Pure Health Athletics

I’m not impressed by the individual who is willing to exercise to the point of vomiting or a loss of bladder control—this is not that unusual. What I’m impressed by is the individual who shows up every day at the gym, does what is necessary, doesn’t complain, doesn’t look for recognition, does what’s necessary outside of the gym to support their training and goals, and continues this process consistently for years.

-Greg Everett, Catalyst Athletics

I have been working on this idea for quiet some time and am very excited to announce the launch of it! When I found out that the high school was losing their strength and conditioning resource, I started talking with some of my colleagues and clients nested in the community in order to see what Pure Health could do to help fill the gap.

Now,  reading this, I am sure some are wondering what the difference between the coaches that perform a program and Pure Health making a program, so let me go ahead and dive a little into that (plus if I keep babbling, you might stop reading):


The goal:

The goal of this program is very simple: To create an affordable, customized, sport-specific program that not only helps the athletes get stronger, more explosive, and all around “athletic,” but also touches on commonly developed injuries in their individual sport (call it prehab, if you will).

Why “Prehab”?

For a couple of reasons:

  1. I can tell you that this is the way all strength and conditioning has been going, we are just a little behind in this area.
  2. Far too often do I hear the phrase “It just happens in this sport”, and while I agree that there are entirely too many degrees of freedom for which we cannot predict, to chalk every injury up to chance is, for a lack of a better term, irresponsible.
  3. Enter Prehab! In a nutshell, this would be 3-4 accessory exercises selected for each individual sport that touch on common injuries that are still too widely accepted as things that happen. In doing this “prehab” we can help prevent some of these common injuries and/or help get the athlete back to sport faster!

Why is a custom program necessary?

While I agree that it is awesome to get a hold of a major collegiate program or an NFL teams program (I have had a few pass through my fingers), you have to think about who you are giving this to. On one hand you have a program designed for top tier athletes in their sport, with access to round-the-clock medical, massage, chiropractic, and recovery aids. On the other hand, you give this program to a freshman on the team, who has been playing the sport for a fraction of the time as their professional counterpart (whose family may/may not have the money to access all the recovery modalities they need in order to keep up) and you might open that freshmen up to a greater risk of injury or limit their overall athletic career. Not to mention the fact that the intensity and volume progression would be rather aggressive for a pro vs. high school athlete.

Make sense?

You are giving a guitar to a kid that has played for two years and expecting to hear some Stevie Ray Vaughn.

And while you might have a kid or two that get amazingly strong from this program in the short term, in the long term you will have laid out many in hopes of finding the few that are able to recover from this program.

This is why a customized program is the best way to ensure that you get the most out of each and every athlete available, because if you want a great team you don’t just spend time on the all-star athlete, but you also develop the kids that have long term potential (they are usually the hardest working, because they don’t come by it naturally)

If you are still skeptical, you can read this little write up from Chad Englehart, coach of the P66 Splash Club and Bruins Swim Team:

The Bartlesville High School Swim Team started working exclusively with coach Daniel West in the winter of 2015.  They continued to work with him that spring, summer and fall.  In the winter of 2016 the Bruins won 14 of the 22 events at the 6A Oklahoma State Championships and set State Records in 7 of those events.  In 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 the program had a combined zero National All-Americans.  In 2016 the Bruins were honored with 10 National All-Americans.  He was also instrumental in helping Haley Downey and Kyle Ward qualify for the 2016 US Olympic Trials.  Four of his athletes graduated in 2016 with athletic scholarships to swim in college.

Daniel is an expert in his field.  The greatest mark of an expert is their ability to adapt to situations and still maximize results.  This was his first experience working with swimmers and he committed to their improvement as swimmers.  He came to their competitions, watched their races and talked repeatedly with their coach to ensure that his strength program was meeting their specific needs.

I highly recommend serious athletes consider working with Daniel West.  He is absolutely capable of helping you take your game to the next level.

Sincerely,

Chad Englehart

2015 Hall of Fame Coach Inductee

Who’s coaching my athletes/kids?

So glad you asked! I have tried to bring in some of the best, in my opinion, in order to make this program one of the best in the area for all around athletic development and injury prevention!

 

Michael Secora, MS, CPT

  • Master’s in Kinesiology
  • 3+ years training/coaching HS soccer
  • 1+ Personal Trainer

When deciding on a coach to help me out with this endeavor, I could not think of a better one than Michael. With his coaching experience on and off the field with different soccer teams as well as his extensive background in Kinesiology (movement science), he was an easy choice to help program our sport specific movements!

Daniel West, BS, CPT

Nationals

 

  • Bachelors in Kinesiology from Texas A&M
  • 6+ years personal training
  • 3+ years sport performance coaching
  • Coach of national and world level power lifters

While my knowledge in sport specific movement is not what Michael’s is (hence why I brought him on), I know how to program strength and explosive performance. Not only have I helped bring two very awesome female athletes to the top of level of their sport of power-lifting, but I’ve also succeeded in helping the local swim team achieve high levels of success and started working with the elite gymnasts in order to keep them in the game.

Jeremiah Williams, D.C and Heather Williams P.T

While they will not be coaching, having them as co-owner of Pure Health is invaluable. Having the ability to pick both the brains of a Chiropractor and Physical Therapist for our Prehab routines is what makes the difference in our program over others.

Kaleigh West, Certified Yoga Instructor

On top of all the other facets of the athletes training, the final brick in the wall is a our custom mobility/yoga program that focuses on the areas of contention for each sport (i.e hips, shoulders, lower back, etc..)!


 What does the program look like?

  • Options of Mon/Wed or Tues/Thurs
  • Times are up for discussion as we figure the program out, but most likely right after school for 1 hour (Roughly 3 p.- 4 p.m)
  • The two classes will be capped at 10-12 kids per group so as to make sure the coach-to-athlete ratio allows for every athlete to get individual attention!
  • Cost:  $100/month (Includes mobility program, 8 monthly sessions, Prehab program, and sports performance program)

And finally, a word to the athletes:

We cannot promise you that which you do not work for. What I can promise you is this: If you decide to join the Pure Health Athletics program you will get stronger, you will get faster, you will be less prone to repetitive injuries, and you will be a better athlete. Now to what extent, that is entirely up to you!

If this interests you and is something you or your athlete would like to be apart of contact us at:

Email: PureHealthPerformance918@gmail.com or Daniel.West.PT@gmail.com

Phone: (903) 521-6115

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/liftingintheville

We look forward to training with you!

Mission in Strength

It is my opinion that, as an athlete, you need four ingredients to achieve a high level of success: supportive gym/community, superb coaching, an iron will to succeed, and food.

