Squats Paused 1 sec 1RM
Max set of Pullups 1 set

Row 1000m Row

Day 4
Snatch Pull to Snatch 1RM
Squat 1 sec pause 5RM
Deadlift off Blocks Bar 4″ off Floor 1RM, then -20% for 3
Leg Curls & Abdominal Work

Met Con Work

Day 5
Snatch from Blocks 1RM

Row 500m Sprint x 2 w 1 minute rest

Day 6
Bench warm up with mini-bands 1RM, then -10% for 2
Pullups 25 Total Reps
DB R&Rs 8×8
Fat Bar Curls 10 reps x 3 sets

Met Con

Day 7
Snatch Max
Clean & Jerk Max

Cardio Row 1000m

Taper
Week 10
Day 1
Snatch max
Clean & Jerk opener
Back Squat 85%/1 x 3
Leg Curls ss Abdominal Work

Day 2
Bench Press 80%/1×3
Pullups 15 Total Reps
Dips 15 Total Reps

Day 3
off

Day 4
Snatch Opener
Clean & Jerk last warm up
Front Squat Max
Leg Curls & Abdominal Work

Met Con Work light 5 minute one

Day 5
off

Day 6 Friday
Snatch Max
Clean & Jerk Max

Day 7 Saturday
Squat Max
Bench Max
Deadlift Max

This last phase includes a taper week that will prepare the athlete for competition or at least a max out week. I have also used bands in this phase for the PAP effect solely. The other main difference is that we are using Day 7 as a test day of the Olympic lifts. We are starting with complexes, and then slowly peeling back the layers until in week 9 it is just snatch and clean & jerk.

For those using this workout, I hope that you will post your trials and successes directly on my blog. Also ask any questions directly on the blog, and I will try to answer each of them.

To join one of our online teams, click on the links below:

Mash Mafia Online Team

Eat What You Want! Lift What You Want!

Online Coaching by Coach Mash

Don’t miss the Mash Mafia Dec. 20th Weightlifting Competition! Come celebrate the holidays at the Mash Compound with some bar slams and coffee! Click on the link below for information:

Jingle Bars Weightlifting Meet at the Mash Compound!

Also check out the first Learn 2 Lift of the Year right here at the Mash Compound January 10th and 11th. Weightlifting and Powerlifting taught by Coach Mash and the Mash Crew! Click below for more information:

Learn 2 Lift January 10th and 11th!

Having FUN is the Key!

Chuck and I have been working out at Jack King’s Gym for about a week now. The biggest thing that I have noticed is the amount of fun and excitement that I am having again. I am looking forward to each session, and I am looking forward to killing big weights. The moral of the story is that having fun is an important part of training that people don’t talk about enough. It’s the key to long-term success just ask Rebecca Gerdon.

Mash Mafia Family

Jack King’s Gym immediately brings me back to my youth, and my body instantly remembers the way it felt when I was winning championships. I equate the musky smell of sweat and steel to hard training and success. When we get out of the car at Jack’s, I hear the rustle of the creek that flows beside the gym, and I feel the cool breeze that always seems to blow. I look at the rustic Jack King’s Gym sign, and I know that I am there to push the limits of my body.

When I was young, I would envision the struggles of my youth. The voices of people doubting me would feel my brain like echoes of evil. The voices did nothing but fuel my training. Now I think about all the doubts of a 41-year-old actually making a legitimate comeback. I think about all the people who I might inspire. More importantly, I think about bringing God glory this time around. The new voices in my head fuel me much more than the old voices of hate and evil.

I have so much to be thankful for in my life right now. Little Rock, Bailey, and Drew are God’s gifts to me. Every night I lay in bed and just look at my wife holding my son while they both sleep. My prayers are those of thanksgiving because I am left with very little that I long for. I just pray that I can be a good steward with what God has gifted me. My training will be something that compliments my family because I will never do anything again that will distract me from what is truly important.

Now I just want to have fun with my other son, Chuck. I want to lift heavy weights, and get in the best physical shape of my life. I want to stay in great shape, so that I will be able to play with Rock for several years to come. I refuse to let my age stop me from teaching him weightlifting, football, or whatever.

Having fun while training allows people to train longer, and it keeps the stress down. Keeping the stress in check will keep the endocrine system pumping at an optimal level. This equates to better recovery and performance. The strength game is a marathon. The person who can train the longest with the least amount of injuries will win this game. That is the bottom line! If everyone would look at the strength sports in lengths of at least ten years, National and World Records would be shattered at a much higher frequency.

The key to a happy training environment is the athletes that are training together. Chuck and I are the best of friends, so we enjoy our time together. We have lots of laughs, but when it is time to get right, we get right. The culture in a training hall is EVERYTHING. If there is one negative dude, it will bring the whole place down. Awesome music, laughter, and dancing will equal PRs!

Another big key is training in a facility with little distractions. This is the big reason that I chose to train at Jack King’s Gym. When I am at my own facility, I am compelled to coach others. I am also looking around thinking about the things that need to be done which interferes with my training. Now I am at a place where all I think about is my own training. If you are at a place that distracts you in any way, I would tell you to consider moving.

Here are the keys to success with the Barbell:

· Have fun!
· Pick teammates that have fun in a positive manner!
· Culture is key!
· Eliminate all distractions!
· Keep focused priorities

At Muscle Driver USA and Mash Mafia Weightlifting the common ground is that both facilities offer an environment of athletes having fun together. Another trait is the community among the teammates. At the Mash Compound, most of the team lives together at the Muscle Hut, and basically they do life together. This is so important. Hanging around others that know what you are going through is incredibly important. You end up helping each other through the hard times. Then when the team puts together a big meet together, we party together. If one goes to the Olympics, we all do. It’s a family! If you don’t have that, find it.

Chuck and I are keeping things really simple at first. We are going Bulgarian until the gains halt, and then I will shift to more traditional periodization. Here is what yesterday’s training looked like:

Back Squat 515lb/1, 525lb/1, 455/2 pause squats
Deadlift 615lb x 1
Leg Curls 3 sets x 10 reps

Chuck hit:
Back Squat 475lbs x 1, 405/2 paused
Deadlift 520/1
Leg Curls

I will be posting a Vlog by tonight. Each week we will post more videos on recovery and mobility. I also want to focus more on nutrition this time around, and I will try to pass this information on to all of you. We are having a great time training together, so hopefully I can show you guys how to have fun and still be the strongest lifter in the world. You are beginning this journey with me from Ground Zero, so this should be a fun adventure.

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Who is a Coach?

Who is a Coach?

Travis

I have been waiting to write this article for over a year now. My good friend, Coach Mark Watts, wrote an article over a year ago concerning coaching. Specifically, he was talking about who is qualified to be called a coach. Now let me preface this by saying Coach Watts is brilliant, and he is someone I look to as a peer in the Strength and Conditioning World. However, in this instance, I don’t agree at all with him.

To sum it up, Coach Watts made the argument that personal trainers, private athletic performance coaches, and CrossFit coaches aren’t really coaches. Basically anyone that takes money for their services haven’t earned the title of coach. His argument was that coaches hired by universities or high schools have earned their title of “coach”. His belief is that people in the private sector have given the title “coach” to themselves. Let me say before going on, I have been on both sides of the coin, so I bring a unique view to the topic.

I am not fully disagreeing with him, but here are a few points. I have met Division I Strength Coaches that couldn’t spell their own name. We all know that the strength and conditioning world is a “who you know” industry. Some organizations hire people based on credentials, past performance, and solid references, and some just hire whomever they know. I challenge you all to visit ten different college weight rooms. I guarantee that you will see ten different quality of coaches.

Of course, I have seen some crazy private coaches. I mean CRAZY! Almost anyone can call themselves coach or trainer based on some crazy piece of paper that they received one weekend. Not only do these people not deserve to be called coach, but they don’t deserve to be in the industry at all. They have entered this field for all the wrong reasons. They don’t know how to teach someone to squat or deadlift, but they are doing it anyway. They are seriously endangering their clients, but no one says anything. It’s insane!!! Nothing makes my temper spike like watching a trainer(that’s the only title they deserve) play on their cell phone while their client works out. What are you doing to deserve being paid one dime? Nothing!!!

This industry needs a better “checks and balances” system in both the private and non-private sectors. We need better hiring standards, and I believe that we need a Licensing Board to set and maintain some solid standards. We need to be just like doctors and nurses because people are trusting us with their goals, health, and their lives. This is a big deal folks!!! This is not to be taken lightly. If you don’t have what it takes, then consider leaving on your own.

