Category Archives for "Barbell Life"

The Barbell Life


I just finished filming a podcast with Barbell Shrugged. Every time that I am around those guys, I feel like my brain gets bigger. Those guys are such a diverse group that knowledge is being dropped from several angles. Once again we talked about my philosophy on the Barbell teaching life. I think that we dug a little deeper this time, and I was able to think a little more about the lessons that I have learned from the Barbell.

The Barbell has taught me about the good and bad that I posses as a human. The Barbell first showed me that I am resilient. When I was starting out, I knew right away that I wanted to be at the top of the food chain. I would seek people out to train with that were a great deal stronger than me. Some were not so nice, but I wouldn’t let them sway me from the path. I would simply knock them off the pedestal one at a time. One of the first people that I trained with in powerlifting was the legendary Grant Pitts. When I first started with him, he was squatting 900+, Benching 600+, Deadlifting 700+, and had totaled 2300 as a 380lb Heavy Weight. At the time, it seemed a long road to beat, but in 2004 I hit my first 2300 total weighing 220lbs. A year later, I totaled 2410lbs at 220. This was about five years from the time that I first trained with Grant. I was patient! I waited for my time! I worked hard, and the Barbell showed me the way!

The Barbell also taught me that I am a risk taker. When the Barbell is loaded to an amount that could possibly kill me, then I come alive. My heart begins to beat faster. My senses are all stimulated to a heightened level. The world appears to slow down, and all at once everything makes sense to me. All my concerns are pushed aside. My confidence is raised to a level that is unexplainable by the English language. A feeling of invincibility comes over me, and for that moment in time there is nothing on earth that can, could, or ever will stop me. Now let’s be clear that the feeling is just a “feeling”. I’ve clearly missed lifts, but this “feeling” is the same in all parts of my life. I told a story today on the show about driving to Colorado with $200 and a hope that Wes Barnett might coach me in the sport of Olympic weightlifting. It’s all the same! Risk excites me! In the case of Colorado, it paid off because a year and a half later, I was training at the Olympic Training Center with the best Weightlifters in the world. Whether it’s a Barbell potentially breaking my spine or a chance of poverty and freezing in Colorado Springs, I am the most alive during the scariest moments.

The Barbell also taught me about the darker side that lies now dormant inside. I have a side of me that could be labeled narcissist. When I was winning world championships and breaking world records, I was consumed with myself. All I cared about was what people thought about me. I had such a chance to affect others in a good way, but instead, I focused on my image. I wanted everyone to believe that I was the best in the world, and that I was Powerlifting. I would receive hundreds of emails per day. I could have reached out to all of those people, but I didn’t. Now my life is spent helping and teaching others. The biggest reason for the change in me is Christ. There is no way on earth that I could have started loving others the way I do without the work of Christ in my life, but the Barbell has shown me the contrast from then until now. Now I can share with others that you don’t have to be a self-centered jerk to be a champion. A champion can use that platform to make the world a better place. Mike Bledsoe of Barbell Shrugged ( is constantly talking about and planning ways to make the world a better place. Look at my man Jon North (, he has taken the sport of Weightlifting, and he is sharing it with the world. He is sharing his story about how the Barbell literally saved his life from a world of drugs and excess.

The Barbell is now how I make my living. I teach all of my athletes about snatch, clean & jerk, squat, bench, and deadlift, but I teach them way more. I teach them about “Barbell Life”! I teach them to use their talents to make the world a better place, and for my Christian athletes, I teach them to glorify God with their talents. On the weekends, I travel the United States teaching people the Barbell Movements. I teach them how my life has forever been altered by the Barbell, and then I introduce them to the cold steel. I teach them the many Barbell Dances that I have learned though out my life. I try to prevent them from making the same mistakes in life and lifting that I have made. My Dance with the Barbell will end at death, and I thank God for giving me the ability to make a living teaching others about the movements that I have spent my life loving.

Barbell Life will teach you:

· Who you are! Risk taker, conservative, resilient, persistent, patient, impatient, etc.
· What needs to change! Arrogance, self-centeredness, anxiety, lack of empathy, lack of love, etc!
· What you will have to do to be successful! Train more, train less, rest more, rest less, work harder, work smarter, study more, study less, more excitement, more calm, and the list goes on.
. What you will need to do to affect more people! Talk more, talk less, listen more, listen less, love more, love the most, travel more, or stay at home to love your wife. If you are a Christian, live it as much or more as you say it.

