Category Archives for "Motivation"

Is an Injury a Blessing in Disguise?

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Is an Injury a Blessing in Disguise?
by Coach Travis Mash, USAW Senior International Coach

In early 2004 I started experiencing major low back pain. The pain was shooting down my leg. I was also experiencing some major weakness in my right leg. None of these symptoms were advantageous to a powerlifter trying to set world records. The pain and weakness had me on the sideline for the first time in my career. At 31-years-old I was experiencing my first real injury.

31-years of being injury free is a big reason that I was able to amass that amount of strength. If you can train for long amounts of time without injury, eventually you will be stronger than everyone else. That’s just simple math. Genetically my body was very durable. I say genetics because it sure wasn’t that I was so smart in my training. I simply used the max effort method everyday, so there wasn’t a lot of thought that went into my programming.

This lack of thought in my programming along with the heavy weight had finally led to a major injury. One of my buddies at the time was a very gifted orthopedic doctor. He sent me for an MRI, so that a proper diagnosis could be made. When he received the images back, he called me in to discuss the findings. I went in assuming that he was going to tell me to rest 3-4 weeks, take a few pills, and then back to training. However that was not what he told me.

Now before I tell you exactly what he said, it’s important that you realize that this doctor was a powerlifter too. He wasn’t some fat guy in a white coat telling me that powerlifting is a bad sport. He wanted to see me crush records as badly as I wanted to crush those records. I tell you that because most doctors are going to have a biased opinion regarding putting 1,000lb on your back.

Anyways I go into his office in high spirits because I just wanted to get the news and get back to training. However, he looked me dead in the eyes and told me that I was at risk of paralysis. Pretty darn scary! I had two discs in my lumbar spine that were majorly herniated.

I was going to have to make some major decisions. Was I really going to retire at a point right before breaking the all-time world record? There was more to the diagnosis as well. I would also be at risk of impotency. I mean that normally goes along with paralysis, but sadly that’s what scared me the most. I was 31-years-old and single, but did imagine a life after sports with a wife to share that life.

I took a week to think about things and do my own research. My research led me to two individuals: Dr. Lawrence Gray and Dr. Stuart McGill. Dr. Gray is the leading sport chiropractor in my area, and Dr. Stuart McGill is the leading spine and hip researcher in the world. After speaking to them both, I at least had some hope. It was going to take a lot of attention to detail for once, but these changes are the very reason that I broke the records.

Here’s what I did:

1. Dr. Gray became my Chiro- I started seeing Dr. Gray on a weekly basis whether I was in pain or not. He kept me aligned. He also worked on any soft tissue area that seemed to be causing issues. His office is filled with instruments geared towards recovery. We started strengthening weak muscles and lengthening tight muscles based on his assessments.

2. McGill Core Work- Dr. McGill taught me that the hips need to be mobile and the low back needs to be stable. He recommended lots of core work. That core work didn’t involve any sit-ups ironically. Here’s what it did involve-

• Bilateral Carries- the key is to monitor total volume with carries just like anything else. Most people make a big mistake by using the same weight week in and week out. Guess what? Nothing is improving that way. I suggest starting with 3-5 sets of 60 feet, and then each week either increase weight, distance, or sets.
• Unilateral Carries- I like these the best because they address asymmetries. You will also wake up that lazy quadratus lumborum muscle (QL).
• Zercher Carries
• Bird Dogs and all there variations.
• The McGill Curl Up- you can Google most of these.
• Planks and all of the variations.

3. Implemented proper warm ups- before my injury I would simply get under the bar and start squatting. After the injury, I would mobilize the hips and wake up the glutes. I wouldn’t touch the bar until I could perform a pain free air squat. By pain free I am talking about the achy joints that all strength athletes experience when they first walk in the gym. Basically I would shake off the cobwebs first.

4. Focused on Nutrition- If you want optimal recover, you have to focus on nutrition and sleep, which brings me to my next point.

