Category Archives for "Motivation"

Hanging with Coach Gillespie

This past Thursday I had the honor of hanging out with the Godfather of Strength, Coach Bill Gillespie.

He works with Sorinex Exercise Equipment as their strength coach. I will explain more about that after I give you a quick background on Coach Gillespie.

Coach Gillespie has worked in the world of strength and conditioning since before I graduated from Appalachian State University. In the early 90’s, I would read all of his articles in “Powerlifting USA” as he was already considered one of the strongest men on the planet and a top rated strength coach.

He was benching in the 800s back in the late 90s and early 2000s, and now at 62-years-old he has the all-time world record in the bench press at 1052lb in the drug tested category. The best part is that he’s lifetime drug free. I can’t even wrap my head around these words I am typing.

To date he has broken 92 world records in the bench press. He’s also one of the most decorated strength coaches in the country having worked in Division I Football and the NFL. Most of you know him as the Head Strength Coach at Liberty University where he coached fifteen years before transitioning to his current role at Sorinex. Now he gets to travel all around the country hanging out with strength coaches like me to collaborate on new ideas, further improve the world of strength, and to build relationships with likeminded coaches.

I have to give Sorinex a thumbs up for creating a position like this because it shows the world where their hearts truly are. They are building their business on relationships, and they are investing back into the education of new and established coaches in America. They aren’t sitting around complaining about the culture of strength and conditioning. They aren’t gossiping about the level of competence with the strength coaches of America. Instead they are dropping their money on producing a culture of collaboration amongst coaches to ensure that American Strength Coaches as a whole are growing in knowledge, and they are using funds to nurture a culture of growth, collaboration, and community. This isn’t an article about Sorinex, but I had to mention the company that paid for me to hang out with this legend.

This article is to pass along some of the knowledge that I learned while hanging out this walking text book of strength. I want to start by encouraging all of the strength coaches reading this to take a page out of Coach Gillespie’s playbook. Yes, he reads and studies the current literature on strength and conditioning, but more importantly he gets in his car and visits the people who are successful. When I was coming up, that was the main way to grow. Now everyone reads articles they find on the web, and they watch the latest YouTube Video. I am not knocking any of that, but it shouldn’t be your go to source.

Step 1: You need the basics

First, you all need the basics just so you can discern between the solid information and the ridiculous. Unfortunately, you can’t really master bar path if you don’t understand the basics of biomechanics. If you don’t understand the basics of physiology, then you can get fooled by any random nutrition article. However, once you have the basics, now you can really grow as a coach. I recommend at least the following:

• Anatomy and Physiology
• Exercise Physiology
• Biomechanics
• Athlete Monitoring and Basic Statistics
• Sports Nutrition

You don’t have to pursue a PhD, but you need these courses. I am biased, but the Exercise Science Program at Lenoir-Rhyne University is the most underrated program in America. I have grown 10-fold as a coach over the last two years, and I had already produced 27 Team USA Athletes for USA Weightlifting, coached hundreds of Division I, II, and III athletes, and several Pro Athletes (NFL, NBA, MMA, and MLB). I highly recommend the Exercise Science Department at LRU for both undergraduate and graduate degrees. The professors love strength and conditioning, and they understand how to apply it in the real world. The Athlete Monitoring Class is perfect for the new age strength coach because you will learn about GPS Tracking and all of the current ways to track and more importantly to discern athlete data and trends. Hopefully soon, I will be one of those professors, and I will be about the most real-world professor ever.

ACADEMIC CONCEPTS MEET REAL-WORLD APPLICATION.

Learn the High-Level Muscle Science, Physics, and Biomechanics Principles to Give Your Athletes the Fastest and Safest Progress Possible

All profits go to benefit the Lenoir-Rhyne Weightlifting Team during this unusual and challenging time. Thank you for your support!

Step 2: Visit with the Coaches who are producing

This leads me to address a trend that I am seeing amongst strength and conditioning coaches and Olympic weightlifting coaches. Due to social media, too many coaches are more worried about his or her status as a coach than they are worried about actually being a solid coach.

I see it all the time. A coach will start producing amazing results in speed like my guy Coach William Bradley or start producing Olympians like my friend Coach Spencer Arnold – and instead of reaching out to these fine coaches and asking them what they are doing or what changes they might have made, they will make excuses for those results. They will say Coach Bradley’s athletes were already fast. Other people have commented that Coach Arnold was given his athletes by USA Weightlifting. Both of these allegations are ridiculous.

When I heard about Coach Bradley, I drove my butt to his gym and paid him to coach me in sprinting. You know what? I got faster even as a washed-up ex-powerlifter in my mid-thirties. I learned more about speed training in those sessions than from any YouTube video or article. Instead of creating fabricated rumors, I learned from the man himself – and now we are friends to this very day. He’s still my go-to speed guy, and I know some of the best. Coach Kav’s the man too!

As far as Coach Spencer Arnold, USA Weightlifting didn’t ‘give him’ anybody. Those girls chose him due to the amazing culture he created in his Atlanta-based gym. People train where they are happy and having fun. I have taken a lot of notes regarding culture from him as of late, and it has paid off immensely.

If someone is winning or producing, get your butt in the car and go visit that person. It’s that easy. Well, call ahead first, but you get the point. If I were a brand new coach starting all over again, I would save the money to visit a different coach every month or every two weeks for a year. I can’t imagine how that would accelerate a young coach’s knowledge base.

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I did that very thing without even planning it out. I have always followed my gut, and that has really helped me in becoming a better coach. Early on when I was in Colorado Springs, I would visit Champion Health almost every day because Coach Charles Poliquin, Dr. Mike Lehey (A.R.T. Founder), and the crew from T Nation (Tim Patterson, TC Luoma, and all the boys) were there. I am sure that I drove them crazy, but I had so many questions. They were making a good living in the world of strength and fitness, so they had the answers and held the keys to unlocking the doors to my dreams.

I could have sat around, made up some rumors about them, and grown bitter towards the world – but instead I got to know them. I helped them in as many ways as I could. I actually brokered T Nation’s first affiliate deal, gaining them access to the World Gyms in Colorado Springs to sell their Biotest products (which were new then). That landed me a six-week internship with arguably the greatest strength and conditioning coach of all-time: Charles Poliquin.

I did the same when I wanted to meet Louie Simmons. I drove to Columbus, Ohio – and I visited Westside Barbell. I did the same thing with Martin Rooney, Coach Joe Kenn, Wes Barnett, and so many others. When MuscleDriver USA came to town, I put my wife in the car, drove down, and visited. That ended up landing me a professional Olympic weightlifting coach job along with two years of learning from Coach Glenn Pendlay and five years with Coach Don McCauley. I think that I have made my point.

Coaches, hear me when I say this: if someone is killing it in your little section of strength, shut your mouth, humble yourself, and learn from that person. Then and only then will we further the cause as strength coaches.

You owe it to your athletes to gain every bit of knowledge that you can. Who cares about your ego? Odds are if you consider yourself the smartest strength coach in America, you probably aren’t even close. The ones producing are too busy trying to get better to have the time to convince others of their status.

You guys probably don’t even know Coach Kevin Simons or Coach Jonas Sahratian. You know why? It’s because they are too busy learning and winning instead of proclaiming their status of greatness on the Internet. The same goes for Coach Gillespie. He’s 62 years old, and he’s driving to hang out with me in hopes he might learn a little more.

Step 3 Anecdotal Evidence Really is the Best Evidence

Now it’s time for you guys to learn a little bit of awesomeness. While we were at Outback Steakhouse, we started talking about Coach Gillespie’s own training and his coaching. FYI, he was one of the first adopters of velocity based training even before my man, Coach Bryan Mann.

He was telling me that “it was his theory” that the last reps of the last set was actually the training effect. He went on to say that he didn’t want to get anywhere near failure most of the time because he didn’t want to teach his athletes (or himself) to be slow.

I laughed and told him that in 2017 (Pareja-Blanco, et al., 2017) his theory was confirmed. They found that velocity losses of 20% or less produced greater hypertrophy in fast twitch fibers versus the traditional 40-60% that bodybuilders might experience.

My point is that guys like Coach Gillespie have data on thousands of amazing D1 and Professional athletes to confirm their “theories.” Coach Gillespie was very good at referencing the correlations between changes in his program and athletic measures like 40-yd dash times and noncontact injuries.

When he was at the University of Washington, his teams were notorious for winning with fourth quarter comebacks. Before some of you say that it was the head coach or the great recruits, the coaches were made aware of his direct effects when they let him go and those wins disappeared in the same season. They were so aware that Coach Gillespie won Pac 10 Strength Coach of the Year, and he was asked to come back to the team.

However, it was too late. The Seattle Seahawks saw the effect he had, and they hired him. Look, strength coaches can have major impacts on teams if they are good at their job. I hear a lot of you downplaying that, and it makes me wonder if you are actually good at your job. If you can make athletes stronger, faster, and more resilient, then you can impact a team in a major way.

He told me so many other nuggets that I am already applying, but here’s my main point to all of you: You really should focus on monitoring your athletes in as thorough a way as possible so that you too can learn to draw those correlations. You will need to learn the difference in correlation and causation, so pay attention in stats class, guys.

Or don’t do any of that, and guys like Coach Gillespie will just keep winning.

I want to close by saying thank you to Coach Gillespie for coming to see me. I cherish two relationships in this strength and conditioning world. The first is obviously Coach Joe Kenn, and now Coach Bill Gillespie has earned that loyalty as well. It was an honor that you valued me enough to drive and hang out with me, and to hear you say those kind words about me in front of my athletes and colleagues was the greatest honor of my career. Thank you also to Sorinex for creating this position that I believe to be so crucial for improving the quality of coaches in America as well as improving the and nurturing a culture of community and growth. That shows all of us coaches that your values are right where they should be.

STRENGTH UNIVERSITY VIDEO CURRICULUM

THE PERFECT WAY TO GROW IN KNOWLEDGE DURING THIS TIME OF SOCIAL DISTANCING

It's finally here... Learn about technique, programming, assessment, and coaching from a master. For strength coaches and for athletes, these 53 videos (7 hours and 56 minutes of footage) will prepare you to understand the main lifts for maximum performance and safety. Get ready to learn...

Your Questions Answered (and Team Update) – The Barbell Life 368

It’s time once again for my favorite type of podcast.

We get to the questions that YOU have asked.

I love talking with amazing guests, but I always wonder if the conversations I love are what listeners love.

But with these Q&A podcasts, we KNOW we’re helping people.

Plus we have a brief update on the incredible meet results that we’ve been seeing lately (and what we’ve learned from it).

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LISTEN IN TO TODAY’S PODCAST AS WE TALK ABOUT:

  • Constructing a powerbuilding program
  • Recommendations on not using pre-workout supplements?
  • Recovering from sore low backs
  • Training as you get older
  • How to train as a male cheerleader and rodeo athlete
  • and more…

Hustling to Build a Supplement Company with Jeff Evans – The Barbell Life 356

Sometimes the ingredients of success can’t be taught.

That’s how it is with Jeff Evans – because this guy has HUSTLE.

Yes, we talk about CrossFit. Yes, we talk about coaching and technique. But really on this podcast we get deep into how Jeff is launching a supplement during the middle of the pandemic.

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LISTEN IN TO TODAY’S PODCAST AS WE TALK ABOUT:

  • Childhood abuse, divorce, and suicide attempts
  • Reasons to prefer Front Squats over Back Squats
  • Starting a supplement company during the pandemic
  • Hustle that no one can teach
  • The ingredients that boost performance
  • and more…

A National Championship

Last week the Lenoir-Rhyne Weightlifting Team set out on its journey to Salt Lake City, Utah for the 2021 USA Weightlifting University National Championships.

This would be the culmination of a vision that started back in 2013, when MuscleDriver USA (MDUSA) was experiencing its boom in the world of weightlifting. MDUSA might have failed, but it helped to spark a revolution in American weightlifting that is still burning strong today. Let me explain this concept a bit more in-depth.

I remember the day that my friend, Preacher Sam, told me about MDUSA. He told me about the characters on the team, namely Jon North and Donnie Shankle. He went on to explain that MDUSA, at the time a rising giant in the world of strength equipment, had formed a professional weightlifting team, and they were literally moving the team to Charlotte, NC.

I was immediately overwhelmed with excitement for three main reasons:

  1. My weightlifting career had been cut short due to my father having contracted a terminal form of cancer. I made the decision to leave the Olympic Training Center and the sport of weightlifting to move closer to my father in North Carolina. This is a decision I don’t regret at all. However, I had grown to love the sport, and I wasn’t able to see that passion through.
  2. I have always believed the sport of weightlifting would thrive if taken on by corporate America. Our country was founded on capitalism. If a weightlifting team can increase a company’s profits, that team becomes valuable as do the members of the team. If we want to attract the best athletes to the sport, we need to offer a benefit. It’s hard to beat money as a benefit.
  3. Weightlifting was notorious for being boring, which always baffled me. Powerlifting was full of characters who were larger than life – like Ed Coan, Kirk Karwoski, Chuck Vogelpuhl, and of course Louie Simmons. Jon North and Donnie Shankle were the exact characters the sport needed. Thanks to YouTube, they were becoming something close to comic book superhero characters. People from around the world were mesmerized by these two American Weightlifters.

STRENGTH UNIVERSITY VIDEO CURRICULUM

THE PERFECT WAY TO GROW IN KNOWLEDGE DURING THIS TIME OF SOCIAL DISTANCING

It's finally here... Learn about technique, programming, assessment, and coaching from a master. For strength coaches and for athletes, these 53 videos (7 hours and 56 minutes of footage) will prepare you to understand the main lifts for maximum performance and safety. Get ready to learn...

At this same moment in time, I had already started coaching some weightlifters, and I was dabbling with the sport again. When I made the trip down to MDUSA, I became immediate friends with Jon North and Coach Glenn Pendlay. The rest is history really. I started podcasting with Jon North. Then I was hired as a coach for MDUSA, and later went on to become the Executive Vice President. It was during this time I realized the next step the sport was going to need was solid university programs.

If you want youth to get interested in the sport, you have to get their parents excited about the sport as well. I am a parent, and personally I am going to want to know what’s in it for my children. Is there a future in the sport? What are the advantages? Are there college scholarships in the sport for the young athletes whoo are excelling in the sport? I wrote multiple articles all those years ago for the need of university programs. There were a few already, but the majority of the programs were not producing top athletes. Young men and women were going to these programs as Youth Team USA weightlifters and then never being heard from again. That doesn’t encourage coaches to send their overachieving athletes to these programs that were acting as the black holes of weightlifting.

During this time, it was clear the legacy I wanted to leave to the sport of weightlifting in America was at least one solid program.

Making a Case

Fast forward six years, I was at a local meet in Charlotte, NC when I saw my friend and now my professor, Dr. Alex Koch, Head of Exercise Science at Lenoir-Rhyne University. We had talked in detail about my desire to start a university program. At this meet he explained that he was going to set up a meeting between the LRU Athletic Director, Kim Pate, and the two of us (Dr. Koch and me). I was excited, but I had been in the situation a couple of times before. At 48-years-old I have learned to not get too excited about anything.

Well four weeks later, I was sitting in a meeting with AD Kim Pate, Asst AD Aaron Brock, and Dr. Koch. For all of you wondering how to start a program, here are the points that I made:

  • Exposure to Lenoir-Rhyne University (social media): Most of you know that I have built a solid following in the world of social media. One thing I have done a bit better than others is I have spread that following over multiple sources: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, The Barbell Life Podcast, the Barbell Shrugged Podcast, and articles on Mash Elite Performance. This is why I encourage all of my athletes to build a personal brand. Whether you like social media or not, it’s a powerful tool if used properly.
  • The cost effectiveness of the sport: Weightlifting only requires some bars, plates, squat stands, a place to put the equipment, and a coach. It’s not like football or soccer that requires a huge field and stadium, a massive coaching staff, lots of frequent travel, and expensive equipment. I need 2,000 square feet, nice bars and plates, and some racks to produce a championship team.
  • The growing participation of women in the sport is good for Title IX: All you have to do is look at the sign-ups for any USAW National meet, and you will see equal participation between females and males. Heck, the biggest stars in the sport are females, such as Mattie Rogers and Hunter Elam. Plus there are rumors circulating about the possibility of at least the women’s side of things becoming NCAA.
  • The overall safety of the sport: All you have to do is look up any research on the topic, and you will see that weightlifting is extremely safe when compared to other sports, such as soccer, basketball, and for sure American football.
  • Growing popularity of the sport: Even though we have CrossFit to thank for the initial surge, our leadership at USA Weightlifting has done a tremendous job with their PR and marketing teams to build the image and following of our precious sport. In a quad where most Olympic sports have suffered, Phil Andrews, CEO of USAW, has found ways to thrive.
  • The Olympics: It doesn’t hurt that our sport is a gateway to the Olympics. Furthermore, it doesn’t hurt that I had and still have multiple college aged athletes who are considered Olympic hopefuls for 2024 – and a few others who are looking to become hopefuls for 2028. What school doesn’t want to produce Olympians? Right now, we have three Team USA Athletes going to the Junior World Championships, one more that has signed his NLI, and about four others who are looking to make a Team USA squad this year or next.
  • My track record: I have produced 28 Team USA athletes in my program at Mash Elite Performance – and I did this while being based in small town Lewisville, NC. Sometimes I dream about the athletes I would produce if I had been based in a bigger city.
  • Draw students to the exercise science programs: LRU has incredible professors teaching in the Exercise Science Department. Right now, it’s a well-kept secret – but a secret I aim to whisper to the world. Dr. Koch and Dr. Leiting are both natural teachers. They have the ability to make complicated topics seem elementary. I can say from experience they both have taught me subjects that have made me a better coach and have helped me produce valuable tools that I have sold to my audience on Mash Elite. To date, four students have applied and been accepted to our Master’s in Exercise Science Program that have been directly referred by me.

In summary, I showed them what was in it for them. Within a few days I had my green light.

The funny thing is that the asst AD and the AD later told me that they had no intention on accepting the program when they agreed to the meeting. They were simply being nice to Dr. Koch. However, my presentation won them over immediately. They said when I walked out of the room, they both knew they wanted the program, and the only question was the details. I am not bragging. I am simply giving you guys a hint as to what it takes. If you get the chance, be prepared! If you can, try to understand the goals of the school before going into the meeting like: branding, improving their stance on Title IX, growth, profitability, or overall image of school.

ACADEMIC CONCEPTS MEET REAL-WORLD APPLICATION.

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All profits go to benefit the Lenoir-Rhyne Weightlifting Team during this unusual and challenging time. Thank you for your support!

This article isn’t an article designed to teach all of you how to start a University Program, but I thought I would plant that seed. If it’s something you want to do in a town near you, email me at Travis.Mash@LR.edu.

Building a Team

However, this article is about a dream becoming reality, so I had to give you the full picture. Yet being told that I can start a program is way different than actually creating a successful program. I might have had a green light, but now I had to get some quality athletes. Heck, I had to get some athletes period. The last thing you want to do is convince someone to start a university program, and then no one shows up. I saw several start-up university programs at the University Nationals with some being on the scene for two to three years – and yet they didn’t have enough people to field a team.

I will say my biggest struggle has been time management. Now I am in charge of this University Team, but I still have all of my normal responsibilities plus a few extra. Remember, I am working toward a PhD in Human Performance in my so-called free time. I still coach my top Mash athletes. I still own Mash Elite Performance. I am still the cohost of The Barbell Life Podcast. Of course, I still have my favorite job as the cohost of Barbell Shrugged Podcast.

This semester, I faced my biggest challenge yet, and that was creating a new weightlifting course for Stronger Experts. This course is going to be unlike any weightlifting course any of you have ever seen or participated in. The video alone is fifteen hours of content. More about that really soon. Anyway, that put me way back early this semester. I am sure you’re thinking when is he going to have time to recruit? Great question!

To be honest, I am catching up on all of that as we speak. Thank God my boss, A.D. Aaron Brock, saw fit to give me some administrative assistance, which will really help in a big way to getting caught up. We are announcing a very unique tryout as well later on this week, but once again you will have to stand by for that one. So how have I attracted so many top athletes? That question is what this entire article was written for.

The minute I was told I had a green light for this team at Lenoir-Rhyne University, I decided right then and there that I would learn from my past. Here’s the major lesson I have learned over the past 3-4 years:

Culture > Talent

I have protected the culture of this team from day one. There are several top athletes I turned down because they simply didn’t match the culture. I am not saying anything bad about the ones I didn’t take. Some of them have gone on to do really well. There is a certain person I am looking for, and I won’t settle for less. Talent is a part of that equation for sure. We do have three Team USA athletes and another coming in the fall. However, I won’t take an athlete who expects to be put on a pedestal.

I don’t care if they are a gold medalist in the Olympics. If they are on this team, they are not more important than the lowest ranked person. I didn’t follow this model during the last three years of Mash Elite. I recruited for talent only, and that blew up in my face. Some athletes literally drain the very soul from a team. If they’re having a bad day, the entire team is having a bad day. They expect more attention from the coach than the other athletes might receive. Never again!

I started my experiment with Lenoir-Rhyne University. You know what happened? Two of the young men I chose over a couple of rising stars are now as good as those rising stars. Heck, I will say it right here that I chose Sean Hammell for the following reasons:

  • I liked him from the moment I started communicating with him.
  • He had a 4.0 GPA in Computer Science, so I knew he would be a great influence for the other boys coming in.
  • And yes, he was good enough to score points for the team.

However, I had no idea that one year later he would be battling for Team USA. The same goes for Blaine Brooks. He was a late recruit because he was on the way to Lindenwood, but their program was cut unfortunately. Once again, I knew that we would be a solid scorer for the team, but I had no idea he would be battling for a Team USA spot already. Someday I will tell the funny story about all the misinformation he heard about me. Well, I will let you in on a little bit: Evidently someone told him I didn’t care about technique, and I only cared about going really heavy. You can all go look at his form prior to September 1st versus now. By the way, his total improved 20kg while staying in the same weight class. Needless to say, he’s fully bought in to the program and is currently sitting on the prestigious Junior Pan American Games team for USA Weightlifting and Team USA.

Meet Time

Going into last weekend, I knew we had a good chance for the Men’s National Title, but it wasn’t going to be easy. I was going to find out if my idea of “Culture > Talent” was real or not. It was going to take each of the guys doing their part for the dream to become a reality. Luckily, Ryan Grimsland and Riley Breske kicked us off with some major points. Ryan took down Gold, and Riley did his job with a hurt hand – still placing 5th.

We had one more go on that first day, Matt Wininger, which should have been an easy Gold Medal. However, as fate had it, he bombed out.

Now there’s more to the story, and there are some real nuggets for you coaches and athletes out there. I knew that Matt hadn’t done all that he could do in preparation for this meet. He knew it too, and I could see it in his face a week prior to the meet. His bomb out led to the best conversation we’ve ever had. In case you don’t know, he’s been with me twelve years at this point. This young man has all the talent in the world to be on every Team USA that is fielded, and now I believe he’s committed to realizing that talent.

Like Dave Spitz says, “you are either winning or learning.” Matt went on to support his team, which was a big show of maturity. I am prouder than ever of Matt, and I have no doubt that he’s going to crush it next time out. Here’s the rundown of the other men:

Joseph Neel, 81kg was predicted to place eighth and ended up placing eighth.
Blaine Brooks, 89kg was predicted to place fifth and ended up placing fourth (almost third).
Sean Hammell, 96kg was predicted to place fifth and ended up placing fourth (almost third).
Cameron ‘Tank’ Lunsford, 102kg was predicted to place seventh and ended up placing seventh.
Team Captain Dean Scicchitano was predicted to place fifth and ended up placing fifth.

If we were going to have a chance at winning, I needed everyone to at least hit their predicted placing – and no one could bomb out. As you can see, my guys crushed it. I can’t tell you how much the Team Captain Dean Scicchitano helps me with this team. He’s a big reason we are who we are. This team is special. Each of them has the potential to do extraordinary things in this sport. I have a funny feeling these men are going to leave a mark on this sport that will not soon be erased.

I have to mention my girls. We only fielded a team of three, but we have three good ones. Hannah Dunn started the competition off for the entire team. That’s why it was pretty cool that she won the Gold Medal in the Snatch, being the first athlete to ever compete nationally for LRU. She went on to win silver overall. Mallory Garza made the gutsiest lift of the weekend hitting her lifetime personal record of 102kg/225lb weighing 58kg/128lb. She ended up taking bronze overall and silver in the clean and jerk. Sarah Attalla put up her best performance yet going 4:6 and totaling 148kg. She’s new to the sport, so I look for her to make major gains by next year.

