In the past couple weeks the institution of CrossFit has had a decent amount of press in comparison to the past many years. A good bit of it has been relatively critical and as entertaining as it has been for me, CrossFit HQ lights up the social media with all sorts of backhanded, argumentative remarks about the articles.
One of the articles was all about something called rhabdo (Rhabdomyolysis) which is a severely serious reaction to incredibly rapid muscle tissue breakdown. This causes all sorts of damaging toxins to release into the bloodstream and leads to some pretty messed up symptoms.
So, CrossFit teaches about rhabdo in their level 1 seminar, and even makes a joke of the condition by having created a CrossFit mascot named “Pukie”. Anyway, some people don’t understand it, others think it’s funny, some think it’s horrible, and some (like me) just choose to ignore it because CrossFit HQ has always tended to push the envelope with political correctness as they grow (maybe they think it’s cool, maybe they think it will attract attention, maybe they’re just a bunch of weirdo’s, who knows, but they’ve ALWAYS done it).
Anyway, I’ve had a handful of people reach out to me about this article and my thoughts, so I thought I’d write a little something about it.
I will give credit to CrossFit HQ on the fact that they actually raise awareness of it at their level 1 seminar. They are one of the only fitness companies that actually teach all about some of the potential issues that training in their style could lead to. Everyone who has gone to a level 1 seminar will have received a base-level understanding of rhabdo and how to prevent it. In fact, I have had some 5 trainer/coach (not CrossFit obviously) friends of mine admit to not knowing anything about rhabdo, so, credit to CrossFit there for sure.
So, because of the attention CrossFit brings upon itself, it’s easy to assume that training CrossFit will inevitably lead to getting rhabdo. It’s simply not true. Any athlete can get rhabdo, check out HERE, and HERE, and HERE. While intense exercise may increase the risk of more negative issues, it should never be a reason to avoid being intense. Sort of a simple statement that everyone has heard a million times, but: CrossFit does not cause rhabdo, coaches/trainers who push their athletes/clients too hard cause things like rhabdo.
CrossFit claims that since all their coaches have been supplied some info on what rhabdo is, they are actually better informed on how to prevent it than most other coaches. While the statement itself is true, to assume that all their coaches actually practice good coaching methods is a pretty broad and, well, dead-wrong assumption. I have met a TON of CrossFit coaches who have no idea what rhabdo is (and also have no idea how to protect their clients, program properly, or teach proper technique to most movements). To assume the thousands of coaches you put through a 2-day seminar actually care enough to remember and put to practice everything you threw at them is pretty ridiculous. And when you make a public joke of the condition by making your mascot a vomiting, rhadbo-inflicted clown, you’re not helping your cause all that much. So it should not be that surprising that people have a few negative, critical thoughts about the company. It appears as though CrossFit harnesses some sort of pride in the fact that their program has been known to potentially really break people down. A lot of people who actually understand health and fitness know that it is not CrossFit in and of itself that hurts people, but irresponsible coaches that do, as mentioned before. There are bad coaches in CrossFit, just as there are bad coaches with many other backgrounds and certifications.
But if CrossFit really has an issue with people criticizing them, perhaps they’d take a few seconds to change their very confrontational approach. Or, they should continue being confrontational (they claim to not intentionally be controversial, but libertarian), and stop acting all confused and annoyed when people question and criticize them.
Or, all of us people need to realize that this is just what they do. The people who run CrossFit have ALWAYS been pretty abrasive. And now that social media is so popular, and the concept of “trolls” has become a “cool” thing for bored people who think it’s fun to stir up conflict; CrossFit has jumped headfirst into it. And it has brought them TONS of attention. And they don’t care if it’s good or bad. They will fight incredibly established companies and people on twitter, they will talk down to established figures in their own community, they will “play dumb” to conflicts they start, and you can watch the comments and attention roll in.
In my opinion, this is a bit unfortunate and seems to be a little counterintuitive of CrossFit. The concepts that CrossFit originally promoted (and that Greg Glassman talks about when speaking publically) have been some of the most influential in the world for promoting health and fitness. Thousands of new, small gyms, eager to help people live better lives and support each other have popped up around the world thanks to CrossFit. It’s a beautiful thing. Many of the best CrossFit gyms that I have been to (the ones with the best coaches, intelligent programming, understanding of true community and support) generally choose to just ignore the actions of CrossFit HQ and continue to do good, staying out of trouble and controversy.
I suggest that if annoying arguments are something that cause you stress and anxiety, just don’t follow CrossFit on Facebook and twitter, and avoid reading the comments on the articles that pop up about it. They have said over and over again that they could care less if you follow them or not (I’m sure this has led to thousands of more followers as another CrossFit HQ employee has stated). If you like to get all worked up and pissed about stuff, read away! They will not disappoint. I personally find it entertaining here and there.
One of CrossFit HQ’s now-well-known employees made a pretty clear statement about CrossFits approach to what they choose to talk about: “Fuck PR”
My personal thoughts?
I personally love CrossFit as a sport. I train for it, compete in it, appreciate the athletes and what they can do, and how entertaining it is.
I coach all my athletes and clients in athletic performance, not CrossFit. Do you know the difference?
I love that CrossFit has helped create so much more attention to health and fitness. We’ve seen pretty dramatic growth in Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, gymnastics, track, nutrition and general fitness education thanks to CrossFit. That. Is. Awesome!
I’ve made friends and been able to grow my business into two gyms and a pretty successful blog/brand with direct and indirect influences from CrossFit.
I can’t stand the way CrossFit HQ chooses to act. It used get me so worked up that I would get angry (and even now I will sometimes rant on my dislike for them, or allow one of their instigating posts to get me started on a post myself, or even engage them here and there). Now I just avoid their posts if I am feeling like I don’t need more annoying things in my life.
Nothing you or I say will make them change the way they act. So either read their craziness and engage in whatever way you will, or just stop paying attention. But if you want to get worked up, and pissed off, and question why they choose to act like they do; well, you are just wasting your time and energy. Maybe constantly defending themselves and arguing will get old to them, and they will change (I have actually seen a slight shift in wording in that they actually ask for opinions rather than just randomly post stuff with the implication that they endorse it. Also they have been on a kick recently talking more and more about how scaling and modifying workouts are so important to beginners; and understanding proper movement patterns and technique are more important than times. So who knows).
Either way, CrossFit is here to stay, no matter how they choose to act, and no matter how you feel about it and the people that run it. Take what you will from it and try to ignore the crap if it really bothers you. There are plenty of incredible ways to get into health and fitness, choose the one that helps you the most and you’ll probably have a better life. Easy as that!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
PS - If you want to see what I'm talking about with the Facebook and twitter craziness, just spend 5 minutes on either of the those things on the CrossFit page and you'll see. I don't have the patience to link to them (plus, there are WAY too many and I can't choose the best ones)
Last weekend saw the largest Courage Games to date. I'm not going to lie, I was a good bit nervous because i had designed things for a 2-day event but switched it all to one because of people getting nervous about the Super Bowl that would be played on Sunday. I knew the workouts would be tough for one day, but totally doable, and I knew all the athletes would be fine. All I was nervous about was timing everything. In the end, we went over by just under three hours! But, so many people stayed all the way to the end, and I must say, all in all the day was a huge success. Let's recap!
Well first I want to make a few shout outs. First off, CrossFit San Mateo. Co-hosting the event by letting us all in their awesome gym was huge. It would have been total chaos had we not had that great space to workout in and they were all so wonderfully supportive of the event. So big thanks to the San Mateo crew: Brendon Mahoney (who took 4th in the competitor male category), Manny Ferrer (who tied for 1st in the amateur male category and finished 2nd after the tie-breaker), and Melissa Guitron (who was a huge help all day as a judge and volunteer). Next is a overwhelmingly HUMONGOUS thank you to all the volunteers and judges. They were all so on their game and so incredibly helpful throughout the day. This event happened because of all of them and they deserve pretty much most of the credit for everything running the way it did. Thank you, thank you, thank you! OK, on to the event!
Athletes began showing up bright and early around 6:45am and we had a full packed house by 7:30. Sponsorship vendor booths were all set up, athletes had they recovery corners scouted out, both gyms were being explored and the air was filled with excitement for what the day would bring. And the athletes did NOT disappoint! The first workout (a 3-event workout with a max back squat, 400 meter run and 100 double unders, and a max shoulder to overhead) I think had well over 10 PR's amongst the athletes. Things ran very smoothly except for one thing: the damn plates! Luckily all the athletes had to suffer the same challenges so there was no unfair advantage for anyone. But those plates were greased up like nobodies business. Unfortunately we got the shipment in only a day before the competition, and try as we did, we could not rid the plates of their layer of "new plate grease". I know it slowed some people down, but again, everyone had to deal with them! And despite that challenge, there were still so many impressive lifts.
Workout 2 was a quick one, running athletes anywhere between 30 seconds and 50 seconds. This was a short, heavy prowler push followed by a T-drill (an agility test where you must show your ability to change direction, sprint, back-peddle, and laterally shuffle). Given the space, we could only go one athlete at a time, but it went so smoothly and drew a good bit of attention from the CalTrain passengers waiting on the platform. Over 100 people crowded around and cheered on the athletes as they drove those sleds from Courage Performance to CrossFit San Mateo for the agility test. It was damn awesome. The day moved on with a ton of positive energy as the sun broke through the clouds and hanging around outside seemed to be a pretty nice thing to do between workouts. And that good atmosphere was needed as the athlete prepared themselves for what clearly was the "beatdown" workout of the day: 500 meter row, then: 21-5-15-9 of deadlifts (heavy) and toes to bar. I set the cut-off time at 12 minutes and the average time on the day looked to be around 9. We all got to see some damn impressive feats, along with a few athletes who got good and beat by this one. From a competition standpoint, this one really separated the top level athletes from the others. From a personal standpoint, I enjoyed having my gym filled with energetic athletes and spectators all getting fired up as the last reps were pulled. My gym is meant for smaller groups of specialized clients so it was a pretty cool feeling to have the walls bursting at the seams with how many people were in there!
Probably the most interesting event was event 4. With 10 minutes all the athletes had to give one attempt at a max reps bench press, then max reps pull ups, then a max weighted plank hold, then 3 attempts to get a max distance broad jump. For me, watching how athletes prepared for this and moved through it was the most interesting. I honestly didn't even know who won the specific events until about two days later when I sat down to go over all the scoring. Some went all out, others took their time completely, while others paced their rest depending on what they had coming up next. I love this style of workout because it truly tests specific aspects of fitness while also forcing the athlete to plan out their entire approach. And it's as simple as not knowing yourself and how to plan these sort of things out that can cause someone to lose a whole bunch of spots in their placement. That's what made this one so exciting for me. This was also one that our volunteers truly made happen. With all the weight adjustments on the bars, and dumbbells (for planks) to utilizing two gyms throughout the workout, all them them worked flawlessly together to make sure the athletes got the most out of this one.
The final workout began as the sun went down and there was a crazy excitement as the spectators packed in around the final 6 athletes in each division. With a descending ladder of heavy cleans, handstand push ups and varying levels of pull ups (normal kipping, chest to bar, and muscle ups) the top finishers had a beast of a workout to battle through as they closed out the day. And yet again they did not disappoint! They struggled through; some not able to finish as the days volume caught up to them, others pushing to their very limits to fought for another spot and possibly the podium. The competitor men's division was awesome to watch because when they finished those crazy heavy cleans and HSPU's, they had to ruin over to the other gym to complete the muscle ups. Each on of them fought like crazy to the very end, it was incredibly motivating.
In the end we had a tie for first in both the Masters men and Amateur men. The tie breaker was: 1 minute AMRAP burpees to a target touch. It, was, intense! But we came out with our winners:
Crashing down onto my couch after we cleared things up a little and grabbed some food, I was able to soak in the entire day. With only a couple small hiccups, this was far and beyond the smoothest and most exciting event I have put on. I could not asked for a better group of athletes and spectators, the sponsors were an incredible support, and my volunteer crew was overwhelmingly helpful and efficient. The day went so damn well! People have been posting pictures and videos on Facebook and I would love it if you kept on doing so, and tagging myself and/or the Courage Games page.
Thank you so much everyone for making this event such a great one. And please keep your eyes open for the announcement of the Courage Games "throwdown series" coming in late summer (I will be hosting one every summer, and a "combine series" event every winter!). I want to be sure to give a shout out to Breeze Scoring for hooking us up with the most flawless scoring system. I wasn't planning on using one until the last second and I am SO happy I did. We were easily able to just punch in scores directly after the workout and have them clearly displayed on the site for everyone to see. Could not be happier with how that worked out. I also want to give a special shout out to Jon with Merrell who stepped up and was able to hook up an athlete with a pair of their awesome minimalist shoes (I've worn them every day for almost two months now, they freaking rock) after I forgot to load up a bar for him on workout 3. He was a great sport about it and Jon at Merrell stepped in big time to thank him for his understanding. Finally Destino Retreats who donated a FREE VACATION TO CABO to our Competitor Men winner. This is just flat out awesome support and the type of thing you can expect from Courage Games events!!
And of course, thank you to the sponsors:
Again, thank you everyone for making this such a great day. I am eagerly looking forward to the next one!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
So, last Friday was my 30th birthday, and it was a damn good one. There wasn't really a plan to do anything leading up to the big day, probably a little frolic through the woods and then out to grab a boat-load of meat to consume! But, one of my long-time clients and good friends asked if her and her husband could put together a party for me. I hesitatingly accepted her offer (I just feel guilty when someone does stuff for me, something myself and all of us should learn to get over if you have that problem!) and she went about organizing what would turn out to be one of the most wonderful gifts I've ever received. There were some 50+ people who rolled through this wonderful house, great food, plenty to drink, and the coolest cake I have ever seen in my life! It was great to hang out with so many of my friends and I must make one quick point to a new group of friends I am excited to have, the Outlaws! Only having met the crew from Outlaw CrossFit a few months ago really, I feel like I have connected with an awesome group of people. And I'm proud to rep the team this coming weekend!
This is my natural transition to my next topic, The CrossFit Games Regionals! Tomorrow marks the first of three days of competition and I'll be headed to the PG County Athletic Complex with Team Outlaw to battle for a spot at this years CrossFit Games! I am feeling so confident in our chances of making the top three teams to win a spot to the Games. Rudy (our coach and owner at CrossFit Outlaw) has done a damn good job of programming so that all of us are more than prepared. And as the first time ever competing as part of a team, I am looking forward to the group dynamic and added energy of each event!
It's been a crazy couple weeks for sure. Training has been really focused, birthday was awesome, Lindsey surprised me with a GoPro camera which is AWESOME and all you guys will get to check out my experiences this weekend from the view of this bad ass camera! And the next couple months look to be just as exciting. I have a trip down to South Carolina to celebrate my host-sister's (from my host family when I played baseball in FLA) graduation/birthday. I have a long trip out to CA to hang with the old crew, workout and do a little training camp at CrossFit San Mateo (and probably go surfing and eat the best BBQ in the world!). I have Courage Bars to attend to and am planning some huge things for them this summer. And I expect to see a record breaking number of athletes come though the nations largest gym, The Garage (all of 200 square feet) through the summer months!
I also promise (as I have done many times before) to write a little more regularly on this thing! I definitely go through phases with being motivated to write. As many of you know, writing doesn't really come naturally to me (as you can tell with all the grammatical errors on this site, something I plan to change, in fact, read note on this below!) so I struggle here and there with the idea of just sitting and writing anything. Either way, I am scheduling out a time on a regular basis to write, and edit video over the summer. Should be one filed with plenty of good info and ideas!
As for grammatical errors, if you find one of my idiotic misspellings, or a major error in my writing (overuse of commas, run-on sentences and the like do NOT count!), let me know and I will do something "entertaining" as self-punishment for writing like a loser! Sound good?
Finally, I'll be posting all sorts of updates from Regionals on Facebook and Twitter (@jcourage), so make sure to follow along!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
The other day, one of my best friends Brendon Mahoney of CrossFit San Mateo sent me an article posted by a favorite author of mine, Tim Ferriss. Check out the article HERE, but the gist of it was getting one of the founders of a show on MTV of all places called The Buried Life. The idea was that three friends would take some time off and travel around crossing as many things off their 100-things Bucket List (things they hopped to do before they die) as they could. And to add to it, every time they crossed one off their list, they would help someone they did not know achieve something off their list. Awesome! The article itself is about how these guys figured out how easy it actually was to get things done f you really want to. Highly motivating for sure, and it left me inspired to make a list of my own, along with apparently thousands of others who found these guys to be great muses. Mahoney had sent out this article to a few people, and asked us all to post up a few things we wanted, but I wanted to take it one step further, so, that’s what I’m doing here!
