Navigating Weight Cutting During the Holiday Season for Athletes

It’s me, successfully cutting 4 kg and maintaining it through the holidays!

Strategies to Stay on Track for Success

As the holiday season approaches, athletes preparing for a National Weightlifting meet face a unique challenge: balancing the joy of festive gatherings with the discipline of weight cutting. With Thanksgiving just around the corner and AO FINALS scheduled for the first week of December, finding the right approach is crucial. In this blog post, we’ll explore strategies to help athletes stay on track during this demanding period, including managing holiday parties, work gatherings, and the temptation of office treats.

1. Plan Ahead

The key to successful weight management during the holidays is planning. Start by consulting your coach or nutritionist well in advance. Together, create a detailed plan that outlines your calorie intake, macronutrient distribution, and workout schedule leading up to Nationals. Having a clear roadmap will make it easier to resist tempting holiday treats.

2. Mindful Eating on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is synonymous with indulgent feasts, but that doesn’t mean athletes have to derail their weight-cutting efforts. Opt for lean protein sources like turkey breast, load up on vegetables, and limit high-calorie sides. Enjoy your meal mindfully, savoring each bite, and resist the urge to overindulge. Remember, it’s not about deprivation but moderation.

3. Managing Holiday Parties and Work Gatherings

Holiday parties and work gatherings can be challenging when it comes to staying on track. To navigate these events successfully:

  • Eat a balanced meal before attending the event to curb hunger.
  • Choose healthier options from the buffet table, such as salads, lean proteins, and fruits.
  • Be mindful of portion sizes and avoid going back for seconds.
  • Stay hydrated with water or sparkling water instead of sugary beverages.
  • Plan to engage in conversations or activities that don’t revolve around food.

4. Stay Hydrated

Proper hydration is vital for athletic performance and weight cutting. Avoid excessive alcohol consumption during holiday celebrations, as it can lead to dehydration and empty calories. Opt for water, herbal teas, or other low-calorie beverages to stay hydrated.

5. Strategic Cheat Meals

While strict adherence to your nutrition plan is essential, occasional cheat meals can help you maintain your sanity. Plan these cheat meals strategically, so they don’t interfere with your weight-cutting goals. Consider scheduling them on days when intense workouts are planned or when you have a bit more room in your calorie budget.

6. Manage Stress

The holiday season can be stressful, and stress can impact your body’s ability to shed weight. Practice stress-reduction techniques like meditation, deep breathing exercises, or yoga. Adequate sleep is also crucial for managing stress and maintaining a healthy weight.

7. Support System

Lean on your support system, including your coach, training partners, and loved ones. They can provide encouragement, keep you accountable, and help you stay focused on your goals.

8. Post-Holiday Reset

After Thanksgiving, it’s time to reset and refocus on your weight-cutting goals for Nationals. Stick to your nutrition and training plan diligently and avoid any further deviations.

9. Consult Your Coach

Regularly communicate with your coach or nutritionist throughout this period. They can provide guidance, adjust your plan as needed, and help you stay on the right track.

Remember, success in weight cutting during the holiday season requires discipline and determination, but it’s entirely possible. By planning ahead, making mindful choices, and seeking support, athletes can maintain their competitive edge and head into Nationals feeling confident and prepared. Stay committed to your goals, and you’ll be ready to shine on the big stage.

Good luck at AO FINALS, and happy holidays!

Ayse Sukola – Head Coach/Owner Cherokee Barbell Strength & Nutrition

It’s me, successfully cutting 4 kg and maintaining it through the holidays! ( Of course on the left 🤩)



FREE OPEN HOUSE – OCTOBER 14TH, 2023 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM – All LEVELS & AGES are Welcome! 

Join us for our Open House event! At Cherokee Barbell, we are dedicated to helping athletes from all over the state reach their full potential. During the Open House, our expert coaches will be providing personalized coaching and guidance to athletes of all levels in the disciplines of Olympic Weightlifting and Powerlifting. Whether you’re a beginner looking to improve your technique or an experienced lifter aiming for new personal records, our coches will be there to assist you every step of the way.

In addition to lifting technique sessions, we are also offering valuable insights and directions on Sports Nutrition. Our knowledgeable team will be available to answer your questions and provide recommendations on optimizing your nutrition to support your athletic performance and overall well-being.

This is a fantastic opportunity to learn from our experienced coaches, interact with like-minded individuals, and experience the welcoming community atmosphere at Cherokee Barbell. We welcome athletes of all backgrounds and skill levels to join us for this special event.

Mark your calendars and get ready for an empowering day of training, learning, and connecting with fellow athletes. Don’t miss out on this exciting chance to elevate your athletic journey.

We look forward to welcoming you at our Open House!

Sign our waiver ahead of time! Click Here

10-Week Program Starts October 9th for Merry Liftmas!

Save the date! We’re excited to announce our 4th Annual Merry Liftmas Weightlifting Meet on December 16th, 2023.

This event is a beloved tradition in our weightlifting community, and we invite you and your friends to compete, connect, and have a blast.

What’s New:

We’re launching a 10-week training cycle on October 9th, 2023, designed to get you ready for the meet, whether you’re a beginner or want to refine your skills. Our certified coaches will provide personalized guidance, structured workouts, technique refinement, and a supportive training environment.

If you’re interested in participating or joining the training cycle, reach out to us for details and registration.

Let’s make this year’s meet unforgettable, celebrating your journey to weightlifting success. We appreciate your support and can’t wait to see you on December 16th, 2023!

>>>>>SIGN UP<<<<<

 Join Us for a Virtual Nutrition Talk – 5 Tips to Navigate Healthy Holidays!

The holiday season is fast approaching, and with it comes tempting treats and festive feasts. But fear not! Our expert nutrition coaches will guide you through practical strategies to stay on track with your health and wellness goals, even during the most indulgent time of the year.

This upcoming Virtual Nutrition Talk, where we’ll delve into the secrets of maintaining a healthy lifestyle during the holiday season.

Event Details:

  • Title: 5 Tips to Navigate Healthy Holidays
  • Date: October 21st
  • Time: 9:30 AM
  • Platform: Zoom

In this informative session, you’ll learn:

  • How to make mindful food choices at holiday gatherings.
  • Strategies to enjoy your favorite holiday foods guilt-free.
  • Tips for staying active and maintaining your fitness routine.
  • Ways to manage stress and prioritize self-care.
  • And much more!




FREE OPEN HOUSE – September 9th, 2023 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM – All LEVELS & AGES are Welcome! 

Join us for our Open House event! At Cherokee Barbell, we are dedicated to helping athletes from all over the state reach their full potential. During the Open House, our expert coaches will be providing personalized coaching and guidance to athletes of all levels in the disciplines of Olympic Weightlifting and Powerlifting. Whether you’re a beginner looking to improve your technique or an experienced lifter aiming for new personal records, our coches will be there to assist you every step of the way.

In addition to lifting technique sessions, we are also offering valuable insights and directions on Sports Nutrition. Our knowledgeable team will be available to answer your questions and provide recommendations on optimizing your nutrition to support your athletic performance and overall well-being.

This is a fantastic opportunity to learn from our experienced coaches, interact with like-minded individuals, and experience the welcoming community atmosphere at Cherokee Barbell. We welcome athletes of all backgrounds and skill levels to join us for this special event.

Mark your calendars and get ready for an empowering day of training, learning, and connecting with fellow athletes. Don’t miss out on this exciting chance to elevate your athletic journey.

We look forward to welcoming you at our Open House!

Sign our waiver ahead of time! Click Here

📅 Schedule: Every Tuesday and Thursday
⏰ Time: 6:30 PM to 7:45 PM
📍 Location: Cherokee Barbell Strength & Nutrition 

During this specialized cycle, our experienced coaches will focus on mastering technique and enhancing strength in Olympic weightlifting movements, including the snatch and clean and jerk. Whether you’re a beginner looking to establish a solid foundation or an experienced athlete aiming to refine your skills, this program is designed to cater to all levels of proficiency.

Here’s what you can expect from our 6-Week Technique Cycle:

1️⃣ Expert Guidance: Our coaches specialize in Olympic weightlifting and possess extensive knowledge to help you perfect your technique. They will provide personalized attention, ensuring proper form and maximizing your potential.

2️⃣ Skill Refinement: Through detailed instruction and targeted exercises, we will help you refine your snatch and clean and jerk technique, enhancing efficiency and power transfer for optimal performance.

3️⃣ Strength and Power Development: Our program incorporates specific strength and power exercises tailored for weightlifting movements. You’ll not only refine your lifts but also work on foundational strength movements like squatting and deadlifting, enhancing your overall performance.

4️⃣ Injury Prevention: We prioritize safety and injury prevention. Our coaches will guide you through proper movement mechanics, joint stability, and muscle activation, minimizing the risk of injuries during weightlifting movements.

Spaces for our 6-Week Technique Cycle are limited, so secure your spot today! Don’t miss this opportunity to train with the best and elevate your CrossFit performance.

>>>>>SIGN UP<<<<<


Say goodbye to fad diets and hello to sustainable nutrition strategies! On September 30th, join us for an enlightening Nutrition Talk at 9:30 AM.

Our nutrition experts will debunk myths surrounding fad diets, provide insights into mindful eating, and equip you with tools to make informed nutrition choices that stand the test of time


🍏 Ready to Break Free from Yo-Yo Dieting? 🍏

Tired of the endless cycle of yoyo dieting? 😓 Fed up with restrictive plans that leave you craving more? Say NO to weight loss injections that promise the world but deliver disappointment. It’s time for a REAL transformation, and Cherokee Barbell has your back!

🌟 Introducing the Holistic 6-Week Transformation Journey 🌟
🗓️ Starting October 2nd, get ready to embark on a comprehensive journey that addresses every facet of your well-being.

At Cherokee Barbell, we believe in the power of a holistic approach – it’s not just about diet; it’s about a complete lifestyle transformation.

🌱 Beyond Nutrition:
✅ Say goodbye to yoyo dieting for good.
✅ No more restrictions – learn to enjoy a balanced, sustainable approach to eating.
✅ Wave goodbye to weight loss injections and quick fixes.
✅ Expert guidance from experienced nutritionists and coaches. ✅ Embrace fitness routines that align with YOUR goals and abilities.
✅ Prioritize quality sleep for optimal recovery and vitality.
✅ Cultivate mindfulness and holistic wellness practices.

💥 It’s Time to Prioritize YOUR Well-being! 💥

Don’t let frustration hold you back any longer. Invest in a program that’s backed by real science, real expertise, and real results. Take the first step toward a healthier, more vibrant you!

Feel free to send us an email at info@cherokeebarbell.com and we’ll be thrilled to provide you with more information. 

>>>> SIGN UP <<<<


Unmasking Fad Diets: Choosing Sustainable Health Over Temporary Fixes

Welcome back to CBSN BLOG! Today, we’re delving into a topic that has taken the health and wellness industry by storm – fad diets. While these diets often boast rapid results, they come with a catch. Fad diets are not built to last and can have adverse effects on your overall well-being. In this blog post, we’ll uncover the reasons why fad diets fall short in the long run and provide you with practical insights to make healthier choices for your journey towards wellness.

The Allure of Fad Diets:

Fad diets have an uncanny ability to capture our attention with their flashy promises of quick weight loss and dramatic transformations. They often center around eliminating entire food groups, fixating on a single “magic” ingredient, or enforcing strict dietary rules. The initial outcomes might seem appealing, but it’s vital to recognize that these diets are dubbed as “fads” for a reason.

The Unsustainability of Fad Diets

The truth is, fad diets aren’t designed to stand the test of time. Here’s why:

Nutrient Deficiencies: Many fad diets restrict specific foods or food groups, leading to potential nutrient imbalances. Our bodies thrive on a diverse array of nutrients, and excluding essential foods can result in long-term health issues.

Metabolism Impact: Drastically cutting calories can wreak havoc on your metabolism. When your calorie intake drops significantly, your body enters survival mode, making weight loss and maintenance a formidable challenge.

Lack of Variety: Fad diets often lack variety, making them difficult to adhere to over the long haul. This monotony can trigger boredom, cravings, and eventually, binge eating.

Social Isolation: Many fad diets make social situations, like dining out with friends or family, incredibly challenging. This can lead to feelings of isolation and anxiety concerning food choices.

Identifying the Fads

It’s essential to be able to spot fad diets in order to make informed decisions about your health. Keep an eye out for these warning signs:

Extreme Restrictions: Diets that severely limit specific food groups or advocate for exclusive consumption of a single food item are typically unsustainable.

Too Good to Be True Claims: Be cautious of diets promising effortless, rapid weight loss or touting a secret solution that defies logic.

Lack of Scientific Backing: If a diet lacks credible scientific research and relies solely on glowing testimonials, it’s a clear indication of a potential fad.

Neglecting Personalization: Each individual’s body is unique, and cookie-cutter approaches rarely yield sustainable results. Steer clear of diets that ignore your personal needs and preferences.

Navigating Towards Healthier Choices

So, how can you break free from the pitfalls of fad diets and make choices that genuinely contribute to your long-term well-being?

Embrace Balanced Nutrition: Opt for a well-rounded diet that encompasses a wide variety of whole foods from all food groups. This ensures your body receives the essential nutrients it craves.

Practice Portion Control and Mindful Eating: Tune into your body’s signals and practice mindful eating to prevent overindulgence. This fosters a healthier relationship with food.

Consult Professionals: Before embarking on any significant dietary changes, seek guidance from a registered dietitian or healthcare expert. Their personalized advice can align with your goals and health requirements.

Set Realistic Goals: Avoid setting unrealistic expectations for weight loss. Instead, strive for gradual, sustainable changes that support your long-term health journey.

A Journey Towards Lasting Wellness

Remember, the path to improved health is a journey that requires dedication, patience, and informed decisions. While fad diets might present quick fixes, they often pave the way for lasting problems. By prioritizing informed choices, focusing on balanced nutrition, and seeking guidance from professionals, you can achieve results that are not only sustainable but also enduring. If you found this blog post insightful, feel free to give it a thumbs-up and consider subscribing for more evidence-based content on your path to well-being. Thank you for being a part of the CBSN community!

Yours in wellness,

Ayse Sukola

🌟 Ready to make a transformative change? Join our 6-Week Nutrition Challenge! 🌿💪

At Cherokee Barbell Strength and Nutrition, we believe there is no diet that will do what eating healthy does, which is why we focus on a simple, habit-based approach. We believe that health is a way of life, encompassing more than just what’s on your plate. Our approach embraces the whole you.

🥦 🏋️‍♀️ Our approach goes beyond fad diets – we’re here to guide you on a journey that encompasses sleep, stress management, a strong support system, invigorating exercise, balanced nutrition, and a lifestyle that uplifts you.🌙😌 Because health is a way of life, and it’s about thriving in every aspect.

🏋️‍♀️💥 And guess what? We’re thrilled to offer an unmissable opportunity for even greater transformation. Enhance your journey with optional Fitness Training sessions twice a week for an additional $200 investment throughout the 6 weeks.

Starting October 2nd 2023, let’s embark on this incredible journey together.

In this 6 Weeks program, you will receive:

✅ Sample meal ideas & recipes

✅ Weekly nutrition tips, stress management, kitchen tips, and recipes videos

✅ Exclusive access to the Healthy Steps Nutrition App

✅ Initial meeting with nutrition coach

✅ In-person group Kickoff seminar – September 30th

✅ Weekly Virtual check-ins and educational videos in the HSN App 

✅ Group Accountability within the HSN App

✅ End of challenge meeting with nutrition coach

If you have any questions, reach us at info@cherokeebarbell.com


Unleash Your Potential: Nurturing Gut Health for Sports Performance and Overall Well-being

Introduction: In our pursuit of optimal health and athletic excellence, one aspect often overlooked is the incredible connection between nutrition, gut health, and sports performance. Our gut microbiota, composed of trillions of bacteria, not only influences our overall well-being but also plays a significant role in athletic performance, recovery, and endurance. By understanding the impact of gut health on sports performance, we can unlock our full potential and achieve new heights in our athletic endeavors.

