Wednesday, July 27, 2011

CrossFit Games

While I am in the middle of my in-training for Guerrilla Bootcamp, I need to point out that the CrossFit Games are this weekend.  The GrossFit Games are held in California every year at this time and just seem to be getting bigger and bigger with each passing year.  Yes, they are getting a lot more commercialized but I don't see much wrong with that.  The games will be shown online at

Guerrilla Bootcamp's first week was wildly successful.  Even with having 6 potential guerrillas canceling the morning of, I still had quite a showing.  We are starting the class on block 0, meaning that I am introducing basic skills and movements so that everyone can be on the same page when we do more advanced exercises.  I introduced pushups and squats then we threw some fun tire flipping in at the end.  I will end every week's class with a fun little competition.  Last week we had a guys vs. girls tire flipping contest.  Even though the guys had exactly have the number of guerrillas the girls had, they won by a full minute.  But a fun time was had by all and that's what matters the most.  

This week's glass will be held at Dog Hill at Cherokee Park.  This hill, for me, is one of the landmark locations in all of Louisville.  It's about 300 meters hill madness.  I got some great stuff planned so if you are in the Louisville area this Saturday at 0900, make sure you and your friends stop by.  

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Guerrilla Bootcamp is almost here

Anytime you start a new business, you have to find a way to make it unique.  You have to find a way to make yours stand out from the crowd and draw people to your business rather than someone else's that might be like yours.  Rarely does someone have a brand new idea for a business.  So when decided to start my bootcamp this year, I had to come up with a new concept.

See, Louisville has a number of bootcamps.  There is one that is for females only, there is one taught by a couple of meat-heads that has multiple different locations, there is one that uses kettlebells only, there is one taught on top of a building downtown that oversees everything, and there are a few others I'm forgetting about.  So I had to get creative.  I've taught bootcamp before and am very familiar with the layout, exercises, and means to market it.  But I just needed that extra niche to get people to come to mine.  

I spent 6 years in the U.S. Navy and while I was in, I was the PRT coordinator and in charge of my ship's gym.  Those were great experiences that allowed me to learn the fundamentals of fitness.  These fundamentals are often lost when it comes to exercising in the civilian world.  Kettlebells, medicine balls, tires, weights, machines, treadmills.  Those things are all nice and all make exercise seem like a fun experience, but you move further away from the fundamentals when you start incorporating that equipment.  When I speak of fundamentals, I'm talking about basic bodyweight exercises.  Squats, pushups, lunges, mountain climbers, bear crawls, crab crawls, frog jumps (no more animals I promise), fireman carry, situps, flutter kicks, pullups, planks, and bridges just to name a few.  When you incorporate your own bodyweight into your exercise, you gain so much more than just simple strength.  You learn proprioception (self awareness in space), balance, body control, strength (duh!), endurance, flexibility, power, and mental toughness.  These are the types of exercises we will be doing at my bootcamp.  Back to basics.  This will be a true military style bootcamp.  Now there will be the obligatory appearance of a tractor tire, or a medicine ball, or kettlebell, but those will be used as accessories to the class rather than the main course.  This is what will make my class stand out.  It will be a bootcamp in the truest sense of the word.  

The other thing that will make my bootcamp unique is that it will be popping up all of the greater Metro Louisville area.  I use the term Guerrilla Bootcamp to describe it and this is how I define it:

Guerrilla -- a member of an irregular, usually indigenous military unit operating in small bands in occupied territory to harass and undermine the enemy, as by surprise raids. 
Bootcamp -- a training session with hard physical exercise designed to bring your physical fitness beyond what you thought was possible.  

We are going to be popping up by surprise all over this town.  Parks, streets, parking lots, houses, downtown, wherever.  My little band of guerrillas will be bringing fitness to a whole new level.  My favorite line of that whole definition is "as by surprise raids".  Love it!  That's exactly what we will be doing.  Every Wednesday is when I will announce to the guerrillas where that week's class will be held.  It's going to be exciting, eventful, and most of all, fun!  I can't wait to get this thing started.  Information for the class is listed below.  Be sure to stop by and join my band of guerrillas each and every week.  

What:  Guerrilla Bootcamp
Where: TBD
When: Saturdays at 0900 - 1000
Cost: First week free, $10 every week after.  $5 if you bring a friend.  
What to bring: Yourself, water, and a lot of energy

Saturday, July 16, 2011

My calendar of events

This is the year of running apparently because most of the Forever an Athlete events I have lined up are races.  But they aren't just simple 5k's and 10k's.  They are mud runs and obstacle races.  Below is a list of races and events I will be dominating in the next few months.  Below that will be a few that I WISH I could do.

July 23:  Guerrilla Bootcamp presented by Voltage Strength and Performance begins
Aug 13:  Mudathlon in Cincinnati OR Warrior Dash in Crawfordsville (I haven't decided)
Aug 28:  Performance Enhancement Seminar at IFAST in Indianapolis (continuing education)
Sept 4:  Rock & Roll Half Marathon in Virginia Beach (possibly with my brother)
Sept 10:  Rugged Maniac at Paoli Peaks in Paoli, IN
Oct 15:  Spartan Race in Marseilles, IL OR Urbanathlon in Chicago (I haven't decided)
Nov 19:  Tough Mudder in Attica, IN  (The granddaddy of them all!!!)

My wish list:
Mud Rush
Thunder Doom
Central Coast Clash
Metro Dash (this looks amazing)
Primal Mud Run

If you have any other events you'd like to add or see me compete in, let me know.  I'm all about the new events these days.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Hey parents, get your kids assessed

Over the course of my wonderful (sarcasm intended) marathon training, I encountered quite a bit of knee pain.  To this day I am not sure exactly what that pain stemmed from.  I was guessing it was from over striding and that the damage was too much when I changed my stride 4 weeks out from the race.  I the weeks after the race it was still a little bothersome so I decided to give it more time.  With that in mind, I decided to sign up for the Warrior Dash, Rock & Roll Half Marathon in Va Beach, and Tough Mudder.  Yea, not exactly rest.  The Warrior Dash has come and gone and that was only 3.5 miles.  Not too bad of a run.  I ran it with a buddy of mine who is in fantastic shape but he isn't what you would classify as a "runner".  So I got to run a little slower than my usual pace which made the race more fun for me than competitive.  Up next is the Rock & Roll Half in Va Beach during Labor Day weekend.  I am very much looking forward to that since that is said to be simply a great experience with bands at every mile.  This run will be used as a training run for the ultimate prize, Tough Mudder in November.  I can't begin to tell you how stoked I am to run this. 
Through all of this, I am battling a few nicks and pains.  The knee is well documented but I have also incurred some stupid hip/groin issue.  I think it has something to do with my adductor longus, iliopsosas, or pectineus.  I used to think it was my inguinal ligament but upon further investigation I have deduced that it's not.  Has a Dr. checked this out yet?  Nope.  My wife, the nurse, keeps trying to get me to get a professional opinion but I'm going to try and see if I can take care of it.  Then last week my back decided to give me fits.  My chiro says it's a bulging disc.  Needless to say I have been laid up for the last few days with this.  I'm not even going to go into the issue I have with my right shoulder and bicep. 
I talk about all of this because the purpose of this blog is to showcase how I refuse to be sedentary and stop being an athlete.  But it's kind of hard to do that when I keep incurring little issues like this.  I guess that's what happens as we get older.  Those little dings and pains that went away once we rubbed some dirt on it are a thing of the past once we get past the fine age of 30 (or 35 in my case).  Those little dings turn in traffic stopping crashes that take control of your training and basically stop it altogether.  That is why it is so important to be able to perform basic maintenance on yourself through the use of mobility and stability training, stretching, foam rollers, balls, rolling sticks, bands, and whatever medieval instrument I can get my hands on to push my body through all of the ranges of motion it should be doing. 
You see, I'm not exactly a big guy.  I'm what you would consider perfectly average; 5'10, 175 lbs.  Most of my life was spent with me thinking that I was much bigger.  When I played high school football (and briefly D-1 college), I was always the smallest guy out there.  I was a 155 lb running back on a team that ran the ball roughly 99% of the time.  I switched to receiver in college and even the kickers were bigger than me.  I wrestled and have trained a bit in MMA and always went after the bigger guys.  When I played basketball, I always posted up even though EVERYONE down low was bigger.  All of this has led me to get the holy hell kicked out of me on a regular basis.  I never had anyone telling me I couldn't do it (thanks Dad), so I did it.  And while that is a great trait to have, the strength & conditioning world isn't nearly what it is today.  So all of those little bumps, bruises, strains, sprains, and overall owies grew into much bigger problems as I got older.  Now that I am a strength & conditioning professional, I see how vitally important it is for our athletic youth to begin mobility and stability exercises as soon as they start playing sports. 
Mobility and stability does not equal getting on the bench press or squat rack.  It involves teaching the athlete simply how to move properly.  It teaches them how to land properly.  It teaches them how to engage all of the muscles necessary in order to fully support the movement that is required by the sport.  If you are a parent reading this, please ensure that if you have children participating in sports, you speak to a strength coach who knows about mobility and stability training.  Listed below are a couple of websites that you can check out from some people a heck of a lot smarter than me that have dedicated their lives to this.  Please check them out.  Also, if you have any questions on how you can better assess some of the problems you have going on, please feel free to drop me a line or simply come to my Guerrilla Bootcamp starting on July 23. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Guerilla Bootcamp

Get ready Louisville Metro!  My business, Voltage Strength and Performance, is presenting something that will completely take the greater metro area by storm.  Guerilla Bootcamp!

There are a lot of bootcamps around.  Some are pretty bad, some are actually really good.  Generally, a bootcamp takes place at a local park and the organizer brings some equipment and a fun time is had by all.  An hour later, the participants are sweating and may or may not have had a great experience.  Guerilla Bootcamp is breaking out of that mold.  Cherokee Park?  Sure.  Waterfront?  Definitely.  Downtown?  Yes.  Oxmoor shopping mall parking lot?  Oh yeah!  We are going to take bootcamp to the next level and going to take it all over this great area.  

I was inspired last week when I was walking around the waterfront and downtown area.  I kept seeing areas that would make for great workout spots.  I jokingly told my wife I'd love to do plyometrics under the 2nd street bridge next to the arena and I'd love to do sprints on the great lawn on the waterfront.   That was my "aha moment".  

So beginning on Saturday, July 23 at 0900 (it is bootcamp so we will be talking military time),  we will be embarking on the city of Louisville.  Each session will cost $10 and t-shirts will be available for $20.  Voltage Strength and Performance will show Louisville the true meaning of Guerilla Bootcamp.  If you are interested, please email me at, see my Voltage Strength and Performance page on Facebook, or call me at 502-645-0324.  I am absolutely stoked to be bringing this to Louisville.   

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Golf and Track

So last week I had some fun with some stuff I hadn't done in a while.  I went golfing for the first time this year.  Sure, I'd spent a lot of time practicing.  I spent 3 hours one day at the chipping green and a couple of more at the putting green.  But this was the first time I did the whole 18 holes.  I went with a buddy of mine whose pretty good.  He's great to go with because I know he is good for one good meltdown throughout the round.  And by meltdown, I don't mean shooting an 8 or a 9.  I mean where he strings together 2 or 3 bad shots in a row and cusses, swears, throws a club, and finally stops talking for a good 10 minutes altogether.  See, he goes golfing about 3 times per week.  He's a teacher so he has the summers off.  His expectations are that of someone that is an avid golfer and someone that should shoot in the upper 70's or lower 80's.  He isn't like me where I go out there about 5 to 6 times per year and hope to break 90.  Expectations can be both hindering and motivating.  They can motivate you to succeed in that you know exactly what's expected of you and you go out and do it.  They can hinder you because when you fail, you start to snowball a bit and things can get out of control real fast.  I have often wanted to be a great golfer but with greatness comes the great expectations.  I enjoy going out, hitting around 90, getting that one-putt, hitting that drive 280 yards down the fairway (once), and chipping from 25 yards to within 2 feet of the cup (once).  Those are the shots that keep you coming back.  But I also love the 3-5 hours spent with buddies, talking sports/girls/music/whatever else comes to mind.  I enjoy the pursuit of improvement and knowing that if I can improve by just one or two strokes from my previous score that is was all worthwhile.  I enjoy knowing that no matter how bad I am,  I'm better than Charles Barkley at an athletic event (better at CrossFit too).  I enjoy remembering every single time I go how my dad used to take me to Duck Creek Golf Course when I was a teenager and I had no idea what I was doing.  Thanks Dad for all of those times.  For all of these reasons, I love golf.  I love knowing that  the game presents a different challenge for me every time I play regardless of what course I am on.  It's the endless pursuit of improvement that keeps me coming back for more punishment.  Great game, great times.

The other thing I did last week is I ran in a track meet.  The Clarksville Parks and Rec. in Indiana has a summer running series in which they have open meets at the high school for both kids and adults.  Of course I took my kid, Abe, there and he ran the 400.  He's getting better every time at that event.  They had a 300 for adults there so I jumped in.  In my race was a kid that appeared to be fresh out of the U.S. Olympic trials with his spikes and USATF singlet.  There was another guy in my race that was a 55 year old man preparing to run in the Master's World Championships this week.  Well USATF guy blew everyone out of the water and smoked the race.  I finished in third about half a second behind a guy that I know I'll beat next time.  But at least I beat the 55 year old.  Hey, I'm proud I beat a guy competing in the World Championships, I don't care if he is 55.

These events are the reasons why I write this blog.  To show that at no matter what age or ability you are, you can always compete.  In the course of 2 days I raced a young guy at the prime of his abilities and a 55 year old holding on to that last thing that keeps him young, and I golfed with a guy much better than me and our difference in abilities didn't matter at all because the point was to have fun.  Yeah, I want to win every time I compete and I want to show everyone I am the best.  But I also want to have fun, make friends, tell stories, and hold on to that kid inside of me for just a little bit longer.