Friday, March 27, 2009

Best Trainer In DC!!

I have been chosen as DC's best personal trainer for 2009 through the Washington City Paper!

Thanks so much to all who voted and supported and know that this only means I will be working harder to give you all the best workouts, nutrition advice and motivation you can get.

Expect big things this year with added classes, camps and a few seminars, new features on my site, and great new articles, pictures and videos (and perhaps one or two surprises...).

Thank you again!!

Never Stop, GET FIT.

Josh Courage

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Weight Loss and Perspective Change

About two month ago I decided that I would need to do some serious work if I wanted to make the 190-199lbs weight class for my first Jiu-Jitsu tournament. I knew I could do it, but I didn't want to approach it in an unhealthy manner where I would gain most of the weight back afterward and not really learn anything from the process as well. I had one month, and when I stepped on the scale Monday morning, it read 219lbs (body fat at 15.4%).

So hears what I decided to do. I chose, upon the challenge of one of my clients who had just finished it, to do a all natural cleansing/detox for one week. It would be made up of a pretty serious regiment of vegetable juices, fruit smoothies, and macrobiotic meals along with daily exfoliation, enemas and relaxation practices. I was excited that this particular detox was based off of the macrobiotic philosophy which is something my Mother had dedicated herself to for so many years of her life as a healing process for cancer. I read through all the material and went out to shop for all my needs.

With a fridge filed with organic greens and apples, a shelf stocked with probiotics and natural liver cleansers and a bathroom covered in exfoliation devices and other devices that really don't need to be explained in detail, I got started. Five days of organic vegi juice (3-4 a day), one day of organic berry smoothies and one day of vegi and grain based macrobiotic meals. I had plenty of lemon water and herbal tea as well and when I hoped on the scale the next Monday, I weighed in at 204lbs and 13.3% body fat.

This obviously didn't last very long as the second I began to consume solid food I gained 4 pounds back, but that was expected. But here are a few things that came out of that week: I slept like a baby and woke up happy every day. I actually caught myself singing as I walked to work at 5:30 in the morning. I got hungry but never really lost a ton of energy. My skin cleared up and my normal aches and pains started to bother me less. When I began to consume normal food again, i felt the effects of each nutrient and it opened my eyes so much to what was good for my body and what was bad. What an amazing amount to learn about yourself in just 7 days!

Through normal workouts and clean eating habits I was able to keep my weight around 204-206lbs over the next two weeks. I could have been more regimented with my diet, but with the amount I work out on a regular basis, plus the added Jiu-Jitsu work, I was feeling very hungry all the time. The day of the weight-ins is written about a couple posts before this one, so check that out for the details; but, to make a long story short, I weighed in at 198 and finished with a body fat % of around 12.2. Not to bad for a months work.

Now, a month afterwards, I sit around 205lbs with just under 13% body fat and am very happy knowing that the tough week of cleansing really helped to change my perspective of what it means to take care of oneself. I am now reading a collection of books on macrobiotics and really making an effort to eat as clean and organically as possible. I hope that I can help others do the same.

Never Stop, GET FIT.

Josh Courage

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

My First Jiu-Jitsu Tournament Pics

About to start my first match

Getting my first submission

Gaining a grip advantage

Arm Bar!

Playing around with guard

Third place finish

My boys, Chris and Lance

Monday, March 2, 2009

My First Jiu-Jitsu Tournament

I new step in my training came to fruition this past Saturday when I competed in my first Jiu-Jitsu tournament down near Richmond VA. Here's the story.

I went for a final push to drop a few pounds to see if I could make the 190-199 weight class by going to a hot yoga class then doing some sauna suit work (7 rounds of 20 sit ups, 15 push ups, 30 squat and 100 jumping jacks. The 10 minutes intervals on the stationary bike). After a way to long journey down to the high school, I stepped onto the scale with not too much confidents. But, the scale read 198 and it was such a great feeling to know that in just about 3 weeks I was able to drop 22 pounds and really feel good almost the entire time (I will be writing more about that process in my next post). The funny thing is, this was the first time I weighted under 200lbs since 8th grade, that's about 13 years ago!

So, Saturday we drove on down to the event, a little nervous about time seeing how I trained a couple clients and taught my strength class in the morning. But we got there around 1pm and very quickly learned that when over 800 competitors are in town for a tournament, you can expect the guesstimated times to be a little off. Turns out, I didn't make it onto the mat until around 6pm or so. It was a great time to see everything though. It was muggy and hot in the gym, but there was such a great feel in the air. Nobody seemed aggressive or angry, people said hi, gave head nods, chatted, watched, practiced, learned; it was all a very welcoming feeling throughout. I was pretty surprised by that in fact. I expected to be surrounded by a bunch of hot-headed dudes looking to rip my head off if I got to close, but it was all about friendly competition, and that is exactly what I was truly hoping for.

When my belt and weight class came up I was surprised to find 11 total competitors. That seemed like a pretty big group of people compared to the other divisions. Because of the odd number of competitors, a few people got a bye, I was not one f those people, but that was fine, it meant I got more matches in!

My first match was a quick start; my heart rate was up, I felt excited and just a little nervous, but overall I felt ready and confident. We shook hands and moved in. I reached out and grabbed his collar and felt myself tense up, I chose to relax and let my opponent move me around a little, I somehow knew that it didn't mater much if he took me down. Which he did. But the second we hit the floor, I swept him, and took a rear mount position locking my arm around his throat and clenched tight. He tapped out, submitting to me, and when I stood up, feeling a rush and a burst of confidence, I saw that the match had only gone about 40 seconds (out of 4 minutes).

The second match was very similar. It lasted no more than a minute and I was able to rack up a bunch of points before I submitted him as well, with an arm bar. It was the third match where some real jiu-jitsu came into play. I was still very confident throughout the match, but felt very tight at the same time. I took him down, he took side control, I swept and held him in my guard. He passed my guard but I swept and gained side control, then mount; he swept and gained side control and then fell into my guard. When four minutes buzzed, the score said him 11, me 9. That is one simple sweep from being a tie and I would have taken that match because I was in the dominate position for much of it. It was frustrating to lose when I knew exactly what I did wrong; I tried to control things too much rather then relax and let his movements dictate how to react and attack.

I made the adjustment and in my final match I tapped out my opponent with a kimora within one minute, awarding a third place finish overall.

I walked out of my first tournament feeling very good. It would have been great to win it all, but I knew that I learned so much and felt so comfortable while there. Tapping out three opponents (the only tap-outs in my entire division), was a great sign that have come a very long way in less than a year of practice. I hope that I can keep working at it and get better every week. I definitely plan on competing again, it was too much fun, and too much of a rush to not!

(Pictures to follow...some really good ones)

Never Stop, GET FIT.

Josh Courage