Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Say Goodbye To This Site!

As of today folks, this site is no more.  This post will be the final post here, and if you want to read up on my fitness adventures and all the other fun I post, you got to head over to www.courageperformance.com.

Also, if you saved this site in your favorites, or bookmarked it and so on, please take a couple seconds to switch all that up.  Just head to the new site and bookmark that one!  I should be able to shift things to all those who get email alerts and whatnot, but to make matters easier, you can subscribe to theRSS feed of the  blog on my new site by simply clicking the "RSS" button on the sidebar of the blog.  That will aloow the new posts to pop up on your feed each and every day!

Sorry to those who need to switch things up, but this new site is so much more functional now that I have this new gym and such rolling.  And I know that you all will enjoy it's simplicity and look as well.

So head on over, subscribe to the blog, follow on Facebook and Twitter, and enjoy!

Never Stop, GET FIT.

Josh Courage

Monday, November 29, 2010


Today marked day one of my official 2011 CrossFit Games training program (explained in detail in yesterdays post), and it started off with a bang.  I haven't worked the full snatch, seriously, in about a year and a half and, needless to say, I was just a hair nervous about how I would perform.  As posted yesterday, my goal is to get a 210# snatch by March, and out of all my goals, this one I am most uncertain of; mostly because I don't really now where I stand with the lift, but also because I struggle with the movement so much.

I started very deliberately, getting form work in with the PVC and an empty bar, then started off my 5, 5, 5, 3, 3, 3 progression with just 85#.  I felt very smooth and strong with it all the way through, and was able to finish with 3 slightly sloppy reps at 160#.  So excited to be able to pull this weight after practically zero work on the lift!  I am feeling a LOT more confident that with a little technique and mobility work, I will get my goal weight here.

I then moved on to the biggest struggle of the day:  a single snatch balance to 3 overhead squats for 4 rounds.  I obviously expected to get a good deal more weight on this than with the snatch, but I lost focus and for some reason could not get a proper lock-out at 175#.  I opted to move down a bit in weight, ultimately working up to 155#.  I realized my struggle with this movement, and what will be the toughest part of my progress with the snatch, is getting under the bar quickly.  I want to muscle the bar up, then sink into the overhead squat, and this will just get more and more impossible the heavier the bar gets.  This stems from my lack of confidence in my shoulders, and it is so clear to me that I just need to get these movements in more often if I ever expect to overcome that fear.

My challenge for the day was inspired from the 2010 Games, just a whole bunch of pressured weakness work for me:

For Time Do:
10 muscle ups then
3 rounds of:
3 power cleans 205#

I got 5 unbroken muscle ups, then 2, then 1 and 1.  Missed none, very happy with that.  On to the heavy cleans and HSPU's, I got the cleans no problem, and stayed very deliberate with the HSPU's.  My first round I got 3 unbroken, yet another PR on those, and in all I missed 3 reps.  Still very weak, but I am seeing HUGE improvements with that move.  With the amount I am programming them in over the coming months, I expect to see some pretty impressive gains.  I finished in 6:28 and was very happy with that score.

In other news, I got a hair cut today, and dropped about 5 pounds in total thanks to that.  I'll miss my crazy bushy, long hair, but it was just getting to much to handle with my activity level.  So, back to the shortness! 

Never Stop, GET FIT.

Josh Courage

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Back In CA, And Back To Blogging!

So after a week of not-so-regular postings, I am back into the swing of things and ready to go with tons of new material.  First off, the host site of this site you are reading now seems to be having some major issues with editing and it lead me to search around for another host/blog/site to get my info across.  Below I have a link to what I have created and to what every well may be my new site in the coming days.  Please let me know your honest feedback on it, and which one you like best and why.  Thanks so much!!

Next on the list is a mention on the pause between when I said Courageous Meals #7 would be up and now.  The meal was created by my sister Deb, with a little of my help, and it turns out I d not remember the exact process for some of it.  So, in my efforts to get a hold of her with enough time to recall and write it all down, it has taken a couple extra days.  Expect that to come up shortly. 

Now on to the fun stuff!  Tomorrow marks the start of my official programming for the 2011 CrossFit Games.  While I have been very focused on getting better and better each day, I have not really taken the time to sit down and chart out the months building up to the crazy event.  Last year, kind of on a whim, I decided I would sign up for the sectionals competition.  Having it occur only three days before my bike attempt across the country, I was not really all that focused on it; or at least, not as focused as I would have liked to be!  I ended up finishing 10th (8th because 2 competitors had already qualified) out of some 60+ male competitors.  This placed me in the regionals competition which I had to give up my spot thanks to my broken hand.  This year is a different story though.  I plan on focusing everything on this event in July.  Sectionals will be sometime in late March or so, regionals will happen in May sometime, so, I have a very specific program to put together.  Here is how I put it together:

Goal Setting:
I began by designing a list of goals that I will test over the first week of March.  I set the test date as that to break down my overall training, and to give myself about two or so weeks before tapering to really sit back and see exactly where I may be lacking.  Here they are:
Pull up/dip - 100#
Strict Press - 190#
Bench Press - 300#
Front Squat - 335#
Back Squat - 435#
Deadlift - 500#
Clean and Jerk - 275#
Snatch - 210#
Sub-5:45 mile
Sub-20 minute 5k run
Sub-25 minute 800 meter swim
8 unbroken palms out muscle ups
5 unbroken full HSPU

All these goals are very realistic in my eyes.  I kept them a little less lofty as I know I want to also increase my metcon and overall "CrossFit capacity".  This usually is to the detriment to dramatic strength gains in more experienced CrossFitters, so I intend to time my training accordingly.  I have been focusing on my strength lately, so now it's time to train my mental and metcon-ing conditioning a little more.  I will head back into a strength bias in January for a bit.  This is the biggest dilemma/debate I see in the CrossFit community:  how does one balance all domains in programming to see gains across the board?

Well, from my experience there is not a cookie-cutter type of response to this.  It totally depends the type of person approaching the training.  I have personally found that I adapt extremely quickly to metcons and can see gains in these within a week or two of focus.  Strength on the other hand is a little more slow-moving for me.  I see gains, but they are not as dramatic.  So what works best for me is to bias my programming around strength, mixing in very deliberate metcons to assist improvement on my weaknesses.  My gains become more balanced this way.  Here is what my programming will look like over the next three months:

Month 1:
3 on, 1 off, 2 on 1 off schedule where Mondays are Olympic lifts and support work, Wednesdays are Max Effort deadlifts and Fridays are Max Effort Strict presses.  Metcons will be every work day and ill increase in time and workload through the week (early in the week will be more body-weight focused and/or shorter in total time, while later in the week I will move to heavier weights and more chipper style).  Tuesdays will be dedicated to speed work (generally track work or hill running).  And Thursdays will generally include an easy conditioning session (IE: long run or bike ride or swim).  The third week will introduce two-a-days on two training days, as well as a 4 on, 1 off, 2 on schedule.  And the final week will be a lighter, recovery focused week.

Months 2 and 3:
4 on, 1 off, 3 on 1 off schedule.  This will introduce a more "random" mentality to my program.  I'm implementing this to allow my body to NOT adapt to training on specific days.  I tend to shut down a little on Sundays out of habit, so I want to get out of that routine.  This tough phase will follow a three-ish week on, one-ish week recovery as well.  The mentality of what I will do on training days will stay the same as before though.  Olympic lifting will generally be practiced on the first day back after a rest day, with Max Effort power lifting on the second days after that.  Metcons will all be focused the same way as well, with increasing demand towards rest days.

Month 4:
The first week will be a complete commitment to testing all my goals.  Following that, I will program accordingly, dependent on when my sectional will happen and where my strengths and weaknesses are.

Needless to say, the demand I am putting on myself is going to be wonderfully challenging and I can't wait!  And to top it all off, I'll be sending out contacts to as many Bay Area CrossFit affiliates as I can find to commit to what i did last January, but for the entire month!  CrossFit Community Month will occur from 1/1 - 1/31, and i will be traveling about the greater San Francisco region to visit affiliates, talk to owners, coaches and athletes, get a tough workout in, video and write about the whole thing!  The goals are two-fold: to spread the awesome word of CrossFit to as many people as possible (you know, to share the connectivity of all CrossFit around!), and to meet more people and train with more people like me!  I can not wait.

I will also be introducing a new aspect of my blog.  At least once a week I will be posting up a video blog (similar to what I did during my bike ride across the country).  I think it adds a little more personality to the site and it helps me to get even more involved in sharing info, which I clearly love to do!  Further additions, like the goals page and more nutrition info are on hold for the time being while I look into the shift of my site.  Again, please let me know what you think of the new one, either by posting here, or shooting me an email, text or call.  Thanks so much!

 Never Stop, GET FIT.

Josh Courage