Category Archives for "Weightlifting"

A One on One with Denise Greenway: Cancer Survivor, Mother, Athlete, Entrepreneur, and much more

Guys today I want you to meet someone that’s sure to be super inspiring. Her name is Denise Greenway. I found out that we had a cancer survivor on the Mash Mafia Online Weightlifting Team, and it peaked my interest. Then I found out that she is a lot more than just a cancer survivor. Denise is a life conqueror. Before you read her amazing interview, give her a follow on Instagram:

==> @denise_deux

Now enjoy the interview!

Coach Mash- What goes through the brain of an 18-year-old girl that is diagnosed with Stage III Colon Cancer?

Denise- Well, it’s an interesting thing to be so young and have to face something even experienced minds don’t handle well. I grew up in a very unconventional lifestyle. My childhood was no cake walk so at 18 I had experienced a lot of life. When I was diagnosed I thought about all the things I hadn’t accomplished yet. I wanted to aid in building a better world, rear children, and travel. I was very off put by the news but I’ve been a fighter from a small age and to me this was merely an obstacle in my way. I had a lot of personal growth and learned a lot through my various battles with cancer.

Coach Mash- After the diagnosis were you scared, mad, sad, or something else?

Denise- I’m not a very emotional person and when I am emotional it tends to come out in the form of anger. I was mad that I was trying to come out of a rough childhood and create a better adulthood but the universe had to put something so large in my way. Little did I know at that time cancer would only aid in building me.

Coach Mash- How did your family take this news? I know that if one of my children were diagnosed, I would lose my mind.

Denise- Well, I was in a weird place with my family. My family was very broken up my entire childhood. Growing up I became very independent and when rough patches hit I preferred to handle them alone and not stress out others with my burdens. I’ve always taken cancer on the chin as if it was a cold or just another daily task to handle. That being said my family wasn’t a big part of my life during my initial cancer and they’ve always just trusted that I had things handled. I’ve always preferred to deal with my cancer on my own.

Coach Mash- And then the second diagnosis. What in the world was going through your mind?
Denise- Well, when it came around the second time it was caught way earlier and nowhere near as aggressive. My treatment was minimal and fast. The third time was when it was a real pain in my ass. I had just gone through a really rough break up, I had a toddler, and I had just competed for the first time in Powerlifing. I was pissed off at the timing of this cancer and the fact that it had spread. Luckily, I knew more the third go around about what worked and didn’t work for me. My treatment was very unconventional and strange. I had to take a lot of time away as an athlete and focus on the bigger tasks like work, motherhood, and my overall health. Slowly but surely things were under control and now I’m in remission once again. I’m back to training and things are slowly piecing back together.

Coach Mash- When you realized that you were pregnant, were you overwhelmed or what? I mean you were living a life of trials by age 20 that most will never see.

Denise- Well, I have always wanted to be a mom. I grew up in such a strange childhood that a huge part of me wanted to build something better for my children. My daughter was a bit of an accident in my marriage but I was ready for the challenge. I became a single mother shortly after her birth and really that’s when my mindset changed. Cancer changed my mentality a lot but motherhood was a whole different ball game. I was scared I would fail her. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to teach her life skills and one day her downfalls would be my fault. From the time I found out I was pregnant and every day since I’ve thought about how to grow her into a better human. She is indeed a remarkable being.

Coach Mash- What led you down this road of fitness?

Denise- I was always athletic my entire life. I grew up with all rough boys and raised by my father & grandparents. We played street ball and worked in the woods. I never had the desire to be in a gym until late into my first trimester when my energy surged. I was so energetic and my diet was perfection. I fell into CrossFit but always loved the weightlifting more. Eventually, my belly caused me to have to stray away from a barbell. I moved shortly after the birth of my daughter and started going to the YMCA. Through the influence of people around me I got into bodybuilding. I learned a lot about myself during that period. I really loved having a goal and competing but I disliked a lot of the ideals and community of bodybuilding. I met some powerlifters and really loved competing in that sport as well. Later, I got back into weightlifting and Crossfit. I learned I love focusing more on Strength And Conditioning with a sport specific goal. I love lifting heavy shit, I like having the ability to get up and do anything necessary regardless of time stressors, and I love putting myself to the test against others. I stay more in the powerlifting and weightlifting side now because I’ve learned it’s what my soul desires more than what others desire for me.

