Category Archives for "Weightlifting"

An Open Letter Regarding Tokyo Strong

To all of my friends in USA Weightlifting,

Last week, my friend Dane Miller, owner of Garage Strength, wrote an article referencing his take on the Tokyo Strong Project. Phil Andrews, USAW CEO and also my friend, responded. Since I respect and like both of these men, I’ve thought about this response for quite a while before writing this open letter.

Tokyo Strong

Tokyo Strong is a project USA Weightlifting is working on which would house the athletes and coaches outside of the athlete village for the 2020 Olympics. It would guarantee the athletes would have the following:

  • Proper nutrition which is both required for performance and typical in America.
  • Access to training times that are both convenient and would allow the athletes to continue on their written programs. For example, some athletes perform two-a-days, which aren’t possible in most meet venues.
  • Access to their personal coaches, which isn’t possible within the Olympic village.
  • Less distraction.
  • Camaraderie and bonding of the team.

We had this exact situation during the Pan American Games in Lima this year, and I can tell you from our experience in Lima that it was a success and an advantage for Team USA. My friends on Team Canada told me the food and training venue were not the best. Meanwhile our food was so good I gained way too much weight (which isn’t so good for me, but shows how awesome this was for the athletes). I have been traveling with my athletes on Team USA since 2015, going to almost every youth, junior, and senior international event. Eighty percent of the time there is an issue with the food in regards to proper macronutrients, amounts, and/or taste. I’ve had multiple athletes struggle to keep weight on. I am in no way criticizing the food in other countries. It’s just different from the typical food in America, and some athletes struggle with the change. When an athlete drops three to four kilograms, a drop in performance will usually follow.

In Lima the food was amazing, but there was so much more the athletes and coaches were thankful for. The hotel was beautiful, and the beds were amazing. Of course comfortable beds means better quality of sleep and better recovery. However, there was an intangible no one has really spoken about. We grew together as a team during the ten days in Lima.

Because weightlifting is an individual sport, at times in the past it has felt like Team USA was a group of individuals instead of a team. In Lima the coaches were sitting together, talking to one another, and sharing ideas – which is crucial for the growth of the sport in my opinion. For the first time, it didn’t feel like Hunter versus Jess or Harrison versus Chevy. It felt like Team USA!

If our goal truly is to bring home as many medals as possible in 2020, I believe Tokyo Strong is an important key. Does it guarantee we will medal? No, but it’s another positive part of the equation that adds up to success. I agree with Dane that data would be nice, and the planned costs. However, Phil has always been open with me when I have asked. Sometimes a phone call would probably handle the situation, but in this case an open dialogue will help make all of the members of USAW feel closer to the project. Plus I hope parents will see USA Weightlifting under the leadership of Phil Andrews has flourished – which brings me to the next section of this article.

Goals and Funds

I agree lately funding has been a bit frustrating. Before I go into detail on this subject, I want everyone to understand that I totally get it. There is only so much money in any organization, and the way money is spent has to be based on the overall mission of the organization. In the case of USA Weightlifting, the overall mission is multiple medals in the Olympics. In that case, the money has to be directed at the people with the most chance to do just that and to the programs and systems which support that mission. Phil is doing this, and I get it.

However it leaves a few amazing populations in the cold:

  • Senior Athletes right on the cusp of the higher medal level
  • Most youth and junior athletes
  • Coaches

I am going to explain the situation of these populations, and then I am going to give some solutions. I wanted to say this up front, so everyone could understand I am not complaining. I am simply pointing out the issues before giving my ideas to solve those issues. To be clear, I have never been more proud to be a part of any organization like I am proud to be a part of USA Weightlifting. Under Phil Andrews, USAW is a reason for the increased performances of our athletes and the professionalism of my fellow personal coaches.

Here are the issues:

1. Up and Coming Senior Athletes – I have athletes who constantly make international teams for Team USA who do not have stipends. Now I am the first to say nobody is entitled to anything. However, my senior athletes who I am referring to are young. They are the future of USA Weightlifting and are one solid training block away from being on the podium. If we want to see them get to the top, it’s imperative they receive financial assistance. If we want them training 10-15 times per week, visiting the physical therapist, getting a massage, perfecting their diets, managing their stress levels, and sleeping 8-10 hours per day, we can’t expect them to work eight hours per day.

I am proud of Hunter Elam and Nathan Damron for responding to their lost stipends. Hunter has become an amazing influencer on social media, earning her the additional revenue needed to pursue her dreams. Nathan found a job he really likes. Both of them are excelling in their training right now, so things are working. Of course it would be much easier on them to have stipends so they could focus 100% on training.

