Blah Blah Bloggin!!

Blah Blah Blog?

Dear Readers,

How does one begin a blog?  I have read many of them, and have enjoyed the content.  Do I emulate the one’s I like?  Do I check google university with a “how to” question?  Or do I just write and let it create itself.  To be honest, I have typed that question into google in the recent past, and had a mixture of good advice and paid services pop up.  The most noticeable advice that registers is “do not try to create a perfect first posting.”  Simple idea, hard to manifest as a perfectionist in my daily life.  I imagine this feeling similar to many first time lifters and gym attendees, whom I have made similar “do not sweat it” comments to when I first began as a trainer.  Beginning something new can create a large hurdle that seems taller than the first step required.  So as I sit up late on a Sunday night, listening to 90’s jams to keep the hope up, I just begin to write.  One thing that becomes clear to me as I begin this process is the purpose of this blog, which is twofold: one, a means to give to our community, and two, improve our staff’s abilities through a different creative process than just training. 

A few ground rules:

1.     Content regarding self-promotion will be kept to a minimum, the focus here is health promotion.

2.     This will not be a forum for tearing down other training styles or philosophies, negativity is not a part of our culture at MASH, so it will not be a part of our postings.

3.     We encourage questions and comments from our community.

4.     We will publish content pertaining to how and why we do things.

5.     We will leverage our network to provide opinions and content from other professionals in our field.

Five points make a fist, and we go by “knucks” in the gym, so I will stop there. 

The type of content will intentionally change from articles, workout videos, and question/answer segments.  Regardless of the type, the purpose will be to spread our training message and enrich those that find us a benefit to their lifestyle and training.  We hope you enjoy!  “We“, will become more clear through the following weeks’ introductions.  You, the reader, should know more about us, since anyone can blog and tweet fitness-related content, knowing you are gaining insight from professionals in the trenches is important to us.  I will shamelessly introduce myself first.  Hey!  What do you want?  My biographer is too busy for pro-bono work, and who believes the story from a Father’s eyes anyhow.

My name is Nate Stemper, I am a Strength Coach and assist running Mash Performance with partners Tom Buske and Steve McGuiggan.  My journey into fitness began as a High School athlete when I decided I was going to start “getting huge,” fueled by a desire, but no knowledge I clumsily made my way through the gym with the old big three every kid learns from his peer group: barbell bench press, back squat, and clean.  I never took into account why my joints would ache more than my muscles after workouts at times.  It was a part of getting strong, right?   This attitude caught up with me eventually, and for the sake of sparing you the long-winded version, I would be in a high amount of pain following lifts by the time I was in college playing Football at a Division III level.  It was not until I was in my last years as a Kinesiology major that I began understanding the why behind my pain:  muscle imbalance and poor recovery strategies were winning over the years of intensity.  My college strength coach knew what he was doing, but getting us stronger was the only priority set forth in his field, not making us feel better.  With so many athletes to oversee, bad technique when over worked would be a norm for my college weight room experience.  A worthy sacrifice when improving maxes and getting bigger for a sport that prizes that over all other things?  If you have the genetics to sustain the pain, you will advance.  Fair enough, but I wanted to seek an alternative viewpoint.

Graduating from UW-Eau Claire with a B.S. in Human Performance in 2009, I sought to change my field with a different approach.  There were falls, scrapes, and bruised pride along the way, but I landed at Mash Performance in June of 2013 following positions in small and corporate gyms alike.  Finally, in full control of all training and periodization models, we set-up a semi private training facility focused on technique and consistency over intensity and short-term programming camps.  This philosophy was molded from many great professors and mentors along with personal experience from my own path and watching those I cared about suffer from poor health practices.  I have lifted poorly, been injured and rehabbed, gotten stronger, lost strength, gained weight, lost weight, felt insecure, felt empowered, learned a lot, realized I know very little, and have loved every part of the journey.  Today I run and operate a gym I love coming to, filled with a family of passionate co-workers and members alike.   Everyone has a story and I will stop mine here, if you wish to hear more, I am an email away, and I would love to hear yours.  Thanks for reading.

 Emails can be sent to nate@mnmash.com.  Next week’s post will introduce co-owner/friend/overall stud Tom Buske in a Q & A format.