Category Archives for "Bodybuilding"

Strength Athletes need Bodybuilding and Bodybuilders need Strength Work

“MashJacked: Hypertrophy for Strength, Performance, and Aesthetics” and “Train Stupid: the Training and Philosophy of Nathan Damron” are live! Check them out at their low introductory prices now:

==> “MashJacked”

==> “Train Stupid”

Strength Athletes need Bodybuilding and Bodybuilders need Strength Work

After researching to write my new book “Mash Jacked: Hypertrophy for Strength, Performance, and Aesthetics”, I have had hypertrophy on the brain. During the research phase, many of the instincts that I had over the years were proven true. However there was plenty of light shed on the things that I could have done better. Here is one point that all of us should adhere to: if someone is getting results from what they are doing, it’s probably pretty darn close to right.

I think that it is funny when people try to tell Mr. Olympia how to add muscle. It’s always a skinny dude that has spent way too much time hidden behind a book, and zero time under the bar figuring out real life results. It’s equally funny when someone tries to say that Ed Coan (king of all powerlifters) could have been stronger if he had trained this way or that way. He’s the greatest of all-time. I am pretty sure that his training worked.

Early in my career, I trained with my lifelong friend, Chris “Ox” Mason. At the time he was a bodybuilder, and I of course was a powerlifter. Here’s what we knew. Most of the great bodybuilders spent quality time lifting heavy, and most of the great powerlifters spent quality time getting jacked. We assumed that there must be a correlation, so we decided to train together.

His job was to get me jacked, and my job was to get him strong. We assumed if I got Ox stronger, he could lift more weight for more reps and in turn get bigger. We also assumed if he could help me add muscle size (hypertrophy), then I could take that added muscle size and make it stronger. Well after further research, it turns out that we were on to something. We could definitely have done it a little better, but our instincts led us down a successful path.

Here the simple answer for why we were correct in our thinking. There are three main mechanisms to hypertrophy:

• Mechanical loading- basically adding more and more weight to the bar
• Metabolic stress- getting a eye popping pump
• Muscle damage- muscle soreness caused from stretching an activated muscle, new training effect, and increased load and/or volume.

A lot of bodybuilders focus on Metabolic Stress and Muscle Damage, and a lot of strength athletes focus on Mechanical Loading and Muscle Damage. They both have the muscle damage in common, but then each is lacking in one of the mechanisms. The research proves that each population would benefit from adding the missing piece into their training protocols.

Strength athletes are definitely better served by spending most of their time leading up to a big meet lifting heavy and focusing most of their time on specificity. There is no doubt that practicing the competitive movement exactly like competition day will pay off big with maximum results. However there are two ways strength athletes should use bodybuilding/hypertrophy in their programs:

1. Hypertrophy phases: These are phases of training where strength athletes emphasize getting jacked. These phases should be performed as far away from a competition as possible. I prefer programming a 4-8 week hypertrophy phase. This is a good time to move away from specificity to give the joints a break. One thing that I have noticed is the guys that focus on frequency and specificity too long seem to get injure often. Ed Coan spent a great deal of time focusing on hypertrophy phases, and his career spanned many decades with many championships and world records in each decade.

2. Accessory work that’s hypertrophy focused in nature- If you watch the incredible Chinese lifters train in the training hall at an International competition, you will see them performing lateral raises, triceps extensions, and dips. Of course they prioritize the classical lifts and squats, but then they get jacked just days before a competition. If accessory work has kept you balanced and strong, you should probably keep some levels of it for the duration of your program.

Bodybuilders need absolute strength phases in their training as well. I started out my weight lifting career fascinated by the popular bodybuilders of the time. I remember watching Arnold, Franco, Dorian, and later on Ronnie Coleman. They were freaks man. They also lifted that heavy a#* weight. Right Ronnie? Franco Columbu deadlifted 765lb weighing right around 198lb. Ronnie Coleman squatted 805lb for two repetitions. These guys realized that being strong was an important component to getting big muscles.

There are two phases that I would use strength training for bodybuilders:

1. Absolute strength phases- Once again I would perform this phase as far from a bodybuilding competition as possible. I recommend 8-12 weeks of focused training on strength work. The goal is to increase 1-3 repetition maximums. When they go back to hypertrophy training, they will be able to lift more weight for more repetitions causing more muscle damage and more metabolic stress than before. In this case more is definitely better.

