Well, yet again I have failed in the posting-blog-posts-at-specific-times-to-give-a-little-more-order-to-my-life. But, so be it. I'll get there some day. Perhaps when I post up five straight without any grammatical mistakes I can actually call myself a real blogger...! Anyway, I think it's about time I do a little update write-up as a handful of things have gone down in the past week that should be great to share! So, here goes!
I ended up taking last Saturday off from training because my body was beyond beat up. in fact, I was so fatigued that I actually DNF'd my metcon from Friday. Yeah. I am pretty sure that's the first time I have ever done that on a workout that didn't have a time limit. I just had nothing left physically and mentally and I had to call it quits or I probably would have gone crazy. Then, As I began to get in my work on Monday, it hit me like a ton of bricks that I was just no physically there. I needed to take a couple more days off and eat about 50 pounds of meat. I think the crazy awesome amount of heavy lifting and technical lifting has just taken it's toll on me. So, took the rest of the workout off yesterday, took toady off (except for a great yoga session and an hour of touch football!), ate a lot of good food and am itching to get back in the gym. I will play it by ear as to whether or not I get back after it tomorrow, or wait until Thursday. The ultimate goal is to be making constant and great progress!
Now, the food thing. Last week, after getting fed up with the amount of sugar I'd been consuming for about a month or so, I just up and stopped. As of last Thursday I am winging the program called Whole 30. This isn't all that tough for me as I realize i was basically doing exactly that program except for the sugar. As motivation, and to get a little support for the whole thing, I started a month-long challenge where I set up a "private" site for a group of people where we can all hold each other accountable. I chose to not start some sort of strict "paleo challnege" thing, just wanted a group of people to submit a collection of nutrition goals, then post up their food intake each and every day. By the way, if you want in for this, anyone is more than welcome to join. Just let me know and I'll get you all the info you need! It's super easy, you don't have to do my program, you just have to commit to a better nutritional lifestyle through specific goals, then use all of us to stick with it as your life changes for the better!
Finally, I'd like to utilize this blog as a place to bitch and moan briefly about the speed-bumps I have hit in trying to open up a larger gym space. Bureaucracy sucks big time!! 'Nuff said. I will share however, I am well on the way to securing an absolutely AWESOME space, not gonna say where, not gonna say when, not gonna say how, just that Courage Performance is about to blow, up! Pumped!
So, ready to get to sleep, get some good work done tomorrow, and, oh, thanks to my food goals, I'll be cooking a good deal more, expect the return of Courageous Meals super soon!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
So far this week has been way easier than I expected. I don't mean that I had easy workouts. On the contrary, as I write this I am just wonderfully sore from head to toe! What I mean is that I was surprised at how seamlessly I feel back into a pattern of being very strict with workout times and nutrition. I thought I would have a much harder time getting back into the diet plan that allowed me so much positive change a month or so back. But, I guess I was able to form a pretty good habit when I did that whole program. And, inspired by a couple conversations today, and thinking about the whole process, I totally understand why. Establish What Works For You: When I was challenged about 3.5 months ago to follow a super strict nutrition plan, it clicked instantly with me. After a few weeks of following what was given to me, I made a couple modifications, and ultimately found a nutrition plan that just straight up worked. For me. And because it worked so well, my body responded accordingly. I lost fat, gained muscle, decreased my stress, had more energy and slept better. And because of all these positive changes, I psychologically became "hooked" on this lifestyle. My desire to stay up super late, to watch TV, to eat cookies, to skip workouts, all those things that I tended to do before, they all just went away. I learned first-hand that the body really, truly wants to be fit and healthy; and if you take the time and effort to allow it to be, it will crave those GOOD things instead of the bad. Now what works for me may not work for you. But the idea of cleaning everything out completely allows for your body and mind to have a cleaner slate so that you can honestly look at what works. For me, eating every 3 hours works wonders. Consuming the proper amounts of foods during those meals helps even more. I don't know what works for you, and a believe me, sometimes this can be really freaking hard. It took me about four years to find out how to literally melt body fat off me. And I am a fitness expert who has the time and wherewithal to try many different things. S be