Category Archives for "Barbell Life"

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.

Here's the key to unlocking even more gains in 2020...

Become a member of the Mash Mafia.

* 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.

Injury Recovery and Full Body Movement with MoveU’s Andrew Dettelbach – The Barbell Life 293

You may recognize Andrew Dettelbach as the crazy shirtless guy from MoveU.

But his story goes so much deeper. After a severely herniated disc, Andrew didn’t get the recommended surgery but instead rehabbed his body.

He learned about movement, he learned about mobility, and he learned about how physical therapy gets it wrong sometimes.

Now he’s stronger and fitter than ever.

So if you’ve ever dealt with injury, this podcast is an inspiration.

If you want to avoid injury, this podcast is packed with education as well.

Protocols for Aches and Pains, Muscular Imbalances & Recovery

Work Harder. Train Longer. Prevent Injury.

Prevent injury, reduce pain and maintain joint health with Travis's specific corrections for your individual muscular imbalances.


  • Why physical therapy gets people off on the wrong foot
  • Taking a full body approach no matter what
  • How Andrew handles his hypermobility
  • Social media tips from MoveU
  • The early warning signs of Andrew’s injury
  • and more…

The Most Inspiring Story Ever

On Wednesday of this week, one of my best friends in the world became a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.

Her name is Kristi Mason, and she is 46 years old. I met her along with her husband Chris “Ox” Mason (who is also my business partner and one of my best friends) while I was in college at Appalachian State University. I was the wild one, and they were in love. We did everything together.

Our History Together

The three of us trained together at Appalachian Fitness Center. It was the heyday of my lifting career. They were into bodybuilding at the time, but we supported each other through it all. I went to their shows and they traveled with me to my competitions. It was one of the best times of my life. I look back on those times, and all I remember is loving every second of it. I had found a sport that was giving me everything I had been missing in life – stability and two friends who supported me and loved me (the real me) unconditionally.

One day after an amazing training session, we were sitting around together and talking about our love of the barbell. I explained that it gave me back everything I put into it. The harder I worked, the stronger I became. If I wanted to get stronger, I lifted heavy and often. If I wanted to get jacked, I added in accessory work for the pump. As I was explaining all of this to Kristi and Chris, I started crying uncontrollably like a baby. It was at this moment I knew exactly who I was and what I wanted in life. It was moments like this that Kristi and Chris shared with me, and that’s why they know aspects of me no one else will ever understand.

They were there during my time at the Olympic Training Center, and they were there during my climb to the top of powerlifting. They were there for every Gold Medal and every World Record. They were there when it was all over as well. That was the darkest time of my life, and they were there. They have always been there for me. When most people deserted me, they stayed by my side. For that, I will always love them both until the lights go out.

Working for the Dream

About six years ago, Kristi decided to begin the long journey of becoming a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. She was over 40 years old when she decided to begin the impossible. It wasn’t only Kristi’s journey – Chris was now solely responsible for paying the bills and taking care of their 10-acre ranch. He had just started a new business: Training for Warriors Winston-Salem. They had both been pharmaceutical sales reps making hefty salaries with great benefits, and now Chris was making the only salary and providing his own benefits. Now are you seeing there are two heroes in this story? I watched it all from afar with admiration for them both.

People love to dream. They love to talk about what they would like to do or what they should do. Nothing drives me crazier than listening to people talk about “could have” and “should have.” Nothing is more dysfunctional than those phrases. However this isn’t a story about people mumbling those phrases, growing old, and dying with regrets.

Here's the key to unlocking even more gains in 2020...

Become a member of the Mash Mafia.

* Fully Customized Programming

* Unlimited Technique Analysis

* The Best Coaching in the World

In this story, our heroes dream an amazing dream, make a plan, and commit to that plan. She started out taking prerequisites and retaking a few classes that she didn’t do so well in while at college. She was crushing it. Then it was time to apply. This was a scary time in our story because veterinary school is harder to get into than medical school. However, she did get in, and the first step of her dream was now a reality.

