Category Archives for "Weightlifting"

External Resistance: Bands & Chains v. Straight Weight

Before we learn all about the pros and cons of bands and chains, we just dropped two brand new Programs:

==> SuperTotal: Strong and Sexy

==> Powerlifting: Tank Extreme Conjugate

Only $35 for either of the 16-Week Programs during the two week Launch.

I will go over the details for each later in the article.

I enjoy creating my educational material for GymAware more than anything else I have done in my career. Yes, of course I love going to battle with my athletes and watching them succeed. However, there is nothing more rewarding than helping a fellow coach grow in his or her profession. I have been a coach since 1997, so I know how hard this profession can be. A good coach was put on this earth to serve others. Therefore, there is no other group of people that I would rather help.

One of my latest topics for GymAware was on “External Resistance: Bands & Chains v. Straight Weight”. I will lay out the bullet points shortly, but here are the links:


Louie Simmons, of Westside Barbell, popularized bands and chains in the strength and conditioning world. From the moment he first mentioned these new options for external resistance, coaches have been debating the effectiveness of utilizing these tools.

Here are some key points:

  • Bands and chains are going to out perform straight weight in the area of developing force at a high velocity (aka power)
  • Bands and chains are going to switch the joint angle where maximum force is exerted
  • Bands are going to add to the speed of the eccentric contraction creating a greater stretch shortening cycle
  • For powerlifters, you will need to spend the majority of competition prep with straight weight due to specificity
  • Chains are possibly a bit more specific to straight weight, so consider using chains in between bands and straight weight.

Let me know if you have any questions, just email me at: Also, if you have any topics that you would like me to explore and expand upon, I am all ears.


Here is what to expect if you are considering one of my two new programs:


SuperTotal: Strong and Sexy

Finally, a SuperTotal Program designed to get you strong, powerful, and jacked. Here’s what to expect:

  • Peak all 5 movements in 16-weeks
  • Videos demonstrating all the major movements
  • Bands for rate coding and accentuated eccentrics
  • Velocity, RPE, and Percentages allowing you to choose your loading parameter
  • Isometrics to strengthen weak positions
  • Data automatically tracked
  • Daily readiness
  • Workout RPE for session impact
  • Educational items throughout added to maximize value and experience
  • and so much more!

Only $35 for either of the 16-Week Programs during the two week Launch.


Powerlifting: Tank Extreme Conjugate:

This program takes advantage of several stimuli all focused on increasing max absolute strength. For some of the specialty bars, we’ve made sure to provide substitutes, so that you should be able to follow this program with just a barbell and plates.

  • Velocity suggestions along with percentages and RPE, so you can choose your loading parameter
  • Isometrics for strengthening weak joint angles
  • Eccentric overloads for connective tissue and improved elasticity.
  • Videos demonstrating all the major movements
  • Bands
  • Chains
  • Flywheel with substitutes if needed.
  • Weight Releasers for Eccentric Overload and Potentiation
  • Added educational items to ensure a great experience.
  • I give alternative choices for everything, so all you actually need is a barbell and plates.

Only $35 for either of the 16-Week Programs during the two week Launch.

Best Practices When Coaching Young Athletes with Missy Mitchell-McBeth – The Barbell Life 405

On this special episode of The Barbell Life Podcast, Coach Mash discusses High School Strength and Conditioning with Coach Missy Mitchell-McBeth. In the wake of Coach Harrell from Rockwall-Heath High School in Rockwall, TX, sending multiple young athletes to the emergency room with Rhabdomyolysis, aka Rhabdo, a severe medical condition caused by damaged muscle releasing more proteins and electrolytes than the body can handle, especially the kidneys and heart. Rhabdo can result in permanent damage and even death.

The kids were asked to perform somewhere between 300-400 pushups as punishment during a conditioning class. That means there was more to the class than simply a massive number of pushups. This was held on January 6th, which is right when the students report back to class after the holidays. So much for a minimal effective dose!

It’s not the coach. It’s the system. We have to do better. Every year kids die at practice due to negligence, and no one says anything. Well, we did, and now you have the information.

Here’s what we talked about:

  • We talk about the incident and all the things that went wrong
  • We discuss some best practices that could prevent this from happening
  • We each give our thoughts on ways to improve the system
  • Healthy ways to strengthen, develop, and condition athletes
  • What does the research say versus what our experience says
  • So much more!


American-made strength equipment manufacturer providing the best quality, best value, best support & best people so you can build a better athlete.

Accentuated Eccentric Loading (AEL) with Tim Suchomel -The Barbell Life 404

Ok, we are back from a slight layoff for the holidays. We are starting 2023 out big with Episode 404, “Accentuated Eccentric Loading (AEL) to Improve Power Production and Rate,” with my friend Dr. Tim Suchomel, Associate Professor of Exercise Science at Carroll University and Program Director for Master of Science in Sport Physiology and Performance Coaching, so all of you coaches and athletes out there that love getting the most cutting-edge research before everyone else is going to get precisely what you are after.

