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.
This past weekend I was out in the Bay Area visiting old friends, training a few people, workout out like crazy and enjoying the absolutely incredible California wilderness! here is a little rundown of the 5 days I spent out there:
Showed up mid morning on Wednesday, grabbed some food with CrossFit San Mateo's owner and head coach Brendon Mahony, then stocked up on some food, Courage Bar ingredients and soon enough hit the gym for a good workout. Thursday and Friday were much of the same, with Lindsey getting in Friday, and one of the toughest workouts I have ever done crushing me so badly that I am still feeling the effects of it as I write this post today! It was a descending ladder of rope climbs and DB squat clean to thrusters, and that damn rope climb beat me down like nobody's business! I took my time on the climbs as I knew my technique was not spotless and I wanted to conserve the grip strength. But, no matter what the approach, by the third round my grip was so far gone, I basically had to take almost a full minute to recover between each one to be able to get back up. The crazy part of this whole thing was that I never had the ability to cardiovascularly recover. i think I was so worked up by the whole thing that my heart rate just never came down. 19 and a half minutes later I finally finished, and it took me close to three hours ot actually feel like i was somewhat normal again! And to top it all off, I ripped my ankle up so much I was having a tough time walking! The one positive takeaway from the workout was my 345# back squat for 13 resp, AWESOME!
Anyways, Saturday morning brought even more fun. Core Foods owner Corey and his girl met up with me and Lindsey and we all got workouts in at the gym. Mine was a 5-workouts-within-one-hour mes that left me craving 10 pounds of meat and a 6-hour nap! But, we all geared up and drove down the Peninsula for a few hours of trekking though the woods! this turned out to be such a a blast. We explored the different paths, talked about all sorts of different things, interacted with a buck within 15 yards or so (so much fun to see wildlife that close up!) and stayed out there as the fog and darkness began to cover us completely.
We then wandered back to our cars and drove down to Half Moon Bay to see if we could find some camping at the beach. Seeing how it was the famous Pumpkin Festival weekend, the known camp-site was totally booked up; but, with a couple phone calls we were directed a couple miles south to Cameron's Pub. This was one of those placers that causes sensory overload with the amount of crummy, hoarded items they keep hanging on walls and tucked into corners. The place was like a haunted museum of beer cans and tin signs; and in the back, a huge field set aside for RV's and campers to hang out for a night or two (or weeks or months as it seemed some were doing). We found our way to the very far end of the field, just outside a spooky abandoned greenhouse and set up shop. Corey got a great fire going and we enjoyed flank steak, asparagus and grilled bananas before catching a few eukaryote songs at the pub and then crashing for the remainder of the night.
After meeting up up another friend Lisa (check out here awesome blog here) for breakfast, we connected with Justin Gubser and his buddies to hit the Pacifica surf for a couple hours. This was an all around blast! And the best part: our last wave had Lindsey and myself riding all the way to the beach, literally side by side, pretty freaking sweet! The cold water and the entertaining crashes and here-and-there wave catches worked our appetites up enough to feast at Guerrilla BBQ and it was off on our separate ways after that. Lindsey and I hot up our favorite burger joint, Roam Burger, in the city before catching our red eye back East. Man what a trip!
I must admit, it'd been a real long while since I've been able to just spend some good quality time with a small group of awesome people, and while I was a little bummed out that the Into The Wild weekend didn't take off like I had planned, and that a few people never showed up for the weekend that had said they would, it turned out to be a weekend I will never forget. Sharing that deep connection to the great outdoors with Lindsey and another couple;e that clearly appreciated being out there just as much as me was so energizing. It inspired the need to do this sort of thing WAY more often! Oh, and yet again, surfing is one of the most fun things to do in the world! Yet another reason to head back out to our second home-town on a regular basis!
Miss all my West Coaster already, but I'm excited to get back to training in The Garage with all my awesome athletes and friends here in the DC area! This is going to be a crazy brutal week of training for everyone, so let's all keep up the support and get after it!!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
All right everyone, time to break it down for you all! After much deliberation I have decided to shift he way this thing is going to go down. I am stripping away a good deal for how it will be run so that it’ll be a good bit cheaper and a more accessible by a greater number of people. This does not mean you won’t be getting a crazy awesome experience! In fact, it may just turn out to be even more fun! The first thing to put out there is that I’m capping the whole adventure at 15 people. So, if you want in, get registered ASAP or you may not be able to get in!
Into The Wild Basic Facts:
Cost - $150
What you get:
· Into the wild t-shirt
· Free snack before first throwdown (Courage Bars, Core Bars)
· 3 separate organized throwdowns in three different outdoor locations
· Prizes from our awesome sponsors for winners, along with a few giveaways and other surprises throughout the weekend!
· Top of the line instruction throughout the weekend from world-class coaches and experts (Josh Courage, Brendon Mahony, Corey Rennell)
· Basics to survival instruction (how to start a fire, how to navigate, and so much more!)
