Category Archives for "Athletic Performance"

Mash Elite Athletic Performance! Open Your Facility!

I normally write about the Mash Mafia Weightlifting Programming, but today I wanted to flip the script a little and talk about the Mash Elite Athletic Performance. I am aware that Weightlifting Talk has a lot of strength and conditioning coaches that listen to us, so I want to start periodically giving some information on that side of things. Yesterday I was visited by an Underground Strength Disciple named Dylan Parkes. Underground Strength is a Certification given by my friend Zach Even-Esh. Dylan is an aspiring strength coach with the dream of opening his own Underground Strength Gym. His asked me some wonderful questions that forced me to think about my journey that has led me to my current state of owning Mash Elite Athletic Performance, Mash Mafia Weightlifting, Smashed CrossFit, and all the while an ambassador of the quickly growing Attitude Nation.
In 2008 when I began my journey, I never dreamed that I would be the owner of such an amazing organization. I didn’t plan it! I just loved my athletes enough to want to be the best strength and conditioning coach in North Carolina. I continue to learn and adapt to an ever changing field of study. I refuse to let anyone near me know something that I don’t that relates to the well-being of my athletes.

If you want to open your own gym, here are some of the things that have worked for me:
1. More is not better! One of the common mistakes that people make is to start out with too much overhead. I started out of the back of a local globo gym, and quickly out grew the 400 square foot closet that I was given.
2. Get involved with the community! I go to games. I go to parties. I do life with my members. I am one of them, and they know it. They know that I am concerned with their well-being. Dylan asked me what tool I used to become so close with my athletes. That question made me think hard, and after pondering my brain for several minutes, I realized that simply love them all. I love each individually. There is no tool or technique. If you don’t love people, find a different career. He also told me that one of his friends in Chicago was thinking about joining the Mash Mafia Weightlifting Team because he had heard that I was a coach that was more like a father. Wow! That’s what I feel like, but to be told that was a great encouragement.
3. Never stop learning! Make it part of your day to learn something new about your industry. I recommend scheduling your time to learn like an appointment. I also recommend becoming an expert in your field. If you want to be a strength and conditioning coach, then be the best one around.
4. Master Social Media! My athlete, friend and partner Jon North is a master of social media. He has a gift at making people feel a part of what he is doing, and in my opinion it’s because he love the Attitude Nation. He truly feels like he is a part of something bigger than himself. He has built an army of blacksheep, and he has used social media to do it.

Below is a typical week in the workouts of Mash Elite Athletic Performance with an explanation following each day:

Warm Up 2/3/14 Vertical, Med Ball Plyos, and Strength
Get Ups 5 ea way
Runner Holds 6 ea leg
Abduction/Adduction 6 ea leg
Standing Obliques 6 ea side
Streamline Position
Helicopters 6 ea side with 2-3 sec holds
Squat Open & Stand 8 reps
Hamstring Sweeps/8 ea leg
Hurdler Stretch/30 sec ea
Hurdler Stretch Switches/8
Hip Flexor Stretch
A-Skips 10y x 2
B-Skips 10y x 2
Partner 45 Degree Starts 10 yd x 4

Lower Body Plyometrics
Step and Jump/6 ea leg x 2
Russian Hops/3 ea leg w 5 sec pauses x 2

Upper Body Plyometrics
On Knee Med Ball Extensions into Wall/5reps x 2
OH into Wall/5 x 2

wk2Cleans 5 RM then -10% ss Landmines or Unilateral KB Push Press/6 ea x 3
wk2Back Squats 8RM then -10% ss DB Jumps/5 x 3

Met Con: 3-4 Rounds
GHRs x 8
Lunges DB/8 ea leg x 8

*Everyday begins with mobility, stabilization, and speed technique work. We focus on acceleration since every sport other than cross country is acceleration driven. We use a lot of Olympic weightlifting movements. Today was a lower and upper body plyometric day with a focus on force absorption. The strength was lower body focused, but we never have a day that is one or the other solely.

Speed 1 2/4/14
Warm Up
Jump Rope 2 Minutes
Neck Series
Arm Circles
Lying Leg Circles
Cobra Pose
Frog Pose
Scorpion/10 ea leg
Fire Hydrants/10 ea leg
Hip Flexor Stretch
Hamstring Sweeps/8 ea leg
Cradles/10 ea leg

Hurdle Series: 3 of each to accelerate on sidewalk

Depth Box Jump or Hurdle
Accelerator Holds/5 sec x 4

Strength: wk 2
Bench 5RM then -5and-10%

Bentover Rows 8RM, then -5&-10%
Crossover Med Ball Explosive Pushups/10 x 3

Met Con: (3 sets for time)
Pullups x 5
KB Clean & Pressx10

*This day begins with mobility like they all do. Then we worked on agility with a series of hurdle movements that ended with a sprint. Then we moved onto depth jumps with a focus on foot to floor contact time. We also used accelerators to work on acceleration angle, arm, and leg drive. The rest of the day is upper body strength dominant. You will notice that I use elements of Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, and CrossFit in my approach.

Warm Up 2/5/14
Jump Rope 2 min
Band Shuffles
Plank 60 secC25C4:C31
Side Plank 30 sec ea side
Backwards Lunge and Open Up 8 ea leg
Squat Lunge & Lunge x 8
Blackburns 15 sec ea position
Foam Roll IT Bands, Quads, and back
Paused Potato Squat/8 x 2
KB Swings/10 x 2
Fire Hydrants/10 ea
Hamstring Sweeps/10
A Skips x 15yards(2-4 sets)
Running A’s x 15y(2 sets)
B-Skipsx15y(2-4 sets)
Running B’s x 10 y(2 sets)
40yd Build Ups focus posture and arms x 4

Jump Backwards and Sprint 10 yds x 4
Med Ball Crouches Throw into Sprint 10 yds x 4
Double Broad Jump x 4 with 45 sec Rest

Strength: wk 2
Hang Clean & Jerk 3RM, then -5&-10%
Front Squats 5RM with 2 sec Pause then -10%
Unilateral Jump Touch & Stick/3 ea x 3
Push Press 5RM, Then -5&-10%
GHDs/8 x 3sets

Met Con:
Plate Raises/10 x 3
Prowler 2P&25s x 3
*Today is a lot of mobility of course. Then we move quickly into dynamic speed warm ups. Once again we are focusing on acceleration and explosiveness. We also have elements of force absorption which is a widely overlooked element in the strength and conditioning world. Today our strength training is total body with a big presence from Olympic weightlifting.

Core & stretch everyone
Rotational and Forearm Work for baseball and softball
neck work football and soccer

Speed 2 2/6/14
Warm Up
Jump Rope 1 minute
Hurdle Mobility Drill
Quadruped Thoracic Extension+Rotation x 10 ea side
Quadruped Thoracic Extension+Rotation w Internal Rotation x 10 ea side
Squat & Reach 5 ea side
OH Squats x 10
OH Front Lunge x 6-10 ea leg
OH Side Lunge x 6-10 ea leg
Front Cross Lunge x 6-10
Lying Hip Flex+AB/Adduction x 6-10ea
Side Lying Hip Abductionx6-10ea
A Skips x 15yards(2-4 sets)
Leg Swingsx10 ea leg and direction
B-Skipsx15y(2-4 sets)
Build Up Sprintsx40 y(2 sprints)

Contrast Training: (Coaches teach starts during pauses)
3-4 Sets(film sprint for step count) Focus step count and not time
Heavy Acceleration Sled Sprints 10yds then 10 y sprint(rest 3-4 minutes/set)

3-4 sets
85% Squat/1 rest 20-40 sec then Depth Jumps onto Box/3

Test Vertical

*Here we are using the contrast method made famous by the one and only Joe Defranco. This is a day that I want all of my athletes to leave neurally charged and not exhausted.

Warm Up 2/7/14
Mtn Climbers Knee to Shoulders 30 sec x 3
Quadruped Thoracic Extension+Rotation x 6 ea side
Quadruped Thoracic Extension+Rotation w Internal Rotation x 6 ea side
Squat & Reach 5 ea side
OH Front Lunge x 6 ea leg
OH Side Lunge x 6 ea leg
Front Cross Lunge x 6
Lying Hip Flex+AB/Adduction x 6ea
Side Lying Hip Abductionx6ea
A Skips x 15yards(2 sets)
Leg Swingsx6 ea leg and direction
B-Skipsx15y(2 sets)
Straight leg bounds 10 y to sprint 10 y x 2
Running Bounds 15y to sprint 10 y x 2
Half Kneeling side ways to Sprint 10 y x 2

Max Hang Clean ss Jump and Knee Tucks/5reps x 3

Contrast Work:
3-4 sets
DL 2 sec pause at knee Work up to max rest 30-40 sec then Double Broad Jump x 3-4

Work Capacity: 3 Sets for Time
BB Hip Ups/10
Clap Pushups/10
Ab Mat Sit Ups/15

*Today is Max Out Friday. We still focus on mobility and speed, but we take an element of Olympic weightlifting. Every Friday we pick a movement to max out on. All my athletes wear their Max Out Friday shirts, and we simply have a great time filled with emotion and testosterone.

I am excited to write more on this topic, and I really want to help people that are interested in pursuing the dream of owning their own facility. It is the most rewarding career in the world. Every day is another opportunity to help someone reach their goals.

If anyone would be interested in a seminar/certification focused on opening your own facility, please email me at I would love to host such a conference if the interest is there.

To sign up for a Learn 2 Lift Seminar, or if you are interested in online coaching, go to: If you want to learn more about Mash Elite Athletic Performance, Mash Mafia Weightlifting/Powerlifting, or Smashed CrossFit, go to:

Today’s Brutality!

Back Squat up to 85%/1
Snatch Grip Sotts Press 3 RM then -10%
Snatch off Box 3RM, -5&-10% (1 miss)
Front Squat 6 RM, then -5&-10%
Behind neck Jerks off Blocks HS (1 miss)
Bench Press 6RM, then -10%

Met Con:
4 rounds for total working time of:

50 KB Swings 24/16kg
15 Thrusters 105/70#

Rest 2 mins between rounds

Today Barbell Shrugged released the episode that I was in:

Next year, Learn 2 Lift seminars are scheduled all over the US: Dunmore, PA, Jersey Shore, Miami, Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Orlando, Myrtle Beach, Albuquerque, San Antonio, Rhode Island, and we are scheduling Minneapolis and Wilmington, NC as we speak.

For any questions regarding Learn 2 Lift Seminars or Online Coaching, go to:

Or if you are interested in hosting a Learn 2 Lift Seminar on the topics of Olympic Weightlifting, Powerlifting, or Athletic Performance, email me at:


12/31/13 Workout, Hints, Insight, & Video


Life Insight:
With 2014 quickly approaching, let’s look at things differently this New Year’s Eve. Let’s set goals, make a plan, and make a commitment to the goals and the plan. Don’t even mention “Resolutions”! Mash Mafia Athletes are great because they think like winners! Winners don’t make “resolutions”!

Training Insight:

When you are more than six weeks out from a meet, focus on positions and strength. When you are within six weeks, focus on the lifts that you are about to perform. One should practice the lifts with precision with “meet like” situations, so that nothing could possibly surprise you during the competition.

Sotts Press from Front Clean Rack Position 3 Reps x 3
Jerk Position Jerks 3×3
Clean Pull, clean, 1 front squat, & 1 jerk up to 80%
Clean Pause at Knee & Jerk HS, then 75/3&1, and 80/2&1 (1 miss)
Clean Pulls 105%/3×3(work to speed DL for PLers) ss Pull-ups/5-8 add weight if possiblex 3
Bentover Rows 8RM, then -10%

Met Con:
12 minute AMRAP of:

75 Double-Unders
15 TTB
15 Power Clean & Push Jerks 105/75#
50 Double-Unders
15 TTB
10 Power Clean & Push Jerks 155/105#
25 Double-Unders
15 TTB
5 Power Clean & Push Jerks 175/125#

Check out one of my eighth grade girls squatting 185lbs:

Next year, Learn 2 Lift seminars are scheduled all over the US: Dunmore, PA, Jersey Shore, Miami, Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Orlando, Myrtle Beach, Albuquerque, San Antonio, Rhode Island, and we are scheduling Minneapolis and Wilmington, NC as we speak.

For any questions regarding Learn 2 Lift Seminars or Online Coaching, go to:

Or if you are interested in hosting a Learn 2 Lift Seminar on the topics of Olympic Weightlifting, Powerlifting, or Athletic Performance, email me at:

Christmas Workout

Back Squat up to 90%/1
Snatch Grip Sotts Press 5 RM
Snatch off Box 3RM, -10% (no misses)
Front Squat 6 RM
Behind neck Jerks off Blocks HS (1 miss)
Bench Press 6RM

Met Con:
AMRAP in 10 min:

5 Push Press (155/115) *must start on ground
15 Burpees
200m Run

Angel Drops

Knowledge Nuggets


Last week was an incredibly busy, but awesome week. Wednesday night I hung out with some of Barbell Shrug Team. Then on Thursday morning, the Barbell Shrug Team came to the MashMafia Compound to film an episode of the awesome Barbell Shrug Podcast with me. You can check it out next week on Thursday night, Drew and I made the trip down to Raleigh to hang out with Christmas Abbott, Josh Homes(Christmas’s boyfriend), all the Barbell Shrug Team, and some of Christmas’s friends on her birthday. Friday was a MashMafia only hang out for Coach Brealon Ashworth’s birthday party. I just love my team. Saturday, Drew and I made an appearance at the Camel City CrossFit Grand Opening in Winston-Salem, NC. They are the first MashMafia Weightlifting affiliate, and we are super excited to team up. I also produced two episodes of my own podcast, Mash Mafia Strength on I will always be a part of Weightlifting Talk, but Jon is in the UK until after the first of the year. I decided to take the opportunity to do my own little spin on strength and athletic performance, and bring it to the public.

The purpose of writing about all of this is not to brag about how cool my life is, but I am going to tell you all that I learned. Lately I have had the pleasure of hanging out with some of the coolest people in my industry. When you really enjoy people and care about what they are saying, one of the benefits is learning from them. When I was younger, I wasn’t very good at this at all. I just wanted to talk about myself, and if you are talking, then you aren’t learning. The first night hanging with the Barbell Shrug Crew: Mike, Doug, Chris, and CTP I learned that true success comes from the sharing of ideas. They would tell me what they have going on, and I would tell them my ideas. Instead of keeping great ideas to ourselves, we found out the ideas and people that we had in common, and we found ways to work together. This way of looking at things is not only good for us, but it is awesome for you the reader because more high quality of information is produced in this manner.

During the filming of the Barbell Shrug Podcast, we all talked more about Barbell Life. Barbell Life is what we have all learned from the Barbell, and the common traits of people that embrace the Barbell. It was awesome to see how we all had come full circle in our “Dance with the Barbell”. We had all started certain relationships with the Barbell that had morphed into much healthier relationships that still allowed us set goals, reach goals, and more importantly spread the love. We had all found that we didn’t have to sacrifice relationships for quest in domination of the Barbell.

During my time with Christmas Abbott and her awesome boyfriend Josh Homes, I learned how important the words that come out of my mouth really are. Josh told me how my podcast with the Champ Jon North (!/show/the_jon_north_show) had changed his life. He has learned most of his technique and programming in the sport of Weightlifting from our show, but more importantly our message had forced him to review his life. Jon always says, “Love your life or change it!” This message made Josh take a look at his life, and he is now looking at his future. I will forever take my words more seriously, and I will do my best to influence and encourage people in positive and successful ways.
I also had the chance to produce two episodes of my own Podcast: Mash Mafia Strength on You can check it out at: This podcast will be about Barbell Life, all things strength, athletic performance, and a Godly take on life. I don’t have a lot of equipment, but I believe that it will a great way to tell my story. I hope to encourage people on their passions, and I hope to give people advice that will help them avoid major mistakes. Obviously I hope that the information will also lead to PRs in strength, athleticism, and life. I learned that there are a lot of people out there wanting to learn more about the Barbell, athletic performance, and programming. I also learned that there are a lot of people that want to know how to approach the world of strength. A lot of the questions that people were sending me were about injury prevention and mobility, so I will be using the Mobilitah Moses, Sal Scifo to answer a lot of those questions.

Hanging out with the Mash Mafia Crew for Coach Ashworth’s birthday was another reminder that I am a part of something bigger than me. We have a group of coaches that are set on influencing their community and the world. All of my coaches feel like they are a part of a team that will leave the world a better place. We want to spread our love of the Barbell, our “Love Your Life or Change It” way of thinking, our Black Sheep refusal to go along attitude, and our love for Christ to the world.

Drew and I had a blast at the Camel City CrossFit Grand Opening. Camel City is the first Mash Mafia Weightlifting Affiliate, and we are excited to teach the Barbell movements in their facility. I think that the relationship is going to be awesome. Having our coaches teaching Barbell Movements like Snatch, Clean & Jerk, Squats, Bench, and Deadlift within their facility, will give their facility the type of credibility that a lot of CrossFits lack. Their Head Coach Shaun Mabe is determined to provide credible coaching, programming, and the best community around. I can’t wait to grow at his facility together. If you are interested in becoming a Mash Mafia Weightlifting Affiliate, email me at

Take aways:

Listen and empathize to learn

Share common ideas and learn to work together to really change the world

Your “Dance with the Barbell” will bring you full circle

Guard the words that come out of your mouth! You never know who you are influencing

There are a lot of people that want to learn insight to the Barbell

There are a lot of people that want to learn about mobility and injury prevention

I have a crew of Life Changers at Mash!

Teaming up with CrossFits to teach the Barbell movements is a good marriage

Video of some awesome lifting Friday! PR City:

Next year, Learn 2 Lift seminars are scheduled all over the US: Dunmore, PA, Jersey Shore, Miami, Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Orlando, Myrtle Beach, Albuquerque, San Antonio, and we are scheduling Rhode Island as we speak.

For any questions regarding Learn 2 Lift Seminars or Online Coaching, go to:

Or if you are interested in hosting a Learn 2 Lift Seminar on the topics of Olympic Weightlifting, Powerlifting, or Athletic Performance, email me at:


12/23/13 Workout

Snatch Grip Behind the neck Sotts 5reps x 3 beat last week
Snatch Pull/1, Snatch/1, 2 OH Squats up to 80%
Snatch Pause at knee HS, 80/2 (1 miss)
Back Squat 8RM
Push Press 3RM & -10% ss GHDs/10 x 3

For time:

Run 800m
15 Ring Dips
15 KBS 32/24kg
Run 400m
20 Ring Dips
20 KBS 32/24kg
Run 200m
25 Ring Dips
25 KBS 32/24kg