The air at Courage Performance in San Mateo has been a tad thicker than normal over the past months. Yes, more humid than normal, but not due to the weather. The reason is that there has been some buzzing rumors about possibly moving locations, and the reasons around it. Well, here's what's going on.
We are officially moving locations to a new 5,000+ square foot facility right near Hillsdale Mall in San Mateo!
When you enter in to the new Courage Performance you will be greeted by the front front desk where you can check in and register for our various different classes. Behind the desk you’ll find our offices and a study hall room for our student athletes. There will be an assessment room as well for body fat measuring, range of motion/movement assessments, and general health and fitness consultations.
From there you can enter the main facility. The first thing you notice is the USA Weightlifting sanctioned Courage Barbell Club area. There will be four weightlifting platforms, competition plates and bars, squat racks, and lifting blocks.
Beyond that lies a massive open warehouse space, split down the middle; half athletic turf, half rubber flooring. On the turf side are two large batting cages. There are L-screens, backstop nets, plenty of tees, indoor pitching mounds, and buckets of baseballs. We will be able to slide the nets back so we can utilize the entire space for our programs including kids classes, general fitness classes, athletic strength and conditioning classes, and so much more. On the rubber-floored side there is a pull-up rig, racks of bars, stacks of plates, dumbbells, kettlebells, plyo boxes, ropes, rings, sleds, hammers, tires, medballs, crash mats, and all the other fun toys we have always used at Courage Performance (and a good deal more!).
We will be having a weekend-long Grand Opening with food, workouts, tons of local business we are connecting with, and of course, all of you! There will be tons of new class times and programs offered. There will be massive sales and package deals for people looking to get in before we open those big doors and start with classes. All will be posted on our website in the coming weeks.
I cannot even begin to express my excitement as Courage Performance takes its next big step. The growth of this gym in the last 8 months has been overwhelming, and the support from the ever-growing community has been humbling. As of now we have about 80 regular athletes/members coming into the gym on a weekly basis. We have young kids, high school and college athletes, every day 9-5ers, and advanced athletes looking to compete at higher levels; all of them working under the same roof towards the goal of getting better. Each and every one of them has helped to expand and toughen this brand that I have worked so hard grow. The positive support has been awesome!
And with this move I expect so much more. Our baseball program will expand under the eye of our Director of Baseball Operations, Josh Wilkie. Our backend business support is coming from the great mind of our General Manager, Cullen McAlpine. And we are in the process of interviewing in 1-3 more coaches who fit the Courage Performance model of excellence to help with the expected growth.
The best part about all this is that we now have an absolutely perfect platform to continue to grow Courage Performance. I started this company 10 years ago with the goal of helping and inspiring as many people as I possibly could to embrace a healthy lifestyle. The goal was never to water down my standards to bring in more memberships, or jack prices up to limit who could be a member. I want Courage Performance to be accessible to anyone and everyone who is serious about being healthy and happy. There is no barrier of entry to get fit. There are no limits to what people can do. Courage Performance promotes this ideal, and will ALWAYS stay true to this, no matter what.
Thank you everyone,
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Owner and Head Coach of Courage Performance LLC
_ Just a heads up, this post is specifically about baseball. I haven’t posted about baseball in well over a year, but I was in the cage today and a whole bunch of stuff I had been working on and thinking about last summer came flooding back So, if you’re not into baseball, oh well I guess, too bad!
I have been a big baseball guy for some time now. Many of my readers here know of my background as a baseball player, but in case you don’t, and to get a little better understanding as to how “into it” I actually was, here are a few historical points:
I played on 3 summer ball teams and 3 fall ball teams every year of my high school career. This meant that during a regular season in my teens, I would play upwards to 100+ games. A major league season is 163 games, so, for a 16-year-old kid, getting up into the 115 games range, along with school and such is a bit crazy. Oh, and this did not include camps, showcases, private instruction and getting together with buddies on the ball field to goof off. Needless to say, my life was baseball.
In college I used to go to double practices in the fall (I would practice with the position players, then after that with the pitchers. Then I would join them all to lift. I would then eat my dinner and head back to the gym for tee work and drill work on my own into the late hours. I guess while most people partied, I opted to play baseball most of the time. I just liked it that much.
In pro ball, as a pitcher, I would always keep a bucket of balls and a couple bats in my truck so that I could head over to the field in the late morning and take an hour or so of swings. It relaxed me. Even though we would spend 6+ hours a day at the field, I liked being there more than anything else in the world.
All of my jobs up until I became a trainer were baseball related. I was a grounds crew guy in high school. I interned at The Baseball Factory and did private instruction during college. And I instructed and coached at camps right out of college as well. The first company I ever started was right out of college called Baseball Fitness. Needles to say, I have a good deal of experience in the baseball world and given how I geek out about fitness stuff, one can only assume I did the same thing growing up with baseball.
Ok, pre-theory note. Hitting a baseball is majority visual. The theory I am spelling out talks mostly about the physical and neurological aspect of hitting or throwing a baseball. With that said, my theory should work for pitchers, and should be incorporated into hitting drills. But to become a better hitter, you need to be able to see the ball, recognize the flight of it, and react accordingly.
So, on to my theory.
Cut back your swing repetitions and pitch repetitions per week by at least 50%. This includes swings and pitches you take pre and during games. This does not mean you just swing and pitch les, it is a controlled method of training your reps. Here’s what I propose (I’ll use hitting as my example as hitters generally take way more reps than pitchers):
Day one - take no more than 50 swings to contact. Take plenty of dry swings to warm up, then use tee work, soft toss, or cage swings to accumulate your 50 swings. After each contact, take up to a couple minutes to analyze the swing and break down why it was good or why it was bad. Use that information to adjust to the next swing. Day two - go ahead and accumulate however many reps you feel necessary while incorporating the information you gained from the first session.
Day three – combine the first two days. Take 5-10 regular swings at a time, then take a few minutes to break down those reps and what went wrong/right with each swing. Hit about 5—8 rounds of this and call it a day.
Day four – back to your high rep day, incorporating past information
Day five – repeat day one. This time drill specific types of swings. Go only away, or only pull for all 50 swings.
Day six – high rep day again, this time working very specifically on adjusting to different pitches. Take swings in, middle and away, high and low, and try to have the reps as controlled as possible. If you take 150+ swings, try to make each and every one as close to perfect as possible. If that means taking 30+ seconds between each swing, do it.
Day seven – Same as day six but 2/3 of the swings. So, if you took 100 swings, only take 75 this day. Stick with the same approach.
The reason I think this will work is based on the idea that spending more time understanding what you are doing will do much more for you than just doing, over and over again. Using Olympic weight lifting as an example, it’s about practicing quality reps that helps perfect the ability to flawlessly move insanely heavy weights. The same should go for baseball skills as well. Perfect your ability to actually make contact and/or to throw a perfect strike and any time and you will be a much, much, much better baseball player. I have seen way too many young ball players spend hours in the cage, or on the mound pumping out rep after rep to never see any tangible gains. That’s because they are not letting their minds and bodies understand WHY a specific swing made such perfect contact, while the next one popped up. It is body control, proprioception, having a full understanding of where you, the bat and the ball are at all times. This does not mean you have to have the prettiest swing, it only means you must have complete control over that swing. And fewer reps will allow you to focus on that understanding without over-fatigue and the forming of sloppy habits.
This theory has not been put to practice. I actually am pretty amazed I have never heard of anyone trying this. But, based on my training for other skill-based movements, I am very confident it will help. And help a ton. It will also clear up more time for ball players to work on other stuff, like PFP’s, base-running and learning signs (all things that most baseball players take for granted and then lose layoff games because they suck at them)!! And of course, the more time you have the more time can be spent in the gym getting stronger, or at home recovering.
For all you baseball players and fans out there, I would love to hear your opinions. And believe me, I will be putting this theory to test with as many guys as I can this coming summer. So, then I’ll have real proof!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
As many of you have either tried, or heard through the grape-vine, I have officially come out with the first ever Paleo-friendly protein bar. Inspired by the incredible taste and ingredients of my good friends at Core Foods (bars that I am still constantly consuming, passing out and supporting like mad becuase they are so good and believe tin what they stand for so damn much), I wanted to see if I could make something that would actually be somewhat edible for the Paleo-conscious eater. Hours of trial and error later, the Courage Bar was created.
They are 100% organic, 100% raw, and as the packaging will soon say, 100% awesome! They are totally in the beginning stages of creation, so, if you are not in the general Bethesda area, I am sorry, but you are sort of SOL in getting these things for a while (I am not opposed at all in getting excited emails/calls/comments/texts about how badly you non-DC-area-people want these things and the lengths at which you will go to get some...). Just a heads up to all the Bay Area readers: I will be out there around the weekend of the 17th and will have a LARGE batch for people to enjoy, along with some feedback cards so that I may slowly begin the process of getting these things in your gyms, homes and bellies!
But for now, if you are at all interested in giving these addictive bars a try, please let me know and schedule a time when you can come to the gym and pick them up. And you can expect to see them making the rounds at local events, um, holiday parties..., seminars, and so on. So, here's some of the technical jargon:
Each 2oz bar is about 275 calories
Each bar is 100% organic (yep, even the whey protein in the bar is organic)
Absolutely ZERO added sugar
Completely and totally raw (most people don't believe this one but it's true!)
Ingredients consist of only nuts, coconut, cacao nibs, whey protein, spices and a little banana. That's it!
Keep your eyes peeled for the website coming up soon, and how to pick them up. Also, if you are a CrossFit affiliate owner, be prepared for a wonderful discount on bulk orders!
Ok, so, the other news now. Courage Performance is officially opening it's doors in a temporary location that is the dream location for all athletic and CrossFit training gyms! A 6,000 square foot, 30 foot ceiling behemoth space, right in North Bethesda! It'll have all the gear yo have come to love of a typical Courage Performance workout adventure, along with a breath-taking collection of baseball;l gear for all you DC area ball players wondering why the hell there are no indoor baseball facilities anywhere near DC! All fitness training begins next week, so if you are interested in getting involved, let me know asap. Info on class times will be posted up in the coming days, as well as times for all other uses and prices. So, spread the word, Courage Performance just went BOOM!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Early this morning I headed out with one of my athletes who also coaches with me to Harrisburg, PA for a baseball tournament. The team did very well with a 15-0 win and a close-game loss at 8-5, but we are in good standings going into the second day. Fred and I went searching for a couple workout locations afterwards and found exactly what we needed. First was one the largest Gold’s Gyms I have ever seen in my life. The main weight room floor was easily 12k square feet, and there was a 3k sq. ft. cardio room, a women’s only training room, and massive cycle room (with a projector TV…?), an aerobics room and a huge kids area. INSANE! Still, in all the space there was only 1 cage. Oh well, we were able to do exactly what we needed, and in fact, todays workout for me included bi’s and tri’s so it was the proper setting for my vanity muscle workout!
After we picked up some water at the local Target (a trip that inspired a quick but VERY intriguing conversation, that has inspired a working blog post…), we began driving around looking for a space to get a good MetCon in. We found a spot around the back of a huge public radio building, a shoulder-height stone wall, a ton of different sized stones and a steep hill. Here’s what we did:
3 separate rounds (about 2 minutes rest) of:
5 wall climb overs
2 stone squat clean and throws 20#
2 stone squat clean and throws 35#
2 stone squat clean and throws 60#
1 hill sprint
This was a total gasser! I got mine in 1:46, 1:31 and 1:25 respectively and was wonderfully at my peak threshold, so much fun! It was shot enough to go at 100% intensity, but with enough awkward movement, and enough incline on the hill to make it more exhausting then one would have thought. But being outdoors just makes the pain so enjoyable. And with an outdoor BBQ going on down the street playing music, and an awesome training partner, this was up there with one of those workouts that I’ll remember for a long time!
Now it’s chill out time, focus in on getting the proper nutrition in and also planned for tomorrow, and probably closing the eyes around 10:30ish!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
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