A thriving gut microbiota is vital for athletes seeking to enhance their performance. Its role in nutrient absorption is crucial, ensuring that athletes can effectively utilize the fuel they consume to support their training and recovery. By maintaining a diverse and healthy gut microbiota through proper nutrition, athletes can optimize their nutrient absorption, providing the energy, vitamins, and minerals needed to excel in their sports.

Inflammation Regulation and Immune Support:

Intense physical activity can trigger inflammation and stress on the body. However, a balanced gut microbiota acts as a regulator, helping to modulate inflammation and support immune function. By nurturing a healthy gut, athletes can mitigate exercise-induced inflammation, accelerate recovery, and reduce the risk of infections that can hinder their training and performance.

Energy Production and Metabolism:

The gut microbiota’s impact on energy production and metabolism cannot be underestimated. Certain bacteria within the gut produce short-chain fatty acids, serving as an additional energy source for muscles during exercise. Additionally, a diverse gut microbiota contributes to a balanced metabolism, optimizing energy utilization and promoting endurance for athletes.

The Gut-Brain Connection:

Sports performance isn’t just about physical attributes; mental resilience and focus are also critical. The gut microbiota communicates with the brain through the gut-brain axis, influencing mood, cognitive performance, and stress response. By nurturing a healthy gut, athletes can promote mental well-being, enhance focus, and improve their overall psychological state for optimal athletic performance.

Strategies for Nurturing Gut Health:

To optimize gut health for sports performance and overall well-being, athletes can prioritize certain strategies:

  1. Fueling with Nutrient-Rich Foods: Consuming a diet rich in fiber, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fermented foods promotes a diverse and healthy gut microbiota.
  2. Managing Stress and Prioritizing Rest: Stress management techniques and quality sleep are vital for maintaining gut health and supporting recovery.
  3. Staying Hydrated: Adequate hydration is essential for optimal gut function and overall performance. Regularly replenishing fluids and electrolytes is key.
  4. Regular Exercise and Active Lifestyle: Engaging in regular physical activity contributes to a healthy gut microbiota and supports overall well-being.

Nurturing gut health is a game-changer for athletes looking to maximize their performance and overall well-being. By recognizing the influence of the gut microbiota on nutrient absorption, inflammation regulation, energy production, and mental resilience, athletes can unlock their full potential. Embracing a gut-healthy lifestyle through proper nutrition, stress management, hydration, and regular exercise sets the stage for peak performance and lasting success in sports.

Remember, your gut health can be the secret weapon in your pursuit of athletic greatness. Fuel your body, nourish your gut, and let your potential soar!

In Health & Fitness

Coach Ayse #teamcherokeebarbell


Celebrating First-Timers and Comebacks: Cherokee Barbell Open Weightlifting Meet Recap (Part 2)

Celebrating First-Timers and Comebacks: Cherokee Barbell Open Weightlifting Meet Recap (Part 2)

At Cherokee Barbell, we believe in fostering a supportive and inclusive community where athletes of all backgrounds and skill levels can thrive. Our recent Cherokee Barbell Open Weightlifting Meet showcased the spirit of camaraderie, dedication, and the joy of lifting weights. In Part 2 of our event recap, we shine the spotlight on our remarkable first-timers and athletes making comebacks, as they demonstrated resilience, determination, and the thrill of stepping onto the competition platform.

Jacob Hunt

Jacob, From Baseball to Weightlifting Newcomer

The Baseball Player Turned Weightlifter Jacob, with a background in baseball and some experience in CrossFit, embarked on his Olympic weightlifting journey at the beginning of the year. As he honed his technique and grew stronger, he decided to test his skills in his first weightlifting meet. With a personal record of 102kg in the snatch and 115kg in the clean and jerk, Jacob showcased his progress and potential. Recognizing the unique challenges of competing on the platform, Jacob is eager to gain more experience and has already started preparing for his second competition, the Barbell Collective TWO. We applaud Jacob’s dedication and are excited to witness his growth as he continues to refine his skills.

Karter, Balancing Life’s Demands and Weightlifting:

Karter, an exemplary dad, husband, and full-time worker, embodies the true essence of dedication and time management. Despite facing interruptions in his training, Karter’s unwavering commitment to weightlifting shone brightly at the Cherokee Barbell Open. His second meet proved to be a resounding success, as he showcased his strength, technique, and determination, leaving us in awe of his accomplishments.

Nick, Making a Triumphant Return

Sometimes, life takes us on unexpected journeys, leading us away from the sport we love. Nick, after a five-year hiatus, found his way back to the competition platform. Following our online training template, he dedicated himself to regaining his strength and technique. Despite initial nerves, Nick’s triumphant return was a testament to his resilience and determination. With remarkable performances, hitting above 90% of his lifts, Nick reminded us all of the joy of returning to the sport we love.


Donovan’s Triumph: Defying Age and Doubt as a Masters Athlete

Age is just a number, and Donovan, a 53-year-old Masters athlete, proved this adage when he accomplished something extraordinary. Battling self-doubt and the belief that he was too old to achieve personal bests, Donovan made an astounding comeback by back squatting an impressive 182kg, equivalent to over 400 lbs. This monumental achievement shattered his preconceived limitations and served as a testament to the capabilities of older athletes. In this blog post, we will delve into Donovan’s inspiring journey, explore the significance of weightlifting for Masters athletes, and highlight the importance of proper coaching and programming in unlocking their full potential.

In addition to his remarkable back squat achievement, Donovan’s dedication to weightlifting led to other impressive accomplishments throughout his training cycle. He achieved a 2-rep max clean at 121kg, showcasing his strength and technique in the Olympic lift. Additionally, his hip snatch reached an impressive 85kg, demonstrating his power and explosiveness. These achievements further highlight Donovan’s commitment and progress as a Masters athlete, proving that age is not a barrier to reaching new heights in the world of weightlifting

  1. Donovan’s Journey: Breaking Barriers and Setting Personal Bests:

Donovan’s story is one of determination, perseverance, and the will to challenge societal norms associated with aging. Like many Masters athletes, he initially believed that his prime years were long gone and that setting personal bests was a thing of the past. However, with the right mindset and the support of a knowledgeable coach, Donovan defied these misconceptions and embarked on a journey to push his limits.

  1. The Importance of Weightlifting for Masters Athletes:

Lifting weights plays a vital role in the overall well-being and performance of Masters athletes. As individuals age, muscle mass naturally declines, leading to reduced strength and mobility. Engaging in weightlifting exercises helps combat these effects by stimulating muscle growth, improving bone density, enhancing flexibility, and increasing overall functional fitness.

Moreover, weightlifting can significantly benefit Masters athletes by:

a) Enhancing Metabolic Health: Resistance training, such as weightlifting, boosts metabolism, improves insulin sensitivity, and helps manage weight. These benefits are particularly crucial for older individuals, as they may face a higher risk of metabolic disorders.

b) Promoting Joint Health: Engaging in weightlifting exercises under proper guidance helps strengthen muscles around the joints, providing stability and support. This can alleviate common age-related issues such as arthritis and joint pain.

c) Enhancing Balance and Reducing the Risk of Falls: Strength training exercises, including squats, deadlifts, and lunges, improve core stability and balance, reducing the likelihood of falls and related injuries.

  1. The Role of Coaching and Programming:

For Masters athletes who have never tried weightlifting before or who feel apprehensive about it, having the right coach and programming in place is essential. Our skilled coaches understands the unique needs and limitations of older athletes and can tailor training programs accordingly. They can design routines that gradually introduce weightlifting movements, ensuring proper technique and safety.

Coaching and programming for Masters athletes may include:

a) Individualized Assessment: CBSN Coaches assesses an athlete’s current fitness level, strength, and mobility to create a customized training plan that targets specific areas of improvement.

b) Proper Technique: CBSN Coaches focuses on teaching correct form and technique, which is crucial for injury prevention and optimal performance.

c) Progressive Overload: Through gradual increases in intensity, volume, or complexity, coaches ensure that athletes consistently challenge themselves and experience ongoing progress while avoiding burnout or injury.

d) Recovery and Adaptation: A well-designed training program includes adequate rest periods and emphasizes recovery strategies such as proper nutrition, hydration, and sleep to optimize performance and reduce the risk of overtraining.

  1. Cold Plunge Baths: A Secret Weapon for Masters Athletes:

In addition to his dedication to weightlifting, Donovan incorporated cold plunge baths into his routine, and he firmly believes that this practice played a significant role in achieving his personal best. Cold plunge baths, also known as cold water immersion or cryotherapy, involve immersing the body in cold water for a short duration.

The benefits of cold plunge baths for Masters athletes are numerous:

a) Improved Muscle Recovery: Intense training can lead to muscle inflammation and soreness. Cold water immersion helps reduce inflammation by constricting blood vessels and decreasing blood flow to the muscles. This, in turn, can alleviate muscle soreness and expedite the recovery process, allowing athletes to train more frequently and effectively.

b) Reduced Muscle Fatigue: Cold water immersion has been shown to decrease markers of muscle damage and fatigue. It helps remove metabolic waste products, such as lactic acid, which can accumulate during intense exercise. By reducing muscle fatigue, Masters athletes like Donovan can maintain higher levels of performance and experience less post-workout exhaustion.

c) Enhanced Circulation: When the body is exposed to cold water, blood vessels constrict. This constriction activates the “cold shock response,” which stimulates blood circulation and increases oxygen and nutrient delivery to the muscles. Improved circulation not only aids in recovery but also enhances overall cardiovascular health, making it particularly beneficial for older athletes.

d) Mental Well-being: Cold water immersion has been found to have a positive impact on mental health. It can boost mood, reduce stress levels, and increase alertness and focus. For Masters athletes like Donovan, who face the challenges of aging and self-doubt, incorporating cold plunge baths into their routine can provide a much-needed mental boost, helping them stay motivated and confident in their abilities.

e) Enhanced Immune Function: Cold water immersion has been associated with improved immune function, as it activates the production of white blood cells and boosts the activity of immune system components. This can be particularly beneficial for older athletes, as a robust immune system helps protect against illness and supports overall health and vitality.

It’s important to note that cold plunge baths should be approached with caution and under the guidance of a healthcare professional or coach. The temperature and duration of cold exposure should be tailored to the individual’s tolerance and specific needs.

Donovan’s extraordinary accomplishment of back squatting 182kg at the age of 54 shattered the perception that personal bests are reserved for the young. His journey exemplifies the indomitable spirit of Masters athletes and the immense potential they possess when armed with the right mindset, coaching, and programming. Weightlifting not only provides physical benefits for older athletes but also contributes to their mental and emotional well-being, boosting confidence

Contact us now to learn more about our Masters Weightlifting Program and start your journey towards greatness!


Celebrating Success: Cherokee Barbell Open Weightlifting Meet Recap and Youth Nationals Preview

We recently concluded our 2nd annual Cherokee Barbell Open Weightlifting Meet, and what an incredible event it was! The energy, dedication, and talent displayed by our athletes left us inspired and proud. In this email, we will recap the 1st part of the meet, share highlights of the meet and also share some exciting news about our upcoming participation in the Youth Nationals.

Nathan, The Rising Star
One of the standout performers at our Open Weightlifting Meet was Nathan, a remarkable 12-year-old who started his Olympic weightlifting journey in the summer of 2022 as a complete beginner. With relentless dedication and a focus on perfecting his technique, Nathan has become a force to be reckoned with. At the meet, he achieved a remarkable 7kg Meet PR, ranking the second spot in the nation for his age and weight class. We couldn’t be prouder of his progress! 
Desmond, The Mighty Lacrosse Player 
Desmond is another 12-year-old athlete, proved that being well-rounded doesn’t mean sacrificing excellence in weightlifting. Despite his commitment to full-time lacrosse, Desmond manages to shine in weightlifting as well. He achieved a 5kg Meet PR, showcasing his strength and determination. Desmond’s ability to excel in multiple sports is a testament to his dedication and hard work.
Chloe, The Multi-sport Talent 
At just 12 years old, Chloe has dabbled in various sports and recently returned to weightlifting a few months ago. Despite her recent return, Chloe displayed impressive progress, achieving a remarkable 10kg Meet PR. Her commitment and natural talent are evident, and we’re excited to see her further develop her skills.
Maddy, Remarkable Rise in Weightlifting.
Maddy, a 14-year-old athlete, will be making her debut at the upcoming Youth Nationals. Engaged in multiple sports, Maddy has embraced weightlifting and quickly made her mark. With a 5kg Meet PR, she has already shown immense potential in this demanding discipline. We look forward to supporting her as she takes on the challenge of her first national competition.
Roy, The Promising Future
Our final youth athlete, Roy, is a 15-year-old with a bright future in weightlifting. His performances at the Open Weightlifting Meet were nothing short of exceptional, with a snatch of 95kg and a clean and jerk of 115kg in the 73kg weight class. Roy currently holds the top spot in the nation for his weight class and age, making him a standout talent to watch.

Raising strong kids starts with building strong bodies and minds! Weightlifting is a fantastic way to help children develop their physical, mental, and emotional strength. Not only does weightlifting improve bone density, muscle mass, and cardiovascular health, but it can also boost confidence, self-esteem, and stress relief. At CBSN, we offer safe and effective weightlifting programs for kids of all ages and abilities, led by experienced coaches who prioritize proper technique and injury prevention.

Join us in raising the next generation of strong, healthy, and resilient kids – contact us to learn more about our programs today!



Struggling with the barbell going around your knees during the snatch? Try the halting snatch complex. This drill can help you focus on maintaining proper positioning and technique to prevent the bar from drifting forward.

Halting at Knee Snatches can be helpful for athletes who are pulling the bar around the knees because it allows them to work on their positioning and technique in that specific part of the lift.


#question from @cherokeebarbell Struggling with the barbell going around your knees during the snatch? Try the halting snatch complex. This drill can help you focus on maintaining proper positioning and technique to prevent the bar from drifting forward. #haltingsnatch #snatch #snatchcomplex #weightlifting #technique #barpath #lifting #fitness #trainhard #nevergiveup #workoutmotivation #strengthtraining #olympiclifting #crossfit #fitfam #fitspo #fitnessjourney

♬ original sound – Cherokee Barbell S&N
Halting Snatch Pull + Halting Snatch

During the halting at knee snatch, the athlete pauses the lift at the point where the barbell is at knee level, just before it moves into the second pull. This pause allows the athlete to focus on maintaining a vertical bar path and keeping the barbell close to their body, which can help prevent them from pulling the bar around the knees.

Here are some ways that halting at knee snatches can be helpful:

  1. Developing proper positioning: By pausing the lift at knee level, the athlete can focus on maintaining proper positioning and keeping the barbell close to their body. This can help them develop the proper muscle memory and technique needed to perform the snatch efficiently and safely.
  2. Increasing awareness: Halting at knee snatches can also help athletes become more aware of their body position during the lift. By holding the lift at knee level, the athlete can feel if they are leaning too far forward or if their weight is shifting in the wrong direction. This can help them make corrections and improve their form.
  3. Strengthening key muscle groups: Halting at knee snatches can also help athletes strengthen key muscle groups that are important for the snatch. By pausing the lift at knee level, the athlete is forced to maintain tension in their legs, core, and back muscles, which can help increase overall strength and power.

Overall, halting at knee snatches can be an effective training tool for athletes who are struggling with pulling the bar around the knees. By focusing on proper positioning, body awareness, and muscle strengthening, athletes can improve their technique and lift more weight safely and efficiently.


Why Starting Olympic Weightlifting & Strength Training After 35 is beneficial?

Weightlifting is a form of exercise that involves lifting heavy weights for the purpose of building strength and muscle mass. While weightlifting has traditionally been associated with younger individuals and athletes, it can also be a highly beneficial form of exercise for individuals over the age of 35. In fact, weightlifting can be particularly important for older adults, as it can help combat age-related changes in muscle mass, bone density, and overall fitness.

One of the key benefits of weightlifting after the age of 35 is improved strength. As we age, our muscle mass tends to decrease, which can make it more challenging to perform everyday activities such as carrying groceries, climbing stairs, or even getting up from a chair. However, weightlifting can help maintain and build muscle mass, improving overall strength and making these activities easier. Additionally, increased muscle mass can lead to improved metabolism, as muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue.

Another important benefit of weightlifting after the age of 35 is increased bone density. Bone density tends to decrease with age, particularly in women, leading to an increased risk of osteoporosis and fractures. However, weightlifting can help improve bone density by placing stress on the bones, stimulating bone growth and remodeling. This can help reduce the risk of fractures and maintain overall bone health.

Weightlifting can also be beneficial for improving balance and coordination, which can be particularly important for older adults. Olympic weightlifting, in particular, requires a great deal of balance and coordination, which can improve these skills with practice. This can help reduce the risk of falls and injuries, which can be more common in older adults.

In addition to physical benefits, weightlifting can also have positive effects on mental health. Exercise has been shown to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, and weightlifting can be a particularly effective form of exercise for improving mood and reducing stress. Additionally, weightlifting can provide a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, as individuals see improvements in their strength and fitness over time.

For older adults who are interested in weightlifting, a specialized Masters weightlifting program can be particularly beneficial. These programs are designed to meet the specific needs and abilities of older athletes, with a focus on proper technique, reduced training volume, and incorporation of accessory exercises. Additionally, individualized programming can be used to tailor workouts to an individual’s specific goals and abilities, ensuring that progress is being made while also avoiding injury.

Overall, weightlifting can be an effective and enjoyable way to maintain and improve overall health and fitness as we age. The benefits of weightlifting after the age of 35 include improved strength, increased bone density, better balance and coordination, boosted metabolism, and improved mental health. With proper technique and guidance, weightlifting can be a safe and effective form of exercise for individuals of all ages, helping to promote health and wellness into our later years.

To Summarize; Olympic weightlifting can have many benefits for individuals over the age of 35, including:

  1. Improved strength: Weightlifting is an excellent way to increase muscle strength, particularly in the lower body. As we age, our muscle mass tends to decrease, which can make daily activities more challenging. Weightlifting can help maintain and build muscle mass, making everyday activities easier and reducing the risk of injury.
  2. Increased bone density: Weightlifting can help improve bone density, which tends to decrease as we age. This is especially important for women, who are more likely to develop osteoporosis.
  3. Improved balance and coordination: Olympic weightlifting requires a great deal of balance and coordination, which can help improve these skills with practice. This can be particularly beneficial for older individuals, who may be at a higher risk of falls.
  4. Boosted metabolism: Weightlifting can increase your metabolism, which can help you burn more calories throughout the day. This can be particularly helpful for individuals who are trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight as they age.
  5. Increased cardiovascular health: Weightlifting can also have cardiovascular benefits, such as improving blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart disease.
  6. Improved mental health: Exercise, including weightlifting, has been shown to have positive effects on mental health, reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Overall, Olympic weightlifting can be an effective and enjoyable way to maintain and improve overall health and fitness as we age.

Nick Pantazides – CBSN Masters Athlete – AO FINALS 2022 1ST PLACE

3 Tips To Improve Your 💪 Performance in the Gym

Are you confused when it comes to figuring out what to eat to improve your performance in the gym?

There are so many flashy tips and tricks to try, but here are 3 that will help you the most.

1️⃣ 𝗙𝘂𝗲𝗹 𝗬𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗕𝗼𝗱𝘆 𝗧𝗵𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗴𝗵𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗗𝗮𝘆, 𝗡𝗼𝘁 𝗝𝘂𝘀𝘁 𝗔𝗳𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗬𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗪𝗼𝗿𝗸𝗼𝘂𝘁

One of the most common mistakes we see with athletes is actually undereating and only prioritizing the meal/shake right after their workouts. Instead, focus on balance throughout the day!

2️⃣ 𝗣𝗿𝗶𝗼𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗶𝘇𝗲 𝗪𝗵𝗼𝗹𝗲 𝗙𝗼𝗼𝗱𝘀 & 𝗢𝗺𝗲𝗴𝗮 𝟯𝘀

One overlooked part of recovery nutrition is incorporating foods high in omega-3s that help fight inflammation. Good sources of omega-3s include salmon, herring, almonds, walnuts, and pecans.

3️⃣ 𝗗𝗲𝗰𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝗔𝗹𝗰𝗼𝗵𝗼𝗹 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝘀𝘂𝗺𝗽𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻

Did you know alcohol slows down your body’s ability to produce the human growth hormone that is needed for muscle building?

ᴡʜɪᴄʜ ᴛɪᴘ ᴀʀᴇ ʏᴏᴜ ɢᴏɪɴɢ ᴛᴏ ꜰᴏᴄᴜꜱ ᴏɴ ᴛʜɪꜱ ᴡᴇᴇᴋ?


April 2023 EVENTS

If you’ve been wanting to join our Six Week Strength & Technique Class, there’s no better time than now! Available for both in-person and remote coaching, this program is designed to help for lifters at every level – from beginners to elite athletes and coaches.
In a smaller group setting, our Six Week Class allows for each athlete to receive the attention, coaching and feedback needed.

Technique and Strength;
✅Clean & Jerk 
Squat and It’s variations.

Athletes will focus on the fundamental elements of each lift, and drill movement to help improve their body mechanics, timing, and speed to perform the lifts in the most efficient and effective way possibleand develop overall strength and conditioning.

Using proven methods of progressive overload, Coach Ayse Sukola has applied for this program to develop multiple national-level athletes. If your technique and strength are holding you back, this is the program for you.

Take your strength and lifting to the next level!


Open House allows weightlifter and powerlifters throughout out the Woodstock area and beyond to experience our training facility and train with like minded people.Coaches will be on hand to answer any questions about Olympic weightlifting, Powerlifting and Nutrition or offer feedback.

During The Open House, Coaches will focus on technique improvements;

🔷For the snatch and the clean-and-jerk, fundamental elements of each lift, and drill movements to help improve your body mechanics, timing, and speed to perform the lifts in the most efficient and effective way possible.

 For Squat, Bench and Deadlift, fundamental elements of each lift, and drill movements to help improve your body mechanics.

Bring your family and friends.

Registration is not needed. Simply fill out a waiver.

3 Tips to Skyrocket Your Performance and Answer The Most Frequently Answered Questions Around Performance Nutrition. 

During this FREE nutrition talk, we will discuss the following:

  • The Fundamentals of Nutrition
  • 3 Tips To Skyrocket Your Performance
  • Most Frequently Asked Questions {Answered}
  • Is there really a 30-minute window to fuel after workouts?
  • Do I need a protein supplement?
  • Where do I start?

This FREE nutrition seminar is for you! 

If you are looking to:

 🚀Increase energy levels

🚀 Decrease recovery time

 🚀Improve performance

 🚀Fuel your body for your workouts

 Feel better during workoutsThis FREE nutrition seminar is for you! You can register live or catch the recording!

See you on April 22, 2023 9:30 AM EST 



Regardless of your version of true happiness, living a happier, more satisfied life is within reach. If you’re feeling down, unsettled, in need of some ideas to perk you up or just want to have a fresh perspective on your day, check these ways to make you happier!

🙏🏻 Practice Gratitude
☀️ Get Some Sun
😬 Smile
🥦 Eat More Veggies & Fruit
👯‍♀️ Spend Time With Positive People
🌴 Get Out In Nature
🏃🏽‍♀️ Exercise Daily
✈️ Take A Trip

“𝒀𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒍𝒊𝒇𝒆 𝒎𝒐𝒗𝒆𝒔 𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒅𝒊𝒓𝒆𝒄𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝒐𝒇 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒔𝒕𝒓𝒐𝒏𝒈𝒆𝒔𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒐𝒖𝒈𝒉𝒕𝒔.” – Craig




FREE OPEN HOUSEDuring the open house, Coaches will focus on technique improvement the snatch and Clean & Jerk, fundamentals of each lift, and drill movements to help improve your body mechanics, timing and speed the perform the lifts in the most efficient and effective way possible
USA WEIGHTLIFTING LEVEL 2 COACHING COURSE Usa Weightlifting Level 2 Coaching course with Daniel Camargo. Danny Camargo is USAW Senior International Coach, Head Coach & Owner @olyconcepts and has been in this game over 30 years as an athlete and coach! Level up & Learn from one of the best in the weightlifting world!
17TH -19TH
GA STATE POWERLIFTING CHAMPIONSHIPCherokee Barbell Athlete Ayla Teresi will be competing Day 2 Session 2 at this competition held at South Forsyth High School.
9:30 AM TO 10:00 AM

Blue Gym

Cumming, GA 30041

NUTRITION TALK – 3 REASONS YOUR DIET FAILED YOUEvery year millions of people start their weight loss journey which inevitably ends with either getting frustrated seeing no progress OR they lose weight fast to gain it right back! Why does this happen? 
We are going to discuss the 3 reasons your diet failed and what you can do about it!
9:30 AM TO 10:00 AM
via ZOOM

FREE OPEN HOUSE – FEBRUARY 4TH , 2023 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM – All LEVELS & AGES are Welcome! 
✅During The Open House, Coaches will focus on technique improvement for the snatch and the clean-and-jerk, fundamental elements of each lift, and drill movements to help improve your body mechanics, timing, and speed to perform the lifts in the most efficient and effective way possible.
✅Ask questions about your Nutrition / Weight Classes, Weight cuts, or How to gain mass properly.
✅Join the Cherokee Barbell Team for a training session & have fun!
✅Bring your friend.
Sign our waiver ahead of time! Click Here


In this course, participants will delve deeper into topics covered in the Level 1 course, as well as learn about essentials such as organizing and selecting exercises for weightlifting, biomechanical analysis of weightlifting movements, and competition preparation. Over the course of two days, expert USAW coaches will cover how to build periodized training plans for any sport using scientifically based principles as well as how to systematically detect, correct, and cue technique flaws.

In addition to covering these “what to coach” topics, this course will focus on helping coaches further refine “how to coach” skills related to effective communication such as creating a positive training environment, delivering effective feedback, and engaging in reflective practice. Participants will be frequently asked to reflect on their learning and consider ways to incorporate aspects of the course into their coaching. While there are downloadable .pdf resources available in the online course, a downloadable manual is not provided. This is to ensure all coaches always have access to the most current content.

Every year millions of people start their weight loss journey which inevitably ends with either getting frustrated seeing no progress OR they lose weight fast to gain it right back! Why does this happen? 

Reason #1: Your diet is TOO RESTRICTIVE!

Reason #2: INCONSISTENCY!         

Reason #3: You try to do it alone

Want to know what is holding you back from reaching your weight loss goals? Be sure to register for our FREE nutrition talk on FEBRUARY 25TH 2023. We are going to discuss the 3 reasons your diet failed and what you can do about it!

Register HERE >> LINK



The Journey Back: 4 Things My Postpartum Weight Loss Showed Me

The Journey Back: 4 Things My Postpartum Weight Loss Showed Me

If you’re familiar with Cherokee Barbell Strength & Nutrition, or you know me personally, you know that I am a nutrition coach with many years of experience helping people achieve their goals. With all of my education and experience helping others, you would think that my postpartum journey would have been easy and fast. If you pay attention to everything you see from fitness influencers on social media, I should have been back down to my leanest weight in just a few weeks, right?

Wrong. In reality, I have just recently reached my first major fat loss goals – and my son just turned two years old. You read that right. It took me two years, and my journey isn’t over yet! Real change happens over months and years of steady work. There is no magic pill, but there are things you can do to achieve your goals. Let’s talk about a few of the most important lessons that my postpartum weight loss journey has shown me.

  1. Mindset is everything for weight loss

I’ve known this for a long time, and I’ve coached many athletes and nutrition clients through it. If you don’t have the right mindset, you’re going to struggle to lose weight and/or achieve the fitness goals you’ve set for yourself. When I started my journey back to fitness, I had a newborn son, a new business, and multiple personal challenges. My body was fatigued, and I was constantly stressed.

With everything going on in my life, and no consistency (we’ll get to that later on), I couldn’t make any progress. I was desperate to see my old body again, to feel strong and fit, but I wasn’t getting anywhere. I felt so discouraged, and I couldn’t get my mind wrapped around doing the things I knew I needed to do to start making the progress that I wanted so badly.

When this happens, it’s tempting to beat yourself up about it. It’s easy to feel ashamed and guilty for what we see as major failures. But shame and guilt are actually terrible motivators, and they end up standing in our way. When you feel ashamed of yourself, you might go run on the treadmill as long as you can, but once you’ve finished punishing yourself, you’re not likely to make a habit of daily treadmill runs. If you feel guilty for eating too much, you might cut your calories down to nearly nothing the next day, but you’re not likely to turn that restriction into healthy eating habits over the long term.

Shame may feel like the kick-start you need to get going, but it won’t keep you moving in the right direction. You are much more likely to succeed if you approach your journey with acceptance and gratitude. It’s not an easy thing to do, but a few things that helped me include:

⚫Starting a daily journaling habit
⚫Committing to meditating for just five minutes every day
⚫Making just one healthy choice at mealtimes (and then another)
⚫Setting daily intentions and reminding yourself of them when you start to feel negative thoughts creeping in

A good friend of mine (who is a USAW national coach) told me, “To get anywhere, you have to be tired of your own bulls&t.” Part of that bulls&t is the mindset that you have to punish yourself for the choices that got you where you are today. Changing your mindset is the first step to changing your body and your health.

  1. Consistency is king for effective weight loss

You’ve heard this before, but that’s just because it’s so true. Let’s say that, 90 out of 100 days, you eat appropriate portions of healthy foods. The other 10 days, you have a little extra on your plate, a glass of wine or two, and/or a rich dessert. Do you think those 10 days will ruin your journey, especially if they’re spread throughout 100 days of overall healthy eating? Of course not! Likewise, if you skip a day at the gym here and there, you aren’t going to lose all of your progress – unless you give in and stop going completely.

Over the last two years, I struggled with consistency. I tried a lot of tricks and strategies that have worked for others. I signed up for a triathlon with the idea that a new goal would motivate me and get me training. I tried changing my workout routines. I consulted other experts. None of it worked – and, strangely, all of it worked.

Every time I stepped into the gym, went for a run, or even walked my dog with my kids, I was doing something good for myself. I was moving closer to building those habits and getting back to the lifestyle I wanted. And it happened one day at a time. Did I do the triathlon? No. Did I start going back to training one day a week, then two, and then three?

Yes. It took some time, and I had some setbacks. And, yes, life absolutely got in the way many times. I had to cut workouts short for sick kids, emergencies with my employees, and so much more. But, I stuck to my intention to create the habits I needed to consistently train my body. And, as I got back into those habits, I found it easier to incorporate other habits too – like fueling my body with the right balance of carbs, proteins, and fats to support my strength while losing fat.

Here are a few things that helped me create that consistency:

⚫Setting aside time in my calendar to train
⚫Preparing meals ahead of time for busy days
⚫Making it fun by training with friends

  1. Accountability is crucial to achieving your goals

When it comes to fitness and achieving our goals, it takes a village. Yes, it’s possible to do it all on your own, but if you don’t have a support system with some form of accountability, it’s easy to make excuses and give up on yourself. Accountability can take on several forms. For some of my athletes, it’s as simple as checking off the movements in their training programs and logging their foods for our weekly or monthly check-ins. For others, it’s seeing friends at the gym. Others ask an accountability buddy to check in with them on a daily or weekly basis.

For me, accountability came with my community and my gym. My athletes and my fellow coaches would ask me things like, “Are you training today?” or, “How is training going?” Or they would offer to meet me and train together. This kind of support is easy to find when you have a community like our team at Cherokee Barbell, and I’m so grateful for the people in my life who helped me stay accountable for my workouts and my nutrition on the way back.

  1. Success creates motivation

You won’t always feel motivated, and many people will tell you that this is where discipline comes in. If you don’t feel motivated to train hard at the gym, have the discipline to go for a walk or at least drive to the gym and warm up. These are valid statements, and they do help people get through those days when they don’t feel like doing anything. But you don’t have to rely on iron willpower and self-discipline every day if you remember this: Success creates motivation.

If you do something active three days in one week, I can almost guarantee that you will feel better than you did the week before. Your sleep will improve, and you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment. If you add some healthy nutrition habits to that activity, you’ll start seeing other changes – like a lower number on the scale and your clothes fitting better. Seeing those changes will motivate you to do even more to improve your health and fitness.

This positive cycle continues as you see more success. And you can keep it going by changing the way you reward yourself. Your old mindset might have been, “I’ve been so good this week. I deserve a huge meal and three beers!” Let’s change that up a bit by substituting a healthier reward. This might be something like treating yourself to some stylish new gym clothes or scheduling a weekend trip to the beach or mountains. Think of the things you love to do that align with your goals and the life you want to live. Start making a list of those aligned treats to reward yourself for your success! When you choose rewards from that list, you’ll continue to feel successful and build more motivation. And, with that feeling, you’ll have fewer days when you have to rely on your discipline.

Get started today with us!

Are you ready to start your journey? Need some motivation, consistency, and accountability? Join us at Cherokee Barbell Strength & Nutrition for our Six-Week Wellness Program. We’ll help you:

⚫Learn how to fuel your body
⚫Stay consistent with manageable, healthy choices
⚫Get motivated with small (and large) successes
⚫Stay accountable with help from a strong community

Sign up Now!


Back to School Already? 5 Healthy Food Tips for Happy Kids

School is back in session, and you’re ready to get back into a routine with the kids. That, of course, includes packing lunches. As you know, proper nutrition directly affects your child’s academic performance. But how do you get them away from the Cocoa Puffs and cookies? The first step is cleaning out the junk food that’s loaded with sugar and making sure healthy food for kids is always readily available. Once the kitchen is free and clear, start it’s time to start implementing these 5 nutrition tips to have a successful school year!

1. Start the Day with a Breakfast of Champions!

➡️Sugary cereal with juice is not going to keep your child full and focused during their first few hours in the classroom.

➡️Sugar causes a quick burst of energy (high), followed by blood sugar levels dropping (low).

➡️Let’s take a quick example of a popular kids’ breakfast: 1 cup of Cocoa Puffs (13 grams of sugar) plus 1 cup of apple juice (30 grams of sugar) is a whopping 43 grams of sugar! That’s 11 teaspoons of sugar first thing in the morning!

A more balanced breakfast includes protein, healthy fat, and low-glycemic carbohydrates.

✅A breakfast sandwich (turkey, egg, and cheese on a wheat English muffin) is a more balanced option providing protein, carbs, and fat.

✅Smoothie (Greek yogurt, banana, nut butter, and cocoa powder) contains Protein + Carbs + healthy fat from nuts. Greek yogurt has a good balance of carbs and protein to keep you full.2. Pack a Balanced Lunch

Follow the plate method:
1/2 plate:🥦🥒🥕🍅🍆
1/4 plate: 🍓🍇🥝🍠
1/4 plate: 🥩🍗🍳

By eating a balanced lunch, you will:
✅ Have more energy in the afternoon
✅ Increasing your intake of vitamins and minerals through fruits and veggies
✅ Help stabilize your blood sugar

Save this graphic for inspiration next time you are prepping your lunch! 
3. Drink Lots of Water

Did you know it takes 3-4 apples to make only one cup of juice? But you wouldn’t eat 4 apples in one sitting so stick with one in your homemade juice. 

While juice is marketed as a healthy option for kids, it is loaded with added sugar. Try swapping out the juice for water and having a piece of fruit on the side. During the juicing process, many of the vitamins and fiber from the fruit are lost, leaving nothing more than “sugar water” behind.

4. Snacking For Success

Healthy snacks can help your child stay focused in school and prevent overeating later in the day. We recommend balancing out your snacks with a healthy source of protein/fat and carbohydrate. Most of the snack foods geared toward kids are processed, low in fiber, and high in sugar. Try finding snack options that will help your kids stay focused and full between meals!Here are a few snack options:RX Kids BarApple with peanut butterTriple Zero Oikos Greek yogurt
5. A Balanced Dinner

The Plate Method is one of the easiest and most effective methods for improving diet by eating a balanced meal of high-quality foods. Your clients can utilize this method to incorporate your favorite foods and recipes into their diet.

Resources: Healthy Steps Nutrition


3 Reasons Student-Athletes Need Olympic Weightlifting

3 Reasons Student-Athletes Need Olympic Weightlifting

Find out why college athletes should train with us!

Student-athletes and their parents dream of college scholarships. Whether you’re an athlete, a parent, or a varsity coach, you can benefit from understanding what it takes for high school athletes to become collegiate athletes. In most cases, top athletes – the ones who achieve football scholarships or wrestling scholarships – get to that level with focused extracurricular help. Olympic weightlifting is one of the most common and effective training protocols for these athletes. Let’s discuss a few reasons why. 

Build the Strength to Meet Benchmarks

The first step in playing football at a Division 1 school, earning a wrestling scholarship, or making a collegiate basketball team is to familiarize yourself with the requirements. Let’s look at a couple of examples: football and wrestling. Below, you can see two tables with a few of the basic benchmarks (minimums) to compete in Division 1 football programs and collegiate wrestling programs, respectively.


#resources – Garage Strength – Dane Miller 

Snatch (x1)225 lbs225 lbs175 lbs275 lbs
Clean (x1)305 lbs300 lbs225 lbs265 lbs
Back squat (x1)405 lbs365 lbs275 lbs315 lbs
Front squat (x3)350 lbs315 lbs250 lbs300 lbs
Single-leg squat (x3)275 lbs315 lbs225 lbs275 lbs
Bench press (x1)365 lbs315 lbs225 lbs275 lbs
Incline bench press (x1)275 lbs250 lbs185 lbs225 lbs


Bench press1.6 x body weight
Pull-upsMax weight = 40% of bodyweight
Rope climbs4 x 16’ on 2” rope + 1 x 16’ on 2” rope with 25 lbs on the belt
Sled pull1 x 60’ unbroken with 550 lbs (no easy turf)
Isometric lunge3 minutes with 95 lbs on back
Single-leg squat315 lbs x5 each leg – must show control throughout the movement
Back squat440 lbs x5, 374 lbs x 5 in 7.5 seconds
Front squat1.6 x bodyweight in 7-8 seconds
Clean1.2 x bodyweight x2
Snatch1.25 x bodyweight

To safely and effectively perform these movements, young athletes need qualified coaching and technique training. They also need conditioning, and they must develop fast-twitch muscle fibers for explosive, dynamic movements. While it’s critical for athletes to practice their specific sports, practice and sport-specific training are not always enough to gain the strength and capabilities required to get to the next level. In a structured, focused weightlifting program, athletes work on strength and conditioning, as well as technique. 

A coach who is aligned with the athlete and their parents on the athlete’s goals will program training cycles with those goals in mind, with drills and exercises designed specifically to complement the work they’re doing in sport. The program will utilize progressive overload to ensure that the athlete is gaining strength, explosiveness, and speed over time. As an added bonus, the movements and strength that athletes gain in a weightlifting program are all transferrable across multiple sports. Football players who weightlift will be faster, stronger, and more resilient than those who do not. Wrestlers who weightlift will experience the same benefits, as will lacrosse players, soccer players, gymnasts, and other athletes.

Avoid Injuries that Leave Athletes Benched

When they see the benchmarks that they need to work toward, many young athletes will get laser-focused on achieving those goals. While we love to see that focus, athletes need the guidance of a knowledgeable coach to ensure that they don’t overtrain or perform movements in an unsafe manner. When student-athletes try to do too much with too little rest, and without the right technique guidance, they can easily get injured. 

If a student-athlete sustains an injury that keeps them off the field, court, or mat, they’re going to have even more difficulty achieving their goals. Olympic weightlifting helps young athletes develop the strength and stability to perform movements under heavy loads without injury. Plus, it has one of the lowest injury rates of all Olympic-contested sports.

Develop the Discipline Necessary to Excel in Sport, School, and Life

An athlete may have goals to play football for a Division 1 school, or they may have dreams of a wrestling scholarship. Or they may just want to play sports in school, enjoy time with their friends, and get some energy out. Whatever the case, following a prescribed strength training program will help them develop the discipline necessary to excel in the challenges life throws at them. Developing as an athlete includes personal growth and development. They’ll learn how to listen to their bodies, how to handle days when they don’t perform as well as they wanted, and how to come back from disappointment to achieve more in the future.

Are you a student-athlete or the parent of a young athlete with dreams of competing at the collegiate level? Let’s talk! Contact us today and find out more about how Cherokee Barbell Strength & Nutrition can help them achieve their goals.




Are you ready to take your athletic performance to the next level and reach your goals? Our Student-Athlete Strength Program is designed to make that happen!

This class is a non-sport-specific strength and conditioning program designed to increase overall athletic performance for Middle and High-school students. Certified coaches lead classes that include safe and effective weightlifting techniques for young, developing athletes, as well as mobility, speed, and power work. This combination is designed to promote injury prevention, increase speed, strength, power, and endurance in each student-athlete. Students do not have to be school or club athletes to participate, just a desire to become stronger and healthier.

This is program Year-round program Monday through Thursday from 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM

Our coaches are highly certified with years of experience working with athletes ranging from youth to professional. In addition, they have all played collegiate sports and understand the physical and mental demands of athletics.

Empty Tank on the Platform?The Pitfall of Chasing Too Many PRs in Training

In the world of powerlifting and weightlifting, the pursuit of personal records (PRs) in competition is the ultimate goal. However, simply pushing your limits during every training session may not yield optimal results. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the concept of strategic training specifically tailored for powerlifting and weightlifting, and how it can pave the way for achieving all-time PRs when it truly matters—during competitions.

Central to this strategic approach is the recognition of the significance of carefully choosing when to go for absolute PRs. While it’s essential to push our limits and experience the sensation of heavy weights in our hands, it’s equally crucial to understand that not every training session should revolve around chasing PRs. By strategically identifying the right moments to go all-out, we ensure that our bodies and minds are fully primed for peak performance on the platform, unleashing our complete potential during competitions. Let’s approach our training with intelligence, placing emphasis on quality work, refining our technique, and progressively building strength while simultaneously honoring the need for proper recovery.

Remember, the journey to all-time PRs is a nuanced and strategic process. It’s about finding the right balance between pushing our limits and allowing ourselves the necessary time and space to rest, recover, and adapt. By embracing this intelligent and holistic approach to training, we optimize our chances of reaching new heights and achieving those sought-after all-time PRs. Together, let’s embark on this journey, mindful of the power of strategy and the potential it holds to transform our athletic endeavors.

  1. Prioritize Strength Development: Building a solid foundation of strength is crucial for powerlifting and weightlifting. Rather than solely chasing PRs in training, focus on progressive overload and developing overall strength in the key lifts: squat, bench press, deadlift (for powerlifting), and snatch, clean, and jerk (for weightlifting). Prioritizing consistent strength gains will lay the groundwork for future PRs in competition.
  2. Periodization and Peaking: Periodization is especially important in strength sports. Break your training into specific phases, each with distinct goals and intensities. During the off-season, emphasize building strength and addressing weaknesses. As competitions approach, gradually shift the focus towards peaking. Reduce training volume while increasing intensity to allow for supercompensation, resulting in peak performance when it matters most.
  3. Sport-Specific Technique Training: Technique plays a crucial role in powerlifting and weightlifting. While strength is important, honing your technique is equally vital for success. Devote significant training time to improving your form and execution of the key lifts. Working with experienced coaches, attending technique-focused workshops, and analyzing video footage of your lifts can all contribute to refining your technique and setting the stage for PRs in competition.
  4. Specificity and Competition Simulation: To excel in powerlifting and weightlifting competitions, your training should closely replicate the demands of the platform. Incorporate exercises, variations, and accessory work that directly target the muscles and movement patterns used in competition lifts. Additionally, include periodic competition simulations to familiarize yourself with the environment, time constraints, and mental pressures of competing. This will enhance your ability to perform at your best when it counts.
  5. Mental Conditioning: Powerlifting and weightlifting require not only physical strength but also mental fortitude. Incorporate mental conditioning techniques into your training routine to optimize your competitive performance. Visualization exercises, positive self-talk, and developing mental resilience can help you overcome challenges, handle pressure, and execute your lifts with confidence. Cultivating a strong mindset is a vital component of achieving all-time PRs.
  6. Recovery and Adaptation: While pushing your limits is important, recovery is equally crucial. Allow your body enough time to rest, recover, and adapt to the training stimuli. Prioritize sleep, proper nutrition, and active recovery techniques like mobility work and soft tissue therapy. Balancing intense training with adequate recovery will optimize your performance potential and reduce the risk of burnout or injury.

Setting Up for Success: Your Path to All-Time PRs

In powerlifting and weightlifting, the pursuit of setting all-time personal records (PRs) in competition stands as the ultimate objective. Achieving this feat requires more than just sheer determination and hard work—it demands a strategic training approach that encompasses various crucial elements. By adopting such an approach, you can position yourself for peak performance when it matters most, increasing your chances of reaching new heights and accomplishing those long-sought all-time PRs.

To embark on this path to success, it starts with prioritizing strength development, incorporating periodization and peaking techniques, and honing sport-specific technique training. By simulating competition conditions and emphasizing mental conditioning, you equip yourself with the tools to perform at your best when the spotlight shines brightest. And, of course, a key component of this strategic training approach lies in prioritizing recovery—a crucial aspect that ensures your body and mind are in prime condition for optimal performance.

However, it’s essential to recognize that success in powerlifting and weightlifting extends far beyond what takes place within the walls of the gym. It requires a holistic approach to training—one that considers not only physical aspects but also mental, emotional, and lifestyle factors. This holistic approach encompasses thoughtful choices, self-care, and finding the delicate balance between pushing your limits and allowing yourself the necessary time and space to recover, adapt, and come back even stronger.

By embracing this comprehensive mindset, you lay the foundation for success and open doors to achieving those all-time PRs that have long been the focus of your aspirations. Remember, this journey is not only about reaching new heights but also about the personal growth and transformation that come along with it.

Together, let’s embrace the holistic approach to training and navigate the intricate path that leads to success. By doing so, we unlock the full potential within us, setting the stage for remarkable achievements and the realization of our all-time PRs.


Slow-Medium Snatches: A Valuable Exercise for Improving Your 1st Pull Technique

Jacob Hunt

There are many exercises that can help improve your Olympic weightlifting technique, but have you tried incorporating Slow-Medium Snatches into your training routine? Slow-Medium Snatches are an effective option to consider for perfecting your 1st pull and developing the strength and power necessary to excel in the snatch.

What are Slow-Medium Snatches? They are snatches performed with a focus on controlled, deliberate movements. By slowing down the movement, you can focus on the mechanics of the lift and ensure that you are properly executing the first pull.

Improved technique is one of the many benefits of Slow-Medium Snatches. This exercise allows you to focus on your technique and movement patterns in a controlled manner. By slowing down the movement, you can identify and correct any weaknesses or faults in your technique that may be hindering your progress.

During Slow-Medium Snatches, you can take your time and concentrate on pulling the barbell off the ground with control, while maintaining proper form and positioning. This will help you to develop the strength and power needed to execute a successful first pull.

Another benefit of Slow-Medium Snatches is that they help with increasing power and explosiveness. The slow-medium tempo of the snatch requires greater control and stability, which in turn develops strength and power. By gradually increasing the speed of the snatch, you can develop explosive power and speed in the lift.

Additionally, Slow-Medium Snatches can be useful for identifying and correcting any weaknesses or faults in your technique that may be hindering your progress. By slowing down the movement, you can more easily identify any areas that need improvement, such as improper positioning, balance, or timing.

Overall, incorporating Slow-Medium Snatches into your training routine can be a valuable tool for improving your first pull and overall technique in the snatch. However, it is important to also practice the full snatch and other related exercises to ensure that you are developing a well-rounded and balanced skill set.

Increased muscle control and awareness is another benefit of Slow-Medium Snatches. The controlled tempo of the snatch forces you to maintain proper positioning and control throughout the entire lift. This helps to develop greater muscle control and awareness, which can translate into improved performance in other lifts and athletic movements.

In conclusion, Slow-Medium Snatches are a great exercise to include in your Olympic weightlifting routine. They can help you to perfect your technique, develop strength and power, and increase muscle control and awareness. Give them a try and see how they can take your lifting to the next level!