I am creating a 50-article Bucket List for myself that I will share with all of you at the end of this post. My goal will be to complete at least half of them in the next three years, and the ultimate goal would be to complete at least 100 of these wonderful, mostly lofty goals by the end of my life. I have no intention of challenging all of you to anything super grandiose, but I would like to get you all involved in some way. So, I ask all my readers to post 10 items you have always wanted to do at some point in your life. I don’t care if you think it’ll never happen, if you’re too busy or you can’t wrap your head around actually achieving it. Just write it down and post it up. You’ll see that on my list, there are a few things that seem pretty easy for me to achieve at some point, while others would either be extremely complicated, or extremely time consuming. But that’s the goal of these things. It is a list of all the things I’ve really wanted to do, no matter how big or small.
So, how do you write a Bucket List? It’s actually pretty easy if you are good at being honest with yourself, and have a decent sense of what you like and don’t like. Also, a key aspect to writing one of these lists is knowing that there are no real limits. If you’ve never hiked a trail before but want to climb Everest, put it on the list! If you really want to do something before you die, it does not matter if it seems impossible! This is the whole point of these things. What are you going to do with your life? Will you just succumb to whatever rules you have learned; settle with a life that is just “ok”? Or, will you step up and pursue the things you’ve always wanted? I know these questions can lead to tons of debate, and I would love to have that debate with all of you at any time. But right here, all I want is for all of you to take a few minutes, a few hours, a few days, whatever, to create a 10-item list!
· Compete in the CrossFit Games
· Finish an Ironman Triathlon
· Finish a 100-mile ultra-marathon
· Act in a decent-budget movie
· Host/star in my on TV show
· Spend 2+ weeks backpacking in Alaska and/or New Zealand
· Live at least 1 month with only nature as support
· Lift weights with Louie Simmons
· Climb Kilimanjaro
· Learn Spanish
· Build a house (cabin, legit tree house, etc.)
· Write a “best selling” book
· Get at least one gig as a fitness model
· Finish riding my bike across America
· Ride a motorcycle to the Southern tip of South America
· Base jump off one of the highest cliffs in the world
· Base jump/repel off one of the tallest building in the world
· Go skydiving
· Start a non-profit helping kids and their families get fit
· Get through Navy SEAL BUDS training
· Go 1+ week in complete silence, meditating with monks out in Tibet
· Run with the bulls in Spain
· Hang at a café in Cain, Spain
· Pilot a plane
· Ski and surf in the same day
· Hunt, catch, kill, prepare and eat a large animal
· Cook and prepare a meal for 100+ people
· Stop a major criminal from committing a major crime
· Squat 500, deadlift 600, snatch 275, clean and jerk 315
· Hold a legit 5-second Iron Cross
· Play drums on stage with a major band
· Have a drink with Johnny Depp
· Create a protein bar that sells over 1,000,000 in a year
· Get married to the girl of my dreams
· Hit a home run in a major league baseball stadium
· Swim the English Channel
· Roll with a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, in Brazil
· Get my ass kicked
· Spend the night sleeping on the streets of NYC
· Wrestle an alligator
· Sing the National Anthem at a Major League game
· Learn how to break dance
· Shoot a bull’s-eye with a bow and arrow from100 meters
· Tour the country visiting gyms, promoting fitness and inspiring people
· Brand the name COURAGE
· Make my own baseball bat
· Drive a car over 150 MPH
· Raise $1,000,000 for charity
· Hang out with Seth Macfarlane
· Re-build and drive a 1967 Mustang
So, there are mine. What are yours?
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.
First the technical jargon. Woke up bright and early for a nice jog up the old crazy hill at Sweeney Ridge. The fog was rolling out and the view was not at it's best, but it was still unreal to be able to look out over the Bay, Ocean and City, even if you couldn't see most of it all. A great way to get the heart going. After a nice breakfast it was back to the house to get a little work done and get cracking on some organizing of stuff to be moved. Then, off to the gym for Dynamic Effort bench and some really solid supplemental work. Second day of West Side Barbell was WAY more successful than the first day! After lunch with Brendon (owner at San Mateo Team Elite, formally CrossFit San Mateo) it was a trip up to the City for a little throwdown with the crew at Lalanne Fitness. It was so great to see all my old friends here! We caught up as i gazed in awe at their new space, then got in a really fun skills warm up (pistol squats, GHD sit ups, handstand push ups and bar muscle ups) before getting all set up for "Isa-Grace": 30 power snatches followed immediately by 30 clean and jerks both at 135#...ouch! I was able to bang this out in 6:57 and felt really good with that time seeing how I have not been focusing on Olympic lifting or serious MetCons. It was just so damn good to see everyone and I can not wait at all to get back up here and workout with them all again!
