Category Archives for "Barbell Life"

Barbell Life on the Farm

Labor Day Weekend the “Mash Strength Spectacular” is bringing the family farm to life once again. Last time we had over 1,000 people at Rolling Hills Farm here in North Carolina. We are anticipating more than twice that amount this time. Check it out here:

==> Mash Strength Spectacular on the Farm

Barbell Life on the Farm

Whether you are a weightlifter, powerlifter, strongman, CrossFitter, or maybe you just love weight training, there is one common denominator, the barbell. The barbell is more than just the instrument that we use to perform our chosen sport. The barbell is more than just a tool used in someone’s training regiment. The barbell is what bonds all of us together.

This bond is what makes our hobby different from all other hobbies. People who train with a barbell connect on numerous levels. We enjoy being around each other because we understand one another. We understand the struggles of adding 5lb to our back squat. We understand the blood, sweat, and tears that go into the training.

All of us desire to tame the barbell. We want to master the barbell. However that is an impossible task. The barbell can always add more weight. You can never master it, and that’s what is so dang beautiful. There will always be more to learn, and all of us are blood thirsty for that next nugget of knowledge.

York Barbell understood this common bond as far back as 1945. Bob Hoffman orchestrated legendary picnics during this era where he would put on display some of the finest strength athletes in the world. People would come from all over the country to see their heroes up close. More importantly they gathered to be around people that shared their love of the barbell and strength. It was a weekend where people could forget that an outside world even existed. For one weekend they would pretend that the only thing on earth that mattered was strength and their desire to get stronger. It was a strength athlete’s utopia.

Over the years the York Barbell Picnics faded away, and now they are just moments of history that all of us can only dream of being a part. However I want to bring this back. I want to provide a place where all of us can gather, hangout, and enjoy the barbell.

In 2015 we put on the Mash Strength Spectacular on my 15-acre family farm in Mocksville, NC. Over 1,000 people came from all over the United States to compete, hang out, and take part in such an amazing event. There is something extraordinary that happens when you mix big weights with nature. The serenity of watching a beautiful horse trot in the green fields, the crow of a rooster, and mixing in a 200kg Clean & Jerk is an experience that only the ones in attendance can explain or understand.

We are doing this again on Labor Day Weekend Saturday September 2nd. Our typically quiet farm will erupt with the sounds of bars dropping and people cheering. We are having Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, and strongman. We are hoping that this year’s event is going to be even bigger, but the main reason for Strength Spectacular is to meet and hangout with all of you.

Before my friend Chris Moore died, we talked about our lives. We talked about the things that meant the most to us. After talking to him, I realized that more than anything I just want to meet people that love the barbell and share my experiences with them. I want all of you to learn from my mistakes and my successes. I want to share my funny stories that I have collected over the last thirty years of competing and coaching. I want to hear all of your stories.

Sure I can stay behind this computer, write some cool articles, share some videos of my team, and maybe write a book or two. None of you would ever have to meet me for any of that to happen, but that would leave a big purpose for my life unfilled. I have no doubts that God put me on this earth to connect with other people. There is not greater feeling on earth than to help someone else. If I say something that puts a smile on someone else’s face, my own heart warms with the love that I share with all of you.

Rolling Hills Farm, my family’s farm, is a place that we want to use to connect with all of you. The first thing that we have planned is the “Mash Strength Spectacular”. Like I said that will be a fun day of bar slamming and PR setting. However it’s when the sun goes down that the real connecting starts. We will hang out, tell tall tales, and just do life until the wee hours of the night. I love unscripted hang out time to answer questions, talk about failures, and rejoice over successes.

Chris Moore and I talked about the importance of moments like this. I want to help all the young people coming up in the strength world to avoid my mistakes and to take advantage of all the things that I have learned. Right now this is where God has placed me. This is what I have to give back to the world. This is how I am able to love all of you.

Chris and I also talked about hosting a weekend with a small group of people. I am not talking about a Mastermind. That has been done, and Barbell Business does a great job with those. I am talking about a weekend of training, hanging out, talking about business, and more importantly talking about life.

It would look like this:

• Training twice per day
• Lunch and Dinner together
• Yoga and Mobility Work
• Business Discussions
• Coaching Discussions
• Outings such as canoeing, horseback riding, and hiking.
• Campfires every night just to hang out, talk, and do life.
• All of it (minus the outings) taking place on the Rolling Hills Farm

It’s a dream of mine. What do you guys and gals think? Is this something that you all would enjoy? I would love feedback either below or email me at ⇒ info@mashelite.com

Either way we are going to enjoy opening our farm up to all of you. We will be hosting events of all kinds in the near future. We are also opening the farm for others to host their own personal events. You can check out the website below:

www.rhfarmnc.com

If you have any questions about the Mash Strength Spectacular or becoming a vendor, email us at info@mashelite.com.

Sweat Bank by Emily Drew Mash

Check out one of our seven E-Books:

• “Squat Every Day”
• “Eat What You Want”
• “Squat Every Day 2”
• “No Weaknesses”
• “Mash Program Sampler”
• “The Mash Blueprint for Program Design”
• “Performance Zone”

Check them out here: ⇒ Mash Elite E-Books

Sweat Bank

Training is a journey. Sometimes it’s easy to get 5 or 6 training sessions in per day, eat all your macros, sleep 8 hours, and recover properly. I’ve been in this flow before and it is amazing. Gaining strength, losing fat, setting PRs, training in a strong mental state, mentally pushing past barriers, being “all in”, when life allows you to create this environment….take full advantage of it. Do it; do all of it. Don’t be lazy, don’t waste it. If you can, DO.

Because sometimes life does not allow for these things to be a priority. Both Travis and myself have our own set of circumstances that do not allow for us to be at the top of our game…for a season. Travis is recovering from a torn triceps and I am nursing an infant, figuring our life with two kids, taking care of a husband with one good arm, and spending time growing a business with my art.

Travis and I met in the gym, so training and eating healthy have been our unquestioned way of life for a decade. Our lives have revolved around competitions and training cycles. We used to make our schedule around training and have dates at the gym. But not right now. Doctor’s orders for Travis is to keep his arm as immobile as possible. He works out what he can, but you can imagine, it’s no where near the level at which he was training before his injury. Last year at this time, I was training to compete in powerlifting and doing everything I could to get stronger and leaner. I was seeing awesome gains; I squatted 325lbs. and found out the next week that I was pregnant with our second child.

Needless to say, my competitive training came to a halt. I didn’t lift more that 75% of my maxes during pregnancy. Now, our little Behr Bradley is four months old. I still have about 15lbs to lose and lots of gains to make to train like I was before. I wouldn’t give anything for my little boys, but it is disheartening trying to make the same gains and lose the same weight AGAIN. Sometimes, I have to make the decision to give my kids a bath or go to the gym. Right now it’s challenging to get to the gym and train hard consistently. I have started the same powerlifting program about 3 times over since Behr was born. Somedays I really wonder if it’s worth going to the gym at all. The last few weeks I have only been to the gym 1 or 2 days a week and I found myself NOT EVEN WANTING TO GO.

This was a huge moment for me. I had hit the point where I was so out of routine and not following a plan consistently that I didn’t even want to go. Not that it was a challenge to get there with two kids, but I just didn’t want to. Well, the moment I realized that I put on my tennis shoes, loaded the kids in the car and drove straight to the gym. There is a lot that I CAN DO right now that will put me in a good starting place once I can train 5-6 days a week hard with full mental awareness. I am committed to eating well, following a macro plan from Rebekah (mashelite.com/eatwhatyouwant), training as often as I can, and getting my cardio in walking around our neighborhood. I won’t be nursing an infant forever, so for now, I’m committed to doing my best and not beat myself up or lose heart. Travis is with me. He has committed to follow a macro plan from Rebekah, move as much as he can while his arm heals from surgery.

When you don’t want to is when you need to the most. I needed to go and sweat and feel some weight in my hand. And it was awesome. I did my standard “minimum” workout: squat some, bench some, work on pullups, row, and curl. Then I finished with intervals on the rower. And I felt great. I was sore for a couple days after, which rekindled my fire. (My minimum workout is the one I always do when I don’t know what to do, don’t want to do anything, think I’m too tired to train, or don’t have a planned workout for any other reason.)

The same principle applies to nutrition. When you find yourself in a rut of eating off your plan so much that you don’t even care or want to eat healthy, that’s the moment you need to eat a healthy balanced on-track meal. Get back on track.

Jon (or maybe Jess) North once said something about your “sweat bank”. Even if your workout is short, bad, inconsistent, or un programmed, any workout is still a deposit in your “sweat bank.” Just by moving, you are increasing blood flow, sweating toxins out of your body, making your heart healthier, and all the other awesome things that exercise does for your body.

So, for those of you reading this who have the time, energy, and ability to go all in with your training and nutrition, DO IT. Don’t waste this opportunity. For those of you in a situation like Travis and I are in, DON’T QUIT. Do whatever you can until you do have the chance to go all in again.

==============================================
Check out one of the Online Teams:

• Mash Mafia Bronze
• Mash Mafia Silver
• Mash Mafia Gold
• Eat What You Want
• Eat and Lift What You Want

Check them out here: ⇒ Mash Mafia Online Teams

Meet Mash Mafia’s Own Joanne Greagen Pro-Powerlifter and Pro-Strongwoman

==============================================
Check out one of the Online Teams:

• Mash Mafia Bronze
• Mash Mafia Silver
• Mash Mafia Gold
• Eat What You Want
• Eat and Lift What You Want

Check them out here: ⇒ Mash Mafia Online Teams
==============================================

Meet Joanne Greagen (Mash Mafia Online Team Member, Pro-Powerlifter, and Pro-Strongwoman)

If you guys don’t know Joanne, you need to read this. She is a single mother of three children. Oh yeah did I mention that she can Squat 430 pounds raw, Deadlift 451 pounds raw, and she can walk with a 600 pound yoke on her back. She just competed at the Arnold Classic in Australia at the Pro-Powerlifting Competition, and two day later she competed in the Pro-Strongwoman as well. She’s crazy, so that means she fits right in with my team.

