Category Archives for "Motivation"

Mash Elite Athletic Performance! Open Your Facility!

I normally write about the Mash Mafia Weightlifting Programming, but today I wanted to flip the script a little and talk about the Mash Elite Athletic Performance. I am aware that Weightlifting Talk has a lot of strength and conditioning coaches that listen to us, so I want to start periodically giving some information on that side of things. Yesterday I was visited by an Underground Strength Disciple named Dylan Parkes. Underground Strength is a Certification given by my friend Zach Even-Esh. Dylan is an aspiring strength coach with the dream of opening his own Underground Strength Gym. His asked me some wonderful questions that forced me to think about my journey that has led me to my current state of owning Mash Elite Athletic Performance, Mash Mafia Weightlifting, Smashed CrossFit, and all the while an ambassador of the quickly growing Attitude Nation.
In 2008 when I began my journey, I never dreamed that I would be the owner of such an amazing organization. I didn’t plan it! I just loved my athletes enough to want to be the best strength and conditioning coach in North Carolina. I continue to learn and adapt to an ever changing field of study. I refuse to let anyone near me know something that I don’t that relates to the well-being of my athletes.

If you want to open your own gym, here are some of the things that have worked for me:
1. More is not better! One of the common mistakes that people make is to start out with too much overhead. I started out of the back of a local globo gym, and quickly out grew the 400 square foot closet that I was given.
2. Get involved with the community! I go to games. I go to parties. I do life with my members. I am one of them, and they know it. They know that I am concerned with their well-being. Dylan asked me what tool I used to become so close with my athletes. That question made me think hard, and after pondering my brain for several minutes, I realized that simply love them all. I love each individually. There is no tool or technique. If you don’t love people, find a different career. He also told me that one of his friends in Chicago was thinking about joining the Mash Mafia Weightlifting Team because he had heard that I was a coach that was more like a father. Wow! That’s what I feel like, but to be told that was a great encouragement.
3. Never stop learning! Make it part of your day to learn something new about your industry. I recommend scheduling your time to learn like an appointment. I also recommend becoming an expert in your field. If you want to be a strength and conditioning coach, then be the best one around.
4. Master Social Media! My athlete, friend and partner Jon North is a master of social media. He has a gift at making people feel a part of what he is doing, and in my opinion it’s because he love the Attitude Nation. He truly feels like he is a part of something bigger than himself. He has built an army of blacksheep, and he has used social media to do it.

Below is a typical week in the workouts of Mash Elite Athletic Performance with an explanation following each day:

Warm Up 2/3/14 Vertical, Med Ball Plyos, and Strength
Get Ups 5 ea way
Runner Holds 6 ea leg
Abduction/Adduction 6 ea leg
Standing Obliques 6 ea side
Streamline Position
Helicopters 6 ea side with 2-3 sec holds
Squat Open & Stand 8 reps
Hamstring Sweeps/8 ea leg
Hurdler Stretch/30 sec ea
Hurdler Stretch Switches/8
Hip Flexor Stretch
A-Skips 10y x 2
B-Skips 10y x 2
Partner 45 Degree Starts 10 yd x 4

Lower Body Plyometrics
Step and Jump/6 ea leg x 2
Russian Hops/3 ea leg w 5 sec pauses x 2

Upper Body Plyometrics
On Knee Med Ball Extensions into Wall/5reps x 2
OH into Wall/5 x 2

wk2Cleans 5 RM then -10% ss Landmines or Unilateral KB Push Press/6 ea x 3
wk2Back Squats 8RM then -10% ss DB Jumps/5 x 3

Met Con: 3-4 Rounds
GHRs x 8
Lunges DB/8 ea leg x 8

*Everyday begins with mobility, stabilization, and speed technique work. We focus on acceleration since every sport other than cross country is acceleration driven. We use a lot of Olympic weightlifting movements. Today was a lower and upper body plyometric day with a focus on force absorption. The strength was lower body focused, but we never have a day that is one or the other solely.

Speed 1 2/4/14
Warm Up
Jump Rope 2 Minutes
Neck Series
Arm Circles
Lying Leg Circles
Cobra Pose
Frog Pose
Scorpion/10 ea leg
Fire Hydrants/10 ea leg
Hip Flexor Stretch
Hamstring Sweeps/8 ea leg
Cradles/10 ea leg

Hurdle Series: 3 of each to accelerate on sidewalk

Depth Box Jump or Hurdle
Accelerator Holds/5 sec x 4

Strength: wk 2
Bench 5RM then -5and-10%

Bentover Rows 8RM, then -5&-10%
Crossover Med Ball Explosive Pushups/10 x 3

Met Con: (3 sets for time)
Pullups x 5
KB Clean & Pressx10

*This day begins with mobility like they all do. Then we worked on agility with a series of hurdle movements that ended with a sprint. Then we moved onto depth jumps with a focus on foot to floor contact time. We also used accelerators to work on acceleration angle, arm, and leg drive. The rest of the day is upper body strength dominant. You will notice that I use elements of Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, and CrossFit in my approach.

Warm Up 2/5/14
Jump Rope 2 min
Band Shuffles
Plank 60 secC25C4:C31
Side Plank 30 sec ea side
Backwards Lunge and Open Up 8 ea leg
Squat Lunge & Lunge x 8
Blackburns 15 sec ea position
Foam Roll IT Bands, Quads, and back
Paused Potato Squat/8 x 2
KB Swings/10 x 2
Fire Hydrants/10 ea
Hamstring Sweeps/10
A Skips x 15yards(2-4 sets)
Running A’s x 15y(2 sets)
B-Skipsx15y(2-4 sets)
Running B’s x 10 y(2 sets)
40yd Build Ups focus posture and arms x 4

Jump Backwards and Sprint 10 yds x 4
Med Ball Crouches Throw into Sprint 10 yds x 4
Double Broad Jump x 4 with 45 sec Rest

Strength: wk 2
Hang Clean & Jerk 3RM, then -5&-10%
Front Squats 5RM with 2 sec Pause then -10%
Unilateral Jump Touch & Stick/3 ea x 3
Push Press 5RM, Then -5&-10%
GHDs/8 x 3sets

Met Con:
Plate Raises/10 x 3
Prowler 2P&25s x 3
*Today is a lot of mobility of course. Then we move quickly into dynamic speed warm ups. Once again we are focusing on acceleration and explosiveness. We also have elements of force absorption which is a widely overlooked element in the strength and conditioning world. Today our strength training is total body with a big presence from Olympic weightlifting.

Core & stretch everyone
Rotational and Forearm Work for baseball and softball
neck work football and soccer

Speed 2 2/6/14
Warm Up
Jump Rope 1 minute
Hurdle Mobility Drill
Quadruped Thoracic Extension+Rotation x 10 ea side
Quadruped Thoracic Extension+Rotation w Internal Rotation x 10 ea side
Squat & Reach 5 ea side
OH Squats x 10
OH Front Lunge x 6-10 ea leg
OH Side Lunge x 6-10 ea leg
Front Cross Lunge x 6-10
Lying Hip Flex+AB/Adduction x 6-10ea
Side Lying Hip Abductionx6-10ea
A Skips x 15yards(2-4 sets)
Leg Swingsx10 ea leg and direction
B-Skipsx15y(2-4 sets)
Build Up Sprintsx40 y(2 sprints)

Contrast Training: (Coaches teach starts during pauses)
3-4 Sets(film sprint for step count) Focus step count and not time
Heavy Acceleration Sled Sprints 10yds then 10 y sprint(rest 3-4 minutes/set)

3-4 sets
85% Squat/1 rest 20-40 sec then Depth Jumps onto Box/3

Test Vertical

*Here we are using the contrast method made famous by the one and only Joe Defranco. This is a day that I want all of my athletes to leave neurally charged and not exhausted.

Warm Up 2/7/14
Mtn Climbers Knee to Shoulders 30 sec x 3
Quadruped Thoracic Extension+Rotation x 6 ea side
Quadruped Thoracic Extension+Rotation w Internal Rotation x 6 ea side
Squat & Reach 5 ea side
OH Front Lunge x 6 ea leg
OH Side Lunge x 6 ea leg
Front Cross Lunge x 6
Lying Hip Flex+AB/Adduction x 6ea
Side Lying Hip Abductionx6ea
A Skips x 15yards(2 sets)
Leg Swingsx6 ea leg and direction
B-Skipsx15y(2 sets)
Straight leg bounds 10 y to sprint 10 y x 2
Running Bounds 15y to sprint 10 y x 2
Half Kneeling side ways to Sprint 10 y x 2

