Category Archives for "Powerlifting"

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

New Horizons in Athlete Testing

It’s safe to say that I am coaching some of the strongest young people in America in the areas of Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, throwing, football, and wrestling.

We have:

  • two youth weightlifters who have medaled at the Youth World Championships.
  • multiple American records
  • multiple Pan American Records
  • a powerlifter who has unofficially benched 20 pounds over the IPF teenage world record
  • the fourth best thrower in the country
  • multiple football players with D1 offers
  • and one of the best middle school wrestlers in the entire state.

Here’s the kicker. We are in Lewisville, NC. I bet a bunch of you just said, “Where is that?” …Exactly!

My point is that we are good at getting people strong and powerful. Some coaches would probably get satisfied, finalize their approach, and assume their program was unbeatable. The reason my athletes are so good from year to year is because I would never think like that – no matter how many amazing athletes come through my program. My job is to remain on top so my athletes can realize each of their dreams. That’s why they come to me, and that’s what I intend on delivering.

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

AND NOW…

So what’s the next step? My goal is to build the best athlete testing protocols in the world during my tenure at Lenoir-Rhyne University. To do so, one must look at all the options out there and decide which ones are the best. This article is going to show you a few of the ways we intend on testing and tracking our athletes, and I will explain the use of each. I want to be up front and tell all of you that this is in the beginning stages and subject to change. However I will keep you updated on the changes.

Over the next few years, I intend on keeping all of you updated on our findings, and therefore potentially advancing the field as we know it.

The Problem

See, most training programs are designed around the training theory of supercompensation discovered by Nikolai N. Yakovlev in 1959 and the fundamentals of periodization published by Lev Matveyev in 1964. The problem is that our athletes aren’t privileged to the same environment as the Russian athletes of their time. Those athletes had a relatively stress free environment and were taking drugs. Our athletes live in a drug-free world filled with social media and the modern day stressors of 2020. We have to take those stressors into consideration.

In a perfect world, training works just like this:

Selye’s General Adaptation Cycle:

The body starts at baseline with a relatively steady state of equilibrium. Then we introduce a training stimulus to the body, causing fatigue and throwing our body out of equilibrium. Our body responds with the CNS sending a distress signal to the PNS (effectors). The PNS uses the Somatic Nervous System (skeletal muscle) and the Autonomic Nervous System (smooth muscle, cardiac muscle, glands, and adipose tissue) to address the disturbance. If the training volume doesn’t surpass the body’s ability to recover, the athlete will get their body back to baseline and then some (supercompensation). The problem is all of the outside disturbances and stress that compound the fatigue, making it hard to get back to baseline – let alone supercompensation.

OMEGAWAVE

Omegawave seeks to help coaches better get a handle on all the stressors an athlete is facing inside and outside of training. Omegawave combines heart rate variability along with brain wave activity to monitor the following aspects of readiness:

  • Muscular System
  • Hormonal or Endocrine System
  • Cardio-Pulmonary System
  • Central Nervous System
  • Energy Supply

Omegawave monitors the body in the following three ways:

  1. Heart rate variability (HRV) is used to assess the state of an athlete’s cardiac and autonomic nervous system.
  2. The differential ECG method is used to assess the state of the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems as well as heart rate at anaerobic threshold.
  3. The Omega method measures the brain’s direct current to assess the state of the central nervous system.

Let’s take a closer look at each. I am only going to give an overview, but I am planning follow up articles for all of the measurement systems I am introducing in this article.

HRV

HRV is becoming a pretty common way for strength and conditioning coaches to monitor the readiness of athletes. It’s a great way of measuring an athlete’s functional state, predicting overreaching/overtraining, and managing the training process. Put simply, you can measure athletes day to day to ensure that you are not causing too much fatigue and stress.

HRV can also be used to measure the current state of an athlete’s cardiac system with stress index, fatigue, and the body’s ability to adapt. HRV also shows the current state of an athlete’s autonomic nervous system. This is automatic response of the PNS to stress being received by the CNS. The body uses smooth muscle, cardiac muscle, glands, and sometimes adipose tissue to reach a state of homeostasis. If the body is too beat up, continuing to train will only put it further in the tank.

Differential ECG method

The differential ECG method is used to assess the state of the aerobic and anaerobic systems as well as heart rate at anaerobic threshold. Basically this tells us if the body has the energy stores to carry out a workout with various energy systems. You can be strong but still be tanked in this area. When we see differences in the ECG patterns, we know there are disturbances with the energy and metabolism of the heart.

Since cardiac and skeletal muscle share similar structures and biochemical reactions, training adaptations related to programming and periodization create similar changes in each. This correlation allows Omegawave to analyze specific characteristics of the QRS complex, a combination of three of the graphical deflections seen on a typical ECG, to assess the energy supply state of the cardiovascular and skeletal muscle systems. This is your fuel gauge just like on a car. If you are running on empty, you better pull over and fill up or risk running out of gas.

Omega Method

Finally, the Omega method measures the direct current potential and is used to assess the state of the central nervous system. An optimal voltage is necessary for useful adaptation as a response to training loads. If your DC is running low, your ability to adapt to a stimulus, to follow directions, or to retain information from a coach is drastically minimized. You coordination will be affected – along with quality of movement, efficiency, and motor learning. It basically measures an athlete’s current state of their regulatory mechanism or their CNS, gas exchange system, detoxification system, and hormonal system parameters.

The Omegawave System gives feedback and suggestions of daily best practices. My main goal is to use these measurements as data in combination with other data sources. Then multiple conclusions will be able to be drawn, allowing coaches to develop better plans for their athletes.

Neurotransmitter testing

Before he passed away, Charles Poliquin hypothesized that neurotransmitters could give coaches hints into best practices for individualized programming. I have written many articles about the different types of athletes. I’ve pointed out before how some athletes flourish with programs that include high loads, high frequency, and low volume – while others tend to kill it with high amounts of volume, moderate loads, and moderate frequency. Unless we test athletes, it could take months or years to perfect their programs. However, if Charles was right, we could start out on the most optimal path.

Charles explained that he believed each athlete has a dominant neurotransmitter: either GABA, acetylcholine, dopamine, or serotonin. He also believed that each neurotransmitter correlated with one of the Chinese elements: earth, water, fire, metal, and wood.

  1. Fire with Dopamine
  2. Wood with Acetylcholine
  3. Metal with GABA
  4. Water with Serotonin
  5. Earth was equivalent to a balanced neurotransmitter profile

Dopamine Fire Types: Charles believed that these athletes had incredible nervous systems, allowing them to easily adapt to training modalities and protocols. He believed they needed high volume and high variety for continued adaptation. He seemed to classify their archetype with their neurotransmitter test. If this is true, it will be interesting to see how my system to classify each athlete’s archetype correlates with Charles’s predictions. In the case of the Dopamine Fire, they have an inspiring nature and vibrant personality. On the other hand, they have a tendency to lose their temper.

Acetylcholine Wood Types: These athletes need a bit more frequency and intensity. However, you will want to lower the volume a bit. They still need change, but slight changes every couple of weeks will work best. You have to watch this group, as they might get hurt going too hard. This athlete is a pioneer. They are going to come up with new concepts along with having extravagant plans and goals. They are quick witted and creative.

Metal GABA Types: These types of athlete appears to model Brett Bartholomew’s Mouth Archetype. They are going to do more talking than training. This type of athlete will lean toward drug use to gain an advantage.

Water Serotonin Types: these athletes are free spirits. They aren’t going to love training at all. They might visit the yoga room a couple of times per month, but that will probably be it. They will cheer on the accomplishments of others but quickly get bored by the training process.

Balanced Earth Types: These athletes fit right into one of my plans. I normally start people with a plan straight out of Prilepin’s chart, and then I vary based on performance and feedback. They need a steady balance of intensity, volume, and frequency. These athletes do not like variation to their programs or changes to the environment. Block training with some form of linear periodization should fit them perfectly.

I am definitely intrigued to dig into these a bit deeper. If it’s valid, this could save coaches like me years of trial and error with programming. That has a bigger impact than you can even imagine. If I can dial in an athlete six months to a year sooner than normal, it could increase an athlete’s chances to make an Olympic team substantially. This test could help avoid overtraining and possibly injury. Lastly, it could help a coach gain athlete buy-in at a much faster rate, which is the battle we all fight every day.

