Monthly Archives: July 2013

Programming For Perfection

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This week we started all new programming in preparation for the NC State Weightlifting Championships in October. The volume is very heavy right now, and we are focused on general preparation that will ready our athletes for the Bulgarian-ish programming to come. Most of our team are rookies, so stabilizing the overhead position and working on and stabilizing the various positions of the pull is critical. I have come to love programming for my team, and for my online clients, schools, and gyms/boxes. I also believe that teaching an aspect of programming at my seminars is an aspect that makes them unique from the other seminars out there. This blog is more about the general necessities of all programs, so to find out more about my specific programming go to:

http://www.MashElitePerformance.com

or email me at

Travis.Mash@MashElitePerformance.com

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog about the four aspects of becoming a World Champions: minimums, maximums, fearless attitude, and a positive group. Today I want to talk about another important part of the plan “programming”. Of course I believe that my programming is superior, but I want to give you what all programs should have in common use this list to evaluate your current program.

1. “Priorities are reoccurring” Dan John says to pick the exercises that are important and do them everyday. If you practice a movement, then you will become more efficient in the movement. If you are a weightlifter, snatch, clean & jerk, and the squat should be common place in your program. Of course pick assistance work that will target weak spots and apply accordingly. The same goes for powerlifting. The squat, bench, and deadlift should be common practice. Old school programs focus more muscularly like a bodybuilding program, but they forget the neuromuscular component. Strength sports are like any other sport if you want to get better at baseball practice baseball.

2. “Defendable” What I mean here is that program designers or a coach should welcome questions with open arms. I love when a MashEliter asks me questions about their program because then I have a chance to rap about science. If your coach gets mad at you about questioning their program, then take that as a big red flag and you should run. The only reason a person would get mad at a question is because they don’t know the answer.

3. “Adaptability” All programs should be able to be scaled for individual needs. For example if a weightlifter can clean within 20lbs of their front squat, then that person has a very efficient pull underneath the bar. That person should focus on squats because their clean should get stronger with that increase. On the other hand if a person can front squat 450lbs, but they only clean 350lbs, then they should focus less effort on the squats and more on the clean. Another example is if a lifter is lacking mobility to catch the snatch, a coach might want to address the mobility and start with overhead squat. A great coach is necessary for any program to be maximized.

4. “Peaking or Taper” There should be a phase that peaks an athlete for their sport or goal. If you are a Crossfit athlete, strength and work capacity should be maximized with the last four weeks being gradually tapered to allow for the body to recover and recharge for the event itself. If the taper is done properly, an athlete should experience a surge of strength, work capacity, and even mobility. Great programs will take a 52 week approach with everything geared towards the most important competition or event of the year. Different aspects can be targeted throughout the year like strength, work capacity, relative strength, or mobility.

These are just a few components that are necessary for good programming. My advice is to find a reputable coach that has produced athletes in your chosen sport, or clients that have achieved results that are in alignment with your own goals. After finding a good coach, give the program a chance. Almost all programs that are written by good coaches will work if you commit to following the plan.

For more information on programming or any other service that Mash Elite Performance offers go to:

http://www.MashElitePerformance.com

or email me at:

Travis.Mash@MashElitePerformance.com

Here’s an example of our Max Out Fridays:

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Will You Dare To Dream?

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My whole life has been spent striving to inspire, striving to leave the world a little different than I found it. My youth was spent trying to dominate sports at the cost of everyone and everything. I was clearly focused, but I lacked a proper motivation. My motivation was an obsession with becoming great, and by the time I was in college I realized that my gift was strength. I was stronger than anyone around me, and I knew that with the proper dedication I could dominate the strength world. I dreamed of becoming the strongest powerlifter of all-time. I set goals like no one before me, and I wrote down every angle on which I could improve to give me an edge over my competitors, such as nutrition, soft tissue, and mobility. My goals were precise strategic. I was the only powerlifter that would bring a rolling cooler with me to venues so that I could have the proper nutrition during the event. While my competitors were eating McDonalds, I was eating lean meat and a sweet potato. I was the first powerlifter to fly my personal Chiropractor with me to events (which, by the way, was a huge advantage). The only problem was that focus turned to obsession which lead to a life spinning out of control. Eventually I obtained my goal of being the strongest powerlifter on the planet by setting the All-Time World Record in the 220lb Class with a 2410lb total.
However, when I got there, I quickly realized all that I had sacrificed for a moment of glory. Depression set in and instead of realizing that I was out of control I embarked on setting the World Record higher and higher.