Coach Mash- When did it become your business?

Denise- While I was pregnant I started the tedious task of accruing a long list of certifications. I loved learning more about human performance and especially nutrition. This has been my main business since my daughter was about 1.5.

So the past 3 years I have been the assistant coach and studier of other programs. I’ve really forced a lot of my growth because once I dive into something I keep my head down and try to acquire as much experience and knowledge as possible. The past two years I’ve really started to develop my business and the past year I’ve really started to find out who I am as a coach and an athlete. Between finding brand sponsorships and training all styles of clients I’m just now (3 years later) really seeing what I want in this business.

Coach Mash- I want to know your athletic goals, business goals, and more importantly what is your mission in life? What is your purpose?

Denise- Well let’s start with the main things and move to the smaller issues. I’m huge on bettering the world around you. If you can’t influence people to be better and do better than what’s the point of existing. Wining competitions and making money is great but if the world suffers while you do that then you’re still wasting energy.

My purpose is to create a healthier world on a mental, physical, and emotional level. I’ve been given a very unique life that offers me the opportunity to relate to multiple demographics and understand their mentality. I try to better the people entering my life while learning from them as well. Business wise I derive a similar view point. Sure, more money would be great! A bigger business means a bigger platform with bigger financials, which offer me the opportunity to have a larger reach and help people. My athletic goals are on the same playing field! The more I compete and showcase my life as an athlete the more people I encounter and if I can impart a small amount of positivity and wisdom into each one than I consider it a life fulfilled.

“The richer your network of high-quality people interested in making the world a better place, the more you’ll care and the better you’ll become.” -John Berardi ( @precisionnutrition )

Coach Mash- After going through all of this, what do you value in life?

Denise- I value experience most of all. Things are easily lost and destroyed. People come and go. Experience is forever! Experience is what makes me a better coach, athlete, mom, and mentor. Everyday I try to take my experience to another level. I try to be mentored by people. I try to adventure and understand the world better. I try to grow experience through quite times in my life when I can really ponder where I want to be and who I want to become. Experience is priceless.

Coach Mash- Where does it all end?

Denise- I don’t think anything has an end, physics teaches us that. I think one day all of this energy and zeal I have will have only grown and blossomed into something for others to absorb and the cycle continues just with a different person.

Coach Mash- How did you get with Power Athlete? John Welbourn is my friend, so this is very cool.

Denise- Well, someone I met recommended them and explained how we align in our viewpoints so I checked them out. I became friends with Tyler Minton and Luke Summers which overtime grew into a kickass relationship with the whole PA family. I’ve really enjoyed being coached by them and mentored by them as well. Being apart of Wades army last year really connected me on an emotional level to the crew and I can’t wait to see how we grow in our relationship. Those guys do some amazing things and I’ve met some amazing people through their connections that are resulting in me growing as a coach and athlete. I’m really happy to be able to say they are apart of my story as a coach and athlete, there’s no better no bullshit men out there like those dudes.

Coach Mash- I have to ask are you afraid that the cancer will come back? I know that I am definitely concerned for my wife. It scares me sometimes.

Denise- I’m not afraid. Fear is a stress. Andy Stumpf spoke about always being aware of your situation and surroundings while you consistently prepare a plan for how to resolve anything that can come about. Seems silly to constantly be on your toes but if I always for thinking then I won’t have to reactive think. I have plans in action to keep my cancer at bay, because you’re never fully clear, and I’ve devised plans if it does come back on how to attack it basing those decisions off of what has worked and hasn’t worked for me. Fear won’t accomplish anything but strategizing will.

Coach Mash- Why did you choose Mash Elite to help you reach your goals? I am actually curious and thankful.

Denise- I like to support great people doing great things. I’ve never been the coach that was afraid of being coached! I’m friends with Frank, Meg, and Travis from Mash. After reading some of your E-books and speaking with them I decided to grow by going the Mash team. I think there are some great insights I can learn from your coaches and you! I’ve really loved the programming and it’s been improving my strength as well as technique in a great way! I’m super happy to see where this will lead me and what I can accomplish.

Coach Mash- Close with anything that you want to say!

Denise- Anyone that knows me knows I’m a quote girl. I probably send more quotes to people than anyone I can think of, a bit of a book nerd.

A good friend of mine through Power Athlete said, “Tragedy is a gift because it forces us to find our purpose.” It’s something that, if you really ponder on daily, will change your life. Thinking you’re always the one being punished by life won’t ever allow you to grow. Taking the tragedies in your life and turning them into a gift that helps lead you down your road to purpose will better your life and those that come in contact with you. Personal growth is the single best thing anyone can focus on. That energy builds and matures to be passed on to others. Build a capacity to love. Grow mentally tough. Stay aware. Experience life. Drink your coffee black.

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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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Multiple Ways to Emphasize Hypertrophy

Our latest E-Books “Mash Jacked: Hypertrophy for Strength Athletes and Field Athletes” and “Train Stupid: Programming and Philosophies of Nathan Damron” drop in 2-Days. This Friday April 21st, you are going to want to check out these two books of gain. For now, get your Free Copy of “The Mash Method” our E-Book that will help you crush through any plateau.

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Multiple Ways to Emphasize Hypertrophy

Over the last 30+ years of being a coach and athlete, I have been influenced by several other great coaches and athletes. I have had the honor of meeting and hanging out with several of them. People like Ed Coan, Louie Simmons, Charles Poliquin, and Greg Everett all have extremely different ideas on how to get strong. However there is one common denominator that connects them, and that is ‘hypertrophy’.

They all agree that at a certain point you have to get the muscles bigger to get them stronger. Hypertrophy bridges the gap between weightlifting, powerlifting, and sports performance. However there are a couple of different approaches to the use of hypertrophy, and I believe that all of you can learn from each. Let’s take a look!

Ed Coan was the first powerlifter that I looked up to. Why did I look up to him? Well it was because he was and still is the greatest of all-time. However there was one more reason. He was jacked! I wanted to be strong and jacked just like Ed. He was crossing the lines into the bodybuilding world. I remember reading a spread that “Flex Magazine” printed comparing Ed Coan and Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates. I am telling you that Ed’s back rivaled Dorian’s.

However what does being jacked have to do with being strong. It’s true that you can get strong without adding muscle size up to a certain point. If you are in a weight class sport, you should maximize the muscle mass that you have. If you practice your core lifts with enough frequency and specificity, you will get more efficient at the movements and hence able to heave more poundage. Those are neural gains, but at a certain point those gains will either halt to a snails pace or diminish all together.

Ed Coan dominated powerlifting in the 181lb, 198lb, 220lb, and 242lb divisions. Obviously he was adding muscle along the way. If you look at old pictures of him, he is ripped at all of those weights. That’s one important point to make. Hypertrophy training isn’t the same as getting fat. Too many powerlifters mistake the two.

Ed was more traditional in his approach to periodization especially for his competition cycles. He would start with a hypertrophy block performing 2-3 sets of 8-10 repetitions, move to a strength block of 3-4 sets of 5 repetitions, and finish with absolute strength around 1-3 repetitions. He kept bodybuilding exercises as major staples of his program like bent over rows, seated military presses, and close grip benches.

When Ed Coan was at his prime, he performed two big meets per year: Senior Nationals and World Championships. That’s only two competition phases per year. He was famous for performing off-season work that looked even more like bodybuilding. These are phases of his training that were often overlooked in my opinion. He would high bar squat to crush quads. He’s done dumbbell flies, triceps pushdowns, dumbbell triceps extensions, leg presses, hack squats, and more. Yeah this sounds pretty much like a bodybuilder to me. Those off-seasons and beginning competition blocks were designed to add muscle size. Ed didn’t use a lot of frequency at all. He squatted and crushed legs once per week, benched twice, and deadlifted once. He was specific as he always stuck to the lifts, but at that frequency his main weapon was hypertrophy.

A lot of weightlifting coaches are similar in their approach to programming. If you ever look at one of Coach Kyle Pierce’s programs from LSU Shreveport, it will look very similar to one of Ed Coan’s programs except there will be snatches and clean & jerks. Coach Pierce is of course the legendary coach of three-time Olympian Kendrick Farris. His programming has influenced the way that I program immensely. His programming starts with hypertrophy, shifts to strength, and ends with absolute strength just like Ed.

Louie Simmons on the other hand programs strength work, absolute strength, and hypertrophy throughout his programs simply waving the intensities and changing out exercises. Louie uses accessory work to produce the majority of his hypertrophy much like the famed Chinese weightlifters. Louie performs this hypertrophic work right up to a competition. The Chinese can often be seen in the training halls performing dips, lateral raises, and rows.

This approach is quite opposite from traditional programming like Ed Coan’s or Coach Pierce’s. Their programming will start with higher reps and sets with lots of accessory work, and then it will periodize down to lower reps, higher weight, and more specific to the core lifts without the accessory movements.

Which approach is correct? The answer is obviously both, since both variations have developed World Champions and World Records. I have used both styles to develop a hybrid approach. Here’s what it looks like:

Hypertrophy Non-Specific Blocks:
• Call this the off-season work performed minimum of 16 to 24 weeks out
• Competition lifts are minimized to once per week maximum
• Exercises look more like bodybuilding lunges, flies, extensions, etc.
• Designed to give the joints a break.
• Muscular Balance is the primary focus

Hypertrophy Specific Block:
• Normally starts 12-14 weeks from a competition
• Primary lifts are introduced back into the program.
• Sets, reps, and intensity will vary with at least one day per week performed with the major movements (squats, pulls, and presses) in traditional hypertrophy manner of 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps.
• There will still be aspects of strength and absolute strength just not prioritized
• Still lots of accessory movements to encourage muscular balance.
• For Olympic weightlifting we use the Olympic lifts in a manner that will encourage stabilizing the positions and movements

Strength Blocks:
• The main strength movements (squat, presses, pull, and rows) are performed on average 3-4 sets of 4-6 reps at an average of 80% intensity.
• Olympic lifts are trained with high volume, forms of complexes, and varied methods (Blocks, hangs, and pauses).
• Absolute strength or maximum effort is still trained just not the main priority yet.
• Hypertrophy is still gained with the mechanical loading and muscle damage of the prescribed main movements.
• Traditional hypertrophy ranges are continued with accessory movements towards the end of the workouts. The movements used are designed to strengthen muscular imbalances, weaknesses, and positions needed for the competition movements.

Absolute Strength Blocks:
• This is the phase that leads up to competition. The focus in 2-4 sets of 1-3 reps at a high intensity. It’s time to get the central nervous system ready for heavy weights.
• The competition lifts are the focus, and they are performed in the way that they will be performed in competition. Specificity is the key!
• There are still aspects of strength building going on, but the focus is the one-repetition maximums.
• Hypertrophy is still a focus with accessory movements designed to strengthen weaknesses.

As you can see, I have taken the two models and combined. The problem is that there isn’t a lot of research to prove which method is best. Of course our athletes are improving at a high rate, so that is the only study that I have to go off of. The research that I have read from Brad Schoenfeld and others seems to support my programming model.

Here’s the thing. If you want to get strong, specificity and neural adaptations are important. They should be used to maximize the muscle size gained from hypertrophy work. They both have their place. When programmed together in a way that both are emphasized, gains can me maximized in a way that plateaus should be rendered abnormal. If you are at a place where training has slowed down, maybe it’s time to get jacked. It worked for Ed Coan and continues to work for the amazing Chinese Weightlifters. It will work for you as well.

“MashJacked” and “Train Stupid” drop Friday until then Check out one of our seven amazing E-Books:

• “Squat Every Day”
• “Eat What You Want”
• “Squat Every Day 2”
• “No Weaknesses”
• “Mash Program Sampler”
• “The Mash Blueprint for Program Design”
• “Performance Zone”

Check them out here: ⇒ Mash Elite E-Books

My Rehab Workout, Easter Thoughts, and a Final Recap of Last Week

“MashJacked” and “Train Stupid” drop Friday April 21st. Until then check out one of our seven E-Books:

• “Squat Every Day”
• “Eat What You Want”
• “Squat Every Day 2”
• “No Weaknesses”
• “Mash Program Sampler”
• “The Mash Blueprint for Program Design”
• “Performance Zone”

Check them out here: ⇒ Mash Elite E-Books

More Workouts and Easter Thoughts

I started back training last Monday with a 143kg/315lb Back Squat that felt terrible. Then I squatted 182kg/400lb on Wednesday, and finally I hit 210kg/462lb on Friday. That was the fastest that I have ever progressed. I think there is a reason.

All of these injuries have lit a new fire. It’s one thing to be lazy and choose not to train. It’s a whole other thing to not have a choice because of injury. All of a sudden you learn to appreciate the ability to train. For the first time in a while I have a desire to train hard. I want to see exactly where I can take things.

I want to see how strong that I can get, while keeping family, God, team, and my business as a priority. I want to show people that you can be balanced, and still be a champion. I hate when people say that you have to be selfish to be a great athlete. Says who? And why do they say that? That’s a cop out in my opinion. That’s the easy way, and in my opinion that’s a pointless existence.

What’s the point in being a champion if you can’t maintain the relationships in your life? What if you win the Olympics, and you have no loved ones in your corner? I mean who cares about anything without love in your life? Winning isn’t worth it. I can say that from experience.

Personally I want to inspire the people around me. I want my children to see me living a balanced life. I want to train hard and compete well while loving my family and friends. It can be done.

Friday 4/14/17

Back Squats worked up to 210kg/462lb x 1
DB Flies 3 x 10
Plate Front Raises 3 x 10

Saturday 4/15/17

Deadlifts Warmed up to 315lbx3 sumo, and then worked up to 425lb 2×1. I had to stop because I felt a pulling on my triceps. I am a few weeks away from starting the rehab process.

Belt Squat RDLs with Kettlebells- if you don’t have a belt squat machine. I highly recommend the investment. I love the emphasis that it puts on hip extension. I also love traction on the low back. I performed 3 x 8 reps.

Lunges 3 x 10

Last week was just a time to get things moving. Here is my plan for next week:
Back Squats Hypertrophy 3 x (80% for 3 and 60% for 10)
Lunge ss Leg Curls 3 x 10ea ss 10
DB Flies ss DB Flies 3 x 10 ss 10
Pec Deck ss Pullovers 3 x 10 ss 10

Box Squats 75% 5×5
Deadlifts Alt Stance 5RM with 5 sec eccentric
No Weaknesses TBD

Back Squats Max Effort 1-3RM paused or not paused and with or without chains or bands
DB Flies 5 x 10
Pullover ss Rows 3 x 10 ss 10

Deadlifts 1-3RM paused or not paused and with or without chains or bands
RDLs on the Belt Squat 5 x 8
No Weaknesses TBD

The no weaknesses training will be decided by Coach Chris Mason, and it will consist of a combination of carries, mobility, and metabolic work. Each week I will let you guys look at what’s coming up the next week. It will change as I progress, and of course as I am allowed to rehab my triceps tendon. As my work capacity goes up, so will my volume until I am at a solid volume level. Then I will develop a plan that is more aggressive. Right now my goals are hypertrophy, movement, and work capacity. I am ready to turn things up.

Here are my final thoughts on this Easter Sunday. If you’re a Christian, then you realize that Christ died on the cross and three days later walked out of the tomb. He defeated death that day for all that would believe. The next time that you get stressed out about anything I want you to think about that. What are you stressing about? Did you gain 3lb in this temporal life? Did your bench press or clean & jerk plateau for 3-weeks? If you are a believer, none of this really matters at all.

You might ask, “So why do anything at all?” For me it’s to inspire and encourage. If I can lift big weights and encourage someone else to do something cool, that’s exciting. If someone sees me lifting big weights, passionately coaching by team, loving my family, and loving God all at the same time, maybe it will encourage them to do the same. Maybe it’s someone that doesn’t believe that sees a Christian practicing what they preach. No matter it’s all worth it if I am helping someone else on this earth.

Love you guys and Happy Easter!

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• Mash Mafia Bronze
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• Eat What You Want
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Technique, Technique, Technique by Jacky Bigger, M.S.

We are 7 days away from releasing our two new E-Books “MashJacked: Hypertrophy to Improve all Sports” and “Train Stupid: Philosophy and Programming of Nathan Damron”. You can pick up my Free E-Book “Mash Method” to learn several ways to crush plateaus, and that will get you on the list as well.

==> Free Copy of “The Mash Method”

Technique, Technique, Technique

by Jacky Bigger, M.S. (Give Jacky a follow on Instagram @a.little.bigger for some amazing lifting and insight.)

Learning perfect technique in the Olympic Lifts is something that every lifter is striving to achieve, and will continue to strive for our entire weightlifting careers. Because, well, what even is perfect technique? What works for me, may not work for someone else and vice versa. What one coach teaches, may be completely different from that of another. What is most important is finding the technique and movement patterns that work best for you, being consistent with them and making small changes at a time.

Coming off of my surgery I’ve had to do more technique work than ever before, and let me tell you, it’s frustrating. Very frustrating. I have new mobility in my ankles, which means a new set position, and new tendencies. I began coming forward onto my toes (something that physically I couldn’t do before due to lack of dorsi flexion) and missing everything out front, or chasing the lifts forward. The lifts that I did make felt heavy and awkward. But we finally had a break through this week and let me tell you what I learned from it.

As I mentioned above everyone’s technique will be slightly different. You cannot try to mimic the technique of your teammate, or your favorite weightlifting hero. You need a coach that is flexible with his coaching style and is willing to adjust his views and coaching cues based on you as an individual athlete. For example, this week Coach Don spent a day trying to teach me an entire new pull. It was the typical start with the weight in the center of your foot, push the knees back, sweep the bar in and transfer your weight back into the heels as you come into your power position. Whereas this works for most people, it absolutely did not work for me. The lifts that looked good to him, felt awful to me and the lifts that felt good to me were “wrong” in his eyes. I left the gym frustrated and discouraged. But, Don like any great coach would do, left the gym determined to come up with a better plan.

I got a message from him the next day asking me to put together a series of my old pre-surgery lifts. He said he had an idea, but needed to see something 1st. His plan was, instead of teaching me an entire new pull to accommodate for my new ranges of motion and position, he was going to re-teach me my old pull (which worked fantastic in the past) and make it work with in my current situation. That day at training we focused on re-teaching me what I was doing in the past. Which for me is, starting with the weight on my heels from the beginning and keeping the weight on my heels through the duration of the entire pull, only pushing the knees back a bit, having a more vertical bar path and waiting to sweep the bar in until after it’s passed the knees. He found two cues that worked well for me and repeated them over and over. My lifts felt much better, and I was feeling like my old self again. It was a much more rewarding day than the one before. Aside from everyone’s technique being different, and getting a great coach, I learned a few other things from this situation as well.

Sometimes things are going to start to feel off. Whether you’re coming off an injury, coming back from vacation, or are just having a bad training cycle, it happens to us all. You may develop new tendencies that are hindering your movements, or you may be reverting back to old bad habits. If you’re lucky enough to have a coach’s eye on you every day like we are here at Mash, they should be able to nip that in the bud as soon as they notice. But I know many of you do not have this luxury, so videos are the next best thing. When things are feeling off, go back, look at old videos of yourself when your lifts were feeling great, when you were hitting PR’s and having fun. What were you doing back then that you’re not doing now. Or what have you started doing now that you weren’t doing back then? Compare the videos, find the problem and begin to fix it. Which being up the next big lesson I’ve learned from all of this.

Fix one thing at a time. Trying to fix multiple things at once can be over whelming and usually results in frustration. Pick one piece of your technique that you are going to work on and spend the entire training session focusing on just that one piece. After my day of frustration, trying to learn a new pull I sat down and talked to Coach Travis about it. He told me something brilliant. “Technique is like building a sculpture. You start in one place and slowly chip away at that place until it is perfect, then move onto the next, until eventually, you’ve built a masterpiece.” He’s absolutely right, and that statement blew my mind. Not to mention, if you try and change too many things at once, it’s hard to pin point exactly what change is working for you, and what is not. One thing at a time, and make it perfect. Then move to the next.

You’re constantly going to be maturing and growing as a weightlifter, no matter what level athlete you are. Learning technique is a never-ending process, which is what keeps us coming back to for more. It’s what keeps us in the gym day after day, chasing something that’s unattainable, perfect technique. When you hit your current goals, there are always bigger and better goals to be reached. There’s always more weight that can be lifted. It’s why you get hooked, you become addicted to the barbell, and that’s what makes this sport so great.

Check out one of our seven 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)
• “The Mash Blueprint for Program Design” (Learn all about Programming)
• “Performance Zone” (Defeat all Mental Roadblocks)
• “Train Stupid” and “MashJacked” drop April 21st

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Mash Mafia Weightlifting: Using Various Heights of Boxes

Check out one of our six E-Books:

• “Squat Every Day”
• “Eat What You Want”
• “Squat Every Day 2”
• “No Weaknesses”
• “Mash Program Sampler”
• “The Mash Blueprint for Program Design”
• “The Performance Zone”
• “MashJacked” and “Training Stupid” (coming next week)

Check them out here: ⇒ Mash Elite E-Books

Mash Mafia Weightlifting: Using Various Heights of Boxes

We released a video yesterday with Coach Don McCauley explaining the use of boxes in training. I wanted to give a little insight, and share the video here for all of you to see. Here are the three heights that we use:

• Below Knees
• At Knee
• Above knee (at or near power position)

Each of these heights can vary a few inches each way. Here is the video with Coach McCauley explaining our Box Training in depth:

Incorporating Blocks with Coach Don McCauley

Here’s the bottom line. We use the boxes to pinpoint the different aspects of the pull much like Louie Simmons uses different machines to find muscular weaknesses. If we notice a weakness from a certain height, we will spend a little more time at that height. Sometimes it is a movement or position problem, and sometimes it is a strength issue. If we determine that it is a hamstring, glute, back, or overall core issue, we will also target with appropriate exercises to develop strength.

We use hangs as well from these various heights. As Coach McCauley explains we use hangs to strengthen the positions. The eccentric loading aids in producing hypertrophy in the muscles that are being used. This is the advantage of hangs. The boxes help more with speed because there isn’t a stretch reflex to aid the pull.

I like boxes for the conjugate method aspect as well. It is a change that will excite adaptation from each height. Once again the slightest variation will force the body to continue to adapt to the stimulus.

The other benefit one gets from using boxes is that it saves the back. Limiting the length of the pull will limit the time under tension required during the pull, which will in turn give the pulling muscles a slight break. We will use them during the strength cycles on Wednesdays to give the back time to heal up for the big Max Out Fridays that we all like to enjoy.

Now enjoy the video:

Incorporating Blocks with Coach Don McCauley

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A Turning Point for USA Weightlifting

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A Turning Point for USA Weightlifting

This past week, we had two of our Team USA Youth lift world records, and at the same time Gold Medal at the Youth World Championships. CJ Cummings clean and jerked 185kg in the 69kg class to break the clean and jerk world record. Then Harrison Maurus clean and jerked 192kg to break the record in the 77kg class. Both of them pretty much ran the board of senior, junior, and youth American Records. It was simply incredible.

Here’s the coolest thing. They did it with American coaches in their hometowns. Ray Jones is CJ’s coach, and Kevin Simons is Harrison’s coach. I love and respect both of them. I have had the honor of coaching with both of them, and I was able to learn lots from each coach. Both coaches are brilliant, and more importantly both coaches love those kids.

Can we please quit looking outside the country for answers to an American challenge? American strength coaches dominate in almost every sport. There is no reason that weightlifting should be different, and Coach Jones and Coach Simons proved that. Remember America dominated the last Olympics overall not China and not Russia.

A Russian Coach wrote something somewhere online a couple of months ago saying that the American coaches that say “just have fun” as the lifter approaches the platform don’t really understand the sport. I am here to say that Russian coaches don’t understand Americans. I am not going to pretend to know how to coach a Russian youth. I promise that Coach Jones and Coach Simons are the most loving coaches that I have ever met. Obviously it works for these two American athletes.

The problem in America isn’t coaching. The problem remains funding and recruiting two things that I believe that our CEO Phil Andrews is working on. He has raised funds, recruited more members, and is now paying some pretty good stipends. I think that this is just a start, but it is a start.

We still need:

• More and better University Programs
• Better funding and support for high level athletes and productive coaches
• Full-time recruiting staff

We have to develop a support system that intrigues potential athletes and their
Parents. We have to give them a reason to try the sport. We have to educate them about the sport, and let them know the cool perks like International Teams and of course the Olympics. The country simply still doesn’t know about the sport. Yes CrossFit has helped, but that is just a drop in the bucket. If you don’t believe me, just go to any grocery store and poll the first twenty people about their knowledge of Olympic weightlifting.

There are more athletes like CJ and Harrison. I have one in Morgan McCullough, my freak 13-year-old. We have to find the others out there, and then get them into the hands of competent American coaches that will nurture their talent and show them the love that they deserve. There are coaches and athletes out there. We have to connect them.

Don’t tell me that all of our great athletes are playing in the NBA or the NFL. How many 5’9” and shorter athletes do you know in either league? The answer is not too many. There are plenty of amazing athletes that are vertically challenged that would flourish in weightlifting. We just have to go get them.

Ok my rant is over. I am just so dang proud of those two athletes and their coaches. Those two boys are great kids, and I am sure that comes from their amazing coaches as well, and their amazing parents. All I have to say is that I am proud to be a part of USA Weightlifting, and I am excited for what Phil Andrews can accomplish. Go Team USA!

My latest E-Book “Mash Method” is live and it’s FREE! Check it out now at:
This book has several of the techniques that I used to set personal records and world records along with some of my latest techniques that I’m using to get my athletes and me hitting all-time numbers.
-wave training
-bands and chains contrasted with straight weight
-walk outs
-partials contrasted with full ROM
-Squats for vertical leap -Sled drags to set PR 40 yd dash times
And more!

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