Category Archives for "Bodybuilding"

No Weaknesses Approach

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<<<

Remember on September 17th-18th we will be hosting the Mash Barbell Picnic” on the Farm. Weightlifting Day 1 and Powerlifting Day 2, but more importantly hanging out together the entire weekend. Check it out below:

The Mash Barbell Picnic

No Weaknesses

Watching the Olympics this year has been incredible. We have all been able to once again watch these athletes perform. We have all been wowed, shocked, and sometimes saddened. That’s why we watch.

As a coach that works with athletes in an Olympic sport, the march for 2020 has already begun. Coach Don McCauley and I talk daily about the things that need to happen for our athletes to make the next team. Yesterday he was tweaking the jerk techniques of two of our female athletes. He says that he wants to go ahead and make the changes, so that they will be prepared for 2020. I say amen to that.

As coaches we have to make sure that our athletes have “No Weaknesses”. That’s our job. We need to look at all the variables that we can affect, and then our job is to improve as many of those variables as possible. I am not talking just about programming and coaching technique. I am talking about all the mundane aspects of athletic performance.

This article isn’t just for Olympic weightlifting. I am talking about all sports. If you want to be great, you have to do the things that no one wants to do. If you are an athlete, I have some news for you. Everyone goes to practice and trains hard so don’t be bragging about that. All of my athletes train hard in the gym. However, what are you doing when no one is looking? That’s the question.

Let’s look at the variables that coaches can affect other than just programming and practice:

• Mobility
• Overall nutrition
• Body Fat
• Recovery
• Muscular balance
• Supplements
• Sports Psychology
• Joint manipulation to deal with aches and pains

These are just a few that I can think I want to touch on. A lot of variable will vary based on the sport, but all of these are pretty common amongst all sports. Optimal mobility is important in just about every sport on the planet. Notice that I said optimal mobility. That doesn’t mean to stretch everything for hours every day. Some sports require maximum mobility, and some sports like weightlifting require just the right amount. If a weightlifter is hypermobile, they could be at risk of injury due to joint instability.

Nutrition is an aspect of athletic performance that can be a real game changer. There is an optimal body fat percentage for all sports. The key is to find out that percentage, and then eat to optimize your own body composition. For all of you in strength sports, I have some news for you. Fat doesn’t move weight. Look at all the top powerlifters in the world, and you will see some ripped dudes. When I was competing, I was very lean. In weightlifting all you have to do is look at the Chinese. Those athletes are ripped and jacked. Fat has nothing to do with muscular contractions. It just sits there.

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Nutrition is also important to overall recovery. If you are an athlete, you either need to understand macronutrient or find someone who does. It’s not just about losing body fat. It’s also about performance during training and competition. If you are a competitive CrossFitter, you are going to need carbs and lots of them. You need carbs for energy.

Recovery can be affected by nutrition, sleep, stress levels, and outside forces to deal with the stress on the body. The body treats working out the same as an infection. Isn’t that crazy? We break down tissue, and then the body sends a signal to repair the breakdown. The speed of those repairs as well as the efficiency of those repairs is what we call recovery. Besides sleep and nutrition, we use a team Physical Therapist, John Davidson, DPT to help our athletes recover and mend their aches and pains.

Muscular Balance is the new buzzword, but this time the buzzword is for real. If your athlete can reach and maintain muscular balance, they will have a better chance of optimal performance and a lower risk of injury. I am on my way to see Louie Simmons today, which I am very excited about. He has been preaching about muscular balance, since the 1990’s. Now people are talking about it like it’s a new idea. It’s not!

We developed a 24-point test that will help us pinpoint the weaknesses in our athletes. It will give us ratios that will help quantify muscular imbalances, give us ideas of what to target with accessory movements, and it will help us quantify improvement. We plan to use this as a major tool to help our athletes have a better chance of competing on the International stage.

We are coming out with a book that will have this test for all of you. The book will have way more than just the test. It will also tell you exactly what to do with each ratio. The book will also have several of the techniques that we use to keep our athletes recovered and moving properly.

The book is called “No Weaknesses”. I am the most excited about this product than any other things that I have ever created. It’s a tool that I wish I had when I was competing at my highest level. If you are interested in this book, join the newsletter. You will also get my Free book “The Big Six”, which give you several of my ideas to improve the snatch, clean, jerk, squat, bench, and deadlift. Here’s the link:

⇒Join the Mash Newsletter and receive the Free E-Book “The Big Six”

This article isn’t an infomercial, but I am pretty pumped about the book. Supplements are another way to maximize recovery and performance. They key is knowing which supplements to take. Dr. Gray, my longtime sport’s doctor, is going to do several tests on our athletes. One of which is to determine which vitamins and minerals that my athletes are deficient. Then we can pinpoint, which supplements to give them. That is the best way to optimize supplement use.

