Category Archives for "Barbell Life"

Getting Stronger with Little to No Equipment

It looks like we are going to be here for a while. By here I mean trapped in our homes.

A few days ago I published a program that would get you moving with little to no equipment. However, what if you want to get stronger? (Or at least keep your gains?) What if you want to prepare for your upcoming football season? The key is to focus on what you do have and forget about what you don’t have.

Here’s a simple strength program I designed that’s perfect for any athlete whether football player, weightlifter, powerlifter, or whatever.

Later, I share some other program resources – but let’s look at this first.

Three Day Rotation:

Day 1

1a. Unilateral Squat (pistol squat advanced, RLE split squats, or split squats): 5RM each leg, then -10% for 2 x 5 each leg
1b. Ice Skater Plyos (use KB if advanced): 3 x 6 each side (focus on distance and change of direction)

2a. Unilateral RDLs (off leg freely in extension or against the wall): 3 x 8 each leg (working to 9 RPE)
2b. Walking Lunges: 3 x 8 each leg (working to 9 RPE)

3a. Waterbury Crucifix: 3 x 8 each leg (working to 9 RPE)
3b. Carpet Slider Leg Curls: 3 x 10
3c. Backpack Zercher Squats: 3 x 10

Day 2

1a. Feet Elevated Push-ups (handstand push-ups if possible): 10RM (use weighted backpack for load), then -10% for 2 x 10
1b. Backpack Bentover Rows: 3 x 10 each arm (5 sec eccentric, explosive concentric, and 2 sec pause at full contraction)

2a. Pull-ups: 3 x submaximal
2b. Soup Can Cheerleaders: 3 x 10

3a. Dips: 3 x submaximal
3b. Rock Front Raises: 3 x 10
3c. Backpack Biceps Curl: 3 x 10

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Day 3 Social Distancing Contrast Training

Lower:

1a. Unilateral Squat (pistol squat advanced, RLE split squats, or split squats): take your 5RM and perform same load for 6 x 1 rep
1b. Prisoner Squat Jumps (add knee to chest if too easy): 6 x 3
1c. Weighted Back Pack Squat Jumps: 6 x 3
1d. Assisted Jumps: 6 x 3
3 minutes rest between sets

Upper:

1a. Feet Elevated Push-ups (handstand push-ups if possible): 6 x 3 reps of your 10RM from day two
1b. Explosive Plyo Push-ups: 6 x 3
1c. Half-Kneeling Weighted Rotational Punches (use backpack): 6 x 3 each arm

2. Unilateral Suitcase Carries or Holds: 4 x 30 sec each arm

Explanation and Options

Here are my suggestions. If you want to perform a three, four, five, or six day per week program, this simple program will work. You can simply rotate through the days, and then repeat. If you want, you can make some changes that will turn the plan into a undulated periodization plan. I will explain all of it as I go through each day. I will also give you ideas how to progress and regress each movement. Let’s take a look at day one.

Day 1 Breakdown

day one: superset one
1a. Unilateral Squat (pistol squat advanced, RLE split squats, or split squats): 5RM each leg, then -10% for 2 x 5 each leg
1b. Ice Skater Plyos (use KB if advanced): 3 x 6 each side (focus on distance and change of direction)

Unilateral squats are perfect for any level athlete. You simply pick the version that fits your ability. If you are a straight baller, go with pistol squats. Intermediate athletes can use rear leg elevated split squat, and then just about anyone can perform split squats. If split squats are too challenging for whatever reason, you can always revert back to bilateral squats.

To load the unilateral squats, you can use the following:

  • Gallon jugs: filled with water or sand (obviously pour out the water or sand to lower the load)
  • Backpack: filled with rocks or just about anything you can think of for a load. (Shout out to my cohost of Barbell Shrugged, Doug Larson, for this idea. Rocks are awesome for easy load variance)
  • Old pillow case: filled with rock, sand (make sure it’s secure to avoid a mess), etc
  • With pistol squats, you might find you don’t need a load, or you might choose to use tempo rather than an external load. Example: 5RM at 5-7 second eccentric, followed by down sets with a faster eccentric

This is a good time to use contrast training – whether you are a weightlifter, powerlifter, CrossFitter, or field athlete – to add in some plyometrics for speed and power development. It’s also a great time to move in planes you aren’t used to. Most weightlifters and powerlifters stay in the sagittal plane with flexion and extension. It’s a good time to give those movements a bit of a break while working in the frontal plane with some abduction and adduction along with some rotational movements. This will keep your body symmetrical, moving functionally, and feeling better for when this coronavirus is contained.

For all of these reasons, I paired ice skaters with the unilateral squat. Therefore, the unilateral squat is paired with a lateral unilateral plyometric. The key to the ice skaters is maximal distance along with a fast change of direction. The goal is to improve the athlete’s ability to absorb force, change direction, and produce force in the opposite direction. This movement is great for field athletes. To increase the load, you can use a kettlebell if you have one, or you can hold a book or rock. I teach my athletes to form a figure 8 pattern with the load, so the movement is more rhythmic in nature.

Before I get into explaining the rest of day one – I want to let you know about something special we’ve done. If the free program in this article fits your needs, then great – I’m glad I could help.

But I talk to many athletes who have worked very hard for their strength, and they don’t want to lose a single pound or kilo off their lifts. So I’ve worked hard to get creative… and I’ve come up with some next-level programs that can be done with little equipment or even no equipment.

These new programs – part of our Bronze Level membership – take the strategy and thought of this free program and ramp it up even further. This is the type of program I would recommend for my athletes if they didn’t have access to equipment.

Check them out:

MAXIMIZE YOUR STRENGTH...

EVEN WITHOUT EQUIPMENT

These new programs from Coach Travis Mash are designed to strategically and creatively make the best use of limited equipment (or even no equipment). These programs aren't just generic bodyweight exercises - these are programs specifically geared toward the strength needs of weightlifters, powerlifters, or field athletes.

day one: superset two
2a. Unilateral RDLs (off leg freely in extension or against the wall): 3 x 8 each leg (working to 9 RPE)
2b. Walking Lunges: 3 x 8 each leg (working to 9 RPE)

Unilateral RDLs are a great movement whether you are quarantined or not. I recommend starting this movement with the off leg either pressed against the wall or resting on a stool. The key is to perform the movement with a proper hinge, while keeping the spine as neutral (in extension) as possible. You can use the gallon jug or backpack ideas for loading this movement. This movement is paired with Cory Gregory’s favorite, walking lunges.

(From here on out in this program, you can assume external loads can be used in the form of a loaded backpack, gallon jug, canned goods, loaded pillowcase, book, stool, or get creative.)

day one: superset three
3a. Waterbury Crucifix: 3 x 8 each leg (working to 9 RPE)
3b. Carpet Slider Leg Curls: 3 x 10
3c. Backpack Zercher Squats: 3 x 10

My favorite posterior chain exercise is the Waterbury crucifix. To perform this movement, abduct your arms to where they form a 90-degree angle with the torso. With palms facing forward (supinated) and scapula completely retracted, take a slightly wider than shoulder width stance and knees slightly bent, and then perform a hinge much like a goodmorning. The goal is to keep the 90-degree angle with the arms and torso while maintaining a neutral spine. Your hands are going to want to drift toward the hips for a biomechanical advantage, so make sure to fight that urge. Your hamstrings along with your entire posterior chain are going to be in pain (in a good way) the next few days. It doesn’t take much more than a can of soup in each hand to load this exercise properly.

I talked about the carpet slider leg curls in my previous at home workout article. You can use furniture movers for carpet or wash rags for a smooth surface. While laying supine on the ground (on your back), place your heels on the furniture mover or rag, and then perform a complete leg curl while keeping your hips in extension the entire movement. The final movement in this giant set is a good ol’ fashioned Zercher squat. For any of you who don’t know, the Zercher squat is performed with the load held in the crook of your elbow.

Day 2 Breakdown

day two: superset one
1a. Feet Elevated Push-ups (handstand push-ups if possible): 10RM (use weighted backpack for load), then -10% for 2 x 10
1b. Backpack Bentover Rows: 3 x 10 each arm (5 sec eccentric, explosive concentric, and 2 sec pause at full contraction)

The push-up is one of the most underutilized exercises on earth. There are so many versions, and with any slight variation you have a new exercise. If you want to load this movement, you can simply elevate the legs until they’re at the handstand push-up range. Closegrip push-ups will engage the triceps more simply due to the increased range of motion, whereas wider push-ups will engage pectoralis muscles more due to performing the exercise in a more lengthened position. If you aren’t able to perform handstand push-ups, you can still work the pressing muscles by walking your feet closer to your hands while allowing your hips to go higher in the air. Now you will have a more vertical pressing motion without the extreme load of the handstand push-ups.

I love Doug’s idea of using a backpack for rows along with a plethora of other movements. You can perform backpack bentover rows bilaterally or unilaterally, and you can take advantage of multiple torso angles to attack the back from multiple positions. Tempo is a great way to add difficulty. I especially like pauses at full muscular contraction to counter the scapula winging that is present in most athletes from sitting on a computer too long everyday.

day two: superset two
2a. Pull-ups: 3 x submaximal
2b. Soup Can Cheerleaders: 3 x 10

Pull-ups are a necessity for athletic development in my book. There is normally somewhere around the house to perform pull-ups – like the eave of a home, a tree limb, or door paneling (my 5-year-old’s favorite). If you are a boss and can perform multiple sets of strict pull-ups for 10 or more repetitions, then I recommend either adding a tempo or potentially an external load.

