_ Couple things before I get started: Outlaw Training Camp is not a weekend filled with “how to rope a convenience store and get away with it”, or, “lets all learn to ride horses and hijack moving trains to steel a couple hundred in gold”. Nope, Outlaw Training Camp is where the folks who have been following elite exerciser programming genius Rudy Nielson’s program can gather for a weekend and torture themselves with barbells and kettlebells. The second camp he hosted took place at his home gym, Outlaw CrossFit, and I was super stoked to able to join the other 18 or so exercises specialists and throwdown and learn. That is exactly what we did: we learned a shit-ton, and threw down like there was no tomorrow. Also, I didn't take any pictures or video, so, to anyone who was part of this past weekend, please send anything you might have my way and I can post them up!
The weekend began Friday night. We all gathered in the grungy gym and got a couple hours of snatch and clean and jerk practice in. Being around so many beasts, and having not only Rudy, but so many other experienced and knowledgeable eyes on all of us was the perfect setting for a few PRs. I was able to snatch a very clean 205 (5# PR), then a pretty messy 215# (Rudy’s words: “I’m happy I didn’t get that on camera, that was ugly!”). I met everyone, chatted it up, joked around and just about got insanely pumped to see how the rest of the weekend would unfold.
Saturday had us meeting up to get things rolling around 9am. We chatted about the Outlaw Way, and different approaches to CrossFitting, then hit the first workout:
8 min. AMRAP of:
8 push jerks 155#
8 ring dips
8 KB snatches each arm
Immediately following, do a 2 min. AMRAP of Double Unders
The idea was to get as close to a competition setting as possible. We judged each other and stayed as strict as we possibly could. Being around this group lit that fire that I’ve been trying to become closer friends with recently and I was feeling really good. I got 4 rounds, plus 16 total reps on the first part, then got 140 double unders (I tried to move slowly and not mess up at all. In hindsight I should have just done what I always do and go all out with those). This was enough for the top score of the day and we were all ready for more!
Workout two was:
10 rounds of “Cindy” (5 pull ups, 10 hand release push ups, 15 air squats), then 8 min. to establish a 1RM deadlifts, then 5 rounds of “Cindy”. This was a double workout where we were scored on our overall Cindy time (our overall time, minus the 8 minutes of deadlifting) and out deadlift number.
I am not historically good with body-weight stuff, seeing how I am a snugly 220# of rippling chest hair. So, I focused on the Cindy portion and chose to conserve my energy on the deads. In the end, I was able to get 10:31 on Cindy (the 3rd best time!) and a measly 475# on the deadlift (that is 65# off my PR from only a couple months ago…).
We then went through a squat clinic that led to some really good reminders on the proper way to squat. I am really excited to put my new cues to practice in the coming weeks, and I have very high expectations for my gains! That all came after lunch, and then we warmed up our aching bodies for the final workout of the day:
Ok, so, this workout is Rudy’s “greatest test of a beast CrossFitter”, and annoyingly enough, one that I have always been certain would destroy me. Not only that, but with the barbell work the night before, and the insanely shoulder dominant workouts leading up to this, we were all wondering if anyone would even finish the damn thing! My goal going into this was to get 9 muscle ups. That’s all I cared about. But, when I began, I popped right up so easily I was able to get all 9 in just barely over a minute (that is damn good for me by the way). I then proceeded to bang out the 9 snatches in two sets (after missing the first two reps) and was back on the rings. I stayed at this easy pace throughout and was able to finish it in 8:40 (I think), good enough for 2nd (I think only 4 people finished this out of the whole group!). I was so fired up to have been able to “blast” through that one. At this point I have a ton of thanks to give my “judge” for the weekend, Erik, he was awesome support on each and every workout (oh, and if you want to pass out laughing, and are ok with some pretty harsh language and opinions, check out his awesome blog at Beastmodaldomains.com).
Rolling into day three found us meeting up at T.C. Williams High School (remember the Titans…?) in the morning. To put it lightly, our bodies were crushed! So we were all REALLY looking forward to what Rudy had thought up for us today.