Both Hunter and Nathan are still in the hunt for the Olympics. That’s the tough part of this whole thing. These athletes might very well be the ones in Tokyo. There are others ahead of them right now, but with two more big Gold Events lots can happen. If they end up being the ones in Tokyo, they will get there without the aid of a stipend. To be clear both of them have benefitted from a stipend off and on – but not much at all in 2019. The risky part of this is having athletes like Nathan and Hunter leave the sport early. That’s the real risk. Both of these athletes are going to be peaking as strength athletes in the 2024 quad, so we don’t want them getting frustrated and leaving now.

2. Youth and Juniors – The funding for the youth and junior athletes significantly dropped off in 2019. The problem with this is it takes away the bargaining chip when trying to recruit new athletes. Before this year, I could go to parents and tell them that the sport of weightlifting could equal stipends and free trips around the world. For a select few it’s still true, but for the majority it’s not. If we want this sport to continue to flourish after 2020, this is something we need to rectify right away. If we want this sport to crush it, we need as many benefits as possible to offer our young people. Pyrros Dimas is the first person to tell you how important it is for the athletes to start younger.

When it comes to recruiting young athletes, we compete against other sports like football, basketball, and baseball – which can all lead to scholarships and big money contracts for the best of the best. We might not ever have million dollar contracts, but we want to offer as much as possible. The personal mission of my company has always been to offer as much as we can outside of USA Weightlifting. We offer benefits to our elite athletes like:

  • Stipends
  • Travel costs
  • Recovery tools

Recently we launched a new fundraising campaign to offer more of these benefits to our athletes and especially to our youth and juniors to offset the costs they experience. It has been super successful early on, which is promising. I am in the middle of establishing a new University Program, which would benefit all of my athletes. I will tell you more about it when we get closer to closing the deal. I am the most excited about this opportunity because a university program has been my goal from the very beginning. I will get more into what we can all do as individuals at the end of this article.

3. Coaches – Obviously this one is close to my heart. I have spent over $15,000 this year on travel just for me alone. That doesn’t include what I have spent on the athletes. This has been a really big challenge for my company. The amount of time and money I have spent on my team has been a challenge on my family as well. I have always dreamed of having youth, juniors, and seniors on Team USA – but dang it, I didn’t realize the price it would cost.

After talking to the other high performing coaches in USA Weightlifting, I can promise this is a problem we need to address for the future of our sport. I am not putting this on the corporate office at USA Weightlifting. I am saying if the organization as a whole wants to continue with the success we have enjoyed during this quad, we need to do something to help the coaches. This brings me to my ideas.

Looking for a Solution

For a bunch of athletes and coaches from a democratic government, we sure do act like a bunch of people from a socialist government… always looking to the organization to make things better. By the way this isn’t a political post saying democracy is better than socialism. I’m just saying that could offer more solutions if we tried. Ironically many of the top coaches in USA Weightlifting happen to be pretty good entrepreneurs and business leaders as well. So here is my solution.

Let’s come together outside of USA Weightlifting. Let’s see if we can work together to raise funds and make the sport better than ever. We all have our own businesses, but I believe there is a lot we could come together on. I am about to email a few of you with the beginnings of some ideas. I think we could come together and ease the pain of travel and other extra costs we come across.

This group could also serve as a sort of consultant for USAW. I have watched guys like Dane and Dave Spitz form million dollar businesses in a small niche barbell world. What if we all came together? I think we could come up with some amazing ideas to continue the growth of USA Weightlifting in a way that would be beneficial for all. I am ready to get this dialogue started now.

Anyway these are my thoughts. I love this sport, the athletes within it, and my fellow coaches. In my lifetime I want to help build this sport into one that will thrive for years to come. Over the last decade, I have come to the conclusion this is only possible if we come together. The era of secret programs and techniques needs to be over. Let’s quit being self-absorbed and redirect focus onto the sport in general. Ladies and gentlemen, let’s leave this sport better than we found it. Let’s stop complaining to Phil and the others at USAW, and let’s start helping them instead. This is my stance at least. I hope you all will join me in making this sport the greatest sport in the world.


Coach Travis Mash
USA Weightlifting Senior International Coach

P.S. If you guys want to help support my 501c3 nonprofit weightlifting team and youth at risk program, here’s how you can do so:



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Dave Ester, the New Kid on the Block in Weightlifting – The Barbell Life 270

You may not have heard of Dave Ester.

But trust me – you will soon.

Coach Ester is an up and coming coach in weightlifting who is going places. He’s currently Mattie Sasser’s coach, and he coaches so many other great athletes as well.

So today we talk about his philosophies on training, his unique approach to coaching Mattie Sasser, and his business model of having a weightlifting club.

Short on time in the gym? Here's the blueprint you need to follow.

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  • Why I doubted him… until I realized what he was doing
  • How he’s keeping Mattie Sasser healthy
  • The attitude changes in USA coaches
  • Why the Mash lifters clean and jerk so much more than we snatch… and what we’re doing to correct that
  • Loving the “zone” training idea
  • and more…

Developing a Champion Culture

The word “culture” has become such buzzword over the last decade. The word is used in businesses, churches, and gyms.

Culture is an important part of our facilities and an important part of our teams.

So what is gym culture?


Here’s my definition of gym culture:

“Culture refers to the beliefs and behaviors of the members within a gym or team that affect training atmosphere, each other’s view of the mundane tasks required to be great, each other’s view of reality, and the interaction of members with each other inside and outside the training facility.”

Culture should be defined by the owner and cultivated by the coach. Normally the owner and coach are one and the same, as in my case. However, it’s probably optimal for the roles to be separate. In a perfect world, someone can be working on the business while someone is inside the business coaching the athletes. Both are full-time positions, but it’s tough to find good fits for each.

There was a time I thought “culture” was simply a buzzword with little to no value. I thought I would fill my gym with athletes, coach them up, and they would be great. Luckily I have the ability to draw athletes, so I did it. I started a gym in Advance, NC, and within a year or two we were filled with over two hundred young athletes – mostly high-school-aged. If you’ve never heard of Advance, NC, don’t sweat it because that’s my point.

However, filling a gym with athletes is one thing, while keeping those athletes and forming an optimal environment is another. The first thing I want to do is to define the real benefits of forming a solid culture as it relates to the bottom line and creating amazing athletes. If you understand the benefits of a great culture, you might be more inclined to work hard at developing the culture which fits your goals.

Benefits of a good culture:

  • Produces enthusiastic results
  • Cultivates lasting relationships
  • Increases referrals
  • Increases retention
  • Creates an entity that takes on a life of its own and people want to be a part of it


This five-part clinic series stands above all others as the most comprehensive event for coaches and athletes alike. Level up your knowledge of technique, programming, business, and coaching.

Culture of Chaos

In 2017 I had a massive team. At the 2017 National Championships, I had more athletes than any other coach. I thought I had a great team, but all I had was a lot of good athletes. There’s a big difference! I had collected a lot of talented athletes with no consideration for culture. I hadn’t even considered the kind of culture I wanted to nurture. Therefore I nurtured a culture of chaos. It was a lesson I will not soon forget.

It was Sean Waxman who brought this to my attention. It’s funny he could see my gym imploding all the way in California. Luckily I have a friend like him who’s not afraid to tell me the truth. He told me I was going to have to make some really tough decisions, or my entire gym was going to fall apart. It wasn’t long before I could see the exact thing he was talking about.

I found myself hating the gym and hating coaching for the first time in my life. For the first time in my life, driving to the gym was like driving to work – and that’s never what I want the gym to feel like.

To make a long story short, I decided to define my culture, to eliminate the athletes who didn’t fit, and to continue to nurture my desired outcome. Most coaches wait their entire careers for just one Team USA athlete, and I needed to get rid of several. This was the hardest task of my life.

Building a good culture

But when I defined our culture and cut some people, things improved. Our culture is now one where people strive to be their absolute best, and their actions match their goals. We have an atmosphere where everyone gets along, and there is absolutely zero drama tolerated. We have produced way more Team USA athletes with way fewer top ranked athletes. Most importantly, I love the gym again – and I love my athletes again.

You don’t have to be a Team USA athlete to train at our gym, but you do have to want to be the best you can possibly be. Last year in 2018 we had four athletes at the World Championships. In 2019, we have eight including our international athletes. We have cultivated an environment where people succeed. We don’t tolerate excuses anymore for anything. If you miss a lift, it was no one’s fault but your own.

For all of you trying to run a business, this environment is one people want to be a part of. It means more members – and more importantly, it means more happy members. It’s in this environment that relationships can be cultivated because we are all on the same path. I am not saying everyone is trying to make the Olympics. I’m saying everyone is trying to become the absolute best version of themselves, and that is relatable among all my members.

Building Relationships

Courtney Haldeman is one of my newer lifters. She’s also in nurse practitioner school. She might not end up in the Olympics like Hunter aims to be, but they both come in and give it their absolute best. The common goal is something they both can rally around. It’s in this culture they have become the best of friends. It’s all I ask of any of our members – to give all they have to give. I want them to learn lessons which will carry over in life way after sport is no longer a part of their personal lives.

When people are in an environment that fits their personality, with all the necessary tools to help them reach their goals (coaching, equipment, and team support), they will tell others. Those people will be their friends and coworkers who are like-minded, so now your gym/team will grow with people who are more likely to fit your culture.

Of course you will need to continuously remind your team/members exactly what the culture is, and sometimes you will have to coach your team members up on the culture – helping them grow into better athletes and people. It’s the biggest part of coaching in my opinion. People will always make mistakes. A good coach sees mistakes as opportunities for growth.

A defined culture filled with members referred by team members will grow a gym filled with people who feel at home. It’s in this environment very few people will ever quit. Therefore retention rates will be high, which is where most gyms fail. If we would only focus half as hard on keeping members, there would come a time in all of our gyms where new members would no longer be needed. If we would all focus on the culture of our gyms, we wouldn’t have to put as much effort into marketing and advertising. We could focus on what we love, which is coaching up our athletes to be better men and women.

Part of Something Special

My main point is the most important thing I want you to take away today – if you want to create something special which people will want to be part of, you have to focus on the culture of your gym. At this World Championships, I have eight athletes – four from the United States, one from Great Britain, two from Denmark, and one from Ireland. I’ve had three international athletes from Australia, one from New Zealand, and several from Canada. My point is we have created something special at Mash that people from around the world want to be a part of.

This has been a dream of mine since I started Mash Elite. I want to positively affect people from around the world with my love of the barbell. I want them to experience the same growth I have as a human. I want them to set big goals, focus on reaching those goal, exceed those goals, and them apply what they’ve learned to life.

Culture can help you create something much bigger than a gym. Westside Barbell is no longer a gym. It’s a way of life. I don’t share their same values, but I definitely desire to leave an impact on the world much like Louie Simmons has done. My favorite compliment ever was by Coach Joe Kenn, when he said I was becoming the Westside Barbell of weightlifting. Those are some big shoes to fill, but I definitely hope to influence the world outside of my gym’s four walls. I want the world to see the beauty of the barbell. I want the world to see all the lessons that can be learned from the piece of steel in their hands.


This five-part clinic series stands above all others as the most comprehensive event for coaches and athletes alike. Level up your knowledge of technique, programming, business, and coaching.

If you want to create something special, you better start focusing on the culture of your gym today. I am going to tell you just like Coach Waxman told me. If you want to build a place that is sustainable for athletes, you better pay attention to what’s going on. Athletes will come and go as they get older or lose interest, but you are there to stay. You better like what you have created, or nothing will last very long. I hope all of you will create entities that will last several generations after all of us are gone from this earth. That’s the real test.

Sarah Davies on Coming to America to Train with Us – The Barbell Life 268

We’ve had the pleasure of talking with Sarah Davies a few other times on our podcast.

She’s not only an incredibly strong lifter – but she’s also a beauty queen. She’s got an interesting story and is an inspiration to many.

But she left Great Britain behind for a bit to come train with us here in North Carolina – and that’s what we talk about on this podcast. She shares with us all the info about her latest training… and what makes her a truly great competitor at meet times.

World-Class Powerlifting & Weightlifting Meet Preparation

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World champion and world-class coach Travis Mash boils down decades of experience to give you the tools and knowledge you need to crush your next meet.


  • Why she came to train with Mash
  • What makes her a consistent lifter
  • The tapering process
  • Why heavy singles don’t matter (but heavy triples do)
  • Stop babying heavyweights!
  • and more…

The Truth About the Bulgarian Program as Told by Pyrros Dimas

The Mash Mafia recently traveled to Lima, Peru for the 2019 Pan American Games. One of the best parts of the trip is hanging out with three-time gold medalist Pyrros Dimas.


On the trip, I got Pyrros talking about what really happened in the Bulgarian System. After he spent the better part of an hour explaining, now I understand how the program worked. For such a simple program, there are a lot of rumors and false information. The purpose of this article is to clarify what it means to truly train in a Bulgarian system.

There’s something to make note of first, which is Pyrros spent nine years in a Russian system before taking on a Bulgarian program. That means he had a massive base to work from. His entire body was strong. His work capacity was through the roof, and his technique was perfected. At that point, I 100% agree that specificity, frequency, and intensity are going to rule. It only makes sense.

The problem is when young American kids skip all the base work, train once per week, max out with crappy form all the time, and tell everyone they are lifting Bulgarian. No, you’re just being a dumb American boy.

Let’s look at the program, and then I will explain more in detail:


Monday, Wednesday, Friday:

Session One – 8 am
Back Squat: 1RM
Snatch: work up to 85% of 1RM for 1
Clean and Jerk: work up to 85% of 1RM for 1
Front Squat: 1RM

Session Two – 4 pm
Snatch: 1RM
Clean and Jerk: 1RM
Front Squat: 1RM

Session Three – 7 pm
Snatch: 1RM
Back Squat: 1RM

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

Session One – 8 am
Back Squat: 1RM
Power Snatch: 1RM
Power Clean and Jerk: 1RM
Front Squat: 1RM

Session Two – 4 pm
Snatch: 1RM
Clean and Jerk: 1RM
Front Squat: 1RM


Only One Session
Snatch: 1RM
Clean and Jerk: 1RM
Back Squat: 1RM


Let’s now go over a few of the notes I took while Pyrros talked:

1. Limit the misses – If you miss, you wave back down and work up again. If you miss again, you wave down, make a nice lift, and stop for the day. This is key, or consistency will be out the door. Plus if an athlete has an episode of five or more misses, it ruins them for the rest of the week. Discipline is key, and that’s what is lacking in more Americans. You absolutely need a coach to tell you “no more.”

2. Pyrros added in specific accessory work – He completed very specific accessory work to target weaknesses and to correct movement flaws. He also skipped the last squat on the days of three practices and practiced his jerk. The key is making the accessories very specific to the individual. You wouldn’t want to add in unnecessary work on a program like this one. Remember this plan should be reserved for athletes who have been training for at least eight years, have perfect technique, and have a massive work capacity built up.

3. Use drills and accessories as warm ups as well – Pyrros would use certain drills as warm ups to target flaws. For example, warm up with snatch (paused at knee) plus snatch, or push press to overhead squat to warm up for snatch. You could perform press from split to warm up for clean and jerk.

4. Auto-Regulation (Max of the day) – This is the key to this program. You can’t expect to PR everyday. That’s unrealistic. The goal is simply to work up to a max of the day. Sometimes that’s 90%, sometimes 95%, sometimes 98%, and sometimes 101%. Focus on the process and perfecting the movement. Eventually, the athlete will get to a point of using the same warm ups and picking the same attempts. At that point, the competition is just another training day.

Of all my athletes, 15-year-old Morgan McCullough is the best at auto-regulation. I think it comes naturally because his mother, Crystal, is good at the same thing. Ryan Grimsland, my outrageous 17-year-old, is getting better at this process – which is leading to him peaking when it counts. This brings up a point of getting your athletes early, but I will discuss that later in the article.

5. Pyrros was given three months per year off of the program – This is a big one. He would take November, December, and January off from the Bulgarian Program. At that time he would continue training, but with a more Russian approach. During this phase he could focus on hypertrophy and let his joints rest a bit away from all of the absolute strength. It’s during blocks like this I have witnessed Nathan Damron experience the most gains. Basically he would spend a few months focusing on high repetitions and volume with some basic bodybuilding, and then shift back to a more high frequency and high intensity program. Every time he was able to do this, I witnessed him rack up PR after PR.


The Training and Philosophy of Nathan Damron

World champion and world-class coach Travis Mash outlines the programs and principles behind the training of his stellar athlete, Nathan Damron.

6. Recovery is a must – Pyrros would partake in two saunas per week and two massages from a sports medicine specialist (lots of soft tissue work) per week. This goes for any athlete in any program who is trying to push their body to an Olympic level. This is a part of training most athletes skip.

7. Nutrition must be in alignment with your training – Pyrros would eat two steaks every morning before eating breakfast. The calories have to match an athlete’s training volume – that’s simply a fact of training. If you don’t want to take responsibility with your nutrition, then don’t tell me you want to be an Olympian. Pyrros took responsibility for each section of his life, and it paid off with three gold medals.


Now I want to address all of the coaches and athletes who are reading this. I am sure a few of you are like, “Heck yes, I want to train like a Bulgarian.” You will try the program, possibly hit a few PRs, and then you will break and never train again. I know of two Americans who were great, but the program broke them. You have to have a massive base.

I am at an advantage with my young athletes like Morgan and Ryan. They have been training for several years already. Right now we are in a phase to perfect their technique. I am addressing each detail of each of their lifts. We are slowly adding more volume, and soon we will add more sessions. However, it’s a process. It’s crazy to go from one session four times per week to training like a Bulgarian. Instead, you could take things like this:

1. First three years of training (starting at age 9) – Start with one session per day at three times per week, and by the end of year three have things ramped to five days per week. The focus is perfect technique, absolute strength in the major accessory movements (squat, pulls, presses, and rows), hypertrophy in the muscles that will help with weightlifting (quads, hamstrings, glutes, spinal extensors, lats, traps, shoulders, and triceps), GPP (gymnastics, relative strength, sprinting, jumping, flexibility, and agility), and work capacity. Work capacity is something that will always be a focus, and it’s something that should always be tracked. You still want to compete during these years with the focus being on making lots of lifts. You want to get your athlete used to making lifts.

2. Years three through six (ages 12-15) – Now the focus shifts to perfecting the competition movements, and the process of pushing those numbers begins – yet slowly. The GPP will slowly start to transfer to SPP (special physical preparation). Basically things get a bit more specific. Remember these athletes are still young, so keep things fun with games and competition. Jump competitions are always fun both vertical and broad jump. On a side note, don’t try to coach like a Bulgarian or Russian coach. We are Americans coaching American kids, so remember that. I want my kids smiling and laughing.

During this phase, you can push things to six days per week and maybe a couple of two-a-days for technique only (though it will also get them used to the extra sessions). Competitions will get a bit more serious. Morgan is 15, and he’s already competed at three international events – earning medals at each one of them. This is the stage they get used to competing against the best in the world, and hopefully they get used to winning like Ryan and Morgan.

3. Years six through eight (ages 16-18) – This is where it gets debatable, but in my observation this is a great time to push it a bit. Their endocrine systems are through the roof, and most athletes are done growing at this point. I think this is a great time to start pushing the athletes a bit. The goal here would be to take the sessions from 8 to possibly 12 sessions per week. Remember, we are in America, and things are different now. If I see an athlete not handling the volume or frequency, I am not going to make a round knob fit in a square hole. Now their programs will look more like an exact weightlifting program with specificity being the key. Of course there will still be accessory work, core work, and work capacity.

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4. Years eight plus (19 years old and on) – They might still be Junior weightlifters, but they are in the big leagues at this point. Their hormones are maxed, and their bodies will never be more primed for improvement. The key is proper development up to this point, disciplined athletes, and a coach who can control the intensity. I’m not sure I would ever get to 16 sessions per week, but it’s at this time I would start increasing frequency. I suggest using your brain – add a session, assess the athlete’s ability to adapt, and then either keep it or ditch it. It’s that easy. I am definitely going to keep a similar schedule for Morgan and Ryan, and possibly some of my other young ones if they continue to develop. I think given the right circumstances, Meredith, Nathan, and Hunter could move to something similar during the next quad.

I wouldn’t use the plan Pyrros laid out exactly, but I would use a lot of the same parameters. I would definitely try to individualize the program for each of my athletes as to maximize their individual genetics. The conversation definitely sparked some ideas, so now it’s time to go home and put pencil to paper or fingers to keyboard in this case.

I hope this article clears up what it means to really train Bulgarian. If you are simply maxing out once per day, you are not training Bulgarian. Really that is being lazy and not maximizing your potential. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the article.

Christian Thibaudeau on the Industry, Coaching, and Dopamine – The Barbell Life 267

It was such an honor to talk on today’s podcast with Christian Thibaudeau.

I tell the story of being a young man at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado – the early days of Testosterone Nation Magazine. I kept hearing people talk about Christian again and again.

And for good reason.

Coach Thibaudeau joins us today to talk about the realities of the strength business and how everything has changed with social media. But he also tells us about what makes a truly great coach.

A World Class Coach's Guide to Building Muscle

Hypertrophy for Strength, Performance, and Aesthetics.

World champion and world-class coach Travis Mash has combined the latest research with his decades of practical experience to bring you an amazing resource on muscle hypertrophy.


  • Canadian steroid controversies giving Christian an opportunity
  • Gaining the credibility to work with high level athletes
  • Crying in the backroom and adrenal responses
  • Dopamine, kids, and fast food relationships
  • God and the meathead paradise
  • and more…