The Barbell continues to teach me. I continue to meet new people that I call family. I pray that in 2015 you all will experience Barbell Life like only you can. Everyone’s walk with the Barbell is different. The one constant is that if you let it, the barbell will grow your family on earth more than blood ever will!

We are hosting a Holiday Meet December 20th at the Mash Mafia Compound. Come hangout with the Mash Mafia Crew, some MDUSA Stars, Coach Mash, slam some bars, and of course KILL Some PRs! Click on the link to find out more:

December 20th Meet at the Mash Mafia Compound

We are hosting a New Year Learn 2 Lift Seminar at the Compound as well! January 10th and 11th come out and hang with Coach Mash and the Mash Mafia. Weightlifting Day 1 and Powerlifting Day 2. Come to one or both days just click on the link to find out more:

New Year Learn 2 Lift at the Mash Mafia Compound

To check out one of the Online Teams, click on one of the following on links:

Eat What You Want! Lift What You Want!

Online Coaching and Mentoring with Coach Mash

Mash Mafia Online Team
To give back, here are a few specials that we are running until the end of Monday December 1st:

Online Coaching by Coach Mash $75 off use Promo Code: MASHCOACHING

All Apparel is 20% off use Promo Code: MASHELITE

Black Max Out Friday

Learn 2 Lift Seminar at the Mash Compound $50 off code: MASHSEMINAR

Consultation with Coach Mash $15 off use code: MASHCONSULT

Getting to Know Christmas Abbott! Knowledge!


​Last time I talked about Barbell Shrugged’s Mike Bledsoe. We learned about his philosophy on Empathy and Listening to others. We also learned his “45 Minutes to tell your story” way of looking at things. Today I want to tell you all what I learned from my time with Christmas Abbott. First in case you’ve been living under a rock for the last several years, Christmas is a CrossFit competitor, owner of CrossFit Invoke, Nationally Ranked Olympic Weightlifter, first female Pit Crew Member in NASCAR, and immensely popular Sports Model. I’m sure I missed a lot, but these are some of her accomplishments off the top of my head.
​I was excited for Christmas to be on Weightlfting Talk(on with Jon North and me. I was expecting an edgy but exciting show, but what I got was beyond my imagination. Christmas is known for being a little edgy and daring with her tattoos, guns, and racing, and that was what I was expecting. I ended up realizing that she is America’s sweet heart. She is so humble and kind! She totally loves her boyfriend Josh, who needs to pop the question, and she genuinely cares about all the people around her. Her philosophies on life are both inspiring and unique. However, none of this was more exciting than the fact that she is open about her relationship with Christ. I found myself talking to this celebrity about the saving grace of Christ. I was shocked! It was a true blessing, and I believe that her open love for our God was totally glorifying to His kingdom.
​Besides her love for God, Christmas has some awesome ways of looking at life. First we were talking about her tattoos, and she explained that one of them says, “Not all that run are lost.” We asked her to explain, and she told us that people sometimes criticized how busy she was becoming. They would tell her that she must be lost in such a big world of traveling, competing, modeling, and working. She explained that she had never been more grounded, and that she feels the most solid when she is super busy. She looks at her life on earth with a short window of time, and she has a lot of goals to accomplish. She told us that people tell her that she should focus on just a few things, and then she made the quote of the century, “Why can’t I have it all?” She said that she refuses to limit herself. I love it! People need to learn from this girl. Your time on earth is short, so why not leave it a little bit better than you found it.
​The most inspiring things that I learned about Christmas was that she was never an athlete growing up. She was a legit bad girl! As she put it, “I was living on the other side of the tracks.” She grew up smoking and drinking, and was simply on the constant lookout for trouble. Then when she was 24 she found CrossFit and stopped smoking. She said that one of her greatest accomplishments was inspiring her mother to quit smoking. After finding CrossFit, Christmas realized that the sky was the limit. She said that she felt like she started a little late, so she was going to spend the rest of her life making up for it. She realized that she was in control of her body. She learned that she would get out of her training whatever she put into it. She started looking at her whole life the same way. Now she is without doubt one of the most famous CrossFitters in the world. She has also gone on to make history by becoming the first female NASCAR Pit Crew Member. I find her life to be so inspiring. Guys it is never too late to become great! It is never too late to inspire! It is never too late to be successful. It is never too late to leave this world better than you found it!
​I am supposed to be on the Barbell Shrugged Podcast with Christmas and the Bledsoe Crew next week. If so, I am the most excited about getting to know Mike and Christmas even more. Their philosophies and outlooks are more than inspiring! They are life altering! To learn more about Christmas, go to:

Facebook- ChristmasAbbottFanPage

Keep checking for the podcast with Chistmas and hopefully me. I will be reliving the memories of the American Open for the rest of my life, and I will forever be altered by the thoughts and words of Mike and Christmas. I thank them both for doing what they do, and I encourage them both to continue fighting the good fight.

I have Learn 2 Lift seminars coming up in: Albuquerque, Myrtle Beach, Jersey Shore, Orlando, Miami, Charlotte, and Scranton, PA, so come out and learn to Snatch, Clean & Jerk, Squat, Bench, and Deadlift!

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

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


On My Way to the American Open

I’m so excited to be a part of the biggest weightlifting competition in US History. I have three awesome athletes qualified for this event which I am super excited about. The MashMafia Weightlifting Team is only two years old, and is comprised of young rookie lifters. My athletes were not recruited, but they were made into great weightlifters. I’m just so dang proud of the Team.

Sunday I am commentating for the 94kA Session. I’m just so excited to be a part of Weightlifting History. The past two years have been awesome for the sport. There are a lot of reasons for the increase in popularity including: CrossFit, Greg Everett, Cal Strength, Jon North and the Attitude Nation, Weightlifting Talk, and MDUSA. That is only a few of the reasons, but they are the ones that I am most familiar.

I will be posting highlights and my take on the action daily, so stay tune!

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

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

Jared Enderton Highlights


​Yesterday on Weightlifting Talk, Jon and I had Nationally Ranked Weightlifter Jared Enderton on the show. This guy is the best example of melting pot that I have ever witnessed. He has personally worked with Steve Gough in Montana, Cal Strength in the glory days, Average Broz’s in Las Vegas, and the Olympic Training Center. I was more interested in what was going on at the OTC now. Coach Zygmunt has an awesome philosophy for weightlifting. He takes a very comprehensive approach developing the entire structure of the lifter.

​In this article, I am going to give you some common themes that were present in all the camps. These are cues and programming points that are universal to all the great coaches. They are as follows:

• Be aggressive on all stages of the pull

• Be fearless! If you are not fearless now, learn to be fearless in the future.

• Use the Back Squat and Front Squat to get strong.

• Don’t be satisfied with mediocre weights

• Olympic weightlifting requires a lot of sessions per day and a lot of hard work per session

• If you say that you want to be an Olympian, be prepared to do what that takes: years of not missing sessions, eating right, sleeping right, missing family events, not partying, and a daily fearless approach to the bar.

​Jared talked highly of Coach Zygmunt at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO. Personally, I learned the most from Jared’s explanation of the program at the OTC. Here are some of those highlights:

• If you have a weakness, attack that weakness before moving on. For example, if you have a bad rack position in the Clean, attack it with paused front squats keeping all the hand on the bar, Sotts Press from the front rack position, and cleans keeping the hook grip. When the position is fixed, then go heay.

• Get strong in the entire movement of the lifts. They would do complexes mainly until the last 21 days before a competition.

• This goes back to point one, but if you can’t do a Snatch Grip Behind the Neck Sotts Press heavy without altering your position, then focus on the exercise. Jared said that if you can’t perform this exercise properly, you are leaving kilos on the platform.

• Another point was that instead of coaches complaining about athletes holding their position during the pull, get their posterior chain strong. Keeping the weights in tight is a difficult thing and requires a lot of strength.

• I also loved the part about Back Squatting up to a heavy single before Cleaning or Snatching to get all the fibers recruited.

​Anyway, if I were you, I would go back and listen to the episode ( ).

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

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

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