This article isn’t written to tell you that I am the strongest strength athlete of all-time, and it certainly isn’t meant to persuade you from pursuing greatness. I want all of my readers to “Dream Big”! I want you to “Inspire”! I just want you to have the proper motivation, and for me that was Christ. Now I think more about my clients, friends, and family than my own personal gain. I still want to achieve great things, but more importantly along the way I want to inspire others and bring God glory. I look back at my 20s and half of my 30s, and I realize what a chance I had to help others. I would receive hundreds of emails daily from fans, and at the time I was a part of EliteFTS which is the most popular strength and conditioning website in America. I could have positively affected thousands of lives, but I chose to simply bask in my glory. Now at the age of 40 I feel like I have a second chance. I write for two online websites Juggernaut Training Systems(www.JTSStrength.com) and Catalyst Athletics (www.catalystathletics.com), and I am the co-host of the popular podcast “Weightlifting Talk”( http://www.spreaker.com/page#!/show/the_jon_north_show). I train 150 athletes and clients every week. My wife and I own Smashed Crossfit(http://www.masheliteperformance.com/#!smashed-crossfit/c1g9b) which I absolutely love. I do seminars all over the country including New York and Atlanta coming up in August(http://www.masheliteperformance.com/#!news/cuc). I do programming for athletes all over the world(http://www.masheliteperformance.com/#!product/prd8/815684691/programming-by-travis-mash), which I truly enjoy. I still compete, and in December I will compete at the American Open Championships for Olympic Weightlifting held in Dallas, TX. I still compete in Powerlifting once per year at a Pro level, and I compete in both sports in the Open Divisions. I refuse to go to the Masters Division until I can’t any longer compete with the very best. I have a platform again! This time I have the right motivation, and I want to inspire. I want to love people and help people, and show them the love of Christ. A lot of people talk about it, but the problem with most Christians is they don’t live it. They don’t follow the main principle. “For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, ‘You Shall Love Your Neighbor As Yourself” Galatians 5:14. Weekly I receive emails asking me about God, or letting me know how I inspired someone in some way. Now I live for a purpose greater than myself, and it is the greatest feeling in the world. I love the life that God has given me, and I encourage you all to live your life for something greater than yourself.

I can’t wait to visit New York with my wife and daughter next week. I will be teaching a seminar at The Underground Gym owned by Zach Even-Esh. More importantly I will be offered a chance to inspire others. I will teach some a new skill in Olympic Weightlifting, and some will learn to improve their lifting. My goal is to teach them to seize their life and to reach for the stars. Set your goals high, use your talents to inspire, and along the way take the time to love the people that you come in to contact with. One thing that I have learned from my co-host Jon North is to “Love your life or change it”. Don’t settle for mediocrity! God has given us all talents and gifts, and I don’t believe that we are meant to stroll through life not affecting others. We are all called to help others, to love others, and we are called to do our best in all situations. Nowhere in the Bible does God say go through life not loving others and not giving it your all. We are meant to inspire others, so that God will be glorified.

This is not meant to be a sermon, but I can’t very well talk about life without talking about God. The main point of this story is to wake up the world. I am saying for all to get out of bed and “do life”. Set goals, make plans, inspire others, love others, and “Dare To Dream”! I love teaching people about exercise and athleticism, but more importantly I love to impress upon them the message of “Dare to Dream, Inspire others, and Love people along the way”.

For more information email me at:

Travis.Mash@MashElitePerformance.com

Or check out my website at:

http://www.MashElitePerformance.com

For inspiration here is the video of 42 Year Old Lisa G. MashElite’s own Stage VI Lung Cancer Battler setting a lifetime PR in the Clean & Jerk!

What’s Your Excuse?

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Today I witnessed the most inspirational event of my life. Lisa
Gniewek my client, my friend, and my inspiration to attack life set a
lifetime PR in the Clean & Jerk at 140lbs. Lisa is a 42 year wife,
mother of two, Pediatrics Registered Nurse, and a stage IV Lung Cancer
battler. I watch her day in and day out walk through the Mash Elite
doors to battle the weights and attack life. She works out every day
even while enduring the gruesome effects of chemotherapy.
Lisa isn’t just a mother and wife, but she is a competitive
weightlifter and powerlifter. She is an irreplaceable part of the
Mash Elite Family. Lisa has been with Mash Elite from the beginning.
Since she has been my client, Mash Elite has grown in space three
times, and she has always been there to pull up carpet and paint or
whatever was needed. She has been at every weightlifting meet and
every powerlifting meet that Mash Elite has attended, so basically she
is as much a part of our training center as the squat racks. Now she
spends her extra time working our smoothie bar and trying to keep our
place a little cleaner. Basically Lisa is a gym rat!!!
My point in writing this is to inspire the people that always have a
reason not to work and get in shape. Every time that you think of a
reason to not go to the gym remember Lisa and tell yourself to get off
the couch and go attack life. I have never seen anyone overcome so
many obstacles in my life, and the whole team she maintains the best
attitude in the gym. I am throwing the gauntlet down to the world
right now! Follow Lisa’s lead and attack life! Quit using excuses
and get out there and use what God has given you to bring Him glory!
Time is precious to us all, so quit saying tomorrow and get right
today!
Sometimes I find myself crying about being 40 years old and competing
at the American Open Weightlifting Championships, and then I remember
my friend Lisa. None of us have a reason to cry about anything! We
just have a life to live, so live it man! Squat a personal record!
Run that Marathon! Visit South Africa! Love your wife and a child
like no one has ever loved before. Don’t do life luke warm! Do it
Hottt!!!! God has given us all one shot at this thing called life, so
honor Him by using what He has given you.
I am putting her video link at the bottom of this blog, so check it
out! If you have questions, email me at:

Travis.Mash@MashElitePerformance.com

Or to sign up for a Learn 2 Lift coming Aug. 2nd in New Jersey at Zach
Even-Esh’s Underground Gym, and Aug. 24th to Crossfit 140 in Atlanta,
go to:

http://www.MashElitePerformance.com and go to the store section and sign up!

Will You Ride the Wave?

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​Yesterday on Weightlifting Talk we discussed what it takes to be a champion weightlifter and powerlifter. We all had our various opinions, but one thing that was a common trait is courage. All champions are unafraid to put it all on the line, and just go for it. Weightlifters, powerlifters, pole vaulters, wrestlers, cage fighters, and surfers all know that every time they perform that there is a chance of serious injury or death, but yet they go out and perform. My question to you is, “When a forty foot wave comes, will you risk it all for the chance of becoming a champion?”

​My man JB does the highlights of our show every evening after an episode, and last night I was reading through the hilarious comments when I read one of mine. We were talking about “clarking” or not going under the Olympic lifts and being afraid of the powerlifts, and I responded by saying, “…when it gets heavier, now it’s fun! I might die and I love it!” Right then I realized the very thing that made me a world champion. I wasn’t afraid! I actually came alive when the weight was at an amount that could actually hurt or kill me. I was able to dig deep into a dark place in my mind and exorcise my demons on the bar. I think that if most champions were psychoanalyzed you would find that most were extremists in search of proving their value to the world at any and all cost. It’s harder for me to go to these places now because I have Christ in my life, so I no longer feel like I have to prove anything to anyone except God. I still go hard in the paint no doubt, but now I am having fun. I am not saying that a Christian can’t be a world champion, but the motivation should be different. If you are using your talents to bring God glory, then you should have a no fear attitude.

​No matter the motivation a champion has to have an “at all cost” mind set. What are you willing to do? Will you eat properly? Will you sleep properly? Will you train while your friends are at a party? Will you climb under a bar with a 1000lbs loaded on it, and squat down and come up? Will you catch the ball knowing a 6’4” linebacker is about to crush you? Will you go up for a header with three other people to win the soccer game? Will you catch the 40 ft wave? If you answered yes to these questions and meant it, then you have what it takes to be a champion. Now go out there and catch your wave!

​I’ll be in New Jersey next weekend for my second Learn 2 Lift Seminar at Zach Even-Esh’s Underground Gym. Come on out to learn about the Snatch, Clean & Jerk, and how to catch your 40 ft wave. For more information go to:

http://www.MashElitePerformance.com

or email me at:

Travis.Mash@MashElitePerformance.com

Learn 2 Lift: What 2 Expect

Mash Elite has embarked on a series of seminars called “Learn 2 Lift”. The seminars are focused on Snatch and Clean & Jerk, and/or Squat, Bench, & Deadlift. A lot of people are emailing me about what to expect at these seminars, so I am going to explain in this blog. I am unbelievably excited to share my knowledge around the country that I have spent the last 28 years developing. I have picked this knowledge up from all the different journeys of my life including: Little’s Gym in my hometown, football at Appalachian State University, the Olympic Training Center, time spent with Charles Poliquin, time spent with Louie Simmons, time on the Elite Fitness Systems Q&A Staff, talks with the amazing Joe Kenn, training with Jon North, training with Donnie Shankle, time spent with Glenn Pendlay, and time spent with the phenomenal Mash Elite Staff. We are scheduled for the New Jersey/New York area August 2nd at The Underground Gym owned by the brilliant Zach Even-Esh, and Crossfit 140 in Atlanta August 24th. We are scheduling now with facilities in Texas, Hawaii, and Australia, and we are looking to add to these. When I was in my early 20s, I never would have guessed that so many people would come to love the sports so dear to my heart. I have to say that I am living a dream.

The first thing that you are going to learn is the latest techniques. Things have changed a lot in both Olympic weightlifting and powerlifting in just the last ten years, so whether you are a beginner or a veteran there will be lots to learn. I teach the Pendlay system in the Olympic lifts as interpreted by me, and that means from the top down. Working with Donnie Shankle and Jon North has really helped me get caught up in a more advance catapult type system. The technique alone provides personal records to most the very first time using the system, so come out to one of my seminars and learn to Slam Bars!

One of the big differences in my seminars and other people’s is that I am going to teach programming concepts to aid the attendees in developing their own system. I will teach you common sense ways to wave volume that will maximize supercompensation. I will teach techniques that will aid in recovery and save the central nervous system. It really goes back to who can train the most without breaking down, and there are many tricks to doing just that. My system is based off of Chinese and Bulgarian programs, and concepts that I have learned from many experts in the field such as Glenn Pendlay and Joe Kenn. Technique is great, but without a proper program you will never maximiz3e potential.

Over the years I have discovered hundreds of tricks that have equated to huge personal records for me. These tricks have helped me become one of the strongest strength athletes of all-time, and they continue to allow me to compete on a National Level in two sports at the age of 40. I don’t compete in the Masters because as you all know “I do what I want”. I will continue to compete in the Open classes as long as God will allow, and these “tricks” are a big part of the reason that I am still going. I look back at my life, and I laugh because my life has been one big college course. I had no idea when I was working with Charles Poliquin that I was working with a legend in my field. I had no idea when I was training with Joe Kenn that I was training with the future Head Strength Coach of the Carolina Panthers. Louie Simmons and I quickly became friends during my powerlifting days, and now everyone in America knows this guy. Now at 40 years old I am training with two of the best weightlifters in America Jon North and Donnie Shankle, and I am friends with Glenn Pendlay the greatest weightlifting coach in America. I would say that I have earned all of the tricks in my bag of goodies from all the tests that I have put myself through. These tricks now will be passed on to my MashEliters, Weightlifting Talk listeners, and anyone that attends my seminars.

These seminars are going to rock, and I am going to have a blast teaching them. If anyone is interested in hosting a seminar, email me at:

Travis.Mash@MashElitePerformance.com

If you are interested in attending a seminar, check out my website for a list of events and payment options:

http://www.MashElitePerformance.com

How to Produce Unbelievable Athletes

Mash Elite Performance has been in operation since 2008. We have produced countless amounts of Division I Athletes, National Champion Powerlifters, World Champion Powerlifters, and now National level Olympic weightlifters. We are working on producing champion Crossfitters, and I have no doubt that we will do just that. I receive countless emails, calls, and in-person inquiries about “The Mash Elite Secret”, so I am going to list it for everyone.

