Wisdom from Donnie Mac

Donnie Mac

Personally I believe that I have the best job in America. I work with some of the best athletes in the world on a daily basis. One of the perks that I don’t talk about enough is the fact that I work with two of the greatest weightlifting coaches in America Don McCauley and Glenn Pendlay. The things that I am learning are priceless. It’s better than receiving a Doctorate because everything that I am learning is relevant to my chosen path. At Muscle Driver USA we have a culture of very informed and educated athletes, so they are all a source of knowledge. Tom Sroka is a master of mobility, so I have learned more mobility exercises from him than any person ever. All of this adds up to a wealth of knowledge that I wish to pass on to you.

Don McCauley is a USAW Level V International Coach. He has coached multiple people all the way to the big show, the Olympics. That simply means that he knows what he is talking about. I love the people that try to debate with him on technique and programming because the majority of them haven’t produced a National level athlete. Anyway, I have learned so much from this guy, and today I want to go over some of the top nuggets of wisdom.

Nugget #1 Timing is everything! We have two athletes that have almost mastered the element of timing James Tatum and Ariel Stephens. The key to becoming a great weightlifter is knowing exactly where the bar is at all times, and knowing how to move around the bar. Another important aspect of timing is knowing how to peak the bar while wasting exactly zero time pulling under it. Too many people teach their athletes to pull the bar as high as possible with their arms. The key is to peak the bar with one’s hips. Here is a video of practice at MDUSA. If you have the time, check it out paying close attention to how these athletes peak the bar and move around it.

Training at Muscle Driver USA

Nugget #2 Getting vertical on the jerk is more important than the split itself. Most coaches talk about getting the head through or stepping through on the split portion of the jerk. Don talks more about the dip and drive process especially getting vertical. Here are the keys! Before the dip, the athlete needs to shift their weight back onto the heels. The athlete also needs to pay close attention to maintaining a vertical torso. The dip is about a 5 inch bend in the knees with a forceful and aggressive change of direction, and all of this is done while keeping the shoulder protracted and up. Then the athlete’s main focus is a strong vertical drive. The split doesn’t have to be so dramatic. Here are the keys to the split: keep the hips underneath the bar, back knee bent, and both feet turned in.

Nugget #3 Pretend that your legs are longer than they are. What Don is saying is continue that first pull longer that you think you should before beginning the second pull or knee re-bend. All of this is done while keeping the chest up and squeezing the bar back into the body with the lats. Don has an awesome drill to teach the athlete how to perform this movement. All that is required is a small piece of plywood. Here is the video:

The Donnie Mac Drill

I hope to make articles like this a mainstay of my blog. I want to pass on the knowledge that I am learning from Muscle Driver USA. The passing on of knowledge is one of my passions. Helping others is an even bigger passion, so hopefully I can kill two birds with one stone.

If you are interested in one of our online teams, click on one of the links below:

Mash Mafia Online Team

Eat What You Want! Lift What You Want!

For online coaching, mentoring, or consultations, click on the link below:

Online Coaching by Coach Mash

Leave a Reply 0 comments


Champion powerlifter and world-class weightlifting coach Travis Mash shares his powerful neural activation technique - proven to instantly increase your strength as well as lead to more long-term gains.

Grab the FREE ebook today to ramp up your strength, athleticism, and muscle gains.