Category Archives for "Motivation"

Coaches: Use Your Quarantine Time Wisely

Fun fact: the daily routine in our house hasn’t changed much the last four weeks other than we are training at home rather than the gym.

Lack of Control

As I sit here writing this article, my family and I are on day 29 of a quarantine – which was initially voluntary but then turned into a mandatory policy to stay at home. The world has stood still and life has slowed down for almost everyone. The end date is yet to be determined.

All eyes are on COVID-19 and how it is tearing through the world. There are amazing and brave people out there. One of our athletes, Courtney Haldeman, goes to work daily as an RN here in our city, just waiting for the fallout to happen. So far, they are not overrun so they have had a bit more time to prepare than some of the hot zones like New York. The bottom line is this: there are so many things going on with this virus that are out of our control. The virus doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, black or white, homeless or live in a fancy mansion, famous, an athlete, young or old, etc. We are all facing the same thing. Unfortunately, some have been hit harder than others financially, and it breaks my heart to see so many people struggling in this industry who were thriving just last month.

The fitness world has been hit hard by this pandemic. For anyone who works in a setting coaching athletes face to face, you have had to be quick on your feet, think outside the box, and learn to adapt to the new normal. For those of us who have an online presence, we have also had to think on our feet as some of our athletes lost access to gym equipment and some have been hit financially with job losses. There are definitely more things that are out of our control than are within our control.

What We Can Control

At this point, all we can do is focus on what we can control. Two of the things we as coaches can control are:

  • Our perspective and attitude
  • How we utilize our time daily
Keep Improving!

Professional development is so important to us as coaches. Many of us are consumed by our daily commitments to our athletes and/or to our gyms that we don’t have the time (or we don’t take the time) we would like to advance our own learning or to create content. This is a chink in a lot of coaches’ armor, and now is the time to change that. There are so many resources at the touch of a finger.

Now, there are two sides to this coin. There are the new coaches who need to be sponges and soak up as much information as possible. Then, there are the coaches with years and years of experience who can take this time to teach the new coaches. I personally fall in the middle – but more toward the former. I am knowledgeable and have experience under my belt, but I still have so much more to learn. The day a coach stops learning is the day the coach needs to stop coaching. The tool box can never be too big!

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...

Here are ways to advance yourself during this time:

  • Identify your strengths and weaknesses. Be honest with yourself.
  • Create content on subjects you identify as strengths. This will help you to enhance your own knowledge while helping younger coaches expand theirs.
  • Look for resources you can use to further your knowledge in areas that you identify as weaknesses. Even the most experienced of coaches have areas they can improve on.
  • Create a daily schedule for family, work, and professional development. This will look different for everyone based on family and work obligations. Put aside 30 minutes to an hour minimum daily to work on your professional development. This could include taking a course, reading a book, reviewing articles, or watching roundtable videos.

There are many resources out there – some are good and some are not so good. Make sure what you choose is backed by science and is evidence based. Young coaches can often make the mistake of taking a seasoned coach’s opinion as science. The mistake comes from following blindly rather than doing their own research. When you read or watch something, don’t just take it at face value. Follow up with your own research and make your own conclusions based on your findings. Seasoned coaches, provide content to newer coaches that is backed by science and not just your opinion. Just because you teach something a certain way or include/exclude an exercise based on personal preference, does not mean that it is an absolute or the law. There is nothing wrong with sharing an opinion – just be sure to express that it is your preference or opinion rather than a “should” or “must.”

Stay Productive

I’m not exempt from my own advice! I have been working on my own professional development the last four weeks in quarantine. It was challenging to start, but creating a schedule and making lists has made it much more manageable to be productive each day. Here are some ways that I am working on myself as a coach:

  • Coaching athletes – Technology has been absolutely amazing with applications like Zoom. Here at Mash Elite, we have started doing Zoom training sessions with our onsite athletes. We have also opened it up to our online athletes, which is a newly added feature for them!
  • Analyzing athlete videos – Travis started doing more of this the last couple of weeks with a combination of Coach’s Eye and Bar Path. It has been amazing. I do video analysis for our online athletes as they post in our Facebook group, but recently, I have started taking videos from the side or asking online athletes to send me videos. Using the apps I just spoke of, I can analyze videos in new ways to show my athletes how they can improve their bar path. It also allows me to post the video on social media and teach other coaches. This helps others – but it also makes me a better coach as I articulate the lift.
  • Reading content on subject matters I have identified as weaknesses – I don’t want to just be a one trick pony. One of my weaknesses in particular is speed work. When this is all over, one of my goals is to be more knowledgeable in this area.
  • Staying in touch with my mentors – Talking shop via phone, Zoom, or Facetime is an awesome (and entertaining) way to increase your knowledge. Just recently, while writing new programs, Travis and I had a great conversation about the parameters to elicit hypertrophy with a no-equipment or minimal-equipment program.
  • Seeking out online continuing education courses – Because of social distancing, many platforms have moved to being online. For most courses, you can get the same educational experience as you can with a live course (minus the networking and practical portions if applicable).
  • Creating an exercise library – this will be of benefit to our athletes and other coaches to better teach movements.

Will you be productive every minute of every day? No. But I promise you this: the time you do spend on your professional development will make you a better coach – which will in turn make your athletes better.

Resources

Here are some resources I personally recommend that have been extremely helpful to me. They are all based on science and all coaches involved are very reputable.

  • Strength University – we recently launched an eight-unit online curriculum that covers all the areas we at Mash Elite Performance are known for. Travis covers assessments, mobility, movements, flaws, fixing flaws, and much more. I can promise you I am not just telling you this for a sale. I spent several days going through the entire curriculum creating print-outs for the course – and I learned so much in subjects I already thought I already knew well!
    You can go here to purchase: Strength University

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...

  • Stronger Experts – This is a panel of strength coaches with expertise in various areas. They are always creating amazing new content. There is a monthly or yearly subscription that gets you access to all of their content. I have yet to watch or read anything on Stronger Experts where I didn’t learn something!
    You can learn more here: Stronger Experts
  • Stronger by Science (MASS) – If you follow us at all, you have heard us talk about Greg Nuckols. He is a researcher and is extremely good at his job. He and his colleagues do the work for you. They do all the research on subject matters and put it together in very well written, easy to understand articles. There is a monthly or yearly subscription that gives you access to all of their content.
    You can learn more here: Stronger by Science
  • Two Brain Business – I am late to the party on this business as they have been working to make gyms successful for a while now. I found them in the midst of this pandemic, and they have done an amazing job of providing valuable information to the fitness industry on how to stay profitable through it.
    Check out their Instagram page: Two Brain Business

Of course there are other resources out there, but these are most definitely my top four. They are also four very different platforms providing you with access to videos, journals, and multiple experts in their field.

When you emerge from this quarantine, will you be carrying a larger tool box? I know I will!

Author:
About Crystal: Crystal is Travis’ right hand person! She is a USA Weightlifting National Coach and holds her NSCA – Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist certification. She is an RN with a Masters degree in Nurse Education. She also holds multiple other certifications to include CFL2, USATF, Precision Nutrition, and Flex Diet. She is also an international elite ranked powerlifter.

Getting Stronger with Little to No Equipment

It looks like we are going to be here for a while. By here I mean trapped in our homes.

A few days ago I published a program that would get you moving with little to no equipment. However, what if you want to get stronger? (Or at least keep your gains?) What if you want to prepare for your upcoming football season? The key is to focus on what you do have and forget about what you don’t have.

Here’s a simple strength program I designed that’s perfect for any athlete whether football player, weightlifter, powerlifter, or whatever.

Later, I share some other program resources – but let’s look at this first.

Three Day Rotation:

Day 1

1a. Unilateral Squat (pistol squat advanced, RLE split squats, or split squats): 5RM each leg, then -10% for 2 x 5 each leg
1b. Ice Skater Plyos (use KB if advanced): 3 x 6 each side (focus on distance and change of direction)

2a. Unilateral RDLs (off leg freely in extension or against the wall): 3 x 8 each leg (working to 9 RPE)
2b. Walking Lunges: 3 x 8 each leg (working to 9 RPE)

3a. Waterbury Crucifix: 3 x 8 each leg (working to 9 RPE)
3b. Carpet Slider Leg Curls: 3 x 10
3c. Backpack Zercher Squats: 3 x 10

Day 2

1a. Feet Elevated Push-ups (handstand push-ups if possible): 10RM (use weighted backpack for load), then -10% for 2 x 10
1b. Backpack Bentover Rows: 3 x 10 each arm (5 sec eccentric, explosive concentric, and 2 sec pause at full contraction)

2a. Pull-ups: 3 x submaximal
2b. Soup Can Cheerleaders: 3 x 10

3a. Dips: 3 x submaximal
3b. Rock Front Raises: 3 x 10
3c. Backpack Biceps Curl: 3 x 10

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...

Day 3 Social Distancing Contrast Training

Lower:

1a. Unilateral Squat (pistol squat advanced, RLE split squats, or split squats): take your 5RM and perform same load for 6 x 1 rep
1b. Prisoner Squat Jumps (add knee to chest if too easy): 6 x 3
1c. Weighted Back Pack Squat Jumps: 6 x 3
1d. Assisted Jumps: 6 x 3
3 minutes rest between sets

Upper:

1a. Feet Elevated Push-ups (handstand push-ups if possible): 6 x 3 reps of your 10RM from day two
1b. Explosive Plyo Push-ups: 6 x 3
1c. Half-Kneeling Weighted Rotational Punches (use backpack): 6 x 3 each arm

2. Unilateral Suitcase Carries or Holds: 4 x 30 sec each arm

Explanation and Options

Here are my suggestions. If you want to perform a three, four, five, or six day per week program, this simple program will work. You can simply rotate through the days, and then repeat. If you want, you can make some changes that will turn the plan into a undulated periodization plan. I will explain all of it as I go through each day. I will also give you ideas how to progress and regress each movement. Let’s take a look at day one.

Day 1 Breakdown

day one: superset one
1a. Unilateral Squat (pistol squat advanced, RLE split squats, or split squats): 5RM each leg, then -10% for 2 x 5 each leg
1b. Ice Skater Plyos (use KB if advanced): 3 x 6 each side (focus on distance and change of direction)

Unilateral squats are perfect for any level athlete. You simply pick the version that fits your ability. If you are a straight baller, go with pistol squats. Intermediate athletes can use rear leg elevated split squat, and then just about anyone can perform split squats. If split squats are too challenging for whatever reason, you can always revert back to bilateral squats.

To load the unilateral squats, you can use the following:

  • Gallon jugs: filled with water or sand (obviously pour out the water or sand to lower the load)
  • Backpack: filled with rocks or just about anything you can think of for a load. (Shout out to my cohost of Barbell Shrugged, Doug Larson, for this idea. Rocks are awesome for easy load variance)
  • Old pillow case: filled with rock, sand (make sure it’s secure to avoid a mess), etc
  • With pistol squats, you might find you don’t need a load, or you might choose to use tempo rather than an external load. Example: 5RM at 5-7 second eccentric, followed by down sets with a faster eccentric

This is a good time to use contrast training – whether you are a weightlifter, powerlifter, CrossFitter, or field athlete – to add in some plyometrics for speed and power development. It’s also a great time to move in planes you aren’t used to. Most weightlifters and powerlifters stay in the sagittal plane with flexion and extension. It’s a good time to give those movements a bit of a break while working in the frontal plane with some abduction and adduction along with some rotational movements. This will keep your body symmetrical, moving functionally, and feeling better for when this coronavirus is contained.

For all of these reasons, I paired ice skaters with the unilateral squat. Therefore, the unilateral squat is paired with a lateral unilateral plyometric. The key to the ice skaters is maximal distance along with a fast change of direction. The goal is to improve the athlete’s ability to absorb force, change direction, and produce force in the opposite direction. This movement is great for field athletes. To increase the load, you can use a kettlebell if you have one, or you can hold a book or rock. I teach my athletes to form a figure 8 pattern with the load, so the movement is more rhythmic in nature.

Before I get into explaining the rest of day one – I want to let you know about something special we’ve done. If the free program in this article fits your needs, then great – I’m glad I could help.

But I talk to many athletes who have worked very hard for their strength, and they don’t want to lose a single pound or kilo off their lifts. So I’ve worked hard to get creative… and I’ve come up with some next-level programs that can be done with little equipment or even no equipment.

These new programs – part of our Bronze Level membership – take the strategy and thought of this free program and ramp it up even further. This is the type of program I would recommend for my athletes if they didn’t have access to equipment.

Check them out:

MAXIMIZE YOUR STRENGTH...

EVEN WITHOUT EQUIPMENT

These new programs from Coach Travis Mash are designed to strategically and creatively make the best use of limited equipment (or even no equipment). These programs aren't just generic bodyweight exercises - these are programs specifically geared toward the strength needs of weightlifters, powerlifters, or field athletes.

day one: superset two
2a. Unilateral RDLs (off leg freely in extension or against the wall): 3 x 8 each leg (working to 9 RPE)
2b. Walking Lunges: 3 x 8 each leg (working to 9 RPE)

Unilateral RDLs are a great movement whether you are quarantined or not. I recommend starting this movement with the off leg either pressed against the wall or resting on a stool. The key is to perform the movement with a proper hinge, while keeping the spine as neutral (in extension) as possible. You can use the gallon jug or backpack ideas for loading this movement. This movement is paired with Cory Gregory’s favorite, walking lunges.

(From here on out in this program, you can assume external loads can be used in the form of a loaded backpack, gallon jug, canned goods, loaded pillowcase, book, stool, or get creative.)

day one: superset three
3a. Waterbury Crucifix: 3 x 8 each leg (working to 9 RPE)
3b. Carpet Slider Leg Curls: 3 x 10
3c. Backpack Zercher Squats: 3 x 10

My favorite posterior chain exercise is the Waterbury crucifix. To perform this movement, abduct your arms to where they form a 90-degree angle with the torso. With palms facing forward (supinated) and scapula completely retracted, take a slightly wider than shoulder width stance and knees slightly bent, and then perform a hinge much like a goodmorning. The goal is to keep the 90-degree angle with the arms and torso while maintaining a neutral spine. Your hands are going to want to drift toward the hips for a biomechanical advantage, so make sure to fight that urge. Your hamstrings along with your entire posterior chain are going to be in pain (in a good way) the next few days. It doesn’t take much more than a can of soup in each hand to load this exercise properly.

I talked about the carpet slider leg curls in my previous at home workout article. You can use furniture movers for carpet or wash rags for a smooth surface. While laying supine on the ground (on your back), place your heels on the furniture mover or rag, and then perform a complete leg curl while keeping your hips in extension the entire movement. The final movement in this giant set is a good ol’ fashioned Zercher squat. For any of you who don’t know, the Zercher squat is performed with the load held in the crook of your elbow.

Day 2 Breakdown

day two: superset one
1a. Feet Elevated Push-ups (handstand push-ups if possible): 10RM (use weighted backpack for load), then -10% for 2 x 10
1b. Backpack Bentover Rows: 3 x 10 each arm (5 sec eccentric, explosive concentric, and 2 sec pause at full contraction)

The push-up is one of the most underutilized exercises on earth. There are so many versions, and with any slight variation you have a new exercise. If you want to load this movement, you can simply elevate the legs until they’re at the handstand push-up range. Closegrip push-ups will engage the triceps more simply due to the increased range of motion, whereas wider push-ups will engage pectoralis muscles more due to performing the exercise in a more lengthened position. If you aren’t able to perform handstand push-ups, you can still work the pressing muscles by walking your feet closer to your hands while allowing your hips to go higher in the air. Now you will have a more vertical pressing motion without the extreme load of the handstand push-ups.

I love Doug’s idea of using a backpack for rows along with a plethora of other movements. You can perform backpack bentover rows bilaterally or unilaterally, and you can take advantage of multiple torso angles to attack the back from multiple positions. Tempo is a great way to add difficulty. I especially like pauses at full muscular contraction to counter the scapula winging that is present in most athletes from sitting on a computer too long everyday.

day two: superset two
2a. Pull-ups: 3 x submaximal
2b. Soup Can Cheerleaders: 3 x 10

Pull-ups are a necessity for athletic development in my book. There is normally somewhere around the house to perform pull-ups – like the eave of a home, a tree limb, or door paneling (my 5-year-old’s favorite). If you are a boss and can perform multiple sets of strict pull-ups for 10 or more repetitions, then I recommend either adding a tempo or potentially an external load.

Soup can cheerleaders sound like a soft exercise, but I promise the burn will bring the toughest of men to their knees. I will explain it, but I am also going to film this movement. With a can of soup in each hand:

  1. Perform a front raise (shoulder flexion) stopping with the arms create a 90-degree angle with the torso.
  2. Perform a rowing motion retracting the scapula and stopping when the lower arm forms a 90-degree angle with the upper arm with the humerus maintaining a 90-degree angle with the torso now to the side.
  3. Externally rotate the humerus while maintaining the 90-degree angle with the humerus and torso.
  4. Extend your arms overhead like a strict press.
  5. Reverse this entire process one section at a time.

This movement is great for shoulder development and stabilization. In this exercise you are using the deltoids, supporting rotator cuff muscles, and even some rhomboids. This one is great for maintaining healthy shoulders.

day two: superset three
3a. Dips: 3 x submaximal
3b. Rock Front Raises: 3 x 10
3c. Backpack Biceps Curl: 3 x 10

In this last giant set, I am having you get jacked. If you are going to be quarantined, you might as well come out of it looking like you’ve been in prison (jacked) versus looking like you were locked up in your kitchen (soft). Dips are one of my favorite accessory exercises if you have dip bars. One simple way is to get two barbells side by side on safety racks in a power rack. Of course if you are performing this workout, you probably don’t have two barbells. You can always substitute in bench dips or chair dips. However, with some wood and a bit of craftsmanship, you could probably make some dip bar.

The other movements require way less mental effort. I recommend a rock or a book for front raises. I have all of my athletes perform complete shoulder flexion to encourage proper movement in the shoulder joint. Lastly, if we are going to be locked down, we might as well do some curls, y’all. Will big biceps make you a better athlete? Probably not, but they look cool!

MAXIMIZE YOUR STRENGTH...

EVEN WITHOUT EQUIPMENT

These new programs from Coach Travis Mash are designed to strategically and creatively make the best use of limited equipment (or even no equipment). These programs aren't just generic bodyweight exercises - these are programs specifically geared toward the strength needs of weightlifters, powerlifters, or field athletes.

Day 3 Social Distancing Contrast Training Breakdown

day three: Lower
1a. Unilateral Squat (pistol squat advanced, RLE split squats, or split squats): take your 5RM and perform same load for 6 x 1 rep
1b. Prisoner Squat Jumps (add knee to chest if too easy): 6 x 3
1c. Weighted Back Pack Squat Jumps: 6 x 3
1d. Assisted Jumps: 6 x 3
3 minutes rest between sets

This day is designed to get you explosive and athletic. I took this right out of the French contrast blueprint. This day is designed to maximize power development not to be metabolic conditioning. By this, I mean I want 100% effort on each repetition along with complete recovery between sets (3-4 minutes).

Normally I perform a loaded movement first – like back squat, front squat, or trap bar deadlifts at around 75-80% load. Unilateral squats are by nature harder, so I am keeping the same load as on day one, which is normally 80%-ish for most people. However on this day, only one repetition is performed simply for potentiation’s sake. If the load is too exhausting, feel free to lower. The weight is meant to excite the nervous system and not to exhaust.

The unilateral squat is contrasted with prisoner squat jumps (bringing knees to chest while in the air for advanced). However, there are multiple plyometrics one could perform like:

  • Prisoner Squats
  • Russian Hops
  • Prisoner Squats w Knee to Chest
  • Ice Skaters
  • Broad Jumps
  • Unilateral Broad Jump

The unweighted jump is followed up with a loaded jump. Once again, you could perform a loaded jump with all the plyometric variations. I recommend keeping the same movements for 2-3 weeks, and then change them out to avoid accommodation. Assisted jumps are the favorite of my athletes. If you have a high enough half-rack, you can attach green jump stretch bands to the top to accentuate the assisted jumps. If you don’t have bands, then hook a belt to a door to unload the jump just a bit. The key is to increase the speed and height of the jump preparing the nervous system for increased potentials.

day three: Upper
1a. Feet Elevated Push-ups (handstand push-ups if possible): 6 x 3 reps of your 10RM from day two
1b. Explosive Plyo Push-ups: 6 x 3
1c. Half-Kneeling Weighted Rotational Punches (use backpack): 6 x 3 each arm

2. Unilateral Suitcase Carries or Holds: 4 x 30 sec each arm

For the upper body power development day, we are sticking with the same load as performed on day two, but we are only performing three repetitions. I want you to keep the same angle as day two as well. This movement is first contrasted with explosive plyometric push-ups. I want all-out maximal power and height with each repetition. This giant set is completed with a half kneeling rotational punch. I love this movement for encouraging proper movement in the hips while stabilizing the hips at the same time. Rotation is the most important plane of movement on earth when it comes to power development (just think about a punch, golf swing, or the swing of a baseball bat).

We are here for you during this Coronavirus crisis.

Let us help with customized programming and coaching when you have limited access to gym equipment.

If you are financially able to join our online team for customized programming at this time, we would appreciate your support.

If you are financially struggling during this time, we still want to help. Email us and we will try to help out in any way we can.

* Fully Customized Programming

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* The Best Coaching in the World

By the way, there are plenty of upper body plyometrics to substitute in such as:

  • Crossover Books Push-Ups
  • Depth Push-Ups
  • Clap Push-Ups
  • Med Ball Punches or throws
Warm Up

Don’t forget a proper warm up should be performed each day before the main workout. I suggest doing some dynamic warm ups and movement preparation each and every day during this lockdown. Here is a suggestion for a simple but effective warm up:

  • Mountain Climbers: 60 seconds
  • Lunge in place: 10 per leg
  • Bodyweight Squats: 10 reps
  • Hamstring Sweeps: 10 per leg
  • Side Planks: 20-30 seconds per side
  • McGill Curl-ups: 4 reps of 15 second holds
  • Bird Dogs: 30-60 seconds per side
  • Foam Roll the entire Body
  • Bodyweight Unilateral RDLs with hip external rotation: 8 per side
  • Sled or Pillowcase forward drags: 30-60 seconds
  • Sled or Pillowcase backward drags: 30-60 seconds
Conditioning

As for conditioning, here are some ideas:

  • Mountain Climbers
  • Burpees
  • Jump Rope
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Scap Jacks
  • BW Lunges
  • Backpack Swings
  • Backpack Stair Climbing: for time
  • My favorite: strength movement, paired with conditioning movement, and paired with a mobility movement

Mash Meathead Metabolics (example):
1. Backpack Zercher Squats for 10-repetitions
2. Burpees for 10-repetitions
3. Grasshopper Dynamic Leg Stretch
10-15 minute AMRAP

Making the Best of It

I hope this helps. I know some of us are sweating it pretty badly because we love the gym. This plan should at least keep us from losing our gains, but some of you will actually improve quite a bit with this plan. Let’s take care of our bodies, get some rest, and be ready for when this thing is over. If you have any questions, email me at info@mashelite.com

I am praying for all of you. I know we are going through some tough times, but we will get through this. The question is:

Will we use this time to improve ourselves, or will we sit in front of Netflix and pout? Some of us will come out the other end better than ever. Who will you 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...

Getting Jacked and Healthy at Home

Writing this seems so surreal. I can’t believe that I am writing all of you under these uncertain circumstances. Yet here we are.

I wrote an article last week explaining COVID-19 in detail. While writing that article, I came to realize that unless something drastic changes, all of our lives will be altered forever. Now we can either sit around depressed and feeling sorry for ourselves… or we can adapt to our situation, make the best of it, and come out on the other end better than ever. Personally that’s the route I am taking.

Perspective

The first thing I did over the weekend when I started feeling scared and sorry for myself was think about all the things I am thankful for. God has been so incredibly good to me in this life.

For one thing I have a wife who I absolutely love with all my heart, and I thank God that I actually like being quarantined with her. She fascinates me with her artwork, and I bore her with physiology. At least she pretends to be excited. The one thing in life that keeps me motivated is her belief in me as a husband and father. She knows I will provide, and that keeps me on my toes. She deserves to be a real queen married to the king of some marvelous country. I might not be a king, but I want to be a pretty darn good consolation prize.

I have four children that amaze me every single day of my life. Bailey is 20 years old and growing up much faster than I would like. It’s outrageous watching her become a woman. Rock has athleticism at 5 years old that I didn’t have by twelve. His gymnastic skills and climbing ability is extraordinary, and yet he communicates like a child twice his age. Behr Bradley is so much like his dad that I feel like a part of me will live on forever in that young man. I think he is going to put my strength accomplishments to shame. He’s built like no other three-year-old that I have ever seen in my life. You would think he was crushing the weights already. Finally, there is my little flower, Magnolia. If you follow me on social media, you already know of my one-year-old princess. I can’t begin to tell you how her eyes pierce deep down into my very soul.

I have a best friend, Kevin “KJ’ Jones who has been my ride or die for 35 years. I can’t begin to express how this man has been my rock through so many ups and downs in my life. You see, we both grew up in the mountains of North Carolina with our single mothers. We have both gone on to live extraordinary lives. I am certain we were the only ones who believed in us from the very beginning. He has continued to inspire me in this wild ride of a life, and now we are leaning on each other as we strive to keep our businesses alive and our families taken care of.

I have an amazing team of athletes who most coaches can only dream about. I have Coach Crystal who keeps our team and my business organized and on track. I have a business partner, Chris Mason, who has been my training partner and fellow adventurer since Appalachian State University.

I have a career that takes me around the world teaching people about strength and fitness. I get to hang out with people like Anders Varner and Doug Larson, and I get to travel around the world filming the Barbell Shrugged Podcast. I mean, really I don’t have a lot to be sad about. I am living a life better than I could have ever dreamed about growing up.

Most importantly, I have a God who now I have more time to reflect upon, read about, and worship. It’s times like these that we will either turn to God, or forever abandon His arms. I have chosen to put all my faith and hope in the future in His hands:

Philippians 1:21-22
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose.

Technology

I advise all of you to first take a few minutes to think about all of the blessings in your life before sitting around and getting depressed about all the things you have no control over. Another thing I recommend is to stop thinking about the things you can’t do. Rather I suggest focusing on what you can do. Instead of thinking about why something won’t work now that most of us are in isolation, I suggest thinking about what needs to happen to make your idea come to life – and use the technology to do so.

I have been coaching my team via Zoom this week. I started looking into the whole thing, and then I had the idea I would coach all of my top athletes from around the world at the same time. Now I can coach Jordan Cantrell, Sandra and Louise from Denmark, Isaac from New Zealand, and the rest of my all-stars from around the world on a daily basis. This awful virus has actually brought my vast team together in a way like never before. I can video their lifts, analyze it with “Coach’s Eye” software, and explain the analysis in real time. This is almost better than in person.

We are here for you during this Coronavirus crisis.

Let us help with customized programming and coaching when you have limited access to gym equipment.

If you are financially able to join our online team for customized programming at this time, we would appreciate your support.

If you are financially struggling during this time, we still want to help. Email us and we will try to help out in any way we can.

* Fully Customized Programming

* Unlimited Technique Analysis

* The Best Coaching in the World

Improvement

After stumbling upon the Zoom win, I decided to think of all the things I want to work on while we are all on lockdown. I mean, what else are we going to do besides get more awesome, folks? I don’t know about you, but I plan on coming out on the other side of this thing better than before it struck our world.

Here are some things that I am currently working on:

  • Getting healthier than ever before
  • Bodyweight workouts to get ‘300’ jacked
  • Improve my cardiovascular system on my bike
  • Write every single day
  • Study anatomy and physiology every single day and write about it at least once per week
  • Improve my content
  • Spend more quality time with my beloved family
  • Take some time to think this life through in a way that I have been wanting to do for forever, but I haven’t had the time.

I want to use my plans to help all of you. I will be writing about my plans and progress every single week. I am going to start by sharing my ideas for workouts at home while you guys are stuck behind four walls with no gym to escape to. Let’s take a look at some options.

At Home Workouts

Limited or No Equipment Workout

Here’s a link to a Video of the Exercises: ==> Video of the Exercises for the Limited Equipment Program

Day 1
3-5 Sets:
1a. Kettlebell/DB/Plate Goblet Squat – 3 x 10
1b. Pushups – 3 x 10
1c. 50 Jump Ropes

3-5 Sets:
2a. Kettlebell/DB/Plate Hinges – 3 x 10
2b. Kettlebell/DB/Plate Lawn Mower Rows – 3 x 10 each arm
2c. Hurdle Side Steps – 3 x 10 (5 each way)

Day 2
3-5 Sets:
1a. Prisoner Squat Jumps – 3 x 5-10
1b. Explosive Pushups – 3 x 5-10
1c. Plank with Band Lat Rows – 3 x 10 each way, eccentric slower than concentric

3-5 Sets:
2a. Kettlebell/DB/Plate Lunges – 3 x 10 each leg
2b. Kettlebell/DB/Plate Strict Presses – 3 x 10
2c. Mountain Climbers – 3 x 20

Day 3
3-5 Sets:
1a. BB/DB/KB/Plate OH Squat – 3 x 10
1b. Plate/KB/DB Front Raises – 3 x 10
1c. KB/Plate/DB Swings – 3 x 10

3-5 Sets:
2a. Pushup with Feet Elevated – 3 x 10
2b. Pullups – 3 x submaximal reps
2c. Lunges – 3 x 10 each leg

Let’s take a look at all the options and ways to regress or progress:

  • Tempo: Tempo is a great way to alter the difficulty of any movement. I would advise that the eccentric (negative) contraction always exceed the duration of the concentric contraction (the up or shortening portion). This is a great tool if you don’t have any equipment. You could add a 5-second to 10-second eccentric and a 5-second to 10-second isometric (pause) contraction in the bottom on any squat, lunge, pushup, pull-up, etc.
  • Sets: I recommended 3-5 sets, but there is no reason to stick to those parameters if the workout is too easy. At the end of the day, it’s all about introducing a stimulus that causes an adaptive response by the body.
  • Repetitions: Add a rep or subtract a rep depending on the difficulty.
  • Time Component: If the workout is too easy, you can always add a time component. By that I mean time your workout, and then have a goal of beating that time in the next week. You could try to add difficulty and time to really challenge yourself.
  • Angle: If you change the angle of an exercise, you will alter the difficulty one way or the other. Let’s look at strict presses for example. If you don’t have a dumbbell, kettlebell, or a plate, you can turn the movement into a bodyweight movement by using handstand pushups. If completely vertical handstand pushups are too hard, walk your hands away from the wall to make them easier. The same goes for pushups, pull-ups, and horizontal rows.
  • Bodyweight Movements instead of Weights: I already explained substituting handstand pushups for strict presses. However, you could perform horizontal rows instead of kettlebell lawnmower rows. You just need a bar or ledge to row on and something to sit your legs on.
  • Household Items or Children as Weights: You can easily turn children, stools, canned goods, gallons of water, books, and filled boxes into external loads. Canned goods are great for shoulder lateral raises. Children are great for squats and rows. Stools are great for carries, and they’re great to elevate one’s feet during pushups.

If you have any questions about the movement, feel free to shoot me a message to info@mashelite.com.

Six-Week Weightlifting with Only Barbell and Squat Stand

This program is designed to be fun, get you stronger, and to slightly peak you in six weeks. I hope this virus situation is over by then. If not, I will write another one. I would like to get us all on the same page and possibly Zoom once per week or once per month (I need to think about the logistics) with Coach Crystal (Mash Elite National Coach), Jordan Cantrell (3 x Team USA World Team Member and USA Weightlifting Level 2 Coach), and/or me. I would like your feedback if you want to do this with us.

If you have any questions about the following movements, feel free to shoot me a message to info@mashelite.com.

Accumulation Phase
Week 1

Day 1
Hang Clean – 5RM (7 RPE), then -10% for 5
Push Jerks – 5RM (7 RPE), then -10% for 5
Strict Press – 10 x 3 at 80%
Plate OH Carries or Holds – 3 x 25yd each arm or 3 x 10-15 sec holds

Day 2
Hang Snatch below Knee with 4-sec Eccentric – 5RM (7 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 5
Back Squat with 4-sec Eccentric and 2-sec Pause in Bottom – 5RM (7 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 5
Snatch Grip Deadlift with 5-sec Eccentric – 5RM (7 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 5
Wide Goodmorning, Stay at a 7-8 RPE – start with 25% of Squat for 3 x 8
Unilateral Farmer’s Walk -3 x 40yd each arm

Day 3
Sntach Grip Push Press – 5RM (7 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 5
Closegrip Bench Press – 5 x 10 at 60%
Bentover Rows – 5 x 10 at 60%
Plate Bottom Up Z Press – 3 x 10 each arm

Day 4
Back Squat – 63% x 10 x 10
Rear Leg Elevated Split Squats, Stay at a 7 RPE – 5 x 15 each leg
Unilateral RDLs – 3 x 10
Barbell Zercher Carries or Holds – 3 x 25yd or 3 x 10-15 sec holds

Week 2

Day 1
Hang Clean – 5RM (8 RPE), then -10% for 5
Push Jerks – 5RM (8 RPE), then -10% for 5
Strict Press – 10 x 4 at 80%
Plate OH Carries or Holds – 3 x 25yd each arm or 3 x 10-15 sec holds

Day 2
Hang Snatch below Knee with 4-sec Eccentric – 5RM (8 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 5
Back Squat with 4-sec eccentric and 2 sec pause in bottom – 5RM (8 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 5
Snatch Grip Deadlift with 5-sec Eccentric – 5RM (8 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 5
Wide Goodmorning, Stay at a 7-8 RPE – add 5-10 kilos to last week for 3 x 8
Unilateral Farmer’s Walk – 3 x 40yd each arm

Day 3
Sntach Grip Push Press – 5RM (8 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 5
Closegrip Bench Press – 5 x 10 at 63%
Bentover Rows – 5 x 10 at 63%
Plate Bottom Up Z Press – 3 x 10 each arm

Day 4
Back Squat – 65% for 10 x 10
Rear Leg Elevated Split Squats, Stay at a 7 RPE – 5 x 15 each leg
Unilateral RDLs – 3 x 10
Barbell Zercher Carries or Holds – 3 x 25yd or 3 x 10-15 sec holds

Strength Phase
Week 3

Day 1
Warm Up with Jerk Steps from Split – 35% x 3, 45% for 2 x 3
Clean & Jerks – (70% x 3, 75% x 2, 80% x 2) x 2 waves, then work up with singles but no more than 90%
Power Cleans – 70% for 3 x 3, then 3RM
Front Squat with 4-sec Eccentric and 2-sec Pause in Bottom – 5RM (8 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 5
Clean Pulls – Work to a heavy triple with perfect form

Day 2
Warm Up with OH Squat Variations: Heaving Snatch Balance & 1 OH Squat (Both Paused 3 sec in bottom) – Work up to 75% of snatch
Pull to Hip + NHNF Snatch – 60% for 3 x 2+2
Snatch – (70% x 3, 75% x 2, 80% x 2) x 2 waves, then work up with singles but no more than 90%
Power Snatch – 60% for 2 x 3, then work to a 3RM (9 RPE)
Snatch Pulls – Work to a heavy triple with perfect form
Superset:
1a. OH Plate Triceps Extension – 3 x 10 reps
1b. Strict Presses – 5RM (9 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 5
1c. Plate Front Raises – 3 x 12 reps

Day 3
Snatch Max Effort: Pull to Hips + Snatch + Hang Snatch – Max
Clean & Jerk Max Effort: Clean + Hang Clean + Jerk – Max
Front Squat with Belt – 1RM with 5 sec pause (7 RPE)
Bentover Rows – 5RM (9 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 5

Day 4
Back Squat with Belt:
Set 1 – (88% x 2), rest 2 minutes and then (73% x 6)
Set 2 (add 5 Kilos to each weight if possible) – (88% x 2), rest 2 minutes and then (73% x 6)
Set 3 (add 5 Kilos to each weight if possible) – (88% x 2), rest 2 minutes and then (73% x 6)
Superset:
1a. Push Presses – 5RM (9 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 5
1b. Muscle Snatches – 3 x 5, working toward a 9 RPE
Clean Grip Deadlift from 2″ Deficit, Paused at Mid Shin – 3RM (first 2 reps paused 3 sec) 9 RPE, then -10% for 2 x 3 not paused

Week 4

Day 1
Warm Up with Jerk Steps from Split – 35% x 3, 45% for 3 x 3
Clean & Jerks – (73% x 2, 78% x 2, 83% x 1) x 2 waves, then work up with singles but no more than 93%
Power Cleans – 70% for 3 x 3, then 3RM
Front Squat with 4-sec Eccentric and 2-sec Pause in Bottom – 5RM (9 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 5
Clean Pulls – Work to a heavy triple with perfect form

Day 2
Warm Up with OH Squat Variations: Heaving Snatch Balance & 1 OH Squat (Both Paused 3 sec in bottom) – Work up to 78% of snatch
Pull to Hip + NHNF Snatch – 63% for 3 x 2+2
Snatch – (73% x 2, 78% x 2, 83% x 1) x 2 waves, then work up with singles but no more than 93%
Power Snatch – 63% for 2 x 3, then work to a 3RM (9.5 RPE)
Snatch Pulls – Work to a heavy triple with perfect form
Superset:
1a. OH Plate Triceps Extension – 3 x 10 reps
1b. Strict Presses – 5RM (9 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 5
1c. Plate Front Raises – 3 x 12 reps

Day 3
Snatch Max Effort: Snatch to Hip + Snatch – Max
Clean & Jerk Max Effort: Clean + Front Squat + Jerk – Max
Front Squat with Belt – 1RM with 5 sec pause (8 RPE)
Bentover Rows – 5RM (9.5 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 5

Day 4
Back Squat with Belt:
Set 1 – (90% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (75% x 5)
Set 2 (add 5 Kilos to each weight if possible) – (90% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (75% x 5)
Set 3 (add 5 Kilos to each weight if possible) – (90% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (75% x 5)
Superset:
1a. Push Presses – 5RM (9.5 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 5
1b. Muscle Snatches – 3 x 5, working toward a 9.5 RPE
Clean Grip Deadlift from 2″ Deficit, Paused at Mid Shin – 3RM (first 2 reps paused 3 sec) 9.5 RPE, then -10% for 2 x 3 not paused

Week 5

Day 1
Warm Up with Jerk Steps from Split – 35% x 3, 40% for 2 x 3
Clean & Jerks – (70% x 3, 75% x 2, 80% x 2) x 2 waves
Power Cleans – 75% for 3 x 3
Front Squat with 4-sec Eccentric and 2-sec Pause in Bottom – 90% of 5RM for 3 x 5
Clean Pulls – Work to a heavy triple with perfect form, stop one set early

Day 2
Warm Up with OH Squat Variations: Heaving Snatch Balance & 1 OH Squat (Both Paused 3 sec in bottom) – Work up to 80% of snatch
Pull to Hip + NHNF Snatch – 60% for 2 x 2+2
Snatch – (70% x 3, 75% x 2, 80% x 2) x 2 waves
Power Snatch – 65% for 3 x 3
Snatch Pulls – Work to a heavy triple with perfect form
Superset:
1a. OH Plate Triceps Extension – 3 x 10 reps
1b. Strict Presses – 3RM (9 RPE), then work to single max
1c. Plate Front Raises – 3 x 12 reps

Day 3
Snatch Max Effort: Snatch – 2RM
Clean & Jerk Max Effort: 2 Clean + 1 Jerk – Max
Front Squat with Belt – 1RM with 3 sec pause (9.5 RPE)
Bentover Rows – 90% of 5RM for 3 x 5

Day 4
Back Squat with Belt:
Set 1 – (93% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (78% x 5)
Set 2 (add 5 Kilos to each weight if possible) – (93% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (78% x 5)
Set 3 (add 5 Kilos to each weight if possible) – (93% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (78% x 5)
Superset:
1a. Push Presses – 90% of 5RM for 3 x 5
1b. Muscle Snatches – 3 x 5, no more than 8 RPE
Clean Grip Deadlift (no deficit), Paused at Mid Shin – 3RM (first rep paused 2 sec) 9.5 RPE

Week 6

Day 1
Warm Up with Jerk Steps from Split – 35% x 3, 45% for 3 x 3
Clean & Jerks – (75% x 2, 80% x 1, 85% x 1) x 2 waves, then work up to a potential opener
Power Cleans – Max single, no misses
Front Squat with 4-sec Eccentric and 2-sec Pause in Bottom – 5RM (9.5 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 5

Day 2
Warm Up with OH Squat Variations: Heaving Snatch Balance & 1 OH Squat – Work up to 70% of snatch
Pull to Hip + NHNF Snatch – 65% for 3 x 1+1
Snatch – (75% x 3, 80% x 1, 85% x 1) x 2 waves, then work up to a potential opener
Power Snatch – Max single
Superset:
1a. OH Plate Triceps Extension – 3 x 10 reps
1b. Plate Front Raises – 3 x 12 reps

Day 3
Snatch Max Effort: Snatch – Max
Clean & Jerk Max Effort: Clean & Jerk – Max
Bentover Rows – 5RM

Day 4
Back Squat with Belt – 1RM
Push Presses – 3RM (9 RPE), then work to single max
Clean Grip Deadlift – 1RM (no deficit or pauses)

We are here for you during this Coronavirus crisis.

Let us help with customized programming and coaching when you have limited access to gym equipment.

If you are financially able to join our online team for customized programming at this time, we would appreciate your support.

If you are financially struggling during this time, we still want to help. Email us and we will try to help out in any way we can.

* Fully Customized Programming

* Unlimited Technique Analysis

* The Best Coaching in the World

Six-Week Powerlifting with Only Barbell, Squat Stand, and Bench

Here’s one for all you powerlifters.

If you have any questions about the following movements, feel free to shoot me a message to info@mashelite.com.

Accumulation Phase
Week 1

Day 1
Back Squat with 4-sec Eccentric and 2-sec Pause in Bottom – 5RM (7 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 5
Snatch Grip Deadlift with 5-sec Eccentric – 5RM (7 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 5
Wide Goodmorning, Stay at a 7-8 RPE – Start with 25% of squat for 3 x 8
BB Lunges – 3 x 10 reps each leg, working toward an 8 RPE

Day 2
Wide Grip Bench Press (Wider than Normal Comp Grip) – 10 x 3 at 80%
Incline DB or BB Presses – 10RM (9 RPE) and then -10% for 2 x 10
Pull-Ups – 4 x submaximal reps, switch grips each set (weakest to strongest)
Dips or Plate OH Triceps Extension – 4 x 10, working toward a 9 RPE

Day 3
Back Squat – 63% for 10 x 10
Slider Leg Curls – 4 x 10 reps

Day 4
Closer than Normal Bench Press – 63% for 10 x 10
BB Bentover Rows – 5 x 10 at 60%
DB or KB Upright Rows – 5 x 10
Barbell Zercher Carries or Holds – 3 x 25yd or 3 x 10-15 sec holds

Week 2

Day 1
Back Squat with 4-sec Eccentric and 2-sec Pause in Bottom – 5RM (8 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 5
Snatch Grip Deadlift with 5-sec Eccentric – 5RM (8 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 5
Wide Goodmorning, Stay at a 7-8 RPE – Add 5-10 kilos from last week’s weight for 3 x 8
BB Lunges – 3 x 10 reps each leg, working toward an 9 RPE

Day 2
Wide Grip Bench Press (Wider than Normal Comp Grip) – 10 x 4 at 80%
Incline DB or BB Presses – 10RM (9.5 RPE) and then -10% for 2 x 10
Pull-Ups – 4 x submaximal reps, switch grips each set (weakest to strongest)
Dips or Plate OH Triceps Extension – 4 x 10, working toward a 9.5 RPE

Day 3
Back Squat – 65% for 10 x 10
Slider Leg Curls – 4 x 10 reps

Day 4
Closer than Normal Bench Press – 65% for 10 x 10
BB Bentover Rows – 5 x 10 at 65%
DB or KB Upright Rows – 5 x 10
Barbell Zercher Carries or Holds – 3 x 25yd or 3 x 10-15 sec holds

Strength Phase
Week 3

Day 1
Back Squat:
Set 1 – (88% x 2), rest 2 minutes and then (73% x 6)
Set 2 (add 5-10 Kilos to the 1 rep set if possible) – (88% x 2), rest 2 minutes and then (73% x 6)
Set 3 (add 5-10 Kilos to the 1 rep set if possible) – (88% x 2), rest 2 minutes and then (73% x 6)

Deadlifts (All Eccentrics Slower than Concentrics):
Set 1 – (88% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (75% x 4)
Set 2 (add 5-10 Kilos to the 1 rep set if possible) – (88% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (75% x 4)
Set 3 (add 5-10 Kilos to the 1 rep set if possible) – (88% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (75% x 4)
Wide Goodmornings – 3 x 5, starting with 30% of back squat
Plate Rear Leg Elevated Split Squats – 4 x 5 each leg, working up to an 8 RPE

Day 2
Bench Press – 3RM (all reps paused 3 sec) (9 RPE), then -10% for 4 x 3 (no pauses, last set is 3+ with 1 rep in reserve)
Closegrip BB Floor Presses – 5RM (9 RPE), then -15% for 4 x 5 (last set is 5+ with 1 rep in reserve)
BB Bentover Rows Paused 2 sec on Sternum – 5RM, then -10% for 4 x 5
Plate or DB Power Cleans for External Rotation – 4 x 10

Day 3
Back Squat with Belt – 3RM (1st rep paused 3 sec) (9 RPE), then -10% for 4 x 3 (no pauses)
Clean Grip Deadlift from 2″ Deficit, Paused at Knee, Eccentric Slower than Concentric – 3RM (first 2 reps paused 3 sec) (9 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 3 (not paused)
Carpet Slider Leg Curls – 3 x 10 paused 2 sec at the top
Unilateral Farmer’s Walk or Hold with Barbell – 3 x 25 yd per arm or 10-15 sec hold per arm, working to a near maximum

Day 4
Bench Press:
Set 1 – (88% x 2), rest 2 minutes and then (70% x 6)
Set 2 (add 3-5 Kilos to heavy set only if possible) – (88% x 2), rest 2 minutes and then (70% x 6)
Set 3 (add 3-5 Kilos to heavy set only if possible) – (88% x 2), rest 2 minutes and then (70% x 6+ with one rep in reserve)
Barbell, Curl Bar, DBs, or Plates Skull Crushers (aka Nose Breakers) – 6 x 8
superset with:
Band Pushdowns or Plate OH Triceps Extension – 6 x 10
(rest 30 sec between sets)
BB Curls – 3 x 10

Week 4

Day 1
Back Squat:
Set 1 – (90% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (75% x 5)
Set 2 (add 5-10 Kilos to the 1 rep set if possible) – (90% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (75% x 5)
Set 3 (add 5-10 Kilos to the 1 rep set if possible) – (90% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (75% x 5)

Deadlifts (All Eccentrics Slower than Concentrics):
Set 1 – (90% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (78% x 4)
Set 2 (add 5-10 Kilos to the 1 rep set if possible) – (90% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (78% x 4)
Set 3 (add 5-10 Kilos to the 1 rep set if possible) – (90% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (78% x 4)
Wide Goodmornings – 3 x 5, just progress about 2-5 kilos from last week
Plate Rear Leg Elevated Split Squats – 4 x 5 each leg, working up to a 9 RPE

Day 2
Bench Press – 3RM (first rep paused 3 sec) (9.5 RPE), then -10% for 4 x 3 (no pauses, last set is 3+ with 1 rep in reserve)
Closegrip BB Floor Presses – 5RM (9.5 RPE), then -15% for 4 x 5 (last set is 5+ with 1 rep in reserve)
BB Bentover Rows Paused 2 sec on Sternum – 5RM, then -10% for 4 x 5
Plate or DB Power Cleans for External Rotation – 4 x 10

Day 3
Back Squat with Belt – 3RM (1st rep paused 3 sec) (9.5 RPE), then -10% for 4 x 3 (no pauses)
Clean Grip Deadlift from 2″ Deficit, Paused at Knee, Eccentric Slower than Concentric – 3RM (first 2 reps paused 3 sec) (9.5 RPE), then -10% for 2 x 3 (not paused)
Carpet Slider Leg Curls – 4 x 10 paused 2 sec at the top
Unilateral Farmer’s Walk or Hold with Barbell – 3 x 25 yd per arm or 10-15 sec hold per arm, trying to beat last week in load, time, or distance

Day 4
Bench Press:
Set 1 – (90% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (75% x 5)
Set 2 (add 3-5 Kilos to heavy set only if possible) – (90% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (75% x 5)
Set 3 (add 3-5 Kilos to heavy set only if possible) – (90% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (75% x 5+ with one rep in reserve)
Barbell, Curl Bar, DBs, or Plates Skull Crushers (aka Nose Breakers) – 6 x 8
superset with:
Band Pushdowns or Plate OH Triceps Extension – 6 x 10
(rest 30 sec between sets)
BB Curls – 3 x 10

Week 5

Day 1
Back Squat:
Set 1 – (93% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (78% x 5)
Set 2 (add 5-10 Kilos to the 1 rep set if possible) – (93% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (78% x 5)
Set 3 (add 5-10 Kilos to the 1 rep set if possible) – (93% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (78% x 5)

Deadlifts (All Eccentrics Slower than Concentrics):
Set 1 – (93% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (80% x 3)
Set 2 (add 5-10 Kilos to the 1 rep set if possible) – (93% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (80% x 3)
Set 3 (add 5-10 Kilos to the 1 rep set if possible) – (93% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (80% x 3)
Wide Goodmornings – 3 x 5, same weight as last week
Plate Rear Leg Elevated Split Squats – 4 x 5 each leg, working up to a 7 RPE

Day 2
Bench Press – 1RM (paused 3 sec), then -15% for 3 x 3 (all paused 3 sec)
Closegrip BB Floor Presses – 5RM, then -15% for 2 x 5 (last set is 5+ with 1 rep in reserve)
BB Bentover Rows Paused 2 sec on Sternum – 5RM, then -15% for 5+ with 1 rep i reserve
Plate or DB Power Cleans for External Rotation – 4 x 10

Day 3
Back Squat with Belt – 90% of 3RM for 3 x 3 with no pauses
Clean Grip Deadlift Paused at Knee (No Deficit), Eccentric Slower than Concentric – 3RM (first rep paused 2 sec) (9.5 RPE)
Carpet Slider Leg Curls – 3 x 10 paused 2 sec at the top
Unilateral Farmer’s Walk or Hold with Barbell – 3 x 25 yd per arm or 10-15 sec hold per arm, submaximal effort for slight taper

Day 4
Bench Press:
Set 1 – (93% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (78% x 5)
Set 2 (add 3-5 Kilos to heavy set only if possible) – (93% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (78% x 5)
Set 3 (add 3-5 Kilos to heavy set only if possible) – (93% x 1), rest 2 minutes and then (78% x 5)
Barbell, Curl Bar, DBs, or Plates Skull Crushers (aka Nose Breakers) – 4 x 8
superset with:
Band Pushdowns or Plate OH Triceps Extension – 4 x 10
(rest 30 sec between sets)
BB Curls – 3 x 10

Week 6

Day 1
Back Squat – 1RM
Deadlifts – 1RM

Day 2
Bench Press – Work up to 3 singles, paused 3 sec with 2-3 minutes between sets
Closegrip BB Floor Presses – 90% of 5RM for 3 x 5
BB Bentover Rows Paused 2 sec on Sternum – 90% of 5RM for 3 x 5
Plate or DB Power Cleans for External Rotation – 3 x 10

Day 3
Back Squat with Belt – 20RM Challenge (who can perform a 20RM with the highest percentage of their max?)
Deadlift (Use Your Opposite Stance: Sumo vs. Conventional) – 1RM
Carpet Slider Leg Curls – 3 x 12 paused 2 sec at the top
Unilateral Farmer’s Walk or Hold with Barbell – 3 x 25 yd per arm or 10-15 sec hold per arm, working to a maximum

Day 4
Bench Press – 1RM
Barbell, Curl Bar, DBs, or Plates Skull Crushers (aka Nose Breakers) – 6 x 8
superset with:
Band Pushdowns or Plate OH Triceps Extension – 6 x 10
(rest 30 sec between sets)
BB Curls – 3 x 10

Other Measures

Well there you go. You have six weeks of programming to get you through this rough time. A few things that I would like to add are:

  • Get your sleep
  • Clean up your nutrition to maximize your immune system
  • I recommend Vitamin C and Vitamin D (especially since we are inside so much nowadays)
  • Focus on the things that you can do rather than the things that you can’t do
  • Reflect on the things that you are thankful for
  • Pray (or meditate if you’re not a believer)
  • Love on your family
  • Tell the important people in your life that you love and care for them

Love You Guys

I hope this whole thing is a lesson to all of us that the world is a small place. We are not so different. The people in China, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Colombia, Russia, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Thailand, Cuba, and all over the world are suffering. It’s not about the United States versus China or anywhere else in the world. It’s about loving each other and caring for each other, and that’s about it. If you think it’s about money and acquiring things, take a look at famous people who run their lives into the ground and/or commit suicide.

If you’re a Christian, I really don’t understand turning everything into the United States versus the world. I don’t remember God telling us anywhere in the Bible to have our identity in our country. Did I miss that passage? Yes, render to Caesar what is Caesar’s. Otherwise, love everyone like you love yourself. So much more will be accomplished, including glorifying God. This is just my take on it all.

I love all of you. I hope to communicate more with all of you. If you decide to perform one of these programs, I would like your feedback – Would you enjoy a ‘Zoom’ call with Coach Crystal (Mash Elite National Coach), Jordan Cantrell (3 x Team USA World Team Member and USA Weightlifting Level 2 Coach), and/or me?

If so, email us at info@mashelite.com and I will let you know what we decide.

We are here for you during this Coronavirus crisis.

Let us help with customized programming and coaching when you have limited access to gym equipment.

If you are financially able to join our online team for customized programming at this time, we would appreciate your support.

If you are financially struggling during this time, we still want to help. Email us and we will try to help out in any way we can.

* Fully Customized Programming

* Unlimited Technique Analysis

* The Best Coaching in the World

Injury Recovery and Full Body Movement with MoveU’s Andrew Dettelbach – The Barbell Life 293

You may recognize Andrew Dettelbach as the crazy shirtless guy from MoveU.

But his story goes so much deeper. After a severely herniated disc, Andrew didn’t get the recommended surgery but instead rehabbed his body.

He learned about movement, he learned about mobility, and he learned about how physical therapy gets it wrong sometimes.

Now he’s stronger and fitter than ever.

So if you’ve ever dealt with injury, this podcast is an inspiration.

If you want to avoid injury, this podcast is packed with education as well.

Protocols for Aches and Pains, Muscular Imbalances & Recovery

Work Harder. Train Longer. Prevent Injury.

Prevent injury, reduce pain and maintain joint health with Travis's specific corrections for your individual muscular imbalances.

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

  • Why physical therapy gets people off on the wrong foot
  • Taking a full body approach no matter what
  • How Andrew handles his hypermobility
  • Social media tips from MoveU
  • The early warning signs of Andrew’s injury
  • and more…

The Most Inspiring Story Ever

On Wednesday of this week, one of my best friends in the world became a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.

Her name is Kristi Mason, and she is 46 years old. I met her along with her husband Chris “Ox” Mason (who is also my business partner and one of my best friends) while I was in college at Appalachian State University. I was the wild one, and they were in love. We did everything together.

Our History Together

The three of us trained together at Appalachian Fitness Center. It was the heyday of my lifting career. They were into bodybuilding at the time, but we supported each other through it all. I went to their shows and they traveled with me to my competitions. It was one of the best times of my life. I look back on those times, and all I remember is loving every second of it. I had found a sport that was giving me everything I had been missing in life – stability and two friends who supported me and loved me (the real me) unconditionally.

One day after an amazing training session, we were sitting around together and talking about our love of the barbell. I explained that it gave me back everything I put into it. The harder I worked, the stronger I became. If I wanted to get stronger, I lifted heavy and often. If I wanted to get jacked, I added in accessory work for the pump. As I was explaining all of this to Kristi and Chris, I started crying uncontrollably like a baby. It was at this moment I knew exactly who I was and what I wanted in life. It was moments like this that Kristi and Chris shared with me, and that’s why they know aspects of me no one else will ever understand.

They were there during my time at the Olympic Training Center, and they were there during my climb to the top of powerlifting. They were there for every Gold Medal and every World Record. They were there when it was all over as well. That was the darkest time of my life, and they were there. They have always been there for me. When most people deserted me, they stayed by my side. For that, I will always love them both until the lights go out.

Working for the Dream

About six years ago, Kristi decided to begin the long journey of becoming a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. She was over 40 years old when she decided to begin the impossible. It wasn’t only Kristi’s journey – Chris was now solely responsible for paying the bills and taking care of their 10-acre ranch. He had just started a new business: Training for Warriors Winston-Salem. They had both been pharmaceutical sales reps making hefty salaries with great benefits, and now Chris was making the only salary and providing his own benefits. Now are you seeing there are two heroes in this story? I watched it all from afar with admiration for them both.

People love to dream. They love to talk about what they would like to do or what they should do. Nothing drives me crazier than listening to people talk about “could have” and “should have.” Nothing is more dysfunctional than those phrases. However this isn’t a story about people mumbling those phrases, growing old, and dying with regrets.

We are here for you during this Coronavirus crisis.

Let us help with customized programming and coaching when you have limited access to gym equipment.

If you are financially able to join our online team for customized programming at this time, we would appreciate your support.

If you are financially struggling during this time, we still want to help. Email us and we will try to help out in any way we can.

* Fully Customized Programming

* Unlimited Technique Analysis

* The Best Coaching in the World

In this story, our heroes dream an amazing dream, make a plan, and commit to that plan. She started out taking prerequisites and retaking a few classes that she didn’t do so well in while at college. She was crushing it. Then it was time to apply. This was a scary time in our story because veterinary school is harder to get into than medical school. However, she did get in, and the first step of her dream was now a reality.

Now it was time for the work to begin. Kristi spent all of her time going to class and studying. One thing I didn’t mention was that the vet school was four hours away. Not only was Chris taking care of the ranch and working to pay all the bills, but also he was alone. Their ranch is totally secluded with no visible neighbors. That solitude is great when your wife is with you, but it can get pretty old day-in and day-out.

He held it together the best he could. He battled depression, and he battled a volatile economy with a risky business. He wanted to quit, but he didn’t want to let his wife down. He had the weight of the world on his shoulder, but this past Wednesday that weight was lifted. Kristi passed her boards and became Dr. Kristi Mason. I have never been more proud of anyone, and I am referencing both of them because this was dream realized by the two of them acting as one. We can all stand to learn from this amazing task.

The lesson

Let’s look at a few of the things we should learn from this grand achievement:

  • Marriage is teamwork. If you find yourself saying I, me, and mine too much, you somehow missed the point of marriage. We are supposed to love and support each other. It’s not about winning arguments, or your partner making you happy. If you focus on loving your wife, I promise you will always get tenfold in return.
  • Dreams are meant to become reality. There isn’t an age limit on dreams. Sometimes people act like nothing amazing happens after 30. When we’re young, nothing is impossible. However the older we get, the more restrictions we put on ourselves. Why? My life gets more exciting each decade, and your life can too. The key is having the courage to go over the things in life. I think of it like this. God created the universe. He put the Earth just far enough from the sun and moon to maintain everything. He created the human body with such complexity that I am amazed each day studying Anatomy and Physiology. If He created us in His image, do you really think He designed us to be cowards? No way.
  • Why are you afraid? Have you ever asked yourself that simple question? What’s the worst case scenario? It might not work. So what? You sure won’t be lying in your deathbed talking about what you could have done and should have done. Instead you will be lying there telling your grandkids about living a life of adventure and excitement. Existing isn’t living – at least in my world!

Kristi and Chris did a thing. They are living their lives. They are inspiring every single person around them, including me. It’s Kristi who first put the idea of getting my PhD in my head. She inspired her crazy friend, and now she will live a life that she has been dreaming about because she wasn’t afraid to go for it. I see a lot of so-called ‘influencers’ talking about living a courageous life. Kristi didn’t talk about it. She just went out there and did it.

And to Kristi, this is my way of saying I am so proud of you and your hubby. I love you both very much, and I hope that you both realize you have inspired me to be a better person for over two decades. Now that I have shared you with the world, you can inspire the world as well.

My Desire for Exercise Science Students

Before I get into my vision for the field of exercise science, I want to first tell all of you how excited I am for the future.

A dream of beginning a new university program is finally coming to fruition after 7 years. In the fall of 2020, I will begin my position as Head Coach of the Lenoir-Rhyne University Weightlifting Team. Recently I took my team to see the facilities and to check out campus. We even had the chance to train in our new home, and I think that I speak for all of us when I say we loved it. It felt like an Olympic Training Center, which is exactly what I am going for.

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On Tuesday I took the majority of our team to see what I’ve been working on for the last six months. If you take into consideration how long I’ve been planning and dreaming of a University Weightlifting Program, it’s more like 7 years. In this video you will see the main weight room complete with: Inverse Leg Curls, Reverse-Hypers, Glute-Ham Developers, @westsidebarbellofficial Belt Squat Machine, racking system with all the toys including jammer arms, monkey bars for days, every specialty bar you can imagine, turf area, multiple @assaultairbike air runners, air bikes, ski ergs, and of course we will have all the nice kilo bumpers and awesome bars. . There’s also a nutrition station as you exit for athletes to grab their post-workout shakes. . The Athletic Training Room is my favorite complete with Cold Tub and Hot Tub, @rapidreboot ‘s, and Athletic Trainers of course. The goal is to get each athlete an individual recovery plan. . You’ll also see the spillover room that is also beautiful for individual two-a-day sessions. . Another thing is the Heated Indoor Saltwater Pool. For all of you CrossFit Athletes that can also Snatch and Clean & Jerk well, I am 100% interested in having you, and I am totally fine with you continuing to do both sports weightlifting and CrossFit. Therefore indirectly creating the first University CrossFit Program. . If you’re interested in attending and looking into scholarship opportunities, you can DM me right here. Then I will give you my email. . FYI to all the coaches, we want you to remain the #1 coach of record and can keep your club name except during the University Nationals. . I want this to be a Team USA Program, and nothing to do with Team Mash. I hope we can work together to give athletes opportunities within the sport. Therefore giving them a reason to pursue our beloved sport versus one of the other sport like football or basketball. . Ask any questions right here as well, and I will answer. . @shruggedcollective @andersvarner @usaweightlifting #usaw #weightlifting #strengthandconditioning #powerlifting @alex_j_koch @lenoirrhyne @bearssports #lenoirrhyneweightlifting #crossfit

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I want the athletes on my team to have everything they need to succeed. However there is much more that I want for them. I want them to leave Lenoir-Rhyne with a degree and a future. I am also beginning the long process of working toward my PhD. Guys, I haven’t been in school in over 25 years. Luckily, Mash Elite Performance has kept my nose buried in research, learning, and writing of course. I definitely feel more prepared than when I first graced Appalachian State University with my presence. All I cared about back then was football, lifting weights, and girls. Now I want to make a difference in as big a way as possible.

The staff at LR is incredibly progressive and forward thinking. When I am around Dr. Alex Koch and Dr. Keith Leiting, I feel like the possibilities are endless. I’m excited about the research we will be capable of performing with elite weightlifters under our roof. However there is something that intrigues me even more. I want to make sure our exercise science students have futures in their chosen field.

BUSINESS AND BRAND

The buzz around the world lately is that college isn’t as important as we once thought. People are either taking up a trade, starting work right away, or skipping school to start their own business. With my goal of becoming a professor, I want to be a part of the solution. Exercise Science is comprised of students who are intrigued with health and fitness, and most of them simply want to help others. To me this is an admirable major filled with good people, and I want to help the students at Lenoir-Rhyne put their passion to work.

My dream is to integrate major specific business skills within the exercise science curriculum. I want to teach our students:

  • How to brand themselves with social media
  • How to create content to help others via podcasts, blogs, or vlogs
  • Networking skills
  • Entrepreneurial skills to develop their own businesses online or brick and mortar
  • The actual job search itself

One thing I have learned listening to Gary Vaynerchuk is that brand is just about everything when it comes to one’s career. I am not just talking about entrepreneurs. I’m also talking about those want a job as a strength and conditioning coach or even as a personal trainer. In a competitive field, you have got to do something that sets you apart, and then you have to let the rest of the world know about it.

If a student begins the process during their freshman year, they will be able to build quite the brand by the time they are seniors. If they want to focus more on their futures than partying, we all know there is plenty of time to grow a brand and a following. I am not talking about four years of posting pics with your friends. I mean four years of sharing all that you are learning or sharing nutrition and exercise tips. The goal is that you graduate being known as that guy – with that guy being whoever you want to become in this noble field.

If you desire to help people with the knowledge you are gaining in your studies, you don’t have to wait until you graduate. You can start creating content on your favorite aspects of exercise science right now. The key is discovering your favorite way to produce content – whether it be podcasting, writing, or vlogging. Of course you don’t want to write about something that you don’t totally understand. Stick to the truths that you are learning along the way. The goal is to focus on the niche you enjoy and the particular aspect of exercise science you know the best (nutrition, speed training, athletic performance, etc.). Remember the goal is to become that guy or that gal in the field.

THE NEWEST EVOLUTION OF MASH PROGRAMMING

The latest and greatest methods from Travis Mash as he continues to innovate Mash Mafia programming.

Weightlifting - Powerlifting - Super Total

Garage Gym Warrior - Functional Fitness - Strength and Conditioning

Getting a job? Starting a business?

Here’s the truth regarding how one gets most jobs in the exercise science world: it’s whom you know. It might not be the right thing, but it’s a harsh reality. But there is an art to networking. Way too many people who are trying to network come across as annoying and desperate. It has to be a natural thing. The best people to network with are people you jive with. Then there is a high probability that your new acquaintance will introduce you to other likeminded people – and the next thing you know you will have a circle of folks that you love. There’s more to it, but you get the idea. We just need to make sure that our talented students get the idea.

And let’s not forget that many students can create their own jobs. Most college students simply don’t understand they aren’t held hostage by the hopes of someone hiring them anymore. This is the age of the young entrepreneur. However, it’s also the age of the broke entrepreneur. These young folks need guidance and someone who can be brutally honest because everyone isn’t cut out for entrepreneurship. If you’re lazy, you’re doomed to fail. If you aren’t self-motivated, you are doomed to fail. If you don’t have thick skin, you’re doomed to fail because everyone is going to tell you that you’re crazy.

The job will be to assess the students and see who is and who isn’t cut out for entrepreneurship. If they are, the next job would be to see what ideas they might have, and then give them direction. The key will be to get this going as soon as possible, so they can use their time in college to brand their future business. For example, maybe they love working with weight loss clients. They should spend their extra time writing and/or creating video of the dangers of obesity and making wise choices at the grocery store. Then they will graduate having created a solid following that they can begin to market to.

The most obvious place that these graduates need help is finding actual jobs. Most of them have no idea about the opportunities that are afforded them. For example, they could look for something in the strength and conditioning field, personal trainer, corporate wellness, physical therapist assistant, chiropractic assistant, personal trainer on a cruise ship (this is a real thing), or in cardiac rehab. The list goes on, but the key is informing the students and helping them map out a path toward their goal job.

The good thing is that Dr. Alex Koch and I have already been throwing around ideas. Since he helped me start this whole new program, I guess we believe anything is possible at this point. If you are looking for a school right now, you might want to consider what kind of job placement record they have as a school. I can promise we are going to make some changes you will all be reading about very soon. I want all of our students leaving Lenoir-Rhyne University ready to attack their chosen field and confident they made the right choice in a university.

If you are interested in our new University Weightlifting Program at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, NC, message me on here or shoot an email to info@mashelite.com. I will have a Lenoir-Rhyne email within days, which will be Travis.Mash@LR.com.