Max Hang Clean ss Jump and Knee Tucks/5reps x 3

Contrast Work:
3-4 sets
DL 2 sec pause at knee Work up to max rest 30-40 sec then Double Broad Jump x 3-4

Work Capacity: 3 Sets for Time
BB Hip Ups/10
Clap Pushups/10
Ab Mat Sit Ups/15

*Today is Max Out Friday. We still focus on mobility and speed, but we take an element of Olympic weightlifting. Every Friday we pick a movement to max out on. All my athletes wear their Max Out Friday shirts, and we simply have a great time filled with emotion and testosterone.

I am excited to write more on this topic, and I really want to help people that are interested in pursuing the dream of owning their own facility. It is the most rewarding career in the world. Every day is another opportunity to help someone reach their goals.

If anyone would be interested in a seminar/certification focused on opening your own facility, please email me at I would love to host such a conference if the interest is there.

To sign up for a Learn 2 Lift Seminar, or if you are interested in online coaching, go to: If you want to learn more about Mash Elite Athletic Performance, Mash Mafia Weightlifting/Powerlifting, or Smashed CrossFit, go to:

Lisa G One Year Anniversary of Killing Cancer

Many of you know my friend Lisa G who is battling Stage IV Lung Cancer.  Last weekend was her one year anniversary with her battle.  She is my friend!  The world should know her story!  She is a 40 year old mother of two that refuses to quit Slamming Bars!  I am posting her post.  To help Lisa in her battle go to:

Guys please help my friend!

Lisa G:LisaG

On Jan 12 th it will be my 1 yr anniversary as a cancer survivor. As I look back I remember thinking “Am I going to make it to at least 1 year?” Then I thought “Nope, I’m making it way more than that.” So here we are… the first year of many to come.
Over the past year I have been given alot of advice and thoughts about how people think I feel and should act.. Some good and some not so good. Some of the information that always struck me as bothersome was that of “Oh what terrible time you are having or I hope next year is better than this year”. I don’t see it that way.
Oh there are days that are worse than others, but the whole time I think…”At least I am still alive and want to fight”. In addition, I think this has been one of the best years I have had.
Except for the week I was diagnosed I have had a pretty good time. First, my relationship with God has grown tremendously and continues on a great journey. In addition,  I couldn’t have done that without my MASH family, my husband and daughters.
Speaking of my daughters, those two little buggers have taught me allot about life and God. Things they talked with me about shocked me. I knew they were smart but goodness …they are a little smarter than I knew. They both did well in school. Nicole graduated Davie High with honors and in the top of her class. I was able to throw her fun graduation party. She earned scholarships and a place at South Carolina University. Which she is doing very well by the way. Erin also finshed 8th grade in the top of her class and is a freshman at Davie High and doing exceptionally well. They both have very nice boyfriends which make them and me laugh a lot.
I have been able to spend more time with my daughters this year due to the fact that I am not working. Both Nicole, Erin and I have spent time away on mini vacations that were alot of fun. I was able to attend all of their soccer games. I cheered them on like no one else, or embarrassed them lol. I also got to hang out with my husband more without worrying about what was going on at work.
I work out 5 days a week. Which is both good for my figure and keeps me healthy to fight this nasty mess. I have medaled in 2 weightlifting events. I reached a goal of snatching 110 lbs and cleaning and jerking 150 lbs over my head. Not many 43 year old moms can do that. While at the gym I have gotten to know a group of ladies that have supported me and listened to me cry and laugh no matter what. They have become my best friends and I can count on them for anything.
I also got to realize how great Davie County and the people who live here are. My gym held a fundraiser for me and I couldn’t believe the amount of people who came out to help myself and my family. I still shed tears of joy when I think about that day.
This past year I was able to go on a radio talk show to share my story. Which I agreed to do so that I may give hope and inspiration to anyone who is battling any kind of difficulty in their life. I was also able to stand up in church and give my testimony why my God is first and I am second. again, in hopes that my story and attitude will help others.
I was also able to increase my volunteer time at church within our soup kitchen ministry. Which I must say is a great ministry to be involved with. This year our team was able to organize a 5K to help raise money  for the soup kitchen to feed the hungry in Davie and Forsyth counties. Our thoughts were ” Maybe we will have 100 runners” honey…we were able to get almost 700 runners!!! How crazy and great was that! God had his hand in that. That was such a fun event I can’t wait to do it again.
I was able to spend a week long cruise with my husband, my best friend and a few of my neighbors. How much more fun could that be?! We had a blast and I can’t wait to do it again.
I also have the best oncologist. No matter when I go for an appointment he always has some new information for me about a med, treatment or a new step in the plan to help me beat this. He is also open to any suggetions that I may have for my care.
I could go on and on about all the stuff I did this past year but it would take many more pages and I have already probably bored you already :).
So even though I have had bad days and shed alot of tears. All my good days outweigh the bad thanks to my God , my husband, my  daughters, my family and friends.
I am looking forward to what God has in store for me.
So Bring It…because I am ready!!!
Love you all,