The last couple months has been packed with travels to compete, and compete we have. If you have kept up with any of our social media, then you know that our girls power lifting has gone straight to the top in under a year (headed to Worlds!!), our strongman competitor is getting stronger and stronger, and our weightlifting team is starting to blossom. These ladies and gents have absolutely killed it, and continue to train hard in preparation for future competitions. However, in all the travelling and pushing them to succeed, I have made an error on my part. I have been so caught up in pushing them that I have forgotten to really thank them or the gym that has helped develop this team into what it is today.

So, thank you!

Thank you to the girls and guys on our teams that go out and rep PHP with all of their hard work and continue to support our ever growing gym.

Thank you to all the athletes that come into the gym and make the atmosphere that allows for good times to be had while training and pushing through.

And thank you to all of my individual clients that continue to train with me and work around my schedule so that I may travel with my team and support and coach them on the platform.

All of this to say, that over the next couple weeks I will make it a goal to spend more time developing the other training programs in the gym in order to make sure we keep that “spark” in the atmosphere alive and kicking!


So you made it to this point, the point at which you have gotten through a couple weeks of volume and up till now a couple of changes have been made:

Volume squats are still terrible, but not as bad as they once were

You have learned a new method to sitting (or falling) on a toilet, that old way of normal sitting was for the birds

You may have lost a couple of friends due to your slow walking pace and the inability to actually function as a normal human

But fear not, we are on to bigger and better things  (remember, everything is relative)!
Note: You might be one of the very lucky individuals that does not have a competition for quite some time, so guess what, that probably means 1-2 more cycles of volume (can I get a hell ya? [Insert crickets and low key sobs])

Either way (5, 10, or 15 weeks) it is time to take the volume down and come up with the intensity a little bit, and we can rejoice! Although, we are not quite to that 300kg RM back squat, we can be assured that we will have some heavier weights loading our joints and we are moving toward our actual competition  lifts which means, if you are a power lifters, you wont have to argue that the marks on your neck are from the bar and not from somewhere else….

So, let’s talk about a couple of ideas to keep in mind as you program the next 5-10 weeks:


Volume:

Now is the time to slide in to the rep ranges of 5-8, which again means no more barbell marathons or losing all hope when your coworker says “let’s take the stairs”.

The idea is simple; we have built a strong foundation of muscle, hopefully gaining a little bit in the process of the hypertrophy phase, now our goal is to increase the strength of said muscle in order to use it to our advantage (ultimately increasing our RM in whatever lift we need it in).

The 5-8 rep range will help us taper from that super high volume into a more reasonable volume, 5’s,  in order to make that next transition into our competition/intensity phase. It also helps us still get a decent amount of volume to continue that muscle growth since you should still be a ways out from that faithful day (when we send all the weights to heaven).

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Intensity:

If you guessed that volume going down meant intensity increasing, then you would be right! Last cycle we were working anywhere from 60-75% (75% being a very heavy load for the rep ranges, but do able for some). This cycle we will focus in the 70-85% ranges (again, with 85% being a very high load, but again, it is do able for those well trained and advanced in their lifting careers).


Exercise selection:

The idea here would be to start drifting more toward the competition style movements. What I like to do is use this time frame to throw in pauses, complexes, and continue to work short comings that we established from the last competition:

Use pause squats to help gain confidence out of the whole and maintain proper torso position.

Use pause dead lifts to establish you torso position and to rely on pushing your hips through.

Complexes for weightlifters are a great way to build confidence under fatigue and help correct certain issues (different complexes used to address different issues).

The main goal is to look at starting to develop our competition lifts and make sure we get rid if or at least work on the holes in our game.


Accessories:

They are still very important and should be maintained through this phase, although not to the extent that they were in the hypertrophy phase. The worst thing imaginable would be to drop them to focus on your main lifts and have something that was corrected in the hypertrophy phase come back during our strength phase, only setting us back even further!

Moral: if you had an imbalance and you corrected it, make sure you still make time to keep it corrected (this game is a marathon, not a sprint)!


Recovery:

This is when we fade away from those muscle body soreness into the “why do my joints hurt” soreness. You have decreased volume to a certain amount and are now putting more load through those joints, which means although you might not lose as much range of motion (since it might not feel like a hammy is going to explode every time you bend over) we still need to make sure we maintain ROM in our joint to keep them fluid and moving properly.

So, same as before: lots of rest, good food intake, salt baths are everything that is good in this world, mobilize, get worked on (chiropractic, massage, ect.), and if you are in to it, get your yoga on (or ROMWOD, 2 weeks free at this link).


Cardio:

Last, but not least, would be the thing every strength athletes dreads: steady state cardio…. however, this would be the best time to start to incorporate it. 2-4 sessions per week at 20-40 min. will help us maintain or, if you need to, cut weight in order to fit into your weight class. The best thing about steady state is that it does not take a lot of energy to do (more time than anything) and it is relatively low impact, which means it will not affect our recovery process (in comparison to sprints, which would effect the next days training session).


All-in all, remember, this is a strength journey, and although it can be tough sometimes and easy to get into the mind set of just coming in banging out what is on your program and leaving, this mind set will leave us coming up short in the end and leave us with a bad taste for sport and training.

Learn to enjoy the process. Learn to have fun with lifting. Try and remember what drew you in to the sport in the first place and make sure you let this drive you to the top, not competition or the thought of conquering, but instead the ability to come together with like minded individuals under one roof  that struggle together to make the best possible version of themselves!

The calm after the storm

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.

-John Lubbock

Your competition is complete and regardless of how you did, it is behind you and the only thing you can do now is move forward. But what next? Do I start a strength cycle? Do I keep practicing my missed lift until something gives (that something in this case usually being a tissue in your body and not your hard-forged will). Do I go back to high intensity circuit training or Crossfit until the next time I decide to do a meet?

The answer is: depends on your goal

Was the meet just for fun?

Then go back to doing what you love and hit up some WODS until the next time you want to test your strength out.

*Note: By no means am I down playing Crossfit or high intensity circuit training, but these WODS are not going to make you better at power or weight lifting (at least number wise), so make sure you keep that in mind.

Do you want to hurt yourself?

Then by all means, just keep practicing that deadlift at 95-100% a couple times a week until you  either A) are walking around like you have been on a car ride with no restroom stops for the past 100 miles or B) get tired of continuously missing the same lift that you missed in competition.

Do I start a new cycle?

Most of the time, this is the best route to go (and by most, I mean this is the one I always choose for myself and my athletes). To be frank, your body needs rest after the long journey to competition. You are beat up, whether you feel it or not, and your body (and mind) need some down time to recharge and recoup  before getting back into the heavy weights.