Soup can cheerleaders sound like a soft exercise, but I promise the burn will bring the toughest of men to their knees. I will explain it, but I am also going to film this movement. With a can of soup in each hand:

  1. Perform a front raise (shoulder flexion) stopping with the arms create a 90-degree angle with the torso.
  2. Perform a rowing motion retracting the scapula and stopping when the lower arm forms a 90-degree angle with the upper arm with the humerus maintaining a 90-degree angle with the torso now to the side.
  3. Externally rotate the humerus while maintaining the 90-degree angle with the humerus and torso.
  4. Extend your arms overhead like a strict press.
  5. Reverse this entire process one section at a time.

This movement is great for shoulder development and stabilization. In this exercise you are using the deltoids, supporting rotator cuff muscles, and even some rhomboids. This one is great for maintaining healthy shoulders.

day two: superset three
3a. Dips: 3 x submaximal
3b. Rock Front Raises: 3 x 10
3c. Backpack Biceps Curl: 3 x 10

In this last giant set, I am having you get jacked. If you are going to be quarantined, you might as well come out of it looking like you’ve been in prison (jacked) versus looking like you were locked up in your kitchen (soft). Dips are one of my favorite accessory exercises if you have dip bars. One simple way is to get two barbells side by side on safety racks in a power rack. Of course if you are performing this workout, you probably don’t have two barbells. You can always substitute in bench dips or chair dips. However, with some wood and a bit of craftsmanship, you could probably make some dip bar.

The other movements require way less mental effort. I recommend a rock or a book for front raises. I have all of my athletes perform complete shoulder flexion to encourage proper movement in the shoulder joint. Lastly, if we are going to be locked down, we might as well do some curls, y’all. Will big biceps make you a better athlete? Probably not, but they look cool!

MAXIMIZE YOUR STRENGTH...

EVEN WITHOUT EQUIPMENT

These new programs from Coach Travis Mash are designed to strategically and creatively make the best use of limited equipment (or even no equipment). These programs aren't just generic bodyweight exercises - these are programs specifically geared toward the strength needs of weightlifters, powerlifters, or field athletes.

Day 3 Social Distancing Contrast Training Breakdown

day three: Lower
1a. Unilateral Squat (pistol squat advanced, RLE split squats, or split squats): take your 5RM and perform same load for 6 x 1 rep
1b. Prisoner Squat Jumps (add knee to chest if too easy): 6 x 3
1c. Weighted Back Pack Squat Jumps: 6 x 3
1d. Assisted Jumps: 6 x 3
3 minutes rest between sets

This day is designed to get you explosive and athletic. I took this right out of the French contrast blueprint. This day is designed to maximize power development not to be metabolic conditioning. By this, I mean I want 100% effort on each repetition along with complete recovery between sets (3-4 minutes).

Normally I perform a loaded movement first – like back squat, front squat, or trap bar deadlifts at around 75-80% load. Unilateral squats are by nature harder, so I am keeping the same load as on day one, which is normally 80%-ish for most people. However on this day, only one repetition is performed simply for potentiation’s sake. If the load is too exhausting, feel free to lower. The weight is meant to excite the nervous system and not to exhaust.

The unilateral squat is contrasted with prisoner squat jumps (bringing knees to chest while in the air for advanced). However, there are multiple plyometrics one could perform like:

  • Prisoner Squats
  • Russian Hops
  • Prisoner Squats w Knee to Chest
  • Ice Skaters
  • Broad Jumps
  • Unilateral Broad Jump

The unweighted jump is followed up with a loaded jump. Once again, you could perform a loaded jump with all the plyometric variations. I recommend keeping the same movements for 2-3 weeks, and then change them out to avoid accommodation. Assisted jumps are the favorite of my athletes. If you have a high enough half-rack, you can attach green jump stretch bands to the top to accentuate the assisted jumps. If you don’t have bands, then hook a belt to a door to unload the jump just a bit. The key is to increase the speed and height of the jump preparing the nervous system for increased potentials.

day three: Upper
1a. Feet Elevated Push-ups (handstand push-ups if possible): 6 x 3 reps of your 10RM from day two
1b. Explosive Plyo Push-ups: 6 x 3
1c. Half-Kneeling Weighted Rotational Punches (use backpack): 6 x 3 each arm

2. Unilateral Suitcase Carries or Holds: 4 x 30 sec each arm

For the upper body power development day, we are sticking with the same load as performed on day two, but we are only performing three repetitions. I want you to keep the same angle as day two as well. This movement is first contrasted with explosive plyometric push-ups. I want all-out maximal power and height with each repetition. This giant set is completed with a half kneeling rotational punch. I love this movement for encouraging proper movement in the hips while stabilizing the hips at the same time. Rotation is the most important plane of movement on earth when it comes to power development (just think about a punch, golf swing, or the swing of a baseball bat).

We are here for you during this Coronavirus crisis.

Let us help with customized programming and coaching when you have limited access to gym equipment.

If you are financially able to join our online team for customized programming at this time, we would appreciate your support.

If you are financially struggling during this time, we still want to help. Email us and we will try to help out in any way we can.

* Fully Customized Programming

* Unlimited Technique Analysis

* The Best Coaching in the World

By the way, there are plenty of upper body plyometrics to substitute in such as:

  • Crossover Books Push-Ups
  • Depth Push-Ups
  • Clap Push-Ups
  • Med Ball Punches or throws
Warm Up

Don’t forget a proper warm up should be performed each day before the main workout. I suggest doing some dynamic warm ups and movement preparation each and every day during this lockdown. Here is a suggestion for a simple but effective warm up:

  • Mountain Climbers: 60 seconds
  • Lunge in place: 10 per leg
  • Bodyweight Squats: 10 reps
  • Hamstring Sweeps: 10 per leg
  • Side Planks: 20-30 seconds per side
  • McGill Curl-ups: 4 reps of 15 second holds
  • Bird Dogs: 30-60 seconds per side
  • Foam Roll the entire Body
  • Bodyweight Unilateral RDLs with hip external rotation: 8 per side
  • Sled or Pillowcase forward drags: 30-60 seconds
  • Sled or Pillowcase backward drags: 30-60 seconds
Conditioning

As for conditioning, here are some ideas:

  • Mountain Climbers
  • Burpees
  • Jump Rope
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Scap Jacks
  • BW Lunges
  • Backpack Swings
  • Backpack Stair Climbing: for time
  • My favorite: strength movement, paired with conditioning movement, and paired with a mobility movement

Mash Meathead Metabolics (example):
1. Backpack Zercher Squats for 10-repetitions
2. Burpees for 10-repetitions
3. Grasshopper Dynamic Leg Stretch
10-15 minute AMRAP

Making the Best of It

I hope this helps. I know some of us are sweating it pretty badly because we love the gym. This plan should at least keep us from losing our gains, but some of you will actually improve quite a bit with this plan. Let’s take care of our bodies, get some rest, and be ready for when this thing is over. If you have any questions, email me at info@mashelite.com

I am praying for all of you. I know we are going through some tough times, but we will get through this. The question is:

Will we use this time to improve ourselves, or will we sit in front of Netflix and pout? Some of us will come out the other end better than ever. Who will you be?

STRENGTH UNIVERSITY VIDEO CURRICULUM

THE PERFECT WAY TO GROW IN KNOWLEDGE DURING THIS TIME OF SOCIAL DISTANCING

It's finally here... Learn about technique, programming, assessment, and coaching from a master. For strength coaches and for athletes, these 53 videos (7 hours and 56 minutes of footage) will prepare you to understand the main lifts for maximum performance and safety. Get ready to learn...

JUST LAUNCHED: ACT NOW TO SAVE OVER 40%

Your Questions Answered – The Barbell Life 302

It’s time again for another one of my favorite podcasts.

I love answering questions that listeners have written in. That way I know that we’re helping people and not just talking into a mic with no one benefitting.

We had some great topics to talk about today – on everything from mobility to career advice to programming to bodybuilding to building confidence under heavy weight… and so much more.

STRENGTH UNIVERSITY VIDEO CURRICULUM

THE PERFECT WAY TO GROW IN KNOWLEDGE DURING THIS TIME OF SOCIAL DISTANCING

It's finally here... Learn about technique, programming, assessment, and coaching from a master. For strength coaches and for athletes, these 53 videos (7 hours and 56 minutes of footage) will prepare you to understand the main lifts for maximum performance and safety. Get ready to learn...

JUST LAUNCHED: ACT NOW TO SAVE OVER 40%

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

  • Mobility and stability – how and when to go about and find what’s right for you
  • Advice to young strength coaches
  • When lower volume builds more muscle than higher volume (scientific study)
  • Hard gainers… and the real differences between barbell and dumbbell bench
  • How to train children (particularly getting your own kids off on the right foot)
  • and more…

Getting Jacked and Healthy at Home

Writing this seems so surreal. I can’t believe that I am writing all of you under these uncertain circumstances. Yet here we are.

I wrote an article last week explaining COVID-19 in detail. While writing that article, I came to realize that unless something drastic changes, all of our lives will be altered forever. Now we can either sit around depressed and feeling sorry for ourselves… or we can adapt to our situation, make the best of it, and come out on the other end better than ever. Personally that’s the route I am taking.

Perspective

The first thing I did over the weekend when I started feeling scared and sorry for myself was think about all the things I am thankful for. God has been so incredibly good to me in this life.

For one thing I have a wife who I absolutely love with all my heart, and I thank God that I actually like being quarantined with her. She fascinates me with her artwork, and I bore her with physiology. At least she pretends to be excited. The one thing in life that keeps me motivated is her belief in me as a husband and father. She knows I will provide, and that keeps me on my toes. She deserves to be a real queen married to the king of some marvelous country. I might not be a king, but I want to be a pretty darn good consolation prize.

I have four children that amaze me every single day of my life. Bailey is 20 years old and growing up much faster than I would like. It’s outrageous watching her become a woman. Rock has athleticism at 5 years old that I didn’t have by twelve. His gymnastic skills and climbing ability is extraordinary, and yet he communicates like a child twice his age. Behr Bradley is so much like his dad that I feel like a part of me will live on forever in that young man. I think he is going to put my strength accomplishments to shame. He’s built like no other three-year-old that I have ever seen in my life. You would think he was crushing the weights already. Finally, there is my little flower, Magnolia. If you follow me on social media, you already know of my one-year-old princess. I can’t begin to tell you how her eyes pierce deep down into my very soul.

I have a best friend, Kevin “KJ’ Jones who has been my ride or die for 35 years. I can’t begin to express how this man has been my rock through so many ups and downs in my life. You see, we both grew up in the mountains of North Carolina with our single mothers. We have both gone on to live extraordinary lives. I am certain we were the only ones who believed in us from the very beginning. He has continued to inspire me in this wild ride of a life, and now we are leaning on each other as we strive to keep our businesses alive and our families taken care of.

I have an amazing team of athletes who most coaches can only dream about. I have Coach Crystal who keeps our team and my business organized and on track. I have a business partner, Chris Mason, who has been my training partner and fellow adventurer since Appalachian State University.

I have a career that takes me around the world teaching people about strength and fitness. I get to hang out with people like Anders Varner and Doug Larson, and I get to travel around the world filming the Barbell Shrugged Podcast. I mean, really I don’t have a lot to be sad about. I am living a life better than I could have ever dreamed about growing up.

Most importantly, I have a God who now I have more time to reflect upon, read about, and worship. It’s times like these that we will either turn to God, or forever abandon His arms. I have chosen to put all my faith and hope in the future in His hands:

Philippians 1:21-22
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose.

Technology

I advise all of you to first take a few minutes to think about all of the blessings in your life before sitting around and getting depressed about all the things you have no control over. Another thing I recommend is to stop thinking about the things you can’t do. Rather I suggest focusing on what you can do. Instead of thinking about why something won’t work now that most of us are in isolation, I suggest thinking about what needs to happen to make your idea come to life – and use the technology to do so.

I have been coaching my team via Zoom this week. I started looking into the whole thing, and then I had the idea I would coach all of my top athletes from around the world at the same time. Now I can coach Jordan Cantrell, Sandra and Louise from Denmark, Isaac from New Zealand, and the rest of my all-stars from around the world on a daily basis. This awful virus has actually brought my vast team together in a way like never before. I can video their lifts, analyze it with “Coach’s Eye” software, and explain the analysis in real time. This is almost better than in person.

We are here for you during this Coronavirus crisis.

Let us help with customized programming and coaching when you have limited access to gym equipment.

If you are financially able to join our online team for customized programming at this time, we would appreciate your support.

If you are financially struggling during this time, we still want to help. Email us and we will try to help out in any way we can.

* Fully Customized Programming

* Unlimited Technique Analysis

* The Best Coaching in the World

Improvement

After stumbling upon the Zoom win, I decided to think of all the things I want to work on while we are all on lockdown. I mean, what else are we going to do besides get more awesome, folks? I don’t know about you, but I plan on coming out on the other side of this thing better than before it struck our world.

Here are some things that I am currently working on:

  • Getting healthier than ever before
  • Bodyweight workouts to get ‘300’ jacked
  • Improve my cardiovascular system on my bike
  • Write every single day
  • Study anatomy and physiology every single day and write about it at least once per week
  • Improve my content
  • Spend more quality time with my beloved family
  • Take some time to think this life through in a way that I have been wanting to do for forever, but I haven’t had the time.

I want to use my plans to help all of you. I will be writing about my plans and progress every single week. I am going to start by sharing my ideas for workouts at home while you guys are stuck behind four walls with no gym to escape to. Let’s take a look at some options.

At Home Workouts

Limited or No Equipment Workout

Here’s a link to a Video of the Exercises: ==> Video of the Exercises for the Limited Equipment Program

Day 1
3-5 Sets:
1a. Kettlebell/DB/Plate Goblet Squat – 3 x 10
1b. Pushups – 3 x 10
1c. 50 Jump Ropes

3-5 Sets:
2a. Kettlebell/DB/Plate Hinges – 3 x 10
2b. Kettlebell/DB/Plate Lawn Mower Rows – 3 x 10 each arm
2c. Hurdle Side Steps – 3 x 10 (5 each way)

Day 2
3-5 Sets:
1a. Prisoner Squat Jumps – 3 x 5-10
1b. Explosive Pushups – 3 x 5-10
1c. Plank with Band Lat Rows – 3 x 10 each way, eccentric slower than concentric

3-5 Sets:
2a. Kettlebell/DB/Plate Lunges – 3 x 10 each leg
2b. Kettlebell/DB/Plate Strict Presses – 3 x 10
2c. Mountain Climbers – 3 x 20

Day 3
3-5 Sets:
1a. BB/DB/KB/Plate OH Squat – 3 x 10
1b. Plate/KB/DB Front Raises – 3 x 10
1c. KB/Plate/DB Swings – 3 x 10

3-5 Sets:
2a. Pushup with Feet Elevated – 3 x 10
2b. Pullups – 3 x submaximal reps
2c. Lunges – 3 x 10 each leg

Let’s take a look at all the options and ways to regress or progress:

  • Tempo: Tempo is a great way to alter the difficulty of any movement. I would advise that the eccentric (negative) contraction always exceed the duration of the concentric contraction (the up or shortening portion). This is a great tool if you don’t have any equipment. You could add a 5-second to 10-second eccentric and a 5-second to 10-second isometric (pause) contraction in the bottom on any squat, lunge, pushup, pull-up, etc.
  • Sets: I recommended 3-5 sets, but there is no reason to stick to those parameters if the workout is too easy. At the end of the day, it’s all about introducing a stimulus that causes an adaptive response by the body.
  • Repetitions: Add a rep or subtract a rep depending on the difficulty.
  • Time Component: If the workout is too easy, you can always add a time component. By that I mean time your workout, and then have a goal of beating that time in the next week. You could try to add difficulty and time to really challenge yourself.
  • Angle: If you change the angle of an exercise, you will alter the difficulty one way or the other. Let’s look at strict presses for example. If you don’t have a dumbbell, kettlebell, or a plate, you can turn the movement into a bodyweight movement by using handstand pushups. If completely vertical handstand pushups are too hard, walk your hands away from the wall to make them easier. The same goes for pushups, pull-ups, and horizontal rows.
  • Bodyweight Movements instead of Weights: I already explained substituting handstand pushups for strict presses. However, you could perform horizontal rows instead of kettlebell lawnmower rows. You just need a bar or ledge to row on and something to sit your legs on.
  • Household Items or Children as Weights: You can easily turn children, stools, canned goods, gallons of water, books, and filled boxes into external loads. Canned goods are great for shoulder lateral raises. Children are great for squats and rows. Stools are great for carries, and they’re great to elevate one’s feet during pushups.

If you have any questions about the movement, feel free to shoot me a message to info@mashelite.com.

Six-Week Weightlifting with Only Barbell and Squat Stand

This program is designed to be fun, get you stronger, and to slightly peak you in six weeks. I hope this virus situation is over by then. If not, I will write another one. I would like to get us all on the same page and possibly Zoom once per week or once per month (I need to think about the logistics) with Coach Crystal (Mash Elite National Coach), Jordan Cantrell (3 x Team USA World Team Member and USA Weightlifting Level 2 Coach), and/or me. I would like your feedback if you want to do this with us.

If you have any questions about the following movements, feel free to shoot me a message to info@mashelite.com.

Accumulation Phase
Week 1

Day 1
Hang Clean – 5RM (7 RPE), then -10% for 5
Push Jerks – 5RM (7 RPE), then -10% for 5
Strict Press – 10 x 3 at 80%
Plate OH Carries or Holds – 3 x 25yd each arm or 3 x 10-15 sec holds

Day 2
Hang Snatch below Knee with 4-sec Eccentric – 5RM (7 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 5
Back Squat with 4-sec Eccentric and 2-sec Pause in Bottom – 5RM (7 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 5
Snatch Grip Deadlift with 5-sec Eccentric – 5RM (7 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 5
Wide Goodmorning, Stay at a 7-8 RPE – start with 25% of Squat for 3 x 8
Unilateral Farmer’s Walk -3 x 40yd each arm

Day 3
Sntach Grip Push Press – 5RM (7 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 5
Closegrip Bench Press – 5 x 10 at 60%
Bentover Rows – 5 x 10 at 60%
Plate Bottom Up Z Press – 3 x 10 each arm

Day 4
Back Squat – 63% x 10 x 10
Rear Leg Elevated Split Squats, Stay at a 7 RPE – 5 x 15 each leg
Unilateral RDLs – 3 x 10
Barbell Zercher Carries or Holds – 3 x 25yd or 3 x 10-15 sec holds

Week 2

Day 1
Hang Clean – 5RM (8 RPE), then -10% for 5
Push Jerks – 5RM (8 RPE), then -10% for 5
Strict Press – 10 x 4 at 80%
Plate OH Carries or Holds – 3 x 25yd each arm or 3 x 10-15 sec holds