Here’s a glimpse at this nugget-loaded show:

  • Accentuated Eccentric Loading (AEL) is all the craze, so now find out what the research is saying
  • Best practices for Weight Releasers, and one of my favorite methods, by the way
  • Improving an Athlete’s Rate of Force Development is what most Strength Coaches are after, and Dr. Suchomel will give you some research-backed ways to do just that
  • Using Dumbbells to Accentuate the Eccentric Load for Jumps and what the research says
  • His thoughts on Flywheels after performing the research
  • We go over all the ways to get athletes powerful and how to create that power as quickly as possible

I can think of a few instances where this information will come in handy, haha. This Professor is one of us, meaning he performs research and applies the findings to the athletes at his school. He’s in the trenches and slings barbells like the rest of us. You all should get to know this guy before the whole world realizes what a gem he is.


American-made strength equipment manufacturer providing the best quality, best value, best support & best people so you can build a better athlete.

Senior World Championships 2022 Response

World Championships 2022


Two weeks ago today, my athlete Ryan Grimsland took to the platform in Bogota, Colombia at the IWF 2022 Senior World Championships. By now most of you that have followed his progress know that he bombed out for the first time in his career. It was clearly a traumatic moment for both of us. My wife, Emily Drew and I just hung out with his family last weekend, and his mother, Jessica, told us that his grandmother was watching the event, and she teared up from the look on my face. It blew me away that someone could feel the pain I was experiencing through a screen, but I can confirm the look she witnessed was a solid impression of the pain I was experiencing inside.


It has taken two weeks for me to put in words my thoughts on the competition. I didn’t want to make the mistake other coaches and athletes have made in the past by listing excuses in hopes that the weightlifting world might give us a pass. The truth is that no one really cares except for Ryan, me, and our close family and friends, so there is no point in giving excuses. The only thing that comes from excuses is more mistakes from the same actions. Therefore, I have analyzed every step that led to this performance.


That performance wasn’t the result of a bad day, but instead the bomb out resulted from a series of mistakes that started all the way back at Senior Nationals and maybe from a year of decisions. I take full responsibility for what happened because it was my decisions that led to the performance. I was simply going off past experience versus looking at what was clearly being played out right before my eyes. In my experience, Junior athletes (18-20-years-old) can compete very frequently and almost assured of progress. Therefore, my goal is to get the most progress during those years, and then slow down to a more manageable peaking schedule. Sadly, I was one meet short.


Overall, 2022 was the most incredible year for progress that Ryan has ever experienced. In March at the Arnold Classic, he performed his first official meet as a 73kg athlete, and man it was a meet that most people will never forget. He totaled a monstrous 320kg for a 23kg PR total. Then two months later, he increased that to 327kg at the Junior World Championships in Greece and almost to 332kg getting called for a press out with his 187kg Clean & Jerk. However, this was the last meet where things went as planned.


We decided to do the Senior Nationals at 81kg just a couple of months after Greece, and looking back this was the first major mistake that I made. He was dealing with some major hip issues, but we were able to put a band aid on his pain by using soft tissue work enabling him to hit another PR total of 330kg a massive 33kg total improvement from the year before. He was able to win the Senior Nationals at 81kg, but there really wasn’t a purpose for the meet. We were hoping to compete against CJ Cummings, which would have been a fun battle. However, I should have pulled Ryan the minute CJ pulled out, or really, I should have pulled him regardless the minute he was dealing with the extra hip pain.


From that moment on, we were constantly dealing with Ryan in a state of overtraining. Athletes are used to overreaching because that’s a necessary aspect of their sport. You ask them to push hard, they get a bit run down, have them back down a bit, and boom they’re stronger than ever. The difference is overreaching and overtraining is that a few days of rest won’t help the athlete recover from overtraining. Here’s an article I wrote about the scientific hypothesis for the cause of overtraining: ➜ Cytokine Hypothesis of Overtraining.


We were able to battle back. Then at the Senior World Camp in September at the Rogue Center, he was able to battle back and appeared to be unstoppable snatching a PR 170kg/374lb from blocks and clean and jerking another PR 190kg/418lb, but that was the end of it. He never seemed to shake feeling beat up from that point on. Yeah, we were able to win Best Lifter at the Junior Pan American Championships with a 327kg total that just tied his PR total from the Junior Worlds, but he hit a PR Snatch at 147kg/324lb. We could have easily Pred his total, but we decided to jump from 180kg to 190kg in the Clean & Jerk. That gave me enough hope to push on to Senior Worlds.


Here are the warning signs that I was ignoring:

  • He wasn’t sleeping
  • He was dealing with nighttime anxiety
  • Stress amongst teammates and roommates
  • Massive ups and downs within training



I have mixed feelings about the Junior Pan American Championships. We could have taken a week or two off, skipped that competition, and probably been fine for the Senior Worlds. However, without the Junior Pan American total, we wouldn’t be the top 73kg for the Senior Pam American Championships taking place in March. At the end of the day, it’s pointless to dwell on past decisions. The best use of the past is to evaluate, make changes, and move forward. That brings us to the main point of this blog. How will I respond to this setback? That’s the question. Let’s look at that:

  1. Subjective Questionnaire- I have gotten lazy with tracking and checking compliance on the subjective questionnaires. They’re designed to tell me outside stressors, sleep patterns, and nutrition. They will now be mandatory and tracked daily.
  2. Daily Readiness- during my thesis research, we checked daily readiness at every session by measuring a depth jump from 45cm. That will be measured at every session with GymAware making the tracking more automatic. Overtime I will draw correlations between daily readiness, subjective questionnaire, and actual performance.
  3. Two Peaks per Year- I was planning on this already, but after this year, I can assure you that there will only be two peaks per year.
  4. Measure Recover- Trip Morris, the coach and father of Hampton Morris, told me about his recovery measurements during the Senior World Camp. I plan on reaching out to him for specifics.
  5. Conservative Actions- from here on we will approach his training and competition from a more conservative approach. No, I am not going soft. We will still have max effort days on Friday, but I will definitely be shutting him down more often. He’s already hit the numbers required to do well at the Olympics, so now we just need to see those numbers manifested on the competition platform. That puts us in a great position, since we don’t need massive improvements in the competition lifts.


There it is. This is how I will approach the training of Ryan and his teammates. I haven’t written an article like this since 2017 where we had a miserable showing as a team. Here’s that article: ➜ 2017 Nationals Recap. I am happy to say that we have never repeated that performance not even close. I can assure you that we won’t repeat Ryan’s performance ever again. I will say that it’s kind of funny that a couple of people were hating on his personal post. I mean they waited eight years for a bad performance, so I hope they got it all out. There won’t be another.


Two weeks is how long it took me to write this. I needed a time of reflection and quiet moments to piece my thoughts together. I did the same thing when I competed. I bombed out at the Senior Nationals in powerlifting in 2004. I didn’t talk to a human for an entire week. My friend, Chris “Ox” Mason called this my recluse mode. Even though it was hard on my friends and family, I needed that time as an athlete. I needed that time as a coach. P.S. later that year in 2004, I broke Ed Coan’s all-time world record total in the 100kg/220lb class at 2410lb. My response as a coach will be more epic than my response as an athlete because it will be centered in science.


Most people don’t care, but I am sorry for the two-weeks of silence on social media. I just needed to get these thoughts out of my head, onto paper, and formulate a plan. I did that, so now I am ready to move on. I look forward to learning more than ever and passing those thoughts on to all of you.


Coach Travis Mash

P.S. I hope that you all takeaway one major point, and that’s to take 100% responsibility. Excuses are easy to make. It’s hard work to analyze one’s own performance especially when it’s to find mistakes. I will leave you with this final statement. There are two types of coaches: 1. we can either go through life trying to prove to the world that we’re somehow better than all the rest, or 2. we can go through life doing everything possible to become the greatest that we can actually be. It’s important to analyze our own actions to see which coach we are becoming. I prefer the latter because my athletes deserve that type of coach.

Tools for Optimizing Performance and Recovery With Louisa Nicola – The Barbell Life 403

This week on the Barbell Life Podcast, we are talking to NeuroPhysiologist Louisa Nicola, host of The Neuro Experience Podcast and Founder of Neuro Athletics.

Here are some of the amazing points she covered:

Regarding Sleep:

  1. Consistent sleep at the same time
  2. How much time should you get per night
  3. What’s the best time to go to sleep
  4. Best Supplements for Sleep
  5. What’s the best room temperature
  6. Best Practices


  1. What’s important for the brain
  2. Omega 3 Fatty Acids are great for the brain, and she explains why
  3. Importance of Hydration and the specifics


  1. Why is Strength Training important for the brain?
  2. Myokines, what they are, and why they are important
  3. Truth about Lactate
  4. What are Neuroprotective proteins
  5. BDNF importance
  6. Endurance training versus Strength Training


American-made strength equipment manufacturer providing the best quality, best value, best support & best people so you can build a better athlete.

The Importance of Physical Fitness for Our Youth with Gabriel Villarreal – The Barbell Life 402

This week on The Barbell Life Podcast, we talked to one of our former guests, Gabriel Villarreal, about the importance of physical fitness on our youth’s overall mental and physical well-being.

Tune in as we discuss:

  • His groundbreaking pairing of Exercise and Counseling
  • He will discuss what a session looks like
  • We talk about the importance of sleep
  • He gives some great ideas for improving the sleep of youth and adults
  • He will provide you with some must-add supplements
  • What’s essential during exercises for learning
  • How can exercise counter ADHD and Depression
  • What’s essential in exercise for mental health: cardiovascular training or strength training?
  • So much more!

This one is groundbreaking, so that I wouldn’t miss it!

Want to learn how to train youth athletes? Check out our Youth Development Program to learn how!


American-made strength equipment manufacturer providing the best quality, best value, best support & best people so you can build a better athlete.

1 2 3 137
where to buy viagra buy generic 100mg viagra online
buy amoxicillin online can you buy amoxicillin over the counter
buy ivermectin online buy ivermectin for humans
viagra before and after photos how long does viagra last
buy viagra online where can i buy viagra