Several years of blogging, training, online coaching before it was cool.
Years of competing in strongman before actually training for it because no gym around me had anything remotely resembling a strongman setup.
Years ago when Netscape was a thing, I made a free website called Powerbuilding and charged 25 bucks a month for program design. I wish I ran with that name back then as it became a thing, but hindsight is always 20/20.
I used many a pseudonym on bulletin boards, worked for corporate gyms, cold called members, stood at the front door of Bally’s offering free sessions, etc.
I left the business several years ago for a few years because I was burned out. Working 60+ hours a week for a well-known high end gym in NYC ruined my love for training others.
After time away, I came back to my roots.
I started training because I wanted to look more jacked, but I fell into a crowd that wanted to get stronger.
Mark Moyer was my first bonafide training partner, he was a professional Highland games athlete. He was good friends with Steve Pulcinella. Mark taught me how to throw implements, Steve added some wisdom to it. I remember the first time I threw a caber, or I should accurately say the first time the caber beat the shit out of me.
Mark said, “if you lose it, just let it go, don’t try to fight it”
*me fighting it and eating it on my collarbone*
“I fucking told you!”
Finishing 3rd in my first strongman contest, and never below 3rd in subsequent ones over the years before a 7 year hiatus ended in 2010 ended in my last third place finish, 200 bucks, and a back injury that kept me away from heavy lifting for 6 months.
Worked out with bodybuilders, grip athletes, everyone I could learn from.
On Long Island I met and trained a few times with Shawna Mendelson, the brother of Scot Mendelson. Angry Coach because a valued friend while simultaneously being someone I wanted to constantly punch in the face. The linked blog is the single most heart wrenching thing I wrote on this website. Jason Pegg and I were just talking about him the other day remembering his irrational anger at little things. Glen Russo, Nicky Polanco, and more. Those times at the World Gym in Babylon were the fertilizer for my knowledge. I value those days more than any other when it comes to honing my knowledge from the people around me.
Shawna now owns Blue Collar Barbell in Bohemia and I just referred an old friend to her as a personal client.
Moved to Ohio, worked for an amazing facility with an owner who was hellbent on the self destruction of his own business due to his rampant narcissism, delusional lies, and ignorance. I left that place, cut my losses, and he is out of business.
Met and trained with an ex Westside lifter and his crew which became some of the most fun I had with a training crew. Strong humans, intense training sessions, I was pushed to be stronger, they were there are coaches and mentors with lifting, and we had some amazing times training and even arguing about the stupidest shit.
Chris, Augie, Pat, Rambo (Bob), and others who floated in and out.
I attempted multiply lifting and often wish I had that team around me now so I could give it another roll.
Moved to OKC, ran Brewhouse Barbell which is still thriving. I made valued friends, and one of them recently lost his life due to his battle with depression. Today is his funeral and I cannot make the drive back to go, which kills me inside but I am where I have to be now…
At Kansas City Barbell working.
My partner moved here fro Virginia to open this gym with me, we are growing, and we are cementing a legacy in KC with our coaching, our gym, and our culture.
This is very shortened version of how long I have traveled in this business, and how entrenched the barbell is to my personal culture.
So what is ending?
Ashman Strength is my brand, it is me. It is time to kill it.
The whole is destined to be bigger than I ever hoped to be. Kansas City Barbell attracts people from an hour away to train with us regularly, we have people who visit KC just to train with us, we are hosting meets, Sean and I are state chairs of two different Powerlifting federations.
Currently Katie Harrington is giving the KC Barbell webpage a much needed, and amazing, facelift. It will have a blog, webstore, info about the gym, info about online coaching, and Kansas City Barbell will absorb Ashman Strength permanently.
All blogs will be transferred over, all online coaching inquires will go through my gym, and the whole will be better for it.
I am living a dream come true with my gym, and sometimes that means you have to move forward from something which served you well for years.
RIP Ashman Strength 1998 (year I started training people) – 2019
Time to make our mark as a team.
Pick up a copy of Behemoth Strong on PDF. .
Like the Kansas City Barbell gym's Facebook Page for news on events, programs, hosted meets, and more!.