Day 2
Hang Snatch below Knee with 4-sec Eccentric – 5RM (8 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 5
Back Squat with 4-sec eccentric and 2 sec pause in bottom – 5RM (8 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 5
Snatch Grip Deadlift with 5-sec Eccentric – 5RM (8 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 5
Wide Goodmorning, Stay at a 7-8 RPE – add 5-10 kilos to last week for 3 x 8
Unilateral Farmer’s Walk – 3 x 40yd each arm

Day 3
Sntach Grip Push Press – 5RM (8 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 5
Closegrip Bench Press – 5 x 10 at 63%
Bentover Rows – 5 x 10 at 63%
Plate Bottom Up Z Press – 3 x 10 each arm

Day 4
Back Squat – 65% for 10 x 10
Rear Leg Elevated Split Squats, Stay at a 7 RPE – 5 x 15 each leg
Unilateral RDLs – 3 x 10
Barbell Zercher Carries or Holds – 3 x 25yd or 3 x 10-15 sec holds

Strength Phase
Week 3

Day 1
Warm Up with Jerk Steps from Split – 35% x 3, 45% for 2 x 3
Clean & Jerks – (70% x 3, 75% x 2, 80% x 2) x 2 waves, then work up with singles but no more than 90%
Power Cleans – 70% for 3 x 3, then 3RM
Front Squat with 4-sec Eccentric and 2-sec Pause in Bottom – 5RM (8 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 5
Clean Pulls – Work to a heavy triple with perfect form

Day 2
Warm Up with OH Squat Variations: Heaving Snatch Balance & 1 OH Squat (Both Paused 3 sec in bottom) – Work up to 75% of snatch
Pull to Hip + NHNF Snatch – 60% for 3 x 2+2
Snatch – (70% x 3, 75% x 2, 80% x 2) x 2 waves, then work up with singles but no more than 90%
Power Snatch – 60% for 2 x 3, then work to a 3RM (9 RPE)
Snatch Pulls – Work to a heavy triple with perfect form
Superset:
1a. OH Plate Triceps Extension – 3 x 10 reps
1b. Strict Presses – 5RM (9 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 5
1c. Plate Front Raises – 3 x 12 reps

Day 3
Snatch Max Effort: Pull to Hips + Snatch + Hang Snatch – Max
Clean & Jerk Max Effort: Clean + Hang Clean + Jerk – Max
Front Squat with Belt – 1RM with 5 sec pause (7 RPE)
Bentover Rows – 5RM (9 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 5

Day 4
Back Squat with Belt:
Set 1 – (88% x 2), rest 2 minutes and then (73% x 6)
Set 2 (add 5 Kilos to each weight if possible) – (88% x 2), rest 2 minutes and then (73% x 6)
Set 3 (add 5 Kilos to each weight if possible) – (88% x 2), rest 2 minutes and then (73% x 6)
Superset:
1a. Push Presses – 5RM (9 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 5
1b. Muscle Snatches – 3 x 5, working toward a 9 RPE
Clean Grip Deadlift from 2″ Deficit, Paused at Mid Shin – 3RM (first 2 reps paused 3 sec) 9 RPE, then -10% for 2 x 3 not paused

Week 4

Day 1
Warm Up with Jerk Steps from Split – 35% x 3, 45% for 3 x 3
Clean & Jerks – (73% x 2, 78% x 2, 83% x 1) x 2 waves, then work up with singles but no more than 93%
Power Cleans – 70% for 3 x 3, then 3RM
Front Squat with 4-sec Eccentric and 2-sec Pause in Bottom – 5RM (9 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 5
Clean Pulls – Work to a heavy triple with perfect form

Day 2
Warm Up with OH Squat Variations: Heaving Snatch Balance & 1 OH Squat (Both Paused 3 sec in bottom) – Work up to 78% of snatch
Pull to Hip + NHNF Snatch – 63% for 3 x 2+2
Snatch – (73% x 2, 78% x 2, 83% x 1) x 2 waves, then work up with singles but no more than 93%
Power Snatch – 63% for 2 x 3, then work to a 3RM (9.5 RPE)
Snatch Pulls – Work to a heavy triple with perfect form
Superset:
1a. OH Plate Triceps Extension – 3 x 10 reps
1b. Strict Presses – 5RM (9 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 5
1c. Plate Front Raises – 3 x 12 reps

Day 3
Snatch Max Effort: Snatch to Hip + Snatch – Max
Clean & Jerk Max Effort: Clean + Front Squat + Jerk – Max
Front Squat with Belt – 1RM with 5 sec pause (8 RPE)
Bentover Rows – 5RM (9.5 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 5

Day 4
Back Squat with Belt:
Set 1 – (90% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (75% x 5)
Set 2 (add 5 Kilos to each weight if possible) – (90% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (75% x 5)
Set 3 (add 5 Kilos to each weight if possible) – (90% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (75% x 5)
Superset:
1a. Push Presses – 5RM (9.5 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 5
1b. Muscle Snatches – 3 x 5, working toward a 9.5 RPE
Clean Grip Deadlift from 2″ Deficit, Paused at Mid Shin – 3RM (first 2 reps paused 3 sec) 9.5 RPE, then -10% for 2 x 3 not paused

Week 5

Day 1
Warm Up with Jerk Steps from Split – 35% x 3, 40% for 2 x 3
Clean & Jerks – (70% x 3, 75% x 2, 80% x 2) x 2 waves
Power Cleans – 75% for 3 x 3
Front Squat with 4-sec Eccentric and 2-sec Pause in Bottom – 90% of 5RM for 3 x 5
Clean Pulls – Work to a heavy triple with perfect form, stop one set early

Day 2
Warm Up with OH Squat Variations: Heaving Snatch Balance & 1 OH Squat (Both Paused 3 sec in bottom) – Work up to 80% of snatch
Pull to Hip + NHNF Snatch – 60% for 2 x 2+2
Snatch – (70% x 3, 75% x 2, 80% x 2) x 2 waves
Power Snatch – 65% for 3 x 3
Snatch Pulls – Work to a heavy triple with perfect form
Superset:
1a. OH Plate Triceps Extension – 3 x 10 reps
1b. Strict Presses – 3RM (9 RPE), then work to single max
1c. Plate Front Raises – 3 x 12 reps

Day 3
Snatch Max Effort: Snatch – 2RM
Clean & Jerk Max Effort: 2 Clean + 1 Jerk – Max
Front Squat with Belt – 1RM with 3 sec pause (9.5 RPE)
Bentover Rows – 90% of 5RM for 3 x 5

Day 4
Back Squat with Belt:
Set 1 – (93% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (78% x 5)
Set 2 (add 5 Kilos to each weight if possible) – (93% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (78% x 5)
Set 3 (add 5 Kilos to each weight if possible) – (93% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (78% x 5)
Superset:
1a. Push Presses – 90% of 5RM for 3 x 5
1b. Muscle Snatches – 3 x 5, no more than 8 RPE
Clean Grip Deadlift (no deficit), Paused at Mid Shin – 3RM (first rep paused 2 sec) 9.5 RPE

Week 6

Day 1
Warm Up with Jerk Steps from Split – 35% x 3, 45% for 3 x 3
Clean & Jerks – (75% x 2, 80% x 1, 85% x 1) x 2 waves, then work up to a potential opener
Power Cleans – Max single, no misses
Front Squat with 4-sec Eccentric and 2-sec Pause in Bottom – 5RM (9.5 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 5

Day 2
Warm Up with OH Squat Variations: Heaving Snatch Balance & 1 OH Squat – Work up to 70% of snatch
Pull to Hip + NHNF Snatch – 65% for 3 x 1+1
Snatch – (75% x 3, 80% x 1, 85% x 1) x 2 waves, then work up to a potential opener
Power Snatch – Max single
Superset:
1a. OH Plate Triceps Extension – 3 x 10 reps
1b. Plate Front Raises – 3 x 12 reps

Day 3
Snatch Max Effort: Snatch – Max
Clean & Jerk Max Effort: Clean & Jerk – Max
Bentover Rows – 5RM

Day 4
Back Squat with Belt – 1RM
Push Presses – 3RM (9 RPE), then work to single max
Clean Grip Deadlift – 1RM (no deficit or pauses)

We are here for you during this Coronavirus crisis.

Let us help with customized programming and coaching when you have limited access to gym equipment.

If you are financially able to join our online team for customized programming at this time, we would appreciate your support.

If you are financially struggling during this time, we still want to help. Email us and we will try to help out in any way we can.

* Fully Customized Programming

* Unlimited Technique Analysis

* The Best Coaching in the World

Six-Week Powerlifting with Only Barbell, Squat Stand, and Bench

Here’s one for all you powerlifters.

If you have any questions about the following movements, feel free to shoot me a message to info@mashelite.com.