Perfect little segue to the reality check here...
As I've made painfully clear with my last post, I absolutely love it out here on California. It was a really tough decision and process that Lindsey and I went through to move back East, and that decision, no matter how many times and angles I look at it, was, and is the right one. Here's the conclusion I always come to whenever I think about it, or whenever someone brings it up: happiness does not exist unless it's shared (stolen from "Into The Wild"). My own little opinion on this one is that the greatest thing to have in the world is a person you can share your life with. Someone who supports you through thick and thin, someone who trusts and cares about you, and someone who who wants and needs the same in return from you! Nothing I can imagine (and I have a crazy imagination) could ever be more important than that to me; not my job, not my training program, and certainly not where I live. In my mind, I am the luckiest guy on the face of the planet to have found someone who has made me see this reality.
I enjoy and love so much in life. I love challenges, I love exploring, I love sun, I love good food, I love good, nice people, I love baseball, I love California, I love the great outdoors, I love the thick foliage of the surrounding wild of Washington, DC, and I love the feeling when a smile creeps over my face. And now, I actually have the opportunity to share all of these things with someone. This is the reality I clearly see every day. I ask you this: what could be better?
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Well folks, after a frustrating "glitch in the system", the first workout has been officially announced for the start of the CrossFit Games Open Sectionals.
10 Minute AMRAP of:
30 Double Unders
15 Ground to Overhead Anyhow 75/55
Very basic workout, very obvious standards. At the bottom of this post you will find links to all the standards and instructions for this first workout, but what i want to go into now is how we will be going about this one this coming Saturday.
At 10:30am this coming Saturday morning, the first heat will begin for our official hosting of Opens. Please plan to meet at CrossFit San Mateo as early as you can to get yourself warmed up and ready to go. It looks like we will have about 10 or so serious Games hopefuls, and then a collection of other athletes performing the workout just for the fu of competition. The serious competitors will be going in the starting heats, and then we will fill in the rest of the time with athletes who wish to give it a shot. Heats will run in groups of 3-5, so be prepared for that, and we will pick the order while there.
A couple final notes: be prepared to be held to very, very high standards with the movements, even if you are just there for fun. Both Courage Performance AND CrossFit San Mateo will accept nothing less than perfection, and because of that, w will hold a 10 minute briefing directly before the first heats starts for all judges and athletes so that everyone understands exactly what to expect. Also, we will be video taping each heat, so atheltes can always go back and refer to the video, or even use their video if they so choose. We highly recommend you bring along your own camera just to have that extra set of eyes.
If you plan to come, please make sure you sign up by putting your name in the comments section of this post. If your name is not there, you will NOT compete. Please make sure you post yours and any other names for those who you may be signing up.
That should be it everyone! If you have any questions, feel free to email me or post to comments. Besides that, get to work with some double under practice and we'll see you out there Saturday morning!!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
This years CrossFit Games season is officially upon us with the start of the new format Sectionals a week and a day away! Affiliates around the globe are preparing to open up their doors to allow competitors the ability to compete with fellow athletes as they try their hand at the weekly workouts given by CrossFit HQ.
Courage Performance once again has partnered with CrossFit San Mateo to offer an official location for athletes to compete. Below you will find the details of this unique and exciting six-week event!
CrossFit San Mateo
Every Saturday at 10:30am heats will begin. Depending on the amount of registered athletes, heats will run up to five at a time, and will continue to run until all athletes have completed the WOD.
Event 1 - March 19
Event 2 - March 26
Event 3 - April 2
Event 4 - April 9
Event 5 - April 16
Event 6 - April 23
Anyone who wants to come out and compete against fellow athletes for their chance to make Regionals. Also, anyone who wants to come out and just compete! Even if you've already done the WOD, come out and give it a second try!
To register yourself for event you MUST submit your first AND last name to the comments section of this blog by Friday night. If your name is not posted you will not be allowed to compete Saturday morning. If you and a group of people want to register, feel free to post up all the names of the people coming in, just make sure to post first AND last names.
You will be required to pay $20 at the door, either cash or check each Saturday. We will be donating 50% of that fee to a soon-to-be-announced charity.
We will attempt to put same-level athletes in the same heats so that they can push each other. If you are a serious competitor hoping to break into Regionals, be prepared to go in the first group of heats starting around 10:30 am.
If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitae to call or email me!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
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