Now it was time for the work to begin. Kristi spent all of her time going to class and studying. One thing I didn’t mention was that the vet school was four hours away. Not only was Chris taking care of the ranch and working to pay all the bills, but also he was alone. Their ranch is totally secluded with no visible neighbors. That solitude is great when your wife is with you, but it can get pretty old day-in and day-out.

He held it together the best he could. He battled depression, and he battled a volatile economy with a risky business. He wanted to quit, but he didn’t want to let his wife down. He had the weight of the world on his shoulder, but this past Wednesday that weight was lifted. Kristi passed her boards and became Dr. Kristi Mason. I have never been more proud of anyone, and I am referencing both of them because this was dream realized by the two of them acting as one. We can all stand to learn from this amazing task.

The lesson

Let’s look at a few of the things we should learn from this grand achievement:

  • Marriage is teamwork. If you find yourself saying I, me, and mine too much, you somehow missed the point of marriage. We are supposed to love and support each other. It’s not about winning arguments, or your partner making you happy. If you focus on loving your wife, I promise you will always get tenfold in return.
  • Dreams are meant to become reality. There isn’t an age limit on dreams. Sometimes people act like nothing amazing happens after 30. When we’re young, nothing is impossible. However the older we get, the more restrictions we put on ourselves. Why? My life gets more exciting each decade, and your life can too. The key is having the courage to go over the things in life. I think of it like this. God created the universe. He put the Earth just far enough from the sun and moon to maintain everything. He created the human body with such complexity that I am amazed each day studying Anatomy and Physiology. If He created us in His image, do you really think He designed us to be cowards? No way.
  • Why are you afraid? Have you ever asked yourself that simple question? What’s the worst case scenario? It might not work. So what? You sure won’t be lying in your deathbed talking about what you could have done and should have done. Instead you will be lying there telling your grandkids about living a life of adventure and excitement. Existing isn’t living – at least in my world!

Kristi and Chris did a thing. They are living their lives. They are inspiring every single person around them, including me. It’s Kristi who first put the idea of getting my PhD in my head. She inspired her crazy friend, and now she will live a life that she has been dreaming about because she wasn’t afraid to go for it. I see a lot of so-called ‘influencers’ talking about living a courageous life. Kristi didn’t talk about it. She just went out there and did it.

And to Kristi, this is my way of saying I am so proud of you and your hubby. I love you both very much, and I hope that you both realize you have inspired me to be a better person for over two decades. Now that I have shared you with the world, you can inspire the world as well.

The New University Weightlifting Possibilities – The Barbell Life 291

I was so excited to recently announce the start of a new university weightlifting program at Lenoir Rhyne.

I wanted to give everyone the full story – to take a look at the past few years of weightlifting, what I’ve learned along the way, where the dream started for this university program… and most of all, how it can help all you weightlifters out there!

And as I explain in the podcast, our online team is still in full force! This move to Lenoir Rhyne is just going to make the online team better as I have the chance to learn even more and grow as a coach.

Here's the key to unlocking even more gains in 2020...

Become a member of the Mash Mafia.

* Fully Customized Programming

* Unlimited Technique Analysis

* The Best Coaching in the World


  • What I learned from coaching in so many “eras” of weightlifting
  • Reactions from the industry
  • Scholarship opportunities
  • New scientific studies coming soon?
  • Filling in the gaps left from the OTC
  • and more…

My Desire for Exercise Science Students

Before I get into my vision for the field of exercise science, I want to first tell all of you how excited I am for the future.

A dream of beginning a new university program is finally coming to fruition after 7 years. In the fall of 2020, I will begin my position as Head Coach of the Lenoir-Rhyne University Weightlifting Team. Recently I took my team to see the facilities and to check out campus. We even had the chance to train in our new home, and I think that I speak for all of us when I say we loved it. It felt like an Olympic Training Center, which is exactly what I am going for.