Open Doors Christian Coaching: Helping Children at Risk

Yesterday I posted a link to help start a Kids at Risk Program: Below is a blog by Sam Holmes, my partner in all of this. This will give you more insight in to what we are doing.


In 2013 I began to think a lot about the direction of my life and work. The more I thought (and prayed), the more I felt as though my time as a youth pastor was actually coming to an end. For a few months leading up to 2013 and into the beginning of the year, I had been brainstorming of ways to earn income from another source while still doing youth ministry for free. Later, I realized that I was supposed to step out of church ministry but I had no clue what direction God was leading me in, other than I felt as though I should take my talents and skills outside the church in order to better use all God has given me.

Another interesting thing was beginning to take place early in 2013 as well. The more time I spent at my gym Mash Elite Performance and the more time I spent with my friend, Travis Mash, the more I began to feel a part of the family there and feel as though my future with interlocked with what was going on there. Sometime in summer of 2013, Travis and I started talking about non-profit work. Travis had been dreaming of doing something significant for children and teens who really need positive influence in their lives. Since I had an idea of what direction I was supposed to move in, I told Travis that I would love to partner with him to accomplish this dream. Thus, the brainstorming began and after some long talks on our car ride to Charlotte every week, Open Doors Christian Coaching Inc. (ODCC) was what came forth.


Travis and I are not forming ODCC just to have something to do on the side. We both believe that our community needs what we have to offer. We know there are teens living in tough situations. Some have already been labeled and kicked out of the educational system. We want that to change. We want to open doors for these youth to begin to see and walk in their God-given potential. So how are we going to do that? Here is a quick list of things we know so far about ODCC-

1) ODCC will be a place where young people can come to be encouraged and receive the love that will nourish them and grow their self-esteem.

2) Once they are with us, these youth will receive outstanding coaching in sport and athletic performance and weightlifting. We will teach them how to be strong and how to push their limits.

3) We recognize that this world demands much more than just physical strength. So we will provide opportunity for them to develop in other areas as well. We want for them to learn what good character looks like and how to prepare to live out the dreams they all have within. So we will teach character development, goal setting, and life planning.

4) Travis and I also know we would not be where we are now without our faith, so we will help these youth understand what it means to live for something greater than themselves.

5) And when we have done all we can, our hope is that those who have benefitted from what we offer will take it and impact someone else in the same way we have impacted them.

This is much bigger than two guys with a dream. There is so much to do and so many people who need what we will offer. So we need help. We need your help. At the end of this post I will share with you some ways you can partner with us, and I hope you will consider them.

In the short term, ODCC will be hosted by Mash Elite Performance (MEP). Mash Elite will provide the venue as well as the strength coaches. I will be our main character coach, doing most of the mentoring and teaching in areas outside the strength arena. We will go into the school system to look for those who are in need of what we will offer, also recognizing that some of those who need ODCC the most will be somewhere other than school. We will partner with other non-profits to find as many of those teens as we can.

Eventually we will need to be as close to these kids as possible. So we will need a location in more urban settings than where the host gym is currently located. This is a work that could easily grow into a state-wide and even nation-wide organization, so we refuse to limit our dreams. Multiple locations will eventually exist, so we will also need more staff as the organization (and the need) grows as well.

Currently there are 2 ways in which we would ask for your partnership.

1) We need prayers and encouragement. We believe God hears us, and we believe he hears you as well. Please pray for doors to be opened for youth to be impacted in a great way.