As a business woman, entrepreneur, athlete, and mother, Joanne has lots to teach us all. Her time management must be unbelievable. I hope that you guys and gals enjoy her interview:

Joanne Greagen Interview:

1. What made you want to compete in powerlifting and strong woman in the same weekend?

Competing in both was actually a really big decision for me. Both the competitions were out of my weight class and top level invite only but I’m very passionate about the sport and love being amongst it all.

The Strongwoman was kind of a no brainer. I have been pushing to increase the number of women competing in Strongwoman in Australia for years. It’s been something I’ve been focussing on outside of my daily work. I run the Strongwoman Australia Page as well as the ‘Best In The West’ competition – a showcase of the strongest women in Australia, and the only Australian competition with cash prizes.

I had to consider Proraw9 Powerlifting more carefully. My first powerlifting comp was Proraw5 where I was invited as a wild card. Since that day I’ve been motivated to keep up with the Strongest women in the Country so that I would continue to always get an invite to this competition. I missed last year as I was so invested in the Strongwoman competition and was worried I wouldn’t be able to handle both.

The thing that sealed the deal for me was the fact that there was a jump in weight classes for Strongwoman from 75kg to 82kg (I was 68kg when I decided to go for it). I really felt I didn’t have a chance of placing in either competition so I thought why not challenge myself in a different capacity and be part of both. It was also going to be a massive learning curve for me and to push my body and mind to the extreme always excites me.

2. What was the experience like? Will you do it again? What did you learn?

It was tough. I went into this only 10 weeks out from the comp date. I had bi lateral quad tendonitis, a locked facet joint and during the prep had to deal with really bad SIJ pain. I found myself pretty beat up about 4-5 weeks out and really had to do some soul searching to get my head right and continue to push through every session.

I ended up purchasing Performance Zone by Travis Mash and Nathan Hansen. It really helped me get my head in the game again.

Both competitions were like nothing I’ve experienced before. I took what I knew would work best for me from Performance Zone and implemented it the best I could. Instead of feeling anxious throughout the Powerlifting lifts, I felt so focused. I visualised hitting my goals before I went out and while standing at the chalk bowl. I really tried to be in the moment. It was a very odd experience. Usually I can’t remember a thing from my lifts but this time I could remember everything. For the first time ever I walked away from a powerlifting meet feeling content – not disappointed that I missed a couple of lifts. I didn’t even know I was in third place until after my last deadlift (and I missed that one). I walked away from the ProRaw9 with a 15kg total PR and 3rd place by focussing on me, not what others were doing.

The Strongwoman was a completely different story. I was in pain and fatigued, I just didn’t how I was going to handle it all.

I completely surprized myself though. I got through most of the events with the exact plan I had put in place. I got a little thrown by some CNS fatigued that caused my grip and upper back/traps to just stop working and with the announcement of the mystery event being a 30m frame carry at just short of triple my body weight, followed by the deadlift event, I knew it was going to be tough. The completion of these events had me wanting to pull out of the comp. I lay on the ground with my entire body cramping and I was nearly falling asleep. I had to fight with myself to finish the comp but I stuck it out. I’m glad I did as I went on to place second in the next event, loading 5 stones one after the other and ending on a PB of 110kg.

Will I do it again? Yeah – 100%. I loved pushing my body to its limits and walking out the other side. That’s what it’s all about.

What did I learn? “She Believed She Could, So She Did.” The motto of my Strongwoman Australia Page. Once again I feel like I learnt that this still applies very strongly to me. As long as you have a strong mind you can do anything.

I also learnt a little about the things I was lacking in throughout my training block. I took particular note of things, like the way lactic acid kicked in really quickly in the yoke and the frame carry, which is something I didn’t really think of during the training block. So that’s one thing I have to work on.

3. Tell us what it’s like being a single mother, professional powerlifter, strong woman, and business owner all at the same time? What are the challenges that you face? Do you have a support system?

It’s tough but rewarding. I feel like a lot of the time I have done what I had to do to put food on the table and to give my kids the best that I could. I built my business from nothing and it’s a constant work in progress. When I first become a single mum I actually had nowhere to live so I moved in to a house-sitter.

I had three months to deal with emotional and confused kids, change of life circumstances for myself, and to find a house while somehow continuing to work, pay bills, etc
I was working in a commercial gym then as a Personal trainer and volunteering as a Fire Fighter. Unfortunately, with no other adult in the house I had to drop my volunteer work and drag my kids out of the house a lot at 6am for PT clients etc. During that time, I invested all my money into getting a deposit together for a house with a shed and gym equipment at the end of that time I set myself up with a small studio out the back of a house and managed to make it work. Eventually I outgrew the gym so I rented out a warehouse and that’s where I am now running Be Strong Fitness Geelong. It’s only been 18 months, but still going strong.

