Coach Mash and the Eye of the Tiger

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Eye of the Tiger

Yesterday, Emily Drew (my beautiful wife) took a trip to one of my original gyms, Jack Kings Gym. If you love the barbell and live anywhere near Winston-Salem, NC, you owe it to yourself to visit this amazing gym. As soon as we walked in the sweet aroma of sweat filled the air. Right away I knew that I was home.

This was the very gym that I Back Squatted by first raw 800lb. This was the very gym that I Deadlifted my first 800lb. This was the gym that I Benched my first raw 500lb. This is the gym that I started my professional powerlifting career. I was hungry for greatness in those days. I didn’t care about social media, videos, or anything else. I only cared about being the best powerlifter in the world.

I remembered the excitement that I felt in my stomach as I made the drive to Jack King’s Gym to meet Chris Ox Mason. I was excited for each and every training session in anticipation that I would either do something that I had never done or put in the work to do so soon. Every session was treated like it was the only training session on earth.

I won my first National Championships training at that gym, which put me well on my way to reaching my goals. Jack King’s Gym is raw. There is no fluff! There are barbells, bumpers, tons of metal weights, and some awesome old school machines for the almighty pump. Yes I like to get a pump too. I love being jacked! I mean, who doesn’t like being jacked?

Guys sometimes you have to take things back a bit to move forwards. I have some big goals this year. I want to get back on the platform in powerlifting and weightlifting. At 43-years-old you never know when your last competition might take place. That’s why Emily Drew and I are going to spend some time at Jack King’s Gym. I want to take it back. I want to remember why I started this journey. I want to feel that same excitement. I want to see what’s possible at 43-years-old.

I encourage all of you to simplify things every once in a while. It’s not about Instagram. It’s not about popularity. At least it’s not for me. It’s about looking at my own body as a piece of clay. Lifting weights gives me the ability to shape that clay in any way that I desire. I can make it bigger, smaller, more cut, stronger, or weaker. It’s up to me. This simplistic approach was a big part of keeping me same during the most unsettling times in my life. This small bit of control in a life that sometimes felt out of control kept me from going off a cliff.

Right now there are things that are somewhat unsettling in my life. Nothing like when I was young and crazy. I have God now, so it’s really hard to shake me. However, there are things outside of my control that are weighing on me. Yesterday’s session at Jack King’s Gym helped to relax me. I had fun slinging weights with my wife, and for just a moment not much else mattered. We were just two meatheads getting stronger and more jacked while loving every second.

My advice is that all of you use the gym for this. It shouldn’t become a place that stresses you out more. It should be a place that provides stability. You should embrace the process, and realize that each and every day is a step towards your goals. Nothing can stop that outside of God. The weights will be there waiting on you day in and day out just waiting to help you reach your goals. How beautiful is that?

Rocky III was all about Apollo Creed taking Rocky back to a real gym with hungry boxers. Rocky had let his fame and money make him soft. He had forgotten the reason that he started his boxing career. Apollo took him to his original gym filled with hungry boxers trying to make a name for themselves. It worked! Rocky found the eye of the tiger once again.

Yesterday was my version of taking it back. I am hungry once again to do great things on the platform. I still want to coach my athletes to be great, but I want one more year just to see what I can do.

Here’s what the workout looked like:

Snatch
80k x 2
85k x 2,
90k x 2
100k x 1
105k x 1
110k x 1 comeback PR

Clean & Strict Press Mash Method
85k x 1
70k x 5
90k x 1
70k x 5
95k/209lb x 1
70k/154lb x 7

I am excited that my snatches are feeling better each and every week especially with only performing them once per week. The muscular balance work has almost eliminated the twist that I have had for the last several years. I also added quite a bit more volume this week to get better at the movement.

The strict press was so much fun. I finally got back into the 200lb club with the 95k/209lb lift. It was pretty easy as well. It was probably an 8 RPE. I kept the higher rep sets the same in weight, and added a AMRAP set at the end. The post activation potentiation really helps to increase one’s ability to perform reps. I can definitely feel the added hypertrophy. After I compete sometime around June or July, I am going to start a massive cut for some endurance events at the end of the year.

You can check out more of my training logs at:

Coach Mash’s Training Log

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