This past weekend I took the MashElite “Learn 2 Lift” show on the road to Zach Even-Esh’s Underground Gym in New Jersey. The New Jersey shoreline is incredibly beautiful. Before my visit I had a picture of New Jersey that was totally false. I thought it was only cities and highways, and I thought the people were just a bunch of fast talking city slickers. Wow was I wrong! The people were nice, and they welcomed this southern redneck with open arms. All day long the people treated me with respect, and showed a real interest in hanging out with and getting to know me and my family. I can’t wait to book the next “Learn 2 Lift” in the New Jersey/New York area. This was my third seminar in the last month and a half, and I realized this past weekend that I have a real passion for the “Learn 2 Lifts”. I have spent the last 29 years learning how to snatch, clean & jerk, squat, bench, and deadlift, so that I could get stronger. Now thanks in big part to Crossfit I get to teach it to others that now share the same love for strength. When I was in my twenties, most people couldn’t have cared less about the lifts that I loved and performed in competition. Now adults ages 20-70 eagerly come to my seminars in hope that they might learn some golden nugget of information that might help their strength game.
At the seminar we got them started with a mobility warm up that was specific to performing the snatch and clean & Jerk. We focused on the shoulders, thoracic spine, neck, hips, knees, and ankles. The best part of the warm up happens with the bar. I explained to the group that weightlifters come alive on the platform, so most of the warm ups are done with a bar. I taught them a series of movements that mimic the lifts that would also warm up the joints. This is called complexes, and I suggest spending the majority of your warm up time performing these movements. A big mistake that I see is rookie lifters spending countless minutes stretching, foam rolling, and lacrosse balling, but very little warm up time with the bar. I recommend a few minutes with mobility, foam roller, and lacrosse balls, then grab a bar and get to work. I do recommend spending quality time after the session to cool down, stretch, and foam roll to improve recovery.
We then went over the snatch, clean & jerk, and the squat. I teach a top down approach which means to work the positions of the lift from the bar at the hip area down to the floor. There are several tricks that I have learned over the years that I pass on in the technique section of the seminars. I also have the advantage of lifting and hanging around the greats of today like Jon North, Donnie Shankle, and Glenn Pedlay, so I am continuing to learn every week. The jerk is a little different of course, but same in the way that we teach the position of the jerk first. A little secret is that most rookies to the sport simply need to spend time with the bar above their heads, so they can become comfortable with a metal bar weighing several hundred pounds that could crack their skulls wavering above their heads. With the squats we talked about little tricks that could increase their maxes, and we practiced each trick. Eye position, breath against the belt, and speed are some of the techniques/tricks that were taught.
The Q&A and programming section was the money of the event in my opinion. The group bombarded me with questions for a solid hour, and then I actually went to the white board like a college professor and mapped out a typical MashElite workout. The group’s enthusiasm to learn ignited my fire to teach, so class was in session for as long as my group wanted to learn. More people teaching these seminars should do Q&A because you never know what your attendees really want to learn unless you open the floor up for questions. Donnie Shankle was the one that told me that the Q&A section should be the majority of any seminar, so the “Lion Killer” was spot on again. We went over the basics of programming, and I explained that a lot of plans work. I just wanted them to know the aspects that had to be present no matter what the plan, and I let them know the science behind the MashElite plan. Programming is important, but a coach that can give feedback, a supportive group, and a fearless attitude are just as important.
Since February I have learned that I have a major passion for seminars and online programming because it opens the whole world to my knowledge. I want to affect as many people as possible while I am on this earth, and these two things broaden that pool of people. Coming from such a small town/village in the North Carolina Mountains I thank God for the opportunity to meet all these people from around the globe because if I had never learned to lift weights, I probably would never had left that little place. Don’t get me wrong my hometown of Jefferson, NC is beautiful, and the people are unbeatable. I am just a person who wants to experience other people and cultures, and I just love people in general. God has given me this platform, and I want to show the world His love through me. I can’t wait until my next seminar to meet more incredible people, and next year I am going to do a Level II seminar at the same place.
I am filling my calendar right now for the next year. I am booked through October, so from November on I am open. If you are interested in seminars or programming, go to my website:
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