I find a big challenge is fitting everything in. It has always been a juggling act and sometimes I feel horrible. I find myself fighting a lot with emotions. Am I doing the right thing by the kids? Am I missing their childhood? Am I going to regret my decisions? These kind of things always creep in time to time. Fitting in training for two sports, children and my business is never going to be easy. I guess its lucky I like to be busy and that I strive off challenges.

Another big challenge is time to progress and learn within my business. Most people who are running a business have time allocated out to growing it and personal development. Learning more and more to make things work better. I just don’t have time. I find myself having to allocate out time in small blocks just to get what needs to be done done. So where I would like to be able to achieve more in a week I actually just can’t. It’s a bit of a vicious cycle. Without hiring more staff I can’t get more done but I can’t hire more staff because the gym isn’t busy enough. I’ve learnt to lower my expectation and alter my business timeline to relieve some of the pressure. I have been able to spend more quality time with the kids, train and creep along slowly, by being more realistic with my business goals. Creating a happier me! ☺

My support system is made up more of people who have my back I guess. I have an amazing family and a partner who I’m in business with. Unfortunately, my family are too far away from me to assist with things like child minding. My now 16 year old son has actually been the biggest support to me and without him there is no way I would be where I am. It’s all the little things that he does around the house that are truly invaluable. Hanging out washing, putting kids to bed one night a week and also being home so I can duck out and open the gym at 6am. My gym is also more a community gym too. People can bring their kids and we all catch up at functions around our town and dinners regularly. So I know if I need to I could call on any of these people.

4. Give us an example of a day in the life of Joanne.

520am: Wake up
6am: Open gym
730-8am: Rush home, make school lunches, get kids ready
840am: Drop kids at school
915am: Re-open gym
1230pm: Free time (main training sessions)
230pm: Lunch and paper work
330pm: Pick kids up and take to sporting activity or home
5pm: Get dinner ready and kids sorted for bed etc
6pm-9pm: Back to gym Sometimes I get my GPP in after work and sometimes I manage to get it in about 8pm before I have to close.

That’s a busy kid day. The boys go to their dads two nights through the middle of the week. The time I usually spend running around after them I spend writing programs/ chasing up interviews and blogs for Strongwoman Australia and doing things like this interview.

5. What are your all-time bests and the bodyweight at which performed?

I usually compete at 67.5kg but recently went up. My best lifts at 71kg BW are
-195kg Back Squat
-110kg Bench Press
-205kg Deadlift
-270kg yoke walk
-110kg stone to 1.2
-70kg 10inch log clean and Press

6. What is your athletic background?

I played netball and track and field when growing up. I’m from a very small country town so we were very limited with what was available.

7. How important is nutrition and recovery? What are your top recovery methods?

I think they are very important. Unfortunately, my time is very limited as discussed. I spend 30mins before every session on my mobility, stretching and muscle activation. I get massage and Chiro regularly but probably not as much as I should.

I think nutrition is really important. I know how I feel when I eat good and when I eat bad and I wouldn’t get through a busy week eating bad. My body wouldn’t handle it and neither would my mind. I’ve worked with Jacky Bigger leading into the Arnolds and I recovered so much better than I have in the past.

8. What’s it like for a single mother to compete in two sports that have been traditionally male dominated?

I guess I have never limited myself or given myself an excuse by saying I’m a single mum. So I find that hard to answer in respects to that.

As a female going into a more male dominated sport it’s taken some time to show the guys what us woman are truly capable of.

Four years ago I was laughed at when I suggested they have women in the Strongman Arena in Australia. I worked hard at proving we could do it and the following year we were given a chance but they still only allowed for one class – under 75kgs – and I believe we were included more as sex symbols then strength athletes. This is why I have worked so hard at promoting the sport and getting more women involved. It’s really taking off now with more weight classes and competitors then in all of Australian History. It’s amazing.

I also ran Best In The West last year. It was an extremely taxing women’s only Strongwoman comp, where some amazing weights were lifted, but I still had people from the higher levels of Strongman calling me up to say that I should let guys run the comp, that I won’t get enough competitors because girls are scared to go that heavy. Let’s just say we proved them wrong and all comps since then, held all around Australia, have seen the number of competitors rise, and an increase in weights lifted.

Another thing I notice is that women’s events are always on the weekdays. I guess the guys still bring a bigger crowd. But as a mum and a business owner it’s a pain in the bum. Taking a weekday off and arranging people to get kids to school etc.

9. What advice do you have for a young girl out there wanting to get into strength sports?

Take the first step no matter where you are starting from. Keep things simple and do your time. Hiring an experienced coach is always a good idea if you can afford it. Someone that can keep you moving at the right pace for you.

I can promise you that building a foundation of base strength from the start will see you making waves and increasing the standards of women’s lifting in the future. So don’t be in a rush to take over the world. I think it’s important to set your goals high but remember true strength and skill requires an investment of time so also set smaller, more achievable goals, and periodically set that bar higher.

I also think it’s important to not limit yourself according to your circumstances. Life isn’t always going to be easy. There will be days and weeks where everything is great and days and weeks where you want to give up but if you just keep chipping away and sticking with it you will always come out the other side.