Accumulation Phase
Week 1

Day 1
Back Squat with 4-sec Eccentric and 2-sec Pause in Bottom – 5RM (7 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 5
Snatch Grip Deadlift with 5-sec Eccentric – 5RM (7 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 5
Wide Goodmorning, Stay at a 7-8 RPE – Start with 25% of squat for 3 x 8
BB Lunges – 3 x 10 reps each leg, working toward an 8 RPE

Day 2
Wide Grip Bench Press (Wider than Normal Comp Grip) – 10 x 3 at 80%
Incline DB or BB Presses – 10RM (9 RPE) and then -10% for 2 x 10
Pull-Ups – 4 x submaximal reps, switch grips each set (weakest to strongest)
Dips or Plate OH Triceps Extension – 4 x 10, working toward a 9 RPE

Day 3
Back Squat – 63% for 10 x 10
Slider Leg Curls – 4 x 10 reps

Day 4
Closer than Normal Bench Press – 63% for 10 x 10
BB Bentover Rows – 5 x 10 at 60%
DB or KB Upright Rows – 5 x 10
Barbell Zercher Carries or Holds – 3 x 25yd or 3 x 10-15 sec holds

Week 2

Day 1
Back Squat with 4-sec Eccentric and 2-sec Pause in Bottom – 5RM (8 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 5
Snatch Grip Deadlift with 5-sec Eccentric – 5RM (8 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 5
Wide Goodmorning, Stay at a 7-8 RPE – Add 5-10 kilos from last week’s weight for 3 x 8
BB Lunges – 3 x 10 reps each leg, working toward an 9 RPE

Day 2
Wide Grip Bench Press (Wider than Normal Comp Grip) – 10 x 4 at 80%
Incline DB or BB Presses – 10RM (9.5 RPE) and then -10% for 2 x 10
Pull-Ups – 4 x submaximal reps, switch grips each set (weakest to strongest)
Dips or Plate OH Triceps Extension – 4 x 10, working toward a 9.5 RPE

Day 3
Back Squat – 65% for 10 x 10
Slider Leg Curls – 4 x 10 reps

Day 4
Closer than Normal Bench Press – 65% for 10 x 10
BB Bentover Rows – 5 x 10 at 65%
DB or KB Upright Rows – 5 x 10
Barbell Zercher Carries or Holds – 3 x 25yd or 3 x 10-15 sec holds

Strength Phase
Week 3

Day 1
Back Squat:
Set 1 – (88% x 2), rest 2 minutes and then (73% x 6)
Set 2 (add 5-10 Kilos to the 1 rep set if possible) – (88% x 2), rest 2 minutes and then (73% x 6)
Set 3 (add 5-10 Kilos to the 1 rep set if possible) – (88% x 2), rest 2 minutes and then (73% x 6)

Deadlifts (All Eccentrics Slower than Concentrics):
Set 1 – (88% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (75% x 4)
Set 2 (add 5-10 Kilos to the 1 rep set if possible) – (88% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (75% x 4)
Set 3 (add 5-10 Kilos to the 1 rep set if possible) – (88% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (75% x 4)
Wide Goodmornings – 3 x 5, starting with 30% of back squat
Plate Rear Leg Elevated Split Squats – 4 x 5 each leg, working up to an 8 RPE

Day 2
Bench Press – 3RM (all reps paused 3 sec) (9 RPE), then -10% for 4 x 3 (no pauses, last set is 3+ with 1 rep in reserve)
Closegrip BB Floor Presses – 5RM (9 RPE), then -15% for 4 x 5 (last set is 5+ with 1 rep in reserve)
BB Bentover Rows Paused 2 sec on Sternum – 5RM, then -10% for 4 x 5
Plate or DB Power Cleans for External Rotation – 4 x 10

Day 3
Back Squat with Belt – 3RM (1st rep paused 3 sec) (9 RPE), then -10% for 4 x 3 (no pauses)
Clean Grip Deadlift from 2″ Deficit, Paused at Knee, Eccentric Slower than Concentric – 3RM (first 2 reps paused 3 sec) (9 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 3 (not paused)
Carpet Slider Leg Curls – 3 x 10 paused 2 sec at the top
Unilateral Farmer’s Walk or Hold with Barbell – 3 x 25 yd per arm or 10-15 sec hold per arm, working to a near maximum

Day 4
Bench Press:
Set 1 – (88% x 2), rest 2 minutes and then (70% x 6)
Set 2 (add 3-5 Kilos to heavy set only if possible) – (88% x 2), rest 2 minutes and then (70% x 6)
Set 3 (add 3-5 Kilos to heavy set only if possible) – (88% x 2), rest 2 minutes and then (70% x 6+ with one rep in reserve)
Barbell, Curl Bar, DBs, or Plates Skull Crushers (aka Nose Breakers) – 6 x 8
superset with:
Band Pushdowns or Plate OH Triceps Extension – 6 x 10
(rest 30 sec between sets)
BB Curls – 3 x 10

Week 4

Day 1
Back Squat:
Set 1 – (90% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (75% x 5)
Set 2 (add 5-10 Kilos to the 1 rep set if possible) – (90% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (75% x 5)
Set 3 (add 5-10 Kilos to the 1 rep set if possible) – (90% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (75% x 5)

Deadlifts (All Eccentrics Slower than Concentrics):
Set 1 – (90% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (78% x 4)
Set 2 (add 5-10 Kilos to the 1 rep set if possible) – (90% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (78% x 4)
Set 3 (add 5-10 Kilos to the 1 rep set if possible) – (90% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (78% x 4)
Wide Goodmornings – 3 x 5, just progress about 2-5 kilos from last week
Plate Rear Leg Elevated Split Squats – 4 x 5 each leg, working up to a 9 RPE

Day 2
Bench Press – 3RM (first rep paused 3 sec) (9.5 RPE), then -10% for 4 x 3 (no pauses, last set is 3+ with 1 rep in reserve)
Closegrip BB Floor Presses – 5RM (9.5 RPE), then -15% for 4 x 5 (last set is 5+ with 1 rep in reserve)
BB Bentover Rows Paused 2 sec on Sternum – 5RM, then -10% for 4 x 5
Plate or DB Power Cleans for External Rotation – 4 x 10

Day 3
Back Squat with Belt – 3RM (1st rep paused 3 sec) (9.5 RPE), then -10% for 4 x 3 (no pauses)
Clean Grip Deadlift from 2″ Deficit, Paused at Knee, Eccentric Slower than Concentric – 3RM (first 2 reps paused 3 sec) (9.5 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 3 (not paused)
Carpet Slider Leg Curls – 4 x 10 paused 2 sec at the top
Unilateral Farmer’s Walk or Hold with Barbell – 3 x 25 yd per arm or 10-15 sec hold per arm, trying to beat last week in load, time, or distance

Day 4
Bench Press:
Set 1 – (90% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (75% x 5)
Set 2 (add 3-5 Kilos to heavy set only if possible) – (90% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (75% x 5)
Set 3 (add 3-5 Kilos to heavy set only if possible) – (90% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (75% x 5+ with one rep in reserve)
Barbell, Curl Bar, DBs, or Plates Skull Crushers (aka Nose Breakers) – 6 x 8
superset with:
Band Pushdowns or Plate OH Triceps Extension – 6 x 10
(rest 30 sec between sets)
BB Curls – 3 x 10

Week 5

Day 1
Back Squat:
Set 1 – (93% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (78% x 5)
Set 2 (add 5-10 Kilos to the 1 rep set if possible) – (93% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (78% x 5)
Set 3 (add 5-10 Kilos to the 1 rep set if possible) – (93% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (78% x 5)

Deadlifts (All Eccentrics Slower than Concentrics):
Set 1 – (93% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (80% x 3)
Set 2 (add 5-10 Kilos to the 1 rep set if possible) – (93% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (80% x 3)
Set 3 (add 5-10 Kilos to the 1 rep set if possible) – (93% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (80% x 3)
Wide Goodmornings – 3 x 5, same weight as last week
Plate Rear Leg Elevated Split Squats – 4 x 5 each leg, working up to a 7 RPE

Day 2
Bench Press – 1RM (paused 3 sec), then -15% for 3 x 3 (all paused 3 sec)
Closegrip BB Floor Presses – 5RM, then -15% for 2 x 5 (last set is 5+ with 1 rep in reserve)
BB Bentover Rows Paused 2 sec on Sternum – 5RM, then -15% for 5+ with 1 rep i reserve
Plate or DB Power Cleans for External Rotation – 4 x 10

Day 3
Back Squat with Belt – 90% of 3RM for 3 x 3 with no pauses
Clean Grip Deadlift Paused at Knee (No Deficit), Eccentric Slower than Concentric – 3RM (first rep paused 2 sec) (9.5 RPE)
Carpet Slider Leg Curls – 3 x 10 paused 2 sec at the top
Unilateral Farmer’s Walk or Hold with Barbell – 3 x 25 yd per arm or 10-15 sec hold per arm, submaximal effort for slight taper

Day 4
Bench Press:
Set 1 – (93% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (78% x 5)
Set 2 (add 3-5 Kilos to heavy set only if possible) – (93% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (78% x 5)
Set 3 (add 3-5 Kilos to heavy set only if possible) – (93% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (78% x 5)
Barbell, Curl Bar, DBs, or Plates Skull Crushers (aka Nose Breakers) – 4 x 8
superset with:
Band Pushdowns or Plate OH Triceps Extension – 4 x 10
(rest 30 sec between sets)
BB Curls – 3 x 10

Week 6

Day 1
Back Squat – 1RM
Deadlifts – 1RM

Day 2
Bench Press – Work up to 3 singles, paused 3 sec with 2-3 minutes between sets
Closegrip BB Floor Presses – 90% of 5RM for 3 x 5
BB Bentover Rows Paused 2 sec on Sternum – 90% of 5RM for 3 x 5
Plate or DB Power Cleans for External Rotation – 3 x 10

Day 3
Back Squat with Belt – 20RM Challenge (who can perform a 20RM with the highest percentage of their max?)
Deadlift (Use Your Opposite Stance: Sumo vs. Conventional) – 1RM
Carpet Slider Leg Curls – 3 x 12 paused 2 sec at the top
Unilateral Farmer’s Walk or Hold with Barbell – 3 x 25 yd per arm or 10-15 sec hold per arm, working to a maximum

Day 4
Bench Press – 1RM
Barbell, Curl Bar, DBs, or Plates Skull Crushers (aka Nose Breakers) – 6 x 8
superset with:
Band Pushdowns or Plate OH Triceps Extension – 6 x 10
(rest 30 sec between sets)
BB Curls – 3 x 10

Other Measures

Well there you go. You have six weeks of programming to get you through this rough time. A few things that I would like to add are:

  • Get your sleep
  • Clean up your nutrition to maximize your immune system
  • I recommend Vitamin C and Vitamin D (especially since we are inside so much nowadays)
  • Focus on the things that you can do rather than the things that you can’t do
  • Reflect on the things that you are thankful for
  • Pray (or meditate if you’re not a believer)
  • Love on your family
  • Tell the important people in your life that you love and care for them

Love You Guys

I hope this whole thing is a lesson to all of us that the world is a small place. We are not so different. The people in China, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Colombia, Russia, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Thailand, Cuba, and all over the world are suffering. It’s not about the United States versus China or anywhere else in the world. It’s about loving each other and caring for each other, and that’s about it. If you think it’s about money and acquiring things, take a look at famous people who run their lives into the ground and/or commit suicide.

If you’re a Christian, I really don’t understand turning everything into the United States versus the world. I don’t remember God telling us anywhere in the Bible to have our identity in our country. Did I miss that passage? Yes, render to Caesar what is Caesar’s. Otherwise, love everyone like you love yourself. So much more will be accomplished, including glorifying God. This is just my take on it all.

I love all of you. I hope to communicate more with all of you. If you decide to perform one of these programs, I would like your feedback – Would you enjoy a ‘Zoom’ call with Coach Crystal (Mash Elite National Coach), Jordan Cantrell (3 x Team USA World Team Member and USA Weightlifting Level 2 Coach), and/or me?

If so, email us at info@mashelite.com and I will let you know what we decide.

We are here for you during this Coronavirus crisis.

Let us help with customized programming and coaching when you have limited access to gym equipment.

If you are financially able to join our online team for customized programming at this time, we would appreciate your support.

If you are financially struggling during this time, we still want to help. Email us and we will try to help out in any way we can.

* Fully Customized Programming

* Unlimited Technique Analysis

* The Best Coaching in the World

Coronavirus Summary (And Perspective)

Right now I am sitting at home with my family thinking about how blessed I am to have a family I love and want to be around. I owe that (and pretty much everything awesome in my life) to God.

Part of what I am doing is going over the information from credible sites like the CDC and WHO to take a peek at the data. From there I am going to make a determination on how to proceed. As I was reading, I decided I would inform my readers as to the truth of what’s going on with this crazy virus.

First I want to say that you guys have got to stop feeding off of each other with zero facts to back up anything you’re saying. This is irrational at best – and irresponsible at worst case. I decided to sit here and read through the data for you, give you the summary version, and then you can make an informed decision.

This won’t be politically charged. I am not into that, especially during crises like this. I am simply going to give you the facts. Then at the end I am going to give you some of my thoughts and some ideas on how to look and discern all of this. However, whatever you decide to do with the information is up to you. I just want the best for all of you.

What is COVID-19?

There are a few mixed reports, but it appears the first reported case of COVID-19 was reported December 20, 2019 in Wuhan, China. It’s not completely confirmed, but it appears to be linked to the live animal market in Wuhan. Scientists speculate that the virus was transmitted to humans from either a pangolin or a bat. However there isn’t confirmation as of yet.

The first case was recorded in the United States on January 20, 2020 – in Washington State related to travel from China. On January 30th, the World Health Organization proclaimed COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. This strain of coronavirus was given its name February 11th, and it was named after the crown-like formations on the tips of its protruding spikes.


Figure 1 Captured from “Front Line Genomics”

COVID-19 is in the same coronavirus family as SARS and MERS. In just a bit I will talk about how COVID-19 compares to influenza, and I will compare it to the other famous pandemics in the last century. You will see that this one is quite dangerous.

However, first I want to introduce you to a very important date for Americans. On February 26th, the first person was identified as positive for COVID-19 who was unrelated to travel with China or contact with someone with a history of travel to and from China. On February 26th there were 53 confirmed cases. Now on March 14th, there are 2,499 cases in America. It’s funny because a week ago I had warned people about this crazy virus – and people almost crucified me. However there is something called exponential growth that most people weren’t considering at the time. I was watching countries like Italy go from 14 to 500 cases in four days. You don’t have to be an MIT graduate to know that’s not good at all. In the last three days, the number of cases has more than doubled… and so have the deaths.

The flu normally starts at the end of September and peaks sometime in February about 4-5 months later. Remember on February 26th, we were at 53 confirmed cases – and now just 17 days later we are at 2,499. Now imagine four more months of just half of that growth. Now can we stop saying that this thing is just another flu?

COVID-19 Compared to the Flu

Exponential Growth

This is the reason people have to stop comparing COVID-19 to the flu. Exponential growth is a look at how quickly a number (in this instance, cases of COVID-19) grows at an exponential rate. Our World of Data is an awesome website that really breaks down data and explains it in a digestible way. In this article, the site broke down all the data for COVID-19. They looked at its growth for individual countries worldwide.

In America, the virus is doubling every three days. Now that won’t hold true forever of course, but it is a figure we should monitor as long as the growth rate is maintained. As of this morning (I started this article on March 14th and now finishing on the morning of March 15th), we are at 3,045 cases and 60 deaths. Once again, remember this thing started spreading in America on February 26th to people without travel to Wuhan or direct contact with a traveler to/from Wuhan. If this exponential growth continues for just 15 more days, we are looking at 97,440. If it continues to spread for 30 days at this rate, we are looking at 3,118,080.

This is why the government is taking such extreme measures. If the mortality rate is just 2% (we won’t really know for a while until we figure out approximately how many cases went unreported), then that would mean 62,361 people in the United States alone will die from this. I don’t have a doom-and-gloom view of this thing. I just believe that we need to look at the numbers and act appropriately. Yes, the bigger risk is for the older population, but I don’t want my in-laws, my mother, or anyone in my family to die if they don’t have to. Right?

Basic Reproduction Number/R0

This is the number assigned to a bug describing how many people an infected person will spread the disease to. Right now, COVID-19 has an R0 of 2.2 (see here) – meaning that an infected person will spread the virus to 2.2 other people on average. The flu has a rating of 1.3. This is in part because we have a vaccine for the flu, and our bodies have built up a natural immunity to the strands of influenza that we see each year.

Mortality Rate

On average the flu kills about 0.1% of the people who contract it here in America. Thus far in the 2019-2020 flu season, we are at 0.05%. In contrast, it appears that COVID-19 has a mortality rate of between 2-3% (much higher in some reports) of the people who contract the virus. We will go with 2%, as we won’t know the real number for several months due to the number of unreported cases. The flu reports already have an estimated number of non-reports from past years. Regardless, from the data I have looked at it appears the mortality rate is still about twenty times more deadly than the traditional strands of flu that we receive see each year in America. (0.1% versus 2%)

Here’s a look Worldwide:

My Thoughts

So those are the facts. It’s up to you to do whatever you want with them. However, I am choosing to take this moment in time to reflect on the things that mean the most to me like:

  • My God
  • My Family
  • My Friends and Athletes
  • All of You

I now have more time to worship, love on my family, plan for my athletes, and produce content for all of you. I am actually enjoying my time at home because I am spending it loving on my precious family. My kids love it because they get me all the time. What I am saying is that this is a time to reflect on the things we have, not the things that we don’t have. If you’re alive, you have so much to be thankful for.

I don’t think this is the President’s fault, China’s fault, or anyone else’s fault. Viruses happen, and they will happen again. Here’s the one thing I know to be true – and that is God is in control. If you are a believer, then you believe that God created the universe. If He did all of that, I am confident that He has a plan for all of this as well.

Job 38 3:7
Now gird up your loins like a man,
And I will ask you, and you instruct Me!
“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell Me, if you have understanding,
Who set its measurements? Since you know.
Or who stretched the line on it?
“On what were its bases sunk?
Or who laid its cornerstone,
When the morning stars sang together
And all the sons of God shouted for joy?

These versus let you know exactly who’s in charge, but then the words from Romans 8:28 remind us that eventually it is all for our own good:

Romans 8:28
We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called to His purpose.

I know some of you don’t agree with my beliefs. I still love you. However, at this moment I am thankful for my faith.

Recommendations to Stay Healthy

By now we all know to wash our hands. A few simple suggestions are:

  • Avoid crowds
  • Keep working out
  • Drink lots of fluid
  • Sleep 8-10 hours per day
  • Limit unnecessary simple sugar
  • Find ways to limit stress

I am going to write a followup article on my thoughts regarding strengthening one’s immune system – with some ways to workout at home with minimal or no equipment. My professor, Chris Sowers, former Biology Professor at the University of North Carolina, is going to help with that article to give all of you some great information on strengthening your immune system and overall health. My goal is to give all of you as much free information as possible in a time when we are all going to need information at a premium.

I want to end with saying that in my opinion the government is not overreacting. South Korea got a hold of this virus the quickest, by testing as many people as possible, and isolating anyone testing positive and the people in contact with those people. Guys, I know this is a pain, but the only way to neutralize this madness is staying at a distance from each other for a while. Otherwise this thing will continue to spread with a vengeance.

Maybe you don’t care about older people. To be clear, I do very much – because that’s my mother and my beloved in-laws. Still maybe you don’t care about the elderly for whatever reason, and I am not judging. However consider this:

  1. If we don’t get a handle on this, hospitals will be overwhelmed.
  2. Then people will start dying from many other ailments – such as a major asthma attack or pneumonia caused from other diseases (lack of ventilators)
  3. Healthcare professionals will start to be vulnerable from being overworked
  4. Then a minor setback to the economy will turn into a lingering issue that devastates the economy on a global scale

Either way, this thing is going to alter our way of life – no doubt about that one. Our actions will determine just how altered our lives will be and for how long. For once in America, let’s put our emotions and political party aside, and let’s make educated and well thought-out decisions. Let’s help small businesses bounce back when all of this is over. Let’s stop bashing each other over our political beliefs, and let’s start looking at each other for what we all are:

“Humans trying to do our best to make a better life for our families while surviving rough times like this.”