So the bigger question, and one I recently talked about with a guest at the gym, is:

What is the proper way to do this so as to;

A) Still see strength gains in my lifts
B) Continue to recover
C) Enjoy my lifting
D) Still stay in my weight class


First comes the rest week

Not just a thing of myth and bro lore, but in fact it does exist, and for a good reason. This can be 1-2 weeks right after your competition where you take the volume and intensity of your lifts way down. For my athletes, I tell them 2-3 days of fun lifting. Do something you don’t normally do, maybe a WOD for my powerlifters and weight lifters, maybe a couple of fun bodybuilding training sessions to get a nice “pump”. Basically, start your recovery process from pushing the limits of your potential in competition and just have a good time (because that is what this whole journey is all about, becoming the best possible version of yourself and having a good time while you do it).

Second: Time to up the volume and decrease the intensity

Depending on your next competition, this time frame of hypertrophy can vary, for most you want at least 2-3, 5 week cycles of solid hypertrophy training (4 working weeks and a deload week).

So, what is hypertrophy, and why do I need it as a strength athlete?

Hypertrophy is an increase in muscle size through “high volume” strength training. This volume usually takes place (for strength athletes) around the 3-6 set range and 6-12 reps per set and the intensity of any given weight is usually around the 60-75% of your RM. Notice how low the percentage is, which is why this period, although still stressful to the body, it is stressful in a different way and can still help us continue to recover from the mental and physical fatigue of being up close to 85-95% of our RM daily.

The general idea of this phase is to develop the musculature needed in your given sport. A bigger muscle is a stronger muscle (at least the ways we want develop it as a strength athlete) so we focus to increase muscle mass and size in the given areas we need to, to increase performance in our chosen lifts.

Another consideration for this phase of training, and something I continually learn about,  mainly from Zach Greenwald of Strength Ratio, is to take into consideration the correction of slight injuries and imbalances during this phase. Basically, take some time to step back and become a complete and well-rounded athlete again before you go back into specializing for your sport!

During hypertrophy and corrective exercise phase, make sure to incorporate exercises that are variations or derivatives of your competition lifts for two reasons:

1) allow us to work individual weaknesses and stress the different components of our competition movements

2) break up the monotony of the same 2 or 3 movements and allow us to have a little fun with training (because who doesn’t enjoy “the pump?”).

Remember, since we have pulled away from our competition lifts, this is the perfect time to really emphasis attention to detail during the lift and control (the eccentric phase of the lift). No more cranking lifts out at a pace the flash would be in awe of, no more getting kicked out of planet fitness for dropping the mic on that 500lb deadlift. Take some time and use some tempo training to get the benefit of the eccentric contraction (the stretching or down phase of a lift), which has been shown to be very useful in overall strength gains (imagine that, the louder you are does not mean more strength gains, it usually just means less friends). Take into consideration a 1:3 tempo, 1 second up/ 3 seconds controlled down, try it, and give some feed back on how you feel (note this should not be done everyday, just pick a day, maybe a day you are working on your weaker lifts).

Although no one wants to acknowledge short coming or downfalls in their strength game, this is the time to suck it up and do a little self reflection. Where can I get better? What is my strength? What is my weakness? Where did I struggle most in competition and what do I need to work on to get better? These are all valid questions that need to be asked and talked about between you and a your coach, because even the best in the world can get better at some minute detail.

Third: Increase those calories and let your body repair

Maybe you decrease your calories to make weight. Maybe you have been on a “diet” for far too long, causing your body to have a hard time healing from the high work load during your competition prep phase. Maybe you just feel fatigued and beat up. In any case, it is time to sit down and figure out what your calorie/macro break down needs to be to maintain weight for a little while. Doing this will accomplish a couple of things:

  1. Recovery from sessions, especially these high volume sessions, will be some form of witchcraft voodoo you are not used to
    1. Not saying you won’t be sore, but your mental fatigue and drive will be there, which is what you really need to get through high volume training.
  2. The start to correcting those injuries and imbalances is to make sure you have enough calories to allow your body to start the healing process
    1. During your competition phase, your body is just trying to keep up and recover from your previous session, so how can it be expected to do that and fix all the small injuries you have accumulated?
    2. Take this time to not worry about the outside appearance (that will come in time), but instead give your body what it needs (because it just allowed you to lift the world, let’s take a second to give a little back).
  3. You get to be a little more at ease, which will further help that mental game
    1. If you have had to cut for competition, you have had to measure everything you intake (water, protein, carbs, fats, etc..). Let’s take a little time to relax, the measuring still happens, but we can chill out on trying to get those numbers to the the hundredth of a gram.

 

Last: Keep that recovery high by increasing those missed or long forgotten modalities

I understand, you were worried about you lifts, so you maybe skipped a couple (or a handful or a dozen or maybe more…) mobility sessions, maybe some auxiliary lifts, or maybe even a few corrective exercise/ recovery sessions–everyone does. However, now is the time to take a step back and make sure to include all of the above into your routine (and make sure you leave time in your training session to do so).

  1. Sleep
    1. For the sake of everything in the wide world of weightlifting, make sure you get sleep. This is the only one you cannot skip because above all, this is when your body heals the most! For the normal person 6-8 hours is the recommended time frame, but who that trains is normal? Try and get 8-10 hours (does not have to be at one time) of restful sleep (you know, maybe calm your mind a little and focus on recovery and less on all the things you have to do).
  2. Stretch, Roll, Massage, Chiro, etc..
    1. IF YOU HAVE AN INJURY, DO NOT JUST COMPLAIN ABOUT IT, FIX IT! I understand injuries, they are frustrating, and you have every right to feel down. However, if you have not done everything in your physical (and financial) power, then maybe refrain from complaining about your injury if you have not done everything you can to help yourself (sorry, but had to lay a little truth out).
  3. Meditation
    1. To calm the mind is to calm the body. Stress does much more to your body than you may know. You can do everything physical you want/need to in order to recover, however, sometimes if you are mentally stressed, these modalities will do little to no good.
    2. My advice: Find a true yoga class or research meditative breathing and practice these a couple times a week. The goal, learn to calm yourself, not only physically, but also mentally.

This first phase can be somewhat of a challenge for those that tend to want to push as hard as they can every training session. This phase is not a down phase by any means, because, you see we are just trading high weights for high volume. We spend a little more time on correcting the small issues we tend to overlook during our competition prep and spend a little more time building up some mass in order to see larger gains in the future.

The road you travel is paved on hills. You must go through the peaks and valleys (different phases of training) in order to get to the mountain top you desire to be on (your PR lift at competition).

Next week, we will touch on the next two phases:

  1. Strength Phase
  2. Competition Prep

 

Year one

There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded.

-Mark Twain

We made it! To say the first year has been amazing, well that would be an understatement. Through the ups and downs, through the training highs and lows, and through the hustle and bustle of life and getting caught up with adult responsibilities, Pure Health as pushed through and flourished!

I have posted about it before, but I still look back and think how blessed I am. To go from a personal training gig, to a garage gym for some of my clients, to mentioning a dream of owning a gym to a chiropractor with the same dream (who would later become my business partner), to a phone call from said chiropractor that a space had opened up, to 3 weeks later signing a lease and ordering equipment, to opening the doors to many athletes (some who have been with us the whole time and others who have met their goals and gone their own way), to now, what we refer to as our #phpfamily!

That being said, let me tell you about our #phpfamily:

It is dysfunctional; we bicker, we fight, there are some tears, and even some just raw temper tantrums. However, these are far outweighed by the joyful smiles and giggles that come from the many good lifts. It is outweighed by the 80’s pop we practice our rhythmic gymnastics routines to (keep a look out for PHP in the Olympic Games here in the next 8 years). It is outweighed by the general respect and attention we give to each and every athlete going for that “white whale” lift, that max attempt, or maybe just struggling through a set of 10 and just needs a good ol’ fashion yell session to get them jacked up. Basically, it is family in every sense of the word, and I could not be more happy or proud of what the gym has become (nor did I ever imagine it would take on this amazing form).

It boils down to this, Jeremiah and I had a dream to open up a gym full of dedicated athletes, and in turn these amazing individuals have given so much more than that back. For example:

  • There is not a single athlete in our gym that has not increased a lift by less than 40lbs
  • We have two amazing female power lifters, that in their first year of lifting, have made it to both nationals and soon to be worlds
  • We have competitive athletes that span from the age of 13 all the way to 60 years old, all competing and improving in every way they can!
  • We have weightlifters, cross fitters, power lifters, strongman, high school athletes, and general fitness enthusiasts all coming together under one roof (getting along, although there is occasional mockery) with the sole goal of improving in their sport!

Not only that, but the fact that because these athletes put their trust in our programming we have been able to do so many fun and amazing things in order to create our brand and expand our knowledge:

  • We have our own coffee brand, Rise and Grind, made by a local coffee roaster (Heartland Roasters!)
  • We have our own 14oz coffee mugs for said custom blend
  • We have been able to learn from some of the best coaches, that span from powerlifting, to weight lifting, to corrective exercise (Coach Travis Mash of Mash Elite, Coach Zach Greenwald of Strength Ratio, and Coach Zach Schluender, former OTC Resident Athlete)
  • We will soon be travelling to Ukraine to learn from Gold-medalist Weight lifters and the Philippines to learn more Yoga/Mobility
  • We have outreached to the community to extend our reach to the youth in order to grow the sports we love

So, you see, to say this first year was a success, well it is a true understatement. I cannot begin to thank each and everyone person that has helped me and the gym along this path. I am truly blessed and amazed at all the wonderful individuals that allow me into their lives and put trust in my abilities to help them along the path they have chosen for themselves, because you see, even if you are the coach with the best programming skills in the world, it means nothing if no athlete is willing to take it and show the capabilities of it.

 

So here is to the first year, here is to the continued success at the gym, here is to all the state records we own, to all the PR’s we crush, to the fantastic time we have training and grinding through the “impossible,” and to the overall #fitfam we have created!

 

Your body is a temple… so treat it like one

There is an Indian proverb or axiom that says that everyone is a house with four rooms, a physical, a mental, an emotional and a spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time but, unless we go into every room every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person. ~Rumer Godden, A House with Four Rooms

A week or two has passed since we have put out an article, video, motivational, or inspirational post. This is not due to being lazy or not having a topic to write about, but rather due to the first responsibility we have; making sure our home athletes are taken care of. Lots of athletes with lots of different things going on (since most are not full time athletes and have to juggle school/work, life, and a hardened training regime).

But in making sure they have modified programs, if need be, a similar theme has popped up multiple times. While I have talked about this before, I think a little more in-depth explanation and information could be useful to all.


Every time I talk about how it feels to get into a structured program, I think about this meme:

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We tend to come up with an idea, set our minds to it, and push through until something gives (usually, it is not the muscle soreness that gets us, but rather an ache or pain deeper in the body). The problem with this route is that it becomes similar to Johnny Manziel’s football career, you think it is going to be awesome and then it is over in a flash. You hit it hard for the first 8, 4 week cycles, but now you are out with knee, shoulder, or lower back issues and you are not sure why, because, for the most part, you followed the program…


Accessory work is key

I know the last thing you want to think about doing after 5 sets of 5 squatting is doing something else with your legs, but the fact of the matter is that just squatting leaves us with some imbalances that need to be corrected by other motions. Think of accessory work as the Goose to your Maverick (main lifts), sure they can work separate, but it is a lot smoother when they are together.

While skipping the accessory work is done often, due to time constraints, being fatigued, or just not feeling it, overtime this can produce very large imbalances and lead to decreased performance on your main lifts or even the inability to perform these lifts (assuming your accessory work is there to rehab/prevent further injury). Lifting heavy is cool, but being able to lift heavy for more than 3 months is even cooler. Remember, this process is not a sprint, but rather a marathon (with many hills), so make sure you are in it for the long haul.

Advice: Know your workout before you get into the gym, make a game plan for the time your have, and make sure to get everything done.



Mindset

This is a very large topic, but there are a couple of key points to look at:

Look to your athletes with kids for the most motivation:

-They have this thing figured out. They have a job, a house, kids (usually with multiple sports), full weekends, and very little free time; and yet, they come in day after day and get their training in….

This is where I pull my inspiration from, the fact that they have this attitude of

You can be tired, but you don’t get to quit.

 –They are also the perfect example of something I picked up while at a seminar with Zach Schluender:

Alter your training in stressful times:

The idea was simple, draw a circle in the middle of a blank sheet of paper, and put the word performance in the center. Now draw a bunch of lines originating off of this central circle, and at the end of these lines write down a commitment that you have (i.e school, work, family, house, bills, food prep, financial, dogs, kids, t-ball, ect.), make sure to make a line for each commitment in your life. Now look at it, look at everything that you have to do on top of training.

His point was simple: If things in your life other than training are calm, then performance will be amazing, you will hit PR’s, and you will be on top of the world. When you have a busy schedule at work, lots going on at home, and some financial issues; performance might slack a little due to fatigue, mental state, or a little of both.

The overlying point being: Everyday is not going to be the best day in the gym, so when you feel good, push the boundaries of your body, and when you are beat up and just down in the dumps, come in and hit what you can, because that is all you have to give today and that is good enough!

The “PR Everyday” mentality:

I was training the other day, and overhead someone sarcastically mention “You don’t PR everyday anymore” after explaining to them my new program to try and rehab some of my weaknesses and injuries.

The fact is, I do PR everyday, but not in just a numbers sense (because, think about it, if I put 1 kg on my snatch and clean and jerk every single day, that would be impossible, but also make me a work champion in something around 120 days…)

I simply use this phrase to give props to my athletes in the gym and to myself, as a boost of moral. You might come in one day and PR a 3 sec. pause at the knee snatch, now this could be 15kg below your actual snatch, but is this still not a PR? Have you still not improved on something technical that will make you better in the long run? Or maybe you came in and were able to squat 60kg/135lbs after being out with an injured back for 3 months, now this might be 20kg/45lbs less than your all time best, but is this not a post-rehab PR? Should you not be praised for pushing yourself to recover and get back in the game?

So, while I don’t mean pushing your weights everyday, I think the PR Everyday mentality is an awesome way to come in and be able to walk away from a training session with a sense of accomplishment, which in turn can help you feel a little more at-ease even when you have a very busy schedule outside of the gym!



Mobility and Meditation

Now before you lose your mind and think “I ain’t into that hippy nonsense”, let me assure you that meditation is not always full of humming and heavy breathing, but more so can be whatever you want it to be (used as a way to calm your mind and CNS, a way to get a deeper relaxation that we don’t get on a normal day to day).

Meditation, in many of my clients, ranges from getting a massage in a quiet place or taking a bath with candles to finding a quiet space during work and sitting or praying before bed. With everything we have going on, with all that we busy ourselves with, it is surprising that more people don’t go “postal” (a term coined in the 80’s from a string of postal workers getting a little overwhelmed and turning to not-so-conventional methods of handling stress).

So try it out. Find a place of your choosing, a place that you feel comfortable and at-ease, try it just for 5-10 minutes at a time (everyone has 5-10 minutes, I can assure you that), and just relax, switch everything off and just breath for a couple of minutes. The worst things that can happen as a result would be:

  1. You feel less stressed throughout the day, resulting in a more pleasant feeling of being alive
  2. You are more pleasant to be around, therefore making new friends and getting invited to things
  3. Your training sucks less, because you can get more sleep knowing the world will not explode if you don’t busy yourself for every waking moment of the day
  4. Because you sleep more, your body is able to recover, your cortisol levels drop, and the world comes into balance.

I think the side effects might be worth the risk of trying it out…

Check out some of these websites for a little more in-depth explanation and some guided meditations:

UCLA Health

Tara Brach

Meditation Podcast

Mobility:

I know, the word strikes fear into the hearts, and sometimes, like many coaching cues, is just thrown into a sentence; “Coach, my shoulder hurts”, “Go mobilize it in the back” and nothing is done because the athlete is now confused on what to do (unless previously shown).

The definition of mobility is simple: to move freely and easily

In terms of joints, this would mean that we are able to utilize full ROM without weight pressing or pushing us into this against our will (i.e if you have every witnessed someone use a bench suit). The goal is that no ROM be out of reach (unless some type of injury or impingement is present) and that we are able to hold proper posture in all given positions.

I myself, as well as the gym, follow a program known as ROMWOD

(link above gets you a 2 week free trail)

We have it available at the gym, and it works wonders to get in 20-45 minutes of mobility daily and allows you to target the areas that you need help in (hips, lower back, shoulders,ect..). The best part about ROMWOD, is that the modifications are easily obtainable in all poses and they go over breathing work as well (that whole meditation thing you thought about doing after reading earlier in the blog but have since forgotten about…).

Another option is to go to a yoga class focused around athletes, of which we do twice a week (Monday nights at 7:15 and Saturday mornings at 9:00 a.m). Now I know those times might be hard to get to, but it is cheaper than massage and can have many of the same benefits, it just depends on how much time and effort you want to put into your recovery.

The third option, is to spend a couple 5-10 min. sessions a day hanging out in poses to help your problem areas (for me it is my hips, so I hang out in frog, pigeon, seated straddle, etc..). This takes as little time as you blocking off the same time frame each day (as much as you can) and finding that quiet space and sitting in a pose for a little bit, then getting up and going about your day.



Lives are stressful, it happens to all of us. No one person can fully understand another struggles, nor should they be expected to. However, the fact of the matter is that we can all find time during the day that is unused (whether is be 10 minutes or 60 minutes) and use it to take care of ourselves.

Doing this is how you learn to have a long career in lifting. Doing this is how you learn much about yourself through introspection. Doing this is how you become happy and learn to brush the little things off because life is not always that bad.

Doing this is the first step in discovering your true potential to be great.

Carpe Diem

As a child, you are taught a seemingly impossible task, walking. Think about it, the ability to be bipedal is there, but the hours of dedication it takes in order to get upright is astronomical, but eventually, everyone is able to do it.

I mention this because think about how impossible it must seem at the time and yet everyone accomplished it. If this is true, then why do we forget this determination, this ability to dream so big, as we age and replace it with the limitations set by our doubts and by others. We make large goals and aspirations only to let others wash them away with what is masked as “logical” and “realistic goals.”

We step up to the rack, to the pool, to the platform, etc. and we work, and then we say “well, that was good enough.” NO, unless that bar is on the ground, unless that time was beat, until you have tried, failed, and tried again, it was not good enough.

Because think about it…

How can you be hungry for something you have never had a taste of?

You can’t, and if you can’t, then that would make failure the first step toward success.

So as you go into your max out Friday, remember that every rep, every lap, every pull counts and failure is the only thing that can make you hungry for more.

Dream the dreams of the great and let no one limit you from making these a reality.


Breaking Our Backs Yoga Flow

So as many of you may know, our yoga instructor (Kaleigh) has two herniated discs in her low back. Today we’ve decided to post a video that focuses on yoga postures/exercises that can be done to help strengthen and alleviate pain from the low back region, beneficial for those who just have aches and pains or who have bulged or herniated discs.

You’ll notice a lot of flexion and extension (aka bending and arching) of the spine throughout the video. These motions can be difficult (but extremely beneficial) for someone dealing with low back pain, so we encourage everyone to move through them gently and only to the extent that’s comfortable for you. It’s important to never “force” a posture (by pulling yourself deeper into a stretch) as this can exacerbate a bulged or herniated disc. Also, always keep the core tight to protect the spine, especially if attempting any twisting positions (skip these if twisting causes pain). These stretches should NEVER be painful.

Lastly, we are not doctors, so participate at your own risk. 🙂

Music:
Gregory Alan Isakov – The Stable Song
James Arthur – Certain Things


Gym updates:

We will be closed today and tomorrow due to Coach J having some continuing education to attend and myself taking some athletes up to Kansas City to learn some lifting from a pro.

We apologize for the inconvenience, but all classes and the gym will resume normal operations on Monday!

Refining your purpose

Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.

–Pablo Picasso

Do you have a goal? Do you have that off in the distance glimmer that you are clawing your way toward? That goal, that some days it seems only a couple steps out in front and others it is miles away; but no matter the day, you keep peddling, lifting, swimming, and running toward it in hopes of getting just a little closer?

Well, as a gym we also strive for goals like these, those goals that we set at the very beginning, and with the help and support of our community, dedicated coaches, and gym family, we are making leaps and bounds towards them!

grill out


Goal 1: Make a statement with our gym

Bro science is all to real. The basic theory of bro science states “If a bro is large, cut-up, strong, or in general shape, then he/she must therefore know anything and everything there is to know about kinesiology, and therefore must be listened to.” The bad part is that it is not just in one sport, but seen in a numerous amount of sports/coaches that just have no idea what they are talking about.

We pride ourselves in putting everything we can into our athletes, and it has shown. We  strive to provide proven programming (none of this “Well it worked for me, so it will work for you” BS), up-to-date recovery methods, the best nutritional practices (obviously this can be biased, but in our opinion it is the best out there). Basically, we aim to make a statement, a statement that says “If you come to our gym, do everything we tell you to do, and follow our programming, we WILL get you to where you want to be.” We are not trying to re-invent the wheel, instead we focus on providing what has been proven to work, and we do this so the athlete can focus on what is most important – picking up weight, and nothing else.

We make a statement by providing programming to a numerous amount of athletes in all different realms of competitive sports: Running, Weight-lifting, Power-lifting, CrossFit, Triathlons, Cycling, Swimming, Volleyball, etc. A good gym/coach can turn out 1 or 2 all-star athletes, but a great coach can take all athletes to that all-star status, and at Pure Health, I can promise you we are not interested in just being good.

But this is what we have already done, what we aim to become is the premier go-to for competitive athletes or anyone that just wants to get better in the area. We have the long term dream of being “that gym” to go to if you need to get that much better in your sport through strength and conditioning or if you want real results. How do we plan to do this? We plan to do this by providing the best programming we can, keeping our research and knowledge base up-to-date, and cutting out all the nonsense and fancy exercises to stick with what is proven to work!


Goal 2: Community Outreach

We decided at the beginning, that once we were established, our goal was to start giving back to the community that decided to take and chance and give to us, and we have started to make good on that promise.

Each week, on Fridays, we have an “Open gym” policy from 3-7 p.m. This serves two purposes:

  1. It allows anyone from the community to come in and follow one of the many programs on the board to get a safe and effective workout in.
  2. It allows us to showcase all that Pure Health has to offer and helps create the atmosphere we strive to provide day in and day out to all of our athletes (and allows others to be apart of this atmosphere, which is second to none).

Also, this past weekend, we were able to give back just a little bit more by helping the Boys and Girls club with a large charity event they hosted. Our athletes ran the grills with just as much effort as they put into their training sessions (wouldn’t think they would do anything less) and it showed.

In a little over two hours, 4 athletes cooked food for over 900 individuals!

We had an excellent time cooking and hanging out with the BCG staff and other volunteers and look forward to hopefully expanding our outreach with some youth programs and summer programs we are currently in the works on!


Goal 3: Branding

This one is easy, because of our supportive community and athletes that we are surrounded by!

It is awesome to walk around downtown or into a store and see a PHP shirt being worn proudly, and to know that we were able to help that person in some form or fashion, that makes those long days all worth it.

We want anyone and everyone that wears one of our shirts, drinks our coffee, reps one of our stickers, or owns one of our soon to be mugs to wear/rep them with pride and have a sense of belonging and ownership to the gym that they help create (it doesn’t hurt that are logo looks pretty sweet)!


We plan to continue to grow, putting a lot of our current efforts into getting youth programming started up for the summer for the youth athletes, at-risk youth, and lower income youth in the area (so if you read this and know of a way to help, please feel free to email, call, FB message, etc..).

We plan to continue to provide the programming that works, that gives results, and that is backed in science. In doing this, we promise our athletes longevity in their chosen sports and correction of any imbalances they may have acquired due to repetitive sports motions.

And last but not least, we plan to continue to provide a gym and brand that people can not only be proud of, but rep with pride!


As a little added bonus, and since last week was too crazy to get a blog post up, here is a little warm-up video dedicated to all those hip and lower backs that are tight due to the competitive season grind!

 

So now what….

My attitude is that if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength.

–Michael Jordan

So you are in a gray area. You have had your first round of competitions; be it power lifting, weight lifting, or the Crossfit Open, and you did as well as you could have (some being happier with performance than others). After competition, you enter this gray area, this void of not knowing where to go and what to do with yourself. If you did poorly, you look back and think “maybe it is time to give up and begin my career in step aerobics and mastery of the shake weight”, but fret not, because we have a couple of tips that will keep you away from antique fitness trends and suggestive exercise and keep you rollin’ on the gains train!


Make your weaknesses your strengths

This applies to all forms of competition, but can be seen the most in the variety of movements presented in the Crossfit Open. There will always be movements thrown in to the Open that you are not prepared for, that is the beauty of it, but being prepared for anything and well rounded is the key. So, whether you did awesome or you did poor, here are a couple of tips to start implementing now, so you are not scrambling three weeks before a competition trying to improve on skills.

  • Practice the movements you could not do
    • Great example is the bar muscle-ups, lots of people cannot do them. My advice, take a step back and break down the movement in order to benefit both strength and the skill portion of the muscle up. A couple of times a week practice your kip timing (this can be done after training sessions) and start working on your strict pull-ups (slowly getting to where they are as close to chest-to-bar as possible). If you do these two things, you end up not only improving your bar muscle up, but you also become stronger in the pull-up movement (and all movements associated with it) and your kipping mechanics!
  • Increase your strength
    • This should be a no-brainer, but kind of blends with the rest of this blog post. Take a little bit of time and go through some strength cycles (with emphasis on the clean and jerk and snatch) because these movements can always be better, and the better we are with the mechanics the easier 30 of the movement is to string together (especially at lighter weights).
  • Get the coaching you need
    • If you are looking to improve upon certain skills, you might need to look past your current coach and look to a specialist (and that is okay). There are individuals that specialize in  certain areas that will help improve your game over just general coaching:
      • Need to get better at gymnastics, ask a gymnastics coach. Need to get better at Olympic-style movements, ask a Weight Lifting coach. Need to get better at the Power Lifts… You get the idea.
      • Side note:  Make sure they are a reputable coach and not just someone that looks the part or can do the movement, because often times this does not actually mean they can teach it right or even know what they are talking about (sorry, just a pet peeve of mine).