· Organized, structured and discounted access to wooded workouts, exploration, beach camping and cookout, and of course, surfing the famous Pacifica ocean
· A good collection of food supplied for dinner and breakfast
Schedule (basic look here, a more detailed one, with times and such will be posted in the coming week):
· Meet at San Mateo Team Elite, Saturday Oct. 15th @ 11am
· Carpool to first location down Skyline in the woods!
· 2+ hours of instruction and training in the woods
· Break, food, nutrition talk with Corey Rennell, owner of CORE Foods
· First throwdown, “The Woods”
· Carpool/hike to the beach
· Set up camp, start fires for cook out
· Enjoy the evening, eating good food, drinking good drink, singing songs and more!
· Second throwdown, “Midnight Madness”
· Camp out
· Wake up for an early morning instruction and training session on the beach
· Third throwdown, “Storming The Beach”
· Carpool to Pacifica for some bad ass surfing
· Carpool over to Gorilla BBQ for a feast!
What To Bring:
Because this is turning into a little more of a bare-bones adventure, I am taking out the vans, the food and the hugely detailed guidebook. Everything else will stay the same! So, I’ll have some meat and veggies and water along for the weekend, if you want food, bring some, potluck style for the whole group. As stated before, alcohol is more than welcome, just bring a bunch! Be prepared to help out with driving, loading and unloading and so on. You will still be taken care of a TON, just toning it back a little to make it a little more accessible for the first run-through of it all.
· Food (bring anything and everything you want, be prepared to share!)
· Drink (same thing!)
· A couple changes of clothes
· A tent and any other camping gear you may want
· Money for surfing, BBQ and extra goodies (Courage Performance apparel, Courage Bars, Core Warrior Bars)
Again, I am capping this weekend adventure at 15 select people so, if you want in, get signed up STAT! This is the only adventure of its kind and you will be part of a prestigious group who get to experience the first ever! I am super stocked to get this rolling and have all the confidence in the world that this is going to end up being one of the most exciting weekends of the year. So jump on board and join the fun!
So, that’s what I got for you all, let me know if you have any questions of course! Also, I will rolling into town on Wednesday before this even, so if anyone wants to get some personal training in while I’m around, let me know ASAP (I’ve heard from a couple of you, we’ll get it set up soon!). And that’s that. I cannot wait to get back out West and hang with everyone, it’s gonna be a blast!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Well folks, REGISTRATION IS UP AND RUNNING which makes this event officially ON! So, along with that I wanted to post up a bunch more info for everyone, hopefully answering as many questions as I can. Of course, if you have any other questions, please do ask!
The entire weekend will be $350. This includes:
· Detailed fitness instruction from two world-class coaches, Josh Courage and Brendon Mahony
· Presentation/seminar from Core Foods founder Corey Rennell
· Information packet with notes and resources for everything you will learn all weekend
· Three local, organic, very high quality meals from food picked up at a local farm and prepared on site
· An entertaining evening on the beach!
· Surfing instruction from one of Pacifica’s longest running surfing schools
· A bad ass t-shirt!
· And a few other surprises…
As this is the first event like this I will have put on, I have decided to let people pick and choose how much of this they want to attend. If you want the whole weekend, sweet! But if you only want to camp and surf, or just camp, or just workout in the woods, you can do that as well. All of these options are up on the registration site, so, sign up for what you’d like!
Two events - $275
One event - $150
What I cannot stress enough is that whatever you sign up for, you will not be able to change. I am working tirelessly to make sure we have the proper mount of food and gear for everyone coming. So, if you sign up for just the woods training but then decide you really want to join the camping, it will NOT be allowed (as much as I wish I could allow anyone and everyone do whatever they want!). Also, I cannot offer any refunds.
I am working right now on getting a spot for people to crash on Friday night if people want to travel to Norcal for this event. No matter what, if you plan to travel to this thing, let me know and I will offer either good hotels to stay at, or contacts for people who will lend you a couch for the night!
Meet up will be at San Mateo Team Elite in downtown San Mateo at 11am on Saturday morning. We will all get together there, go over the itinerary for the weekend, pack up all the gear and head out around noon o’ clock for the woods!
This is a fitness adventure, so you can expect to work your butt off the entire weekend. Of course we will have plenty of rest and down time, but if you feel your fitness level is extremely low, this may not be the thing for you. That being said, it is not only for super-athletes as well. Everything we will do all weekend will be doable for anyone with a base level of fitness. We are not weight lifting, we are learning to move in nature. You will learn how to run, walk, crawl, climb, throw, and on and on. You can expect to get out of breath, sweaty and most likely very dirty. And, I will pretty much guarantee that you’ll be smiling most of the time.
The first portion of Into The Wild will be in the woods. We will learn how to move fluidly though trails, over rocks and stumps, around trees and through water. We’ll learn how to climb trees, boulders and hills, we’ll learn how to use what can be found out there to your advantage in movement and in training (who needs barbells when you have massive branches!?!) . The second portion of the Woods will be a friendly, but I am sure highly competitive Throwdown/competition. I’ll put together a multi-workout challenge that everyone will take place in, and winners will get some extra goodies!
From there we will all pack up and begin a relatively less intense hike through the woods to get to our next location.