5. Proper Sleep- too many people don’t take sleep seriously. That’s a big mistake for anybody especially an athlete. I started getting off the computer two hours prior to bed. The last hour was reserved for reading, and I am not talking about powerlifting magazines. I wanted to read literature that would relax me not excite me. I made sure the room was completely dark and cold around 68 degrees. All of these changes were miracles towards my recovery and performance.

Here’s the point to the entire article. An injury is often times a crossroads that all athletes are going to find themselves. You can take the most common path, which is simply quit your sport and move on with life. That’s the road most often taken, and I totally understand. You can also take the other road, overcome your injury, and finish out your sport. For me, that led to two more world championships and two more all-time world records in the total. That doesn’t mean that you will win a world championship. It just means that you will maximize your potential. Therefore you will finish your journey and leave your sport with zero regrets. That’s all any of us can ever ask for.

My injuries eventually made me into an even better athlete than before. They also taught me to master the mundane tasks that most people ignore. I became a better athlete, and these life lessons left me better at coaching. I learned things that would help athletes for many years to come. I also learned a lot of things not to do, so my athletes can avoid certain pitfalls that led to my injuries.

If you are injured right now, I encourage you to look at it as a necessary step that most all athletes will have to take. The goal needs to be to come out the other side stronger than ever with an even better mindset. Injuries are normally a blessing in disguise, and are simply wake up calls for crazy athletes like me. I recommend embracing that blessing and becoming a wise and fearless athlete.

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Squat Every Day a Little Deeper

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Squat Every Day a Little Deeper

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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?

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Reasons Why So Many People Fail

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Reasons Why So Many People Fail

Rock

I have been a coach for over twenty years. In that time, I have watched hundreds of people make goals, develop plans, begin the quest, and then quit somewhere along the way. Today my goals are to:

• Explain why so many people fail
• Give you the reasons why people don’t fail
• Inspire you to go down a better path

People have either come to me, or one of my colleagues for the following reasons:

• I want to be an Olympian
• I want to be a World Champion
• I want to play Division I sports
• I want o plan in the NFL
• I want to be the strongest man or woman on the earth
• I want to be in the best shape of my life
• I want to get off all my high blood medications

The thing is that all goals are the same at the end of the day. Sure I understand that wanting to be an Olympian is different than losing weight. However, both things are something that people want. Both things are difficult to the people trying to accomplish them. The big point that I am going to make is that people fail trying to accomplish either for the same reasons.

Let me tell you right now if you don’t have more of a purpose than personal glory or satisfaction, they you are going to fail. Period! You must have something that drives you, motivates you, and gives you a purpose as to the “why” of what you are doing. You need something to turn to when you are on that last lap and your legs feel like they are going to buckle underneath you.

If you are getting in shape because you want to play with your children, as they grow older, you won’t quit. When I workout now, there are times that I want to quit. I just think about Rock, my 2-year-old son, and then I keep going. 5 am comes early every morning, but there are a lot of things that drive me to get up.

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You have to look deep inside, and I mean really deep. What means the most to you? What do you care about the most? What purpose can you find that means so much to you that you will NEVER QUIT? What purpose can you find that will help you make the smart choices when everyone else is making the dumb choices?

When you answer these questions, then and only then can you set off on a journey to success. If you want to lose weight because you want to inspire the other men and women around you to better their own lives, then you have something strong. If you want to win the Olympics to inspire the other men and women in your family and around the world to break the bonds of poverty, then you have a real fighting chance. Maybe you have a single mother that raised you and your five brothers and sister, and she is still living in the same two-bedroom apartment. You have a much better chance of making it to the NFL because you are going to rescue your mother from that terrible situation.

All of these are great reasons to succeed, but glorifying God is the best reason as a Christian that should always be our number one driving force. Yes, I want to be a great husband and father, but even those are ways that I minister to others. You put it all together, and failure just isn’t an option.

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I hope that I have inspired some of you to look deeper within your own souls. Whether it is losing weight or becoming an Olympian, it is all relative to the person trying to accomplish the goal. Look deep inside and find that purpose that simply won’t let you fail.

