Category Archives for "Powerlifting"

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!

Preparation for the Bar Slamming Festival

My Training 5/27/14

High Bar Back Squat 230k/506lbsx1 paused rep
P. Snatch 110k/242lbs x 1
P. Clean 145k/319lbs x 1
3 Board Bench Press 415lbs x 3 reps
Paused Bench to Chest 350 lbs

I am training for the Bar Slamming Festival that Jon North and I are putting on in conjunction with the Garage Games. We are having Olympic Weightlifting, Powerlifting, and CrossFit in this epic festival. It’s a great place for me to focus my energy right now.

This has been a year full of mixed emotions. I lost my friend Lisa G to cancer, Baby Mash is due September 23rd, and my wife is the most beautiful pregnant lady in the world. I have spent my life expressing myself with the barbell, and now is no different.

I hope that you all follow my training as I post my results and feedback right here. My workout will be focused on a hybrid Powerlifting and Weightlifting Program that I designed. It will be interesting to see if I am able to progress all my lifts for this meet. I will be opening myself up for questions right here, so ask away.

I will also be posting videos as often as possible.

Dan Mason Story

My story with Attitude Nation

I always enjoyed the barbell in my free time when I could, but as you become an “adult” lots of priorities get switched around. When I started listening to Weightlifting Talk I was doing CrossFit in my garage with a buddy that worked with me on 3rd shift at the jail. I loved the show and that was back in the Shankle and North days. Time passed by and I kept training and started up the corporate grind as an investment banker at an independent firm and then at a bank. While I was slaving away for the man I had been gaining training partners in my garage to the point that the neigbors started to complain. So I rented a warehouse and CrossFit Thrive was born. I continued to work full time at a high pressure job and put about 30 hours a week into the gym all while trying to still be around for my wife and kids. Something had to give. I remember listening to you guys talking about taking the plunge and being 100% commited to what you actually want to do. “Love your life or Change it” So after a really stressful couple of years I was really thinking about taking a 75% pay cut to really see if this gym thing could work.

Then it happened one fateful day I was getting chewed out by one of our wealth management clients and I had enough. It was a situation where my hands were tied and couldn’t help them even if I wanted to.”I’ve tried to work this from every angle. What the f#*k do you want me to do?” Long story short they didn’t appreciate my attitude and I got canned. (Life lesson: Try not to piss off millionaires unless you are one) Had it been a few years ago I would have found another corporate gig to jump onto and start the climb over again. Thanks to you guys though I have been able to work the job I want to for the past year, grow the business, train like a mother trucker, and compete in Strongman, CrossFit, and on 8/30/14 we can add powerlifting and weightlifting ot that mix.

So all in all. Because of the black sheep lifestyle I own an awesome gym, a kick ass apparel company ( and I even get to see my family.

I couldn’t have done it without the influence of the Attitude Nation

Train Hard
Never Surrender
Be Relentless


My Story-Shari Ruelas

Shari is a very dear member of the Online Attitude Nation Weightlifting Team because we share a very dear friend. Ladies and gentlemen I present Shari Ruelas:

Here’s my story for the for the AN Online team.

I started lifting weights when I was 28 years old in 1996. The Olympics were just wrapping up, and I was inspired by all the athletes. During that time I learned that women were going to be in the 2000 Olympics for the first time. I had never seen women compete in weightllfting and I was intrigued. I had been a decent powerlifter in college and thought I would give weightlifting a try. I found a coach, A.D. Moyer, who trained several high school boys in his garage, and he trained me every day after work. One of the young men that trained there was a promising lifter that made several International teams, named Corey Barrett Wilkes. He would train a few months at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs and then come home and spend a few months training with us. His family was not supportive of his weightlifting and pressured him to work full-time and go to college. My husband and I saw Corey’s dream to make the Olympics and took him into our home so he could focus on his training. He became family to us and his dreams were our dreams. Corey continued to make great strides and ending up ranking #3 after the 2000 Olympic Trials. Unfortunately, the US only took 2 men that year and Corey was left home. His best friend Oscar Chaplin III did make the Olympics. When Oscar returned from Sidney, the gang went out to celebrate with Oscar. At the end of the night Corey hitched a ride back to the training center on a friend’s motorcycle. She lost control going around a curve, and they were both killed instantly. We was devastated to lose a friend and family member who brought so much joy to the world and had such a future in front of him. My love for weightlifting died that night and I stopped training.

Fast forward 11 years and Crossfit reintroduced me to the lifts, and I remembered how much I enjoyed lifting heavy weights over my head. I decided to do a local meet for old times sake. There I ran into an old friend that encouraged me to look into the Masters competitions. I had some success at the National level and was instantly hooked again. I started training by myself 5 days a week in my garage. I would search the internet looking for programs to follow and tried a number of them out there. During this time I discovered Jon’s podcast and was instantly drawn to him. He reminding me a lot of Corey, the original black sheep. Corey had come from a rough home life and managed to pull himself out of it. He was scorned by USA Weighlifting because of his tattoos and piercings (funny how common that is now), and he would love the spirit of the Attitude Nation. I would listen to Jon’s podcasts while lifting and not only be inspired to push myself, but I felt like Corey was there cheering me on.

I loved when Travis came onto the podcast. While I had high respect for his lifting accomplishments, faith and public witness, I became a huge fan when Travis mentioned Corey one day. Travis had trained with Corey at the training center and was telling a story about him. I was instantly filled with emotion that there was someone else out there with fond memories of Corey. When Travis offered online training, I knew this was the answer. I lift alone and need help with my technique and the support of a community. It is a great honor to call Travis my coach and to represent Team Attitude Nation. My goals are to lift barbells the rest of my life, to medal at the Masters World Championships and to set some US records along the way.

Living each day to its fullest,

Shari Ruelas
Houston, TX

To find out more about joining our team, go to