For all of you who are not as financially affected, we appreciate your ongoing business at www.mashelite.com. For those of you who are crushed financially right now, if you need me for anything (and I mean anything), message me at info@mashelite.com and I will provide you with whatever I have in my disposal – for free if need be. I don’t care about money right now. I care about my fellow humans on the planet of ours. I no longer look at other countries as a foreign land. I no longer look at USA versus Russia, or USA versus China. At this point in time and God willing from now on, it’s just Planet Earth. It’s no longer Americans, Chinese, Irish, and Colombians. Now it’s just humans.

I love you guys. I hope to take this time to write more and more, so let me know what topics you want to hear about. Now is the time to get whatever you need from me. I have lots of time on my hands.

We are here for you during this Coronavirus crisis.

Let us help with customized programming and coaching when you have limited access to gym equipment.

If you are financially able to join our online team for customized programming at this time, we would appreciate your support.

If you are financially struggling during this time, we still want to help. Email us and we will try to help out in any way we can.

* Fully Customized Programming

* Unlimited Technique Analysis

* The Best Coaching in the World

New Horizons in Athlete Testing

It’s safe to say that I am coaching some of the strongest young people in America in the areas of Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, throwing, football, and wrestling.

We have:

  • two youth weightlifters who have medaled at the Youth World Championships.
  • multiple American records
  • multiple Pan American Records
  • a powerlifter who has unofficially benched 20 pounds over the IPF teenage world record
  • the fourth best thrower in the country
  • multiple football players with D1 offers
  • and one of the best middle school wrestlers in the entire state.

Here’s the kicker. We are in Lewisville, NC. I bet a bunch of you just said, “Where is that?” …Exactly!

My point is that we are good at getting people strong and powerful. Some coaches would probably get satisfied, finalize their approach, and assume their program was unbeatable. The reason my athletes are so good from year to year is because I would never think like that – no matter how many amazing athletes come through my program. My job is to remain on top so my athletes can realize each of their dreams. That’s why they come to me, and that’s what I intend on delivering.

THE NEWEST EVOLUTION OF MASH PROGRAMMING

The latest and greatest methods from Travis Mash as he continues to innovate Mash Mafia programming.

Weightlifting - Powerlifting - Super Total

Garage Gym Warrior - Functional Fitness - Strength and Conditioning

AND NOW…

So what’s the next step? My goal is to build the best athlete testing protocols in the world during my tenure at Lenoir-Rhyne University. To do so, one must look at all the options out there and decide which ones are the best. This article is going to show you a few of the ways we intend on testing and tracking our athletes, and I will explain the use of each. I want to be up front and tell all of you that this is in the beginning stages and subject to change. However I will keep you updated on the changes.

Over the next few years, I intend on keeping all of you updated on our findings, and therefore potentially advancing the field as we know it.

The Problem

See, most training programs are designed around the training theory of supercompensation discovered by Nikolai N. Yakovlev in 1959 and the fundamentals of periodization published by Lev Matveyev in 1964. The problem is that our athletes aren’t privileged to the same environment as the Russian athletes of their time. Those athletes had a relatively stress free environment and were taking drugs. Our athletes live in a drug-free world filled with social media and the modern day stressors of 2020. We have to take those stressors into consideration.

In a perfect world, training works just like this:

Selye’s General Adaptation Cycle:

The body starts at baseline with a relatively steady state of equilibrium. Then we introduce a training stimulus to the body, causing fatigue and throwing our body out of equilibrium. Our body responds with the CNS sending a distress signal to the PNS (effectors). The PNS uses the Somatic Nervous System (skeletal muscle) and the Autonomic Nervous System (smooth muscle, cardiac muscle, glands, and adipose tissue) to address the disturbance. If the training volume doesn’t surpass the body’s ability to recover, the athlete will get their body back to baseline and then some (supercompensation). The problem is all of the outside disturbances and stress that compound the fatigue, making it hard to get back to baseline – let alone supercompensation.

OMEGAWAVE

Omegawave seeks to help coaches better get a handle on all the stressors an athlete is facing inside and outside of training. Omegawave combines heart rate variability along with brain wave activity to monitor the following aspects of readiness:

  • Muscular System
  • Hormonal or Endocrine System
  • Cardio-Pulmonary System
  • Central Nervous System
  • Energy Supply

Omegawave monitors the body in the following three ways:

  1. Heart rate variability (HRV) is used to assess the state of an athlete’s cardiac and autonomic nervous system.
  2. The differential ECG method is used to assess the state of the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems as well as heart rate at anaerobic threshold.
  3. The Omega method measures the brain’s direct current to assess the state of the central nervous system.

Let’s take a closer look at each. I am only going to give an overview, but I am planning follow up articles for all of the measurement systems I am introducing in this article.

HRV

HRV is becoming a pretty common way for strength and conditioning coaches to monitor the readiness of athletes. It’s a great way of measuring an athlete’s functional state, predicting overreaching/overtraining, and managing the training process. Put simply, you can measure athletes day to day to ensure that you are not causing too much fatigue and stress.

HRV can also be used to measure the current state of an athlete’s cardiac system with stress index, fatigue, and the body’s ability to adapt. HRV also shows the current state of an athlete’s autonomic nervous system. This is automatic response of the PNS to stress being received by the CNS. The body uses smooth muscle, cardiac muscle, glands, and sometimes adipose tissue to reach a state of homeostasis. If the body is too beat up, continuing to train will only put it further in the tank.

Differential ECG method

The differential ECG method is used to assess the state of the aerobic and anaerobic systems as well as heart rate at anaerobic threshold. Basically this tells us if the body has the energy stores to carry out a workout with various energy systems. You can be strong but still be tanked in this area. When we see differences in the ECG patterns, we know there are disturbances with the energy and metabolism of the heart.

Since cardiac and skeletal muscle share similar structures and biochemical reactions, training adaptations related to programming and periodization create similar changes in each. This correlation allows Omegawave to analyze specific characteristics of the QRS complex, a combination of three of the graphical deflections seen on a typical ECG, to assess the energy supply state of the cardiovascular and skeletal muscle systems. This is your fuel gauge just like on a car. If you are running on empty, you better pull over and fill up or risk running out of gas.

Omega Method

Finally, the Omega method measures the direct current potential and is used to assess the state of the central nervous system. An optimal voltage is necessary for useful adaptation as a response to training loads. If your DC is running low, your ability to adapt to a stimulus, to follow directions, or to retain information from a coach is drastically minimized. You coordination will be affected – along with quality of movement, efficiency, and motor learning. It basically measures an athlete’s current state of their regulatory mechanism or their CNS, gas exchange system, detoxification system, and hormonal system parameters.

The Omegawave System gives feedback and suggestions of daily best practices. My main goal is to use these measurements as data in combination with other data sources. Then multiple conclusions will be able to be drawn, allowing coaches to develop better plans for their athletes.

Neurotransmitter testing

Before he passed away, Charles Poliquin hypothesized that neurotransmitters could give coaches hints into best practices for individualized programming. I have written many articles about the different types of athletes. I’ve pointed out before how some athletes flourish with programs that include high loads, high frequency, and low volume – while others tend to kill it with high amounts of volume, moderate loads, and moderate frequency. Unless we test athletes, it could take months or years to perfect their programs. However, if Charles was right, we could start out on the most optimal path.

Charles explained that he believed each athlete has a dominant neurotransmitter: either GABA, acetylcholine, dopamine, or serotonin. He also believed that each neurotransmitter correlated with one of the Chinese elements: earth, water, fire, metal, and wood.

  1. Fire with Dopamine
  2. Wood with Acetylcholine
  3. Metal with GABA
  4. Water with Serotonin
  5. Earth was equivalent to a balanced neurotransmitter profile

Dopamine Fire Types: Charles believed that these athletes had incredible nervous systems, allowing them to easily adapt to training modalities and protocols. He believed they needed high volume and high variety for continued adaptation. He seemed to classify their archetype with their neurotransmitter test. If this is true, it will be interesting to see how my system to classify each athlete’s archetype correlates with Charles’s predictions. In the case of the Dopamine Fire, they have an inspiring nature and vibrant personality. On the other hand, they have a tendency to lose their temper.

Acetylcholine Wood Types: These athletes need a bit more frequency and intensity. However, you will want to lower the volume a bit. They still need change, but slight changes every couple of weeks will work best. You have to watch this group, as they might get hurt going too hard. This athlete is a pioneer. They are going to come up with new concepts along with having extravagant plans and goals. They are quick witted and creative.

Metal GABA Types: These types of athlete appears to model Brett Bartholomew’s Mouth Archetype. They are going to do more talking than training. This type of athlete will lean toward drug use to gain an advantage.

Water Serotonin Types: these athletes are free spirits. They aren’t going to love training at all. They might visit the yoga room a couple of times per month, but that will probably be it. They will cheer on the accomplishments of others but quickly get bored by the training process.

Balanced Earth Types: These athletes fit right into one of my plans. I normally start people with a plan straight out of Prilepin’s chart, and then I vary based on performance and feedback. They need a steady balance of intensity, volume, and frequency. These athletes do not like variation to their programs or changes to the environment. Block training with some form of linear periodization should fit them perfectly.