3 rounds of:
1 width field burpee broad jump
1 width field buddy carry
400 meter run
This was straight tiring! Luckily I had a damn good runner to chance in Tony Mayo and just tried to stick with him the whole time. He got the best score of the day, and I rolled in about 70 meters behind at 9:50. After about an hour of goofing off, holding a punting contest (eat your heart out fellow 2XU ambassador Steve Weatherford!), and just joking around, we headed back to Outlaw to finish the weekend off:
For time do:
10 cleans 225#
40 wall ball
10 front squats 185#
40 toes to bar
10 thrusters 155#
40 KB swings 70#
400 meter plate pinch carry
Good times on this one. After hearing Rudy preach to us about how we had to be strong. And how we had to be SO efficient like Brandon Phillips is with every god damn thing he does…. I was determined to tear the head off this workout with everything I had. I got the cleans one at a time, but without stepping away from the bar at all. Got the wall balls unbroken (because I bounced out of the bottom and was generally just bad ass, so there!), got the front squats unbroken, then hit a freaking brick wall on toes to bar. I battled through, then got the thrusters in two sets and the KB swings in 4 sets of 10 (these were INSANELY strict standards, so I stayed as deliberate as possible). I was out the door just over 11 minutes, and about 30 seconds in front ofGames competitor Elisabeth Akinwale. We played a fun game of leap-frog for about 300 meters before she just took off to finish. We ended up being the only two to complete to whole thing, and she got a minute on me (I finished in like 19:10 or something like that).
We finished up the weekend with a GREAT deadlift clinic, then brunch.
All I can say is that yes, Rudy knows his shit. Yes, training with other people (other beast people to be precise) helps more than anything in the world. And yes, making fun of the ridiculousness that CrossFit truly is, is one of the most enjoyable things to do in the world! To sum up the weekend in a sentence: (said while at the football field)
“Most people come here to play football. We actually DID something.” (if you don't get this joke, your not an obsessive CrossFitter who trolls the internet every second that you not "wod-ing". And )
You better believe the sport of fitness has arrived! Ha, hell yes!
This was an awesome weekend all around. I am taking this week off for total recovery. I cannot wait until the next training camp! Thanks Outlaws!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
_ As my girlfriend can attest to, I have so many ideas it sometimes gets annoying. And as my dad told me long ago, write everything down! So, the other day when I went through some of my old notes and ideas, I found a collection of them that I thought were pretty interesting. First and foremost, if I actually had the ability and now-how to put my ideas to action, I would be the most famous, celebrated, wealthy person on the face of the planet. And not because I would have invented some teleportation device that would also take 30 years off any person; my ideas are very, very tangible ones, ones that SHOULD be very easy to get rolling.
Below you’ll find a “letter to anyone” that I wrote in the early 2000’s. I distinctly remember feeling very strongly about how people should train, and, having not been able to fond anything that resembled my idea; I decided to let people know about it. What would have happened if I had sent this thing out…?
(Everything below I created out of my own brain. I did not know who Greg Glassman was, I had yet find Facebook, and I longed for anything resembling a “fitness community”)
My Fellow Athletes and soon to be Athletes –
Welcome to Athletic Fitness!
This site is dedicated to giving all athletes around the world, the information and tools to continue moving up in the competitive world of sports and fitness. The material that you will find inside is all here to help entertain, educate and evaluate you, while also giving you the ability to connect to the largest network of athletes around the globe.
The minute you enter into the Athletic Fitness world you become an elite member of the “Fit Athlete” club. With all the information, advice, exercises etc. that you work through, you will be giving yourself the ability to become a great all around Fit Athlete.
What does it mean to be a Fit Athlete? A Fit Athlete has the ability to perform the Ten Points Of Athleticism and apply them to any movement in any sport with above average skill level. There are many athletes out there who are extremely successful at what they do: Dean Karnazas, the “Ultra marathoner”, can run a marathon every day for 50 days in 50 states, and then run from NYC to San Francisco; he is without a doubt the greatest endurance athlete that we know of today. But can he shoot 75% from the free throw line, or paint the black with a 2-seam fastball? David Wells is one of the most successful pitchers in Major League Baseball, with a perfect game under his belt and countless victories; but could he swim a mile, or rock climb a cliff and repel down?
There are endless examples of successful athletes who excel at something very specific, either with god-given talent, or because that is the only thing they ever work on. But what happens when you change your philosophy of training? What happens when you take the specific skills you are working on and incorporate them into a much larger scale and understanding of training?
A Fit Athlete will train for Speed, Strength, Power Agility, Quickness, Reaction, Flexibility, Endurance, Balance and Body Control. Having a strong base with these Ten Points Of Athleticism and then applying them to your specific sport and even your specific position within the sport will take your level of play to a whole new level. And it will begin the new generation of extremely athletic players in sports around the world.
Athletic Fitness is also here to promote the athletic lifestyle to anyone and everyone, from pro athletes, to little leaguers, to mothers and fathers to beginners wanting to have a little fun in life. Anyone can become a Fit Athlete as long as they have the desire and dedication to commit to an athletic lifestyle. We are here to help, inform, advise, entertain, challenge and change you while giving you the platform to communicate and connect to the world of athleticism.
Today you have the ability to experience what is coming. Read the articles and the interviews, take the challenge, try the exercises and respond to the first questions and polls. We gladly welcome any questions and/or comments you might have and look forward to building Athletic Fitness around the world.
President, Athletic Fitness
Pretty crazy, huh? The morel of the story here is to act on your passions. Anyone can come up with a great idea, but it’s the people who practice those ideas that become great. Yes, I trained in this manner from a very early standpoint (when I found CrossFit, it totally floored me because it felt like I all of a sudden found an entire community that already existed that did almost exactly what I did!), but I never pushed my ideas any farther than my own little space. This is one of a handful of things I came up with that have since become wildly successful businesses. And I KNOW that many of you out there have had the same thing happen to you. Make your ideas come to life people!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
_ Over the weekend I had the pleasure of attending an awesomely run and incredibly competitive CrossFit competition; the Charlottesville Superfit Games 2012. This was the third annual event and their first one was my first ever CrossFit competition. While I didn’t have the best of experiences then, it was actually my first meeting with now coach Rudy, and I am more than proud to have represented my Outlaws well!
Late Friday night Lindsey and I drove through the brutal snow to get down to Charlottesville, VA. After a good dinner and some solid sleep, we got to the Boys and Girls club bright and early to get all registered and prepared. There were 80+ men, 50+ women, a full masters division and Open division (not prescribed weight basically). Oh, and another couple hundred spectators making this a massive event for sure! The energy was solid, and the feel in the air was that this was legitimately going to be the most epic event in the mid Atlantic region before Regionals hits us. Soon enough the workouts began (I will do a quick recap of each event, then a little more detail o my own personal thoughts at the end):
Workout #1 – 1 minute AMRAP at each station with 15 seconds rest between of: power cleans 135#, ring pull ups, ground to overhead 155#, muscle ups.
The last minute surprise was that the rings were basically ropes with some nylon lining around them. This made grip brutal for an already grip-dominant workout. Also, it made muscle ups for me personally, almost impossible. So, my strategy was to conserve energy for the ground to overheads, go all out with them and then just do whatever with my attempts at muscle ups. I got 25 power cleans, 12 pulls ups (they were uneven for all of us and it was next to impossible to string more than a few together), 10 ground to overheads and, obviously, 0 muscle ups. I was a little peeved at the measly 10 ground to overheads because I feel like I just dogged it on them. In the end, I finished in 10th overall on this one. Time to turn things on!
_Workout #2 – 9 minute AMRAP of: 15 wall balls, 3 widths court sprint, 5 burpee box jumps, 3 width court sprints.
This is my style of workout, and the strategy was just find a good, tough pace and stick to it all the way through. This is exactly what I did. All reps were unbroken and I coasted the runs, using them as recovery. My internal goal was to pick it up with 3 minutes to go, but I only really took off on my last round. I finished 7 rounds of reps and felt like I had a good bit of gas left in the tank. This was enough for a tie at 2nd, but I knew I could have pushed harder. Still happy with that, but I wanted more!
Workout #3 – 5 minute AMRAP of: 12 thruster, 12 hang power cleans at 95#.
Balls to the wall! Rudy texted not to put the bar down at all. I decided to put it down after each full round and just go. Honestly, I never tired enough to really dump the bar, it was the grip that kept failing on the cleans during the last couple rounds that forced me to dump two or three times. Either way, I went all out on this one and got 5 full rounds plus 12 thrusters and 2 cleans. Got 1st on that one by a good amount. At the end of day one, I was sitting in 2nd place by only 2 points! I went home, got an ice bath and covered myself head to toe in 2XU recovery gear for the entire night. Hit up a massive dinner with a group and got to bed at 9:30!
_Workout #4 – 4 minute AMRAP of: 7 power snatches, 4 lateral over bar burpees.