All of this to say: Take your results from competition and look at them, look at how you did , look at your strengths and at your weaknesses and then plan accordingly. Build up your weaknesses and continue to improve on your strengths. Make this a long term goal, so that at your next competition you see progress and how far you have come in just a couple of months!


Take time to correct imbalances

In training for competition sometimes we come across some aches and pains that we tend to overlook (these are usually called injuries, but most of us tend to avoid that word like the plague). So that being said, after your competition is over, and you have pushed through these “aches and pains” for only God knows how long, this would be a perfect time to step back and incorporate some corrective exercises into your routine that might help to heal these “issues.”

The way I look at it is this: The time between competitions needs to be used to reflect upon performance during that competition and make a plan on how to get better. To get better, we need to have less obstacles in our way, and one major obstacle that can keep us from progressing (and tends to push us in the opposite way) is injury or those “aches and pains.”

So, to minimize time needed to correct these issues, you can do a couple of things both in and out of program that will tend to result in a better rounded athlete with fewer injuries:

Mobilize

-Bottom line, you have to do this daily and target your problem areas, they are not just going to fix themselves.

Auxiliary Work 

-Program it in, make sure it works on your weaknesses (whatever they may be), and don’t skip it, because if you do, it will do you no good.

Recovery

-This is just as important as the training itself. Make sure your recovery game is on point and plentiful! 

Nutrition

-Eat like shit, your going to train like shit. Find a reputable source that is able to program macros for you that will keep you in the training game while keeping that body fat down!


Spend some time back in the basics

Check your ego at the door and take yourself back to the basics. This usually means no awesome 1RM competition style PR’s, but rather brutal complexes and high volume, hypertrophy style training sessions to help build up confidence under the bar, strength, and endurance.

It is not the most fun you can have in the gym and sometimes you have to remind yourself why you do these (especially after being gassed from a 10RM back squat and feeling like you just ran 5 miles), but this time serves 2 purposes:

  • It makes us actually stronger and more confident. It allows us to build up a huge engine so we are able to go on to triples, doubles, and singles with the confidence and strength to move huge weights, leading to big PR’s,  better competition numbers, and an overall great time in and out of the gym.
  • Second, it gives us a mental break. It gives us a chance to relax and not worry about coming in and trying to beat the number from last week and rather work on technique, form, and just managing to get all reps in.

So, I know sometimes this first 4-6 weeks back after competition is not your ideal training days, but in the long run it will reap bigger rewards, so keep your head down and grind on through!


Have fun and enjoy life

If you have trained for specific events, you know that putting your head down and grinding out training sessions day after day takes a pretty big toll both mentally and physically. This is why you have to take time between competitions to step back and have a little fun with your training.

Simply put; take some time off and enjoy your training. After each competition, I give my athletes at least 3-4 days (if not a week, depending on how long they have been on program) to take a little time and do some workouts and training days just for fun. This might mean you spend a couple of days hitting some bro sessions to look all beefed up in your tank or a couple of days doing some HIIT training that you might not get to do when you are on program for a power lifting meet. The idea is to come into the gym and say; “What do I want to do today?” and then do it, letting the mind and body recoup for a little bit of time before getting back to that grind.


Updates:

Just a couple of gym updates:

We have another 20lbs of coffee coming into the gym today, so if you are running low, go ahead and stock up because it will go fast!

If you ordered a T-shirt or Tank top, please try and pick it up so we know how many we have extra to give out to others that might want to sport the gear.

Check out the updated price schedule HERE!

 

Mindset, Atmosphere, and Perspective

Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still

–Henry David Thoreau

In the past couple of weeks, the gym atmosphere has been lit on fire. Despite work volume increasing ten fold (literally going from singles to 10RM), everyone comes in to still try and hit something they never have before, and although they have to grind through this weird “weightlifting cardio,” they still have an awesome attitude and uplift each other. Which brings me to the title of this blog post, if you want to have a good time doing what you love doing, you need to really sit down and think about these three words above:

Mindset, Atmosphere, and Perspective


 

Mindset

This can make or break the best of athletes. It can be the difference between a new PR and coming in 10kg/22lbs under your all time best on any given lift. The highlight of my day is when I hear that some of our athletes are travelling for work and the first thing they ask me is “Do you know a gym around that area I can go to, and if so, what should I do”. This is the mindset you have to have if you truly want to get better in a reasonable amount of time.

Aches and pains are part of the game (saying this I am fully aware that certain pain should not be pushed through and should be met with some type of medical attention, but this is not the pain I am talking about). You have to be able to look past your soreness (because guess what, we are all sore and using that as an excuse is not an option) and look past your minor aches, to get in the gym and hammer that next session out. If you think taking a day to rest it will get you better in the long run, check your mindset, assess it, think about whether you are incapable of moving sore or you are just “not feeling it sore”, and if it is the later, get your ass in the gym and train!

This video was taken at 6:30 a.m, before work, and before the other two training sessions for the day. This is a goal, she practices when she can and when she will have the most energy to practice it. She uses progressions to get to her ultimate goal and holds it for as long as she can. This is the mindset to have going in to any athletic endeavor. Do what you can, when you can, and don’t let excuses get in your way.

However, a lot of mindset depends on the next highlight of this blog post…


Atmosphere

Does your gym breed an atmosphere of excellence or good enough? When you are critiqued by a coach, do you take it personally or with open arms to get better? Do you push each other to do more, or because it was a small PR are you met with excitement and done for the day?

Don’t mean to bash any single persons PR or accomplishment, but let me put it in perspective. Say you hit a 2kg/roughly 5lb PR without a struggle, do you stop there because it was a PR? I can tell you that I will be giddy with excitement at any of my athletes that PR, but then I will tell them to put more weight on (if it is the scenario above) because when it says 3RM, it should not be a smooth ride on all reps.

No one that was great ever got there by training in a gym with a complacent atmosphere.

The goal of the gym: This should be a place to come and channel all of your angry, frustration, excess pent-up sitting all day at a desk energy into slinging around weights and making something beautiful out of all this energy :

Think Patrick Swayze in Ghost except instead of a pot, we mold 300lb cleans and 500lb deadlifts together and in a more HR friendly way…

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Bottom line: The atmosphere in the gym, if electric, will always lead you to a new PR, better consistency, or the ability for anyone to enjoy their time training in the gym!

