Category Archives for "Weightlifting"

Is the Westside System Designed for Geared Powerlifting Only?

Guys “Conjugate: Westside Inspired Weightlifting” has dropped. Get it for only $29 during this release period at:

==> www.mashelite.com/conjugate/

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Is the Westside System Designed for Geared Powerlifting Only?

This is an argument that I have heard thrown around by two of my good friends lately, and I can see why. They see most of the guys at Westside doing geared powerlifting, and I guess from that they deduce the system is designed for geared powerlifting. Since I love both of the coaches that I am talking about, I will answer this in a cordial way.

First I am not sure in what way that the program is designed for geared powerlifting. That’s a broad statement, and I haven’t heard the statement supported with examples. I am assuming the box squats, bands, and partial movements like board presses, but other than that I am not certain. I will start with these examples, and then I will briefly go through the system to show how it’s not just for geared powerlifting.

Let’s look at Box Squats because I am the first to say that box squats are great for geared powerlifting. Box Squats teach a lifter to sit back, which isn’t conducive to a raw squat especially that of a weightlifters. However there are more advantages of the box squat than just a squat. First they force an athlete to have a controlled eccentric contraction, which could have some major carry over to the strength, stability, and injury prevention of a weightlifter. What about pauses? That’s a great point except that most weightlifters will control the eccentric contraction during the first several inches of the movement, and once again collapse during the last few inches. Those are the crucial inches that need strengthening in a weightlifter.

Box squats are also good for starting strength, which a lot of weightlifters could use. Even as a powerlifter, I noticed that the box squats aided my pull more than my squat. I know of several weightlifters that could benefit from a stronger pull. High box squats are something that I want to try to aid the jerk. I want to strengthen the dip and drive through that specific range of motion. It has been proven clearly that high squats positively affect vertical leaps and sprinting times, so I would like to see what happens with a jerk. Once again I would urge my colleagues not to throw out the baby with the bath water. Also none of us can use the research argument because there simply isn’t a lot of research on much of our industry. All that we can do is use the research that has been done to support our decisions to try new ideas. Once again the two coaches that I am responding to are amazing coaches with amazing results, so this has nothing to do with their abilities to coach. I am just supporting my own claims as my results are equally supported.

Bands are another animal all together, and there are a lot of other coaches smarter than me that are using bands and chains to get amazing results for their athletes in the area of velocity based training. There is a lot of literature to support the use of bands during squatting and pulling, and a lot of Division I and Pro Strength Coaches use them routinely to build the best athletes in America. Guys like Coach Joe Kenn, Carolina Panthers Head Strength Coach, Ryan Horn, Wake Forest Head Strength Coach for Basketball, and Jonas Sahratian, Head Strength Coach For UNC Basketball. Of course we all know guys like Buddy Morris and Tim Kontos that also use the Westside System with amazing results. I mean doesn’t this show that the Westside System isn’t just for geared powerlifting. I mean you won’t find a basketball player at UNC (National Champions by the way) or Wake Forest using a squat suit. Coach Kenn isn’t using bench shirts with the Panthers.

Bands are great for simply increasing speed. All you have to do is use a tendo unit with and without bands, and you will see the difference. Maybe you don’t think that velocity has anything to do with strength. However in my experience it surely has almost everything to do with strength. I mean I used the system to squat over 800lb several times with just a belt on. I benched 550lb raw. I deadlifted 804lb in competition with just a singlet and belt. All of these were at a bodyweight of 220lb, so it at least worked for me a little bit.

I use partial movements like board presses and pulls from blocks on all of my raw powerlifters with amazing results. I am using the max effort method with these partial movements to prepare the CNS for heavy weight. I like to use movements that allow the athlete to feel weights anywhere from 5-10% above their maxes on the full lifts. This method is no different that snatches and cleans from blocks. Personally I normally end with a full range of motion movement, and a lot of my athletes experience a personal record from post activation potentiation.

Here’s the Westside System broken down simply:

Dynamic Effort- this day is centered around a focus on speed somewhere around .7-.8m/s. The intensity is going to average around 80% (sound familiar?). Total volume is going to match prilepin’s chart somewhere between the low to high suggestion.

Max Effort Method- this day is going to be more like the Bulgarian Method. They are going to pick a version of the competitive lift and go as heavy as possible. When it comes to the Olympic lifts, I personally stay specific 6-8 weeks out with maybe a small variation like pull+snatch or clean+front squat+jerk.

Special Exercises- this one is my favorite, and I do believe that the two coaches that I am talking about totally agree with me on this one. Louie simply uses special exercises to target any weaknesses. Make sense?

General Physical Preparedness- this is a fancy phrase for work capacity. Louie encourages using sleds, wheelbarrows, prowlers, and carries to strengthen, condition, and recover. My team uses this method on a daily basis. We use movements that are lacking eccentric contractions, low loads on the major joints, and emphasize stability in weak positions.

Repetition Method- this is a cool way of saying bodybuilding. Most athletes need this especially in the beginning. Some basic muscle mass is required for acquiring massive amounts of strength. All athletes should use this method to destroy weaknesses.

Look this is just skimming the surface of the Westside Method. I suggest that everyone that is skeptical should visit. It’s really hard to say that you have an understanding without visiting. It’s like saying that you grasp the Chinese Methods without having spent quality time with their team. No you don’t! I am pumped to take my buddy Coach Sean Waxman to Westside Barbell for a meeting of the minds. Everyone that knows me, understands that I totally respect Coach Waxman, and I consider him a major mentor. I think that him and Louie can teach each other some major concepts, and I hope to be the fly on the wall. Get ready for that Strength and Conditioning Explosion!

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Guys “Conjugate: Westside Inspired Weightlifting” has dropped. Get it for only $29 during this release period at:

==> www.mashelite.com/conjugate/

Raising an Athlete: A Parent’s Perspective

I am excited to announce that in a couple of weeks we will be launching our new e-book “Conjugate: Westside Inspired Weightlifting”. This will be my take on the applicability of the Westside System for Weightlifting. Until then, you can check out the “Mash Method” E-Book for Free at:

==> www.mashelite.com/mashmethod/
===================================================================================

A Parent’s Perspective

by Coach Crystal McCullough

Many of you have basically watched Morgan grow up on Instagram posts the last couple of years and are wondering where did this kid come from? What is his background? And my favorite is what are you feeding this kid?

I thought I would take a few minutes to write about this phenomenal 13-year-old kid and share some insight into his background and family.

Morgan’s entire life has been as a military kid. He has lived in 8 different cities and 10 different houses in his short 13 years. His dad, my husband, has been deployed 3 times for a year at a time and many short trips over the course of those 13 years. I won’t lie and say the military is easy. It is never easy. What it does do is make a kid like Morgan resilient, a fighter, and independent. Morgan is more comfortable in a room of adults than a room of kids. He can hold a conversation with anyone. He wasn’t born this way. He learned it through social situations. When he was younger, he was super shy and wouldn’t speak even when spoken to with any amount of confidence. We, as a family, value the time we have together. We’ve learned quality over quantity. I believe with all my heart that every place we have been in the past 13 years has led Morgan to exactly where he is today.

Shockingly, Morgan was a normal sized baby. He quickly became taller than most of the other kids his age and had some feet that would rival Shaq. He has played several sports from the age of three until now. He has played soccer, basketball, baseball, and football throughout the years. We put him in some speed and agility classes when he was six to help him with coordination, balance, and agility. He also started CrossFit Kids around the same time and got in a good 2-3 years of general physical preparedness (GPP) during that time.

When we moved to Kansas, the CrossFit gym I coached at had an awesome weightlifting coach in Gregg Hadley. He took Morgan under his wing, taught him about the sport of weightlifting, and worked with him on his technique. We owe a lot of the love Morgan has for this sport to Gregg because he took the time to give attention and really teach an 8-year -old boy. This is also the time when Morgan competed in his first meet. He was 9 years old, weighed 50.3k, snatched 23k, clean and jerked 30k, and totaled 53k.

Morgan outgrew the CrossFit Kids class around the age of 10 and started participating in the adult classes at the gyms I either coached at or was a member of. The great thing about all of the programming in the gyms I have been a part of is it was well rounded and gave Morgan a great base in gymnastics, plyometrics, barbell work, and overall conditioning. At the age of 11, Morgan was doing muscle ups, butterfly pull-ups, and handstand pushups. He was also refining his barbell technique and smoothing out his pull, where he previously had a hitch in that second pull. He also competed in several scaled CrossFit competitions against grown men and held his own.

We were also blessed with another coach along the way in Ian McIntosh. He was a colleague of mine at the gym I coached at in North Carolina where he specialized in the Olympic lifts. He coached Morgan through a couple of local meets to include the first annual Strength Spectacular in 2015 on the Rolling Hills Farm, where he totaled 130k in the 77k weight class. At this point, weightlifting wasn’t his main sport. He was still playing basketball for his middle school team trying to balance training with practice and games. At the end of his seventh grade year, he decided that he really loved weightlifting and wanted to focus solely on that.

We had seen Travis at a couple of local meets while he was coaching but never actually spoke to him. He posted a video of a youth athlete the end of 2015, which I believe was Matt Wininger, on his social media page where I made a comment that referenced his lifter and Morgan. Within minutes, I had a direct message from Travis and the rest is history….

My husband and I decided to homeschool Morgan beginning his eighth grade year. Our thought process was it would allow Morgan to travel and train at Mash as well as compete at the National events without missing school. It has worked out very well and he has excelled in his schooling and has the flexibility to train and travel without additional stressors. We have decided to continue on into high school even with us living in Winston Salem now due to the possibility of him making International Teams in the near future.

Morgan has taken weightlifting by storm over the past year. Pardon me for a quick proud mom moment while I brag on his accomplishments. At his first Youth Nationals in 2016, he broke the American Record for 13u 69+ with a 109k clean and jerk. He came back that December to the American Open and broke the American Record for snatch at 92k, clean and jerk at 118k, and total at 210k. He barely missed qualifying for Junior Nationals as a 13 year old! Fast forward to this year’s Youth Nationals, where he hit a 106k snatch and a 140k clean and jerk for a 246k total at 13! He barely missed being part of the Team USA Youth PanAm team, where he would have been the youngest in the history of the USAW to make an international team. Travis will tell you that Morgan switched gears during Youth Nationals this year. To quote Travis, “He became a man.” Morgan came off the platform after hitting the 100k snatch second attempt and told Travis he wanted 106k. The look of determination and resolve on his face told me he was going to get it and he did. On his second clean and jerk attempt, he hit 135k and told Travis he would take 138k for his final attempt. Travis told him they needed 140k to have a chance for PanAms. No arguing, no doubting, Morgan simply said ok and went out there and smoked it.

As you can see, we haven’t forced Morgan to compete in this or any other sport. HE chose weightlifting as his sport. We have simply provided the environment for him to flourish in if he so chooses. If he chose tomorrow to quit weightlifting, we would be sad because he truly has a gift, but we would be just as proud of him as we were 10 years ago and as we are today.

Even at this young age, Morgan takes his recovery and training seriously. He gets a good 9-10 hours of sleep every night. He works on school throughout the morning after he has had a good breakfast. He also gets some down time after lunch before he goes in to train with the team. In the evenings, he is a typical kid and plays video games.

I say all of this to get to these few summary points:

1) Weightlifting DOES NOT stunt a child’s growth.
2) General Physical Preparedness (GPP) and multiple sports are good for kids to participate in starting at a young age. It builds a base and keeps them from getting bored or overtraining. A key term when they are young is just let them play and do what kids do.
3) Put your child in the hands of a coach who knows what they are doing and who sees them as a person rather than just as an athlete. We trust Travis so much that he has become a Godparent to Morgan.
4) Be realistic about their abilities while supporting their goals at the same time.
5) If your child shows a real interest in a sport, be supportive and help cultivate that sport.

Morgan is definitely an exception. He is what many would call an anomaly. His brain doesn’t work like most 13 year olds. He’s set goals of making international teams and competing at the Olympics. Many 13 year olds aren’t thinking that far ahead. He has a coach and parents that believe he can which makes HIM believe he can. And he loves what he does!!

We are very blessed to have crossed pathways with Travis, Don, and the whole Mash Mafia crew. Travis is smart with his programming and loves his athletes. He has a passion for making those in his care better athletes, but more importantly, better people.

Author Bio for Coach Crystal:

“41-year old Army wife and Mom to a genetic 13-year-old freak. Basketball player turned runner turned CrossFitter turned powerlifter. Crystal has podiumed over the years at 5k and 10k road races and local CrossFit competitions. She is currently a 72k USAPL National Level powerlifter. Her best competition lifts are 145k squat, 77.5k bench, and 170k deadlift. She is an RN with a Masters degree in Nursing Education, a CrossFit affiliate owner, and a Mash Elite Performance coach. She has several years of coaching experience in the CrossFit community and is a life long learner of the art and science of the vast strength and conditioning world. She is currently studying for her CSCS.”

Westside Barbell: Can We Get Past the Bands and Chains?

I am excited to announce that in a couple of weeks we will be launching our new e-book “Conjugate: Westside Inspired Weightlifting”. This will be my take on the applicability of the Westside System for Weightlifting. Until then, you can check out the “Mash Method” E-Book for Free at:

==> www.mashelite.com/mashmethod/
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Westside Barbell: Can We Get Past the Bands and Chains?

Anytime that someone mentions Westside Barbell in regards to weightlifting, the conversation always steers towards bands and chains. Yes Westside Barbell uses bands and chains, but that’s about 5% of what they are about. There is so much more to learn from Louie Simmons and Westside Barbell than just bands and chains. It’s just so unfortunate that most purists can’t get past that.

Today by friend Coach Sean Waxman published a reading list that went something like this:

• Neuromechanics of Human Movement by Enoka:
• Strength and Power in Sport by Komi:
• Supertraining by Siff:
• Transfer of Training 1 & 2 by Bondarchuk:
• Special Strength Training Manual for Coaches by Verkoshansky:
• A Season on the Mat by Zavoral:
• All of John Garhammer’s research:

I have personally heard Louie reference four of the seven in conversations that we’ve had. Louie was a personal friend of Mel Siff. Once I saw Coach Waxman’s list, I knew that we had common ground to begin discussion. I came up with the idea of taking Sean to Westside and hashing this thing out once and for all. Sean is the expert in biomechanics and physics that everyone will listen to. If he agrees that Louie has some things to teach, then all the purists will agree.

Then another cool thing happened in the same post. One of Coach Waxman’s friends asked about the Old Russian manuscripts translated by Bud Charniga. Those are the very manuscripts that Louie read that lead to the basis of the Westside System. Yes the system came from Old Russian Weightlifting Manuscripts. However most people can’t get past the bands and chains to realize that.

If Coach Waxman comes with me to Westside Barbell, he will learn the following things about the Westside System:

• The whole system is just a play on the velocity curve.
• There is a day dedicated to mainly speed and moving barbells at least .8m/second.
• There is a day to go heavy.
• Every day is accompanied by hypertrophy work with special exercises designed to conquer weaknesses.
• Even on Dynamic Days the Intensity averages around 80%, which is pretty consistent with most coaches.
• The conjugate system uses a change in stimulus to avoid accommodation.
• There is a big focus on work capacity to ensure their athletes have the ability to recover from their workouts.
• They have the coolest machines in the world to destroy weaknesses.
• Their atmosphere is unmatched my any gym or club in the world.

These are just a few of the principles and aspects of Westside Barbell that only make sense. I can’t wait to open the eyes of the world to Louie Simmons’ life work. It has helped me set multiple world records, win three world championships, and now his principles help me to coach the best weightlifters in America.

I have only been coaching weightlifting since 2013. Three and a half years later, and my team is consistently placing athletes on Team USA in the Youth, Junior, and Senior level. No other team produces like Mash Mafia Weightlifting when it comes to all the age levels. Next week I am off to the Senior Pan American Games with two of our athletes.

I say all of this to give credibility to what we are doing. I use principles that I have learned from Louie Simmons in all of my programs. We might not use bands and chains to snatch and jerk, but we use a lot of his other principles. We do use bands and chains for pulls and squats, and they work very well. If you don’t know anything about accommodating resistance and compensatory acceleration, you need to find out. They are two very important principles when it comes to strength.

Simply put, bands and chains teach you to accelerate because the athletes gets used to the intensity of the lift increasing during the concentric contraction. They learn to recruit more fibers throughout the concentric phase. However once again, that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Westside System.

Let me leave you with the number one principle that I learned from Louie, and that I have applied to my training and to the programs of my athletes:

*** You can go heavy week in and week out if you simply change the stimulus just a bit. Louie definitely changes the stimulus way more than I would. I like some forms of specificity, so I don’t alter the stimulus as much. I might add a pause during the eccentric or concentric phase. I might turn things into a complex. The point is that there are a lot of variations without totally having to change the exercise.

This weekend, I am releasing my new e-book: “Conjugate: Westside Inspired Weightlifting”. In the book I breakdown each and every one of the Westside Methods. I tell you their pros and cons based on my experience with the sport of weightlifting. I give you ideas on how to apply them into your own program. I even give you a sample 13-week program. I am pumped about this one, and I believe that all of you will love it.

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• Mash Mafia Bronze
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• Eat What You Want
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Westside Barbell Helps Out with CrossFit Athlete

I am excited to announce that in a couple of weeks we will be launching our new e-book “Westside for Weightlifting”. This will be my take on the applicability of the Westside System for Weightlifting. Until then, you can check out the “Mash Method” E-Book for Free at:

==> www.mashelite.com/mashmethod/
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Westside Barbell Helps Out with CrossFit Athlete

Yesterday I posted a video on Instagram of Kristi Eramo working on her weaknesses at Westside Barbell. They had her lifting stones while connected to the belt squat machine and with a weighted vest on. They were increasing her work capacity while working on the posterior chain with an emphasis on hip extension. This was definitely cool, but it wasn’t the coolest aspect of the overall picture.

The truth is that Spencer Arnold’s Power and Grace Team coach her, and he is totally cool with her working with Westside Barbell on her weaknesses. Of course he is. He wants what’s best for his athletes. He told me a long time ago when Westside was first starting to work with Kristi. I already knew that Spencer has a thirst for knowledge. It was just exciting to see a strength and conditioning coach that was molded in the dogmatic weightlifting world break through those barriers. I think that we can all learn from Spencer and his Power and Grace Team.

I think that we all have so much to learn from all the different genres of strength. As coaches we have a duty to put our personal preferences aside. Our athletes have trusted us to help them reach their goals, and any close-minded views are in direct conflict with those duties. Westside has helped athletes in CrossFit, Grid, NFL, NBA, Track and Field, MMA, Rugby, and of course Powerlifting to name a few. Some of the most brilliant strength and conditioning coaches that I have ever met use aspects from the Westside System. Guys like Coach Joe Kenn, Ryan Horn, Mark Watts, and JL Holdsworth use aspects of Westside.

Also can we get past the bands and chains? People act like Westside is nothing but bands and chains. It is so much more than just bands and chains. You can read all of my other articles about Westside to grasp their many methods. I believe that people get so hung up on bands and chains that they won’t take the time to look at their other methods like:

• Max Effort Method
• Repetition Method
• Destroying Weaknesses and Imbalances with Special Exercises
• GPP
• SPP
• Rate of Force Development

This isn’t just another article encouraging all of you to open your minds to Westside. This article is to encourage all of you to open your minds to the many disciplines out there like:

• Strongman
• Powerlifting
• Weightlifting
• Highland Games
• CrossFit
• Bodybuilding

Guys we can learn from each other. If a coach or gym is constantly producing champions each and every year, then all of us should try to learn from that coach. It’s that simple. Kevin Simons and Ray Jones have each produced a youth weightlifter that is killing it on the International scene. Each of their athletes has set world records on the big stage. It’s probably a good idea to reach out to them and ask them what the heck they are doing. Both coaches have been producing top ranked athletes for some time now, so I bet that each of them have lots to teach all of us.

I am proud of my friend Spencer Arnold. He has crossed those lines. He is already reaping the rewards as his athlete Kristi rolled through the CrossFit Regionals Central Division earning second and a ticket to the CrossFit Games. Power and Grace Performance are blessed to have a leader like Spencer as are his athletes.

As coaches our jobs are to put our egos aside and to do what’s best for our athletes. With my local strength and conditioning athletes, I always employ the assistance of William Bradley with some of his expert speed work. That’s his focus, so he is the expert. He gets fantastic results, so of course I want him to work with my athletes.

Look guys and gals if someone out there is better than you at nutrition, mobility, weightlifting, work capacity, special exercises, or absolute strength, then go learn from them. Also don’t be afraid to let them help you and your athletes. It’s not about you as the coach. It’s always about the athlete, and that’s it. This is a tough concept for ego driven coaches. However it’s a natural concept for coaches that want to win and that care about their athletes.

When you read information, you definitely want to look through the lens of science. There are some basic concepts that must line up. However don’t use science to base an argument when all you have done is twist science to make your case. The truth is that there isn’t a lot of research in the strength and conditioning field. Dr. Andy Galpin is the first to tell you that bit of truth. We just have to use what we know, and then look at the results from others. If things line up, you should try it out.

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• Mash Mafia Bronze
• Mash Mafia Silver
• Mash Mafia Gold
• Eat What You Want
• Eat and Lift What You Want

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A Guide to Programming EMOMs for Weightlifting by Coach Matt Shiver

Check out one of the Online Teams:

• Mash Mafia Bronze
• Mash Mafia Silver
• Mash Mafia Gold
• Eat What You Want
• Eat and Lift What You Want

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A Guide to Programming EMOMs for Weightlifting

by Mash Elite Coach Matt Shiver
Follow him on Instagram @shive_on

Every minute on the minute (EMOM) training is one of my favorite styles of training. It allows athletes to get lots of practice in the full lifts at an intensity that allows for the development of technique, speed, and endurance in the competition movements.

The athlete will complete a full lift or a short complex at the top of every minute for a given number of minutes. The beauty of it is that it does not allow for the athlete to overthink the lift. After a few minutes, they get fatigued and only have a short time to recover before picking the barbell back up to do another rep. The key is to only think about 1 cue each rep. You can actually CHANGE your technique little by little over the series of minutes. The best part is that it saves so much time. If you are pressed for time in your training sessions, EMOMs are the way to go. Weightlifting is a sport like basketball, you need to practice the movement to get better. If you are only training 2-3 times a week it can be difficult to get in the total amount of reps to maximize your potential in the sport. EMOMs are a great way to get them!

EMOMs are the most beneficial for the following athletes:
• Beginners
• Athletes who are fixing their technique
• Athletes who regularly miss lifts below 90%
• Deconditioned athletes (EMOMs get the HR up there!)
• Time restricted athletes

Beginners can benefit from EMOM training because it allows them to get LOTS of repetitions at an intensity that supports their learning of the movement patterns. As a beginner, getting more repetitions is so important! If you are a coach who spends time with novice lifters, add this to your tool box! The Beginner Barbell Class that I coach at Bull City CrossFit does EMOM Tuesdays. We have our biggest turnouts to this class compared to the other classes we coach. The athletes love feeling their technique change from repetition to repetition.

There are many different ways to program out EMOM work. The way that I recommend programming EMOMs is to perform 1 repetition of the competition lift either at a given percentage and time OR to climb to a challenging weight over a specific amount of time.

If your goal is to improve your technique or improve your endurance in the competition movements, I would stick to a given percentage (60-80%) for 8-20 minutes. Start the session with snatches. After your EMOM has finished for the snatches, take a 10-minute break before warming back up for the clean and jerk session.

How I typically program this over a month would be the following:
Week 1 – 1 rep at 70% for 15-20 minutes
Week 2 – 1 rep at 75% for 10-15 minutes
Week 3 – 1 rep at 80% for 5-12 minutes
Week 4 – NO EMOM 1 rep 85-90% for 3-8 reps with as much rest as needed

Week 1 starts out at 70%. This weight should feel fast and snappy. You want to be really focused on the positions with this weight. The longer time is the hardest part. For those who think that triples are “cardio” try doing a 20 minute EMOM. This will change how you think about your triples!

As you progress each week the time will get shorter and the weight will increase. If at any point in these EMOMs you fail or you are close to failing, drop a few kilos. The goal is to practice your technique. It is not helping when you are missing!

If you are more experienced and want to climb weight with each repetition the program would be set up a little bit differently. It would look something like this:

Week 1 – 1 rep EMOM style starting at 70% for 8-10 minutes, no misses
Week 2 – 1 rep EMOM style starting at 70% for 10-12 minutes, no misses
Week 3 – 1 rep EMOM style starting at 70% for 12 minutes, 1 miss allowed (go heavy)
Week 4 – 1 rep EMOM style starting at 70% for 6-8 minutes, no misses

This type of EMOM training should get above 80% on your last few lifts. It will challenge the athlete’s ability to recover fully before starting their next lift. Each week you want to be able to add a few kilos to the last set you did the week before. Week 4 is a small deload week. You are taking down the time and intensity (weight) used this week to allow you to recover from the past 2 weeks.

Once you have done the EMOM work shown above, you can add variation to them. On your snatch, you can add a high pull or overhead squat. On your clean and jerk, you can add a pull, front squat, or extra jerk. On both you could add a pause on the pull.

Remember that EMOM work is really designed for improving your efficiency as a lifter. You may get a PR on the climbing sets if your efficiency is getting better every single minute, but getting a PR during an EMOM is not the goal in EMOM training. EMOMs are about building a better technique and base through the multiple repetitions.

Check out one of our Ten E-Books:

• “Squat Every Day” (High Frequency Squat Programming)
• “Eat What You Want” (Nutrition, Macros, and a built-in Macro Calculator
• “Squat Every Day 2” (Part 2 of High Frequency Squat Programming)
• “No Weaknesses” (Defeat Muscular Imbalances crush the Recovery Game)
• “Mash Program Sampler” (Athletic Performance, Oly, Powerlifting, and Functional Programming)
• “Mash Program Sampler 2 (8 More 12-week Programs)
• “The Mash Blueprint for Program Design” (Learn all about Programming)
• “Performance Zone” (Defeat all Mental Roadblocks)
• “Train Stupid”(Programming and Philosophy of Nathan Damron)
• “MashJacked” (Hypertrophy for Performance and Aesthetics)

Check them out here: ⇒ Mash Elite E-Books

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The Westside System is Applicable to all Strength Sports?

I am excited to announce that in a couple of weeks we will be launching our new e-book “Westside for Weightlifting”. This will be my take on the applicability of the Westside System for Weightlifting. Until then, you can check out the “Mash Method” E-Book for Free at:

==> www.mashelite.com/mashmethod/

Westside is Applicable to all Strength Sports?

I just watched the trailer for the new documentary based on Westside Barbell entitled “Westside vs. The World”. I made the mistake of watching it at night, so there wasn’t a lot of sleep going on that night. The trailer sparked me to write a little something about the infamous Westside Barbell Club and their fearless leader Louie Simmons.

I just spent the last two months rereading Louie’s book on Olympic weightlifting and rereading just about every article that he ever wrote. Do I agree with everything that he says? Well no frankly, but I don’t agree with 100% of what anyone says. However, Louie makes a lot of sense in a lot of ways.

I am not talking about bands and chains with the Olympic lifts. I am definitely not 100% on that either. I definitely don’t take a dogmatic approach saying that it’s 100% wrong. I simply don’t know, so I am not having my athletes experimented on.

There are some Methods and Principles that Louie promotes that simply make sense, and that’s what this article is about. So let’s look at them:

1. Special Exercises and Accessory Work to Target Weaknesses- Louie has spent his life inventing machines and special movements to target the weaknesses of his athletes. If you are a weightlifter, you can’t expect the snatch and clean & jerk to miraculously fix all of your muscular imbalances. You have to first identify those weaknesses, and second you have to attack them.

If you ever visit Westside Barbell, you will find machines that you will only see at Westside Barbell. Louie’s desire to be the best pushed him to invent some of the coolest pieces of equipment that I have ever seen. He has three different reverse hypers, inverse leg curls, plyo swings, and a lot of others that I don’t even know what they are.

I also agree 100% that accessory work shouldn’t be dropped the last few weeks before a meet. If certain movements got you strong, then why would you drop them right before you compete. Just like the Chinese, Louie recommends keeping the accessory work the entire time. The key is to limit the movements that cause a lot of muscle damage like RDLs and DB Flies basically movements that stretch muscles while under a load.

2. Conjugate System to Avoid Accommodation- He recommends change in workout programs to avoid a weak stimulus. Louie changes bars, adds boards, and waves percentages to avoid accommodation. I like a little more specificity than he does, but I still use this concept in a more specific way like pauses, tempo changes, and different rep schemes. As long as a stimulus is changed often as new and better response will be incited.

3. Max Effort Method- I definitely agree that the best way to get strong is going heavy. I also agree that maxing out week in and week out with the same movement leads to accommodation. I am totally fine with altering the bars, adding bands, or whatever when it comes to the power movements. However when it comes to the Olympic lifts, more specific is better. Here are some versions that I will use with the Olympic lifts:

• Complexes of several versions
• Pauses at different parts of the pull
• Different rep schemes
• Hangs
• Off Blocks
• Powers

When you get closer to a meet, I recommend getting more and more specific.

4. Work Capacity- this is the area that most of us are missing. I know several of America’s best weightlifters, and frankly they are simply not capable of enough work capacity to make improvement. The people that can work the hardest and recover the quickest are ultimately going to win out. I have watched several great weightlifters come into a session, Clean & Jerk to a heavy single, and go home. Then they wonder why they are not getting better.

I think that this is the biggest reason why so many weightlifters in America have been plateaued for multiple years. They simply don’t posses the work capacity to spark a new stimulus with the proper amount of work. Louie advocates using low impact movements to get in shape, recover, and build core stability like carries, sled drags, and prowler pushes. I think that this one concept has helped many of my lifters pass up people in their weight class.

5. Compensatory Acceleration- this is a method made popular by the late Dr. Fred Hatfield. This is where the athlete tries to accelerate through the entire concentric contraction. There are two ways to improve at this:

• Simply by trying to accelerate through the lift. This sounds too easy, but many athletes simply don’t try to push as fast as possible.
• Accommodating resistance with bands and chains. By increasing the load as the angle of the lift gets easier, you teach the body to push harder and harder this faster and faster.

The atmosphere at Westside Barbell is something that can’t be duplicated. That’s why it’s not on the list. The atmosphere and culture of a facility matches that of its leader or coach. Louie Simmons is driven to be great. No he is driven to be the best. All he thinks about is world records and winning, and therefore he attracts athletes that want to win and be the best. This is the real Westside Method. Heck this is the main reason behind any great club or gym. Personally I love Louie Simmons, and I have learned way more than I have ever disagreed with. I hope that some day other coaches out there can put their egos behind them, and realize that there is so much to learn from a man that has committed his whole life to strength.

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