View this post on Instagram

On Tuesday I took the majority of our team to see what I’ve been working on for the last six months. If you take into consideration how long I’ve been planning and dreaming of a University Weightlifting Program, it’s more like 7 years. In this video you will see the main weight room complete with: Inverse Leg Curls, Reverse-Hypers, Glute-Ham Developers, @westsidebarbellofficial Belt Squat Machine, racking system with all the toys including jammer arms, monkey bars for days, every specialty bar you can imagine, turf area, multiple @assaultairbike air runners, air bikes, ski ergs, and of course we will have all the nice kilo bumpers and awesome bars. . There’s also a nutrition station as you exit for athletes to grab their post-workout shakes. . The Athletic Training Room is my favorite complete with Cold Tub and Hot Tub, @rapidreboot ‘s, and Athletic Trainers of course. The goal is to get each athlete an individual recovery plan. . You’ll also see the spillover room that is also beautiful for individual two-a-day sessions. . Another thing is the Heated Indoor Saltwater Pool. For all of you CrossFit Athletes that can also Snatch and Clean & Jerk well, I am 100% interested in having you, and I am totally fine with you continuing to do both sports weightlifting and CrossFit. Therefore indirectly creating the first University CrossFit Program. . If you’re interested in attending and looking into scholarship opportunities, you can DM me right here. Then I will give you my email. . FYI to all the coaches, we want you to remain the #1 coach of record and can keep your club name except during the University Nationals. . I want this to be a Team USA Program, and nothing to do with Team Mash. I hope we can work together to give athletes opportunities within the sport. Therefore giving them a reason to pursue our beloved sport versus one of the other sport like football or basketball. . Ask any questions right here as well, and I will answer. . @shruggedcollective @andersvarner @usaweightlifting #usaw #weightlifting #strengthandconditioning #powerlifting @alex_j_koch @lenoirrhyne @bearssports #lenoirrhyneweightlifting #crossfit

A post shared by Mash Elite Performance (@masheliteperformance) on

I want the athletes on my team to have everything they need to succeed. However there is much more that I want for them. I want them to leave Lenoir-Rhyne with a degree and a future. I am also beginning the long process of working toward my PhD. Guys, I haven’t been in school in over 25 years. Luckily, Mash Elite Performance has kept my nose buried in research, learning, and writing of course. I definitely feel more prepared than when I first graced Appalachian State University with my presence. All I cared about back then was football, lifting weights, and girls. Now I want to make a difference in as big a way as possible.

The staff at LR is incredibly progressive and forward thinking. When I am around Dr. Alex Koch and Dr. Keith Leiting, I feel like the possibilities are endless. I’m excited about the research we will be capable of performing with elite weightlifters under our roof. However there is something that intrigues me even more. I want to make sure our exercise science students have futures in their chosen field.


The buzz around the world lately is that college isn’t as important as we once thought. People are either taking up a trade, starting work right away, or skipping school to start their own business. With my goal of becoming a professor, I want to be a part of the solution. Exercise Science is comprised of students who are intrigued with health and fitness, and most of them simply want to help others. To me this is an admirable major filled with good people, and I want to help the students at Lenoir-Rhyne put their passion to work.

My dream is to integrate major specific business skills within the exercise science curriculum. I want to teach our students:

  • How to brand themselves with social media
  • How to create content to help others via podcasts, blogs, or vlogs
  • Networking skills
  • Entrepreneurial skills to develop their own businesses online or brick and mortar
  • The actual job search itself

One thing I have learned listening to Gary Vaynerchuk is that brand is just about everything when it comes to one’s career. I am not just talking about entrepreneurs. I’m also talking about those want a job as a strength and conditioning coach or even as a personal trainer. In a competitive field, you have got to do something that sets you apart, and then you have to let the rest of the world know about it.

If a student begins the process during their freshman year, they will be able to build quite the brand by the time they are seniors. If they want to focus more on their futures than partying, we all know there is plenty of time to grow a brand and a following. I am not talking about four years of posting pics with your friends. I mean four years of sharing all that you are learning or sharing nutrition and exercise tips. The goal is that you graduate being known as that guy – with that guy being whoever you want to become in this noble field.