2) Like any start-up, we need funds. We want to launch as soon as possible. The following link is for our initial campaign. (

Mt. 7:7-8 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you shall find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

To partner with us on this venture, click on this link:

Today’s Brutality!

Back Squat up to 85%/1
Snatch Grip Sotts Press 3 RM then -10%
Snatch off Box 3RM, -5&-10% (1 miss)
Front Squat 6 RM, then -5&-10%
Behind neck Jerks off Blocks HS (1 miss)
Bench Press 6RM, then -10%

Met Con:
4 rounds for total working time of:

50 KB Swings 24/16kg
15 Thrusters 105/70#

Rest 2 mins between rounds

Today Barbell Shrugged released the episode that I was in:

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, Rhode Island, and we are scheduling Minneapolis and Wilmington, NC 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:


12/31/13 Workout, Hints, Insight, & Video


Life Insight:
With 2014 quickly approaching, let’s look at things differently this New Year’s Eve. Let’s set goals, make a plan, and make a commitment to the goals and the plan. Don’t even mention “Resolutions”! Mash Mafia Athletes are great because they think like winners! Winners don’t make “resolutions”!

Training Insight:

When you are more than six weeks out from a meet, focus on positions and strength. When you are within six weeks, focus on the lifts that you are about to perform. One should practice the lifts with precision with “meet like” situations, so that nothing could possibly surprise you during the competition.

Sotts Press from Front Clean Rack Position 3 Reps x 3
Jerk Position Jerks 3×3
Clean Pull, clean, 1 front squat, & 1 jerk up to 80%
Clean Pause at Knee & Jerk HS, then 75/3&1, and 80/2&1 (1 miss)
Clean Pulls 105%/3×3(work to speed DL for PLers) ss Pull-ups/5-8 add weight if possiblex 3
Bentover Rows 8RM, then -10%

Met Con:
12 minute AMRAP of:

75 Double-Unders
15 TTB
15 Power Clean & Push Jerks 105/75#
50 Double-Unders
15 TTB
10 Power Clean & Push Jerks 155/105#
25 Double-Unders
15 TTB
5 Power Clean & Push Jerks 175/125#

Check out one of my eighth grade girls squatting 185lbs:

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, Rhode Island, and we are scheduling Minneapolis and Wilmington, NC 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:

Persistence by Brealon Ashworth

Below is a short article that my intern Brealon Ashworth wrote explaining his struggle to become a Mash Elite Intern. This struggle easily applies to all good things in life.

When I first started looking for a Job after college I began emailing smaller colleges in North Carolina. I knew I would probably have to do another internship in order to get the level of experience that many of the collegiate level strength coach jobs require, which turned out to be true. So as I started looking local for job opportunities when I thought to myself, “Why not try Travis Mash?” At this time I was an avid Weightlifting Talk listener, and I knew I liked what he was doing in the private sector with his athletes.
First, I added Travis on Facebook and sent him a message expressing my interest in working with him as an Olympic Weightlifting coach. I waited for more than a week and I didn’t hear back from him. I knew Travis was busy, so I went on the website and found his email address and again expressed my interest in Mash Elite Performance. After another week of no response, I figured it would be a long shot, but I decided to take a trip to Mash and see if Travis was there. When I got there I was greeted by EZE, one of Travis’s coaches. He informed me that he didn’t think that they were hiring but gave me Travis’s card to give him a call. The next day I called Travis and talked to him for maybe 5 minutes about opportunities at Mash Elite. Before the conversation ended he offered me an interview to which I said, “What day is good for you? I know you are busy with Weightlifting Talk and everything at the Attitude Nation.”
I could tell that this shocked him, and he asked how I knew about that stuff. I told him that I listened to Weightlifting Talk and that was “all she wrote.” Travis brought me in for that interview, gave me a second interview with his wife and from there I started the best internship I could possibly have gotten.
The reason I tell this story is to show that being persistent is a great quality to have and that without it I would not be getting the opportunities that I am getting right now. If someone won’t talk to you or acts like they’re too busy, show them that you deserve their time and that you are worth it. I never would have imagined that I would get to meet and be around the people that I have, and it was all because I was persistent.


Follow Brealon @JurassicBarbell to learn more about his times as one of my interns, and to find out what he is learning.

Here is a recent video starring Brealon:

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, Rhode Island and we are scheduling Minneapolis 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: