Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Run, and A Challenge...!

Today, after plenty of training (and watching two of my wonderful new sleds get busted on the rough asphalt in front of The Garage), and a pretty exciting baseball game (I was head coach again, and we had a good one), I decided to jump on the track at Georgetown Prep High School for a little run.  3 miles was the goal.  My goal for the fall is sub 20-minutes.  The weather was a bit cooler than the past couple days, but the humidity was still thick in the air.  But I felt pretty light, loose and was able to keep my splits at a respectable time.  First mile was at 7:10, second, came in at 14:10 (cut 10 seconds off), then, finished the third at 20:57, making my overall pace just barely sub-7.  Very happy with that.

The other thing I am doing, and this was decided kind of on a whim the other day, is going paleo.  Now, for those of you who know me pretty well, I am very anti-paleo in terms of the scientific reasoning behind it.  But, I am also a realist, and can clearly see the positive effects it has had on so many people in and out of the CrossFit community.  So, I have dedicated the remainder of this month, and all of next month to about as strict a paleo plan as I can do.  My focus is on performance.  If I feel better, sleep better, and improve in all around performance with everything, well, then I really have nothing much bad to say about the way of eating.

Here's what I will be following:

I will eat meat (poultry, fish, and some red meat here and there, maybe.  My body does not do very well with it), eggs, all vegetables, all fruit, most nuts and seeds.  I will use oils and seasonings sparingly, and will allow some sweet potatoes and some brown rice every now and again.  I rarely drink already, but I will be a little more careful as to what I drink when I drink.

This means I will be cutting out any and all sugars and processed food, I will have no gluten or grain products, I will also have little to no rice.  I will continue to not eat dairy of course as well.  My biggest effort with this will be focusing on my "snack" foods.  Like at the game (now yesterday), I purchased a collection of raw veggies and ate those throughout.  That will be a habit I will really have to focus on following.

I will keep updates coming in of course, but for the most part, I will continue writing about the training and other interesting things that happen.

Never Stop, GET FIT.

Josh Courage

Monday, June 28, 2010

Bench Me

Today, well, besides being insanely hot/humid, was a pretty damn good day.  Had an off the cuff visit up to Albany late last night, then back to the grind in the am with a pretty good slew of athletes.  Clients throughout the day, and a great session myself.  The meathead lift: bench press.

This was the last lift on phase two of the 5/3/1 program (Wednesday marks the first lift where I actually go 5/3/1!), and I have been feeling really good with the progress thus far.  We mixed in two sets of 30 seconds on a plank hold as our active recovery between sets, and went after the 3's.  I was able to get 230# for 9 reps, and felt very comfortable with the weight.  Happy about that.  Then, with the ridiculous heat and sweltering humidity closing in, I attacked this:

3 rounds of:
10 KB swings 62#
9 push ups
8 frog crunches (each leg)
7 burpees
6 push ups
500 meter run

I had a goal of around 6 minutes on this one, and I am 100% convinced I can get it.  The humidity, and the fact I went barefoot on an in-construction, paved street, slowed my runs down a little bit.  I got 7:45, and was spent.  Like, literally gasping for air.

Later on in the evening, my good friend JP came over to lift, and I worked on my handstand push ups, and then some weighted good mornings.  The HPSU's felt bad, very weak, am re-committing myself to working a little on them every day.  The good mornings felt very good.  My hamstrings, low back and stomach were very happy with that work, and I think I need to throw those in the mix a little more often.  I got a great idea from trainer, owner of Balance Gym, and friend Graham King (also finished a solid 6th at the Courage Games!) the other day.  He is getting into CrossFit now, and has decided to commit his Friday workout to all his weaknesses.  I really like this idea.  I always tend to throw them into metcons, work on them on the side, and get to them while goofing off with workout partners.  But the idea of, still doing all that, then, committing one days main workout to nothing but weak moves, great idea.  I think having one to two serious "weak work" sessions a week is something to mix into the programming.

Never Stop, GET FIT.

Josh Courage

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Working The Squat

Lindsey is so bad ass

Yesterday, mixed between 7 hours of training clients, a long bank run and returning the tractor tires used at the Courage Games, I was able to get the sets of 3 on the back squat for the 5/3/1 program.  Felt so good.

On the final set, I worked 300# and was able to get 16 reps very powerfully.  I only stopped because I could feel my torso beginning to shift around a little as I drove up from the bottom, and I really want to stay as perfect as I can while doing this program.

Afterwards I worked some light overhead squats to see how the ligament in my thumb held up to such direct pressure.  Felt pretty good, and I was happy about that.  I look forward, with nervous excitement to the heavy OH squats programmed for next Friday.

To finish, I had written a really unconventional metcon in, but ran out of time with clients and errands.  Today, up at 7am to throw an hour and a half of BP to my team, then coached up a double header, then cheer on the good ol' us of a, then, well, I really wanted to get that sweet metcon in. 

20-15-10 of:
Power snatch 95#
GHD parallel rotations 10#
50 meter sled run 150#

Under/overs are basically, setting a bar up on a rack about 2 feet off the ground, getting under it, then getting over it.  You can step or jump over, just get under and over (under then over is 1 rep).  GHD parallel rotations are when you get yourself into the sit up position on the GHD, then stretch yourself out to be parallel with the floor.  Take your weight, hold it directly over your chest, the rotate as far as you can from one side to the other while keeping your torso rigid.  Brutal.  The sled was pulled on grass, using the TRX as both rope and harness. 

With the crazy heat and long day, I ended up watching the USA soccer game, falling asleep for a good long time.  Now, I think I am going to take today off, get the metcon in tomorrow morning before heading out to coach another couple double header.  I'll probably get some track work in a bit before the game as well.  Why not?

Never Stop GET FIT.

Josh Courage

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Back To Blogging

After a crazy week of planning, and then the great day itself, I am finally over (mentally that is) all the wonderful stress of putting on a competition.  It was a blast!  I am in the process with the video, it just may take another few days is all.  And when I post that up, I'll post a few more things as well about the whole thing.

But now, I am back to writing about my fun adventures in the gym!

Sunday, the day after the event, Lindsey and I headed over to the Washington Waldorf School grounds to bang out WOD #1, the 20 tire flips.  I felt pretty good with this one, and despite the rough blacktop taking its toll on the back of my fingers, I was able to get 1:18, would have placed me second at the Courage Games!  We then left for the double header I had to coach out at Langley High School, but, we brought along all the equipment.

Lindsey pulled out a modified WOD#2 on the football field, throwing the KB about 120 meters and then running the track.  The coolest part though, was that she added a twice up the grandstand stairs each time around the track to replicate the hills.  This meant she ran a decent deal longer than 800 meters.  Beast!

Between games we hit WOD#3 in a back corner of the parking lot there.  The one difference was that our sled push was 40 meters, rather than 50.  I pulled this one out in 7:14, felt so great.  The squat cleans were killer, but i think I made up most of my time on the sled and on the double unders.  I was able to pretty much sprint the sled, and then got the DU's in 2 sets.  Lindsey tore it up as well.  I do not remember her time, but she left it all out there, so motivating.

Monday I hit 3, 3, 3+ on the deadlifts and light weighted pull ups.   Got 390# for 6 and felt strong.  Tuesday I needed a bit of an ass-kicker, so, at around 8:45pm I did this:
500 meter row
21 KB swings 52#
21 Box jumps
21 GHD sit ups
400 meter row
15 of each
300 meter row
9 of each
200 meter row

Rest 2 minutes, then get 3 rounds of 100 double unders, with 1 minute rest between.  For every rest of miss on the double unders I would do 25 weighted jump ropes at the end.  I was able to get the first portion in 11:56, then only got 4 misses on the double unders.  This KILLED me.

Today, strict press, 3, 3, 3+.  Short metcon and a mile run test.  I'll begin back up with the training and programming as the days go on for the remainder of the summer!

Never Stop, GET FIT.

Josh Courage

Monday, June 21, 2010

Courage Games Review #1

A couple days ago, bright and early on Saturday morning we set up for the Courage Games.  The weather was showing to be perfect, clear, sunny with a little wind, and people began to roll in just as the weights began to line up on the black top.

With everyone signed in, we had 26 total athletes competing, 20 men, and 6 women.  I welcomed everyone to the event and we promptly got started with the forst WOD: 20 tire flips for time.  This moved along so smoothly with Gretchen Kittleberger tearing up the women's heat at 50 seconds, and Owen Leutz getting 65 seconds (with seconds place coming in a full 17 seconds behind him!).  Everyone attacked this one with inspiring intensity, and the whole crowd of people really seemed to get into this one right from the start.

WOD #2 talk came shortly after.  We all headed to the top of the big hill to go over the course.  100 meters kettlebell throw, to a 800 meter KB run.  Each throw was an additional 5 seconds to the overall time.  Again, smooth as ever with how it went down.  There was clearly some concern from the athletes about where the course actually took them, but in the end, it was pretty easy to follow (not all that easy to actually run though!).  Louren Twohig took this event from the girls, squeezing in just 7 seconds ahead of Gretchen, and Own Leutz again stole this one with a score of 296.  But the real battle on this event was between Dan Samarov and Graham King.  With Graham leading for the entire run, Dan was able to overtake him in the final sprint to the finish line, finishing about 1 seconds ahead.  But that's when the "curveball" of the WOD came into play.  It took Graham only 9 throws to get the KB 100 meters, while it took Dan 10; this ultimately gave Graham the better score on the event by 4 seconds.  What a battle!

