Whether you are a weightlifter, powerlifter, strongman, CrossFitter, or maybe you just love weight training, there is one common denominator, the barbell. The barbell is more than just the instrument that we use to perform our chosen sport. The barbell is more than just a tool used in someone’s training regiment. The barbell is what bonds all of us together.
This bond is what makes our hobby different from all other hobbies. People who train with a barbell connect on numerous levels. We enjoy being around each other because we understand one another. We understand the struggles of adding 5lb to our back squat. We understand the blood, sweat, and tears that go into the training.
All of us desire to tame the barbell. We want to master the barbell. However that is an impossible task. The barbell can always add more weight. You can never master it, and that’s what is so dang beautiful. There will always be more to learn, and all of us are blood thirsty for that next nugget of knowledge.
York Barbell understood this common bond as far back as 1945. Bob Hoffman orchestrated legendary picnics during this era where he would put on display some of the finest strength athletes in the world. People would come from all over the country to see their heroes up close. More importantly they gathered to be around people that shared their love of the barbell and strength. It was a weekend where people could forget that an outside world even existed. For one weekend they would pretend that the only thing on earth that mattered was strength and their desire to get stronger. It was a strength athlete’s utopia.
Over the years the York Barbell Picnics faded away, and now they are just moments of history that all of us can only dream of being a part. However I want to bring this back. I want to provide a place where all of us can gather, hangout, and enjoy the barbell.
In 2015 we put on the Mash Strength Spectacular on my 11-acre family farm in Mocksville, NC. Over 1,000 people came from all over the United States to compete, hang out, and take part in such an amazing event. There is something extraordinary that happens when you mix big weights with nature. The serenity of watching a beautiful horse trot in the green fields, the crow of a rooster, and mixing in a 200kg Clean & Jerk is an experience that only the ones in attendance can explain or understand.
We are doing this again on Labor Day Weekend Saturday September 2nd. Our typically quiet farm will erupt with the sounds of bars dropping and people cheering. We are having Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, and strongman. We are hoping that this year’s event is going to be even bigger, but the main reason for Strength Spectacular is to meet and hangout with all of you.
Before my friend Chris Moore died, we talked about our lives. We talked about the things that meant the most to us. After talking to him, I realized that more than anything I just want to meet people that love the barbell and share my experiences with them. I want all of you to learn from my mistakes and my successes. I want to share my funny stories that I have collected over the last thirty years of competing and coaching. I want to hear all of your stories.
Sure I can stay behind this computer, write some cool articles, share some videos of my team, and maybe write a book or two. None of you would ever have to meet me for any of that to happen, but that would leave a big purpose for my life unfilled. I have no doubts that God put me on this earth to connect with other people. There is not greater feeling on earth than to help someone else. If I say something that puts a smile on someone else’s face, my own heart warms with the love that I share with all of you.
Rolling Hills Farm, my family’s farm, is a place that we want to use to connect with all of you. The first thing that we have planned is the “Mash Strength Spectacular”. Like I said that will be a fun day of bar slamming and PR setting. However it’s when the sun goes down that the real connecting starts. We will hang out, tell tall tales, and just do life until the wee hours of the night. I love unscripted hang out time to answer questions, talk about failures, and rejoice over successes.
Chris Moore and I talked about the importance of moments like this. I want to help all the young people coming up in the strength world to avoid my mistakes and to take advantage of all the things that I have learned. Right now this is where God has placed me. This is what I have to give back to the world. This is how I am able to love all of you.
Chris and I also talked about hosting a weekend with a small group of people. I am not talking about a Mastermind. That has been done, and Barbell Business does a great job with those. I am talking about a weekend of training, hanging out, talking about business, and more importantly talking about life.
It would look like this:
Training twice per day
Lunch and Dinner together
Yoga and Mobility Work
Outings such as canoeing, horseback riding, and hiking.
Campfires every night just to hang out, talk, and do life.
All of it (except the outings) taking place on the Rolling Hills Farm
It’s a dream of mine. What do you guys and gals think? Is this something that you all would enjoy? I would love feedback either below or email me at ➔ firstname.lastname@example.org
Either way we are going to enjoy opening our farm up to all of you. We will be hosting events of all kinds in the near future. We are also opening the farm for others to host their own personal events. You can check out the website below: