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.
Well, the CrossFit Community Month started off with a bang at CrossFit Pleasanton. I had such an awesome time, met a ton of really energetic, welcoming people, had an insane workout where I was pushed right to the finish despite my desire to just pass out, and felt so welcome I can barely wait to come back and visit again. But let's give a brief background on the gym (check out the video for more details!).
CrossFit Pleasanton is run by Paul Southern, a pretty cool guy if I do say so myself. He's been training for a while and with the natural, and very quick growth of his company, he represents the perfect example of the "right way" to run a gym. They have TONS of classes, a member base of around 200, specialty classes (specifically powerlifting where they excel thanks to powerlifting superman Jessie Burdock). The gym he has now is a 5000 square foot, spacious haven for exercises, equipped with enough toys to make a grown man weak in the knees (yes, I was drooling...). But what set this gym high up in the chain was the people I met. I generally have a hard time just walking up to people and introducing myself, even when I am a special guest. But here, people walked right up to me and engaged me in conversation, and that is something I take to heart so much. I was not only welcomed by the coaches, but by so many athletes (and there were WELL over 30 that moved through the gym in the 2.5 hours I was there). I could totally see how becoming a member there would introduce you to a whole world of social possibilities, and that is exactly the point of my journey visiting all these places - to show how friendly and community-based CrossFit and similar gyms really are!
On to the workout: this thing was a leg destroyer! Paul had asked me to write something up for the day a couple days back and after I saw a prowler in a pic on their site, I was inspired.
5 ground to overheads 195#
25 meter out and back prowler push 90#
10 ground to overhead anyhow 165#
25 meter out and back prowler push 120#
15 ground to overhead anyhow 135#
25 meter out and back prowler push 150#
The interesting thing about this is that the weight being taken off the barbell gets added to the prowler. Basically there is nothing about this workout that even hints at recovery. We had some motivation from an earlier fire-breather who finished it in 6:19 and we got after it. I had a beast of an athlete right next to me, so I was being pushed the entire time. He moved ahead of me by a couple reps on the second round but I was able to make up a little time on the prowler push, then push ahead of him on the final set of ground to overheads. I finished in 6:05 and literally had no ability to stand for about a minute or so. My legs felt like they were 10 sizes too big, and I tasted a metallic, acidic taste in my mouth for about 20 or so minutes. Good Lord! Pretty sure we had a few people lose their lunch, or at least come very, very close to it.
Paul went in the second heat, and despite his efforts to stay humble about his fitness level during our chat earlier, he tore it up with a 5:41 time. Damn impressive.
I ended up hanging out for about an hour after the workout just talking to people and that completely made my night. I have nothing but respect and admiration for a place that aspires to form a friendly yet incredibly fit and competitive community and succeed beyond any reasonable doubt. This is one of those CrossFit affiliates that I would go out of my way to visit; so, if you are ever in the Bay area, yeah, check 'em out!
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