About a month back I wrote out a list of cool gifts to give out as prep for a blog post. As most of you let me know, I fell off the table for that month and never got to the many posts I had written notes on, so, I have decided that it would be great for everyone to have a good new collection of gear for the New Year! Whatever goals you have made for yourself, it's always great to have the tools to support them, and if they are health and fitness goals, well, perhaps my list will come in handy! 1. 2XU Compression gear If you are serious about sport and athletics, you MUST be serious about recovery. These compression pieces are the best out there, hands down. It doesn’t matter what sport you play, they will help your aching muscles recover so quickly! Contact me if you want a special deal! 2. Core Warrior Bars Hands down, the best protein bars in the market, anywhere. Tough to find on the East Coast, but worth the search (online or through Courage Performance is the way to go. Plus you'll get a little discount of you get them through me!). 100% raw, and organic, and tastes incredible!3. A kettlebell Probably one of the most universal tools in the fitness industry; and, one of the oldest. If you want just one thing that can help build strength, stability and plenty of muscular and cardiovascular endurance, simply get one of these balls of steel!4. TRXI would argue this, along with the Kettlebell as another tool you MUST have. A suspension training system you can take literally anywhere and do practically anything with. I use it all the time for myself and with clients as the perfect functional, core strengthening tool. 5. Survival Straps Besides being one of the coolest things a weekend trail runner or adventurer could own (this is my personal opinion of course), these things are a really handy tool to have around. Wear then as a bracelet or belt, and if you’re ever in the need of some tough-as-nails chord, deploy it and you're good to go! 6. A CrossFit membership Most affiliates offer special deals around the holidays for new and existing members, so search around and find the perfect match (the beauty of CrossFit is that there are so many affiliates, you can probably find one near by that fits your demands).7. New Balance trail MinimusI have tried shoe after shoe over the years and in the end have settled on this one as the best. As most of you know, I am a huge barefoot guy, and these are super low profile, but have great lateral support for anything a god trail run or CrossFit workout might throw at you. Get them!8. Ice BathIf you are serious about gains, you have to be serious about recovery. this is one of the simplest ways to recover and also one of the most effective. Simply get yourself a huge trash bin (one that would cover you up past your waist), fill is mostly with water, then dump a couple bags of ice in there. You could also do this in a bath tub as well.9. A Small Video CameraThere are so many on the market today, so pick one that suits your style. This is not to video your latest "Fran" attempt with you ripping your shirt of and acting like a tool, it's to video your lifts so you can break things down and become a better coach to yourself. Being able to see yourself do technical things is the quickest and easiest way to get better.10. Jump RopeThe custom ropes from Rx Jump Ropes are the best I've ever used. And, if you don't believe that jumping rope is a great workout, go try to do 500 double unders for time! Take it on a run to add a little flair to it, use it is any workout as a supplemental conditioning tool, or, of you are a CrossFitter, you know how key these things are so make sure you have the best!there you have it folks, my top 10 list of things to get! Please share any of your good ideas!Never Stop, GET FIT. Josh Courage
To all you who have been pestering me about my lack of blogging, I apologize, I know, sorry, I am back with a seemingly endless list of things to write about!
First off I want to make sure everyone is aware of the slight new design change to the website. I have decided to take down the posting of a daily workout for my gym for the time being as I feel like it is not utilized in the manner it should be. If you have interest in my programming, just shoot me an email and we can get something figured out! The “Workout” blog is now dedicated to my own adventures in training and will see a daily post on the details of my own training towards this coming years CrossFit Games season. This blog right here is now completely dedicated to my wonderfully exciting rants on all things health, fitness and so on that you all have grown to love so much!
So, on to the ranting! It is the end of December, and with this time comes all the empty dedications to crazy big changes in the New Year. Well, I have posted time and time again about goal setting and so on, so I don’t really see the point in doing something like that now. This time around, I want to talk a little about being realistic. Now, this is not meant to be some sort of downer, if you haven’t got from me, MOST of the time I am a pretty optimistic person. What I mean to touch on is how so many people tend to do a combination of a couple things when wanting to achieve goals that pretty much screw them from the start. First, the obvious one, are your goals even attainable? I mean, if I write out a list of like 20 things I want to have accomplished in 6 months, it seems like I’d be setting myself up to fail pretty big time if I have yet to achieve anything even close to that in my entire life. It’d probably be a good bit smarter of me to just pick 1-3 of those goals to focus on so I do not overwhelm myself, and I can really focus in.
The second point is a little more psychological. It was inspired by a baseball client of mine who was getting very caught up in wanting to add more and more weight to his lift. His form was falling apart, he was having trouble doing the lift how I had prescribed it that day, but he knew that back at school he had done this lift with a good 30-40 more pounds than what he was doing on this day. I saw him going to the plate stacks and asked what he was doing. He said he was adding more weight. I said no. As I do (because I am not a “crap coach” and just tell people what to do with no explanation and then wonder why nobody ever learns anything…cough, cough…), I took him aside and had a little conversation about why. His goal was to lift more weight, because more weight = strong. My argument was that his goal should be to get better at baseball; that was why he came to me in the first place after all. Yes, more weight generally leads to more strength, but if your back is ripping to shreds and you can barely hold on to the bar, I can assure you, there is very little in terms of gains going on there. To get into a little more detail, we talked about the following:
Work on your body’s weaknesses; focus on the supplemental lifts, even if you have perfect form. If your core muscles suck, focus on those. If your knees are weak, focus on those (all this is simplified for this blog as writing details on how to supplement for a weak core is completely and totally dependent on the individual training and how their body works). Then, when you are working properly and completely in unison, your heavy lifts will skyrocket and you’ll get really freaking strong. If you just add weight every day and keep trying to lift it in the sloppy way you always have been , you’ll make very small to no gains, and you’ll probably just end up with a pretty major injury sooner or later.
The point to this story was that your approach to achieving goals must make sense. If I write out that I want to snatch 250# by the end of spring, then go in the gym every day and just keep trying to add more weight without ever actually perfecting my form and working through my imbalances, it would take a miracle for me to reach my goal. Yet this is what people do! People claim they want to lose weight, get stronger, do so many impressive and grand things, but then fail to plan accordingly. If you want to lose 10# in fat, stop eating like you have been, because the way you have been eating got you to where you are today. If you want to get stronger, like MUCH stronger, you MUST change your program to accommodate to path you now want to take.
To you use me as an example. I suck at handstand push ups (most body weight movements where my feet are not on the floor I suck at). So, if I want to make it to the CrossFit games, I would assume I can’t really suck at these things; so I need to get better. Should I wake up every morning and just try to do handstand push ups expecting all of a sudden one morning to do 30 straight? No, that would be INSANE! I can’t do them, how would doing them all the time really help me if I, uh, can’t? Like the story above, it probably won’t hurt me, yet, I mean, I may be able to get 2 or 3 after a few months of bashing my head into the floor. But, if I want real gains, I need to focus on the why, design a path for who, then follow that path so that I can actually achieve this goal.
Things will generally not just happen for you if you simply right them down and then go about doing what you’ve always been doing. You need to think a little but more deeply.
Well, that’s all I got for you today folks. Hope you all enjoy the last day of 2011. Hope you all can look back at this year with a smile on your face and know that the next will be even brighter and better!
Happy New Year!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Well yeah, it’s been a while, I know.
I took a moment while at the gym today to breeze through my thoughts of this past year. What a year it has been! I rally took off as a CrossFitter, not only on the competitive front, but also as a coach. I attempted the biggest physical challenge of my life with a bicycle ride across the country. I Hosted my first ever competition. And, geeze, I moved in with my girl, in California. And with what little time I had left in the year, I affiliated, found my own gym and began a new life on a different coast.
I have so much to be thankful for, be proud of, land earn from. Everything that has happened has lead me to this moment right now and I have one option in my mind: move forward, become better, and grow.
Right now I am faced with yet another huge challenge and life decision; and while I am super stressed and anxious about it all, I know that with everything I have figured out up to this point, only good things will come from what I end up doing. I know what I want out of my life: I want to constantly challenge myself, and share my experiences with the world. I want to help, support and inspire health and fitness to anyone and everyone, and I want to live with my overwhelmingly wonderful girlfriend Lindsey. I learned something pretty powerful from my mother and that is to every day do what it takes to support what you love. In my eyes, my life is a constant pursuit of happiness, and I will enjoy the process every day.
Just feeling a bit sappy right now is all. I had this plan to put together a huge, long, insightful post/article for the day, but I have been so out of it mentally over the past four days or so. I'll snap out of it soon, I know that much. And with being able to get out to the hills, and in the gym any time I want, I'll figure all this out so much faster. I also have ths awesome CrossFit Community Month to do stating tomorrow! As of now I have 24 CrossFit Affiliates confirmed to visit and this next month is going to epic! I'm excited to meet so many cool people and challenge myself so much. With my new Flip video camera that Lindsey just got me I am going to be getting some damn sweet footage over the next 30 days. My goal is really try to spread the word of how great being part of a fit community is, so if you read this blog, please spread the word to friends and family. All you have to do is enter people email address in the box at the top of this page! Haha, that's the way to do it!
Well, happy New Year everyone. I hope you all had an awesome 2010, and that it leans to an even better 2011.
Never Stop, GET FIT.