Category Archives for "Powerlifting"

Living for a Purpose

Living for a Purpose

I just had a meeting about a non-profit that we are starting in honor of Lisa G. We are starting a Lift 4 Lisa & Kill Lung Cancer Foundation. Cancer has taken too many people from me, and now I am fighting back with the help of my Mash Family and you all. During the meeting, my friend Annaleisa reminded me of what I said at Lisa G’s funeral. I spoke about the way that Lisa used the athletic ability that she found later in life to inspire the world and glorify God. Lisa was PRing her clean & jerk while taking chemotherapy treatments. I remember coaching her in disbelief, and that smile that would fill her face was contagious throughout the entire gym.

The point is that we all have a purpose on this earth. Our job is to find that purpose and live it out. The key to that purpose being meaningful at all is the motivation behind that purpose. Early in my life I lived my life for me, set records for me, and won gold for me. Now I live for Christ first, family, friends, and others that might be watching. Now I am training hard to kill it at the Aug. 30th Bar Slamming Festival, so that I can raise awareness for Lung Cancer. Not only Lung Cancer, I want to represent my creator, my savior, my God. I want Baby Mash to see his father living out his purpose in the name of Christ.

Why are you existing? Why are you on this earth? Are you just existing? You have to ask yourself these questions. If you don’t know the answers, then find out. Be still! Go somewhere by yourself, turn off your phone, pray, and figure the answers out. Personally I take a four day weekend with my amazing wife, study the Bible, pray, and simply try to turn my brain off. I try to relax and let my imagination run wild. 99% of the time, I come away with a plan, and I come away excited to attack life. If you haven’t taken a “Soul Searching” vacation, make the time to do it sooner than later.

Finding Your Purpose:

• Go somewhere alone and away from your daily chaos
• Turn off your phone
• Put your computer away
• Listen to God
• Dream
• Let your imagination go wild
• Write your ideas down
• Start to make plans
• Commit your life to living out your Purpose

What do you want people to say at your funeral? That is the question to ask. Don’t live for things or treasures on earth. Live to inspire! My passion is to inspire people to live out their purpose on earth for Christ. I want my wife, daughter, and son to see me living my life for Christ. I want them to see me not setting limits, going hard in the paint, and all the while keeping my focus on Christ. I want my daughter and son to see my loving my wife like no other man on earth has ever loved a woman before.

This is the way that I plan on inspiring others, and in turn changing the world to be a little better than I found it. What are you going to do to leave this world a little better than you found it? Guy ask yourself this honestly! We all have the ability to change the world even if it’s just your own family. If your children see you loving God and your family, they have a much better chance of doing the same.

I have a whole gym and virtual gym of people that look to me for advice. I want them to see that I love them all. If they see me loving them for absolutely no reason at all, then they will have an example to go by. My hope is that they will pass the love on to the people that they come into contact with. I want the world to be set on fire with the love that overflows from the Mash Mafia Family. Then we have all been a part of changing the world.

On the lighter side, my workouts have been going great in preparation for the Bar Slamming Festival. This week has been off the chain, and it has given me great hopes for the competition. Here are the results from Tuesday and Wednesday:

Power Snatch 110k/1
Power Clean 130/1
Jerks off Blocks 160/1, 165k/1, 170k(374lbs)/1 PR

Clean 160k/352lbs/1, 163k/358lbs/close miss
Front Squats 180/1 pause, 170/1 x 2sets paused (This was a deload)
Standing Presses 70k/3, 80k/3, 90k/1

Here is the Video:

I pumped about the jerk, and I was excited about the 160k clean. It wasn’t a PR, but I was able to get it on a day that I wasn’t feeling strong at all. Leads me to believe that when I am tapered and feeling good, I could hit 170k which is my goal. This mentality is one that I wish my athletes could grasp. If you are feeling weak, slow, and sore and you hit a decent number, then that is a win.

My standing press is coming along slowly, but is getting stronger. My goal is the get it up to 120k/1, and then I will have the overhead stability that I need. I am still trying to strengthen that weak left side, so that my snatches and jerks are secure. Always work on your weak spots to get stronger!

I will be in Rhode Island at the end of the month for another Learn 2 Lift Seminar. Check them all out at

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Power/Oly Blend! It works!

I have to say that I am enjoying my training more in the last few weeks than I have in the last several years. Training for Olympic Weightlifting and Powerlifting at the same time keeps me excited and not bored. It’s like a big puzzle that I am putting together daily.

I have a 15 week plan that I am sticking to about 70% of the time. I am giving myself room to go off the script when I feel good, and to take a day off if I am feeling wrecked. I believe that is the reason that this plan is working so well. I want to go heavy when I feel it. The reason is that my body is capable of such a high level, and right now I am way off that mark. My body is going to take weekly gains until I am at around 90% of that level, and then things will slow down. Then I will stick to my program even more, and that is when the real Grind starts.

Yesterday was probably the best training session that I have experienced in several years. Here is what I did:

Snatch from Box: 110k/242lbs x 3 reps (that’s a rep PR)
Back Squats: 256k/565lbs x 3reps (rep PR)
DL from Box bar below knee- 725lbs x 3reps (PR)
Bench to Chest Paused 365×1 (PR)
2 Board Bench- 425 x 1
Bench to chest Paused 370×1 (PR)

Here’s the video:

Now these are comeback PRs, not all-time of course. Notice how I benched 365, then did the 2 Board, then I PRed again with 370lbs. The 370lbs was easier than the 365lbs. The contrast training works for me like nothing else. I think the board pressing by itself is useless, but when you add the sets to the chest, it’s Gold.

One of the biggest challenges is the multi-rep Snatches. I fractured a cervical vertebrae in 2007, and my radial nerve in my left arm has been compromised ever since. Stabilizing the weight overhead is a real challenge after that first rep. I finally hit the 110k/3 after three times of missing the third rep. I just need more work with overhead strengthening, and some overhead endurance like Overhead walks.

This is the beauty of training Powerlifting with Olympic Weightlifting. There is always something to work on, and all the while you have to consider how one affects the other. I believe that more 5 lift meets should be promoted. Only then can we find out who the strongest athlete really is. The combination of strength, power, speed, mobility, and athletic awareness makes the complete strength athlete.

Come to the Bar Slamming Festival Aug. 30-31 in Statesville, NC if you want a 5 lift meet, just Oly, or just powerlifting. Basically it’s going to be all things jacked. There will even be a CrossFit section that is more Barbell in nature. Maybe next year, I will add the CrossFit element to my training and competition as well.

Check me out at the end of the month in Rhode Island at my Learn 2 Lift Seminar, to find out more go to Mash Elite Summer Camp goes down in July, to find out more go to: Join the Attitude Nation Online Team at

Youth Nationals, Training Youth, and my Training!

The Youth Nationals is this weekend in Daytona Beach, FL. I am so psyched for so many reasons! First, I am ready to see my athletes tear it up. There are several that stand a great chance medaling, and possibly Gold for a few. This is exciting for the future of our program. The youth team has grown from two last year to seven this year. It has been so awesome watching the kids make their place on our team and in our family. They are as much a part of our team as Jon or Jared.

What’s really cool is watching my Senior Team Members help out with the youth, support them, and generally love them. It’s one big family that one day I want to write about if I can figure out how it all happened. Weightlifting is such a great sport for kids. It’s superior for getting them ready for other sports, and it is a great sport for them to compete at. No other sport is growing like weightlifting, and now the Youth Nationals is the biggest Olympic Weightlifting Meet in US History with over 500 athletes registered. Now there are scholarships for the better athletes, awesome meets, financial support, and the Olympics. Parents are starting to take a real notice.

Training youth athletes is a real art form. Adult athletes need individual programming, but youth even more so. We are finding that puberty is the biggest factor. Athletes that are going through puberty need more technique work, stabilization, and slightly less volume. Once they are through that period, it is go time! It’s like they are on drugs with the improvement that they make. Almost weekly PRs can be expected at certain points of their training.

The biggest key is extra time being spent in the beginning to perfect technique, movement patterns, and mobility. This is a great time to spend on strengthening positions with exercises like sotts press, overhead squats, standing presses, front squats, back squats, pullups, bench presses, and rows. General strength is the main goal at this point. I’ll let you all know the full report after the whole thing goes down this weekend.

This week was great for my training. Here is what happened:

Clean off the Blocks 135k/3, 140k/308lbs/3 PR
Front Squat Paused 215k/475lbs x 1 PR
Standing Press 65k/3, 75k/3, 85k/3

Snatch 123k/270lbs x 1 PR(since comeback)
Clean & Jerk 151k/332lbs x 1
Total 274k PR of late

I took the weekend off because it was my 5th Year Anniversary with the most amazing woman on earth, Emily Drew Mash. We took a trip into the mountains to see my new born niece, Baby Ella! Trust me she is so cute. Here is a pic:


I am excite about how well my training is coming for the August 30-31 Bar Slamming Festival. It’s going to be the most epic competition in history. I have finally come up with a way to train Olympic weightlifting with Powerlifting successfully. The key is taking extra time to recover and mobilize. Here is a video from last week’s training:

I will be in Rhode Island with a Learn 2 Lift Seminar at the end of this month, and our summer camps kick off early next month. Check them all out at

Join the Attitude Nation Online Team at

Love Your Training to Get Jacked!

Yesterday was one of the best training sessions that I have had in a long while. Everything started clicking again, and a lot of PRs fell. Coach Ashworth at Mash Mafia Weightlifting is also one of my weightlifting athletes. He made a wicked wise statement last week, and it really helped to change my perspective. He said that he was going to make training “fun” again.

He was so right! I remember training for the first time 30 years ago, and I remember how much I loved it. I still love it! I love how that hard work can change the way I look, feel, and most importantly how I perform. When I was a child, the tv show “Incredible Hulk” was super popular. My uncle told me that Lou Ferrigno, the actor playing the Hulk, lifted weights to get big and strong. I remember thinking that all I have to do to be jacked is lift weights. No one had to tell me twice! I hit the gym brother!

When the gym becomes a place to drag yourself into, remember why you fell in love with training. I love training. I always have. I love being stronger, and I love the fact that I can make myself stronger by working hard. It’s that blue collar mentality that allows me to push harder than other people. I beat most of my opponents because I out worked them and/or worked smarter than them. Never allow someone to outwork you!!!!


Snatch from Box- 106k/3, 116/1, 122/1pr, 124k/273lbs/1pr
Paused Back Squats- 235k/517lbs/1, 250k/550lbs/1
DL from Box Bar at knee- 715lbs/3
Bench 360/1 Paused and easy, 315lbs/3 all paused

Here is the video to some of the training highlights:

I am super excited to be preparing for my first five lift meet at the “Bar Slamming Festival” being held Aug. 30-31 in Statesville, NC. I have always wanted to train for the “Big Five”: Snatch, Clean & Jerk, Squat, Bench, and Deadlift. There are quite a few members of the Mash Mafia that are doing this hybrid workout, and now we have a bunch that are doing the new “Get Jacked Workout”. This workout is a mixture of Olympic Weightlifting, Powerlifting, and Bodybuilding! Simply all things awesome!

I will add my Oly/Power Hybrid Programming and my Get Jacked Workout to the newsletter next week. To find out more about it, sign up for the free programming on

To check out our Learn 2 Lift Seminars, go to To join the Attitude Nation Online Weightlifting Team, go to

Olympic Weightlifting/Powerlifting Hybrid Program! My Training

Friday Session at Undisputed Strength

First I want to say that I love being a part of Undisputed Strength in Eagan, MN. I will be programming for their weightlifters, and I will be visiting about once per month to make sure they are killing it. If you are in the Minneapolis area, this is the place to be for CrossFit, Oly, and all things jacked. I will also be recruiting from this location, so basically they are the first farm team for my weightlifting team.


Snatch 120k, and missed 123k three times all very close
Clean & Jerk 150k, and missed 155k


P. Snatch 108k easy
P. Clean 139k easy
Paused Back Squat 495lbs x 1

I am excited about my on the road workouts because normally I do poorly because I get tight and achy. I was careful to do some mobility work in my room Thursday and Friday morning, so that I would be well prepared to train. If you are traveling, take some extra time to stretch, hot tub, and mobilize. The little extra work will pay off big time.

I spent a lot of time getting to know the members and coaching the athletes, so my volume was a little low. I am excited about my progress for the Bar Slamming Festival. Combining the sports of Powerlifting and Olympic Weightlifting is an interesting puzzle. The dual sports is perfect for my attention span, and it offers a challenge that I have longed to try. The keys are:

• Placement of the bench press as to not affect overhead
• Heavy deadlifts put at the end of a workout that precedes a day off as to recover
• High bar squats until the last three weeks as to not affect movement patters on the snatch and clean
• Keep the volume low and intensity high on all five of the main lifts

I will add my Oly/Power Programming to the newsletter next week. To find out more about it, sign up for the free programming on

FYI this is the last week to sign up for the Attitude Nation Online Weightlifting Team! To find out more about it, go to:

I will be at Gaglione Strength this weekend in Long Island, New York for a Level II Learn 2 Lift Seminar. To find out more about this and other seminars, go to:

If you are debating on coming, check out this video:

Workout 5/28/14 Focusing on Weaknesses

Pretty solid day:

Clean from Box 151k/332lbs x 1
Front Squat 205k/451lbs x 1 paused
Standing Press 70/3,80/3×2

Cleans are improving every week. I do a lot of work off the box because the exercise takes my greatest strength out of the equation, first pull, and it forces me to focus on my weakness, the third pull. It’s a total mental game for me to simply pull and go under. The paused squats are the biggest key to my recent success. Pausing in the bottom has increased my mobility, stabilized me with a vertical back, and gotten me strong, and all of this increases almost weekly.

I hear way too many people telling me how they front squat 100lbs more than they clean. If that’s the truth, then I recommend nothing but paused work until that gap shrinks to about 40lbs. You should learn to be comfortable in the bottom position, so try taking deep breaths while in the bottom.

My presses definitely need the most work. I fractured my cervical spine in 2007, and now I have permanent damage to the radial nerve of my left arm. I am now focusing on my pressing strength to hopefully increase OH stabilization. Focusing on one’s weaknesses isn’t the glamorous part of training, but it is the necessary part.

Check out our latest video! The Program is causing PR Bombs!