2. Prioritize a strength movement during hypertrophy phases- I would recommend that bodybuilder prioritize at least one movement during a training session to focus on strength. For example, on leg day I would squat first for let’s say a simple 5×5 progression. There are still hypertrophic gains from 5×5 strength work in the way of mechanical loading and muscle damage. Then spend the rest of the session getting the skin-popping pumps. Spending a little time focused on strength will keep your gains that you earned during your absolute strength phase keeping you able to bang out more reps with more weight.

If you go to a lot of gyms in America, there always seems to be this division between strength athletes and bodybuilders. It’s like there is a wall between the two worlds just because one wants to look strong and the other wants to be strong. This wall needs to tumble down like in Jericho. This wall is inhibiting gains from both sides. We can learn from each other. Heck, Ox and I proved that we could (and still can) train together for optimal results. The truth is that we can all look and be strong, and for the best results we should.

“MashJacked: Hypertrophy for Strength, Performance, and Aesthetics” and “Train Stupid: the Training and Philosophy of Nathan Damron” are live! Check them out at their low introductory prices now:

==> “MashJacked”

==> “Train Stupid”

MashJacked: Getting Jacked to Get Strong! Let’s Talk Hypertrophy!

Check out one of our six E-Books:

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

Check them out here: ⇒ Mash Elite E-Books

MashJacked: Getting Jacked to Get Strong
Let’s Talk Hypertrophy

Getting jacked is the universal desire that brings all strength athletes together. Whether you are a powerlifter, Olympic weightlifter, or John Doe slinging weights in the garage, we all enjoy getting jacked. If you go to the weightlifting gyms throughout the country, you will see posters of Lu Xiaojun and Pyrros Dimas nailed to the walls. So why are there posters of these two athletes and not some of the other greats in the sport? Yeah they are great weightlifters, but they are not the best. However both of them are jacked. Nothing is cooler than seeing Dimas’s abdominals protrude through his singlet. These two icons are strong, and they look strong.

People love powerlifters like Dan John and Ed Coan because they could have easily been great bodybuilders as opposed to world champion powerlifters. Whether they want to admit it or not, people are intrigued by muscles. All you have to do is look at the rise in fame of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Heck I remember as a kid watching “Conan the Barbarian”. I was blown away when I realized that some people could actually look like a comic book character in real life. Obviously whether people were admiring Arnold’s muscles or not, they couldn’t stop watching his movies. His muscles made him famous because I can ensure you that it wasn’t his tremendous acting skills.

One of the things that intrigued me the most about the Chinese Weightlifting Team was the overall musculature of the entire team. At the 2016 Junior Worlds in Tbilisi, Georgia, I remember watching the Chinese Team enter the training hall. They were immediately set apart from the other athletes by their musculature and low body fat percentage. They quickly breezed through their warm ups, and then they spent a significant amount of time on accessory bodybuilding work. Remember this is the week before the meet. They are definitely the opposite from the coaches and other proponents of complete specificity the last four week leading up to a competition.

The Chinese only validated my thoughts on hypertrophy training. Two of my biggest influencers in the strength world were Ed Coan and Louie Simmons. Both are major proponents for hypertrophy cycles and accessory work throughout training. Ed Coan looked like a bodybuilder when he was at the top of his powerlifting game. I remember when he was featured in “Flex Magazine” alongside former Mr. Olympian Dorian Yates. They were compared side to side in looks and workout styles. Ed’s back rivaled Dorian’s back, and Dorian was known to have the biggest back in bodybuilding.

Whether you are a powerlifter or a weightlifter, a small muscle is a weak muscle. If there is a small body part on your body, you have a weakness that needs to be dealt with. That’s why I love the Chinese program. They are getting jacked right up to a competition.

If you want to know the secret behind the Mash gains, simply put it is our willingness to endure and program hypertrophy phases into our training programs. Neural mechanisms are great, and they work. You can get stronger without getting bigger. You simply have to get more efficient at the movement. What happens when you become efficient? You better get bigger and stronger.

After a big meet, if you walk in our gym on a Monday, you will see all of our lifter hobbling around from their big squat day on Saturday. They are experiencing delayed onset muscle soreness caused by the damage of their muscles. That’s just part of the equation. You are going to see them lunging, pressing, dipping, and basically getting a pump. I am adding muscle to their frames.