There is a quote out there from a man that I can’t remember his name, but it went like this, “You have to want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe.”

The only way to want something this bad is to have a purpose greater than yourself!!!!

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A Powerlifting Champion with a Career: Hard but Possible

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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

A Powerlifting Champion with a Career: Hard but Possible

by Kevin Nason, 2016 USPA Drug Free National Champion

Can you be competitive in your chosen sport while having a career? If you’re anything like me, you have real life responsibilities and don’t have the luxury to train every day or the time it takes to train some days. With the daily work grind and balancing your family duties, it is difficult to stay motivated to train. Life will often get in the way. I get it. I’m here to tell you that it IS possible to stay competitive… but only if you can stay focused on the goals you want to accomplish.

So what does it take to become competitive and successful? First, you must write a list of GOALS that you want to accomplish in your chosen sport (totals, training days, PR, competitions, etc.). The key is to write it down. Secondly, get MOTIVATED. This is probably the hardest to accomplish, but is crucial for your success. Writing the goals will help, but you’re going to have to want it. When it is time to train, go train. Don’t make excuses. After a long workday, I know the mental and physical fatigue you’ll encounter. You must be able to hold yourself ACCOUNTABLE. If you wait around after work, you’re more than likely not going to go. You must have your eye on the prize.

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TRAINING and TIME are two things that go hand in hand with each other. Most people feel they cannot be competitive simply because they cannot find the time. That is so far from the truth. It’s just an excuse! Over the years, I have learned that time is essential to success… you just have to learn to balance it. Here is an example of what a week of my training looks like:

Friday – Max Effort
Saturday – Volume day
Sunday – Speed day
Monday – Recover
Tues or Weds – Frequency
Thursday – Recover

The key to the program is that you MUST rotate the MAIN LIFTS. Here is a example of my powerlifting and weightlifting rotation:

Week 1 (assistance work after main lifts)
Max Effort – Squat / Max snatch and clean and jerk
Volume – Bench/ complexes
Speed – Deadlift / emom snatch and clean and jerk
Frequency – All 3 lifts 80-90%/ both lifts 80-90%

Week 2
Max Effort – Deadlift / Snatch Clean and Jerk Max 2
Volume – Squat / Complexes
Speed – Bench / Snatch Clean Jerk 85-95%
Frequency – Same as Week 1 change percentage / emom snatch clean jerk

My training should never be longer than 2-2.5 hours and no longer than 45 minutes to 1 hour on speed and frequency day. This may work for me, but you must try different programs and find out what you like and don’t like about each one. You can then mold your own around your schedule. Figuring out your body will be imperative to adapting your training around your schedule. Knowing how long it takes you to recover from each training day will help you adjust rest days. It may take you awhile, but trust me – you will find what works. It’s all about trial and error.

To get to where you want to go, you have to SACRIFICE! I couldn’t tell you how many vacations, parties, and events I have missed pursuing my goal to be the best. If you’re not willing to put in the time, then what’s the point? If you want to be the best, then you have to be DEDICATED to all aspects of the sport. As I said before, you must prioritize your life and training around each other. When an event is important, sometimes you must go. Adapt your training around it.

It could take a year or several years to figure out what works for you. Just remember to take your time and focus on staying healthy. Life may throw a lot of curve balls, but take them as they come and do the best you can. At the end of the day, the only person you have to prove anything to is YOU. As long as you are satisfied with the end result, that’s all that matters. I’ll ask the question again – Can you be competitive in your chosen sport while having a career? YES. Know what you want and pursue it!

Remember to stay hungry, be humble, and always be the hardest worker in the room.

Put God first and the rest will fall into place,

Kevin

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That First Meet

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<<<

Whether you want to lose weight, gain weight, or get jacked, check out the “Mash Eat What You Want Program” for all of you Nutrition needs. Check it out today at the link below:

==> The Mash Eat What You Want Program

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:

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That First Meet

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I have been competing in weightlifting and powerlifting, since I was twelve-years-old. The meet is what most of us train for. We spend 3-6 months banging away at our bodies to get those precious minutes on the platform. We are performers! We perform! That is what we do!

