The Mash Blueprint for Strength Programming

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The Mash Blueprint

One thing that I have learned over the years is that simplicity is the king of results. Every time that I keep a program simple has always equaled better results for the athlete. In contrast I have worked months on what I thought was the most perfect program created to only yield minimal results. Dan John preaches simplicity, and so do I.

“Simplicity is King” is a concept that refers to any type of training. Whether you want to powerlift, weightlift, bodybuild, or perform a hybrid program, simplicity will always remain supreme. Simple does not mean ineffective. There are a few principles that have to be present:

• Volume has to trend upwards over time to force adaptation
• The stimulus should have slight changes to once again keep the body adapting
• Key movements should be practiced with some frequency to for efficiency’s sake
• The program should be fun!

For years I have tried to think of a program that could be applied to any style of lifting (Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, bodybuilding, or a hybrid plan). My wife Emily Drew and I talked about this concept for hours at a time. The finally I had an idea.


I was driving home from a seminar in Kentucky that I performed with my athlete, Evan Rutledge. Evan is a wild man, and I guess conversations with him sparked my creative brain. I was driving though the mountains of West Virginia when the plan came to me. It wasn’t a revelation from God, but it was the coolest idea that I had ever had about strength training.

The ideas were flowing like a river in springtime. The problem was that I was trying to get home to my family, so pulling over wasn’t an option. If you know me, then you know that I am attached to my family like a magnet. I wanted to see Rock and his momma.

That led me to start punching in the ideas on the notes section of my phone. Yeah I know that’s a terrible idea while driving down the curviest road in America, but I had to get those ideas out of my brain before I lost them. In case you are wondering, my wife did indeed yell at me for doing this while driving.

I didn’t just risk my life for nothing. I developed a plan that will allow you to program for yourself for the rest of your life using some very simple concepts. The concepts are already a part of the many plans that I have written in the past. I just kept all the simple concepts, and I got rid of the complicated ones. Here’s what I used:

1. Rep Maxes- whether you are feeling great or you are beat up from a long day at work, rep maxes accommodates the body’s state of preparedness.

2. Conjugate System- this is Louie Simmon’s fancy word for change. I don’t change anything drastically, but just enough to stimulate the body for constant adaptation.

3. Volume is waved, and there are several built-in tools for increasing volume over time.

4. Specificity with the exercises that are important. If you want to get better at something, you have to practice that movement. If you want to get better at basketball, you have to practice basketball.

5. Frequency- practice what’s important more often.

I used these concepts to build programs for all the barbell disciplines. I wanted to write a book that would give all of you an easy to follow plan that you could use forever. This weekend “The Mash Blueprint for Strength Programming” drops on the world. I am excited about this book because you guys can use it for years to come.

The concepts of this book could be applied to all the barbell sports, and any strength and conditioning coach could use it to make their programs much simpler for the players to follow. I give you guys all the ideas for choosing accessory movements, and I tell you how to alter the plan to stimulate a lifetime of gains.

I hope all of you will enjoy it. I also thank God that I didn’t wreck while typing the ideas for the book on my phone. The ideas were too good to be lost in my brain forever. I am pumped to get your feedback on the book.

“The Mash Blueprint for Strength Programming” drops this weekend, so get ready!

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