Once we add the new muscle, now we apply strength training, high frequency, and some good old technique work to make that new muscle more efficient. The best one on our team to watch is Nathan Damron. After a big meet, he always crushes a massive hypertrophy cycle. He won’t post as many videos because there is nothing fancy to post just some good ‘ole fashion hard work. About two weeks after switching back to a typical strength cycle, the personal records start dropping like flies. The videos increase as well. You know the cool ones like the 700lb squat, and the 210kg clean.

There are three keys to hypertrophy:

1. Mechanical loading- basically going heavy

2. Metabolic stress- catching a skin-popping pump

3. Muscle damage- getting sore from changing things up, focusing on the eccentric portion of a lift, and stretching an activated muscle like when performing RDLs.

Those are the three components. All of us work on Mechanical Loading and Muscle Damage throughout most of our mesocycles. However, a lot of us skip the Metabolic Stress mechanism, and that’s a bad idea. That phase let’s us add muscle with lighter weights as around 65% for 8-12 reps is the optimal rep range for this category. This gives our joints some relief from the 90+% squats and pulls that all of us have been performing. This phase adds to the muscle damage as well making it the superior way to add muscle.

When this phase is over, it’s back to our regularly programmed strength work. This is where we take that newfound muscle, and we make it work efficiently. It’s a constant battle for our team; add muscle and then make it work better.

We are going to release two books in April that are going to crush this topic for all of you:

“Train Stupid” highlighting the training of the mad man Nathan Damron


“MashJacked” filled with six 8-week hypertrophy workouts (Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, SuperTotal, Bodybuilding, and Athletic Performance) this book is going to help you understand the ‘why’ of it all, and detail several of the plans.

I am pumped to release these books. You guys are going to love them, and I believe that these books will help you reach your goals more than anything out there. Hypertrophy is the missing component from most programs out there. We are going to show you how to create the perfect program for any individual. Until then, I will be dropping these nuggets to get you guys ready for all the information.

My latest E-Book “Mash Method” is live and it’s FREE! Check it out now at:
This book has several of the techniques that I used to set personal records and world records along with some of my latest techniques that I’m using to get my athletes and me hitting all-time numbers.
-wave training
-bands and chains contrasted with straight weight
-walk outs
-partials contrasted with full ROM
-Squats for vertical leap -Sled drags to set PR 40 yd dash times
And more!

Insight on the low Back: Asymmetries is Where it All Begins

Mash Mafia is celebrating Christmas and the Holidays with the “12 Days of Christmas” Holiday Specials. Here’s what you get:

10% off all E-Books


Free Domestic Shipping for all of our New Apparel


Check out all the savings here: ==> 12 Days of Christmas Holiday Specials

Insight on the low Back: Asymmetries is Where it All Begins


In 2004 I was diagnosed with two herniated discs, and I was told to retire from all competitive strength sports. I was faced with two options:

1. Quit even though I was 70lb from breaking the all-time total record.

2. Learn as much about the back as possible and take matters into my own hands.

Obviously I chose option 2. After researching the leading back people in the world, I landed on Dr. Stuart McGill. He is not only a leading researcher, but he also puts out work that is easily understood by us lesser academic mortals.

I also found Dr. Lawrence Gray of Gray Chiropractic and Sports Associates to be my weekly practitioner. Dr. Gray is on the same page as Dr. McGill, so it was a great fit. Dr. Gray kept me as balanced as a possible, and with the help of Dr. McGill’s work I started bulletproofing my core.

Rebecca Gerdon, Malcolm Moses-Hampton and I came out with the E-Book “No Weaknesses” regarding all the intricacies that we use for recovery. I am known as the guy that can get you strong, and now I want to be known as the guy that can keep you strong. Let’s face it! The person that can train the longest without major injury wins the game in the end.

I started working on recovery for the back. Obviously the first place that I started was Dr. McGill’s work. As I research I always like to pass on the information to you guys. Not only does it help you guys learn, but it also helps me retain the information.

Today I want to talk about asymmetries. Most practitioners want to talk about pain and range of motion to diagnose and predict back injuries. However, asymmetries in movement and strength are the first place to look because studies have shown that asymmetries in movement (especially in the hips) and strength in the low back is the number one way to diagnose and predict back injuries.

Think of the spine as a wall holding up your roof. If anything pulls the base of the wall in any direction, the wall is going to want to collapse. The balance of the low back and pelvis region is critical for low back health.

If your range of motion, function, or strength in the hips varies from right to left or front to back, I suggest working on mobility and finding a practitioner like Dr. Gray to assist in the process. Asymmetrical strength work should be a staple in everyone’s training. I suggest the following exercises:

1. Unilateral Bottom Up Kettlebell Carries: Instead of KB carries with the bell tucked against the wrist, hold the KB with the bell straight up in the air. Dr. McGill’s studies in his lab showed much more recruitment of the quadratus lumborum and abdominal obliques, which are crucial for hip movement and back and hip strength.


2. Traditional Farmers Walk

3. Traditional Kettlebell Carries

4. Unilateral Fat Grip Dumbbell Overhead Carries

5. Staggered Kettlebell Carries- one kettlebell is held overhead and the other down by the side.

6. Unilateral Farmers Walk

7. Axle Bar Zercher Carries

8. Sled Pushes

9. One arm sled drags

10. Deficit Suitcase Deadlifts

If you visit the Mash Compound, you will see one of these versions being used by our athletes. Our athletes are taking a long-term view to their training. We have a young team, so we are thinking not just the next Olympics but also the next two or three. I hope that you will too.

I love how Dr. McGill turns his corrective exercises into performance enhancers. The same carries mentioned above not only help to stabilize the spine, but they also give athletes the power to absorb and transfer force. Unilateral carries are great for any athlete that needs to plant off one foot and change direction. This could be a football player making a cut, or a boxer planting and throwing the knockout overhand right.

Last night I had the honor of podcasting with Dr. McGill. It’s safe to say that he blew us all away with his knowledge bombs. Let me give you one nugget that should encourage you to make some shifts in your training. Here goes:

Proximal stiffness equals distal movement and athleticism. Here’s an example. Let’s look at the jerk. If an athlete is able to maintain complete stiffness in the torso during the dip and drive, this will lead to maximal force distributed up through the barbell with the arms moving at maximal velocity to lockout.

You could also look at the swing of a bat. If the athlete is able to maintain maximal stiffness in the core/torso, this will lead to maximum bat velocity. If the core/torso gives in any way, there will be power leakage. That’s why optimal torso/core training is critical for all athletes in performance and injury prevention.

“No Weaknesses” was a blast to research and develop. I believe that it could be a fantastic tool for all of you to avoid injury and to maximize performance. However, after last night’s podcast, I plan on doing even more research. I know that weightlifters, powerlifters, and all athletes could benefit from more resources regarding muscular balance and proper core stability.

You guys are going to love the podcast with Dr. McGill. I encourage you to listen to the podcast with a pen and paper. There are going to be a lot of misconceptions about core training revealed in the podcast. Some of you might get upset, and some of you will learn a better course of action. Either way you are going to learn and enjoy this lecture from the most interesting man on earth, Dr. Stu McGill.

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Mash Mafia is celebrating Christmas and the Holidays with the “12 Days of Christmas” Holiday Specials. Here’s what you get:

10% off all E-Books


Free Domestic Shipping for all of our New Apparel


Check out all the savings here: ==> 12 Days of Christmas Holiday Specials


The Mash Method

“The Mash Blueprint for Strength Programming” and “Squat Every Day II: Variations in Intensity and Volume” have both launched today at the lowest price that they will ever be. Check them out below:

==> “Squat Every Day II and The Mash Blueprint”

The Mash Method

Over the years people have constantly asked me, “So what programming did you use as a powerlifter or weightlifter?” That’s actually a very good question. I performed a semi-Westside program, but at the end of the day I went heavy very often. However, I had found a way to constantly set personal records, and I didn’t even realize that I was simply using several versions of the post activation potentiation theory or PAP.

Before writing this book, I researched for a couple of days, so that I would get a better understanding of PAP. I wanted to know why it works, and I wanted to know why it works better for some than others. My man, Bret Contreras, wrote a great article on his website laying out the details of PAP. Before we go any farther, I need to give a brief definition of PAP.

This is taken directly from Bret’s article: “PAP is a phenomena by which muscular performance characteristics are acutely enhanced as a result of their contractile history. The underlying principle surrounding PAP is that heavy loading prior to explosive activity induces a high degree of CNS stimulation which results in greater motor unit recruitment lasting anywhere from five to thirty minutes.”

Most of the time people refer to PAP when using a strength movement in conjunction with a powerful more ballistic movement like plyometrics or sprinting. My man Coach Joe DeFranco is famous for his contrast speed training. He calls in contrast training. One example is where he uses heavy sled drags in contrast to short sprints. I will admit right now that I use this method with all of my sport athletes with amazing success.

Travis Deadlift

A lot of people including me will perform back squats with a jump of some sorts. Others will use the bench press in contrast to explosive push-ups. Whether you are doing a squat with jumps or bench press with plyo-push ups, the key is to pair similar exercises together. The heavy strength movement will excite the nervous system, and the contractile history will be that of a heavy squat or bench. The theory is that will leave your body prepped for the heavy movement when you simply performing a jump, sprint, or plyo-pushup with bodyweight. Both of these are great, but there are a lot of other uses for PAP.

The one that I used during the majority of my career was heavy holds, partial movements, bands, chains, and weight releasers in contrast to straight weight full range of motion movements. This Mash Method Principle is the one that I used the most to break records on a daily basis. Let me give you one example that I used.

I would perform the prescribed sets for a dynamic squat day with bands. Then I would work up to a heavy double with bands but not to failure. Then I would take the bands off and hit a PR. How did this work?

Let’s pretend that I worked up in the squat to 625lb bar weight + Blue Bands, which is 825lb total weight at the top. If my max is 800lb, that’s a total of 103% of my max squat. At the bottom of the squat the bands will deload to about 30% of their original strength, so that leaves about 685lb of total intensity at the bottom portion or 83% of maximum. 83% isn’t that hard or taxing on the CNS. I was able to squat this weight easily, and I was able to excite my nervous system for 825lb at the same time.

When I would take the bands off and work up to a max single of say 805lb, my body was prepared for 825lb. All of this gave me an advantage to hit PRs on a regular basis. The biggest issue was balancing the PAP response and fatigue. The response was the highest right after completing the set, but so was the fatigue. I found out that it was best to complete the straight weight max somewhere between 3-8 minutes after the banded word was complete.

It was also a good idea to not kill myself during the banded sets and repetitions. The less total volume that I completed would always equal the better result for the straight weight portion. I will detail how this worked over a few weeks in my FREE Book that is coming out soon called you guessed it: “The Mash Method”.

The book will contain over 15 different ways to use the Mash Method with detailed descriptions, periodization, and more. This is the way that set so many records in days as an athlete. It’s also the way that my athletes are setting so many records.

The book will contain:

• Ways to increase absolute strength in the squat, bench, deadlift, press, and the Olympic lifts
• Ways to maximize hypertrophy by using this method
• Ways to use the method in everyday strength training phases
• Ways to increase vertical leap
• Ways to increase 40yd dash time
• Ways to crush sticking points

I think that you are going to love it, and I am excited to give it away for Free. Make sure that you are signed up for the Newsletter to get the book. If you sign up now, you will get my Free E-Book “The Big Six”.

==> Sign up for the Free Newsletter and receive the Free E-Book “The Big Six”

Thanks for reading!

Squat Every Day a Little Deeper

For an awesome tool to quantify weaknesses, fix those weaknesses, control common aches and pains, and all things recovery, check out our new book “No Weaknesses. Check it out here:

The Brand New Mash Elite E-Book: “No Weaknesses”

Check out the “Mash Squat Every Day” E-Book with 4 twelve-week programs for weightlifting, powerlifting, super total, and bodybuilding. Find out more below:

>>>Mash Squat Every Day<<<

Squat Every Day a Little Deeper


Squat Every Day a Little Deeper

2016 has been an amazing year. Rock (my son), is growing up. Every day he changes into a little man more and more. Emily Drew and I are expecting another little boy at any moment. I have traveled the world as a Coach for Team USA thanks to coaching some of the best athletes in America.

Squat Every Day has done a lot more than just get me strong. I am moving better, and I feel more athletic. Crushing my first ever Super Total Meet (Snatch, Clean & Jerk, Squat, Strict Press, and Deadlift) last year reminded me that anything is possible if I put my mind to it. Now I am inspired to teach all of you not only how to get stronger and more athletic, but I also want to teach you how to conquer life. That is what Squat Every Day has really done for me.

Here’s what I am talking about:

1. It’s all about Mind Set! It really is. What is your paradigm? By paradigm, I mean what is your reality, or your view of reality. I have news for you! Your view of reality is probably a lie put there by negative family and friends, and then reinforced by society. Trust me I grew up in a place where nothing really amazing happens. It took me getting out and seeing the world to understand that my view of reality was totally messed up.

The view that I had of me as an athlete was messed up. I thought that I was good, but not great. I am from the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. How could I be great? We are just a bunch of rednecks. Aren’t we?

The answer is no! We are the strongest group of people that I have ever met. I have been all over the world, and I am yet to meet a stronger group of men and women. The problem is that no one told us that until now. This discovery inspired me to help others discover their inner-greatness. I don’t want to let negative opinions shape the men and women that I am in contact with. That means “You” the one reading this right now.

Squatting Every Day has allowed me to lift massive weights at the age of 42. These are weights that I never dreamed where still possible, but they were possible. Great things are possible for you as long as you let go of all the crap that was fed to you by the people in your life.

A great way of letting it go is to forgive the people that told you those negative things. They didn’t mean too. They were just passing on the same negative things that were told to them because those negative things were their reality. Your job is to kill those negative thoughts right now, and refuse to pass them on to anyone in your life.

2. Simplify your life to the important things! Squat Every Day is all about picking out the important exercises, and then performing those exercises often. I am focused right now on Super Total Meets, so I am going to Snatch, Clean & Jerk, Squat Press, and Deadlift often. I am also going to lunge, row, and pull-up because those things are important just not as important.

This simple concept applies to life so well. If family is important, then make QUALITY Time for them daily. Let’s call it “Family Every Day”! Then pick out the important parts of your career, and focus on them. With me, writing, coaching, and teaching are the favorite aspects of what I do. Therefore I do them almost daily, and then I have hired out the rest. You will always get best results from focusing on what is important and letting someone else handle the small details.

My relationship with God is the most important part. Funny how we let the most important part slip the most. This year, I have definitely improved, but I am still only touching the surface. 2016 has to be God Every Day for me.

Hopefully you get the point. If it is important, then do it often, and do it well. If we are not careful, we will let distractions keep us from what’s important. Laser focus in the key to reaching great heights.

Last year, I let business pull me from coaching my athletes. That was a big mistake because I found myself totally unhappy and grumpy. I am called to be a teacher/coach. If I vary from that calling, then I can only expect sadness. God gifted me with the ability to teach and inspire. I am now back on a track that I will never sway from again unless God calls me somewhere else.

3. Nothing is better for overall human health that proper movement. I fractured a vertebra in my cervical spine in 2007. That injury has caused major issues for the left side of my body. The radial nerve has been compromised, and that makes holding and pressing on the left side very difficult. Squatting Every Day has strengthened my left side dramatically. I am now Snatching 297lb, which is right at that 300lb mark. I am bench-pressing 400lb again.

If you want to get mobility and stability in a movement or exercise, then perform that exercise often. You can do all the lacrosse balling and foam rolling that you want, but nothing beats the movement to improve the movement. You don’t get better at basketball by playing baseball.

I hope that these points help you in life. I want you all inspired to crush 2017. Squat Every Day, love your family every day, and worship every day! That’s where I am heading for 2017. Where will you?

“Squat Every Day II” and “The Mash Blueprint for Strength Programing” drop this weekend.

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Squat Every Day Cures All Ailments

For an awesome tool to quantify weaknesses, fix those weaknesses, control common aches and pains, and all things recover, check out our new book “No Weaknesses. Check it out here:

The Brand New Mash Elite E-Book: “No Weaknesses”

Check out the “Mash Squat Every Day” E-Book with 4 twelve-week programs for weightlifting, powerlifting, super total, and bodybuilding. Find out more below:

>>>Mash Squat Every Day<<<

Squat Every Day Cures All Ailments

Lu Squat

This is the article that I wrote over one year ago. I thought that you guys might want to check it out again. There were some pretty cool results. Enjoy!

Eleven Weeks ago from the day that I am writing this, I embarked upon my #SquatEveryDay Journey. Cory Gregory, Co-Founder of MusclePharm, inspired me to give it a try. Up until this point, I had steered clear of all high frequency squat programs. However, Cory Gregory inspired me on many fronts. Cory was a coal miner before becoming the fitness icon that he is today. He used his savings from his time in the mines to start his first gym. From that moment on, Cory used the same blue-collar work ethic learned in the mines to work his way to the top of the fitness world.


My Grandfather retired from the Coal Mines of West Virginia, so right away I felt a connection to Cory. His family is hard working and strong just like mine, so right away there was a trust established. It is hard to explain this type of trust. Let me explain!

I watched my Grandfather and Father leave the house well before the sun ever shed a grain of light. I also watched them come home after dark with hands and feet bleeding from their daily work. They never complained. They were just happy to provide for their families. They didn’t want anything given to them from anyone. They just wanted outwork everyone around them to provide a better life for their family than they had experienced growing up. They did just that, and still found time to love their families. That’s my image of a real man!

Cory’s story of his own family was much like my own, and all I can say is that I felt connected. It takes a lot for me to trust someone with my training or programming, but he had earned that right. I trusted him, so I decided to give the Squat Every Day a try.

My friend and peer Coach John Broz inspired Cory to try the Squat Every Day Program. Broz has been preaching squat every day for years, and all of his athletes have made major improvements with his Bulgarian Methods. There belief is that to get better at a movement one needs to practice the movement every day. Kinda makes sense!


I will be honest here in saying that I had low expectations going into the program. Remember I have been a world record holder in the squat, so I wasn’t expecting a program to have a major impact on my ability to squat. However, in the second week I was noticing major changes. In the eleven weeks that I have used the Squat Every Day Program I have experienced PRs every single week. That’s not common at all especially at 42-years-old.

Cory put his own spin on the program using the Conjugate Method from Westside Barbell. Cory is a Louie Simmons fan just like me, and he has used the Westside Methods to hit some respectable numbers in the powerlifting world. Conjugate is simply a fancy word for change. The body will sometime plateau when an athlete performs the same movement everyday. If you slightly vary that same movement, then it is perceived as a new movement forcing the body to get stronger and adapt to the new stimulus. Cory has used pauses, bands, chains, and even specialty bars to vary the lifts. I love this concept.


So far, I have only used the Back Squat and the Front Squat with pauses from 1 to 5 seconds in the bottom. I have used a rep scheme from 1-2 reps in the max set, and 3-5 reps in the down sets. Look at all the variations that one can form from these slight variations:

Back Squat
Paused 1 sec for 1 rep
Paused 2 sec for 1 rep
Paused 3 sec for 1 rep
Paused 4 sec for 1 rep
Paused 5 sec for 1 rep
Not Paused for 1 rep
Paused 1 sec for 2 rep
Paused 2 sec for 2 rep
Paused 3 sec for 2 rep
Paused 4 sec for 2 rep
Paused 5 sec for 2 rep
Not Paused for 2 rep
1st rep only Paused 1 sec for 2 rep
1st rep only Paused 2 sec for 2 rep
1st rep onlyPaused 3 sec for 2 rep
1st rep only Paused 4 sec for 2 rep
1st rep only Paused 5 sec for 2 rep

Front Squat
Paused 1 sec for 1 rep
Paused 2 sec for 1 rep
Paused 3 sec for 1 rep
Paused 4 sec for 1 rep
Paused 5 sec for 1 rep
Not Paused for 1 rep
Paused 1 sec for 2 rep
Paused 2 sec for 2 rep
Paused 3 sec for 2 rep
Paused 4 sec for 2 rep
Paused 5 sec for 2 rep
Not Paused for 2 rep
1st rep only Paused 1 sec for 2 rep
1st rep only Paused 2 sec for 2 rep
1st rep onlyPaused 3 sec for 2 rep
1st rep only Paused 4 sec for 2 rep
1st rep only Paused 5 sec for 2 rep

From just the Back Squat and Front Squat you can get 34 variations from the pauses and the two different rep schemes. This doesn’t even take into consideration the volume manipulations that one can form from varying the down sets. Normally I try to increase volume for 3 weeks, and then deload volume on the fourth week while maintaining intensity. Slowly increasing volume over the months and years of training is another necessity for increasing strength. Increased workload forces the body to adapt and become stronger.

I have used the Squat Every Day Program to formulate Olympic Weightlifting, Powerlifting, and a Powerlifting/Weightlifting Combo that I am using to prepare for a Super Total Meet in November. Super Total simply means the competition of the Snatch, Clean & Jerk, Squat, Press, and Deadlift, or as I call it, the Big 5! I have successfully taken all five lifts higher than they have been for over 12 years. I’ll call it the fountain of youth. At 42-years-old competing in five events makes training more exciting, but controlling the volume becomes tricky. The key is to push the body’s threshold without crushing the immune system. Believe me, I am pushing that threshold.

So far, here are the PRs that I have set in the last 11 weeks:

Snatch 135k/297lb up from 115k/253lb
Clean & Jerk 166k/365lb up from 150k/330lb
Clean 170k/374lb up from 150k/330lb
Jerk from Blocks 182k/400lb up from 160k/352lb
High Bar Back Squat no wraps 285k/627lb up from 250k/550lb
Bench Press 400lb up from 315lb
Deadlift 700lb up from 630lb
Front Squat 242k/532lb up from 205k/451lb
Paused Front Squat 230k/506lb up from 190k/418lb

I have also developed a Squat Every Day Program for Bodybuilding. If you are that guy or gal that can’t seem to get the wheels to grow, this program is for you. Not to mention that we all know that heavy squats are great for the endocrine system. There is not other lift on the planet better for spiking natural growth hormone and testosterone levels than the almighty squat.

The last eleven weeks I have spent most of my time researching all about the program and talking to the experts like John Broz and Cory. I have also unleashed the program on my athletes with phenomenal results. I have found that newer athletes need a little more volume, so I am using the repetition method with them. Rookies need more of a base. We still squat every day, but I am using a higher rep scheme on some days.

I am just excited to bring all of these detailed plans to all of my readers. There is nothing better than passing on information, and helping people reach their goals. Cory did it for me, and now I am doing it for you.

Here is the way Super Total Squat Every Day Plan looks now:

Week 1-4
Day 1 Week 1
Warm Up with OH Squat Variations 2 Snatch Grip Push Presses & 1 OH Squat work up to 75% of Snatch
Front Squat Paused 3 sec no belt Max, then -20% for 3 not paused
Snatch Start at 70% 8 sets x 1 rep working up heavy but no misses
Bench Press Paused 3 sec Work up to a max, then -20% for 3
Upper Muscular Imbalance Work 1

200M Lunges BW Only

Day 2
Front Squat Paused 3 sec with Belt max
Clean & Jerk Start at 70% 8 sets x 1 rep working up heavy but no misses
Snatch Pulls 95% for 3×3 with a 6 sec eccentric
Core Muscular Imbalance 1 This is normally a carry
Optional Cardio, GPP, HIIT

Day 3
High Bar Back Squat Paused 3 sec with Belt Max, then -20% for 3 no pause
Jerk from Block work Paused 3 sec in dip and catch 1RM, then -20% for 2×2
Bench Press Pause all Reps Start at 60% 8 sets x 3 rep working up heavy but no misses
Deadlift EMOMs Paused 2 sec 2 inches off Floor 70% 6×1 work up but not past 90%
Upper Muscular Imbalance 2

Day 4
Warm Up with OH Squat Variations Work up to 70% for 3 reps with 1st rep paused 5 sec
Front Squat with Belt no pause Max
Snatch Max Effort Snatch to Hang Snatch Max, then -10% for one down set
Optional Cardio, GPP, HIIT

Day 5
Low or High Bar Back Squat no pause with Belt Max
Clean & Jerk Max Effort Clean, 2 Front Squats, and Jerk Max, then -15% for 1 down set
Clean Pulls 95% 3×3
Core Muscular Imbalance 2

Day 6
OH Squat Variation Max Effort 1RM with 5 sec pause, then -20% for 3 reps not paused
Bench Max Effort 3RM 3 Board, then work up to 90% of Max Bench to Chest for 1 pause
Deadlift Max Effort 5RM from Blocks with Bar at Knees
RDLs 3×8
Lower Muscular Imbalance

Lunges 200-400m

Day 7 Optional Day
Thruster or Cluster 3RM, then -15% for 3
Optional Cardio, GPP, HIIT

This will give you an idea of what the full plans will look like. This is just week 1. My detailed plans will explain the muscular balance work, mobility, recovery, general physical preparedness, and much more. The full versions will be out in November, so make sure that you are signed up for the Newsletter list to receive notification that the completed versions are out.

Please ask any and all questions in the comments section. I will answer all questions. Thanks for reading and enjoy squatting every day!

Guys and gals, if you want a tool that will help you along your fitness path, I would be honored if you checked out the brand new “No Weaknesses” E-Book. For more information, click on the link below:

The Mash Elite “No Weaknesses” E-Book


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