I took about four years off from the lifting sports during my time at Appalachian State University. When I was finished with football, I immediately resumed my pursuit of strength. My last year of college, I competed in the sport of powerlifting. Powerlifting is easy to compete in because one can squat, bench, and deadlift in any gym in America, and it’s a little easier to progress in without a coach.

I remember that time like it was yesterday. I was working at this awesome gym in Boone, NC called Appalachian Fitness Center. I trained with my boy, Chris “Ox” Mason. I lived to train! It was impossible to drag me out of the gym. During that final year at college, all I did was sleep, go to school, train, and repeat. I was in love with the iron!

What does one love about training? Well for me that’s easy! I fell in love with the fact that I was in control of my own body. If I wanted to get bigger, then I increased the reps. If I wanted to get stronger, then go heavy. I also realized the power of nutrition and recovery. It has always been amazing to me all the ways that I could manipulate my body into becoming the machine that I wanted to create. As many of us do, I found myself obsessed!

I remember competing in my first collegiate meet at Clemson University. All of us that have competed know that the meet starts the whole week prior. Preparations have to be made. The taper begins so that your strength peaks on the platform. Are you making weight? If not, you have to put a plan in place to lose those kilos. Your brain is filled with thoughts about what is to come.

Personally I play the future, as I want in to happen, over and over in my head. You should too. I use visualization to practice the meet days, weeks, or even months before I ever arrive at the meet venue. Using visualization is a technique that I naturally used, but it is one that I teach to my athletes. I use visualization to see the crowd, hear the cheers, and to feel the stares of the judges. I imagine getting the calls and signals that the judges will give me. Most of all I imagine the feeling that I am going to have after completing a massive attempt. I can make my visualization sessions so real that my heart rate increases, and I will begin to sweat. That is how real those sessions can get. Then when I am at the meet, I am simply in autopilot.

A lot of new powerlifters and weightlifters have a hard time overcoming the anxiety of the meet day platform. It’s pretty overwhelming if you haven’t competed before. Visualization will help to prepare you. You should pull up some meets on YouTube, so that you can get an idea of what you are going to experience. Then spend some quality time in the morning picturing the venue in your mind. You should picture the crowd, the judges, the sounds, and the smells to the best of your ability. This technique will make meet day a little less overwhelming.

During my first collegiate meet preparation, I was blessed to have a gym that was totally supportive of me. Appalachian Fitness Center sponsored the whole contest, and gave me the company van to drive down. My training partners Ox Mason and his future wife Kristi accompanied me. Having them in my corner was all the confidence that I needed to dominate at my first meet.

Let’s face it, the meet starts the moment you arrive at the venue. I see the other competitors. Yes I am making friends, but I am also sizing up my competition. Who am I planning on beating? It’s never the person that you think that it’s going to be. It’s natural to think that the most jacked guy in the room is the strongest, but that is rarely the case. There are so many variables that go into someone becoming a top-notch strength athlete. Yes there is the obvious limb length, muscle fiber makeup, and connective tissues. However, it’s the mental capacity that one needs to overcome the barriers of doubt within their brains that makes someone great.

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The most amazing thing that happens to my body during the meet weekend is “total surrender”. Any aches or pains that I might have had simply go away. I can’t explain this phenomenon, but it has happened every meet my entire life. It’s as if my body throws in the towel, and says, “I can’t deter you, so go ahead.”

The real game starts the moment that I walk into the warm up area. Let the games begin! It’s game day! I brought my A-Game! Did you? Whether it is the world championships or a local meet, I am going to be laughing and smiling. Believe me, this is just a façade. I am just as nervous and anxious as everyone else, but this is my way of tricking myself into relaxing. It’s also my way of confusing my competitors. It’s mental warfare!