If you desire to help people with the knowledge you are gaining in your studies, you don’t have to wait until you graduate. You can start creating content on your favorite aspects of exercise science right now. The key is discovering your favorite way to produce content – whether it be podcasting, writing, or vlogging. Of course you don’t want to write about something that you don’t totally understand. Stick to the truths that you are learning along the way. The goal is to focus on the niche you enjoy and the particular aspect of exercise science you know the best (nutrition, speed training, athletic performance, etc.). Remember the goal is to become that guy or that gal in the field.


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

Getting a job? Starting a business?

Here’s the truth regarding how one gets most jobs in the exercise science world: it’s whom you know. It might not be the right thing, but it’s a harsh reality. But there is an art to networking. Way too many people who are trying to network come across as annoying and desperate. It has to be a natural thing. The best people to network with are people you jive with. Then there is a high probability that your new acquaintance will introduce you to other likeminded people – and the next thing you know you will have a circle of folks that you love. There’s more to it, but you get the idea. We just need to make sure that our talented students get the idea.

And let’s not forget that many students can create their own jobs. Most college students simply don’t understand they aren’t held hostage by the hopes of someone hiring them anymore. This is the age of the young entrepreneur. However, it’s also the age of the broke entrepreneur. These young folks need guidance and someone who can be brutally honest because everyone isn’t cut out for entrepreneurship. If you’re lazy, you’re doomed to fail. If you aren’t self-motivated, you are doomed to fail. If you don’t have thick skin, you’re doomed to fail because everyone is going to tell you that you’re crazy.

The job will be to assess the students and see who is and who isn’t cut out for entrepreneurship. If they are, the next job would be to see what ideas they might have, and then give them direction. The key will be to get this going as soon as possible, so they can use their time in college to brand their future business. For example, maybe they love working with weight loss clients. They should spend their extra time writing and/or creating video of the dangers of obesity and making wise choices at the grocery store. Then they will graduate having created a solid following that they can begin to market to.

The most obvious place that these graduates need help is finding actual jobs. Most of them have no idea about the opportunities that are afforded them. For example, they could look for something in the strength and conditioning field, personal trainer, corporate wellness, physical therapist assistant, chiropractic assistant, personal trainer on a cruise ship (this is a real thing), or in cardiac rehab. The list goes on, but the key is informing the students and helping them map out a path toward their goal job.

The good thing is that Dr. Alex Koch and I have already been throwing around ideas. Since he helped me start this whole new program, I guess we believe anything is possible at this point. If you are looking for a school right now, you might want to consider what kind of job placement record they have as a school. I can promise we are going to make some changes you will all be reading about very soon. I want all of our students leaving Lenoir-Rhyne University ready to attack their chosen field and confident they made the right choice in a university.

If you are interested in our new University Weightlifting Program at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, NC, message me on here or shoot an email to I will have a Lenoir-Rhyne email within days, which will be

Perseverance and Starting a Coaching Career with Peter Kenn – The Barbell Life 290

It’s not really a surprise that Peter Kenn is pursuing a strength coach career.

After all, his father is my friend Coach Joe Kenn of the Carolina Panthers. And Peter joins us today to talk about what it was like growing up as the son of a great strength coach.

But Peter is a skilled athlete in his own right, and he is determined to make his own way in the world as a strength coach. I think he’s going places – and as you’ll hear about in this podcast, he has some strengths that might even make him a better strength coach than his father.

We talk about all of that – and we also get to Peter’s plans for breaking into the strength coach industry… and what has already brought him tremendous benefit.

Want to Win the Mental Battle in Training and Competition?

Overcome the Mental Struggle with Performance Zone

Mash Elite brings you a proven approach to increasing confidence, eliminating negative thoughts, confronting fear, and functioning at peak capacity.


  • Why track requires a lot of mental fortitude – and what makes Peter so mentally tough
  • Having a successful Block Zero
  • What it was like growing up as Coach Joe Kenn’s son (and what Coach Kenn has learned the hard way)
  • How Peter’s “court room experience” made him a better coach
  • Peter’s tactical plan to enter the coaching world and what you can learn from it
  • and more…

1 2 3 77