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
Well, it's about that time I give a little update on how things are rolling along on my training life. It;s been a fun tome over the past couple weeks since the Mid Atlantic Hopper, and until yesterday, I feel like I've had some great progress. Let's work backwards. My back is basically destroyed. I thought I had a little tightness going on that I'd be able to work through, but after the past few sessions, I ended up having to take a day off because my back was so crushed I just couldn't do the work. I woke up this morning and went for a jog, and added some pull overs after, but that did nothing to loosen it up. I am hoping a bit of mobility work and some rolling tomorrow will get be back into it. I don't want to lose the progress!
After the Hopper I got right in the swing of things and was feeling stronger and stronger each day. My strength gains are there, perhaps a little slow, but there. My gymnastics, clearly my weakest link, are coming along nicely as well, especially with the extra work I am adding to my program. And my plan has been to bring my few days a week runs back into the training program as well. I've talked about it before, but it's worth mentioning again, I feel as though basic running (usually trail running for me) adds a whole new level to my gains. I feel trimmer, lighter, fitter, happier and it aids in my recovery time as well. Especially after the wonderful amounts of food i ate over Thanksgiving, I am feeling like I need to cut a few pounds. This actually leads me into my next conversation piece.
All this heavy lifting I've been doing has jacked me up pretty good; and I mean that in a positive way. When I first noticed this was actually about a month and a half ago when I put on my nice 3-piece suit for a wedding. I threw on my vest and realized it completely didn't fit. My brain went into fat-guy mode and I got all bummed out. But then I realized that I my body fat was probably right around where it had been for a while, I just had a TON of extra size on me. And now, a month plus later, I am feeling like I've added yet another inch or so all over. The added size has upped my hunger and Ive been eating more and more each meal (and what doesn't help with this is that I have strayed from my every-3-hours meal plan and because of that I tend to eat a crap-load of food come meal time). Well, my fix for this added size is that I'm not all that worried. I don't want to take away from the strength gains, so, I am gong to let this happen, and keep fueling it accordingly until January I would say. Then I'll up the metcon intensity, along with my additional conditioning and focus on cutting down to my fighting weight with all the new-found strength!
Other additions to my program? I started today with THIS. I will be doing Kelly Starretts Mobility WOD each and every day (perhaps a couple of them depending on time and how I feel). I want to add these because I have not been finding the time to get to yoga on a regular basis and I really feel like I need to get my mobility up. My lack of mobility is what I have found is the main limiting factor for my gains. I know if I work my hips more and low back more I'll have some crazy gains on any movement involving squatting. This will inevitably be the case for the rest of my joints. Eager to see what happens.
What else what else...Oh, right. I have a gym! Yep, starting tomorrow and for only a temporary time, I'll be running Courage performance out of a 6,000 square foot crazy huge facility! Just wait until you see all the crazy equipment that's going to be in there! Given the nature of how I'll be at this space, I'm not going to be doing tons of crazy advertising or anything like that. So, keep an eye on this blog, along with my personal Facebook page and Courage Performance Page to keep up to date with class times and other details. You can expect a few friendly Throwdowns/cook outs in the coming weeks, so be ready!
Hope everyone is training hard through the Holidays!
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.
If you head out and grab the November issue of Men’s Health, you’ll find an incredibly good article about CrossFit tucked into the middle of the thick magazine. I was initially amped up about this piece because I bought the magazine to entertain me during my plane ride out to California. Much to my delight, I opened the pages to see a picture of my good friend and old training partner Blair Morrison! Pretty cool.
Well, as I write this I am actually on the plane (will probably finish n my old Starbucks in San Mateo seeing how we are only 20 minutes out!) and I am so eager to keep my eye on shit-show that will be CrossFitters complaining about how stupid the article was. Interestingly enough, my initial reaction was similar. How dare this guy rip on the fitness methodology and now sport that I believe in so much? How dare he go so far as to even use the nutritional upper-lord Robb Wolf as a resource to strike up more controversy about the program? Well, once I put my angry kettlebell down, cleaned up the chalk, and put my short back on I realized something: this was one of the best articles on CrossFit I have read in a long time. I say thins because the truth was written.
My frustration with the piece was similar to that of one written by a Washington Post Express journalist who decided to try out the whole minimalist shoe craze. He bought a pair of Five-Fingers and went out on a 5 mile run. He then promptly ripped the craze a new one because he couldn’t walk for a week! Well, any somewhat smart human would understand that he was an idiot. If you spend your whole life running in moon-boots and then one day go barefoot, you can’t expect run for hours and be cured of all your problems. That would be like an obese person deciding to eat healthy, doing so for one day then saying it doesn’t work and is stupid because he didn’t lose 100 pounds! The writer of the CrossFit piece became so turned off by CrossFit that after one final humiliating day where he finished dead last in a workout surrounded by women, he walked out, never to return.
Well, my immediate reaction was: out of the now 3000+ affiliates around the world, perhaps you just went to a crappy one? Perhaps if you went to an affiliate who’s coaches understood that learning the kip as part of foundations is probably going to lead to a lot of injury. Or where they don’t program 4 days of weighted, heavy loaded snatch work in one week. Or, where they don’t ask you to deadlift 225# in a 15 minute AMRAP on your first day! Unless you’re “drunk on the kool aid” you’re probably going to burn out at some point pretty quickly at a place that pays no attention to your needs. I mean, all of the problems this guy had at his “box” pissed me off because I would never let those happen at mine. So, I found his article stupid.
Then I realized something. His article was clearly NOT stupid. I mean seriously, I have been to some 50 CrossFit affiliates and I would say that well over 30 of those could easily be placed in the category of CrossFit that the author was writing about. If you went and talked to the coaches you’d hear them talk the same way founder Greg Glassman talks about the program, that it’s about become generally physically prepared, that it’s about becoming overall athletic, and not specializing, and that their program is the best thing you could do for your body. Most coaches (and depressingly, nowhere near all of them) could even go into the science behind why CrossFit style of training is so beneficial. They talk about the need for good form over good times, about how they teach a full understanding of the basic movements. They talk about avoiding injury and how their program is scalable and modifiable. Then you walk into their gym and see 15 people thrashing around trying to complete “Fran” as fast as humanly possible. Backs are rounding, heels are off the floor, hands have a death grip on the bar, people who cannot perform 2 consecutive pull ups are swinging around the pull up bars, screaming as they push out one more rep. And those coaches who talk so wonderfully about their program, about how focused they are in avoiding injury and taking care of each and every one of their athletes? They are standing their screaming at everyone to get back on the bar, fight through, keep going, don’t stop, go faster and on and on! All of a sudden everything they just talked about is thrown out the window and the truth comes out as to how this place is run.
Damn, I guess this guy was right! I guess when we step out of the crazy cult following CrossFit has become and look at the whole thing objectively, you find something pretty damn scary. Step back in and do a little searching and you find some really freaking great places that take the time and energy to do things right. But with 3000+ affiliates around the world, how many of those do you really think do it right? Judging by the poor quality of gyms, trainers and coaches out there in general, we can probably assume that not too many of them are all that great. So what does that mean for you? Well, this is where you, as the consumer must take on a bit of responsibility and take the time to make sure you’re finding the right fit. And of you find that fit, I can pretty much guarantee that your life will change for the better! If you don’t take that time, if you just expect things to work out for you the first time you walk into any CrossFit gym, well, as sucky as the truth is that you’re probably going to be let down, just the writer was.
Oh, and a HUGE point that should not be taken lightly: just because a head coach knows how to talk about CrossFit, does not mean he/she knows how to teach it. Think of it this way: if some guy is really good at pithing his amazing new smoothie, how healthy and good tasting it is, would you just go ahead and buy ten boxes of it right then and there? If you would, your kind of an idiot. No, you’d probably want to see an official ingredients list, and taste the damn thing, right? Same goes for finding your perfect gym. If a coach tells you that he/she has the best training program, yet tons of the athletes there are getting hurt, are out of shape, complain, or just don’t; represent what the coach is pitching, well, maybe it’s not the best place for you! But don’t write off CrossFit gyms in general because of that; just write off that one! What I really need to write actually is a note to all CrossFit coaches to stop putting out crappy programming and so on and do better! And well, I have that post started already. But please, please, please, as a consumer, as athletes or soon-to-be-athletes who want a better lifestyle and are looking to CrossFit to be that change, take it upon yourself to find the perfect fit. Find a gym that programs intelligently, supports each and every member equally and passionately, supports an honest, healthy lifestyle, and doesn’t just talk about it. If you take the time, you should be able to catch on to this within one or two classes. And if the gym won’t let you try their space out for a few classes before committing to some crazy membership scheme, well, go find another place!
Remember, finding the right gym for you is just as important as eating the proper foods, working at a good job, finding a great partner and so on. It should be a complete part of your entire lifestyle, one that YOU want a part of. So be patient, be demanding and be open. And to all those would be CrossFit bashers out there, if you want a better view of CrossFit, give me a call, if you can’t come to my gym, I have a pretty good list of gyms you could go to to have a great experience!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Get Discounts Below!