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What Makes a Great Athlete Great?

Join Coach Mash and the Mash Mafia Team Saturday March 12th for the “Mash Squat Every Day” Learn 2 Lift Seminar at the Mash Compound. We will be discussing:

-Exercise Selection
-Olympic Weightlifting
-And More

Check it out here: >>>Mash Squat Every Day Seminar<<<

What Makes a Great Athlete Great?


Parents ask me all the time to make their son or daughter like one of my other great collegiate athletes or champion weightlifters, and my response is always the same. I tell them that their child will be given the same opportunities that all of my prior athletes were given. The question is always, “Will the athlete take advantage of all of their opportunities?” Sorry to say that most will not! I am going to list the key ingredients that make Great Athletes Great.

1. They become “Masters of the Mundane”. This means that they do the little things to get better. Some of these little things are sleeping right, eating right, stretching, giving it their best on every rep of every set, and prioritizing their life. First sleeping right means that they are getting at least 8-10 hours per night. This might mean skipping parties or not going out on dates, but greatness does not come cheaply. They learn about nutrition, and they apply it. They don’t skip meals, and they become careful of what goes in their mouths. They stretch the muscles that are identified as tight by me. They also work on stabilizing the weak muscles that are identified by me. They don’t cheat reps or sets! That means that they run through the line, and they will probably give me 12 reps when I asked for 10. Last they prioritize their life! If they go on a vacation, then they ask me for a workout to do while traveling. Our athletes have access to unlimited amounts of knowledge because they have coaches that live Exercise Science. Now we have online clients that have the same on our website in the store section.

2. They set goals! All of my great ones have set concrete goals that they have written plans set in stone to reach said goal. We teach them to dream it, write it down, formulate a plan, commit to the plan, and follow through. It’s a plan that works!

All of my great athletes set goals for all of their dreams. Cade Carney, who is now playing football at Wake Forest University, set goals for everything. When we were on the way to one of his combines, he would be setting goals for his 40y dash and vertical leap.


Nathan Damron has a goal of beating all the Junior American Records in the 85k weight class. He has specific bench marks that he needs to hit to give himself a chance. He is consistently chopping away at those.


3. They do not need to be pushed! A lot of parents tell me to push their child, and I do exactly what they ask. My goal is always to teach them to push themselves. To do this I have to find out what drives them, and then I get them to visualize reaching that one thing. Cade Carney is arguably one of the best athletes that I have ever coached.. He is considered one of the top recruits in his class, and I can tell you that no one had to push him. This kid was driven, and he still is. There is no way that he will not earn a starting spot because he is driven more than any of the other kids. An athlete should strive to be self-motivated. Now I did push him further than he thought was possible, but he had his own motivation.

My team of weightlifters is one of the best teams in America. Our team is comprised of men and women determined to be the best in America. My main job is to tell them to rest. I don’t have to do a lot of motivating mainly just guidance.

4. Genetics! Now this one I have nothing to do with. This is totally up to the parents, but don’t get me wrong. I have seen undersized athletes work hard and earn scholarships. They just have to be a lot better than the bigger ones.

5. Visualization! All the greats can see, taste, hear, and literally feel what their idea of success is because they have visualized it a million times before they ever reach it. When they walk out on the World Championship Stage, they have already been there in their minds. When Cade is about to receive the football with the game on the line fourth down, goal to go on the one-yard line, he has already been at that situation in his brain. He knows what the crowd sounds like. He knows what the beat of his heart feels like.

Now it’s out there! I just wanted all children and adults to know what it takes to be great. All of my great ones possess all of these qualities, and I simply push them over the edge. I take their drive and make it better. I take their strength and make them stronger. My kids have a lot of tools at their disposal because we have an amazing staff. If you would like to know more about Mash Elite, contact us on


Join the Online Mash Mafia Team right here: >>>Team Mash Mafia<<<

Donnie Shankle loves weightlifting and so do I.

Here is a blog that made me reminisce about my time at the AN Gym in Charlotte with Shankle, Jon, and Ryan Grady. Listening to Donnie and Jon talk about their love for weightlifting was so inspirational and pure. I hope you enjoy this inspired writing.

Don’t miss the Mash Mafia Dec. 20th Weightlifting Competition! Come celebrate the holidays at the Mash Compound with some bar slams and coffee! Click on the link below for information:

Jingle Bars Weightlifting Meet at the Mash Compound!

Also check out the first Learn 2 Lift of the Year right here at the Mash Compound January 10th and 11th. Weightlifting and Powerlifting taught by Coach Mash and the Mash Crew! Click below for more information:

Learn 2 Lift January 10th and 11th!

Donnie Shankle Loves Weightlifting and So Do I


Yesterday I was sitting on the couch at The Attitude Nation Gym talking to Ryan Grady and Donnie Shankle about weightlifting, strength and life. The couch at ANP is one of my favorite spots in life because I can sit down with Jon, Donnie, Alex, Ryan, and the others, and we can bounce ideas off of each other. It is also a spot where everyone is comfortable: transparent. This allows for everyone’s true self to surface, or as Jon would put it “the Skeletons”. Yesterday we discussed the: importance of nutrition, compared IQ levels and personality traits of weightlifters (introverted and smart) versus powerlifters (extroverted and… not as smart), and general solutions for the problems of life. Midsentence concerning the “golf clap” at a weightlifting meet, I announce, “I love Weightlifting!” Donnie replied by saying, “Me too man! I love weightlifting!” But why exactly? Why do we love a sport so much when 80% of the sport is torture? My answer so far is not complete, but here is what I know.

​In a world full of chaos, corruption, and disappointment, Weightlifting is pure, beautiful, and orderly. In a world filled with unfair advantages and rejection, Weightlifting is a place of refuge where you can put in the work and reap the rewards. If you put in 10,000 hours at the gym, you will become a master of the sport that we call Weightlifting. If your legs are weak, squat! If your jerk is terrible, practice the jerk. If you are weak overhead, then practice movements overhead. Problems and weaknesses will surface, but concrete solutions exist in this beloved sport. The answers are clear. Only one question: Are you willing to do whatever it takes?

​We talked about the madness of the sport as well. Weightlifting requires you to basically perform three movements everyday: snatch, clean & jerk, and squat. We spend 80% of our time training in hell, perfecting the snatch and clean & jerk with only 20% of heaven as reward, if you’re lucky. We perform thousands of reps chasing just one personal record that might happen once a month or less. But when the barbell, loaded with one more kilo flies up off the floor in your hands, makes contact at the perfect place and continues its path upward, while you drop into the perfect squat and catch the barbell in the sweet spot with ease, one perfect snatch falls into place, there is nothing so sweet.

Bar slam. It makes every training session, every missed attempt, and every tear totally worth that moment of victory.

But a great weigtlifter is never satisfied. The chase is on for the next PR…

​Our passion for Weightlifting is what makes us true Black Sheep. Jon, Donnie and I pay our bills doing exactly what we want, and so none of us will ever work again. The people telling me that I work too much don’t realize that I am having fun when I do a seminar or write a blog. I am sharing my passion with the world. Helping and loving people is my ministry; Weightlifting is a platform that God has given me. I am the most blessed man in the world. God has given us all passions, talents and platforms, and it is up to us to take these gifts and put them to work. Jon always says that we are doing much more than just teaching people to lift weights- anybody can do that. I am teaching people a new outlook on life! I am teaching people to “Love your life or change it”! Dream, write it down, formulate a plan, and commit it to action! Don’t get caught up in what society says is successful. A Black Sheep is someone who doesn’t follow the herd. I’m not saying to be a rebel without a cause. I am saying being a rebel with the greatest cause in the world! Black Sheep is a lifestyle! Are you living it?

Check out one of our Online Teams:

Mash Mafia Weightlifting Team

Eat What You Want! Lift What You Want!

Online Coaching and Mentoring by Coach Mash


Who Becomes a Champion?

Below is a blog that I wrote almost two years ago inspired by Donnie Shankle and Jon North. I thought now would be a proper time to let it resurface with the World Championships going on and the American Open coming up.

Don’t miss the Mash Mafia Dec. 20th Weightlifting Competition! Come celebrate the holidays at the Mash Compound with some bar slams and coffee! Click on the link below for information:

Jingle Bars Weightlifting Meet at the Mash Compound!

Join me this weekend in Eagan, MN at Undisputed Strength and Conditioning also check out the first Learn 2 Lift of the Year right here at the Mash Compound January 10th and 11th. Weightlifting and Powerlifting taught by Coach Mash and the Mash Crew! Click below for more information:

Learn 2 Lift January 10th and 11th!


​Last week I talked about the four necessities to become a world champion: minimums, maximums, fearless attitude, and a positive group setting. This week I am focusing on the individual human component required to become a champion in any sport or anything. The traits that I am talking about in this blog apply to all people who want to Great! If you want to be President of the United States, Olympic Gold Medalist, or the best teacher in America, you will be required to have these traits: Extraordinary Desire, Relentless Determination, and a Fearless Attitude. If your goal in life is to do something absolutely amazing, look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, “Do I really have these qualities present in my life?” If not, get them or be honest with yourself. Let’s take a look at each of them!

​An extraordinary person has to have an Extraordinary Desire. No one ever does something amazing without having a burning desire to be amazing. My friend and co-host on my podcast Weightlifting Talk (!/show/the_jon_north_show) Jon North had an Extraordinary Desire to be the best weightlifter in America, and that desire took precedent in his life. He lived in his car with his wife, just so he could train with the best lifters in California. He worked out 3-5 times per day, and he performed workouts so brutal that one of his teammate’s rib cages collapsed under the pressure of the bar. None of the grueling workouts, poverty stricken conditions, or the never ending expectations of coaches could make Jon sway from his goal of becoming the champ. Steven Jobs wasn’t going to allow anyone to stop him from growing the most dominant software company in America. All of these people demonstrate an Extraordinary Desire as a common characteristic that they all possess that sets them apart from others. This Extraordinary Desire gives them that edge to do the things that others won’t. This gives them the ability to become the Masters of the Mundane, or the ability to do the little things. These people will eat to win, sleep to win, study to win, practice to win, or whatever it takes to dominate their passion.

​This Extraordinary Desire has to be present along with Relentless Determination to turn dreams into reality. This determination is what gets you out of bed every day, it’s what gets you to practice, and it’s what gives you the ability to eat like others won’t. Desire without determination is useless. Determination allows the person to have an unyielding commitment to not quit, and it allows them to form a plan that they refuse to sway or alter. Donnie Shankle, America’s best 105kilo Weightlifter, demonstrates “Relentless Determination” more than anyone that I have ever met. Donnie sleeps in a recliner because a bed hurts his already battle damaged spine. This guy has suffered a broken neck from a bar loaded with 374lbs crashing from overhead directly on his cervical spine. He is 32 years old, and he doesn’t have a cell phone. He recently dislocated his shoulder during training. The normal person would have quit long ago, but Donnie refuses. This guy has one thing on his mind, and that is the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. His determination will not allow him to quit until his dream is reality.

​Donnie’s “Fearless Attitude” is what gives him the ability to hurl himself courageously under the same or greater weights that have been the cause of his injuries. Donnie told me that the one thing that all coaches would agree on as to what genetic trait must be present in an athlete for them to be great is a “Fearless Attitude”. In the sport of weightlifting that manifests itself as the ability to go under heavy weights and catch them above one’s head. This same ability is what gives an athlete the ability to catch a football knowing a 250lb linebacker is about to deliver a crushing blow. It is what gives a basketball player the confidence to make a game winning three point shot. This trait is the one that is most commonly absent in athletes, and it is the hardest to teach. Over the years of coaching I have learned to improve this characteristic, but if it is completely missing, it probably won’t appear. This is that certain something that incredible athletes and individuals demonstrate while their competition does not.

​These three characteristics are rare! Not many people have them all together, but when they do, amazing results are the outcome. Take a good look in the mirror, and ask yourself these three questions, “Do I have an extraordinary desire? Do I demonstrate a relentless determination? Do I really have a fearless attitude?” Your answers will tell you the potential that you possess!

To find out more about an Online Team, click on the links below:

Online Coaching and Mentoring by Coach Mash

Mash Mafia Weightlifting

Eat What You Want! Lift What You Want!

Echo Before the Collapse

I decided that it was fitting to let this blog resurface. I am committed to one more run at being the best strength athlete in the world. This article shows you just how far I was willing to go. I am just as committed, but I believe that I am much wiser now. I also believe that my priorities have shifted. Enjoy!


​Three months of sweat and tears had boiled down to this moment in time. I’d neglected everything in my life to be the best in the world. The best ever! I was called the Icon of Powerlifting, and I wasn’t satisfied. Nothing could satisfy me! All I longed for was more domination, another goal to conquer. I was a two time world champion in the 220lb weight class and four world records to my credit, but that wasn’t enough. I was considered the strongest pound for pound powerlifter in the world, and that wasn’t enough. At that point of my journey, nothing was ever enough, and I wouldn’t let anything or anyone come between me and my next conquest. I had decided to drop down to the 198lb weight class to demolish that World Record as well. I was on journey, and I had no idea where it would take me. God had a plan for me. It just wasn’t my plan!

​I had made the cut from 230lbs to a now 203lbs. 5lbs to go! 5lbs on what was an already lean 230lbs, so that 5lbs was an eternity. I was determined! Nothing would stop me from reaching my goal. I found myself in a bathroom of a hotel room that I had made into a steam room. I had taken hot towels and covered all cracks of the door. I had the shower on full blast hot. I was wrapped in a sauna suit with burning hot towels around my neck and head. I was feeling weak and dizzy, but I was determined. I started to experience and eerie sense of quiet in the room. I felt like I was in a space ship lost in space. All of a sudden time stood still, as I watched a bead of sweat drop from my nose. The bead of sweat floated in slow motion to the floor. When it finally struck the floor, I heard a distinct echo, whuwhuwhuwhu! I had just enough time to gather a confused look on my face before collapsing to the floor. At this point, I had absolutely no sweat coming from my body. I was completely dehydrated!

​I crawled out of the room in desperation. I made it to my phone and called my friend Ox. All I could say was, “Help!” Thank God he rushed to my aid and took me to the hospital. Four IV Bags later, I was told by the Doctor that I had experienced a mild heat stroke. I heard the words, “Lucky to be alive!” All I cared about was my ability to compete. The doctors told me that I shouldn’t, but it was my call. Of course I was going to compete. Remember I was the Icon! The best! Unbeatable!

​I wasn’t going to make the 198lb Class, but I still could go into the 220lb class. That’s what I did. I knew during my warm ups that I was feeling weak. I wasn’t myself. I dropped my opening squat to 903lbs. That was a weight that I could easily handle in normal circumstances, but this wasn’t a normal circumstance. On my opening attempt, I was bent forward way more than usual. I was bent so much that I cracked two ribs. Somehow I was able to complete the lift, but that was all that I was going to squat on that day. I competed the rest of the day in survival mode. I managed openers in the bench and deadlift, but that was it. In my opening deadlift, I was actually dripping blood from my mouth due to internal bleeding. The day was a disaster! I had failed! I had totaled 2235lbs to a normal 2400+. I took 6th place! That was my lowest placing ever in my life. The unbeatable one was no longer unbeatable. I had been dethroned!

​This event lead to low in my life that I had never experienced. Failure wasn’t something that I had ever experienced. I was mortal! I was just like everyone else. My identity was stripped from me when they placed that medal around someone else’s neck. I didn’t know who I was. It was like my very name was taken from me. I turned to fast fixes! Temporary fixes! I turned to anything that would take my mind off of failure. I was on a journey that would take me to who I am now. When I was in that dark hole staring up into a small glimmer of light, I started my climb out. It was to be a long and slippery climb that sometimes led to slips, but I eventually found all things that I love.

​It was during this climb that I found Christ. Around the same time, I found my amazing wife Emily Drew. My focus had shifted! Now I want to be the best husband, father, and friend. Now I want to follow my God. This dark road led to a city of lights! Failure can sometimes lead to success. Maybe it isn’t the success that you were after, but it will always be the success meant for you. I would go through the experience all over again to where I am now.

Summer Strong and a Week of Learning from Legends

Below is a blog that I published over a year and a half ago. It’s just ironic to see where fate has taken me. I hope that you enjoy it, and I trust that you will see the irony as well.

I will be back in Eagan, MN in November! I am also getting my schedule for my Learn 2 Lift Seminars for next year. Email me at to get your gym/box on the schedule!

Learn 2 Lift Seminars


Summer Strong and a Week of Learning from Legends

This Weekend I had the chance to visit Sorinex’s Summer Strong for the first time. It won’t be the last! Glenn Pendlay, Head Coach of Team MDUSA, is out of the country, and he asked me if I would assist Don McCauley in coaching some of the team. I was very excited and honored for three reasons: 1. Rebecca Gerdon/my adopted daughter is on that team, and 2. I love what MDUSA is doing for the sport of weightlifting, and 3. The guys on the team are just super nice guys.

Rebecca stole the show going 6 for 6, setting PRs in the Snatch, Clean & Jerk, and Total, and qualifying for the Nationals with lots of room to spare. Watching her improve every meet is so warming to my heart. It’s my art, and Rebecca is the end piece. My man Tom Sroka killed it too, and qualified for the A Session of the Nationals.

After I was done coaching them, I had a chance to talk to Richard Sorin. He knew all about my powerlifting career, but had no idea that my first love is weightlifting. He told me that my passion for my lifters was inspiring, and coming from him that is the biggest honor of the weekend. The Sorin’s simply love the world of strength whether it is powerlifting, weightlifting, highland games, or strongman they love it.

I also had the chance to coach Matt Vincent the reigning Highland Games world champion. He was competing in the weightlifting competition, and I promised my friend Matt Bruce that I would look after him. He didn’t need a lot of looking after because he Snatch 145 k and Clean & Jerked 177k in his first meet. He actually cleaned 182k/400lbs, but missed the jerk. This kid is simply strong and explosive, and he is a lot of fun to be around. I was also pleasantly surprised by my man Coach Joe Kenn, the legend himself. He is on vacation from the Carolina Panthers at the moment, and was just checking out the venue. Coach Kenn is a legend in the strength and conditioning world, and I look up to him as a mentor.

During the day and later that night I hung out with Chad Wesley Smith, Zach Even-Esh, and my man Chris “ox” Mason. To be honest the real knowledge is dropped at the after party. Zach and Chad are true entrepreneurs, and it is exciting that people are making good livings doing what they love. We all get to help people reach their goals, get in shape, and we help mold their character. I have noticed that the guys that truly love it the most end up doing well in the industry. The posers don’t last very long. Chad Wesley Smith is a guy that I have wanted to meet for some time. Number one I like the way that he approached the strength game. He loves being strong at whatever he chooses! He has killed powerlifting, and now he has turned pro in strongman. The guy looks like the Kaz, and I believe that he can be just a good. He is also redefining the industry, and he is a big part of the new movement away from geared powerlifting. I believe that is exactly what the sport needed. His Juggernaut Method is taking the strength world by storm, and I would recommend anyone checking his website out. I will also say this that Zach Even-Esh is the nicest guy in the industry. If I had kids, and I lived near him, then they would train with him. You can see in his eyes that he loves what he does. Ox and I had the chance to talk to Bert Sorin, and he told us the whole story about how their family got into the game of strength. Basically they have loved it their whole lives, and they simply wanted to be a part of it. Their shop is a museum of strength equipment, old York DBs, original plates of the Culver City Barbell Club, and posters of all the legends. I was a kid in a candy store.

Now here is some of the knowledge that I learned this week in a nutshell. First, keep it simple! We all agree that there is more than one way to reach desired goals, but pick a plan that is simple to follow. Stick with the basic movements, and variations are fine like pauses, chains, and bands, but full range that matches the competition movements is best. Coach Kenn explained to us all that there are no protocols, and that the body will adapt and respond to whatever stimulus that it receives. The most important one that most of us agree on is that neural adaptation is the most important response, and one that has been left out of a lot of programs. My biggest advice is to always be in search of new and better ways, invest in your own brain, and never get caught up in cult like programs. I am just saying that we all should make sure that science is supporting what we are doing, and if someone that is successful is trying to tell you how they did it, well maybe you should listen. Chad Wesley Smith is preaching that sermon everyday my friends. Be on the lookout at for my interview from Chad Wesley Smith, we get into some controversial issues.

The trip back with Ox, my lovely wife, and me was awesome because we had a chance to go over what we learned. Now we have the exciting opportunity to share it with our MashElites, and my Weightlifting Talk listeners. I just love the way that our program grows day to day, month to month, and year to year. We have built a culture of guys and gals that are starved for information, and that makes for a breeding ground of awesomeness!

Check out our online teams! Click on a link below to find out more:

Mash Mafia Weightlifting Team

Eat What You Want! Lift What You Want!

For Online Coaching and mentoring from Coach Mash, click on the link below:

Online Coaching from Coach Mash



Weightlifting and Powerlifting as it Pertains to Sport

Here is an article that I first published over a year ago! I wanted to let this one resurface because the information is so relevant to the population that I work with. Enjoy!


Last week I had the honor of speaking in front of a Strength and Conditioning Class at Winston-Salem State University taught by Professor Mike McKenzie. I was excited that the Exercise Science Department at WSSU has added a Strength and Conditioning tract for the students. My topic was Olympic Weightlifting and Powerlifting as they pertain to sports. It was fun doing a little research to back up my presentation, and it always keeps me sharp lecturing in front of sharp young students. I started with the sport of Weightlifting, so I’ll get right to the points.

Without a doubt the Power output (P=F*V) of the triple joint extension that takes place in both the Snatch and Clean is superior to any other form of training. This isn’t my opinion! It’s just fact Jack! The Power output is exactly four times of any movement performed in Powerlifting, so if your sport is dependent upon Power, do the Olympic lifts. The reasoning is quite simple because you have four main variables in the Power Equation: Mass, Acceleration, speed and distance. Weightlifting will always win at least three out of the four categories, so it’s just not a contest. This is why Olympic weightlifters will always have tremendous vertical leaps and amazing 10m dashes without even training them. Don’t get me wrong! I still love the Powerlifts, but for other reasons that I will explain later. The hip, ankle and thoracic spine mobility required to perform the lifts correctly also comes in handy for sports requiring an athlete to move well. Kinesthetic awareness or the body and limbs as related to space is also very high. This simply means that the weightlifter is able to move the body rapidly around the bar, and all the while they know exactly where they are in relation to the bar. Watch the sport of football and you will see how important it is for the athletes to know exactly where they are in relation to the ball and potential threats. The last reason that Olympic Weightlifting is superior for athletes is when compared to Powerlifters researchers found that Olympic Weightlifters had significantly larger Type IIA Fibers even in the pectoral region. This one actually blew me away, but never the less that’s what the research says.


Now let me tell you why Powerlifting is also great for sports. I want to say right now that I love my fellow Powerlifters, and I am grateful for what the sport has done for me. I am just stating facts not opinion. The one place that Powerlifting ranks second to none is developing Absolute Strength. Absolute Strength is simply one’s ability to move mass through space. Can you lift some heavy stuff or not? Powerlifters are simply strong! There is no denying that fact. Powerlifting is also superior for getting jacked! What I mean is that Powerlifting will produce more hypertrophy due to there being more time under tension. Hypertrophy is a fancy word for muscle growth, and for a significant amount of this process to take place, the muscles have to be under tension longer. The Olympic lifts are so fast that very little time under tension is taking place, but you will notice a lot of Olympic lifters with huge legs and butt. That is normally from all the squatting that they do. This hypertrophy will also cause another quality of Powerlifting, and that is the ability to gain some body weight. This factor is super important for athletes like Football Players or possibly Rugby players. Dan John makes another interesting argument for the Powerlifts, and that is there “bulletproofing capabilities”. He explains that by saying the heavy Powerlifts ready Football Players for the field of battle. Most Powerlifters have huge traps, backs, chests, and legs which gives them a slight advantage when it comes to taking or giving those huge hits on the field.


There are several debated topics that surface from both camps. The first is the highly debated low bar vs. high bar squat debate. For all of you that don’t know the low bar squat is a technique popularized by the Powerlifting world where the bar sits low on the rear delts shifting the center of gravity closer to the mid-line of the body. Of course this allows the lifter to use more weight, but it doesn’t necessarily make you stronger. It just gives you a biomechanical advantage. The big negative is that it puts your back in a horizontal position placing higher sheering forces on the spine. Low bar will also cause the lifter to barely go below parallel (crease of hip to the top of knee)because of the forward lean. The extra tension is great for strength, but terrible for mobility. The high bar is superior for training athletes for several reasons. First, I want all of my athletes to be the most mobile guys/gals on the field of play. I want the squat to be butt to the floor with a vertical back, so my 300 lb linemen are also agile. If you want to get a lineman to college, make sure they are mobile. Also when your high bar gets stronger, so does your low bar. It doesn’t however work in reverse, so it doesn’t make sense to train it. The longer range of motion will also cause more hypertrophy which is obvious when you see an Olympic Weightlifters legs and butt.

A big topic debated is the time it takes to teach the Olympic lifts. This is laziness! Take the time to learn to learn how to teach man! I can teach almost anyone how to do a clean in about 20 minutes, so that is a terrible argument. I agree that we as strength coaches shouldn’t spend the whole session on the Olympic lifts, but if you schedule 15-20 minutes per session to teach the lifts, your athlete will catch right on in no time. The other problem that coaches have with teaching a lot of the lifts whether Power or Olympic is the risk of injury. That is a terrible argument as well. All the lifts are safe if performed properly. Having the ability to screen and asses is a big part of being a strength coach. If someone can’t perform a Snatch, your job is to find a way to get them there. Maybe they need more thoracic spine mobility. Then your job is to get them more mobility in the Thoracic spine.

There are some common mistakes that I see in the world of strength and conditioning that need to be addressed. First poor coaching is a big part of the problem. If you are going to be a strength and conditioning coach, then you need to be proficient in the movements that you are teaching. If you are going to teach the clean or snatch, then you need to be able to perform the lift yourself. If you are going to teach the squat, then you need to be able to perform the squat properly and safely. A knowledge of programming and energy systems is super important, so that your athletes are getting the proper workout that will help them in their specific sport. I’m just saying that if a football player wants to be fast and explosive, then don’t do four rounds of wall balls and 800m sprints. However for a soccer player four rounds of wall balls and 800m sprints is a good choice because it matches the energy system that they use on the field. This could be a whole new article.

The perfect program would use both Olympic Weightlifting and Powerlifting optimally in a program designed to improve the energy systems used in the athlete’s chosen sport. Learn as many techniques, skills, and fields of strength and conditioning as possible, and then learn how to apply them optimally and safely. This is what makes my industry awesome! The fact that we can always learn something new! Embrace that! Never stop learning!

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