Category Archives for "Barbell Life"

Persistence by Brealon Ashworth

Below is a short article that my intern Brealon Ashworth wrote explaining his struggle to become a Mash Elite Intern. This struggle easily applies to all good things in life.

When I first started looking for a Job after college I began emailing smaller colleges in North Carolina. I knew I would probably have to do another internship in order to get the level of experience that many of the collegiate level strength coach jobs require, which turned out to be true. So as I started looking local for job opportunities when I thought to myself, “Why not try Travis Mash?” At this time I was an avid Weightlifting Talk listener, and I knew I liked what he was doing in the private sector with his athletes.
First, I added Travis on Facebook and sent him a message expressing my interest in working with him as an Olympic Weightlifting coach. I waited for more than a week and I didn’t hear back from him. I knew Travis was busy, so I went on the website and found his email address and again expressed my interest in Mash Elite Performance. After another week of no response, I figured it would be a long shot, but I decided to take a trip to Mash and see if Travis was there. When I got there I was greeted by EZE, one of Travis’s coaches. He informed me that he didn’t think that they were hiring but gave me Travis’s card to give him a call. The next day I called Travis and talked to him for maybe 5 minutes about opportunities at Mash Elite. Before the conversation ended he offered me an interview to which I said, “What day is good for you? I know you are busy with Weightlifting Talk and everything at the Attitude Nation.”
I could tell that this shocked him, and he asked how I knew about that stuff. I told him that I listened to Weightlifting Talk and that was “all she wrote.” Travis brought me in for that interview, gave me a second interview with his wife and from there I started the best internship I could possibly have gotten.
The reason I tell this story is to show that being persistent is a great quality to have and that without it I would not be getting the opportunities that I am getting right now. If someone won’t talk to you or acts like they’re too busy, show them that you deserve their time and that you are worth it. I never would have imagined that I would get to meet and be around the people that I have, and it was all because I was persistent.


Follow Brealon @JurassicBarbell to learn more about his times as one of my interns, and to find out what he is learning.

Here is a recent video starring Brealon:

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

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

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

Knowledge Nuggets


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

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

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

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

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

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

Take aways:

Listen and empathize to learn

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

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

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

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

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

I have a crew of Life Changers at Mash!

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

Video of some awesome lifting Friday! PR City:

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

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

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


Off the platform: Travis Mash 2013 by Sam Holmes

My friend Sam Holmes is a Mash Mafia Weightlifter, but he is so much more. Sam is a part of Mash! Sam and I have a goal of opening a nonprofit center for kids in need. A place they can learn about working out, but more importantly where they learn about “Life”. We all know how much one can learn from the Barbell, and we want to share that and Christ with young kids that need to hear about the message of “Hope”. If you are interested in partnering, email me at:

Sam wrote a heart warming blog about the incredible year that we’ve experienced at Mash Elite Athletic Performance, Smashed CrossFit, and Mash Mafia Weightlifting and Powerlifting. There should be a lot to learn about the power of simply meeting and getting to know people. My biggest gift is that I love people and their stories. Sam gives us a look at what went on this year. He has given me the honor of ousting it, so here it is:

Off the platform: Travis Mash 2013

I’ve had the privilege of witnessing a lot of cool things in 2013. One of the most awesome things has been seeing my good friend Travis Mash have one of the best years of his career.

The truth is, Travis Mash is a great man. Anyone who’s close to Travis knows this. But now people all over the country, even internationally, are beginning to discover how great he is.

In February, on a trip to a Perform Better seminar in Charlotte, Travis took a few of us Muscle Driver USA to watch the weightlifting team’s last Max Out session before the Arnold. That night Travis officially met Jon North and the rest of the team. Jon took us all out to dinner, and I could tell something special was forming right before my eyes. Now would be an appropriate place to say, “And the rest is history.” But let’s see how this panned out.

Jon invited Travis to be a guest host on his podcast “Weightlifting Talk” shortly after, and then came to train at Mash Elite during his comeback from injury after the 2013 Arnold. The ball kept rolling and Travis became the co-host of Weightlifting Talk which is live twice a week to over 10 thousand listeners.

More and more opportunities began to present themselves as Travis grew his relationship with the black sheep of the Attitude Nation. Multiple people have contacted Travis about internships as a result of listening to the podcast. Travis began to help Jon with his level 2 seminars and now has people from all over the country reaching out to him to do seminars at their gym or box.

And while things off the platform were going well, Travis was also having an amazing year on the platform as well. At one point Travis was regularly snatching over 120k and clean and jerking over 150k. His phrase “I do what I want” was being lived out on a daily basis for sure, and a shirt with the slogan was made and sold out multiple times over. Athletes of the “Mash Mafia” began to make huge leaps in their development as a result of both Travis’ coaching as well as his performance in the gym.

We haven’t even delved into Travis’s coaching yet. He coached two athletes from scratch to making it onto a high level weightlifting team (one of which being team MDUSA).Throughout 2013 Travis has been recruited to help coach athletes at meets from qualifying meets to this years American Open. He helped coach one lifter to a medal in his first national meet. He was also invited to guest commentate the 94kg A session at the American Open. During his time at the American Open he met Mike Bledsoe from Barbell Shrugged podcast which led to the team coming to Mash Elite to film an episode of “Barbell Shrugged”.

What does all of is mean? What’s the point of me sharing my perspective on this? Well, it’s because I believe there is a principle behind why this happened. First of all, it was meant to be. But it also happened because Travis is who he is. His faith in Christ has changed his whole perspective on life. So because of his character development and focus on his faith, Travis is someone who people are drawn to. So it’s no wonder why these connections have developed into a great 2013. There’s no telling what I’ll be writing in 2014.

If you get a chance, check out Sam on Twitter @holmesstrong and read his blog

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

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

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

Great time hanging out with Christmas and Josh last night!


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: