Category Archives for "Motivation"

Off the platform: Travis Mash 2013 by Sam Holmes

My friend Sam Holmes is a Mash Mafia Weightlifter, but he is so much more. Sam is a part of Mash! Sam and I have a goal of opening a nonprofit center for kids in need. A place they can learn about working out, but more importantly where they learn about “Life”. We all know how much one can learn from the Barbell, and we want to share that and Christ with young kids that need to hear about the message of “Hope”. If you are interested in partnering, email me at:

Sam wrote a heart warming blog about the incredible year that we’ve experienced at Mash Elite Athletic Performance, Smashed CrossFit, and Mash Mafia Weightlifting and Powerlifting. There should be a lot to learn about the power of simply meeting and getting to know people. My biggest gift is that I love people and their stories. Sam gives us a look at what went on this year. He has given me the honor of ousting it, so here it is:

Off the platform: Travis Mash 2013

I’ve had the privilege of witnessing a lot of cool things in 2013. One of the most awesome things has been seeing my good friend Travis Mash have one of the best years of his career.

The truth is, Travis Mash is a great man. Anyone who’s close to Travis knows this. But now people all over the country, even internationally, are beginning to discover how great he is.

In February, on a trip to a Perform Better seminar in Charlotte, Travis took a few of us Muscle Driver USA to watch the weightlifting team’s last Max Out session before the Arnold. That night Travis officially met Jon North and the rest of the team. Jon took us all out to dinner, and I could tell something special was forming right before my eyes. Now would be an appropriate place to say, “And the rest is history.” But let’s see how this panned out.

Jon invited Travis to be a guest host on his podcast “Weightlifting Talk” shortly after, and then came to train at Mash Elite during his comeback from injury after the 2013 Arnold. The ball kept rolling and Travis became the co-host of Weightlifting Talk which is live twice a week to over 10 thousand listeners.

More and more opportunities began to present themselves as Travis grew his relationship with the black sheep of the Attitude Nation. Multiple people have contacted Travis about internships as a result of listening to the podcast. Travis began to help Jon with his level 2 seminars and now has people from all over the country reaching out to him to do seminars at their gym or box.

And while things off the platform were going well, Travis was also having an amazing year on the platform as well. At one point Travis was regularly snatching over 120k and clean and jerking over 150k. His phrase “I do what I want” was being lived out on a daily basis for sure, and a shirt with the slogan was made and sold out multiple times over. Athletes of the “Mash Mafia” began to make huge leaps in their development as a result of both Travis’ coaching as well as his performance in the gym.

We haven’t even delved into Travis’s coaching yet. He coached two athletes from scratch to making it onto a high level weightlifting team (one of which being team MDUSA).Throughout 2013 Travis has been recruited to help coach athletes at meets from qualifying meets to this years American Open. He helped coach one lifter to a medal in his first national meet. He was also invited to guest commentate the 94kg A session at the American Open. During his time at the American Open he met Mike Bledsoe from Barbell Shrugged podcast which led to the team coming to Mash Elite to film an episode of “Barbell Shrugged”.

What does all of is mean? What’s the point of me sharing my perspective on this? Well, it’s because I believe there is a principle behind why this happened. First of all, it was meant to be. But it also happened because Travis is who he is. His faith in Christ has changed his whole perspective on life. So because of his character development and focus on his faith, Travis is someone who people are drawn to. So it’s no wonder why these connections have developed into a great 2013. There’s no telling what I’ll be writing in 2014.

If you get a chance, check out Sam on Twitter @holmesstrong and read his blog

Next year, Learn 2 Lift seminars are scheduled all over the US: Dunmore, PA, Jersey Shore, Miami, Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Orlando, Myrtle Beach, Albuquerque, San Antonio, and we are scheduling Rhode Island as we speak.

For any questions regarding Learn 2 Lift Seminars or Online Coaching, go to:

Or if you are interested in hosting a Learn 2 Lift Seminar on the topics of Olympic Weightlifting, Powerlifting, or Athletic Performance, email me at:

Great time hanging out with Christmas and Josh last night!


Getting to Know Christmas Abbott! Knowledge!


​Last time I talked about Barbell Shrugged’s Mike Bledsoe. We learned about his philosophy on Empathy and Listening to others. We also learned his “45 Minutes to tell your story” way of looking at things. Today I want to tell you all what I learned from my time with Christmas Abbott. First in case you’ve been living under a rock for the last several years, Christmas is a CrossFit competitor, owner of CrossFit Invoke, Nationally Ranked Olympic Weightlifter, first female Pit Crew Member in NASCAR, and immensely popular Sports Model. I’m sure I missed a lot, but these are some of her accomplishments off the top of my head.
​I was excited for Christmas to be on Weightlfting Talk(on with Jon North and me. I was expecting an edgy but exciting show, but what I got was beyond my imagination. Christmas is known for being a little edgy and daring with her tattoos, guns, and racing, and that was what I was expecting. I ended up realizing that she is America’s sweet heart. She is so humble and kind! She totally loves her boyfriend Josh, who needs to pop the question, and she genuinely cares about all the people around her. Her philosophies on life are both inspiring and unique. However, none of this was more exciting than the fact that she is open about her relationship with Christ. I found myself talking to this celebrity about the saving grace of Christ. I was shocked! It was a true blessing, and I believe that her open love for our God was totally glorifying to His kingdom.
​Besides her love for God, Christmas has some awesome ways of looking at life. First we were talking about her tattoos, and she explained that one of them says, “Not all that run are lost.” We asked her to explain, and she told us that people sometimes criticized how busy she was becoming. They would tell her that she must be lost in such a big world of traveling, competing, modeling, and working. She explained that she had never been more grounded, and that she feels the most solid when she is super busy. She looks at her life on earth with a short window of time, and she has a lot of goals to accomplish. She told us that people tell her that she should focus on just a few things, and then she made the quote of the century, “Why can’t I have it all?” She said that she refuses to limit herself. I love it! People need to learn from this girl. Your time on earth is short, so why not leave it a little bit better than you found it.
​The most inspiring things that I learned about Christmas was that she was never an athlete growing up. She was a legit bad girl! As she put it, “I was living on the other side of the tracks.” She grew up smoking and drinking, and was simply on the constant lookout for trouble. Then when she was 24 she found CrossFit and stopped smoking. She said that one of her greatest accomplishments was inspiring her mother to quit smoking. After finding CrossFit, Christmas realized that the sky was the limit. She said that she felt like she started a little late, so she was going to spend the rest of her life making up for it. She realized that she was in control of her body. She learned that she would get out of her training whatever she put into it. She started looking at her whole life the same way. Now she is without doubt one of the most famous CrossFitters in the world. She has also gone on to make history by becoming the first female NASCAR Pit Crew Member. I find her life to be so inspiring. Guys it is never too late to become great! It is never too late to inspire! It is never too late to be successful. It is never too late to leave this world better than you found it!
​I am supposed to be on the Barbell Shrugged Podcast with Christmas and the Bledsoe Crew next week. If so, I am the most excited about getting to know Mike and Christmas even more. Their philosophies and outlooks are more than inspiring! They are life altering! To learn more about Christmas, go to:

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Keep checking for the podcast with Chistmas and hopefully me. I will be reliving the memories of the American Open for the rest of my life, and I will forever be altered by the thoughts and words of Mike and Christmas. I thank them both for doing what they do, and I encourage them both to continue fighting the good fight.

I have Learn 2 Lift seminars coming up in: Albuquerque, Myrtle Beach, Jersey Shore, Orlando, Miami, Charlotte, and Scranton, PA, so come out and learn to Snatch, Clean & Jerk, Squat, Bench, and Deadlift!

For any questions regarding Learn 2 Lift Seminars or Online Coaching, go to:

Or if you are interested in hosting a Learn 2 Lift Seminar on the topics of Olympic Weightlifting, Powerlifting, or Athletic Performance, email me at:


Jared Enderton Highlights


​Yesterday on Weightlifting Talk, Jon and I had Nationally Ranked Weightlifter Jared Enderton on the show. This guy is the best example of melting pot that I have ever witnessed. He has personally worked with Steve Gough in Montana, Cal Strength in the glory days, Average Broz’s in Las Vegas, and the Olympic Training Center. I was more interested in what was going on at the OTC now. Coach Zygmunt has an awesome philosophy for weightlifting. He takes a very comprehensive approach developing the entire structure of the lifter.

​In this article, I am going to give you some common themes that were present in all the camps. These are cues and programming points that are universal to all the great coaches. They are as follows:

• Be aggressive on all stages of the pull

• Be fearless! If you are not fearless now, learn to be fearless in the future.

• Use the Back Squat and Front Squat to get strong.

• Don’t be satisfied with mediocre weights

• Olympic weightlifting requires a lot of sessions per day and a lot of hard work per session

• If you say that you want to be an Olympian, be prepared to do what that takes: years of not missing sessions, eating right, sleeping right, missing family events, not partying, and a daily fearless approach to the bar.

​Jared talked highly of Coach Zygmunt at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO. Personally, I learned the most from Jared’s explanation of the program at the OTC. Here are some of those highlights:

• If you have a weakness, attack that weakness before moving on. For example, if you have a bad rack position in the Clean, attack it with paused front squats keeping all the hand on the bar, Sotts Press from the front rack position, and cleans keeping the hook grip. When the position is fixed, then go heay.

• Get strong in the entire movement of the lifts. They would do complexes mainly until the last 21 days before a competition.

• This goes back to point one, but if you can’t do a Snatch Grip Behind the Neck Sotts Press heavy without altering your position, then focus on the exercise. Jared said that if you can’t perform this exercise properly, you are leaving kilos on the platform.

• Another point was that instead of coaches complaining about athletes holding their position during the pull, get their posterior chain strong. Keeping the weights in tight is a difficult thing and requires a lot of strength.

• I also loved the part about Back Squatting up to a heavy single before Cleaning or Snatching to get all the fibers recruited.

​Anyway, if I were you, I would go back and listen to the episode ( ).

For any questions regarding Learn 2 Lift Seminars or Online Coaching, go to:

Or if you are interested in hosting a Learn 2 Lift Seminar on the topics of Olympic Weightlifting, Powerlifting, or Athletic Performance, email me at:

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