Let's step away from overused metaphors like glasses being half full and such and break it down as straight forward as possible. How do you see the world? Some people know instantaneously that they are positive or negative people and to those people, well, you got something pretty big figured out. To be honest, I can respect a bit those people who admit to being really negative; at least they are honest with themselves and with everyone around them as to who they are. It allows for people like me, and others who don't much care for over-negativity to not hang out with them on a regular basis. The other type of person is one that doesn't really know where they stand. Perhaps they are both? Perhaps they think they are positive in general, but are really pretty negative. This is a tough one because how is someone supposed to be honest about who they are if they have no clue they are lying to themselves, or, they just don't care?
Here's a go-to test. Take one day and decide to make note of the first thing that comes out of your mouth. Interestingly, what will inevitably happen is you'll either not say very much (and still, the things you say, pay close attention to them), but what you CAN do now is really see what it is you wanted to say. When you get cut off, do you want to say something to express your frustration? Did you actually say something? Or did you just pay no attention? Or did you notice something really cool the person cutting you off was wearing? The fact is people, while it is a choice to act on your negativity and/or aggression, for some people it is much more deeply rooted than simply being able to just stop. If your natural inclination is to think negative thoughts most of your day, there is something deeply struggling inside of you. Its funny, I know by writing this I am going to get a lot of blood boiling in negative people. But that right there is perfectly proving my point. If my post here annoys you, pisses you off, gets you all defensive and you find yourself making excuses, or throwing stuff back at me, either in your mind or maybe in email, or to my face, well, simply put, you're a negative person!
If it IS your natural inclination to exude negativity, I can only offer my advice on some things I have found work for me. I am obviously not a therapist or anything like that. So, that being said, take my thoughts as merely experiential and based on my young years of learning from people, myself and over-analyzing pretty much everything. Here's one my Mom used to tell me when I was a kid. I always found it cheesy, but when I tried it, it worked absolute wonders for me. I still use this method to this day when I feel negativity taking over in my head, and it still works so well. When something happens (let's use the getting cut off scenario again) and you feel those negative thoughts and angry feeling bubbling up. Take a second and try to find something unique, or cool, or interesting about the person. Perhaps they have a cool hat, or a shirt that you relate to, or a sweet pair of shoes on, or an interesting hair cut? Tell yourself this. And for added effect, say it aloud to yourself so you can hear your own voice. If you really want to feel the full effects, tell the person who cut you off the positive thing you found about them and watch what happens. A positive thought usually leads to other positive thoughts. You see someone with cool shoes and you begin to think about your own shoes. Then you remember an awesome pair of shoes you had as a kid and the time you and your mother or father went shopping for them and had such a fun experience. And just like that, the tiny little “being cut off” thing vanished into a wonderful daydream of a happy childhood memory.
Maybe you can take that little shift in thinking, and ponder about how stressful wasting your time on feeling negative towards everything really is. How, if you are always putting other things down, it’ll be pretty damn hard to look at yourself, and the things you want to love in a positive light. Negativity begets negativity people, and it is powerful enough to strongly affect the people you surround yourself with.
Oh, and one last thought for todays post: when was the last time you smiled for no apparent reason, someplace in public?
Never Stop, GET FIT.
For my thirst Outlaw Training Camp, I flew on down to Naples, Florida to join an incredibly inspiring group of about 40 athletes at Real Fitness for one of the most epic weekends of my life. PR's were flying all over the place, burpees were accumulated in ridiculous numbers, pools were taken over by too many meatheads, we all were witness to what it looks like to have 400# hoisted from the ground onto someones shoulders (it's effing insane by the way!), and we got to experience the sheer joy of spending tons of time with a massive group of like-minded crazies! Here's my summery of the weekend.
Flew into Ft. Myers a bit last minute but was lucky enough to get picked up by the great Corey Perry, and he drove us directly to Real Fitness, one of snazziest CrossFit gyms I have ever been to. It was clean, well organized, had every piece of equipment one could ever want, and the best pull up rig known to man (individually adjustable bars, so perfect for the burpee fest that ensued on Saturday morning). We all introduced ourselves, then got going with a few hours of Oly lifting. On a personal note (which I will make for each workout), I felt really strong, but just didn't have the technique where it should have been, letting the bar get too far away from me on both lifts and missing PR's by a long shot. It was really fun to be around everyone though, and seeing some impressive lifts all around. big Bill grabbed 400# and got it to his shoulders, but just couldn't stand with it. That was one of the most insane things I have ever seen directly in front of me. 400# is a TON of weight! Oh, and the first large serving of Courage Bars vanished faster than anything I have ever seen! Hell yes!
Here's where I can give my first and biggest shout out: Joey Sandoval, co-owner of Real Fitness was gracious enough to put me up for the weekend, and while I made another huge batch of Courage Bars, he cooked up an incredible feast of steak, Brussels sprouts and shrimp. Good man right there, thanks brother!
Saturday morning brought in the CrossFit Games Open WOD 12.1: 7 minute AMRAP of burpees to a target touch. We spent about 30 minutes going over every possible strategy and angle of the workout before breaking out into 4 heats and attacking the workout. There were some pretty impressive numbers coming out all around, some in the mid-130's, and all I wanted was to get around 120. I started off at a good pace but then slowed down pretty quickly. The strange thing is, from that slow-down point, i never changed my pace faster or slower from there on out. For a while I thought it was the perfect pace, but when the 90 seconds left mark hit, I knew I was behind. I tried with everything i had to pick it up, but I couldn't go any faster. I finished with a measly 112 and was pretty pissed off with that score. I think if i had gamed it faster out of the start, really blew it open and picked up 10-15 extra reps in the first 2 minutes, I still would have been able to keep a decent pace throughout (that’s what I do well, just grind things out) and finish much better. I went back and forth so many times about doing it again that I almost drove myself crazy. But in the end, I opted to just let it rest and make up ground on the next 4 weeks of events!
After we all recovered a little, we hit our second workout: 5 rounds for time of:
10 GHD sit ups
20 KB snatch 24kg (10 each arm)
40 double unders
I was feeling sick to my stomach for some reason, so I was happy to be in the first heat. And my thoughts on this one, just find a hard pace and don't stop at all. I did everything unbroken except for stopping on 39 double unders on my second round b y accident. The KB snatch is where I made up a lot of my time, transitioning without ever putting it down. I finished in 8:34, enough for the best time for the dudes (that made me pretty happy seeing how there were so many extremely high level athletes there!).
After that it was off to the pool to work on some basic swim technique and drills with some Olympic swimmers, then hit up a swim workout: 15 minute AMRAP of:
50 meter swim
20 meter broad jump
20 pistol squats
Holy cow this one was brutal in the strangest of ways. It wasn't overly fatiguing, it wasn't muscularly fatiguing, just annoyingly hard enough to be really hard! 20 pistols is a LOT! I was in the last round as well, which meant a good deal of doing nothing. But, we were in Florida, it was 80+ degrees, it was a collection of super down to earth people, and we were outside, working out! What a perfect combo. When it was my turn to go, I just picked a pace and stuck with it all the way through. The HSPU's ended up being the limiting factor for me, and adding to the difficulty was that we were doing them in the grass against a fence (but I was able to annoy Rudy Nielson because I have actually done this a few times thanks to my extensive outdoor training protocol!). By my last round I was doing singles. Perhaps it was the failed attempts of diving in the pool with goggles on, or the fact that I was singing a song over and over in my head to stay on a rhythm with my pistols, but I thought I got 3 rounds plus half a swim, my judge said I got 4 plus half the swim! Sweet! Very happy with that, especially with swimming and HSPU's involved! Saturday night saw a fun evening of eating, drinking, hanging out, telling stories. Oh, and BP and Bill being absolutely hysterical! Sunday was two more workouts along with the ever-so-famous squat clinic that basically blows your mind on what the hell the squat is, even if you’ve heard it before…twice. Workout 1: 7 minutes to establish a 5RM front squat, from the ground. IO pulled 275# and struggled through the front squats. The pulled 285# off the floor with ease and got 4 squats before the bar slipped out of my fingers on the fifth rep! We all got to witness THE Elisabeth Akinwale pull 220#!! Then Bill went for the 400# again, catching it but not standing. It was awesome! Final workout: 3 rounds for time of: 400 meter run5 bar muscle ups 30 foot handstand walk 12 wall balls (11 foot target) This one was awesome; the perfect combo of muscular and cardiovascular endurance, with high-level skill. There was a cutoff time of 12 minutes and I was able to finish it in 11:43. The handstand walks got me pretty bad, but everything else went smoothly and quickly, even the muscle ups which I got totally unbroken! Unfortunately I had to rush out before the final two heats could even go to catch my flight. I would have loved to stay and mingle with everyone, as I have never been around so many people I liked that much in a damn long time. The whole weekend reminded me of of my old baseball travel days where we would just spend all day together doing the thing we loved and talking about it. I’m sure anyone who isn’t really into fitness would find us all pretty annoying, but as Talayna, Akinwale and I said on the way to the airport: working out, eating and sleeping with people who want to do only that as well is the greatest thing in the world. If only we could all just do that! Yet again, the Outlaws proved to be some of the most inspiring, motivated and fun people I have ever met. I cannot wait to get together with them all again. And as the Outlaw community grows, it can only get more exciting when we all meet up to throwdown and geek out! Never Stop, GET FIT. Josh Courage
Yesterday at The Outlaw Training Camp we (around 40 of us I might add) headed over to a huge pool in Naples, Florida for a swim workout. While I'm sure some people hated it, and I openly admit to not being the best in the water, it felt like goofing off with a bunch of kids!
It just reminded me that no matter what you are doing, no matter how stressed your life is, how difficult things are, it's always worth having some fun on a somewhat regular basis. And the best part: it's not very hard to have fun! Make a game out of your workout! Get outside, jump around in a pool. After a few minutes your inner child, no matter how much you've suppressed that little dude, will start to creep out. As many of you know, I probably spend too much of my life living like a child (as in, I play around a ton. Well, maybe I act like one a little too much as well...) and yesterday that guy was having a blast! We jumped in the pool, did handstand push ups against a fence, broad jumps in the grass and pistol squats. No joke people, even though my heart rate was through the roof, my shoulders were dying, and I really would have been happy sleeping in the sun with a burger or something, I couldn't help but have a freaking blast!
If you take things too seriously, life every second of your life completely regimented, or under a timeline, how the hell do you expect to have any real fun? Oh, and by the way, I'm not talking about going out drinking, staying out way too late, eating crappy food and all that for fun. I am not opposed to doing that here and there; but, if that is your go-to diagnosis for getting some fun in your life, you're kind of missing something pretty important in my opinion. And if it totally sucks to go to the gym, to workout, to be active, to goof off with friends while getting your heart rate elevated, well shoot man, get off the plan and make a game out of it! Or, even better, go play a game!
Today we have some more learning to do, some more workouts to do, and this is such an awesome group of people to be around! I'll give a full recap tomorrow. Hope everyone is having an awesome weekend!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Already falling off with the posting every day, but it’s all good, I had no internet yesterday! I’m down in Naples, Florida for another Outlaw Training Camp and our Friday night lift has inspired this post. How well do you know yourself in the gym? Do you know when to stop, when to push for a little bit more? This is something I have constantly been working on for myself, and of course, is always a huge focus for me with all my athletes who come to workout. Sure working out hard is extremely important, but working out smart is WAY more important.
This came about yesterday when we were doing out huge Olympic lifting session. About 40 or so of us were packed into a hot as hell Florida gym, throwing weights around and having an all around good time. I felt good, strong, pretty quick, great energy, but for some reason the second the weight got close to my max, I just had nothing. I missed a PR on the snatch by 20#, and on the clean and jerk by 20# as well! Normally, if I am feeling good and healthy and start to miss lifts I would sit there for WAY too long and just keep trying and trying. But there comes a time when the smartest thing is to tone back the weights, work on perfecting that form and walking away from the session with something positive. Last night was a big day for me in really listening to my body and not over-doing things. The desire to lift a big weight in front of everyone, to not fail, to show that my training has paid off, and all that fun stuff is there. But the fact is, choosing to stop after I found my maxes for that particular day was probably the best choice I could have made. I walked away knowing exactly where I went wrong on the lifts and what I need to work on next time. Also, being able to watch some dude pull 400# off the ground and come so close to standing with it (he cleaned it) was one of the most motivating things I have seen in a while!
The conversation of knowing yourself while lifting comes up a good bit in my gym because of the amount of younger athletes that come in. Generally, there’s a lot more “need to impress” mentality with the younger crowd, and it’s incredible to watch how quickly these guys make gains when they get rid of that mentality. One of the most common things I see is guys missing a lift because of some mechanical flaw, not because it was too heavy and then going to throw more weight on the bar. While there is a time and place for doing that (when you are proficient as hell and your miss was because of a minor mistake) if your sucking it up form-wise, you should NOT be adding weight to the bar! I totally understand the desire to lift a ton of weight. It feels good, it looks good, it’s motivating as hell and it generally make s your day that much better. But in the end, you always have to keep your end goals in mind every single time you do something in the gym. If it’s maintenance and avoiding injury, well, that should be pretty self explanatory that you don’t push your luck with overly heavy weights and become WAY more proficient in the lifts. If you’re an athlete, you are using the barbell to learn athleticism, coordination and then strength and power. In the end, it’s about learning how to lift for most people. If it’s not perfect, if you don’t know what muscles to engage and when, you are leaking so much strength and in the end just wasting your time!
The gym should be about learning about YOU. Once you become a pro lifter, or “pro” CrossFitter, then you can spend way more time maxing out. But if that’s not who you are, the time and energy should be spent learning how to do things correctly, how to approach things, pushing your limits in a safe and controlled manner and having fun!
Alright, in about 2 hours I’ll be doing the CrossFit Open Workout number 1 and I am excited! 7 minutes to do as many burpees with a target touch as you can! It’s gonna suck, but being around so many top level athletes is going make it awesome!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Well, I woke up today ready to write a rant post on some issues I've been seeing with approach to fitness. I had some complaints I needed to get out and share. But, with the temperature on the mid-60's, and no clients from late morning all the way until tonight, I could not avoid the great outdoors. And what happens to me when I get outside, away from all things man-made? I don’t have anything to complain about anymore. So, I've decided to write something a bit more positive, and leave the ranting to another day.
If you take a few moments and browse through Mark Sisson's awesome blog, Mark's Daily Apple, you'll find article after article about the benefits of being outside. From returning to our primal roots of connecting to nature, to the incredible benefits of vitamin D. Basically, being outside is impossible to argue against. I have read countless articles and studies on the positive effects of the wild, but I have no interest in getting into the science of it all. I simply want to share my experience and hope that it might inspire you to either get out more, or get out in some way at all if you never do.
To me, getting outside could be looked at in two ways: an escape, and a return. I am escaping the world that us humans have created. This is a world of responsibilities, technology, negativity, processed goods, concrete and metal and on and on. In my mind, almost everything we experience in the man-made world is some form of stressor. Even if you think it's relaxing to have a bag of chips and watch a couple TV shows, in reality, you're not doing anything to help yourself. You're slowly "poisoning" yourself with things your body and mind were not born to experience. I am not about to sit here and tell you you should toss all that out. Hell man, I love watching a good TV show or movie, and I love having a good snack here and there! But if these things become your definition of relaxation, I am sorry, you are doing a good bit of damage to your overall well being. So, when I head out to the wilderness, I am escaping the “trap” that is all this craziness we have created for ourselves. I don’t have pressure; I don’t have my senses being overloaded with lights and technology. I don’t have people bustling by me with too much to do to enjoy a moment with themselves. I am totally free to naturally do what I want. Sometimes there tends to be a negative connotation with escaping. Like drinking alcohol or working out too much. This is why I also have found that getting outdoors is a return as well. It’s a return to what is naturally there for us to survive in. Nature is the only thing that we can experience that we did not create. And because of that, there is something incredibly unique about experiencing it. In my experience (and I feel like it’s a pretty good deal of it), the only people I have met who do not enjoy being out in nature are very, very inactive people and very, very depressed people. Aside from those guys, I have never seen anyone spend time in the wild and not enjoy themselves. This is more than enough proof to me that we are meant to be out there on a somewhat regular basis. Shoot, the people I know who spend a ton (I mean, at least 8+ hours a week) out in the wild are some of the happiest, chilliest, most enjoyable people I know. Now mind you, when I refer to outdoors, I don’t mean going for a walk around your neighborhood. If that’s all you can do, do it as much as possible of course, but I'm talking about more. I am really referring to getting out to the woods, the mountains, the ocean, a hidden lake somewhere, The Wild! Spending time in a place where the only sign of mankind is a trodden path and/or a friend or two that join you is what I'm talking about. Outside, to me means, the wilderness. If you want the full effects of reconnecting with nature, get into TRUE nature and soak it all in! Today I found a large slab of rock stretching out into the Potomac River out in Great Falls, Maryland. I navigated my way out there, laid down in the sun, closed my eyes and just chilled. I could hear birds chirping, crickets and frogs buzzing through the woods, snaps of tree branches from deer and random splashes of water from the fish in the river. No cars, no people, no hum of a generator or anything. As cheesy as it sounds, I had an uncontrollable smile on my face within 10 minutes. All I could think about was climbing rocks, scaling trees and wading through water. When I left my nap area, I found a collection of about 8 deer feeding in the woods by a little rain-pond. I just perched myself on a fallen tree and watched them for a few minutes. They heard me and sat there watching me. I then moved along and when I turned back around, they were back to grazing. I know I can be a little fanatic about nature. Most of my California friends know me as someone who would rather spend my life frolicking naked through the woods then doing pretty much anything else. I don’t expect my view of nature to be that of everyone else in the world. But I do believe, with all my heart, that every single one of us would be happier, more at peace, more relaxed and healthier if we just got out into Real World on a somewhat regular basis. If you agree, go outside and do it! If you don't agree, just go try, see what happens... I hope you can find your way out there soon. If you want some company, I am never one to turn down an adventure in the wild! Never Stop, GET FIT. Josh Courage
Well, yet again I have neglected writing for a couple weeks and I apologies to those of you who enjoy reading my blog on the regular! But I have decided on what I will be doing for Lent. First off, I have never actually done anything for Lent, never really grew up with it or anything so it never really caught on for me. And really, I am approaching this first time for me all wrong, but that's ok, I'm really just committing to something and it just so happens to land on the first day of Lent. I am giving up on excuses for NOT writing on this blog and will be writing a post every single day! Yep, it's back at posting up motivations, updates, ideas, thoughts, complaints, and on and on. So, you have that to look forward to!Other than that, I'll start off with a little update on my training, the progress of the gym space, The Open, training with The Outlaws and whatever else pops in my head as I write! So, training has been going very well. Following The Outlaw Way, and getting down to train with Rudy Nielson and his crew on a regular basis has worked wonders on my progress. I always thought that I just needed to break down one last wall before becoming legitimately good at this whole CrossFit thing, and while I am no Rich Froning, Jr., I feel like I have at the very least figured out exactly what it takes. I still have my weaknesses, and while they are big weaknesses, I am WAY better than I was even teo months ago. I feel like that wall I need to break through is still there; but rather than being a 10 foot think steel wall, it's a frail drywall (the link there is for fun, and it tends to be highly offensive and littered with bad language, besides that, it is hysterical. you've been warned). Last Friday we hit a threshold workout and something just clicked in me. I figured out how to push through more than ever before. And while I've had a few crappy workouts after that, it has really opened my eyes on how to better approach all the other workouts that could and will be offered throughout a competition. I am bubbling with confidence when it comes to competitions coming up.That leads me to The Open. Tonight CrossFit will be announcing the first of five workouts that around 50,000 people worldwide will be performing in what is easily the largest and most divers competition the world has ever seen. After the same process last year, I can honestly say that the powers that may be over at CrossFit figured out the best method for finding The Fittest On Earth in the given year. While I am sure there will be some minor changes throughout the years, I think the basic template will stay the same. For those of you who do not know, it works like this:The Open:One workout is announced every Wednesday night. People have until Sunday night to submit their score, either by video, or by going to a qualified affiliate who can validate your score for you. Every person is signed up in a specific region, and I think there are 14 regions around the world (I am in the Mid Atlantic Region).The Regionals:The top 60 athletes from each reason will make it to Regionals. They get their by being the best at the workouts announced over the five weeks of the The Open. This event will be a 3-day event (although the dates posted this year suggest a 4-day event...). These will be run just like a normal CrossFit event, with 6+ workouts over the weekend, all at the same location and everyone competing for a top spot!The Games:The top 3 athletes from each Regional make it to The Games. This is the big event that will probably be on ESPN and where the winner get $250K! It just keeps getting bigger and bigger!It's a pretty cool event all around, and if you don;t want to sign up for The Open yourself (you might as well, it's only $20 and can be done almost anywhere!) you can follow along the world HERE, or me and my adventures on my blog as I'll be updating my process. Turns out I'll be performing each of the 5 workouts in a different location each week! Crazy!Cool, besides that, not much going on! I have a massive project in the Courage Bars looming over me which is nothing short of insanely exciting, and I am focusing on getting those made up and marketed in some way as I train and get my clients training as well. I am negotiating a gym space right now, and with all the bad luck that has followed me in trying to open a space since I moved back to the East Coast, this is proving to be the most promising. I don;t want to spill the beans on the details with this one yet at all, but know that I am still working on a daily basis to get something going! Obviously, as things roll along I will update everyone, so, staying positive! If you haven't yet, or if you know of some people that can vote, please vote for me for Best Personal Trainer in DC here. It only take s few seconds and I am committing to doing something wonderfully crazy and entertaining (physically obviously) if I win this year!Ok, that'll be the update for now. But I'm excited to get to writing on a daily basis, have lots' of great topics to get to!Never Stop, GET FIT.Josh Courage
This past weekends Training Camp was a pretty big change from the beatdown we received a couple weeks ago. But what we lacked in expended energy, we gained in exceptional instruction and mental preparation for competition. It was a little smaller group but as one might assume with the Outlaws, we all freaking had an absolute pleasure meeting each other and shooting the breeze all weekend. Before I get into this, my o ne regret for the whole weekend was not going out with everyone Saturday night. Seems as though some of the strangest yet, hilarious altercations occur during those outings. Anyway, on to the fun! Friday night – Oly night was pretty successful for almost everyone, with something like 8 PR’s. I am sad to report I wasn’t able to pull more than 195 on the snatch, and yet again, missed 265 on the jerk. The best part (or worst part) was finding out that the thing holding me back from competing with Donny Shankle (no chance in a million years by the way) is my stupid right elbow. Thanks to baseball, I have some pretty serious issues with the shoulders and the right arm in general, so, I got that working against me. Time to get some accessory work done! Saturday brought one workout at Outlaw, then 2 more over at CrossFit Woodbridge, which was awesome! #1 – 8 minute AMRAP of: 7 OH squats 135/95 14 toes to bar 21 KB swings 2/1.5 pood Holy grip killer! I was able to blast through the first round, breaking up the T2B in two sets to save the grip. Then the Kb swings, which were strict as hell standards, I got in two sets as well (with 1 miss I think). Basically after that, T2B and KB swings became a challenge of focusing on keeping you fingers tight. Got something like 2 rounds and 33 total reps (almost though the third round). The whole group battled through in 3 heats and we had a blast. Over at CrossFit Woodbridge (no offense Rudy, but their gym is WAY easier to hang out in for an extended period, but I know you know that!) we hit up workout #3 from last years Games. #2 – 5-1 ladder of: Rope climbs Shoulder to overhead 145, 165, 185, 205, 225/95, 105, 125, 145, 165 Was a little nervous going into this one seeing how I am hoisting 220# up a rope 15 times. But, after going through a fun handstand walking tutorial, then a rope-climbing tutorial, we were all ready to see how this one would go. It was tiring as hell, but I was able to finish in 8:26, a time I would like to shave at least a minute off of, but after the grip killer earlier, was pretty happy with. Another good talk on being prepared for everything and we were all ready for the final workout. #3 – 1000-750-500 meter row with 20 box jumps and 10 HSPU’s each round This one was a pretty interesting one. I paced the row (perhaps just a hair too much), got all the box jumps unbroken (except for one slip up) and almost all the HSPU’s faster than ever before. I was going into the final 10 HSPU’s probably about 20 seconds slower then THE Jay Rhodes, but then I hit my wall at 7 reps. It took me about 1:30 to get those final reps, and it pissed me off. But, that was kind of the point of this weekend, work on problems! The final day brought in incredible talk on nutrition with David “Chef” Wallace. This dude knows his shit! If you can hang, I recommend getting in touch with him because he’ll blow your mind. Then make you strong and ripped (if that’s your goal of course). Our final workout of the weekend was another sneaky one. #4 – 10 muscle ups buy in, then: 4 rounds of: 40 double unders 10 pistol squats Rest 1 minute, then: 5 minute to establish a 2RM weighted pull up Using the higher ring set up made it a little tougher on me, but I burned through the DU’s and pistols unbroken and then hit the pull ups a little over eager. Got only 70# (again, with the 220# body, made it a little tougher); would have loved to get 85 plus, but oh well. We hit a squat clinic after that and called it a weekend! Yet again, an absolutely wonderful weekend where we learned a ton, had a blast and became a crap-ton better at exercising. Looking forward to a couple weeks when we can do it all again in Florida! Never Stop, GET FIT. Josh Courage
Have you ever stood before a workout, hesitating, wondering how the hell you'll ever make it through this thing? Shoot, have you ever stood before anything, a barbell, a sports game, a meeting, a girl (or boy), and so on, wondering if you'll survive to see the end? Screw winning, screw setting a PR and announcing to the world you are the best; what if you don't even finish?
Well grow a set and make it happen! Who cares if you fail? Who cares if it means you lose, or get made fun of, or look like a fool. You'll even more stupid if you give up, or don;t show up at all! You came to the gym, to the platform, to the field, to THIS PLACE to get something done and the only thing standing in the way of you 100% effort is your doubting mind making excuses.
If you want to lift shit-tons of weight, train for it, and then attempt to lift shit tons of weight! If you want to tear it up at a CrossFit competition; you;re going to have to have no fear, no matter what workout is thrown at you. And the same goes with anything and everything in your life. If you fear a negative result, you are hindering your ability to have positive ones. At the most basic level, if you have an idea and never implement it out of fear of failing, well, you're idea will never have the opportunity to make it. I have found this out over and over again the hard way. I have lost opportunity after opportunity becuase I didn't attack the things I thought would be great to do. And what did I get? Nothing! It's like that wonderful quote: "you can't steal second with your foot on first" (I'm a sucker for baseball metaphors and such).
What brings this on? Well, I see it every day in the gym, and I always internalize these situations so that I can work at becoming a better person myself, and to help motivate others to stop holding back. Today I had a baseball player tell me he was tearing it up on the mound, throwing hard, yet he couldn't seem to get his off-speed stuff figured out. I told him to tone back the velocity and work on locating all pitches, because in the end, accuracy is rewarded way more than velocity. His response was: "well you know me, I try too hard and am so injury prone". No, no, no! If you know exactly what you need to do to be successful, DO IT! Don;t make excuses about how your personality is this, or that, or you can't be less social and drink less, or you need your crappy food, or your TV shows. If you want to do something, have the people around you to support you, and have all the tools to do it. Then do it.
I have no sympathy for someone who knows the best path for getting to his/her desired location, then chooses another and complains about how difficult it is. Be smart, and be good to yourself. Wild success will follow.
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Well, I was planning a good, detailed post on recovery and it happens to be perfect timing; I am taking a solid week off! After only a few days off at most for the many months now, and the Superfit Games two weekends again, AND, the Outlaw Training Camp this past weekend… yeah, I am in some serious need for a break! So, after feeling like I got every inch of my body sledge hammered, I am focusing on taking today through Friday (or maybe Sunday…) completely off from serious training. So what will I be doing? Here’s what I’ll be doing: Sleep: I am dedicated to getting at least 7 hours of sleep a day, at LEAST! If I don’t get it during the night, I will nap during the day. The goal is to really let my body understand the importance of sleep and not only take advantage of it, but start to generate the habit of getting adequate sleep. If I have to sit here and convince any of you that sleep is really important, you’re an idiot, enough said. Sleep is needed so badly, and yet so many of us neglect it and don’t take it seriously. If you are serious about health and fitness, you better be serious about sleep. Lack of sleep will always catch up to you sooner or later, and you’ll begin to feel the effects of it in slow gains, stress, weight gain (thanks to the wonderfulness that is cortisol) and on, and on. Get your sleep! Food: Oh, this is a good one. Especially after the hundreds upon hundreds of calories I swam in last night (burgers, sweet potato fries, chili, beer, cookies and too many Courage Bars!). Granted, that was after burning off probably thousands upon thousands of calories at the Outlaw Training Camp, so, it was well deserved. But, for the week I am focusing on three things: eating enough, eating the right things, forming better habits. Basing my plan loosely off the plan I followed when I moved back East from California, I will be making sure my physical body is fueled as perfectly as possible. A vague sketch of it: 4-6 meals, tons of protein, TONS of veggies, a good deal of fats, basically zero sugar, and the only complex carb getting through will be sweet potatoes! I’m not going to get crazy obsessive with all of this, just clean it all up as the Open approaches. The extra time I’ll have this week will be perfect to get my nutrition dialed in. Mobility: I’ll be practicing a handful of Kelly Starrett’s “Mobility WOD’s” each and every day. These will be combined with a good bit of foam rolling and stretching to make sure my recovering muscles get their fair share of love. Honestly, besides my crappy ability to do upper-body body weight stuff, my mobility issues are the biggest holding me back. It’s so super important to be mobile people, and especially if you’re an extremely active person. The body very quickly adapts to poor posture and crap habits and making sure your joints understand good ranges of motion, and your muscles can stay flexible. My worst areas are the shoulders and hips. Yep, pretty big areas, but I am working on them! Massage: Here is the new one I have recently added to the mix. I have always viewed message as a sort of high-brow, luxury, and really, I still sort of do. But if you are actually serious about your overall well-being, I think you should find a way to get one in on a somewhat regular basis. My girlfriend found me a great guy who works with athletes and I am now committed to getting work in with him at the very least once a week. Yep, that is how important serious recovery is! Check out Terrel Hale’s site HERE if you are in the greater DC area and want to get some legit work done. Another large aspect of my recovery is in the hands of 2XU. A lot of CrossFitters and other athletes wear compression gear as a fashion statement, which as all well and cool (actually, no it's not, it's kind of stupid if you want my honest opinion), I use the best compression as a tool to get freaking better. this stuff is about as close to medical grade compression as one can get and it legitimately works. I have become a HUGE believer in this product and with all the other additions to my recovery process am pretty sure I have all the best tools in my arsenal! It doesn’t matter how hard I go; in the end, its how my body reacts to the stresses and strains that matters. And food, sleep, mobility, message and so on are the things that allow my body to really soak up all the hard work and make it pay off. The other thong Terrel has helped me out with is some good stretches to really focus on, and to really look into doing ice baths on a more regular basis. I now have a massive trashcan in the gym that I can fill up with water and a couple large bags of ice, and chill (pun intended) for a while. My buddy Blair Morrison (yep, the CrossFit legend himself) wrote some great things on the benefits of cold HERE.Oh, and one more thing. If you haven't already, please take a moment and vote for me for Best Personal Trainer in DC. And pass the link along to friends and family! I will entertain you all with something wacky if I win!
Welp, that’s it for me here. I’m off to foam roll and lacrosse ball the crap out of my body before getting in bed for some good sleep!
Never Stop, GET FIT.