Here’s the thing about coaches in the private sector. I believe that they earn the title “coach” as much or even more than the college or high school coach because no one has to go to them. The men and women in the private sector that are successful have normally produced major results for their clients. That’s the way it works! If your athletes/clients produce, others will notice. When someone is giving you their hard earned money, they expect results. If they don’t receive results, then they will not continue to shell out that money. You have to earn their patronage.

Coaches at schools are hired, and they are on staff. They can be terrible, and the young athletes still have to work out with them. It’s crazy! There is nothing that they can do. Did that coach really earn anything? No way!!! I have seen it so many time when my athletes go to college in great shape, and come out in worse or at best the same. What is that? My college strength coach at Appalachian State University was awesome. Matter of fact, he was my favorite coach on the team. He made me stronger, bigger, and faster, and he grew me as a man along the way. That’s a coach!

Coach Kenn, the Carolina Panthers Head Strength Coach and Mark Watts are great coaches. They both blow me away with the amount of knowledge that they have gathered over their careers. Their love and concern for their athletes is second to none. Coach Kenn maintains his relationship with his players for life. I have watched him do so.

With that being said, here are the elements that I believe one should have to be called a strength coach:

• A degree in exercise science or athletic training.
• A legit certification like NSCA
• More importantly on going continued education outside of the required amounts
• A passion for continued learning
• A thirst for knowledge
• Internships with other coaches that are accomplished
• An honest love for their clients/athletes
• A desire to grow their clients/athletes as people

Ryan Grady is a CrossFit Coach, and let me tell you he is a Coach. That guy studies more than any college strength coach that I have ever seen. Ryan loves his client/athletes with a passion that is simply inspiring. If someone doesn’t believe that Ryan is a coach, then I don’t know a coach anywhere. He teaches safely, correctly, and consistently. People go to Ryan because he is awesome, and not because their head coach says that they have to go.

This is not a bash on college strength coaches at all. I am just saying that a coach is defined by way more than someone hiring them. I hope that Coach Watts doesn’t get mad, but I wanted to give another side of this argument. At the end of the day, Coach Watts is the man, and I love him. He is very passionate about what he does, and there is no better coach in the world.

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Weightlifting and Powerlifting as it Pertains to Sport

Here is an article that I first published over a year ago! I wanted to let this one resurface because the information is so relevant to the population that I work with. Enjoy!

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Last week I had the honor of speaking in front of a Strength and Conditioning Class at Winston-Salem State University taught by Professor Mike McKenzie. I was excited that the Exercise Science Department at WSSU has added a Strength and Conditioning tract for the students. My topic was Olympic Weightlifting and Powerlifting as they pertain to sports. It was fun doing a little research to back up my presentation, and it always keeps me sharp lecturing in front of sharp young students. I started with the sport of Weightlifting, so I’ll get right to the points.

Without a doubt the Power output (P=F*V) of the triple joint extension that takes place in both the Snatch and Clean is superior to any other form of training. This isn’t my opinion! It’s just fact Jack! The Power output is exactly four times of any movement performed in Powerlifting, so if your sport is dependent upon Power, do the Olympic lifts. The reasoning is quite simple because you have four main variables in the Power Equation: Mass, Acceleration, speed and distance. Weightlifting will always win at least three out of the four categories, so it’s just not a contest. This is why Olympic weightlifters will always have tremendous vertical leaps and amazing 10m dashes without even training them. Don’t get me wrong! I still love the Powerlifts, but for other reasons that I will explain later. The hip, ankle and thoracic spine mobility required to perform the lifts correctly also comes in handy for sports requiring an athlete to move well. Kinesthetic awareness or the body and limbs as related to space is also very high. This simply means that the weightlifter is able to move the body rapidly around the bar, and all the while they know exactly where they are in relation to the bar. Watch the sport of football and you will see how important it is for the athletes to know exactly where they are in relation to the ball and potential threats. The last reason that Olympic Weightlifting is superior for athletes is when compared to Powerlifters researchers found that Olympic Weightlifters had significantly larger Type IIA Fibers even in the pectoral region. This one actually blew me away, but never the less that’s what the research says.

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Now let me tell you why Powerlifting is also great for sports. I want to say right now that I love my fellow Powerlifters, and I am grateful for what the sport has done for me. I am just stating facts not opinion. The one place that Powerlifting ranks second to none is developing Absolute Strength. Absolute Strength is simply one’s ability to move mass through space. Can you lift some heavy stuff or not? Powerlifters are simply strong! There is no denying that fact. Powerlifting is also superior for getting jacked! What I mean is that Powerlifting will produce more hypertrophy due to there being more time under tension. Hypertrophy is a fancy word for muscle growth, and for a significant amount of this process to take place, the muscles have to be under tension longer. The Olympic lifts are so fast that very little time under tension is taking place, but you will notice a lot of Olympic lifters with huge legs and butt. That is normally from all the squatting that they do. This hypertrophy will also cause another quality of Powerlifting, and that is the ability to gain some body weight. This factor is super important for athletes like Football Players or possibly Rugby players. Dan John makes another interesting argument for the Powerlifts, and that is there “bulletproofing capabilities”. He explains that by saying the heavy Powerlifts ready Football Players for the field of battle. Most Powerlifters have huge traps, backs, chests, and legs which gives them a slight advantage when it comes to taking or giving those huge hits on the field.

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There are several debated topics that surface from both camps. The first is the highly debated low bar vs. high bar squat debate. For all of you that don’t know the low bar squat is a technique popularized by the Powerlifting world where the bar sits low on the rear delts shifting the center of gravity closer to the mid-line of the body. Of course this allows the lifter to use more weight, but it doesn’t necessarily make you stronger. It just gives you a biomechanical advantage. The big negative is that it puts your back in a horizontal position placing higher sheering forces on the spine. Low bar will also cause the lifter to barely go below parallel (crease of hip to the top of knee)because of the forward lean. The extra tension is great for strength, but terrible for mobility. The high bar is superior for training athletes for several reasons. First, I want all of my athletes to be the most mobile guys/gals on the field of play. I want the squat to be butt to the floor with a vertical back, so my 300 lb linemen are also agile. If you want to get a lineman to college, make sure they are mobile. Also when your high bar gets stronger, so does your low bar. It doesn’t however work in reverse, so it doesn’t make sense to train it. The longer range of motion will also cause more hypertrophy which is obvious when you see an Olympic Weightlifters legs and butt.

A big topic debated is the time it takes to teach the Olympic lifts. This is laziness! Take the time to learn to learn how to teach man! I can teach almost anyone how to do a clean in about 20 minutes, so that is a terrible argument. I agree that we as strength coaches shouldn’t spend the whole session on the Olympic lifts, but if you schedule 15-20 minutes per session to teach the lifts, your athlete will catch right on in no time. The other problem that coaches have with teaching a lot of the lifts whether Power or Olympic is the risk of injury. That is a terrible argument as well. All the lifts are safe if performed properly. Having the ability to screen and asses is a big part of being a strength coach. If someone can’t perform a Snatch, your job is to find a way to get them there. Maybe they need more thoracic spine mobility. Then your job is to get them more mobility in the Thoracic spine.

There are some common mistakes that I see in the world of strength and conditioning that need to be addressed. First poor coaching is a big part of the problem. If you are going to be a strength and conditioning coach, then you need to be proficient in the movements that you are teaching. If you are going to teach the clean or snatch, then you need to be able to perform the lift yourself. If you are going to teach the squat, then you need to be able to perform the squat properly and safely. A knowledge of programming and energy systems is super important, so that your athletes are getting the proper workout that will help them in their specific sport. I’m just saying that if a football player wants to be fast and explosive, then don’t do four rounds of wall balls and 800m sprints. However for a soccer player four rounds of wall balls and 800m sprints is a good choice because it matches the energy system that they use on the field. This could be a whole new article.

The perfect program would use both Olympic Weightlifting and Powerlifting optimally in a program designed to improve the energy systems used in the athlete’s chosen sport. Learn as many techniques, skills, and fields of strength and conditioning as possible, and then learn how to apply them optimally and safely. This is what makes my industry awesome! The fact that we can always learn something new! Embrace that! Never stop learning!

For more information check me out at:

www.MashElitePerformance.com

Or email me at:

Travis.Mash@MashElitePerformance.com

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