 

 


 

Perspective

Is your glass half empty or half full? Do you look at the hand you were dealt and say “poor me, I lose”, or ” I am going to bluff the shit out of this hand until I win”? Do you blame others for your failure or do you take your failure in stride and look to improve on it? Perspective is what keeps you in the game for the long haul, this is what defines you and makes you an athlete and person others look up to and want to become. No one remembers the players or athletes that immediately accuse others of cheating after they lose, they look up to the players or athletes that say (no matter what the circumstances) “It was a good fight and I will take this as a learning experience and improve on my weaknesses”.

Great example is our yoga instructor, Kaleigh. As some people know, she has a very mysterious back/hip nerve aliment (not really sure what it is, but it is not fun) that does not allow her to support very much weight on her spine. Now, being part owner of a performance gym, you might be able to see where this is a little upsetting coming in to the gym and not being able to perform lifts, not due to lack of will power or trying, but due to not physically being able to lift the weight. She could has easily stopped working out, stopped trying, and stopped lifting and very few people would have blamed her. Instead, she looked at her predicament, assessed it, and does what she can. While here lifts are obviously not putting on serious numbers, she has probably the best mobility in the gym, is improving her yoga game by leaps and bounds, and has recently started training (with a strapping young trainer) at another gym a couple of times a week that has machine equipment to help her continue to gain muscle mass without the issue of not being able to walk for varying amounts of time.

That is all it takes; look at your situation and think:

If I can’t do much, what CAN I do to help my situation along? If I have an injury or weakness in my game, how CAN I fix it or what CAN I do to make it better? This is the type of perspective all of our athletes have, this is what we choose to instill in anyone that comes to Pure Health.


 

Updates on the gym:

We have around 5-6lbs of coffee left for our initial run, after this run the price will increase slightly, so if you want to stock up make sure and grab some while it is left.

If you ordered a T-shirt or Tank top or just want one (we ordered extra for those that did not hear about the pre-order) we have those available at the gym. The 3/4 sleeve shirts should be coming in around mid-April, and we will keep you updated.

Annnnd for you added viewing pleasure, a little ankle stability yoga practice (just make sure and repeat on the other side of the body)! This is great for anyone with an issue in ankle mobility, or ankle stability issues in the jerk!

 

 

Be the change you wish to see

Live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever

–Mahatma Gandhi

Post have not been flying off the shelves as usual, but that is not to say that Pure Health is not booming! We have had an amazing start to 2016 from increasing our reach to athletes in the surrounding areas, starting our nutrition services (and seeing great results so far), taking our powerlifters to a state meet (in which we set state records, broke all types of PR’s, qualified for national events, and had a fantastic time doing it), rolled out a brand of coffee (and custom mugs coming in May), and last but not least traveled to the Mash Elite compound to learn from the best.

However, after visiting the Mash Compound and sitting back and observing the best in the business at work, I wanted to share a little of how we plan to get better and put our selves at the top of the performance game in the area!


Size does not matter

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Before you get all “ummm, where is this headed”, don’t worry, I am keeping it G rated. The Mash compound is a small gym made up of a few squat racks, loads of bars and plates, and rows of platforms, yet they produce arguably the best up and coming lifters in america.

So why do I mention this?

Yes, if a building that was in the right spot for the right price comes along we will snag it up, but for the time being the size of our building does not define what we strive to produce with in. If anything, it brings us closer together as athletes and coach, allowing us to work in with each other and produce a little competition with each other. The point is, the equipment and space can never replace atmosphere, programming, and passion.

The biggest tree does not always produce the best fruit


Put effort into both elite and novice athletes

 

The most eye opening experience happened while in North Carolina. Coach Mash, while videoing some of the best young athletes in the country, finished with them and then came over and went through and corrected some technical issues on my snatch.

This, as coaches, is what we need to strive to become. We need to put the same amount of effort into our novice lifters as we do in our advanced lifters. Know that novice lifters need more attention to large movements, as they are just starting their journey down this road. They will need different cues, they will need form broken down, they will need in-depth explanation on what to do , how to do it, and sometimes step by step instructions.

On the opposite hand, you need to pay attention to your advanced lifters. They are there for your guidance because they believe in what you teach them (or sometimes just need a place to lift). So make sure you are giving them the cues they need, even though they don’t need as much as the other 90% of the gym, they still can benefit from hands on coaching and feedback!


Create a fun, competition atmosphere that makes a statement

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The best part of the Mash Compound is the atmosphere.

Does not matter how big your gym is if the atmosphere is live, your gym will continue to produce awesome athletes.

Make your atmosphere fun, exciting, and competitive.

Cheer on the athletes that lift 100lbs and the athletes that lift 400lbs, as both are an accomplishment and a PR is a PR.

Bring Powerlifters, Weightlifters, Crossfitters, ect.. all under one roof to max out together and push each other to become better in each others given sport!

As we all know, not every day can be a good day and lifting or competitive sports. There will be days that you do amazing things and there will be days where you struggle to hit your minimums. However, if you can come into a gym that breeds an atmosphere that is exciting and competitive, I can guarantee that the days you enjoy yourself and PR will far outweigh the days that suck!


Coach smart and effective and continue to learn

The team we have is amazing! We went to competition, had a great time (regardless of outcomes), and brought back a ton of knowledge from our meet. However, this could not have been done without a couple of key items:

You have to coach smart:

Everyone is different, everyone reacts different to failure, pressure, and success. Make sure that you know your team both as athletes and as people and know how they will react to certain situations.

You have to coach effective:

Sometimes it is not about PR’s. As a coach, you always want to see your athletes do well and hit big numbers. However, remember that consistency is key in any sport, and know that your athlete will gain worlds from having a fantastic meet vs. going 3 for 9!

Continue to learn:

If you think you have it all figured out, you might as well stop while you are ahead. In this game, if you want to be the best, you have to learn from the best. This does not mean that you need 50 letters behind your name, a dozen certifications, and use large words to display your concepts. This simply means that you need to travel about and pick up key items from some of the best and bring them back to your athletes. The best thing I heard all weekend was:

If you can go to a seminar and learn just one thing that makes a difference in your coaching, then it was worth every penny

–Travis Mash


 

This is what we strive to become at Pure Health. A gym that is focused on all levels of athlete. A gym that is focused on creating and maintaining an atmosphere that can take you out of your normal life and transport you into a fun, exciting, and competitive realm (think Narnia, but with a beefed up Mr. Tumnus). This gym should feel like a home away from home, a place to go and grind your daily frustration into something worth while. Unlike many other gyms, know that we are not in this game for the money. The hours of programming, coaching, emails, and text are only worth it if we are able to produce a change in our athletes lives, then and only then have we done our job!