Have you seen Finding Nemo ? I love that part where Dory is so confused and disorientated but instead of just stopping, she starts singing and moving on her way. “Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. Just keep swimming.” Haha! The amount of times I’ve had to sing that to myself can’t be counted.

When your time comes and you are in the limelight remember you represent Women in Strength Sports. Hold you head high. Support all other women. Remember you’re inspiring the next wave of women! #inspire

10. What are your plans for the future?

One of my early, long-term strength goals, was to start focusing on World Records when I was 35 Years old. I have been chipping away at it this entire time. I know this is achievable and that my lifts are there now. The only thing is with this increase of women competing there are also many other ladies who are all hitting numbers similar to mine.

This year I turn 35. I’m not 100% convinced I will have those records but I am 100% sure I will have done everything in my power to put myself in the best position to make it a possibility. And if other woman hit numbers higher than mine I will celebrate their achievement with them, knowing that they also have done all they can.

My life plan this year and into future years is to get stronger, continue to grow, learn and inspire. I want to work at continuing to grow my business and continue to work on that work/life balance.

Links recommended by Joanne:

Strongwoman Australia Page – https://www.facebook.com/StrongwomanAustralia/?ref=br_rs

Jacky Bigger – “Eat What You Want Nutrition” https://www.mashelite.com/eat-what-you-want-lift-what-you-want-program/

“Performance Zone” E-Book on Mental Performance: https://www.mashelite.com/ebooks/

Proraw Powerifting – https://www.facebook.com/ProRawPowerlifting/

Be Strong Fitness Geelong – https://www.facebook.com/bestrongfitnessgeelong/

She Believed She Could- So She Did – https://strongwomanaustralia.blog/2017/02/11/she-believed-she-could-so-she-did/

==============================================
Check out one of the Online Teams:

• Mash Mafia Bronze
• Mash Mafia Silver
• Mash Mafia Gold
• Eat What You Want
• Eat and Lift What You Want

Check them out here: ⇒ Mash Mafia Online Teams
==============================================

Setting an Example for our Youth by Crystal McCullough

====================================================
Check out our latest E-Book “Performance Zone” for only $19! Offer ends Monday at Midnight!

Check it out now at:

==> www.mashelite.com/performancezone/
====================================================

Setting an Example
By: Crystal McCullough (Follow her on Instagram @crystalmac_72)

Why do we do the things we do? Why do we choose certain career paths? Why do we dedicate the time it takes to reach goals in the gym? I hope your answer is passion. I know mine is. There are many reasons why I am passionate about my career path as well as my health and fitness. My first career path was nursing. I became an RN because I love to help people. That being said, I prefer to educate those on how to stay healthy in the public health area rather than taking care of those already sick. That led me into what I do now. I am a CrossFit Affiliate Owner, General Manager and Head Trainer. I chose this career path for the very same reason. The two go hand in hand; two sides to the same coin.

I read an article a while back about a 3-year old child diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes (first time in history this has happened!). This child weighed 77 pounds and was considered morbidly obese at the age of 3!!!! Now, tell me whose fault that is? It certainly isn’t the child’s fault!! The parents were both considered obese themselves and they were simply ‘passing it on.’

The following statistics are courtesy of www.letsmove.org. There has been very close monitoring of childhood obesity since the early 1980’s when the rate of obesity in kids ranging in age from 6 to 11 was 6.5%. That same age range bumped up to 19.6% in 2008. In a span of a little less than 30 years, obesity in youth of all ages has close to tripled. 1 in 3 children are considered obese in the United States at this very moment. Depressed yet?

With a gym on every corner, a baseball field or park in nearly every neighborhood in America and a wealth of information out there as to why our kids are suffering from this epidemic, why is there still an issue? Is it laziness, socioeconomics, education…what is it? If we keep going at the rate we are going, we will have condemned our youth to lifelong chronic health issues before they even reach adulthood.

There is good news in all of this. It is NEVER too late!! We have the opportunity to set a good example for our youth. This can manifest in various roles: parents, teachers, youth group leaders, coaches, and adults in general. We can make a difference in a child’s life and possibly save them from a long future of chronic health issues like diabetes, heart disease, etc. For this article, my focus is on the parents out there!

Regardless of your circumstances, you can still set a good example for you children. My son has been blessed in that he has been a gym rat from the age of 6. He has fallen in love with simply being at the gym and moving. As he has gotten older, he has grown into an athlete with goals. Not all parents have the ability to provide this to their kids and that is definitely more than ok. And, not all children have athletic goals like my son does, but movement and exercise are still a functional necessity in their lives. Here are a few tips on how to get our children involved in moving and eating healthy.

1. Involve your kids in your exercise when possible. If you are running, have them trail along on their bike. As they get older, they may want to run as well. We used to make a game out of running with our son. He never even realized he was getting exercise.
2. Involve your kids in meal prep. Bring them into the kitchen and have them help you cut up the vegetables and prep the meats. They will enjoy spending time with you and it also gives you an opportunity to educate them on good food choices.
3. Lose the video game controller and take the kids outside for a game of tag or throw the ball around. Any exercise is better than no exercise. They will enjoy the time they get to spend with you and memories can be made!
4. Give your child the opportunity to watch you train. If it is possible, let them in on some your training sessions. When I did CrossFit GPP (General Physical Preparedness), my son loved sitting in the room just watching the athletes work out. He couldn’t wait until he was old enough to join in!! Now, I use my son as my spotter on bench and my videographer to get him involved. He loves it!! At times, he joins in with me and lifts as well. It is great bonding time for us AND he is getting fit at the same time.
5. Share your goals with your children. Teach them the importance of setting goals for themselves and working hard is what will help them achieve those goals. Stick to your own goals and teach them to finish what they start.
6. Let your kids set the tone of what they want to do. Don’t use exercise as a form of punishment. It will backfire on you because they will begin to dislike the very thing you are trying to promote.
7. Don’t push your kids into athletics. Support them and help guide them. Be a facilitator not a dictator.

Bottom line, this nonsense with childhood obesity has to stop! If we don’t reverse the damage that we’ve already created, the future will be very bleak. There may be those of you who have no idea where to start. You might be searching for a healthier version of yourself. That’s ok!! Bring your kids along for the ride!! Let them learn with you. If this is you, you know how hard it is to re-train yourself as an adult. Let your kids learn now so they don’t ever have to go through what you are going through.

Sidenote:
Since writing this piece, my son has literally gone from working out in the gym to spend time with mom to an elite weightlifter. He has competed at Youth Nationals and set an American Record in the Clean and Jerk. He has also most recently, squatted 400 pounds. Yes 400#!!

About the Author: Crystal McCullough BIO

40-year old Army wife and Mom to a genetic 13-year-old freak. Basketball player turned runner turned CrossFitter turned powerlifter. Crystal has podiumed over the years at 5k and 10k road races, local CrossFit competitions, and most recently competed at the Arnold 2016 XPC Powerlifting Finals as well as USAPL Raw Nationals 2016 in the Open division. Her best lifts are 145k squat, 81k bench, and 162k deadlift. She is an RN with a Masters degree in Nursing Education, a CrossFit affiliate owner, and a Mash Elite Performance nutrition coach (among other stuff). She is a member of the Mash Mafia Powerlifting team and is currently studying for her CSCS as she prepares to move to Winston Salem with her family in May to join the Mash Mafia crew on a full-time basis.
====================================================
Check out our latest E-Book “Performance Zone” for only $19! Offer ends Monday at Midnight!

Check it out now at:

==> www.mashelite.com/performancezone/
====================================================
This book will help you discover all the steps necessary for “getting in the zone”, or what we call “entering the flow state”. This book will help you:

-Give you the history of flow or the zone
-Explain what is needed to get into flow or the zone
-Give you The Guide to Initiate Flow
1 Clear goals
2 Feedback
3 Skill ratio

This is definitely my favorite book to have written. I hope that all of you enjoy reading it!

==> www.mashelite.com/performancezone/

The CrossFit Paradox by Coach Nick Scott

Our latest E-Book “Performance Zone” has dropped! Check it out now at:

==> www.mashelite.com/performancezone/
====================================================

The CrossFit Paradox

In this piece I am going to go over what I refer to as the “CrossFit Paradox”. This is based off of several years of observation, and experimentation involving literally hundreds of athletes. So what is the CrossFit Paradox? The basic gist of the principal is this: You can improve athletic performance in a given sport using CrossFit training, but you cannot improve in the sport of CrossFit beyond a certain level by only using CrossFit training. Let that sink in a moment…

Now, that we’ve processed that statement, I’m going to start backing up my claim. For years Louie Simmons has been telling big, sweaty, huffing and puffing powerlifters that the only way they can beat the guy standing next to them is to out work them. He has always maintained that a lifter needs to have a good GPP (general physical preparedness) base in order to have the requisite conditioning to be able to handle more volume in the weight room. I think everyone can agree this statement is true. The more fit you are, the more you can do; and the more you can do, the faster you’ll develop. Simple really. So here’s the funny thing, what is CrossFit? Yep, you guessed it….a GPP program (straight from coach Glassman’s mouth).

Over the years I have used Westside barbell methods to train my CrossFit athletes. At every single powerlifting meet I have had athletes in I have always had people on the podium, and in fact at every single meet we have won best overall lifter. Now keep in mind these are CrossFit athletes competing in powerlifting. So we weren’t up in the super high weight classes, and weren’t doing equipped meets. These were all raw meets, and yes we stuck out like a sore thumb. However people were always surprised that we were winning all the time, especially against people that just did solely powerlifting. I would often get asked how I was able to develop their strength so quickly, and I would always reply “CrossFit.”

If you think about it, this makes a lot of sense. Westside uses the conjugate system for accessories and GPP for conditioning. So what does a metcon end up looking like? A constantly varied group of accessories (conjugate), plus conditioning (GPP). In fact, we learned that prepping for meets, it was actually really easy to combine your conjugate/accessory work with your metcon. Simple, just use movements that make sense and make a metcon out it!