I am definitely intrigued to dig into these a bit deeper. If it’s valid, this could save coaches like me years of trial and error with programming. That has a bigger impact than you can even imagine. If I can dial in an athlete six months to a year sooner than normal, it could increase an athlete’s chances to make an Olympic team substantially. This test could help avoid overtraining and possibly injury. Lastly, it could help a coach gain athlete buy-in at a much faster rate, which is the battle we all fight every day.

Developing Archetypes

Naturally this fits in after the neurotransmitter section. I am a huge fan of Coach Brett Bartholomew and his book Conscious Coaching. I have now read it twice, and I hosted a clinic with a huge section discussing the book. Athlete buy-in is the 2020 buzzword. We all talk about it, and we talk about its importance. However not many people are actually able to get complete athlete buy-in from every individual they coach. Conscious Coaching is all about identifying and classifying the personalities and nature of athletes. The book gives you the tools needed to extract the necessary information to make the classifications, and it gives you suggestions for hacking the code of each athlete.

I am going to work closely with a sport psychologist to develop psychological evaluations that will help me identify the archetype of each athlete, and that will help me develop best-practice coaching strategies. I also hope to arrange periodic sports psych meetings for each of my athletes – both individually and as a team. This is an aspect of training that can be a huge advantage if an athlete isn’t scared to take advantage of the field. In my experience when you are at the tip of the iceberg, the deciding factor will come down to mental toughness. During this last Olympic quad, I observed that the athletes who seem to be clearly head and shoulders above the rest of the pack (like Kate Nye, for example) are mentally the strongest competitors with enormous amounts of confidence and swagger on the platform.

Velocity Based Training

VBT can be so many things to a coach if they happen to understand the concept. The first key to maximizing the potential of VBT is data collection. You need to form baselines for all of your athletes. You will want average velocities at varying percentages of varying movements. For example, I recommend establishing an average velocity at around 80 or 85%. You need a percentage to be your regulatory percentage. If you are excessively slower on any given day, then that is a trigger to alter the program to something like a technique and recovery day. If your peak velocity is 0.3 m/s faster than normal, you might consider pushing things a bit.

Once I have a velocity profile on all of my athletes, the entire program will be velocity-based in nature. This will give me so many advantages. For example, it will keep things logical. Athletes are emotional. They will snatch a weight faster than lightning, and then they will tell me it felt heavy or off. I will be able to show them quantifiable evidence of what’s really going on. VBT will also keep athletes from going heavy on days where they have nothing to gain and everything to lose.

OPEN UP NEW POSSIBILITIES IN STRENGTH

Mash Elite's Guide to Velocity-Based Training

By measuring bar speed (simple to do with your smartphone), you can guarantee each and every training session is as effective and safe as possible.

I am most interested in comparing the notes of VBT with Omegawave. If Omegawave’s feedback is telling me that an athlete is overtrained, I am curious what the velocity will tell me. I hope of course that everything is synchronized. Combining the two will tell me all the truths. For example, one athlete could have a tanked energy supply but still be able to pull on some heavy snatches. There might not be any glycogen available for a three-hour grind session, but the CP system can deliver some 90% singles during a short-duration but high-load session.

Velocity Based Training combined with Omegawave will help me perfect the exact amount of prescribed volume to elicit just enough stress to fatigue the system without destroying it. I hope I am getting that point across to all of you. If not, let me be super clear:

“It all comes down to perfecting volume, intensity, and frequency prescriptions, so that they fatigue the system eliciting a response from the body to maintain homeostasis, and therefore with the help of the autonomic nervous system adapt to a state stronger than the original baseline.”

The key is data. Omegawave and VBT are great ways to dial in athletes. I am hoping the neurotransmitter testing will help expedite that process even more. Of course, I will track all the markers of my programming – like total volume, average intensity, K-value, and hopefully a lot more that Dr. Koch and Dr. Leiting help me develop. I will share everything with all of you when we finish that process.

Data is important because it holds all the answers. If an athlete wins a gold medal at the World Championships going six for six, you are going to want to look hard at the data markers. You are probably going to keep similar markers for the next plan. However, if things don’t go as planned, you can look at what not to repeat.

We are going to have each of our athletes fill out daily questionnaires so that we can track external stressors (like big tests, struggling in class, break ups, and more). This will help us to know when to trim the volume of our own programs. Remember, stress is stress. If they are getting hit with stress in class, you have to respond.

One other data point I am looking into is genetic testing. I talked to Charles Lehman over the weekend from Health Codes DNA – and there was a lot of promising information. I just need to research them and the entire process a bit more. However, if what they told me is true, I will be able to pinpoint nutrition, recovery, programming, and so much more. I can’t wait to share that one with all of you if it’s as good as I think. The testing is also supposed to tell each athlete what foods to avoid as well.

There are still some testing parameters I am looking into like:

  • Jump Mat
  • Force Plate
  • Muscle Biopsy for Fiber Type (of course I will do this through my friend Dr. Andy Galpin, and I will get the best practices for each fiber type.)
  • Bar Path (I already use this parameter of testing, but I am looking for better software solutions.)
  • Sleep Quality
  • Gut Health

We are here for you during this Coronavirus crisis.

Let us help with customized programming and coaching when you have limited access to gym equipment.

If you are financially able to join our online team for customized programming at this time, we would appreciate your support.

If you are financially struggling during this time, we still want to help. Email us and we will try to help out in any way we can.

* Fully Customized Programming

* Unlimited Technique Analysis

* The Best Coaching in the World

I know some of you probably think I am crazy, but my goal on this earth is to create a program in the sport of weightlifting that is unmatched anywhere in the world. I want my athletes to have every legal advantage under the sun. I also want to provide the world with research and data that will help to improve the overall state of exercise science. I want to leave it better than I found it. At the end of it all, I want to be able to deliver testing options for a variety of budgets and goals.

I am still in the early phases, so I would love to hear from all of you. If I am leaving out a testing parameter, please comment or email me. I want my time spent on getting my PhD to be useful to our entire industry. I want young coaches to avoid the mistakes I made. I want coaches to be so useful and sought after that they can make comfortable livings helping others and loving what they do.

Why You Should Not Take Magnesium Baths

The more I learn about physiology, the more I realize the need for all trainers and coaches to understand the basics.

Here’s some truth for you all:

Instead of running advertisements to help trainers and athletes form sales funnels, we need to increase the quality of our trainers and coaches as a whole. All over social media you can see unqualified people soliciting money from people without a darn clue as to really help them.

Ok that’s my rant. Now instead of me sounding like a bitter old man, I am going to start doing just that. Daily I am going to give free advice in the areas of physiology, biomechanics, and some physics. I will also help you relate that information to your craft – for example, physiology as it relates to nutrition, biomechanics as it relates to bar path, and physics as it relates to certain lifts that place different demands on the body.

Up first: Osmosis

Let’s start this journey by discussing osmosis – and why you probably shouldn’t use distilled water when cutting weight because of osmosis. First, what is osmosis?

Osmosis is the movement of water from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration. When you drink lots of distilled water, it is so pure that it causes the water to rush into the cells. The cells swell and sometimes rupture, causing an excessive loss of ionic compounds/electrolytes. This can lead to severe cramps and in extreme situations death. The heart needs calcium and potassium in the correct levels to continue beating. The same goes for all of your muscles.

One other bad idea you might have is taking a magnesium bath to enhance recovery. Osmosis is still the culprit – but in the opposite way. The bath water is filled with magnesium, which means the total concentration of water is lower due to sharing space with magnesium. You definitely won’t absorb the magnesium, but you will sweat excessively. Plus, the skin has selective permeability, so that wouldn’t happen regardless of osmosis.

Let me explain the boundary formed by our skin, so you can see what I mean. The epidermis (outer layer) of the skin is comprised of four (and in some cases five) layers, not to mention the dermis (the two even thicker layers beneath the epidermis) and then subcutaneous fat.

In the epidermis, you have the Stratum Basale, which is attached to the basement membrane by hemidesmosomes. Basically sewn firmly to the basement membrane. This section is the home to basal cell, which are stem cells that constantly replace the dying cells of the epidermis.

We are here for you during this Coronavirus crisis.

Let us help with customized programming and coaching when you have limited access to gym equipment.

If you are financially able to join our online team for customized programming at this time, we would appreciate your support.

If you are financially struggling during this time, we still want to help. Email us and we will try to help out in any way we can.

* Fully Customized Programming

* Unlimited Technique Analysis

* The Best Coaching in the World

Above that you have the stratum spinosum. Every time a basal cell divides, one of the new cells enters this level. This level is filled with keratinocytes, which are designed to protect the body from anything dangerous entering the body or important molecules leaving the body. The next layer, stratum granulosum, consists of cells displaced by the layer below. Here they have stopped dividing, and now they start to form the protein keratin. Keratin is extremely durable and water resistant. Keratin cells develop into thinner and flat fibers like a protective sheath. In this layer, the outer layers of the cells thicken and the cell dies.

In your palms and on your feet, you have a stratum lucidum, which is just another layer of protection for areas exposed to more dangers. The final layer is the stratum corneum. This is a multi-layered section of dead, interlocking keratinocytes. This section is water resistant as well.

As you can see, water would have a tough time getting in, let alone an atom or compound containing magnesium. When you add the osmosis factor, it is going to be impossible for magnesium to get into the skin via a bath.

However, magnesium can be added to the body with other transdermal agents – just not through salts in a bath. I hope this helps shed light on these two subjects. For all of you coaches out there, you should never stop learning. You have to market, but it can’t stop there. You are the product. Remember that! Your goal has to be to deliver the best product possible.

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