Category Archives for "Motivation"

Swede Burns on the 5th Set Methodology – The Barbell Life 230

He’s the creator of the 5th Set Methodology, and he was named Powerlifting Coach of the Year.

I can see why. He’s not only a strong lifter himself, but he’s knowledgable about programming – and most of all he has a powerful desire to help people. It’s common in the powerlifting world for coaches and lifters to be… well, terrible people. I wasn’t the nicest a lot of times when I was on my way to a world championship. But Swede is a rare breed.


So listen in to this podcast because we hit hard on something that lifters don’t think about… but it is crucial to their success. In fact, it may very well be the most important aspect of being a powerlifter. And of course we talk a ton on this podcast about programming – so get ready!

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.



  • The absolute best assistance exercise for the bench press
  • Why there’s really only one way to determine proper sets, reps, and percentages
  • Racking up the 2000 lb totals
  • What is the most important factor in a competitor reaching their potential
  • Why he went raw when everyone else was equipped
  • and more…

Elliott Hulse on Being a Six-Figure Strength Coach – The Barbell Life 228

If you’re a strength coach, Elliott Hulse wants you to earn six figures a year.

Most know him as a YouTube superstar – and that’s a massive part of his business. But his real love and his real business is being a strength coach.

Elliott got his start following in the footsteps of my friend Zach Even-Esh. His gym was raw. It was simple but effective. He knows his stuff as a trainer.

But Elliott is also a great marketer. He’s used lessons from the direct response marketing world to skyrocket his business – and now he wants you to do the same.


Principles and Real-Life Case Studies on How a Master Programmer Customizes a Program to the Individual

Peek inside Travis's brain... and learn how to individualize your own programs to fit an athlete's strengths, weaknesses, age, gender, sport demands, and unique response to training.



  • How he built up to $35,000 a month on YouTube
  • What he would do if he were starting now
  • How his business has evolved and the mistakes he made along the way
  • Growing a coach’s income up to $10K a month in only 10 weeks
  • Starting a gym with equipment made of… trash?
  • and more…

Finding Time to Train as a Busy Woman by Crystal McCullough

“Balance is not something you find, it’s something you create.”
– Jana Kingsford

For most of us, we have obligations outside of the gym. Some of us work out simply for our health, while others of us are training at a high level for our sport (i.e. weightlifting, powerlifting, CrossFit). There is only a very small percentage of athletes who have the ability to treat training and recovery as their full time job without distractions. Obligations can be work related, school related, or family related. We can make a million excuses about not having time to go to the gym (and many of these excuses may even be valid). The bottom line is that we make time for things that are important to us. No matter how busy we are, if we prioritize our health and fitness as important, we will find a way. Balance is key!


Whatever combination of busyness you have, goal setting, prior planning, and time management are key components of successfully staying active in the gym and training. I am a wife, mother, coach, business partner, and elite athlete. Each of my days are spent doing a combination of these things:

  1. Spending time with Wayne and Morgan – My husband and I find time throughout the busy day to go on walks or go to breakfast so we can have couples time. Morgan and I spend time together watching silly TV shows and talking on the way to and from the gym. THIS is my number one priority, but I know that I can always do a better job.
  2. Coaching – I coach our morning adult fitness classes at L.E.A.N. two to three times per week as well as coach weightlifting with Travis each afternoon. I also travel to the National meets with the team to help Travis coach.
  3. Managing a gym – I am the general manager of L.E.A.N., and I have daily obligations of answering emails, marketing, membership recruitment and retention, programming, cleaning, etc.
  4. Training – I compete in powerlifting and train five to six times per week.
  5. Programming for online athletes – I have 30 online athletes who I program for through our Silver Level program. I have weightlifters, powerlifters, and CrossFit athletes.
  6. Customer service – I am the person you email when you need anything at the email.
  7. Podcasting – We spend three to four hours every couple of weeks talking to guests on the podcast.
  8. Homeschooling Morgan – We are on a break right now (thank goodness!), but when we are in session, I grade his daily work and issue his tests to him.

This may look like a lot – and if I’m being honest, it is. However, I wouldn’t give up a single one of them! I have an amazing support system with my husband, Wayne, and my son, Morgan. Wayne has taken on two to three mornings of coaching adult fitness classes at the gym for me, and he coaches when I go out of town with our weightlifters. He will also start helping me with marketing and membership recruitment. He brings Morgan to the gym to train on the days I can’t come home mid-day. He cooks dinner, does housework, and helps Morgan with school. I couldn’t do all of this without him. Morgan keeps me accountable with my training and pushes me to always be the best version of myself. Both my husband and my son help me to stay balanced.

I say all of this, not for you to feel sorry for me or to brag, but to prove to you that with the goal setting, prior planning, and time management, it is possible to stay on track with your health and fitness despite all of your obligations.

Short on time in the gym? Here's the blueprint you need to follow.

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Women in the roles of wife and/or mom sometimes feel even more overwhelmed than men. We feel like there are certain things we are supposed to be doing. Giving up our own time for fitness is the first thing to go. We put others’ needs before our own. We identify as someone’s wife or someone’s mom, and we can lose ourselves if we don’t learn to find balance and prioritize.

I have found through trial and error that I have to go through a set of simple steps regularly in order to be successful. There are some weeks I am more successful than others. These are a few steps that I try to work on each week:

  1. Set aside time to go to the gym and train. Make an appointment with yourself!
  2. Set training goals. This can be as simple as getting in the gym x days a week or as specific as a meet or competition to train for. I personally find that I do better when I have a meet I am training for. When you have goals, you are more likely to keep the appointment you made with yourself. Be realistic with your goals.
  3. Make a list and prioritize all the tasks you have to complete throughout your day. Check off tasks as you accomplish them. Block out specific time blocks for each task.
  4. Lose the excess baggage. If there is something or someone bringing you down and keeping you from reaching your full potential, lose it. This can be as simple as getting off social media if it interferes with your productivity.
  5. Have open communication regularly with your family and friends to let them know what you need from them as a support system to be successful.

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* Fully Customized Programming

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* The Best Coaching in the World

Here are a few additional pointers for moms and wives especially out there having a hard time balancing everything and on the verge of losing themselves:

  1. Work toward an integrated life. Perspective is crucial in order to create harmony in your life – by having a balance of time for yourself and time for your family. If you have these two things, there won’t be guilt over all the other things. Only you will know the formula that works best for you.
  2. Don’t feel guilty for finding a better version of yourself. What I mean is don’t stay home from the gym or fail to pursue dreams because you feel guilty for taking time for yourself. As my husband says (via a Rich Froning quote), “A happy wife is a happy life.”
  3. Realize that following your dreams only encourages your children to follow theirs. You teach your children a valuable lesson of how important health and fitness is in their lives by including them.
  4. Life will knock down even the best of us at times. Learn how to get back up, brush it off, and continue forward!

Creating balance in your life isn’t going to happen overnight. There are times you will feel overwhelmed. I still have my moments of being overwhelmed. Don’t let yourself get to this point if you can help it. Regularly go back to the steps and make sure your goals are realistic, the way you manage your time is working, and you have communicated your needs with your support system.

I hope this article gave you something to think about and can provide you with some simple strategies to maybe make your life a little less hectic without giving anything up you love!

Developing a Resilient Mind with Ryan Munsey – The Barbell Life 224

Ryan Munsey has fallen in love with high performance.

He studied elite military operatives to find out what made them tough as nails. He talked with world-class athletes and successful people of all spheres to see what made them tick.

It really boils down to mindset – being consistent, showing up, and not being swayed by your feelings.

So we talk about all of that on today’s podcast. This podcast may get you thinking. It may be a good kick in the rear. Either way, you’ll want to listen.

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  • How to develop a resilient attitude
  • Getting athletes to have a paradigm shift
  • The success formula
  • How to develop mindset strength in the woods
  • The two types of people who are successful in sports
  • and more…

The Miracle Weekend

Every coach goes into every meet with the highest of expectations. As we all know, 99% of the time at least half of those expectations aren’t met. Going into this meet, we had massive expectations. It was the most important meet in our history.

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@_hunterelam after opening up with a lifetime PR 121kg in the Clean & Jerk, after missing her last two warmups, and still hitting that lift to make the Senior World Team! Amazing moment! #masheliteladies Photo Cred @snappy_patchy ======================== Last Day to receive Out latest ebook “Pulling Science” at the Early Bird Price! Check it out at: ==> <link in Bio> get it now! ======================== Whether you are a Weightlifter, Powerlifter, CrossFitter, Field Athlete, or just trying to get into shape, this book will be helpful. . -Science of the movement . -Experts like Stu McGill, @squat_university , and @drandygalpin give their thoughts . – several workouts and tips to strengthen your Pull #Pullscience . . @intekstrength #intekstrength @biprousa #biprousa @athleteps @harbingerfitness #harbingerfitness @thedanicain1 @tfox66 #nikeweightlifting #athleteps @mg12power #mg12thepowerofmagnesium @haknutrition #haknutrition #wodfitters @wodfitters @strongerexperts #strongerexperts @leanfitnesssystems #LEANFit #highbarsquat #lowbarsquat #frontsquat

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We had pretty much everything riding on this meet – Senior Worlds, Youth Worlds, Junior Worlds, and even the Olympics. This Senior World Championships coming up in November is the first meet that counts in regards to scoring for the Olympics. Basically whoever makes this first team has a huge advantage towards making the 2020 Olympic Games.

Not the Status Quo

This single meet literally changed the overall feel of being a part of this team. It’s safe to say we are all a little more proud to be a part of it. We all feel like we are a part of a team that does things a bit differently, and I think we are made up of athletes who like to go beyond the status quo. I have to assume that’s why they chose me as a coach.

Most coaches are conservative in nature, and I get that. Most athletes don’t react well during high stress situations. The goal is to get an opener in, go up a bit on the second attempt, and then a possible personal record on the third attempt. It makes perfect sense for the typical weightlifter.

However, there is nothing typical about any of my team members. This past weekend, we swung for the fences – and we hit some massive home runs.

Starting off

First up was Ryan Grimsland, and wow – did he start us off. This meet was about establishing the Mash Mafia as the best team in America. It wasn’t ever about winning the American Open Series. We opened Ryan up at a 110kg snatch, just 1kg below his competition best. He missed his opener, but he spanked it on his second attempt. We then took a big jump to 115kg on his third attempt. Like the gangster that he is, he smashed it for a massive 4kg personal record.

Let me mention: Ryan dropped down to the 67kg class from the old 69kg class because he has some major goals in the youth, junior, and even senior levels (so stay tuned for that). We opened him at 138kg in the clean and jerk, and that’s where things went a bit crazy. The water cut possibly caused him to get a bit dizzy. Luckily, he regained his composure by his third and final attempt. The 138kg clean and jerk gave him a personal record total of 253kg. That also made him the number one youth athlete in the country. That was the goal all along, and we nailed it.

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16-year-old @ryangrimsland with a massive comp PR Snatch of 115kg/253lb in the 67kg Class! #letsGo #ao3 ======================== Last Few Days to receive Out latest ebook “Pulling Science” at the Early Bird Price! Check it out at: ==> <link in Bio> get it now! ======================== Whether you are a Weightlifter, Powerlifter, CrossFitter, Field Athlete, or just trying to get into shape, this book will be helpful. . -Science of the movement . -Experts like Stu McGill, @squat_university , and @drandygalpin give their thoughts . – several workouts and tips to strengthen your Pull #Pullscience . . @intekstrength #intekstrength @biprousa #biprousa @athleteps @harbingerfitness #harbingerfitness @thedanicain1 @tfox66 #nikeweightlifting #athleteps @mg12power #mg12thepowerofmagnesium @haknutrition #haknutrition #wodfitters @wodfitters @strongerexperts #strongerexperts @leanfitnesssystems #LEANFit #highbarsquat #lowbarsquat #frontsquat

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Then came Hannah Dunn, our latest amazing youth at Mash Elite. Hannah is in one stacked 59kg class with five athletes who could all take the spots on Team USA. Unfortunately for Hannah, we didn’t have the day we needed. I’m proud of her as she battled to the very end. Since she has been with us, we have been in competition mode. Now I will get some quality time to address some technique issues, and to strengthen her weaknesses. We are going to go to work, and we are going to create someone unbeatable.

It’s time

Saturday morning was the day that many people (including me) had been waiting for. When the new weight classes were announced, it left a lot of athletes in a confused situation. Hunter Elam is one of those athletes. She was a 69kg athlete, and she was climbing the ranks quickly. With the new weight classes, we had to make a decision to go up or down. We decided to go down.

It was a bold move, no doubt. The 64kg class is the home of America’s top ranked female athlete, Mattie Sassers, along with several other top athletes. We made our decision after getting her body fat checked and after consulting several experts including Layne Norton and Andy Galpin. Both of them gave us the go ahead, so we started the process. Hunter worked with Mash Mafia’s own Jacky Simeone. Jacky heads up our Mash Eat What You Want Nutrition Program, and she does an amazing job.

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I could write an entire book about the process, but I will make a long story short. She cut the weight and entered the 64kg class. We opened at 94kg in the snatch, which she nailed. Then the story takes a bad turn. She missed the next two attempts at 97kg, putting us in a precarious position.

We needed a 215kg total to ensure her place on Team USA for the World Championships. That meant we had to have a 121kg clean and jerk. Should we open with something lighter and then try it on the second attempt? With Coach Spencer Arnold helping, we decided to go big. We took 121kg on her opener.

Now there are a few things you need to know about this 121kg clean and jerk. First, her lifetime PR is 121kg at the higher weight class. She actually lost a total of 9kg for this meet (nearly 20 pounds). Here’s another factor: she missed her last two warm ups badly.

Then she looked at me and asked, “Are we sticking to the plan?”

I answered with a firm, “Absolutely!”

She didn’t look scared at all, and I couldn’t decide if that was a good thing or not.

However, she went out onto that platform , stuck that 121kg opener, and locked her place on Team USA. She went two for six and hit a lifetime competition PR total of 215kg. Yes – even down a weight class, she still hit a massive personal record.

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Here it is ladies and gentlemen! @_hunterelam ‘s 121kg/266lb Clean & Jerk to lock in her World Team Placement! Thanks @natarem for the video! Enjoy y’all! ======================== Last Few Hours to receive Out latest ebook “Pulling Science” at the Early Bird Price! Check it out at: ==> <link in Bio> get it now! ======================== Whether you are a Weightlifter, Powerlifter, CrossFitter, Field Athlete, or just trying to get into shape, this book will be helpful. . -Science of the movement . -Experts like Stu McGill, @squat_university , and @drandygalpin give their thoughts . – several workouts and tips to strengthen your Pull #Pullscience . . @intekstrength #intekstrength @biprousa #biprousa @athleteps @harbingerfitness #harbingerfitness @thedanicain1 @tfox66 #nikeweightlifting #athleteps @mg12power #mg12thepowerofmagnesium @haknutrition #haknutrition #wodfitters @wodfitters @strongerexperts #strongerexperts @leanfitnesssystems #LEANFit #highbarsquat #lowbarsquat #frontsquat

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Meredith Alwine joined our team five weeks ago. In that short time she has set personal records in the snatch, clean and jerk, total, and back squat. Meredith is in the newly formed 71kg class along with Mattie Rogers. Our priority was to get Meredith on the World Team along with Hunter. Of course we wanted to win, but that wasn’t the priority. We needed a 229kg total, which is a massive total for any weight class.

Meredith’s best total coming into the meet was 221kg, so we had our work cut out for us. We opened up at 97kg in the snatch, but she missed her opener. Then we went on up to 98kg to give us a better chance at the 229kg total. Unfortunately she also missed that one, so now we were a bit worried. Well… I should say that I was worried, but she wasn’t. This is what I am talking about. My athletes seem to have ice in their veins. She smashed the third attempt at 98kg!

We opened her up at a cool 128kg in the clean and jerk, which is 3kg above her best ever. Like a boss, Meredith walked out on that platform and smashed it. Did I mention that Meredith is a junior athlete? The 128kg clean and jerk was a Junior American record, but that was just the beginning. She hit her second attempt at 131kg to solidify her spot on Team USA – and then 133kg for icing on the cake. All of these were American record clean and jerks. Her total of 131kg was also an American record, and a 10kg lifetime personal record in the total. She didn’t beat Mattie, but she did win in the clean and jerk. That’s a pretty big statement from this young lady.

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@meredithalwine just shocked the world #ao3 with this 133kg/292lb Clean & Jerk Junior American Record and to solidify her spot on the Senior World Team. She makes four athletes we have on the Senior World Team. Mash Roster: @_hunterelam @nathandamron94 @cantrell85kg @meredithalwine . @usa_weightlifting ======================== Last Day to receive Out latest ebook “Pulling Science” at the Early Bird Price! Check it out at: ==> <link in Bio> get it now! ======================== Whether you are a Weightlifter, Powerlifter, CrossFitter, Field Athlete, or just trying to get into shape, this book will be helpful. . -Science of the movement . -Experts like Stu McGill, @squat_university , and @drandygalpin give their thoughts . – several workouts and tips to strengthen your Pull #Pullscience . . @intekstrength #intekstrength @biprousa #biprousa @athleteps @harbingerfitness #harbingerfitness @thedanicain1 @tfox66 #nikeweightlifting #athleteps @mg12power #mg12thepowerofmagnesium @haknutrition #haknutrition #wodfitters @wodfitters @strongerexperts #strongerexperts @leanfitnesssystems #LEANFit #highbarsquat #lowbarsquat #frontsquat

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Jordan Cantrell was next. There wasn’t anything big riding on this meet for Jordan, but we wanted to hit some good weights. He opened up at 155kg and hit it pretty easily. However, the lift got turned down for a press out. Just like the entire weekend, we decided to go big. We jumped up to 160kg in the snatch despite missing his opener. He missed the first attempt but crushed the second one. He went on to total 350kg, smashing the rest of the pack.

15-year-old Morgan McCullough was next, and he didn’t disappoint. He hit a 4kg competition personal record in the snatch of 125kg. Then on his second attempt in the clean and jerk he did the unthinkable by clean and jerking a new American record of 170kg. But he still wasn’t satisfied. I asked him if he wanted to jump 3kg and be safe or jump 5kg for a 300kg total at 15 years old.

He quickly replied, “Three-Hundred!”

He smashed the 175kg clean but just barely missed the Jerk. Are you starting to see the pattern for the entire team? His 295kg total was an 8kg total personal record. This kid is unbelievable.

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15-year-old @mad_lifts_15 with a massive American Record 170kg/374lb Clean & Jerk! That’s 4kg that he’s added to that record. He almost jerked 175kg (video to come)! Best meet of our team’s history by far (article to come)! So many videos to post! #ao3 ======================== Last Day to receive Out latest ebook “Pulling Science” at the Early Bird Price! Check it out at: ==> <link in Bio> get it now! ======================== Whether you are a Weightlifter, Powerlifter, CrossFitter, Field Athlete, or just trying to get into shape, this book will be helpful. . -Science of the movement . -Experts like Stu McGill, @squat_university , and @drandygalpin give their thoughts . – several workouts and tips to strengthen your Pull #Pullscience . . @intekstrength #intekstrength @biprousa #biprousa @athleteps @harbingerfitness #harbingerfitness @thedanicain1 @tfox66 #nikeweightlifting #athleteps @mg12power #mg12thepowerofmagnesium @haknutrition #haknutrition #wodfitters @wodfitters @strongerexperts #strongerexperts @leanfitnesssystems #LEANFit #highbarsquat #lowbarsquat #frontsquat

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Even more

When people think about our youth, they normally think about Ryan or Morgan. However, there is a new kid on the team. 16-year-old Jared Flaming is by far the most improved athlete on the team. At the Youth Pan American Championships just three short months ago, Jared totaled 248kg. At this meet he snatched a PR 127kg and clean and jerked a PR 160kg – for a massive 287kg PR total. Yes, that’s nearly 30kg in three months. I’d love to say I am some kind of wizard, but this kid simply needed a little direction.

Terris Roberts ended the day with a nice 125kg snatch, a PR 155kg clean and jerk for a nice PR total of 280kg. This is his first meet with us. We were mainly training through this one, but we still wanted to hit some big numbers. I think by next year Terris will be battling for medals. Terris is crazy and fits this team perfectly.


I want to say what an honor it was to coach some of the Mash Mafia Online Team, including Sam Dowgin and Carlee Fuller. You guys killed it. Sam battled for a medal in the clean and jerk, making some massive progress. This was Carlee’s first meet with us. She crushed it going five for six, so I’d say that we are off to a great start.

I also want to thank Adonis, James, and Nathan for allowing us to coach you guys. Everyone did great, but my man Adonis pulled a muscle on stage. I’m sure he will heal right up. It’s always fun getting to meet and coach our online members and watch them crush it alongside all of us.

Here's the key to unlocking even more gains in 2019...

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* Fully Customized Programming

* Unlimited Technique Analysis

* The Best Coaching in the World

I also had the chance to handle Brian Reisenauer, one of our former members on Team USA. My friends from Mash Mafia MN decided they wanted to do their own thing with a club built by them. They are doing a great job, and they will always be considered family to me. Brian put on a great show, coming up a bit short for gold. However this is his first meet at 61kg. When he grows into the weight class, he’s going to be hard to beat.

As you can see, we had the most incredible meet of our lives. We did it in a fashion all our own. I would never tell another coach to be like us. We are a breed all our own. We are aggressive, and we are filled with athletes who can make those big attempts when it counts. It’s an attitude! I’m not quite sure how this team was formed, but it is truly a special group – so special that we are shutting down recruitment for new athletes for our onsite team. I have all the athletes that I can handle at our facility, and now I want to focus on getting them to the Olympics. I’m truly blessed to lead this incredible team.

Before I end this blog, I want to thank our incredible sponsors for making all of this possible. Intek Strength provides our team with beautiful bumpers, change plates, and our favorite bars, and Jason, company VP, is a real friend to the team. Along with Intek, Harbinger Fitness is our other premier sponsor. They believe in us so much that they signed an agreement all the way to the Olympics. Not to mention, they provide our favorite belts and wraps. Nathan Damron used their belts way before we partnered.

WodFitters provides our team with all the resistance bands that we use for accommodating resistance, stretching, and activation. They also provide our mobility and recovery tools. MG12 produces all of our Magnesium products that we use to keep our bodies fresh and relaxed. I personally love their bath salts for recovery. Nike Weightlifting is the company that keeps us looking better than all the other teams with our singlets and uniforms.

Is this a plug for our sponsors? Well, yes and no! I want to make a point that we couldn’t do what we are doing without the help of these fine folks. They make it all possible for our team to do the thing that they love the most. As consumers we should all frequent the companies that support the sport and the team that we all love. The more that you guys support these companies will in turn solidify the ongoing support for our sport. Who knows, maybe your team will be sponsored next.

Athletes Need a Gym Culture

By now we have all heard the terms community and culture so many times that it’s kind of old news.

But why are those terms important? The new popularity of CrossFit and the barbell sports, along with the magic of the Internet, has spread these terms around the world and back. The main reason CrossFit became so popular was community.

CrossFit created a community of people coming together to get in shape and be healthy. Let’s face it – when we become busy adults, it’s not easy to go to the gym and work some more just to get in shape. However, when there are other people at the gym who are going to work and suffer with you, the whole process of getting in shape becomes fun and exciting. The common bond of working hard forms a family-like atmosphere that most of us are drawn to. Weightlifting, powerlifting, and strength and conditioning clubs all have a community as well. Whenever there is a group of people coming together to work on a common or similar activity, you have a community.


At Mash Elite, we have weightlifting, powerlifting, strength and conditioning, and adult group fitness – so we have a bit of everything. The community is simply a group of people coming together to reach their goals.

What about culture? That is where the rubber meets the road, as my father-in-law always says. Our gym is divided up into a front section, where all the adult group fitness and a lot of the accessory work for the athletes take place. In the back of the facility is where all the grinding takes place. The gym is separated by two big curves that allows for a nice flow from the peacefulness of the front to craziness in the back.

Once you’re in the back, things get way more serious. The athletes are there to be the best in the world. We still have fun, but there is a totally different feel in the air. The weightlifters, powerlifters, football players, and track athletes are there to do extraordinary things. They are trying to make an Olympic team, world team, earn a scholarship, or play in the NFL. That’s the difference in the back room and the front room. Everyone is trying to reach a goal, but the folks in the back are there to perform the extraordinary.

Our culture has been developed carefully over the last year and a half. Some people have moved on, and some have been added. All of it was for the best. Now we have a group who works together, trains hard, and likes to be coached. We support one another. We might pick on each other, but no outsider is allowed to pick on our teammates.

This is why we so carefully choose our members now. We require a 100% approval rate from not only the coaches but also the team members. It’s a tough process to join the team now, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love these folks. I am not looking for a new athlete like I did in the past. I have all the ones I want.


The main reason I am writing this article is to explain a phenomenon that occurred last week. Our team as a whole hit an astonishing amount of personal records then. It was really one after the other. I am talking about amounts you rarely hear about.

Nathan Damron snatched 170kg from blocks. Ryan Grimsland snatched 113kg and 115kg, hitting two personal records in the snatch and PRing his total as well. Morgan McCullough made personal records in the snatch, jerk, clean from deficit, and his total on Friday. 14-year-old Hannah Dunn snatched 70kg/154lb to get over the hump for a long awaited PR.

It wasn’t just my world team members. It was the entire team both on-site and online. We hit so many personal records that I can’t get them all posted, as they are getting lost in the photo stream.

Here's the key to unlocking even more gains in 2019...

Become a member of the Mash Mafia.

* Fully Customized Programming

* Unlimited Technique Analysis

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So how does this happen? That’s the question that has been ringing in my ears. I mean, it is the time of year, as most everyone is peaking for the American Open Series 3 happening a few weeks from now. But I have still never seen anything like this before. I’ve seen days that seemed to stick out but never an entire week of extraordinary feats.

I’m calling this phenomenon gym momentum, and I wish Greg Nuckols or Andy Galpin would perform a study on this supernatural happening. We’ve all experienced it in some form or another. If you’ve ever been to a Jon North seminar, you’ve probably witnessed exactly what I am talking about. It starts by someone getting jacked up and hitting a big lift, and the next thing you know the entire room is slamming personal records.

As a coach, this is one of the biggest reasons you are trying to cultivate and nurture a solid culture. This is the reason you might have to cut your top athletes if they don’t fit the culture you are trying to develop. You will never have a room like the one I have if you have the one bad apple who doesn’t allow the room to blossom. You know who I am talking about. I am talking about the guy who demands the attention to always be on him – or the grumpy athlete who makes everyone walk on eggshells. If that’s you, you need to change. No amount of victories or records gives you a right to steal the attention of the room. If you are a true champion, you would never want that.

When I was a world champion, I wanted my teammates to experience the same feeling. I remember bombing out at the world championships in 2006, and I immediately started coaching my teammate and best buddy, Ox Mason, in hopes that he would win. I promise you all that one day all of your athletic days will be behind you, and you don’t want to look back on a career that was totally self-absorbed. You will be pleased to look back and remember being a great team member and inspiring others to succeed.


The type of momentum that we experienced last week will never happen at a gym unless a proper culture is a primary goal. If you want to be a world champion, this type of environment is mandatory. You will need a coach for direction and a team for support. When you are trying to be the best at something, a strong support base is crucial. You will have days that are harder than others. Having a teammate and coach to support you during those dark times is a must in all sports. On the other hand, it’s just as important to have teammates to inspire each other to higher and higher levels, which is what happened all last week.

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Remember, forming a community is the easy part. The moment you open a gym, you will have a community. Culture is the hard part. It’s something you need to think long and hard about before opening a facility. What kind of culture are you looking to create as a gym owner? What kind of person fits that culture?

As an athlete, what type of culture do you want to seek out? How can you help that culture develop?

It’s more important than many might think.

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