My lifters had such a level of conditioning that they could do more squats, more deadlifts, and more sets of bench than the average powerlifter. They could also recover from their training sessions faster. As a result, my athletes got stronger in a shorter frame of time when first starting out than traditional powerlifters just starting out. I’m not the only person who has seen the light on this, in fact the strongest woman in the world Laura Phelps-Sweatt does CrossFit these days.

Moving on to Olympic weightlifting. At every single meet I have had athletes in, we have won gold. Period! In fact in my team’s first ever weightlifting meet they gave out 10 total medals, my athletes took home 7 out of 10 of those medals. Again I was asked how I did this, again I replied “CrossFit.” For the record, I have only ever trained one dedicated weightlifter…and yeah, I still made him do CrossFit (he hated it too). That guy went on to be the Kansas state champion, and took best overall lifter in powerlifting and weightlifting (he did back to back meets actually). CrossFit lends itself very well to quickly developing weightlifting aptitude. The reasons are obvious, we do Olympic weightlifting A LOT in metcons. Tons of movement pattern reinforcement (if coached properly), as well as even more volume within the lifts themselves. As mentioned previously, more work gets you there quicker. I believe when you have plateaued in a specific thing, and you feel that perhaps “this is my limit” that the way forward is not do more of the same. To me that’s like slamming your head against a wall. But rather the way forward may very well be something else entirely. Only an open mind is capable of seeing possibilities beyond what is in front of them. To achieve true mastery in a thing requires one to often times search outside of that thing for answers.

Lastly in the strength spectrum we have strongman. Every athlete that I have had compete in strongman has qualified for nationals. Every. Single. One. And again, CrossFit. They moved faster, got tired less quickly, and were on average as strong or stronger than their competition. GPP for the win again! Tons of athletes and coaches have added CrossFit into their training to help elevate them in their sport. For example: Cristiane Justino (UFC fighter), New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton, Danica Patrick, Houston Astros pitcher Brady Aiken, Robert Guerrero (boxer), Erin Cafaro (Olympic gold medalist – rowing), Mattie Rodgers (weightlifter), Ilya Ilyin (Olympic gold medalist – weightlifting), and so on.

Now for the paradox. I have never seen a CrossFit athlete get to a very high level within the sport of CrossFit and break through into Regionals or the Games by just doing CrossFit. Now don’t get me wrong, you can get super fit by just doing CrossFit. But you’ll never see anyone getting to Regionals on CrossFit alone. You can probably smash some local comps, and kill it in your gym against your classmates. But beyond that, it won’t happen. You see a guy named Michael Rutherford way back in the “Preebok” days of CrossFit saw the writing on the walls. He saw that his athletes as a majority weren’t strong enough to do the WODs as Rx’d. Their rate of progress to get to that point was very slow, and in some cases would just never happen. So he started having his athletes do dedicated strength training on top of their WODs. As a result, they got stronger, faster! Again the inverse result, to get more out of CrossFit you needed to do more work outside of CrossFit! Now you see it everywhere with high level CrossFit athletes. They have a weightlifting coach, a gymnastics coach, a running coach, etc. They all know what Louie Simmons has been telling lifters for years. If you want to beat the guy next to you, you need to out work them! But for CrossFit athletes this means doing more in weightlifting, powerlifting, gymnastics, and aerobic-specific training/development.

I will end this with saying that I know this obviously isn’t a catch all and absolute rule for sport specific athletes. There will always be outliers. However, more often than not, I’ll be correct in this. If you’re a powerlifter, weightlifter, football player, or what have you, that wants to get better at their sport, then I strongly suggest getting outside your comfort zone big time. Especially in the off-season!

If you’re a CrossFit athlete who is really wanting to breakout, I suggest focusing your training to supplement your sport. If you’re not strong enough, then add in powerlifting. If your Olympic lifts aren’t making the cut, then add in more weightlifting, and so on.

You see, sometimes when you plateau, the answer isn’t to keep grinding forward with what’s in front of you. Then you will just be slamming your face into a wall. Sometimes the answer is to do something else entirely. This only works when you have an open mind and you are able to see the possibilities outside of what lies directly in front of you. It has been my experience that in order to achieve true mastery of a thing, you not only need to have the discipline to train dedicated in that thing until you feel that you have reached the end, but to search outside of that thing for answers. It is when we close our minds to possibilities that we see less.

About Coach Nick Scott:

Nicholas Scott
CrossFit affiliate owner of 5 years. Started my gym in my back yard on a 14’x15’ slab of concrete with some pull up bars stuck into the ground and a squat rack. I have been a personal trainer since 2005, and a CrossFit coach and athlete since 2009. Every year since 2011 I have qualified athletes to Regionals, and have even competed at Regionals twice myself. Over the years I have had the incredible privilege of learning from some of the world’s greatest coaches. I started my coaching education by learning from Rick Hussey and Becca Sawnson at Omaha’s Big Iron gym. They introduced me to powerlifting training and the sport of powerlifting. After receiving my CrossFit Level 1 in 2010 I was lucky enough to be coached and trained in Olympic weightlifting by coaches Mike Burgener, Ursula Garza, Jodi Vaughn, Chad Vaughn, and Cody Burgener. After that I received my CrossFit Endurance certification and worked with several triathletes and marathon runners. Follow him on Instagram: @scottstrengthsystems

====================================================
Our latest E-Book “Performance Zone” has dropped! Check it out now at:

==> www.mashelite.com/performancezone/
====================================================
This book will help you discover all the steps necessary for “getting in the zone”, or what we call “entering the flow state”. This book will help you:

-Give you the history of flow or the zone
-Explain what is needed to get into flow or the zone
-Give you The Guide to Initiate Flow
1 Clear goals
2 Feedback
3 Skill ratio

This is definitely my favorite book to have written. I hope that all of you enjoy reading it!

==> www.mashelite.com/performancezone/

The Coach Differentiator

Our latest E-Book “Performance Zone” has dropped! Check it out now at:

==> www.mashelite.com/performancezone/
====================================================

The Coach Differentiator

Last weekend while coaching at the Arnold Classic, it was clear that there is one unspoken characteristic between great coaches and all the rest. A great coach is able to motivate. They have the unique ability to say whatever is required to get their athletes to perform on higher levels. It’s not the programming. It’s not the equipment. It’s the juice baby! If you don’t believe me, you can ask Coach Joe Kenn or Coach Martin Rooney. They will tell you the same thing.

This article isn’t just for weightlifting coaches. I am talking to CrossFit coaches, strength and conditioning coaches, or any sports coach. You can use all the fancy programming you want. You can write excel sheets that would fascinate Einstein. However, if you can’t get your athlete to buy in to what you’re doing, nothing really amazing is going to happen. I know so many brilliant coaches that have no idea how to motivate athletes. They don’t know how to get those athletes from good to great.

No one really talks about this deficiency in coaching. It’s a hard one to understand let alone explain. Mash Elite’s own sports psych guy, Nathan Hansen is the first person that I know to actually quantify this process. It’s really the coolest thing that I have ever been a part of. It’s a topic that has fascinated me for years.

Haven’t we all wondered how some people perform in contest better than others? You can take two athletes that are just alike in training, and one will perform better than the other during a competition. As a matter of fact, when I was a coach at MuscleDriver USA, there was an athlete that actually performed quite a bit better in training than their teammate that was in their weight class. However at every competition, the athlete that was getting beat in training was able to rise during the competition and beat their teammate. How does this happen?

So how did the weaker athlete in training end up winning when it counted? Here are a few ideas:

• They trusted their coach 100%. The winning athlete never doubted the program or the plan. They believed in the process, so come contest time they never doubted the weight that the coaches put on the bar.
• They were focused during training and the competition. They focused on the movement. They didn’t use emotion to lift the weight. They were focused on the process and the technique, and that led to consistent gains.
• They were present mentally during training and the competition. They didn’t look at their phone. They didn’t get on social media. They didn’t talk about break ups. When this athlete was at practice or in a competition, that’s all they thought about. This allowed them to be fully engaged with all senses of the body.
• They had clear goals. Each day the athlete that was winning wrote down two aspects of movement to focus on. That was all he or she thought of during the practice. This approach led to consistent improvement.
• Goals matched ability. This athlete was able to make an International Team with consistent improvement. Each goal was attainable not overwhelming. Each goal excited the athlete; he or she was never discouraged.

How does a coach teach this? A coach needs to practice their abilities just like their athletes practice their sport. When I was coming up as a coach, I was just guessing in the mental department. There wasn’t a lot of sports psych material available. Nathan Hansen has made it quantifiable for our coaches and our athletes. This is material that has been needed for a longtime. Now we have it.

Don McCauley and I are able to get buy in from our athletes. They trust us to produce a program that works. We are constantly working on their psych games day in and day out. We have a room of bought in athletes that all believe that they can be the best.

If you want to know why we are doing so well, it’s because that we are able to get in their brains. We are able to convince them that they are going to succeed, and that’s exactly what they do. My goal is to teach all of you to do the exact same thing. If you want your CrossFitters to crush it during the open, I want to help. If you want your football player to score the winning touchdown, I want to help you as well.

I have been writing multiple Free article about mindset lately, but there is something so much better. Nathan and I co-authored a book “The Performance Zone” that will teach you step by step how to prepare your athletes mentally to perform. I hope that you guys enjoy the book, and I hope that all of your athletes learn how to enter the “Performance Zone” on a daily basis.

====================================================
Our latest E-Book “Performance Zone” has dropped! Check it out now at:

==> www.mashelite.com/performancezone/
====================================================
This book will help you discover all the steps necessary for “getting in the zone”, or what we call “entering the flow state”. This book will help you:

-Give you the history of flow or the zone
-Explain what is needed to get into flow or the zone
-Give you The Guide to Initiate Flow
1 Clear goals
2 Feedback
3 Skill ratio

This is definitely my favorite book to have written. I hope that all of you enjoy reading it!

==> www.mashelite.com/performancezone/

1 2 3 51