Developing Archetypes

Naturally this fits in after the neurotransmitter section. I am a huge fan of Coach Brett Bartholomew and his book Conscious Coaching. I have now read it twice, and I hosted a clinic with a huge section discussing the book. Athlete buy-in is the 2020 buzzword. We all talk about it, and we talk about its importance. However not many people are actually able to get complete athlete buy-in from every individual they coach. Conscious Coaching is all about identifying and classifying the personalities and nature of athletes. The book gives you the tools needed to extract the necessary information to make the classifications, and it gives you suggestions for hacking the code of each athlete.

I am going to work closely with a sport psychologist to develop psychological evaluations that will help me identify the archetype of each athlete, and that will help me develop best-practice coaching strategies. I also hope to arrange periodic sports psych meetings for each of my athletes – both individually and as a team. This is an aspect of training that can be a huge advantage if an athlete isn’t scared to take advantage of the field. In my experience when you are at the tip of the iceberg, the deciding factor will come down to mental toughness. During this last Olympic quad, I observed that the athletes who seem to be clearly head and shoulders above the rest of the pack (like Kate Nye, for example) are mentally the strongest competitors with enormous amounts of confidence and swagger on the platform.

Velocity Based Training

VBT can be so many things to a coach if they happen to understand the concept. The first key to maximizing the potential of VBT is data collection. You need to form baselines for all of your athletes. You will want average velocities at varying percentages of varying movements. For example, I recommend establishing an average velocity at around 80 or 85%. You need a percentage to be your regulatory percentage. If you are excessively slower on any given day, then that is a trigger to alter the program to something like a technique and recovery day. If your peak velocity is 0.3 m/s faster than normal, you might consider pushing things a bit.

Once I have a velocity profile on all of my athletes, the entire program will be velocity-based in nature. This will give me so many advantages. For example, it will keep things logical. Athletes are emotional. They will snatch a weight faster than lightning, and then they will tell me it felt heavy or off. I will be able to show them quantifiable evidence of what’s really going on. VBT will also keep athletes from going heavy on days where they have nothing to gain and everything to lose.

OPEN UP NEW POSSIBILITIES IN STRENGTH

Mash Elite's Guide to Velocity-Based Training

By measuring bar speed (simple to do with your smartphone), you can guarantee each and every training session is as effective and safe as possible.

I am most interested in comparing the notes of VBT with Omegawave. If Omegawave’s feedback is telling me that an athlete is overtrained, I am curious what the velocity will tell me. I hope of course that everything is synchronized. Combining the two will tell me all the truths. For example, one athlete could have a tanked energy supply but still be able to pull on some heavy snatches. There might not be any glycogen available for a three-hour grind session, but the CP system can deliver some 90% singles during a short-duration but high-load session.

Velocity Based Training combined with Omegawave will help me perfect the exact amount of prescribed volume to elicit just enough stress to fatigue the system without destroying it. I hope I am getting that point across to all of you. If not, let me be super clear:

“It all comes down to perfecting volume, intensity, and frequency prescriptions, so that they fatigue the system eliciting a response from the body to maintain homeostasis, and therefore with the help of the autonomic nervous system adapt to a state stronger than the original baseline.”

The key is data. Omegawave and VBT are great ways to dial in athletes. I am hoping the neurotransmitter testing will help expedite that process even more. Of course, I will track all the markers of my programming – like total volume, average intensity, K-value, and hopefully a lot more that Dr. Koch and Dr. Leiting help me develop. I will share everything with all of you when we finish that process.

Data is important because it holds all the answers. If an athlete wins a gold medal at the World Championships going six for six, you are going to want to look hard at the data markers. You are probably going to keep similar markers for the next plan. However, if things don’t go as planned, you can look at what not to repeat.

We are going to have each of our athletes fill out daily questionnaires so that we can track external stressors (like big tests, struggling in class, break ups, and more). This will help us to know when to trim the volume of our own programs. Remember, stress is stress. If they are getting hit with stress in class, you have to respond.

One other data point I am looking into is genetic testing. I talked to Charles Lehman over the weekend from Health Codes DNA – and there was a lot of promising information. I just need to research them and the entire process a bit more. However, if what they told me is true, I will be able to pinpoint nutrition, recovery, programming, and so much more. I can’t wait to share that one with all of you if it’s as good as I think. The testing is also supposed to tell each athlete what foods to avoid as well.

There are still some testing parameters I am looking into like:

  • Jump Mat
  • Force Plate
  • Muscle Biopsy for Fiber Type (of course I will do this through my friend Dr. Andy Galpin, and I will get the best practices for each fiber type.)
  • Bar Path (I already use this parameter of testing, but I am looking for better software solutions.)
  • Sleep Quality
  • Gut Health

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

I know some of you probably think I am crazy, but my goal on this earth is to create a program in the sport of weightlifting that is unmatched anywhere in the world. I want my athletes to have every legal advantage under the sun. I also want to provide the world with research and data that will help to improve the overall state of exercise science. I want to leave it better than I found it. At the end of it all, I want to be able to deliver testing options for a variety of budgets and goals.

I am still in the early phases, so I would love to hear from all of you. If I am leaving out a testing parameter, please comment or email me. I want my time spent on getting my PhD to be useful to our entire industry. I want young coaches to avoid the mistakes I made. I want coaches to be so useful and sought after that they can make comfortable livings helping others and loving what they do.

Coaching Groups and Avoiding Injury with Paul Oneid – The Barbell Life 297

Paul Oneid has had a long and varied career as a powerlifter, D1 strength coach, and now a functional rehab specialist.

So we had a ton to talk about on this podcast!

We got into how he’s pursuing a healthy lifestyle as a powerlifter. But we talked a great deal about Paul’s coaching approach and how he deals with the issues that come with large groups.

And as a functional rehab specialist, Paul had a lot to share about mobility, core stability, and avoiding injury.

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:

  • Using “body shops” with his athletes to work on individual weaknesses in the context of large group training
  • 700 burpees for missing lifts… and getting buy-in
  • The unhealthy lifestyle of powerlifting – and how to improve
  • Different coaching for Canadian football versus American football
  • Business lessons that led him to opening multiple businesses
  • and more…

Testing Athletes – 1RM, 3RM, or Something Else?

Coach Joe Kenn recently made a post for Dynamic Fitness and Strength regarding testing progress with 1RM (one repetition maximums) versus multi-repetition maximum (3RMs or 5RMs).

View this post on Instagram

Today’s 60 Second Strength Coach comes from South Bend, IN home of the Fighting Irish ☘️ Tonight’s topic is risk as it pertains to the 1 RM versus Multiple RM and the issue of safety. Any time you perform maximal attempts in the weight room there is a risk of injury. Some believe a multiple rep max is safer than a one rep max. I disagree and it’s simple mathematics 🧮 As you listen to my justification, I also want you to then add in the prep sets and max attempts, total tonnage and reps. You will see that the multiple rep max places more opportunities via volume to put the athlete in harms way as well as the increase in tonnage. Example 1 – Squat 1RM Goal 500 Prep X8 – 30% of Attempt 1 X5 – 50% of Attempt 1 X3 – 65% of Attempt 1 X2 – 80% of Attempt 1 X1 – 90% of Attempt 1 Attempt 1 90% of 1RM = 450×1 Attempt 2 95% of 1RM = 475×1 Attempt 3 100% of 1RM = 500×1 Injury Opportunities = 3 Total Load = 1425 pounds Example 2 – Squat 5RM Goal 400 Same Prep Work Attempt 1 90% of 1RM = 360×5 Attempt 2 95% of 5RM = 380×5 Attempt 3 100% of 5RM = 400×5 Injury Opportunities = 15 Total Load = 5700 pounds #wordswin #60secondstrengthcoach #maximaleffort #1rm #max #education #learning #strengthtraining #strengthandconditioning #sportsperformance #athleticperformance #physicalfitness #physicaleducation #athleticdevelopment #dynamicfitnessandstrength

A post shared by DYNAMIC FITNESS & STRENGTH (@dynamic_fitness_and_strength) on

He made a great point I totally agree with. Coaches use multi-repetition maximums, and they defend their choice by saying it is safer. I have never understood that train of thought. Let me tell you why.

Reason #1

It’s really not much lighter. Most people can triple between 90% and 93% of their 1RM. Suppose an athlete has a 1RM of 200 kilograms (or 440 pounds). Are you telling me that 182 kilograms (400 pounds) for 3 reps is safer? (That’s 91%.) I can’t understand that reasoning.

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

Reason #2

Total load is much higher. Here’s the point that Coach Joe Kenn made:

“You will see that the multiple rep max places more opportunities via volume to put the athlete in harms way as well as the increase in tonnage.”

Example 1: Squat 1RM – Goal 500 Pounds
Prep:

  • 8 reps – 30% of Attempt 1
  • 5 reps – 50% of Attempt 1
  • 3 reps – 65% of Attempt 1
  • 2 reps – 80% of Attempt 1
  • 1 rep – 90% of Attempt 1

Attempt 1:

    90% of 1RM = 450 pounds x 1

Attempt 2:

    95% of 1RM = 475 pounds x 1

Attempt 3:

    100% of 1RM = 500 pounds x 1

Injury Opportunities = 3
Total Load = 1425 pounds

Example 2: Squat 5RM – Goal 400 Pounds
Same Prep Work

Attempt 1:

    90% of 1RM = 360 pounds x 5

Attempt 2:

    95% of 5RM = 380 pounds x 5

Attempt 3:

    100% of 5RM = 400 pounds x 5

Injury Opportunities = 15
Total Load = 5700 pounds

Reason #3

The last rep gets dodgy. We all know when we are going for that 3RM or 5RM, those last few repetitions are shaky at best. Coaches need to understans it’s not really the load that’s the risk. The risk lies in the bar motor patterns – especially at a collegiate level or strength and conditioning level.

Dr. Stuart McGill will tell you there is a biological tipping point. That means that there will come a time for strength athletes as they’re handling massive weights when will eventually reach a tipping point even with perfect form. However we are talking about athletes who aren’t professional strength athletes. They are nowhere near a biological tipping point. Therefore, the biggest risk lies in the quality of movement pattern.

A Better Way

However there is one way to monitor progress without considering load. If you want to minimize risk of injury while still monitoring progress with your athletes, I strongly recommend using velocity-based training. You can choose a percentage of maximum that you consider being safe for one repetition. I like using 88% because it’s still perceived as a heavy weight by the central nervous system.

On week one, establish a velocity. Let’s you squat 88% of your 1RM at 0.5 m/s at the start of a cycle. At the end of a cycle, if you are squatting that same weight at 0.65 m/s you have made a great improvement – and you didn’t have to add once ounce to the bar. If strength coaches want to be safe with their testing, this would be the safest way that I can think of.

OPEN UP NEW POSSIBILITIES IN STRENGTH

Mash Elite's Guide to Velocity-Based Training

By measuring bar speed (simple to do with your smartphone), you can guarantee each and every training session is as effective and safe as possible.

However, velocity doesn’t tell the entire tale. I prefer testing the 1RM with a 9.5 RPE or a 0.3 m/s velocity to get an idea of fiber recruitment and hypertrophy in all three major joints (hips, knees, and back). I would use velocity for in-season training as a way of keeping the focus on speed, efficient movement patterns, and mainly on their sport. Offseason though, I am going to focus the testing on a 1RM done at a 9.5 RPE or 0.3 m/s.

In case you don’t know, a 9.5 rate of perceived exertion is a weight that you couldn’t do any more repetitions with, but you could possibly add more weight. I would call this stopping one set before failure is even a possibility. Some coaches who are a bit more cautious might stop at 9 RPE, which is a weight that you could have done for one more repetition. Pairing RPE with velocity is the safest and the most objective way to monitor progress carefully.

I hope this article gives you some new ideas regarding testing your athletes. There isn’t a perfect way to test anyone where there is zero risk. People have gotten hurt picking up a basket of clothes. It probably wasn’t the basket that hurt them, but rather their day-to-day movement patterns that messed them up. With athletes, they might get hurt with 40% of a 1RM if they have somehow compromised their bodies playing their sport without knowing. An injury like that was going to surface regardless. All we can do as strength coaches is to be as safe as possible with our protocols, teach exact and deliberate movement patterns, and constantly observe our athletes performing those movements.

Falling in Love with the Super Total with Sarah Johnson – The Barbell Life 296

Sarah Johnson is breaking all the molds.

She was a football player all throughout middle school and high school, she competed as a college thrower, she’s a talented coach, she learned a ton working under my chiropractor…

And now she’s fallen in love with Super Total training. In fact, adding in some powerlifting to her weightlifting has helped her with her nagging back injuries due to hypermobility.

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

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

  • Training to be a firefighter
  • Hypermobility and injury – and how powerlifting HELPED her back rehab
  • “It’s the BRAIN”
  • The beauty (and fun) of the Super Total
  • Being a female football player in high school
  • and more…

Strength and Conditioning Tools that Need More Research

There are some tools and techniques all coaches need to know more about.

Some coaches swear certain protocols are the absolute way to get athletes strong, while others swear the very same things are useless. Coaches, athletes, and the supposed academic elite will post about products, programs, and techniques that in their words are absolutely necessary for athletic improvement or strength gains. Then you try it and find yourself going backward.

Capitalism gets in the way of truth as well. I have witnessed supplement and equipment companies force athletes to affirm products they didn’t even use or like, but they needed money more than integrity. The problem is the public doesn’t know that.

We need answers, not rumors.

We need answers, and we need them now. Here are some of the areas that intrigue me (and I will explain why after I list them):

  • Velocity Based Training
  • Fatigue Management
  • Post-Activation Potentiation or Post-Activation Performance Enhancement
  • Bar Path and Biomechanics
  • Squats, Cleans, Snatches, or Trap Bar Jumps for Speed Training
  • Unilateral versus Bilateral Squats and Pulls

Velocity Based Training

This is definitely one of the top three items I intend on researching during my post-graduate work. There are so many uses for this tool, but also there needs to be more research and more literature on how to apply it. I have used velocity based training to teach athletes intent, to ensure daily goals are met, to progress athletes while in-season, to minimize risk of injury, and to predict outcomes. The goal with velocity based training is to take the guessing out of the equation.

How does one actually take the guessing out? The answer is to track data. When you have elite or non-elite athletes, you need to have baselines. For example, Morgan McCullough might average a peak velocity of 1.55 m/s in the snatch when hitting 85%. So what does one do with this information? Here’s an example:

  1. If Morgan hits 1.7 m/s with 85%, that means it might be a great day to work up heavy.
  2. If Morgan hits 1.45 m/s with 85%, that means it might be a good day to back up and work on technique.
  3. If Morgan hits 1.55 m/s with 85%, that means it’s a good day to stick to the plan.

Morgan Snatch

We simply need more information on the tool, especially as it applies to different groups: elite athletes (proficient technique), typical athletes (acceptable technique), and below average (typical college students which most studies have used). Is there a difference? I am sure, but what are the variables? I have to find out. Another problem is there isn’t enough research or literature regarding VBT with the Olympic lifts. There is lots of information on typical strength movements like squats, bench, and deadlift. For VBT to be accepted in the Olympic lifting community, more work needs to be done.

Weightlifting has so many variables to consider versus power movements. Bryan Mann suggests looking at peak velocity, which is the absolute fastest point of the concentric pull. I tend to believe the mean is important as well, which is the average speed. I would even argue segmented velocity is possibly more important regarding rhythm, which is the big differentiator among top performers. I would want to know peak and mean from the floor to knees, knees to hip, and then hip to full extension. This would tell me where the athlete needs the most work. I would also like to see the peak and mean velocities in the first pull (first knee extension) versus the second pull (beginning with second knee bend and ending at complete extension).

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There are so many other variables that would come in handy with Olympic weightlifting like:

  • Rate of Force Development– How quickly someone can recruit muscle fibers to produce force. If you watch Wes Kitts or CJ Cummings, you will see a rate of force development that is simply unbelievable.
  • Changes of velocity during the pull– Is there any deceleration, or does the bar steadily accelerate? Where is the biggest change in velocity? Deceleration is a big no-no. If an athlete decelerates a great deal during the transition from the first pull to the second pull, technique has to be the focus.
  • Time spent at the top of extension before beginning third pull– This is one of the most important aspects that separates great weightlifters from the rest of the pack.
  • Velocity of third pull– This is another crucial aspect of great lifters.
  • Rate of deceleration at the bottom– A lot of athletes ‘pull and pray,’ which means they pull the bar as fast and high as possible, and then they simply go under the bar, praying they will catch it. First, that’s a great way to get hurt. Second, it’s not a great plan for making the lift. We want our athletes to continue pulling all the way until they’re in the receiving position. At that point, we teach them to reach up through the shoulder for snatch and up through the chest with the clean. The goal is to meet the bar strongly, which happens if an athlete remains in contact and pulling on the bar until receiving, versus pulling and praying.

Each variable quantifies for the coach exactly where to focus. Subjectivity can be the downfall for coaches and athletes. It’s easy to allow our own biases get in the way because it’s human nature. My goal is to conduct more studies with velocity based training on elite as well as non-elite athletes. I want to:

  • See the difference between elite and non-elite.
  • Understand the different variables as they relate to different sized and skilled athletes.
  • Make the use of VBT more practical for the masses.
  • Help coaches from multiple disciplines (strength and conditioning, powerlifting, CrossFit, and weightlifting) apply VBT.

Fatigue Management

Most coaches realize fatigue is part of the equation. Coach Tripp Morris asked me a question a few weeks ago about fatigue. We know fatigue has to happen during the overreaching phase of training. Supercompensation is a concept that has been used by exercise physiologists and strength coaches for several decades now. Basically the body is in a constant battle to maintain homeostasis, the body’s desire to maintain an equilibrium state among its different systems. The body is going to adapt to any stimulus. The goal is to apply enough stress to the body to force it to adapt at a very high level, and then drop the amount of stress, allowing the body to adapt to a state stronger than before.

Here are the questions with fatigue management:

  • How much is too much? If you push too far, you are at risk of injury. You can also cause sickness, or you can put the body into state that’s too hard to recover from leading to a bad taper for an event.
  • What tools are best for measurement? Coaches have tried a finger tap, vertical leap, heart rate variability, and grip strength. I want to try Omegawave, which is a tool that measures brain activity and heart rate variability. I want to pair Omegawave with VBT to see how the different variables match up. I also want to see how volume and intensity match up with brain waves and heart rate variability. For example, your oxidative system could be tanked, and you could still go heavy because the creatine phosphate system doesn’t rely on high supplies of oxygen or glycogen for that matter. However if the oxidative system is struggling and supplies of glycogen are low, high volume is a bad idea.
  • How do we quantify? This is the big question. How much is too much and for whom? Each athlete will respond differently to various loads. Is there a connection between muscle fiber type or blood type? How does training age, biological age, and gender play a role?

Post-Activation Potentiation

This is the theory I use the most. This theory purports the contractile history of a muscle affects the subsequent contractions. If you go heavy on one set and light on another, you will be more efficient with the lighter set because the body is recruiting fibers for the heavier load. There isn’t even close enough evidence on this theory. I have used it successfully for over two decades, but I want conclusive evidence.

The one thing I am learning about physiology is that function is one big puzzle. I want to look at fatigue management, velocity based training, and PAP all together. I want to see how they relate. I want to understand best practices. I want to quantify my findings in a way that is easy to understand for all of you.

Bar Path and Biomechanics

Two of my mentors and friends have debated the biomechanics and bar path in regards to the Olympic lifts for several years. Is there more than one way to lift a bar? If you look at all the world records performed over the years, you will see many different techniques. However, what are the absolutes? In my experience, a tight bar path, steady acceleration, a quick transition from the second pull to the third pull, a fast third pull, and a forceful deceleration are all qualities that are helpful to all athletes. Quantifying these findings will help to explain the facts not only to weightlifting coaches but also to strength and conditioning coaches.

What exercises are best for athletic performance?

There have been a few studies in this area, but I want to see more studies with elite as well as non-elite athletes. The problem with studies performed with the general public is that you have coaches of elite athletes applying these studies. Are they applicable to elite athletes? Plus I want to look at multiple athletic qualities for the different exercises like force absorption, power development, and power demonstration.

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Bilateral v. Unilateral squats

For those of you who know, you know. I want to look closer at the bilateral deficit as it applies to speed and power production. So far in my research, I have found both are good for athletic performance. I want to look at the use of both in a program. I also want to look at hypertrophy regarding bilateral and unilateral in the areas of the hip extensors, knee extensors, and back extensors.

I have found best results with performing both in a program. However some coaches have produced good results with using unilateral only. Most coaches who use unilateral only do so to reduce injuries, but is one more dangerous than the other? I don’t think so, but I hate the phrase “think so.” It’s time we all learned the facts. I am guessing both have their biological tipping points. Right, Dr. McGill?

Pairing Experience and Academia

I am excited for the next journey in my life. I have spent the last 24 years coaching and being an athlete. I want to pair experience with academia at this point in my career. I think I can make the biggest impact in the strength world performing research. I want to answer a lot of questions for the up-and-coming coaches, so they can maximize the performance of their athletes. If I can help the dreams of coaches and athletes around the world become a reality, my work on earth will be complete – as long as the world can see my love of Christ in all I do. If you take a close look at physiology, it’s almost impossible to believe a Master Engineer isn’t responsible for the human organism.

Let me know if you have any other questions you would like answered as I begin my research. I hope this helps all of you.

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