Ahead of schedule, we took about an hour to break, so people could relax and refuel before the final event.  The breeze and the shade helped, and it seemed that everyone spirits stayed high the entire time.  And then came the standards fr the final WOD.

50 meter sprint
50 meter weighted sprint (2x25/2x10)
20 thrusters (95/65)
50 meter sprint
50 meter weighted sprint (2x10/2x5)
20 squat clean
50 meter sled push (95/55)
20 burpees
50 meter sled push
50 double unders

This proved to be, well, brutal!  I had planned for it to be unconventional in the sense that the athletes had to run to retrieve their weights, load their own bar, and perform the movements.  And this became a incredibly tough one, especially after the rough 800 mete weighted run an hour ago.  It was unanimous that the squat cleans were the toughest part of the WOD, and to watch people battle through that portion was one of the most motivating things I have seen a long time. Landon Purdue absolutely demolished the WOD witha score of 569, the next losest to him was Nick Hurndon at 583.  For the women, Gretchen Kittleberger flew through it, with a score of 528, over 100 seconds faster then the second place finisher!

With the WOD's completed, and the scores tallied, everyone gathered around for the announcement of the winners.  Heres what they got:

3rd place received: a nutrition consultation from Michael Donovan, a functional movement screen and 1 follow-up session from Louren Polivka, an article of clothing from lululemon athletica.

2nd place received: a nutrition consultation from Michael Donovan, a functional movement screen and 2 follow-up sessions from Louren Polivka, two articles of clothing from lululemon athletica.

a nutrition consultation from Michael Donovan, a functional movement screen and 3 follow-up sessions from Louren Polivka, a full outfit from lululemon athletica, and a set of rings from Rogue Fitness.

1st - Gtretchen Kittleberger
2nd - Louren Twohig
3rd - Mary Perry

1st - Landon Perdue
2nd - Dan Samarov
3rd - Nick Hurndon

A huge shout out and thank you to the judges and staff, Ori, Sarah, Steve, Kyle, Lindsey, Patrick, Patrick, Cory and Andrew.

Thanks so much to the Washington Waldorf School (my school from 3rd grade through 12th!!) for allowing us to use their absolutely perfect grounds for the competition.  And a huge thank you to our great sponsors for hooking us up!

lululemon athletica
Paleo Treats
Paleo Kits
Rogue Fitness
Honest Tea

This was such a fun competition all around and I am so happy, and proud of how it all went.  All the athletes and spectators proved why it is I do what i do.  To see people outside, throwing weights around, sweating, smiling, supporting each other and having fun.  There is nothing that can compare to that sort of thing.  I met so many great people, saw so many first-timers give it their all, and go home with a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.  And I am honored to have been able to share all this with everyone.

To to make things even better, we were able to raise $300 for Steve's Club!  So happy about that.

I plan on having another couple (mush smaller) events before I head out to the West Coast with Lindsey to start a big gym.  And out there, I plan on hosting competition left and right, and of course, hope that many of you can make it out there!

Videos to come!

Thank you so much for making this day so perfect everyone!

Never Stop, GET FIT.

Josh Courage

Friday, June 18, 2010

Last Minute Post

With the Courage Games coming up in just a handfull of hours now, I wanted to throw out a few more things to make sure everyone is prepared.

Bring bug spray!!!

WOD #2 will take place mostly on grass (the run mixes a few different surfaces in), if you wish to wear cleats, you may.

Scoring will be calculated in seconds.  Overall, the least amount of seconds accumulated in the end wins (it's much less math than trying to work with minutes:-))

Again, now showers on location, so bring along a few changes of clothes and towels for the heat.  We will have water, Gatorade, Honest Tea, Paleo Treats and Paleo Kits for sale.  Oh, and plenty of Courage Performance gear to purchase as well.

For those of you paying at the door, there is a strong chance we will NOT be able to use credit card transactions.  So please, either pay online tonight, or make sure to bring cash or check to registration.  There is a bank at the shopping center down the street if need be...

If you plan to come to the after-party.  Please, please bring along some food and drink.  I am supplying some hamburgers, turkey burgers, veggies, fruit, rice chips, salsa and hummus (and a case or two of beer), but that's it.  So bring along some eats to share with everyone!

Come out ready to meet some great people, have fun and work your ass off! 

Please call, email or post to comments anything you feel.

See you all tomorrow!!

Josh Courage

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Workouts

Well everyone, it's about that time to announce the workouts for the CrossFit Courage Games 2010!  It's calling for sunny, and hot as hell weather, so hydrate and fuel properly these next couple days.  And come prepared for the heat!

There will be three workouts on this wonderful day, all under a time domain.  What this means is that every workout is "for time".  We will add up your time of all three workouts, and the fastest one wins.  Easy as that.

WOD #1:
"Flip It"
20 Tire flips
Men - around 400#
Women - around 285#

This will be 10 flips in one direction, and 10 flips back.  Besides that, there are no standards to this WOD, just flip the damn thing as fast as you can!

WOD #2:
"Tossing Iron"
100 meter KB throw to an 800 meter KB sprint
Men - 16kg#
Women - 12kg#

Each competitor will begin with the KB at his or her feet, hands off the weight.  There will be a starting line, and 6 foot wide lane you must keep the KB within for the entire 100 meters.  At the "go", time will start and you will proceed to throw/toss/swing/shot-put the thing for 100 meters, throwing it past a finish line.  Your total number of throws will be counted, and 5 seconds will be added to your total time for each throw.  A 15 second penalty will be given if you throw your KB outside of your lane (this will not apply if it takes a weird hop).

Once you throw the KB past the line, you will then pick it up and run a wonderfully rough 800 meter course with the weight (course will be very clearly marked).  Time will stop once you cross the finish line.

The only standard for this WOD is no spinning.  you will not be allowed to spin 360 degrees or more around to generate momentum to throw the KB.

Again, each throw of the KB will be an additional 5 seconds to you overall time (ex: you finish the run in 22 minutes, and it takes you 15 throws.  That is an additional 75 seconds, giving you a finishing time of 23:15)(it better not take anyone that long by the way...).

WOD #3:
"Blacktop Chipper"
50 meter sprint
50 meter weighted sprint 50/20
20 thruster 95/65
50 meter sprint
50 meter weighted sprint 20/10
20 squat cleans 115/75
50 meter sled push 70/30
20 burpees
50 meter sled push 95/55
50 double unders

I recommend you read this a couple times through...

You will start behind a starting line with a standard barbell, jump rope and sled at your station.  At the start, time will begin and you will sprint 50 meters across the blacktop, to your "2nd station" (all plates and following exercises on this side of the blacktop will be within this station), retrieve your first set of bumper plates (25's/10's).  Run back to your start station with them.  You will load your barbell and perform 20 thrusters.

Thruster standards are: crease of hip below knee line, part of ear showing in front of locked arms, and fully extended hips at lock out.

You will then sprint (unweighted) 50 meters to retrieve your second set of plates (10's/5's) and run back to your start station with them.  Load those to your bar and perform 20 squat cleans.

Squat clean standards are: start from ground each rep, crease of hip below knee, full hip extension before releasing the bar (you can dump the weight at any time as long as you reach full hip extension before doing so).

You will then load all plates from your bar, to the sled, which will be pre-loaded with 25# on it (men and women), and PUSH it 50 meters across the blacktop.  There you will perform 20 burpees.

Burpee standards are: chest completely on ground.  Full hip extension, part or all of ears showing in front of arms, hands completely over your head and visibly leaving the ground at the top.

You will then push the weighted sled back to your start station and perform 50 double unders.

Additional notes:  

If you drop your weight(s) at any point while running them 50 meters across the blacktop, you will need to drop and do 5 burpees on the spot.

If you drop the KB during WOD #2, that's fine.  Just pick it up and keep on going.

Scaling will be available for the final WOD (but not recommended...).

A time limit will be issued for each WOD as well (announced before the WOD).

If you need to scale, or if you do not complete a workout in the allotted time, you will not be able to qualify for a 1st, 2nd or 3rd placing.  Also, if you choose to scale, or fail to finish a WOD in time but score an overall time that is better than someone who did everything prescribed, you will be placed behind that person.

We have jump ropes, but they are not the best in the world.  I highly recommend you bring your own if you have one.

A heads up that there are NO shower facilites at the event location.

Work hard!

Please post to comments, or email me at if you have any questions.

See you all in a couple days!!

Never Stop, GET FIT.

Josh Courage

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Crunch Time

We are so close people!  Tomorrow evening the WOD's will be announced, and I am excited to get the info out to everyone.  This is a crazy week with all the preparations and such, but I know it will all come together in the end for a great day of working out and hanging out with so many fit-minded people! 

Paleo Kits and Paleo Treats are coming in, Justin's sent over a ton of little packets of nut butter, waters are in, Gatorade, Honest Tea and all the great lululemon gear is coming in over the next couple days as well!  The biggest part of the prep though has been what myself and my two employees have been working religiously on now for a bit.  This is going to be sweet!

If you have not yet registered, please do so through the link below.  And please, get some of your friends to join in the fun!

For those of you competing, get yourselves a good workout in tomorrow, and then I suggest a couple days off to taper down and recover before the big day. 

Also, a reminder to bring along some food and/or drink to hang out with people afterward and chill by the pool.  If you forget to bring something and want to hang out, there is a great shopping center a few blocks away that I am sure will supply some great "home-cooked" meals/treats that you can bring along...

I will be posting a personal post on this week in the middle of the day (just a warning so you don't get your hopes up), then I'll be posting the WOD's at some point in the evening.

Until then...

Monday, June 14, 2010


With less than a week away to prepare for the first ever CrossFit Courage Games 2010, I have a few things to get out to you guys to make sure everyone comes in prepared for all the fun.  Below you will find all the information I can think of to get you as information-stuffed as you need to be as you pull into the Washington Waldorf School grounds for the competition.  Whether you're competing, or spectating, all this will help out quite a bit.

  • Pull in the main entrance, follow the signs around for parking.  Then continue by foot, following the signs around to the back of the school grounds to the registration table.  

  • All competitors will be able to store all their equipment inside the school.  You will also be able to hang out in the same location to escape potential heat of the day.  We ask that all spectators please stay clear from inside the school, except for going to the bathroom.  We will have at least two staff members helping out within the school all day.

  • We will be selling Paleo Kits, Paleo Treats, Water, and Honest Tea at the event, but that is it.  Please be sure to come prepared with plenty of other fuel for the day.  There is also a shopping center less than 1/4-mile from the grounds with a Safeway, CVS, Starbucks and a great sandwich shop called Bethesda Market.  We will have directions to that location at the registration table.

  • A reminder that a portion of all registration fees will be donated to Steve's Club, a great non-profit CrossFit affiliate helping at-risk youth.  We will have a table up for any additional donations people wish to leave for this great organization (also, Steve himself said he is trying to make it down with some of his athletes, let's hope to see him there!).

  • There will be a raffle going on throughout the event, with prizes from lululemon, Paleo Kits, Paleo Treats, Courage Performance and a few others, so make sure to pick up some tickets!

  • And for all you spectators!  We will have a couple fun things out there specifically for you.  Look for the TRX station.  So you all can try out probably the simplest, and most effective training tool I have every utilized.  And...a car-pulling station!

For after the event, if you plan to attend the potluck cookout at The Garage, I ask that you please email me at so that I can have an idea of how many people will be swarming my backyard pool.  I also ask that you please bring along your favorite pre-made, or grill-able dishes, and something to drink so that the whole group can enjoy!  The address for this is: 5000 Westpath Terrace, Bethesda MD 20816.  You can walk to it very easily in 2 minutes from the school grounds, or drive on over.

Schedule for The CrossFit Courage Games 2010

6/16 - at some point in the evening - Workouts announced!

6/19 - (please remember, registration at the event is $25 dollars more!  Register online now: HERE)

7:30am - Registration begins and heats posted

8:30am - Workout #1 review and standards

9:00am - Workout #1 heats begin

10:00am - Workout #2 review and standards

10:15am - Workout #2 heats begin

12:15pm - Workout #3 review and standards

12:30pm - Workout #3 heats begin

3:00pm - Awards ceremony

4:00pm - 9:00pm - Potluck cookout party at The Garage

See you all soon!

Josh Courage

Saturday, June 12, 2010

More PR's

This time around it was my turn to PR.  On 1RM Squat and strict overhead press, then a wonderful "Friday Fun-Day" chipper.  A lot of guys did not come in for this one as prom was the night before for some, and graduation was the day of, so all in all, only about 4 people came in (I also left early, headed out to California to look at locations to live!).

I was able to get 375# on the squat, after missing 385#.  I know I could have got 385, I did not put 100% into that lift.  But it was all good, I am well prepared to take on my over-400# goal.  On the strict press, the move I struggle so much with in terms on making actual progress; I was able to put up 165#.  A very low number in comparison to my other lifts, but still, 5# higher then my past best, and leaving me confident for my goal of 185#.

The Chipper:
30 squat
30 pull ups
30 squats
30 push ups
30 squats
30 box jumps 20"
30 squats
30 KB swings 53#
30 squats
30 ring dips
30 squats
30 burpees

Oh hell yes!  I threw on a 12# vest and did this in 12:42, feeling a little light headed but oh-so-damn-good!

Today, in California, I'll be driving up South Bay with Lindsey finding the perfect location to live.  Our plan in terms of working out is to randomly get 10 minutes of "Cindy" at least 4 times throughout the day.  So, every time we drive by a park with pull up capabilities, Cindy for 10 minutes it is!  I hope to get at least 13+ rounds each time through.

For all you CrossFitters waiting for the logistics, expect it at some point today (although I am on West Coast time, so it might post up early tomorrow morning for you guys) .


Friday, June 11, 2010

All Equipment Confirmed

With the help of my good friends at CrossFit Balance, we are 100% stocked and ready to go for the CrossFit Courage Games 2010 a week from tomorrow.

So, everything is 100% squared away now and I am excited to get this going!

Expect a post tonight or tomorrow with all the logistics for the event!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

11 Days Away!

The day is coming up fast everyone!  The 1st ever CrossFit Courage Games 2010 are right around the corner.  Workouts are set, equipment is coming in, sponsors are in line, and contestants are registering.  We still have a good deal of spots open, so those of you who have signed up, get your friends to join!  And if you haven't signed up yet, get on it!

Register Here

We are one week away from the announcements of the workouts!

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Sled Sprint yesterday, Turkish Get Ups today

Yesterday I went out with one of my guys and hit the huge field across the street from The Garage to do some resisted sprint.  I had put together a great sled (just a heavy board with some wooden skis and a metal pipe to support the weight), and we hooked the TRX to it.  We ran a selection of 50 meter sprints, holding the TRX in various ways; then, we finished off with a few 100 meter sprints.  This was the perfect recovery and build up post-1RM day.  The weight was light (45#), making the sprints easier than normal resisted running, but just hard enough to make it tougher than normal sprints.  It was perfectly exhausting.

Today, we had stability and mobility work.  We started off with 4 rounds of 3 reps (each arm) Turkish Get Ups.  Man, do I love this exercise.  When done with a great heavy weight, it is just brutal.  But the stability throughout the entire body is second to none.  I, along with the rest of the groups that came in, really focused on taking our time with the movement, going slowly as to make sure we were not muscling through it, and just focusing on coordinating the entire body to stay in control.  I got up to 85# and felt very strong with it.  And all my guys got some great weights, forcing themselves to struggle through that last rep.

We then moved to a selection of exercises, focusing on mobility and power.  We got light front squats for 8 reps, to heavy KB clean to thruster at 6 reps each arm, then finished the circuit with12  cable vertical jumps.  This was a cool one, I strapped a couple light resistance cables to some heavy doubles, grabbed hold, and jumped as high as possible.  After some very light barbel clean form work, we all finished up with a brutal circuit on the TRX.  It was a great day.

Never Stop, GET FIT.

Josh Courage

A Lot Of PR's

Monday was a busy day.  Had a lot of the high school and college guys beginning their summer training programs and it saw a great deal of sweat, hard work and rewards.  Every single person either met very long-ago-established PR's, or got new ones!  Most guys worked on establishing their 1RM deadlift, while others worked the deadlift and bench.

I felt pretty strong with this myself, inspired by the efforts of all my athletes, and was able to pull 475# off the ground, and push 295# off the chest.  Both numbers that I expect to raise significantly by October.  Funny enough, I was actually the only one who did not PR, with a past best (about 9 months ago) at 485# (have not benched seriously in over a year, past best is 325#).  But the great thing is that I would now be pushing towards my written out goals much farther along than I thought I would be.

Lots of stability and supplemental work today, then squats and strict press on Friday.

The reason I am establishing these maxes with people is that I want to get all my athletes, as well as myself on one of the most known strength training programs out there.  The 5/3/1 program.  I've known about this program for a few years now, my good friend Jim Bathurst did it with tons of success (he introduced it to me in fact) and another good friend Blair Morrison is using it now as he trains for the 2010 CrossFit Games, and his success is very noticeable.

(Another 5/3/1 link)

The program goes a little something like this (at it's very base mind you): week one includes 3 sets of 5 at each of the power lifts, week two includes 3 sets of 3.  Week three is a set of 5, a set of 3 and a set of 1.  And the final week is 3 sets of 5.  Where this program differs from most, is that it is based off of percentages of your 1RM.  So on week on for example, you are working 3 sets of 5 and the weights are supposed to be 65%, then 75%, then 85% of that Max.

There are more details in this program, including a lot of supported lifts, and we will be following the Josh Courage design for those, as well as short metcons and, as always, Friday Funday!  The result of the 5/3/1 program should see very measurable growth not only in the 1RM, but also in lifting for reps.  And this is why I like this one so much.  For the typical athlete, weekend warrior, and even the elite athlete, being able to rep weight is much, much more functional than being good at moving weight once.   The 1RM is solely a simple test of strength, and great for competitive power  and Olympic lifting.  But it really serves no purpose for a bunch of baseball, basketball, soccer and lacrosse players.  It is more important for the CrossFitter, but in generalized fitness, well, it pays to be good at everything!

So, we begin!  Next post here will be about the summer goals that myself, and all my athletes have put together.

Never Stop, GET FIT.

Josh Courage

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Supply Inquiry

Yesterday I put in an inquiry for a large collection of some supplies.  Here's an idea of what's coming in, what do you think?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Registration Still Open

Recommended Equipment

Register Now!

The CrossFit Courage Games 2010 are less than two weeks away!  And with the excitement of what this day will bring, I want to make sure everyone come prepared.  There may be a slight spoiler in this list, but the beauty is that, with the nature of the competition, there will still be way more than enough unknowns.

A couple things to keep in mind about the whole even: it is going to be hot as hell out there, so be prepared to sweat a lot.  There will be access to a rest/recovery indoor room for all the athletes, but it probably will not be super air conditioned.  We will also have a few fans outside, but still, it's going to be hot.

Recommended Gear:
Athletic pants
1-2 extra pairs of each
A couple towels
Workout gloves
Long Socks
Vibrams (everyone should own a pair of my humble opinion)
Sun screen
Chalk (we will supply some as well)
Sports Drink
Jump rope

Supplied Gear (for use and payed (all payed for items will have a P next to it):
Water (p)
Sports drink (p)
Honest tea (p)
Paleo Kits (p)
Paleo Treats (p)
Courage Performance shirts (p)
Courage Performance shorts (p)
Jump ropes
Random, communal sun screen

I will be posting all information on both this site, and the Courage Performance Facebook page, so check them out on a regular basis over the next couple weeks.  Later this week I will be posting up a schedule for the days events, and some other information.  And, of course next Wednesday I will be posting up the workouts!

Please post to comments, comment on Facebook, email or call if you have any questions.  Also, spread the word and get some ore people t register!

A couple additional points to remember:

  • A portion of all registration fees will be donated to Steve's Club
  • There will be a raffle during the event with all sorts of great gear from sponsors and host
  • There are no showers at the event location
  • There will be a pot-luck style cookout/pool party after the event, so come prepared if you'd like to join.
  • Register Here!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Felt Good

(Picture taken by Lindsey at the tail end of our brutal workout up in the mountain in MA on Memorial Day)

Today I kicked my own butt a little bit, and it was so good.  I started on my new program a bit ago and was feeling pretty good, but then, it seemed to die out a little bit around Memorial Day weekend, with the travel, the wedding I attended and so on, I just lost track of getting my workouts in and eating as cleanly as I'd like.  But I feel as though I am back o track now, and today's workout was a great one!

6, 6, 4, 4, 2, 2 Box Squats
6, 6, 6 Front Squats

3 rounds with 30 seconds rest between attempts of Max Reps of:
Pull Ups
Push ups (all done with a 20# weighted vest)

AMRAP 8 minutes of:
11 KB Swings 44#
7 Push ups

I was able to get 315# on the last set of box squats and it felt way too easy.  I totally could have gotten a lot more, but I was happy (this week is supposed to be recovery week anyway).  The front squats, hm, well, I got 235# on the last set and had to break them up 3, 2, 1 as I had the shirt off and it kept slipping. Either way, it was still about as uncomfortable as I have always felt with these.  I need to do them more, my inability to get decent weight here just negatively effects so many other movements.  Next time the video camera will be rolling.

The pull ups and push ups were fun, tough, but fun.  I got 15, 14, 12 on the pull ups, and 22, 18, 14 on the push ups.  The vest really made a crazy difference, but I was happy to have my numbers relatively close, my muscular endurance/recovery is still pretty good.

The metcon was taken from my CrossFit certification course where we did this as a 10 minute AMRAP. I got 16 rounds then, and was hoping for 12 here.  I think I may have used a slightly lighter KB the last time (35# I think), but I was feeling like the 44# was a good weight.  I finished with 11 rounds plus 9 swings and felt completely spent.  Hypoglycemia hit fast and I felt pretty nauseous.  It was so nice to have that "all-out" feeling again, it's been too long.

Got some good stuff planned tomorrow, definitely a two-a-day kind of day.

So, the CrossFit Courage Games...haven't talked about them for a couple days now, and I hope that has not caused too much stress!  But, I am pushing forward with a whole bunch of things, and you guys should be preparing for the day, June 19th!

On Monday I will be sending out the suggested equipment list, so look for that.  And logistics of the days events will be sent out a week from tomorrow.  I am very excited to get to this event!

Never Stop, GET FIT.

Josh Courage

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Looking Back - A Little Inspiration

Today is the second anniversary of my Mothers death.  And with this time, I am brought back to some great memories.

My mother was, without a doubt, my greatest source of inspiration for so long.  She was able to fight through multiple diagnosis of stage four cancer without ever compromising her core beliefs.  For someone to be faced with so much adversity, day after day, and still hold true to her idea of what life should be, is exactly how I would define Strong.  She never wanted to go the "typical" route, chemo, radiation, tons of medication etc.  She wanted to clean herself, completely of all toxins, of all the crap she put in and around her body her entire life, and allow her body to naturally defeat the cancer.  Now this became her life's focus for the last 5+ years of her life.  She traveled all over the place, learning and trying new, incredible healing practices.  Some pretty impressive stuff out there, whether they worked or not is a whole different discussion, but I am sure that her efforts and passion towards bettering her life sparked a certain healing quality of her chemical build up.  She truly WANTED to get better.  There really is something to be said for believing in what you are doing.

