Masters 93kg Powerlifter
As we head into the homestretch of preparing for our third meet together, I wanted to get started on my mental preparation. That entails reviewing what we’ve done with my training over the last year.
I came to your gym about a year and a half ago. For the first six months, I did my own “thing”. Funny thing about training on one’s own, I wasn’t getting anywhere. I was aware that the other lifters at Mustache were preparing for various competitions, and their training was getting results. In light of this revelation, I asked you what it would take for me to make make meaningful progress? Your reply was “enter a meet”.
That conversation took place around mid December 2016. Talk about taking me out of my comfort zone. I spent the next week struggling with whether I could / should compete. After talking with other members of Mustache, I decided to give it a go (thank you Bri). And so I came to you the last week of December 2016 and committed to competing in April 2017, and asked you to handle my programming and coach me. Off we went.
Three and a half months of training, the likes of which I’ve never experienced got me ready to compete. It was a learning experience for both of us. With your guidance, and the encouragement of the other members of #teamstache, the day of meet was a roaring success. For me, it was a transformative moment. You don’t have those types of moments at sixty two years old.
Using the momentum of that meet, you suggested that I enter the USAPL Raw Nationals in October. A local meet is one thing, a “National Championship” is something altogether different. Again, it took some coaxing, but you assured me that you'd never let me make a fool of myself, so I committed to the Raw Nationals.
Once again, we trained hard. Six months of grueling effort. You kept driving home the point, “trust the program”. Some days I “trusted” better than others. But you stuck with me, encouraging me. We worked together, refining the training process, as we learned that 62 y/o’s don’t recover like 22 y/o’s. The atmosphere of the gym was all business, but fun and supportive.
Before we knew it October was upon us and we met up in Orlando. Once again, it was an out of body experience. We accomplished just what you told me we would, way back in May, “if things go right, you can finish second”.
A digression if you’ll permit me. Your efforts on behalf of all of us competing in Orlando was as selfless an act as I’ve ever seen. You were preparing for your own competition, and had lofty goals of your own. Yet you spent seven days and nights handling all of us. And then, on last day you competed and absolutely crushed it. It speaks volumes about the person you are, putting others ahead of yourself when it could have all gone sideways for you.
Returning from Orlando, we looked at the calendar, and picked a local meet in February 2018. With the bar set higher, we have trained harder than ever. Unfortunately, life has gotten in the way, as well as a plague that took the “sails out of our wind” ;). Amazingly, you’ve remained positive throughout all this turmoil, adjusting the program as needed.
Here we are, three weeks out. I’m confident we’ll rise to the challenge, and I look forward to stepping on the platform once again (what a difference a year makes). I am a changed man from the one who walked through your door a year and a half ago...apart from the fact that I now Squat to depth (most of the time). You’ve shown me that training is a process and that you build a total, one meet at a time.
Carley, you’ve got a way about you. You’ve built a great gym, developed talented lifters - men and women both, fostered an atmosphere of hard work while remaining fun and supportive. I’m proud to wear a Mustache singlet, and honored to have you as my coach.
It has been said, the goal is to keep the goal, the goal. In that case coach, onwards towards that 500kg total.
Open 52kg Powerlifter
I have been working with Carley for just over 6 months now and all I can say is that I wish I would have made the decision earlier. I began working with Carley because I was unsatisfied with how my squat was progressing. Since then, I have begun working with him one-on-one with all my lifts. He has helped me dial in my form on my squat and bench allowing me to make massive improvements in my numbers. Carley is extremely motivational, always pushes me to be better, and shows me that I am stronger than I may think. His programming is vigorous and challenging and surprises me from week to week as I continue to make new PR’s.
Open 84kg Powerlifter/Strongman
I found my home, Mustache Fitness and Barbell in January of 2017. If you told me a year ago that I would have competed at a national level, set a NYS deadlift record, meet some of the most amazing and supportive people, and would have one of the best years of my life last year, I would have doubted you. In 2017 I learned that “sometimes life gets in the way” but if you want it hard enough, you’ll shake it off and find a way.
At first I was scared to lift alongside some of the top athletes in the area, but I soon found out I was surrounded by some of the most supportive and kind people. These are the kind of people that stop what they’re doing to help spot you or cheer you on while you hit your top set.
When I tell people how much I can lift I typically get the “OMG, this girl’s crazy look.” I then usually explain a little bit about how I got to where I am. Carley wrote my first program and I began in-house coaching in January of 2017. I then competed in my first powerlifting meet in April of last year. I immediately saw progress and continued to add to my totals, while working on form, mobility and accessory strengthening. After competing in April, I not only set PR’s but qualified for raw nationals and completely fell in love with this sport. I owe it all to Carley.
My coach has taught me the importance of consistency through programming and set’s both realistic and specific goals. Carley spends countless hours creating individualized programs, tailored to the needs of every athlete he coaches. When I mentally struggled to perform top sets, Carley took the time to not only find the cause of the problem but altered my program to set me up for success.
Since moving to Rochester this past summer, I now use Carley’s remote coaching service. He is always on top of where I’m at in my programming and what numbers I need to hit each week. He’s almost ALWAYS available (when he’s not setting his own PR’s in the gym or headed to the Arnold) and I continue to feel supported. Once I complete my top set for each lift of the week, I send videos to Carley who helps analyze and provide feedback. He is able to give me simple cues that aren’t overwhelming and I am then able to utilize them to facilitate better form and movement patterns. I am also able to come lift at Mustache when I need a confidence boost or just to say hi and always feel welcomed.
There’s that corny saying that “if you do what you love you’ll never work a day in your life” I can honestly say that Carley Skarupinski has found his calling. If you’re looking for a coach, you’ve come to the right place. Carley has built Mustache and everything it stands for from the ground up. I’m so proud to be a part of the Mustache team and can’t wait to compete again with his support. Thank you for teaching me to “trust the process”.
Open 93kg Powerlifter
I started powerlifting with Carley a year and a half ago. With a year of commercial gym lifting experience under my belt, I had made some novice gains on my own and was looking to elevate my training and compete within a year.
In the past year and a half, I have trained harder than ever, competed in two meets, and seen huge progress in my physical and mental toughness. I’ve increased my max squat from 315 to 475lbs, max bench from 220 to 275lbs and max deadlift from 385 to 512lbs, all while improving my lifting form and pushing through mental barriers to training.
The training process is challenging and well designed. Carley only ever selects weights that he knows you’re capable of lifting, and ensures his lifters are safe. He is constantly evaluating his athletes performance and making adjustments to appropriately address their needs.
Moreover, Carley is personable, puts his athletes needs first, and is passionate about his clients getting results. He takes special care to ensure everyone who enlists his services are equipped with the tools to succeed and achieve all of their fitness goals.
Joining Mustache Fitness and Barbell and training with Carley has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for myself, both in fitness and becoming a stronger person in life. I would implore that anyone who is serious about powerlifting, or has a passion for getting stronger and challenging themselves enlist Carely’s services. It’s well worth your time.
Masters 1 57kg Powerlifter
No one wants to read the story of 40 year old mother’s glorious 5 year lifting career so let me try to make this simple and entertaining.
The Pros and Cons of Mustache Barbell
The programming works. I’ve done all the “things”. I lifted at home in the basement, tried one or two Crossfit gyms and even the good old Y. I’ve added more weight to my lifts in 1 year at Mustache than I did all the previous years combined. And don’t be all “well you train harder” or “you train more often.” Not true. The only difference is the program that Carley writes for me. Not for a group, not a cookie cutter training block. For me and my weaknesses.
I am not built for lifting. For real; some of my bones are a little wacky. Every other trainer just told me “push my knees out” and thought yelling it louder was going to help fix my skeletal structure. Instead of ignoring the issue or yelling at my leg Carley has realistic expectations and puts constant thought into improving my lifts as much as my issues will allow.
It’s my kind of gym, whatever that may be. Sometimes I just want to put my head down and lift, sometimes I want to make jokes with the other members in between sets and sometimes in need to vent my problems to the squat rack. What ever I need, it’s there.
All the accountability. I train with Carley 2 days a week and the other 3 at home. You bet your biscuits he’s checking in with me.
It’s not just a powerlifting gym. Sometimes I want to work on my clean, sometimes I want to work on my pull-ups and sometimes its mobility. Whatever the goal Mustache will help me get there.
It seems everywhere I go everyone is assuming I have the answers. Raising 2 teenage boys isn’t a walk in the park and work is work. Life is stressful. There are days when I walk into Mustache and don’t want to leave. Carley loads the bar and I just lift. Can’t I just stay here and lift heavy things all day? I don’t want to leave, and work might not like that and my kids would… probably call needing something.
I can’t set weight goals anymore. The weights I’m currently lifting are far beyond anything I ever thought possible. Every block is full of PRs. A year in and the progress hasn’t stopped. I’m beating goals before I even set them. New goal- better than yesterday.
It’s in the Northtowns. I drive 45 minutes during rush hour traffic to get there. You might think that’s nuts but with the results are worth every mile.
Life is short and I choose to spend my time with people that make it better. So thankful I found Mustache fitness, best crew around.
Remote Coaching Athlete
My senior year in college I was a 300lb lineman doing nothing but lifting and practicing. It was the strongest and most in shape I had ever been in. However, once football was over and my athletic career essentially finished, I was left with a body I no longer needed or wanted. I began to drop weight while trying to maintain muscle, but football left me with bad hips, a blown knee, and overall poor joints. Doing any type of leg work was difficult, especially squats. I would be in pain for days after a lift. After several years of just managing I finally decided to reach out to my friend Carley at Mustache Fitness and Barbell. I had gone to high school with Carley, knew how driven and passionate he was, and knew that if I could trust anyone to help me, it would be him.
Carley met with me, discussed my goals, and evaluated what kind of shape I was in. He developed a program that was extremely challenging (physically and mentally), all the while working around my injuries and strengthening my joints. He held me accountable for everything, always reaching out to see how the program was going and if there were any areas that needed focus or adjustment. We exchanged texts and videos, so he was able to make corrections on my form and give pointers. Any time I had questions about certain lifts, my nutrition plan, etc. he always responded quickly and with specific ways to improve. He was essentially always around to help, without ever having to physically be there. To me, that’s as good as remote coaching can get.
It’s been a year since I first reached out to Carley, and I haven’t regretted it for a second. In the beginning I couldn’t squat, never deadlifted, and was struggling to make any real gains in muscle and strength. I can now comfortably squat and was even able to hit a 500lb deadlift. I never thought it could happen, but at 230lbs (less than I weighed in high school) I’m outlifting my former 300lb self and doing it pain free. I would recommend Carley to anyone no matter what their experience in the world of lifting. As long as you commit yourself 100% and “trust the process,” you WILL get results under his programming.
Open 80kg Weightlifter
I will never forget the first time I walked into Mustache Fitness. I had minimal lifting experience and wanted to get serious with my training, but was sure I wouldn’t be able to do it on my own. During my initial consultation, Carley asked me what my goals were, what my previous experiences were and what my expectations were of him. My first goal was to fix my squat. At that point, it was physically impossible for me to squat to depth or without any pain. After analyzing my squat, Carley determined I had tight hip flexors and weak legs which was preventing me from squatting correctly.
Carley developed a specific program for me designed to strengthen my legs and increase hip flexor mobility. Part of the program included a weekly physical therapy session with the Mustache Fitness physical therapist, Matt. Each physical therapy session included manual tissue work and a multitude of exercises and stretches for me to continue to do on my own after the session ended. Matt would then make recommendations to Carley as to what to include or avoid in my training based on that week’s progress.
Once my mobility improved, Carley and I began working on my second goal of training as an Olympic lifer. I had minimal previous training and my form was atrocious. We started at the very bottom with fundamental positioning and technique drills. For months, I was only able to use the 35kg bar with an additional kilo or two on each side. After months of training fundamental Olympic lifting basics and a squat program to increase leg strength, I began to see huge progress and improvement. My technique was cleaner, my squat was deeper and my speed was increasing with each session. Carley also provides his lifters with additional opportunities to learn by hosting seminars at our gym. I’ve attended seminars taught by Juggernaut Training staff as well as Team USA Olympic lifters. Each seminar has made me a more knowledgeable lifter.
In just under a year training as an Olympic lifter with Carley and routine physical therapy with Matt, here’s just a few of the things we’ve accomplished;
-changed my body composition by adding more muscle and losing fat
-routinely squatting to depth with good form
-adding 200lbs to my back squat
-ability to go from a 0lb front squat to a body weight front squat
-increased mobility and strength
-consistent quality form and speed with my clean
-no training related injuries
However, I feel our biggest accomplishment is making me a stronger lifter mentally. At the start of our training, I would become so frustrated with myself if I missed a lift. Usually, I was unable to recover from a miss that I would have to end my session. Now, I’m able to walk back up to the bar, forget the previous missed rep and hit the lift. Becoming mentally and physically stronger is something I’m very proud of and I wouldn’t have been able to do so without the expertise and patience of both Matt and Carley. It takes a special person to work with and support a lifter with previous injuries, self-doubt and a bad temper. I am so thankful to have such an incredible coach that is willing to work with me and genuinely cares about my progress. I can’t wait to see what we accomplish next!
I came to Carley when I was 4 weeks out from a Figure competition in March of 2016, huge risk if you must say. I gave him what my previous trainer had me doing (exercise) as well as nutrition. He immediately took me in, changing everything up drastically, while my body became fuller, I had way more energy to complete my lifts, and he had me eating a lot more. He never gave up once, even when I wanted to give up. He pushed me to a point that I thought I couldn’t reach. In the end, we went to competition and I won my FIRST show ever! Since then, I still train with him religiously, with 3 competitions under our belt and more to come.
Open 52kg Powerlifter
I stepped into Mustache Fitness in July 2016 knowing that I had so much to learn, but knowing that I wanted to learn it from Carley Skarupinski. I had qualified for Nationals at my last meet as a 52kg lifter with a 259 squat, 143 bench and a 308 deadlift. I had terrible technique and that meet left me with a smile, but also two slipped discs. I stopped lifting until I went to Mustache Fitness 3 months later.
I showed up and immediately Carley asked me about Nationals, which I thought was not in realm of possibilities due to my injury and my lack of experience. In about ten minutes of talking he had convinced me that not only could I do it, but that I would place top 5; I was sold. I exclusively went to Mustache Fitness for training 4 times a week for the next 3 months until Nationals. I followed the plan he created and kept a journal so I could log all of the technical skills that I was being taught. It was the best training period of my life.
Each day when I came in I was met with an immeasurable amount of optimism from Carley and it fueled my workouts. When someone believes in you, you begin to believe in yourself. He changed the positioning of the bar on my squats and gave me cues that I had never known that allowed me to hold a significantly higher amount of weight. When I reflect on what I thought bench was and what I learned it was I cannot help but laugh; I saw immediate results in my bench as well. Deadlift was what I worried about most because of my back, but we only incorporated it as much as I could handle and I saw major improvements in my power.
Overall I trained extremely hard, when I didn’t have the discipline to show up or stay through sessions the whole time Carley would encourage me that I could do it and I would immediately get back on track. He believed in my capabilities so much that I felt confident going into the most difficult powerlifting meet that I had ever competed in. I ended up squatting 292, benching 154 and deadlifting 338. My total went up over 70 pounds and that promise about placing top 5 that Carley had made me- it happened. I placed 4th overall and I could never have done that without Coach Carley.