My lack of posts over the weekend was inspired by a last minute trip to Upstate New York to visit Lindsey and her family. While it was an awesome weekend, filled with great food, fun people and some great sights, I ended up changing my programming around to be much, much, well, easier. I found that I was really fatigued, run down, and right at the brink of being over trained. So, I decided to tone back on the workouts over the weekend and just get some basic work in. On Friday I worked on handstand push ups, muscle ups, buterfly pull ups and the new standard burpees. Felt good all around, except for the handstand push ups (a LOT more on this tomorrow!). Saturday, after a crazy long drive up to Norwich, NY (somewhere in the middle of upstate NY), Lindsey and I hit a sweet park for a bit of fun.
I worked on much of the same stuff as Friday after Lindsey and I traversed the crazy jungle gym for about 30 minutes or so (it's freaking awesome to be a kid every now and then!). My muscle ups felt better, and I was able to work a few of the 30" box jumps as well, felt real good. All around I was feeling good about all the skills needed for the coming Regionals.
The remainder of the weekend time was spent hanging with Lindsey's awesome family and having some good times! The first was Saturday night when we all drove into town to hang with a collection of Lindsey's family from her Moms side. After a bit of time there, Lindsey and I went to hang with a couple of her cousins and friends, this ended up being all sorts of entertaining into the early hours of Sunday morning. Then, on Sunday, we drove out to Ithaca, check out out Cornell (my dad went there, as well as Lindsey's dad and youngest bro). We then parked up at a trail head for Taughannock Falls and hiked the ridge trail around until we got to see the awesome vision of the 215 foot falls. From there it was off to Lindsey's fam on her ads side for some grilling and chilling into the early evening!
After that, we drove out to Syracuse to catch a Sky Chiefs baseball game (Nationals triple A team) so I could catch up with my good friend and old client Josh Wilkie. He's been tearing it up at that level for a while and I am hopeful to see him down in DC very, very soon! It was awesome to be able to catch up with him, he;s a damn good guy and it was great to talk with him for a while. And to top it all off, he pitched an inning and two thirds and did awesome!
Early Monday morning I took the long drive back to the DC area and chilled through the rest of Monday. Fired up the grill and fired up some food for my pops!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Time for another little workout-update post! Yesterday I got things started off with a nice 30ish minute run in the crazy heat and humidity; then, after about 5 hours and some damn good food, I hit my barbell work. I started things off with 3 warm up rounds of 5 kipping handstand push ups, 10 30 in. box jumps and 15 KB swings at 53#. Here's where thongs stated going wrong for me. I couldn't even get the HSPU's with a kip! Damn it! Beyond frustrating to me (more on this in a bit). Well, in my frustration I failed to get my legs all the way up around the 6th rep of the final round of jumps and the box decided to take about a 1-inch tear of shin skin from me. Ouch. After I peeled it off the box and cleaned my wound (the thing swelled up like CRAZY), I set up my bar for snatch work.
3x5 hang power snatch
3x5 power snatch to OH squat
3x5 squat snatch
I actually felt halfway decent throughout these reps and by the time I got to my final set of squat snatches, i was able to bang out 3 pretty solid reps at 165#. At that point I had complete CNS (central nervous system) failure. Basically, I couldn't fathom getting that bar over my head for another rep and I intelligently called it quits on the session. I had programmed in a short metcon for the evening but I was really feeling beat up and I opted for a little extra recovery; very smart move. Oh, and my shin was, and still is killing me!
Today I woke up early, and after standing at the side of the pool for a good 10 minutes, finally jumped in and di soe easy laps for about 25 minutes. Later on in the day i rode my bike into DC to meet up with Jimmy and Ori for lunch, both trainers and good friends of mine. We geeked out about fitness for a couple hours and then I went over to Balance Gym Glover Park to work a little more on my miserable HSPU and get a little recovery work in the steam room. My non-technical conclusion on my HSPU abilities: I can't do them. My more technical perspective: it appears as though I lack the ability to engage a specific set of muscles when I am stressed in a very specific position such as the HSPU. While this is pretty uncommon at such a level, it is common enough for trainers and such to have heard of it, but my shoulders basically shut down when they are loaded in a very specific way. This really does seem to be the issue and the concept is strengthened by the fact that when I widen my stance and turn my hands out, i am able to get 3 reps (with a kip mind you). But with a normal hand and arm position, I literally just hit a wall and CAN NOT get even close to a lock-out. No joke people. Ori was at a complete loss for words. It appears to make absolutely zero sense that a person with my level of strength can not do this, at all, with so much practice and focused attention, still nothing. Conclusion? Grind The Gears. What this means is that I will do reps as often as possible in the only position my body allows me to do them, and hopefully something will just click by next week. After that, I will be doing some serious supportive work to figue out exactly where I shut down when performing this move. I'll be sure to explain what that process is when I get there.
Anyways, after all that fun I went on home to relax some more, gearing up for a crazy day of training tomorrow before I head up to upstate NY to hang with Lindsey and her family. Can't wait to see my girl!
never Stop, GET FIT.
I opted out of my early morning conditioning today because I was tired as hell. So, I gt an extra half hour sleep and it really did help out with my days energy levels. I got a good deal of work done an as things wound down I headed out to the paths that spider through the forest by the Potomac River to find a workout spot. The plan was some hill repeats, double unders and muscle ups. Well, an hour into my search left me with nothing but a few cuts on my legs from searching the woods for a solid tree branch to hang the rings, and probably a pint of sweat lost. Yeah, the humidity around these parts is freaking crazy awesome!
Just becuase I'm in a bit of a goofy mood, I figure I can share my interesting search process. Well, my periodically logical mind thought that if I searched the paths that pass under a few bridges I would find a perfect place for the rings. Well, the steep hill leading to the bridges was perfect for the hill repeats, and the parking area at the top of the hill was perfect for the double unders. But, these damn bridges were just giant slabs of concrete, litererally NOWHERE to hang anything. My frustration put aside (I was having too much fun goofing off in the woods) I found a portion of the trail that wrapped up high enough that i could potentially make my way up to the top of the bridge and hang the rings from the railing along the street. Only problem was that this portion of the street was a two lane exit off a freeway. Good times. Well, picture this: you're driving down the freeway and along a thickly forested exit you see some weirdo, drenched through his shirt, straining over the side railing hooking up huge straps to them. Yeah, it was a little risky, but totally worth it! At least I though it was until I got back under the bridge and realized that it was still way too height to get the rings up there and reach them for muscle ups. Fail!
Oh well, off to my next area to see if something would work out there. But, on the way I passed a big park i used to play baseball at when I was in like 4th grade and i figured, what the hell! After a short search, I opted to hang the rings on the beam of a basketball hoop, then I measured out a 50 meter and 100 meter mark for a 2-point suicide sprint. My workout was 4 separate rounds (un-timed) of a 50 meter sprint out, then back, then 100 meters (not sure exactly what you'd call that), 100 double unders (first two rounds were a thicker rope, the second two were a thinner, quicker rope), then 5 muscle ups.
Good work all around, not super intense but I felt like I walked away with a lot more confidence in both my double unders and my muscle ups. Im feeling very good with the way things are rolling right now with my training. I feel like I'm getting exactly the work i need to get myself as prepared as I can be for Regionals; and, I feel like I am fueling just about as well I can be (perhaps a little more in the late morning would be helpful, we'll see...). Anyways, I made some good progress on my post about moving from California to Maryland (still a crazy struggle for me to get this thing finished!), so hopefully it'll be up soon! Until then...
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Well, it is officially under two weeks until the Mid Atlantic Regionals competition happening over at George Mason University from June 3rd through 5th. A couple days back they announced the workouts and I have decided to tweak my programming just a little to work on some of the things I feel I should to really get myself ready. I'll break it down, here's a little overview of my schedule and what I'll be focusing on:
Heavy cleans and front squats
High box jumps for reps
HSPU/muscle up work
Row/muscle up metcon
Easy conditioning run
Deadlift for reps
Long conditioning session
There you have it, my training program from here on out. The main focus is getting better at those damn handstand push ups as good as possible before the 30 rep workout (the first one!). Besides those damn things, I feel pretty good all around the workouts chosen. I really don't know what to expect when the weekend hits, but I'd like to finish in the top ten. In reality though, I am really just looking forward to hanging out all weekend with a whole bunch of beasts in an awesome setting. It'll give me so much motivation! Some of the other stuff I've been dialing in is my nutrition, I've been eating much, much cleaner and controlling when and what I eat a good deal more, and, I've been focusing on getting more regular sleep. When all is said and done, I already know that I am coming into this competition a bit under prepared. So, we'll see what happens with serious focus a month or so out!
Here's to a damn fun couple weeks of training! Oh, and things are rolling smoothly at The Garage! I already have 3 classes a day up and running and two private clients in and working hard. Excited about that!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
After a solid bit of snatch technique work at Balance Gym, I headed back to host a very un-marketed re-opening of The Garage get together. All in all, I had 3 people come on in, but when all was said and done, it was perfect. Fred and Big Dan came, and Dan brought a mutual friend Deepak in as well. We hit this workout:
Perform for time, in any order you'd like! With 95#/65#
800 meter run
30 power snatch
30 power clean
30 bar facing burpees
30 roll outs
30 lateral jump overs
30 rack to back changes
It turned out to be a just about as perfect a workout as I could have planned for the day. Our clock broke, but I would say it took about 20 or so minutes, Dan and I finished about 2 seconds apart (him first, I must give credit where credit is due!), and Fred came in not too far behind. I thoroughly look forward to my rest day tomorrow! After the workout we all jumped in the pool to cool down a little, then fired up the grill for a wonderful feast!
Quickpost is all here, resting up and prepping for a bit of a "Hell Week" next week in prep for Regionals. Should be fun!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Yesterday I rested. I stretched, I rolled, I cleaned up a good deal of the mess I made by moving back, AND, I set up my new bed! Ever since I've been back I've been having some seriously major issues with my low back. Very quickly I was able to find the cause of this, and it's my damn bed, it's too soft. So, I layered a comforter or two on the floor in the basement and that will be my bed from now until Lindsey moves to town and we can settle down! As strange as it may seem to some, the firmness of the floor is extremely comfortable to me, and I tend to sleep like a baby when I find my way down there. So, that took care of that issue.
A bit earlier in the day I noticed that the CrossFit Games Regionals workouts were announced, and what jumped out at me immediately was the handstand push ups and muscle ups mixed into the six workouts (I'll break them down and how they effect my training some time next week). So, when I brought a couple of my athletes out for an outdoor workout, I strung up the rings to get a handful of reps in. Felt...pretty good. But tt was today's insanity that really took me in the right direction (everything i did was geared towards Regionals prep, and the.
I woke up a little after sunrise and hit the pavement for an easy 5-mile run. Then, a little after 12 I got ready for the barbell work:
1xmax deadlift 315#
3x30 hollow rocks
3x10 seated DB strict press
3x5 controlled roll outs
3x10 weighted hip thrusts
I programmed thrusters to feel out the movement and chose 3RM to work on profficiency. I felt very comfortable at 195#, then at 215# I got all messed up with breathing and was only able to get 2 reps out of 3 attempts. All good though, I felt pretty strong. The craziest part of the workout was the max out a 315# on the deadlifts. My goal was 20 and I got it, with an epic battle between me and the final three reps! It was awesome! Then, a couple hours later Big Dan came over and we got after a seemingly decent metcon:
3 rounds (timed separately):
50 m shuttle run with tire
30 pull ups
60 double unders
20 OH squats 115#
I went first, then rested while he went and so on. This. Was. HARD. The tire running was just enough to get you breathing hard enough to make the pull ups that much more challenging. The double unders were exhausting, and the overhead squats at the end were the beautiful combination of muscularly crushing, and mentally, well, brutal! I was able to get 3:05, 3:55 and 4:00 respectively, Dan got 3:40, 4:24 and very low 5's (he was hypoglycemic going into this metcon, so I'm sure he was suffering a bit more than me throughout. Either way, this combo of movements, at those reps were just about the sneakiest I have come across and it was so much fun to run ourselves into the ground! Having Dan to work out with is such a privilege, and I plan to take advantage of it a lot before Regionals hits us in a couple weeks.
Tomorrow I am going to an Oly lifting class at Balance Gym, then back to The Garage for the Grand RE-Opening and a fun chipper before firing up the grill and having a feast!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
After a nice little 3-mile run early in the morning before the rain, I watched the movers pull in with all my stuff from California. With help from my good buddy Ori who came in for a little workout, then later with George, I cleared out all the old stuff and re-filled the Garage with all the equipment it could hold. In the end: the perfect 200 square foot gym!
I christened it with some pretty solid barbell work. Worked up to a comfortable 195# on the power cleans, then stuck with the same weight on the squat cleans to really pin down the form. My big focus was getting a smooth upwards pull and then really getting under the bar without letting it get away from me. It's still a little long, and it feel a little sloppy, but it's definitely better than before! The toes to bar at the end were great, just focused on getting the hips engaged and I felt very, very strong with them.
After an awesomely energetic crew of 6 athletes came in to break in the "shiny" re-done Garage, my good buddy Big Dan came over to get a metcon in. The goal was something in the 12-15 minute time domain, and it would have been if I had measured out our 400 meter run properly. It had been way too long since I was last using the area for measured running and I just threw out a guess, totally missed my mark and I would put our run at around 250 or so meters. Either way, it was a good one: 3 rounds of 10 box jumps at 24", 15 KB snatches with the right arm with 35#, then 10 more box jumps, then 10 KB snatches with the left arm, then run. To add to the challenge, we both threw on a 20# vest! The shorter run made this a sprint and I went at it unbroken throughout. Dan was just a hair behind me and I was able to separate myself just that much more when he pauses (ever so briefly to catch his balance) on maybe three box jumps throughout. I crossed the finish line is a gasping 8:42, Dan came in right behind me at 8:54 I think. I would have like a longer one, but all in all, it was a great workout, and having Dan there to push me a little harder was perfect. We hit up Chicken Out for a bit of a feast and then it was back home to relax and get some good sleep in before tomorrow!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
So, I am in the middle of writing a long post about my transition out of California, and it's been an emotional experience for me. So, I will just get on with some other posts as I work through that one, and post it up when I feel better about it! Anyway, I returned to the East Coast on Saturday and got right into the swing of things. Sunday morning run down at the C and O canal, about 4 miles, an old run I have done countless times. It was nice to run the the crazy think foliage that I have totally forgot takes over the greater DC area in the summer. It was humid, think and all around a really nice morning! I then headed out to Balance Gym Kalorama to meet up with a couple guys for some strength work.
5 x 3 back squats
3 x 3 weighted chest to bar chin ups with 8 total barbell overhead lunges with a twist
2 rounds with 3 minutes rest between of:
1 hill run (about 300-400 meters)
21 pull ups
12 handstand push ups
The squats felt heavy, and I struggled to get 355#, a bit of a bummer. The chins felt awesome, and I was able to get 3 out of five chest to bar on the final set with 65# added to my 215# frame! We then jogged about 3/4 a mile to a sweet park underneath the Calvert and Connecticut Ave intersection. The plan was 3+ rounds; but, after the first round I put my foot down and said I was done after the second one. I didn't want to burn out with a metcon at all, I feared I'd be pushing my body WAY too far too quickly. Besides, two rounds was more than enough. Each took me around 6 minutes (mostly thanks to my total crap handstand push ups). A massive lettuce-wrapped burger later and I felt so good!
I grilled out with my pops and his girl in the evening, firing up some skirt steak and asparagus, then hit the bed hard! This morning, I woke up ready to get things going! I again went to Balance to get my training in and I got some great stuff. Thanks to a brief, but very insightful conversation with Oly Coach extraordinaire Mike Choi the day before, I had a better approach: Tone back the weight, work speed in sets of 3 to 5, take very long rests and make sure to be fueled and not fatigued going into the session. The idea is to make sure the central nervous system is at peak awareness for these lifts. This is something I have been not taking seriously enough in the past couple weeks, I have been trying to force things a little much and it has been to my detriment. So, I gave this approach a try and it was great.
3x5 OH squats
3x3 power snatch
5x1 strict press
3x10 cable face pulls
I went in this order because i have found that I have almost no ability to be comfortable underneath the bar (in the overhead squat position) without about 5 sets of warm up before hand. So, the forced overhead squat work acted as a warm up to my snatches. The power snatches got me moving more quickly, and I pulled 55, 60, 60, 62.5, 65 and 67.5 respectively (in kilograms) on the snatches. They felt AWESOME! Quick, comfortable and smooth. Very happy with that. Th strict presses were a different story. Perhaps my shoulders were a little beat up from the HSPU's yesterday, and all the snatch practice, but I tied my previous PR with a big struggle at 175#. I'll get that 185# before Regionals, I know it!
Ok, off to grill up another dinner, then up super early to run before a client comes in. Here's to finding some form of routine!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Today's workouts saw a AM/PM split. I hit snatch work bright an early in the morning, getting reps of power snatches, snatch pulls and squat snatches. It was a very frustrating session as I was able to lock out 190.5# with ease (almost a damn power snatch), but just did not have the technique to get under it at all. I can visualize it so perfectly, I just can't do it! But, I know exactly what i need to do to get better at this: mobility work! I'll talk about that next week when I get into a more comfortable routine with it.After training people and watching the baseball team I help coach get absolutely demolished, I drove out to the City to meet up with the crew at Lalanne Fitness one final time before I move. I have said it before and I'll say it again, these guys freaking rock! Their intensity is inspiring, their community is warming, their personalities are strong yet completely nonabrasive and welcoming. I LOVE visiting these guys and I'll miss them all so much back on the East Coast. What Chris Lalanne has done at his spot is something that I aspire to have in the DC area and I have so much to thank him for in the short time that I have known him. He's a good guy who runs an awesome gym; enough said.My friend and client Jon joined us there as well and Chris set us each up in partners for a 3-workout throwdown:#1 - In 20 minutes each establish your 2RM (2 rep max) overhead squat (no racks allowed, helping each other with the bar IS allowed)#2 - 7 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of: 10 air squats, 3 burpees, 2x10 meter shuttle runs (run 10 meters out and back twice)(one team member does workout, then next team member goes)#3 - 5 minute AMRAP of: 5 box jump-overs (20" box), 10 knees to elbow (one team member does workout, then next team member goes)I was teamed up with Katie, who was humble enough but when it came down to the wire di absolutely awesome! In the first workout I was able to get 235# pretty comfortably (Chris motivated me to go that heavy unbeknownst to him...) and I stopped there as my shoulders were feeling fatigued from the morning snatch work. With Katie's 85# we pulled a 2nd place finish with a total weight of 320# (Chris and Jon got in the 400's!). In the second workout, Katie started off with an impressive 10 rounds plus 6 squats, a best score of the first heat! I attacked this total leg burner and finished with a score of 12 rounds and 9 squats, giving us a 1st place finish in that event! The final event was another killer, especially with the heavy legs generated from so much squatting. Katie was able to get 4 rounds plus 10 reps and I got 6 rounds plus 13. I was able to 4 rounds totally unbroken, but then I just crashed. Something about knees to elbows just crushes me at a certain pint and with about 30 seconds remaining, I was only able to get single reps at a time. I goes the fact that most of my body weight is carried in my thighs doesn't help very much... Either way, we pulled away with a 1st in that event too! Score!I hung and talked with Chris and coach Will for a while after and it just broke my heart that much more to walk out of there knowing it'd be a while until I got to see any of them again. keep up the awesome work guys, and represent proudly at Regionals!Never Stop, GET FIT.Josh Courage
My Morning Run
What up blog reader people. So it turns out this whole moving-back-to-the-East-Coast thing is weighting on me quite a damn bit. The stress of it all has led me to have about as little inspiration to write up a post as I have ever had. So, rather than just go yet another week without posting anything up, I want to throw a little something out there!
Last weeks training was a bit of a preparation for my new program as I gear up for the CrossFit Regionals competition in about a month. Things fell off over the weekend a bit as the act of packing completely crushed me emotionally. This was a pretty weird feeling for me to be honest. But I digress... Today, after getting Lindsey off to the airport super early in the morning, I hit that Skyline Hill I ran a couple weeks back. This time, with no weighted pack and the crisp air blowing about me, I just took off at an awesome pace. As the sun rose over the Bay, I ht the top at a satisfying time of 16:55. The views of the Bay and the Ocean at sunrise were straight up incredible and I hung up at the ridge for about 10 minutes, jugging around the trails just soaking it all in. I then shuffled down and headed home to cook up a big breakfast and get to the gym to train my morning class.
Later on in the day I set up the weights for my strength work:
5x3 Strict press w/
10 weighted roll outs and 10 GHD sit ups
3x3 back squats w/
3 neg. HSPU on paralettes and 6 squat jumps
3x max reps strict chest to bar pull ups
I was able to get 171.5 on my final set of presses, which is HUGE for me as my last 1RM was 175 (yup, weak as hell with this man). I think what helped a tone was that supplemental work I mixed in. I used to do this a lot before and then somehow got away from it. The roll outs really got my shoulders in a strong, set position for the presses (the GHD's might have been the wrong choice as they crushed my energy for the squats). I only got 315# on the squats, but the depth felt good and I am excited to max out on them early next week!
As for my training, here is where I'm headed with it:
Mondays - AM conditioning with some gymnastics, PM barbell and supplemental work with short metcon
Tuesdays - Track work and recovery
Wednesdays - AM conditioning with some gymnastics, PM barbell and supplemental work
Thursdays - Recovery
Friday - AM conditioning with some gymnastics, PM barbell and supplemental work with short Metcon
Saturday - Supplemental work, Long/heavy metcon
Sunday - Recovery
Goals for before Regionals:
Sub-6 minute mile
30 minute unbroken swim
275# clean and jerk
415# back squat
I have a whole bunch more but these are the main ones I want to achieve by competition time.
Never Stop, GET FIT.