Sports Psychology is something that I have been curious about for many years. I have watched it affect the performance of several athletes that I have worked with over the last few years. Some athletes are born with the ability to perform well during competition, and some struggle with negative or irrational thoughts. A good sports psychologist can help program healthier game day habits and thought processes.

Every athlete that competes is going to experience aches and pains. Sports at an elite level aren’t the healthiest thing in the world. You are pushing your body to its limit. At the highest point the body is somewhere between awesome and crushed. It’s that fine line that all athletes must learn to balance.

A big key is knowing when you are just aching and when you are hurt. If you aren’t able to perform the movements of your sport or you are altering those movements, I recommend going to a professional. The key is finding someone that you trust. We are blessed to have Dr. John Davidson, and Dr. Gray to go to. You need to find someone as well.

In our book “No Weaknesses”, we have included all the ways that we have dealt with aches and pains in the various joints with all of our athletes. We have also included ways to stabilize those joints to prevent injuries. I think that you guys are going to love “No Weaknesses”. My goal is that it helps all of you reach your goals, stay injury free, and keeps you competing for many years to come.

Once again, if you want to know when the book comes out, click on the link below and also receive the Free E-Book “The Big Six”:

⇒Join the Mash Newsletter and receive the Free E-Book “The Big Six”

Top 5 Gym Mistakes by Corey Reich

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<<<

Join Team Mash Mafia for weightlifting, powerlifting, athletic performance, bodybuilding, running, or a hybrid approach. This team is already taking over weightlifting, and I plan on taking over all of the other disciplines one at a time. Check it out below:

>>>Team Mash Mafia<<<

The Squat Every Day Learn 2 Lift Clinic is coming to Orlando and Canada. To find out more, check out the link below:

Mash Mafia Squat Every Day Learn 2 Lift Clinic

Top 5 Gym Mistakes

By:Corey Reich

Wanted to continue this top 5 series with the five mistakes I see people make in the gym all the time. We have all at one time or another seen some bad things being done in gyms. I wanted to cover the ones that I feel like are the most common. I hope that if you are making one of these mistakes that it will help you to learn how not to make that mistake anymore. If you are making one of these mistakes do not feel bad, we all have made mistakes in our life and we had to learn somehow. So let’s go ahead and get right into the top 5 with the mistake that I feel like is ranked 5th on this list.

The number 5 mistake that I see being made almost on a daily basis is people working out in their comfort zone. I don’t know how many times I see guys and girls come into the gym and talk throughout their entire workout. They do 10 reps of something so light that they almost forget how many they have even done. When they leave the gym it doesn’t even look like they have broken a sweat. Girls hair and makeup, still perfect, guys shirts, no sweat? I really am confused on the entire purpose of them even being at the gym. Now being honest, we don’t always have a crazy intense workout where we say “man that was the best workout ever”. But if more than half the time you go to the gym you don’t even push yourself to try and be better than you were before, then please ask yourself the question. What the heck am I even doing here in the first place? When you workout it’s about bettering yourself and your health not social hour. Now don’t get me wrong there is absolutely nothing wrong with talking or having a good time while you workout but let’s be real here. There is a fine line between that and making the gym time your new hangout place to talk gossip. The funny thing is, some of these people are the first ones to complain when they don’t see any changes. Hmm I wonder why that is? So please guys and girls, you want results? Then go to the gym and work for them instead of talking about it.

Mistake number 4 that I see in the gym is people lifting/working out without a purpose or plan. These are the people that do one of two things. They either come to the gym and kind of just do whatever they feel like with no specific goal or reason in mind. Or even worse they literally do the same exercises every single day. They never change or sway to anything different than the same international chest day on monday. Now these people are more motivated than the ones that mistake number 5 but they still could be helping themselves out more. Lifting without a plan or reason is fine for beginners but if you have been going to the gym for a month or two then it’s time to get a plan together. Not only can changing things up or getting a plan make the gym more exciting again. It also shocks the body and will allow you to break through plateaus that you once had. I hear things like “I want to get stronger” yet I see them doing reps of 25. Or, “man I really wanna get a bigger chest” and then they do heavy bench press for 2 reps. There is a reason why I do every set and every rep. They are all thought out and they are done with a purpose, this is one of the reasons I have been able to be so successful in the gym. So make sure you are planned and prepared for your workouts if you really want to see some changes.

Mistake number 3 is one that can actually cause physical injury and that is not warming up properly. We have all seen it, the guy goes to the barbell bench and does one set of 135 and then jumps straight to trying to do 225 or 315. I just cringe when I see things like this in the gym. We only get one body in this life and it is important that we take the steps necessary to protect it. There is nothing wrong and in fact I recommend having a warm up routine before all of your workouts. Do not just jump straight into your working sets without warming up your joints and muscles. Now this will be different for everyone on how much they need to warm up but everyone does need to do something. Even if this is a walk on the treadmill for 5 to 10 minutes before you do legs or just a few sets of pushups before you do chest. Warming up properly will allow you to have a much more effective workout and prevent the risk of injury. This will insure that you will be able to make progress for many workouts to come instead of being set back by an injury.

Mistake number 2 almost makes me laugh when I see it and that is people who are always doing fancy exercises. I don’t know how many times I see people trying to find new ways to improperly use a machine to workout. There is no fancy exercise that will make you build a better body than what people have been doing for 100 years. This especially goes for the ones that haven’t even used the basic exercises yet to build a solid foundation. I remember seeing an interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger talking about this exact thing. They didn’t do all these fancy exercises back in the day when they built amazing physiques like Arnold, Serge, Frank, and countless others. Girls you want a better butt, then squat. Guys you want bigger shoulders then press some real weight. There is no booty blaster 1000 that will do you better than some old fashioned, put the bar on your back, and squat your butt to your calfs. Now I am all for trying new things but if you don’t have a real solid foundation first and the basics aren’t part of your staple. Then I seriously recommend going back to the drawing board on developing that plan. Stick to the basics first and master though’s before you try and put bands the wrong way on bench press.

Last and certainly not least, the number 1 mistake I see people making in the gym is EGO lifting with poor range of motion. You all know what I am talking about, those people that load up the bar with 405 and do about a half a squat. I am talking not even close to parallel, much less going deep. Or the person that tells me they bench 350 and they throw the shoulder saver on there or stop about 4 inches from their chest. How about the guy that military presses the 110 dumbbells and doesn’t even get his elbows to a 90 degree angle much less full range of motion. Not to mention the one that loads up the entire leg press machine with 45’s only to move it about 4 inches for 5 reps. I could go on and on with examples that would make even beginners laugh. The better the range of motion during any exercise the more muscle fibers that are recruited. This means that you will see a greater gain in muscle size and strength if you actually do the exercise correctly. I do not know why guys especially do this but they are not impressing anyone that has a clue and they are going to hurt themselves. If you can not control the bar all the way down to your chest and then press it back up, then it is to heavy for you. If you can not squat with proper form and get down to a minimum of parallel, then it is to heavy for you.

Alright y’all that is my top 5 mistakes that I see in the gym. I hope that this has been informative and maybe even a little funny for you. I hope that this has helped you in some way with either your workout routine or in helping out your buddy’s. Thanks for reading look out for the next article. Top 5 mistakes people make in their nutrition.

About the author:

Corey is a full-time personal trainer training clients from ages 15-years-old to 75-years-old. One of his clients is making a run at the NFL for the Patriots. He is the 2015 NPC North Carolina Physique Champion, and he owns “Carolina Physiques” coaching over 20 physique and bodybuilder competitors. Follow him on Instagram: @coreyreich or on his website www.reichfitness.com.

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Top 5 Go To Supplements by Corey Reich

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<<<

Join Team Mash Mafia for weightlifting, powerlifting, athletic performance, bodybuilding, running, or a hybrid approach. This team is already taking over weightlifting, and I plan on taking over all of the other disciplines one at a time. Check it out below:

>>>Team Mash Mafia<<<

The Squat Every Day Learn 2 Lift Clinic is coming to Orlando, Kentucky, and Canada. To find out more, check out the link below:

Mash Mafia Squat Every Day Learn 2 Lift Clinic

Top 5 Go To Supplements
By Corey Reich (Drug Free North Carolina NPC Physique Champion and National Physique Competitor)
@coreyreich on Instagram

So everyone probably has tried some type of supplements to help perform in the gym or on the field. I am going to give you a look into my top 5 sups for any athlete, male or female. Before we get started I wanted to clarify that supplements do not do the work for you but they do give you that extra edge you may need to be at your best. All of these items can be purchased very easily at your local supplement store or even online. So let’s take a look into what exactly I consider to be in my top 5 and what each one of them does.

The number one sports supplement that I think should be in your supplement stack is a good whey protein. Everyone knows, or at least they should, that protein helps you build lean mass. The more lean mass a person has, the more metabolic they become, meaning you burn more calories throughout the day. This allows you to be able to eat more and make those gains in the gym you want to make without gaining excess body fat. Protein helps you stay full longer and can help in preventing unhealthy snacking. Whey protein can be taken at anytime of the day but I believe in taking it in at breakfast and post workout.These times for me are the most beneficial and convenient times. Whey protein comes in a variety of flavors so everyone can find something they like. Look for a protein low in carbs and fat with around 20 plus grams of protein per serving.

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The number two supplement that I believe should be in your stack is creatine. Taking around 5g of creatine a day can help to saturate your bodies storages. This will allow your body to produce ATP more efficiently and use it to help in short term burst of energy. Think things like lifting weights for reps or running a sprint. The easy way I like to explain it to people is imagine without creatine you can bench press 225 six times. Now imagine with creatine you can do it 8 to 10 times. It doesn’t sound like a lot but after doing 4 sets you have accumulated another 8 to 16 reps. So in the long run you will allow yourself to grow much stronger and bigger than you would without it. Creatine also helps you hold water in the muscle cell which is where you want it. Allowing muscles to look fuller and harder while performing more effectively than before.

Supplement number 3 is fish oil. Taking fish oil might not have all the sexy cool benefits like some of the other supplements on the list. It will however take care of your insides and help your body function properly. Lets face it, sometimes we don’t always eat the best and some of us may have issues with cholesterol. Fish oil helps to support good cholesterol levels (known as HDL) and bring down the bad ones (LDL). It also helps things like your brain, eyes, and heart and without those things most of us would probably struggle in the gym. Some studies have shown that it helps to boost mood and I think we can all say we like to be in a good mood! Taking around 1 to 3 grams per day seems to be the most recommended way of dosing fish oil. So make sure to add in fish oil to your daily regiment, heck take it even if you don’t workout!

Supplement number 4, in my opinion has got to be a BCAA formula. BCAA stands for branch chain amino acids. Specifically leucine, isoleucine, and valine. BCAA’s are the building blocks for protein synthesis. This means that BCAA’s help you to grow your muscles more efficiently. It also helps in the breakdown of muscle tissue, which is a big scare when you are dieting. No one wants to lose any muscle they have worked hard to gain so taking bcaa’s can help prevent that. Not only does it help grow muscle and stop the breakdown of muscle, it allows you to have more muscular endurance. This will allow you to be able to workout harder and longer than you would without it. The sweet spot seems to be taking 6 grams of bcaas per serving, and I prefer to drink it during my exercise. Even better is that on non workout days it is totally fine to drink it during the day to help support all those muscles you have got, you sexy beast you!

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The last supplement is called ZMA. This is a combination of zinc, magnesium, and vitamin b6. You take this about 30min before you go to bed to help with muscle recovery and sleep. I like to take a ZMA product that also has theanine in it to help aid in REM sleep. This is where you are in the deepest sleep and where majority of recovery is taking place. Everyone should know that working out hard is important but recovery is just as important. ZMA has shown to help support natural testosterone levels in men and women. Healthy testosterone levels means strength and strength means gains. I hope you have all enjoyed my top 5 supplements but remember you have to do the work to see the results. Thanks for reading everyone catch you next time!

Don’t forget about the Mash Elite Weightlifting Team Camp:

We are hosting a three-day camp July 8-10 at the Mash Compound. It’s going to look like this:

• Day 1 Max Out Friday with the team and social afterwards
• Day 2 Clinic with Coach McCauley, Coach Wilkes, me and the team
• Day 3 Clinic about meet day prep and strategy, and then a sanctioned meet

We’ve decided to limit the camp to only 20 people, so don’t wait if you’re interested. Here’s the link to find out more:

<<<3 Day Mash Camp>>>

Bodybuilding yes or no? By Corey Reich

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<<<

Join Team Mash Mafia for weightlifting, powerlifting, athletic performance, bodybuilding, running, or a hybrid approach. This team is already taking over weightlifting, and I plan on taking over all of the other disciplines one at a time. Check it out below:

>>>Team Mash Mafia<<<

The Squat Every Day Learn 2 Lift Clinic is coming to Orlando, Kentucky, and Canada. To find out more, check out the link below:

Mash Mafia Squat Every Day Learn 2 Lift Clinic

Bodybuilding yes or no? By Corey Reich

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Just like any other sport some people will be great bodybuilders, some will be just good, and some should never start. Now when I say bodybuilder I am referring to anyone that wants to compete in the sport, anywhere from females competing in bikini all the way through guys competing in the heavyweight BB class or anything in between. There are those of us that are blessed with height, I however am not one of those, some blessed with speed, strength, blonde hair, blue eyes. Things that you are genetically blessed or not blessed with can determine whether or not bodybuilding is for you. It sounds kind of harsh but so is the sport itself, that no matter what you may do you will never be the next Arnold Schwarzenegger. Genetics being a big factor in your overall success is still not the only factor. Things like will power, drive, and heart need to be there as well or you should never even attempt the sport. Now this is not intended to sound like bodybuilding is the hardest sport in the world to be great at. Each sport carries its own set of challenges and not everyone can be great at all of them. Yes, no matter how much I practice or what I may try to improve on at 5’7 around 170 pounds I’m not going to be the next Michael Jordan. So let’s discuss the factors that may help you decide whether or not you should take the leap into the sport of bodybuilding.

Factor number 1, do you have the drive and determination to sacrifice time with friends and family? Can you not eat carbs for 3­4 days in a row and still train with maximal intensity? Can you do an hour of cardio at 430 in the morning before work? If it comes down to it are you willing to be so selfish that you don’t go out to eat for your best friend’s birthday or maybe just pack your own tilapia and asparagus? If these questions scare you or sound crazy then you haven’t even began to scratch the surface of what all it takes to be a great bodybuilder. The difficult and sad truth is that anyone that has competed before has done these things. I remember when I went with all my friends and family to a wing place for my brothers birthday. I watched them all devour burgers, fries, wings, and beer. All the while sitting there with my cold tilapia and asparagus in a tupperware container. It was low carb day for me and I was 10 days out from a show. It’s a difficult thing to slowly starve yourself those last few weeks. Make no mistake about it, if you are dieting correctly for a show, you are definitely in a slow starvation state at the end. Hey, no one said that this sport was exactly healthy, especially at the end when trying to reach dangerously low body fat percentages. Did I mention that most of the time this last for 12­14 weeks and sometimes longer depending on the person. Sounds fun doesn’t it? So if you answered yes to all of these questions and you are willing to do these things to be great we can now move on to factor two.

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Do you have the proper genetics to be great? Yes unfortunately you may be willing to do the things above to be a great bodybuilder but God did not build you that way. Do you have a small waist? I am not talking about just being skinny, I am talking about being stripped down to a skeleton, how wide are your hip bones? Having a small waist is very important because it gives the illusion of being even bigger across the shoulders. So if you have that small waist now we need to check and see if you have long or short collar bones. Can your frame even support enough width to make you appear twice as wide as your waist? Ok great, so you have a tiny waist and wide shoulders, but how well do your muscle insertions and muscle bellies make you
look? So you have short lats and now your v­taper is totally thrown off no matter how many pull ups or rows you do? And not to mention you just naturally have long stringy looking muscle instead of nice and full round muscle bellies. So you see, unfortunately no matter how determined you are, it just may not be in your God given ability to be a great bodybuilder. Once again it sounds unfair but as we all know life isn’t fair and we have to do the best we can with what God gave us. So now that you are determined and you are also a genetically blessed freak, let’s move on to factor 3.

You don’t have the money to compete or can not afford any of the supplements that always seem to be a part of bodybuilding. Now I am talking legal supplements such as protein powders or creatine. As we all know in any professional sport there seems to be illegal drugs but that is not something that I myself participate in or support. Let’s do a run down of the average dollar amount it takes one of my competitors that I train for competitions has to pay for. The entry fee for the show itself can run anywhere from 75­$500 depending on the level of the show. The membership card for the organization for the year is $125. On average my female clients spend $200 on a suit and tanning cost around $110. So just to compete in the first show of the year it cost over $600. This is not including the $150 hotel cost or any of the cost to pay me to train/coach them. None of the cost of food or supplements is included because those are per person based and vary widely. So as you can see you may be blessed genetically, have the heart of a lion, but the funds just aren’t there for you. Believe me I totally understand it’s expensive and sometimes I wonder what else I could be doing with the saved money. However I do love what I do and if you do too you will find a way to make it happen.

So this article may seem like all doom and gloom but actually that is not the case. This was just to help you decide whether or not you have what it takes to be a great bodybuilder. You may not have that in your future but everyone can get in great shape and have muscles. You can be healthy, lean and strong no matter what genetics you have or the amount of money in your pocket. You will need determination and consistency to reach your goals of looking great. If competing in a show is just a goal of yours, then by all means I say go for it. Now if you have aspirations of being a pro or someone on a magazine cover, I suggest you take this article to heart. Being a great bodybuilder is not what is important in life anyway. What is really important and should be number 1 on your list, is taking care of your body and motivating/helping others to do the same.

Corey is the 2015 NC State NPC Physique Champion. He is now a Nationally Ranked physique athlete, and he does it all drug free. That is why he fit the culture at Mash Elite Performance. I am proud to sponsor this amazing physique athlete. Go follow him on Instagram at: @coreyreich

Don’t forget about the Mash Elite Weightlifting Team Camp:

We are hosting a three-day camp July 8-10 at the Mash Compound. It’s going to look like this:

• Day 1 Max Out Friday with the team and social afterwards
• Day 2 Clinic with Coach McCauley, Coach Wilkes, me and the team
• Day 3 Clinic about meet day prep and strategy, and then a sanctioned meet

We’ve decided to limit the camp to only 20 people, so don’t wait if you’re interested. Here’s the link to find out more:

<<<3 Day Mash Camp>>>

Live life – Love Training – a structured approach to unstructured training by Ricky Mcfarlane

Before you get started, check out a few offers from Team Mash Elite and help support the cause:

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<<<

Join Team Mash Mafia for weightlifting, powerlifting, athletic performance, bodybuilding, running, or a hybrid approach. This team is already taking over weightlifting, and I plan on taking over all of the other disciplines one at a time. Check it out below:

>>>Team Mash Mafia<<<

The Squat Every Day Learn 2 Lift Clinic is coming to Orlando, Kentucky, and Canada. To find out more, check out the link below:

Mash Mafia Squat Every Day Learn 2 Lift Clinic

Live life – Love Training – a structured approach to unstructured training

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There’s no better feeling than training with freedom! Enjoying what you’re doing! Some people enjoy the grind and the drive! And I’m the same. But is it the grind of that particular pursuit that’s attractive, or the aspect of chasing a goal, short term or long term? I feel that coaches and athletes nowadays relay to the general population that you must only chase one goal, and that one goal must be your life! Well what about the people that have more than one goal? Do we just ignore them? I don’t think so! What do you say to someone who may want to run a marathon and compete in a powerlifting contest in the same year, or maybe the people that don’t even want to compete in anything but want their weekly training to be made up of various training styles, and activities? If you are one of those people, then this article is aimed at you. This is for the people that want to run, lift heavy, swim, bike and do gymnastics all in one week. What I am going to show you is how to structure, unstructured training and how to develop your abilities, in the exact activities that you want to. This really is a conjugate lifestyle, changing up your training regime to ultimately achieve the same goal.

The split – Goal getters
No I’m not talking about a bodybuilding routine. But I am talking about a similar concept, which is the action of splitting our weekly workouts up in days, which are dedicated to a specific goal. The only difference being is we are going to perform training style splits rather body part splits. The easiest way to do this is the following. Name your goals for a given time period. This could be 1 month, 6 months, or 2 years. It doesn’t matter. What you have to realize is that if you are going to split your week up then gains in certain areas may be slower than if you were to just train for that activity. So, for example you may set yourself a really varied goal of maybe, a double bodyweight squat, a 15lb clean PR, improve you minute mile, add 4kg of lean mass, and break your 2O mile bike record in 8 months time. You may think that this sounds ridiculous and many will say it is impossible. Well I say impossible is nothing! And if you are like me you are not the sort of person to give up on a challenge then let’s get structuring. Firstly what we have to do is divide your week up into blocks and depending on your scheduled program your week may look something like this if you have 5 days per week to train

Monday – Olympic Weightlifting/lower body strength

Tuesday – upper body strength -light bike training 3O-5O% distance

Wednesday – Long run training

Thursday -Recovery day

Friday -Olympic weightlifting/full body hypertrophy –

Saturday -long bike training

Sunday – Recovery day

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Once you have your desired schedule, then it’s time to find the best way to improve your chosen goals. Deciding on the right programming on each day comes down to a number of questions. How important is the goal or training style of each day and what precedence does it have in your chosen list of goals? How much is each training session going to take out of you for the next? How hard can you train in each session to provoke a training response without interrupting the training of other sessions throughout the week, and finally, what is going to be the best bank for your buck in terms of programming?
Once you have these questions answered I believe the progress in each element is actually very possible and the enjoyment you get out of a varied training program will allow for a greater and more successful training experience!

The Everyday Guys

This section is for the people that aren’t really looking to compete in any events but want to change their training up every session. This is a particularly fun concept for me as it defines Freedom! Freedom to do whatever you like! When you like! How you like! However, sometimes when people undertake this methodology sessions become random without progress. What I’m going to show you is how to plan your weeks training to get the best out of each training session. What I’m going to do is use an example of someone that wants to involve as much variety as possible per week.
What we are going to do is split training sessions into blocks like the following

Red Block- high impact/ dynamic training (Olympic weightlifting, plyometrics, maximal sprinting, parkour)

Blue block – Strength/ resistance training (powerlifting, hypertrophy, gymnastics)

Green block- low impact cardio (swimming, biking, rock climbing, rowing)

Purple block- higher impact cardio (road running, hiking, trail running, various forms of martial arts, including heavy bag training)

Yellow block- (metabolic conditioning, kettlebell training)

So how do we make unstructured training structured? Well.. What we are going to do is pick the given blocks that you are going to use during a given period of time, And from that you pick the days that you are going to use them, so for example your week could look like the following

Monday -Red Block
Tuesday-green block
Wednesday -off
Thursday – blue block
Friday – purple block
Saturday -blue block/yellow block
Sunday -off

What days you put what blocks in is totally up to you and your schedule as this is a truly a flexible routine. If there are certain days where you have only thirty minutes to workout and others where you have ninety minutes, course accordingly.
So now we have your blocks in place (the structured part), we can now look at the unstructured part or the freedom part. This is where the ones amongst you that want to just do what you feel like that day get some sort of freedom to express yourself. If you wake up on a Monday for example and Mondays are a high impact-conditioning day, you have a choice. Do you feel like running the trails today, hitting hill sprints or going to your BJJ class? Then do it! That’s the beauty of it, as long as you stick to your block for that day you are totally free to train how you like.

The impulse trainer

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True, Structured Freedom! Are you one of those people that decide what they are going to do when they walk into the gym? Then don’t worry I’ve got you! It’s a lot simpler than you think. If you wake up and decide you want to do a Met-con on a Monday and you still have 3 other blocks to hit that week, it’s totally fine! As long as you hit your given blocks by the end of that week then you have successfully fulfilled your program. If you have achieved your targets for that week, why are you not going to improve? This is true constructive conjugate freedom!
As I’ve said throughout the article even though there is no rigidity to this style of training we must always look to improve otherwise training will become stagnant. Having monthly or yearly goals and weekly targets is a great way of staying on track. Although this routine exercises freedom I still feel that progressive programming is essential so as long as you hit your programmed lifts or runs etc. for that week progression is still possible.

Programming
Great ways of programming when doing this style of training is to set weekly targets that are part of a bigger monthly and yearly target. So for example if we look at the strength block of your training, a great way to program for gains is to run a conjugate style progressive program. My preference would be to hit a given rep max week one, say 1O rep max back squat, then hit a variant of this in weeks 2 and 3 and back to the rep max on week 4. Changing up the exercise to make it more difficult during weeks 2 and 3 is something I’ve personally found very effective. If you want to try this and would like to see how to run it over a period of say 4 months to smash your 5 rep max for example here’s a simple way to do so;

2 weeks GPP
Week 1 1O rep max
Week 2 1O rep max w/ 3-5 sec pause
Week 3 10 rep max w/ 1 second pause
Week 4 1O rep max
Week 5 Deload week 1 x 10 @60% 1Orpm
Week 6 8-rep max
Week 7 8-rep max 3-5 second pause
Week 8 8-rep max 1-second pause
Week 9 8-rep max
Week 1O 1 x 8 @ 60%
Week 11 5-rep max
Week 12 5-rep max 3-5 second pause
Week 13 5-rep max 1-second pause
Week 14 5-rep max test week

Another great way of using is method is to use variants of the target exercises so instead of pauses for the squat you could use the front squat, Beatles squat if your aim is with a belt, squat against bands or chains, there are many possibilities. This is a great way of improving strength when sessions are limited and can be used for most lifts upper or lower.

When programming your endurance work over periods of time like this I find progressively overloading the volume and intensity of the training will aid in increase performance. So for example if the goal was to run a faster 5k, then this is how we could program your sessions over a 4-month period if you had 2 running sessions per week.

Week 1 session 1 – 2.5k steady run
Session 2 – interval runs faster than 5k pace 500m x 4 runs
Week 2 session 1 – 2.75k steady run
Session 2 – interval runs faster than 5k pace 500m x 4 /1 x 250m runs
Week 3 session 1 – 3k steady run
Session 2 – interval runs faster than 5k pace 500m x 5 runs
Week 4 session 1 – 2.5k steady run
Session 2 – off
Week 5 session 1 – 3k steady run
Session 2 – interval runs faster than 5k pace 500m x 4 runs
Week 6 session 1 – 3.5k steady run
Session 2 – interval runs faster than 5k pace 500m x 5 runs
Week 7 session 1 – 3.75k steady run
Session 2 – interval runs faster than 5k pace 500m x5/ 1 x 250m runs
Week 8 session 1 – 3k steady run
Session 2 – off
Week 9 session 1 – 3.5k steady run
Session 2 – interval runs faster than 5k pace 500m x 5 runs
Week 10 session 1 – 3.75k steady run
Session 2 – interval runs faster than 5k pace 500m x 6
Week 11 session 1 – 4k steady run
Session 2 – interval runs faster than 5k pace 500m x 6/ 1 x 250m
Week 12 session 1 – 3.5k steady run
Session 2 – off
Week 14 session 1 – 4k steady run
Session 2 – interval runs faster than 5k pace 500m x 8
Week 15 session 1 – 4.5k steady run
Session 2 – interval runs faster than 5k pace 500m x 8
Week 16 session 1 – 2.5k steady run
Session 2
Week 17- 5k test

The beauty of this style of training is if you set yourself a new goal and need to adapt training, then it’s just a matter of changing some blocks around to stimulate a new training response.
This is something I’ve wanted to talk about for a while and although the purists out there will probably not agree with this article I feel that we have one life and if training is going to be a part of it the. Why not enjoy every moment, in other words, live life, love training!

