Category Archives for "Motivation"

Join the Attitude Nation Weightlifting Team

This week we are releasing our Attitude Nation Online Team Program. We have been working on this program for over six months, and we are very excited to offer it to you all. With this program, you are literally on the team with me as your coach, Jon as your team captain, and the rest of the Attitude Nation Weightlifting Team in your corner. Below are the three levels, and what you get:

• Choice of three programs: third pull, position strengthening, and general strength.
• Mobility plan with different options based on your needs
• Group Chat Room with teammates and a ANW Coach
• Recovery and Nutrition advice
• Video Library for tips on all exercises
• Access to team uniform and singlet
• Limited access to email questions

• Customized Program based on your goals, needs, level, and equipment. This is perfect for all levels of weightlifters, CrossFitters, and all other athletes.
• Video Analysis of 5 videos per week. Awesome way of improving Technique!
• Unlimited email access for questions
• Mobility plan with different options based on your needs
• Group Chat Room with teammates and a ANW Coach
• Recovery and Nutrition advice
• Video Library for tips on all exercises
• Access to team uniform and singlet

• Customized Program based on your goals, needs, level, and equipment. This is perfect for all levels of weightlifters, CrossFitters, and all other athletes.
• Video Analysis of 5 videos per week. Awesome way of improving Technique!
• Unlimited email access for questions
• 1 Skype Session per month with an ANW Coach! This is a full workout, and we have found it to be unbelievably effective.
• Free visits to the Attitude Nation Weightlifting Hall
• Mobility plan with different options based on your needs
• Group Chat Room with teammates and a ANW Coach
• Recovery and Nutrition advice
• Video Library for tips on all exercises
• Access to team uniform and singlet

Remember I will be your coach just like I am Jon’s. I will be at all National Events coaching you and the rest of the team. I will be at as many local competitions as possible. I look forward to working with you all. Go to to find out more and sign up.

If you get the free online program, you will see that I added this week’s program for our youth team in preparation for the Youth Nationals. Our Youth Team is quickly becoming the best Youth Team in America. We already have the 8th best youth in the Nation, Dylan Cooper. After the Nationals, I have a feeling that we will have several more that are highly ranked. You can join our youth team at the gym, or a youth can also join the Attitude Nation Weightlifting Online Team with Coach Mash as your personal coach.

Special Events Announcement! Check them out!

Right now I am at CrossFit Lando here in Woburn, MA, and I just wanted to take the time to let you all know about some special events coming up. We are working hard to bring you all as many opportunities as possible to increase your melting pot. Our mission in life is to bring the most efficient Olympic Weightlifting, Powerlifting, Athletic Performance, and CrossFit techniques to the world.

Here are a couple of our upcoming events that you or your children might want to check out:

• May 10th and 11th is the inaugural Mash Mafia Weekend Clinic and Open House! Come learn about Olympic Weightlifting, Powerlifting, Athletic Speed Development, and Mobility, and meet Jon North, Coach Mash, and the rest of the team.
• June 7th the second Mash Mafia Learn 2 Lift Level II Seminar. Centered around the advanced techniques of Olympic Weightlifting, Programming, Mobility, and the Competition itself.
• July 7th-11th Mash Elite Summer Camp for children 13&up! Learn all about goal setting, nutrition, mobility, speed, vertical leap, agility, athletic strength, and what it takes to be a champion!
• July 21st-25th Mash Elite Summer Camp for children 7 thru 12! Same topics as above, but scaled for this age group.

To find out more about any of these, go to

I look forward to seeing you all!

Potential! The Open Doors Mission!

“…and because we believe this, we will do everything within our power to see these young people reach their full potential and live out their purpose.”

Above is a little insight into the DNA of Open Doors Christian Coaching. As a values-based organization we know that everything we do with and say to our clients/athletes needs to benefit them and help them move towards success.

We believe all human beings are created in the image of God. Not only are we created in the image of God, but we all have purpose as well (to glorify the one whose image we bear). Because of this, the means to fulfill that purpose lies within us. In other words, we hold within us the potential to do whatever it is we were created to do.

I did a little research on the word potential and the most interesting thing I found was that the main idea behind the word is possibility. When potential is in the equation, nothing is impossible.

Imagine with me a community of people who fully believe that they not only have the ability to accomplish great things, but also expect it of themselves because of who they have been created to be. This community would be unstoppable and would change the world, without a doubt.

Open Doors Christian Coaching will help young people realize that they are world-changers. They will know they have purpose, and they will know that they possess all the potential necessary to fulfill their purpose.

This knowledge will greatly impact all the young people we coach; however, we recognize that while knowledge is power, knowledge also requires action in order to produce a positive outcome. Our challenge to these young people will be to take what they learn with us and begin to put it into action in their daily lives. When they do this, they will not just have changed their own situation, but they will also be changing and impacting those who live with them as well.

