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We had the pleasure of catching up with Travis Mash just a few months ago down in Miami, Florida for Episode 129 of the podcast. That sequel was an epic Scotch-fueled rant session on strength, barbell and life lessons learned, and of course, the importance of doing exactly what you want to do in this life.
This is one of my favorite all time episodes of Barbell Shrugged, but it wasn’t the sequel…It was actually part 3. Maybe we forgot about part 2, or was it lost? Maybe all of our planning and traveling got way out of control this year and we just never got around to airing it. It doesn’t matter, because you know you’re in for a treat when Mash gets on the microphone with us. The real part 2 is killer, trust me. We geek out on the sport of Weightlifting.
If this show looks familiar it’s because we filmed Episode 104 there at Zach Even-Esh’s Underground Strength Gym in Manasquan, New Jersey. If you’re in the area and you need a legit, hardcore, loud, heavy-duty place to train and to grow into a monster, this is your spot! We’ll be back at that gym with Zach for a Barbell Business Mastermind event on September 17th. We’ll also be speaking/lecturing/being loud-mouths at the Princeton Endurance Sports Summit in Princeton New Jersey on the 19th. Come out and say hello, have a few Moscow Mules with us. It’ll be great. Also, make sure to check Zach’s new book that’s launching right now, “The Encyclopedia of Underground Strength & Conditioning.” It’s amazing.
Our chat with Travis this time around began with his seminars, which are really great. Sure, he teaches everything you need to know about programming. You get to learn all about the lifts – how to do them correctly, and how to teach them. But the greatness comes from two basic elements that Travis has mastered. First, he really does care about everyone he meets, how their training is going, how he can help. That’s way more powerful than any workout that can be scribbled across the whiteboard.
More coaches need to understand that a powerfully honed sense of empathy is priceless. As we mention a little later on in this show, it really would help if you were a little more like a hippy sometimes. Yes, even if you’re an intense, purple-necked, death metal loving powerlifter, a little bit of love and honest connection help everything improve, even your clean and jerk.
The second element is simplicity. You’ve likely heard the popular quote by Albert Einstein that goes, “If you can’t explain it simply, then you don’t understand it well enough.” Let me say, I’ve been around for a while now. Long enough to look back and cringe at the use of long words and big ideas, when something elementary would have more than carried the point every time. As Travis would have warned me, “You’re using your pride, you’re not really trying to teach.”
I don’t know what you’re training for. I don’t know what program would be best for you, sorry. But I do know that if you’re not sure who to turn to for assistance, just seek out experienced coaches and lifters who speak calmly, quietly, and simply. They will make you very strong, inside and out, because they know what really does matter in the gym – Communication. Toughness. Intensity. Persistence. However, complexity is never on that list. It has no value on its own.
That’s all fine and good, but it doesn’t take us long to get into some real meaty nuggets and pearls of wisdom on this show. If you’re a Weightlifter you really need to take out a notepad and write down every trick Travis starts sharing as we really get into the good stuff. Consider this. To lose weight, easily drop 1-2 kilo’s in an hour or two just by sucking on Sweet Tarts and spitting out the saliva. No, you don’t eat them…you just suck and spit. The sour taste will make you pump out the saliva, which will accumulate enough to make a difference by the time you step on the scale to weigh in.
These kind of tactics work, but please make sure to rehydrate carefully and fully anytime you intentionally drop weight like that for a competition. Don’t every do that alone. Don’t live in the sauna the night before you compete. Don’t ever get freaked out by trying to cut way too much too quickly, I don’t care what weight class you could make, or the lifters you might beat by doing that. Just be informed and well prepared. Find someone qualified that can administer an I.V. to you. Really, do it. Relax. Eat a real meal. Watch a movie, take a hot bath, relax. You’ll be very happy you did.
There are countless other nuggets and pearls in this episode, but none are more important than this – If you really want to be a successful, no matter what it is that you’re pursuing, you have to surround yourself with the best human beings possible. That’s not optional. I mentioned some qualities earlier that are essential if you want to be a great coach. Well, how about this for the greatest quality? …A truly great coach recognizes that they cannot accomplish anything worthwhile all on their own. Alone in the gym, the court or field, the office, whatever, that’s not how it’s done. You have to be on fire every single day. Every effort has to be reasonably precise and high quality. You have to be pushed, stretched, and forged at high temperature. Do you honestly think you can do that on your own, in your small pond? No, no, that won’t do at all.
If you take nothing else away from this show, remember this. To be strong, go find strong people. Train with them. Eat what they eat. Rest as they rest. Learn what it take’s to live a strong life. I know, this is revolutionary advice!
For more from Travis (you know you want it!) make sure to follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Also, make sure to check out the Barbell Life podcast. Travis, an hour is never enough time, dude. We should have you on the show once a month!