The first one is ”Leadership with Coaching”. Almost all the premier facilities in America have a knowledgeable, motivating, and driven coach. The coach has to be heart of the facility. I believe that the coach has to have at least performed the sport that they are coaching, and preferably at a high level. I blessed enough to still be able to compete on a National level at two sports, and I believe that inspires my young athletes. A coach has to be inspiring and motivational. I have high expectations from all of my athletes, and they know this. They also know that I love each and every one of them, so they know I have their best interest. My athletes have high expectations of themselves, so when I get upset with them, they know it’s out of love. A great coach is never satisfied with the level of knowledge that they possess. They are constantly on the lookout for something better. The last big key for a coach is to form a fun environment. I am excited for my athletes way more than I am disappointed. When they set personal records, I am jumping in the air and carrying them on my shoulders around the facility. This type of coach will produce countless amounts of champions.

Next an “atmosphere of excellence and fun” is a must! At Mash Elite my athletes have the highest of expectations for themselves, and all I do is remind them on a daily basis what those expectations are. I tell my parents up front not to send their children to me unless the athlete has extremely high expectations. We are not the place for mediocrity! I’m not judging those people. I am just saying that another facility would fit their mediocre goals better. A record board was the best idea ever created because my athletes will do anything to get on that crazy thing. Just as important as excellence is fun because athletes work harder and longer when they are having fun. As an example all of my athletes young and old know that Friday is “Max Out Friday”, and they know that we are trying to set personal records on that day. We treat Friday as a holiday, and we just have fun from open to close slamming bars, killing PRs, crushing 40 yard dashes, and murdering vertical leaps. We celebrate daily when athletes improve. I am a coach that targets when an athlete does something well. I correct bad mechanics, but I celebrate good mechanics.

The biggest reason that we are successful at Mash Elite is the community. We are family! We hang out together! We laugh together! We cry together! The whole reason that I put a smoothie bar and sitting area was to have a place for my athletes to just hang out. We also have “Chang Thai Friday Nights”, when I am not travelling so much. This is where we go to another MashEliter’s restaurant, and we all just eat and fellowship together. When athletes hang out, they feel a part of something bigger than themselves. We are a part of something special! When one of my athletes gets a scholarship offer, we all get one. When one of my athletes competes on a National level, we all compete. The community at MashElite is what guarantees that I will never work a day of my life because all that I do every day is hang out with my friends.

The last aspect of building champions is to teach technique and mechanics first. Before my athletes get a bar in their hand, they must first show me that they have proper mechanics with their own body. Before we load the bar with weight, the athlete must demonstrate that they understand the mechanics of the exercise. Running and jumping mechanics are taught every day, so the athlete’s newly added strength will transfer to a faster 40yd dash time and higher vertical leap. Something that I learned from Coach Joe Kenn of the Carolina Panthers is that a strength coach should try to get the most out of the least. That means I should get the most out of kettlebell squats before moving into barbell squats.

These are the building blocks that have made Mash Elite Performance into a factory creating great athletes. I hope that more coaches will read this, and that they will try to learn from it. These blocks have not only made our program successful, but they have also made it a fun and exciting place to be a part of. If you have any questions about the blocks, email me at:

Travis.Mash@MashElitePerformance.com

Or check out our website at:

http://www.MashElitePerformance.com

Or hit me up on Twitter at:

@MashElite

Get Jacked Week 4

I can honestly say I love teaching this class. Teaching adults to snatch, clean & Jerk, squat, Deadlift, military press, Overhead Squat, and other complex movements has become my passion. My guys are going to quick butt really soon at some local Olympic Weightlifting competitions. Get ready!,,

Get Jacked Week 4

Monday
Snatch 90×1
Back Squats 80×2
OH Squats HS
Jerks off Box HS, 80×2

Tues
Power Clean & Push Jerk 75×3+1 x 4
Snatch Grip BN Push Press 3 reps x 5
Clean Pulls 100x3x3

Wed
Clean & J 90/1+1
Front Squats max 3 sec pause
DL Zercher Squat max 3
Jerk Position Push Presses/5×3

Thur
Power Snatch 75x3x5
Push Press HS, 70x3x2
Snatch Pulls from Box 100x3x3

Friday
Max Snatch
Max Clean &J
Back Squats max 1
Fat Bar Bench 75x3x3