Thank you for reading

Ricky Mcfarlane
By Ricky McFarlane
Mash Elite Performance writer/coach
Sports performance coach/ Trainer at Spartan Strength and Conditioning, England
Sport exercises science student
Instagram: THEMCFARLANEMETHOD
Twitter: Ricky_mc90

Gaining Lean Muscle Mass

I want to introduce you all to the latest Mash Mafia sponsored athlete, Corey Reich. Corey is a National level physique competitor having won the 2015 NC NPC State Championships, and he did it drug free. This guys is a wealth of knowledge making his living as a personal trainer. He also owns the company “Carolina Physiques Coach” where he has helped 16 physique and bodybuilding athletes get on the stage. I am hoping that all of you weightlifters and powerlifters can learn a few things from him as well in the nutrition area especially.

Find him on Instagram: @coreyreich

Gaining lean muscle mass

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There is a lot of information out there for guys or girls who want to get leaner. What about the person who wants to gain muscle mass but also doesn’t want to get fat? The person who was always skinny or no matter what they ate they couldn’t gain weight. I am here to help you learn how to gain some muscle mass the right way.
Now of course you have to train hard and continue to push yourself everyday in the gym, but it doesn’t stop there. It does involve you staying on top of your nutrition and making sure you get in the right amount of food at the right time of the day. So we need to break this down into three different parts. Training, diet, and supplementation will be the three different areas that you will need to be on point with.

First let’s talk about the training and how to go about making sure we put on some quality muscle. There are tons of different splits out there for you to try and a lot of them will work. What I recommend is you find a routine that you know works best for you and stick to it for 8-12 weeks and do not stray from it. Consistency is key but what about if you don’t know what split is best for you. This is where a coach might come in handy to recommend a split based off your strengths and your weaknesses. A simple split to try would be to train back/biceps on Monday, chest/triceps on Tuesday, legs on Wednesday, shoulders on Thursday, and then a chest/back combo on Friday. Saturday can be used to touch on weak areas or hit legs again. This will insure that every body part has been hit with max effort being applied each day. Try to stick to the rep ranges of 8-12 per set as that is where muscle or hypertrophy seems to occur for most athletes. Try and stick to around 16-24 sets per muscle group, wit beginners starting closer to the 16 sets per muscle group range.

Now let’s move on to nutrition where most of the success will come from. This will be an individually based subject because not everyone has the same metabolism, body structure, age, or genetics. What I recommend is that you do not change a thing in your diet for a week but track your macros (carbs, fats, protein) for each meal every day. Once you have established what you currently intake everyday you know that is your baseline for what you need to eat if you want to stay that body weight. Now from there you need to slowly bump up your caloric intake to where you gain no more than one pound per week. Gaining to fast will lead to too much fat gain and it will be harder when you want to lean back down. I also recommend that your intake of macros be split up at least into a 45% carbs /35% protein/20% fat split. So if you eat 2000 calories in a day you will eat 900 calories from carbs, 700 calories from protein, and 400 calories from fat. This will insure that you fuel your body adequately and not fill it with high fatty unhealthy foods. Stick to complex carbohydrates and lean proteins. Get most of your fats from things like almonds, avocados, natural peanut butter and olive oil.

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The icing on the cake will be with adding in some supplementation. These are things I recommend for gaining muscle mass on top of correct nutrition and training because no supplements will work if those things are not up to par. Creatine will help make you stronger and pull water into the muscle cell, which is where you want it. Things like fish oil and a good multivitamin to maintain overall health while trying to pack on some weight. If you have trouble eating all your protein then a good whey protein will help you meet your daily requirements. There is a long list of possible supplements to take and it could be a never-ending one if you had endless funds. The ones I listed I believe are a great start and you can move into more advanced things once you train for a while.

At the end of the day nothing is going to beat hard work and consistency. Once you start on your plan make sure to stick with it day in and day out and I promise you will get the results that you desire. If you guys/girls want extra help or want to kick your muscle building or fat shredding program up a notch feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. Thanks for reading hope I helped pave a way for you to reach your goals.

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:

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This weekend we will be hosting the first “Mash Squat Every Day Learn 2 Lift Clinic” being held at the Mash Compound March 12th! There is still room to Sign up for this seminar, and check out all the rest at the link below-

Mash Squat Every Day Learn 2 Lift Series