So, out here in wonderfully awesome California while the movers take care of our stuff. I’m sitting on our barely used balcony, not a cloud in the sky and just letting my mind wander off on all the fun I had while I was out here. One of my athletes out here told me yesterday that every time I leave, it’s like a huge portion of the gym leaves with me. It was funny hearing that perspective because in all honesty, every time I leave here it feels like a good-sized chuck of myself is left behind. I have made a home for myself for the rest of my life out here and I find it impossible to think that I won’t be back here on a very regular schedule to visit, workout and hang out with all the incredible people and places I connected with.
So, for those of you Californian who are reading this, answer me a one-question survey, either post to comments, email me or text me what you think:
If I came out here on a set schedule (like for a week every two months or something like that), would you be interested in specialty training for the time I’d be in town?
On to the update! West Side Barbell has been going very well for me these past two weeks, and the metcons I’ve been throwing in have been perfectly supplementary and fun! I was able to get 385# for a comfortable 3 on the back squats (matching a PR I got about a month back) and I feel as though that consistent 400+ squat is right there! The posterior chain work I’ve been adding in to all my leg days has been working wonders. I feel my glutes and hamstrings have been feeling stronger and stronger and I can now feel them firing at the beginning of all leg movements now, rather than sometime during the middle (inefficient firing sequence if they are going any later than before the movement starts by the way). The metcons have just been flat out awesome! I’ve been outside for every single one for the past month and I really can’t speak any more highly of working out outdoors. There have been tires, ropes, sandbags, hills, bridges, and more. And the best part about it all is I’ve been using all these tools in as many different ways I can possibly imagine. One of the best ones I did with a good group was throwing a large car tire 50 meters, jumping over and through a swing 10 times, overhead throwing the tire 50 meters, running back 50 meters with it, and then jumping through the tire 10 times. So much fun!
Things have been winding down for the summer for my athletes as well. With about 85% of my client base being high school and college athletes, it has hot that time of year where everyone is taking a week or so off, then heading back to school. So, September will bring on a little lull in training before fall classes and private training sessions start up and I will be taking full advantage of the down time. I’ll be training harder than ever, mixing in heavier lifts and a ton more gymnastics and skills work. And my sprint work will begin to increase as I prepare my body for more focused power training in October.
For those of you who don’t know, I am actively pursuing a good sized gym space in the greater Washington DC area and have my sights set on a couple locations (now, f only the counties will work with me a little I might be able to get in to one of them before 2020!). The Garage DOES totally rock, but 200 square feet just doesn’t cut it for the amount of athletes who have been coming through!
What else, what else…I have signed up for what I am only assuming will be the next great ongoing physical challenge of my life: The Spartan Race. If you don’t know about it, check it out! If you like what you see, please join me on my quest to try as many of them as I can, including the ever-dreaded Death Race! I have also begun the pursuit of designing a couple unique Courage Foods! Basically, I’ve been spending so much time in the kitchen over the past three months that I have been coming up with some interesting ideas. With my wild passion for Core Warrior Bars (and the insane success they’ve had in impressing almost every single one of my athletes!), I wanted to see if I could make a protein bar without any grains or sugar at all. Well, after about 6 or 7 different combos of ingredients, I think I may have come to a base level of acceptable! That’s all I’ll share for now. Maybe I’ll having something in more detail for the public in a few months… The other idea has to do with BACON! What else do I have to say? Hoping to unveil that one in the coming months as well!
All right, there’s a little update for you all! Back to the fun and sun of California!
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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