Open Doors Christian Coaching exists to foster change within communities through individuals who have already been endowed with the purpose, potential, and power to bring it. All we want to do is mobilize a group of young people with open eyes to take this message into their world and turn it upside down for good.

Melting Pot: The Science Behind Learning!

Below is another excerpt from my upcoming book, “Preparing for Battle”. It’s getting closer to being availabe. In it you will find information on mobility, assessment, workouts preparing rookies for the sport of weightlifting, beginner weightlifting workouts, advanced workouts, tapering for meets, goal setting, nutrition, and more. It’s everything that a rookie or advanced weightlifter could ask for.

Our online team grows every week. To become a team member, or to find out more information, go to

To check out a Learn 2 Lift Seminar coming near you, go to

Enjoy the excerpt!

Chapter 8 Collect the Ingredients of Your Melting Pot Fearlessly

My co-host on Weightlifting Talk, Jon North, talks about growing one’s melting pot. He is talking about learning from as many sources as possible. He is of course talking about the sport of weightlifting, but this principle could be applied to any aspect of life. Jon goes on to say that he has learned aspects of weightlifting from all of his coaches even as far back as his elementary soccer coach. He goes on to say that he learned movement and balance from this coach, and that is where his melting pot began. Of course he has had many coached since then, and there are aspects of each of these coaches in the way Jon trains, performs the lifts, and competes to this very day.

My melting pot is filled with an amazing group of lifters, coaches, and influences. My athletes and friends joke about how I know everyone in the industry. When I think about it, I just thank God that I was put in the path of such amazing people. I also thank God that I had the courage to meet these people, and that I had the compassion to get to know them. In Colorado Springs, I was blessed to have as my first coach, two-time Olympian, Wes Barnett. My second coach was Olympic Bronze Medalist, Dragomir Cioroslan. Both were amazing men, and I learned so much from both of them. It was because I had the courage to seek Wes out that I was able to be coached by both.

While I was in Colorado Springs being coached by these amazing men, I was able to meet two-time Olympian, Shane Hamman. I was also able to meet and train with Olympians, Tom Gough, Pete Kelly, and Tim McRae. I met other amazing lifters like Andy Garcy and Jackie Berube. I learned something from all of these people that I now pass on to my team. The key to learning from people is truly loving others. I am truly interested in other’s story, and everyone you meet has a story.

If people see that you care and that you are sincerely interested in them, they will tell you their story. If you listen, deep in their stories you will find gold nuggets of knowledge. One of my closest teammates, Andy Garcy, taught me to stay over the bar as long as possible, delaying the double knee bend, for maximum power in the second pull. He taught me that simply getting strong is a big part of being a successful weightlifter. He also taught me to enjoy the moment and to love life. Weightlifting can be a very monotonous sport because you are snatching, clean & jerking, and squatting day in and day out. The key to a long life in the sport is to take time out to enjoy the training, enjoy your teammates, and enjoy the process of becoming as great as God intended you to become. Andy died of unknown causes January 16, 2009. I will never forget his smile, and his passion for the sport. He was weightlifting’s Arnold Schwarzenegger, and now I will miss him forever. Because I had the courage to meet Wes, I had the privilege of doing life with one of weightlifting’s most amazing people.

I also met the world famous strength coach Charles Poliquin, Active Release Techinque inventor and world famous chiropractor Dr. Michael Leahy, and the entire cast of TNation Magazine during my stay in Colorado Springs. Dr. Leahy was my first chiropractor, and his practice was called Champion Health. TNation had their offices within Champion Health, and Charles Poliquin also had his strength and conditioning clinic within their walls. It was a fantasy world for a strength athlete like me, and my dream was to one day be a part of something so amazing. I spent every extra moment at Champion Health getting to know Charles, Dr. Leahy, and Tim Patterson, Editor-In-Chief of TNation. I grew my melting pot within those walls exponentially simply asking questions, listening, and getting to know these men. There was so much knowledge behind those walls that I almost learned by osmosis.

I worked at the World Gym while I was in Colorado Springs, and I was able to set them up with a six week clinic from Charles Poliquin. Their trainers were able to get more knowledge during those six weeks than most Exercise Science students get in four years at a university. He taught us all about supplements, nutrition, assessment, programming, exercise choice, and so much more. My melting pot as a strength coach was growing faster than most PhD’s, and it was all because I was meeting new people.

I have to tell a funny story about something that happened during one of Charles’s seminars that I will laugh about forever. He was talking about front squatting. He had coached several bobsledders in Canada, and he had used a lot of front squats to improve their starts. He was emphasizing how incredibly strong they were. He throughout a number like 450 pounds, and I leaned to one of my friends and quietly told him, “That’s really not that much.” Charles noticed me talking during his presentation. He abruptly stopped the lecture, and asked me if I was stronger than his bobsledders. I confidently answered, “I know that I am.”

To my surprise, Charles stopped the lecture, and I was forced to max out in the front squat. Of course I went on to crush over 500 pounds with ease, and I instantly earned the respect of the great Charles Poliquin. He told the group that I must only be one generation from walking on my knuckles. I laughed, and we were friends from then on. My melting pot was growing, and I learned from that early age on that getting to know the people was much better than reading about their thoughts in a book.

My life has led me to know so many people including Louie Simmons, Ed Coan, Kirk Karwoski, Dave Tate, Dan John, Jim Wendler, Zach Even-Esh, Chad Wesley Smith, Coach Joe Kenn, Steve Goggins, and so many more. In this book, I want to teach you how to have the same ability. I know this is not a networking book, but without the skills of networking one will never come to know all there is to know from the great men and women of this world. The last gift that I will pass on with this book is the gift of The Melting Pot.

The first step to growing your melting pot is to have the courage to meet others. The key to having this courage is all about your perception of people. When I look at someone, I remind myself that God made them just like He made me. We both laugh, cry, sleep, eat, and go to the bathroom, and we both bleed red. That one thought has been the most freeing thought of my lifetime. As soon as you look at people with these simple thoughts, you will start to realize that you too can accomplish the same great things. Now when I look at the President of the United States, I think to myself that I am looking at another human that bleeds like me, eats like me, and uses the toilet just like me. The President simply put the time in to school, networking, and campaigning.

The second step is to have the courage to put yourself in the right situations. I met Charles Poliquin because I knew that he worked with Champion Health. I would purposely hang around the place until one day that right opportunity presented itself, and I was able to meet Charles. I met Dan John while he was presenting at Wake Forest University. I had heard that he was going to be presenting, so I contacted Ethan Reeves, head strength coach at Wake Forest. Ethan was the organizer of the clinic, and a friend of mine. I contacted Ethan, and I told him that if there was a need for more speakers, I would be happy to fill in. Lucky for me, Ethan needed one more, so I got to present with Coach John. During the clinic we got to know each other, and now we are friends to this day. I will say that Dan John has been one of the biggest influences on my coaching with his simple approach to strength.

Last spend your life loving others, and you will spend your time listening, learning, and caring. People are instinctively open to people who listen and care. When people try to meet me, and all they want to talk about is themselves, I am instantly looking for an exit to the conversation. When I meet people, I want to do three things: listen, learn, and help. I want to listen to what they have to say. I want to learn about their life story, and then I want to see what I can do for them. Nobody likes a parasite or someone that just wants to take, take, and take. I know win-win is cliché, but it’s the best way to form lasting friendships.

If you do these three things, you will increase your melting pot to a point that you would have never dreamed:

1. Have the courage to meet other people.
2. Have the courage to put yourself in positions to meet other people.
3. Spend your time loving, listening, learning, and caring for others.
a. Listen
b. Learn
c. Help

Next week I am going to walk you through how I met Jon North, Donnie Shankle, Glenn Pendlay, the Barbell Shrugged Podcast crew, and Christmas Abbott. I want to teach you how it happened, and what I learned. I want to express how my coaching, programming, technique, and business have all been influenced.

To meet me in person and learn more about my coaching and melting pot, check me out at one of my Learn 2 Lift Seminars. I will be in Orlando at CrossFit Broken Chains at the end of the month, and then next month I will be at Port City CrossFit in Wilmington and Mission CrossFit in San Antonio. To find out more, go to

To learn more about my online coaching program, go to

Dream Big! Succeed Big!

Below is another excerpt from by upcoming book “Preparing for Battle”. This section is all about goal setting, and to me the most important part to becoming successful. I want all of my athletes both onsite and online to read and implement. To become a part of the Mash Mafia Online Army and to have me as your coach, go to I’ll be in Orlando this month at CrossFit Broken Chains with my Learn 2 Lift Series, so to check out this seminar and the all the others go to

I hope you enjoy this section:

Lou Holtz has been the biggest influence on my goal setting strategies. I first heard Lou Holtz speak in Denver, CO in 1997, and from that moment my outlook on goal setting was forever altered. Coach Holtz references a point in his career where he found himself without a job. Most people experience bouts of depression when they find themselves jobless causing them to go into seclusion. Coach Holtz simply locked himself in a room, and allowed himself time to dream. He freed his mind, and did away with all limits. This is the first step ‘Dream It’!

Coach Holtz wrote down over 100 dreams during that session of dreaming. Writing the dreams down is a big part of the equation because now the dreams are on paper making them more of a reality. Step 2 to becoming successful is to write your goals down causing them to come alive. Coach Holtz understood like so many successful people before him that amazing happening in life are preceded my even more amazing dreams.
To accomplish amazing things in life, one has to dream big. Whatever limits that one sets in life, is exactly the ceiling that their success will experience. The first advantage that successful people have over others is that they allowed themselves the chance to dream without any preconceived limits. The biggest difference in a Michael Jordan and some guy still playing on the playground was that Michael Jordan dreamed that he would someday play in the NBA. Michael could actually see himself soaring through the air, making shots, and winning games.