patient. There IS a process that works for you if you are willing to search for it. This brings me to my next point: Don't Be A Wimp: Yeah, I said it, you're going to have to be tough. One of my conversations today was with a lady who was feeling really lethargic, gaining weight, having skin issues, and struggling with sleep. I asked her about her eating habits and simply suggested she keep a food journal. A month later (today) I asked her how it was going and she said she only kept the journal for about a week and then just forgot about it. Interestingly enough though, upon my bringing it up she realized that the week she kept the journal was the most energetic and stress-free week in a long, long while. This made me think; not about the obvious, that having more control of your food makes you eat better, but of the effort she, and so many others put into change. Here's what I mean. It's crazy daunting to think that the way you live and eat is flat out hurting you, and that it is actually possible to change. this is the part that is NOT easy in any way. You have to change a habit. And usually, this is a habit that's been engrained in your brain and body for years and years. So think logically through this one with me. If you've taken years to create a way of living/eating, do you really, honestly expect to change that habit in a week? Thinking of it this way, it should actually be a breath of fresh air to know that you can mostly change habits over the course of a short month! Either way, it's tough as hell to change like this (a "how to" on this is clearly a great topic); but, suffice to say that if you can find a way to dedicate a month to your program, things will inevitably become a LOT easier. Again, the body wants to be healthy, give it time to recognize the healthy things you are doing and it will react positively. A concept that is really well described by Robb Wolf in his awesome book The Paleo Solution is that you can eat as much as you want. Totally, go to town! It’s just that when you are eating clean and living well, “as much as you want” tends to be healthy doses. This occurs because your mind and body are more closely connected. You finally stop eating emotionally and you eat to live. Finally, Your Flow: I think I’ve found my flow. I think this because even when I fall off for a month, it’s so much better than I’ve ever been my whole life. Sure, when things are down and I am more emotionally unstable I may have a cookie or ton; but I have formed the habit of eating regularly. So the point to all this, the only way to really find that flow enough that it is engrained in you as a genuine part of you life. Give it all a fare shot. Take your time, trial and error, add things, take things away, chart EVERYTHING, be patient and be tough. You’ll have to go through hell before the simplicity of being healthy can actually occur. So don’t lie to yourself in thinking that you can figure it all out in a couple days. Trust me, it will not happen. If you want to be healthy, fit and happy, you need to commit to following a program for at least a month (preferably 2 or 3). And always remember: it took you years to become as unhealthy as you are now, you need to understand that true change may take a little time. Never Stop, GET FIT. Josh Courage
I am sitting at Lindsey and my “home” for the time being; and, along with making about 10 pounds of Courage Bars (they are settling in the fridge as we speak!), I have been bearing down on the focus that begins tomorrow for me. There has been so much going on over the past couple months: gym space search, house hunting, shifting of programming in the gym, bringing on tons of new clients, two of my best friends moving away, prepping for the “Into The Wild” adventure, and that is just skimming the surface. All of this stuff I’ve decided to take on has taken away from the focus I decided I needed towards training for next years CrossFit Games. So, while enjoying the wedding of my good ol” host sister from my baseball playing days, I have hit that point where it is time to re-focus my attention. This blog has been a really good recourse for me in terms of getting my thoughts out there, and it’s time to make myself accountable as publicly as I know how. Food. As most of my readers probably know, I have been delving a little deeper as of late into nutrition. But, over the past couple weeks, my own ability to follow all of my incredibly intriguing findings has slipped away like crazy! I need to get back on track! So, tomorrow it happens. I am back on my eating every 3 hours kick that had such a great effect on my body fat, mood and energy. I am back on eating 100% clean. To make sense of this, if you’ve ever heard of Whole9, it’s basically like that. I am eating chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds and TONS of veggies. I will be consuming ZERO sugar (in any form at all), dairy, and oil and I will be having a bowl of oatmeal almost every day which will be the only grains I’ll consume. Eating like this did so much for me and I want to find that again. Sleep. I have been having a harder and harder time getting to sleep at a reasonable hour and I am re-committing to getting into bed by 11pm every night. If I fall asleep then or not, doesn’t matter, I want to form the habit of getting in there and letting my body begin to relax at an earlier hour than the 1am or worse I have been using. Training. Here is where it gets fun! My training has actually been really good, but with the crap nutrition and lack of sleep, my gains have been slipping a bit. Also, I feel as through the program I’ve been on has been so open to modifications by myself, that I end up taking advantage of that situation. What I mean by this is that it feels like each day I’m sort of just winging the whole thing. I need more structure if I want to get to where I want to get. So, I did what I would suggest to anyone who wants to get their training in order, I hired up a coach. Rudy Nielson is the owner and head coach out of Outlaw CorssFit in Alexandria, VA. I met him a couple years back and he has proven himself over and over again as a coach who produces top level CrossFitters. All of his athletes are such beasts, so, I figured I’d get in touch with him and see what he could put together for me. Now, this is going to be an interesting process as I am a bit of a programming geek. Let’s put it this way, Rudy can expect my open and honest critic on this process along the way! I expect nothing but great things from this, and I am so excited to have a program put together for me for pretty much the first time in my life! It’s time to see what happens! I’m not done with my program though. All last week I was realizing how sporadic my actual training is. I would workout in the mornings sometimes, sometimes later on in the day. Sometimes I would go ahead and do 3 workouts in a day, just kind of depended on how I felt and the time I had. I have always known that for me, to get really, really good at something, I need to get on a schedule and stick to it. So, I put together a plan where my workouts are added into this schedule as well. I am not going to hold myself to it like crazy, as I think that leads to a sort of obsessive behavior. I just want to have more structure. So again, starting tomorrow I will be weight training on Rudy’s program, 3 days on, 1 off, 2 on, 1 off. I will be getting 2 times per week of ashtanga yoga at Ashtanga Yoga Center DC and swimming at Wilson Aquatic Center. I will also most likely be getting back into my old Jiu-Jitsu training twice per week at Ultimate Heights MMA (I will be writing about this a bit later…). All of this is set in a schedule in terms of what days and times as my sleep and fueling schedule will work with it all. Whew! I am so damn excited to get started! This whole scheduling concept is also going to be set a little towards my blog/article writing as well. So expect to see some new patterns in posts. This one, the update on my training with some insight into why and so on, can be expecting early each and every week. You’ll see what’s to come the rest of the week! Never Stop, GET FIT. Josh Courage
About a year and a half ago I figured it was time to give the whole Paleo Diet a try to see what all the fuss was about. I was already gluten and dairy free, I just had to cut out sugars, additional grains and legumes. As with most Of my nutrition challenges, I was going to try this out for a month and see how I felt.
Well, almost three months later I dug into a glorious piece of gluten-free pumpkin bread and right then and there I decided to quit the Paleo Lifestyle and head back to the way I was eating before. For me, with the level of activity I had, I just could not handle the lack of carbohydrates, and my energy levels not only plummeted, but stayed down for the entirety of the experiment. Total bummer man! And what annoyed me so much about this not working for me, was that I had known SO many people who had this plan work absolute miracles for them. Oh well I thought, and I was back to minimal grains and legumes, along with higher energy levels and an overall better sense of self.
Now, pushing two years later, I began a program that has worked these miracles on me. Losing 15 pounds of fat, seeing dramatic gains in my lifts, having hoards of energy all day long, and sleeping deeper and better than I have in years. And here's the catch of this post: about three months in (last week sometime) I all of a sudden realized I was eating completely and totally Paleo.
How the hell could this be? How could something completely NOT work for me at one time, then, out of the blue work so damn well? Real quickly (because this post is not about this phenomenon), it's because I was not focused enough on the meal plan. My meals were not balanced, I doubted the plan while doing it, there was no pattern to how I was doing it, and I ate out WAY too much. But how does this tie in to what I am talking abut here? Well, it's the approach. This time around I had a totally different approach in how I decided I would eat to fuel my life. I would eat because needed fuel, not because I craved and desired certain foods. This effected my results dramatically from a psychological standpoint because I was focused on the foods direct impact on my well being rather then if I liked it or not. I wasn't dieting, I was changing my life.
When the dust settled I found that shifting the way I viewed what I was doing completely altered the outcome. For almost two months now (except for around 4-6 meals) I have eaten only food that I could have eaten in the complete wild. Almost all of these meals I have made myself, seasoning to my liking with natural herbs and spices. I have cooked it all by either grilling it, sticking it in the oven, steaming it, or eating it raw. To keep this up while taking on a full client and training schedule, I have found wonderful comfort in spending a few hours every four days or so in the kitchen and out at the grill. I cook up 4-8 chicken breasts, turkey, fish, and bacon (turkey and pork), pounds of broccoli, asparagus and spinach and I hard boil dozens of eggs. They all get stored in glass containers in the fridge, and when it's meal time, I'm ready no matter what! The best part is, I've shared my meals with a handful of people and all have been blown away by the simplicity and taste. Point being, I have yet to even hint at being bored with what I am making.
To add to this new fueling pattern, I have been keeping up with my typical workout schedule. Plenty of gym work for sure, but more often then not, I am outside. I am using the great outdoors more and more as my playground to stay active. Shirtless, drenched with sweat, wielding a sledge hammer and a sandbag in the woods. I then head home to a feast of grilled chicken, mixed nuts and a plate full of leafy and cruciferous greens. It's days like these (most days out of the week) where I have the same thing always running through my mind: I feel like a Warrior; I am alive, I am happy.
I have decided that I am NOT on the Paleo diet, I am not on any diet. I simply live the life that is closest to what I believe we as humans should live. I spend my time outside as often as possible, I eat foods that are found only in nature, and I constantly challenge myself to be fitter, stronger, healthier and happier each and every day. If I had less responsibility I would probably be living in the woods somewhere, wearing little clothing and spending my days just surviving. Warriors were the original athletes. If they wanted to live, if they wanted their communities to thrive, they had to be able to overcome all sorts of physical and mental challenges. They pushed themselves each and every day to not only survive, but to support survival in the people around them.
Eat, train, sleep/recover, socialize, prepare. Let's look at that in a little more detail. Eat (food. Real, good food). Train (get outside and run, climb, crawl, lift, push, pull, swim, throw and slam). Sleep/recover (relax, let muscles and mind regenerate). Socialize (be part of a community that you love and support and that loves and supports you). Prepare (know your surroundings, know yourself, prepare for the unknown and know what to do if you are not prepared).
Become a Warrior.
Never Stop,GET FIT.
I haven't really chatted about my own personal stuff for a few days so I figured I'd throw up a little update on how it's been going. This week begins the last week, a deload, of the strength program I was on for two months and I was able to see some pretty impressive gains throughout. With a solid 3 reps at 385# on the back squat, a real good 505# on the deadlift and a comfortable 3 reps at 155# on the strict press, along with a perfect combo of supplemental work, I feel so much stronger. All this combined with some insanely rapid fat loss (15 pounds of legit weight lost in 1 month) and I am feeling like I am on the right track.I have yet to decide exactly what program I am going on starting next week, but I have been researching both the Wendler 5/3/1 program (I did this for about 4 months or so last year) and the crazy looking West Side Barbell program. Not sold on either one yet, and I may just go ahead and take aspect of them and fit them into a program that fits me, not totally sure just yet. All I know is that I want to get a whole hell of a lot stronger over the next three months so, whatever program will help me do that is what I'll be following. Running more, CrossFit style metcons here and there but not really a main focus, swimming will start up more, and mobility and gymnastics will begin a bit more as well starting next week. I'll be eating exactly the way I have been, it's been working wonders for me and I don't see a reason why I would switch that up at all. So, really not too much to talk about in terms of nutrition. Turns out the whole Paleo concept is working for me this time around (although i didn't even realize I was eating Paleo until about two days ago, and maybe that's why it's been working!) and I really don;t have any sort of good reason to stop. One point to make about the food though is today. I felt really groggy all day and I quickly realized that besides breakfast yesterday, I had all my meals from a store (Sweet Green salad, Chicken Out turkey and veggies, Whole Foods fish and veggies). While I ate super clean from all those places, I am totally aware of the sodium, sugars and potential other additives that I would not have had if I had made the food myself. A note was made to avoid eating out. No matter how clean the food is, it's never as clean as when you make it yourself.So, what you will see with my physical training starting next week: a new strength training regimen that will really kick my strength to a whole new level, continued runs, 1-2 swims a week, mobility practice probably each and every day, more gymnastics work. Another bit of interesting happenings today was a strange sort of culmination of a few things that really messed with me emotionally. At first I got depressed, then I got super motivated, it was interesting to experience. With the CrossFit Games coming up this coming weekend, information and videos have been popping up like crazy, and I have been catching so many of my friends and old training partners, now celebritized through the internet with their impressive growth in the sport. While I am so happy for all them, there is a piece of me that is so envious that they are there while I am at home; I was able to get so close. This was compounded by a really nice lunch and catch-up couple hours with my good friend and Washington Nationals pitcher John Lannon. As always with baseball, it was so great to be around him and talk about the game and such, but it brought back memories of how close I was able to get to "making it" as a baseball player. The depression hit me that I am always just so close to getting there, but not quite. I am really good at so much, just not good enough. Then the motivation hit that I know, deep down, that if I can commit to something, with the abilities that I have, I can really make something happen for myself. Focus and determination will take you far, and I if this whole CrossFit thing is something I am seriously considering giving a shot, I certain I can make it happen (it's eye opening to me to see how far i made it with the training and nutrition plan I was on leading up to it all!). I have a plan, it's being prepared, I am excited.Never Stop, GET FIT.Josh Courage
My life is a constant journey that tends to catch ME off guard on a pretty regular basis. And I wouldn't have it any other way! I have dedicated my life to accepting challenges whenever I can, why? Well, I've found out over the past couple years that I am capable of more than I can possibly fathom; and the excitement, energy and happiness I find when I'm in the midst of a challenge is what I live for! And to add to the greatness of testing limits, exploring, and trying new things, I meet so many awesome people and am introduced to so many awesome things along the way!
I have endless stories already, and I'm only 29 years old; when I think about this I get goose-bumps! I am so excited to see what my life will bring! I figure I'll share stories for as long as I possibly can, but today I am inspired to talk about one in particular. One of my regular journeys over the past 5 years or so has been searching for the perfect protein bar. No joke, I have gone into Whole Foods on more than one occasion and collected upwards to $100 worth of different bars to bring home and try out. I got hooked on Clif Bars for a while, eating 2+ a day for a few months (then I comprehended the amount of sugar and additives in each one, as well as the really awkward claim of 70% organic, what the heck is that? I was always so disappointed in the fact that the legitimate food-based bars (meaning, the ingredients where simply food, not a collection of foods, additives, chemicals, sugars and more) tasted like such crap. After a few years of trying practically every bar I could imagine, I ended up opting for a few regulars: Builders Bars (the higher protein version of Clif Bars), Boomi Bars (almonds, whey protein and honey. Bland but exciting to me!) and Lara Bars (basically dates and a few other simple food ingredients. Never really enjoyed the taste, but the idea of them I liked). I even opted for making a bar so that i wouldn't have so much sweetener in them. Didn't work out all that well...
Then one day my lovely girlfriend Lindsey came in with something she found at the Whole Foods near our house in San Mateo, CA. She said she found it hidden in the refrigerator section and the name caught her eye. It caught my eye too: Core Warrior Bars. Bad ass. I looked at the ingredients and saw this: 100% organic, whole oats, almonds, raisins, whey protein, ground spices. My brain went to "crap, this is surely going to disappoint" mode, but I needed to give it a try of course! And just like that I had found my new favorite meal replacement, post workout fuel, snack, dessert, stable addition to my diet for the rest of my life. They were so, damn, good!
After stocking the fridge with the couple flavors they had, and officially implementing them as a regular mainstay in what I ate, I figured I might as well check out the company in a little more detail. Never thought I'd get even more hooked on a company, but they quite literally stood for everything I believe in. A small, San Francisco area company that makes organic, raw, real-food-based protein bars, that also is a non-profit, carries a ZERO carbon footprint, and is dedicating to sticking to their insanely respectable values no matter what! I had to meet the owner!
The first time I met Corey was at The Courage Games in Burlingame, CA, It was 40 degrees, pouring rain, and 120 or so athletes and spectators were toughing it out all day with the crazy workouts I programmed for an awesome competition. Corey pulled up in his car and offered samples for most of the event and when I walked over to introduce myself and chat for a bit, he promptly hugged me and claimed how awesome this event was! New friend for life in my opinion! The guy is exactly what you would hope for in an owner of such a company. He has traveled all over the world researching and getting to understand food, and in the end, did to not only make these bars, but dedicated all his energy to supporting healthy and lasting growth in all people. Rock, freaking on!
This is what I strive for in my journey: meeting people who want to inspire health and happiness in the world and are actually DOING something about it. And the trifecta: the product produced is so good it blows my mind (the perfect trifecta simplified: desire to inspire, doing something to inspire, actually succeeding in inspiring!). Yesterday and today alone I sampled the bars to just about 20 different athletes who came through The Garage and got an overwhelming, 100% YES, give us more! I am excited, proud and so happy to now be a part of the Core Foods mission, as I feel it fits perfectly with the ongoing journey that is my life. If you want the perfect post-workout meal, I highly suggest you give these things a try. And you can guarantee to see these things on my person wherever I go from here on out.
To earn my Core Warrior re-fuel today, I hit my lock-out and supplemental-work strength session. Then Big Dan came over and we hit this little doosy from our friends at Outlaw CrossFit:
5 rounds for time of:
6 muscle ups
12 man on fire burpees (drop, roll, jump, repeat!)
18 wall balls
The weather was perfect, the park was empty and splashed with sunshine, the workout partners were pumped (George came too, and got a fun workout in the sand pit!) and the workout was perfect. I felt so strong after weighted pull ups and dips and was able to blast through the workout much faster than I imagined I would at 19:28. Dan struggled a little with the muscle ups (he is usually WAY better than me at them) and finished in the low 20's. We all walked home, covered in dirt and grass and feeling awesome! I love working out.
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Today I took a wonderful rest day. Got some Vitamin D by the pool while napping briefly and getting some good reading in, foam rolled like mad and analyzed the hell out of my nutrition program! I have so much I want to try out, I'll just have to start a nutrition To-Do list. The main thing Ive been doing more and more is charting everything. I mean EVERYTHING! It is an incredible experience to write down what's going on in your life in a very technical manner, it inspires so much more awareness of your lifestyle and I really believe it's a great way to take proper and logical steps to becoming a healthier person!
Tomorrow I'm back in The Garage for my second to last de-load workout, and I'll hit some light conditioning along with some skill work. Super excited for Sunday when I'll be headed up the greater North East to vacation with Lindsey! Lot's of relaxing, tanning, reading and working out; perfect.
Well, that's it for today, just a short little post. I have my second Courageous How-To coming up soon, so look for that tomorrow or Friday!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Less than a week into my nutrition experiment I have basically come to the realization that TIMING is what it's all about if you want to cut fat. Now, before I go into a few more details on this, I need to stress two major points: first, I am only speaking from 6 days experience. Second, this is working for ME. While I am convinced it would work for pretty much anyone to a certain extent, everyone must recognize and accept that what works for one person, may not work as well, or at all for another.
So here's exactly what I've done: I've upped my carb intake to 3/4 cubs oatmeal for my first meal and 1 cub sweet potatoes for my second (along with plenty of protein and good fats) and I decreased my overall caloric intake per day by only about 400-500 calories (I'm taking in about 2500 minimum a day now). So, all in all, not TOO much has changed in my plan except one main thing: I am eating every 3 hours. I set an alarm on my phone, and I eat within 20 minutes of it going off. The result: I have gone from 213.8 lbs to 206.4 lbs in 6 days. Word. And to top it off, the numbers on all my lifts have gone up, and my energy levels have gotten a bit better.
Simple as that folks!
I plan to keep this up for a while to see what happens, and after that, I will be adding a little more diversity and freedom to the plan while keeping daily macro-nutrients around the same level and sticking to the whole 3-hour thing. While I got this plan from a friend, who got it from a friend, it is almost identical to Tim Ferriss's plan for cutting the last 5-10lbs of unwanted body fat, and meshes well with a whole slew of info I have gathered from my main resources such as T-Nation and The CrossFit Journal. If you look around, there is an endlessly confusing amount of information out there on how to lose weight, but as most things, it really is a lot simpler than people think. If you want to give it a try, start by simply attempting to get your meals in every three hours. For most people that will be the toughest challenge, but if you are willing to come across as a little strange to your friends and coworkers, then set your alarms and challenge yourself a little. A note on the reactions of people around you: I have tried to engage these people when I can and found out that all of them were actually more intrigued and even a little envious then weirded out. So, think about that a little bit before you use other people as your excuse for not giving this a try.
Anyways, more on that in a couple weeks; for now, let's catch up on the lifts. I took a solid rest day yesterday and then eventually got to my workout today. I ended up training with a client of mine who came in to get some extra work, and training with another person, as always, helped out a ton! I was supposed to do 5x3 deadlifts but did 5x5 (didn't even realize this until just ow by the way), and last week I got 5x3 at 365#. Today O got 5x5 at 405# and felt strong. The rest of the session was damn good, and then I headed out for a nice little 3-mile run at dusk. Real nice! Tomorrow is my last heavy day before a de-loading week, and then the month after that is set aside for some SERIOUS gains! Can not wait!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
So this past weekend I was up in Harrisburg PA for a baseball tournament. For those of you who do not know Harrisburg, it is about as Blue Collar as you can get. An awesome downtown along a great river, and it is completely surrounded by industrial everything! Beyond that is a mix of of totally rural and some smaller suburbs, but for the most part, I would say that while it's a pretty decently sized city, the majority of the area is very rural. The other coach I was with is an extremely insightful guy, very in touch with the goings-on of the world and so on, and one thing he is always very intrigued by is food and how he, and we as people eat. Having not really spent all that much time outside of the city, he made a quick and very poignant observation upon walking into a local Target in an industrial suburb of Harrisburg. They had awesome food choices.
Not only did they have impressive selections of eggs, fruits, veggies, meats and nits, but the more noticeable point to be made was that the "good for you foods" were all at eye level. For those of you aware in the typical grocery store (even Whole Foods does this too) you will find the more processed "sugary" foods always the most easy to grab, while the healthier options are just a hair out of reach. It was actually pretty interesting to see, the natural, no-sugar-added peanut butters and such were right there in front of you, while the Jiffs and other crazy inventions (combined peanut butter and jelly in a jar...), well, you actually had to search a little to get to those.
From a completely simplistic standpoint, I understand that if a community has no good food options, it's probably pretty safe to say that the people in that community will tend to be a little more unhealthy. But even if there are decent options, if they are not easily accessible it will still be difficult for people to make the proper choices when shopping. But, when you can walk into a discount superstore like Target or Walmart and have legitimately good options staring you directly in the face, well, I have way less sympathy for unhealthy people in that situation.
So, that's just a little rant for you all, I'm sure I could go into much more detail on this if anyone wants to! On to the workout for today! I hit week three strong, still slightly annoyed that my 5x5 back squat was only at 305#, but it was a great workout that left me feeling like I got stronger! But it was the evening meet up with Big Dan that realy topped the day off. We headed down to the woods and got this little burner:
100 meters out and back KB throw 35#
10 brings climb-overs
50 axe chops
1 250 meter down and up hill run
This was just about the perfect end of the day. The weather had cooled off a bit, the woods and field were completely abandoned (all the regular dog walkers were back at home eating their dinners!) and as always, Dan pushed me to go that much harder! I was able to pant in at 11:10 and felt very good with the time overall. Really looking forward to tomorrow's adventures!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
I sort of fell off the table a little this past week; while the new workout program has been going really well, I have been getting way too little sleep, and my nutrition ha seen better days (can anyone say cookies and coconut ice cream?!!). Anyway, I decided that it was about time to kick it into high gear this summer with a few experiments and what better time to start then now? Today marked the day of a month-long trial of a nutrition program introduced to me by a client/friend who tried it out with great success. It caught my eye because of it’s simplicity and because its similarity to the program I was just about to start: Tim Ferriss’s “4-Hour Body” plan. I still plan to try that one out, and really break it down as best I can, but I’ll just wait at least a month until after I give this one a try.
The only differences between what I’ve been doing (up until this past week) and this program is the timing of my meals and the specific distribution of macro-nutrients. I’m eating eggs, chicken, turkey, fish, lots of veggies, sweet potatoes, nuts, whey protein and oats (oats are the only addition to my plan), it’s pretty great. I’m taking out any sort of oil, no condiments at all, no sweetener of any kind, and while tea and coffee are a little questionable on this I will probably cut back to about 3 or so cups of tea a week. The main aspect of this is that I am eating at the same times every day: 8:15, 11:30, 2:45, 5:15, 7:15 and 10pm. In fact, I have even set an alarm on my phone to go off at these times to make sure I don’t miss a meal (something I tend to do all the time). Also, this will just help me keep my portions a bit more under control (I do have a tendency to grab a bit “extra” here and there, and I think for my body type, that has been a very limiting factor in me getting to where I want to be).
So, that’s my food; I’ll be sure to give updates as I go along, as this is purely experimental. I always talk about trial and error in the journey of finding what works best for you, so here I am doing just that! Now, on to the workouts for the past week.
Afternoon – 5x5 floor press
3x10 skull crushers
3x10 barbell curls
3x8 each prone I, T, Y
2x8 external rotation
3x15 sec. Pallof press hold
Evening – outdoors - 3 rounds of:
25 box jumps (Regionals standard)
30 push ups (games standard)
35 OH squats w/ 52# sandbag
Fun all around, and yes, you saw that correctly, I did bi’s and tri’s!! So much fun to get a little isolation work in, I’m excited to work a little vanity and all joking aside, I expect it to help my other lifts and movements later on (isolation DOES help, but there’s no need to do it all the time!). The evening workout was brought over by big Dan from Outlaw CrossFit and we headed over to the school to get it done. I finished in 17:01 and really felt the main difficulty was the OH squats with a sandbag.
This day was pretty brutal. I rode my bike into DC, did an easy 2-mile trail run, rode further into DC, did 5x5 back squats at 295# (along with a whole slew of other exercises), rode the bike to a park and did a 10-1 ladder of KB swings, toes to bar and a 120 meter hill shuttle run; then, rode my bike the 8 or so miles back home. Yeah, this is why I was feeling so beat up on Thursday!
Just did my strength program, getting 5x5 strict press at 135#, pretty light but felt very stable. My supplemental work felt very good as well. My legs were starting to feel a bit fatigued and my energy levels about hit rock bottom by around 3pm. I had to get to a baseball game then and it was one of the toughest things to sit through with such low energy. This is when the nutrition fell off a little, I guess my craving for sugar and complete fatigue did not mix well and I just gave in. Oh well! It all tasted so good! And, I didn’t really feel bad or anything after, I just enjoyed it.
Rest day. Sore as hell!!
Officially started the meal plan and get some great deadlift work in, 5 solid sets of 3 at 375#. I know my strength numbers are not where they were a few weeks ago but I am not worried at all, they will get up there so soon, I can feel it! I am really looking forward to tomorrows workouts; we have a baseball tournament up in Harrisburg, PA and I’ll get my isolation work in at some gym out there, then, its off to the explore the town looking for an awesome place to get a crazy workout in!
Well, that the wrap for the week. I’ll be posting more regularly stating this weekend!
Never Stop, GET FIT.