American Open with Christmas Abbott and Mike Bledsoe


​Wow, what a great weekend! Olympic Weightlifting’s American Open took place in Dallas, TX with over 450 registered lifters. The meet was not only the biggest in American History, but the biggest in the world this year. I either coached or helped coach over nine lifters. I watched two of my lifters that I started in this sport break into the top ten, Rebecca Gerdon and Jacob “Rabbit” Wyatt. I can’t even begin to explain how proud I am of them. They are both rookies in the sport, and I have no doubts that both of them will be on the podium next year. The Attitude Nation lifters killed it as a team, and I was very proud to be helping coach that team. Jon and Jessica North are real pioneers in this sport, and they are both a big reason why the sport has increased in popularity so much.
​Weightlifting Talk went live Saturday night right outside of the competition. What a night it was!!!! Christmas Abbott, Mike Bledsoe “Barbell Shrugged”, James Tatum, Kendrick Farris(2 Time Olympian), Jared Fleming, Chad Vaughn(2 Time Olympian), Cody Gibbs, Coach Zygmunt Smalcerz(Olympic Gold Medallist and US Head Coach), and many more celebrity guest were on our show. It’s an episode that you don’t want to miss, so go to!/user/weightlifting_talk/american-open-prt-3 and listen.
​Finally Sunday, I was given the privilege of commentating for the 94k A Session live stream that was listened to by over 24000 people across the world. I just feel so blessed to be a part of such a great sport especially during this time of amazing growth. With the podcast, seminars, competition, and my team, I feel a small part of taking this great sport to the world. Like I’ve said before, the barbell teaches people about themselves. There is no better way to learn about yourself than the sport of weightlifting. You will learn if you are a risk taker, if you are courageous, and if you are fearless. The barbell is a way of life, and now the world will know.
​My MashMafia Powerlifting Team also did work in Hickory, NC at the state championships. They took home a lot of hardware, and as soon as I get the full report, I will let you all know how they did. I am just so excited to have both a Powerlifting Team and a Weightlifting Team. I love both sports, and I just love introducing people to the different aspects of the barbell. My goal is to dominate both sports with unbeatable teams. I want to put a program into place to start recruiting serious athletes in both sports. Hopefully early in 2014, I will be able to announce the program.
​This weekend was also a reunion of old friends, and it was a time to meet new people throughout the country that love weightlifting. I try to take advantage of every second of my time with these great people. After the day of competition in the bar/restaurant, is where the real exchange of knowledge goes down. I wanted to give you guys a few of the tips that I learned:

1. Try to find great athletes throughout the world with similar builds as yourself and mimic their technique. There is no one technique that fits all body types, so set out on a quest to find what works for your build.
2. Universal truths- sweep the bar close to the body during the pull, peak the bar, pull yourself aggressively underneath the bar, and move the feet.
3. Ask yourself, “If you had 45 minutes to get across the most important point of your life to an audience, what would you say and what would it be about? Then start to perfect that 45 minute discussion.
4. All programming works! Some is better than others, but the key is the athlete buying in to the plan.
5. At a meet, less verbal cues is better. Just relax your athlete, keep track of his or her numbers and warm ups, and keep them relaxes.

​The weekend is over, but the memories of this epic weekend will live forever. I think that CrossFit has shed light on the barbell, and it is up to people like me to take it to the world.

The Christmas Abbott and Mike Bledsoe “Barbell Shrugged” Podcast


Morgan King, Elisabeth Akinwale, Rebecca Gerdon, and my beautiful wife Emily Drew Mash





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