Every day I have people tell me about their dreams, and how they are going to do extraordinary things in life. I am never the one to crush dreams, but I will ask them, “What is your plan, and what are you willing to do to reach your dreams?” This is step 3 to the goal setting process ‘formulate a plan’. Your dream is only as good as the plan that you put in place. I encourage all of my athletes to spend the most time in this area because the planning phase is crucial. I encourage them to do their homework, and to be very careful to pay attention to detail. For example if you want to become a world famous chef, you are going to want to know which culinary school is the best in the world. You are also going to want to know the prerequisites, and the process of application. You are going to want to know the advice of previous students, so you have a proper mindset. These are all just a few of the planning steps.

The most failed portion of the goal setting process is normally follow through and commitment. This is step four to successful goal setting. Most people for whatever reason are so afraid of failure that they simply don’t try. I guess they think that if they never try, then they never will fail. Well guess what that is the essence of failure! A true champion will commit to whatever it is that they are doing. They will finish whatever they start. This is the most important part of the process. Looking back over a life of some major accomplishments along with even more failures, I know now that following through and doing all that you can to reach your dreams is more important than actually reaching them. If, when you are on your death bed, you can look your family in the eyes knowing that you gave everything in life your all, then you can die knowing that your family will forever have an example of victory. My goal in life is to live with follow through and commitment, and I simply leave the results up to God.

The fifth and final step to the goal setting strategy is ‘constant reminder’. Normally when I set out to make one of my dreams reality, I will tell my closest friends so they can hold me accountable. A lot of people don’t like to tell people their plans because then if they slack, no one will know. I want everyone to know when I slack, so they can call me out immediately. Another technique that works really well is putting sticky notes everywhere that you look at daily like the bathroom mirror or on the kitchen cupboards.

Lou Holtz wrote down over 100 goals that day, and as of 1997 he had achieved over 95 of those dreams. One of those dreams was to be the head coach at the University of Notre Dame. Don’t be afraid to dream, but more importantly don’t be a dream killer. If someone tells you that they are going to be the President of the United States, you support them and help them develop the plan. People will always be a supporter or killer of dreams, and all I know is that I never want to be the one who someone is trying to prove wrong. I want to be the one that they are thanking during their inaugural speech.

Goals Setting Defined

1. Dream It!
2. Write it down!
3. Make a Plan!
4. Commit and Follow Through!
5. Use Constant Reminders!

For Something Bigger

This weekend two tribes of people gathered on separate days but in one spirit to raise money for and shower encouragement and support on one person: Lisa G.

Saturday weightlifters of all ages slammed bars for Lisa. Sunday powerlifters got jacked and totaled big numbers for her. Yes, there was competition, but there was one winner: Lisa G.

I entered the deadlift only competition during Sunday’s powerlifting meet. I had only one goal- lift as much weight as possible. One dollar per pound was on the table. Every pound counted in a huge way. I had a plan to hit 455 lbs. then move up to 490 before attempting 500. Warm ups felt good and I smashed both 455 and 490. I called for 500 for my 3rd attempt and went to rest.

As I listened to my music and focused on hitting the last attempt, I was almost overwhelmed with emotion because I knew this was a big deal to make this last lift for Lisa. I went into the main room still listening to my music, I passed off my phone to Caleb to make my way to the platform. I heard the announcer tell the Loaders to take the bar to 530 lbs. This was not what I had asked for. It was a 40 lb. jump from what was already an all-time PR at 490.

It didn’t matter, though. I was already there. Either I’m going to lift this or not. $530 on the line for Lisa. Staring down a 45 lb. PR, I told myself that 490 was a joke and the bar was giving me at least 30 lbs. extra today (somehow using math helped me mentally tackle whatever fear I had). The crowd got behind me, and I was able to lift the weight and complete the lift.

Time-out. Pause. Back up about 40 seconds.

I didn’t allow hesitation or fear enter my heart or mind, even though I knew this weight was not what I planned for and was something I’d never attempted before.


Because this was for something bigger than me. On a personal level it wouldn’t set in until after the fact- in that moment, and even now, it only mattered for Lisa, and that was my only concern.

I whole-heartedly believe that when you’re doing something that matters beyond yourself that you will always find extra motivation and drive to accomplish the task at hand.

Today it happened to be for Lisa, but in the rest of life that “something bigger” is Christ and my wife and son and all I’ve been created to do.

When you find your “something bigger” then impossible becomes the conquerable.

Something bigger 2014.