In our first year, our list of accomplishments are as follows:

  • Men’s First Place Team Championship at University Nationals
  • Coed Team 3rd place – not bad for being short two women and having a bomb out
  • Three athletes on Team USA headed to the Junior World Championships in Saudi Arabia: Ryan Grimsland, Hannah Dunn, and Mallory Garza
  • Two athletes really close to making Team USA: Sean Hammell and Blaine Brooks (Blaine is sitting on the Junior Pan Am Games Team as of now with one competition to go)
  • Morgan McCullough is our first signee of the year, and he is already a multi-time Team USA Athlete. He’s also on the Junior World Team
  • I don’t think we had one athlete compete last weekend who doesn’t have the ability to make a Team USA spot.

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To say I am proud is the biggest understatement of the year. I feel confident that our team culture shined brightly to the other competitors. My inbox is filled with people wanting to try out for the team. I promise that I will start making those calls and returning emails on Monday. I feel we have created something others want to be a part of. Culture has been a buzzword for a few years now. We turned that buzzword into reality, and now we have all witnessed the sheer power of creating a team with a winning culture. Thanks to all of my athletes for trusting me and buying into this program.

We started something awesome last weekend. However, I don’t think any of us will be happy until we have formed a weightlifting dynasty at Lenoir-Rhyne University. With the support of people like Kim Pate, Aaron Brock, Michael Flicker, and our team Athletic Trainer Sarah Lightfoot, I think we are going to create something that has yet to be seen in the sport of weightlifting. I hope all of you will continue supporting and following this team.

P.S. If you want to support this team, you check out this link for multiple options with every dime going to our team at Lenoir-Rhyne University.

Chasing Dreams and Movie Roles with Gunnar Anderson – The Barbell Life 350

We’ve talked before about Gunnar Anderson’s inspiring story.

He was one of my early athletes – we go way back.

Born with only one pec, he defied any constraints and ended up pursuing bodybuilding. And I’m telling you – he got pretty strong and jacked.

But that story is nothing compared to how he’s continued to chase his dreams even when people told him it wasn’t possible.

He moved to Atlanta and then to Los Angeles to be an actor. He took risks. He had his trials. He had his successes.

Recently I got to see him in one of Netflix’s #1 new movies.

Needless to say, I’m proud. And you’re getting ready to be inspired with this podcast!

A World Class Coach's Guide to Building Muscle

Hypertrophy for Strength, Performance, and Aesthetics.

World champion and world-class coach Travis Mash has combined the latest research with his decades of practical experience to bring you an amazing resource on muscle hypertrophy.

LISTEN IN TO TODAY’S PODCAST AS WE TALK ABOUT:

  • Being in a #1 Netflix movie?
  • Born with only one pec but still getting strong and jacked
  • How much do actors really get paid?
  • Moving to a disgusting apartment in L.A. – and then hitting it big quickly.
  • How a backyard Batman film almost got him arrested
  • and more…

Squatting 1000 pounds for reps with Chris Duffin – The Barbell Life 349

Chris Duffin decided to do something brutal.

He set the goal of squatting and deadlifting 1000 poundsFOR REPS.

Now Chris was already freakishly strong with a long career in powerlifting. But training for this goal taught him even more about lifting, recovery, and the mindset he needed to achieve his dream.

So listen in to learn about how he used meditation. Listen in for some new perspectives on training. And listen in to be inspired and motivated to smash your own goals.

SQUAT GAINZ

THE SHORT & SWEET GUIDE TO INCREASING YOUR SQUAT

SUPPLEMENTARY PROGRAMS TO BOOST YOUR SQUAT

Coach Travis Mash shows you how to simply and scientifically diagnose and fix your squat weaknesses. Squat Gainz also contains six supplementary squat-focused programs you can add to your current strength work to drive your squat through the roof.

LISTEN IN TO TODAY’S PODCAST AS WE TALK ABOUT:

  • How he trained so brutally that a 1000 pound lift “felt easy”
  • What he learned about recovery
  • Living his life at single digit bodyfat – and why he trains with a lot of bodyweight movements
  • “Balance through extremes”
  • Why he meditates instead of hyping himself up
  • and more…
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