The main thing she got into was a focused Macrobiotic diet.  The basic concept of Macrobiotics is balance.  While it is known as a grain and vegetable-based diet, it really just promotes balancing everything in your life.  And if you can, avoid extremes, as an extreme will always call for the opposite extreme to balance it out (think steak and potatoes, a marathon and two straight days of sleep, you get the picture).  Her specific plan was a bit more detailed as she clearly had some issues going on, you know, the whole breast cancer, metastasizing to her bones, spine, and a good handful of other places as well.  The crazy thing about her plan was that she followed it, absolutely perfectly.  It was not just something she thought she had to do to get better; she firmly believed that this was her life, that eating this food, and balancing her life out was simply: what she did.

And what happened?  Well, she survived for a damn long time given what she had.  It was not easy by any means, for her, or for us as a family, but it was an absolutely incredible thing to watch and be a part of.  Stage four cancer, basically means you are about to die.  As far as I can remember, she was diagnosed with it 3-4 times, and came out of it on the other end, with a reduced diagnosis, or with no cancer to be found.  She fought with osteoporosis, hypothyroidism and a whole slew of other issues, and still was able to do some pretty amazing things.

When she moved out to Belgium for a few years to work with a great Macrobiotic counselor, she was able to walk, up to 6 miles a day with a spine that was so deteriorated that all the doctors kept telling her she should be 100% bed-ridden.  That alone is one of the most motivating things I have ever heard of.  While perhaps she should have cut her walks down a great deal to play it safe, she believed that getting that daily exercise would help to heal her even more.  And with cancer metastasizing in her spine, and disintegrating disks in her lower back, she ended up shocking the medical field and having what many people claim to be a miracle.  She actually began to regenerate bone that ceased to exist.  While I am no medical professional, I do know that that just does not happen.

She came home from that long trip, a changed person, but overall, not much better.  She actually ended up breaking her spine while trying to pick up a plant, and found that there was still a lot of cancer hidden within her bones.  This was the pattern.  She got better, got worse, up and down all the way up until the very end.  It was an impressive battle that ultimately ended much sooner than it should have.

I have heard the argument that perhaps she should have gone the traditional route, and taken all the medication and such.  There is the argument that perhaps she would have completely defeated the cancer and still be alive today.  There is the argument that macrobiotics clearly did not work for her as it did for a handful of other people, and that she wasted her, and our time, and a ton of money attempting to do something that was impossible anyway.  I do not agree with any of this.  Macrobiotics worked, it helped save her life.  Her determination and passion saved her life.  She died when she needed to, perhaps it would appear to be a little early, but her fight, her struggle was a blessing to her, and us all.  She would always tell me that getting cancer was one of the best things that ever happened to her.  If it was not for that horrible sickness, she never would have found what she truly wanted in life.  She probably would have gone the rest of her days, eating crappy food, gaining more weight, sleeping worse and worse, getting sick more often and moving through life like most people, uncomfortably and unhappily.  Because of the cancer, she was able to find that happiness is in trying new things, meeting new people, eating wonderful, good, healthy food, exercising whenever and as often as possible, and unconditionally loving people.  She discovered what truly mattered.

I have learned so much from her, in her life, and her death.  All my journeys and adventures are done with her at my side.

What are your talents?  Your passions, your goals?  What do you own, what do you want?  What do you expect and what do you dream about?

Now share it with everyone, tell your friends and family about it, ask about theirs and then give yourself up to them all.  Throw yourself, unconditionally into what you want and desire in life and experience what happens.  You will fail, you will succeed, you will experience pain and sheer joy.  You will go up and down, get in fights and fall in love.  And all along, you will be happy.  It's like a leap of faith, however you choose to leap, whatever it is you are leaping into, all you need to do is just jump.

I hope this little write-up does two things:  helps put things in perspective that your life probably is nowhere near as bad as you think it is; and maybe inspires you to call you mom (and dad for that matter) and thank them for being the ones who inspired so much good in your life.  Even if they were not-so-great parents, I am sure most of them put a ton of effort into helping you grow up to a life they believed was a good one. 
I miss the hell out of my mom, and every time I am struggling with the last rep, or up a steep hill, or lost in the woods, or out in the middle of Nevada on a bike, or anywhere where I am struggling mentally and physically, she is always right there to smile and tell me how alive I must feel right at that moment.  And she is always right.  I live for those moments.

Never Stop, GET FIT.

Josh Courage