I literally didn’t realize I was doing this workout until about halfway through the 2nd round. I was so not ready to go. I just went all out though and was able to finish 4 rounds plus 7+1. This tied me for 2nd and I was completely crushed. I was now in 2nd by 3 points and needed to destroy the final workout to get the W.
Workout #5 - 12 minute AMRAP w/ a buy in of: 800 meter weighted run (20# vest), 40 KB swings 70#, 20 handstand push ups. Then with the remainder of the time do AMRAP: 7 front squats 165#, 30 double unders.
I needed to win my heat and hope the guy in first come in 3rd or worse for this one. The run I paced, and I knew right off it was the best choice I made. The guys in front were racing each other and I could tell that they wasted way too much energy. Got the swings unbroken and was feeling good going into my arch nemesis: the HSPU. I focused on one at a time, and awesomely enough I was able to string 5 together on my best set! I finished with 5 singles, knowing only one other competitor was upstairs already doing the AMRAP. I got up there with just over 4 minutes and just flipped into high gear. Everything was unbroken and I paced my transitions, blowing by the guy up there on the first round! I finished with 4 full rounds, plus 1 rep. I ended up 6th on that event, but it was more than what I needed and I pretty much secured the victory right there (baring some extremely extreme situation). While it wasn’t the best score, I felt so good with my ability to get so many reps in such a little time. I have that gear, so clearly, I just need to figure out how to get to it on a regular basis.
_All in all this was a very well-run event The guys and girls from CrossFit Charlottesville did an awesome job, the judging was some of the best I have seen overall inn a CrossFit event, and the competitors were tough as hell. Crazy props to everyone for putting on such a great event, you better believe I’ll be there next year. The only serous hiccup I was witness to was that my good friend Steve Opiyo got shafted an entire round on workout 3 (also missed a few reps on his first workout as well!). If they had gotten this score right, he would have been in the final workout. Even though he signed his name on his score (in a post-workout haze mind you), I feel as though having myself and a couple others who watched him the entire time vouch for him should have been enough for them to realize their mistake and switch it up. Steve did WAY better than his final score had him at. Besides that, it was incredibly impressive at how well the whole thing went!
From a personal standpoint, I am very, very happy with how this all turned out. My weaknesses are still there, clearly, but they are getting much better. My front squats and power snatches were messy and inefficient, but my body never broke down one bit. Becoming more proficient with those lifts, and working on the body-weight stuff is what will get me so, so, so much better. And one more thing: HIGH GEAR. I came into this competition with some crazy blood lust. I have never attempted the approach of going in to crush the competition, but I wanted to see what would happen if I took that approach. I wasn’t able to tap into it on a whim, but when I did, well, I really did. I feel as though if I can harness that energy I’ll be able to do some pretty cool things with CrossFit. It’s not something I want to do the rest of my life, I just have way too much fun to be so aggressive all the time. But, I dedicated this year to seeing just how far I could go. It’s pretty crazy what the human body and mind can do with focused dedication! I finished with a score of 27. Second place had 48, 3rd had 50, 4th had 51, 5th had 52. I feel freaking good about that!
_One big shout out: OUTLAWS! Win Everything baby! Seriously people, Rudy Nielson is a good programmer. 'Nuff said. Having my fellow Outlaws there for support was huge! And, one of the coolest things was Corry Perry coming from 12th place after day one and finishing in 2nd! Absolutely bad ass! So, thanks to Corey, Tony Thomas, Steve and Courtney for tearing it up and being such awesome support. And the best support I had all along was Lindsey. She gets into this stuff man, it’s so awesome. Watching the videos of the workouts and hearing yelling, “come on, Josh, let’s go!” is hands down one of the coolest things to me on the face of this planet!
_The Open is coming!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
_ Connect to who you are at the most primal level and you will become more relaxed. I don’t care what you say, you were not built to slouch on a big , cozy chair or sofa. You were not built to watch hour upon hour of TV, or hunch over a computer as I am doing right this second. You were not built to be waited on and catered to, and coddled every waking second of your life.
We as most people in the world (especially here in good ol’ America), have become reliant on “other people” to take care of everything. Even those of you who have made a life for yourself independently and passionately; those of you who have become “successful” through hard work, 20 –hour days, being tough and pushing through. How’s your health? How’s your sleep? How do you react when you are cut off in the car, or when someone acts like an idiot near you? Do you view your surrounding human counterparts as stupid and annoying, or as beautiful and intriguing? Is your life filled with negativity or happiness?
Find out what truly makes you, as a human being, tick. I would argue it is ripping off all your clothes and running through a completely abandoned forest, or beach, or mountain, or field. All jokes aside on that view, I really think disconnecting from everything we have created to mean human will make us so much more actually human. We were not born with clothes. We were not born with the understanding of technology. We were born wild, curious and deeply connected to nature.
Get outside and chill out.
Did you find an excuse not to just now? Did you create a handful of reasons why I am wrong and decide you’d just keep doing the same thing day in and day out? Or, will you take me up, shut your computer or phone down and go give it a damn try already?!
In the end it’s up to you. Hope to see you in the wild!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
_ Real quick, I have a good collection of posts ready to go, but I don;t have internet in both the gym, and mine and Lindsey's new digs, so, it's tough to get to a WiFi hotspot to get the posts up! Hopefully that will all change next week.
So, are you prepared? This can become a pretty loaded question when you get into it. What happens when all hell breaks loose in your world? What would you do? I’ve actually had this conversation with a few people over the past year or so and it’s so interesting to hear what people think they’d do. Look what has happened around the world over the past ten years; natural disasters, war, craziness all around! I am willing to bet that most of my readers have never been caught in anything like this, and probably have never even experienced it (myself included! The closest I have ever come was the beginning so Hurricane Irene hitting the Gulf Coast as I frantically drive north after a baseball season in Pensacola, FLA). But with all the logic in the world, you can not deny the fact that the way our world works nowadays, it should really not be all that surprising if something happened right here in our back yard.
A well-traveled buddy of mine once said that America is the only place he knows of where we expect good things to happen to us all the time, and get surprised and issued off when bad things happen. He said that almost everywhere else he has ever been expects crap to happen, and is joyously excited when good happens. Now I am not here to go into detail on that point, I like thinking positive at all times, but also don’t want to be that douchbag who gets all pissed off when the weather is “too crazy” to go outside (said in a whiny voice). So, I prepare myself both physically and mentally.
This does not mean that every day I wake up in a paranoid frenzy, collecting bread and water in a safe room and waiting out the apocalypse. This simply means that I allow myself the versatility of training, practice, thought and conversation to better understand and comprehend all that might happen. I train in the cold, in rain and snow, in water, in heat, in the woods, the beach, up on mountains and in canyons (obviously when I can with all this stuff). I don’t use weather as an excuse NOT to train, I use it as an exciting opportunity to got more comfortable with extreme situations. I lift awkward things, I climb, swing, crawl, throw and so much more. It’s as simple as all of sudden being caught inn a flash flood, would you be able to one, be in a non-panicked state of mind, and two, be able to physically do all the things demanded of you? What if you were kidnapped? What if you got seriously lost, anywhere? What if there was a nuclear war? This conversation could go in all sorts of directions, and all sorts of extremes. But in the end, the real question is: are you prepared?
Maybe it’s time to head out and expand your comfort zones a little. Imagine how great every day life would be without needing to worry about weather or not you can simply survive.
Never Stop, GET FIT.
__ Without putting any thought into it, mine is freaking wonderful desserts. I feel like I have an emotional reliance on them sometimes and at one point, about a month ago, I honestly fed off them like crack, no joke. Upon further analysis, I would say actual “shtick” is something along the lines of this: I over-analyze to a point of being overwhelmed. Say something goes wrong in my life. When this happens, I tumble into a whirlpool of thoughts, break-downs, reasoning’s and theories, trying to figure out not just what happened, but how it all happened. That’s just how my brain works. When someone reacts a certain way towards me, I don’t simply respond, I break down their reaction and search for WHY they did each and every thing they did. I will go so far into this where I will break down my own childhood just to figure out why I only crave soda later at night. I view movies, books, music, training, and friends, pretty much everything, like this. And it tires me out so much. I do not have the ability to just chill out and let things simply happen. I need to know how and why.
Imagine hearing a song, one that is catchy, that makes you bob your head and tap your feet and hope you hear it again soon. I hear that song and I am immediately breaking down the melody patterns, how the different instruments were orchestrated to pull an emotion out of the listener. How the lyrics interact with the melody and either harmonize or distort the instruments to add to that emotion and expression of the song. Simply put, I geek out on this sort of stuff, but its overwhelming to hear so much in something that most people simply use as minor entertainment. It sometimes takes the fun out of it.
This is my shtick; this is what I deal with on a daily basis. The only time I have ever felt my brain NOT act like this is when I’m running around deep in nature; this is why most of you know me as a dude who would take any opportunity to escape to the woods and run around. It is the only place I know of where I can get any sort of extended escape from my own mind.
Now I realize this sounds maybe a little crazy. But the fact is, everyone in the world has something that takes them to the point of being viewed as “crazy” by another person. Someone might be a hypochondriac, someone else might be an obsessive organizer, yet another person might desperately need to be around other people at all times. No matter what it is, everyone has something that causes them anxiety and/or distress. The real question I have here is: how do you react to it?
Do you try to overcome it, suppress it? Do you fight it and claim you don’t have a problem? Do you defer to focusing on other people’s problems rather than focus on your own? Do you run or workout to relax your mind? Do you drink or do drugs? Does it make you depressed, overwhelmed, act out, or something else?
I had a great conversation with a really good friend of mine about this today and we came to a sort of conclusion that accepting this thing, whatever it is, as who you are, is the quickest and healthiest way to deal with it. Think of the movie “A Beautiful Mind”, the dude hallucinated other people for crying out loud. And in the end, he didn’t stop hallucinating, he simply accepted that his mind was different than others and he learned to deal with it. He stopped forcing a change, and in the end, when you think about it, he changed more than he ever imagined.
I over-analyze. If I try to force myself to stop over-analyzing, I will drive myself insane. The best thing I can do is accept the fact that my mind functions like this, and learn the best ways to live my life so that it does not overwhelm me all the time. Embrace your crazy. Look at yourself in the mirror, I mean SERIOUSLY take a good look at yourself, and work on recognizing who you are, all the pros AND all the cons. Do NOT suppress them. Instead, acknowledge them, accept them, appreciate them and learn to react to them. When I find myself doing this healthy approach to what I view as my negative personality traits, I find I get so much done. I find myself having amazingly colorful conversations with my true friends about art, philosophy, fitness and fantasy. I find that my mind as also a beautiful thing in that fact that it is completely unique to me. And all if you are exactly the same. You are not me, you are not the person sitting next to you, or the person on TV, you are you. Accept that and you will become the greatest version of you you could ever imagine.
Never Stop, GET FIT.
_ I don’t mean you should become some obsessed fitness junkie like me who can do nothing but think about all things health and fitness. Quick tangent on how bad I can be sometimes: I even thought a large steel frame holding contraption at the damn Holocaust Museum would be the perfect addition to my gym… yeah…
Anyway, back to the point. I find it increasingly frustrating to see how many people either don’t exercise on any sort of regular basis, or, make it a very low priority in their life. Ironically enough, most people out there have some pretty serious issues, like stress, high blood pressure, hypertension, sleep issues, anxiety, depression and then a whole slew of other serious medical conditions. And these same people will sit all day and bitch and moan about how crappy they feel, yet instead of taking the greatest dose of anything they could have (um, exercise), they opt for helpful little drugs. Caffeine to wake up, sleeping pills to go to sleep, aspirin to make their twinging knee pain go away while walking around in horribly designed shoes and sitting at a desk all day.
If you want to see one of the coolest videos I have ever seen on the best drug you could ever take for pretty much any ailment, click on this sentence NOW.
Besides that, just take a minute or two and think about your priorities. You must work, you must be social, you must watch your TV shows, you must take your kids here and there, you must eat certain foods, you must drive a fancier car, you must wear specific clothes; the list goes on and on. And to make sure those things are taken care of you just don’t have time for regular exercise.
Simply put people: regular exercise will make the good priorities in your life better, and the bad priorities in your life seem less important.
I had a guy tell me yesterday that he knew he wanted to workout more but just lacked the motivation. He came and worked out with me today and told me, while beaming from endorphins after an awesome session of flipping tires and hitting things with sledge hammers: “that was fun!” You see, fitness to so many people means a slow trudge through an impersonal gym, hitting a set here and there and then heading home. But there is more out there people! Fitness can be something you crave, something you look forward to every day. Health and fitness can be something that wakes you up in the morning bubbling with energy and excitement for what you are able to do that day. Fitness can be a driving life force in anyone and everyone’s life.
But you must want it. It’s out there, always, without fail and without judgment. All you have to do is take a step or two in the right direction and your life will forever be changed.
Never Stop, GET FIT.
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!
I 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 Minimus
I 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 Bath
If 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 Camera
There 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 Rope
The 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.
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