Our next workout will be Portion Three of the adventure (Portion Two is just camping and will be talked about below). We will wake up and everyone will be led on an early morning beach workout. You can expect to run a lot and do all sorts of fun crazy things in the sand! Again, the nature of these workouts will allow all to be a part of it, no matter what your fitness level. It’s not going to be a run for distance; there will be nomonotonous activities this weekend!!
The final “workout” will take place after breakfast when we all head to the ocean for a couple hours of surfing. I put this in quotations because there won’t really be any form of structured workout, it’ll just be getting out and learning to catch waves. For anyone who has done this before (and I’ve only don’t it once…) this is sneaky tiring, so, expect to work up an appetite!
After our Throwdown/Competition in the woods, we’ll hike on down to the beach for a chilled out night. We will cook our awesome food together over an open flame (details on that below), tell stories, sing some songs, and I am sure there will be a collection of “skills” being shown off throughout the evening. Handstand, rolls, flips and so on.
I highly recommend everyone sleeps under the stars for this one, but we will have a few tents for people to crash in, and some tarps set up as well. You will be more than welcome to bring your own camping gear if you’d like, as we will only be supplying a very base amount of gear for people. A full list of what will be supplied and what you might want to bring will be coming in a few days.
The idea for the evening will be to chill, enjoy each other’s company and just have a good time in the California air! While we are not supplying any alcohol at all (we’ll have plenty of water for people) I am not opposed to people bringing along a drink or two. We’ll have a couple large coolers at the start of the whole thing where people can put food and drinks they want to bring along. Of course, if you plan to bring a drink, you should expect to share with others! So yeah, anyone who knows a good local vineyard or something, get the hook up and bring it along! Just remember, we’ll be waking up pretty early to run around the beach, so keep it toned down if you know what I mean!
Yours truly of course will be leading this whole thing, and if you want my credentials, just ask away (or check out the About section of this website). All I’ll share with you about me here is that I basically spent as much time as physically possible outside and have established a pretty close relationship and understanding with the great outdoors. It’s my goal in general to inspire as many people as possible to utilize nature to their advantage to become healthier, fitter and happier, so, this adventure is just about the most perfect thing I could ever imagine!
Brendon Mahony is basically a running genius. The dude has run at the highest of levels and still competes at high levels today. I have learned a ton from him and am proud to have him as a friend and fitness consultant in my life. He also owns and runs San Mateo Team Elite (formally CrossFit San Mateo). He’ll be helping out all weekend, and will be giving everyone a crash course in advanced trail running!
Corey Rennell is the owner of Core Foods, hands down the BEST meal bar in the market I have ever found (and believe me, I have searched like crazy). Everyone will get the pleasure of feasting on his creation throughout the weekend, but you’ll also be getting a little something extra. In the process of getting his company up and running, Corey traveled around the globe learning nutrition from tribes and indigenous people who have been eating their way for hundreds, if not thousands of years. He’ll be sharing what he’s learned with everyone! The information this guy has in his brain is invaluable. So pumped for this!
Pacifica Surf School is owned and operated by a family that I am so proud to know. I met the Gubsers when I began to train Justin, and beast of a football and baseball player looking to tear it up next year in college after a hugely successful High School career. It took way too long, but eventually I went out with him and got my very first surfing lesson. I can’t say much more than: it freaking rocked! You all will be in such good hands out there. Whether you’re an avid surfer, or have never touched a board, it’s going to be crazy fun!
I am working right now to secure the perfect farm(s) to get all the food we’ll be eating from. We’ll be feasting on the highest quality meats, veggies and fruit; along with Core Bar, Courage Bars and plenty of liquids. While this is not a “Paleo”-specific weekend by any means, you can expect the majority of the food supplied to be as follows:
· Red meat
· Chicken and/or turkey
· Core Bars
· Courage Bars
If you have any specific concerns for food, please let me know ASAP. If you sign up for the whole weekend, you will be getting three LARGE meals. Trust me, I will not let anyone go hungry here! That being said, if you feel like you want to bring more, perhaps you have an awesome dish you really think should be enjoyed by everyone, please bring it! And a mentioned before, if you want drinks other than water, you’ll have to bring it yourself. Once you’ve registered, you’ll be getting an email with details about the food and gear. Basically you’ll receive what can best be described as a menu and you’ll be asked to let me know what you want so that I can purchase the right amounts of everything.
As only I do, you can expect the weekend will be filled with all sorts of extra little tidbits (think, random challenges thrown at everyone without notice with fun little rewards, one-on-one throwdown challenges and so on. Be prepared for anything at any time!). Again, a very comprehensive list of what will be supplied, along with a list of what you should bring will be coming in a few days or so. But the main thing to prepare for is that the whole concept is to connect with nature, I discourage bringing tons and tons of gear. But if you feel like you might need something in particular that is not on the list I supply, bring it to my attention and I’ll let you know what I think!
Right on everyone! That’s it for this one. Please let me know if you have any questions and/or concerns and of course, get yourself a spot NOW! If you know f anyone who might be interested in this, please do share it with them. The info is about to go out to a large amount of people in the Bay Area, and I fully expect all spots to be filled up pretty quickly, so get yours ASAP!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
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.
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