I want my competitors to wonder why I am so relaxed. We all know that it’s the guy sitting in the corner relaxed that you need to worry about. I also figured out that if I pretended to be relaxed, I would definitely chill out more than normal. This allowed me to preserve my energy, and stay focused on the task at hand. Too many people crush themselves before ever stepping on the platform because they are exhausted from anxiety.

When the actual warm ups start, it’s go time man! The warm ups are where the meet is won. If I crush my warm ups, my confidence goes through the roof. The last thing a competitor wants is for me to be confident. The Clemson Meet was perfect for my first meet because it was filled with their collegiate powerlifters. Clemson actually had a Club Team, so they were stacked. This of course brought out my competitive juices even more because of course I wanted to destroy them all.

I have been in some of the most stacked warm up rooms in the history of powerlifting. However when you put a bunch of college boys in the same room, there is a whole other level of testosterone that fills the room. Looking back I am sure that a veteran powerlifter would have laughed at us, but to me it was Rocky vs. the Russian in Rocky IV. I was from the little school of Appalachian State University going against the best powerlifters that Clemson had to offer.

There is no better feeling in sport than strapping up and going to battle. That is what a meet is all about! Do you have what it takes? Did your training really go well? Do you need more work? Are you the strongest? There is a place that I can go when I compete that I can’t teach. I wish that I could, but it’s a place where all is possible. I go to a place in my brain where nothing can stop me. It’s a place that will allow me to lift whatever weight is necessary for the win. There is no drug on earth that can replicate that feeling of invincibility. I hope that you all can learn to find that place.

Competing isn’t the same for everyone. Some people simply need a goal that pushes them to train hard. Some people love the camaraderie of competing within the strength sports. All of these are valuable reasons to compete, but here is another one. Nothing teaches goals setting, plan implementation, and commitment better than training and competing for competition. Strength sports are awesome for anyone that simply wants to learn the process.

We are in the process of turning my entire gym into a ministry for at risk kids. Looking back I was one of those kids. I could have easily ended up in trouble, but competing kept me focused on something more important. The Barbell Life ministry will teach these kids important goal setting and life skills through competing in the strength sports. I have never been more excited for a new venture.

I hope that you will all consider competing at the Mash Barbell Picnic September 17th thru the 18th. There will be weightlifting day 1 and powerlifting on day 2. I want to see a lot of you rookie and advanced lifters out there testing your bodies, reaching goals, and growing as people. To sign up or find out more, go to:

==>The Mash Barbell Picnic September 17th-18th

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Ashe County Lessons That Will Help All of You

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<<<

If you are looking to lose weight and/or get leaner, check out the Mash “Eat What You Want Program” at the link below:

Mash Eat What You Want Nutrition Program

Ashe County Lessons That Will Help All of You

As I was driving back from the funeral of my friend Chris Moore, I had time to reflect a lot on life. I left right after the service because I was flying out the very next day for Tbilisi, Georgia to coach Team USA in the Junior World Championships. I thought a lot about Chris’s accomplishments in life. He inspired so many people to have the courage to live out the passion within their hearts. His writings, his podcasts, and his other works will live on. Does that make him somewhat immortal?

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I don’t know the answer to that question, but I can promise that his works will live on for a long while. They will also live on through all of the people that he inspired. If they are worth a hill of beans, then they will share his teachings with the people that they care about.

This is not a blog about Chris Moore, but I wanted to give you guys a background. The memorial service forced me to look at my own life. I had to ask myself some tough questions. Who am I inspiring? Who am I helping? I mean really, what good am I doing?

None of us can really know if we are helping other people. The people that we help tend to keep quiet until our own memorial service. All we can do is hope to inspire. We have to look into the future, and we have to ask ourselves some deeper questions. What do I want people to say at my memorial service? In what way do I want to make the world just a little better?

After asking these questions to myself, I took a long look at where I’ve come from. I am going to tell all of you, but hang on because I want to teach you guys some cool things. This is not going to be a long blog about look how cool I am. However it needs to start with a little reflection.

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I am from the most northwest corner of North Carolina. I am from West Jefferson, NC nestled deep within the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. This little town lies within Ashe County. For some reason all of us that are from there simply refer to our home as Ashe County. Maybe it’s a southern thing.

There are no interstates or major highways that lead to Ashe County. If you find yourself there, it was your destination or you are lost. We are somewhat cut off from the world. There are pros and cons to this just like anywhere else, but all and all I am very proud to have hailed from such a remarkable place.

So far in my life, I have won three world championships in powerlifting, played D1 college football, competed in Olympic weightlifting at a National level, written two books, host a podcast listened by thousands all over the world, and now I am on my way to Tbilisi, Georgia to coach Team USA. My life has been exciting to say the least.

However, there is nothing more exciting than your hometown recognizing your work. This town made me who I am. My family raised me. The people around me up there made me tough. No matter where I go in this life, I am a mountain boy from the Blue Ridge.

Last month my hometown newspaper, “The Jefferson Post” and my hometown am radio station “WKSK” ran stories about some of my accomplishments. Personally I would rather be recognized by my hometown than the New York Times. Why? I am not quite sure, but my passion is to inspire the young men and women of my hometown.

I grew up with a hardworking family. However not many people in my family went to college, and I am pretty sure that I am the only one that ventured around the world. They live a simple life, and they work hard. Sometimes when I have to leave my family at home, I envy that simple life. We are going to spend most of July in the mountains, and I am very excited to get back home.

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Here’s the thing that I am trying to say. I had a dream that included a barbell from the time that I was eleven-years-old. I didn’t know how I was going to make a living lifting weights, but I knew that I was going to follow my passion at all cost. This was a time when there wasn’t a CrossFit anywhere. No one knew anything about lifting weights. Yet I was going to show the world the beauty of the barbell.

I am not saying that everyone should set out teaching the world about the barbell. I am saying that we should all follow the passions within our hearts. Those passions aren’t there by accident. God puts them there, and it’s up to you to use them. The key is what you do with those passions.

If you use those passions for self-glorification, you are going to live a lonely unfulfilled life. However, if you use those same passions to inspire others, then you are doing a good thing. I want you to inspire others to live a better life, and I promise that your heart will overflow with joy.

My life isn’t just about teaching people the movements of the barbell. I use that as a platform to teach them so much more like balance, closeness with the Creator, and the importance of family. It’s a real honor to help so many people. It’s the real reason that I do anything within my company. I just want to be a small part in making the lives of others a little better.

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I have been on both sides of this. I was a selfish athlete for the first few years of my life, and that led to depression and loneliness. If you spend time loving your family, worshipping your God, and loving others, you will spend your life filled with love, joy, and fulfillment.

Here’s the takeaway from all of this:

1. Discover your God given passions.
2. Live those passions out no matter where you are from or what your circumstances are.
3. Inspire others to live a better life.
4. Nurture the relationships that God puts in your life.
5. Leave the world just a little better.

Gosh I promise that if you do all of this, whether you are rich or poor, you will live a life of fulfillment. You will inspire others. When you are on your death bed, you can look at your loved ones and know that you did a job well-done. That’s all that any of us can hope for.

If you live in my hometown of West Jefferson, NC, I want all of you to know that my heart will always be with you. You guys made me. My mother and father, my aunts and uncles, and all of my friends helped to shape me. I am forever grateful, and I am forever proud to be from Ashe County.

KJ(my best friend), we are forever Ashe County. We did that together. Love you man.

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If you own a gym or want to own a gym, we would love to partner with you in the “Mash Barbell Affiliate Program”. Our program includes:

-Monthly conference calls to answer questions and teach our curriculum
-Option to receive programming from one of our three International Level Coaches
-Database of conference calls and workouts for affiliates to access anytime
-Mash Mafia Branding
-Location on the website for people to identify
-Affiliate clinic to teach our ways of coaching, principles, values, and mission statement.
-Ability to participate in the “Child At Risk” Program

To Find out more, click the link below:

The Mash Barbell Affiliate Program

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